Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 19 Jun 2022


Miraculous Experiences blessed by my Sadguru, Shri Datta Swami

[By Priyanka Seethepalli]

Guru Datta    Sri Datta     Prabhu Datta

Due to Swami’s grace, my family and I could meet Swami for the first time in Vijayawada at Shri Balakrishnamurthy garu’s house. I believe it was in the year 1999, when I was just thirteen years old. I also met several great devotees like Shri Ajay garu, Shri Phani garu, Shri Sharma garu, etc. on the same day in their house. It was an unforgettable and extraordinary day, where for the first time I felt like my life suddenly found its clear Goal and purpose.

During my childhood, among the usual worldly things, I grew up listening to various devotional songs and watched tv serials and movies about God. Whenever I watched them, I used to think how lucky those people are, who got to meet God in person whereas I didn’t have the same opportunity as them. I used to think that the next incarnation in this Kali yuga was Kalki avataar only and felt very disappointed that I was not living in an era where God was on Earth as a human incarnation. This made me desire to time travel into the past and become one among the local people of other yugas, who could meet God. While watching my favorite serial on TV called ‘Shri Krishna’, I would hope to be teleported to Dwaraka and become a servant in Lord Krishna’s palace so that I could get a glimpse of the Lord whenever He walked around in His palace. I wanted to observe everything about Him in real time and quietly do my assigned work so that nobody will know I was from Kaliyuga. Apart from this, I also observed that I used to feel very happy whenever I visited temples, especially those related to Lord Vishnu and His other forms like Lord Krishna and Lord Venkateshwara. I could have never imagined that the same Lord Krishna, Who came as Shri Datta Swami now, would one day come to our house in Vijayawada and express that He will stay with our family for sometime in His very first visit itself! I only dreamt of going to His house in Dwaraka, but He Himself came with Shri Phani garu to our house. My silent desires were not silent to the omniscient God (our Swami) since my childhood. This was beyond any dream coming true! It was an experience of our beloved’s Swami’s deep infinite ocean of kindness and love. I don’t think I have finished digesting this properly till date. Maybe, let me ‘suffer’ from this sweetest indigestion of His kindness and love forever, and let me never be cured of it. 

I would like to share some experiences that happened 1-2 years prior to meeting our Swami. My mother (Smt. Gayathry) briefly read Shri Guru Charitra, Shri Datta Bhagwat Gita and Shri Datta Vedam to me and my sister. She was given these divine books by my maternal grandparents, who were friends of Shri Balakrishnamurthy garu and Smt. Bhavani garu. I had never heard of God Dattatreya until then and developed curiosity to know more about Him after listening to those books. Soon, I got an opportunity to watch a Telugu movie called ‘Shri Datta Darsanam’. After watching the movie, I felt very attracted to Lord Dattatreya and developed the same desire to meet Him and serve Him like I felt during my childhood for Lord Krishna.

We were living in Kuwait at that time. During the summer school vacation, our family had travelled to India to tour many famous temples in Tamil Nadu. I would like to share some miraculous experiences that happened to me during our tours. We visited a very famous Lord Shiva temple but unfortunately, I was not allowed to go inside the shrine because I was on my periods. I was asked to wait in some corner of the same temple complex while my family went inside. I felt very sad that I could not see the famous Shiva lingam. I sat on a stone quietly observing the temple complex and had started chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya mantram, since I did not know any other prayer related to Lord Shiva. Suddenly, an older man, who looked like a saint in saffron robes approached me. He was having Vibhuti (scared ash) all over His body, matted long hair, carried a long stick and had a subtle smile. He stopped exactly opposite to me and started talking to me in English! I was shocked because it was rare to hear someone speak in English in certain towns of Tamil Nadu during those days, but now a saint himself was speaking in English! He asked for my name and said I looked like a foreigner. I responded that I was from India but living in Kuwait. He smiled even more in a very pleasant manner and did not say anything else. The more I kept looking at him, I felt strongly in my heart that Lord Shiva is Himself standing in front of me. But, at the same time I thought - why would such a thing happen to me? I felt I was clearly being delusional. He then suddenly said that he wanted me to help him. I didn’t understand much and thought he wanted some money for food or some other needs. I responded that I had nothing with me and that my father can help once he comes out and asked him if he can wait somewhere. He quietly left as I watched the direction in which he walked away. Soon, my parents came out of the main shrine. I ran to them and told them what had happened. I pleaded my father to help that saint. We looked almost everywhere, but sadly we could not find him at all. Then suddenly my father said – “It seems that Lord Shiva Himself came to give His darshan to you today since you could not go inside. You are far luckier than us even though you had to stay outside the shrine”! Hearing my father’s words, my mother was shocked and told us that she felt very sad for me inside the shrine and expressed to Lord Shiva that how can He make me miss His darshan today? Hearing both their words, I felt extremely shocked. I could not believe this could happen to me! I also felt very sad that I could not find him anymore and regretted that I had asked him to wait somewhere till my father came out. I felt very troubled that I blew up the divine opportunity of meeting Lord Shiva. That was probably the first time I realized that meeting God in human form was possible in contemporary times also if God Himself wishes to bless us with such an opportunity. Meanwhile, we were being forced by our tour guide to board the bus and had to leave immediately.

