Sakthi Vikatan - 01 Sep, 2015

   சித்தமெல்லாம் சித்தமல்லி - 3



Sundaranarayanan (SN), on appeal from his wife and children, left the unearthed holy idols in place as they were on the day of discovery. He never thought of doing Piratiṣṭai (Consecration) and worship of the idols.

But, his wife performed Naivēttiyam (Offerings to a deity) and worship of the idols with ceremonial lights. She also supplicated to the deities on behalf of her children for good grades in examinations, competitive sports… She performed all her ritual duties with pure heart, mind, soul and devotion. The wife and children considered the idols as part of the family and showed devotion and love to them. 

Sundaranarayanan though seeing the goings-on acted as if he did not notice the rituals. He let his wife and children do what pleased them and never once intervened in their devotional acts. Despite their persistent imploration, SN had neither the will nor the inclination to build a palm leaf shed for the sacred idols.

Inexorable time passed. The children completed their studies with excellence and joined the workforce and SN and his wife had to stay in Chennai off and on (with them). Perumāḷ and Thāyār (the idols) remained in the house in Sithamalli cared for by no one. How long can the Divine Couple remain in that neglected state?  Should not the Divine Couple dispense grace and prosperity on people from their rightful place at the temple, having been worshipped in the past by Mahāṉ noted for his Tapas?

That auspicious time came in 2012 bearing fruits.

Ramamurthy’s (inset) ancestral home was Sithamalli. He moved to Chennai as a child with his parents. He had fond memories of Sithamalli, the place of his birth. He went to his ancestral village before or after festival occasions as a matter of spiritual duty for the customary anointment and worship of Sundaranarayana Perumal, Kailāsanāthar, Aiyanār…in the temples. He bought the necessary accouterments and clothes for the ritual Pūja.

Before his departure to his village, he met with a woman, he regarded as his spiritual guide. It is noteworthy that the Mahāṉ, whose servitor is the woman, foretold her in gracious words that Sithamalli soon would become world-famous.

Ramamurthy and his spouse Chitra went to the woman’s house with the clothes and other paraphernalia meant for the deities.  They placed the puja accouterments in the Pūja room and sought for the woman’s blessings.

The night before, in the woman’s dream, there was a wonderful vision. The Mahāṉ appeared in her dream and showed her the holy idols in Sithamalli, exposed to the effects of the sun, rain and other natural elements under the open sky with no overhead roof. “Make sure you make ritual clothes available for the deities. People belonging to Sithamalli will be with you tomorrow.”

The Ramamurthy couple arrived at the woman’s house as she envisioned in her dream. The woman narrated the dream sequence to the couple: “Thāthā (the Mahāṉ) came in my dream and told me that the Divine couple in Sithamalli are with no clothes. You take clothes for the deities.” She further said that the clothes they had with them were not long enough and they should buy longer clothes for the donning of the holy idols.

Ramamurthy did not know of any deity in Sithamalli Temples needing extra-long clothes. Despite that thought, they bought two extra-long clothes and prepared to leave for Sithamalli.

Ramamurthy’s father contacted Sithamalli Sundaranarayanan (SN) and asked him to receive a group of 15 devotees to stay overnight in the village and arrange for conducting Pūjais in the temples next day. He arranged for their stay and Pūjais. Two days before the appointed day, he received a message that his (SN) sister-in-law in Chennai was ill and therefore, he came to Chennai. He informed Ramamurthy’s father on the phone explaining his sudden departure to Chennai and assuring that he left the house keys with  a responsible party and the visitors can use his house for overnight stay. SN left for Chennai.

Ramamurthy’s family came to Sithamalli Friday evening. The men stayed in the choultry and the woman in SN’s house.

Dawn broke through the night. That was Saturday, the day of Tiruvōṇa Star. Chitra woke up, opened the rear door and landed in the backyard. The sight she saw…

Horripilation of the mind.

Images: K. Satishkumar