Sita Rescued...The Boy's Voice Got Restored!
Author: Sri S. Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Mar 18, 2007

An evening time many years ago. A large crowd in Kanchi Sri Sankara MaTham to have darshan of Maha SwamigaL. Coming out of his room, SwamigaL stood for a while looking keenly at the devotees crowd and then sat down leaning against a wall. The devotees came in a line one at a time, prostrated to the sage, spoke about their problems, received remedial advice and moved away. A middle-aged man was standing in the queue holding tightly to a boy's hand. Tears flooded his eyes and poured out in a stream. The boy stood motionless, looking bewildered.

When he moved to stand before PeriyavaaL, he did a shASTaaN^ga namaskaram (prostrated with eight limbs touching the ground). The boy also prostrated.

Maha SwamigaL looked at him with narrowed eyes and inquired comfortingly, "Endaappaa! Aren't you the Mylapore Auditor SankaraNarayanan? Why do you stand with such soggy eyes? What is your problem?"

His grief swell with Periyavaa's words of comfort. He began to sob and said, "Yes Periyavaa! An unbearable misery has fallen on me now. Don't know what to do. You are my God, somehow only you should remedy it for me. There is no other go!" He prostrated to the sage once again.

Understanding the situation, Periyavaa said with vAtsalyam (affection), "Sankara, don't get worked up! You sit there for sometime. I shall call you after these people have spoken to me and gone!" The sage pointed to a place opposite him.

"As per your orders Periyaa... I shall do it." The Auditor sat opposite the sage, at a distance. Within a half hour, the devotees had their darshan of AcharyaaL and left. There were none there except SwamigaL's two assistants. SwamigaL gestured to Auditor SankaraNarayanan to come to him. The Auditor came and prostrated. Looking at him affectionately, AcharyaaL said, "Sankara, is the practice going on (well)? You are the 'leading' auditor, so what to speak about the practice? Alright, your father Panchapakesa Aiyer is in Thajavaur (right)? He is well (I hope)?"

Wiping away his tears, the Auditor said, "The practice is going on well, Periyavaa. My father and mother had gone to stay with my younger brother in Bombay. It's two months now. Only for me a duHkham (distress) has happened Periyavaa! I can't bear it... only you should get it rectified Periyavaa!" Saying this, he hugged the boy nearby and started sobbing.

That walking God understood instantly that something related to the boy had affected the Auditor Sankaranarayan's mind very much.

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SwamigaL told him, "Shouldn't cry Sankara... Whatever it is, puruSa (men) shouldn't let their eyes get soggy! Alright, who is this puLLaiyAndAn (boy), your putra (child)?"

"Yes, Periyavaa! This is my son. Name Chandramouli. It was only for him Periyavaa, suddenly..." SankaraNarayanan was unable to speak further, grief choking his throat.

With a worried face, AcharyaaL asked him, "Sankara! What happened to him suddenly? Chandramouli is studying in school?" and said comfortingly, "Why don't you tell me in detail, without getting upset?"

Wiping his eyes SankaraNarayanan said, "Periyavaa, the boy Chandramouli is studying in his seventh standard in the P.S. High School, Mylapore. He is eleven now. Very shrewd in his studies. Stands first in the class. Twenty days ago, suddenly his speech was gone, Periyavaa! When asked, he gestures that he cannot talk. He has not gone to the school from that day. Takes his meals and tiffin as usual, sleeps well, those things are alright Periyavaa, but then he is not able to talk, what can I do? Only you should show mercy and make him talk!" Tears rolled down his eyes as he prayed to the sage.

SwamigaL kept silent for sometime. Then he asked the Auditor, "You have the custom of going to temples with the boy? Chandramouli has bhakti (devotion) towards God?"

"He has it in plenty, Periyavaa. He would start for the school daily only after he takes bath and recites the Kanda Shasti Kavacham and the shlokas on Anjaneya and Rama. There is a large portrait of KothandaRamar in our house Periyavaa; a Thanjavur portrait from my grandfather's days. This boy would daily prostrate to it morninig and evening and would touch the feet of Sita and Rama several times and then dab his eyes (with the fingers that touched the feet). He would often say, 'I like Sita and Rama very much.' Two or three days in a week he would go with his mother to Kapaliswara, Mundaka Kanni Amman and Luz Anjaneya temples and have darshan. For such a good child, this has come about Periyavaa..." Unable to control his grief, SankaraNarayanan started sobbing again.

AcharyaaL pacified him and asked, after contemplating for sometime: "You have the custom of taking him to the upanyAsas that take place in Mylapore?"

"I do Periyavaa! Sometimes I would take him personally. Even the previous day before his speech had stopped, I had taken him for a Ramayana upanyAsa at Rasika Ranjana Sabha. He listened to it with shraddhA (eagerness and trust). And this happened on the next day!"

AcharyaaL laughed and said, "You mean to tell me that this happened due to his listening to Ramayana?"

The Auditor patted his cheeks loudly. "Rama, Rama! Not that way Periyavaa! I just wanted to tell you that it was from the next day (that he couldn't talk)."

"Aright. Whoever did the upanyAsa?"

"Srivatsa Jayarama Sarma, Periyavaa."

"Besh, besh. Somadeva Sarma's son; a good lineage; well read. Let it go, Sankara. Did you show him to a doctor?"

"I did, Periyavaa."

"Who was the doctor?"

"Doctor Sanjivi."

"What does he say?"

"He did all the tests and said, 'Two nerves in his larynx are affected. He may be alright with an operation.'"

"Did he not say that the boy would surely be alright (after the operation)?"

