🙏🌺 ಸೊಗಲ ಅವಧೂತಜ್ಜ 🌺🙏
ಅವಧೂತರ ಸೊಗಲಅಜ್ಜ ವರ್ಣ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆ, ಜಾತಿ ಪದ್ದತಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಅಸ್ಪೃಶ್ಯತೆಗಳನ್ನು ನಿರಾಕರಿಸಿ ಮನುಷ್ಯರೆಲ್ಲರ ಸಮಾನತೆಯ ಪರವಾದ ದ್ವನಿ ಎತ್ತಿ, ಅಂಗಭೇದ, ವರ್ಣಭೇದಗಳನ್ನು ತಿರಸ್ಕರಿಸಿ ಮನುಷ್ಯರ ಸರಳ ಸಾಧಾರಣ ಬದುಕನ್ನು ಗೌರವಿಸಿದ ಮಹಾನ್ ಅಜಾತವಾದಿ- ಅಜಾತವಾದ ತತ್ವವನ್ನು ಬರೀ ಪ್ರವಚನ ಭಾಷಣ ಮಾಡದೆ, ಆಡದೇ ಮಾಡಿ ತೋರಿಸಿದರು.
ಒಮ್ಮೆ ಸೊಗಲದ ಆಶ್ರಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಹಳ ಭಕ್ತರು ಸೇರಿದಾಗ ಒಬ್ಬ ದಲಿತನಿಂದ ಅಡುಗೆ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದರು. ರೊಟ್ಟಿ, ಬಿಸಿ ಪಲ್ಯ, ಅನ್ನ, ಶೀರಾ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದರು.
ಊಟದ ವೇಳೆಗೆ ಒಬ್ಬ ಎಲೆ ಅಡಿಕೆಯ ಮತ್ತೊಬ್ಬ ಬಯಲು ಕಡೆಗೆ ಹೀಗೆ ಒಬ್ಬೊಬ್ಬರೇ ಸಹಪಂಕ್ತಿಯ ಭೋಜನ ಮಾಡುವುದನ್ನು ತಪ್ಪಿಸಿ ಪಲಾಯನ ಮಾಡಿದರು- ಅಜ್ಜ ನಾನು ದಲಿತ ಅಷ್ಟೇ ಊಟ ಮಾಡಿದೆವು. ಅವಧೂತಜ್ಜ ತಿನ್ನುತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ- ಆದರೂ ಅಂದು ಆತನ ಕೈಯಿಂದಲೇ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಆಹಾರ ಸೇವಿಸಿದರು ಅಜ್ಜ ಸುಮ್ಮನಾದರು.
ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ದಿವಸದ ಬಳಿಕ ಅವನಿಂದಲೇ ಮಾಂಸದ ಅಡುಗೆ (ಅಂದರೆ ಹಣ್ಣಿನ ಅಡುಗೆ ಮಾಡಿಸಿ) ಸೆರೆ ತರಿಸಿದರು. ಅದೇ ಭಕ್ತರನ್ನು ಕರೆಯಿಸಿ ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಪ್ರಸಾದ ನೀಡಿದರು- ಅಡುಗೆ ಯಾರು ಮಾಡಿದೆಂದು ಹೇಳಿರಲಿಲ್ಲಾ- ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕುಡಿದು ತಿಂದು ತೇಗಿದ ಬಳಿಕ ಆ ದಲಿತ- ಅವನ ಹೆಸರು ‘ಕಿಟ್ಟಾ’ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು- ಆತ ಅಡುಗೆ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾನೆ ಎಂದರು.
ತಿಂದವರ ಮುಖ ನೋಡ ಬೇಕಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಹೀಗೆ ಆಡದೆ ಅಜ್ಜನವರು ಮಾಡಿ ತೋರಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಅಜ್ಜನ ಸೇವೆ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾ ಇದ್ದಾಗ- ರಾತ್ರೆ- ಹಗಲು ಸೇವೆ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ ಒಂದೇ ಊಟದ ತಟ್ಟೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲವೊಮ್ಮೆ ಉಗುಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು- ಅದರಲ್ಲೆ ಮೂತ್ರ ವಿಸರ್ಜನೆ ಅದರಲ್ಲೇ ಮತ್ತೆ ತೊಳೆದು ತಿನ್ನುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಕೆಲವೂಮ್ಮೆ ಅವರನ್ನು ಮೂತ್ರ ವಿಸರ್ಜನೆ ಮಾಡಲು ಹೊರಗೆ ಕರೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಹೋಗಬೇಕಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆವಾಗ ಹೆಗಲ ಮೇಲೆ ಕೈ ಹಾಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಅವರ ಭಾರ ನಮ್ಮ ಮೇಲೆ ಬೀಳುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಅಬ್ಬಾ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಬಂಡೆ ಹೇರಿದಂತಾಗುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ‘ಘನ’ ಕೆಲವೊಮ್ಮೆ ಅವರು ಹತ್ತಿಯಷ್ಟು ಹಗರವಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು ‘ಘರಿಮಾ’ ಹಾಗೂ ‘ಲಗಿಮಾ’ ಸಿದ್ದಿಗಳು ಅವರಲ್ಲಿದ್ದವು.
