Maruvathur That Attracted Me

I had been a devotee of Lord Muruga, until 1980. Ours had been a Shaiva family for generations, following all the principles of Shaiva Siddhanta taught by Sage Sivagnanam. Hence, Lord Shiva is our beloved deity. Still, I had been a devotee of Lord Muruga. Actually, I did not know the real ways of worshipping either Lord Shiva, or Lord Muruga. A colleague of mine, named Bhagya Balakrishnan, told me about the miracles at Mel Maruvathur. After hearing what he had told me, I felt an urge to visit Mel Maruvathur and have Amma’s darshan. I went to Chennai on January 23rd, 1981. My brother is a doctor in Chennai. I went to Maruvathur with him, but there was no Arul Vakku on that day. Still, as soon as I stepped onto the soil, I felt a kind of joy and happiness, which is hard to describe. In the temple, near Divine Mother, I saw two Sakthis (female) doing Amma’s service. They were wearing red dress. For the first time, I folded my hands and looked at the Divine Mother. I bowed in front of Mother. My whole body experienced a kind of bliss, which was strange. I was sweating! Tears filled my eyes and began to flow even without my knowledge! That experience was a kind of ecstasy. It cannot be described.

This strange experience was the first one among my experiences, with Amma. Sakthis, who were in red dress, were doing archana, while reciting Tamil Mantras. I asked one of the Sakthis what that book was. He answered that it was the Manthira Nool, blessed by Amma.

Opposite my house, at about half a kilometre away, there is a church. On every Sunday, I could see men, women, and children going to pray with the holy Bible in their hands. Seeing them, I would wonder if we, too, wouldn’t go to the temple once a week, carrying Devaram, Thiruvachakam, and Four Thousand Divyaprabandham in our hands, so that we, too, can have a mass prayer. I was very happy to see women doing Vazhipaatu at Maruvathur temple. That day, when I visited the temple, I bought Manthira Nool, Amma’s photo, and two silver Dollars of Amma and happily returned home. Still, there was disappointment that I couldn’t get Arul Vakku that day. My mind was filled with awe and wonder, having seen something that I have never seen before. I returned to Chennai.

On the following night, I had a dream. A serpent was chasing me! Fearing for my life, I was running very fast. I saw a stone hall. I went inside. After a while, I slowly looked outside to see what happened to the serpent. I couldn’t see it anywhere. I raised my head and looked carefully. Then...

I saw a beautiful statue of Divine Mother, Who was blessing me! Feeling certain that She is the Mother, Who saved me from the serpent, I bowed before the Divine Mother and the dream faded. It was 3:00 a.m. and the clock struck three times. Quickly, I woke up from my bed. From the year I was born, for thirty eight years, I had been a devotee of Lord Shiva and Lord Murugan. I have never had any vision about any God. On the following day back from Maruvathur, I had this strange experience. That too, the first experience!

I didn’t understand the meaning of that particular dream. I took out the Manthira Nool and turned the pages for the first time. I read Moola Manthiram, Venduthal Kooru, and then, 108 Potri Thiruvuru. In this, there is a line ‘Om Kanavile Varuvaai Potri Om’ (O Mother, You appear in our dreams). When I read that line, it became clear to me that the Divine Mother really came in my dream and gave me Her vision.

In the following year, 1981, on a Saturday, in March, I went to Mel Maruvathur again. From our place, it is a distance of six hundred and fifty kilometres to reach the Temple. In those days, if we ask for a ticket to Mel Maruvathur, they would say that the train wouldn’t stop there. We have to get a ticket to either Achirupakkam, or Madhuranthakam and get down there. This would be the answer from the bus conductor, too. However, when I came by bus, the conductor was kind enough to let me get down at Maruvathur.

I took a bath in the pond and sat on the sand with a lot of peace in my mind. I felt very happy, too. In the temple, Amma’s Abhishekam and Alangaaram were being done. I went to ask one of the Sakthis, at what time we could give our names for Arul Vakku. Then, a Sakthi came from the temple office straight to me. He gave me a writing board and a white paper and told me that those, who wanted to get Arul Vakku, had to write their names themselves on the paper. That was the practice in those days. He told us that after writing everyone’s names, the list should be given back to the office at 8’o’clock.

I was going to get my first Arul Vakku. I felt it is only Amma, Who has entrusted me with this job. I felt very happy. This, again, was a real experience. I wrote my name first. Each one followed me and wrote his name along with the name of his native place. Then...

