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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Build a temple for Rama

Source: In the Presence of the Divine
Narratives of Experiences with Maha Periyaval - Volume 1
Translated by: Sujatha Vijayaraghavan

This happened when Periyaval was camping in Hampi in 1978. The prince of Sandoor had arranged for Ramesh Bhatt, the assistant to the priest of the royal family, to stay at Hampi, so that he may serve Sri Periyaval. 

At night while Sri Periyaval’s attendants slept, Ramesh Bhatt would stay awake, sitting up. He would listen to Sri Periyaval singing verses from Soundaryalahari, Sivanandalahri and other hymns in a soft and tuneful voice and feel blessed with joy. Sri Periyaval would wake up his attendants no matter when he got up, no matter what the hour.

One day, after singing a verse from the Soundaryalahri, Periyaval called Ramesh Bhatt and spoke to him. “Everyone who comes to me asks for something, all the time. Why is it you never ask me for anything?”

“Periyaval is God himself. He knows everything. So there is no need for any prayer to be made”.

At once, Sri Periyaval said, “Your father has made a sankalpa to build a temple and install Rama in your village. You must fulfill that wish”.

Ramesh Bhatt’s village was Kal Katigi, about one hundred and thirty kilometers away in Dharwar district. Ramesh Bhatt’s father had never come for Periyaval’s darshan.

Ramesh Bhatt replied, “I have a small income. How can I build a temple for Ramdeva?”

Sri Periyaval replied, “In ten years time, without asking for donations, you will build it on your own, with your earnings”.

A few days after the camp left Hampi, Ramesh Bhatt was appointed as table artist at the Dharwar Radio Station. Subsequently, he also got several opportunities to play in concerts. Ten years later, with those yearnings, he built a Ramadeva and installed the icons that his father long before purchased with this intention in mind.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, Ramesh Bhatt would say, “ It was not done with my money. It was possible to build the temple only by the strength of Periyaval’s grace”.

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