Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 18 Feb 2024


Divine experiences of Dr. JSR Prasad

[By Dr. JSR Prasad]

Sāṣṭāṅga namaskāram Swami!

1. The path of Pravrutti

I am born as a sixth child in a lower middle-class family that is semi-orthodox in tradition. I used to go to temples of Anjaneya Swami, Sri Venkateshwara and Shiva in my town. At the age of 13, my father sent me to the Sanskrit school cum college run by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam with lodging and boarding facility being run in Hyderabad. It was compulsory for all the students to recite Venkateswara Suprabhatam, Vishnu Sahasranamam and Mukundamaalaa on daily basis. Soon after going there, I developed Asthma due to the severe cold climate over there.

I have been an average student in my studies but always maintained a keen interest to know the unknown beyond the physical world, probably at an unconscious level. In 1993, I passed my Bachelor’s Degree in Sanskrit with flying colours and went to Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha located in Tirupati for my higher studies, though I got a PG seat in the Osmania University. I can say that it was the turning point in my academic life as I realised the seriousness of śāstrādhyayana (study of texts in śāstras) and focussed more on it.

I opted Navya-Nyāya (Neo-Logic) as my specialization in the post-graduation. The Navya-Naiyakikas follow a rigorous research methodology to refute the false theories to establish the truth. Learning it keenly, makes anyone brilliant in various aspects of worldly issues and also in the realm of spirituality. But somehow, I was not convenient studying the subject since its sole focus is on analytical techniques devoid of God in the discussions. Rather, I was more interested in the Prācīna-Nyāya (Old school of Nyāya) that discusses about the creator and the created world.

Personally, I am a treasure house of bad qualities like ego, jealousy, short temper etc. I was using these qualities to cover my immaturity and ignorance. There was no one to guide me as what is right or what is wrong since my father was passed away in 1990 itself. I was expecting guidance from some teachers/gurus but with meagre support. In fact, I struggled a lot with these bad qualities in my youth. In spite of these issues, I never suffered in terms of financial support as one or the other family members came forward for my help. My academic career also growing bigger with my entry into IIIT-H as a project fellow in 1998.

In the year 2001, I got an opportunity to work in C-DAC, Bangalore temporarily. Within four months, I am given an appointment letter by the authority after a personal interview. Until then, no non-technical person was given permanent appointment in the entire history of that government institution. I was working with S/W engineers as a linguist and acquired reasonable skills in the required things. In the year 2006, my boss nominated me only to participate in a technical conference in Bangkok though I am not a S/W engineer. There were only 5 members from India, including me in the conference. It was my first ever international trip.

My academic and professional career looked quite good since from school days by winning many prizes and appreciations. When I contemplated upon all these pleasant surprises being the most undeserved, I realized that it was not my merit but some ‘Invisible hand’ that is pushing me from behind. I do not know what it is hence I named it as ‘Luck’.

Meanwhile, in 2005 I found the recruitment notice of University of Hyderabad for a lecturer’s post as they are going to start a Department of Sanskrit Studies. I only have one day left to apply through post! I took a train to Hyderabad, applied to the post miraculously on the last day, last working hour being pushed by my ‘Luck’. There was not much hope on the job as either you have to bribe the authority or you must have ‘blessings’ of a God father to get a government job.

After a long time in 2006, they called me for the personal interview and sent me the appointment letter within 20 days in spite of a strong candidacy of other candidates. Again, it is a pleasant surprise for me! Doubting my own merit became more solidified after this job offer, considering my undeserving-ness. After joining this institution, circumstances made me more matured and focused. For over a decade, I struggled as a teacher and gradually started to taste the success in the career. But, I never realised that the ‘invisible hand’ in the name of ‘luck’ is none other than the ‘divine will.’

2. Marching towards Sadguru

In the year 2015, I was sitting in the Vice Chancellor’s office to give a personal interview for promotion to the Associate professor under career advancement scheme. Same day, Prof. Charla Annapurna garu came to attend interview for a professor’s post in the Hindi Department. When we had a formal conversation, she took out a book titled ‘Dattatreyam’ and showed it to me. The verses were written in a chaste Sanskrit which I never read before. Author’s name is printed as ‘Dr. Jannabhatla Venu Gopala Krishnamurthy’. Since my surname is also Jannabhatla, I curiously asked Smt. Annapurna garu about the author. She said that He is our Swamiji Who mastered Sanskrit at a very tender age and also a scientist with PhD in Chemistry. I thanked her for giving all useful information. Then, I recalled about Tāta gāru, Brahmasri Jannabhatla Veerabhadraiah Sastry garu of Narasarao Pet. As children, we use to frequently listen his name being the greatest astrologer and scholar in the Telugu states and the revered father of Swamiji.

Later Dr. Annapurna garu sent the Dattatreyam book with Hindi translation by post from Wardha. However, due to politics, Dr. Annapurna garu could not join as a professor until 2017. I came to know this news but somehow, I did not get a chance to go and meet her. Indeed, I wanted to meet Swamiji to discuss a few issues but have a great fear in approaching Him. This is because, if Swamiji asks some questions in Sanskrit and I could not answer them, then my real colour will come out! With that fear in my mind, I did not venture to go even near to Swamiji for four years! Those four years are a testing period in my personal and professional life that revealed the true self-centric nature of human psychology.  I become more solidified in accepting life as it was experienced in those important four years.

3. God’s entry in to my life

On one fine day in 2019, I decided to meet Prof. Annapurna garu and requested to furnish Swamiji’s address. She said that Swamiji visits their home for Satsanga and I need not go to Bolarum to meet Him. That is how, I got the first ever darshan of our Sadguru Shri Datta Swami at her home in the month of August 2019.