It was 7:30 in the morning. A person came there, carrying his daughter on his shoulders. Following him, came a woman. They laid the girl in front of me on the floor. As soon as I saw her, I felt as if I had received a shock! She had only skin and bones. Seeing her, anyone would wonder how long she was going to live!

Slowly, I approached them. I understood that the father’s name was Kathar Meeran. The name of his wife was Ayisha Begum. They had come from Puthukkottai.

I asked them what the child was suffering from. He answered, “Sir! She is our only daughter. She is going to be thirteen (years old).” Hearing this, I couldn’t believe it at all! Anyone would think that she was only six years old! The Muslim sister continued, “Four years ago, my daughter told me one day, that she didn’t feel hunger at all. Hence, we began to give her liquid diet. That, too, began to reduce day by day. We took her to several doctors. None of them could find out what she was suffering from. They prescribed medicines. They performed several tests. All were in vain.”

“Then, she was shown to Ayurveda doctors. Once again, it was futile. We spent money more than we could. Even milk, Horlics, etc. didn’t suit her. Slowly, water alone became her diet. Afterwards, the intake of water also reduced. Every two hours, she would have two spoons of water! That was all she could take. Having lost all hope, we have come to Mel Maruvathur at last.”

I said, “All right! Who told you that, if you come to this temple, your daughter will be cured? How did you come here?” The answer she gave me surprised me. Sister said, “My daughter had a dream twenty days ago. In her dream, a five year old girl was seen. She was wearing red skirt and red blouse. The child told her to come to Mel Maruvathur and visit Her temple! The girl said that, She will cure my daughter.”

The sister continued, “My daughter asked the girl, where Her temple is. Saying that there is a pond in front of Her temple, the little girl showed my daughter the whole temple at Mel Maruvathur. The following day, my daughter told us about her dream. In the beginning, we did not take it seriously, but when my daughter repeatedly told us, we asked several people and finally came to know where the temple is. Several days have passed.”

I was amazed to understand that the Divine Mother came in the form of a small girl and invited their daughter to the temple. The girl’s father came to me and asked me a simple question, “Sir, when will the pujari of this temple come? When will He begin to give kuri (prophecy)? Is it enough to place a coconut, bananas, betel leaves, and two rupees on the plate?” I replied, “Sir, Amma doesn’t predict the future. Amma gives Arul Vakku (Oracle). Amma is not a pujari. He is Adi Parasakthi Herself. It is Divine Mother, Who speaks through Adigalaar Amma. Like you, this is the first time I have come to the temple. They told me to write the names of people, who have come for Arul Vakku. I wrote my name. I shall write yours, too. You need to pay the fees.” He answered, “Sir, we don’t have enough money. It seems that, even after having come from so far, we are not lucky enough to get Arul Vakku. What shall I do now?” His eyes filled with tears. I felt very sad. I couldn’t resist myself. I said to him, “Okay. You may go instead of me. I shall rewrite my name as the last one in the list.” He said, “Sir, if we pay the fees, we shall have to starve until we reach home.”

I felt really sorry. I told him that, I shall remove my name from the list, so that they could see Amma when my turn comes. Saying this, I wrote my name as the last one in the list and paid their fees. I gave the list in the office. At 9’o’clock, I sat in the line along with others in front of the Puttru Mandapam. Looking very simple, wearing a white dhoti and white shirt, a person entered the temple. Pointing to him, the Sakthi sitting next to me told me that He is Bangaaru Adigalaar. I wondered whether Divine Mother was giving Oracle through this simple person. I couldn’t believe it at all. Amma looked very simple and there was no sign of a saint, which we usually come across. Arul Vakku began. Instead of calling the first name on the list, Amma called me first. It was Sakthi Joseph, who called me as per Amma’s directions. Amma told me, “Son! You gave money to a suffering person in order to help him get the Arul Vakku. Hence, I called you first. I am going to involve you in spirituality. I shall help your son get a seat for medicine and do higher studies. What are you going to ask further?” But, I didn’t feel like asking anything.

