The Grace of Siddha – 70 – Wait for your time!

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

Siddha AgastyaHe 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.

“Sir Priest! Do not speak anything that comes out hastily. I was seated next to Nandi the whole night yesterday. Further still, I had kept the food parcels you gave there next to me and I haven’t taken food from it. Please see for yourself”…saying this I turned around only to see the food parcel missing.

“This is what you are searching. How will this be there? Half partaken, this parcel was there inside, he showed the food parcel and threw it away. Then he went to wash his hands. His actions made me surprise as well as sad. When he came back, I asked him..

“O Priest, You seem to be very angry, but please listen to what I am trying to say. The key to sanctum sanctorum is only with you. How come then can I enter in?”

“What? How come? I have proof. Shall I show it?” – he went inside the temple again. When he came back, he was carrying the Jeeva Nadi in his hands, which the wind blew away yesterday!

I prayed very earnestly to Agastya Muni and the Lord Almighty Shiva who dwells in that hill. I paid my thankfulness to the Jeeva Nadi in my mind and began to get down. The villagers began to set forth a farewell function as well. They gave me a number of sweets and savouries. They said,

“We shall give you all the facilities here. Siddhas and Rishi-Munis visit this hill temple. Why don’t you stay here in this holy village
permanently?” I thanked their sincerity and hospitality and began my way back. They arranged a bullock cart for me to be dropped in the railway station. A person stood near me carrying an umbrella so I don’t feel the heat, this act made me melt.

It will take around an hour and a half to reach the station. I have to
spend this time properly I thought while I noticed the person carrying the umbrella looking at me and the box that had the Jeeva Nadi in turn. He never opened his mouth however. I thought let’s read Nadi to this person and asked him if he wishes so.

He nodded fast.

“Here, sit down, let me read the Nadi for you” – he sat with utmost
respect. I began to read. When I read, it was shock out of shock for me as his history began to unfold.

This guy belongs to a big Zameendar clan, was kidnapped in his childhood for his wealth. His parents were sent a threat-note as well, who did not bother to care about much. The kidnappers thought they will take him to Andhra and kill him there, but they did not reach Andhra but stayed in Erode itself for a few days. As nobody bothered about the threat note, they thought killing him is not going to be useful anyway and left him in the middle of the road on a fine morning.

A farmers’ family found this child while they came to Erode market and took him along. The child who was born with a silver spoon, by fate’s play, was growing in a mud house. He grew up taking care of the cattle and sheep, roamed in this hill top.

Whenever he comes to the hilltop, he use to pray earnestly to Lord Shiva and would do 108 Thorbi-Karnam. No one knows why he is praying, but he had
a great faith and devotion. He cannot speak very fluently and he is the beloved of the villagers. He volunteers for help in any function in any villager’s house. In the meanwhile, the farmer passed away and he was fed by the villagers” – said the Maha Muni and asked, “Did you see how strong the fate is?

“I do agree O Sire. But can’t he join his parents again?”

Only because he has such a chance, We came here to help him” – said Agastya!

“How?”

Shall tell you, listen. From today for forty days, let him lit up a lamp in the garbha-gruha of Shiva there in the hill top temple. On the forty- first day, a person coming from south-west will take him for a work. Then good luck will favor him. From which Jameen he came out of, he will go back there, right after twenty eight years” – said the Siddha!

I looked at him with awe and pity, at the same time.

I explained him as to what the Maha Siddha said in the way he could understand. At first, he could not understand what Jameen is! All he asked for is this: “will I get food three times a day, will I get a good dhoti to wear?”. I looked at him and thought about that Agastya Muni said ‘owner of immense wealth’.

His looks were shabby, unshaven face, dry hair, topless, a dirty dhoti, dry stomach and skin weary due to the heat etc. But he had an innocent look, a stainless heart, every now and then he would look up the hill top and offer his salutations to the Lord, that devotion etc. made me feel compassionate about this fellow. Otherwise, why would have I felt like reading the Nadi for him?

“For forty days, you need to lit up a lamp up there. Can you do it?”

“They will not let me in Swamy. What do I do?”

“Tell them that I told you. They will let you lit up a lamp”

“Ok swamy. Please tell this cart-man as well, to tell them there. Only then will they believe.”