ಒಮ್ಮೆ ಹೊರಗಡೆ ಹೋದಾಗ ಒಂದು ಹಾಸಿದ ಕಲ್ಲನ್ನು ತೋರಿಸಿ- ಈ ಕಲ್ಲು ಮುಂಜಾನೆ ತೆಗೆದು ಬಿಡು ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಕೆಳಗಡೆ ‘ಗವಿ’ ಯವರೆಗೆ ಸುರಂಗವಿದೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನಾಗರಹಾವು ಇದೆ. ಒಳಗೆ ಸಾಕಿದ ಮೊಲಗಳನ್ನು ತಿನ್ನುತ್ತದೆ ಎಂದರು. ನನಗೆ ವಿಚಿತ್ರವೆನಿಸುತ್ತಿತ್ತು- ಮರುದಿನ ನಾನು ಹಾಗೂ ಚಬ್ಬಿ ಎಂಬ ಸೇವಕ ಇಬ್ಬರು ಸೇರಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಕಲ್ಲನ್ನು ತೆಗೆದೆವು- ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗೋದಿ ನಾಗರ ಹಾವು ಹೊರಟು ಹೋಯಿತು.
ಮತ್ತೊಮ್ಮೆ ಅಜ್ಜ ಮಲಗಿದಲ್ಲಿಂದ “ಹಾವು, ಹಾವು, ಹಾವು” ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾ- ಗುಹೆಯ ಮೇಲಿನ ಎತ್ತರದ ದ್ವಾರದ ಮೇಲ್ಭಾಗದಲ್ಲಿ ನನ್ನ ಬ್ಯಾಗು ಹಾಗೂ ಹೊದಿಕೆ ಇಟ್ಟಿರುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ ಆ ಕಡೆ ಬೆಟ್ಟು ಮಾಡಿ ಹಾವು, ಹಾವು ಎನ್ನ ತೊಡಗಿದರು. ನನ್ನ ಬ್ಯಾಗಿನ ಕೆಳಗಡೆ ಹಾವಿನ ಬುಟ್ಟಿ ಇತ್ತು ಬುಟ್ಟಿಯೊಳಗೆ ನಾಗರಹಾವು ಬುಸ್ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಅದನ್ನು ಹೊರಗಡೆ ಅಜ್ಜ ಮಲಗುವ ಕಟ್ಟೆಯ ಮೇಲಿನ ಮರಕ್ಕೆ ನೇತು ಹಾಕಿದ.
ಮುಂಜಾನೆ ಎಲ್ಲರನ್ನು ಕರೆದು ಆಶ್ರಮದ ಮುಂದೆ ಇರುವ ಎತ್ತರ ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಅದನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಬಿಡಿ- ಎಂದರು. ಅದನ್ನು ಮುಟ್ಟಲು ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಭಯ “ಸಾಧು” ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಬಾ ಎಂದರು. ಗುರು ಆಜ್ಞೆ ಧೈರ್ಯದಿಂದ ಹೋಗಿ ಬುಟ್ಟಿಯನ್ನು ತೆರೆದ- ದೊಡ್ಡ ನಾಗರ ಹಾವು ಬುಸ್ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾ ಆಶ್ರಮದ ಅಜ್ಜನ ಕಡೆ ಹೆಡೆಎತ್ತಿ ತಲೆ ಆಡಿಸಿ ಹೊರಟು ಹೋಯಿತು.
ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಹೊತ್ತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಒಬ್ಬ ಜಟಾಧರಿ ಸನ್ಯಾಸಿ ಬಂದು ತಾನು ಇಟ್ಟು ಹೋಗಿದ್ದ ಹಾವು ಹಾಗೂ ಅದರ ಬುಟ್ಟಿ ಹುಡುಕ ತೊಡಗಿದಾ. ‘ಮಗನೇ’? ನೀನು ಸಾಧು ಅಲ್ಲ ಚೋದು ಎಂದರು- ಹಾವನ್ನು ಹಿಡಿದು ಹಲ್ಲು ಕೀಳಿಸಿ ನಾಟಕ ಮಾಡಿ ಅವನ್ನು ಪ್ರದರ್ಶಿಸಿ ಹಣ ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿ- ಬೋಳಿ ಮಗನೆ ಎಂದರು ‘ಹಾಳಾಗಿ ಹೋಗುತ್ತಿ’ ಎಂದು ಬಿಟ್ಟರು.
