In those days(1960s), they used to stay in Chikadapally and they used to respect every saint and yogi who used to come that way. Every day one great Vedic scholar, Uppuluri Ganapathi Sastry, who is honored as Amnayaarthavaachasp athi, and wrote many vedic texts like vedasara ratnavalli,etc, used to walk 12 miles form his West Maredpally residence to another Vedic center passing their house in Chikadapally to go Ghana-swasthy. Everyday, the lady (my sister’s mother-in-law) used to offer him a wooden seat as he never used to sit on cloth seats and some warm milk as he never used to touch anything else. That was his only point of stay in the daily sojourn. He used to chant Vedas along the way and used to go with his shishyas without wearing any footwear. He was quite orthodox and never used to go by bus fearing that he had to touch the leather hand stand which dangles in the bus and be pushed and pulled by the bus passengers. Also, he cannot chant the Vedas in the bus as it would be awkward. So, he humbly used to walk barefeet all the 12 odd miles(24 miles to and fro!) every day!!! Even when the lady offered new slippers he refused to wear them.Such was his determination and austerity. He used to dazzle with uncanny Vedic brilliance and tapo-ojas-shakthi. He was also a practitioner of urdhvaretas( a kundalini procedure to bring the gross energies of the muladhara to the sahasrara) and thus whatever he used to say used to come correct. He was however, taciturn , in his speech.He used to lucidly exposite the different shades of meaning of every individual syllable of the entire Veda. That was his thapas (penance). And his Prema (love) towards all that was so great that he used to put all that vast learning into such simple and sweet Telugu that even a child can understand and what is more, one becomes enthusiastic to know more. Though an orthodox Brahmin, and a great vedic exponent, he never practiced untouchability or treat other castes with contempt and used to say that brahmanatwa was due to one’s soul’s inclination and not by birth. He used to help even poor people living in slums the whys and wherefores of the various rites and rituals and mantras which are used in Yajnas , including Jnaana Yajna(sacrificial rite of spiritual wisdom). In particular, he used to explained why earth from the Royal Stables, the Royal Elephant Stables, the Palace Gates were considered sacred for the Yajna; why the earth from the ant-hill is also used in preference to other places. He used to be held in high regard by even Sri Sathya Baba who used to invite Him to perform various Yagas and Yagnas in Parashanthi Nilayam. I was also fortunate to meet him during his ripe old age and learn a few things at his feet.He being connected to our Balijepalli family as a distant relative, This being so, the lady used to serve him not knowing the brilliance of the great man much except what her husband used to say about him. She was a simple and illiterate soul, her only sorrow being the loss of her second son at the age of 3. For which she was lamenting daily by crying. Only a mother knows the pain of being bereft of a child, howsoever, old or young. Her father, Pasuparthy Krishnayya, himself was a great vedic scholar and pious man and seeing his daughter suffer like this. Posted a letter with a Sanskrit verse (transliterated into Telugu, as she did not know any language much other than Telugu) and asked her to chant it daily for peace of mind. The lady used to chant it daily and then one day bitten with curiosity, she asked Uppuluri shashtrigaru, “Pray tell me Oh great vedamahashaya the menaing of these verses, they are hard on my toungue but yet with great difficulty I read it to ward away the putra-shokam. I have been serving you all these days but did not have the courage to ask you but I out of great putra-vaatsalyam ask you thus” The Brahmana was taken aback, and this happened as he was about to leave her house for his vedic recitation. So he stepped onto the road and said ok give me the letter,, he read it once and said the import of the verses is very important, if you have to chant, it further strengthens your resolve and resonates the words in your brain with power as you read. “Thalli(meaning mother in a gentle telugu way). This verse narrates a following poignant story…I shall narrate to you presently,…” He standing hot scorching sun and the lady with tears in her eyes was listening…. “In days of yore a Rishi used to frequent a Jalapathakam( waterfalls) to do his japa. One day the sun was scorching as it is now on top of my head! And he not having any slippers, found a pair of leather slippers on road. He turned here and there and found no one, so, he out of great bodily discomfiture and pain, wore the slippers and then rushed to the waterfall and had a refreshing bath and did his japa and as he was coming out of the waterfall, he saw a beautiful prostitute who fell at his feet and said “Oh! Great Rishivarya, my slippers have done the greatest merit by touching your feet. Henceforth, if you give me the slippers, I will start worshipping it as guru-padukas.” He said “Hatosmi”(Iam damned! Or dead!) but he thanked the prostitute and then apologized for taking the slippers and he came to know of her profession and then he did some prayaschitta then and there, blessed her and sent her way. But whatever be the prayaschitta done, karma leaves none and so he had to be born in her womb next birth!! And so she in her next birth as a cowherdess bore him as a son in her garbha(womb) for nine months and then had a miscarriage. Why the miscarriage because, the Rishi had to entangle him to her karmically for wearing the slippers, where the energy matrix of a person is concentrated( that is why we worship gurupadukas) and thus suffer hell in her womb for 9 months(womb is a sort of mini-hell where the baby is blind and lives in its own facial matter and water in a crumpled position…sort of a khumbhipaka naraka) and then gets released. Why the woman got the birth a cowherdess rather then being born as a vermin for her deeds? Because, she had worhsipped the slippers the great rishi had worn. That singular act of her saved her, despite the fact that she did not do any other puja, japa and tapas. Strange are the ways of the karma, thalli. That is why, I did not accept any slippers from you longtime ago, do you remember? I prefer this birth of mine to be the last birth. You have lost your second son(she was surprised as she nor the letter told him anything to that effect) but try to not ruminate much on it as everything works kamrically and he is safe in another place growing up as a healthy child. Take care of your first child who has been initiated into aksharabhaysya by Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswathy of kamakoti peetham(she was once again surprised..now this child is the husband of my sister here and is in a top position in GE after studying in best institutions like IIT in India and USA )…. My blessings to all in family now I have to run to the veda patashala….” Thus saying he went his way leaving a stunned woman behind… Hreem Rajarajeshwari Paradevatha!