"And now the true journey starts," with that statement Tavayogi looked back at me with a smile on his lips and a sparkle in his eyes as he led me on a life changing journey to various Siddha spots and samadhis. He sort of implied that the travel and pilgrimage I did before was not "The Journey". "The Journey" with him, a seasoned turavi or mendicant, opened my eyes, heart and very being. The journey taught me many subtle things besides what was already pretty apparent. The journey brought me into an entirely new sphere of magic, mystery and initial bewilderment that soon came into focus and clarity with amazing results.
Balamurugan, the only one in AVM to have made a religious pilgrimage and a journey of inner seeking and finding to life and its mystery, told me that as he stood before the majestic Mount Kailash, viewing the mountain up close, he felt so tiny, small and insignificant. This was only in comparison with the majestic mountain. We have not compared ourselves to the entire world, universe, cosmos and beyond! Even before he finally reached out his hands and physically touched and felt the divine mountain, he was knocked off his pride and senses while making the journey, figuring out what he was doing in a vast landscape caught between the never ending sky, skyline and horizon and the snow clad rocks and mountains. Balamurugan tells me there is total silence out there except for the sound of the wind that brushed him along its way. He adds that here he came face to face with the other side of nature, the rough, treacherous terrain and climate. You are grateful to be alive each second out there. You come face to face with your own fears, the fear of death, and the thought of a lonely death, if it does happen, away from the family except for the company of a handful of fellow travelers.
In the midst of 7.6 billion people we feel significant and powerful, destroying Nature and its beauty for our monetary gains and comfort. But being out there in the remote mountainous terrains untouched by man or on a road less traveled, the fear of Nature grips you for there stands Nature in all its might leasing out terror on her open and vast playground.
Pico Iyer, writes a beautiful piece on the need or otherwise of a pilgrimage and journey at https://tricycle.org/magazine/long-road-sitting-still/ He quotes Henry David Thoreau,
... the very act of taking off on a journey speaks for a kind of openness and ripeness that is in fact the first step on the road to transformation. It’s a public recognition that you don’t know everything and that some of those things can come to you as readily on the road as on the mat; it’s a way of setting your senses at the level marked “ON,” slapping yourself awake and trying to join that much larger sense of self—or non-self—we sometimes lose when we’re sleepwalking through our lives.
Pico Iyer writes on D. H. Lawrence,
.. to take him as an inspiration and as a fellow traveler who was responding to some intuition that said that what he saw in his enclosure wasn’t everything.
Just as there is a world beyond the four walls, Tavayogi too showed me a world that stood fast and close to nature - the world of the Siddhas. Agathiyar tells travelers on the Siddha path, that on reaching the destination "Puranamum Kude Pesum", that would translate loosely to mean Nature then speaks to you. Rather then imply that we have control of Nature, which would show our arrogance to control and rule, and imply our superiority over Nature, I would say that Nature abides to our wishes. Nature cooperates with us. Nature works with us in unison. That is the nature of a Siddha. This was the lesson shown to me at the end of my travels with Tavayogi.
Coming back into the city and present times, whenever Tavayogi is approached by people for a solution to their problems, illness, sufferings, he reveals to them the cause of all these miseries. What is the cause? Karma. What is the solution then? Prayers. Who should we then pray to? The Siddhas. This is how many came to worship the Siddhas.
Then there are those while seeking ways out of their misery are told about the Siddhas and the existence of the Nadi that could provide solutions to their problems, illness, sufferings. The Siddhas reveal to them the cause of all these miseries. What is the cause? Karma. What is the solution then? Prayers. Who should they then pray to? The Gods and Goddesses in the trilogy and the myriad numbers of Devas, Rshis, Siddhas, Munis and numerous other energies. This is how many came to worship the Siddhas too.
Coming to read the Nadi they are introduced to Agathiyar and the Siddhas. They begin worship of the Agathiyar and the Siddhas. What do you get by worshiping the Siddhas asked someone some time back while we were in the midst of prayers. It brought us great joy we replied then.
Today the worship of Siddhas has brought immense joy coupled with bliss in multifold.
Prayers to Agathiyar brings him from his abode in the Pothigai hills to our abode, a small dwelling in Malaysia, from his mystical plane to our miracle planet.
