The Grace of Siddha – 78 – The Odhimalayappa!

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The Grace of Siddha takes a slight deviation from the main track where these series talk about Chathuragiri and some of the incidents happened around the place. 

The mountain could be of some 3000 feet. There weren’t any residence or a society as far as one could see. It was surrounded by farm lands. It stood alone from all hidings. There was a Ganesha sannidhi in the basement of the hill. Right behind him went the stairs upwards, around 1800 in number. There were numerous plants, with thorns, the herbal ones and some unidentifiable small sized trees. Upon climbing for a while, felt the tiredness and so sat down where a breeze containing the fragrance of green leaf from somewhere made him feel refreshed. The friend who was quiet all the while began to explain about this hill.

“This hill belongs to Siddha Bhogar. He stayed here for a long time and was doing pooja to this Lord. Only during His stay here, He got the Lord’s command and began to set forth to Pazhani to make the Nava-Bhashana idol for Lord Muruga. Before that, he performed yagnas in all four sides of this hill. There you see about 5 palm trees together, that is the place where he did one yagna in the Esanya corner. Look, that ground will look whitish than the rest of the places. They still don’t use that land for cultivation. The soil comes out as white ash from wherever we dig. They call it Yaga Sishtam. It is used as a medicine. They call this place ‘Poodhi Kaadu’ (may be defined as Vibhuthi Kaadu, where kaadu means forest).

When Bhoga Siddha was performing pooja, this Lord seemed to have twelve hands and six faces! The Siddha when got down, he could not figure out the way to go to Pazhani and so he called for this Lord’s help. The Lord appeared with one face and four hands, showed him the way up to a point and said, “I won’t come beyond this point. Inquire the way yourself and go” and stayed right there. The Lord has one face and four hands where He stood and it is called Velayudha PaLayam. Those who cannot figure out a way out, He shows the way out there. In this hill top, He is with five faces and eight hands and shows mercy to those who seek Him.

There is a unique method followed in this temple. Once the abhisheka, aradhana, karpoora harathi, nivedhana is over, the priest calls out, “Anyone wants to ask for Command?”. Usually one after the other sits down with their knees bent, and ask for His command. Depending on their Karmic effects, time, based on the type of query being asked, Lord Muruga gives His command. You can see it yourself. I shall tell you with the time ripes. Go sit and ask what you want to ask. Let’s see what He says” – said the friend meaningfully.

As he was very much troubled, he listened to all these quietly and said, “Ok, let the time come, let’s see” and became silent. There were four people climbing up with the required items for the yagna. Out of them, one spoke to a devotee after saying ‘Vanakkam’ and looked at him who was sitting and said ‘Vanakkam Saami’. He thought, I don’t even know him, why is he saying hello to me and due to respect, he said ‘Vanakkam sir’.

Once they went, the devotee said, “Do you know who he is, who said hello to you? He looks like a worker. But he is an ardent devotee of this Lord. He has seen the Lord in the form of a small boy seated in these stairs many a times. At midnight, when he carries the items required for the early morning pooja, he just says “Muruga! Save” and goes up. In those days, He appears like a ten year old boy, seated in any of these stairs and when crossed, says “Go carefully”. He has experienced it many a times. Whoever calls him in the midnight to have the items sent up, how much ever he is tired, he comes willingly only to see Him. There are many such miracles here. You will understand as and when. Come, let’s climb.”

There was another Ganesha shrine half way through. Even amidst the hot sun outside, it was cool in His shrine. Surprisingly, after he had stepped up this mountain, for the first time, he prayed to Ganesha generally, “O Lord, to eradicate all obstacles and to have everthing end smooth, Your grace is required.”

The devotee was seeing this and when he came out, he pointed a small pathway which ran down near the shrine and said, “This is the way to go to the cave of Bhoga Siddha. Keep this in mind. We shall go later” and started climbing up. He began to think that there are quite a lot of miracles in this hill. But at once he got that thought, he felt ‘it is enough to have been stuck by doing such research before’ and brushed out that thought right then.

He was drained out completely once he reached the hill top. He washed his hands and feet and went inside the shrine, only to get carried away totally as the Lord there seemed to have accumulated all the beauty out there, smiling and as if saying “Welcome, bhaktha”. The Lord Subramanya. Once the abhisheka was done, the alankara appeared to have increased His charm furthermore. The good work done by the priest was vivid.

