“If you go to Badrachalam, you will get to see a number of surprises” – I began to think if the Sage said this for me to get stuck this way. It appeared as if the flood level was increasing minute by minute. I looked here and there. It may take up to 10 days for the water to recede.
The shops, houses that surrounded the temple were at hip-level water. Hence it was not possible to climb down the hill to go to bus stand or railway station.
I calmed my mind.
“Let us sit right here in the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Rama and ask Agastya Muni Himself, I opened the Nãdi. The information He shared took me to surprise.
“You must have known the Ram Bhakth Ramadasa. This temple was built for Rama after looting the government’s treasury. Hence Ramadasa was arrested and was imprisoned. Though it was a mistake and he did get the results of it, Sri Rama did appreciate the devotion of Ramadasa. Today is indeed that day when Sri Rama appeared Himself before Ramadasa in the prison he was. Godavari floodded on the day when Sri Rama appeared too. Even today it floods unexpectedly. After appearing before Ramadasa, Sri Rama came to this temple along with Seetha, Lakshmana and Hanuman on the same day. In this auspicious day, I thought you should get the bhagyam and I made you come here“.
“In about one and a half naazhigai (1 nazhigai equals 24 minutes), Sri Rama will come here in to this Sanctom Sanctorum in an invisible form (arooba) so close your eyes and meditate. Do not open your eyes for whatever reasons. You can see Sri Rama’s arrival within. The darshan will last for just one nazhigai. Then as Sri Rama descends through these steps, he will do Namaskar to Mother Godavari with flowers. He will show Deepa Harathi as well, which you can witness in your meditation too. Once this worship gets over, the agitation of Mother Godavari will subdue and the water will recede in four hours. Then you shall get down” – said the Maha Muni.
I was so relieved only after reading this.
I took the Nãdi to my eyes, slightly touched both my eyes with it, as if worshiping, the administration officer of the temple had seen me and he came to me in a few minutes with hesitation. He inquired about the Nãdi as well. I explained him about Nãdi overall and didn’t say anything in particular.
He could not believe this at all.
“If there is such a palm leaves at hand, one could do so many good things for the world, why is it not possible?” he spoke with disbelief.
“Just leave it if you do not believe” said I.
But he could not. “Ask me what the Sage tells about me right here please”
I was in a dilemma. As the sage had mentioned, I need to prepare myself for Sri Rama’s darshan within half a nazhigai and so I said “bear with me for a couple of hours, then I shall read the Nãdi for you”. I could not go against him as he might say he wants to close the door of sanctum sanctorum and he may well ask me to get down. What if I don’t get the darshan as the Muni said?” – it was indeed a worry based on selfish motive.
Fortunately, the officer accepted. He gave me the temple prasad and asked me to sit inside the temple where there wasn’t any rain water. I was surprised. I thanked Agastya Muni and began to meditate on Sri Rama.
Just as the Maharshi said, right after 1.5 nazhigai, the closed sanctum sanctorum was opened. It appeared as if someone is entering in! My nose began to smell rare variety of flowers, along with some other divine aroma – all this accompanied with Veda Kosha which I could hear!!
A well built and robust figure came out of the sanctum sanctorum slowly followed by 3 others swiftly – I felt. I closed my eyes even more and the Rama Nama began to come out of my tongue and I continued my meditation with divine bliss. I saw in my mental vision of the four who are now standing in the banks of Godavari river and were showing Deepa Harathi to the Mother. After a few seconds, this vision disappeared and I slowly opened my eyes.
The officer was standing in front of me.
“What?” – I asked.
“Did someone went inside the sanctum (Garbha Gruha)? Did you see?” – he inquired.
“Why? What’s the matter?” – I asked as if I didn’t know anything.
“Nothing, the fruits kept for offering (naivedhyam) appear to be bitten. The amount of milk has reduced. The pomegranate skin lies down in the ground, as if the fruit has been taken by someone. That’s why” – he said.
I was pleasantly surprised. Sri Rama had come and he also has tasted the fruit he likes. I began to understand the sukshuma (the secret, as a close translation).
The officer continued in a couple of minutes, “this does not happen frequently, this probably is the act of the monkeys” he said to himself. I felt relieved.
“Ok, now, shall we read the Nãdi?” – he asked. I accepted and began to read the Nãdi.
“You were born in a wealthy family and were intended to follow the good morals strictly. But because of the errors committed by your forefathers, you are involved in an immoral relationship with a woman, though you are also living with the lady whom your parents got you married to. But you are cheating both and since both their grief affects you, you will be affected by paralysis within a year. Even though, since you sought Agastya (Agathiyanai Nãdi is the exact phrase in Tamil) through Nãdi, there is a way out of your hideous sin. You have hidden the wealth looted from this Rama temple inside the rice crop, take it and put it back in the temple Hundi.
