The GOS – 99 – Ahobilam – 4

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

My Mother wrote “Sri Rama Jayam” crores of times everyday, fetched water from the Thamirabarani river in a pot and offered it for the abhisheka for Perumal (Lord Narayana), the punya of such deeds is the reason why Agastya Muni came to me, I used to think. I was arrogant, without any faith in God, argued, read all those that is not supposed to be read and all. Only after I got the Jeeva Nadi in my hands, my life transformed.

I felt I wasted all these days of life and felt so sorry for it, which are old stories. But to have the darshan of Shri Hanuman, Shri Raghavendra Swamy, to have listened to the abhisheka-mantra of Lord Shiva in the mountain, all these and many such experiences, some of which are not to be disclosed at all, many who read this would not believe it. They may even
get frustrated that it is all but blatant lies. Some may not even like reading it. They may ask, “Will such thing happen in Kali Yuga? Is this Thretho Yuga?”

If such questions are asked by the rationalist parties, then its of no surprise. But those who believe in God are the ones who ask such questions. It is easy to believe a rationalist but not those who claim to have belief in God.

As Agastya Muni had controlled me, I could not share the experience of Ahobilam, even if I wanted to. Otherwise, why would my parents themselves dis-believe? We may obtain the darshan of Lakshmi Narasimha in the shrine, but if we happen to have a darshan right in front, we might as well run away. We get scared even if we see the lion in the dream, thinking that it is not good, if the lion comes in front alive, will we get the courage to prostrate before it assuming that it is Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy? Or do we have the eyes of wisdom? To know that it is indeed the Lord who has come to grace us, and so to fold our hands?

I thought of all these while climbing up. Probably that I am thinking about Ahobilam all the time, everything seems like Lakshmi Narasimha for me, even the prasad which might be given to me in a humanitarian manner, I might have thought that it is the Lord Himself who sent it to me.

Through the Jeeva Nadi, even the smallest thing appeared very big. At the same time, I did feel happy when someone comes and says that such and such miracles happened when they read the Nadi through me. I also have felt sad on seeing that nothing happened at the given time for someone. Why did Agastya Muni come to me? I don’t know the answer as yet. Whatver it may
be, so far I have read it for people and it is enough. Let me not read Nadi to anyone anymore. This is not my profession either. I have a job, thanks to God’s grace. Let me complete this darshan with this Ahobila yatra. I shall also keep the Nadi in Ahobila Narasimha Swamy’s shrine without anyone noticing and come back, I firmly resolved.

I thought about all these again and again for an hour and a half and decided so. While climbing up, there were two old Vaishnava men talking to themselves thus: “To take such a decision is totally wrong. Lakshmi Narasimha will take care.” These words whipped me! I even thought if I should take this as a clairvoyance of the divine, but I resolved to myself again not to deviate from the decision.

I looked at the Jeeva Nadi with all love, devotion and placed it in my eyes (as though worshipping). Just as how Agastya Muni came to me, let me keep this back at Lakshmi Narasimha’s shrine. The priest came out of the shrine.

“An archana needs to be done.”

“Sure! What’s in your hands?”

I mentioned about the Nadi.

“Oh ok, I have heard of it. I am from Tamil Nadu too. It is difficult to get such a Nadi eh?” and said, “Give it to me. Let me place this in the Lord’s feet and perform archana” by himself.

“You don’t have any objection right?”

“Why should there be? There isn’t much crowd today. This thought occurred to me by itself, hence I asked.” – he received the Nadi rather happily.

I had an cruelligent (cruelly intended but intelligent) thought. I thought I will convince the priest to keep the Nadi in the Lord’s feet for today, telling him that I will collect it the next day and I shall run away, in spite of the fact that my mind warned me that it is wrong to do so. I resolved in my mind again that I am going to stick to my decision.

My mind did not go in the archana being done. In fact I prayed that I should be able to keep the Nadi in the shrine and the priest should agree to it. He came out with the prasad. I offered a twenty rupee note in the plate and was about to open my mouth when he said, “How many days will you be here?”

