Published:23 Sep 2019 8 PMUpdated:23 Sep 2019 8 PM Sakthi Vikatan
சக்தி விகடன் டீம்:  எல்.ராஜேந்திரன்
Sakthi Vikatan Team:  L. Rajendhiran
சக்தி கொடு! - 13. Give Sakthi - 13
வி.ஆர்.சுந்தரி  Authoress: V. R. Sundarai
1. The spiritual texts glorify the Mother Goddess.
2. Yes! Sakthi worship leads to deity worship. Itihāsas and Purāṇas explicate Ambikai’s greatness, particularly Devi Bhāgavatam and Devi Mahātmiyam. They describe Ambikai’s Divine Play of Grace ecstatically. The sacred texts have panegyrics.
3. It sounds all right. Whatever was written in the Spiritual Texts and happened in the times of Ityhāsa-Purāṇas could have been true. In these days and times of science, technology, planes, and space-traveling machines, could the Divine Play of Grace be possible? Yes! No doubts about it. In these modern times of Kali Yuga, Ambikai has a multitude of Divine Plays of Grace (அருளாடல்கள்) to her credit.
4. Cenkottai town near Tenkasi is in Nellai Simai. That place had a stone platform on the roadside pit stop to receive traveler’s burden. A father and his son were sitting by the rock. Though they were conversing, their attention was going astray now and then. The cause?  A casual look became an entrenched sight.
5. A girl, about 11, was the cynosure of their eyes. She looked angelic. She was red (light-skinned) in color and had oblong fish-eyes. As the father and the son were watching her, they felt in their mind a sensation of winsome fragrance.
6. Thalaivanar Sr. spoke to her softly, “Who are you, Ammā? You have been standing for so long. What do you want for yourself?”
7. The child answered, “I am seeking work in any one of these houses and make a living.”
‘The child went to the second floor of the house, and in a few minutes, human voices emerged from the room upstairs. Upon a visit, a pervasive white smoke clouded the room.’
8. “Thalaivanar Sr. addressed the child, “Will you come home to our house. We offer you work and daily food.”
9. Accepting the offer, she followed the father and the son into the house, worked there for many years, and enchanted the members of the household with her exemplary conduct and pleasant talk.
10. One day, Thalaivanar, Sr. called the child and told her, “Ammā! Sweep the second floor, draw Kolam, light the lamps, and come back here.”
11. The child went upstairs. Soon after that, a chorus of shrill sounds of girls (குலவை) emanated from the upper floor. The assembled people downstairs were astounded and ran upstairs. The second-floor room had a pervasion of sweet smell and white smoke, but the girl was not there. They were amazed. A few moments later, an ethereal voice came loud and clear.
12. The voice said, “I am a female deity belonging to Dēvalōkam. When Brahmadevar was going on a chariot once, unexpectedly, the axle broke. Not knowing the mishap, he continued to drive the chariot. To prevent the chariot from collapsing, I gave physical support and rescued it.
13. When the chariot stopped, and Brahmadevar came down, I let go off the physical support by removing my hand. Brahmadevar realizing my timely help, said, “Devi! Since you prevented the chariot from going topsy-turvy with the physical support of your hand, from today forward, you will carry the holy name of ‘Vaṇdi Maṛicchi Amman’ (Amman who stopped the chariot from turning upside down). You will go by this holy name and offer grace and blessings to the servitors. You will always appear in festival attire.” He disappeared after his blessings.
14. “After that incident, I came here. You have the utmost modesty, compassion, courage, and mercy. I came as an innocent girl to you (Pūlāvudaiya Thalaivaṉār) seeking refuge. You make offerings of food to me, go down from the second floor, and after a while, come back again,” said the female voice.
 15. Pūlāvudaiya Thalaivaṉār left the premises with others, after serving the food. After some time, Thalaivaṉār went up to the second floor and found no food.
16. When everyone was in a state of surprise, Ambikai gave a direct in-person Darsan to all. They all, with tears running from their eyes, opposed their palms in homage and fell prostrate on the floor.
17. Aṉṉai bestowed them, Grace and blessings, and said, “My dear devotee! Your virtuous qualities delight me. So far, I served you and your family. Hereafter, I must bestow grace on everyone and should fulfill Braḥmadēvar’s bidding.
18. “In the vacant lot adjoining your house, build a temple for me. For my bathing, dig a well near the temple. I will provide sweet water from the well, just like the tender coconut water. I will extend my grace to all,” said Ambikai and disappeared.
19. As demanded by Ambikai, Pūlāvudaiya Thalaivaṉār and the villagers built a temple and dug the well. Ambikai in the holy name of ‘Vaṇdi Maṛicchi Ammaṉ’ offers blessings and grace even to this day in Seṅkottai.
20. ‘Vaṇdi Maṛicchi Ammaṉ’ became ‘Vaṇdimalacchi Ammaṉ’ in modern times. Removing the Malams (impurities) and conferring grace make the new holy name appropriate for her.
21. Near Thenkāci – Kuṛṛālam, this Cenkōttai ‘Vaṇdi Maṛicchi Amman’ Temple celebrates Navarātri (Nine Nights) in a lavish style. Ambikai offers daily Darsan in various styles of Alaṅkāram.
22. During the festival of Nine Nights, a supernal event takes place. There is a 1000-seat Pandal to the west of the Ambikai Sannidhi; the womenfolk sit in rows and files and perform Sacred Lamp Pūja.
23. Seeing the Pūja and hearing the recitation of Ambikai’s holy names evoke the feeling of witnessing the celestials doing the Pūja in Maṇi-dvīpa (An Island populated by women only).
24. The second festival of note is the distribution of free food in the temple premises during the Nine Holy Nights. The religious texts say that during Aṉṉai Mīnākṣi’s divine wedding, the amount of food was no less than a mountain. We can have Darsan of that nature in this Temple festival. It gives a gee-whiz feeling to witness people seated in rows and files with no discrimination (as to caste, station in life or wealth) and eating food.
25. Let Ambāḷ’s grace fill our homes. Let a plethora of prosperity and abundance of auspiciousness bless us. For such grace, let us pay homage and worship to Ambikai.
If you like this article, applaud the writer, Ms. Sundari
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