Friday, 17 August 2018

ON FAITH IN THE GURU, EGO & ARROGANCE

A story is told of the young lad who was trained in a monastery and excelled in his religious studies. When the time was right for him to go out to the world beyond the safety and confines of the walls surrounding the monastery to learn and gain practical experience, his master summoned him and gave him a task too. He was asked to preach to the village folks who lived across the river banks, what he had learnt at the monastery. The student was floating on cloud nine for being the chosen one to embark on a prestigious mission, thinking that would bring him pride and recognition in the local community.

He bid farewell to his master and traveled the long distance till he came to the bank of the river. As he stood at the bank and gazed at the village on the opposite bank, he turned around to look for any boatman who could take him across the wide and deep river. There was no boat to be seen but his gaze fell on an old man who was seated on the ground in the shade of a tree some distance away. The lad walked towards him and could not fail but notice that he seemed to be mumbling something to himself. On nearing him, the lad was surprised to hear the same mantra that he had been chanting at the monastery, was being chanted by the old man, but with a slight variation. The lad immediately apprehended the man telling him that he was chanting it all wrong and began to recite it the way he was taught at the monastery. The old man whose chanting was abruptly interrupted, gladly listened to the lad and repeated the mantra as taught by him and thanked him for enlightening him.

The young lad was proud that he had begun his mission right there on the shore of the riverbank by passing on the mantra to his very first student - the old man. Soon a boatman came along and he boarded the boat asking the boatman to take him across to the village. As they approached the middle of the wide and deep river, the lad noticed the boatman, who was seated across him and rowing the boat, gasp, his face suddenly changed pale and his jaw dropped. What had he seen that had shocked him, the lad thought as he he turned around. To his surprise he saw the old man wading across the river towards their boat, walking quite naturally on the water's surface. The lad too was stunned seeing the feat. The old man came alongside the boat and told the lad that he had forgot a syllable from the mantra and asked the lad to repeat it. The lad held on to the old man, hugged him tight and cried, asking to be pardoned for his arrogance. The lad followed the old man back to the river bank never stepping foot in the village. He took the old man as his master and served him in his old age. He dropped his ego and pride that day.

I was given Agathiyar's moola mantra in a Nadi reading in 2009, and told to chant it and also pass it on to others. I began chanting it immediately. I chanted what was given to me without questioning it and moved on. Soon someone approached me asking why I had posted the mantra on my blog and YouTube minus several words. He told me he too had received the same mantra but an extended version. I replied that that was what I was told and I followed. I had already started recitation of the mantra while others where debating about a syllable that was dropped, and waiting for confirmation about the right set of words in the mantra. Till this day Agathiyar had not mentioned that we have been chanting his mantra wrongly.


A lady from New Delhi who frequently traveled to Malaysia to read the Nadi was worked up when she could not feed the monkeys as there was not even a single monkey in sight when she dropped in at Batu Caves. Saddened that she could not fully complete her remedies or parikaram she returned for another reading. Agathiyar told her that he had accepted her remedies! Her thought in fulfilling Agathiyar's directive and her effort was sufficient. Agathiyar was not interested in the results.

When Agathiyar asks that we chant his mantra 100,000 times upon his arrival in the form of the bronze statue at AVM, I gathered family and friends and try as we did, sadly we only managed to chant 45,000, giving up due to exhaustion. Agathiyar called me up for another reading and told me that he had accepted our prayers. Our thought in fulfilling Agathiyar's directive and effort placed was sufficient. Agathiyar was not interested in the numbers.

When Agathiyar, among several remedies given to me after my Kaanda Nadi reading, asked me to contribute towards three Brahmin priests and carry out Brahmaharti and charity in India, I had no idea as to how to go about it, apart from those brief directives. I arrived at Uttamar temple. I soon realized that I only needed to make myself present at the temple and all else fell into place. Agathiyar send a priest from Uttamar temple as a guide who volunteered to bring me around to carry out all the given remedies at the temple, opening closed doors to Erai's shrines and bringing other priest who had retired for their lunch break to do arati, not only in this temple but in the famed Tiruvanaikaval temple some distance away too.

Today I understand pretty well that Agathiyar is only interested in us getting started (not giving excuses to begin a task) and not the results or numbers. Rather then investigate if something said by him was true, a true seeker would take up whatever task giving to him and see it through. Rather then wait for confirmation or further guidance, it is best we start the task immediately. Rather then call up others and deliberate out his directives, it is wise to get to the ground and carry it out immediately. He will come to our aid and soon guide us further. He will send the right person to see our tasks through. Have faith in him. Have faith in the Guru.

When Supramania Swami reminded me to carry on tavam or austerities for his upliftment I was puzzled and baffled and surprised too to hear him say this. I wondered how a worthless junk like me and my prayers could help him, a gnani who had put in 40 years of his life in austerities, move up the spiritual ladder.

I was sadden when I read that a seeker was told by his master, to look within for his personal mantra rather then chant that of others and the saints before him. The reason given was that the practice would only benefit the saint who came out with the mantra or song. Let it be I say. Let the saint get all the merits, if by singing his songs we can bring about such an upliftment in the saint, I would be proud to contribute towards the spiritual progress of all the saints by my mere chanting their mantras or singing the songs of theirs.

When traveling the spiritual path one has to be cautious has it tends to inflate ones ego that he is the chosen one, that others lack something in them, that he has made to the finish line, and that the others are all loaded with much karma that they cannot come anywhere near the reaches of spirituality. These and other opinions sadly develop as one makes progress on the path. The severity of this feeling is accelerated once the student comes to rub shoulders with the Guru or Erai for the matter. Then he begins to lose his guard, faults and falls in disgrace. The Siddhas although compassionate to the core warn us not to make the mistake of judging others especially on their spiritual stature. Everyone has the divine spark in them. It just needs to be nurtured, fanned and channeled in the right direction. This is where the guru comes into the play. Only one who has traveled the path can show the potholes so that we stay clear of and away from them and reach the state desired in a jiffy rather then having to learn the hard way, going in circles, making mistakes and ending up associating with frauds and dissociating from them when the truth dawns. This is much wasted time. One who has a genuine guru makes much progress in a short time. 

