(66) LIFE ON THE HILL -- SOME INCIDENTS
21st August, 1946
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the hall a little later than usual. I believe it was 3 p.m. At the request of the devotees, Bhagavan was relating some incidents from his life on the hill. He was telling them how, when he was in Virupaksha Cave, they had at first a mud pot for bringing food, then an aluminium vessel, then a brass one, and then a tiffin carrier; how the vessels accumulated one by one like this and how the devotees quietly started cooking without heeding his protests. Bhagavan told us another incident also, with a smile on his face. “Once, when I was in Virupaksha Cave, Rangaswami Iyengar, Gambhiram Seshayya, a Vaisya and a Reddy happened to be there. One day they all felt like cooking food and started doing so enthusiastically. Every one of them had the yajnopaveetam (sacred thread), except the Reddy. ‘Why should he not have it?’ they thought, and put one on him. That was great fun for all of them and they enjoyed the feast,” said Bhagavan. Rajagopala Iyer asked, “Was it while you were there that grandmother came?” “Yes, she came while we were there, and said that she would cook food for herself. We told her that she could do so in the small cave nearby. She agreed and started cooking, and said to me, ‘Venkatarama, I am cooking today. You should not therefore take any other food.’ I said ‘Yes’ and after she left, I ate with the others as usual. It was some distance between this cave and the other one, and so how could she know? After she had cooked, I ate that food also. She really thought I had not eaten anything else except the food she cooked.” He continued, “We had a grandfather amongst our relatives.
He had the habit of abusing everyone. Even so, everyone used to invite him so as to enjoy the fun of his abusive language. That was because he was good-natured and did not mean ill to anybody. He came to see me while I was in Virupaksha Cave. Soon after he came, he said jocularly, ‘What, Venkataraman! It seems you have become a big Swami! Have you grown horns on your head?’ It was when mother was away in Kasi that all this happened.” It was really interesting to hear Bhagavan narrating these incidents with suitable modulations in his voice, and appropriate gestures.