In a different tour, we had the opportunity of meeting some contemporary human incarnations of God. We visited Puttaparthi and had the darshan of Shri Satya Sai Baba. Soon, we visited Mysore to stay at Shri Ganapati Sachidananda Swami ashram for few days. One day, at the ashram I saw that Swami ji was giving various kinds of ‘aartis’ to Lord Dattatreya at the temple there. I felt immense peace just sitting in the temple and staring at the statue of Lord Dattatreya while the temple bells rang continuously in the background. As I kept focussing on the Lord, I felt the world was fading away. Everything was slowly becoming dark around me except the Lord in the shrine was appearing bright. Suddenly the puja got over and this feeling went away. It was suddenly normal, and I felt slightly unhappy that this feeling had to end soon. I lined up along with other people to receive ‘teertham’ from Swami ji. When my turn came, Swami ji firmly told me, “You will meet me again soon”. I was shocked and nodded in confusion. I received the ‘teertham’ and left quietly. I told my parents about this, and we were all confused what it meant and wondered why Swami ji said it only to me? Why would I come to Mysore again soon? We could not understand how that was possible and stopped thinking about it accepting that let the future unveil whatever this meant. 

Literally in just a few months, the most precious and significant moment of my life unfolded due to the grace of God. At the same age of 13 years old, I was finally blessed to meet God Dattatreya as Shri Datta Swami, Who is the paripurna avataaram of Parabrahman Himself. Perhaps, this is what Shri Ganapati Sachidananda Swami ji meant for me, that I will be meeting Lord Datta in human form again soon! Having said that, initially I did not know Who our Swami really was. My family went to Tatagaru’s house thinking that God Dattatreya appeared to Shri Datta Swami and dictated the knowledge to write in the books. I was given only this information and so I believed it. I was excited to at least meet someone who could see God Dattatreya. But within the first hour of meeting our Swami, He transferred my sister’s stomach pain onto Himself and revealed some things about our past life. He looked at me specifically and said, “I know all your millions of past births, but you know only this one”. I started doubting that how can Shri Datta Swami talk like this, if He is not God Himself? All sorts of thoughts were rushing in my head quickly. Swami did not say that God knows all my past lives as if God was a separate entity from Him. Instead, He spoke as God Himself using the word “I”. He said, “I know all your past lives”. That means there was no difference between Him and God Datta. They were one and the same! I was confused as to why was I lied to before - that Shri Datta Swami could see God Datta as a separate entity! Within a few minutes, I suddenly felt my heart racing with an intense rush of emotions and a great realization that our Swami was indeed God Datta Himself! This realization was blessed by our Swami only. Nobody can recognize Him without His grace. I was trying to digest that finally I was standing right in front of God Datta. Words cannot express the shock, wonder and bliss I felt to be present right in front of Him. I felt convinced that unknowingly, this is what I was searching for in my life and due to His kindness, He brought me towards Him. This is my miraculous dream fairytale come true, where I finally got to meet God (Shri Datta Swami). Everything that I experienced in my life until this grand moment seemed like a preparation to meet Him. Even though it momentarily felt like a happy ending of a long wait period, I knew the journey with God in this life had only just begun. What a rich privileged life You have blessed us with Swami, where we can not only see You, but talk to You, learn knowledge from You directly, experience Your love, kindness, and power no matter where we are. How unbelievable is this facility given to us! This is only a wild imagination for many people in this world. But, You have blessed all of us here with this rare divine opportunity. Crores of thank You to You, my Swami.

