“You Didn’t Know” – Amma

When I was turning the pages of Sakthi Olhi, I saw an article about Srimathi Meenakumari. She has written about different types of Jyoti (Flame). When I was reading, I remembered several things. I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading. Hence, I let my mind go wherever it wanted to. I thought that it would be better, if I write down what came to my mind. You may read it. It was the month of May, 1994. After Amma’s directions, we were given a definite job (Thondu) to perform. Hence, a few Sakthis and I were staying in the Siddhar Peetam for forty eight days. It happened then...

One morning, at about 9 o’clock, Amma came to Siddhar Peetam. As usual, Amma performed Deeparadhana. There were devotees eagerly waiting to see Amma. Amma gave darshan to the devotees and all the others. Amma went to the Arul Koodam. There was a big crowd, which was waiting for Amma. Amma gave darshan to all and then, went inside to take rest.

Watching all these, a Sakthi and I were standing near the door. We saw a middle-aged person, forty-five, or fifty years old, who looked like a saint, walking around the Siddhar Peetam.

After having darshan at the Sanctum Sanctorum, this person came to the Arul Koodam and told something to the doorkeeper. Then, I saw him talking to several others. The doorkeeper told us that this person wanted to meet Amma. I thought it would be better to try and hence, I told this matter to Sakthi Thiru Veeraraghavan. Sakthi Veeraraghavan said, “Sir, Amma is in the pooja room. I cannot say when Amma will come. Sir, when Amma comes, I don’t know if Amma will be ready to meet him. What can we do? Anyhow, please ask him where he has come from.” I walked back from the Arul Koodam. When I reached the passage in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum, this particular person was standing there. He was very happy to see me. He might have thought that I had come to take him to Amma.

I greeted him, saying, “Om Sakthi!” I asked him his whereabouts. He told me that he belonged to a particular Peetam, which is very famous in North India. He requested me that it would be enough, if he could meet Amma for a minute. I could sense a stress in his request. It was clear to me that, having come from a famous Peetam, he wanted to get what he was going to ask. There was expectation in his words. From our conversation, I understood that he was a doctor. He was following the path of Sanyasa.

I told him, “Sir! We are very happy that you have come to Siddhar Peetam. Amma had been giving darshan to all the devotees, from morning. Just now, Amma has gone inside. We may not disturb Him there. You may have food and then, take rest in our room for a while. You may meet Amma in the evening.”

He became very angry. He said, “Do you know where I have come from? You tell Amma that I’ll go back after seeing Amma for a minute.” He spoke in very clear English, as if he had been ordering. Since he did not know Tamil, we continued our conversation in English. I said, “Forgive me, Sir. We may not trouble Amma like that.” Having said this, I took leave of him and came back to Arul Koodam.

That swami went towards the Temple gate, saying something to a few Sakthis, who were standing there. From the way he walked, one could easily guess how angry he was!

Meanwhile, we heard Amma calling from Arul Koodam. Hearing the calling bell, Sakthi Veeraraghavan went inside. He came back soon and told me that Amma was calling me. My heart began to beat fast! I feared that I had said something wrong to the Swami. I feared that it was wrong on my part, to send him back. Wondering what Amma was going to tell me, I entered Amma’s room. I was confused. I bowed in front of Amma. Is there anything that happens in any corner of this universe, without Amma’s knowledge? Is there anything that Amma doesn’t know? Doesn’t Amma know my emotions?

As if to remove my fear, Amma smiled at me and said, “What does that samiyar (swami) say? Does he want to meet Me?” I felt better. I said, “Amma! He belongs to a Peetam in North India. (I mentioned the name of the Peetam) He wants to meet You, Amma.” I said politely. Amma said, “Right, right. Ask him to come.” Once again, I was tense. With the pace, at which the angry swami was walking, he might have left the Temple by car! Still, I ran to the Siddhar Peetam gate.