I explained the carter as well on what I read and told him that the
blessings of Lord Shiva there at hill top and the MahaSiddha Agastya is there with this person and that he needs to lit up a lamp for 40 days.

“That is well right sir. But he does not have a single penny. How would he do that?” – the carter was practical. I said I will give him some money as much as I can and asked the carter and everyone else in the village to give him some money for this task. The carter did not believe that this guy is the owner of some immense wealth in a Zameen etc.

“Swamy, you came here, stayed in the hilltop alive, the people think of you with high regards, all is ok. But while going, the story that you mentioned about this guy being so wealthy, Zameen etc., on the fly, this I don’t believe, you see” – the carter stood by his practicality. “All these may happen, in cinema, but not in real life. Please do not mistake me”. I remained silent when the cart came near the station.

~ to be continued…!

The Grace of Siddha – 69 – Who kept the Nagalinga flower?

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

Siddha AgastyaHe 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.

They had questions but I did not feel like explaining all that happened over the night. One of them said, “We heard the howling of wolves. We were scared it might have done some harm to you and have spent a sleepless night. We could not climb up either. So I came rushing with the priest”

A few joined this person in chorus. One thing was clear. According to them, if someone stays up at night, the God should have given a serious punishment and if not, there is a ‘lack of power’ in that God and they might very well lose the faith. Some thought that I would have got such a punishment to me and those were obviously disappointed by seeing me.

I requested the priest to check if there are any changes in the sanctum sanctorum. He rushed and opened the doors and looked around inside, came out at once.

“It appears as if someone has sprinkled water and on top of Swami, there is a Naga Linga Flower!”

“Do you find anything else?”

“No. But this itself is a big surprise for me. When I locked the door last night, I had adorned the Lord with Pavazha Malli and Bhilwa leaves. I am surprised to see Naga Linga Flower on top”

“Hmm!”

This flower looks like the Shiva Linga with Naga forming an umbrella!
This flower looks like the Shiva Linga with Naga forming an umbrella!

“Not only that. The Garbha Gruha (Sanctum Sanctorum) appears as if someone has neatly washed it with water. I don’t understand anything”

I thought I shall clarify his doubts a little later and asked “Ok, what
did you give me for dinner yesterday?”

“Sambar rice and curd rice, two parcels”

“They make Kali for Thiruvadhirai right? Did you give me that?”

“No” – he was restless.

“It’s fine. What I ate last night tasted like Kali. Hence I asked” – I
replied.

“Have you been thinking of what you will do from now?”

“I will get down, take bath and come back right here, sit next to Nandi and do meditation all day” – I replied.

They were all surprised. The priest said, “Oh today is Thiruvadhirai
nakshatra and it has come from last night itself. That’s why you want to do the Japa is it?” – I later came to know that there is something hidden in this.

I was thinking that Agastya Muni is replying only through this Jeeva Nadi that I had, but was pleasantly surprised that He gives guidance and grace through other few Nãdi’s as well. When I came to this village first, I had no idea about this village or its temple. But after all these experiences through Agastya Muni, I had a special attraction towards this temple.

I have been ‘hearing’ the Devas and Siddhas during the night. What if I worship them during the day? Instead of spending time in gossip, I felt I should come right back after taking bath to do meditation, I explained the priest. Especially when he mentioned about the Thiruvadhirai star that day, and the sambar and curd rice tasting like Thiruvadhirai-Kali had given an intuition to me that there is some connection, so I made arrangements to have darshan of Lord Shiva during the day time itself.

In between…

We got to know that the wife of Karnam’s brother had reached the abode of the Almighty and the rituals were happening. Somehow the Karnam escaped and the brother has also bid farewell to his wife. He can safely leave for Kashmir to spend his life with his second wife. His property will be legally attached to the temple at hill top. With that, the Kumbabhisheka of this temple can be done as per the Agama rules which will nullify any dosha to this temple premises, I thought.

I went down and relaxed a bit, got some tiffin and water and climbed back post afternoon. I have been instructed clearly that for midnight, not to bring any light, not to lie down in the pathway, to meditate by sitting next to Nandi and never ever, ever open my eyes.

The experience of the past two days were remarkable indeed. I became very curious right from the evening as to what experience will there be on the third day that Agastya Muni will show me. Those who had come to the temple during the day, not sure whether they had looked at the Lord properly, but gave a weird look at me seated next to Nandi. I felt like they were gazing
at me like they do at an animal in the zoo.