“I plan to start tomorrow because Agastya Muni asked me to stay here for two days.” (the truth came out by itself)

“Where are you put up in Chennai?”

I mentioned the right address, could not tell a lie.

“O very well” – he went inside to take the Nadi and I said, “Can this Nadi be kept in the Lord’s feet for two days? I shall collect it tomorrow afternoon.”

“Please do not mistake me. They don’t keep anything near the Lord’s feet. Even if they do, they take it out and give it away at once. I cannot do so. Even if I do so, the priest who will take over next will throw it away.” – he said humbly.

I was like the thief who got bitten by a scorpion while at work (a local proverb). I gave a weird smile to the priest and received the Nadi. The first plan failed royally. I should keep the Nadi without anyone knowing it or I should put it in the temple Hundi (the money box kept for people to offer whatever they could).

I came out of the shrine and looked around the hill. “This is where I got a miraculous darshan yesterday”, I thought and prostrated to that direction. He said there will be another miracle today, but so far nothing? I thought its just the morning and there is about 12 hours more anyway.

I took the prasad as my breakfast and started walking around the hill, wherever I pleased to. Nature was at its best. As I walked around looking and listening carefully, the people who passed by gave a strange look. I was surprised to see them appearing tensed, holding hands tightly. Where are they going? I did not know. I didn’t feel like asking either. Let us go behind them, I thought and looked back at once. There was no body till my eyes could see. There weren’t anyone who came behind me either.

I got a strange fear and my body started shivering as that of cold. I even thought of going back swiftly.

At that time…

I heard a voice saying “Narasimha, Narasimha…” from the nearby rock!

~ to be continued…!

Picture courtesy: HareKrishnaWallpapers.com

The GOS – 98 – Ahobilam – 3

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

How much ever I prayed, I did not get anything further from Agastya Muni. He must be angry, let Him cool down, I thought and left it. As I got up early, I climbed up the mountain, while reciting whatever sloka’s I knew about Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. How much of it were correct, how many mistakes I made, I could not say.

I reached the sanctum sanctorum of the Moolavar. I prayed to the Lord that I will have my sisters’ wedding conducted in Tirupathi and that I will do an offering of Panakam (a sweet water made out of jaggery) in Lakshmi Narasimha’s shrine on a Swati star day or on a Friday. I also pledged in the same place that whatever Agastya Muni tells me about spirituality in Jeeva Nadi, I would not reveal it outside until He permits.

All these came out of my mind all by itself. I mentioned all these within myself and prayed to Him happily, did a Sashtanga Namaskara and came out, where I thought of knowing about the person who helped me in last night. I went to the priest and enquired about that “Malola Narasimhachari” who works in the temple kitchen.

I was told that there is no body who works here or in the temple kitchen with that name. Many others who were there said the same thing. “Why should He help me? Is that the Lord Himself who came to help me?”

Ok, let us ask about the comet at least, I prayed earnestly to Agastya Muni and opened the Nadi.

“As the star of Swati has appeared, We shall narrate the future of this country in the shrine of the Lion Headed Lord who has the essence of the priceless Vedas within. That widow with hair is about to lose the hair and will sit in a corner, there is going to be many heads rolling, the leadership will change. The alliance without a difference of opinion then will rule the country. Then will come a split, due to an insane son. This lady will be sworn in as the prime minister of the country” – said the Maha Muni and said, “There is a reason for the comet’s appearing as well, be patient, till We say, do the Japa.”

I felt relieved that He opened up at least that much and felt that His anger must have subdued. I could grasp to an extent on what He said, but could not understand completely. I left it as it is. I then had the darshan of all the Narasimha Swamy’s in their shrines and was coming down the hill slowly where I felt that there is a small grievance in my mind.

I went to the Sthamba where Narasimha Swamy had appeared from a pillar, to kill Hiranya Kasipu. I placed the Agastya Jeeva Nadi there and prayed, and spontaneously opened it.

“Stay here for two days and pray the Lion Headed God. There will be a few miraculous incidents. Witness them and go back to your place” – ordered He.

