Siddha Agastya! He is ever active, ever merciful and pours love to those who take refuge at Him. GnanaBoomi is humbled to present the Sitthan Arul series in English for its readers. See for yourself if any of these incidents relates to you, if it has any message to you or, if it gives a whole new perception about anything for which you may be looking for an answer. It is indeed true, if you believe in the Siddha Agastya, He is there for you!
The member of Parliament gave me the letter without asking me anything. When I explained as to why I want to go there, he just said, it is up to
you and Him. In those days, there was a value for such high profile recommendations (it does, even now :)). Once entered Tirumala gopura ,
there will be seated the Peshkar, on the left side of the office. He is the next influential person other than the chief managing director of the
temple. One has to wait till he returns if he is not available in the seat. Sometimes, it would feel like one can wait in the Dharma Darshan (free darshan) queue and have the darshan of Lord Balaji than to wait for the Peshkar.
On that day, as usual the Peshkar was not available. I had a thought that on seeing this high profile letter, the Peshkar will give some respect
with which I should keep the Nadi in Lord Balaji’s holy feet and can bring it back.
While I was waiting in front of the temple, I bought a newspaper and was reading it. The headlines carried the news of those murderers getting
arrested. It had their photos and a tailpiece news that they did ‘Kalyana Urchava’ to Lord Balaji after having committed those crimes. I recalled
the faces with those who traveled with me in the plane. I also realized that Lord Balaji seldom saves or protects such people.
The same paper carried the news of that poor boy and it mentioned about the great life he got, with his picture. These two news gave me the
strength of an elephant. I was not able to share these to anyone as nobody accompanied me. All these went through after which that person (?!)
grabbed the Nadi and ran away.
He had tonsured his head and one can imagine how hard to identify one such person in Tirumala. I ran behind him and he was not to be found. I searched if he had thrown the Nadi somewhere. No. I felt heart-broken. The Nadi that reached me somehow, has been ordained to be lost in Tirumala it seems. Fate. Who has been spared from fate? Probably my Father’s prayers were answered. So many thoughts, worry.
“Place this Nadi in the holy feet of Balaji and bring it back.” was the order given to me and so I took this here. Why would I come to Tirumala
If so, whose mistake is this? I circumbulated the temple thrice and began to ask the shopkeepers there about the Nadi. I somehow did not feel like
giving a complaint to the police. There were two reasons for that. I do not know Telugu. I do not know how they will understand if I say this in
Second, if I say that the Nadi is lost, it is like saying Agastya Muni Himself is lost. There is no other insult that this, so I did not go to the police. Without the Nadi, what do I do with the letter? I was very frustrated. When I looked at the office, the Peshkar was seated quietly. He will be surrounded by a crowd always, some or the other carrying recommendation letter.
If he gets up and goes somewhere, it will take at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. I was in a dilemma whether to go to him now or to get back to
Chennai. At last, I did a manaseeka (an act done through the mind) namaskaaram at the direction of Podhigai Mountain, which is the abode of
the Maha Muni.
“I came here just as You said. Now the Nadi is lost. I do not know on what mistake this happened. It is true that I did not do any prayers for the
last six months. There is a lot of opposition for me now. My friends and relatives have left me and my Father does not like me reading the Nadi.
I have gone in the route which You have shown. Is it the result of the mistake of saying out the darshan of Sri Raghavendra and Shri Hanuman? Or is it the result of the mistake from saying everything out that happened in the holy mountain where the Siddha’s did the artha jama pooja? Or is this the result of behaving in improper manner, without respect to my friends, relatives and even outsiders? I do not know. But one thing is
true. It is not that I have to earn only by reading the Nadi. If I do my work properly, I do not have to live at others’ mercy. So far You showed the divine grace. If it is continued, I will be very happy. If not, I will think that even this is your divine play. So the decision making is Yours, as always.” – I prayed within my mind.
Sometimes, when I have the Nadi at hand and request for Agastya Muni to appear, He doesn’t. I am not qualified and deserving in any way to call Him. I do not know why I prayed like that. Am I the Thirunavukarasa, to say ‘open’ and the temple door opens just like that? I had lot of
thoughts, embarrassment that I cannot speak out to others about Nadi. Frustration that they might speak, “Ah! He was cooking up stories with the Nadi, now even that is gone.”
These mental agony continued for long where I decided at last. Let us go and take a holy dip at Pushkarani. If Peshkar is still available, let us
show him the letter and have the darshan of Lord Balaji. That’s it then, let us not turn towards the direction of Tirumala till we live, I decided.
I went to see the Peshkar after having all that done. Generally, he checks the letter and asks, “How many people?”. If there are many a members
mentioned in the letter, they reduce the count and send them in. Some argue at this, some plead. Then he comes down. Such a happiness will be
seen in their faces that Lord Balaji Himself has approved of this. They will bless the Peshkar lavishly. This is a daily happening there.
On that day, there wasn’t anyone other than me, so I began to speak to the Peshkar. I should say that it was my good time. I explained him why I came to Tirumala and said, “Why I came here, that could not be done.”
“What should be done now?”
“If you get that bunch of old palm leaves, will you kindly let me know of it?”
“Give a complaint in the office. If I get it, I shall inform.”
I felt like I have conveyed this in the right place. With the help of Peshkar, I had a darshan of Lord Balaji with half-mind.
I had another thought. Why not come around here. What if that crazy baldy guy threw the Nadi somewhere.
But I did not get any.
I did not know whether to feel sad or to consider ‘all is for good’ and went to the Ahobila Mutt to stay. I did not feel like going back home. I began to speak to the in-charge of Ahobila Mutt and explained him everything. He listened to everything and said, “Pray to the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy here. You will get it by tomorrow somehow” – he said like a clairvoyance.
“I shall.” – I said.
“Another thing. Pray to Him that you will conduct the marriage that is supposed to be done at your house here.”
I was not of approval of this. The reason being, the bride and groom who gets married in Tirumala are not supposed to wear garlands. Second, there should not be any mela-thala (the Nadaswaram instrument is played along with Thavil, on holy occasions). For food, one has to give 25 rupees even at those times and one has to bring the banana leaves and other important items from outside to the Tirumala, all these restrictions were there. I thought of all these and thought of my Father, like a nightmare. I felt like I will fall down unconscious.
At that time, the in-charge was summoned by the Peshkar to come at once and so I went along with him.
~ to be continued…!