On the day the gopura work was completed, the kalaśa was established, and the samprokṣaṇā was done, one should have seen Sajjan Rao. He was the epitome of gratification; a man in supreme bliss. An essential part of human life is that bliss. One has to live for such pure joy. Fortunate are those that experience such joy.
Sajjan Rao graced my house one day afternoon at around three. I received him and after he sat down, I asked him, “What’s this rāyare – you’ve come in this sunshine? It is so hot!”
My intention here is to write about my Ātma-gurus. Ātma-guru can mean several things: “The teacher of my choice”, “The teacher who taught me about the Ātman”, “The teacher of prime importance” etc. The meaning that I have in my mind is: “favorite teacher”. It is not that I found him because I specifically searched for him. Neither did I specifically evaluate his capabilities and hence acquainted myself to him. It is purely out of luck that we got to know each other.
Yeldur (Elduru) is an ordinary small town. But it was neat and pretty. The arterial road ran from east to west. On the western end was the Kodandaramaswamy Temple, facing north. The Shiva Temple was opposite to that. The pūjā was performed punctually and regularly in both temples.
Along with Mandi Hariyanna’s name, it is Dharmaprakāśa S Sajjan Rao’s name that comes to mind. The two were always together, like the Aśvini-devatas. Every morning, both of them would go for a walk, to get some air. It was the same routine every evening too. Their friendship gave the impression that a single soul existed in two bodies. If any friend encountered only one of them, it was normal to enquire, “How is it that you’re alone? Where is he?”