I did as He said and was roaming around the place till evening without climbing down. There was a huge tree where the sunlight could not reach to its basement due to its dense branches and leaves. The cold breeze made my mind energetic and happy. I even spread a towel I had in the base of the tree to have a nap. As I had had a light food and was tired, I must have slept at once.

When I woke up, the moon was coming up slowly and my wrist watch showed 7. I looked around and found no one. As I had crossed the shrine alone, no one spotted me or woke me up. Though that silence was good to feel, various different sound of animals arising from the nearby mountain made me fear. At least somebody saved me yesterday either due to God’s grace or
the merits of my parents.

But who will come today? The fear of getting down the hill alone increased minute by minute. I had no choice but to do so I thought and there I saw…

In front of my eyes, in about 200 feet’s distance, a lion was seen playing with its’ four cubs. Is this really a lion? Or is this a hallucination? I did not know. I even thought how I should escape if it comes in front of me. I cannot climb up the tree faster and moreover, that tree did not have any friendly branches or a swelling in the trunk.

This deadly dilemma occurred for about 10 minutes. I didn’t have the mind to open the Nadi to know what will happen. When I thought I should just get down faster without the beast seeing me, the other thing happened…

An eight year old boy goes near to the lion fearlessly, unarmed. The lion which could jump at him right at that instance, for some reasons, lies down stretching its legs without any noise. He cajoles the cubs which play with him like puppies. After a while, he caresses the lion on its forehead and its neck and back. It remains silent. This was seen for about two minutes.

Then neither the lion, the cubs nor the boy was to be seen. This was like a silent drama before my eyes. I rubbed my eyes and looked at that place again thoroughly. Nothing except the shadow of the trees from the light of the moon was to be seen. I thought this must have been a hallucination out of my fear. Yesterday was a wolf, today is a lion. What’s tomorrow?

I decided to ask the Maha Muni whether this is a dream or a hallucination or reality later and started getting down. There were good crowd unlike yesterday. I was hungry as I had taken just a couple of bananas. I even thought that we can have a feast if we get the prasad like yesterday but I didn’t. I had whatever was available in an Iyengar’s hotel downstairs and went to the room.

As usual in the early morning, I cleansed up, opened the Jeeva Nadi and asked about the vision of lion yesterday. The Maha Muni narrated a great history in a lengthy manner.

“Yesterday was a very important day. Swati star. Full Moon. In a similar day only, Lord Narasimha Deva had taken the avatar and gave mukti (salvation) to Hiranyakasipu in an evening.

As you are our beloved son, such a rare sight was given to you from a distance. The lion you had seen is the one where Lord Narayana dwells. The four cubs were the four Vedas. The boy is none other than Bhaktha Prahalada. But you could not see the faces as it is not destined for all humans to see the Almighty directly. If one gets such a darshan, the next moment they will drop their physical bodies or will go blind.

As you are our beloved son, We prayed to Lord Narayana, created a protective shield around you and showed you that vision as if seen in dreams. The Lord agreed to our prayer, thereby you received that sight.

All the devas used to ask Lord Lakshmi Narasimha on how Hiranyakasipu was killed and the Lord used to “enact” it. But Agastya did not want to see such a thing. Hence the Lord showed this sight as if seen in a mirror. If you open your mouth to anyone about this, no one will believe you and will think that you have gone crazy. They may ridicule you as well. So do not tell anyone about this as of now. We shall have this announced when the right time has come.

In two days, two different miracles will happen. Witness them as well and get back to your place.” – said the Son of the three eyed God. I prayed and thanked Him earnestly.

In a few hours, I was climbing up the mountain again, thinking as to what miracle will happen today.

~ to be continued…!

The GOS – 97 – Ahobilam – 2

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

Those who have been to Ahobilam knows how beautiful it is, with its serene plus nature mixed with somewhat fearsome places, how it attracts people. More so, one may feel like staying there forever, thinking of Lord Narayana and spend till the end of life.

In such a holy place, as I was holding on to the sthamba of Lord Narasimha tightly, Lord Narasimha has saved me from the wolf, I thought. At the same time, I was a little ashamed as to how I was roaming around in places with the Jeeva Nadi in hand all alone, and where am I to get so scared to the sound of a wolf. The way I was scared so much, that I did not even care to look at the Nadi and had started to come down, the old man who pointed me to it, all these appeared very strange.

