There is a place called ‘Kandimallayya Palle’ in Kudappah district of Andhra Pradesh. Swami went to that place with a name of ‘Potuloori Veeranna’ and appeared as a crazy fellow to everyone. He projected himself as a carpenter and used to repair the wooden items of people. Nobody ever spotted him working anytime but the delivery used to be sent on time. People wanted to see how he does all these things, and hence they used to give lot of work to him and used to sit near him to see him completing the same.
But every day he would simply pass the time in gossip with them but would surprise the people by handing over the completed work the next day early in the morning. Swami didn’t show any miracles to these villagers till that time and hence everyone took him as a casual person and used to call him by name ‘Verri Veeranna’ (meaning crazy brother Veera).
One day the villagers decided to do a procession for their local village deity (goddess) ‘Poleramma’. Village head ‘Kandimallaiyya Reddy’ took the responsibility for all the expenditure.
For other miscellaneous expenses villagers started collecting donations from each individual house as per the owner’s ability for donation. While on this job, they reached Veera Brahmendra Swami’s house also. One of the elderly people from the group spoke to him and asked, “Veera Verranna! We are collecting donation for Poleramma’s festival. Whatever you want to donate you can give it to us”.
Swami didn’t reply for a second and then in a low voice said, “Dear villagers! Do I also have to donate? I’m a poor person. Can’t I be exempted from this?”
To that question one of the person raised his voice in anger and said, “Hey crazy fellow! All others have given donations, you too have to give your share of money and contribute”.
Swami didn’t reply for a moment and then said, “Alright! The way you want me to donate, I’ll do, but let’s first go to the place where ‘Poleramma’ has been installed. There I would give you my share”.
Having said thus, he followed the villagers to the temple where ‘Poleramma’ idol was placed.
Swami stood in front of that place and took out Chutta (a kind of cigarette/bidi made using tobacco leaves used for smoking by village people). He looked at the idol and said, “Mother Poleri! Bring some fire to light my cigar”. To everyone’s surprise, Poleramma came out in invisible form with a plate of hot red burning coal from inside the room. Everyone was just able to see flying coal plate. She stood nearby Veera Brahmendra Swami and Swami lit his cigar (Chutta) with that fire and then swami said, “It’s done, now take your fire back”. Again as usual she went back to her place and placed the plate inside the room.
People who were watching all these happenings, remained baffled with open mouths and all at a time fell on Swami’s feet and begged pardon saying, “Mahatma! We are fools. We thought you as a mad man and behaved very rudely with you. Considering our mistakes as though committed by your own children, kindly pardon all our faults. Please bless us by giving some Brahmopadesam”
To their cries Swami pleased and said, “You people behaved just out of ignorance, since you never knew who I am. To know me is not possible for anyone”. Hearing Swami’s words, everyone folded their hands in devotion and prayed unanimously saying, “Swami! You please enlighten us by preaching Bhakti (Devotion), Gyana (Knowledge), and Vairagya (Renunciation)”.
Swami became compassionate listening to their requests and said, “My children! Your condition is similar to a ladle which moves inside various delicious foods to mix and cook the same but doesn’t know the taste of the food items”.
A person from the group stood and put his question as, “Sire! What is Bhakti? How to install ourselves in devotion? Kindly explain us in detail”.
Swami replied, “Devotion is the only greatest thing in the world. There is nothing which is equal or better than this. Bhakti would get installed in the hearts of only those people who remain attached and tied to the Lord of the worlds. It isn’t accessible to others. Out of thousands of people, only one desires for salvation. Out of such thousands of candidates only one becomes installed in devotion. And out of thousands of such devotees only one attains salvation. Only through Bhakti one can attain the permanent peace of liberation and the same has been discoursed in Geeta”.
सत्यादी त्रियुगे बोध, वैराग्यो मुक्ति साधकः
कलोउतु केवलभक्तिर ब्रह्म सायुज्य कारिणीं
“It means, in krutayuga, Tretayuga, and Dwapara Yugas renunciation (vairagya) was the means to Salvation. But in Kaliyuga only ‘Bhakti/Devotion’ is the channel to attain salvation by uniting with the Brahman”.
यत् फलं नास्त्य तपसा न योगे न समाधिना
तत् फलंतु भवेत्संय खलौ केशव कीर्तनात
“It means, that salvation which is difficult to attain by tough means of penance or yoga Samadhi, can be easily attained in kaliyuga simply by chanting the names of ‘Sri Bhagawan’. Apart from this, I’ll explain you bhakti and gyana in detail, listen”.
“Paths of Devotion (Bhakti) and Knowledge (Gyana) may look different but both would lead to the same goal -Salvation (Mukti). The way one person may wash his face with his right hand and another person may use his left hand for the same but finally they wash their face only and end result is the same, similarly a person who approaches Eswara through the path of devotion or through the path of knowledge, finally attains salvation alike. So, you all should change yourselves and get yourself motivated and installed towards Bhakti”.
Having heard such a beautiful explanation from that divine man, villagers got filled with a sense of satisfaction and happiness and took Swami with them back to his home. Finally they all left for their homes with a sense of gratification and satisfaction on their faces.