Friday, 20 July 2018

A JOURNEY OF EVOLUTION

All the years of worship our ancestors carried out has helped us to be where we are today. Beginning from our parents or Thanthai and Thaai; our grandparents or Paattan and Paati; our Great Grandparents or Poottan and Pootti; our Great Great Grandparents or Ottan and Otti; our Great Great Great Grandparents or Seyon and Seyol and extending way beyond our Great Great Great Great Grandparents or Paran and Parai; the entire lineage of ancestors had toiled for a better future for us both materially and spiritually.  

Then there are the long list of numerous deities going by various names and forms: village deities or grama devatai, guardian spirits or kaval deivam, ancestral deity or kula deivam, all worshiped since the days of our ancestors, who bless all our new ventures, guard us from danger and look after the simple daily needs and day to day affairs of their devotees. 

Then there were "Hero stones (Nadukkal or Veerakkal) provided for the males who sacrifice their life for good causes and Sati stones for females who sacrificed their life for certain specific purpose, especially for chastity and purity", which later came to be provided for all as Kallarai or Tombstones.

As for saintly figures who pass away, a Shivlinga is usually erected above their tomb and worshiped. 

After coming to worship the Siddhas, I tend to ask myself if Siddha worship was indeed ancestor worship. The saints who guided our ancestors in their search for Erai, come back to guide us in the present day.

All the various faiths we had taken up and the devotion poured in all the numerous lives we took, has led us to where we are today. My brother in law who was a Buddhist monk in Ceylon in his last birth, today worships Sri Raghavendra and has built a beautiful Mritiga Brindavanam for him. All the faith and belief my ancestors poured and that I picked up from them has kept me well all these years. So when people of other faith come along to preach to try to convince me to convert, I reply that it was these very gods and deities that I prayed too who have kept me well and alive till my 58th birthday, and I ask them why I should convert to another faith when all was well? What more could their faith give me that my path has not already provided? Would not the switch to another faith at this moment of time amount to ungratefulness on my part to my saviors?

The irony of life is that while some pursue on the same path reaching out and advancing further with each birth, remaining on the same path birth after birth, others might branch out to other faiths and beliefs before coming back to an earlier path. For all I know, as I hold on to Agathiyar firmly, posting about his lilas on this blog, I might come back in the next birth to refute, tarnish and do damage to the very Siddha path that I had traveled on, even tear down a monument or shrine of his that I had built in the former birth. Life is full of possibilities and mystery.

Agathiyar tells us at AVM that we had all at one stage in our past lives taken him and worshiped and served him, hence the bond continues to this birth. In this birth he brought us to perform Sariyai and Kriyas and is slowly taking us away from all forms of external worship to go within. He has moved numerous chess pieces so that we could move along rapidly without any dangers or hindrances. He is guiding us as a shadow would follow. After coming to his fold he has changed our understanding of the many concepts and beliefs we had inherited from our forefathers and had held firmly to, that society too holds so dear to the heart, bringing us to a new understanding of these practices and beliefs. 

Just as the kaval deivam or guardian spirits foretold Jnana Jhotiamma that they would back off but remain with her, once she was handed over to Agathiyar, Agathiyar too has informed us, that for those who sincerely and diligently take on the path of the Siddhas, they will take charge henceforth and relieve the responsibility from our Kula Deivam.

Then we have the planetary transits and progression that is said to effect the lives of those on the face of the earth every instant. Lord Murugan says that if he wills the planets will switch their roles, becoming Gurus and more benign to us. We are told of the circumstances behind the emergence of the Thirumurai, Kollaru Thirupathigam by Thiru Gnana Sambandar and its relevance in combating the ill effects of the planets. When the Pandya king had submitted his subjects and himself to convert to another faith, the queen summoned for both Thiru Gnana Sambandar and his older contemporary Thirunavukkarasar to help change their fate and the country's. The Nayanmars were then in Thirumaraikkadu (Vedaranyam). The elder citizen had certain apprehensions about the day and time of starting the journey to the king's kingdom, when the young Sambandar sang a prayer or Pathigam, which speaks of the ineffectiveness of ill effects of planets, evil mantras, wild animals and everything else that was harmful, the moment one holds tight to the feet of Lord Shiva.



Then we have also read about how the Siddha Idai Kaadar came to save the day for many. When Idai Kaadar foresaw the future and the coming of a severe drought and famine and the untold sufferings that it would bring to humanity, he began to feed his cattle Erukku, a milky plant that sustains the worst of droughts. He then mixed the grains, Samai and Varagu with moist soil and pasted it on the walls of the cottages in anticipation of the worst drought man had even seen. While the climate took its toll on nature and man Idai Kaadar's cattle survived on the Erukku, the only plant that survived the drought. As eating Erukku triggered an itching sense in the animals they headed for the walls of the cottages for a good scratch. The samai and varagu that dropped was collected and ate with milk. As the drought continued, most of the life stock was wiped out except that of Idai Kaadar's. It is said that the nine planets or Navagraha were surprised to see the surviving cattle and wanted to know the secret of Idai Kaadar. The Siddha fed the visiting planets with the milk and grain and while they were napping he rearranged the positioning of the planets in a beneficial way for humanity and creation. Rain poured and the water tanks, ponds and lakes filled up bringing the drought and famine to an end.

Taking on the songs of the saints brought us to experience their strength and extent of devotion in us too. As Tavayogi said listening to these songs would bring Gnana to one, the numerous songs of the saints does lead us there. Nadi Nool Aasan Taranibalan Aiya too mentioned to me just as I stepped down from the stage after the launch of our Agathiyar Geetham Audio Cd, that there are two kinds of music: one was for the ears (Sevikku Esai) while the other for Gnana (Gnanathukku Esai) and compared all the tracks on the album to the latter and as that which reaches out to the soul and triggers ecstatic emotions from within.

Many have given feedback on the album:
Good day uncle...just have to say the cd songs..just keep my tears flowing..there is so much of TRUTH in all the songs...only one with lots of pain confusions..will get connected n value this songs...tx uncle..
Namaste Aiya! Agathiar Geetham is part of our daily routine. My son is taking his 10th board exams and he listens to the music and studies. It has be on constantly in our home. Mesmerising and addictive! I am so grateful for your spiritual gyan that is imparted constantly. We are blessed! Aiya.
பெறுதற்கரிய பேறு பெற்றேன்.
யாரப்பா .. நீ கொஞ்சம் சொல்லப்பா
ஞானப்பா .. உன் பிள்ளை நான் அப்பா
அகத்தியர் கீதம் ..ஒவ்வொரு பாடலில் உள்ள ஒவ்வொரு சொல்லும்
ஓராயிரம் அர்த்தம் கொள்கின்றது. இசையின் இன்பம். தமிழின் பேரின்பம் என ஒவ்வொன்றும் அதிசயமே.
தினமும் என்னை திக்குமுக்காட வைக்கும் AVM க்கு நன்றிகள் கோடான கோடி.@gowri amma..so superb voice.. 
Excellent work, Aiya. You've put a lot of effort in producing this album.


When I was asked to come to the worship of the Siddhas in 2002, Thavathiru Rengaraja Desigar's numerous publications came in handy and guided me along. I took on reciting his prayer as mine and saw its result when Tavayogi volunteered to take me to all the Siddha sites that I should visit, stipulated in the Nadi by Agathiyar.
அகத்தீசா உனது சீடர்களாகிய ஒன்பது கோடி பேரும் என்னை சூழ்ந்திருந்து நான் விரும்பியதெல்லாம் முடித்து வைப்பதோடு மட்டுமல்லாது உன்னுடைய மலையாகிய பொதிகைக்கு என்னை அழைத்துவர என்னை சீடனாக நீ ஏற்றுக்கொள்ள வேண்டும். நான் உய்வதற்கு அருள் புரிய வேண்டும். உனது அருள் பூரணமாக பெற்றல் வேண்டும். 
As we tracked along the jungle paths, Tavayogi kept pointing to the sky telling me that the Siddhas were around and were ushering us and showering us with flowers. Although the invitation to come to Pothigai peak was out many years back, I have yet to step on the Holy peak. I told him I have him, and I was not going any place any more. When he asked that I visit living saints and get their blessings, I told him the same, that I had two great Gurus, Supramania Swami and Tavayogi, and that I do not want any Guru in the physical form anymore. Agathiyar respected my stand and never brought up these subjects. I also decided lately that I do not want to seek the Nadi anymore, but instead asked him to speak directly to me without a medium or person, that is only if I deserved it. 

