The GOS 223 – Perumal & Adiyen 23 – Garudas to the rescue

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The answers of Agastya Muni to the generic questions posted by devotees can be found here. The readers are requested to send their spiritual experiences related to the Siddhas to GnanaBoomi at Gmail dot com. Though the experiences are unique and personal to them, it can shower some light or guidance to those who read them. Thanks!
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Those who commit mistake won’t know fear. Their eyes will be blindfolded with anger and rage. But when Dharma rises up, they will be scattered in to pieces with no chance of getting up again. Adi Sesha was in such a condition, blindfolded with anger. In spite of it, he had a little fear that Lord Narayana has not responded to anything – be it not sending a messenger to him to talk peace, in knowing well that he was with Kali and Shani, He did not respond at all, he feared. He also had a strong faith. If he surrenders to the Lord, He will definitely forgive his mistakes and embrace him again.

But what they say in the sky was terrifying. There were countless Garudas shielding even the sun flying around everywhere. Sesha has never seen this massive amount of Garuda before. All the Garudas stooped down to catch every snake who ran for their lives here and there. The snakes started hiding themselves in the tree holes and gaps in the rock. But the Garudas skillfully took them out of these gaps with their beaks. Some even rolled the rocks with their beaks and caught hold of the snakes. Shanishwara was also scared of this sight but Kali began to threaten Sesha.

“Why are you silently witnessing? Shouldn’t you break the neck of all these garudas and send them to Yama Loka?”

“Is it one or two to break neck? These are in thousands! Just see how Shani is scared too!” – Sesha was frustrated. “O Shani, aren’t you thinking that we should hide somewhere?”

“Sesha is right. It is ideal that we leave at once.” – said Shani.

Kali seldom liked this thought.

“What’s the point in getting scared about everything? Why did we come here? What word did we give Brahma Deva? I am so sad how I am going to rule this earth in Kali Yuga with such cowards.” – he gasped.

Sesha and Shani became furious.

“Kali Purusha!” – roared Shani like a lion. “Do not insult us for there is none who dared to do so. I am sparing you as you came as a friend.”

“..or else? Will you have jumped out and thrashed all the garudas and saved Sesha’s heirs? None. You were just witnessing how Sesha’s heirs are getting killed by Garudas. You could not do anything. I am shameful of it.” – Kali spoke his mind.

Shani turned towards Sesha. “Why are you silent?”

“What else can I do when my heirs are getting killed thus. I could not save them right?” – Sesha’s teary eyes shook Shani. He came closer and held Sesha’s shoulders tightly.

“Sesha, look at me! Will I abandon you? Why are you talking all these by listening to Kali? I will bring back the lives of all these snakes with my power.”

Sesha was pleased. “How are you going to do it?”

“I will tell Yama, who lives trusting me to bring them back to life.”

“Will Yama listen to you? What if he rejects your query?”

“Sesha, you are asking a childish question. Yama has never refused my bidding. He won’t either. If he does, his life wouldn’t be his.” – laughed Shani. This gave a lot of hope to Kali and Sesha.

As the three of them were talking, the Garudas and Eagles began to fly circling them.

“As per the orders of Garuda, we are arresting you three and are taking you to Venkatava. The rest is all in front of the Lord.” – the Garudas said these with respect and carried them first to Garuda Himself. Garuda did not even face them but ordered them to be taken in front of Lord Venkatava.

Garuda’s act created a burning sensation in Sesha’s stomach. However, he could not know that Garuda was facing the other side trying to hide his tears as he thought, “the friend who was with me serving the Lord has got confused by listening to Shanishwara.”

The three were made to appear in the Sabha of Lord Venkatava. There seated Maha Muni Agastya as well, who was the primary advisor for the Sabha. Lord Narayana appeared and sat in the Sabha suddenly with the radiance of thousands of crores of sun. When everyone paid their respects to the Lord in the form of ‘Charanagathi (surrendering in the lotus feet of the Lord), the Lord said:

“Sesha, you could come and sit beside me.”

The moment Sesha heard this, he started crying profusely. The Lord laughed within and looked at Shani, “O Shanishwara, I feel heavy hearted to see you standing. You could sit next to the Maha Muni Agastya.”

When Shanishwara saw that huge Simhasana, he had an immeasurable respect and devotion towards the Lord. He was thinking that he will be punished severely for his acts. He folded both his hands and the Lord said with a voice that was choked with compassion:

“This day you have stepped on Tirumala is very auspicious. Hereafter, this Shani will stay here besides me and will relieve those who are possessed by Shani, may I say?”