I spent the time till evening by doing various things; meditated for a while, then I went around the hill, sometimes I enjoyed the view from the hilltop, I then looked around to see if there are any stone-inscriptions in the walls of the temple. The situation did not allow me to do meditation completely. Once the Sayaratchai (evening pooja) was over, the priest locked down the temple doors and got down. I sent him off and quietly sat next to Nandi.

Suddenly, chill breeze flew fast. I had nothing but a towel to wrap
myself. If this had continued, I probably would have lied down right there with fever or forsaken everything and got down to the village. However, when I picked up the towel and wrapped it around my head (to cover the head and ears), the next blow of the wind lifted the Jeeva Nadi I had kept in the baggage somewhere.

It was very unfortunate indeed to lose the Nadi which saved my life. I kept the baggage in a corner not affected by the wind and began to search for the Nadi in that dark. I could not find it anywhere. I was sweat in that chill weather, that’s all I got.

Whenever I got stuck in a situation, I have thought many a times, ‘why don’t we just throw this Nadi away?’ but when this really happened, I was terribly shaken for a minute. I consoled myself with great difficulty that “Just as it got to my hands, it has left me as well and it is all as per Agastya’s will”. As I did not want to spend time on it, I roamed around again, came back and sat next to Nandi.

As I was seated right beneath the Nandi, the chill wind did not touch me which appeared as if Nandi Deva Himself was protecting me from the wind with His two hands. I did not feel the chillness anymore. On the contrary, since I felt a warm breath around myself, I removed the turban and eventually removed my shirt and vest as well even as the wind was blowing heavily. But I continued to feel the warm breath around me, from where, I did not know.

As the time passed by, I began to meditate with my mind getting worried every now and then on losing the Jeeva Nadi. I could not concentrate well on meditation. The food was untouched as I did not feel hungry. Since I was told to keep my eyes closed, I remained so for how long I do not know when I suddenly heard the sound of toe-ring.

As a reflex, I opened my eyes at once and there wasn’t any sound!

I prayed to Agastya Muni again, closed my eyes only to hear the sound of many such toe-rings. I began to smell divine aroma and eventually the sound of Veda Kosha, auspicious instruments, the temple bell’s ringing etc.

The all pervading Maheshwara and Parvathi Devi is seated in the middle where the Devas and Siddhas are performing abhisheka and archana with various flowers and items of different fragrances. Lord Vishnu with His Narasimha form along with Lakshmi Devi is performing Mangala Snana for Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma along with Saraswathi Devi is performing archana and abhisheka to the Lord as well.

Then all the Indras, Muni and Siddhas perform abhisheka and aradhana for the Lord with divine kosha surrounding everywhere. All these got over in about ten minutes where a forceful wind lashed out of the Garbha gruha with everyone there disappearing at once!

I then could not hear any sound or smell any fragrance where I opened my eyes. It was peaceful around. It was as if Lord Nandi has released me from his hold as well. There weren’t any such incidents such as last night that scared me. I was reminded it was the middle of the night only by the stars above and the barking sound of dogs from a great distance.

I did not get in to the research of whether what I felt a while ago was real or just an imagination. If I try to explain this to anyone, they may simply think that I am mad and so I decided to remain calm and quiet and only to thank Agastya Muni. The experience I went through is unique and new from the last night indeed. All the divine sight I had, Lord Vishnu with Lakshmi Devi, Lord Brahma with Saraswathi Devi and all the Devas, Siddhas doing archana and abhisheka to Parvathi-Parameshwara, is all because of the great merits or Punya done by my parents, this is the truth.

The Agastya Muni who gave me such an experience for this third day, snatched the Jeeva Nadi from me, is due to the sins I committed, I thought. Though I convinced myself in a way, just as I got it, it has left me, it was a time where a lot of influential people were approaching me to know about their future (in a secret manner) and about the future of our Country in the Brahma Muhurtha time.

There were a few things that was to be done for the Country as well. Agastya had mentioned that he will guide me in the right direction in these areas as well. I am reminded of all that now. If I tell others that it was the wind at the hill top by which I had lost the Jeeva Nadi, no one will believe.