He went further in, did a shashtanga namaskara (to prostrate in such a way that eight parts of the body touches the ground). The devotee mentioned to the priest that he was the one who requested the yagna to be conducted. Let us talk about it post the pooja. Has all arrangements been made? – he asked.

The priest appeared to be a calm person in general. He conveyed his hello to him and said “Everything has come. The milk for abhisheka will come in the night. We ourselves have to make other arrangements.” He further instructed, “First prepare the Homa Kunda” to the devotee. He took him to a place where there were stones piled up, picked up some and gave it to him saying ‘there, place this with your own hands on the place where they have smeared the cow dung (cow dung mixed with water is smeared in a number of places such as entrance of the house, worship etc. It serves as a very good antibiotic and believed to be having a number of benefits in the spiritual science as well as the wordly-science).

He received the stones and prayed, “Let this first stone be the beginning for protection and shield” and kept it in a place where it is straight in front of the Lord, without realizing that the yagna is about to be conducted in the supervision of the very Lord Odhiyappa!

The Grace of Siddha – 77 – The place called Chathuragiri

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The Grace of Siddha takes a slight deviation from the main track where these series talk about Chathuragiri and some of the incidents happened around the place. 

I closed the Nadi and looked at those two. What Agastya Muni had mentioned had shocked me. The information clarified that ‘he’ did not commit any mistake but is stuck so very much. It is only Sage Agastya who can save him.

“Ok, what did ‘he’ tell you? What should I ask?” – I asked them.

One of them briefed me about what happened and said,

“Swami, he is very upset that the Annadhana has stopped. The only intention they started this initiative is to ensure that the devotees who climb up  that much of a distance in the jungle to have darshan should not go empty-stomach. It should resume and should continue very well. Even if ‘he’ is not going to be there, the Annadhana should resume. There should be a way out to these problems. He asked us to get clarity on what we should do.”

I began to read the Nadi again.

What do you all know about Chathuragiri?! The Lord who dwells there, do you have any idea how He is? That place is our Yaga-Shala. Even we seek His permission before we set our foot there. We tie a ‘kaapu’ before we get in there. Given all this even for us, it is extremely important for people like you. All these years, no one has ever tied a kaapu (a sacred thread usually worn on the right wrist) so far here. That Lord of great mercy has been very forgiving. Those who did the Annadhana, those who helped for this, nobody understood this. Those few who understood it, did not believe. There has been huge mistakes that happened as well.”

“He was honest alright. But those whom he was associated with committed a few mistakes due to which he is stuck. This we call Sakavasa Dosha. Even if one did not commit a mistake, he gets the dosha because of his association with those who commits a mistake. A 90 days from now, wherever he steps out in our Country, he will be arrested. Ask him not to go anywhere and stay away”.

“Annadhana is a very noble deed in this Kali Yuga. Since he had thought that he is doing it on behalf of the Almighty Lord and even said the same, since they haven’t thought even once that ‘we are doing this’, We will help him.”

Let him listen to what We say. If he follows what We say with a truthfully with a good heart, all the problems will be gone for sure.”

“He should first perform a Chathru Samhara Yaga in a Murugan Temple which is on a hill top, on a Tuesday night.”

“He should chant the Gayatri of Lord Muruga (Subramanya Gayatri Mantra) for 54 times everyday.”

“Everyday, before he steps out, he should chant the Moola Mantra of “Pratyangira Devi” for 36 times.”

“If he does the Japa for the next 90 days, the enemies will be gone. The Annadhana will resume after 3 Amavasya.”

“But at least after these, the mistakes should be avoided.”

“No need to worry about anything. The Agastya will take care.”

“Ask him to stay wherever he is for the next 90 days. The police inquiry will come, he has to co-operate. Ask him to tell the truth. This case will become nothing. I will take care of it. He must be present in the Chathru Samhara Yaga. We will ensure the required safety. Ask him not to worry.”

“But for a few days, he has to feel upset and sorry. Those whom he believed in, will forsake him. They will speak ill of him. No reply should be uttered. Patience is very essential. If he remains silent, We will take care of everything. One has to reap what he sows. He will be saved without great damages.

All these were conveyed to him. When he heard these, he was totally shaken.

The Sage has answered all the questions he was looking for. He decided that he should be as careful as that of walking on glass pieces hereafter. He requested his friend to enquire about the Subramanya Swamy temple on the hill and the requirement for conducting a Chathru Samhara Yaga.

