RAJAMUNDRY, ANDHRA PRADESH.
( August 1,1984 to Nov 15.)


I took a overnight train to Rajmundry from Secunderabad via Vijayawada where I had to change the train. Rajamundry,  a place by the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh where Tridandi Swami Puri Maharaj had a Krishna Temple.  I was welcomed by the Swami ji and I too was happy to live in a new temple atmosphere.  There were a  few Brahmacharis and they were under strict control of the Swami ji.  But for me it was a different story.  I had all the freedom to go out or even skip any temple program.  This discriminatory behavior by the Swami with me was not taken kindly by the Brahmacharis.  But eventually I too became their friend and I had no problem with them during my stay of 3 months.

For me, it was a novel experience in terms of exploring the devotional aspect of spiritual life.  Every evening we had Kirtan and Puja and there used to be a number of devotees joining us.   I enjoyed my one month long morning devotional songs singing on the streets.   It was opening a new frontier to my mental horizon that devotion expressed through songs could also lead to a high level of spiritual attainment.  I got my initiation into Krishna Maha Mantra from Puri Maharaj. I had my head cleanly shaven and became a Vaishnava. My new name was 'Sukdev Das' I also started chanting 'Hare Krishna Mantra' more than 16 rounds of beads per day. This also gave me an experience of immense joy.  At the temple the food they would call 'Krishna Prasad' used to be very simple and I never found anything to complain about.

The temple had some vacant land and there were only few flower trees.  I planned with other Brahmacharis to plant a number of merrygold Flower. They grew so many of them that temple had enough flowers for that season. 

However after 3 month of stay I felt that it was not for me to dedicate my life to this cause of devotional service. I too found the Swami would talk in his discourses disparagingly of other systems of yoga. I felt the path through Gauriya Krishna movement  was too narrow to be accepted.  So I told my decision to Swamiji about my going back to Hyderabad. He was unhappy to let me go.  However he told me that his temple will be open for me anytime I decided to go back.

It was again plunging into an unknown future.  When I reached  Hyderabad I found that my old home was given to someone else and I had no place to live in.  However, the house owner lodged me in their house temporarily.  That was the time when I had to decide where to go and what to do. The call beyond magazine published by the Delhi Sri Aurobindo Ashram came to my hand when I visited a center run by Dr. Madhusudan Readdy.  In that magazine I found an offer as an option to join their mission in Delhi.

I had no money to go to Delhi.  My Friend Venkatramalu, at that time an advocate, practicing in the High Court offered me enough money to buy my train ticket and other expenses.  This Venkatramalu later on became a judge in Andhra Pradesh High court and after his retirement he did visit me in Delhi twice.


MY LIFE AS I HAVE BEEN LIVING
RAJAMUNDRY DAYS
BHARATIYA INSTITUTE OF HUMAN EXCELLENCE