[Slightly long, but very interesting!]
While I was taken aback by surprise, ‘to go to Badrachalam and I will have Sri Rama’s darshan?!!!”, the door was knocked but the knocking pattern was with a difference. “Badrachalam, Sri Rama’s darshan, door being knocked”, my mind was restless. When I opened the door, there stood an Ambassador car on which a middle aged man was seated. He appeared wealthy whose driver was the one who knocked the door.
“Who are you?” – asked I.
The driver was very pious, “Our Sir has come to see you, from a distant place”
“Please ask him to come in” – I said.
“Sir, he cannot, if you could please come, sit near him and talk, it would be very good” – said the driver in a feeble tone.
“Who is he? Why does he want to see me” – I asked him again.
“Please do not mistake me, and ask these details yourself to our Sir” – he sort of persuaded me.
“Ok” – I walked hesitantly towards the car.
“Greetings O Sire!” saluted the person with folded hands.
I greeted him back and said “why don’t you come in, we can sit comfortably and talk”
He was hesitant and was silent for a while. He then revealed his legs from the dhoti, some creamy medicine had been applied there.
“What, are you hurt?”
“No, I don’t know how to say. But suddenly both my legs have become numb. I cannot walk without help. Can’t walk even with a walking-stick” he said with tears in eyes. I was shocked.
“If you wouldn’t mind, we can talk in this car. Else, in seeking Shri Agastya’s guidance, if I must come in, I will, somehow, anyhow” – he requested with utmost respect.
“It’s ok, I shall speak to you right here in the car, I sat near him. “How did it happen? Right from the birth?”
“No. About two months back when I was visiting my petroleum company, my legs became numb all of a sudden. I couldn’t even get down from the car. It began to pain suddenly and was excruciating. I went to the doctor. He gave a number of medicines, took a series of tests for a month, the pain reduced but the legs remained numb”
“What did the doctor say indeed?”
“This cannot be cured of medicine, treatment or physio-therapy, but had to get cured of itself. Pray to God and continue to take the medicines, is what every doctor says”.
He couldn’t even complete those sentences as tears fell off his eyes and he frequently wiped his eyes with a towel.
After a brief silence, “what can I do for this?” – I asked.
He then held both my hands together as if requesting and said “Please read the Jeeva Nãdi for me and request Sage Agastya how these legs can be cured. I have come from Madurai just for this”
This kind of made me a little inconvenient. I wanted to help him somehow and so I requested him to be seated in the car and decided I should seek Agastya Muni’s approval and then to read Nãdi for him. I took the Jeeva Nãdi from Puja Room and requested the Sage if He can provide a clairvoyance on curing this person’s legs.
Sage Agastya began to narrate about this person swiftly.
“He is Somasundaran who came up in life after great struggle. About two years back, he started accumulating money in short-cut means. With that money and influence, he started many a businesses at various places, they grew well too and he gained a lot of money.
Whenever he struggles, he used to pray to God earnestly. Once there was surplus money flow, he forgot the Almighty and ignored the parents. He didn’t even consider them. He consumed alcohol and hurt his mother in whatever ways he could, he even kicked her with those legs! They bore all these and even prayed to God for him. Somasundaram did not pay heed to these but made fun out of them. With this, he began to get bad company too. Even this can be ignored, but the torture he gave to an eighteen year old lad made even God furious. Here he is, bearing the fruits of his act, as though he lost both his legs” – said the Siddha!
“How indeed did he tortured that lad?”
“He asked him to steal an idol from a temple for which the lad refused. He was thoroughly alcoholised and kicked the lad screaming ‘you servant dog’ and spoke words that none could bear. The lad who got kicked at his stomach struggled for his life and the effect Somasundaram bears is of the lad’s curse” – explained Agastya Muni.
On hearing this, “why should I help this guy who tortured so much? Let him bear the fruits of his fate, what big deal?” – I felt.
“Did the young chap die?” – I wanted to ask this but kept quiet. Agastya Muni continued, “Do you know why I tell you these in advance? Do not think that those who commit a sin lives happily. No one else knows when and how Bhagwan pays them back other than the Munis and Siddhas“.
“There is a reason for why I reveal you what I know. This is a Deva Ragasya. Affix this in your mind. It is not good to reveal this to anyone till I approve and if you do so….my Jeeva Nãdi won’t be with you!” – ordered the great Sage.