My second last Nadi reading from Agathiyar came ahead of the AVM family's trip to Kallar Ashram to participate in the inauguration of the new ashram complex and annual Guru Puja in 2016. The last reading, my 51st, came several days after Tavayogi recovered from an operation last year. Recently in January of this year, Bala Chandran coaxed me and in fact arranged an appointment for me to hear from Lord Muruga. It was my very first reading from Lord Murugan and was a beautiful one too.

Respecting my stand, since then if there was a need Agathiyar and Lord Muruga would pass on the message for AVM through Bala, Suren and others. Just a few days back Lord Muruga comforted us at AVM on losing our beloved guru Tavayogi who went into samadhi on 3 July 2018 at Kallar Ashram. Lord Muruga assured us that he was there for us and would lead us on after the demise of our guru. It was very comforting to hear his words. 


When there are many out there trying their level best to prove the Nadi wrong, I made everything said in the Nadi, come to materialize by putting faith and effort in what was told to me, by working not against the Siddhas but cooperating with them, hence making all the prophesies  of the Siddhas come true. We began to take charge of our fate and destiny by holding the hands of the Siddhas. The only exceptions where I did turn down their asking was in visiting more places and more living saints as mentioned earlier. I have one more request from Lord Muruga to fulfill, that of building a temple. I have made my stand that I am not keen to take up such a massive task. As the Siddhas are known to rewrite the future, hopefully they would drop the idea, as we know how they stopped Supramania Swami from continuing to build a temple for Lord Muruga, on the onset, after having mooted the idea to build one in the first place. As for Tavayogi he saw through the building of the new ashram amidst much problems.

Going on my maiden journey to India in 2003 was like a no nonsense, well researched, well planned and determined journey, focused on getting to all the places listed by Agathiyar in my Nadi on time and getting all the remedies or parikaram done.

Unlike the first, going on my second journey to India in 2005 was like a home coming, full of joy in meeting my guru Supramania Swami again, and stepping into the mystical and mysterious world of the Siddhas, akin to walking into and discovering a new world of myths and legends thanks to Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal.

My third journey came about after I received a scare from all those who visited Kallar Ashram that Tavayogi was not in the best of health and after Agathiyar too surprisingly asked me to go over to meet my Guru, although he (Agathiyar) had stopped calling me over till then. As we left with fear for India, we were only too glad to see Tavayogi greet us on arrival, hale and healthy. The five day trip in 2013 was well spent in its entirety at Kallar Ashram with a couple of visits to a temple and ashram accompanied by Tavayogi and Mataji, thrown in. 

My fourth journey to India was in 2016 with the AVM family to carry out remedies or parikaram for some children in our entourage and to participate in the inauguration of the new temple/ashram complex and to participate in the annual Jayanthi and Guru Puja celebrations.

What a colorful journey it has been for us at AVM. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

None of us truly wins, until we all win.

Balachander Aiya shared a beautiful post that he came across in a Whatsapp group.
When a newspaper reporter interviewed a farmer who grew award winning maize each year he entered his maize in the agricultural show, it was revealed that the farmer shared his seed with his neighbours.
Amazed, the reporter asked, “How can you afford to share your best seed with your neighbours when they are entering their maize in competition with yours each year?”
The farmer smiled knowingly and explained, ​“The wind picks up pollen from the ripening maize and swirls it from field to field.​ If my neighbours grow inferior maize, cross pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my maize. If I am to grow good maize, I must help my neighbours grow a good crop. 
So it is with our lives. Those who want to live meaningfully and well, must help enrich the lives of others. For the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. 
And those who choose to be happy, must help others find happiness. For the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. 
Call it power of collectivity.
Call it a principle of success.
Call it a law of life. The fact remains, “None of us truly wins, until we all win.” Know this secret as you grow older! 
In life, when you help the people around you to be good, you surely become the best.
Which reminds me of the story of the three seekers who made it to the walls of the kingdom of god. The first seeker grabs the ladder perched against the wall and climbs it hurriedly in eagerness and anticipation of what he would see beyond the walls. Once on top of the ledge of the wall his face lights up and he plunges over the side of the wall into the inner courtyard, without even looking back at the congregation that had by now gathered behind him. The next seeker climbs the ladder and reaches the top. He exclaims in joy and shouts out to the others what he sees over the wall. He too takes the plunge. The third seeker goes up the ladder, perches on the top, tells the rest about what he saw, disappears beyond the wall only to return to the folks he left behind with the news and his experience while in the kingdom of god. Which seeker would we want to be?

It is said that many a saint of a bygone era, had taken all those assembled around them along as they merged together with Erai.

True to the statement, “None of us truly wins, until we all win”, when I met Tavayogi he told me it was not enough that I came to the worship of the Siddhas but bring the family too. I am blessed to have a family that followed suite. Today I have an extended family at AVM who have all taken the Holy feet of Agathiyar and live a meaningful life. We help each other attain the life envisioned for us by Agathiyar, neither out-beating the other or being envious or jealous of another's achievement. Agathiyar too did not give a standard formula for all but instead is leading each one with specific directives, customizing spirituality for each. It has been a wonderful journey of discovery and we look forward to more revelations and guidance from Agathiyar.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

WALK WITH CAUTION

As I was leaving my home some days back for my hometown, two from a group of evangelist walked up to me. The senior among the two gave me greetings. I returned his greetings. I then asked if they had come out to preach and possibly convert others. He replied no. Then he reached into his carry bag for leaflets to give to me. I told him I too have literature on my faith and asked if he would accept them. He began to reply that yes, if he could obtain answers to his doubts, queries and questions. In reply I asked him if he had not found those answers in his faith as yet. He left me without replying but stood knocking on the neighbour's door. His comrades were banging on the gates of others homes in my neighbourhood.

Earlier on, a lady and a couple of ladies, on two separate occasions when my daughter and wife were warded,  came up to their hospital beds and asked if they could bless them. We accepted. When they began to preach about their faith, I turned them down telling them that we had faith in our worship. As I was leaving the hospital I chanced to see the ladies with others from their congregation comparing notes and statistics as to how many patients they managed to talk to about god that day. I was saddened while helping to alleviate the pain of others, they were giving undue importance to the number of people they could convert. Sadly people in the Siddha path too have begun pushing their ideas and interpretations of the Siddhas onto others. They take to private family functions to preach, which I strongly believe is inappropriate, as we should respect the occasion, the venue and the host. They take to the streets and deliver mantras that has to be given through a sacred initiation. Just as Dr Strange asked if the word written on a piece of paper handed to him was a secret mantra, but was told that it was the WiFi password instead, these sacred mantras have been degraded to a password.

It is said that the mantra given during an initiation when chanted will get us connected with the corresponding deity or energy and henceforth one shall summon the deity whenever he wants through the mere mention of the said mantra. In simple terms the mantra is the switch. When the mantra is chanted for a period of time the deity's energy sinks into the seeker and it builds up its energy level within over time. With prolong chanting the seeker becomes a vessel for that energy. He can then use it. This is tapping into the energy. This energy sustains, heals, cures and maintains the person and others in need. All that is required is effort and putting it into practice. Soon the practice itself stops, coming to a halt. But the chant goes on internally without our knowledge.  It is freely available to one and all irrespective of faith, belief, religion, culture, social standing etc. The initiation is only a spark placed in us. We need to put in the effort though to see the energy grow and experience it. Soon the effort too drops on its own accord. The mantra begins to reverberate within one on its own till the last breath.

I remember my initiation with Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal where he stressed strongly asking us not to reveal the mantra given - for our heads would explode. Not that it would explode literally but to imply the sacredness of the initiation and the mantra, the place and space it is to be delivered.

When Tavayogi told me to talk about Agathiyar during his later visits to Malaysia, I told him I did not have the necessary credentials to do so. When Acharya Gurudasan asked me why I was not teaching the yoga asanas and breathing techniques that Tavayogi had taught me many years ago, I replied that he only taught me and several others but did not ask me to teach others. The teachings were for me to put into practice and achieve the said results. Nothing further. I was not to turn into a guru or teacher to another. I believe in doing what is asked of me nothing more nothing less.

But when my nephew who learnt the practice together with me and others from Tavayogi, had stopped practicing the postures entirely, Agathiyar did asks him to come to me for a refresher course. We both did the practice, helping each other remember the postures and techniques.

It was not a matter of selfishness that I did not want to share. Besides that I feared that the technique could be wrongly conveyed by me, or wrongly perceived, understood or wrongly put into practiced by the other. In event something goes wrong, as we are talking about energies that are rekindled, I would not have any knowledge to help them come out of their sufferings and misery. As it is I had a seeker tell me that he was in extreme discomfort having certain energies moving in him, that made him even stop going to work for a year. When I told him to seek his guru, he replied that his guru too had gone cuckoo. Then I had an email from a person in India who had energy blockages and was seeking relief. He had engaged in all sorts of practices and techniques. None of his many masters could help him. After eight years I thought I should enquire if he had found some relief, but sad to say he was still suffering.

