Siddha Agastya! He is ever active, ever merciful and pours love to those who take refuge at Him. GnanaBoomi is humbled to present the Sitthan Arul series in English for its readers. See for yourself if any of these incidents relates to you, if it has any message to you or, if it gives a whole new perception about anything for which you may be looking for an answer.
The Karnam and his brother went to see the brother’s wife in the nearby town. While starting, the Karnam said that the temple priest will ensure that all the facilities required for me will be taken care of. I had a doubt whether he will help me. If only I get a couple of fruits and a little water, I could manage the night and so I requested as such.
When it was dark, the priest came with two parcels, a jug full of water and a hurricane light.
“This is sambar rice (a typical south Indian recipe), this is curd rice.
Water is in this jug and it has a tumbler inside. There will be a lot of
poisonous creatures around the temple. Please be careful” – he said this with genuine respect.
“I do not require food, water should be enough” – I said.
“Looks like you are still angry with me. That’s why you are refusing what I prepared out of difficulty. As far as I know, no one who stayed there at night turned back alive. You are new to this town and may not know all these. That’s why I tried stopping you, but I could not. Through the grace of God, you are save as well. Why I say all these is, if something wrong happens up there, a dosha will befall the temple. For the incidents that happened before up there, there hasn’t been any Shanthi Homa performed there. I thought about all these and mentioned” – the priest expressed his grief.
“I escaped yesterday. Today?” – I said sarcastically.
“Swear nothing will happen. Please take the food and keep the hurricane light safely with you. If you need any help in the night, just wave this light in the air”
“What if I do so?”
“We will come for your help at once”
“How is that? Nobody should stay up in the night and if they do so, they will die, you said. But if I wave the light asking for help, who will dare to climb up?”
“We will come half way, you do the same. If you need anything, we shall provide. You can take it and go to the temple, we won’t come up. We will return to the village” – the priest explained in a clever manner.
“Ok. Has a similar incident happened in the past where somebody waved the light and you or the villagers gone to help them etc?”
“It hasn’t happened so far. It is the Karnam who gave this idea and to ensure that your needs are taken care of. That’s why I said this”
“Very well” – I sent him off and picked up all that he gave and started moving towards the temple. The villagers sent me off with folded hands as though I am the “Densing” who is about to climb The Everest. Their look had different meanings.
“He escaped yesterday. Now he’s stuck today”
“This Karnam is less informed. He has crossed whatever he himself said as a rule. The God will not leave it like this. Just wait and see what will happen tonight. We shall come to know in the morning” – I heard someone saying this in a low voice.
I prayed to Agastya, summoned some courage and reached the temple top. I was greeted by the howling of a wolf and that of an owl. I reduced the brightness of the light and kept it in the place made for sitting and placed the water jug near me. The smell of masala pickle from the parcel the priest gave pierced my nose. Eat it now, said the tongue! If I eat this and if I doze off, I may miss the divine experience of Siddhas, I worried. But I thought ‘let’s manage’.
I looked at the Jeeva Nadi, there was this great experience in the night, and then I got stuck with the villagers, just opposite to the night’s experience. When I thought about what value I will derive out of this experience, the mind was blank. Right at that time, the owl screeched. This was not present last night and the screech was totally scary. I tried to chase it off. The result was me screaming at it, it did not move. I began to chant the Sudarsana Mantra to drive away the fear.
Then a wolf howled. It was horrible. That sound made me numb and the mantra did not come out of my mouth. I began to sweat. If the wolf comes alone, I might chase it off by throwing stones. But if it comes in a group, I won’t have the courage to face them. I have no idea why I got all those thoughts and this idea. Let me wave the hurricane lamp and see if someone comes for help. Otherwise let’s bid farewell to this adventure and go home. If Agastya Muni decides to leave me Or if I won’t get the divine experience, let it be! I thought.
I had this struggle in my mind for half an hour. But just as I thought, not one, but the sound of a number of wolves howling made me tremble. I was somehow recalled those words of that villager ‘let us see what happens tonight, we shall come to know in the morning’, this thought gave a blow in mind.
Will something happen just as they said?
It was around eleven in the night. The howling continued with the screech of the owl in between. Let us stay just this night and see what happens. The first thing I will do in the morning is to go back home I thought again.
I had an illusion that a few entered in to the Sanctum Sanctorum, in the air, in an Arupa form. Not just once, but I felt it a few times, like they entered in a group of two or three.
