[stextbox id=”info” image=”null”]The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.[/stextbox]
The Grace of Siddha takes a slight deviation from the main track where these series talk about Chathuragiri and some of the incidents happened around the place.
The mountain could be of some 3000 feet. There weren’t any residence or a society as far as one could see. It was surrounded by farm lands. It stood alone from all hidings. There was a Ganesha sannidhi in the basement of the hill. Right behind him went the stairs upwards, around 1800 in number. There were numerous plants, with thorns, the herbal ones and some unidentifiable small sized trees. Upon climbing for a while, felt the tiredness and so sat down where a breeze containing the fragrance of green leaf from somewhere made him feel refreshed. The friend who was quiet all the while began to explain about this hill.
“This hill belongs to Siddha Bhogar. He stayed here for a long time and was doing pooja to this Lord. Only during His stay here, He got the Lord’s command and began to set forth to Pazhani to make the Nava-Bhashana idol for Lord Muruga. Before that, he performed yagnas in all four sides of this hill. There you see about 5 palm trees together, that is the place where he did one yagna in the Esanya corner. Look, that ground will look whitish than the rest of the places. They still don’t use that land for cultivation. The soil comes out as white ash from wherever we dig. They call it Yaga Sishtam. It is used as a medicine. They call this place ‘Poodhi Kaadu’ (may be defined as Vibhuthi Kaadu, where kaadu means forest).
When Bhoga Siddha was performing pooja, this Lord seemed to have twelve hands and six faces! The Siddha when got down, he could not figure out the way to go to Pazhani and so he called for this Lord’s help. The Lord appeared with one face and four hands, showed him the way up to a point and said, “I won’t come beyond this point. Inquire the way yourself and go” and stayed right there. The Lord has one face and four hands where He stood and it is called Velayudha PaLayam. Those who cannot figure out a way out, He shows the way out there. In this hill top, He is with five faces and eight hands and shows mercy to those who seek Him.
There is a unique method followed in this temple. Once the abhisheka, aradhana, karpoora harathi, nivedhana is over, the priest calls out, “Anyone wants to ask for Command?”. Usually one after the other sits down with their knees bent, and ask for His command. Depending on their Karmic effects, time, based on the type of query being asked, Lord Muruga gives His command. You can see it yourself. I shall tell you with the time ripes. Go sit and ask what you want to ask. Let’s see what He says” – said the friend meaningfully.
As he was very much troubled, he listened to all these quietly and said, “Ok, let the time come, let’s see” and became silent. There were four people climbing up with the required items for the yagna. Out of them, one spoke to a devotee after saying ‘Vanakkam’ and looked at him who was sitting and said ‘Vanakkam Saami’. He thought, I don’t even know him, why is he saying hello to me and due to respect, he said ‘Vanakkam sir’.
Once they went, the devotee said, “Do you know who he is, who said hello to you? He looks like a worker. But he is an ardent devotee of this Lord. He has seen the Lord in the form of a small boy seated in these stairs many a times. At midnight, when he carries the items required for the early morning pooja, he just says “Muruga! Save” and goes up. In those days, He appears like a ten year old boy, seated in any of these stairs and when crossed, says “Go carefully”. He has experienced it many a times. Whoever calls him in the midnight to have the items sent up, how much ever he is tired, he comes willingly only to see Him. There are many such miracles here. You will understand as and when. Come, let’s climb.”
There was another Ganesha shrine half way through. Even amidst the hot sun outside, it was cool in His shrine. Surprisingly, after he had stepped up this mountain, for the first time, he prayed to Ganesha generally, “O Lord, to eradicate all obstacles and to have everthing end smooth, Your grace is required.”
The devotee was seeing this and when he came out, he pointed a small pathway which ran down near the shrine and said, “This is the way to go to the cave of Bhoga Siddha. Keep this in mind. We shall go later” and started climbing up. He began to think that there are quite a lot of miracles in this hill. But at once he got that thought, he felt ‘it is enough to have been stuck by doing such research before’ and brushed out that thought right then.
He was drained out completely once he reached the hill top. He washed his hands and feet and went inside the shrine, only to get carried away totally as the Lord there seemed to have accumulated all the beauty out there, smiling and as if saying “Welcome, bhaktha”. The Lord Subramanya. Once the abhisheka was done, the alankara appeared to have increased His charm furthermore. The good work done by the priest was vivid.
He went further in, did a shashtanga namaskara (to prostrate in such a way that eight parts of the body touches the ground). The devotee mentioned to the priest that he was the one who requested the yagna to be conducted. Let us talk about it post the pooja. Has all arrangements been made? – he asked.
The priest appeared to be a calm person in general. He conveyed his hello to him and said “Everything has come. The milk for abhisheka will come in the night. We ourselves have to make other arrangements.” He further instructed, “First prepare the Homa Kunda” to the devotee. He took him to a place where there were stones piled up, picked up some and gave it to him saying ‘there, place this with your own hands on the place where they have smeared the cow dung (cow dung mixed with water is smeared in a number of places such as entrance of the house, worship etc. It serves as a very good antibiotic and believed to be having a number of benefits in the spiritual science as well as the wordly-science).
He received the stones and prayed, “Let this first stone be the beginning for protection and shield” and kept it in a place where it is straight in front of the Lord, without realizing that the yagna is about to be conducted in the supervision of the very Lord Odhiyappa!