ಮುಂದಿನ ಜನ್ಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲಿಯಾಗಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಿ ನಾಗರ ಹಾವಿಗೆ ಆಹಾರವಾಗುತ್ತಿ ಎಂದರು ಅಜ್ಜ. ಸೊಗಲ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರವು ಪವಿತ್ರ ಭೂಮಿ ಅದೊಂದು ಸಿದ್ದಲೋಕ ಋಷಿ ಮುನಿಗಳ ತಪೋ ಭೂಮಿ ನವನಾಥರು ವಾಸ ಮಾಡಿದ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರ ಸೋಮೇಶ್ವರ ಲಿಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಸೋಮನಾಥ ಸೊಗಲದ ಸೋಮನಾಥ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಪುರಾಣ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ‘ಸುಗೋಲ’ ಎಂಬ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ದ ಋಷಿ ತಪಸ್ಸು ಮಾಡಿದರಿಂದ ‘ಸೊಗಲ’ ವೆಂದು ಈ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಹೆಸರು ಬಂತು ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಸೊಗಲದ ಅವಧೂತಜ್ಜನಿಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದೆ ಋಷಿಯ ಶರೀರ ಅದು ಸುಗೋಲ ಋಷಿಯದ್ದು ಆಗಿರಬಹುದು.
ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಸಪ್ತ ಮಾತ್ರಿಕೆಯರು, ವಿರಭದ್ರ, ಗಣೇಶ, ಮಹಿಷಾ ಮರ್ದಿನಿ, ಭೃಮರಾಂಬಿಕೆ, ಭೈರವ ನಾಗದಂಪತಿ, ಕಾರ್ತಿಕೇಯ, ಯಮ, ಅಗ್ನಿ, ನೈಋತ್ಯ, ವಾಯು, ಇಂದ್ರ, ಶಿವಪಾರ್ವತಿ ಕಲ್ಯಾಣ ಮಹೋತ್ಸವ ಶಿಲ್ಪಿಗಳಾಗಿವೆ. ಖ್ಯಾತ ಕಣ್ವ ಮುನಿಯ ಸಮಾಧಿ ಈ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿದೆ.
ನಾನು ಮುಂಜಾನೆ ಎದ್ದು 2.1/2 ಗೆ ಎದ್ದು ಆಶ್ರಮದ ಹಾಗೂ ಅವಧೂತರ ಅಜ್ಜನ ಸಮಾಧಿ ಮಂದಿರದ ವರೆಗಿನ ವಿಶಾಲ ಪ್ರದೇಶದ ಕಸ ಗುಡಿಸಿ- ಅಲ್ಲೆ ಸ್ನಾನ ಮಾಡಿ ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದೇ ಜತೆ ವಸ್ತ್ರಗಳಿದ್ದುವು. ಒಂದು ಕಾವಿ ನಿಲುವಂಗಿ, ಒಂದು ಕಾವಿ ಲುಂಗಿ ಅಷ್ಟೇ ಅದನ್ನೇ ಒಗೆದು ಅದೇ ಒದ್ದೆ ವಸ್ತ್ರ ಧರಿಸಿ ಎಲ್ಲಾ- ಮಂದಿರಗಳಿಗೆ ಭೇಟಿ ನೀಡಿ ದರುಶನ ಮಾಡಿ ಅವಧೂತಜ್ಜನ ಪಾದಗಳಿಗೆ ನಮಸ್ಕರಿಸಿ ಅವರ ಕಾಲು ಒತ್ತುವ ಸೇವೆ ಆರಂಭಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದ- ಅಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾದಕ್ಕ ಒಂದು ಗ್ಲಾಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕರಿ ಚಹಾ ಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು.
‘ಅಜ್ಜ’ ಕಲ್ಲಿನ ಮೂರ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ದೇವರನ್ನು ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದಿಯಾ ಅಂತ ಕೇಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಪೂಜೆ ನಡೆಯುವಾಗ ನೋಡು ಕಲ್ಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಸೋಮನಾಥನನ್ನು ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಾ ‘ನಗಾರಿ ಬಾರಿಸಿ ಶಿವಾ, ಶಿವಾ ಎಂದು ಎದೆಗೆ ಬಡಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಆ ನಗಾರಿ ಸಪ್ಪಳಕ್ಕೆ ಎದೆ ಬಡಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳುದು ನೋಡಿ ‘ನವಿಲುಗಳು ಮರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಳಿತು ಖೇ, ಖೇ, ಖೇ ಎಂದು ನಗುತ್ತವೆ’ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು.
