Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Story of Yogi Vemanna

Story of Yogi Vemanna

Vemanna was born in the year 1820, in a small village, in the district of Godavari (Andhradesa). He had a brother by name Ramanna. His parents died, when he was quite a young boy. He was born in a rich family. He was a Reddy by caste.

Vemanna was sent to a primary school. He was not able to prosecute his studies. He fell into evil company and became a rowdy boy. But he was very handsome and active. Ramanna and his wife Jagadishvari liked Vemanna very much. At the age of fifteen, Vemanna became debaucherous. He spent much money for the sake of women. Yet his brother and sister-in-law liked him very much.

Ramanna and his wife wanted to correct the ways of Vemanna. They stopped giving him any money. So Vemanna stole at night the ornaments of his sister-in-law and gave them to a prostitute. When his sister-in-law came to know of the loss of jewels, she asked Vemanna: "Where are my jewels?" Vemanna replied: "As you did not give me money, I took them and gave away to my beloved." She did not speak a word. She did not even inform her husband of the loss of jewels. She liked Vemanna very much. She locked up all her ornaments in the safe.

The prostitute urged Vemanna to bring some more money or ornaments. So again at the dead of night Vemanna woke up from his bed and tried to remove some of the ornaments from the neck of his sister-in-law. She was wearing only the sacred ornament that was tied round her neck at the time of her marriage. Vemanna wanted to remove at least this ornament. When be was attempting to remove it, she woke up and caught hold of his hand and asked him why he came to her bedroom at mid-night. He replied in a daring manner: "my beloved asked me to bring some ornaments: I came here to take them." She asked Vemanna to get out of the room at once. Then he cried and fell at her feet. Jagadishvari prayed to God to give Vemanna good Buddhi (intellect) and make him a pure, virtuous soul. Then he promised to obey her words. Vemanna fully assured her to do so.

Jagadishvari said : "Vemanna, ask the girl to stand naked in front of you. Let her back be turned towards you. Then ask her to bend down and take the jewels from your hands by passing her hands through her thighs." Vemanna promised to do so and took the ornaments to the prostitute's house.

He asked her to do in the manner his sister-in-law had instructed. While she was bending down, he saw very clearly her private parts. At once Vairagya dawned in his mind. He retraced his steps to his house with the ornaments in his hands and related to his sister-in-law all that had happened. He said: "My dear sister-in-law, thank you so much for all your kind acts. I am a changed man now. There is no real happiness in this world. It is all jugglery of Maya. I am going now in quest of real happiness." He left the house at once and went to a Kali temple near his village and sat near the image of Kali.

Now it so happened that for some years a man named Abhiramayya was praying to Kali for Her Darshan. One day she appeared in his dream and said: "Come tomorrow at midnight. I will give you Darshan." But the unfortunate devotee could not come the next day. When Kali came, Vemanna was there. She asked Vemanna to ask a boon of her. Vemanna said : "O Mother! Give me Brahma-Jnana." Mother Kali then initiated him into the mysteries of Jnana. From that day onwards, Vemanna became a virtuous man with great devotion, Yogic powers and Jnana.

In the course of his wanderings, Vemanna went to Cuddappah. He lived in a forest near Cuddappah. He planted various fruit bearing trees, melons, cucumbers, etc. The cucumbers were all filled with gold. Vemanna built a golden temple in Sri-Sailam with this gold. Even today this golden temple of Sri-Sailam contains the famous Jyotirlinga of Mallikarjuna. It is a famous place of pilgrimage. One day some thieves came to rob the cucumbers containing gold. They all became senseless due to the Yogic powers of Vemanna.

Once, Vemanna entered the cottage of a poor Brahmin at mid-night and was sleeping on his bed. He answered the calls of nature on the bed itself. That portion of the bed that was soiled by the excreta became transmuted into gold.

Vemanna cast off his physical sheath in 1865. He wrote several books in Telugu on Yoga, chief among them being Vemanna-Tattva-Jnanam and Vemanna-Jivamritam.

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