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Monday, March 23, 2015

The Lambadi Girl

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

Periyava was camping at the Hosur Amman temple. A cart drawn by a buffalo came to halt outside the temple. It was driven by a young Lambadi woman. Driving the cart herself, she had brought her husband, who was down with a high fever and diarrhea and vomiting. She had learnt that Periyaval was camping at the temple and arrived there in the faith that her husband would come out of danger and survive by Periyava's grace. She lifted up her husband like a child from the cart, carried him into the temple and placed him before Periyava on the floor. With her palms held together in prayer, she spoke in her dialect in an agitated manner.

Periyaval told the attendants, "Look, how devoted this Lambadi girl is to her husband! She carried a man, her husband, all by herself! God has given her the strength to do so! We have read the legend of Satyavan and Savitri in the Puranas. This lady is verily Savitri. But,..." Periyaval spoke with a soft smile. One could guess what he was to say next, So, an attendant said, "Not Yama! But Yama's Yama. One who has conquered time..."

With a compassionate look, Periyaval gave the young woman an orange.

The next day, the Lambadi girl and her husband walked into the temple together for darshan. A day earlier it seemed doubtful whether the man would survive. But now, he walked in happily and prostrated to Periyava. The Lambadi's eyes spoke her gratitude. Repeatedly, she said, "Devudu, Devudu..." and prostrated several times to Periyava. Was it an orange fruit or a fruit of nectar that the Lord who had defeated time, gave them? Only the Lambadi girl would know!

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