Prayers to Agathiyar brings him into our hearts. One of the very early songs of praise to Siddhas given to us mentioned that the mere mention of his name makes the other Siddhas turn around and look out inquiring as to who was calling out for Agathiyar. Similarly when Ramalinga Adigal made his journey to the abode of Lord Nadaraja the entire beings of that plane, stopped for a moment to ask each other who was this saint who had made the rare journey thus far, referring to Adigal.
Soon the Siddhas too arrived in our homes, standing in benevolence and deep respect as we sang the praises of Agathiyar. Mataji was testimony to this event when she shared with us how she felt the ground shake and move below her as she ran through the names of the Siddhas at a prayer in AVM. Agathiyar pointed out this miracle to her in a later Nadi reading for a devotee, revealing that the whole force of Siddhas were present to witness the puja for Agathiyar led by Tavayogi. Agathiyar returned the favor by bringing all the might of the Siddhas to conduct a Yagam to extend Tavayogi's life span recently.
Lord Muruga too dropped in wherever his disciple Agathiyar was worshiped and praised. He brings along with him the whole entourage from the Divine Kingdom including Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi; Lord Narayana and Mother Laksmi; Lord Brahma and Mother Saraswathi. Just as the security services spring into action days before the arrival of dignitaries, screening and clearing the way, numerous energies are summoned and arrive before the Lords and Goddesses do. Never in my dreams did I anticipate happenings of these nature to take place in real time.
With continuous chanting of the names of the Siddhas over the years the divine chooses to dwell in our homes and hearts. Our homes and hearts become energized with the divine substance. Everyone and thing in the home takes on a new aura. The sacred ash or vibhuthi for instance then gains the merit to cure, becoming prasad. The food that is served becomes medicine, again turning into prasad. The body heals itself. We heal others. They are healed by merely being present in these energy filled homes and circle. The divine begins to heal the wounds in their hearts and illness in their body and mind.
With the coming of the Siddhas, great transformations take place within and without. Sounds are amplified. Even the minutest sounds are heard. One hears his own heartbeat. The thoughts of others are heard. Solutions are given from the divine.
Those who are in tune with the divine can easily tap into these energies and make them work towards their cause. All their wishes see the light of the day and come true.
During our entire lives we are practically moving things physically, emotionally or mentally. A desire arises in us and we work towards it. All things should move with faith, intent, some effort or joint effort if necessary. But in reality it is otherwise. We realize then all these is only possible with the cooperation of the individuals concerned. When what we want involves a person both these hearts have to merge in unison for a deal to work out in favor of both parties. We realize then that although even the mountains can be moved but it is tough to move the hearts of some. This is where we learn to avoid direct confrontation and conflict but rather seek out the divine to open the hearts of these difficult people. It takes a lot of work mending the broken heart and the hardened rigid heart. With us doing our part not messing up and making the situation more chaotic, the divine works subtly behind the screen doing its part. Even the toughest hearts melt eventually over time. Hence the continuous reminder to be patient.
This goes for all our other dealings too in this material world. Just as when someone's heart is rigid, an obstacle is then placed in our path, all our obstacles are man made in nature. When we seek the Siddhas for a solution they sent us around doing various remedies like pleasing the Gods and Goddesses at temples, feeding the poor and hungry, feeding the animals, etc. These acts if followed will open up the individuals heart and also the hearts of the receiver be it the divine, man or animal. Although these acts are acts of reprieve and atonement in direct response to one's past karma, it goes beyond that. If we give a moment of thought to it, we realize it helps inculcate the act of doing charity to others. Hence begins a chain of engaging in doing noble deeds. The equivalent results of these positive actions, if continued, begins to transform the person from within.
We have to have faith in the Siddhas first. With the coming of the Siddhas, all obstacles and sufferings start to clear. Finances improve with many new ways shown to improve our standard of living. Doors that previously were closed begin to open.
The divine that once we were a part of, becomes the master or guru as we serve him, stays at our side guiding and protecting. The divine speaks in us and through us as we become an apostle of his. Our reason to take birth is finally attained and accomplished when he comes to bring us back to his abode to be at his feet forever.
From Salokyam or living in his world, attending to mundane things besides serving him in small ways, we are brought to realize his presence amidst us or Saameepyam in all our doings. When due to his grace we change into the image of him we take on his tanmai or nature, becoming Saaruppiyam. Finally we attain Saayuchyam when we are one with him. This is the inner journey or pilgrimage as laid out by Agathiyar.