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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Importance of Rama Nama

A gentleman came to PeriyavA and introduced himself ,mentioning the name of his native village.

"There was an old lady called 'Tukkiri Paatti' in your village,do you know?"
"She was related to us" replied the devotee.

"Rama Vinayakar.. is he there?'
"The Vinayaka in our village temple is indeed known as Rama Vinayakar"
PERIYAVA began to ask a number of questions about the old lady and the Vinayaka. But the devotee could not answer Periyava's questions in a satisfactory manner . He struggled under the volley of detailed queries. Then Periyava himself narrated the following.
"There was no Siva temple in that village,nor a Perumal temple. There was only this Pillaiayar temple. Every evening , at dusk, the Brahmins would bathe in the tributary on the outskirts of the village and perform
Sandhyavandhana. On their way back, they would stop at the Vinayaka temple. Sitting there they would chant Rama Nama. The residents of the village would also gather and join them in the chanting of Rama nama. I have been told that almost a mile away one could hear the chanting of the Rama nama Taraka Mantra. Since the Rama Nama chanting was done in the vinayaka temple, in course of time the deity came to be known as Rama Nama Vinayaka.

Now about Tukkiri Patti. A girl child was married off at the age of seven and she became a widow at the age of nine. The people of the village considered her to be a very unfortunate person. So they referred to her as 'Tukkiri', the nick-name suggesting her unfortunate state.

When the girl grew up, she understood her misfortune. Those were times when no revolution could be done. Besides it was not possible antagonise the people of the village. So the girl began to live the life of prescribed to widows by the age old traditions. She would come out by four in the morning and clean the courtyard outside the front door of the house. She would then light a lamp in the niche of the wall and go back into the house. But what did she do inside? Nothing but Rama nama japa. Untiringly without the slightest of the laziness, she did Rama Japa. As for food, she did cook something. She would eat a little to keep life in the body, that is all. Once in a way,someone might drip in Tukkiri's house.

Thyaga Brahmam of Tiruvaiyaru performed Rama nama japa for twenty one years. Every a day lakh and eight thousand counts of japa. The girl who was branded as 'Tukkiri' became as time passed, Tukkiri Patti. Her japa was beyond count. Rama Prabhu, the Lord Rama alone would know how many times she chanted his name.
One day, a child in the village had a severe stomach ache. The pain was unbearable. The child screamed. The village doctor suggested decoction of dry ginger and sison to be given to the child. No one in the village had these ingredients. Finally, having no other go, the child was sent to Tukkiri Patti to ask for them.

The child stammered in fear 'I need some sison seeds.' The old lady gave other ingredients that might help as well and asked the child."Why,what's wrong with you?"

"Stomach ache.. It is awful.."

"Wait... I 'll be right back."

She came back with a little sacred ash and chanting "Rama Nama" applied on the child's forehead. The boy ran back home.
"I don't need the medicine"


"The stomach ache has gone"
The child's mother was bewildered. She saw the sacred ash on the boy's forehead.

"Patti applied it. The stomach ache went away at once"

The village could not stop talking about this. "Has Tukkiri Patti acquired such divine powers of healing?

So,did that mean that she was not 'Tukkiri' after all? Did such a dreadful misfortune befall her so that the greatness of Rama Nama could be revealed to all?

The village doctor was no longer needed there. Rama Nama Patti took over his post. The only medicine she had was the sacred ash.

Fortunate indeed are those who have heard Periyava, an expert story teller recount such real-life incidents.

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