Books unputdownable: God on call – A book review
“Venkatadri Samam Sthaanam Brahmande Naasti Kinchanaa…
Venkatesha Samo Devo Na Bhootho Na Bhavishyati.”
(No any other place in this whole universe is as sacred as Venkatadri hills. There was no one in past and there shall be no any other deity in future who could be like lord Vyaknatesha )
In 2015 it was month of March when I first visited one of the most spiritually enlightened quality content driven website of India. I visited and stayed there for more than 16 hours in a row continuously reading the heart touching, mind blowing and spiritually awakening true life stories written by the author. The transcendental flow of his writing, the truthfulness as well as transparency of his tone and artistically woven threads of words made the whole content an absolute experience of divinity, serenity and tranquillity for the readers. It was indeed a discovery of gold mine full of spiritual knowledge. In that ecstasy I immediately found him on facebook and wrote down a long letter expressing my gratitude for penning down such a beautifully narrated amazing true life stories which I would otherwise never know. He promptly replied me as
“Thanks Anjali for the message as well as the compliments…It’s indeed my pleasure to have learned friends like u as my readers..Stay blessed forever”
The website I am talking about is famous tirumalesa.com and the founder, author of the website is Shree. Narrenaditya Komargiri sir whom I fondly call as Aditya Garu, award winning creative director & writer from city of Hyderabad (India), down to earth personality and one of the most reverential fatherly figure I ever met in life. Just after in 6 months of following the website and reading about everything about lord Tirupati and holy Tirumala hills I got an opportunity to visit the place.
Spirituality has its deepest root in the memories. Whether those are from your childhood in current life or from your past lives. In 2015 when the Tirumala hills were enraged by heaviest rain in the history roaring thunderstorm had been making the devotee difficult to reach there or even if they reach by hook or crook it was more difficult to stay in the rooms of ice cold temperature and take darshanam of Shreenivasa, exactly at that point of a time being there, standing in the line for 4-5 hours surrounded by rain, storm and heavy cold when I first saw him the moment was indescribable. The words cannot express and mind cannot convey. I was just recalling old memories saying in mind “my father was right, he was right, nothing, nothing can be more beautiful, serene and charismatic than the idol standing in lotus in front of me in the garbh-griha (inner temple). All the forgotten childhood memories came back to reconnect me with that supreme power again, unearthing the silver cord which was deep down buried upon my narrow minded rational approach of living.
There is nothing in this world is more mesmerising, more enchanting, more attractive, more divine than to see the mool virat swaroop of Vyankatesha in the garbha griha of Tirupati temple on holy Tirumala hills. These are the ripples in the minds of lakhs and crore of devotee who visit Tirumala hills every day. The Viratpurusha Govinda is the principle deity of Tirumala hills and known to be richest lord of richest temple in the country of India. Words fall short to talk, to express about the divinity of Swami Shreenivasa. I personally feel everything so far in this world which is related to him is prettiest and purest. Born and brought up in the lap of a father who is an ardent devotee of lord Vishnu, who worshipped, chanted, recited nothing but Govinda, his hymns and his names all over his life, who without taking any vehicle did “Padayatra” (journey on foot) from his residence at small village in Solapur district, Maharashtra to Tirumala hills by walking on his feet for 3 -4 times in life with only wish in mind to please his “Govinda” anyhow, no wonder I became his legatee who was always keen to find footprints of spirituality rather than indulging in materialistic matters. My childhood went away while chanting and singing keertana of lord Vishnu which my father used to teach me. Moreover the happiest memories of childhood are filled with warm evenings, lightening ghee and oil lamps in front of smaller wooden shrine at home, the mild and pleasing yellow light of diya, fragrance of agarbatti, holy hymns and chants offered to Shree Hari Vishnu by my father in his deep, placid voice sanctifying the whole surrounding in home. Commemorating all that reminiscence while standing in Tirupati temple it was difficult for me to resist my tears which were automatically falling and giving indelible pleasure of reunion with him.
It was then the sweetness of memories fortified and filled up with redolence of happiness to read the book of 12 spell bounding true life stories in connection with lord Vyankatesha and his devotees written by Shree. Narenaditya Komargiri sir. The name of book is “God on call” which published in grand ceremony in presence of many iconic personalities in Hyderabad city on 24th march 2017.
The book no doubt stands out in crowd as the language is wonderfully tuneful and filled with the devotion of the devotees and magnanimity of supreme power who helped, rescued them in their most difficult times in most unexpected ways. The foundation of tirumalesa.com was based on the miraculous experience which Narrenaditya sir had while he was on Tirumala hills to see his lord. You can read the whole story why he prompted to create the website here.
Many of us know who is lord Vyankatesha and what is Tirumala hills but the information is limited to the scriptures which were written in old times. There are many aspects about it are still hidden. Most of the information or real life experiences are known to be available in South Indian languages and rest of the continent do not have any access to it. In my source of knowledge
“God on call” book
is the first constructive work which represents the resplendence of Tirumala hills and glory of Lord Vyankatesha woven beautifully in the true life experiences of his faithful devotees.
Let me introduce you from the book some of those legends whose life is perfect example of what it takes to be a real devotee of god.
