Siddha Agastya! This name lingers in the land of Bharath for time immemorial. 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 was silent and so were the villagers. I sensed the situation and asked, “O Sir, shall I continue to read?”
The Karnam nodded silently.
“Your brother who is claimed to have been dead, will come here in eight hours with a disability. How are you going to handle this now?” – The Maha Muni stopped with this question.
The crowd became eager. The Karnam, seated with crossed legs and a sarcastic look was totally shaken as and when I started to read the Nadi. He stood up at once, looked around, took the towel from his shoulder and tied it around his loin and got down from the place he was seated.
I was scared now. Have I said something or the other? Has the Maha Muni abandoned me? I prayed.
The Karnam looked around the villagers and said “I lost my first wife due to my hasty actions. Even the second one is suffering from cancer and is counting her days. You all know that I spread the false news of my brother’s death and possessed all the wealth. I am dying inch by inch thinking about these. Whatever this lad said through the Nadi is all true. He says that my brother is going to come now. If that turns out to be true, I shall completely believe Sage Agastya and this lad”.
The people accepted his point. Though I felt relieved, I felt tensed till that afternoon. The Karnam helped me in all ways he could. About three in the evening, there came a cart from which his brother got down. The villagers rushed to greet him. He got down the cart with difficulty. I went there eagerly to take a look at him as well. One of his legs was amputated. Though Agastya’s words will turn out to be for good, it was a pity to watch him in that state.
The Karnam embraced his brother and wept profusely. He then turned towards me, held my hands with affection and said “O brother, you can stay here as long as you want. You can visit the temple atop. Myself and the villagers will be around you. Is this fine?
They could have simply punished me. At least, I could have been asked to prostrate before the villagers a hundred times, the least of all punishments prevailing in that village. In the worst case, they could have tied me up with a tree in the middle of the village and arranged a person to feed me some water alone and release after two days. If a person belonging to that village commits a mistake, they give this punishment and abandon him from the village for a year. They can never return to the village again. They shouldn’t. Even if they were married, got any land in that village, the only option for them is to live in disguise, I came to know later.
Had I known these earlier, I would have never ventured in to this village. As per me, the punishment details of the village cleared off all the happiness and blissful feeling I obtained by listening to the divine Veda Kosha from the Siddhas.
I won’t know whose merit it was, I escaped without being hurt. When I think of these, I often get the thought, “Do I really need this connection with Sage Agastya?!” Though He helps me right at the time of need by saying that crucial thing, the situations where I get stuck till His help arrives makes me lose the courage and get frustrated.
Even now, if the Karnam had thought otherwise, as to this lad has broadcasted my best kept (open) secret to everyone, he could have punished me royally. Even so, if the brother had not turned up just then in eight hours, it is an embarrassment. They could even think that I joined hands with Karnam’s brother to take revenge of Karnam and so on.
Worst case, they could have totally mistaken me, kicked me out of the village and even burnt the Jeeva Nadi!! I had gone to the temple without telling anyone as well. No one could have ever known as to what happened to me up there. I was under a great dilemma, as to whether feel happy about the fact that I am safe OR to feel frustrated at Agastya Muni to say ‘Farewell’ and abandon the Jeeva Nadi right there in the village.
The villagers approached me with great respect now and said “The Karnam has said so know, please relax, take this coffee and be seated. His brother does not know about you. The Karnam will be back after having a quick word with his brother.
In no time, someone cleaned up the place they pointed me to sit, spread a bedsheet (Jamakkalam as it is called, which is spread in the ground for auspicious ocassions). That person received the Nadi from me with utmost respect and devotion, kept it in the spread, prostrated before it completely, touched it and placed his hands on his eyes, an act showing utmost devotion and respect.
The villagers followed this person in his act. What was my condition in the morning and what is it now? Is this the very nature of life? I thought.
The brother had been hit by a bullet in the India-Pakistan war and was lying down unconscious for five days in a hilltop near Srinagar. The natives of the hill found him and took him to the hospital where his legs had to be amputated. If he conveys this message to the family, they will be devastated and possibly the wife could commit suicide. But one of his friend had informed the Karnam about all this by writing a card, only after a long time.
The brother had lost his leg and he has been asked to retire from the military as well. But he is still in Srinagar and does not have an intention to return, the Karnam realized and used this to his advantage, spread the news of his brother’s death, forced his wife to yield to his desires, possessed all the wealth that belonged to the brother.
Now he was scared. He was shaken. His body language showed a new level of respect and he was very obliging. His brother could do anything, he thought and it was clear from his actions.
I sent everyone away and opened the Jeeva Nadi.
“This man’s brother had married a widow near the Himalayas and is running a tea shop for income. He won’t stay here for long. The reason why he is here is only to do the last rites for his wife to whom he was married at first. She will only live for another day or two. It is only the previous birth’s desire that has brought him here from the Himalayas.
He came here only to take his first wife. But it won’t happen due to the fate. He will do the last rites of that wife and he will write off all his property to this temple at hill top. Accept it. Nothing will happen to you as you have saved a number of lives from drowning, in your previous life” – concluded the Maha Muni!
As soon as the Karnam heard this, he felt down prostrating before the Jeeva Nadi and began to cry profusely again. I wasn’t sure if he did so apologizing for all his acts or due to the relief that his brother would spare him, I could not confirm! For me, I felt relieved that I am saved from the wrath of this fellow as I still have to spend two nighs in the temple. If he gets frustrated, he might become the road-block for this idea.
It was getting closer to dark.
~ to be continued…!