The leaders of the town had already prepared a list of youths who wished to be admitted to the Yoga Camp to be started the next day. Accordingly, the very next morning at seven, I inaugurated the Hanuman Gymnasium, by kindling the holy light and right away started Yoga classes. The duration of the Camp was only for one week, I had arranged to train the students the Suryanamaskar and a few Yoga postures suffering for a week. The people of Bhatkala thronged around my class and silently watch over the systematic and well disciplined training given by me, and were damn pleased. Vasundhara, the daughter of the Police officer who had arrested me, also was one of the trainees I my camp. After a week’s training, the valedictory function was arranged very grandly. I t was celebrated under the president ship of a famous lawyer in the district. After the demonstration by the trainees was over, I gave a wonderful demonstration on the request of the audience. A few difficult Yoga postures were shown by me and they were highly applauded. During the course of this function, the police officer who had arrested me in the beginning, appeared on the stage, and apologized to me, with tears in his eyes. “Please, don’t worry. You had done your duty”, I said. The President, in his presidential address gave a very high ovation to me. The organizers felicitated me on behalf of the citizens of Bhatkala, with a shawl and a Gold medal. A purse with five hundred and one rupees was presented to me as travelling expenses.
The very next day, I returned to Varuda, and explained everything to Swami Shivanandji, placing the gold medal on this holy feet. The Swamiji was thrilled. He wore me the gold medal with his own hands and blessed me wholeheartedly. The very night he had a talk to me- “Karnataka, a number of letters have been addressed to me by the dignitaries of Karnataka, requesting me to send any suitable person to Karnataka to propagate Yoga and Physical Culture. Anyway, you are the most befitting person to undertake this responsibility. Hence you should immediately go to Karnataka. You should conduct yoga camps, not more than three days in a single place. Thus, you should travel around Karnataka”. I was shocked to leave him . I begun to shed tears. The Swamiji solaced me-“Karnataki, each person has three kinds of obligations to render .They are obligation to the preceptor, obligation to the parents and obligations to the motherland. Unless you fulfill these obligations, your life has no meaning. Look here, you are weeping to leave me- I am equally sad to depart with you, who are my ardent and beloved disciple. Even then, I curtly order that you should go, at once”. The very next day, he took me to Bombay and bade me good bye, sending me to Malpe in a steamer.
Getting down from the steamer, I went to Udupi. I developed acquaintance there, and directly went to meet the Swamiji of Palimaru Mutt, one of the eight Mutts of Udupi. This Palimaru Swamiji was well-known as pylvan Swamiji. I explained my details to him and requested him to arrange for a demonstration of my Yogasanans the very next day before him and to invite all other seven swami is of different mutts.
“Our Swamijis are islands- They never mix and mingle among themselves. But, you are a great Yogi and well versed in Ayurveda. How can I ignore your request? I shall try to invite all the other Swamijis who are in the station”, he promised. He made arrangements for my stay in the Mutt.
At four thirty in the afternoon of the very next day, people of Udupi thronged in front of Sri Anantheswara temple to witness my demonstration. The Palimaru Swamiji himself stood at the gate and welcomed the audience with love and regard. He waited until all other seven Swamijis arrived-At last, he took his seat. The demonstration started under the president ship of an elderly Swamiji. The demonstration was for more than two hours, till seven in the eve. I demonstrated the contraction and expansion of the different muscles of my well-developed body. These items were witnessed by the curious audience in a spell bound manner. After the gathering, Sri Lakshmeendra Tirth Swamiji of Sirur Mutt asked the Palimaru Swamiji about my stay.
