I can recall another wonderful incident that highlights the significance of Swami's materialized objects
I can recall another wonderful incident that highlights the significance of Swami's materialized objects given to an individual and how they operate as a remote control for Swami to save his devotees from any danger and calamity. Swami says that this is true only when a devotee considers that this object is sacred and a blessed gift from Devi. Once my son Rajesh and I were discussing Swami's siddhis of materializing various objects. During our stay in the siddhar peetam, we used to watch many people, especially ladies gossiping over the materialized items and about their recipients. Rajesh used to tell me that Swami might be taking out a certain thing using his siddhis and giving out to a particular devotee with a specific reason. But most do not think in those terms and start harbouring jealousy as they begin to compete for what they think is divine favour. With their limited knowledge and ignorance, they gossip that Swami is highly partial to selected devotees. Rajesh further said that we should try to first follow what Swami says and that it is not necessary that one should wear those materialized things. He told me that he keeps all the items given to him by Swami at the feet of the Gnananandar idol in our prayer room.
It was 2nd January 1996 and it was Rajesh's date of birth. He was studying engineering and at the time he was in charge of editing the college magazine. He often used to stay back after college hours doing the magazine work and so he used to come home late. Of course he made it a point to inform us well in advance. On that day, after calling me he went to see Swami with my husband to take his blessings. After paying his salutations, he offered a box of cadbury eclairs to him saying that it was his birthday. Swami materialized a rudhraksham from the sweet wrapper and while giving it to him, he asked Rajesh sarcastically whether that rudhraksham would also go to the feet of Gnananandar. Rajesh at once understood Swami's underlying tone. He was surprised since Swami had never before asked him about this though he had known about his actions. So, he smartly replied that since Swami knowing of his past actions and his attitude towards materialized objects, was still giving him the rudraksham, he would definitely wear it. Swami then tied it in a red thread and put that around Rajesh's neck. Three weeks passed by and Rajesh continued coming home late because of his involvement in the magazine work. He always informed us about his late arrival so that we could go ahead with our dinner. One day, his friend called us on phone around midnight from Chembur informing us that Rajesh would be at home by twelve fifteen and that they had both travelled together in the same train, he having got down at Chembur. He said that Rajesh had asked him to inform us. Usually it takes about ten minutes to come to Vashi from Chembur by train. The time was one in the morning and Rajesh was not yet home. When the clock struck two, my husband and I were extremely worried and started thinking about the worst possible eventualities. We became highly restless and when we contacted the Mankhurd and Vashi railway station masters on phone, they said that everything was normal and no untoward thing had happened. We both became very anxious and began to panic. We did not know what to do and whom to call. We started praying and I lit the lamp in my prayer room and started chanting divine verses of Devi. It was a little before three when the door bell rang. It was Rajesh and we heaved a great sigh of relief. He apologized to both of us and told us the reason for the abnormal delay in returning home. He said that after his friend got down at Chembur, he fell asleep without his knowledge since he was very tired. Vashi was the last station for that train and after halting there, it had gone to the yard in Sanpada. All the while, he had been fast asleep. An old, fat and short Maharashtrian happened to see him sleeping in the compartment. He came inside, woke him from sleep and told him the time. Rajesh immediately realized that he was all the while sleeping in the yard and he rushed outside and luckily he could get an auto rickshaw at that unholy hour and came home. Oh! What a great joy it was to see him back at home. Early morning the next day, Swami rang us from Chennai and asked whether Rajesh had returned home safely. His remark gave us a shock. How did he know of the incident when none of us had called him up? My son spoke to him on the phone briefing him on the details. Swami replied saying that it was he who came (as Gnananandar, who was short and fat) in the guise of a Maharashtrian. He also said that the rudhraksham which he gave him, acted like a remote control and through that only, he could know about the happenings. All of us were wonderstruck at the mystic ways of Swami. We also understood the valid reason and the significance of Swami giving any particular item to an individual. Will any word in the dictionary do justice to the onerous task of describing Swami's wondrous acts performed for the sake of his devotees?