Shani said: “Your wish is my command, O Lord. Whoever visits this Tirumala to have your darshan on Saturdays, thier Shani-Dosha will vanish completely. This hill will become even holier every Saturday.” – Shani spoke in a state of forgetting himself completely, scaring Kali purusha totally.

“Enough, Shani, enough! Stop it or there will be disaster here.” – roared Kali.

~ to be continued…!

The title for this episode is inspired by Amar Chitra Katha’s ‘Garuda to the rescue’. Featured image courtesy – Swamy’s indology blog.

The GOS 222 – Perumal & Adiyen 22 – The ritual of naming one of the hills with Garuda’s name

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The answers of Agastya Muni to the generic questions posted by devotees can be found here. The readers are requested to send their spiritual experiences related to the Siddhas to GnanaBoomi at Gmail dot com. Though the experiences are unique and personal to them, it can shower some light or guidance to those who read them. Thanks!
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Agastya began to address those who assembled and were eagerly waiting to know about the ‘conversation’ happened between him and the Lord.

“O Maha Muni, the foremost of all Siddhas! Please convey the message to these people here” – said Sriman Narayana. Agastya began:

“Through the grace of Lord Venkatava in Tirumala, a few things are to be carried out immediately as per His orders. In this punya-kshethra, the Lord who has taken the avatar of Srinivasa to subdue Kali’s atrocities and to bless all creations, has decided to honor Garuda who has been serving Him for yugas. He would like to name one of the hills in the name of Garuda, which is the wish of Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Deva Rishi Narada as well. This hill will henceforth be called as Garudathri! This auspicious function will happen in a few seconds from now. The Lord has invited you all to partake in it. In continuance to this naming ceremony, grand festivals will happen for the next ten days. Those who will partake in the naming ceremony and the festival for the next ten days will be blessed by Lord Venkatava. I convey this message as per the orders of the Lord.” – said Agastya Muni.

The moment Agastya paused his speech, the sound of clapping hands reached the sky. Everyone bowed down to Lord Narayana. Agastya continued…

“Do you know? Venkatanath will not hurt anyone. In this life which is full of ups and downs, happiness and sorrow, if one surrenders to the Lord with all their heart, He will make their lives better. Those who are here listening to this, I request you to convey this to all those rishi-munis, thavasis, siddhas, bhaktas, everyone so they all can be benefitted by partaking this naming ceremony and festivals.”

The clapping reverberated again to the skies as soon as He paused. Agastya bowed down to Narayana Swamy: “Thanks for blessing me to have this task completed.”

Lord Narayana came forward and embraced Garuda, made him sit on a suitable seat and looked at the munivars around and smiled. They started chanting the vedas as soon as He smiled while Lord Narayana named the hill as Garudathri. Then He blessed those around by raising both His hands. It was an wonderful sight. Then He looked at Agastya and nodded whereupon the foremost Siddha requested everyone to convey the message of “Garudothsava” happening for ten days at Tirumala.

This message reached Adi Sesha as well.

“There is a ceremony praising Garuda, that too for ten days. Everyone from the earth and skies are going to attend it.” – this shaked Sesha very much. He began to worry if he has committed a mistake or that Shanishwara is taking him in a wrong direction. He could not even speak. Shani was worried too, but he could not afford Sesha leaving him. So he came closer and embraced Sesha and began to speak.

“Sesha! It is expected that such things would happen. It is all Narayana’s plot to have you and me separated. Don’t get distracted with all these. This Garuda has cheated you by playing games both sides. You are not like him. You give priority to dignity. Do not worry.”

“I could not bear this, Vishnu is actually insulting me by praising Garuda. He is ruling this place by sitting on me, and He has named my second head in the name of Garuda. How fair is it? Has he ever respected Garuda before?” – said Sesha.

“Alright. What are you going to do about it?”

“Brother! I came here in complete trust. You have to help me. I cannot think straight.” – said Sesha.

“Sesha! Only now we should not lose hope. We have been giving tests to others but this is our testing time and none other than Venkatava is testing us.”

“I understand it completely and I know it already. What is the use in telling me something which I know already? Tell me what we can do.”

“Why are you gasping like this Sesha? I cannot plot anything at this stage. Let us go to Deva Loka and have a hearty drink.”

“What?! Drink?! I haven’t even dreamt of such a thing before. Should I even do this?” – Sesha was furious.