"He did not give that assurance, Periyavaa. Somehow, only you should make him to regain his speech. Only you should save us!"

AcharyaaL talked after keeping silent for sometime. "You do one thing, Sankara. You take the boy and visit all the temples in this city, have darshan and pray. Take food in the MaTham and stay here for the night. You meet me at ten in the morning, finishing your bath and any anuSTAnam (religious routine) that you might have."

AcharyaaL's words were very comforting. Prostrating to Periyavaa, both of them went away for temple darshans.

It was ten o' clock on the next morning. The walking God had come earlier and was sitting. There was not much crowd, only five or six people were waiting. Everyone of them had darshan and left. Prostrating to AcharyaaL, SankaraNarayanan stood before him with hands folded on his chest. SwamigaL looked at him penetratingly for a while and said: "Sankara, do one thing. Take the boy to Mylapore Sri Kapaliswara temple, do a pUrNAbhiSekam (an elaborate ablution) to Swami and AmbaaL and make the boy have darshan of them. Thereafter what you do, keep looking for the news of the same Srivatsa Jayarama Sarma holding a complete discourse on Srimad Ramayana. If he holds the discourse in a temple or in a sabha (auditorium), do one thing, from the Sundara Kaandam until Sri SitaRama PattaabhiSeka vaibhava (glory), take Chandramouli and make him do shravaNa (listening)! What you do on the day of completion with Sri SitaRama PattaabhiSeka, buy some good hill-grown banana fruits, hand them over to paurANika (discourser), and both of you do shASTaaN^ga namaskaram to him. You pray within your mind to that PattaabhiSeka Sri SitaRama and the paurANika. That Pattabiraman will save you... do not at all worry... good bye!" The Parabrahmam bade them farewell with this advice.

The Auditor started checking daily for any news about Srivatsa Jayarama Sarma's Ramayana pravacana (discourse) in Chennai. One day, he saw the happy news that Sri Srivatsa Jayarama Sarma's Srimad Ramayana upanyAsa will take place as navAham (for nine days) at Mylai Sri Shirdi Sai Baba temple.

That was the day of starting the Sundara Kandam. SankaraNarayanan went to Sri Sai Baba temple with Chandramouli. It was a moving upanyAsa and Chandramouli listened to it forgetting all about himself. Sometimes tears started issuing from his eyes. At those times, SankaraNarayanan caressed his back and comforted him.

It was the day of completion of Srimad Ramayana upanyAsa. A 'good' crowd in Mylai Sai Baba temple. At 10:30 hours in the night, Srivatsa Jayarama Sarma finished the Sri SitaRama PattaabhiSeka narration and ended his discourse telling the audience about the fruits of listening to a Ramayana discourse. One by one, the people from the audience prostrated to him and moved away. After both of them prostrated to him, SankaraNarayanan gave the bunch of a dozen hill-grown banana fruits to Chandramouli, asking him to submit them to the discourser and prostrate to him again. He did as his father told him. The discourser took the banana bunch happily and gestured them as arpaNa (offering) to the holy portraits of Sri Rama PattaabhiSekam and Sri Shirdi Sai Baba behind him. Then he plucked two fruits from the bunch, gave them to Chandramouli and said, "Kozhandhe! (my child!) You will remain in prosperity. You eat both these fruits," and blessed him. As they came out of the temple, Chandramouli ate the two bananas.

A miracle took place on the next morning. After he brushed his teeth in the bath room and came to the hall, Chandramouli called loudly to his mother, "Amma, is the coffee ready?" Astonished, his father who was reading the newspaper and his mother who was in the kitchen came running to the hall. Chandramouli was standing there smiling.

"Was it you who called inquiring about the coffee, Chandramouli!" His mother hugged and kissed him, happiness overwhelming her. SankaraNarayanan took the boy on his shoulders and danced! Chandramouli started talking fluently as before. All the familiar people came over and were happy witnessing this change.

It was 5:30 hours in the evening on the same day. Maha SwamigaL was sitting in ekAnta (alone). There was not much crowd. Auditor SankaraNarayanan came in a van with ten to fifteen people.

The Auditor prostrated to the sage with Chandramouli and got up. AcharyaaL's first question was, "Chandramouli, you are able to talk now fluently? Besh, besh! It is all the grace of that SitaRama!"

Chandramouli immediately chanted loudly, "Hara hara Sankara... Jaya jaya Sankara." Everyone stood in ecstasy.

That Parabrahmam talked after sometime. "Sankara, I shall tell you now, listen! There was no other reason for this sudden happening to Chandramouli. By nature he had abundant priya and bhakti (love and devotion) towards Sita Devi and Sri Rama. He could not withstand if they came to any distress. When he first listened to the upanyAsa, Jayarama Sarma should have been narrating about the part where Ravana abducted Sita Praatti. Am I right, Sankara?"

The Auditor who stood amazed opened his mouth to affirm. "The same thing Periyavaa, the same thing! On that day, he talked very movingly only about that part."

SwamigaL continued: "The moment he heard that a rAkSasa (demon) was abducting Sita Mata, towards whom he had abundant love and devotion, he suffered from a condition of mental pressure inwardly that resulted in helplessness and stoppage of the faculty of speech. It was nothing else. What was the only remedy, way out for this? It occurred to me that if heard with his own ears from the same paurANika's words that Mother Sita had been rescued without any distress to her, that would ease the pressure in his mind and speech. It was for that reason that I asked you to do what I advised you. Now everything has concluded well with the grace of SitaRama. Chandramouli, you will remain parama kSema (in complete prosperity)!"

Everyone who heard the words of that walking God, stood transfixed!