devotee:...... A very old woman (pATTi)
author:....... Raa. Ganapathi
source:....... KaruNaikkadalil sila alaigaL, pages 77-80
It is not clear to my mind if this incident happened at the SriMaTham camp in Trichy National College High School campus, or Madurai Sethupathi High School campus.
The darshan queue was stopped from moving because of some important deliberation that was going on inside the SriMaTham camp. An old woman was standing in the queue. She can be described as the old woman of old women! She could have been over a hundred years old, standing bent at a right-angle, a staff in her hand that she was holding shakily. She was crying with all the tiredness of her soul: "Sankara, my Sankara! I was agitated if I would see you, or leave this world without seeing you. You came seeking this place! Since you have come, I came to have your darshan, but you have stopped me (nirutthi vecchu-tiyedaa) Sankara!"
Sri Sambha Murthi SastrigaL was going inside the camp, passing the old woman on his way. He was the pUrvAshrama younger brother of Maha PeriyavaL. He was of a kind heart, true to the family blood that coursed his veins. No sooner he heard the old woman's wail of yearning than he hastened his steps towards the interior. As he entered, he told Sri CaraNar who was immersed in an important delibration, "Outside--a pATTi--of a hundred or hundred and twenty or whatever age. Stands yearning and wailing for Periyavaa's darshan."
Before the last words were out of his mouth, PeriyavaaL stormed outside!
"Why have you stopped me, Sankara?" The pATTi was wailing repeatedly. He went to her, stood very near to her and said, "pATTi, here your Sankaran has come. Look! Without knowing that you have come, I was busy with something inside. And as I came to know it, here I have come running." The Ruler of Grace spoke the words of nectar, which came up as the essence of his love.
"Vanduttiya, Sankara (so you have come, Sankara)!", said pATTi and held his hands tightly! The hands that were held by his mother Mahalakshmi AmmaL, were held today by another person, after a span of about 55 years!
As she raised her face and looked at the holy visage of Sri CaraNar, the vRiddhAmbikA (the good old mother) said, "Though you have come running for my sake and stand before me, I cannot look at you properly with my dim eyesight! ennappA (my son), only you should give me some good sight for a good darshan."
It was the time of a hot sun. There was a narrow, thatched roof over the heads of the people in the queue. At pATTi's words, the bhakta parAdhIna jumped aside the shelter of the roof and stood in the hot son, barefooted!
"Is the vision better now, pATTi?" he said.
"It shows up very well ennappA, it shows very well!" pATTi patted her cheeks loudly.
PeriyavaaL gave her a complete darshan of his person, letting sunlight fall well on his face, tilting it, lifting it, and turning it in many angles, even turning his whole body giving her a darshan of his back.
In a torrent of emotion, without knowing what she spoke, the old woman stuttered and lisped, cried profusely and was very happy!
Sri CaraNar came near her again and said, "Have you seen me well pATTi! Can I go?"
"Yes, I have seen you very well (PAtthuNtempa), my son! Even for this anAmadeyam (nonentity), KaruNAmurti, you have given your darshan. I was holding my soul just to see you. I have seen you know. Take me now my son, take me!" The parama bhakta prayed to him.
"pATTi! When the time comes, let us take it. I shall ask you now to be dropped in your place. Go there and remain in Swami smaraNa (remembrance of God). Don't come running again to see me! I shall always be with you without leaving you aside for a moment!" The kRupA varSA (shower of compassion) gave her his words.
Is there anything that matches the bhAgyam of the pATTi who received such words of assurance from Sri CaraNar who out of his modesty uses words only sparingly when he gives his abhayam to the bhaktas?