Monday, May 16, 2016

The man who met God ...

"Have you seen God?"

A huge discourse was underway when the question was asked by the main speaker, Swami Brahmanand. Everyone was silent and swamiji with his saffron robes long white hair and fluffy cotton like beard and the long strands of rudrakh beads around his neck gave him a typical saintly look, but he had a glow in his face, which was unique. The gentle smile while he spoke, the profound voice as if he was ordained to speak to all by Gods wish gave him an edge over the similar looking others in many ways. His hands moved as if it were music while he spoke. They seemed to have the touch which might give you the peace you are looking  
for. And the silence which ensued the question, was disturbing. He asked again

"Have you seen God?"

The front row of VIPs looked at each other again as if they were confused. With all the faith a small boy stood up with his hands raised

"Yes" said the boy
"And may I know where" asked Swami Brahmanand
"In the temple, yesterday" was the innocent answer from him

Swamiji smiled and slowly gestured the boy to sit down and asked again

"Anyone else"

"I have" came the answer from an elderly man, who was standing near the crowded sides of the hall. 
"Yes my son" said Swamiji "And where was it and when was it" he asked

Sreerenganathan, the elderly gentleman was a man with a strong faith. His life revolved around the faith he had in hid God. A simple question which many don’t have an answer, pulled him from the crowd as a person who has seen God. Swamiji waved him to come towards the stage. There were many who wanted to get a glimpse of the Swamiji for his fame was not limited to India but far and wide. Sreeranganathan was wearing a light blue half sleeve shirt and a white dhoti, simple as his ways of life. His grey hair was well combed and was sticking together as it were gelled. People looked at his face which stood out from the rest with his long nose and bright grey eyes. The broad forehead had the crimson prasad. On his milky white smiling face, the prasad was speaking volumes about his faith. He walked towards the stage where swamiji was behind the podium. The lamp on the side which had the five flames lit for the evening function, the agarbathi near its foot with the smell of flowers, the aura of the Swamiji gave a special temple like feel to the stage. Sreeranganathan removed his old leather chappals near the steps which lead to the stage and climbed up. Swamiji ushered him to share the experience with just smiles and gestures. He stood with hands folded like an obedient student ready to listen to the teacher, who was the teacher for the evening. Sreeranganathan walked towards the podium and the microphone with a smile, which gave out the confidence and conviction he had.

"Namaste... I am sreeranganathan ....And yes I have met God... ente amma (My mother) Chottanikkara amma.... in my life Swamiji" started Sreeranganathan to the jam packed audience. There was a slight shiver in his voice, but his faith was so strong and spoke from the heart. He narrated the incident starting with eyes closed as in a prayer. 

It was a Friday, the makam day a few years back, and was on a pilgrimage to The famous Chottinakkara Temple. I had just enough money to get me the tickets for my journey. I thought no further as it was a golden chance for me to visit Amma again. I reached the temple at around 7.30 in the morning and was so delighted having reached Amma's abode. I was at the temple that stands out to be a testimonial for the vishwakarma sthapathis. Where amma is worshipped in three different forms, Saraswati in the morning, draped in white; as Lakshmi at noon, draped in red and as Durga in the evening, decked in blue. The temple where Guruthi pooja is performed for the betterment of the people. I was there to ask for Amma's help for my condition. To help me with my life. A help to bear the struggles of daily life. I am sure that she takes care of me still

The morning summer sun was hot and I entered the temple and finished the darshan of melkkavu bhagavathy. The rush was more than usual and drained the energy out of me. But the moment I saw amma decked in the white saree... I forgot everything. I forgot that I had not had anything since the previous day’s lunch. I forgot hunger, tiredness, thirst, I forgot myself. 

The people listening were on the edge of the seats, as it was about faith and there stood a man who claims to have met the Goddess. Questions crept into each one's minds ... where would have he seen amma. And Sreeranganathan continued.

With the happiness in my mind I walked out of the sanctum sanctorum. I was on my way to the keezhkkaavu. The premises of the temple were filled with people from far and wide. There were the possessed waiting for amma's blessings writhing in agony. Some were exhausted from the trance and had fainted and were on the floor on my way to the keezhkaavu. I walked out of the huge canopy on the huge pillars and walked on the hot stone path towards the steps which led to the keezhkkavu. I felt I was about to faint. It was the hunger which I had forgotten. I could not walk a step more. I was sure to fall on the pathway. I somehow held myself and sat down on the steps. My heart called out to amma "Amma.... I am so happy that I could see you again". 

I felt a cold hand on my sweating shoulders. I wiped my face with the shirt which was in my hand and looked to side where I felt the hand. There was a small girl wearing a dhoti. She should have been 4 years or so, not more. Her eyes were like precious black stones. Her smile was like the gleam of the sun’s rays on the still waters. He face was glowing and had something divine about her. She was wearing a thin gold chain which was barely visible on her sandal would like skin. She was as fragrant as fresh flowers in a garden.

"Grandpa" she called me. I could barely see her anymore as I felt I was fainting and the sun was shining behind her head. 
"Grandpa... you should be hungry... have this banana... you will be alright" the child said in the sweetest voice I have ever heard.

I took the two bananas in a plantain leaf with some prasad in it from the small hands of the child. I could feel the cool hands touch my palms when she gave me the prasad. I had the first banana and went on to have the second one too. The sweetness of the banana was never so ever before. I finished the second one and looked around to thank the little girl. She was nowhere to be seen. Where were her parents I thought? Why did she give me the prasad? I was feeling as if I was not tired at all. I was rejuvenated. I had all the energy in me. I quickly rushed towards the main temple with all the might I had. The child was nowhere to be seen. I saw the picture of amma framed on one of the pillars. It was Amma herself. She had come to give me food. She was there to give me the prasad. As he finished with a trembling voice, his grey eyes were full of tears and started flowing like a cascade of gratitude. Sreeranganathan closed his eyes and folded his hands in prayer. 

Swami Brahmananda's eyes were wet too. He was smiling with the moist eyes and spread his arms wide and hugged Sreeranganathan. Touched his head and blessed him and walked back to the podium. "God reaches out to you when you are in need.... need not be in the form we think we would see" Swamiji continued... For Sreeranganathan, he could hear no more and walked his way through the crowd, where everyone was looking at him in awe. He walked out of the hall and he could hear the discourse continue through the speakers. Words about faith and belief, about divinity and spirituality...He walked his way out of the premises where there were a lot of vehicles and walked his way to the dimly lit night road... And no one knew that there goes a man who had met God.

Was it God, or was it the act of godliness which made him feel so. For believers the little girl was God and for others it was a kind hearted act of a child who saw an elderly man in distress and exhaustion. But yes.... God resides in each and every one of us, it depends how we realize it or see it. Next time you meet God, you will know for sure that it was Him who came to help you in person.

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