A wealthy devotee once sent his friend by his car to attend to his work, on his behalf. Unfortunately, the man left for the further-most destination. The car, which met with an accident on the way, was damaged beyond repair. The friend departed to Sivaloka. There was no end to the devotee's sorrow. His remorse that a family was deprived of its head because of him did not leave him in peace at all. He helped the family with a large sum of money. But that hardly compensated for the irreversible loss. The devotee was now frightened and upset that he would have to bear the sin of the death of a brahmin.
There is no one that one can take into confidence in a situation like this and seek a solution that was sanctioned by the Sastra. So, he sought guidance from the Supreme Authority. Periyaval listened to all that the devotee had to say, patiently.
"The car accident happened by the divine ordination. You are not guilty of any destructive thought. Somehow, your mind is now burdened with unease. Besides, you are also at the receiving end of the society's accusation. First of all, go and take a holy dip in the Sethu. Get up before sunrise and offer grass to cows that you may find strolling down the streets. Seek the darshan of Siva everyday and contain yourself to taking one meal a day. Circumambulate the Siva temple as many times as it is possible for you to. Do this and you will be rid of the charges of guilt".
The devotee was consoled and accepting the prasada, continued to stand in Periyaval's presence, hesitating to leave. Periyaval looked at him questioningly.
"I can do everything else. But I don't see how I can offer grass to cows. I live in the city and cows are not to be found in the streets in the morning".
The reply came at once. "So what? Surely there is a Gosala. You have a car. Get up at five. Go by car to the Gosala and offer grass to all the cows there".
The devotee was fully consoled, his remorse giving way to peace.
Source: In the Presence of the Divine