The saint Annamacharya
In my life first ever I red this name in this book. Yes it is not unknown to the people resides in Tamilnadu, Andhra, Telangana or Karnataka but as a Maharashtrian girl I never ever heard about him and it may be the situation of rest of the world. Indeed truth that it is not the lord but his devotees who creates the history. Saint Annamacharya is 15 century saint who is known to be a divine composer of songs called “Sankeertana”(devotional songs) sung in the praise of lord Vyankatesha. He is known to be the founder of Carnatic music which is the peculiarity of South Indian music culture. The popular songs on lord Vyankateshwara we hear today are only by the grace of this holy saint who prostrated himself on the lotus feet of lord while composing memorable keertana’s all over his life which are still alive after centuries in every home of a devotee rejuvenating the glory of Vyankatesha and holy Tirumala hills. The book depicts the touching story of how his journey took path from being illiterate village boy to worthy poet and composer in the history of Tirumala.
Another gem in the golden history of Tirupati temple, M.S. Subbulakshmi an ardent devotee of lord Vyankatesha, queen of classical carnatic music, first recipient of Bharat Ratna award from Indian music fraternity and house hold name of every Indian devotee. There would be rarest of the rare person who do not know the famous Vyankatesha Suprabhatam, Vyankatesh stotram, Vyankatesh Prapati, Mangalashasanam, sung in her miraculously melodious voice. Although M.S. Subbulakshmi gone famous worldwide and had earned many awards, rewards as well as fame in her lifetime she too faced the wrath of destiny and harshest examination of her faith by her lord when she had to sold everything to pay off debts and moved away from her famous “Kalki Estate” in Chennai , Tamilnadu to a small rented place in isolated area. Exactly at that crucial point of a time how a divine cosmic drama had been played by lord Vyankatesha through the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam board (TTD board) is excellently narrated by Narrenaditya sir explaining the greatness and nobility of a legendary singer.
Shree Ralapalli Ananta Krishna Sharma
The article would be incomplete without the mentioning of this noble personality which I got introduced from the book. The story written about Shree. Ananta Krishna Sharma is one of the most beautifully depicted story I ever red. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. Shree Ananta Krishna Sharma is also a notable writer, singer and composer of Carnatic music. He is known as “Prakand Pandit” which means an erudite who had command over Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Prakrit (Marathi) languages. His notable contribution for Tirumala is unforgettable one. It was his efforts which enable the world to listen the divine compositions of Saint Annamacharya which otherwise would have forgotten. He is the one who brought back the composition written by Saint Annamacharya inscribed on copper plates. ( As in the old era writings used to be engraved on metal plates) into simple day to day telugu language of present era by the act of transcription. It was indeed a herculean task and he completed this impossible assignment with at par excellency.
This is similar how Saint Dnyaneshwara in Maharashtra has written translation of Bhagavad Geeta from Sanskrit to prakrit by creating precious holy book of Dnyaneshwari. Same as Saint Tulsidas written “Ramcharitmanas” in Awadhi language when it was difficult for common people to read original Sanskrit “Walmiki Ramayana.”
But the story about this eminent scholar which we read in book is depicted how cruel the time would be who forgot the contribution made by Ananta Krishna Sharma. Time forgot and so forgotten by Tirumala but yet God did not forget.
how Shree Ananta Krishna Sharma was felicitated by the then executive officer Shree PVRK Prasad for his notable and worthy contribution only the day before his departure from the world is most impactful story in the book written in impactful way.
We meet PVRK Prasad Garu almost in every story in the book. It is because PVRK Prasad is known as the most successful executive officer in the history of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. Many true life events had taken place before his eyes in his period of serving making him to believe that it is not him or any other but the lord himself who is taking care of each and everything. PVRK Prasad has the most illustrated career as an IAS officer who served in most of the key positions in administration. He was the one who was secretary of the then prime minister of India Hon’ble Narsimha Rao and played a vital role to advise him while implementing the famous 1991 economic policies of Globalisation, Privatisation & Liberalisation. There are many amazing events which are narrated in such a flawless language by Narrenaditya sir about the rare crisis faced by PVRK Prasad and how at the eleventh hour he got solution by the pure grace of lord Vyankatesha. Unfortunately PVRK Prasad garu recently left the world but his name is engraved forever for his noble acts and pious contribution as an executive officer in the history of Tirumala.
There are many other noble personalities we meet in the book. They may not be famous politicians, actors or cricketers but more renowned and celebrated in the eyes of their beloved lord Vyankatesha. In fact these are the stories of common ordinary people who served their life at the feet of god but their unbreakable faith, unconditional devotion and utter optimism to flow from severest of severe life exams while trusting their lord Govinda gives us new point of view to see our own life.
Almost everybody in his or her life has experienced when sudden miracle happened in most unexpected ways in most crucial time. How spirituality helped many men and women on this planet is a matter of research for those who denies the existence of god but for those who are spiritual simply don’t need to find evidence as the laws of nature are so exact and precise to understand where it has been said , written and showed by many luminaries that
“Eternally we have been with god, in god and immersed in nothing but god”
_ Essence of Bhagavad Geeta
Though we do not find answers to many questions while leading our life but one thing is sure if it is life then you have to face the wrath and glory at the same time, you have to enjoy difficulties and delightedness in the same time span, you have to live with felicity and ferocity offered by karma but must not forget that the invisible hand of a cosmic power is always helping , nourishing and shaping up our ways towards the right direction. In that way God on call is not a book it is an experience of invisible divine grace which everyone has in their life in one form or another therefore it is must read . It is unputdownable.