Sri Ranganatha Temple Story

Guru Sri Subramanium, the founder of Skanda Vale, talks about how the Lord gave him the inspiration to build the Sri Ranganatha Temple. He explains how land, materials, murtis and manpower all arrived at exactly the right time:

Swiss Seminar – June 2002

The Lord came to talk to Me to ask Me to build the Temple for Him (this is what you read in the scriptures, but it happened to Me and the members of the community – fascinating)

He pointed over the screen of My mind, pointed over to the land where the cattle were grazing opposite the main Temple, and He said “I want You to build the Temple up there.” So I told Him, “Look my Lord there are cattle grazing there.”

You know, it may sound like a fairy-tale to you, but it’s real. I said to Him, “But my Lord, the cattle are grazing there – what am I to do!” as any human being would ask the question of someone who was asking him to build a Temple there, but He said

“Don’t worry, very soon I will give you more land and this sort of Temple I want you to build … Like an ocean – I am a part of the ocean … and no roof! And all faiths are embodied in Me. And I want you to give people an opportunity to come and worship there any time … and the lakes and the waterfall and all the structure of the Temple … this I want you to build.”

When the Lord asks you to do something – you are not alone. I’ve talked of rasmi – all the opportunities for you to fulfill what the Lord wants will converge towards you. In all My activities, nearly sixty years now in Britain, I’ve never ever ever dealt with money from people. Nor questioned the possibility to do it on the scale that He wanted because I knew He would provide Me with everything.

Now I conveyed this to the members of the community because there was no plan or design or structure drawn by anybody and I had to superimpose what I had seen into the minds of all the members of the community… and it permeated outside as well.

Slowly and steadily I was looking for an image of Him similar to the one that I saw. I was planning to go to India to purchase an image. I decided I’d go to London for a bhajan meeting and there was Mr. Ratnasingham from the Ganapathy Temple – who founded the Ganapathy Temple. He came to see Me and you know, the drama is amazing!

Because he came to see me, no reason, he heard that I had arrived in London and he thought he would come and pay Me a visit. He said, “Guru, what can I do for You?” And I said, ”I tell you what you can do for me – you can tell me where in India I can buy a murti of the Lord to build a Temple that He wants me to build.”

He was sitting by My feet and he roared with laughter. He said to Me, “You don’t have to go to India, I’ve already bought the murtis!” “But how do you know what I want?” I said. He replied, “I was in India recently and I saw these images, so I had an inspiration to buy them. They’re coming in about a month’s time by ship.”

And so in a month’s time, the murtis arrived! And then the design of the Temple, in conjunction with a lot of people, came into being, because I mentioned to them exactly what I’d seen … and it was a unique task! The funds, the direction, the know-how! Because as I said the Lord provides all the people to come, converge, to build the Temple. It’s not a one-man show, never was.

And so we set about structuring every single thing – digging lakes, building the containers for vast amounts of water that flowed from the hillside and the Vishnu lake. We didn’t pay anybody anything. The monks built it, helped by other people coming … and it just became.

And what is very interesting is, having set it in motion, I was in my room, watching what was happening. And then, from time to time, the Lord would send me down to where they were working and building, and say, “Go and see how they are, and give them Shakti.” They worked very hard, I can tell you. Swami Suryananda and Swami Bramhananda, on two tractors and diggers, till two or three in the morning when I arrived. They were like that (Guru droops over pretending to be half-asleep – people laugh). So tired!

And people worked very very hard, and sometimes the Lord would send me down and say, “There, move that rock, that boulder, that stone nearly ten tonnes. It has taken them one and a half days to move it but it’s in the wrong place!” Oh, it wasn’t funny when I arrived!

Swami Surya and his companion, the two of them were standing there, they looked at me and said, “what … is …it …. guru!?” I said, “I’m awfully sorry to tell you but the Lord wants that rock moved.” And I promise you that that is the proof of the pudding of our obedience!

If you spend one and a half days moving a rock stone and for the Guru to arrive and say that it has to be moved back … well, they did, and the whole Temple was being constructed night and day for a completion date of the 30th of October.

There were sixty people working on that site, and the laying of an enormous rubberised structure to hold the water for the lake – well that had never been constructed before. We had to hire a crane to build this thing especially.

And it’s very special … I never miss going there to pray. For there is the embodiment of the divine bliss that we enjoy. And moving all those boulders was horrendous! And people just arriving gave money, saying we’ll pay for this or we’ll pay for that, and so it was totally fulfilled.

And when the Lord said, “no roof” – He meant that. But I don’t know, poor monks, they wanted some roof because to do pujas in the most awful weather – one minute sunshine the next snowing, the next it was raining, and anything you wore, it went right through you.

And above all, the Durga Lake, once it was completed, they had to do the puja and there was no structure that enabled you to go to the island where Devi was, so they had to wade through this lake every day to do the puja to Mother.

But I promise you it was the most unique experience for everybody to watch Western monks wading through icy cold water to do the pujas … and it was an experience for everybody!

Mind you, that was when we started … but then they were a little bit more careless because every time they wanted a roof put on Lord Vishnu’s lake, there would come the most amazing wind and rain and blow the roof away!

So three times we made it like that! … and after I spoke to Swami Surya and said, “Look, He doesn’t want a roof, I’m awfully sorry, but we ain’t having a roof any more!” So now everybody worships the Lord as He really wanted it and He said, “All religions are Mine – they are all embodied in Me,” and so the worship in the Sri Ranganatha Temple goes on in absolute excellence.

I go there whenever I visit the main Temple down below, so do a lot of pilgrims, and they do the pujas in the way the Lord likes – simple, and very strong, very powerful.

You see, don’t just believe about God, God is real! When you open the mind of the chakra and surrender to God, He will come and dwell in you – I know nothing else but the dwelling place of the Lord in My mind.

I have no mind, I am happy not to have one, because when I see people use their mind and be mind-less … it’s pathetic, when they are divine by nature!

They are divine. All of you are divine. You are all divine beings in the search of your divinity.

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