Leela Nambiar Interview

Leela Nambiar interviewed by Swamini Kaivalyananda

Swamini Kaivalyananda: After sanyas Gurudev’s mother…. I mean, Kochu Amma came and stayed with you?

Nambiar Amma: Stayed with me for one month. She had some skin trouble, for treatment, doctor (incomprehensible words) and another doctor was taking care.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: Gurudev talks about, so high about Kochu Amma.

Nambiar Amma: Because his mother passed away when Gurudev was four years old, then this elder sister, mother’s sister took all the care of these children. So much love like her own children, no difference.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: I heard she’s a lady of few words.

Nambiar Amma: Gurudev had great love and respect for her.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: Like in fact, like Indira Amma, Indira Vasudevan, she talked quite a lot about Kochu Narayani Amma like you know, how a lady of few words and how much hospitable she was, all those things you know, she told.

Nambiar Amma: When she with me, her sister used to be with me.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: That strict aunt!

Nambiar Amma: Yes, strict aunt.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: Really, that strict amma?

Nambiar Amma: (incomprehensible words) but very pleasant yes.

Madhava Menon Interview

Madhava Menon, Gurudev’s brother in law, i.e. his step sister Vijayalakshmi’s husband, shares his memories of Gurudev coming home the first time after Sannyasa.

Transcript of the interview

Madhava Menon: For a long time, they did not know where he was. There was no news at all. And his father used to sit here in an easy chair, just here.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: This was the place?

Madhava Menon: This was not, this was not enclosed at that time. This was a verandah, and… and there was this much of verandah, and there was a lower portion like that. And then he used to have this easy chair over there and he used to read the newspaper. And… my mother-in-law, Swamiji’s step-mother, she used to entertain these Rama Krishna ashram sanyasis because they were sitting out they had no… almost every day one of them will be having lunch here.

Though these Swamis will come and these children – my wife and her sister – especially Vimla, they used to give nicknames for each Swami. Because when the Swami comes, they will get lunch only after the Swami has been fed. So their lunch will be delayed, so they will give a nickname to the Swami. They were making fun of Swamis… And for the father of course, never bothered… it was his wife’s business. He used to… Swami will come and eat and go away. He used to read newspaper.

So when another Swami came he also thought he must have been another… until this Swami fell at his feet and touched his feet. Then he suddenly… oh you Balan! And then tears in his eyes.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: That was quite a long time… it must have been a very touching moment for the family also.

Madhava Menon: And then they all started… with happiness they were in tears.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: Naturally…it was a very very joyous moment for the sisters also to see the brother after so many long years.