The answers of Agastya Muni to the generic questions posted by devotees can be found here. The readers are requested to send their spiritual experiences related to the Siddhas to GnanaBoomi at Gmail dot com. Though the experiences are unique and personal to them, it can shower some light or guidance to those who read them. Thanks!
Though the Jaya Vijaya’s (the guards of Vishnu Loka) were shocked at what Garuda said, Lord Narayana seldom bothered. In fact, He mercifully thought: “Pity on Garuda, he spoke all that under the influence of Shani. He is my vehicle. More so, he is like my mother. I should help him get rid of Shani’s clutches.”
Everyone were shocked at Garuda’s change of behavior, never once has he done anything like this! Adi-Sesha, the serpent where Vishnu lies came to Narayana: “O Lord, a small request.”
“What is it Sesha?”
“If you approve, I shall talk to Garuda and bring him back to you.”
“Sesha! The world thinks that you are in the control of Garuda. But out of magnanimity, you are trying to convince Garuda to be back. Isn’t it strange?”
“O Lord. What is strange is Garuda’s behavior. I have been friendly with Garuda all these days. Being away from him will be strange too.”
“Sesha! I lie down in your body. You provide shade to me as an umbrella. Garuda carries me everywhere. Though the world looks at the Garuda and Snakes as enemies, you both are like my eyes. It is a great loss to me if I lose either of you. But do you know? It is all because of the play of Kali Purusha, accompanied by Shani.”
“Is it so?”
“Yes. The plan is, Garuda should be separated from me. Then you will naturally go away from me. Then the world should come under your control with poisonous things affecting everyone. People will then forget being devoted. All these are Kali’s plan.”
“Unfair! I am your servant Swami! I won’t allow such a thing to happen. Just wink as you approve, I shall swallow that Kali!”
“Looks like Shani has possessed you as well, Sesha. You were quiet all the while, now you are ferocious in front of me. Be patient. If you go and meet Garuda right away, he will doubt.”
“Let him suspect..?”
“No. He is very angry now. If you go now, he will assume that I sent you to hold him captive and he may attack you.”
“I am fine with it O Lord! I think Garuda may not behave that way either.”
“Wait for a while Sesha. Garuda himself will come back.”
Sesha was not convinced. Without the Lord’s approval, he went ahead to meet Garuda in disguise.
On this side on a river bank, Garuda was seated on a rock. He was restless, frustrated and confused. Frustration because the guards did not let him see the Lord, restless because of what he told them and confused as to why his wife behaved strangely. He genuinely felt bad on what he has spoken to the guards, ‘I think I said those words hastily’ he thought. He then saw Adi-Sesha in front of him suddenly. Both of them embraced each other fondly with tears of joy flowing in each other’s eyes.
AdiSesha’s eyes looked in to Garuda’s as if asking, ‘is it right for you to leave the Lord like this?’ – Garuda read Sesha’s mind and he replied: “Am I the one who quit? It is just the fate which made me speak so.”
“That’s alright. Let’s not complicate it further. Let us go and meet the Lord together.” – said Sesha.
“How will I face Him? I spoke ill words. Though He is all merciful to forgive me, I won’t forgive myself.” – Garuda said.
“It happens my friend. It is all due to Shani and Kali. We are dancing to their tunes without knowing. Let us surrender to the Lord, He will take care of the rest.”
“Only if I had thought this before, such a condition would not have happened.” – Garuda felt sorry genuinely.
“You rightly said my friend. It’s fate which none can escape. We are the guides for humans but we ourselves slip sometimes. Let us not worry about it anymore and go straight to Tirumala.”
AdiSesha held Garuda’s hands with love and affection and started proceeding towards Tirumala. At the entrance of Tirumala…Kali and Shani were waiting. They had heard about the incident at the Lord’s gate. Kali was very happy that his plans are going as per his thought. Garuda won’t meet Venkatava, he thought. But just in case if Garuda comes back, he wanted to ensure that he can persuade him.
On meeting Shani and Kali, Garuda and AdiSesha paid their respect by bowing to Shani who blessed them from the bottom of his heart, “Sarva Mangala Prapthirastu”. AdiSesha felt very happy as it is a good omen for Shani seldom blesses in this way. To get his blessing in front of Tirumala itself, they felt very happy. This time, the guards did not stop them from entering in.
“Dear Garuda, is your anger quenched now?” – the Lord asked in a compassionate voice.
“Please forgive me my Lord. I spoke all evil.” – Garuda fell at His feet.
“What’s the need to forgive? You haven’t done anything. You have been the same, you served me then at my feet, you are at my feet now. I only have tested you.”
“You haven’t done any test my Lord. It is all the game of Shani and Kali Purusha right?” – Adisesha was surprised.
“No. I stopped Garuda from entering my gate saying that he is possessed by Shani and I asked him to enter slowly. Had I met him that day, Garuda would not have left. Plus, I haven’t given any gift to Garuda who is serving me all the while. Hence in this Tirumala, one of the hills will be named Garudadhri.”
Garuda did not expect this at all. He fell at the Lord’s feet, held His feet tightly. Tears flowed through his eyes profusely. AdiSesha was witnessing this wonderful sight delightfully. At the entrance, Kali was arguing with Shani on why he blessed both Garuda and Sesha. He accused Shani that he has betrayed Brahma.
~ to be continued…!