Touch Of A Sanyasi


Part 4:


The priest and Thiru were delighted to receive the Sanyasi.   


After refreshing himself, the Sanyasi settled down in the porch. To an attentive audience made up of the priest and Thiru, he recounted with relish his interesting experiences of visiting Kashi and many other places on the way, meeting in Kashi Sanyasi’s who had come from other parts. Finally he came around to inquiring about what was happening with Thiru.  When Thiru stood speechless, the priest took over and covered chronologically all the incidents beginning from Thiru complying with the Sanyasi’s instructions right up to the aborted marriage in the house of the village-head. He expressed Thiru’s sadness at people remaining cool towards him. And his own puzzlement over what triggered the prophecies.  The Sanyasi heard him out intently with a mildly amused look on his face. With a promise to speak to them on this subject on the following day, he retired for the night.  


By the morning of the following day, the news of Sanyasi’s arrival at the Shrine had reached the village and his readiness to meet people after mid-noon. The Sanyasi spent the forenoon in long spells of self-meditation and he had time for the priest and Thiru before noon.  


He addressed Thiru: ‘By virtue of your karma and also by faithfully chanting the mantra and the blessings of Easwari, you have acquired the rare Siddhi of prophesying at such a young age. Needless to add this must be used for the benefit of the society at large. Any time it is used for personal gains, you’ll lose it. In a way, you were fortunate to have experienced aversion bordering on abhorrence from the beneficiaries at the first draw. If you were awash in public adulation, you wouldn’t be sitting here listening to me. It is so intoxicating. Adulation and aversion are merely perspectives of a situation depending upon the standpoint. Practice your Siddhi untainted by either.’


He added: ‘Yes, over time, this Siddhi would fade away. You should train yourself from now to supplement and later replace it with Reason. How? Stick with me this afternoon you’ll see. Also answers you’re seeking.’


Sitting at under the tree near the Shrine, the Sanyasi commenced his meetings with the people who came from the village and neighboring ones too to seek his blessings and advice. During these meetings, he ensured Thiru was around to help him with this and that and listen in on what was spoken. While the outsiders had no qualms, the village folks were uncomfortable talking about what bothered them in the presence of Thiru. The Sanyasi left them with no option. Thiru’s nonintrusive and empathetic demeanor also helped in smoothening out the wrinkles. His proximity to the Sanyasi purposefully put on display by the latter, slowly and surely rehabilitated Thiru in the eyes of the villagers. Thiru also observed the extraordinary listening skills of the Sanyasi in his interactions with people and learnt about the prescription of various parihaaram’s (mitigating actions) and prayaschittham’s (atonement actions).


Hours later the village-head came in with his family. The initial unease caused by Thiru’s presence slowly receded with the visitor now earnestly submitting his problems to the Sanyasi’s advice. While talking about his farming activities, the village-head mentioned about committing in this year vast tracts of his land to cultivation of plantain. He expected the yield to be good and the prices in neighboring states were firm. At that point, the perceptive Sanyasi noticed a sudden change on Thiru’s face as if he was grappling with some overpowering force. Before others could notice, the Sanyasi was back to the village-head asking him what choice of crops he had in case he chose not to cultivate plantains. The village-head told him if it were not plantain, he would cultivate shorter crops of grams and lentils. Thereupon the Sanyasi advised him to go for the latter this year as he saw the winds unusually intensifying in those areas, following a strong summer – a threat to the young plantain trees; the advice was received by his audience with due deference leaving Thiru agape at the Sanyasi’s finesse.


Finally, the Sanyasi emerged out of the meetings for the evening puja with Thiru following him. A small crowd had already collected. Suddenly he turned around to Thiru and said audibly: ‘I’ll know if you’re fond of me or not. I can read your mind!’ Thiru felt all eyes drawn to him and before he could think of any response, the Sanyasi continued with mocking seriousness: ‘Your premonitions are reserved only for those whom you’re fond of. So, I’ll wait to see if I figure in your favored list.’ Just as the ears around Thiru perked up catching the Sanyasi’s words, in that instant the puja commenced with ringing of the bells.  


Overnight Thiru became the darling of the villages. Some households claimed him for a son while he was a ‘son-in-law-in wait’ for some others!


The Sanyasi readied himself to leave the village on the following day with the usual promise to return later. Thiru cautioned him: ‘I hear there were heavy rains up north. The river gets into a spate within a day. Please take care while you cross the river.’


The Sanyasi smiled at his acuity and set out on his onward journey.  




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