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!
[From the 200th, 201st and 202nd episodes of the Tamil series]
The boy could just not study, no matter how he is taught. Money was spent lavishly to enroll him in various schools. He was just playful and never focussed in studies. On top of it, his parents had to get the scoldings from the teachers on his playfulness. They concluded that the parents should bow their heads down in shame to have got such a son.
The heartbroken parents planned to go away from the city elsewhere. The boy came to know this where he said, “Why should you go out of town? It is because of me you are upset and I should go out. No one has to suffer because of me.” The parents were shocked, that the playful boy who takes nothing serious is taking so differently today, they tried to convince him otherwise. They did not want the boy to get separated from them and so they took him to a nearby Shiva temple and prayed earnestly.
That night, the parents felt so much of grief in knowing that the boy was missing. They were terribly shaken out of fear as to what might have happened to him. They began to search for him right in that midnight but of no use. The grief overpowered them to decide that they should commit suicide by jumping into the pond of that Shiva temple.
When they reached the pond, an old man stopped them saying, “Why are you taking such a wrong decision? Your son is a divine one who will become a Siddha, who will make your name glorified. Drop this decision, go home, your son will come back!” – he said these words like a clairvoyance. The parents looked at that old man who did not appear normal. The radiance from his eyes and the glow from his body told them that he could be a big Munivar.
They were surprised on how that old man knew their thought flow of suicide. They bid farewell to the old man with due respect and came home. A fifteen days went by. A couple visited their home from a nearby city and said, “You are blessed indeed! Your son is performing a certain miracles. Our son was fighting for his life where your son gave him Vibhuthi (sacred ash, bhasm) while singing and saved his life. We inquired about him and got to know about you, we came here to offer this small token of gratitude.” – they prostrated before the parents, offered them some contribution and went their way.
The parents’ joy knew no bounds but they did feel that he could have stayed in the same place and have done all these. It took less time for them to get convinced that these are all but the acts of God, its good enough if their son comes back.
The next early morning…
Four of them came in a bullock cart, they appeared rich. They had a silver plate with a saree, dhothi, gold coins etc and asked the parents, “Is this the Vilayattu Siddar’s (Playful Siddha) house?”
“Playful?! Siddha?! It looks like you have come to a wrong address. Whom are you searching for?” – asked the confused parents.
“O Sire! Your son who is in a different city, everyone calls Him by that name. Probably you aren’t aware of it!” they said, “In our family, there is a disease that troubles everyone and it’s followed generation after generation. We have met many a physician and have suffered for 30 long years. It is through your holy son that the 30-year long disease disappeared. Your holy son is indeed a divine one.!”
“How did he do it? He does not know anything about disease or medicines!” – exclaimed the father.
“What are you saying?! Do you know what he did? He chanted a mantra and sprinkled water on all of us, all our leucoderma disappeared!” – they were extremely happy.
The parents could just not believe what they heard. “Is it so? We ourselves are surprised on hearing this!” they said.
“Not just this. We never mentioned about this disease to him. He himself mentioned it and said that he will cure our disease and performed this miracle.” – and they showed their hands and legs, taking the parents to deep surprise. They tried to refuse the offerings politely asking them to give it away to their son himself.
They said that their son asked them to give these offering to the parents and that they could not but listen to Vilayattu Siddha’s instructions.
Two days passed by. A group of people came to the parents’ house with utmost devotion. They said..”Cholera had spread in our village killing two children and an aged person. We sought the shelter of your holy son. He blessed a pot full of water by chanting a mantra and gave it to us asking us to pour half of the water in the pond and the rest to be consumed by everyone, each a drop.
Those who took that drop stood up instantly. Half of them were almost about to die as if they wouldn’t live for the next hour. They got up!
Your son Vilayattu Siddha saved our village. We came here to thank him.” – the parents felt so proud and happy. They wanted to meet their son and set forth immediately, but a number of obstacles appeared. They returned to their house with a heavy heart. They even developed a hatred towards their son thinking, such a son who helps everyone is not helping us to meet him.
They tried meeting him again with the help of a few. En route, the bullock which took them dropped dead.
“Is it a bad omen or that our son does not want to meet us? Is this otherwise the play of God who thinks that our son is no longer our possession and there should be no attachment towards him?” – they got confused. Why should the bullock die which was hale and healthy suddenly? They went to the Shiva temple and prayed earnestly.
The old man whom they met before appeared suddenly. They fell at his feet pouring their grief out.
“Why do you want to go and meet him? Chitra Pournami comes in four days. He himself will be brought here with all due respect. He is a Siddha. It is difficult to attain this state at this young age. It is due to the merits of his previous birth.” – he smiled.
“We just wanted to see him from a distance, we tried twice but a number of obstacles appeared. We felt very disturbed. Will we get our son back Swami?” – asked the parents.
“Your son is yours, but the Almighty have given him a lot of responsibilities. Till he completes them, it is not advisable for you to meet him.”
“So, can’t we see him at all?”
“Yes, you can. He knows your mind too. He will satisfy your wishes. He will roam around like a wanderer. Just leave him like Adi Shankaracharya. There will be a lot of merits because of him. There is no affection or attachment in him.”
The parents cried profusely. When they regained their consciousness, they saw the old man going into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, not to be seen thereafter, ever! The parents told this surprising even to many others who did not believe. They even ridiculed the parents that they have become crazy. The parents clearly realized that it is Lord Shiva himself who appeared as the old man.
Though they were convinced, the grief of not having their son like all normal parents still pinched them. They sat there in the temple in a strange state of mind. When they woke up in the middle of the night suddenly, they saw the Vilayattu Siddha coming towards them. He embraced the parents calling them, “Amma! Appa!”
The mother pleaded, “Please do not leave us…” by holding his hands.
“Never, dear Mother! Whenever you think of me, just call me, “Siddha”, put some food in a plate with the Milk Pudding that I like. I myself will come to eat it. Then I will go out to play, is it alright?” – asked the Siddha.
“O very well, yes! I will do this every single day and call you. You should come here and eat.” – said the mother right royally with love.
The father asked, “When we tried committing suicide, an old man saved us by telling about you. Who was that?”
“It is the Three Eyed Lord Himself who dwells everywhere, in this Sanctum Sanctorum as well.”
“Is He the same who came this evening, mentioned about your arrival?”
“Yes, it is Himself! It is through His grace that I got the Siddha state. Why are you lying here in the temple? It is Brahma Muhurtha now. Get back home. Lord Shiva will take care of you!” – the Siddha held the parents’ hand till they reached home and was not to be seen. When the parents opened their eyes, they realized that they were at their house. They even realized that their son has played with them and recalled all the conversation. They started looking at him as a Siddha than their son thereafter.
The mother places a plate of food with milk pudding and calls her name. She realizes that the pudding is being consumed. She continues the practice. It is said that the Vilayattu Siddha observes this practice to this day in His family.
The strange thing however is, during Chitra Pournami day, when the Siddha was brought to the village with a great pomp and respect, he looked and blessed his parents like anybody else, did not come near them or talk to them.
The ones who called him as playful and disobedient, they themselves were lifting Him in a palanquin. He continues to perform miracles to this day!