Coming to other miraculous experiences, Swami has blessed me and my family with several experiences like emitting lotus scent frequently, protecting us from danger, along with many other incidents. I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of my most recent experiences that show our Swami’s unimaginable power of omnipotence, along with His unimaginable patience and kindness.

An incident happened in July 2021. I stepped out of my house to buy a few things from a supermarket, which is right next to our house, but took the opportunity to be away from home to call Swami. I thought it can be a quick call, but it turned out to be a longer one. On one hand, I was very happy to talk to Swami, but on the other hand, I got a bit nervous that everyone in the family may question me about my delay in returning home. I had to buy only 3-4 items from the shop, and I should have been home in 15 mins at the maximum. When I reached home, I expressed my nervousness to Swami that since I was away for longer time, I don’t know what my family will say. To which, Swami replied that He Himself will speak to handle the situation if necessary. After Swami said this, the call ended. I entered my house feeling excited to see what was going to happen. Instead, no one said anything. While I should have been happy that no one was saying a word, I felt slightly disappointed that I won’t get to hear Swami’s words when someone will question me. All of a sudden, I was asked, “How come you came home so early? Didn’t you just leave?! It seemed like you just left and came back!” I was shocked and amused at the same time! I couldn’t stop smiling for a long time. Except this comment, no one bothered to ask me anything else! Swami had completely reversed the situation that I was expecting! Thank You for this experience, Swami. 

As you have all seen, Swami has been blessing us with His photos decorated as various forms of God. In December 2021, Laxmi Thrylokya had reached out to me asking if I can work on Swami’s photo to decorate Him as various forms of God. I was surprised that she had even approached me when I had never done something like this before! I was doing a course in a college back then and was learning photoshop as part of my course. I was learning only for 3 months before she had asked me! I expressed to her that I was not confident of doing it, and that I only knew very few basics of photoshop since I learnt it recently. I told her that she can ask someone who knew the software well so that, the work will be done properly. She encouraged me by saying that I can learn from YouTube videos and just try one photo. I told her that I don’t want to mess it up and it is best she asks someone else. She said not to worry or be scared and that ultimately Swami will show me the way. That line stuck with me and made me realize that no matter what, how will I be the real doer of God’s work anyway? If I truly believed that I am the doer, then ego has already crawled into me before even doing anything! At the same time, I wanted to put in whatever human effort as sincerely as possible and kept reminding myself that Swami will show me the way. I agreed to try and Thrylokya said I could pick any form of God from the list she provided me with. I gravitated to start with the form of Lord Vishnu. I opened YouTube as well as photoshop on my laptop feeling both excitement and nervousness. I reminded myself that I am only an inert instrument in God’s work. I searched for specific tutorials on YouTube, and I never had to go on looking for the right video. In the very first search itself, the very first video was most apt for learning what was needed to start! With every step of the way, Thrylokya and I were discussing how we can make the photo better. During that process, I was unhappy about the existing pearls on Lord Vishnu’s base image as it was very hazy. We had decorated the Lord with real jewellery pieces, real flowers, gemstones, etc. But only the pearls on Swami were not satisfactory. When I tried to bring in a real pearl chain from the internet, the resolution was horrible after I resized it. I did not know any other techniques and therefore, I used a basic brush tool to draw white circles representing pearls. They were looking flat compared to rest of the jewellery. I was dissatisfied but chose to move on and refine other parts of the image feeling nothing else can be done. Very soon, a round 3D white pearl appeared on screen when I clicked my mouse. I was shocked and looked at it closely. It had the perfect satin sheen of a real pearl! It looked like a shiny white sphere on screen! I had not even changed my settings! I simply clicked on the screen again and another white pearl appeared! Immediately realizing that this is a big miracle happening right in front of my eyes, I overlapped each of those circles I drew earlier with these miraculous 3D pearls! I continued and applied as many pearls as I can to decorate the Lord. Later, I checked out different brush settings and never found something that gave the same effect. Those pearls appeared when I needed them and once the job was done, they disappeared. All I remember is that it was simply pinching me in my heart that pearls were not perfect on Swami. But our Swami is omniscient! He hears it all, He knows it all, and granted me with these divine pearls. Working on Lord Vishnu’s image was overall a very sweet and emotional process for me. I felt I could smell the divine lotus scent on multiple occasions during the process of this image. It felt like the scent was coming out of the image of my laptop screen. Swami’s ways are so unimaginable as you all can see. He was with me every step of the way.