The Guru and his lineage before him shall take him into their fold, teach and monitor the student. Even after the Guru's demise, the Guru would continue teaching and guiding the student in the suksma or subtle form. This is how the entire kingdom of the Siddhas come to guide the seeker on this path.

Bala Aiya shared a story that he came across with me just moments ago. The story goes as follows,
Once upon a time, a cow went out to graze in the jungle. Suddenly, she noticed a tiger racing towards her. She turned and fled, fearing that at any moment the tiger would sink his claws into her. The cow desperately looked for some place to escape and at last saw a shallow pond. Barely evading the tiger’s reach, she jumped into the pond, and in the heat of the chase, the tiger blindly leaped after her. 
To the surprise of them both, the pond was extremely shallow yet filled with deep recesses of mud. After toppling over each other, the cow and the tiger found themselves a short distance apart, stuck in the mud up to their necks. Both had their heads above water but were unable to free themselves no matter how much they writhed. 
The tiger repeatedly snarled at the cow and roared, “I am going to enjoy the sound of crunching your bones between my teeth!”
He thrashed about in a fury but soon became fretful as he found no prospect of escape. 
The cow thoughtfully laughed as the tiger struggled to free himself and asked him, "Do you have a master?”
The tiger disdainfully replied, “I am the king of the jungle. Why do you ask me if I have a master? I myself am the master!”
The cow said, "You may be the king of the jungle, but here all your power has failed to save your life.”
“And what about you?”, retorted the tiger. “You are going to die here in this mud too!”
The cow smiled mildly and said, “No, I am not.”
“If even I, the king of the jungle cannot free myself from this mud”, snapped the tiger, “Then how can you, an ordinary cow?”
The cow gently replied, “I cannot free myself from this mud, but my master can. When the sun sets and he finds me absent at home, he will come looking for me. Once he finds me, he will raise me up and escort me home sweet home.”
The tiger fell silent and coldly glared at the cow. 
Soon enough, the sun set, and the cow’s master arrived. He immediately recognized the plight she was in and lifted her to safety. 
As they walked home, the cow and the master both felt renewed gratitude for one another and pitied the tiger they both would have been happy to save if only the tiger had allowed them.
The Purport of the story:  
The Cow represents a Surrendered Heart, the Tiger represents an Egoistic Mind, and the Master represents the Guru. The Mud represents the World, and the Chase represents the Struggle for Existence therein.
No matter how many troubles appear to be created by the egoistic minds of the world, who are themselves as stuck as the surrendered heart, ..the surrendered heart has faith that the Guru is always going to come at the right time to save her and take her back “home” - the inner happiness in us is pure and true home. 
So when totally stuck and helpless, when one has already done all one can and has no more means left, when every other effort fails, the surrendered heart still does not give up hope. She will just wait patiently until sundown.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

WALKING THE PATH OF GRATEFULNESS TOWARDS SALVATION

If before coming to know the Siddhas I was trying to figure out what is happening to our lives, why is humanity going through so much trouble and sufferings, after coming to the Siddhas we are told that our sufferings and misfortunes are a result of our past deeds that come back to haunt us. The Siddhas bring us to a state of acceptance of our faults in our stars.

If before coming to the path of the Siddhas I thought that we were in charge of our lives, after coming to them they tell us that although we have free will and freedom of choice, they do overrule our choices in the end. The Siddhas bring us to a state of acceptance that they rule over all things eventually.

If before coming to the Siddhas I was confused as to why there are so many paths, religions, sects, beliefs and teachings, after coming I realize that they are there for the sole purpose of evolvement of the soul on its journey back to its source. Here the Siddha path is one of many, that is all comprising yet unique and relevant for all ages and caters both for the householder and the mendicant. The Siddhas bring us to a state of acceptance of all paths.

If before coming I distanced myself from the minor deities, respecting and acknowledging their existence but never wanting to cross paths with them, coming to the path I was forced to acknowledge their presence, role and influence in the "Occult Hierarchy and Spiritual Dynasty or the Inner Government of the World" as Pon Govindasamy aptly names this administrative machinery. The Siddhas bring us to a state of acceptance of the divine in all forms.

If before coming to the Siddhas I was confronted with questions and doubts as to the many Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu pantheon, after coming to the Siddhas I came to know that they were manifestations of the one Erai, that carried a form according to the seer. Each deity has been designated specific job assignments in the divine administrative machinery. Agathiyar has continuously reminded us that he was prapanjam and all things within it, just as all things were within him. This statement of his breaks the notion that we hold dearly and close to our hearts that Erai has forms. We debate endlessly as to whether there was one or as many as 27 or even 37 Agathiyars who walked the face of the earth as researched by the pundits; whether he was a midget or a six footer; or whether had long tresses or was even bald. Agathiyar says, "En naamathil palar valnthaar", that many attained his state of divinity and were themselves seen as Agathiyar walking the earth. Agathiyar says that the forms depicted of him are not the true forms. The divine comes to us in the form we desire to see them or according to the need of the moment. The former was his message to us at AVM. The later statement was carried and depicted well in the movie "The Shack" where God comes as a mother to console her child who was emotionally hurt and in pain and at another time comes as a father when he needed a fatherly figure to help him do certain tasks. In many of our encounters with Agathiyar taking a physical form, he came as a lady. The divine messengers of Erai, confirming that what we saw and experienced was real, gave us a shocking piece of news when they acknowledged Agathiyar as a lady. Agathiyar has told us that he would come in any form of the numerous deities or gurus that we desire to see him in.  

If before I came to the Siddhas I was indifferent to others hardship and misfortunes, coming to the path softened my heart and I began to share their suffering. The Siddhas bring us to a state of acceptance of our misfortunes as minute compared to the sufferings of others.

If before coming to the Siddhas, I thought rituals were the prerogative of temple priests and only conducted by them as mediums of God, after coming to the Siddhas we were asked to take charge and conduct select rituals ourselves. The Siddhas bring us to a state of acceptance that we are all indeed special and divine in nature and are fully equipped to approach them directly.

Coming to their path or fold, the Siddhas bring about radical changes in our accustomed thoughts and practices often breaking away from the norm that has been tainted or deviated beyond its true form in many cases. The faint at heart are advised to best keep away for we would not know what else they would divulge, that would yet break our hold or acceptance of things and their nature.