As both your wife and this woman were your wives in your past life too, accept both as your life-partners in front of everyone. This will have some bad effects, which is your karma you have to bear. Then pray to Agastya again. You will be guided well” – said the Agastya Muni to the person who appeared shocked and frozen.
“If I began to live that way (accepting both as wives), they will take me off from this post…” – he was afraid.
“Let it be, but you will not be affected of the paralysis right?” – I said. This he could not accept.
“Who hath the fate spared?” – I thought.
What Agastya Muni said is true, knew the officer, but he did not reveal it completely. He thought he has done what any common man would have done and paralysis being a result of this must have been untrue – he thought.
“Had it been true if paralysis will affect those who loots temple treasure, then there are many who has looted even bigger temples, they must have gotten worser effects than paralysis, but nothing of that sort appears to have happened. So nothing will happen to me” – he said this stubbornly.
“If you are well, then it’s good indeed. Let Agastya Muni’s words go untrue, what’s there?” I said smilingly.
“No. Let me prove the words of Agastya Muni wrong” – he was adamant.
I was embarrassed. What is true is not being accepted. He does not want to put the looted wealth back to the temple. Even pointing to the extra marital affair, he is not accepting it as ‘yes’. All he is scared off is to lose the job of administration offcer of this temple. The job should not be lost, won’t accept any of his mistakes either, and on top of everything, he claims he will disprove Agastya Muni’s words and says won’t change his future based on this palm leaves. I thought if he should be in the athiest category or the one who believes in God, I myself became a little confused.
A brief moment passed by.
The rain had subdued greatly. I stood up and looked. The flood indeed appeared to have reduced and as per the Muni, the flood should recede in two hours time and so I kept patience for this two hours. Not sure what he felt, this officer called me to his room.
“I am being appointed here temporarily as an officer. I will go to Vijayawada temple via transfer tomorrow. I somehow do not want to lose you and at the same time, I can’t believe what you said completely either. Bhakth Ramadasa has decorated Sri Rama with many an ornaments here. Those are wonderful ornaments, rich in antique value and culture. We have kept them very safe due to security issues, in a separate room. Even I have not seen them completely. Anyway the rain is not stopping and you can’t stay anywhere else either. Come let’s go and take a look at those jewels” – he said.
Happily I said “I shall”.
It was a secret chamber. We went along with security guards following us, by opening door after door.
Was Ramadasa such a devotee of Sri Rama and Seetha Mata? What a beauty? All the ornaments that Ramadasa has made contained all precious gems and stones like Gold, Ruby, Diamond and all sorts of rare stones. One must have been truly fortunate to even look at them.
I had the fortune of witnessing all those precious ornaments that Bhakth Ramadasa had made for his Sri Rama, for two hours. Normally, no common man can see all of them together, which I got that day. I thanked Agastya Muni heartily. I felt very happy on what he said as “you will witness various surprises at Badrachalam“.
But why did this officer take me to show all these ornaments, was something I could not decipher. How did he trust me was a puzzle too. After having verified all the ornaments, and placing the Government’s seal, they came out closing the doors, ensuring more than once if they got closed properly. All of a sudden, the officer felt giddiness as soon as we both came to his room and he fell flat on his chair.
I was scared. Such a well built person, who could defeat almost 6 grown ups at the same time in duel, who is more than 6 feet tall and robust, who speaks in very clear tone in Telugu, English and somewhat ok Tamil, how did he collapse all of a sudden?
Maybe because of the less ventillated room he must have felt giddiness, someone said. It seemed logical. They smeared water on his face and brought him hot coffee. He got up after a while. Though he was awake, he could not speak. He blinked royally.
“You don’t have to talk anything. Take rest for sometime. The rain has just come down with the water receding slowly. We shall start in a few while and see a doctor after climbing down. Just remain relaxed and brave” – said the attendees.
He wanted to say something for all these, but could not.
After a while, when they tried to take him along, it was known that his legs was not functioning properly. His face borne the pain. As he could not speak about it, he expressed it in moans. The temple authority was shocked to see the officer not able to walk. He rushed to bring a doctor.
That I was witnessing all these, felt sad that what has to happen in a year’s time has become a reality right away. I went near the temple’s sanctum sanctorum and prayed to Lord Rama and Agastya earnestly for this person to become alright and to have him go to Vijayawada tomorrow with good health, and opened the Jeeva Nãdi.
“To be born in a good family (the Sage mentions Uyar Kulam or high-class-family and we know for sure that the Maha Muni refers to a noble family here) and to do spiritual services only, was this birth happened to him. We showed him his mistakes and also guided him to get out of it. But he only shows acts of carelessness and negligence. Only when there is good blood flow, one can talk all and do whatever they want. If the blood is patted once, what is his state the next second? What happened is only to show him that. And who gave this lesson now is none other than Sri Rama who came here a while ago. This person will become normal in about 40 minutes. But he should do something before that. That is, a devotee has given some ornaments for Sri Rama. This person has kept that in his room as against adding it to the temple Hundi. He must take it and put it in the Hundi at once. If he does so, everything will be alright” – concluded the Sage.
