An Experience of a Devotee

It is over forty years since this incident happened. We are Paramacharya's bhaktas. Whenever it was possible for us we used to go and have his darshan. Beyond that we were not in a position to do anything big (by way of contibution or service). At that time, my eldest son had just been born; he was two years old. We were living in Sholingar (Shola singapuram), where my husband was transferred on his job.

I was suffering at that time, with fever and phlegm that obstructed my normal breathing. The doctors in Velur examined me and prescribed treatment with medicines and several injections and recommended a month's bed rest for me to come alive of the health ailment.

Trichy was the place of my maternal home. My mother came over to take me there, since I had no one here to take care of me.

My mother had an unshakable faith in Periyavaa. She fully believed that if he had a look and gave vibhuti prasAdam, I would survive and become alright.

Since it was a Sunday the next day, my husband took me, my mother and the child to Kanchipuram. We came to know only after reaching the MaTham that Periyavaa was not there and had gone to a small village named Tirumalpur and was staying there.

We went to that village as desired by my mother. It was a small village, with a small railway station and many railway tracks. Just one passenger train crossed the station from the Chennai side. That was the only train that stopped at Tirumalpur, and that for just two minutes. That same train crossed the station in the evening around five-thirty, arriving from from the South. There were no other trains.

There was just a single station master for this railway station. He was the pointsman, the one who handed over the key, and the one who waved the flags. Express and good trains passed through, but none did stop at the small station.

It was an expanse of deserted land around the station. The eye could meet only sandy area, except for a lone palm tree in the distance.

The station master was a young man who had taken charge only recently. He looked very human. He wore a small streak of vibhuti on his forehead. We told him that we came over to have a darshan of Periyavaa and inquired him the route to get inside the village.

He told us, "adAdA, Periyavaa left Tirumalpur only yesterday and has gone to Kulathur, an even smaller village five or six miles from here!" He said that he came to know the news from some Shastrys who came to the station and also gave him some vibhuti. We heard from him further that there was no way to reach the smaller village except by walking the distance.

The five-thirty train also had left by the time we finished hearing this news. There was no other place to stay except the station. I was suffering from bouts of breathlessness.

Fortunately, we had taken our food and brought fruits, besides plenty of hot water to prepare baby food for the child. But then according to the custom of those days, my mother and I were wearing a lot of jewels. In addition, my husband had to get back to his office the next day, since he had the premises key. He was very jumpy about it.

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As it darkened and the night came, the station master was kind enough to accommodate us in his small room that had just a large table with ten telephones on it, which were always ringing. Moving the table to a corner, he gave us room to lie down on the floor, squeezing himself at his desk to continue with his nightly duties.

My husband asked us to get back home by the seven o' clock train on the next morning. My mother said adamantly, "Periyavaa would save us somehow. I won't return without seeing him, having come thus far. Only then my daughter would survive." I was dismayed by the opposite stands taken by my husband and mother.

A wonder happened just then! A small point became visible near the lone palm tree in the distance. It grew up to a covered bullock cart as it approached. A youth was driving the cart with a woman and her maid sitting inside. When they arrived they told us these things: she was the daughter-in-law of the house were Periyavaa was staying at that time. Since she received some urgent tidings to come to Chennai, she came to board the train, accompanied by her maid and brought to the station by her husband's youger brother.

Periyavaa was to leave the village at midnight to continue his journey. The man who accompanied the doli had even taken the silver stick in his hand. But suddenly Periyavaa said to himself louldly, "paavam, they are coming believing only me (and nothing else); shall go after seeing them."

Periyavaa sat back and told his people that their next trip was postponed by two days. Everyone was surprised as to who that VIP was Periyavaa decided to wait for.

Early morning the next day, the daughter-in-law also received the tidings that required her presence in Chennai. She termed the happening as a surprise and said that the cart was going back to their home. Wondering at the immense compassion of Periyavaa we boarded the cart, my husband having decided to take the seven o' clock train as he had the office key, entrusting his young wife, mother-in-law and child to the care of a total stranger, with no other go for him. We could see him looking over us standing at the door of the train, for a long distance in that deserted area, as the train moved moved away.

We reached the house Periyavaa was staying. It was twelve-thirty in the afternoon. The Emperumaan who was waiting only for us, granted us an immediate darshan and was talking to us for a long time.

He gave the prasAdam as desired by my mother and said, "Your daughter will survive, why do you worry?" He gave us raisins and vibhuti. Then we had an eye-filling sight of the puja performed by Pudu Periyavaa, had our meal there, returned to the station in the same bullock cart and boarded the evening train.

"Go, Narasimhar will be in your company." -- His words still ring in my ears. He also said, "Don't forget AmbaL."

When we reached our place, people were surprised to hear our tale. It still gives me spiritual excitement to think about the way Bhagavan understood my pitiful predicament and made arrangements to remedy it. My health also became completely alright within six months due to his grace.

Author: Muthulakshmi Natarajan, Kumbakonam (in Tamil)