I too had succumb to extreme bodily pains that started in the lower back regions till my feet quite similar to the Sciatica pain. I suffered for close to 2 1/2 years, finally subsiding in 2011. All the medical test revealed that I was fine. Finally I consulted Agathiyar in the Nadi. He told me that my yogic practices had brought about certain internal heat and energies in my body and that had upset the ideal ratio of the three doshas in the body, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. He told me there was nothing to fear and brushed off the pain and discomfort that I had endured as related to Maya or illusion. He asked that I stop all practices immediately. Soon the pain vanished. It was then that I realized why Tavayogi thought over it for some time before submitting to our request to teach us.

I had the pain again in 2016 just days before my daughters wedding and Tavayogi arrival. I had both masters of varma and energy healing from AVM, Master Arunan and Master Uva treat me and had Tavayogi and Mataji pass me a "wonder pill" and at the same time learnt to ignore the pain as taught by Agathiyar. It went away soon. As I am writing this post, I am in pain again, that suddenly appeared some days back. I am ignoring it. It will soon go away as it always does.

Sadly every one wants to be a guru these days, and in a span of a short time, never wanting to be patient, sitting by, listening and learning besides serving the guru. Again everyone seems to be eager in handing out initiations without considering its implications on the receivers. When my brother told Supramania Swami he has had received many initiations from others, Swami apprehended him saying what was the use of it all, if it was not put into practice.

Then I began to wonder if I too had unknowingly began to preach the same through my blog. During one of my regular discussions with Surendran over the blog and its contents, I put this question to him. Surendaran who is an avid fan, critic and follower of Siddha Heartbeat told me that I had only been writing my experiences in seeking to know God and that there was no element of converting others to the Siddha path in my writings. Phew! That was a relief. As for this blog and my writings, Agathiyar has constantly encourage me to write. When I decide to call it a day, that is when I receive an email or a note from a reader telling me how my writings had helped him or her.

Agathiyar has shown me and taught me much through many incidences that took place in others lives. I do not go looking but when it reaches my ears I know that it carries a message for me, so that I do not emulate it, and am aware of the dangers and the consequences of others actions. I look at them, observe and learn from these happenings. I look for the lesson that is in store for me. Agathiyar has guided me well this far, saving me from many associations that could cause mischief and disruption. Many came to AVM thinking it was a peedham, an establishment or an organization but left disappointed seeing that it was merely an individuals home worship. I am contented with the way things are moving. Although Agathiyar and Muruga have big plans for AVM, I do not intend to pursue it as yet for I had seen enough problems that comes along with the running of these establishments. I came to the spiritual field seeking peace and contentment and I intend to remain so.

When Agathiyar brought many sincere seekers to AVM, I refrained from conditioning them to congregate at my home for the weekly worship as was the norm in other establishment that I encountered during my search. Instead I repeatedly told them to carry on the Siddha prayers in the comfort of their homes and at their own convenient time. When Tavayogi arrived in Malaysia in June of 2016, the AVM family invited him to their individual homes and led the Siddha prayers by performing the homam and conducting libation for Agathiyar. Tavayogi was happy to see us at AVM pick up the worship of the Siddhas, something he had sowed in this country following the footsteps of his Paramaguru Jeganatha Swamigal and Guru Chitramuthu Adigal. Tavayogi left Malaysia satisfied that what he had sowed on our shores had began to bore fruit.

It brings me joy too to see Agathiyar guide each AVM devotee accordingly, fulfilling both their material and spiritual needs. Agathiyar is now guru for us after the passing away of Tavayogi. We are in safe hands. We submit to Agathiyar to lead us on. For those just beginning, take on an initiation and be faithful to it. Take on a path and be faithful to it. Take a guru and be faithful to him.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

LESSONS FROM THE MASTERS

I have been blessed to have some wonderful teachers around me. 

I learnt from Supramania Swami of Thiruvannamalai that we have to work on our ideals in the spiritual world for one day it shall pay off. It paid off for Ramalinga Adigal, a century ago. Supramania Swami told me too that all our efforts never go to waste. We continue from where we left. His last message to me before his samadhi was that we cannot take anything with us, not even our tapas and without even a second thought, gave it all to me. When I told him that Agathiyar had mentioned Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigalar of Kallar Ashram as my guru in the Nadi and that I was to travel with him to places and abodes of Siddhas, Supramania Swami did not stop me instead he gave me thick blankets to keep me warm in the hills of Kallar and ceremoniously sent me off on my second leg of adventure, asking that I send Tavayogi his regards. They had not met each other yet upon my return from Kallar, he immediately enquired about Tavayogi. Never will I come across another Guru of such stature and humbleness as this.

Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal nurtured me further with the ideals of the Siddhas. He too told me that we shall attempt without seeking the results. If it was not achievable in this lifetime we shall come back and continue. Do not fret. Tavayogi taught me to drop my fears. Both Supramania Swami and he had lost their eyesight for various reasons as they walked their paths. Both of them regained their eyesight too, with the aid of modern medical means for Supramania Swami and by some divine interception for Tavayogi. Having taken much beating in life while on the path, Tavayogi tended to help us brush aside all our fears, telling us that Agathiyar was there for us. 

When I met Tavayogi in Malaysia for the first time in 2005, I told him I had to see the Nadi again as the time Agathiyar mentioned for my second reading had arrived. But I did not know whom to seek then. Tavayogi pointed me to Nadi Nool Aasan T.Ramesh. Ramesh had patiently delivered fifty Nadi readings over the years. As I began to hold on to Agathiyar's feet firmly over the years, Tavayogi slowly made me drop our dependency on the Nadi, for solutions and answers. Although Tavayogi read the Jeeva Nadi for the public he never referred to Agathiyar in the Nadi for directions or solutions. That was the amount of faith he had on the divine and the extent of his surrender to Agathiyar. 

Agathiyar taught us much through the Nadi summoning us for a reading when there was a need or when we had a life death situation on our hands or just to chat and reassure us that all was well. 

He came as a teacher and introduced the subject about karma and its tremendous and severe impact and implications on humans. Anyone coming to Agathiyar is told about his past, not to burden him with guilt but to make him aware of all his actions and its results that are akin to a domino effect, so that we would stop starting certain actions and repeating others. 

To counter the karma that keeps following us, to my surprise, over several births I am told, Agathiyar encouraged us to give rather than to hoard. From just living for ourselves he brought us to live for others too. Just as Buddha saw the sufferings of his subjects once he took his very first step outside his palace gates, Agathiyar opened up a whole wide new world out there that we were either not aware of or refused to see before. We began to see the sorrow of others as being greater than ours, thus pacifying ourselves and not complaining. We became grateful for the years of good life, peace and harmony he gave us instead of frowning and complaining about old age and the deterioration of the physical form that comes with it. When visiting elders or they come over, it is indeed very sad to see them talk about their illnesses and complaining about discomfort and comparing medicines just as we compare notes. I try to inculcate in them the understanding that all born would one day perish. We are all subject to the law of nature. Although this is the rule of the day, many Siddhas have taken steps and achieved a distinctive stature where rather then saying that they have overcome and broken the law of nature, I would chose to say that they learnt the secret in prolonging the breath and its accompanying body; they learnt the secret of living in harmony with nature, and as a result lived for ages. I ask the elders to be grateful that the divine has spared them and kept them well till the present moment.

When I was suffering from a horrible pain that extended from the middle of my back till the toes for 2 1/2 years, although having given a clean slate of health by both the alopathy and siddha doctors, on finally consulting the Nadi, Agathiyar brushed it aside, telling me it was related to Maya or illusion. Here was I in pain and the Maha Muni just brushed my misery aside! Today I understand him very well. He had asked me to ignore the pain and it shall go away, then and always.

Then again although I had taken good care of my body, I did succumb to the dengue fever and was warded the very first time in my life after 54 years, some six years ago. I understood that even with all the care taken, if I had to pay off my debt, suffering would still take place. But he was there for me looking over me. So did he and Thirumular come to the aid of my little daughter when she was hospitalized for dengue too. He stood over my wife when she had to go through surgery several times, to the extent of telling us the procedure that she would have to go through on the operating table. His revelation in the Nadi will always conform to what the doctors would later brief us. Agathiyar kept working on my elder daughter's leg, although she had non-union of her fibula and tibia bones. To our joy, the need for surgery did not arise although it was mentioned several times, as eventually there was new born growth and her bones mended, although we had to wait patiently for nine months. Agathiyar told us the exact procedure that she would have to go through even before the doctors recommended it to us.