As soon as I felt it, the howling stopped magically!! But as far as I
could see, what I saw made me feel “that’s it man!” since there were a group of wolves staring at me from a distance. They stood just as they were, did not howl. I picked up the hurricane lamp and said whatever came in mind, began to throw whatever I could grab, stones, wooden pieces etc. Still, they did not move.
I did not even think of the Jeeva Nadi, to ask for the Maha Muni’s help. I was shivering very much and wasn’t able to think straight. I even thought that I am having just hallucination of these wolves. I gave up chasing them. Suddenly, air began to flow in the midnight which was quiet all the while. It was a wonderful feeling for the body which was full of sweat, out of fear. I could feel the sandalwood’s smell. I felt as though cold water is poured on to my head.
I took my eyes off the wolves and began to focus on the sanctum sanctorum. I could then hear the Veda Kosha, Shiva Nama Archana, Sri Rudram, Chamakam, Purusha Shooktham and Sri Shuktham being chanted from inside. I could hear the sound of temple bell ringing with various other instruments being played, feebly in my ears. I prostrated flat in front of the temple with folded hands. The sound began to disappear in five to ten minutes. I felt that a 16 types of Abhisheka was being performed. Then offering
Mangala Harathi, Pushpa Archana with the word “Pushpavan” being uttered.
“Ha! For this, I went through all these experiences” – my mind said in a healthy tone. On the first day when Agastya Muni showed me this experience, I did not have any fear and was carried away with wonderment. But today, since the thought of fear dominated my mind due to the howling of owl and wolves, I could not completely enjoy this marvelous experience, I felt.
Had I believed in Agastya Muni, chanted the Sudarshana Moola Mantra and did meditation, I could have enjoyed this experience and felt very blissful.
Half an hour went by.
Now, the wolves are not to be seen, neither the owl. The divine sounds that came from the temple wasn’t there either. I felt that the Siddhas must have returned after completing the pooja.
I was hungry. When I opened the parcel, it wasn’t like the Sambar rice, but it had become like the Thiruvadhirai Kali, which is offered to Lord Shiva on a Thiruvadhirai day (the author probably tells us that the rice has become hardened). Let me talk to this priest tomorrow, I thought.
I then opened the Jeeva Nadi, praying to Lord Agastya!
“You must have been scared of the owl and wolves. These were humans in their previous birth, and had committed suicide due to their sins. Some were murdered. In this birth, they have taken birth as owls and wolves without having the Atma-Shanthi. They are like an dushta-devata. They do not like the Siddhas or Rishis. That’s why they screamed when We all came. They won’t come near the shrine of God. We protected you by creating a protective circle as well.
The other humans who do not know all these, have been killed by these. That’s why nobody stays here at night. As per the Agama rules, there must be a Shanthi done to this temple. It hasn’t been done either. These evil forces does not let the Shanthi to happen. But We Siddhas get the permission of Lord Shiva and do the Punya Vachanam in the garbha-gruha. Lord Shiva accepts this offering which happens every 120 years.
Our offering will continue tomorrow night as well where a number of Devas will come. One must be really blessed to have that darshan. Agastya’s beloved son, you, to get that rare sight, We made you come here. But you, you are abusing me. How is it fair?“
I remained silent. Agastya Muni continued.
“Do not stand in the pathway of this temple tomorrow. Do not bring anything for light as well. Be near the Nandi facing the Shiva Linga and keep doing Japa till midnight with your eyes closed. Seldom think of anything else. Those who bear the human body will not get the darshan of God in the direct form. If you close your eyes, you will get to see them. If you open your eyes by mistake, you won’t have the darshan. Just as We showed you the darshan of Sri Raghavendra, Hanuman, this divine darshan is given to you only because in your previous birth, you had built a temple for Me, had constantly thought about Me and kept doing pooja for Me till you lived.
Not only to you, I have been showing such divine darshan to many in this Earth. They are all like the Siddhas roaming in human bodies. You will meet them sooner and will be blessed with many such experiences” – The Maha Muni explained the history of the temple and all these details very patiently.
I remained there meditating till the morning only to find the priest and a few other villagers came rushing to the temple. They might have thought, either I must have been sleeping deeply or would have been hurt by something or something would have happened. They remained silent till I completed my meditation and they had so many questions…
~ to be continued…!