Why am I opening my mouth? “Very well” I nodded and placed this request thinking it is the right time. “In all the Olai Suvadi (palm leaves), You speak as in Venpa. Those who know Venpa is very less and many a people say that they could not understand what You say if you say in this literature Tamil. I am required to explain them and translate it with a dictionary. Even this is doubtful if it validates what You reveal correctly”
“What do you want me to do?” – the Sage.
“When I read the Nãdi on behalf of You, let the words be revealed in the Tamil language that is of the present age. Please approve of this”
“I wrote the grammar for good Tamil. Can you ask me such a thing?” – said the Sage.
“I plead you, please accept this request and reveal Your clairvoyance in a Tamil that everyone understands” – a brief moment passed by in silence.
Then the great Sage accepted. What more of a pride do I need?!
“So be it! From this Somasundaran, you may see my clairvoyance in simple Tamil” – He blessed me.
Within this, the driver came in search for me as it was a while that I had been in. I took the Nãdi and went to the person who was eagerly awaiting in the car.
He was eagerly expecting that I will tell him some ‘good news’. “Did you ask the Sage? Did He say that my legs will be cured?”
“He said a lot. Let that be. In the recent times, did you kick anyone out of anger?”
“You did, you kicked your own Mother”
“Think well and say. Not being yourself, did you kick her ‘by mistake’, not knowingly?”
He became a little uncomfortable and began to think deeply. Then he said “out of anger I did do it sometimes, but no one has been affected” – he was adamant.
I realized it is not going to be useful to waste time and mentioned to him what Agastya Muni told me, superficially and asked “is that lad still alive or not?”
He could not speak as he was shocked. He bowed down and said “yes, he’s alive, but I don’t know where he is”
“Ok. Are you ready to find out where he is and take care of his future till the end?”
“Why should I help him till the end? How is this related to what I have with my legs?” – he was bewildered.
“Let us ask your question to the Sage Himself” saying this, I opened the Nãdi and began to read.
Just as He promised, as against the classic Tamil Venpa form that used to appear, Sage Agastya started mentioning his clairvoyance in a simple Tamil for Somasundaram.
“Born in the Kataka rasi under Ayilya star, you began to accumulate ill-gotten money and became rich. Out of the pride, power and money, you forgot the past. You took pattai soru (food given in small amounts in leaf plates, sort of) for 4 Annas (a denomination of those days) in Meenakshi Amman temple and remained hungry for the half the days, which We know. But you forogt all these”
“Money bloated. Your flabby flesh with bad company combined with a rotten brain bloated in a different way. You kicked your own Mother who came to advice you which she bore. But how is it fair to kick that servant boy?”
“The boy Murugan was poverty ridden and struggling for everyday’s meal whom you appointed for work. Somebody compelled you to smuggle a temple idol to a “Milecha’s country” and you agreed as you were alcoholised. You compelled this boy Murugan to steal the same Murugan idol which he worships everyday. He did not obey and out of frustration, you kicked him right on his stomach. He collapsed where you got him admitted in a hospital saying he fell down from somewhere and you escaped. Out of your fear, Murugan fled from there and his family suffered greatly because of this.”
The boy’s poverty striken parents, got another blow of their son absconding that made them lose their mind and are roaming in the streets. This bad karma got to you as well. Their’s and Murugan’s curse, the attempt to steal the idol of deity, all these made your leg hang lose as lifeless. If you find where the boy is and apologize to him for all your deeds, this disease will go off.
Fall in his feet and beg for apology. Help him to live peacefully till his end. Get his parents who are roaming insane treated and protect” – slashed and roared the Agastya Muni upon hearing which the rich man was fear-stricken totally.
“How and where will I search for Murugan?” – he asked. The Sage replied to this also.
“Listen, let me tell you, Murugan is right in the Kalayar Temple at Sivagangai Seemai. He is trembling out of fever and is lying down in the temple Mandapa. Go and find him there and save him and if you did not do so……” paused the Muni and said very slowly “the state of your legs will spread to your hands as well”.
“Is this the only remedy?” asked the rich man.