Just as Bhagawan Ramana's, Osho's and Tavayogi's messages are customized for the individual, Agathiyar too spelts out advises for the particular seeker. In my wife's case he told her strictly that she would have to seek modern medicine and treatment for alternative medicine would not work on her. As for my daughters and me, we were referred to Medical Officers for some ailments and to Siddha practitioners for others. He gave us the best medical care from both worlds.

After forgiving me and since then Agathiyar had been telling us to learn to forgive what others have done to us and move on with life. Since then my daily prayer was: "Dear Lord, I forgive myself for all my shortcomings; I forgive others for all the harm that they had done to me; Let others forgive me for all the idiotic things I have said and done to them, including the harm and sufferings I had brought onto them and finally please Lord do forgive all of us for our ignorance and judgement of others." By forgiving others we learn to let go and do not carry the pain in us that can have devastating results on us, eating into us, bringing sleepless nights and creating nightmares. I chanced to watch a beautiful movie The Shack, that carried a similar message last evening at http://www.theshack.movie/#home

Agathiyar taught us not to fret, complain nor argue instead be patient, tolerant and accepting of all views and people. Agathiyar had on numerous occasions told us not to enter into a debate especially on spiritual and religious matters. He has pointed out many wrong notions and beliefs but quickly adds, telling us to let it be.

All was not dark and bleak though, since we began to see a much beautiful world too that nature had provided for. We began to see opportunities making their way to our door, a reversal of us having to seek them earlier. Many veils were drawn aside; the necessary knowledge to comprehend life was given; he gave us strength to fight our battles and our foes that came in myriad ways: as illnesses, sufferings, miseries, confusion, obstacles, enemies etc. He opened up new chapters of life that were absent or lacking in us such as love and a better understanding. A new dawn was born the moment Agathiyar entered our lives. 

While Supramania Swami initiated me on bhakti or the path of devotion, leading me with chanting of his Guru's name or nama japa and bringing me to visit temples, both Agathiyar and Tavayogi brought me to worship his idol and perform rituals respectively. After putting in sixteen years of efforts towards bringing my senses to focus on the job on hand, the preparation and conducting of many rituals that needed our utmost attention at the most precised moments, and the concentration that was derived from these acts, thanks to these valuable and much needed training ground, the instruments and methods, now my mind tends to settle the very moment I sit at the altar in the company of Agathiyar, in the comfort of my home, at times dropping even the chanting of mantras, worship and all asking. I guess it is time to move within now as all my Gurus had wanted.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

AGATHIYAR AS I SEE HIM

A search for Agathiyar on the net will bring us to many accounts, much of it repetitive, of a Muni who traveled the globe; ridding the world of evil; and preaching the way of the Siddhas. Much of his life's account is shrouded in myth and mystery till this day. I chose not to dwell in these areas but instead took up his request to come to the worship of the Siddhas and him, beckoning me to come to his path. He dropped the bait and I took the bite.  

I was introduced to the Nadi first and only then to Agathiyar. When I used to frequent Dr Krishnan, an astrologer and a Siddha practitioner, in the nineties he spoke about the Nadi. In 2002 my colleague shared his experience in reading the Nadi with me. Soon I had my very first own Nadi reading, thanks to Muralitharan Samynathan. 

I came to know that a Muni from the past had written accounts of many people including mine, in the form of sacred oracles known as the Nadi or Olai Suvadi. It was an amazing first encounter with the unseen and invisible Muni who spoke through this amazing medium. I was told that my life's past history had been documented and written out on dried palm leaves and was being narrated back to me. The present was read out and the future predicted and told too, all to my amazement. It was simply unbelievable, beyond my imagination and logic. 

I had made my very first acquaintance with the Maha Muni that day. Imagine a Muni of such stature addressing a common man through this mystical medium. That day the divine communicated with me, and we got connected, for life, without my knowing and knowledge. Agathiyar came to redeem me. Agathiyar told me to worship him. I began my journey, seeking out the ways of the Siddhas and the means to their worship. Agathiyar who invited me to India, sent me to Supramania Swami of Tiruvannamalai in 2003. Later in 2005, Agathiyar sent Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal to Malaysia. Tavayogi invited me to his ashram; took me to the sites of the Siddhas and showed and exposed me to life at an ashram. While Tavayogi lead me on a journey, traveling the path of the Siddhas, Agathiyar showed me numerous miracles all along the way.

Although I have yet to see Agathiyar, I feel his presence these days. I see Agathiyar quite differently these days, and off course nothing like what has been carried about him in the vast literature published out there. From a Muni who is supposedly said to have lived in the past, I have come to realize that he is ever present and is among us. From a Muni who spoke to me through a medium, I have come to realize that he has begun speaking from within. From a Muni who asks that I perform rituals, prayers and other forms of external worship, I have come to realize that he now dwells in my heart. From a Muni who exposed all my past karma and its corresponding effects and spelt out my destiny, I have come to realize that he has changed my fate. From a Muni who scanned through my body and recommended appropriate medical attention whenever the need arised, I have come to realize that he has come to shield, heal and care - 24/7. From a Muni who guided me on living out my mundane daily life and desires, I have come to realize that he has given me a new purpose and a mission in life. From a Muni who sent me two wonderful gurus, I have come to realize that he himself has now come to lead me on. From a Muni who gave me the freedom to reap and taste all the pleasures of the world, I have come to realize that he has finally made me drop all my desires and wants.

This is the Agathiyar I have come to know, working subtly and mystically on me and my perception of life and the world around me. I owe much to all those who came into my life and provided the way and the means for me to take the path of the Siddhas, a discovery in self and the world around.

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE - Lessons in Humility

Watching my toddler grandchild lose herself in split second moments and gaze out into nothingness, what seems to be in deep thought, and truly unmindful of her surroundings, invokes questions in my head. What could she be thinking? 

Watching the snail move at a pace that test our very patience makes me ask if it was aware of time and space?

I realize that a straight line would not create the illusion of length till I draw another beside it. Only then would I begin to see a difference exist and start comparing their lengths. 

Similarly if I were to be alone, a lone survivor, there would be nothing to compare myself with. Its only when we are many that we become judgmental of others, become possessive and arrogant towards others. 

And then I tend to ponder, "When did we come to take charge of ourselves and this body?" I do not remember that instant. Do you? All I know is I am existing and living a life. 

Watching the world around me makes me sit and wonder in awe. Watching nature and its inhabitants makes me think and question who is the master craftsman behind all these beauty and at times terror too. I am amazed at the world around me with its grandeur and majesticity, details and intricacies. Browsing the net or watching the wonderful documentaries on tv, my insight expands. When the scientists deliver their findings I am again amazed at creation and its workings. I tend to admire the creator for having thought of all the minute flawless details that went into creation. I would surely love to meet him.

So we are told that Erai wanted to know how it was to be many - and began creation. From one to two and multi-fold. But did it evolve from one into another over time, discovering and marking and creating a blueprint as it went along or was the blueprint made available and everything made, assembled and put together as a prototype? If the later was true did he test his creations for functionality? Although these questions storm my mind for an answer, I cannot deny that I am indeed amazed at the perfection of each of his creation. No flaws at all.

Today we have lost that precious link with him, that understanding that we are him. We have lost our divinity. Arrogance has taken shape. Many legends, myths and history would attest to the fact that arrogance leads to destruction. When arrogance steps in we think we are in charge of our lives. Yes we are - till we realize our involvement is only to a certain extent and amount and till a certain stage. We might toil the land, sow the seeds, water the crops, but we have to wait patiently for them to grow. We then collect the harvest. Neither did we create the seeds nor bring the rains. We cook the grains and bring them to the table. We have a feast as we invite all. We bring the food to our mouths. That is where our effort ends. From there-forth, have we ever wondered who takes charge? To whom are the reins handed over to, from that point on? Did we appoint someone to take on the job from where we left? Have we signed an agreement with this party to ensure it does its work without fail? Who or what is this intelligence that does its work tirelessly, taking over from where we left? Yet, this divine entity cares for us, maintains, repairs, resuscitates, "revives, resurrects, restores, regenerates, revitalizes, reinvigorate, renews, awakens, rejuvenates, and breathes new life into us, giving us the kiss of life, giving us a new lease of life." But that party can only upkeep the place if it is kept habitable, fit and healthy to a certain extent. When given a broken down home and asked to rebuild it, this divine entity then needs assistance from elsewhere. This has to come from the consciousness.

