DR. KANAKDANDI SURYANARAYANA

DR. KANAKDANDI SURYANARAYANA

(Son of Ranga Rao)

Ranga Rao of Andhra had come to Saoner with his son and Dr. Kanakadandi Suryanarayana of Eluru. Bhau met them, and though they too were new, Ranga Rao assured Bhau he could arrange for him to get an interview with Baba.

Others thought these arrangements were rather elaborate for a two-day meeting, but Baba had inspired Pendu to do so; other than that, there was no reason for doing it, because the rainy season had for the most part ended. The tents had been pitched in open fields on soft soil, and in the event of a rain shower, it would not have been good to have the participants sleeping on the ground. Therefore, Pendu arranged everything accordingly. Padri was responsible for providing electric lights and water. As helpers (to assist with the work for the meetings), Baba called Dr. Kanakadandi and few others to Meherabad.

On 29th September 1954, Baba arrived from Meherazad in a green Chevrolet driven by Raghunath, Meherjee's driver. Entering the hall, He smiled and asked Dr. Kanakadandi to feel his pulse. Baba visited the kitchen and went round the camp inspecting everything. On the way, his sandals got stuck in the mud, so he had to take them off and proceed barefoot.

To give the fullest benefit of his company to each, to facilitate better accommodations to all, and to save time spent in endless translations in the different vernaculars of anything Baba wished to express through hand gestures, it was decided to hold a sahavas in the month of November 1955. There would be four groups divided linguistically — Gujarati, Telugu, Hindi and Marathi — each staying at Meherabad for one week. Accordingly, those concerned were informed, and the mandali's correspondence expanded. Baba originally decided to invite select lovers in four groups of 150 persons each; but the number later increased as more requested permission to come, which Baba allowed. To meet the sahavas expenses, money was requisitioned from selected persons, not from all. However, in the end, there was a shortage of Rs.5,000. This required amount was made up by Dr. Kanakadandi and Kutumba Sastri of Andhra.

Preparations in Meherabad for the first of four sahavas programs were in the final stages. On 27th October 1955, Baba had been driven to Meherazad from Satara, and from the following day, he began visiting Meherabad daily. Tents for sleeping and for the meetings were erected. A separate dining pandal, with tables and chairs, was pitched for serving tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cooking arrangements were the responsibility of Chhagan and Shahastrabudhe (of Mahabaleshwar), aided by Dr. Kanakadandi and others. Workers from Arangaon Village were hired as additional help.

ll arrangements for the Telugu group were seen to by the mandali and Pendu, who had provided food according to the taste and habit of each respective group. Pendu had even sent for a cook from Andhra who had arrived beforehand with Dr. Kanakadandi. And so, from the 11th, the game of Wine resumed. Its rules were different for each, but its main attribute of dispelling all differences and leading all factions toward Unity remained the same. There are no caste or religious differences in this game — and the Telugu group, too, felt this in their intoxication while at Meherabad.

Baba spoke about the New Life and its hardships, and then continued:

After my recent seclusion in Satara, Vishnu asked me, "What about next month's expenses?" I told him I had in mind to call a congregation of my lovers and workers. I thought of this sahavas program soon after the seclusion. But Vishnu asked me, when there was no provision for next month, how was it possible to provide for the congregation?

I then informed all the mandali, and 20 selected donors were individually approached for at least Rs.1,500. Then the list was enlarged, as many showed willingness to contribute their mite. Of the Rs.30,000 collected so far, it was arranged with Pendu that I would give him 20,000 for the comfort, food, accommodation, et cetera, for the congregation members, and keep 10,000 for the four poor programs. Before this figure was reached, there was actually a shortage of Rs.5,000 that Dr. Kanakadandi and Kutumba Sastri, on their own, made up. They offered further help. I took full advantage of their offer, and they sent a further 10,000 to cover the next month's expenses in Satara. Whatever I asked them to send, they sent it, and I am happy at their expression of love and obedience to me.3785-1955

Don't give Kaka Baria anything now," Baba continued. "Go to your places; you can send from there. Kaka will collect and keep a list of the donors. Do not go begging from house to house. You can tell this to others, but do not force them. Openly describe everything you have heard here.

"Pendu will make a statement of receipts and expenses for the sahavas programs, and whatever balance is left should be remitted to Dr. Kanakadandi and Kutumba Sastri. Copies of the accounts statement are to be sent to all those present here."

Adi Sr. said, "Harjiwan Lal is sure to send his contribution."

Baba replied, "It and other remaining amounts have not been received. When they have been, they should be sent to Dr. Kanakadandi and Sastri."

Then ten of the persons were sent another letter, but in between, a strange thing happened. Dr. Kanakadandi Suryanarayana of Andhra sent a telegram showing his willingness to make up the total needed. The shortfall was of Rs.15,000 and he was wired to send it. In the meantime, Rs.25,000 was collected and there was a deficit of only Rs.5,000. Then Dr. Kanakadandi was again wired that the shortage was only Rs.5,000, but he should send 10,000 more without any conditions, and he sent Rs.15,000. I therefore instructed Vishnu to keep the amount aside for use of the dependents.

Baba instructed Pendu to pay to Dr. Kanakadandi the Rs.2,500 brought by Harjiwan Lal, and also whatever balance remained of the money in hand after the sahavas was over. He also asked him to mail a statement of the account of receipts and expenditures to all those participating in the sahavas.

When Dr. Kanakadandi's turn came, Baba again asked Him to feel his pulse. He did it and reported, "It's all right, Baba. You are fit."

"But I don't feel fit. Are you really a doctor?" Thus, by his humor, Baba transformed the serious atmosphere into a lighter one.

When B. Sastri approached him, Baba asked him to repeat the shlokas from the Gita about the Avatar's descent.