Thus this made all the audience greatly surprised – Because, many years in the past, these two Heads of Mutt had stopped talking with each other .This ice was broken now. All the Swamiji cordially invited me to their Mutts for receiving their blessings with the Prasadam. Accordingly, I visited each Mutt, the next day and received their holy blessings. After ten days, I left for Thirthalli-a taluk head quarters in shimoga District. I made a visit to Bheemeswara Mutt and Durvasapur Mutt, gave a Yoga demonstration at Thirthalli and continued my journey to Sagar. A yoga demonstration was conducted there under the auspices of the Municipal High School. The very night, a host of eminent lawyers of Sagar came to me and said-” Mr. Ragahavendra Rao, if you go on demonstrating this Yoga, the people feel happy at its sight. But instead, if you stay here, establish an Ashram and give training to the people, it will be of greater utility. Even now, if you kindly agree, we are ready to build up a Yoga Training School, in this town”. I replied “I am not free to act in this matter. I have been working as a propagator of Yoga according to the commands of Sri Swamin Shivanandji”. The lawyers did not stop there. They immediately sent a wire, asking him to permit Sri Raghavendra Rao to stya there and impart education in yoga. Fortunately, Sri Swamiji was present. He received the wire, noted the contents and sent an early reply- “He may stay there for twenty days”. The people at Sagar were highly pleased.
They brought three hundred aspirants of Yoga, within that evening, before me. I started Yoga classes- Suryanamaskara, Gurunamaskara, Yogasana, Pranayam, and Dhyana were taught in the morning hours. In the evening, lathi, dumbells, lazium, Kavayath, Kolata and March past were taught. The people of Sagar were highly pleased with my system of coaching. They had a great respect for me. Whenever I got leisure I would gather my students and participate in the social service, Like cleaning the dust of the wells, repairs to the roads, and canals and the like. A lot of constructive work also was done. Besides, the patients were treated also. The valedictory celebrations were conducted under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner of Shimoga.
Next, I proceeded to Sorab. Thus I conducted Yoga camps in all the following places- Sorab, Shiralkoppa, Annavatti, Nymati, Honalli, Harnahalli, Kumsi, Shikariputa, Koolambi, Kundur…etc… There were more than 40 Villages where I conducted camps, and trained the people in yoga and physical culture, to the tune of more than thirteen thousand trainees. Thus at last, it was in 1943 that I entered this village of Malladihalli. The details of these camps for the period of eight years would be a kind of dry report, if I were to explain in detail. Hence, I shall give in brief the particulars of the camps. The purpose of my camp was not only to teach Yoga, Sarvanga Sundar Vyayam and massaging, but a host of other very useful services like cleaning the surroundings of the locality, removing the dust and welter from the wells and ponds, bringing about unity among the factions of the locality, curing the ailing persons, convening the cultural gatherings, propagation and sales of Khadi, mass marriages, prohibiting alcohol, eradicating anti social habits like gambling, playing cards, smoking etc. I would try to minimize the expenses on marriages and law courts. Thus, I am treated with due love and respect by the people of these areas, even to his day. In my sufficiently long experience, the people of any these villages are too innocent, and unsophisticated. Devotion in God, respect in the elderly persons, dignity of labor and helping nature have been in born qualities in them. They are far far away from hatred, deception and dishonesty. But, in these later decades, a few of the local politicians have been exploiting these innocent mass, sowing the seeds of hatred, jealousy, communal mindedness and the like in their innocent hearts, and achieving their selfish aims. This has been the main reason for the failure of our Five Year Plan, Seven Year Plan, which are estimated on the basis of the foreign loan- the money thus borrowed never reaches the common mass, but directly fulfils the selfish motives of our so-called leaders, authorities and a few middle men. Who is to set it right? To-day, bad elements of society unite in our Country more easily than virtuous powers. It has been an unsolvable problem to rectify these anti national traitors. But, at the same time, they are good orators, as well as very good hoarders of black money. Anyway, in my opinion, it is better that these people understand now alone the fact that the poor one day or the other will definitely attack them. There are many people with power and authority, but not patriotism. We are in need of the nation builders-but, how many of them are available?