The Siddhas let us exhaust all our desires before coming into our lives. Once we stop all forms of seeking be it spiritual or material they show up right at our doorsteps to take us along on their journey, as Tavayogi told me, "Only now our true journey begins, Son" upon starting on our journey to the abodes of the Siddhas. The moment our journey stops their journey starts. We then start to bring their desires and wishes to fruition. They move us to do things for the welfare and good of humanity and all of creation. Our doings will move away from being self centered to include the prapanjam. 

We do not think much about creation and where we came from or where we are headed until we have exhausted all avenues in solving life's pressing issues. Confrontation with life's taxing issues opens up portals for the divine to come down to our aid if the request is put in. This is in the form of genuine prayers. Till then we will try to figure out a way out of our troubles. When nothing moves something in us moves us to look up into the sky and towards the heavens for help. When the "I" leaves "He" enters. He takes charge of the show. Its then his show. As Mahakavi Bharathi wrote in his "Ninnai charan adainthen" that he gained complete satisfaction only when he dropped all his doing and did Erai's asking. This wonderful song can indeed become over daily prayer to Erai.



Erai is often equated to a thief (ullam kollai konda kalvan) for you won't know when he moves in to steal your heart. If I thought I had come to Erai only after I saw the Nadi, Agathiyar says otherwise that this relationship was existing all through my numerous lives - its only that I was not aware of the relationship. Erai journeys with us throughout our lives. He chooses to materialize when the time is right for us to drop all our doings, making us turn away from all our worldly concerns and turn towards the heavens first and later turn within for salvation.

Men who were grateful to Erai for showing the way built monuments to commemorate and show their gratefulness outwardly. These became temples later, where people congregate to show their gratefulness for life's blessings. Soon men came to worship Erai in the temples to help fulfill their never ending chain of desires, moving from thanksgiving to Erai for everything provided for in life to date, to asking for specific wants and needs and expecting it to take place within a certain period, or at time instantaneously.

Let us bring change in us. Let us drop our asking for more and more and rather show our gratefulness for all that we have. Let us learn to give back now after having taken much from the prapanjam.


Tuesday, 14 August 2018

THE KINGDOM BEYOND THE CLOUDS

I am coming up from a bottomless pit holding on to a rope. I see many strands of ropes both to my right and left that has its source above the clouds and its ends in the dark pit below me, both ends disappearing from my view. I know pretty well that I can only hold on to one rope, among many that has been let down, at any one time. I am told that I had began my climb up from the dark pit several thousands of years ago. This came as a consolation to this heart that is yearning to head back home.

Looking back now into the bottomless pit and knowing that I had journeyed long years to be where I was now, I am happy that I have come this far, a journey that I started countless years ago. Although I am dangling in mid air but I have no fear for I believe in my guru Agathiyar who is forever at my side, caring for me, will give me a hand should I slip and fall. I am holding strong to this rope with the hope that I shall reach beyond the clouds and enter Erai's kingdom, something I do not have any memory off although I am told that I had lived there in the distant past.

I do not know what is ahead for my visibility is greatly hindered by dense clouds, mist and fog. Neither do I know what is in store for me once I make it up the rope and out of the pit.

Maybe seeing me struggling to hold on tight to the rope he has let down for me, he might decide that I had hung on for far too long, pulling along my own weight and the enormous baggage of karma I am carrying on my back, he might pull me up in an instant and place me at his side, in the far reaches of Erai's kingdom. I shall serve him in his kingdom then just as I have served him here.



அன்னம் பாலிக்குந் தில்லைச்சிற் றம்பலம்
பொன்னம் பாலிக்கு மேலுமிப் பூமிசை
என்னம் பாலிக்கு மாறுகண் டின்புற
இன்னம் பாலிக்கு மோஇப் பிறவியே.

அல்ல லென்செயும் அருவினை யென்செயும்
தொல்லை வல்வினைத் தொந்தந்தா னென்செயும்
தில்லை மாநகர்ச் சிற்றம் பலவனார்க்
கெல்லை யில்லதோ ரடிமைபூண் டேனுக்கே.

நாடி நாரணன் நான்முக னென்றிவர்
தேடி யுந்திரிந் துங்காண வல்லரோ
மாட மாளிகை சூழ்தில்லை யம்பலத்
தாடி பாதமென் நெஞ்சு ளிருக்கவே.

(Source: http://thevaramclass.blogspot.com/2015/07/51-chidambaram.html)

Monday, 13 August 2018

A PROGRESSIVE JOURNEY

Agathiyar brings many to the fold of his path, the path he and many others after him had treaded, in seeking union with Erai. He is entrusted with revealing the karma of seekers, that determines the birth taken and the subsequent life and journey of a soul on this earth and beyond. The past karma is revealed in meditation for the advanced seekers and through a medium known as Nadi Jothidam for those beginners like you and me. 

A post from Velayudham Karthikeyan Aiya's blog Siththan Arul brings us back to time immemorial where the Siddhas, being compassionate and kind, put forward to the Almighty who they prefer to call Erai their wishes for humanity. The Siddhas had wished that whoever seeks out the Siddhas for solutions to their problems and surrenders to the Siddhas, they shall be pardoned for their past deeds, however bad and evil they may be, and shall not be put through the trial and tribulations and made to face the consequences but instead be saved. Erai granted the Siddhas their wish. 

The next instant the Siddhas wrote down; the reasons for each individual’s sufferings; listed out solutions and remedies; and showed ways and means to overcome or end the seekers problems, sins, diseases, illnesses and sufferings. They wrote them in Tamil prose on dried palm leaves. This writings came to be known as the Nadi.

Annette Merle Cleveland introduces the Nadi in her blog, NADI ASTROLOGY THE SECRETS OF LIFE REVEALED,
"Nadi astrology is a means to show us where we went wrong in respect of our duties, why we are experiencing the difficulties that we are having and offers a solution as to how to resolve these problems", 
While many seek the Nadi to know the reasons for their troubles; for a solution to their prolonged illness; for their career development and monetary issues; to know of their marriage, matrimonial and marital ties; to secure property and posts; and sometimes for trivial and petty issues too; a handful these days come to test the authenticity and genuineness of the Nadi readers, the Siddhas and their revelations.

