Posted Date : 06:00 (08/05/2018) May 8, 2018, Sakthi Vikatan
003திருவருள் செல்வர்கள்
திருவருள் = Divine Grace
செல்வர் = Starets

செல்வர்கள் = Staretsy (Plural)
"staretsy" is a plural form of "starets":

Starets =
spiritual leader(s) whose wisdom stems from God as obtained
from ascetic experience.

திருவருள் செல்வர்கள்! - 3  பி.என்.பரசுராமன்  எல்.ராஜேந்திரன்
Divine Grace Starets - 3  Author: P.N. Parasuraman    L.Rajendran
சொல்லின் செல்வன் பி.என்.பரசுராமன்
Author: P.N.Parasuraman
Kanda Peruman (கந்தப் பெருமான்) appeared in her dream in the guise of an infant and told her, “Ammā! You go to Puḷyarai in a cart, stop the cart, and let loose the bulls (bullocks). You dig the earth where they paw the ground! You will find the documents proving my ownership of the lands.”
The women went to Puḷyarai in the cart first thing next morning. She followed the instruction of Murugan. The unyoked bulls went a certain distance and pawed the ground. Upon digging the marked soil, a stone, two feet wide and ten feet long, appeared. That stone had engravings of a spear, a peacock and a plethora of inscriptions. It was a document of ownership of the land. Reading the inscriptions, she was wonderstruck. The reason?

It was a document listing ownership by Tirumalai Murugapperuman of 160 acres fertile lands, groves and a well. The property was in possession of one Rāyar. The woman outraged by the seizure of property owned by Murugan waged legal battles and restored the property to the rightful owner, Lord Murugan. (This by itself is another story.)


Who is that jewel of a woman?
Neduvayal is a small town in Nellai district. As the eponymous name suggests, the place abounds in farmland. Near it, there is Paimpozhil a verdant village, where the fields appear as if they were acres of green saris spread out.
Sivakāmi Ammaiyār couple lived in Neduvayal, her spouse being Gangamuthu Devar; both, a cooperative pair, were devout and showed love to the servitors of God besides being hospitable to them. The tender-hearted couple did not have children. Ammaiyār was busy with Kaiṅkaryam (Service to God). We will hereafter see Sivakāmi Ammaiyār as Ammaiyār.
Ammaiyār built herself a Maṇṭapam (Public Hall) in the Neduvayal village for servitors of God and the destitute persons. That hall still exists in the village. Wālar Musthāṉ, an Islamic recluse with expertise in Siddha medicine came and stayed there. Ammaiyār not only received with love the Islamist, who sought shelter in her Maṇṭapam but also continued serving his meals on time.
When someone observes a person with joy and tranquility, that jealous person’s mind wanders and vacillates. That too, seeing those who do charitable work, the envious including the relatives toss in bed sleepless with mental distress.
The disgruntled villagers: “Chchē! What a low life is she? If she continues to splurge her wealth on the homeless and the hapless, she will one day go begging. If we are the recipients of her largess, we will be happy. She is throwing good money after bad. It may not be money earned honestly.” Chchē = an expression of disgust.
Bad-mouthing Ammaiyār was terrible enough. If the service provider is a woman, it is even worse. There is no end to prevarications, gutter-talks, and blames. Is Ammaiyār an exception to the invectives?
The relatives subjected her to slander. Ammaiyār could not take the calumny anymore, and cast a curse, “I am chaste and of pure mind, never ever violated the moral codes of a woman from a noble family and performed just service to the needy. If what I say is true, before I turn on the bend in the street, let a thunder and lightning strike.”

The woman could not have taken more than a step or two. In broad daylight, there were no signs of impending thunder and lightning. But true to her curse, lightning struck, and the house was destroyed.
Realizing the divine nature of Ammaiyār, the relatives with their tails between the legs became submissive. Though the whole town praised the wondrous event, Ammaiyār herself was unhappy. With sorrow, Ammaiyār and her husband in silence stood before Wālar Musthāṉ.


