"To His Wife, He's an Average Guy; To Devotees, He's a Goddess"

September 3, 2000

Source: The Arizona Republic

On September 3, 2000, The Arizona Republic reported on Bangaru Adigalaar, an "incarnation of the goddess Adhiparasakthi, the supreme Hindu divinity...Devotees of this self-proclaimed guru are most numerous in southern India and southern Asia, but as ever more immigrants from that region migrate to the United States, his followers have grown numerous enough to warrant their own temple....today Bangaru Adigalaar will lay the foundation stone for his first American spiritual center, in Chester Springs, Pa....'I don't feel so different' from other wives, Lakshmi Adigalaar said in an interview Aug. 29 at a devotee's home in Plainsboro, N.J. 'He is not totally a saint. When the soul occupies him, he is as God. Other times he is a family man, living an ordinary life.'

"Bangaru Adigalaar, 59, was born to middle-class landowners in the Madras village of Melmaruvathur. The first sign of his special status came, his wife said, when his parents discovered a cobra snake playing in his crib...'His parents were frightened,' she said, and mystified when the snake disappeared. The snake appeared and disappeared several times, she continued, before Adhiparasakthi appeared to Adigalaar's father in a dream and said, 'I am coming in the form of a snake. He is my son, not yours. I and my son are the same. Don't differentiate. I will not harm my son.'...'It is like Jesus," explained A.R. Bhanumathi, a member of the entourage from southern India that is accompanying the guru on this, his first visit to the United States. 'God said: 'This is my son...' Adigalaar enters a trance state three times a week, during which Adhiparasakthi - the name means 'first infinite power' - speaks through him, his devotees believe. Bhanumathi said that in private audiences he could 'solve all the personal problems' without a person's explaining first what those problems were."