ನಗಾರಿಯ ದ್ವನಿ ಕೇಳಿ ನವಿಲುಗಳು ಜೋರಾಗಿ ಒದರುತ್ತಿದ್ದವು.
ನಾನು ಶಿವಾಲಯಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ದರುಶನ ಮಾಡಿ ಬಂದಾಗ ಹ್ಹೂ ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಾ ಇದ್ದಿ ದಿನಾ ದೇವರು ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದ್ದಾರಾ? ಅಂತ ಅವಧೂತಜ್ಜ ನಗುತ್ತಾ ಕೇಳಿದಾಗ ನಾನು “ದೇವರಿಲ್ಲದ ಜಾಗ ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆನಜ್ಜಾ” ಅಂದಾಗ ನಾನೇ ಜಾಣ ಎಂದು ತಿಳಿದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕವರು ಮಾರ್ಮಿಕವಾದ ಜ್ಞಾನಮಾರ್ಗದ ಉತ್ತರ ಕೊಟ್ಟರು. ದೇವರನ್ನು ಹುಡುಕದವನು ಯಾರು? ನೀನು ಯಾರು? ಎಂದು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಜ್ಞಾನಿಗಳು ಹೇಳಿದಂತೆ ‘ನೀನು ಯಾರು ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ತಿಳಿದು ಕೋ’ ಎಂದು ಉತ್ತರಿಸಲಿಲ್ಲಾ.
ನಾನು ದೇಹ, ನಾನು ಮನಸ್ಸು, ನಾನು ಬುದ್ದಿ, ನಾನು ಆತ್ಮಾ, ನಾನು ಶಿವ ಈ ಎಲ್ಲದರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣುವೆ, ಹೇಳುವ ‘ನಾನು’ ಎಂಬ ಭಾವನೇ ಅಜ್ಞಾನದ ಪರಿಣಾಮ. ಈ ಭಾವವನ್ನು ಮರೆಯಬೇಕು. ಭಾವ ಶುದ್ದಿಯಾಗಬೇಕು. ಭಾವನೆಯೂ ಇಲ್ಲದಾಗಬೇಕವು.ಇರುವುದು ಅಖಂಡ ಅರಿವು, ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನಾನು, ನೀನು ಭೇದಕ್ಕೆ ಅವಕಾಶವಿಲ್ಲಾ. ಅದೊಂದು ಮಹಾಬೆಳಕು, ಮಹಾ ಬೆಳಗಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಳಗಾಗಿ ನಿಲ್ಲಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ಅಲ್ಲಮಪ್ರಭು ಹೇಳಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಎಂದರು.
ನಾನು ಮೌನವಾದೇ- ಕೆಲವೊಮ್ಮೆ ರಾತ್ರಿ ಕಾಳಮ್ಮನ ಗುಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಧ್ಯಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಕುಳಿತುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ. ಒಂದು ರಾತ್ರಿ ಧ್ಯಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಕುಳಿತಾಗ ಕಾರ್ಗತ್ತಲಲ್ಲಿ ಗುಡಿಯ ಮುಂದೆ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಟಗರು ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಯಿತು. ಎತ್ತಿನಷ್ಟು ದೊಡ್ಡ ಠಗರು ಅದರ ಮುಖ ಮಾತ್ರ ಋಷಿಯ ಮುಖ- ದೊಡ್ಡ ಮುಖ ಅದೃಶ್ಯವಾಯಿತು. ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಸಾರಿ ಕಾಳಿಕಾಗುಡಿ ಯಾವಾಗಲು ಅದರ ಕದಾ ಮುಚ್ಚಿರುತ್ತಿತ್ತು ಆ ಪ್ರದೇಶದ ರಾಕ್ಷಸರ ಮರ್ದನಕ್ಕೆ ಶಿರಸಂಗಿ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದ ಕಾಳಿಕಾದೇವಿ ಸೊಗಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದು ನೆಲಸಿದ್ದಾಳೆ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ ಹೊಸೂರಿನ ಪತ್ತಾನ ಮನೆತನದ ವಿಶ್ವ ಕರ್ಮರು ಆ ದೇವಿಯ ಪೂಜೆ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು.