Although there is a sudden influx of people seeking their Nadi for all the above reasons, Annette  reveals a pertinent point and the true purpose and the reason for the Siddhas to come foreword with this mysterious means of revelation to mankind, which has been overshadowed by mans' never ending tale of miseries.
... the Sidhas stated that by the time man evolved himself to these modern times, his mind would have become so clouded by the things of this world that he would have forgotten his true spiritual nature. Consequently, this astrological system was created to bring people to a memory and realization of their true, divine nature.
The Sidhas also said, - That from the chaos of the modern times a yearning would rise within the heart of man to seek beyond the supposed limitations of this world. Thus, this system of truth was written by eighteen Sidhas for each individual soul and shows the entire role of the soul from the beginning of time.
Thus, the enlightened Sidhas were instrumental in chronicling spiritual information onto these palm leaves for the benefit of humankind.

Furthermore, these ancient beings also set out to reveal a method by which each soul could discover the existence of God in this diverse universe. They knew that a divine power existed, which was an infinite form of energy that existed in all creation. Consequently, they set about putting into place the prescribed paths of karma and devotion so that all human beings could have a guiding light to realize their true spiritual natures.
http://www.alternativeapproaches.com/pnuke1/article6.htm
In short the Nadi was meant to bring us to a true realization of ourselves and to rise above all mundane needs and worries. Here is were Agathiyar and the Siddhas after giving us a detailed account of our past life and the present will reveal a prediction of the future based on the karma we have accumulated. 

Karma takes its toll on us as ordained by the Erai but fear not as there is a court of appeal and the Siddhas preside over it.

D.C. Desai quotes Paul Brunton in DIVINE GRACE THROUGH TOTAL SELF-SURRENDER, 
Divine grace is a manifestation of the cosmic freewill in operation. It can alter the course of events in a mysterious manner through its own unknown laws, which are superior to all natural laws, and can modify the latter by interaction. It is the most powerful force in the universe. It descends and acts, only when it is invoked by total self-surrender. It acts from within, because God resides in the heart of all beings. Its whisper can be heard only in a mind purified by self surrender and prayer.
With continuous appeal through prayers, the divine moves things in our favor. But then some asks that all sufferings end - to the disappointment of family and friends who wished that they had lived longer. Here then Erai complies with the wishes of the soul that yearns to leave the body, although much remedies have been carried out and expenses incurred in the process, and many hours of prayers put in by the family so that he could live. With free will and the divine's touch we can determine our path anew, hence changing whatever was in store for us. But the saintly ones choose not to upset the pattern, structure and flow of life leaving it to the divine and karma to take its cause without any interference. They prefer take upon themselves and face boldly the effects of their karma. In rare cases they take upon themselves the karma of their disciples too.

For those who heed their words and take the cue, the Siddhas come along with us, constantly providing more Nadi readings, personally charting their lives anew, often bringing the change for the better and leading us into the spiritual path and closer towards Erai.

Pon. Govindasamy in his "Sirsabaiyum Porsabaiyum" published by Bharath Book Bureau, Madras, 1970, makes an observation that if Veda Vyasa who was the representative of Lord Vishnu was responsible for the Vedas, Agathiyar who was the representative of Brahma, was responsible for the Agamas. So it does not surprise us if Agathiyar is authorized to reveal our karmas and guide us on the relevant rituals or agamas to appease the planets, Gods and Godesses besides disposing of ones karma through these holistic rituals. And so it was that Agathiyar having brought us to an understanding of karma, and the many means of eradicating and disengaging from its hold, he engaged us to do rituals.

Agathiyar did not throw in any theology, dogmas, doctrines or philosophical discussions but rather took us by the hand to get on the ground in doing the actual rituals related to the puja and had our hands dig into our pockets to come out with contributions and again get on the ground to serve the needy. He took us a step at a time, guiding us with detailed instructions, only giving that much information that would render the task on hand done, and giving us sufficient time to put his asking into place. Slowly he worked on us bringing us along to do charity alongside rituals and fulfill certain dharma and agamas to move on to the next level.

After being satisfied with the devotion and rituals, Sariyai and Kriyai respectively, that form the initial first two stages of a four part journey, he has brought us to the court of Lord Muruga and handed us to him to further guide us hence bringing upon a progressive upliftment in this personal journey towards the gates of Yogam or divine virtues and stature and Gnana or divine wisdom.

Here is an opportunity for us to decide what we want in life and work towards it. If it is not in the works we can put in a request for it or to take place. There is a means to salvation in the final run when we have exhausted all our wishes and desires. We are looking forward to journey further on this mysterious and mystical path of the Siddhas. If we fail at any stage, we won't be disappointed for we can always come back and continue from where we left. No effort put in towards reaching the goal is wasted. Join us as we discover together this journey and turn within.

As NS Shanmuganathan share the following from a book he read,
A yogi, therefore, instead of making futile attempts to form a perfect logical conception of the nature of the absolute in the lower empirical planes of his consciousness, directs his attention and energy to the progressive purification, refinement and concentration of his empirical consciousness and its elevation to higher and higher spiritual planes, until the supreme transcendent plane is reached, in which the veil between the ultimate truth and the consciousness vanishes altogether and the consciousness is absolutely united with the truth. 

Saturday, 11 August 2018

BRINGING FORTH THE CHANGE

A man well traveled will not complain for he knows his home to be a paradise. For one who has not traveled he would not know the difference either. Although I have not traveled much I have learnt to appreciate the space I have; the roof over me; the food I am given; the breath I take each moment; the peace that prevails; the sleep that befalls me almost immediately the moment I lay my head on the pillow; the limbs I am given to move myself and the things around me which I do very often and that annoys my family; the sight and sound I get to see and hear, and a life that is a bonus these days. I have learnt to appreciate and be grateful. My mantra these days is "Thank you."

