Swami narrates episodes and short stories: "Swami's predicament" & "The Show Lady"
There was an interesting event that happened in Swami's life at the time when he was beginning to feel the divinity within him. It was a great test for him reaffirming his faith in God and himself.
Swami's wife was an ardent devotee of Lord Venkatachalapathi. She kept a hundi collection for the Lord at home in which she would put money as and when she felt like doing so. She had prayed to the Lord that when the hundi was full, she would visit the Lord at Tirupathi using part of that money for travel expenses and the remaining she would offer to the Lord. After few years, the hundi got filled up. She told Swami about her prayer and the intention to go to Tirupathi. Heeding to her request, Swami along with his wife went to Tirupathi. She took out some money from her hundi and dropped it in the temple hundi and asked Swami also to do the same. For a moment, Swami did not realize what she said. He dropped the hundi with the entire money inside the main hundi of the temple. Horrified by his action, she asked Swami whether he had any other money for returning home. Swami did not have any. They were in a quandary as to how to go back home and wondered whom they could approach for help. Swami had never faced such a situation in his life. He went straight to the pond and stepped inside the water. He prayed to Devi and Gurunathar to solve their problem. Thus praying, Swami was taking his bath when a miraculous incident took place. A businessman called Chettiar also hailing from the native place of Swami, and whom Swami knew very well, was also taking bath. He suddenly happened to see Swami and told him that he had conducted an offering of kalyana utsavam to the Lord and had good darshan. He said he would be leaving with his wife to Kumbakonam within a few hours in his car. He requested Swami and wife also to accompany them. Swami's wife felt that it was Lord Balaji who had come to their rescue. When all of them were returning to Kumbakonam, the car ran out of fuel and the car stopped. So Swami and Chettiar went to a nearby petrol station to get the petrol. At that time Swami's wife narrated the entire incident to Chettiar's wife. When Swami returned, Chettiar's wife looked at him rather condescendingly for his rash act. Chettiar dropped Swami and his wife in their house and gave them the kalyana utsavam prasadam and went away. After reaching home, there was an argument between Swami and his wife. She said that neither his Devi nor Gurunathar had come to their rescue but it was Lord Venkatachalapathi who helped them from the predicament. Swami felt that it was Devi and Gurunathar who had helped them.
Next day, Swami went to Chettiar's house for thanking him. As he entered, the car shed had a deserted look with lots of waste and dry leaves lying on the floor. Chettiar's son welcomed Swami who in turn enquired about his father. Chettiar's son replied that both his father and mother were not at home since they had gone to Trivandrum about 10 days back for a marriage. Swami was totally shocked to hear those words. He immediately realized that it was Devi and Gurunathar who had come in disguise and helped him and his wife from an embarrassing situation. He told Chettiar's son about the entire event that took place during their trip to Tirupathi. While he was narrating the incident, a phone call came from Chettiar in Trivandrum to his son who then told him about the thrilling and astonishing events that occurred in Swami's trip.
After Swami's return from Chettiar's house, he told his wife about the happenings at Chettiar's house. His wife was also astonished. She had strong faith that it was her Lord who saved them. Probably she was still believing that it was Lord Balaji with his consort goddess Padmavathi who came to their help. It was a period in Swami's life when even his own family members were skeptical about Swami's mystic powers.
Swami says that faith towards God never goes unanswered. God comes to the rescue of devotees whether they are rich or poor. All are equal in the eyes of God. After all, we are all His children. Firm belief and total faith in the Almighty can do wonders beyond description.
The Show Lady
An ardent devotee of Goddess Kamakshi was performing puja in her house. She had invited a group of ladies from her locality to participate in the pooja. As the archanai was in progress, the lady of the house saw a lady richly dressed and wearing glittering ornaments standing at the door. Dazed by her beauty and radiance the devotee invited the stranger to join the pooja. Meanwhile the other ladies were whispering among themselves saying, "look at this woman, looks as if she has come straight from a drama with her costumes on". They thought the lady of the house was foolish in calling this new woman inside for pooja. Though the ladies were doing Lalitha sahasranama archanai outwardly, their minds were full of contempt for this new lady, her good looks and ornaments. The lady of the house however felt differently. She saw a great resemblance between the new comer and Devi in the photo for whom pooja was being done. She offered the guest a seat next to the place where Devi's photo was kept and asked her to participate in the pooja. Perturbed by the undue respect shown to a show lady, the other ladies left in a huff even before the conclusion of the pooja.
But the devotee oblivious of happenings around her continued to treat the guest with great veneration and was feeling ecstatic in her presence. As the pooja came to conclusion, the neivedyam was offered to Devi, it was ready to be distributed. Now the devotee asked her guest whether she could feed the guest with her own hands and said that she resembled the Devi in the photo kept for the pooja. Saying so she started feeding the guest. One of the ladies from the group who left the house abruptly, came back more out of curiosity and was secretly watching all these happenings. The lady of the house went on telling the guest that she resembled Goddess Kamakshi and thanked her profusely for attending the pooja. The guest was none other than Goddesses Kamakshi and looking at the devotee with grace and compassion, the Devi spoke "Do you think that I resemble the Devi in the photo? Now let me show you who I am. Just keep watching me". Saying so, she got up and merged unto Devi in the photo. Goddess Herself had come to bless her sincere devotee.
Having witnessed all this, the curious lady came inside the house and prostrated before the lady of the house saying she was watching all that happened. She said that she saw Devi in her as she could also have a darshan of the Goddess because of her.
Moral of the story is — keep listening to your intuition and instincts that come from deep within while praying to God with pure thoughts and sincere devotion, ignoring all criticism that may come your way. That way your progress in the spiritual path will go on unhindered towards its ultimate goal. Steadfast and unwavering devotion and faith in God will lead to revelation of divinity. Swami asked how many of us would believe even if actually God appeared before us. He said that of all the madness that afflicts mankind, God madness is the most welcome and beneficial.