“What’s wrong in it? Only these drinks will encourage us to do what we are about to do. You probably aren’t aware of it.”

“No Swamy, no please! Please do not get me addicted to such habits. If you want, please feel free.”

“You Sesha! You don’t know how to enjoy yourself. I am not going there without you. But we have to stop this festival somehow.”

Sesha was startled at the ferocious tone Shani said this. Kali entered the place right at that time and he appeared happy.

“You have come at the right time Kali.” – said Shani.

“When have I entered in the wrong time?” – laughed Kali, seated next to them.

“I know everything. I have made arrangements to stop that ceremony. First of all, I mixed poison in all the waters of the earth thereby preventing those from Earth attending this festival.”

“Very well done!”

“Then I blocked the pathway with huge rocks so no one can climb up Tirumala.”

“Very good, very good!”

“Third, I have spread deadly thorns on top of the rocks and around so no one crosses them. But I could not do just one thing which I thought of getting done through Sesha. So I hastily came here.”

“What should Sesha do?”

“He should make a whole lot of serpents slither around. Their hissing should mix in the air causing giddiness to even those away from 100 Kadha distance.” – said Kali.

Sesha was righteous as always, though he was affected by the recent happenings. He said: “How unfair is it? The conflict is between us and Venkatava. Why should innocent Gnani’s, people should get affected? This is not as per Dharma.”

Kali and Shani did not expect this at all. There was a brief silence.

“Sesha, are you talking with your senses? Think well. Even I don’t have any conflicts or peace with Tirumalaivasa. I am doing this for your welfare. Think about it.” – said Kali.

“Sesha, if you do not like these arrangements, go at once to Narayana’s side. But if they insult you there and drive you away, do not return here. That’s all I would say!” – Shani tried scaring Sesha. Sesha felt it is better to remain with them than going to Narayana and potentially getting insulted. He agreed to the plan. The next second…

Thousands of poisonous snakes started slithering around Tirumala. As they could fly, they flew here and there and spat poison. The rishi-muni’s staying at the base of Koneri could see these numerous snakes flying around. The poisonous air they spread started making people feel giddy and fell unconscious. The rishi-muni found the source of these poisonous air and started performing yagnas to prevent them from spreading. The snakes found these and started attacking them. Shani and Kali enjoyed looking at this but Sesha felt an unknown fear surrounding him.

Right then, something wondrous happened in the sky which terrified Kali and Shani!

Featured image courtesy: Temple Purohit

~ to be continued…!

The GOS 221 – Perumal & Adiyen 21 – Shani commands Sesha!

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The answers of Agastya Muni to the generic questions posted by devotees can be found here. The readers are requested to send their spiritual experiences related to the Siddhas to GnanaBoomi at Gmail dot com. Though the experiences are unique and personal to them, it can shower some light or guidance to those who read them. Thanks!
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It is not true that fate is powerful that never spares anyone but the Gods are exempted, as we see in many puranas. If we are affected by Rahu or Kethu, we worship Nagalinga, do archana or prarthana. But if the lord of Rahu and Kethu, Adi Sesha himself is stuck in a problem? Sesha was losing his mind in the influence of Shanishwara, nay, he was completely losing himself.

Shanishwara was really happy. It wasnt possible to get Garuda separated from Narayana. At least Sesha could be, he felt.

“O Brother! Tell me what I should do now.” – Adi Sesha was emotional.

“You have to do a lot. But…”

“But what?”

“Nothing. Garuda said the same thing. But he changed his mind suddenly and surrendered to Narayana. I was doubtful if you would do the same.”

Sesha was furious. He started breathing heavily.

“You have mistaken me. I love my dignity. I am ashamed that you compared me with Garuda.”

Shani was sure that Sesha is committed to his decision. He then began to persuade Sesha with soothing words.

“Brother. It’s my experience that made me speak so. Let it go. Don’t keep these in mind. It is not good also to be emotional frequently. If possible, try remaining silent like me.” – he tapped Sesha’s back. Sesha felt very comfortable. He listened to all that Shani said by sipping the milk in a golden bowl.

“First let all the munivars, devas and gandharvas know that you have abandoned Narayana and that you are not going to serve Him.”

“So be it brother”

“Narayana will be shocked on hearing this. He will send many messengers to persuade you. They may speak so sweet to pull you towards Him.”

“That won’t happen. Once I decide, nothing can change me.” – roared Sesha.

“Fair enough. If he sends some messenger, put forth a condition to them.”

“What kind of condition?”