ಸೊಗಲದ ಅಜ್ಜ ಸುನದೋಳಿ ಆಶ್ರಮಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದರು.ಕಾಳಿಕಾ ಗುಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಜಾತ್ರೆ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ನನಗೆ ತಡೆಯಲಾರದ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆ ನೋವು, ಸುಡುವ ಬಿಸಿಲು ಗುಡಿಯ ಹಿಂಭಾಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಲಗಿದ್ದೆ ಏಳಲಾರದಷ್ಟು ಅಶಕ್ತಿ, ನೋವು, ಆಹಾರವಿಲ್ಲಾ, ಔಷಧವಿಲ್ಲಾ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಗೆ ಕೈ ಹಿಡಿದು ನರಳುತ್ತಾ ಮಲಗಿದ್ದೆ
‘ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ ಕುಡಿ ಆರಾಮವಾಗುತ್ತಿ’ ಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಧ್ವನಿ ಸೊಗಲದ ಗುಡ್ಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಲು, ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಸಿಗಬೇಕು ಕೆಳಗಡೆ ಪೇಟೆಯ ಕಡೆ ನಿದಾನವಾಗಿ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಾ ಹೊರಟೆ.
ಸಾಧುಗಳಿಗೆ ಊಟ ಬಂದ ಭಕ್ತರು ಉಣಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಒಬ್ಬ ಮಹಿಳೆ ನನ್ನನ್ನು ದೂರದಿಂದ ಚಪ್ಪಾಳೆ ತಟ್ಟಿ ಕರೆದಳು. ಆಕೆಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಪರಿಚಯವಿತ್ತು- ನೇಸರಿಗೆಯ ದೇವರ ಕೊಂಡಿಜ್ಜನ ಮಠದಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಮ್ಮನ್ನು ನಾನು ನೋಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡು ಬಾಟಲಿ ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ ಇದೆ. ಇದನ್ನು ಖಾಲಿ ಮಾಡಿ ನೀರು ತುಂಬಬೇಕಾಗಿದೆ. ನೀವು ಕುಡಿಯಿರಿ ಅಂತ ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ ನೀಡಿದಳು- ಅಷ್ಟನ್ನು ಕುಡಿದೆ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆನೋವು ಆರಾಮವಾಯಿತು. ಕಾಳಿಕಾದೇವಿ ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ ಕುಡಿ ಎಂದವಳು. ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ ದೊರೆಯುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡಿದಳು ಸೊಗಲಜ್ಜನ ಆಶೀರ್ವಾದ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಕಾರಣ.
ನಿತ್ಯ ಶ್ರೀ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹ)
Om Namo Bhagavate Nityanandaya
3rd episode of Sogala Avadhuta Ajja Leelamruta
He refused varna system, caste system and untouchability and upheld the values of keeping gender and class differences away, he respected simple ordinary living. Without getting involved into pravachanas and speeches or any protests he set an example by ‘doing things, not speaking.’ (focus on execution, not just speaking). Once nearly 10-20 devotees had come to the ashram and Ajja asked a dalita devotee from them to cook food for all. Sheera(a sweet dish made of suji), roti, vegetables was prepared. But one after the other went out making excuses of bringing beedi, etc., such things and none touched the food. Only me, Ajja and the dalit devotee were there, we ate but the food was left over. After a few days he asked the same person to cook chicken gravy and meat curry, he used to call this as fruit cooking, and he made somebody bring few bottles of alcohol as well. The moment people got to know this, they all came to ashram. He did not reveal that the food was prepared by same dalit person, all ate and drank sumptuously. After sometime ajja said how is the chicken gravy prepared by him (meaning dalit), it’s delicious right. This is one of such examples.
Once He pointed towards a white bag and started saying snake snake snake, when asked where is it he said see there, when we saw there in that bag was a snake box and a snake was hissing loudly from inside. We took that box out and tied it to the tree where ajja used to sleep below, on a stone bench. Nearly 10-12 people gathered, Ajja said take this snake and leave it somewhere out and come. All were afraid of touching that bag, then he asked me to take this out leave somewhere up above the nearby place there and come. Guru’s command, thinking Guru will protect me I went taking that bag outside the ashram to a higher region, others hesitated to accompany me. I stood there, opened the box slowly, the moment I opened the box snake (Naga Sarpa) glided out hissing loudly and stood with open hood. It swayed it’s hood three times looking at the ashram and left. The snake box was in the ashram only, next day a sadhu came there, he told me he had left his snake bag there and he came searching for it, I told him ask Ajja. He went to ajja and asked about it , Ajja yelled at him saying “Removing the teeth of the snake, showcasing it, you make money, are you a sadhu, you will be ruined. You will take birth as a rat in next life and become food to a snake.”
