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.

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This blog postings are those of beginners who have taken the first step exploring the mysterious & mystical world of Siddhas. It is purely about devotion (Bakthi) and miracles. For those who think or feel that they have advanced spiritually and passed these initial, preliminary and primary stages, please reserve your comment.