The few days I spent at Kallar Ashram in 2005 under the watchful eyes of Tavayogi, taught me to be independent. After each meal we will wash our own plates with Tavayogi saying, "Down here we have to wash the plates ourselves, son." We would then head for the stream running close by, take a dip and begin washing our cloths. We fetched water, we ate very little, and we slept early. Lucky for us someone will be on hand to make the meals at the Ashram. Mataji would come down from her hometown to cook and serve if there are visitors to the ashram staying more than a day. This she did till she moved into the ashram after her husband passed away. While there I was completely disassociated from the family and thoughts about home until Tavayogi brought me to an STD booth and forced me to call home. He did not speak much except for an occasional word or two that I had to decipher and understand. Much of what he said did not make sense until later. He did not push any doctrine on us; did not have a regime to follow or expect us to bind and follow any rules and regulations. He told me the soul and spirit cannot be bound; it has to be left free to experiment and learn. To a question on how Agathiyar appeared to him, he told me he was in the light form. But he went ahead to build an Ashram cum temple that housed the images supposedly that of Agathiyar, Subramaniyar and the 18 Siddhas. When I questioned the need for these images, he told me it was for the public.

For the handful who saw through the veil of maya and saw all transactions in this world as an illusion, they pulled aside the veil and become enlightened that very instant. But how many of us can actually come to a realization of the truth spontaneously and immediately? Bringing ourselves to make resolutions that would bring a change in us, we eventually find that we fail to adhere to them. Although we find it difficult to come out of this conditioned living, there is hope yet. 

This is where the Siddhas have laid four stages namely Sariyai, Kriyai, Yogam and Gnanam, on the path that we could adopt and move on to reach the kingdom of Erai. Tavayogi's Ashram too was built to replicate this four stages on the ground. We start with external worship of Erai who resides within and without. To a young child and equally a young seeker taking the first step, he or she would not comprehend the concept of Erai as being within us. Hence the need, to have pictures or idols and tell them that that is Erai, arises. As children are always captivated by pictures and dolls and just as they are taught the things about the world around them by giving them books and playthings to see, smell, touch, feel, taste and hear, even before the actual things are shown to them, similarly we should encourage them to use their senses in discovering Erai.

This is how I was brought to worship the pantheon of gods and goddesses in our home as a child. Growing older I began to visit the temples on my own. Moving on with a job out of town, I placed these pictures at my altar in my home. I visited the temples in the locality. I came to read about Gurus. I had their pictures too on all four walls of my prayer room.

When I was with Tavayogi at Kallar Ashram I told him if the idea of having symbols, pictures, idols and gazing at light was to bring our attention to a particular point of focus and concentrate, then placing all these pictures around me and at the altar defeated the purpose. He agreed and told me that was what I would do once I returned to Malaysia. I did just that. With a heavy heart, I removed all the pictures and kept only one, that of Agathiyar. Soon Agathiyar came as a bronze statue. With daily puja he came alive with energy, opening his eyes, creating a ripple and going viral. Today he has come to stay in our hearts and our homes.

When Tavayogi came to Malaysia in 2005, he  showed me photos of his Ashram activities. When I joined him at his Ashram I did my very first act of charity, feeding the native children staying around his Ashram. I took up this thought and act and do it in a manner appropriate to my locality till this day. Together with my existing mode of prayer, Tavayogi asked me to add on the ritual of lighting the fire pit or Homam. I do that till this day too. Tavayogi showed the way and means and stood back watching but never interfering in our spiritual growth. When devotees of Agathiyar dropped by on being sent over to Agathiyar Vanam Malaysia (AVM) or out of curiosity or in search of answers, I invited them to join in these prayers. Once they saw how it was conducted I encouraged them to carry it out in their own homes. When Tavayogi was back in Malaysia in June of 2016, we arranged to have these devotees conduct the Homam in their homes to the utmost joy and satisfaction of Tavayogi and Mataji, having seen that the seed that they had sowed in the hearts of Agathiyar's devotees in this soil had grown and was fruiting; the fire that they had started in the hearts of the AVM family members had turned into a burning furnace; and the spark that the devotees carried had turned into an enormous light or Jhothi.

So too for the new seekers, start individual puja at your homes, invite Erai in the idol, wash his feet or bath him, dress him up, serve him food, sing songs of praises to him and finally put him to sleep. Moving with the community, go to the temple, and do your part in up-keeping the abode of Erai, spick and span, ideal and conducive for us to pray. By engaging in these rituals, we begin to turn inwards, keeping our body and mind, clean, healthy and clear of rubbish and clutter. By engaging in service we will look upon life in a positive manner, never complaining about our have-nots as wewill come to see and understand that there are many out there living in much deplorable conditions.

Bring the family and children into your daily home worship and the occasional temple visit. When the child is ready he would want to venture to know the reason behind these forms of external worship. Tell him that it was to discipline him, get him to concentrate on the divine task on hand that would bring him to a meditative state. Soon he would move on to yoga to prepare his body and mind to receive the divine within. Engaging further in the many methods to keep the body fit and the mind disengaged when required from the lure of the worldly thoughts, he soon learns to settle down in peace and quietude, two criteria that are necessary to help us move on to the plane of unbiased thought and wisdom. Once the divine is connected within, his entire perspective of the world changes.

Reaching the summit, there are two routes that can be taken. One drops all association with the world and all its affairs and becomes a recluse. The other continues to live in society but stays aloft. One sees the world and all of creation as Maya, a mere illusion, paints a bleak picture of it and abstains from all form of pleasures. The other sees Erai in all his creation and begins to appreciated Erai's handiwork. One only sees Erai as an entity that has to be reached, starves and performs austerities towards seeing that divine. The other goes along with Erai's play playing his role well, taking on new responsibility that comes along without complain, doing it all in the service and name of the Almighty.

This then means there is a marked distinction between these two seekers. One sees the world as grey and life as a torture. Another sees it as colorful and as a blessing. You can either address this world as false and stay away from all pleasures or engage in all the pleasures of the world but yet stay aloft as the drop of water on the lotus leaf.

An intelligence has brought us forth and provided us well with all good things so that we remember him. In return for a good life, all he asked of us is to show gratitude to him by making this world a much healthier and better place to live in, contributing positively in all ways and manner possible. Sadly most of us worry about tomorrow so much that we forget to live today. Would you rather do this or run away from problems blaming everyone else for all your shortcomings and sufferings, seeing only a bleak and sad world, and influencing others too in a negative way? I would rather live for the day, enjoy the pleasures of life and yet remain rooted in devotion, thanking Erai for all the good things showered on me at all times.