As already told, I arrived in Malladihalli after conducting came in more than forty places. Now it will be grave fault. if I do not tell you as to what have I done here after coming to Mallahadihalli. Hence, I try to place a few of those facts before you. Before, I came here, many of my well-wishers, preceptors and others warned me-“you should never step in to that village. It is not suitable place for people like you”. But my answer also was equally determinant-“Defects, shortcomings and vices are common to all people. Everybody errs, except the dead ones. Hence, there is greatness in rectifying the faults of these people.” with this determination I entered this village. In the beginning, it was very difficult for the villagers who were indiscipline to the core, to understand me properly. But they came to learn of my discipline and service mindedness which were the firm capital in me. I would get up early in the morning, take my bath, sweep the surroundings of the village leaders’ houses and decorate the premises with ” Rangavalli” (Painting the creepers with colour). This left a deep impression on the minds of those leaders. Soon, they themselves began to do this service. I t was at this juncture that there was an attack of the deadly disease Cholera. The people gasped with wonder to see me rendering my wholehearted services to the patients- both men and animals. They yielded before my sense of cleanliness and my way of curing the patients. They realized very well that I was not a fake ascetic, an imposter or swindler, but a real sanyasi, without any distinction of caste or creed, serving everyone alike. Thus there was a grand metamorphosis of their heart-I employed this change to be a foundation of my future plans. I built up a mutt-for Sri Parapaa Swamy who had been a great soul of the locality. Every day, there used to be group prayers and bhajans in the mutt, in the evening, I was very much annoyed to see the Harijans standing outside the window and watch the group prayers. I invited them to enter the Mutt and sit with us. But those people did not agree to enter. I personally went out and brought those people in. It had an adverse effect on the people in the village. But they had to bear with me, as they had already recognized in me a great soul. I consider that I should make the pains of others my own. Those people need our help, and let us offer- this is nothing but the service to God; it is a kind of worship. Here is another incident. There was a well outside the premises of the Ashram. The villagers used to utilise the water for drinking. But Harijans were not allowed to use the water from that well. I was very unhappy about the fact that the Harijans had to use the muddy and dirty water of a small stream in the outskirts of the village. After sometime, I dug a well in the premises of the Ashram. I allowed Harijans to utilise the water from the Ashram’s well. An officer of Veterinary Department who was a Harijan was highly indebted to me for the water facilities from Ashram’s well. How can our leaders who quench their thirst with Whisky and Brandy, understand the fact that even Harijans are in need of water?
When I arrived at Mallahadihalli, there was yet no freedom to the country. But, the struggle for freedom was going on. Then an anonymous letter was addressed to Rangappa Thimmappa, a well-to-do person of this village. It was stated in the letter that they would attack on such and such a day, at such and such a time, on his house-While they plunder, he should keep ready all the valuable ornaments along with a sum of twenty five thousand rupees for them. They would take this booty and go away. Otherwise, they would attack and loot his house- Wherein, murder and casualty might result in, for which they wouldn’t be held responsible. Thimmappa hurried to me with the letter and expressed his anxiety and grief. I gave him solace and immediately arranged to display boards, on which was written-“Anybody desirous of looting Thimmappa’s house may enter the village-but let him make sure that he will not return with his life”. Of course, I put my full name under this writing. But nobody turned up. Throughout the night, I would patrol alone, along the lanes and corners of the entire village.
I would engage myself in the constructive work during the entire day-time. But, during the nights, I would indulge in the underground activities in connection with the freedom struggle. I am not ready to disclose as to what were my operations during the underground activities- But, I can only say this much- I strived hard for the sake of my motherland, caring least for my life. At least, came that long cherished dream realized the freedom of India, but now i ask myself “was this freedom necessary?”. For this is not freedom-This is only a wayward willful irresponsibility.
But this organization was formulated by us. Hence we would correct and rectify its defects and shortcomings and make it continue and survive. I was a Congressman -even now also a Congressman and in future also, I will be a congressman, till I live. But I have not claimed with the Government any returns for my service- There are a lot of selfish persons; those sycophants are there. Let them be like that -I will be like this:
While I was travelling from place to place, conducting the Yoga camps every where for eight years, I used to request the people of each village to donate me lands and a sum of ten thousands rupees to build an Ashram. Many people were quite agreeable but one or two “very noble” persons would interfere and say-“No-no-No don’t give him- He would abscond along with your money”. Today the same noble persons are really repenting a lot, and feeling very jealous of the growth of this Ashram.
While I came to this village, the local people donated land to build the Ashram. Sankajji, and old woman donated five hundred rupees for erecting Parappa swamy mutt. I took up my begging bowl and raised alms in the surroundings villages. The mutt was constructed. A small dispensary of Ayurveda was also ready. A Gymnasium took shape. A ward for inpatients was built. A bit dining hall was erected.