His friend inquired about these and mentioned that it will cost around 20 to 25 thousand rupees. He was dis-heartened as he did not have that much of money. If he could ask the group members of Anna Dhana, they were all frustrated about him. He didn’t know what to do whereby a devotee who comes to the hill top contacted him.

“O Swami, what all have happened? What are you going to do?”

He mentioned everything and also narrated the answers came from Nadi and said “He has asked to do this yagna and mentioned that all problems wil be gone if done so. I do not have that much money and do not know what to do.”

“That’s all right? I know a hill top temple of Lord Muruga. I shall take you there and make all arrangements. Let me ask that priest” – he said.

He came back promptly after two days.

“I have inquired the priest. I will make all arrangements. All the expenses are mine. All you have to do is to come and take part in the yagna” – when he said all these, he was totally moved.

“Will the Sage Agastya do all these in a subtle manner?” – he thanked the Sage from all of his heart and began to make arrangements to go. Without him realizing, there has been a circle of safety that had been formed. He started on Monday and met the devotee on Tuesday. They both got down on a open space and looked up….

There stood a huge mountain, making one gasp as “Ho!” and on top of that, a temple!

“Come, this is called Odhi Malai. The one who is on top of the hill,
blessing everyone is “Odhi Malai Subramanya!” – the devotee introduced.

~ to be continued…!

The Grace of Siddha – 76 – The Twist!

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The Grace of Siddha takes a slight deviation from the main track where these series talk about Chathuragiri and some of the incidents happened around the place. 

He did not want to violate the restrictions imposed by the chief. Before all these happened, he had gone to various other places and had accumulated enough experiences, so being quiet was not a problem for him. He came, did his work, and went down. It was as though a screen had been fallen between him and that Lord Shiva. On a certain day when everyone had slept off, he went to the shrine and began to speak, within.

“O Lord! For whatever you have summoned me here, it should happen before I go away from here. Whatever others say, give me the strength to bear it all. From today, whoever speaks unwanted or bad, I will think of You when I hear them. All that they speak will come to you. It will be as they had meant to tell you those. You take care of it. I am not going to think that I am hearing” – he promised and went off.

The Adi Amavasya came. This calls for lakhs and lakhs of devotees on that day. The crowd makes even a person with sanity go insane. The behavior of the devotees will be crazier. He wanted to avoid being there on that day.

The priest knew this and came searching for him.

“You must come to the temple on the Adi Amavasya day. I will make you the priest and give the control of the sanctum sanctorum to you. You must help me.”

“What is this play?” he thought for long and as the priest kept insisting, he agreed, without knowing that a lot of issues are going to crop up right from that.

The Adi Amavasya day came. He asked the chief if he can stand in for the priest. He gave a slippery reply as “I would not tell you “Don’t stand in” and I would also not tell you “Ok, stand in”. Do as you please.”

There was a rule that that Lord must be worshiped (by touching, doing abhisheka etc) only by Rishi Munis, Siddhas and Brahmacharis. This is because it was stated by the Lord Himself, when he gave that Swayambhu Linga (the Shiva Linga that has appeared all by itself is called Swayambhu) to the Siddhas.

“Those who are in the worldly life, if they touch Me and do the pooja, I will turn them towards the pathway of Moksha. So, only those (referred above) may do such pooja.”

He was in a great dilemma, wasn’t sure what to do because he had family. If he touches Him to do pooja, He will change his mind. Who will take care of the family? He thought for a while and went to the shrine again.

“I wanted to stay away from You but yet get Your blessing. Where is an end to Your divine play? Like they show the candies to the babies and pull them, You are showing this “Priesthood”. I accept it believing in You. One request though. I have a family. Do whatever You want to me, but please let me do my duties to my family” – having said this, he stood in the role of the priest.

Like it happens in many a shrines, the relatives of the priest themselves were involved in looting the money that were given as offering. He realized it and asked everyone to stay away first.

“Those who are honest alone can stay. Those who aren’t, stay out! All the money that falls in this plate (the plate used to distribute the karpoora harathi) will be in my control. No one should touch this. It should be reaching the priest” – he made this strict rule that day.

They thought, let’s see how long he can stay here in the same place. He has to take rest at least for a while, we shall see the rest then”.

He listened to this and prayed, “O Lord, I should not get tired. I should not be needing any rest, food or sleep. I do not know what You will do.

Please take care” – he went on with his duty.

A few changes happened within him. He did not feel tired. Those who were waiting for him to get tired had to retire within a short span of time. He stood there for one and a half day, throughout, as a priest.