Sogalakshetra is a Tapobhumi, Navanathas used to stay there. Shivling there is called as Someshwar, also Somanatha since Navanathas stayed there. Also it’s holy place where a Rishi called Sugala also had done penance, hence the name Sogala came to that place. There is kanva muni’s samadhi also. And in Swargashram there is jeevasamadhi of Kerala’s SiddaSamaja’s Mahan Siddha Matananda. Saptamatrikes, Veerabhadra, Ganesha, Naga and cosort, Bhairava, Yama, Agni, Nairutya, Vayu, indra devatas are also there. And Shiva-Parvati’s kalyana mahotsav’s beautiful vigrahas are also there. Also Avadhuth Ajja’s /Sogala ajja samadhi is there. I used to wake up at 02.30am and sweep the entire place there, then take cold water bath and Madakka used to give me a black tea, having that I would visit all devatas, shiva temple ,veera bhadra temple and prostrate and come. Ajja used to ask me ‘are you searching God in stone Son’ and then would keep quiet.
In shiva temple they used beat drums(nagari) during puja, peacocks there in the tree used make some peculiar sound (ke..ke..ke..), listening to which once ajja said they are telling Shiva Shiva Shiva banging their chest and peacocks are laughing looking at them. Then he told me “Alive Shiva, avadhuta is here, who is annadata and Somnatha that nobody knows. Tell me one thing, everyday you are searching, didn’t you find God yet?” For which I replied cleverly saying “Ajja I am not searching where is God, I am searching where there is no God”. He replied poignantly “who is searching God? Who is the God residing in stone? External god and internal god are different is it? First learn, who are you and who is there within you. I am body, I am mind, I am intellect, the feeling ‘I am’ reflecting in all these itself is Ajnana. When that BhavShuddi happens, only The Awareness which can’t be cut through (Akhanda Arivu) remains. No I and You divisions are there, ideas such as ‘I am Jeeva’, ‘I am Shiva’ itself is wrong. THAT is a eminent light, in that eminent light you should become light is what AllammaPrabhu Vachana says, read it” Then I realised.
Once he asked me, “in the cave that’s underground, many have meditated, Yogis and Siddhas have done penance there, an engineer from Andhra meditated there and became a Yogi, why you did not even meditate a single day there?”. I replied “Ajja when I have got Paramathma only without dhyaana, penance, and Japa, then why should I do all that sitting in cave”. He said “now you have got little jnana, Guru is God, Guru is Shiva , who is within you, within me and within everybody”. Once, I went to Kalika temple in the night when I got a little free and sat there, it was raining heavy and pitch dark and a big goat approached and stood in front of me, it’s face resembled that of a Rishi, it had a horn on its head, I did not have time to even get scared, was dazed and sat there itself quiet. Next day when I described the incident to Ajja, he said “that is Shira shangi’s Shrangamuni. Shirashangis Kalika has come here and is been installed. She is here to destroy all demons of this place and her temple is always locked and once an year Jatra (fair) is celebrated. Once during Jatra time Ajja had gone somewhere with other devotees and then did not return for a week, I had developed excruciating stomach pain. While Jatra was celebrated I was lying down behind that temple without food and water, I felt almost I was going to die. I constantly kept recieving a message in my ears saying “drink buttermilk”, I wondered there is no milk only available in these Sogala hills, from where I will get buttermilk. Keeping hands on my stomach I slowly started to climb down, a lady came forward and invited me to have food where nearly 5000 people were having. I thought she was calling me to make prashad there, so I denied. Then she told me ” Swamy, I have seen you in Nesarige Devarakonda ajja ashram where you used to play harmonium and sing bhajans, I know you but you may not have seen me. I have got two bottles of buttermilk with food, I need to empty them and fill water in those bottles and take away. So, please have”. Hence this was prashad of Devi also Sogala Ajja, though Sogala ajja is not there, he is there. Within five minutes of having that buttermilk, I was relieved of stomach pain.
In Swargashram of Sogala, there is jeevantha samadhi of Matananda swamy. Yellapa sadhu from there had given me Siddaveda Grantha to read, also he taught me brahma sadhana’s “shivoham shivoham” breathing, they call it japa and dhyana. So I was doing dhyana. I used to bring grass feed for rabbit from there. In our Ajja’s ashram here there was Siddapatrike Gaanja (Marijuana)
, nonveg consumption, alcohol consumption was allowed, but in that ashram it was restricted, only Satvik food was allowed and sadhana practices, they followed 68 niyamas of sadhana (68 rules). They would not come to this Ashram and these ashramites would not go there. So these Ashramites in Ajja’s ashram complained him that this Kerala sadhu visits that Ashram for rabbit feed and sadhana. Ajja asked me “why are you going there sadhu?” I replied “ajja, fight is between Mahatmas of that place and this place, but not for the rabit. Rabit here has its feed from that place”. Ajja said “Oh, you also have realised Avadhuta stiti now son, you have got abheda jnana (Divisionless) now”. People who complained became quiet.
