He was a Maha Chiththar( A Yogi of great stature). He was capapble of performing a lot of miracles. He had the capacity to cure some diseases too. After his surgery, my brother was having unbearable stomach pain and so I wanting some immediate relief for him I took him to this Yogi at that time.
After doing Pooja, the Yogi gave some Vibhoothi Prasad to my brother.
As I had gone to him, the Yogi thought that I would definitely write about him. But when he saw that I showed no interest in doing that, he kept sending invitations to me to attract me towards him. (So that I would get interested enough to write about him).
During yet another unavoidable situation, I went to him again. It was almost midnight. He closed the door and performed some miracles for me. He kept cooked rice in his palm and when he rubbed his palms together, it became raw rice again. He kept boiled dhal (pulse) in his palm and again when he rubbed his palms, it became raw pulses. He brought Turmeric powder from Thiruchanur, Vibhuthi from Pazhani, Kumkum from Meenakshi temple etc… There were many such acts that he performed.
I sat silently and watched the whole scene without much interest. He said a little harshly, “I am performing so many miracles and you are not even astonished ?? What do you think of yourself ??”
I said, “I know that you are capable and have the power to perform even more unbelievable miracles than these and that is the reason none of this seems astonishing to me.”
Now not only his words but his face also showed anger and he said, “You are a writer and that is why you are speaking smartly.”
I was a little scared and as I had Periyavaa’s photo in my purse, I folded my hands tightly so that I could hug the purse that held His photo.
The yogi thought that I had surrendered to him and said, “I will give you Upadesam (Blessings in the form of a Mantra), write down the Mantra.” Saying this he stretched out his hand and from somewhere a paper and pen materialized.
“Take these” he said and handed them over to me. I took them.
“Mmm… Write down…” he said.
I said, “No thank you. I dont want any Upadesam.”
He yelled and said, “What ?? People are waiting to get my Upadesam and pining for it and you say you dont want it ??”
I was petrified and had butterflies in my stomach. I just said, “Forgive me..” and kept the paper and pen on the table.
He got up from his seat and I was filled with a dread and started praying to Periyavaa.
That yogi came near me and touched my right shoulder.
“You write with this hand don’t you ?? I can make it impossible for you to write… Do you want to see ???” Sayoing this he pressed slightly on my shoulder. The next instant, my hand moved slightly down and started moving loose. I was choked with fear and dread. My eyes were filled with tears. My whole body was shaking and I was unable to decide what to do. Even in that condition my mind was all the time repeatedly chanting, ‘Periyavaa, Periyavaa’.
“Tell me that you will write about me at least now…I will make your hand alright,” said that yogi.
But I never opened my mouth even at that time!!
Though I never answered the yogi’s question, my facial expressions must have shown him the amount of fear that was inside me.
“Poor man. You are terrified and upset. I will make your hand alright. It is enough if atleast now you can understand the extent of my power” so saying, he touched my right shoulder and just rubbed his hands over my arm. Immediately I could feel that my arm had become normal.
Fearing that he may do something else, I said with a little hesitation, “Can I leave ??” and he laughed.
He said, “Go now. When once all your fear has left you, come back another day and we will talk” and opened the door for me.
Having escaped that day, I rushed towards my home with great relief. After reaching home, I narrated all that had happened to everyone in a normal manner. I had kept small packets of the Turmeric, Kumkum, pulses etc. which the yogi had produced and they were all astonished on seeing these. I told them a little humorously about the amount of tension and agony that I had experienced inside that room.
But could not sleep peacefully once I went to bed.
That yogi’s facial expressions, words and deeds were tossing around in my mind and I was in a turmoil. Somewhere deep in my heart there was a dread, fear, panic….. !!
I was tossing around in my bed. If for a second I managed to doze off, then even in my dream his figure and words were bothering me. The next instant I would wake up as if from a nightmare. In this way I passed the night and it was morning already.
For almost a whole week, my actions became almost mechanical. I could guess that it was my mental status that was causing this. I slept, got up, bathed, read, spoke, ate, went to office, edited, and went to hotels in the evening with my friends. Went for a movie, chatted with friends etc. but what happened inside that closed room that night was sitting deep in my mind and so all my actions were coated with an artificial veneer.
At the back of all my actions, there was this unidentifiable fear and dread that was echoing in my heart and I was in a virtual hell not being able to openly say anything to anyone.
