SAGE AGASTHYA’S REMEDY.
The Brahmachari, who started from Thirvananthapuram with the sole objective of meeting Sage Agasthya, realized that it would be dangerous to travel alone with so much of gold in his possession. Therefore he decided that he would leave the gold with a priest in Ambasamudhram, who is a dependable man, go and meet the Sage, and after knowing the remedy, return and take back the gold. Accordingly, he went to Ambasamudhram, handed over the packet of the thoor---dhal like gold grains to the priest for safe keeping.
Worried that it is getting delayed for the meeting, he kept on walking, without any thought of hunger, sleep or pain. After crossing hills and forests, one day, he became very tired and swooned. At that time, there appeared an old Brahmin, and attended to the Brahmachari and made him recover. That old Brahmin was none other than Sage Agasthya. He could visualize from Podhikai that this young boy is coming to meet him with a single minded purpose and enduring a lot of suffering. He wanted to meet that child on the way and came there; but, in order to enhance the child’s fame, by testing him some more, he came in the disguise of an old Brahmin.
After taking rest for some time, the Brahmachari, got up and started hurrying towards Malayaparvatham. After knowing from him the purpose of his going there, the old Brahmin said, “ Don’ you have a better job than that? Drop the idea . You don’t know where he will be, and what he is going to tell you. Why all this strenuous journey, for the sake of meeting him?.” and tried to stop him from proceeding further.
But the Brahmachari stood his ground and didn’t retract from his single minded objective. Saying , “ the kind hearted Sage will certainly help me. Please do not stand in my way.” He started to go.
Immediately, Sage Agasthya took his original form and blessed him. He said, “ My dear child! A cow will come here now. It wil stand on the banks of the Thamiraparani river which you see nearby. Build a dam near where it is standing and from that place dig a canal. I will tell you what path the canal shall take; You must take hold of the cow’s tail; she will start running; you should mark the way it is running and dig the canal according to that path; where ever the cow discharges cow dung, you should build sluices; and where ever it urinates, you should build (water) outlets. Where ever it lies down, dig lakes; At a particular place, the cow will disappear from your sight; you should end the canal there. If you do this, which will quench the thirst of humans and animals, help them take bath to remove the dirt and tiredness from the body, make the land fertile so that they can cultivate edible items to satisfy their hunger, your sin ( of receiving Dhaanam) will run away from you and your fame will remain till the sun and the moon exist.”----saying this the Sage disappeared from there.
The moment Sage Agasthya disappeared, a cow appeared there and went and stood near the river bank.
That place is Sermadevi.
(I am skipping two paragraphs here, where Periava delves into the historical details of Sermadevi)
The Brahmachari took hold of the tail and the cow started running. He noted down the path in detail. He also marked the places where it discharged dung and urine. Unlike the wastes from other animals, cowdung and its urine serve as disinfectant and remover of sin. While medical books explain how these act as disinfectants, books on vedha saasthraas, explain how they remove sins and misdeeds. He also marked down the places where it lay down.
To be continued…….
Next---------Noble thought of a ‘Dhaasi’