Erai gives us a trouble free live so that we can spend those hours helping or in service of others. It is time to stop receiving and instead give back. Thondu Seivom (TS) goes to the streets regularly to distribute food and drinks to the homeless, besides providing groceries to a home for the elders and mentally and physically challenged, with financial support from Amudha Surabhi (AS).

Although Agathiyar has asked that we do charity and feed the poor how long is this going to go on asked a seeker? A logical question indeed. This is where we realized the truth about the proverb "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
The general principle of alleviating poverty by facilitating self-sufficiency has a long history. The 12th-century philosopher Maimonides wrote about eight degrees in the duty of charity. In 1826 an explication of the eighth degree was published in a journal called “The Religious Intelligencer”.

Lastly, the eighth and the most meritorious of all, is to anticipate charity by preventing poverty, namely, to assist the reduced brother, either by a considerable gift or loan of money, or by teaching him a trade, or by putting him in the way of business, so that he may earn an honest livelihood and not be forced to the dreadful alternative of holding up his hand for charity. . .
(Source:  https://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/08/28/fish/)

Many Soup Kitchens have identified and picked potential homeless to work with them in serving the hungry on the streets. Some have been trained in new jobs and placed back on the streets but this time with a decent job as tourist guides. 

https://agathiyarvanam.blogspot.com/2018/02/medical-camp.html

We could find ways or innovative means to bring the receiver to do his share towards the society rather then always be on the receiving end. We did try to bring the thought of sharing and giving to the minds of very young students when Pothihai Tharmanyaana Chakkram (PTC) served them food last year. On receiving his plate of meal he was not allowed to indulge into the food immediately but instead told to pass it on to the student sitting next to him. Each student was asked to do the same in the hope that the idea of giving and sharing is inculcated in those who receive. This practice continues till this day. The Parent Teachers Association should take it from there to provide food rather than expect the society or charitable body to continue funding and serving the kids year in year out. The organisation could then move on to another school and start "the fire" of serving food or annadhanam there too.

https://agathiyarvanam.blogspot.com/2017/07/annadhanam.html

A visit to the hospital opens our eyes too on the numerous cases of injuries, illness and disease that one goes through and the debility in movement due to old age. We begin to appreciate life and leave a note of thanks to the almighty for only testing us a little compared to the huge numbers of sick, disabled and dying folks. AVM in a small way reaches out to the sick through Amudha Surabhi, in collaboration with Persatuan Teman Setia (PTS) and Thondu Seivom. If seeing the sick and suffering brought Prince Siddhartha to shed his princely robes and walk the path of the mendicant, the Siddhas have addressed this issues by promoting the care of the physical body, that is very much required to discover the Supreme Being. The Siddhas are supposedly known to have reversed old age and disease through the administration of herbs and a multiple other ways.

The idea here is to stop dependency on another to lead us in prayers; stop dependency on another for handouts and existence; and to stop dependency on another to heal us. As we walk towards this ideals we seek that the Siddhas walk along us and see us through this journey of sheer amazement, peace and tranquility. 

Friday, 10 August 2018

THE DIVINE JOURNEY

I was so naive to think that the followers in the path of Erai would all be religious and spiritual to the core. But it was not to be as was shown to me through many incidents and happenings in others lives, when I stepped into this new frontier as a new seeker. I saw that although many were genuine in their search, several others came with selfish motives and intentions. As Tavayogi said we have to be prepared to shield off pebbles and bad mouth from others, the spiritual journey has its fair share of ups and downs and many rapids that we need to sail through.

We can relate to the journey and the guidance from the great saviors in all religions, who have spoken of the numerous hurdles and deceptions, that either bring our journey to an abrupt halt, divert us from the path entirely or momentarily, cause frustration, anger, and a feeling of hopelessness. 

These and more emotions and thoughts are depicted explicitly in the spiritual movie Pilgrims Progress based on the book by John Bunyan. The movie is presented as a dream sequence where the story centers around Christian making a journey from his hometown, the City of Destruction (this world), to the Celestial City (that which is to come or Heaven). Christian is weighed down by the knowledge of his sin, a great burden that he carries on his back now which he believes came from his reading the book in his hand (the Bible). This burden, which would cause him to sink into Hell, is so unbearable that Christian must seek deliverance. This then is the story of his search.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pilgrim%27s_Progress)



The Siddhas have found ways to attain sight of the kingdom while alive. Revealing our baggage of sins or karma, they spell out clearly four stages on the part to Erai's kingdom, beginning with Sariyai and Kriyai and moving on to Yogam and Gnanam. Ramalinga Adigal through his devotional work the Arutpa sings about the many stages he moved on to in his search for the kingdom.

Upon reaching the kingdom he is confronted by many who asks, "Who is this soul who made it this far?" Traversing many doorways he arrives at the door where Mother Goddess ushers him and points him to the Divine Father. This journey of merger with the Divine is translated beautifully by S. Vanmikanathan.
It is the "aani-p-ponnambalaththe kanda kaatchikal", the visions I saw on the magnificent golden hall, the 109th decad of the VI th Book. He sings in 32 stanzas of jubilant verse, all of which end with the refrain: The sights I saw in the Hall of Prime Gold are wonderful sights, O mother, wonderful sights are they!
He goes on to describe in detail the sights he saw. I omit the repetitions and refrains and give, in his own words of course, the details of the sights which met his eyes. The refrains are evidence of the irrepressible joy bubbling in his heart. He says:
There appeared a mountain of effulgence and on that was a street.
I went along that street and in its center there was a platform.
I climbed on to that platform and on that platform there was a hall.
When I approached the hall, on top of that hall I saw a seven-storeyed tower.
What shall I say of the wonders that were on the seven storeys?
On top of the seven storeys there was a golden pillar.
When I beheld the pillar and climbed on it, what shall I say of the novelties I saw !
It is not within my capacity to describe what met me as I climbed on.
At the several stages, Sakthi-s, in thousands and thousands, came,
They came and tried to bewitch me, but, that I may not be bewitched,
I gained a power of grace.
By that power I climbed up that pillar and spied the jeweled crest.
On top of the crest there stood a dome, that I saw.
On top of that dome there was a temple of one thousand and eight carat gold.
On seeing the temple, I went unhesitatingly inside the portal in the tower.
At the portal in the tower, there were Sakthis-s and Saakthaa-s in crores.
Their hues were white, red, and scarlet.
There, all of them asked, “Who is this man?”, but I went past them.
I went past them, and there, at a sacred doorway, were five persons.
With them showing me the way, I went to a jeweled doorway farther up.
At that doorway, which I remember well, there stood two, a man and a woman.
With them pointing it out to me, I beheld with love welling up in me the private sacred entrance (which leads to the sacred presence of Lord Civan).
At that sacred door, stood Aanandhavalli, my Mother.
I beheld the Mother, Her grace I received, and ambrosia I partook of.
By Her Grace which held me up, I saw the presence of Natarajar,
O mother, I saw the presence of Natarajar!
The boon I received on going into His presence, God knows it,
O mother, God knows it.
In the Hall of prime gold, the sights I saw, wonderful sights they are,
O mother, wonderful sights they are. 

