Siddha Sri Kalahasthi Barathvaj Maharishi
Thirty-two years ago, when I was still with my guru the Siddha, I accompanied him to Kalahasthi. I saw a man with magnetic, mesmerizing eyes, wearing dirty robes. With him, he had a broken bowl and a gunny. He was seated near the door of the great Neelakandeswarar Temple. I informed my guru, and he rushed to the scene, where he worshipped him. I noticed goosebumps covered his body.
“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to see the Lord of Sri Kalahasthi,” he said.
Immediately, I took twenty rupees from my pocket and left them in the Barathvaj Maharishi’s bowl. Everyone else who came with us donated money too, and in turn received his blessings. After my guru attained Samadhi in 1989, my priority was to assist the saints. Therefore, whenever I get the opportunity,
I visit Barathvaj Maharishi, especially on No-Moon days. He is always surrounded by at least ten dogs, and whenever he eats, he feeds the dogs, too. He doesn’t mind consuming the same food as them, sometimes from the same dish, mixed with their spittle. If we tried to move the dogs, he would stop us.
“Do not touch them,” He once said. “They are angels. They narrate stories of the great Ramayanam and Mahabaratham epic for me in the evenings.”
When we visit him, he lets us stay near a snake breeding spot by the Loba Pond on the temple premises. Many years ago, he said that after he attains Samadhi, it will become a large garden. He pointed out a huge banyan tree, and told us many siddhas had meditated under it, and even now the Goddess of Wealth lives in it. He instructed me to construct a circular platform around the tree and to whitewash the temple, then perform a sacred installation ceremony. It’s important to know there was no proper access to this temple then. I had to bring the building materials in tractors, around a huge hill. Still, I completed this task and met the Siddha’s expectations. When I had the chance to talk with him afterwards, I told him of the challenges I faced.
“But Raja,” he said. “You made it possible. Look at that huge hill! One day, that will be split into two, and between the two hills, there will be a road.”
I thought to myself, How can that be possible? But in a few years, his prediction came true. A road was paved, cutting through the hill. The Temple of Kalahasthi has become a sanctuary; a beautiful nature reserve.
Once, I visited Sri Kalahasthi Temple with my wife, and we stayed for three days. It was extremely hot that week, with the temperatures reaching up to 110 degrees. That day, we made lunch and offered it to Barathvaj Maharishi and his team (the dogs).
But something was troubling me. I was concerned that the heat might be too much for him, and I couldn’t understand why the siddha wouldn’t join us, out of the sun.
“Siddha,” I said. “It is so hot. Why do you continue to sit in the heat?”
“Me sitting here helps the Sun God out,” he replied, matter-of-factly. I had guessed he would give such a mysterious response. He continued, “One day, the Sun God told me that he burns all alone. He told me it would be great if he could have my assistance, to enhance his energy. I agreed to help, and from that day on, I have sat in the sun.”
As he spoke, the radiance of his magnetic eyes took my breath away. Siddhas possess the amount of energy equivalent to thousands of suns.