He could have said, “here take those Nadi leaves” but he had said, “you have to read the Nadi here” – which made me think. He cannot be an ordinary person. I prostrated to him within my mind. As it was dark and there weren’t anyone to go down from the hill, I wanted somebody to accompany me downwards. Eventhough Agastya Muni’s Jeeva Nadi was in my hands, I am a normal human and so the fear had not gone totally.

“I shall come along. But if a crowd comes in between, join them as I have an important work in the hill” – a person said this repeatedly and was accompanying me. He was well built and robust. I kept looking at him from head to toe from time to time, without anyone knowing.

Thick and strong hair that touched the shoulders, very strong built, as though exercising regularly, a shining skin without a shrink, beard and mustache that is of white and black, penetrating eyes, a dhoti as white as the Thumbai flower.

He had set the hair was free flowing which must have been coiled down, sacred thread in the chest, finger nails of abnormal length. His voice was majestic, innumerable courage and vigor, but he seldom did a chit-chat. He must have been of 50 years old.

He did not speak for sometime, but started to talk slowly.

“Is that Jeeva Nadi bundle?”

“Yes”

“You read that beneath the sthamba..what came in it?”

He asked as though he knew everything.

“There were many that came.”

“About what?”

“About the comet that appeared in the sky last night.”

“What? Comet? That appeared yesterday?”

“Yes, it has come in all papers today.”

“What did Agastya say?”

I stood still for a moment. He who sped stood as well.

“Who are you? Tell me that first please.”

“I am a relative of the priest. I work as a cook in the temple kitchen. Name is Malola Narasimhachari.”

“No. You are hiding something. You are not Malola Narasimhachari truly.”

“Then who?”

“That you have to tell…” – I sounded like pleading, with fear and a little anticipation.

“You are new to this place. Ask anyone here about me. When you say Malola Narasimhan, they’ll tell you “the Iyengar of the temple kitchen.”

“How did a cook in the temple kitchen know that what’s in my hand is Agastya’s Jeeva Nadi, this is one, another, you had asked me to read the Nadi beneath the Ugra Narasimha’s Sthamba. How was that? I only knew this secret. How did you come to know of it?” – I felt I have cornered him.

He laughed aloud.

“I am not a big man eh! Must have told, ‘here take the palm leaves’ but I must have said something else.” – he paused.

“Still, how did you say that this palm leaves is that of Agastya Muni?” – I cross questioned.

“Ho! You! I had visited TamilNadu a few months ago. Been to Vaideeswaran temple as well. Wherever I turned, I saw ‘Agastya Olai Suvadi’ boards. I presumed this is one among them, hence I said so.” – he said and pointed, “There, a group descending, go join them” – he turned and started climbing upwards, not to be seen a while later.

I came down with so many thoughts and was very hungry. When I came near Prahladha Narasimha Swamy shrine, a person appearing like a temple staff came along, covering a plate with banana leaf, placing his right hand on top of it to save it from flying away.

“You…?” – he first asked in Telugu and then said, “You are a Tamilian right?” in Tamil. “Are you coming from Madras?”

“Yes”

“Your name?”

I said.

The next moment, “It is an order to give this only to you.” – he said happily and handed the plate over to me. I opened the plate. It had sweet pongal with lots of roasted cashew nuts, along with it was a very Andhra style spicy puliogere rice with great aroma, dry grapes, grapes mixed curd rice.

I felt that the Almighty Himself had sent this to me, at that hunger that I did not even feel like asking who gave it for me. I thanked within for a thousand times and ate it in few gulps. It tasted like nectar, sure!

I washed my hands and the plate in the nearby plate and turned around.

The person who stood there all along was not to be seen. Who was he? Why did he search for me and handed over the food? Who sent this? I do not know till date. Was it intended for someone else? Then why should he ask my name as though confirming? I began to think only then. There is a reason for everything. Ok, we’ve had good darshan. There was still one
more day. We should climb up the hill again to have another good darshan and come down, I decided. Due to the great food and the tiredness of climbing the hill, I slept off in one of the temple’s room. Somehow I woke up around 4 in the morning. As usual, I cleansed the body and mind in Brahma Muhurtha and opened the Nadi.