Let me now enthrall you with yet another fantastic experience with Swami. It was the ninth day of the Navarathri festival in the year 1994. When I went to visit Swami eariy in the morning, he asked me to get initiated in the sacred manthram of Chandi Navakshari from the same old devotee of Swami, who had earlier initiated me with other manthras in the previous years. After duly completing it, Swami specifically told me to wait and witness the poornahudhi (the final offerings given to the sacrificial fire which depicts the merger of body soul with the divine soul) and then proceed to college.
I had been appointed as the chief conductor of the terminal exams which were going on in the college. The exam was scheduled to start at eleven and I was supposed to be there by half past ten to oversee all necessary arrangements. I thought that the poornahudhi would be over by ten and that I could take an auto and reach the college on time. I was sitting near the sacrificial fire and the divine chantings were still going on. Time was running out and it turned ten. Though all the items for poornahudhi were getting ready, the final offering was not yet over. I was restless and Mr. Ramani (a devotee of Swami) noticed me constantly looking at the watch, getting increasingly restless. He came near me and asked the reason for my anxiety. I told him about the exams and my assigned duty in the college. He promptly offered to take me in his scooter and drop me in the college. I signalled to Swami about my leaving but he waved his hand with a stern face, as if asking me not to go. I could not help myself, and left. Mr. Ramani drove at jet speed. Once at college, I rushed to the elevator and went straight to the staff common room. There, I was totally shocked to see the room completely empty with nobody there. Completely bewildered, I asked the peon who was the only one there why no one had turned up for supervision work on that day. The peon asked me whether I had seen the notice board on the ground floor. It informed of the death of a laboratory assistant in the chemistry lab and on account of this unfortunate event, the college had been closed and that the exams rescheduled. He further added that the teaching staff were asked to sign in the register and then leave. Oh! What a relief! Till that moment, I was worried whether I was late and whether I would be at the receiving end of harsh words from the principal for being late to work. I thanked God and Swami and I could not stop marveling at the mysterious powers of God who really saved me from an unpleasant scene. After resting for a while, I took a bus and went back to the temple hall.
Meanwhile, after poornahudhi and the morning poojas ended, Swami had told the devotees gathered around him that I did not obey his order and had not witnessed the final offering. He told them that I would shortly be coming back there saying that the college had been closed on account of someone's demise. When I stepped inside the hall, all the devotees surrounding Swami suddenly turned back, all of them staring at me in a peculiar manner. Ignoring their strange stares, I went to Swami and explained the circumstances. Swami gave a hearty laugh ,and told me he knew what was to happen all along. He said that I had totally failed in his test and asked me why I failed to have one hundred percent faith in him. He said that he knew that the college would be closed and that was the reason why he wanted me to wait. In my anxiety to perform my duty, I panicked and instead of listening to his words, I proceeded to college, all to no avail. I apologized to Swami and told him that I was very apprehensive of my being late for work which involved the distribution of question papers to more than two thousand students at the proper time and about my fear of being held accountable for my irresponsibility. I was really feeling very bad and perplexed. Later, I sat in an isolated place and was contemplating my devotion to Swami. I realized that I start taking so many steps carefully up ladders to reach the top but suddenly by making a wrong decision, I fall down akin to a game of snakes and ladders. I prayed to Devi to pardon me and bless me to always do the right thing.
Everyday, during Navarathri, Swami points to one lady, personifies her as Devi and a sari with a blouse piece and other items are offered to her. All the devotees pay their obeisance to her as Ambal. That evening, I was standing way back, behind the crowd. Swami pointed out and called me to come forward and made me sit as Ambal. He jokingly told the crowd that after taking the initiation of Chandi Navakshari, I went to the college without heeding his advice like a Chandi (adamant lady), so Devi asked him to make me sit as Chandi Devi. I felt very uneasy but I managed to keep my mixed feelings to myself. The incidents of the day made a deep impression in my mind.
There is certainly no doubt that Swami is no ordinary being. He is truly Devi, as it is not possible for any human to perform such miracles. Only a mother truly knows the suffering of her children. He is totally beyond all description and human comprehension.
Swami, Thou art no doubt a unique avathar! Whether we do bad or good.
Whether you scold us or pat us.
We are always your children.
Let us pray that we will never forget you and your grace.
Let your grace be on us always to achieve the real goal of life and see divinity in one and all around us.