This way when I was doing seva of Ajja, sometimes when female devotees visited ashram and as seva pressed Ajja’s legs, he would ask them to breastfeed him, I used to be surprised. I have heard that Ajata Nagalingajja used to have breastmilk of a chammara(Dalit) girl, I wondered why so. These people also had enough information of Ajja, and had immense gurubhakti and were aware that he is Avadhuta, they would say everything is yours ajja. Then Ajja would tell “I don’t want this milk, I don’t want this breastmilk of Ajnana(ignorance), feed me the breastmilk of jnana(wisdom)”. Avadhuth Allamma Prabhu, a mahan jnani, in his vachana nirvachana grantha has written “to an infant called nirala (uncommon, endless), earth is the cradle, mother called nija aikya (true union) comes and breastfeeds the baby with milk called Jnana. Shiva Shivas have no divisions, in them chaithanya pavitra jnana (holy wisdom of consciousness) is only the mother, you are not jeeva, you are shiva. When you consume milk called shiva bhava, air called shiva smarane sways the cradle that’s sleeping, then sings lullaby of shivoham shivoham sound. Hence consuming breastmilk of jnanabhava one attains avadhuth avasta. This sentence has essence of mahan tattva in it.
If somebody asked to prostrate to ajja, he would not like and tell at them saying “if they want they will, why are you telling”. He did not like such publicity. If any rich, miser visited, ajja would ask them to tie their costly watch to his hand and then Ajja would hand it over to labors sweeping there at ashram, this way all labors there nearly 50-60 of them had watches tied. This way ajja used to take from the ones who had and give to the ones who did not have. Once in the night around 11pm ajja asked me “how much cash you have sadhu?”, I told I have one rupee. He told “go, get me theertha (alcohol). I had to climb down Sogala hills, cross the dark roads of rudrapura. And one must follow Ajja’s command, carrying one rupee with me, I climbed down the hill. There was a hotel there of a known person called Rudra who is great devotee of Ajja. Morning around 6am he came there and gave money. I went down and sat there. Two people came there and told “there is avadhuth up the hills who drinks alcohol, we need to go there”. I asked why. They said “we have got 2 boxes of brandy and other things, we have to give it there”. I realised it was Ajja’s leela (play) learning that they would come he sent me to get them, carrying the boxes, taking them along I went up. He drank morning and night, and then a devotee who visited got 2 bottles of feni, I mixed water to it and Ajja drank the entire thing. Ajja was not a mere human, he is Shakti, the Energy. He called out to me Sadhu Sadhu, it seemed as if he breathed heavy, he asked me to rub the chest, rubbing the chest I sat there for 5 minutes, then he asked me to sit straight and hold the hands in front of him and he vomitted out handsful of black colored blood thrice. Then I went, washed hands and got some water for him. After having water he again started to drink alcohol. Doctor told he has black jaundice and someone suffering with that jaundice will not survive if they consume alcohol but he has no death.
After this, during sundholi jatra of mallur he went to sundholi, I had never visited that ashram. Mallur’s Agasi mane Veeranna Gowda and Navalagatti’s Rayana Gowda came and invited me to go to sundholi ashram and have darshan of Ajja there. They bought two chickens and got them cut into pieces, also with some masala for it we left to ashram. As soon we went there ajja told “there is nobody to cook here, sadhu you cook fruits (implying nonveg)”. As the firewood was wet, it wasn’t burning well, he kept asking if it’s ready every now and then and asked me to cook faster. By twelve when the food was almost ready, a person came who had drunk upto neck (enough alcohol was given to all of us), and poured water to the cooked food and it got spoiled. Ajja generally would not taste the food but that day he came and ate, the moment he had, he yelled “this is not the fruit food, this is soily food who cooked this”. I went forward, he said “throw him out, he doesn’t know any work, he doesn’t know to do seva, throw him out of gate”. It was freezing cold and they threw me out of gate, I did not have a blanket to cover myself as well. There was a small stone bench, though not enough space to lie down, I slept on it shivering. He summoned to go there when it was four in the morning through someone. I went, He spoke normally and he asked me to prepare the pipe for Ganja , sidda patrike, for smoking, I did not know how to make it. By then a person came there, prepared and filled it and gave. We had to light it and give, He took a puff at once and then handing it over to me he asked me to smoke, I started coughing, he said pull it upwards towards urdwa, I was immersed in Ananda, it was for the first time in life I had smoked that. He said “he is in Ananda, he is in Ananda and asked Sadhu What is your name?”. I replied my name is Vijaya, he said you are Vijayananda. Vijayananda name came from his mouth and from then on going forward I became Vijayananda.
