15 Quick Yatra from Tanjore to Kashi
Swamigal had collected sand from Rameswaram in the year 1932 and had kept it in the puja. There is a religious rule that the sand has to be dissolved in the holy river Ganga at Prayag within twelve years of its collection. In order to comply with this rule, Swamigal decided to go from Tanjore to Prayag as soon as possible.
Sri Swamigal wanted to find out the logistics of traveling to Kashi on foot. He had sent a young twenty year old man named Ananthakrishna Sharma to Kashi by foot, ten years before embarking on his trip. Swamigal had given certain restrictions to this young
man. He should go to Kashi all the way by foot. He should prepare his own food. He should carry only a few vessels and a few necessary clothing items on his person. He should not receive any gifts or money from anyone. Other than for health purposes, he should not stay in one place for more than a day. He should write down the names and details of the places he went to and people he met every day and post it everyday to the mutt. Arrangements were made to send him replenishments of postcards from the mutt.
Ananthakrishna Sharma was young, healthy and full of will power and acharya bhakthi. Aside from Tamil, he could speak English as well. He followed Swamigal’s instructions, did not cross the restrictions and reached Kashi in six months. There was interesting information obtained from the post cards that he sent to the mutt daily. He gave the details of distances and traveling conditions between one place and another and the availability of water in each of the places he visited. After overcoming difficulties, he finally reached Kashi and stayed there for a few days. On Swamigal’s request, the mutt’s agent at Kashi bought him a train ticket to travel back to Kumbakonam. By the time he
returned, he could converse very well in Hindi. He had darshan of Swamigal in a camp and described in detail his travel experiences. Swamigal appreciated his deep devotion to his guru and blessed him. Later Ananthakrishna Sharma got married and worked at the mutt itself.