“If Narayana wants you to serve Him, then place a condition that Garuda should leave Him forever.”

“Good. I can be at peace only when Garuda leaves Narayana. I will certainly place this condition. Then?”

“A lot are there. You think that Narayana has a greater affinity towards you that He made yourself as Tirumala and remains there. But don’t you think it is a kind of slavery? How long would you bear it? You must abandon being there at and as Tirumala.”

“How is that possible?”

“Listen with patience, brother. You are with me now mentally. But your physical body is spread from Gokarna till Srisaila with Venkatava being right in the center of your body at Tirumala.”

“…but I accepted it with all my will. What is wrong with it?”

“No. That is where Narayana played clever. You were cheated. Never mind. Just shrink yourself and quit being Tirumala.”

“What if I do so?”

“Narayana will have to fall down and should remain in the banks of Koneri river.”

Sesha became silent on hearing this.

“Sesha. If you do not like this plan, leave it. I was concerned that a brother suffers like being a slave to Narayana while He praises and prioritizes Garuda for everything.” – Shani looked at Sesha.

“There’s nothing wrong in what you said. But I wasn’t comfortable abandoning Tirumala all of a sudden. Can I be with you mentally and leave my physical body there?”

“See? Just a while back you spoke something else. Now you are changing your words. I don’t know how to explain. If it is your fate to be a slave to Narayana and Garuda, how can I stop it?” – Shani showed a pseudo anger.

“Please don’t be angry brother. All these will happen only after me calling everyone and let them know of my decision to abandon Narayana right? It can be taken care of later. What if I abandon Vishnu, and haven’t said anything against Garuda and what if Narayana doesn’t send any messengers, what will be my position?”

“Now you asked an intelligent question indeed. If something happens out of our plan, myself and Kali Purusha will devise a strategy and ensure that you are not affected at all. Don’t you worry.”

The Lord Almighty was witnessing all these conversation, obviously. He knew that Kali will do anything to make his plan work. He therefore wanted to give a shock treatment to block such things even temporarily as it may spread venom across all other creatures. He called upon Garuda.

“Bring Agastya here at once.”

Garuda went on to find Agastya seated in the middle of a jungle, doing pooja to Narayana. As a slight breeze touched him, he turned to find Garuda standing next to him.

“Welcome O Garuda! Namaskara. Are you well? Had you summonned me, I would have come myself. Your face says that you have come on Venkatava’s orders. If you mention it, I shall do it at once.”

“O Agastya Muni! I am doing well. But I do not know when what will happen at Tirumala. Venkatava asked me to bring you to Him at once. Hence I came. Please come with me.” – Garuda folded his hands.

“O! The Lord wanted to see me?! Let me come at once. I was doing the pooja only to him. How blessed I am. Let us go at once.” – Agastya completed the pooja and started with Garuda, discussing what was happening. Kali was witnessing all these in disguise. He desired to know Vishnu’s plan of action. He was pleased that Adi Sesha could be separated from Vishnu, if not Garuda.

Agastya paid a humble respect by bowing down with folded hands to Narayana.

“Welcome Agastya! Let there be auspiciousness. There is an important task to be completed. Hence I called you without saying what it is.” – the Lord smiled.

“Your wish is my command, O Lord!” – Agastya stood humbly with folded hands.

The Lord kept looking at Agastya who understood the purpose and became even more focussed. Everyone around were eagerly awaiting to know what the Lord is going to say. No conversation happened. Then after a while, the Lord said:

“…that’s what you need to do. Please start working on it right away.”

No one around, including Narada who was present understood anything. They all looked at Agastya as to what He is going to say. He said:

“I am blessed. Let me start the work right away!”

What work? What did the Lord say?!

~ to be continued…!

Featured image courtesy: Soma Thread

The GOS 220 – Perumal & Adiyen 20 – Sesha in Shani’s clutches

The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.

The answers of Agastya Muni to the generic questions posted by devotees can be found here. The readers are requested to send their spiritual experiences related to the Siddhas to GnanaBoomi at Gmail dot com. Though the experiences are unique and personal to them, it can shower some light or guidance to those who read them. Thanks!

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Sesha who serves the Lord as the bed and the umbrella was returning home albeit confused. Till the Kalki’s avatar, the Lord has taken the avatar as Srinivasa Venkatava in Tirumala. This is a new type of avatar. Kali’s atrocities are too much. To bring it under control, Venkatava appeared in Tirumala.