Ajja used to take us to the fair at Siddha parvata where he had had Bhagalamukhi Sakshatkar, the Bhagalamukhi Kshetra every year. That day in the morning he took us to attend the fair. In that festive one side they would arrange non-vegetarian meals and on other side vegetarian meals for Devi, not even a fly or crow would come there. When ajja went there he would lie down near small rock there. While leaving Kaàrimani, a devotee from kaàrimani came and invited me also to join him visiting Maa Bhagalamukhi. There was a group of nearly 10 devotees going by tempo, he invited me to join them, when I went there and sat there it was night, so many people rushed in more than the capacity of vehicle. They made me sit on the wheel. There were 4-5 people who were drunk and did not like me joining them as I was travelling without paying and started pestering me. As we went ahead, i asked them to stop the vehicle as I had to urinate. A person called Mallappa told, vehicle will stop only on reaching Siddha parvatha, we will not stop anywhere in between. I told “if vehicle gets damaged, it has to halt right”. Immediately the tire bursted and the vehicle stopped. By the time they fixed the tyre and got it ready, it was two in the morning. The vehicle started but then they started scolding me saying “he speaks foul and bad, get him off the vehicle” and so. We were lost on the way and we reached the temple only in the afternoon. This is Ajja’s leela. While returning they said I had to get down, Ajja had already gone in an other car, I was not feeling well, I was getting fever and was sleeping all three days, I had no money as well. Mallappa only made me get down. I told “you have placed me at Devi’s feet, let’s see where she will place you”. Vehicle started and I climbed down, and slept in bus stop, I was getting chills and fever. A small boy came and he was giving me sugarcane juice. After the Jatra got over, only few beggars were left there. I sat infront them for alms. When I was throwing food, my mother had told me “if you throw the food, you will have to beg for it some day”, that day had come. From there I started walking for 11 days sleeping here and there, legs had swollen, I reached Sogala Ajja Ashram. People, who left me behind and drove were only sitting there. They had told that I was drunk and have left to Kerala. Ajja used to ask where is sadhu where is sadhu to them it seems. When I sat, he told “Oh you drank and left to native? Madakka get brandy”. And he made me drink.
And a week after jatra he told me you used to drink a lot and because of it there was a day you even begged. Society pushed you away because you were drunkard, when they kept you away, you became close to Paramathma. This is the Mahatva of Gurutattva, otherwise you would not have come here, don’t worry. Generally he had never slept near the samadhi of his ajja which is down the hill, but the same day he slept there. Ajja was sleeping there, a dog called Raju was there, and I, rest all had left. Only Ajja and I were there. By then a person came there with tirtha and bread, he gave it to ajja, it was eleven in the night and I was sitting beside. “This is the holy day when doors of fortune in my life would open”. The samadhi place of Ajja is very holy and of significance. When the dog put its mouth to eat the bread kept for Ajja, I beat it. Immediately ajja started yelling at me with all kinds of foul words. He told me “are you different? Is dog different? And am I different for you? How did you beat the dog” I felt sad and sat quietly. After some period of silence he said “staying here all the while you are not realised yet, you have proud, pride that you are rich, that you have money, it’s still not gone, look how you are sitting making face”. Then again silence. After that I told “Ajja I came here for one day to have your Darshan, permit me to go now”. Then he asked where will you go?. I replied “to Himalayas”. He asked “what will you do going to Himalayas?” I replied ” I have to go to Himalayas ajja, I want guru”. He said “you cannot even cross Belgaum district son. Oh! You need Guru is it, come here” I did not understand and I was surprised. He told that person abc (ananymous) to make me get up and and seat me near him. That person made me sit near Ajja, the moment I sat beside, he kept his hand on my head, I felt jolts of current from my toe to head, and in a second I was in Samadhi stiti, through touch he had given me Shaktipath deeksha and I felt in a second in a minute I woke up, I heard birds chirping. He had kept hand on my head around 11/11.30 in the night but by then it’s already morning. My entire body was shivering. He said “Dhanyanaade, Dhanyanaade, Dhanyanaade (blessed)”. Then he told “you will get a place, it will become kailasa, you will get a place where atrivana is there, but before that you will fall in drainage. There you will get your Guru from past life”. There in mallur was Nityananda Ashram. I will explain what happened later on, in further episodes, we will listen more of his leelamrutas.
Pujya Swami Vijayanand