Bala Aiya was told in a recent Nadi reading that one has to come to the Guru to merge with the Divine. Similar to Ramalinga Adigal's journey beginning with worship of Lord Muruga, Mother Goddess and the Divine Father, we too have to come to Agathiyar, who led us to his Guru, Lord Muruga who would lead us to Mother Goddess, who would then show us the Divine Father. 

Going by the works of the saints we realize that the human birth is rare and that only through this human birth that we can strive and work towards achieving an immortal body that is placed in the confines of the kingdom of Erai. How do we achieve this stupendous phenomenal achievement? How would that be possible for a mortal who succumbs to hurt, pain, illness and disease? Are we dispensable and at the mercy of disease, illness and sufferings? Are we forever going to live in fear of old age and its accompanying discomforts and disabilities? Can't we take charge of our body, mind and spirit and its corresponding quality of life? Then you can be the greatest healer but when it comes to you falling ill or having an ailment, you still need to seek another healer or doctor.

Modern science says that the body already as it is, is healing itself; rejuvenating and repairing itself and up-keeping itself with cells replacing every few years. 
Your outer layer of skin, the epidermis (apart from the thicker dermis beneath), replaces itself every 35 days. You are given a new liver every six weeks (a human liver can regenerate itself completely even if as little as 25% remains of it). Your stomach lining replaces itself every 4 days, and the stomach cells that come into contact with digesting food are replaced every 5 minutes. Our entire skeletal structures are regenerated every 3 months. Your entire brain replaces itself every two months. And the entire human body, right down to the last atom, is replaced every 5-7 years. (Source: https://www.feelguide.com/2010/11/13/did-you-know-the-regeneration-of-the-human-body-2/)
Maybe it is indeed possible to extend one's life by taking care of the well being of the body. The idea here is to learn to heal yourself. With some effort on our part to take extra care of this rare commodity that brings us to God realization, we can go a long way, like studies that find that fasting for three days can regenerate the entire immune system @ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/fasting-for-three-days-can-regenerate-entire-immune-system-study/

P. Karthigayan's book "History of Medical & Spiritual Sciences of Siddhas of Tamil Nadu", published by Notion Press Chennai, 2016, is a comprehensive, well researched book and full of information on the Siddhas, with references to Siddha texts and manuscripts. I loved reading it. I thank Shantima for going through all the trouble to get me this book. I would recommend to those seeking to know about the Siddhas. This book would be a good start.

In the preface to this book,


The author begins the first chapter with a saying from Avvai on the importance of caring for the physical body, and using it as a tool to gain enlightenment. Is that possible? Yes it seems so and of course with a little help from the divine.


As Isai Gnani Illayaraja wrote and sang a song among many on Arunachala, seeking the gift of joining the long list of saints who made it to the Divine Feet of the Lord of Tiruvannamalai, would we make it too in prolonging this birth, and hence defeating death, while in service to Agathiyar?

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

FEEDING OTHER SOULS

In conjunction with Sri Machamuni Siddha's Jayanthi Thondu Seivom hit the streets again distributing food and drinks to the homeless in Kuala Lumpur City centre last night.









Meanwhile Sanjiv Ji did his part in caring for the canines at the DF shelter for strays in New Delhi.



Sunday, 5 August 2018

THE POWER OF FIRE & MANTRAS COMBINED

Srīnāthā Rāghavan posted a short piece on Homa and its benefits on fb several hours ago.
No matter what the Dosha (ill effect), Peeda (suffering), Baadha (obstacle), Runa (debt) or anything malefic, it can be negated by Homa. Fire absolves! 
By invoking the Divine Energies through it, Homa can bring the powerful presence of the Divine into one's living space. I have personally witnessed many "Miracles" happen just by doing regular Homa. (For me Miracles are perfect phenomenon, which doesn't have a perfect explanation, hence in quotes.) The key is continuity. 
The first thing one immediately notices after performing a Homa is the Space gets cleansed and purified by the holy smoke, which is emitted by a Fire that has successfully consumed the good and bad karmas of the Homa Karta. I have personally seen people getting better - Health wise, Wealth wise, Sense wise and also otherwise. In my own case, when both my Parents were painfully down with illness, all I did was regular Homa at home and the Heat and Smoke they breathed made them recuperate better. 
Homa is a unique process, where it affects all the senses turning the experience into Panchamahabhoota Upasana - The Worship of the Five great elements. Do Homa - Uplift and be uplifted!
When Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal asked me to conduct Homa I had the shivers as I thought only Purohits or priests "were licensed to do it." He assured me that it was fine and told me it would be pretty simple. He guided me on what I needed to purchase and told me to light the fire pit and chant the names of the Siddhas. That would suffice he added. I did as told.

Tavayogi who had been conducting Homa during Full Moons or Pornami, too embarked on performing a Yagam on a large scale at his Kallar Ashram grounds for the benefit of the people who attended the prayers and also to appease and sublimate the terror subjected by Mother Nature upon us through natural calamities. The Yagna or Yagam is a Homa done on a bigger scale. 


When he visited my home some years later he conducted the Homa and Abhisegam on Agathiyar. I learnt the finer points in preparing and performing the Homa and Abhisegam by watching Tavayogi and Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyar do it.