The learning that Swami has given me through this process is that when we feel we are the doers, then only that fear will enter us. When we realize we are only like an inert instrument and leave everything to Him, excitement and courage to serve will only enter us. Swami, You do not need me at all for anything. Needs and wants are always on my side as a soul. Even though I am not capable of pleasing You, You have given me this extra-ordinary fruit of service due to Your causeless kindness alone. Any defective piece will become effective if Your grace is flowing. Thank You for making me experience this. Through this process, You are tolerating my thoughts and actions while teaching me various lessons with immense patience one step at a time. I have no words to express the gratitude towards You for everything You have blessed me with.

Sometime ago, Shri Surya ji recently reminded me of an electric fan and its significance in the spiritual path. It is only an inert object and has no value by itself. Only when electricity flows through it, it turns, and we experience cool breeze. But we think that the object-fan itself is giving us the cool breeze! The real reason is the unseen electricity behind it! The inert fan by itself has no value. Similarly, we are only like inert objects, with a value of zero, which the fan keeps drawing while turning. Similarly, Swami is the ultimate Doer for everything. He only gives credit to the inert fan. It reminds me of a specific incident in my childhood, where my father made me a model of one of Earth’s satellites for a science fair at school. All I did was help with simple things, get actively involved in the process of making it, then happily took that model to school and stood at a stall explaining about it. He was the main doer for giving me the idea, how to implement it, and sat with me to do it well. But, at the school, the credit of making it came to me. My father had arrived for the science fair, and even though he did it, he still felt happy and proud watching me present it to other parents, teachers and students. I feel such is the love of our divine Father (Swami) towards His devotees, except multiplied by a million compared to an ordinary soul.

Another important experience happened while working on Lord Shiva’s sitting image. Two or three days prior to Shivaraatri, I thought I should work on Lord Shiva’s image to please Swami on Shivaraatri day, and quickly started working on it. When Thrylokya showed it to Swami, I learnt that our Swami, Who is Lord Shiva Himself, was not pleased at all. I tried another version and this time also, Swami was not pleased. I was sad that I displeased Lord Shiva on Shivaraatri day itself and the days following that day. There is no feeling worse than displeasing Swami. I felt I understood the instructions given to me by Swami and tried doing it again and again. I did not know where I was going wrong. Thrylokya and I discussed several versions, and nothing was working out. We had received strict instructions from Swami that He wanted the face of Lord Vishnu itself in this image without an iota of change in the face. He did not want the face to be modified in any small manner. Only the blue skin colour of Lord Vishnu could be changed into white for Lord Shiva, but the rest should be the same. Swami wanted it specifically this way to teach the important concept to everyone that Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva were one and the same. While theoretically both Thrylokya and I understood it, we did not know how to implement it due to some issue we were facing with the image. I was almost on the verge of tears and felt extremely worried. I quickly prayed to Swami that only He knows how He wants it, and that I have no idea how to do it. I completely let go of the worried feeling and left it to Swami realizing again that I am just an instrument. I removed all previous versions and started from scratch again. This time, the method of doing it was completely different! It turned out to be the best version so far! I sent it to Thrylokya as she is the one who usually gets feedback and approvals from Swami regarding the photos. During this wait time to hear back, my anxiety was quite high. Finally, when I heard back from Thrylokya that Swami approved it and liked it this time, I was so relieved and happy that our Lord Shiva is finally pleased! After all, the highest pleasure for us is in knowing that our Swami is pleased only. Feeling excited, I couldn’t help myself but call Swami immediately. Swami said the photo turned out well this time. When I apologized to Swami for all the previous versions, Swami said, “Why sorry? Everything takes time to do it well, and failure is the stepping stone to success”. This made me realize how I had previously had a personal agenda to finish it in 2 days to show it to Swami on Shivaraatri day. The learning here for me is that Swami decides when each photo will be released. Absolutely nothing is in our hands. Everything is His will, and He has a plan for smallest of things. Whatever work comes our way, we only have to put our best efforts and not have anything else in our minds. No personal agendas, no expectations, no nothing.

