BABA SHIVARUDRA BALAYOGI'S PARENTS,
SHANKARA DIKSHITAR AND SHARADA DIKSHITAR
As a child Father worked at the homes of his relatives to earn fees for his studies. He used to help by washing and pressing of clothes. Was this a destiny? To be honest in this world you have to pay a heavy price. But Father used to say that Determination and Character stood by him. He considered them as his constant companions.
Gradually thus, he gained the ability to have an insight into others' sufferings. He never went to rich relatives for help. He knew they would make fun. Sometimes he had to walk about 20 km. to an immediate relative to request for school fees, only to be refused by that drunkard relative, who deliberately would refuse to give that small amount of money and used to ask Father to come back after few days. With a strong willpower and strong efforts he completed and rose to become a doctor, by completing his medical degree successfully. A noble doctor, he never considered it a profession but instead he thought it to be a mission. A mission to help the poor and needy. A mission is to serve humanity without any discrimination. He gave the same temperament to all of us children.
A saint's blessings: Mother was born to the blessings of a saint. In Feb 1913, my maternal grandfather was posted as Amildar (Commissioner) in Devanahalli near Bangalore. Shri Shankaracharya of Koodalimutt was on a visit to that place. Deeply religious, my maternal grandparents received the saint with due honors and reception. The venerable saint was pleased to visit their home, where after the traditional Padapuja (worshiping a Saint's Lotus Feet by washing with scented water, offering of flowers etc...), they organized mass-feeding. Very much pleased, the saint invited my grandfather, Amildar Narayana Iyer, to accompany Him to the next town.
Grandfather begged for forgiveness at the feet of the saint, by saying , "Oh! Reverend Saint, I may be forgiven that my wife is expected to deliver a child any moment and she needs me by her side." Broadly smiling the venerable saint said, "Do not worry about the delivery. A female child would be born. Name her as Sharada. (Sharada is the name of the presiding Goddess deity of Koodali and Shringeri. Shringeri is a famous place where Adi Shankara was supposed to have established a centre during His philosophical sojourn). She will be a noble pious, lady and bear noble children in her womb."
With enormous faith and devotion grandfather accompanied the saint. After the programme was over and when grandfather came back, to his surprise, he had been blessed with a beautiful daughter.
Legend Of Koodalimutt: (Mutt means Monastery)
Koodali is a town about 10 Km. from Shimoga town in the state of Karnataka in South India. Legend has it that Adi Shankaracharya, in a Vedic argument, defeated Mandana Misra, a great Vedic scholar of that time. Later Mandana Misra became a disciple of Adi Shankara. This happened in the ancient city of Kashi (Benaras). Mandana Misra's wife Ubhaya Bharati believed to be an Avatar of goddess Saraswati, wants to go back to Her original abode of Brahma. Through a mantra, Adi Shankara stops her and prays to her to reside on earth. The story goes on that Adi Shankara wanted to take her towards Shringeri. Goddess agreed with a precondition that Shankara should proceed and that she would follow, but Shankara should not look back. If Shankara fails to hold on to this condition she said, she would stop then and there itself.
Well, the journey started. On the way Shankara used to hear the foot steps. When Shankara arrived at Koodali, as the Great Saint did not hear the foot steps, forgetting the condition, he looked back and the goddess stopped there and came to be known as Sharadamba. Goddess Sharadamba is in a standing posture in Koodal. She is in a sitting posture in Shringeri. Shringeri is also in the state of Karnataka in South India.
The 20th Spiritual Head of this centre at Shringeri, was Saint Narasimha Bharati. After the Vijayanagar Empire had collapsed, during 16th century, Saint Narasimha Bharati went to Kashi and did not come back for 16 years. Assuming that He might have attained Mahasamadhi, people at Shringeri had organised Saint Rama Chandra Bharati to ascend as the spiritual head.
Later when Saint Narasimha Bharati came back and saw another person as the spiritual head, He graciously accepted and went to Koodal and established a Monastery there. He attained Mahasamadhi around 1586 AD. The 21st Spiritual descendent of this Koodali Mutt was the one who had blessed Baba's maternal grandparents and blessed Baba's Mother Sharadamba's birth.
BABA'S PARENTS, End of part II
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