Even Kali tried in many different ways. But he could not do anything before Srinivasa. So he joined hands with Shanishwara to get Sesha separated from the Lord. The all knowing Lord hinted Sesha about this indirectly as well. It somehow hurt Sesha’s heart. “How can I ever do such a thing to the Lord? How can He think of me like so? How is this fair?” – Sesha was thinking loud while Shani appeared before him.

As he is called as Eshwara, Shani bowed to him with folded hands. Shani blessed him saying “Mangala prapthi rastu”

“Dhanyan I became” (blessed I am) – said Sesha.

“Sesha! You seem confused?”

“Yes Shanishwara. What you say is completely right.”

“Do not worry Sesha. I will strengthen you. What is the matter? If it can be shared with me, please do. Else leave it.”

“Nothing like that. There is no hesitation in sharing it with you. But…”

“What but?”

“I heard that you and Kali are joining hands to shake up the world. I think I should be careful with you.”

Shani laughed aloud.

“Sesha. I was thinking that you are an intelligent one. But I realize that you believe in anything anyone says. Aren’t you able to understand me, living in such a place?”

“Do not mistake me please. I said what I heard as it is.”

“Let anyone say anything. Why should you worry for you are the most favourite one of the Lord. Why worry then?”

“O Shanishwara. I am not scared. I am not worrying about you either. But whom I have been considering as the sole refuge, that Lord Venkatava does not trust me. Hence I am suffering.” – Sesha openly said everything.

Shani felt very happy hearing this. This is an opportunity to manipulate Sesha and thereby make Venkatava lose His strength. He touched Sesha’s shoulders slowly. The Lord here realized that moment that Sesha’s Ashtama Shani has started. But Sesha did not know this. He thought that Shani will help him out of this situation and trusted him completely.

“Sesha! Don’t think that only the people of Earth are devoid of gratitude. Even at Deva Loka, it is the same case. I don’t know what to say when Sesha himself doesn’t know that yet.” – Shani was careful in his choice of words.

“I don’t understand.”

“You are constantly thinking of Lord Narayana. But He has kept you in darkness. I would even say that He has kept you as a modern slave.”

As Shani went on brainwashing Sesha, he continued to address him in singular. Had it been some other time, Sesha would be furious but now, he was quiet, indicating the Ashtama Shani’s beginning.

“I don’t trust that the Lord would do anything like that, O Shani!” – said Sesha.

“Sesha. Do you think I say all these to get you two separated? Don’t I have better things to do? Let me say this. You are the ‘amsa’ of Rahu-Kethu. I am Shanishwara. Our thought flow and frequencies will match right?”

“Yes”

“Have we fought for anything, ever?”

“No. Never.”

“We are making the earthly beings suffer only by the orders of Brahma Deva, to bring them in to the path of spirituality, right?”

“What’s the doubt in it?”

“Then do you agree that we are like brothers?”

“Of course I do Shanishwara.”

“Don’t say Shanishwara. Say Shanishwara Brother.”

“So be it”

“I am very pleased Sesha. You accepted me as your brother. This is enough for me. What else do I need?” – Shani embraced Sesha and shed tears of joy. Sesha thought that the tears were the symbol of love. But the Lord knew that the Ashtama Shani has started working very well on Sesha.

“Sesha. Think about this deeply. I don’t want my brother to suffer. Narayana thinks of you as a mere servant. He rides sitting on top of Garuda but he has tied you in Garuda’s feet. Who else can insult you more?”

“Shanishwara, I have been his umbrella for yugas and yugas.”

“True. While he stepped on you, he also uses you as umbrella and as a bed, lying down comfortably, right?”

Sesha stood quietly.

“Doesn’t it mean that he crushes you as his slave? Why don’t you think about this rationally?” – Shani was feeding poison to the most poisonous being Sesha himself. The poison went inside deeply.

“Do you understand now? Narayana doesn’t allow you to grow. Who is your viral enemy? Garuda isn’t it? He has made Garuda as his companion and made you immovable. If in case you want to roam around freely sometime, Vishnu has planned to have Garuda tear you in to pieces. Have you ever thought of all these?”

Sesha did realize that whatever Shani says was true indeed.

“What should I do now brother?” – Sesha asked Shani with moist eyes.

“Nothing but this. The moment Narayana spoke ill of you, you should come out of Tirumala, come out of Narayana completely.”

Sesha felt it is a fair deal indeed. The Lord was but quietly witnessing these.

~ to be continued…!

Featured image: Bhargavasrama