I felt as if I was in a divine world, where I got real darshan of the Divine Mother. I was talking to Her, too! I do not know anything about spirituality. Just as Amma had told me, my son became a doctor and he is practising now. After hearing Amma’s Oracle, I came outside. I told my Muslim friend, “You may ask Amma whatever you want to. You need not take your daughter to the Puttru Mandapam. If Amma tells you to give her any particular medicine, remember it carefully. Keeping it in your memory, tell me what Amma said as soon as you come out. I shall write it on a paper and give you.” As the fourth name, Amma called my new friend. He and his wife came out after hearing the Arul Vakku. I could see rays of hope and joy on each one’s face. They came near me and said, “Sir, certainly Adigalaar Amma possesses some divine power. How did Amma know that I am a Muslim?” I told him to tell me clearly. He told me whatever Amma had said. This is what Amma said –

“Son! Do you follow what your religion says in the Holy Quran? Do you pray five times a day? You do not do it. Doesn’t the Holy Quran say that, lending money on interest and taking the interest is wrong? You were charging interest at an exorbitant rate and thus, earned a lot of money; you are spending the money earned thus, on the treatment of your own daughter. How can that money cure your child of disease? This happened to your daughter, because of this money. I shall make your daughter all right. Hereafter, do Namaz five times a day. Don’t lend money on interest! I shall help you get a job.”

It is according to the sins and merits accrued, in the previous birth, that a person is reborn. Some people experience the results of sins, from previous births, in this life; whereas, some people suffer because of the sins, which they commit in this very birth. I felt that Kathar Meeran belonged to the latter group. His wife, Ayisha Begam said to Amma, during the Oracle, “It has been four years, since my daughter has ever told me that she feels hungry...” Before she could finish, Amma said, “Daughter, in a short while, the child will tell you that she is feeling hungry. In a glass of milk, you put two Vilva (Bilwa) leaves, two Tutuvalai leaves, and two Neem leaves and give it to the child for forty five days! I shall cure her of the disease!” They had come from very far. After several years, they felt relieved with the faith that Amma will make her all right. I wrote that prescription on a paper and gave it to them, for they may not forget it.

In those days, using Neem leaves, Amma had cured several diseases, which even the best doctors couldn’t. Amma used the following methods:

1. Amma would touch the face of some people, who were standing in a line.

2. A pot will be kept near Amma. The pot would be filled with water, containing Neem leaves and Turmeric powder. When some people reach Amma, Amma would pour a glass of this water on their face.

3. Women would come in groups. Some of them would be hesitant to tell others about their sufferings. Some women belonged to poor families. Some of them would be suffering from stomach pain, heavy breathing, problem in the uterus, breast cancer, uterine cancer, etc. These women were too poor to consult a doctor. Some women were possessed. Amma fully knew what each one was suffering from; Amma knew each one’s problem. When such people would come near Amma and stand opposite Her, Amma would touch some parts of Her (Amma’s) own body. Amma would rub that place with Her hand. Sakthi Balammal would be standing near Amma. She would easily understand the meaning of Amma’s action. She would take that particular girl, alone, to the Puttru Mandapam. She would rub Vibhuthi (the holy ash, Thiruneer) on the girl, on the places shown by Amma. Amma’s mercy and kindness have no limits. These girls become all right very soon. This kind of treatment by Amma became very popular among the women. I have never seen this kind of Neem leaf treatment anywhere else; not even in temples.

I was fortunate enough to get this treatment with Neem leaves, on the day I came to the temple. Amma was standing with Neem leaves in Her left hand. The Divine Mother had entered Amma’s body (Arul Nilai). We were moving towards Amma in a line. By moving Her hands very fast in circular motion, Amma touched each one’s face with the Neem leaves. According to the height of the person, whether it was a man, woman, boy, or girl, Amma’s left hand would move up and down and touch each one’s face. No one on this Earth can do that! If we try to move our hand in such a manner, the very next moment, that action will result in a fracture and we shall have to consult an orthopaedic surgeon.

Today, we don’t have the fortune to get such Neem-leaf-treatment from Amma. Moreover, getting Oracle from Amma isn’t easy anymore. “Make use of the chance that I am giving you, the chance you are getting!” The Divine Mother has been saying this very often. After being treated with Neem leaves by Amma, I came back and sat alongside the Muslim family. Then... we saw a wonder!

As soon as the Neem leaf treatment was completed, Amma suddenly came to the place, where we were sitting! The child was lying there. Amma stood near the child. With the Neem leaves in Her hand, Amma touched the girl’s face, stomach, and legs. Neither her parents, nor I expected that. As soon as Amma left us, the very next moment, the child said to her mother, “Amma! I am feeling hungry!” It was after four years that the child said, for the first time, that she was hungry! Hearing her voice, tears filled the parents’ eyes. Tears welled up in my eyes as well.