Sage Agastya announced “Yes, protect the boy Murugan and I shall protect you!“
The moment Agastya Muni said “protect the boy Murugan and I shall protect you!”, this man bid farewell to me with folded hands and set forth to Sivagangai. He reached the Kalayar temple in 10
hours time and got his assistant to search for the boy but he could not be found. He inquired about this boy to those who came to the temple, to the priest and everyone else but could not locate the
whereabouts of the boy.
Somasundaram didn’t know what to do. He became very upset and felt “what sort of a testing is this?”
There came an old man who offers flowers to the temple. Somasundaram thought of asking him also, just in case and inquired. The old man said “Oh, that boy! He is with me at my house. He was lying down here for 4 days without having any food. He was feverish and blabbering last night. I went near him and touched him only to know that his body was so very hot. I felt sorry for him and took him to a doctor. Now he is better. Are you related to that boy somehow?”
“I shall tell you who I am a little later, but I must see that boy at once” said Somasundaram.
“Very well, my house is just near the temple, let’s go” the old man proceeded towards his house after offering the flower-basket to the temple. Somasundaram duly followed in his car. There lied Murugan like he was torn apart, wrapped in a woolen blanket on a mat. The fever had reduced and there wasn’t any blabbering. The tumbler and a vessel indicated that he has taken some rice gruel.
With the help of the driver and walking stick, Somasundaram entered the house, saw Murugan and shed tears, unknowing to himself. He touched him slowly and gently stroked his face. Murugan woke up as something cold fell on his face and was shocked to see Somasundaran sitting right in front. He was speechless and scared in fact, thinking that he had come to hurt him again.
“Do not worry, Muruga” said Somasundaram with affection, ‘come with me, I shall take you to the hospital, everything will be alright. Do not worry about what happened the other day”. Murugan could not believe this.
The florist old man emboldened Murugan. He was quiet for a while and he went along with Somasundaram in his car. The florist got in the car as well, as a company. Murugan was thinking
constantly as to whether its a dream or so and how did Somasundaram become good. Is this for his good or bad etc. He had an affection towards the florist who saved him and so he requested him to stay along throughout.
He got treated in a private hospital in Madurai and became alright in 3 days. Somasundaram got him a rented house, made arrangements for his food, clothing etc and took very good care of him. Will this last? Why is Somasundaram doing all these? Murugan kept on thinking and lived there with a sort of fear. Once he became alright healthwise, the florist old man who stayed along bid farewell and returned to Sivagangai.
As a prayaschitta (remedy) for all the sins he committed to Murugan, Somasundaram began his search for his parents. He came to know that they are at the steps that leads to the Mariamman temple tank, having lost their minds. He went with his men and brought them in his car, made arrangements for their treatment and took care of their conveniences as well. All these took Murugan to surprise. What a big shot this Somasundaram is, why is he doing all these, he saved me first and now he found my parents and is helping them too – Murugan was very happy. But at the same time, he did have the same fear as to where all these will lead to.
Having said these –
Somasundaram began to feel depressed within that he did have completed all that Sage Agastya mentioned, but there wasn’t any improvement in his legs. What if the clairvoyance of the Sage falsifies? If so, what will be my condition? Should I have to live with this disability till my end? etc. Slowly the faith he had in the Sage’s words began to fade.
Twenty two days passed by.
I cannot wait any longer. Let me have the Nãdi read again just in case and check what the Sage says, thought Somasundaram and as a reflex, got up!
Lo and behold!
Without the walking stick, without anybody’s help, Somasundaram was standing and began to walk. He pinched himself to see if its indeed true. He could just not bear the happiness that the case that the doctors dropped, has been cured by Agastya Muni. He also felt blissful that God had shown him such immense mercy in spite of him having committed such hideous sins.
He decided that he must follow the spiritual path and do dharmic seva. The punishment given by God for planning to smuggle the idol has been nullified by the Sage’s mercy – Somasundaram felt so blissful that he planned to construct many a temple for Sage Agastya in various places.
For the boy Murugan who gave him the wisdom and for his parents, he made all arrangements for theirstay and for a permanent income. He narrated all these stories when he came to meet me along with
Murugan and asked him to pay his respects to me. Today, Somasundaram walks in the streets of Madurai without anybody’s help and with great health. He tells others that it is Sage Agastya who changed his life, happily.
~ to be continued…
Featured Image courtesy: Kayo-Siddhi, Deviantart.com