This chapter is taken from The Silent Power – Selections from The Mountain Path and The Call Divine
SriRI G. Lakshmi Narasimham (known as ‘ Narasinga Rao’ at the Ashram), after taking his B.L. degree stayed at Sri Ramanasramam for three years from 1930 to 1933, along with his mother and sister Lakshmi, serving Sri Bhagavan. It was Bhagavan’s Grace that his apprenticeship should be under him. Lakshmi Narasimham’s marriage also took place at Tiruvannamalai and when the new couple came to do namaskaram (prostration), Sri Bhagavan remarked: “Now, your name (Lakshmi + Narasimham) has become meaningful!”
Sri Niranjanananda Swami (also known as Chinnaswami, Sri Bhagavan’s brother) was the Manager of the Ashram then and his office was near Bhagavan’s Hall. Like others Narasinga Rao also was meditating in Bhagavan’s Hall. Chinnaswami asked him to assist him in the Ashram correspondence. Getting Bhagavan’s approval for it, Narasinga Rao began going straight to Chinnaswami after bowing to Bhagavan. Later on this earned the humorous remark of Bhagavan: “Oh! He belongs to Chinnaswami, not to the Hall group!”
Chinnaswami was a strict and conscientious taskmaster. He spared no pains in keeping an exact account of money received and spent. He looked upon Bhagavan not as his brother but as God Himself, and so considered it his first duty to serve Bhagavan’s devotees, accommodating them and attending to their wants. The temple, the big dining hall and well furnished accommodations are the results of his labour of love. Actually seeing Chinnaswami’s one pointed spirit of service, G.L.N. dedicated himself to serve him to the best of his ability, surrendering himself thus to Bhagavan. Saraswati Ammal and Lakshmi used to do their bit of service in the kitchen. From their experience too they were led to conclude that whatever Chinnaswami did had always the distinct approval of Bhagavan.
Gradually all the members of Narasinga Rao’s family became attached to Sri Bhagavan and the Ashram, by bonds of devotion and reverence. They all regarded Chinnaswami as a true instrument of Bhagavan. His eldest brother, the late Sambasiva Rao, was a reputed lawyer of Nellore. Till he passed away in 1962, he diligently served the Ashram in the legal and other spheres. Sister Lakshmi and brother-in-law, B. S. Ranganadham, are great devotees of Bhagavan. His third elder brother, the late Satyanarayana Rao, a teacher at the Mahant’s High School, Vellore, from about 1925, was the first to be drawn to Bhagavan and it was his influence which brought other members of the family to Bhagavan. He was deeply devoted to Bhagavan and was blessed with the proximity and touch of grace of Bhagavan during his last illness within the Ashram premises. His fourth brother, the late Subba Rao, a teacher at Nellore, used to assist with his Scout troup during Bhagavan’s Jayanti celebrations. These celebrations and the taking out of Bhagavan’s picture in procession, started by him, continue up to this day at Nellore.
When G. L. N. came to the Ashram, he did not know even a letter of the Tamil alphabet. Impelled by Bhagavan’s grace he picked up enough knowledge of Tamil to read and understand Sri Bhagavan’s works in the original. Thus it was nothing but Bhagavan’s grace that enabled him- to translate into Telugu Bhagavan’s Five Hymns to Arunachala and Forty Verses on Reality.
Chinnaswami intuitively hit upon some devotees to help him and trusted them completely. For instance, when he went to Rangoon in 1936 to personally select and purchase special teak wood for the construction of Sri Matrubhuteswara Temple, he put Narasinga Rao in charge of the Ashram during his absence of over a month. During the life-time of Bhagavan and Chinnaswami and even after, right up to the end, Narasinga Rao had been a devoted servant of the Ashram.