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Agra Bhajans

Kirtan (bhajans, spiritual song) on the grounds of the Bhadawar House.  Shivabalayogi often visited Agra and stayed here, the residence of the royal family of Agra.  He conducted meditation and bhajan programs on the grounds and attracted large crowds each night.  As he generally encouraged wherever he visited, Agra devotees organized weekly meditation and bhajan programs at the Bhadawar House.

Saving Four Rupees by Enjoying Kirtan at Home

During the early days my wife and I used to attend the kirtan at the Bhadawar House every Sunday.

One Sunday I got entangled in some social meeting and I couldn’t reach home in time to go the Bhadawar House.  My wife was very upset and started scolding me, “See, you have now missed the time.  We have to go to the kirtan and you are very late.  How are we going to reach there on time?”

I said, “Today I don’t feel like going to the kirtan.”  So saying, I took the mat on which I sit doing puja [prayers and worship], spread it out, and laid down on my side.  At about six I started hearing the kirtan through my right ear, the one against my shoulder.  I started wondering, “What is this happening?”  I could very clearly hear the kirtan that was going on at the Bhadawar House.  As soon as I lifted my head so my ear wasn’t near that shoulder, it would stop.  When I again pressed my ear to the shoulder, I could listen to the sound of the kirtan.

I was enjoying it very much.  Then I was naughty.  I used to joke with Swamiji, and even here I was naughty.  I started thinking, “Oh Swamiji, why don’t you do this every week?  Every Sunday you do this.  I can lie down here and enjoy the kirtan.  I don’t have to go to the Bhadawar House.  So I’ll save four rupees per week, two rupees to go there and two rupees to come back by rickshaw.  So why don’t you do this every week?”

I was in my own world while my wife was looking at me behaving strangely.  I was smiling, moving my head up and down, moving my mouth as if talking to myself, laughing.  “Are you going mad or what?  What is happening to you?”

“Be quiet.  I am listening to the kirtan.”  She thought I had really gone mad.

A short while after that, Swamiji came to the Bhadawar House.  I always had the opportunity to stand by Swamiji near the dais whenever he was giving darshan.  This time when Swamiji came I again stood nearby.

All of a sudden Swamiji told me,  “You fellow, you want to save four rupees a week?”

I thought to myself, “What is this Swamiji is talking to me about, four rupees a week?”  By this time I had forgotten how I had joked with Swamiji.

Again Swamiji said, “You fellow, you want to save four rupees per week and that’s why you don’t want to come here and attend the kirtan?”  Then it struck me.  What I had just thought to myself as a joke was already understood by Swamiji.

Making the Airport Metal-Detector Go Off

SeaTacWe took Swamiji to the airport and enjoyed his company waiting for the flight.  When it came time for him to board, he had to go through the metal detector in the security area.  Swamiji was wearing tennis shoes and socks, a loincloth which he wears as underclothes, and the shawl that he wraps around his body.

Swamiji walked to the security area where devotees bowed before him and touched his feet.  The security personnel did not understand what was going on, so they watched this scene very suspiciously.  Swamiji walked through the metal detector machine and set it off.  The security people made him go back around.  Again he set off the metal detector.  They kept making Swamiji walk through and each time the alarm on the metal detector went off.  The security people got more and more suspicious as the devotees started laughing and joking more and more.  They called for more security people.

Swamiji walked through the metal detector again and set off the alarm one more time.  Then he took the cloth wrapped around him and opened it up to reveal his practically naked body.  He had nothing on underneath but his loin cloth.  One of the women guards exclaimed loudly, “Oh my God! He can’t fly like that! I’ve seen how they fly on Air India.  They can’t fly like that!”

After that, Swamiji walked through one more time and nothing happened.  He waved to us mischievously and got on the plane.

Being Mistaken for a Woman

Swamiji loved to tell stories about people mistaking him for someone else.  Once he and Adinarayana were walking on a bridge near Talakaveri (the source of the Cauvery River).  Swamiji noticed a man walking in the same direction who improperly touched a woman as he passed her by.  Swamiji told Adinarayana, “That man is thinking that Swami is a woman and he is going to touch me.  I will hit him with my elbow so hard, he will fall over.”

Adinarayana stayed back a little from Swamiji.  Walking behind Swamiji, the stranger saw only his flowing cloth wrapped and long jata (matted hair) which could be mistaken for a woman’s long hair.  In addition, Swamiji walked with a sway not unlike a woman’s hips.  The man obviously mistook Swamiji for a woman because when he came up from behind, he made a grab at him.  Swamiji immediately elbowed him so hard that he fell to the ground.

 

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