Out of devotion and gratitude, brothers donate land
S. Pratap along with his brothers, S. Vinayaka Rao and S. Jeevan Rao, donated land in Bidadi, India to His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda in 2003 and 2004.
On December 30, 2004, the brothers gifted the land to Paramahamsa Nithyananda, fulfilling the mystical vision they had, which told the brothers to donate the land to a young Swami with a smiling face and turban on the head by the name Sri Nithyananda Swami.
Sinister Vested Interest groups try to capture the land
After 2010, there was a sinister attempt to grab this sacred land of the ancient banyan tree. All newspapers and paid media displayed it as if devotees were cheated into donating land.
Donor and Devotees fight back, tooth and nail defend
The donor, Pratap decided he would fight tooth and nail to defend the sacred space from the land sharks and vested interests. He filed a strong affidavit in the litigation in which a US-based NRI was trying to claim that the land belonged to him and other ‘donors’.
He remembers Radhakrishna Swamiji telling, when he was a small boy and in 1969, “This place is a very holy place, so you shouldn’t be playing under this place. You shouldn’t be jumping on the tree.”
He started the pujas every week on Mondays and it kept going on, till he handed this place over to Swamiji. Annually a special puja was being organised and prasadam (the food offered in puja) was served to all the surrounding villages.
Pratap-ji has seen Munishwara, one of the forms of Lord Shiva, walk by 2-3 times under the sacred banyan tree. On one special occasion, about 40 years back, he was a witness to the whole tree lighting up, in the night. It looked like seeing it in the daytime.
Pratap-ji shares how he has witnessed lots of happenings in this piece of land. Personally too, whenever he had any problems, he used to pray under the banyan tree and within next Monday the problems would have vanished. Then later he used to come back and thank Munishwara for it.
Pratap-ji recollects how once his uncle chopped off a branch of the banyan tree even after a warning. Within 15 days the uncle had a stroke and he has never been able to come back to the tree ever again. Since then, Pratap-ji has been more cautious in the way he relates to the tree.
After some time, one by one everybody walked out of the responsibility of maintaining the sacred spot. Even Pratap-ji’s brothers left it to me and walked out. But without giving up, he used to take care of this holy tree.
Pratap-ji and his brothers have tried handing over the land to many other swamis but it has always come back to them. This time while handing it over to His Divine Holiness, he felt inside that he is going to be the happiest person. He was also relieved that a great burden has been lifted off him. He states that it is a responsibility, taking care of the holy place like this, and he is happy handing it over to Swamiji and letting the world share it.
Pratap-ji has had instances where he was not able to walk. Those times, just by mere touch, Swamiji has healed him and made him not only to walk again but also to drive all the way from here to Bangalore city. He remembers that the second healing took just 10 minutes to enable him to walk and drive again.
Pratap-ji recollects Radhakrishna Swamiji saying in the year 1969 that, ‘This place will be world-famous’. Pratap-ji is seeing it coming true now. In fact in 2003, when I handed it over to Swamiji, it was a very small affair. After He came here and settled down here, He said, “I have to start staying here on this land”. From then on things really speeded up. The ashram came up, the quarters came up for Swamiji to stay here, all happened in just a matter of six months. The basic ashram started off, functioning, with about, I think, at that time at least 50 people staying here. And now I see people are coming from all over the world, from different walks of life. In fact, I have met very prominent people here, world-famous surgeons and all that.
In the wake of the media frenzy trying to taint Paramahamsa Nithyananda, there was a sinister attempt to grab this sacred land of the ancient banyan tree. The donor Pratap decided he would fight tooth and nail to defend the sacred space from the land sharks and vested interests. He filed a strong affidavit in the litigation in which a US-based NRI was trying to claim that the land belonged to him and other ‘donors’.