P Karthigayan writes in his "History of Medical and Spiritual Sciences of Siddhas of Tamil Nadu", notionpress.com, 2016, that if the search for spiritual immortality prevailed in the earliest phase of our culture, with the coming of the Tamil Siddhas, they were steeped in finding ways to achieve physical immortality.
Spiritual immortality is attainable as a final stage of meditative practice. One who reaches the peak will become a deva/gandavara. While doing this willfully, one becomes disassociated with his society and as such the accumulation of sins will not accrue and consequently, the cause for birth will be nullified; the soul and spirit will attain an elevated state as such birth will be postponed. Finally considering the body as a burden the saint will abandon the same during samadhi stage.
Karthigayan goes on to explain the favored Siddha way to physical immortality,
Physical immortality is attained as a final stage of meditative practice after intake of elixir. One who reaches the peak will become a Siddha and is considered equal to god. While pursuing this, one will become associated with his society and as such the association of society will help them to serve mankind since the intake of elixir will nullify death; the soul, spirit and body will attain an elevated state and thus immortality is assured. Finally considering the kindness of god in bestowing this rare status, the immortals will strive for the betterment of the mankind.
As we are shown the expanse of his creation, through modern media and the extensive use of technology that is both breathtaking and awesome, the greatest miracle is happening so close to us, in our home ground, and in us. The miracle of birth and our body is indeed something beyond our comprehension. Yet the learned have understood and tried to explain their workings in simple terms. So for a commoner like me, I turn to children books for an understanding, avoiding the many thick and heavy medical texts that takes a lot of reading and understanding on our part.

For instance Sara Stein explains "how the body gets built, learns, repairs itself, and makes us who we are" in her book "The Body Book", Workman Publishing, NY, 1992.

She writes,

A body contains tens of trillions of cells, all descended from the one cell that results from the union of an egg and a sperm. The one cell divides, the two it divided into divide again, and the four divide; and so, division by division, the whole human is built.

And so we came to be. And so too, she says of our parents and grandparents. 

A father's sperm are offspring of an egg, and so are a mother's egg offspring of the egg she was to start with. The cells that will be your eggs or sperm were set aside for future use when you were an embryo as yet no bigger than a lima bean, and when your birth was still more than half a year in future. Amazing.

Sara says all the stuff we are made off has been recycled over and over again. She says it so beautifully and brings us to a deeper understanding of ourselves. 
You certainly contain minerals that were once in dinosaurs. Water in your body now was certainly in the first raindrops that fell on Earth.

She explains how we depend on each other.
Oxygen you breathe into your lungs was set free by dandelions in the yard, and they'll grow and bloom by using the gas you breathe out. Hair you shed and skin you wear away may blow as dust, be taken apart in soil, rebuilt by plants, and may well come back to you as salad.
She says were are no different from the worm, having a mouth at one end and an anus at the other. 

Finally Sara puts it aptly, "In the end there may be no beginning. On the other hand, there may be no end."

To trace the first individual cell would be a tedious task. And so we are told it is an unfruitful adventure seeking the source and also its end through stories like how both Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma vainly tried to out-beat each other in reaching the feet and the head of Lord Shiva respectively.

Looking at nature brings us to our senses, hits us hard, proving that we are not the masters but indeed she is. She brings us to our knees. We feel humble in her presence, seeing her might and terror that she unleashes when aggravated. Then again, Nature trives to live even under adverse conditions. The seed germinates fighting all odds to reach out for the sun. So shall we stand our ground in the face of any upcoming storm and misery.

Just as there is two sides to a coin, we can either choose to see everything bleak and dark or see things as hopeful and bright. Let us take a long walk into nature and learn from her a thing or two on humility. 

Friday, 6 July 2018

Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal

LESSONS IN HUMILITY FROM TAVAYOGI THANGARASAN ADIGAL

He was a lion that roared when he took the stage in public events, having proficiency and a master's degree in the Tamil language and having being the chair person of Pattimandrams or debate sessions in India. But off the stage he was humble to the core, down to earth and very practical. 

Having met him in Malaysia in 2005, our friendship took off. After I arrived at Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal's Ashram, the Sri Agathiyar Gnana Peedham, the first time, in 2005 on his invitation, Tavayogi invited me for an evening bath at the stream running close by. He brought along his dirty linen and started washing them. I volunteered to wash his cloths but he refused to part with them. I thought by doing so I could get some merit or punyam. After the bath, we prepared to leave, picking up our stuffs. Just then Tavayogi had a change of mind and told me, "We shall take another way back to the Ashram." He turned to me and told me to stay while he brought over our sandals from the opposite bank of the stream. I forbade him from picking my sandals, saying I shall pick them up myself. But he asked me to stay put, quickly waded across the stream, picked up my sandals too and brought them over to me. I was physically shaken up and close to tears. Here was a Guru of high standing, who everyone considers a Tavayogi, a head of an Ashram, and a great follower and disciple of Agathiyar and Chitramuthu Adigal of Panaikulam. I could not forgive myself for allowing him to do that.

Tavayogi too was kind to this soul many a times. After having purchased vegetables at the Methupalaiyam market, seeing me struggle to carry the gunny sack of vegetables, he snatched it from my hands and threw the sack over his shoulder and walked away taking big strides, carrying the sack rather easily. When he took me for his morning walk around Kallar, he passed me his shawl, saying it was too cold in the mornings. Later at Vedharanyam he passed my his shawl again to lay on the cement floor that had grease and grime all over it, minutes before the first ever miracle I witnessed, took place - Agathiyar opened his left eye in his granite statue at Agasthiyampalli. Again he laid his shawl on the terrain under the shade of the gigantic Nandhi at Breehadeeswarar Temple in Tanjore and invited me to share the 'makeshift bed'. We laid there gazing at the afternoon sky waiting for the main temple to open at 4 pm.

His desire to spread the Siddha path to Malaysia where his Paramaguru Jeganatha Swamigal and Guru Chitramuthu Swamigal had tread, walked and lived saw the light of the day when he made his first maiden trip in 2004, followed by several more later with his comrade and chief disciple Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyar, the last in 2016 to bless my daughter at her wedding. He was happy and mentioned that his desire to see the Siddha Marga instilled, followed and spread in Malaysia was fulfilled by AVM. His desire to built a proper temple cum ashram and meditation hall saw the light of the day too in 2016.

Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal was laid to rest yesterday at his Kallar Ashram.



Looking back through the years of having come into acquaintance with him, brought back fond memories of him. He kept motivating us, guided us and occasionally shared a secret or two. I had written much about him in this blog. 













Thursday, 21 June 2018

THE NEED TO EVOLVE

Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal of Kallar Ashram on arriving in Malaysia in 2005, saw that we were all bonded with temple worship. He told us to come out of Bhakthi marga and move on to Gnana marga. Prior to meeting him, I met Supramania Swami of Tiruvannamalai and took him as my Guru. He was steeped in rolling the rudraksham and chanting his Guru Yogi Ramsuratkumar's name. He had performed tavam for forty years of which he spent seventeen years atop the sacred Arunachala hill. Born in the temple grounds of Tirutani he had also spent a considerable time in and around Tiruchendur. He used to perform Siddhis, taking a handful of soil and changing it to the sacred ash Vibhuthi that he used to heal people and also served as Prasad. He remained with his family in their village home until I happened to drop in on him on the pretext of charting a horoscope for my second daughter. It was truly an act of Erai and I was destined to meet him. 

The events leading to me meeting him is truly amazing and astounding. As I packed my bags and prepared to leave my home in Malaysia on my maiden pilgrimage to India, I had only one priority in my mind - to carry out the remedies and attonements or parikaram mentioned in my Nadi reading a year earlier in 2002. So when my wife stood at the doorstep of my home, and told me, "If you have the time, see the horoscope for our daughter in India", I brushed it aside and left on my journey. We had not written her horoscope as yet then. Since India had great pundits of astrology, she proposed I consult them while there. 

In my Nadi reading, Agathiyar did mention that I would meet my Guru, but there was no further mention about the time and place. When I was given a sacred mantra and started on the path of devotion after a long gap of fourteen years by my nephew in my home in 2001, he did mention too that the initiation I received then would prepare me to meet my Guru.

And so as I toured India carrying out my parikaram in 2003, little did I realize that all that was prophesied would happen as predicted. On my last leg of my pilgrimage after circumbulating the Holy Arunachala hill and as I had much time on my hands since I was only to make my departure to Chennai and Malaysia the next day, I was reminded about my wife's humble request. I asked Deva my chauffeur if he knew someone in Chennai who could draw up my daughter's horoscope. He immediately told me, "Why go so far Sir, I have my uncle right here in Tiruvannamalai who is an astrologer." He drove me to a small village on the outskirts of Tiruvannamalai called Nacha Ananthal. As we drove up to the small cottage by the roadside, an equally small figure appeared in front of us to greet us. It was Supramania Swami, I soon learnt. He did not smile nor say a word but instead led us into his home and right up to his prayer room. He lighted the camphor flame and showed arati to the myriad pictures of Gods and Goddesses at his altar. He came out again and asked his son to bring out the past years almanacs and his deer skin. The deer skin was place on the cement floor and the almanacs stacked beside. He took his place on the skin and went into deep contemplation. Once he came out of it, he spoke none stop for five hours, speaking about him, his Gurus, Annamalaiyar and moving on to speak about me, revealing the secrets that Agathiyar had shared in my Nadi too. I was speechless for the whole duration of five hours with him. I was in tears of joy and ecstasy for the whole duration of five hours with him. He did not chart my daughter's future but instead revealed mine. 