I began to feel very sad. I was given very rare blessings which is not given to many others and now they all have been taken away from me. I even could not enjoy the wonderful experience I had over the night due to this incident.

The dawn was so beautiful. I took some water in the empty stomach after placing the food item I did not partake in the night next to me. The priest and a few people came rushing again in the morning and were very curious as to what happened over the night. As I did not want to deviate them off, I mentioned that “just as the previous day, I had great darshan, I shall let you know later” and became silent.

Not sure what the priest felt, “wait a minute, let me see the Garbha Gruha and be back, if there is any wonder like yesterday” and opened the door, went inside. Within a couple of minutes, he came out rushing towards me and appeared very angry. He seemed to be carrying something in his hands.

“Oye Swami! What have you done! This is very sinful!!!”

“What have I done? Could you please explain?”

“It is a mistake to let you stay here in the temple. The Karnam was
lenient. What the villagers told is correct indeed” – he went on. “After having done this, you are standing still like a stone. If the villagers come to know of this, they will tie me up as well along with you”

The couple of people who came along with the priest began to stare at me. Something has happened inside and they are thinking that it is because of me, which the priest has found out, they thought. They were already frustrated with the Karnam and when the priest mentioned about him, they became happy. They asked the priest as to what happened.

“What should not happen has happened. Since it was Thiruvadhirai
yesterday, I had prepared Kali to offer to Lord Shiva but had forgot it in the garbha-gruha itself. But what I see now, this person has gone inside the sanctum sanctorum, feasted on the Kali which is kept inside and above all, the sambar rice and curd rice that I had given him yesterday, he has kept them inside the garbha-gruha half eaten. Oh O! Will somone do such a thing?!!!”

Image courtesy: 1 & 2

~ to be continued…!

The Grace of Siddha – 68 – The Second Artha Jama Pooja

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

Siddha AgastyaHe 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.

Right then…

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…!

 

The Grace of Siddha – 67 – Karnam means bulty!

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

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…!

The Grace of Siddha – 66 – Siddhas’ Artha Jama Shiva Pooja

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

Siddha AgastyaThis 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. 

It crossed twelve in the night. All of a sudden, Veda Kosha was heard from within the garbha gruha of the temple! It was as if a group sat there and were chanting it with the appropriate method. It gave a sense of encouragement as well as wonder.

The ringing of the temple bell, abhisheka being performed to the Shiva Linga with various draviya, just as it happens in our temples appeared to be carried out from within, all as per the procedure. The drum was blown. The traditional vaidhya (he probably refers to the Nadaswaram) was heard. From the tiny key hole of the garbha gruha, various divine aroma such as sandalwood, various flowers, frankincense stormed in to my nostrils. It is appropriate for me to say that I experienced and enjoyed this divine orchestration in God’s shrine than saying that I reached the peak of joy.

I pinched myself to see if all these were true. With the Veda Kosha and Pushpanjali (offering made with flowers), all this divine experience came to an end in half an hour. Nothing was heard after that. I could not decipher whether what I heard was indeed the Veda Kosha or so afterwards.

I thanked the Maha Muni earnestly and opened the Jeeva Nadi.”In this temple, every 120 years, the leading 18 Siddhas under my lead gather here to perform Pooja and Abhisheka to Lord Shiva in the midnight. Being my beloved son, I wanted to show you this divine experience and hence I brought you here. Though you cannot see us, I made you experience us subtlely. This, not only today, but will continue for the next two days and you will be blessed with this divine opportunity. But however, there is no use in sharing this to anyone. Be patient.” – said He!

I was speechless, out of my senses. O Paramatma! Are these real? I asked myself often. Such a blessing be given to me that easily? I doubted. But I cannot share this to anyone either!

Artha Jama pooja in Shivalaya happens very rarely, except in Shivrathri where the poojas will be done 6 times. In normal days, nobody performs pooja for Lord Shiva in the midnight. Beyond all these, in this deserted place where even regular pooja is not possible in this temple, the 18 leading Siddhas come together with Agastya Muni Himself as the lead and perform such a pooja, that too every 120 years and above all, I being able to experience them in this midnight, I simply could not digest.

I thought, this must be the play of a Siddha at first. I could not understand the subtle truth in it. Had anyone shared their time and space with me that night, I could have shared this joyous experience all through the night with that person. There is nobody with me, so this divine and mystic experience gave a feeling of yearning and grief.

