Bhagavathi Siddhar Peetam
Many holy temples have sprung up with the divine grace of Swami. At Tolaram towers, Chembur, Mumbai, a Siva temple was constructed in the year 1989 under Swami's blessings. This temple attracts people from ail walks of life for its sanctity and during the Sivarathri festival, the devotees flock here to worship Lord Siva. In the year 1990, Swami did the prathishta of Lord Ayyappan at Kandivili, Mumbai. The sanctity of this temple is such that any physical disability of a handicapped devotee will be cured if they worship with ardent faith and devotion. The Lord Krishna temple at Baroda, constructed under Swami's auspices is a place of worship for all devotees of Lord Krishna. A wonder of this temple is that the idol of Lord Krishna which was given by Swami to the temple exactly fitted the sanctum which had been built earlier. Moreover, Swami had never seen the temple before he handed the idol over. A few temples that Swami has graced by his involvement are the Sarpa Ganapathi temple at Kumbakonam, Devi temple at Mayavuram and the Lakshmi Ganapathi temple at Chennai.
The most famous and significant temple is the Bagavathi siddhar peetam at Tambaram, Chennai. We are already familiar with how the land for this peetam was acquired and how the main deity, Kalyana Bagavathi came up as a moola vigraham from the floor of Swami's house.
The place where the peetam exists is very unique and full of mystic powers. It is a place, so divine that there is no no for anyone and the desires of all devotees get fulfilled. All who visit and pray here go back with an indescribable feeling of mental peace and happiness. Only the personal experiences of each devotee can begin to reveal the mahimai (glory) of this peetam. Indeed, one must have very good karma to get a chance to visit this peetam and have darshan of Swami and obtain Devi's blessings. I asked Swami about the significance of Devi picking this place to be Her place of worship. Swami explained thus. Long ago, this place was a dense forest of Iluppai trees (the seeds of this tree were used to extract the oil which was used in the olden days to light the divine lamps in the temple as ghee used to be very costly. The oil of the Iluppai trees was equivalent to ghee in those days). Many great sages and siddhars lived in this holy place and used to meditate here. The forest used to be very close to the seacoast. Even today some siddhars live here (in their soul form). Swami also added that the Devi idol might have been pushed from here to his house at Kumbakonam because of tidal pressure.
The Bagavathi siddhar peetam is situated in Balaji Nagar at Selaiyur in east Tambaram about 25 km from Chennai. One can approach this place by road. Apart from the main deity Kalyana Bhagavathi, there are other Gods of worship like Lord Ganesha, Lord Sivayoga Subramania, Lord Balaji, Devi Mariyamman, Sri Maha Meru (Sri Chakram), Lord Hanuman, Lord Ayyappan, Shirdi Sai Baba, Lord Vittal, Lord Vadakkunathar, Sri Chandramouleeswarar, Sadguru Gnananandar and Sri Kakasseri. How all these idols came to be at this temple and how their prathishta was performed — these details are unique and miraculous and are described vividly in this chapter. Each idol in this peetam has historical and mystic legend behind it. All of them are recounted in this chapter.
Let me share with you some unique experiences we (my family) had with Swami and the peetam way back in 1990 during our visit here. In the month of November, 1990 my family had come down for a short trip to Chennai. We went to meet Swami who was staying in Mr. Jayaraman's house. After having Swami's darshan, we expressed our desire to go to the temple at Tambaram with him. He was silent for a few minutes and then said that normally he did not go over there unless and ordered by Devi. We were very disappointed with his reply. Then, suddenly he asked for the registration number of the car in which we had arrived. The minute he heard the number, he said that he would accompany us to the temple in the same car. On the way, I wanted to get a flower garland for Devi and got down near a flower shop to get a garland of roses and then continued the trip. After traveling about three fourth the distance, suddenly we were in the midst of a heavy downpour and we were reduced to a crawl. During the trip, Swami explained to us about the Devi idol, which was about 350 kg and how he lifted that all alone and installed it at Tambaram on 19th June 1988 on Thiruvonam star (Sravana star in Hindu calendar) which happened to be his birth star.
While we were approaching the destination, we saw at a distance a very small temple of Devi surrounded by mud and wild plants. We got down from the car and the Devi temple was closed. One shop keeper in front of the temple came to Swami and paid his salutations and told him that Smt. Savithri whom Swami had given the responsibility of opening the temple and performing the daily pooja, had just then gone out to see her daughter in the city. We were highly disappointed and my husband was furious and scolded me for stopping the car on the way to get the garland. Swami showed us the Shakti Ganapathi in front of Devi which was in the open ground at that time. Adjacent to that he showed us the installed idol of Lord Subramania Swami and told us about its pratishta. This idol too was in open ground. I was feeling very sad but trying to hide my disappointment at being not able to see Devi. While Swami was narrating the significance of the entire place, Smt. Savithri came running towards him with the keys in her hand. She said that since she forgot to take her umbrella with her, she got completely wet in the totally unexpected showers. So she cancelled her visit to see her daughter and returned from the nearby bus stop itself. All our faces brightened and broke down with tears of joy realizing the divine grace of Devi. The temple doors were opened and we all had the first divya darshan of Sri Kalyana Bagavathi. Swami introduced us to Smt. Savithri and gave us the sacred sandal paste as prasadam and later we returned. The whole trip was unforgettable and when we think of the profound sympathy and grace of Devi, it makes us highly emotional.