The GOS – 100 – Ahobilam – 5

[stextbox id=”info” image=”null”]The Grace of Siddha series can be read here.[/stextbox]

{This is the hundredth post of The Grace of Siddha. We’re pleased and humbled. It’s truly His grace and your support, dear readers. Thank you Agastya Muni, thank you beloved readers!}

Those who have been to Ahobilam and have had the darshan of Narasimha Swamy know about the thirteen shrines, 5 at the base and 8 up in the hill. Out of these, 12 shrines are of Narasimha Swamy. The last one is the cave-shrine of Bhakta Prahalada. Only few have the darshan of all thirteen shrines. It is avoidable however to visit all these shrines alone. It is advisable to have a guide or someone who knows the route, else one might lose track.

I thought that it is a big mistake to have ventured alone in to this journey, thinking that Agastya Muni is with me. They say that one should not play with fire and water. Having forgotten that, I went alone and got so scared for which I pinched myself a number of times. This is because, one can have a darshan of all the shrines alone during day time. But to Jwala Narasimha and Pavana Narasimha swamy shrines, one has to be shown the route. Though I was shocked on hearing the sound ‘Narasimha Narasimha’, I walked towards the rock where it came from.

At first, it was heard from nearby. When I stepped forward, the sound went back a step too! I would have walked for about a hundred and fifty feet like that where some fear gripped me. I decided to go back as there was no body except me. As far as I could see, there were only rocks and trees. Even if I scream out loud, there won’t be anyone to help.

Was I scared? Oh man yes! In that situation, I did not even think of opening the Jeeva Nadi. I thought it is not wise to check the Nadi for everything. As I went backwards running, gasping and sweating, I stood at a place to relax for a while and the sound was heard, as if it stood still in a place. Though my intuition said that something is going to happen, I did feel sorry and frustrated about my then condition, that I did not realize even after so many such incidents. If only I had come along with someone…I kept thinking but consoled myself and began to run while suddenly from a bush came out a man who looked like a shepherd. In my state of mind, I was shocked even on seeing him, a company that is. He asked me in Telugu, “Why did you come here? Don’t you know that you should not come here alone? You have come apart some 5 miles.”

“Five miles? I don’t think so?” – I answered in Tamil.

“No. This is five miles from the Narasimha swamy temple upwards. You are lost. This place is the way to go to Pavana Narasimha and is a sturdy hill-path. A lot of red-wolves are there, some bears too. I saw a couple of cubs yesterday. If the cubs are here, the mother should be here too. I really wonder how you came here alone and unarmed.” – he looked at me with so much of pity and tapped his forehead remarking my foolishness.

Though he spoke in Telugu, I could understand some of them. He looked like a good guy, so I thought I shall ask about the ‘Narasimha Narasimha’ sound. Though I asked him this in Tamil, I think he understood it somehow.

“Thankfully you escaped. That sound is heard here everyday, often. That too, in Amavasya, Full Moon and in certain Thithi (a certain days), it is heard just like that. You came here following that? Don’t know whose good-karma it is, you are safe. Come here, let me put you in the correct path” – I understood this with great difficulty and what I heard puzzled me more.

All is well, but why is he scaring me? Is he really a shepherd or someone else? If he is a shepherd, where are the sheep? At least a couple of cows must have been there, but there aren’t any. He however held a stick, a towel in his loin, topless and as if it’s been three days since he bathed. He did not understand Tamil at all. But he spoke in a Telugu dialect which was understandable. Whatever reasons he said for that sound, I either did not understand what he said completely, or he is not able to explain it properly.

Should I trust him and go along? My mind slipped the next second. The Jeeva Nadi at hand gave me a courage and my mind said, “why not?”. There is one life and it goes only once too. Let it go if it has to, if it is destined here, who can stop it? It is all arpanam (offering) to Lakshmi Narasimha Himself, I decided.

I nodded at him, ‘let’s go’. He walked and I followed thinking if I had really crossed 5 miles in the wrong route. I must have not. He is just an illiterate and must have said that number just like that.

There were small streams, water falls, fresh and clean air mixed with the fragrance of different kinds of flowers. I enjoyed all these and was walking along with the shepherd. After we crossed a few rocks, suddenly he held my hands, put his finger on the lips signalling “ssshhh”. He pointed me at a place where I could see seven or eight really tall red wolves.

These are very ferocious, which can drive away even the tigers. Some where lying down and some where roaming here and there, sniffing. I got scared again. What if one of them come and bites us? I made a mistake by coming with him, I thought and prayed to all the gods.

“Wait for a while. Let the wolves pass by and we can reach the main route in ten minutes. If you walk in that for a while, you can reach Shri Varaha Narasimha Swamy shrine. Then there is nothing to fear.” – he made me sit in the gap between a rock. I was feeling sorry about my condition, and even at that time, I did not feel like opening the Jeeva Nadi. To say the truth, I thought that it is all because of Agastya Muni that I am in that state and so I did not really feel like opening the Nadi.

He made me sit in the rock and climbed up a small tree swiftly and looked around. Suddenly, he made a weird sound, as that of howling. I was not sure whether he was chasing those wolves away or enticing them or talking to them. I was like that civilised man seized by a forest dweller, as they show in the movies. It was as if he was inviting trouble. He kept howling and I could not understand why.

Is he a shepherd or the one who tames wolves? The only solace left was the Jeeva Nadi and I wasted no time in trying to open it where he jumped from that tree in front of me, grabbed hold of my hand and started running. Before I could understand what has happened, we had crossed the place where those wolves were. Once we reached a certain point, he said, “Go this way. In about 50 feet there will be a pathway. Follow that and will come Jwala Narasimha temple” in Telugu and he ran somewhere. I could not
see him thereafter.

~ to be continued…!

2 thoughts on “The GOS – 100 – Ahobilam – 5

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