I took leave off him as the sun began to set in that quiet village of Nacha Ananthal.

On my second visit to India in 2005, I arrived at his kudil, a 30 feet by 11 feet stone building that we had helped him put up on a piece of land purchased to build a temple for Lord Muruga close to his Guru Ramsuratkumar's ashram and samadhi. As night fell over Tiruvannamalai, Swami's wife and son left us to make some purchases. Swami invited me to pray. He began rolling his rudraksham and chant his Guru's name: Yogi Ramsuratkumara, Yogi Ramsuratkumara, Yogi Ramsuratkumara, Jeya Guru Raya. As it was a simple mantra to follow I joined him in chanting. After a few minutes into it I heard a third voice. This was heavy but sweet. I kept my eyes closed and continued the japa. I could hear Swami, myself and now this strange voice too. Soon Swami stopped his chant. I opened my eyes to see him leave the prayer room. I followed suite. 

The following days were spent visiting the Yogi's temple samadhi, Annamalaiyar and another small temple of Shiva in Tiruvannamalai and one of Vishnu some distance away from his village. I completely forgot about what had transpired back then at his kudil till Swami reminded me again on my arrival back from Kallar several days later. 

As I alighted from the Ambassador and he stood outside his kudil to greet us, he asked me if I had heard the voice! That triggered my memory back to the incident during the chant some days back. I asked him who it was, eager to know. He gave a loud laugh and answered "Visiri Mattai" referring to the Yogi. Amazing since the Yogi had gone into samadhi on February 20, 2001, some five years back. Swami had brought him from his samadhi to join us in prayer!

Swami's forty year old desire to build a temple was shelved when a stranger stood at the cross road in front of his kudil one day and demanded to know why he was reverting back to the Bhakti Marga from that of Gnana. Saying thus he left. Swami dropped the idea.

Tavayogi who had asked that we come out of Bhakti began to construct a temple for Agathiyar, Tava Murugan and the Siddhas. The temple cum ashram complex was completed and inaugurated in December of 2016. I asked him why build a temple and he replied it was not for him but for the public. 

After returning from India, I had only a single painting of Agathiyar at my altar, having removed all others, an action, although painful but much needed and that was endorsed by Tavayogi. As I continued worship of Agathiyar and the Siddhas, he instructed me to pray to his statue. He gave me detailed specifications and strictly told me it was to be made in Swamimalai, India. He told me the rituals to be conducted prior to sending his statue over to Malaysia. If he did not specify his needs I could have bought one off the shelve although that would be a hunt too for it is not everyday that you get to see a statue of his in gift shops. I asked around several temple committee members and merchants to see if they could help me bring his statue in but it was all in vain. Soon I did a search on the internet and send out emails with my requirements. Varadaraj of Bronze Creative called me from Swamimalai and told me he would do it. I told him he would have to travel to Agasthiyampalli, near Tirumaraikadu (Vedaranyam) to see and follow Agathiyar's image at the Agastheeswarar Temple. He agreed and was commisioned to produce a bronze replica of Agathiyar at Agasthiyampalli. 

The original idea was to have him installed at the Jegathguru Sri Raghavendra Mritiga Brindavanam Kinta in Ipoh that was yet to be built. So work began on his statue. As the Brindavanam was slow to take off, we stalled the works for some time. But as there was no new progress at the Brindavanam, I told Varadaraj to complete his part. The year was 2009. On completion Varadaraj had rituals performed at the Adhi Kumbeshwarar temple in Kumbakonam as instructed by Agathiyar in the Nadi, and sent the statue to Chennai to be shipped to Malaysia. But it was not to be an easy affair bringing the Maha Muni over to our shores as we discovered later. As there was a spate of illegal trafficking of idols out of India then, a new requirement to have the idols endorsed by the Archaeological Department, stating it was a new statue and not one recovered or stolen, was in place. It was the season of religious festivals and year end holidays and Varadaraj could not get the necessary clearances in time to send him over for the annual Jayanthi and Guru Puja in early January of 2010.

Just three days before the prayers, Varadaraj called me to say that I would only gain delivery of the statue on Monday, a day after the fest and that he would have to be flown instead of shipped as originally planned. I told him that I had already informed devotees that they could expect to see Agathiyar as a statue that year. In my excitement to receive him I had spread the news of his arrival as a statue and did not want to disappoint them. I begged Varadaraj to try his best. An hour and a half later he called back and told me that Agathiyar had boarded the plane and was making his way to Malaysia. My joy knew no bounds. Varadaraj told me he would email me a copy of the delivery order (D.O.) shortly. But it never came till midday the next day! He told me the internet was down back in his homeland. My heart sank again. Suddenly Nadi Nool Aasan Ramesh called me asking me to come over for a reading immediately. There in that reading Agathiyar gave me the assurance that he would be there for the Vizha. I returned home to see a copy of the D.O. in my mail box. I was extremely happy again. I printed a copy and headed for the airport's cargo section. I was not sure if they were open on a Saturday afternoon. As I stood in line to gain possession of my priced commodity I picked up small chat with the regulars who serviced customers with goods from foreign lands. They gave me yet another shocking news that it could take as much as 2 1/2 working days to clear the merchandise. My heart sank again. As I approached the lady behind the counter she politely and patiently explained all that I had to do and the five stations I had to approach for verification and payments, all systemically laid and shown to me, before I would be handed my purchase. I went through the system and received Agathiyar in my hands in just 2 1/2 hours! My family and I returned home with the feeling of bringing back home a family member who had been overseas.

Today I have a story to tell, sort of a stala puranam for AVM Agathiyar. That joy of receiving him would not be there if he was couriered to my doorstep as originally planned.

Some 2 1/2 years later, when I had to make a decision to send him over to the Brindavanam before its inauguration on 12.06.2013, as I had yet to receive any indication from Agathiyar, I told the management to go ahead without him. Soon a devotee sponsored Agathiyar's statue that graces the Vasantha Mandapam at the Brindavanam.

Many months later Agathiyar comforts me that it was his decision to stay put at my home and released the guilt that I had wondering if I had erred and made a wrong decision in not sending him over as instructed. 

While at AVM he had performed many miracles and heard, healed, and blessed many souls who came along. He had us perform the homa, libation, and the rituals that followed them, telling us it was not done for us but the good of prapanjam. Recently I was asked to build a temple, something that I did not desire. Again he tells us it was for others. My heart yearns to just sit with him in his space these days. As such I have reduced the rituals to the minimum and short. Only time and Agathiyar can tell if the temple will materialize. Only time and Agathiyar can tell if I am allowed to move on to investigate new horizons.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

A PRAYER FOR OTHERS

When I went to meet Tavayogi at the Sri Agathiyar Gnana Peedham in Batu Caves in 2005 for the very first time, a man walked into the room and after some time questioned me if I had any problems. I did not and told him so, but he adamantly kept asking me as if he wanted me to go into submission and admit that I had. I kept telling him I had no problem. Then he told me that all those who came, came with problems.

As I began to spend time with Tavayogi at this Peedham, I saw that what Bala (the guy) told me seemed to be true. Many came with their problems with an expectation that Tavayogi could solve it for them. And many came with so many questions too expecting answers from Tavayogi. As for the former Tavayogi listened but refrained from giving solutions. Instead he would tell them that the reason they were going through the hardship and misery was because of their vinai or past karma; and would asked that they pray or sing the praise (Potrungal); next he would show them who to pray to - the Siddhas. This was his standard solution to all of lives problems.

As for the later, he would sit and entertain all the questions put to him, encouraging them to ask more. These question and answer session would stretch and extend into the late hours of the night.

When some strangers came along and shared their problems with me and my wife, we would listen and advise them. We soon found out that these free counsel were not appreciated by their spouses and landed us in hot soup. When I referred to Tavayogi regarding the counseling that went wrong, he blasted me asking me why I interfered. He told me to refer them to the big guy sitting in my home - Agathiyar. Let them pour their hearts out to him he said. We learnt to zip up after that. We also learnt that we should not have fallen for the stories of devotees visiting individually; instead to listen to both life partners to get both sides of the stories. It was a learning process for us and we took it in our stride.

