49 – Guru, Disciple and Garland

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

These are not stories. They are real incidents. Read through these and do reflect if anywhere, anything in these series is resonating with your own self. Do you feel any of these telling anything to you? Do you feel yourself that any of the phrase is a reflection of yours? Is there an answer to you in these?!

Today’s episode is slightly different from the series of Siddha’s Grace. This is a direct perception of the person who narrates the experiences from Jeeva Nadi reading so far. Only difference is that the Guru Agastya joins hand with His Guru, the Skanda Guru and leaves us spell bound. They say that Microcosm equals Macrocosm. The incident here swears a testimony to the fact.


I have wondered when people say about the experiences they had, the blessings they received when they went to certain places. Ha! how blessed and pure souls are these, I use to think. But I have never thought as to ‘won’t we get such an experience’. If got, fair enough. But what has to happen, will happen, and one has to be deserving for it and develop the eligibility for it. I think even God lost His patience towards me and thought of orchestrating a divine play.

It was our Pongal day, a holiday resulting in less crowded places. Right from the morning, the mind was restless for unknown reasons. I have heard that the food influences the mind and so I tried recalling what I had the previous day. It was a mild and normal food. So it cannot be the reason. Something might happen and it will be for good, I told myself.

When I sat down for the lunch, a strange thought came in. The two names, Muruga and Agastya, kept revolving in mind. Why is this thought? I was surprised and decided ‘let’s ask’.

From my residence, there is a Subramanya Swamy temple in two hours’ drive. From there if we drive for another hour, a temple of Agastya Muni can be found. I thought let’s go to these two temple. It was two in the afternoon. I asked one of my relative and he accepted. We decided to go in a bike.

As usual, I stood in the pooja room and prayed “I request your presence be with me” and at once, a thought came and I decided, let’s ask anyway. Let them decide whatever they deem fit. I began…

“O Muruga, I request your help. There should not be any danger in the journey. There is one thing I will ask. If you feel I am qualified enough, please grant. It is this.

I need a garland that decorates your neck. This is not for me. Once I have your darshan, I am thinking of visiting the Agastya Muni’s temple as well. If you give me a garland, I would like to adorn that in the neck of your disciple Shri Agastya. I will not ask for a garland from the temple priest. If you feel like giving it to me, please grant. If you wouldn’t give, I will get it from a nearby shop and will put that on Agastya Muni. You decide on what should happen, what you will decide for my Guru, your disciple”.

Done. I have submitted my requests to Him and it is His part hereafter.

We started around 4 PM. I had forgotten this prayer to Lord Muruga when we started. Our focus was to go and come back safely and to have a good darshan. I didn’t even get anything for the pooja for Lord Muruga, I realized this after traveling for two hours and when we stepped on the shrine! O Muruga, what have you done? You have flattened my mind so much so that I forgot the most basic thing. I rebuked myself and stood in front of His shrine.

Muruga! Just as his name, handsome. He stood there smiling. The right shoulder bearing the Vel (personal weapon of Lord Muruga), well adorned, my mind began imagining all sorts of things while this strange thought came in. On a note, did He get this smile from Shriman Narayana? His father is always seen on meditation. But Shriman Narayana is always seen in Ananda Swaroopa (appearing blissful) either lying down in Anantha Sayana or while standing. We perceive God to the best of our ability, which is similar to the human appearance, but with super natural abilities etc. Hence, we like a smiling face. Probably this smiling face is learnt from Shriman Narayana” I thought.

The priest came from the temple and looked at me as if “What’s the matter?”

“I would like to do a archana for the Swamy” – I understood the priest’s mindset.

The archana began. I did not feel like asking anything. I stood there looking at His face. I felt as if I was in my Mother’s embrace during childhood. The same warmth spread over me now.

With my eyes remained closed for a while…’here’s the prasad for archana’ – the priest’s voice brought me back.

I gave some dakshina and opened the prasad to find Holy Ash, Sandalwood paste and a few flowers. I looked at Lord Muruga once with the prasad in hand and began to turn around.

“Stop” – a trembling voice said, as if Lord Muruga Himself calls. I looked at the priest’s face.

“Did you come by vehicle?” – he asked.

“Yes”

“Is it a car?”

“No. In a bike”

“Wait, I shall give you a garland”

The priest went in and took a garland adoring the Lord’s neck and handed it to me. I did not speak anything. I looked at his face and that of the Lord’s who is standing behind the priest. I offered my thanks with my eyes closed.