If I tell this to him, it will be chaos, I thought and kept quiet. The time went by and there came a doctor rushing towards the officer. He gave some medicine for the half-awaken person and to cure his paralysis.
“Nothing to worry, it will be alright soon” – he said and everyone became satisfied.
Either its the mercy of God or nature, the flood receded pretty soon. As the rain stopped almost, the people around the basement of the temple started walking freely. What am I going to do here? I had the darshan of Sri Rama and also witnessed the ornaments that Sri Ramadasa had made. I also have read the Jeeva Nãdi for the officer, let me start now” – thinking this I prayed to Sri Rama and came out. Though not in a position to speak, what I saw took me to surprise.
The temporary officer, with the help of the attendees, took some offering and put it in the temple hundi. I mentioned “let me bid farewell, thanks for your help” in general and asked “you had put something in to the hundi, is that for any prayer?”
“Oh its nothing, three days ago, there came a person and gave me a parcel and asked me to put it in the Hundi. I remembered it just now and I had done so” – he said slowly.
“You could’ve done it a little later as you don’t seem feeling good?”
“No sir. I was thinking about what Agastya Muni said from the Nãdi. I shall do just what he says?” the words came feeble. “I could not bear this pain for even this half an hour. If in case I get a paralysis, what will become of me?” I thought and was totally scared. So let me do what the Maharshi said” – he said with determination.
“Please do so” – having said this, when I began to descend on the steps, a surprise awaited. “Sir, do you remember me?” – a person who was climbing up said in Tamil. I looked at the person who was folding his hands closely. I must have met him only sometime back, I felt, but I could not identify who. I stood hesitantly.
Behind him stood a middle aged lady, two grown up girls, all appearing rich, gasping and this person wearing a silk pajama, thick gold chain and the aroma of perfume, expensive dhoti etc, came closer smilingly.
“Aren’t you able to identify who I am?” he asked and answered himself. “I came to your house an evening after consuming poison, in the form of beggar, it is me indeed” – he said! It is age Agastya’s words, that made me who I am today” he said and he introduced his wife and daughters to me.
I was reminded of him. Those who wanted to get hold of his property drove him out, he went to North India as a sanyasin and roamed there, came back to Tamil Nadu and heard about Jeeva Nãdi, came to me, wanted to test Agastya and Me and so consumed poison and because of the medicine and Pazhani prasad, his stomach ache disappeared. Where was the look of the beggar and where is this look of royal? – I was surprised indeed.
He said that he is with his family and those who wanted to drive him away for for property got in to trouble and disappeared, he has given one-third of his property to an Asharm who takes care of orphans and now he is in a pilgrimage in Andhra.
“There was heavy flood, how did you come here?” – he said, then “this indeed is Agastya Muni’s grace”.
“When I started here, I was scared off that there is heavy flood and not to go by the car. But for me, I had to come here today to have the darshan of Sri Rama. I prayed to Shri Agastya. I stuck a picture of the Sage in the front glass of my car. I summoned courage. Thankfully, the flood receded and we have reached safe” – said the millionaire.
He inquired about me for which I said I had good darshan and I am about to start. He requested if I can stay for one more hour, he can drop me to the place where I want to go”
“Why wait, I shall start in the bus itself, I thought at first. But what if the bus doesn’t come because of the rain and so I decided to accompany him “ok I shall wait, please have the darshan of Sri Rama and come back” – I sat on the steps.
He was very happy and he began to climb up with his family. I never dreamed of meeting him in this happy mood at Badrachalam. What came in front of eyes is his appearance like a beggar with a poison-bottle at hand.
“The Fate”, in what all ways it makes the man dance, I was surprised. I also thought, “Badrachalam has many surprises for you, said the Maharshi. Is this all, or is there some more?” I spent the time thinking. He had finished the darshan sooner and so we all came down happily.
Right there in the car, Agastya Muni was smiling in the front glass. I placed the Jeeva Nãdi carefully as it touches the Holy Feet of the Muni and I prayed. The millionaire felt very happy in talking to me, but I was worried that he should drop me in the railway station as the road was affected due to the heavy rain. The driver was rash. Though worried a little, Sage Agastya will save me, I felt and kept quiet.
Maybe because of the flood or as it is naturally, there wasn’t power. It was night time as well. The driver was new to the place and so he went in a different direction than that of the railway station. Though he missed the track, he saw a light in the distance and began to drive towards the direction.
Before we could determine, a gang of six barged in front of the car. Some banged the car with their hands. All were wearing a red shirt and a trouser of khaki color. They all had the flag of a political party. I felt ‘ok, here we are, totally stuck’ and was scared completely.
~ to be continued…