The Mystique of ‘M’
Chempazhanti Swami was a teashop owner before people began to regard him as a saint. He was a great devotee of Sri Rama and the local belief had it that he emulated the monkey god, Hanuman; for a long time he lived on nuts and fruits, virtually living in and on trees.
When M met Chempazhanti Swami, the Swami was living in Chenkottukonam near Chempazhanti. He was emaciated, frail and extremely delicate looking; a captivating smile wreathed his pinched face under a huge crown of coiled-up matted hair. Taking a pinch of ash, he touched M’s forehead with it. He asked M to open his mouth. A surprised M complied and into his open mouth the Swami dropped a couple of grapes and said, “Needs to ripen; will ripen. Learn bhajans.” (The Swami was greatly fond of bhajans and keertrans.) Was he referring to the grapes, this irreverent thought was about to fleet through M’s mind before he killed it. The import of the injunction struck him. He sat in the holy presence for a while and meditated before leaving the place.