Once there was a yogi who walked through the villages of the high, sacred Himalayas with long black hair neatly groomed and a face that radiated the inner glow of golden light. So bright was this light that he stood out from other humans as his face looked as if he wore a golden mask. This yogi would sit under a tree on a simple blanket wearing a white Swami garment reaching his ankles and draped and tied at his left shoulder with the arms bare. He was tall, his face beautiful, and his bearing regal.
This Swami had no family and it was said truly that He manifested his body and that he was not born of woman. Wherever he went, people gathered around him just to be near him. He was offered food made with great care which he distributed to whoever came to be near him. No one ever saw him eat or drink anything, Himself.
One day in a certain poor village this Swami was sitting under a tree in the center of the village with a crowd of villagers gathered around him. He rarely spoke, for his was a mission of transmitting love and peace to anyone who looked upon his golden face. This day, suddenly a young boy was quickly laid at His feet by a father and weeping mother. The weeping woman told the Swami that her son had just that moment been bitten by a poisoness Golden King Cobra snake. The man looked at the young boy and the people sitting around the Golden Swami saw that not poison, but the amrita of the Gods, golden like honey, poured out of the boy’s leg without any touch by the Swami.
To everyone’s surprise the Swami spoke: “Serpent, come forth.” The people all simultaneously stepped back some distance. A Golden King Cobra appeared before the Golden Swami, who said: “Serpent, you know that these people know that your bite causes death within 15 minutes. But you gave not poison but the amrita of the Gods. ‘Therefore, it is not for your sake that you have bitten this boy, but for the sake of the Divine so that these people may know that greater things than I have done this day, they will do.’ And the Swami gave a discourse on the Divine who sits in the heart of everyone, everywhere. He instructed the people to build a temple to Maha Vishnu and Maha Lakshmi and to do pujas, abhishekam and yagnas to purify themselves and the village. There was such Love radiating from this Swami that the people’s Hearts opened to Love and many made a true connection to the Divine in that moment.
The Golden Swami manifested murtis of Vishnu and Lakshmi dressed resplendently in royal purple and gold and with jewels fit for a king to wear. The murtis, the Swami instructed the people were for the temple the people would build at His request.
The Golden Swami told the people that they were blessed that day indeed as the young boy was born to help them find God, the Divine. The boy‘s mission was to suffer the King Cobra’s bite as a sacrifice for removing the karma of the people of that certain village. God had intervened and saved the 14-year-old boy’s life; for he was to become the teacher at the temple they would build to venerate the Divine.
The Golden Swami initiated the boy as a Swami. And as He initiated the boy He showed the people the way to do the abhishekam, puja and yagna as he demonstrated on the young boy who was to be the teacher in the temple. He initiated the boy with the name, Swami Vishnunamiananda.
And many say that the Golden Swami was Vishnu, Himself, that appeared for a short time and walked the high Himalayas to help the people awaken to the Divine within themselves. No one ever saw this Golden Swami after He left this village. But, on occasion, the Golden King Cobra could be seen in front of the Vishnu and Lakshmi murtis installed in the temple in this village, with hood spread venerating the Divine couple.