It was 2.30 in the morning. He felt something and so he sat in the altar where the Lord was seated and did the pooja. He felt very pleased. He showed the Mangala Harathi and showed it to others, that’s when a hand with Rudraksha Beads extended towards the plate. He looked up at the person, who was the same who spoke to him the other day and warned him about the events.

He nodded with a meaningful smile, took the harathi, and moved away. “If His grace is there, we may meet somewhere” – this reverberated in his ears again. He felt as if something is about to start and right then someone said, “Everything will happen for good, just wait and watch” to someone.

The other priest who was there in the other shrine came rushing, stood before him and shouted “Who gave you the permission to sit in the same altar as that of the Father (Lord Shiva). We ourselves don’t dare to do it. He will, He will take us for a ride. Get down first!!”

He turned towards the ‘Father’ and said within, “All Yours” and turned towards the priest and said, “Go and mind your business. If the Father wants to punish me, let Him punish in whatever ways He wants. I am the priest here today. This is an agreement between me and the Father. Who are you to ask this? If you have some problem, do and tell that to the priest (the one who requested him to stand by). I will do as I please here. No one needs to give me any Upadesha (advice)” – he was harsh and blunt. He also realized that he was not himself when he said all this and felt like it was the Father Himself, who spoke all these.

The person who shouted at him went away and never returned till the time he was there in the hill. But he played his part along with the relatives of the priest in complaining that he was selling sandalwood paste in the shrine and that he ‘sat’ in the same altar as that of the Lord and all his restrictions. The priest did not inquire his side properly and so he avoided him. As he treated him with less respect, he felt bad. His chief, who was responsible for finding out what the truth was, did not support him either.

He felt very satisfied that the pooja was done very well, and started
focusing on the routine. The activities related to the welfare progressed really fast. The other groups plotted a plan. They took the contents of this group’s blog and modified it to their wish, printed it and showed it to the temple authorities saying, “these people looted a lot of money and this must be inquired”. The authorities were waiting for such a chance and so they called for the police and said that every other activity must be stopped till the inquiry gets over. Everything was stopped.

A lady, who was leading another anna-dhana group had written and signed the charge-sheet. He was thinking very good about that lady, that she was doing a great job in the middle of the jungle by providing anna-dhana. He never spoke bad about any other group ever. But he had a determination. “For sure, everything happens here is being watched over by “our great elders” and so, we should never speak ill about anything”. This came out to be the truth.

The lady, a day after submitting the charge sheet, died of some unknown reasons. It was his bad time probably, so everyone against him said in a single voice that he was a great magician and hence this lady was gone. If he comes up to this hill, he won’t go back.

This came as a big shock for him. He decided not to go there again and said, “O Lord, I will climb up hereafter only and only if I feel like You are calling me. I will never come here for any human’s call. You decide!”

The police took the charge-sheet and began their inquiry.

~ to be continued…!

The Grace of Siddha – 75 – The game begins!

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The Grace of Siddha takes a slight deviation from the main track where these series talk about Chathuragiri and some of the incidents happened around the place. 

 

The human mind is a strange one. It doesn’t rest until it finds the answer it is actively searching for. When it finds the answer, the mind naturally feels drawn and creates a relation to the place and the person who was the reason for it. The mind wants to be associated with all these constantly. He was in the same state.

The answers he was searching for was given by Him, the Maheshwara of that Hill, which made him feel ‘He is the right one for me’. He also wanted to stay in that place and do what he could. He blessed him for that as well.

There were many a people who were carrying out Anna-dhana (serving food) to devotees by either forming small groups or as individuals. He joined a group of five and did what he could. Along with this, some other activities related to the welfare of the place added up. Within a short span of time, as he was taking care of everything honestly, the group grew really fast. The other group were jealous of this one. This group where he belonged, had a clear motto. The anna-dhana is happening through the grace of Lord Shiva. We are merely an instruments in carrying it out. When Anna-dhana service was over, his other important work was to be in solitude, to meditate, to go deep in to that forest either alone or with friends and to do research.

He wanted this place to be known to many for them too to get the blessings of the Lord. So he got the permission of the group leader and opened a blog, started writing about the Lord and the place. The mountain became a hot topic of discussion in the internet. Many came to know of this Lord and the amount of people visiting
the hill increased. He also invited a magazine reporter and got an article written on this, which spread the whereabouts of this place worldwide. The place which was sort of hidden and kept as a secret by a few villagers, spread out across the world. Many started talking about this group, which became a reason for problems.