My yearning to know more about this fire ceremony brought me to many documents explaining the benefits of performing it. I gathered excepts of them and published them online in 2012. This book served to remind me of the efficacy of this ceremony. 


When Tavayogi came to Malaysia again in 2016, we arranged for him to attend prayers at the homes of the AVM family members, that included the Homa ceremony. 


Agathiyar in a Nadi reading told me that the fire ceremony had the capacity and ability to burn one's karma, the baggage of past doings that he has brought onto himself. In another reading he convinced me to carry on doing it saying that it would benefit the prapanjam, heal the world we live in. This words of encouragement kept me going all these years. Soon I was shown that these were not mere words or promises by the Mahamuni.

When someone was caught and imprisoned when the authorities found a reasonable amount of drugs in his car that he was not aware of as his friends had borrowed the vehicle earlier, his wife flew to India and surrendered to Agathiyar and Tavayogi. Tavayogi and Mataji arranged to have a homa done the following day. They assured her that the Siddhas would uphold the truth and her husband would be released if indeed he had no knowledge or any part in the crime. He was released unconditionally.

When a public servant was suspended from his job while awaiting internal investigation for a wrongful allegation, Mataji asked him to join us in Homa as he was not in any position to leave for India. We accommodated Mataji's request. He participated in the Homa. Soon he was reappointed to his job as the accusations were found to be baseless.

When someone was unfairly given the boot by his employer, taking the cue from Tavayogi and Mataji I asked him to participate in a Homa ceremony. He won his case and was compensated for. 

When a bachelor who had been unsuccessful in meeting his potential life partner after many years, wrote to me, I suggested that he conduct a Homa. He did the Homa in his home for close to a month and found his life partner eventually.

When someone who had lost his job after an accident came to Agathiyar, I thought we should carry out a Homa. That night he calls me to say he received a call offering him a job. He was in tears as he told me that he could not believe that a miracle had taken place so immediate.

When my family members succumbed to illness or injuries I conducted a Homa for their quick recovery. And so my daughter recovered from dengue where both Agathiyar and Tirumular attended and administered to her; another daughter had her tibia and fibula bones mend naturally; my wife came out of surgeries safe and sound and had fast recovery. 

When Tavayogi was hospitalized last year, the AVM family prayed for his quick recovery. Agathiyar tells us that the Siddhas hearing our prayers, had performed the Yagam so that he would live longer. When he succumbed to a relapse recently, we let him go as he wanted very much to go into Samadhi, something that he had been yearning since the day I met him in 2005.

All these episodes has deepened by faith in Agathiyar and the Siddhas. As AVM's Guru Balachander Aiya mentioned this evening, the Siddhas take us on a journey, summoning us to do many rituals just as they had themselves done in the past. They pass on to us the treasures that had brought them success in all their endeavors. That is the trait of a true Guru.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

IN DOING SERVICE

Coming to Agathiyar, he started us doing prayers to the pantheon of gods and him. He told us he was the prapanjam and that the prapanjam was him, that is he was in all and all was in him, bringing us to an understanding that the kingdom of gods was in him as well. Besides prayers or puja, he started us on doing charity, with cash or payment in kind, giving in all ways possible, whenever possible. Soon we went looking for ways to serve the needy, old, ailing, deserving, unfortunate and helpless. 

In carrying out this noble service Agathiyar identified several souls to do his will. Like the bush catching fire when the lightning strikes, they picked up the cue and advise and soon sacrificed their lives in serving others.

As God honors them that honors him, Siddha Heartbeat too honors them and their service. 

Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyaar has both served her master Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal of Kallar Ashram and those who seeked the Holy Feet of Agathiyar. Both these great souls have fed those who dropped by their ashram besides feeding the native children living around their ashram grounds.





Taking them as our Gurus and mentors we at Agathiyar Vanam Malaysia (AVM), Agathiyar Universal Mission (AUM), and Persatuan Teman Setia (PTS) in Malaysia and Thedal Ulla Thenikkalai (TUT) in India came together and began serving the poor on our shores and abroad through the respective service arms, Amudha Surabhi (AS), Pothihai Tharma Chakkram (PTC) and Thondu Seivom (TS). Many soon came along to do charity, joining in or on their own.  



Bala Chandran Gunasekaran with Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyar

Bala with Rakesh of TUT



Bala with Sri Krishna

































































Many are doing good deeds all around the world in their own small way or in unison with others, changing the world to be a better place, back to the glorious and righteous days of yore. We have only just begun. We intend to bring the much awaited change. Come join us.

TUT -ஆகஸ்ட் மாத நிகழ்ச்சிகள்

1. பர்வதமலை யாத்திரை - 04/08/2018 சனிக்கிழமை காலை 4 மணி அளவில் திருவண்ணாமலையில் இருந்து ஆரம்பம் 

2. மோட்ச தீபம் வழிபாடு - கூடுவாஞ்சேரி மாமரத்து விநாயகர் கோயில் 10/08/2018 வெள்ளிக்கிழமை மாலை 6 மணி முதல் 

3. அமாவாசை (TUT & AVM )அன்னதானம் - சனிக்கிழமை காலை 9மணி அளவில் 

4. ஆயில்ய பூசை - கூடுவாஞ்சேரி மாமரத்து விநாயகர் கோயில் 11/08/2018 சனிக்கிழமை மாலை சுமார் 6 மணி முதல் 

5. உழவாரப் பணி - சதானந்த சுவாமிகள் ஆசிரமம், பெருங்களத்தூர் 12/08/2018 ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை காலை 9 மணி முதல்

P.T.S & Amuthasurabi Upcoming Events for August 2018

Sai Baba Centre
- 1st week of the month
- By Amuthasurabi
- Mee Hoon: 6 Packets (3 Kg/Bag)

Sri Machamuni Siddhar Jayanthi
- 06/08/2018, Monday
- By Thondu Seivom & Amuthasurabi

Kampung Sireh Home
- 2nd week of the month (10th)
- By Amuthasurabi

PPR Kampung Muhibbah, KL
- 11/08/2018, Saturday (Ammavasai)
- By Amuthasurabi

MIAR - Malaysian Independent Animal Rescue
- 3rd week of the month
- By Thondu Seivom & Amuthasurabi
- Rice Packets: TS-4, AS-5