We all have heard this saying before from Swami that - Only God can do God’s work. No human being is capable of doing it. We should only receive this blessed gift of service from God and honour it whole heartedly. Swami’s kindness is also such that He blessed me with photoshop work out of everything! As Swami is omniscient, He knew I was learning this software anyway! Apart from my college work, I felt like a newly hired intern in Swami’s company. Swami as my boss, was assigning me with some work and I had to learn on the job. I ended up learning many tricks with each photo, which were not even taught by my college professor! Thank you Swami, for not only making me experience Your presence during this process, but also to teach me valuable lessons regarding service to God.

I feel so privileged to get drenched in Your rain of kindness. Thank You for making me more grow and mature every step of the way, for tolerating me, forgiving me constantly, and bearing me. You are like the grand ring master of the world-circus where animals like me live. I am like the unkept, stubborn wild animal in this world. O Pasupati! You as my Lord and my Master are taming me, training me, taking care of me, and present with me to help me jump through the rings of fire in this circus of life. Without You, I would have remained a wild, sinful and directionless animal. As long as You are there, even falling is a sweet experience because it is a beautiful chance to be picked up by You Yourself, and to be kept on the right track again.

Today, I am very grateful for all the problems and challenges in my life because they keep me grounded and eventually help me disconnect from the world and attach myself more towards God. Today, I am grateful for all the darkness in me, since only then I will be able to admire and appreciate the divine Light. Today, I am also grateful to all the flaws present in me, because only then I can taste God’s kindness and be amazed by His qualities. Swami, only You are an epitome of perfection in every way.

Swami, there is a saying that ‘Change is the only constant’. While this may be true when it comes to the nature of our lives, and universe in general, I respectfully disagree with this statement when it comes to You. No matter what happens in my life, no matter how many lives I have to take, no matter where I am stationed by You, YOU ARE MY ONLY CONSTANT. This one thing will never change for me. You are our Anchor, Who prevents us from derailing from the path. You are the Sailor, Who takes us across this ‘bhava-saagaram’. Swami, You are my life-boat in this ocean. Thank You so much for rescuing me and keeping me under Your protective wing. You are also the ultimate Goal, Who is standing by the shore, for souls who are waiting to unite with You. Only You can bring souls towards You. Therefore, You are the Path as well as the Goal.

Swami, I had started developing a fear of falling and losing You forever. But now due to Your teaching alone, I have realized that if I feel I can hold onto You myself like a monkey, I am sure to fall. Only if You hold me like a mother cat, I will not lose You. Moreover, I have realized that You will never leave me stranded even if I fall/fail. Thank You for removing this fear of losing You from me. Even though I may have given up many times, thank You for never giving up on me. O divine Doctor, You once said, “Lord Datta runs only ICU centers and no general wards”. Swami, thank You so much for admitting me in Your divine hospital and making me Your patient. Your grace in the form of divine knowledge is flowing through IV needle for those who are admitted in Your ICU. Constant blood transfusion is happening because it is cleaning us of many impurities to purify and refine us.

I sometimes don’t understand how to even react to Your kindness when something is said by You, or something happens in my life due to Your grace. I find myself mute in a state of mental shock and takes me a while to digest it. That is why, please forgive me Swami, for my slow processing sometimes, and delayed responses of gratitude in my mind, words, or action. Whatever You have blessed me with is only out of Your causeless compassion alone and not because I truly deserve something. When I (soul) am only ‘a nothing’, there is no question of deserving ‘something’. Even after knowing that little truth theoretically, I am sorry that You have to witness and tolerate my slow crawling desires, deeply hidden ego and jealousy, which get expressed time and again.

Since there is no other word, I am saying thank You again for giving me this human birth, this miraculous and highly privileged life associated with You. Without You, any kind of life has no meaning. This sweet journey of being together with You in the path becomes the sweet destination by itself! I am only a beggar in front of You, who always hopes to be at Your divine feet forever, and no where else.

Padanamaskaram Swami.

Guru Datta                            Shri Datta                       Prabhu Datta