Today we show visitors to AVM, to Agathiyar directly, and ask them to light a ghee lamp and pray that their desires are fulfilled, their illness cured or sorrows removed. We encourage them to chant the names of the Siddhas as we were taught and stand back taking the stance of just watching the divine act on their wishes.

Then when many who were on this path of worship to the Siddhas, came around mentioning that their wishes were not granted even after carrying out all the askings of the Siddhas to the very word, I too was baffled and lost for words. I felt sad that I could not bring solace and peace to their aching hearts. I felt sad that their troubles had not gone away. What went wrong? Why aren't the Siddhas doing something about it? They came with problems. We told them to come to the worship of the Siddhas. We told them to read their Nadi for solutions. They started the worship. They consulted the Nadi. They carried out the remedies too. Yet there was no solution in sight.

Soon their sadness became my sadness. I took up their cases with Agathiyar seeking some divine intervention for them. My prayer today has extended to include all who came to AVM seeking solace and peace. We are waiting patiently for the Siddhas to move the chess pieces.

On the other hand many came back with good news telling us their wishes had been granted. We were happy for them.

Just as we begin to think that we have the answers to lives mysteries, something comes along that brings us to square one. This is where we are equally baffled and do not fully comprehend the mystery of life and its inner workings. Besides this there are many mysteries out there that has not been revealed and kept under lock and key. I am looking forward to the day when these wisdom and knowledge would dawn on us and we would have a complete understanding of all that is happening and taking place.

Journeying on this path, Agathiyar gave us rituals to complete which we have carried out diligently for years. Today we have minimized these rituals but instead prefer to just sit in his presence. No ritual, no mantra, no chanting, no singing; just being in the present.

We do not see the need to consult the Nadi but instead are waiting for him to address us directly without a medium.

We understand that our role has changed, from living for us to living for others, from self gratification to that of gratifying the needs of others.

We have learnt to go with the flow, drop our desires and instead fulfil his commands.

BATTLING THE LURE OF MAYA 3

Swami Saravanananda has written an extensive explanation in his English transliteration of Ramalinga Adigal’s “Arutperunjhoti Agaval” published by Ramalinga Mission, Madras. 

Swami Saravanananda wrote,
With this perfection (after his body had attained perfection) comes perfect knowledge. He (Vallalar) also seemed to have been bestowed with the third eye. This third eye enabled him to gain knowledge of the whole universe and all the individual beings contained in it. He assets that his knowledge penetrated and pervaded layer upon layer of the varied types of universes. With the functioning of the third eye, the transformation of the Pranava body is completed and the next and final stage of transformation into the Gnostic body (Gnana Deham) starts. As explained by Vallalar, the person whose third eye is active is verily God Himself because he can raise the dead into life and perform the fivefold primordial functions.
Swami Saravanananda adds that according to Ramalinga Adigal, it takes a long time to perfect the Pranava body; the minimum period required is twelve years and the maximum is 108 years.
The transformation of the Pranava body into a Gnostic body begins with the functioning of the third eye. With the advent of this eye, the body sheds whatever subtle impurities it possesses; consequently, it becomes nearly invisible. The third eye enabled Vallalar to have tier upon tier of divine experiences.

Slowly his body through the intensity of concentration of the mind begins to generate the flame of lapses, popularly known as psychic heat. Slowly the quantity of psychic heat is increased due to intense meditation and concentration on the universal effulgence. The extreme heat generated in the body produces smoke at first; this smoke gathers up in volume and escapes through the junction of the parietal bones of the skull (Brahma Randhra). During this period, the body and mind undergoes untold stress. Vallalar often mentions about the sufferings that he had undergone since he was twelve years old. The psychic smoke clears off and enhanced illumination results. This light (Tegas) is also called as the aura or nimbus.
Similarly Marshall Govindan in his book “Babaji and the 18 Siddhars Kriya Yoga Tradition” (Govindan, Marshall, Babaji and the Eighteen Siddha Kriya Yoga Tradition, 1991, Kriya Yoga Publications (Reg), 196 Mountain Road, P.O.Box 90, Eastman, Quebec, Canada, JOE 1PO, reproduced with permission via e-mail), writes,
Ramalinga described several successive transformations:

The transformation of the mortal human body into the perfect body (Suddha Deham), achieved by universal spiritual communion and devotion to god; The transformation of perfect body (Sudha Deham) into the body of grace and light (Pranava Deham); In addition, the transformation into the body of wisdom (Gnana Deham) and into the body of god supreme.

In many verses (of the Thiru Arutpa) Ramalinga sings of how his ‘impure body’ of ‘impure elements’ was transformed into a pure body of pure elements, called a golden body of immeasurable carats (Swarna Deham). He sings that one has to think incessantly, until he feels and melts with love for god. In such a melting mood one bursts into tears and sings praise of god and soothing warmth is produced in the aspirant. When this universal love and sacred warmth develops, the body as well as the soul became prepared for the descent of the grace, in the form of light. When this occurs, the material body of impure elements is transformed into a ‘body of pure light’, emitting a golden hue. This ‘golden body’ appears to be about twelve years of age. The body of grace (Pranava Deham) according to him can be seen visually but it cannot be touched. It appears to be a heavenly child of about five to eight years of age. The ultimate and greatest transformation in human evolution: a transmutation into the godhead, which he referred to as merging with the body of supreme wisdom - the body of god supreme (Gnana Deham).
From the foreword to Kumara Devar in the above mentioned book,
This saint, Kumara Devar, (the author of Sudha Sadhagam), has sung of the progressive transformation of the darkness abounding human body (Irul Deham) into delusive body (Marul Deham) then into the body of grace (Pranava Deham) which could be seen and felt. In an advanced state it is transformed into body of grace (Arul Deham), which could only be seen as a mirage or a rainbow, but with his grace, it merges with Shiva and enjoys eternal bliss in Shivadvaita union.
Dr C Srinivasan, in his foreword to Ramalingam Swami, in the same book says,
Accordingly, the impure human body, susceptible to disease and death, can, by the grace of god, be transformed into a pure and perfect body of love, then into a celestial body of grace and ultimately into an invisible body of bliss and merge with god supreme.
In the foreword to “An Introduction to the Philosophy of Saint Ramalingam” by Dr. C. Srinivasan, Rao Saheb K. Kothandapani Pillai BA wrote about these transformations,
These transformations occur in the body of the aspirant according to the intensity of spiritual warmth produced in him. The body is deprived of all its dross or impurities and made pure, fit for divine absorption (Sudha Deham). These are the practical transformation, which came over the body of the Swami stage by stage on the way to union with the absolute. Not only did he preach this science of deathlessness (Sudha Sanmarga) but actually attained this deathless state. None of the four saints, [Appar, Sundarar, Thirugnanasambanthar, and Manickavasagar] dropped their bodies on the earth nor was buried or burnt. They bodily vanished into the ether or into the lord divine. Conquest of death by imbibing supreme grace is the quintessence of his philosophy. The more he ascended in his holy pursuit the more was the descent of divinity in him.
The body of love or Sudha Deham or Anbu Uru gives the experience, Uyir Anubhavam; while the body of grace or Pranava Deham or Arul Uru gives the Arul Anubhavam and finally the body of bliss or Gnana Deham or Inba Uru gives the Siva Anubhavam. By showering love to others and all of Erai's creation, Erai comes within us bringing us to the state of Bliss.

In an interesting article in the net, the author of the article says,
As an individual begins to be liberated from the influence of the mind-stuff, the divine attributes of the atman or self manifest in the very subtle sheath of bliss (Anandamaya Kosham) that surrounds the soul (atman.). When the transformation of that very subtle part of the being has been given fully to the divine, the individual becomes literally a beacon of bliss-light. Simply being in the presence of such a being is uplifting. Such an elevated individual is often acknowledged as a saint.

Anyone whose spiritual practices have thus resulted in the awareness of the divine working through them has already begun the transformational process and surrendering of the sheath of the intellect (Vinjnanamaya Kosham). When the analytical or intellectual component of the being is fully informed by the divine light attributes we may through the divine grace be in a position to recognize such a being as the Sage that they are. Such an individual is truly a muni or one who has had their accumulated experiences and knowledge enlightened by the higher deeper aspects of self. Such Sage has digested and integrated the informed divine light into the analytical aspects of the being.

As the intellect undergoes this transformation, the mental sheath (Manomaya Kosham), associated with the senses, and is similarly transformed. Of course, this individual is fully aware of the divine as the prime mover. Since the ego has been given to the divine, every action related to the senses is observed and understood to be none other than the indwelling god or goddess doing the experiencing and enjoying. Such a Buddha can enjoy all the senses without fear of confusion or being lost spiritually in them. For the great tantric who have attained to this state, conventional rules which guide and provide stability, safety, and structure are irrelevant.