My inner world and outer world were two opposites and I started imagining that there was a permanent dread that was following me like a shadow. Not knwoing a way out of this mess, I was slowly losing it.
How much ever I tried, the unnatural happenings of that night were coming to my mind’s eye repeatedly and were torturing me.
On the one hand I was afraid that ‘If the way in which I behaved with that Yogi and the words that I spoke to him were inappropriate, would the consequences be terrible ???’ and on the other hand, I also started thinking, ‘If by chance the yogi summons me again and I dont go, would something terrible happen ??’
These were the fears that were eating me up and slowly, day by day, this was becoming a mental illness and I was acting like one possessed by a spirit.
One evening feeling that I would get some peace of mind only if I tell someone about this, I went to my close friend Dunlop Krishnan’s home, and tearfully told him all about my mental agony.
My friend pitied me and gave me alot of consolation and said, “You are the one who always gives courage to others by saying, that Periyavaa is there to take care of everything. Now you yourself are so scared!!”
“Bakthi is advising me to be courageous but my mind is in a turmoil. What can I do ?? I need to see Periyavaa immediately and tell him about everything. You have to accompany me…You have to only drive the car… Start immediately… We have to leave at once” I said, and hurried him.
At that point of time, Periyavaa was not in Kancheepuram. He was on touring in the TamilNadu – Andhra border regions. We left after verifying his whereabouts and stopped the car en route to inquire about the exact location of his camp.
It was way past eleven in the night… We were speeding on a road, and I said, “Krishna, see there is the enclosed cycle cart standing there. Periyavaa must be staying here only. Stop the car.”
We stopped the car and we got down. The sentry Subbaiah and a few others were sleeping under a tree. There was a dilapidated Mantap on the side of the road. At its entrance we saw Kannan sitting there. (How much ever I try to recall now, I am not able to exactly say which place Periyavaa was staying in at that time. Kannan is also not able to recall clearly.)
On seeing us, Kannan was surprised and asked, “How come you both have come here at this unearthly hour??” (almost midnight !!)
I said, “I will tell all about that later. I must have Periyava’s Darshan immediately. I have to tell him about an important matter.” We were very disappointed when Kannan said,
“Periyavaa has gone to bed… See that sack cloth there?? He is sleeping behind that… By now he must have gone to sleep… There is no place here..so sleep in the car only…”
Just as we started moving towards the car, we heard the reassuring voice of Periyavaa from behind the sack screen…”Who is that Kannaa ??? Has Sridhar come ??”
“Yes” said Kannan.
“Ask him to come.”
Kannan took me inside. The saviour who was lying down got up and sat down. Tearfully, I bowed down to Him and he asked me to sit down. I obeyed.
“What happened ??” The nectar like question mixed with compassion, love and affection came like a spring shower and cooled my heart.
I narrated all that had happened without omitting any detail. Unashamed, I told him about my fears and begged him to deliver me from this uneasy and dreadful situation.
He listened to everything patiently, and then asked, “Why did you go to see him ??” The question pricked me sharply.
“I could not bear to see my brother suffering from severe stomach pain and so hoping that he may give a miraculous cure and reduce the pain, I went to him. After having taken Periyavaa’s blessings for the operation, it was definitely wrong of me to have gone to someone else. I feel I am suffering the consequences of that act for the past one week. I am afraid that yogi may harm me in some way. Periyavaa must only save me. That is why I have come running to you” I said incoherently with a palpitating heart.
“Why are you afraid ?? What can he do to you ??”
Tears of gratitude sprang from my eyes. Immediately a huge burden was off my chest.
“Dont ever go for anything to people who do such things”.
“Okay” I said.
“Okay go home”.
I said, “It is now after midnight. I will stay the night and leave tomorrow morning.”
“No fears. You leave immediately.” Periyavaa again gave me permission and asked me to leave.
I got up and after bowing down to Him again, I started my return journey.
“What can he do to you ??” The fear that manifested itself at midnight, was cleared by this question at midnight itself.
The answer ‘Why Fear when I am here??’ was hidden in Periyavaa’s question itself and it kept echoing repeatedly in my heart.
This became my armor and a security fence for me. This armor and fence gave me a fearless peacefulness. Out of that peaceful mindset was born an abundant happiness. We laughed happily and chatted merrily and reached Chennai by night. When I entered my home, darkness had departed and it was dawn.