Now I did not feel like asking about the comet. Why did the wolf come there to scare me off? Who was the old man who gave me courage? How was I quenched off my hunger when I came down? Who gave me that Prasadha? This is all I wanted to ask. I asked.

Should have visited Ahobila Mountain with sincere devotion. You did not come so. What happened in Thirumala, what you said to the in-charge there, you ignored. You had pledged that you will conduct your sisters’ marriage in Tirupathi Ahobila Mutt, but due to circumstances, you forgot.

Only to remind you of the promise you gave Him, Lord Lakshmi Narasimha scared you off with the voice of a wild animal up in the hill. Without sincere devotion, if stepped on the Ahobila Hill, one’s wish will not come true. Neither will you obtain the grace of God or of Agastya’s. This is not only for you. This is a warning given to anyone who could come here.

Second, you grabbed the sthamba and screamed, “O Lakshmi Narasimha! Save me!” with a fear of life, after throwing away the Nadi, surrendering totally. This is the philosophy of total surrender. You had not experienced this before. Only yesterday. This again is the divine play of Lakshmi Narasimha Himself. Without understanding all these, you had called upon the help of that old man to accompany you, compare that person’s form in the form of Lakshmi Narasimha in a sitting posture, you shall know!!” – the Maha Muni paused for a moment. I felt like I am being whipped by thousands.

Truly, I recalled how I lied to my family members when I started off to Ahobilam, how I boasted about myself in the train etc. I did not pray to Lord Lakshmi Narasimha earnestly through my heart, even for a moment. I felt like it was a punishment given by the Lord and Agastya Muni for me. I opened the Nadi again, but do not know why, Agastya Muni did not appear.

~ to be continued…!

The GOS – 96 – Ahobilam

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

Kethu means the one who does bad thereby providing wisdom. The Tamil word Dhooma Kethu for comet means that it will give a difficult time to the country and then will make a happier turnaround. This divine saying on astronomy said by the rishi-munis of the yore, as seen in old palm leaves holds true to this date. This is mentioned in our Puranas as well, which takes even the non-believers to think.

What sort of a danger will befall the country, I thought. Either Pakistan wage war or China will create some nuisance or it might be an effect of the elements, resulting in drought. It could be earth-quake, heavy rain resulting in damaged crops, reduction in devotion, corruption and immorality in the nation, rape, murder, theft happening frequently. Apart from these, what else can harm? I thought.

But…

The Maha Muni asked to look at the sky in the north-eastern direction steadfast and the comet will be seen. I looked. Just as how it appeared a while ago, it appeared again. Now it was bigger but disappeared as soon as it was seen, never reappeared.

The following morning had a number of beautiful sight but my mind kept thinking about the comet. I got an English daily in the nearby station which contained a small piece of news about the comet, which was in detail in the evening paper.

I felt somewhat satisfied. It wasn’t a dream and can be shared. When asked to the Maha Muni, He just said, “We shall explain in the shrine of Lion“, that is Ahobila Narasimha Swamy shrine. I reached Ahobilam.

Ahobilam.

This place has witnessed many a miracles, situated around 2800 feet above the sea level, a place where Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy takes a stroll in the night, sometimes even in the day time. Its plush greenery, mountain covered with a green blanket of trees, remains as a visual treat for the eyes, as a display of nature’s magnanimity.

In the place of Ahobilam one can have the darshan of Nava Narasimha’s. The basement has 5 of them:

Prahladha Varadha Lakhmi Narasimha
Bhargava Narasimha
Shri Chatravada Narasimha
Yogananda Narasimha and
Karancha Narasimha

From the basement to the top, it is around 10 kilo meters. The reason why this place is so famous is because of the shrine of Ugra Narasimha who appeared as a Swayambhu (who or that which appeared all by itself) inside a cave, where Bhatha Prahalada, Shri Garuda, Mahalakshmi did penance for years and had His darshan, such a cave.