In the very first darshan itself Swamiji clarified many of my doubts. I was shocked to listen to the true meaning of Bhagavatam when Swamiji revealed the actual purport of God Krishna’s stealing of butter and dancing with Gopikas in Brundaavanam. Swamiji clarified that the three greatest desires called ‘eṣaṇas’ were tested by the God in those episodes and only 12 Gopikas out of 1000 Gopikas passed the tests finally to reach the specially created 15th world called ‘Goloka’ for them by the God.

My goodness, this concept was really a mind-blowing revelation which was not revealed by anyone in the creation so far. There is a saying in Sanskrit ‘Vidyāvatāṃ bhāgavate parīkṣā’ - the real test for a scholar is to explain the true essence of Bhagavatam! No one passed the test so far and the character of Krishna is not properly justified by so-called Sanskrit scholars thus leaving a negative impression of God Krishna. I never read such a wonderful knowledge in any Sanskrit commentary or heard from a guru so far. With that eye-opening experience, I came to a conclusion that Swamiji is not a simple Sanskrit scholar but the real contemporary human incarnation!

Later on, quite frequently Swamiji allowed this undeserving fellow to visit and learn from Him. But, based on my ego levels, Swamiji always identified Himself just as a devotee of God Datta!

Though I was not aware of the concept of contemporary human incarnation initially, I realised gradually that such a wonderful spiritual knowledge (Satyaṃ Jñānam Anantam Brahma) can only be preached by God Datta in an accessible human form. Swamiji’s knowledge is logically correct with scriptural support and impeccable. By then, it is also known that Swamiji performed hundreds of miracles in the lives of innumerable devotees.

Believe me, my boring dark life changed all of a sudden by the entry of Swamiji as the radiating Sun into my life (Bhidyate hṛdaya granthiḥ, chidyante sarva saṃśayāḥ, kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi tasmin dṛṣṭe parāvare). For the first time, I realised the importance of this human birth to serve the contemporary human incarnation. Since then, I have no regrets of any problems in life and I have been thoroughly enjoying it every moment with the causeless and infinite compassion of Swamiji.

With this inspiration, not only I could be able to face any issue with courage but could also pass on some of the excellent spiritual knowledge blessed by Swamiji to the needy others. No more the bad qualities that are mentioned earlier can affect me now. Only after long time, I realised that it is my Sadguru Who was behind my every success and achievements since my childhood. I never even dreamt of this greatest fortune that the Sadguru comes into my life to guide me. Subsequently, the way I look at the life and the world are completely changed with the wonderful and excellent preachings of His Holiness Sadguru Shri Datta Swami.

All confusions, apprehensions, conflicts and debates that are prevalent in the spiritual and religious domains have been resolved once for all by Swamiji by establishing the Universal Spirituality. The revelations made in this incarnation are unparallel and cannot be read in any Sanskrit texts or commentaries of greatest Sanskrit scholars of all time. Also, we can recall how Swamiji as an 8-year-old boy used to write excellent Sanskrit poetry which was not even understood by great and aged Sanskrit scholars being in their 70’s and 80’s!

Meeting the Sadguru in the form of Swamiji itself is the biggest miracle that I ever experienced. It became crystal clear for me to distinguish between the incomplete human knowledge and false love (Ātmanaḥ kāmāya sarvaṃ priyam bhavati) with that of the divine knowledge and divine love (Nānavāptamavāptavyaṃ triṣu lokeṣu kiñcana; Āptakāmasya kā spṛhā; Raso vai saḥ) with omnipotence. Swamiji gave me several opportunities to serve Him though He is not in need of any insignificant soul like me. Because this entire cosmos is created just based on His single wish (So'kāmayata..)! Swamiji made me to translate some of His wonderful Sanskrit bhajans into Telugu and English. In fact, I never attempted any translations earlier as I am incapable to do that. Is not this the sheer grace of Swamiji on a underserving soul like me?

There is a saying in Gita - Svabhāvastu pravartate (inherent nature of the soul prevails). In spite of this greatest fortune, I neglected the divine association of the Sadguru and wasted valuable time thus leading me to recall the Vedic saying – Na cedihāvedīt mahatī vinaṣṭiḥ. Still, today I am taking part in this Satsanga and reading my experiences just because of Swamiji’s unconditional compassion.

At this point, I cannot stop myself recalling an excellent verse from Sri Krishna Bhagavatam to reveal my mindset –

Sukheṣu na tvaṃ kṣaṇamapyavekṣase
Smṛto'si duḥkheṣu phalānta vismṛtaḥ ।
Tathā'pi mayyeva kṛtaghna śekhare
Mukunda kasmā diyatī dayā tava ।।4.41।।

O Lord Mukunda! In all My happy times, I am not seeing You even for one minute. When difficulties come, I remember You immediately. When You solve the difficulties and give happiness, I forget You again immediately. I am the topper of the list of ungrateful souls. Still, why are You showing so much kindness on Me?

How can a dullard like me can repay this debt to my Sadguru? Swamiji bestowed this greatest fortune of Bhāgya catuṣṭayam and permitted me to be with His family of Datta devotees. Lord Datta is wonderful and His devotees are also wonderful! Some exemplary actions of Nishkaama karma yoga demonstrated by some of the greatest devotees in recent times is permanently written in the annals of human history. I am also the few luckiest to witness the same. Like a honey bee, collecting at least a quality from each of the devotees is good enough to proceed comfortably in the spiritual practice to further please God Datta in His service. If at all I am entitled to get a human birth in my next life, Oh my Lord, let me not miss that greatest fortune once again.

With sāṣṭāṅgapraṇāmas at His holy lotus feet

- Jsr Prasad