He does not talk much to many. He welcomed anyone who did the anna-dhana. But on other groups, due to the shortcoming on individuals, people started showing interest in this group. The crowd coming to these people increased as well, where everyone contributed whatever they could to this group. Whoever comes in at whatever time, they are not to be told ‘food isn’t available’. This was an order given to everyone in that group.

On a given day, when he was sitting alone in the shrine of the Lord, feeling very blissful, an elderly person came and sat near him. He hasn’t seen him before, he thought someone has come to get the darshan.

He began to speak slowly.

“O Swami, are you meditating?”

He smiled slightly and did not reply.

“You seem very peaceful thinking that everything is going very well.”

He realized that the conversation was taking a strange route and so, but politely said, “Please say out what you wanted to say.”

He gave a piercing look, “Don’t know how to say, but it is good to say the truth as it is, isn’t it?” – he was not ready to come to the point right away.

He straightened up and said, “whatever happens here, is happening because of there, that One, through His grace” – he pointed to the Shiva Linga.

“True. Without Him, not even a single atom moves. Your group does seem to realize that as well. But where is an end to His play? Where it will pull, He alone knows!” – said that old man.

“Why don’t you say what you wanted to say upfront? Why are you so beating around the bush?” – he was a little frustrated.

He sensed his frustration, “Ok, let me come to the point. But to take it in the right sense or not, is totally up to you. But it will happen. This is what is the chess He plays. Now the anna-dhana and other welfare activities are carried out well by your group. But in a few days from now, you are going to lose all these things from your hand. This Lord Shiva, is not like how we all think He is. He gives everything. But when required, He can eradicate everything and can sit alone!

You do not know Him. If one day when everything topples down, you cannot bear it, your mind will feel very painful. Hence I wanted to convey what I knew. Hold on to His legs (surrender yourself to the holy feet of Lord Shiva), cry, pray and ask if there is any other way as against losing all these. He alone can show you an alternate way out” – he was very clear and concise in what he said.

“It is not advisable to say these things out. If you do, and when it happens, they will all blame only you. So, be careful and watchful” – he said, and mentioned, “If His grace is there, we may meet somewhere. Good bye!” – he got down and walked in the path that lead to the forest and was gone.

He was looking at the way that person went, shell shocked. It took a long time for him to come out of the shock. He has heard that in such a hill like this, anyone can come in any form to convey ‘something’. Was it a Siddha who came now, he thought. He looked at the path again and there was nobody.

“He alone can show you an alternate way out” – this was reverberating in his ears and so he went to the shrine again, sat in front of Lord Shiva to meditate. All that the old man had said began to run in his mind.

“Tell me, O Lord. Someone says that we’re going to lose everything. Is this why we all worked here in your temple? Where there was nothing to whatever is now, that anyone who comes, we’re able to show such hospitality till they are satisfied, all
these are given by You and if all these goes away, how can we run this Service and obey Your orders? Ok, please stop what might happen. I will light up a ghee-lamp for three particular days in Your shrine. Please accept it and save us from the plight that might happen” – he prayed, became calm.

He realized that someone somewhere was saying, “Those who are with you, they themselves won’t let you light up the lamp”.

“You are there know! You take care of it. My part is only to try” – he said this to the Lord and began to focus on the other activities. He could light up the lamp twice. The temple priest himself did not allow him to light it up the third time.

He realized that whatever is happening is because of Him, and whatever will happen will also be determined by Him.

Days went by. He kept all these within and was involving himself in the service with patience. He meditated and did the Japa (chanting) he knew. The people who frequented there began to tell him their problems and he felt an urge to say this:

“Sit behind Father and tell Him. It will be solved soon”. The people realized that their problems did fade away and this got spread out that if ‘he’ tells their problems, it will be solved soon.

How can one individual from the group gain so much visibility? Let us see, people outside this group began to protest and they started spreading falsified stories about him. The group leader was also told, “He is freely roaming in the forest. If something happens, who will be responsible. Only we can come for help. Why do you need such trouble?” etc.

They realized that he obeys the chief’s words and they mentioned it to him. He began to put forth a number of restrictions. He instructed him only to concentrate on the anna-dhana and not to talk to anyone, not to roam around in the forest etc. He realized that a net is getting spread around him and it began to tighten up as well.

~ to be continued…!