The priest went inside again and took a lemon, which was kept on the tip of the Vel, saying “Here, this is Gnana Pazham (the fruit of wisdom)”.

I smiled.

Within this, a priest who was chanting mantra sitting near Lord Subramanya said from there…

“Don’t say that as Gnana Pazham. Say “Skanda Pazham” and give”

I heard this word for the first time. My mind thought about His holy feet. How many thanks would I offer? How would it equate anyway? An ordinary person born somewhere, doing what he knows without hurting othrs – for such, will Lord Subramanya offer His blessings so right away?

“Cut down the thougths” – I felt like someone said this, within my head. Yes. If the stranding mind is controlled, one can realize the Almighty dwelling within. All such thoughts came in to mind, as Upadesha (advice, more aptly used in giving spiritual guidance).

Time to leave. I handed over the garland to my relative asking him to keep it very safe and that it has to be given to someone else and not for mine. He accepted it not understanding anything. After a while, I got the garland back for some unknown reasons.

We started the bike and I was thinking on what happened so far and I got focussed on to it, thereby we almost escaped an accident where we went pass by a mother and daughter who were crossing the road. The eyes were on the road with the mind fixed in the feet of Muruga. When my relative tried to vent his anger to them, I said ‘stop, the mistake is mine. My focus went in and it is not their mistake’ – the mother and daughter went with a smile, as if they heard what I said.

It was getting darker, nowdays it gets dark even around 6 PM. We reached the Agastya Muni temple. It was open, but the priest was not to be seen. We went inside thinking what to do. The temple was so serene and quiet. With lamps lit on both sides, Guru Agastya wore a silver kavacha (moulds, these made of silver and gold and are kept as a decorative item for the idols) and Samandhi flower stood there with Lobamudra. It was a beautiful sight. I stood very close to the shrine on the right side and began to intake the beauty while doing Guru-Vandana. A strange warmth surrounded us. Before I understand what it is, I thought of the garland. I took it out of the bag, kept in the entrance of the Shrine, stood up and began to speak to Him from within.

“O Agastya Muni!, I do not understand what happened today. It is a mistake to desire. The mind wanted something, and I prayed to Lord Muruga. He gave the garland that adorned Him. With the interest to hand it over to you, I came this long. But the priest is not to be seen anywhere. Please give me the blessing of seeing this garland adoring your holy neck. Whatever happens hereafter, is up to
you”

I surrendered these thoughts and offered my prayers, began to do pradakshina from the left side. Behind His shrine was seen a Vinayaka’s shrine under a tree. I went up to him and said “O Vinayaka! Please remove all obstacles” prayed with folded hands and felt inside my mind that he blesses me with his right hand raised. Ok, now everything will happen for good and I came back to Agastya Muni’s shrine, sat for meditation. I focussed on the holy feet of Agastya, did not know how long.

I heard someone came running – it was the priest. He appeared as if he had gone somewhere. He came enquiring ‘Please come, when did you arrive here?” and began to make arrangements for the Deepa Aradhana.

“O Sire, I have bought a garland for Agastya Muni, kept that in the steps of his shrine. Please take it”

“Yes I saw. I will take it” – said he.

He went inside the shrine and put that on Agastya’s neck. I was looking from here standing aside, and within a second, the garland disappeared! I was shocked a little, so I went to take a closer look and what I saw was the same Samandhi flower garland that was there before. There was no sign of the garland I gave, getting adorned in Agastya’s neck. I could not understand. The Deepa Aradhana got over and I went a little more closer. The garland was not to be seen. I stood there looking at Agastya Muni and felt as
if he is blessing me with his right hand raised.

How much ever I may stand here, I won’t see that garland, I felt. But the task I came for is done, let’s start. The moment I thought this, the priest gave me the prasad, a little sandalwood, holy bhasm, and a few flowers, just like how it was in Lord Muruga’s temple.

I thanked Agastya Muni and left. They thought of something. They did something. I was just a messenger, I felt. Why? Who knows? To get answers, I came back with questions. But what I thought happened. Who did this? It was them! Is it Muruga’s grace that guides? Only He knows!

Prayers to Lord Muruga’s holy feet! To Agastya Muni’s holy feet!

~ to be continued…!

 

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