Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam
4. How fortunate is this Sabari!
Sometime in 1946, S. Doraiswamy Iyer came to the Ashram. He was a very successful lawyer practising in Madras, earned a lot of money, gave up practice, donated all the money to the Aravindasram, and lived there as an Ashramite. Off and on, he used to come to Ramanasramam. Once it so happened I was copying in a note book various stotras in Telugu in praise of Bhagavan, when Doraiswamy came into the hall and sat there. He saw how Bhagavan was calling me now and then and giving me instructions about copying the stotras and others in Telugu. Doraiswamy appears to have observed the paternal affection with which Bhagavan was calling me and so when Bhagavan left the hall and when I too was about to leave soon after, he came directly behind me unobserved and began singing the famous Thyagaraja kirtan: “How fortunate is Sabari? How fortunate is Sabari!” Startled at the unexpected singing right behind my back, I turned round and found him looking at me smiling. I asked him why he was singing like that. Pointing his hand towards me he said, “Yes, Amma; I am saying how fortunate is this Sabari! Bhagavan does not speak to us even once though we ask him all sorts of questions. In your case Bhagavan himself asks for you saying, ‘Where is Nagamma?’ and speaks to you every now and then. How luck you are!” I naturally felt very much elated at that.
In 1954 I shifted my permanent residence from the Ashram to Andhra Pradesh and was coming to the Ashram once or twice a year for a few month’s stay. On one such occasion, perhaps in 1957, I remained in Bhagavan’s hall a little longer than usual and with all thoughts of Bhagavan crowding in on my mind, was going out when all of a sudden I heard a voice from behind similar to Bhagavan’s calling “Where is Nagamma?” (Nagamma yedhi?). Startled at that, I looked behind and found Devaraj a Mudaliar smiling at me. Noticing the tears that had welled up in my eyes, he said, “Bhagavan used to call you like that, didn’t he?” What you have said is perfectly correct. For a fleeting moment I felt it was Bhagavan himself that was calling me. What a delusion! Be it as it may, I have heard those soothing words once again at least through your mouth. What a good day for me! It was only after hearing those words from Bhagavan that Doraiswamy Iyer sang the song ‘How fortunate is this Sabari! ‘ Those good days are gone never to return,” I said. Mudaliar also felt likewise, and share with me my regrets, being a fellow devotee.