Bala Chandran Gunasekaran wanted very much to bring us to Othimalai to get a darshan of Othiappar. He had been there before. As we already had a rather packed itinerary, the only option for us to visit Othiappar, was to find time while in Kallar Ashram to sneak away for a few hours amidst the celebrations.
When we checked with several quarters about the opening times of the temple, each gave a different story. We were confused as to what days and timings the temple was actually open. We decided we would go on 17 December 2016. But there was to be a book launch on that day at 11am. I was required to be present. A day earlier I mentioned to Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal about our intent to visit the temple the next day. He approved but requested that we leave after his book launch. We decided to listen to Tavayogi and leave after the book launch, taking a chance not knowing if the temple would be open when we arrived there. We invited Vinthamaray and her family and also Sanjiv Malhotra's family along. Vinod from Chennai too showed interest in following us.
When dawn broke and as we waited for the guests to arrive for the book launch, Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyar came along and told me that we could leave for Othimalai and added that the book launch could wait until we returned! This came as a surprise and we got excited at the change in events. Shortly after Tavayogi came along and told us to leave immediately!
We gathered our stuffs and began to depart for Othimalai. We left a note with Vinod to inform the Sanjiv family to find a cab and head for Othimalai with him. Vinthamaray's family who had only just left the Ashram grounds for Marutamalai made a turn around and followed us too.
Soon we all began to climb the steps to the hilltop temple, after paying homage to Lord Vinayagar at the entrance. A peddler of prayer stuffs at the base shrine of Lord Vinayagar informed us that the priest had yet to arrive. That brought cheer to us as we feared we were late. As we slowly made our way along the steps, we noticed a priest make his way up behind us with ease. Eventually he overtook us. Thinking that he would soon reach the temple and begin the puja we hastened our climb. On arrival at the hilltop temple we saw that the priest was seated with several other locals. We came to know that the key to the temple door was with another senior priest who was making his way up. That came as a relief again for now we could take a longer break and let our systems settle down before puja.
Finally the senior priest arrived to open the doors to Othiappar Sannadhi. The curtains to the sannadhi or inner sanctum was drawn aside to reveal the magnificent splendour and beauty of Othiappar decked in all the fine decorations, an awesome sight to behold indeed. The senior priest asked if he should do a libation or abhisegam and I jumped at the opportunity to witness one for Othiappar. We asked permission to chant the names of the Siddhas from the younger priest who immediately granted us the green light. Bala Chandran Gunasekaran as usual led us with the Siddhar Potri while we sang along. Within a short span of time, while we chanted the Potri, both priests had prepared to conduct the puja. Soon we witnessed a wonderful abhisegam and the chamber was veiled to allow 'dressing' of the deity. The curtains were drawn back again to reveal a majestic darshan of the Lord.
Prasad was served. As AVM family and the other devotees enjoyed the prasad, I tried to see if I could catch a glimpse of Agathiyar as Surendran Selvaratnam had informed me earlier that there was a granite murthy of him in the inner sanctum away from the public eye. Not able to see him I mentioned this to Sanjiv who started towards the inner chamber asking the senior priests about Agathiyar's location. That was when Suren rushed to me and told me Agathiyar was there! Upon entering the sannadhi again, to my surprise there stood both Agathiyar and Arunagirinathar right in front of the doorway to the inner sanctum and together with Othiappar gave us their darshan!
Soon we called over all of AVM family to receive the Guru and Sisya's darshan and blessings. Later I asked how this miracle took place and Sanjiv tells me that he had enquired about Agathiyar to the priest who immediately without a second thought, lifted Agathiyar and then Arunagiri and placed them both at the doorway for all to see!
We came down the hill satisfied manifold for all the little miracles that Agathiyar had shown us even before we left for Othimalai till we saw his darshan and he showered us his blessings, together with his guru!
I befriended a Siddha Vidyarthi who was meditating at the hilltop temple and we walked down together. He was heading for Bhogar's Kaadu and I requested him to take us along. As Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal, Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyaar and my family traveled to Erode in October of 2013, Mataji had mentioned the significance of this place. She told us that this place was mentioned in the Jeeva Nadi revelation by Agathiyar to a seeker, through the Nadi in possession of Tavayogi.