Here in the top, the other four Narasimha can be seen:

Ugra Narasimha (ugra – ferocious)
Shri Bhavana Narasimha
Shri Varaha Narasimha and
Shri Jwala Narasimha

The other important places are: the birth place of Bhava Nashini, Ugra Sthambam, Shri Malola Narasimha and the cave of Bhaktha Prahalada.

The Maha Muni though mentioned to visit Ahobila, He never said that there will be a lot of merits if one prays in this divine destination. It appeared as if He will appear in the Nadi only after having darshan in all the thirteen holy places. I went to each of the shrine with utmost devotion and had darshan as per the methods prescribed.

As I climbed up, a sort of fear occupied me.

There wasn’t much of a crowd, there is no defense mechanism to protect myself. No one accompanied me. I felt that it is not advisable to visit such mountains without somebody’s help. One has to step very carefully and should press their foot stern on the ground. If slipped off, that’s it. Only the Almighty can save.

As it was dense with trees and plants, the wild animals were roaming around freely, so I had to carefully proceed further.

There is a similarity between Ahobilam and Thirupathi. The head of Adi Shesha (the serpent which Lord Vishnu reclines) being Thirupathi, the tail being Shri Shaila and the torso being Ahobila, why I was ordained to visit Ahobila when I was in Thirupathi, I thought.

The place where Hiyanyakasipu’s stomach was torn apart, looks like Adi Shesha. The Jwala Narasimha’s shrine, being the stomach part of the mountain, I sat there with utmost devotion and respect and opened the Jeeva Nadi.

There were numerous incidents that the Maha Muni displayed, as if it was shown as a screenplay and said, This is the place where the battle happened. I will not say anything for you here. There is Ugra Sthamba a few feets from here where the holy feet of Lord Narasimha can be seen nearby. Touch those feet. You will feel an unknown pulling in your hand. Sit there and pray to Agastya. Whatever you ask, We shall answer you right there under the feet of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy – said the Maha Muni.

I found the place exactly as He mentioned. I touched and prayed to that feet and opened the Nadi. I heard an unknown animal’s sound.

I began to sweat. There is nobody around and since they said that wild animals roam around here freely, I could barely breathe. How can I escape? I looked around and found nowhere to go. I even blamed Agastya if some mishap happens here, if my fate ends here in this place, in this way.

For about half an hour, the sound from the unknown animal was heard on and off. It was dark and that’s when the wild animals set out in search for their prey. There were no one around, they must have gone to safer places after knowing all this.

Come what may, I thought and began to read the Nadi.

For ten minutes, nothing came out. Alright then, even Agastya Muni abandoned me, I thought. I held the iron sthamba tightly saying “O Lakshmi Narasimha, save me!”

The Jeeva Nadi which I was about to read was scattered in the feet of Lakshmi Narasimha. I do not know how long I was holding to the Sthamba. I gained my consciousness when somebody woke me up, asking who I was in Telugu.

I mentioned everything in Tamil, after which he began to speak in Tamil too, which gave a huge strength to me. I asked what that animal was, whose sound was terrifying. He said that it was that of a wild wolf and that it was roaming around for sometime.

“Wolf?”

“Yes. It is a dangerous animal that even does not fear the Lion and Tiger. It ventures before them without fear. They go only in groups mostly and looks like this one got separated from the group. It hasn’t eaten for four days and so it bites anyone who comes here. The steps to release it there inside the wild wasn’t that fruitful.” – he said.

I thanked the person and asked him if he can accompany me till the basement. He said that the temple authorities must have chased that wolf away with fire-torch and that I can descend without fear.

I interrupted him right there and pleaded him to stay with me till I get a company to go down. He accepted with a half heart and showed the Nadi which was scattered near the Ugra Sthamba mentioning, “You’re leaving these and going, you have to read this here first and then only go. First take these, arrange them nicely and read. I shall come after.”

I was shocked. I had forgotten the Nadi completely out of fear. Who is this person who points me to the Nadi and read it?!

~ to be continued…!

Image Courtesy: Molee, Deviantart.com