As the divine light descends into the sheath of energy (Pranayama Kosham) the entity becomes a Siddha in the truest sense of the word. As defined in the Upanishads, a Siddha is one who has progressed from the exalted ‘state of freed while living’ (Jivanmukta) to ‘supremely free with full power over death’ (Paramukta). This state is referred to in Siddhantha literature as Soruba Mukti or Soruba Samadhi. This Paramukta will rarely retain the transformed physical frame and when so, remains as an avatar. The physical body of the Siddha glows with the fire of immortality.

725. தோலெலாங் குழைந்திடச் சூழ்நரம் பனைத்தும்
மேலெலாங் கட்டவை விட்டுவிட் டியங்கிட

726. என்பெலா நெக்குநெக் கியலிடை நெகிழ்ந்திட
மென்புடைத் தசையெலா மெய்யுறத் தளர்ந்திட

727. இரத்த மனைத்துமுள் ளிறுகிடச் சுக்கிலம்
உரத்திடை பந்தித் தொருதிர ளாயிட

728. மடலெலா மூளை மலர்ந்திட வமுதம்
உடலெலா மூற்றெடுத் தோடி நிரம்பிட

729. ஒண்ணுதல் வியர்த்திட வொளிமுக மலர்ந்திட
தண்ணிய வுயிர்ப்பினிற் சாந்தந் ததும்பிட

730. உண்ணகை தோற்றிட வுரோமம் பொடித்திடக்
கண்ணினீர் பெருகிக் கால்வழிந் தோடிட

731. வாய்துடித் தலறிட வளர்செவித் துணைகளிற்
கூயிசைப் பொறியெலாங் கும்மெனக் கொட்டிட

732. மெய்யெலாங் குளிர்ந்திட மென்மார் பசைந்திடக்
கையெலாங் குவிந்திடக் காலெலாஞ் சுலவிட

733. மனங்கனிந் துருகிட மதிநிறைந் தொளிர்ந்திட
இனம்பெறு சித்த மியைந்து களித்திட

734. அகங்கார மாங்காங் கதிகரிப் பமைந்திடச்
சகங்காண வுள்ளந் தழைத்து மலர்ந்திட

735. அறிவுரு வனைத்து மானந்த மாயிடப்
பொறியுறு மான்மதற் போதமும் போயிடத்

736. தத்துவ மனைத்துந் தாமொருங் கொழிந்திடச்
சத்துவ மொன்றே தனித்துநின் றோங்கிட

737. உலகெலாம் விடய முளவெலா மறைந்திட
அலகிலா வருளி னாசைமேற் பொங்கிட

738. என்னுளத் தெழுந்துயி ரெல்லா மலர்ந்திட
என்னுளத் தோங்கிய என்றனி யன்பே

We had a wonderful translation of the above verses made available at http://www.ramalinga.com (now defunct)
Describing in exquisite way the phases of the transformation of his body, Ramalinga says that dermis and epidermis have become extremely soft; all the nerves, muscles and tendons have slackened little by little; the bones, membranes and cartilages have become very flexible; the blood has coagulated; the semen has concentrated being solidified; the brain and all its parts have been opened like a bud. All over the body an Elixir flows; the face glistens; the respiration is smooth and refreshing; from the tear glands abundant tears sprout; the mouth is half-opened tremulous and the ears are filled of sweet melodies. The entire body is refreshed and all its visible parts flourish in ecstasy. The heart swells palpitating Love. The ego vanishes, as the emotional and mental defects. A tender, loving and compassionate quietude dominates the entire organism. The ardent desire to receive the divine Grace overflows. The Supreme Love fills the body, which is the temple of the divine Life.
We look up to http://www.ramalinga.com for more translations of Ramalinga Adigal's songs of bliss and his experience or anubhuti.
"I have realized here the triple indestructible body of Sudha Deha (the pure physical body), a perpetual and blissful Pranava body (Pranava Deha) and an all-pervading and ever-growing or ever-prospering Knowledge-body of the divine Conscious Force (Gnana Deha) in order to make the play of self-giving of myself everywhere."

"The Lord revealed me the chain of Cause and Effect that are spoken of in the respective scriptures of the Vedas and Agamas. I have seen and realized Him here in the world and enjoy the Bliss. I have happily partaken of Amrita (of Bliss) in the Realm where there is neither day nor night (the Truth World of eternal Light)."

"I have discarded all the devious ways and taken to the good Path of Purity, Truth and Harmony, and joined the rank and file of Its Sangha or fellowship. The heavenly beings happily praise it as the Good Path, because it has a firm foundation."

"Oh my shy people of the world! Be careful to see that your heart remains vigilant and watchful without allowing it to indulge in wastefulness (wasting the opportunity). As the Lord has given me today Amrita of Bliss as food, know it to be the day which He has chosen for His manifestation here in the play of Knowledge and Perfection."

BATTLING THE LURE OF MAYA 2

Realizing the false from the truth, one then makes the move towards union with Erai. G.Valmikanathan in his book ‘Makers of Indian Literature - Ramalingam’, published by Sahitya Akademi (e-book at http://www.vallalar.org) traces Ramalinga Adigal’s journey on the pathway to Erai dividing it into three portions; journey on the purgative way, journey on the illuminative way, and journey on the unitive way. 
The purgative way is that part of the long path which, one treads towards the godhead and in which one purges oneself of all desires and attachments, of all imperfections, of all acts of commission and omission of shortcomings in renunciation, of shortcomings in the total love of god in the passion for the apprehension of the godhead.

The illuminative way is that part of the path, which comes after the purgative way, and in which one gains illumination, knowledge, and gnosis.

The unitive way is that part of the pathway in which the pilgrim marches on with buoyant and joyous steps, filled with hope and freed from doubt or misconception. The journey is characterized by a sense of urgency. The pilgrim, in this part of his journey, begins to walk fast, then breaks into a loping trot, and finally, gallops on with increasing tempo towards the beckoning smile and the outstretched arms, and is soon locked in an eternal embrace with the beloved, the eternal being, the godhead, the ground of all being.

The journey on the unitive way is composed of several factors of experience. Recollection and quiet, contemplation, ecstasy and rapture, dark night of the soul, and unitive life.
He explains the nature of each part,
Of these three sections of the pathway, the first is painful and dolorous, the second a strange mixture of sorrow and joy, the joy increasing in intensity as ignorance is slowly replaced by illumination, and the last section of sheer delight, of mounting bliss. 
In the website, http://www.ramalinga.com (now defunct), an extensive explanation is given on what happens during the union between God and man. 
Ramalinga affirms that, following the Divine Path of Truth and Purity, the most impure body will become a body pure and imperishable. Then the Divinity descends and settles in disciples Heart, who becomes entirely filled by Him.  
The Boundless Benevolent Jothi abides in the Heart of those who have realized the Deathless Body as clearly as the fruit in their hands.

To say “Heart” isn't referring to the physical heart neither the heart chakra, although its “location” is near to both of them. The Heart is the most pure and hidden place, only "stepped" by God.

This Secret, which has been hidden and now is divulged according to the explicit wish of Ramalinga, points the disciple’s Heart as the End of the Path showed by Him. 
Tavayogi revealed this secret too when he autographed my copy of his first book, "Andamum Pindamum."


We continue,
Captivated by the "Ardent Fire" of the Divine Essence, the disciple stops thinking, feeling, acting and even existing. He has become pure Love and Compassion, and this is what he spills on all the beings.
He (Ramalinga Adigal) described a “Principle of Light” that is the unique one capable of producing this first transformation.
This Principle has two important aspects: Compassion toward all the beings (Paropakaram)and devotional meditation (Satvicharam).

According to Ramalinga, the first of these aspects was the most important; if is acquired, the Grace will come easily. God is present in all the beings and all the beings are in God. Cultivating the human compassion for all the beings can be achieved the God's Grace (divine compassion), similarly to the way in which a spark becomes a radiant Light.

Likewise he taught that it was necessary to develop another aspect of the Principle of Light: the ardent Devotion to God. The key is constituted by the constant thought on God, begging for his Grace. In one of his poems he expresses that is necessary to think incessantly on God, until be melted with the Divine Love. Then the crying happens unexpectedly and praises are sung to God, being produced in the disciple a smooth internal heat.

When this universal Love and this sacred Heat are realized, body and soul are prepared for the descent of the Grace in the shape of Light. When this happens, the material body constituted of impure elements is transformed into a “Body of Pure Light” that emits a golden brightness.