Each one of us, coming back from Arul Vakku, was served a packet of Puliyotharai (Puliyogarai, Tamarind rice). That was the prasadam. Ayisha Begam asked me, “Sir! May we give this Puliyotharai to the child? Will that do any harm?” I replied, “Amma has already said that, the child would feel hungry and you should feed her. Without any fear, you may give the food.” The child, who hadn’t eaten for four years, ate the whole packet of Puliyotharai! I cannot forget that sight! Their happiness knew no bounds. It was indeed a miracle that Amma showed, right in front of our eyes.

After that, I bought two silver Dollars of Amma. I wore one. I gave the other one to Ayisha Begam and told her to tie it on the child’s neck, but she said, “Sir, will you please tie this thread with your own hands?” Praying to Amma for the recovery and long life of the child, I tied the string around her neck. Giving them my address, I requested them to send me letters about the health of their daughter.

I used to receive letters from them regularly. When I got a letter, saying that they were looking for a groom for their daughter, I felt very happy. My first experience at the temple, itself, had made me a devotee of Amma! I have deep faith in Amma. ‘The child with just skin and bone, the child who hadn’t had any food for four years, the child who couldn’t even move, the child who ate the whole packet of rice for the first time, the child who had been saved from death’ – I can never forget this experience! Even when several doctors had given up, it is our Adigalaar Amma, Who saved her and brought her back to life. Can we say that our Adigalaar Amma is an ordinary human being...?

No, not at all! Adigalaar Amma is indeed an incarnation of the Divine Mother Adi Parasakthi, Who is responsible for Creation, Preservation, and Destruction! This Adigalaar Amma is our AMMA!

Madura Coats is well-known for their manufacture of yarns in South Asia. When I was working there, one day, a friend of mine came to see me. There was a young man with him. It was the year 1984, the month of April, a Sunday. They came to see me in the evening.

I looked at the young man, whom my friend had brought with him. He was thin, with a flat stomach; he was wearing dirty clothes. His very appearance was enough for a person to understand that he belonged to a poor family.

My friend told me, “His name is Vasudevan. He is coming from a village in the district of Alappuzha, in Kerala. I know him well. I have come to request you to secure him a job in your mill.” I asked my friend what job the boy could do. My friend said, “He can draw sketches. He is very good at painting, too! Before coming here, he had been working in a cinema company in Thiruvananthapuram, in their Arts section. He is very talented and does work well, but the habit of drinking has spoiled him. Every day, he earned fifty rupees, but spent the whole amount on liquor. In addition, he would borrow money from others and spend that, too, on liquor! He was deep in debt. When he couldn’t repay anyone, he fled from Kerala. I feel sorry for him. It is my request to you that, you may kindly help him and get him a job in your mill. God will bless you.”

The young man, too, did not leave me. He said, “Sir, I shall draw pictures in your house. If you are satisfied, I shall accept whatever money you give me.” It was his intention to convince me that he was good at the work, by drawing pictures. He was eager to get a job. Feeling sorry for his poor state, I took him to my pooja room. I showed him our Amma’s photo. I told him to draw a similar picture on the wall, on the north side. I also told him to write ‘Om Sakthi Ammave, Sharanam Amma’ on the wall, on the south side. I asked him if he could do that.

He answered that it would be clear to me when he finished the work. I gave him two hundred rupees to buy paint, brush, etc. Then, I told him, “Look here! You are going to draw pictures in my pooja room! This Divine Mother is not ordinary. She is a Mother to the whole world, with great power! She is Mahasakthi! When you are coming here to draw pictures, do not drink. If you do so, you will not be able to bear the punishment, which She may give you. You should be very careful and do work with devotion and fear. So, be careful!”

The boy said, “Sir, I shall not drink anymore. Tomorrow, it is Monday and I shall come and do the work.” They went back. The following day, Monday, I came back from the office. When I went to the pooja room, he had done a beautiful sketch of Amma’s Karuvarai photo! When I looked at it, I understood how good he was at his work. The next day, Tuesday, while coming back home from the office, I was sure that he would have coloured Amma’s photo and completed the work. However, I was disappointed that only half the picture had been coloured! All the things were kept here and there. I couldn’t find the boy. I asked my wife where the boy was. She answered, “He told me that he had a headache. He would go outside for a while, drink a cup of tea, and come back soon. He left home at 11 a.m. and hasn’t come back yet.”