Ammaiyār did not utter one word. Musthāṉ seeing her said, “I know what your problem is. You are unable to get pregnant. Tirumalai Kumaran on the west hill is your Thavak-Kuzhanthai (= தவக்குழந்தை = your child from your austerity). Do service to Kumaran. To protect his possessions, your service is required.” After saying this, he offered his blessings and sent them on their way.
Ammaiyār’s heart melted. She reached the Paimpozhil holy temple, which was on a hilltop in the forest full of thorn bushes, bamboo thickets, and wild animals. Travel even by daytimes is fearsome. Paying no attention to these hardships, Ammaiyār went up the hill and took a Darśan of the mountaintop Tirumalaikumarar Swamy. With the Darśan she lost her self-consciousness with concurrent unhappiness.
Seeing the Swamy alone and neglected on the hill temple for a long time, Ammaiyār’s devotional soul grieved. She shouted, “O Son.” Since that day, Ammaiyār regarded the first Tirumalai Kumaran as her own child, took upon herself as a duty to extend care of the God and the temple and protect his possessions.
It is not just her mind and soul, but her physical form and appearance also changed. She wore ochre clothes and holy ash stripes with Kumkum on her forehead, Rudrākṣa bead in her neck, carried a spear in her hands, and donned Kamaṇḍalam on her ears. Staying in the temple, she provided service to the Lord.
She gave food and drinks to the displaced and dispossessed. She obtained grants of cultivable lands on behalf of Swamy for continuous and permanent service to Murugan. It is a separate story by itself of establishing a Vasantha Maṇṭapam on the hilltop by her holy service to the Lord.
Early in the article, we came to know of the rock-hewn documents of the Swamy’s property usurped and used by one Rāyar in the village of Puḷiyarai. Discovering the truth, Ammaiyār won the verdict of restoring the landed property of Swamy in the court case filed in the Thiruvananthapuram court. But, Rāyar refused to give up the land legally owned by Tirumalai Murugan. The notable denizens of the village came to help Rāyar surreptitiously. Ammaiyār was puzzled not knowing what to do. She went into the sanctum and prayed to Murugan. Aruṇagirināthar sang, “The grace of Perumāḷ will grant whatever is desired by the servitors.” Will it be a lie? When Ammaiyār regards Murugan as her dear son, would Mountaintop Murugan fail to fulfill her desire?

Ammaiyār that night not knowing the way out of her predicament and distress went to bed. As if she was expecting it, the six-faced benefactor in the guise of a child came in her dream. Did she not regard Murugan as her child? That is why Murugan came to her in dream sleep as a child. Murugan: “Ammā! Go to Puḷiyarai with one hundred plows. Station the plows on our cultivable lands. Take charge of the first plow yourself. I will be there as your help.”
When Māl Murugan pointed the way, will Māl fail Ammaiyār? She brought 100 plows from the villages of Neduvayal, and Acchan Putūr and stationed them in the lands belonging to Murugan before the break of dawn. She held the first plow and plowed the land of the Murugan.
What will happen in the conflict between God and man? Learning of the news, Rāyar brought hundreds of his men bearing swords, batons, and sickles. The ruffians used abusive and vituperative words and epithets to denounce Ammaiyār, cut the cords of the bulls and let them loose on the defenseless plowmen and Ammaiyār. They attacked Ammaiyār’s people. That was the greatest mistake the ruffians did.
The ropes were cut. The hope was to run down Ammaiyār and her men in the stampede of bulls. The bulls free from their yokes became the living fury and ran around like wild animals charging people with their horns, stampeding them in a frenzy, smashing people under their feet, and whipping people with their tails. As the Rāyan’s ruffians ran, the enraged bulls ran after them causing many injuries to them. The bulls did not molest Ammaiyār’s men. That was Murugan’s divine handiwork.
It looked as if Vadivēlan’s Spear was whirling in the fields. The powerless rogues under Rāyar’s control threw their weapons and took to their heels to escape death from marauding bulls. Realizing the spiritual strength of Ammaiyār and his own grave mistake, Rāyar fell at the feet of Ammaiyār and begged for forgiveness. Ammaiyār gave him Tirunīr (sacred ash) because he realized his grievous error. With no conditions, restrictions, and disputes, Rāyar ceded the property to Ammaiyar, the custodian for Murugan. Twelve-handed Paraman’s grace and blessing helped Ammaiyār in the 19th century perform this Dance of Grace. This is just one of many.
Sivakāmi Ammaiyār on Vaikāsi Visākam merged with the feet of Murugan’s sacred feet. In the foothills opposite to the sanctum of Murugan Temple, Sivakāmi Ammaiyār’s temple was built.
A few of the properties still remain there. On the day of Vaikāsi Visākam, Gurupūja takes place. Let us go there and receive Darśan! Let us vanquish and expunge our sins!
Will continue
Images by L.Rajendiran