When other disciples backed out, a young woman ascetic, Dr Kalyani Amma, donated her kidney to save the life of her revered guru, ‘1008 Anant Shri (Dr) Laxman Chetan Brahmchariji Maharaj’.
Initiated into sainthood when she was just a little girl, Kalyani not only managed to save the life of her guru but also showed that donating a kidney did no damage to one’s health.
“I feel proud to be a kidney donor. Every one wants to donate money, clothes, food to their guru, but not any part of their body. India always had a rich tradition of disciples proving their devotion for their guru. Eklavaya donated his thumb to Dronacharya to prove his devotion. I also did the same,” says Kalyani Amma.
The saint spends most of her time in the Kumbh Mela in running a free kitchen and other facilities for pilgrims round-the-clock. She donated her kidney in 1995 and it was transplanted into her guru in Chennai.
“With the blessings of my guru, who left for heavenly abode recently, I am leading a perfectly healthy life. I also wanted to break the myth that kidney donation may affect the health. So, before preaching the same to my disciples, I decided to do it first to set an example for them. Now my other disciples have also made a pledge that they will donate their kidney if any poor patient requires it,” she says proudly.
Kalyani Amma runs a sprawling ‘Swami Karpatri Kalyan Ashram’ near Khedi Ghat on the northern banks of the Narmada river in Badva, Madhya Pradesh.
“It is not only on the banks of the Sangam that we are running a 24-hour kitchen. At the ashram beside Narmada river, no visitor returns without being fed even he turns up at odd hours. It is my way of serving God,” she says.
Kalyani Amma loves to play sitar in her free time. “Apart from other work, I am preparing to appear in the BA (Music) exam of a university in Mumbai. Being a saint does not mean that you stop your education. I spend most of my time in my bus, which I have turned into a mini mobile hut. Here I study, listen to classical music, meditate and pray for the welfare of people.”
Kalyani Amma also contributes funds to disaster management committees and has established a patrakar kosh for journalists in Madhya Pradesh.