I just could not sleep after this experience. When will the sun rise, when will we go down to share this experience to someone, anyone, I kept roaming around the temple like a caged tiger.

Around 5 in the morning, a cool breeze with the aroma of flowers just blossomed and some rare herbs touched me, taking away all the tiredness of the body. I slept peacefully in that natural surroundings. The sunlight woke me up in a while.

I prayed to Lord Shiva and began to get down. When I looked down, I could see around twenty or thirty people standing at the base of the hill, talking to each other, pointing at me.

“Alrighty brother. Stuck we are with them for sure!” – I thought. How are we managing them? I cannot tell a lie. Not sure if they know what is “Agastya”. They could punish me as I have disobeyed the rule of the village. Come what may, I thought.

The people were talking the same “How did he come back alive?”Some appeared angry. Some had a resolve in their face that they will be at ease only after getting me the due punishment. Some were eager to know on what happened up there in the night.

“Hey brother! Come here” – an aged person commanded me. I went up to him silently.

“Pay your respect to him. He is the Karnam of this village” –
someone from the crowd said. Karnam is probably the chief of the village.

I kept the bag I was carrying in the ground and I folded my palms in form of paying respect. He began to enquire about me in the same commanding tone. His left hand kept playing with his moustache and he appeared stubborn in not accepting anything I would say.

“For f-i-f-t-y years, no one stays in this temple at night. Those who did stay without knowing, only have returned as corpses. You are the only one who has come back alive” – said the Karnam.

“All this is The Grace of Siddha Agastya” – I said.

He seldom liked it. He looked at me angrily.

“Don’t lie! I am not the one who believes in all these, and neither will my villagers. I am getting some doubt now. You probably came looking for any jewelry in the temple to loot” – he croaked.

“God forbid. You may frisk me right here if you want to” – I did not expect that things would turn this nasty. They may tie me up with a tree and whip me up, I thought. Especially, the frustration from the priest who tried to stop me yesterday was at its peak. He kept murmuring in to the Karnam’s ears every now and then.

“Let us gather the Panchayat and give the judgement to this
stranger” – said some.

“All that is later. Let us first frisk him and check his bag. We can decide everything else later” – said a few.

“This lad doesn’t appear to have come to loot. He came here by mistake. Let’s give him a couple of pats (?!) and advise him appropriately” – said a chosen few.

Half of the crowd said suddenly “O Karnam, do not decide anything hastily. This boy has come back alive after staying the night. This is a divine grace. May you not conclude anything at once and befall the wrath of Almighty. Let us first enquire this lad as to what happened”

A quarter to an hour passed by.

The Karnam thought the opinion from the last few was logical and so he commanded me to explain what happened “O stranger lad, don’t you hear what they say? Go ahead and tell what happened up there”

I explained everything. Before doing so, I prayed to Agastya Muni earnestly and sought apologies since He had instructed me not to share this to anyone. Though they listened to all I said completely, more than half of them did not believe it completely. I did not know how to convince them and so I said that I will read the Jeeva Nadi for the Karnam and others, but I must freshen up myself prior to that, I said.

They accepted to my proposal in about half an hour.

The surprise is that the Thalayari (another important person of the village) who was determined that I should be punished, helped me to stay in his house. An hour passed by. A crowd had gathered in front of the Karnam and Thalayari’s house as though there was a political agenda.

Funny enough, they thought I might escape and run away by the backyard that about four of them stood there as security guards. I cannot escape by telling any lies here. I prayed and opened the Jeeva Nadi.

“Tell me what Agastya Muni tells about me foremost. If it turns out to be true, you need not read further” – said Karnam.

“Sire, sure, let me read” – I began.

“Your name is Avinasilingam. You have a brother. You were a well to do family when young. Your father has two wives and due to this, the family broke up. Your brother joined the military and did not return for about ten years. You had mentioned that he was killed in the war that happened with Pakistan at Srinagar, and had possessed his wealth as well. Worse still, you had made his wife to obey to all your desires due to which, your wife committed suicide by throwing herself in to a well. Aren’t these true?” – I read
slowly and steadily on what Agastya Muni said through the Nadi.

The Karnam did not expect this onslaught and so he was
shattered. As the villagers too knew this story, they couldn’t open their mouth either.

~ to be continued…!