The boy didn’t come either on Wednesday, or on Thursday. On Friday, I telephoned my friend, who had brought him to me. He said, “Is it so? He must have drunk and fallen somewhere. Sir, he is a good person! Very talented, too! The habit of drinking doesn’t leave him. I shall search and find him. I shall bring him to your house.” My wife and I really felt sorry. He had left the work incomplete. Who was going to do the rest? I feared that it was rather inauspicious. We both were worried. He didn’t come even on Saturday. On Sunday, unexpectedly, the boy came back running! He fell at our feet, crying. He said, “Sir! I shall not drink at all in the future. Mel Maruvathur Amma has really changed me! Please forgive me. I shall complete the work in just two days.” He didn’t stop crying. We said, “It’s okay. What had you been doing, during these five days? Where had you gone?” His answer was as follows –

On Tuesday, he was fully drunk. He started drawing Amma’s picture. While he was drawing, sitting on a stool, he felt giddy. He sensed that if he tried to draw, something was going to happen. Before anything happened, he wanted to go out. The headache was just an excuse. He went to a tea shop to drink tea. It was on the east side of our house. There, he vomited a lot of blood and fell unconscious! The people in that locality didn’t know who he was. If they had known that he had come to draw pictures in my house, they would have certainly brought him to me. A crowd had gathered around him, but no one came to help him. Suddenly, there came a van! Seeing the crowd, the driver stopped there. He asked them what the matter was. He took the boy in his van to Amba Samuddiram Hospital. The driver admitted this boy in the hospital and went away. The doctors had given him good treatment for three days. He became conscious only on Friday. On Saturday, early morning, he had a dream. Our Amma came in his dream! There were tumblers in both hands. Amma told him, “I have a glass of milk in My right hand! The glass in My left hand contains liquor! Which one do you want? If you ask Me for milk, you will have a rebirth (a new life). If you want liquor, remember; today is your last day! You may decide what you want.”

At once, he took the milk from Amma’s right hand and drank it. He woke up. That morning, the doctor, who came to examine him, said to him, “If you drink anymore, you won’t live! The liquor has completely spoiled your intestine. Your life is not in our hands! It is totally in yours. You may go now. Take these medicines and tablets with you. Include more milk in your diet. Only milk can give you strength.” He compared what Amma had said in his dream with what the doctor told him. He couldn’t believe it! It was the same!

The boy told us, “The tea shop owner told me that it was a van driver, who took me to the hospital. As I was drawing Amma’s pictures in your house, it is Amma only, Who saved me. Amma gave me good advice through the dream. Who else, but Amma, is going to come and take an orphan like me to the hospital? Maruvathur Mother has given me a new lease of life through YOU!” He became very emotional. We couldn’t help thinking – who had come as the van driver to admit this young man, who had vomited blood? Naturally, people may fear that such an action would put them in trouble, which may end up in police, court, trial, witness, etc. They may think, “Why should we get into trouble, ourselves?” and refrain from helping him. This driver came forward to help him, without expecting anything in return. Who gave the driver that much of courage? Moreover, which doctors would treat a stranger, who didn’t have even an address? How did they admit him?

Only Maruvathur Amma can answer the above questions. In just three days, the boy completed his work – both the picture and the writing! Eighteen years have passed. The picture he had drawn in 1984 still looks fresh and new! The colours haven’t faded at all. This is also Amma’s miracle!

Exactly ten years later (in 1994), I had gone to Mel Maruvathur in June. While I was circumambulating the Sakthi Peetam, I heard a voice, “Sir, how are you? Are you doing well?” I turned and looked. I was wondering who this person was. Once again, the voice said, “Sir, did you not recognise me?” He continued, “I am Vasudevan! Did I not draw pictures in your house? I am sure you may remember me.” I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was wondering, “Is it the same boy?” He had come to the temple with his wife and two children. He told me that he was working in Kerala. He has his own business. Every year, at least once, he comes to Maruvathur. He was doing very well. Maruvathur Amma is the reason for his well-being! He looked at the Divine Mother and asked me how he could forget Amma! When I saw tears in his eyes, I became emotional. They were the tears of joy.

I began to wonder how certain things altogether change a person’s life. It is only the Divine directions, which brought both of us to the temple on the same day. Amma showed me how She changed the boy’s life and how he has come up in his life. I felt very happy.

Amma says in Her Oracle, “Even a murderer is My son; a dacoit, too, is My son. A scholar is My son; an illiterate, too, is My son. A Gnyani (an enlightened person) is My son. I don’t hate a person, because he is a drunkard. I don’t love a person, because he is enlightened. I have neither love, nor hatred towards anyone.”

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