(This section is an extract from the narrations of a childhood friend of Nithyananda. Deeply associated with Nithyananda before his enlightenment, Sampath describes the indescribable yearning for enlightenment that he saw in Nithyananda as a child.)
Towards the end of his polytechnic years, Swami reached a stage when he felt there was something that had to be achieved, but all the activities of the present were a waste in that context. Then he became like a child. If we get the thought that we have to achieve something, we will reject all other things and be focused only on that, just like an obstinate child. Until we get what we want, we refuse to eat or sleep. He became like that.
Our hometown Tiruvannamalai, a spiritual incubator, is home to many wandering mendicants. They were all over the place, pursuing their path in different ways. At that time of his life, he started begging the sannyasis that used to pass by us. He would go up to them and tell them, ‘Please do something for me. I will come away with you. Please take me with you.’
There was one such person who had just entered Tiruvannamalai from outside. If you saw him, you would see that he appeared to be just like Shiva, the Hindu god! He might have been between 28 or 30 years of age. He had a shaven head, with a rudraksh string tied in his hair. He wore gold earrings and a grand rudraksh necklace. He appeared to be just like Shiva. If you looked at him, you would feel like falling at his feet. There was so much radiance in him. He beautifully sang verses from ancient lore. People would melt with tears as he sang.
He was just an ordinary wandering mendicant with no intensity of seeking whatsoever. But his outward appearance, which was like Shiva, kindled a deep yearning in Swami that was beyond his control. He saw only Shiva in him! As soon as he saw this mendicant, he fell at his feet and tears poured from his eyes.
He pleaded with him, ‘Swami, I am not able to….Please take me with you and go. Please take me with you. I will come away with you. Please do something for me.’ I was surprised.
Since he had gone to the peak of yearning, any wandering mendicant who he saw, he started begging, ‘Do something for me. Do something for me.’ Those wandering mendicants clearly saw that they were not qualified to guide him in any way. They clearly saw that he came from a different space altogether. They told him that they would not be able to guide him, and moved on.
When I saw his struggles, I understood his state of inexplicable yearning from my own level. When I saw how he sobbed to those wandering mendicants to take him with them, I realized the extent to which he was yearning to merge with the Infinite. If I imitate him for you, you will not be able to digest it.
Those few incidents are deeply engraved in my memory. I can never forget them. I often wondered, ‘Why is he crying like this? What is spirituality? Why does he do all these things? Only now am I able to understand. I must have been a real wooden head in those days. Even to understand such things, we need the grace of the masters. When they share an idea with us, even for that idea to go inside us and work, we need their grace. I often think to myself, only because I was with Him am I able to understand such things.
I frequently asked him, ‘Why are you doing this?’
He would say, ‘I am unable to. . . . I am not able to concentrate on anything. I don’t know if I will be here much longer. Time is up. I need to move.’
At that time, I didn’t know there was a life different from this life. I didn’t know that enlightenment is the purpose of life and that is why we have been born. Also, he was struggling as if no one was there to support him. In that condition, I didn’t always feel that I should go with him. Many times I felt I should go, but there was no courage or conviction on my part.
In those days, he included me in everything just because I was his friend. That’s all. He finally told me one day, ‘I am thinking of going away now.’ I just said, ‘Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.’ Nothing stirred in me to even venture into a discussion.
source: Living Enlightenment