Sadhana

At the outset we have state the following: Some learned men say that being a reincarnation of Chidambara, Ranganna had no necessity to practise any sadhana. But there is also a wise advice to the sadhakas - Follow the footsteps of Guru. Therefore, although there was no necessity for Himself, Ranganna did practice sadhana to achieve Jnana in order to lay a path for his followers.

After the death of his father, Ranganna stayed at Anaji for sometime. The family came back to Nulenur and resided in a cottage by the side of Sri Anjaneya Temple there. The villagers of Nulenur undertook to fulfill the needs of the family as the deceased head (Krishnappa) had safeguarded the interest of all the residents of the village without claiming any reward.

Ranganna worked as a clerk to the shanubhogs at Arasanaghatta, Hireguntanur and Sokke. He used to send his earnings to his mother at Nulenur. At Sokke he built a small temple for Anjaneya. He was the sculptor of the statue. There, he had joined the garadi (Indian gym) of Chamansab.

Thereafter, Ranganna came to Bharamasagara (Chitradurga dist.) as a clerk of shanubhog Nanjundappa who was a remarkable person. Nanjundappa had the knowledge of music, Advaitha philosophy, Yoga and interpretation of Kumaravyasa Bharatha. Although not a much-studied man, he could vanquish great scholars in debates, just like Anaji Yallappa. At Bharamasagara, Ranganna befriended one Mahadeva Sastry who was adept in yoga, Kumaravyasa & Jaimini Bharathas and Anubhavaamritha, a famous Prakarana Grantha of Advaitha philosophy. Ranganna practiced hata yoga and deeply engaged himself in Atmavichara which is Nirguna bhakthi, alias, Parabhakthi. He became a very efficient clerk, who could keep the village accounts for many Shanubhogs who were in the surrounding villages. While on trips to other villages, he cooked a simple meal for himself and engaged himself for hours in dhyana. He also performed dhyana in Anjaneya temple in Bharamasagara, which was newly built by Thammaiah sastry.

His fame as an interpreter of Kumaravyasa bharatha spread all around. Kumaravyasa calls his epic as yogeeshwarara tatwa vichara (A text for investigation of the Truth for great yogis). Ranganna discussed this with Nanjundappa and Mahadeva sastry. Within three or four years he achieved Astasiddhis, but never talked about it to anyone nor used them even once against anyone. However he used a siddhi once. His mother at Nulenur, once prepared dose (South Indian pancake) and fondly said 'Ranganna, Ranga, Rangaiah, I will give you dose, please come quickly.' Ranganna who was at Bharamasagara, writing village accounts, heard this, went to Nulenur and ate the dish, while all along he was sitting at Bharamasagara. The most revered Mysore Vedanta Shivarama Shastry, who was praised by Swami Vivekananada as a "He Advaithin", was a cousin of Thammaiah Sastry. Vedanta Shivarama Shastry, who was experiencing Akanda Thurya (Ultimate Bliss), came to Bharamasagara. When Ranganna went to see him, he stoodup, danced, embraced Ranganna and said 'I came here to see you. “I” am filling you and “You” are filling me. You will live like an ordinary man for sometime and then, you will become a Guru and uplift many in this world. The Light of your Jnana will illuminate the horizon.”

People were dumbstruck by this incident. They began to treat Ranganna with utmost respect. When Ranganna was twenty four years of age, he married Parvathamma, daughter of Shankara Jois of Anaji. This gave him an opportunity to visit Anaji, where he, with Thumbigere Chidambarappa, learnt many lessons of Adhyatma from Yallappa. Some sadhakas gathered at Thumbigere at Chidambarappa's home and discussed Adhyatma many a day together.

Days passed and plague struck Bharamasagara!!! And Vrindamma, wife of Nanjundappa, breathed her last because of plague. Ranganna arranged the last rites. But he himself was attacked by the plague. He went to Nulenur stayed there for twenty one days and cured himself. His wife Parvathamma worshipped Gowri Devi for Sixteen days. Gowri Devi gave darshan in Parvathamma’s dream and assured her of her Sowmangalya (exalted state of husband being alive for a woman). Ranganna also gave darshan in her dreams and said 'Don't be afraid of anything. Do you think that I am man to die of Palgue?”

Meanwhile, the Government issued an order to Rangappa to assume the charge of Shanbhog of Nulenur firka (Revenue block) within a certain date of forfeiture of the right. Nanjundappa offered to keep Rangappa at his own expense at Bharamasagara. But Subbamma refused to move out of Nulenur. Rangappa was reluctantly allowed by Nanjundappa to go to Nulenur. During the stay at Bharamasagara, Rangappa had saved five thousand rupees (which was a fabulous amount at that time). Most importantly, he took away priceless Adhyatma dhana (riches of the “Self”) with him. Shankaralinga used to say “I started the quest of self at Bharamasagara.”