Thank God! His car had just come and the swami was going to sit in the car. I reached him and told him the matter. When I told him that Amma wanted to see him, he was very happy. He looked dignified and full of grace. He came with me to Arul Koodam. Swami’s glance, his grace, and the dignified look still remain fresh in my mind. Sakthi Thiru Veeraraghavan met him at the door of the Arul Koodam, greeted him, and took him inside. By this time, a few Sakthis gathered there. All of them wanted to know what was happening inside. All of them were anxious. Those two minutes seemed to have been two hours! Sakthi Thiru Veeraraghavan came outside and looked at me. He said, “Sir, he doesn’t know Tamil. Please go inside. Please tell him in English.”

Very happily, I entered the room. I was surprised to see... in the middle of the room, Amma was standing with a shawl on Amma’s left shoulder. Amma was holding it with Her left hand. That North Indian saint was standing four feet away, in front of Amma.

I was astonished by what I saw in Amma’s Arul Koodam! Is this the same person, who ran to see Amma with such great joy and enthusiasm? The saint was seen a little away from where Amma was sitting. With folded hands, he was standing on the floor – he was half-standing and half-bending. His whole body and the dress, which he was wearing, were totally wet! I was really surprised.

I looked at Amma. Amma was standing as usual. I looked at the saint again. I thought that he was not in this world altogether!

What happened? What could have happened? Why does he sweat like this? My mind was asking the same question again and again. I was amazed. In my confusion, I forgot to prostrate before Amma and stood like a statue! I didn’t know what to do. At that time, my mind was in a state like that of a person, who fell into the water without being able to swim. Amma Herself broke the silence, “This person is saying something. Ask him what it is.” It was only then, that the saint came back to the present. He looked at me and said, “Hey! Why do you stand like a tree? Go! Prostrate in front of Amma! Look...look! Aha! Wonder! Jyotiswarupaya (Embodiment of Light)! Amma is giving me darshan in the form of Light! Look! Aha! God! Here... here! Sivasankara! Sivasankara! I prostrate! Look! We can see Sivasankara! Don’t stand as a tree! Prostrate! Circumambulate the Jyoti and prostrate at Her feet!” Tears were flowing from his eyes. It seemed to me as though the saint was wondering why I was standing there, without prostrating! His words sounded as if he was wondering, when I was going to get such a darshan. He kept the fingers of both his hands together in the form of a conch, held them against his chest, and fell at Amma’s feet thrice. He turned towards me and said, “Hey! Fool! Why do you stand there like a statue, without prostrating before the Light?” He said this angrily.

I was standing there like a statue, oblivious to the world around. It was Amma’s voice that awakened me. Amma was asking me what the saint was saying. When I entered the room first, Amma was standing there as She always does, very casually. In the same manner, Amma asked me the question. I said, “Amma! He says that, You are Sivasankara! You appear to be the embodiment of Divine Light to him.” At once, Amma’s glance fell on me. At the same time, I felt as if I was being beaten on my head with a thousand hammers! Amma said to me, “He can see. But, you can’t!”

I didn’t expect this at all! I couldn’t understand if it was love, anger, affection, or anxiety in Amma’s words. I had entered the room to translate the saint’s words, but stood there without knowing what to do. When I heard Amma’s words, without my knowledge, tears began to flow! I became aware that I didn’t possess something. This made me feel very sad. I said to myself, “Amma...Amma...It is through the screen of illusion that I see everything on this Earth. For this reason, I am unable to see Your true form.” I was longing for something, which I have not been able to attain so far. I did not have an answer for what Amma said to me. I was at a loss for words. All that I could do was fall at Amma’s feet, surrendering totally.

This lasted for just a moment. The next moment, Amma turned towards the saint and said, “Okay...okay. Come...come!” Saying this, Amma walked towards the special pooja room and we followed Her. Here too, Amma gave special darshan. This time, by Amma’s mercy, I was fortunate enough to see those visions! The saint fell at Amma’s feet with great devotion. I could clearly see from his facial expression that he was travelling in an entirely different world.

Coming back to the Arul Koodam, Amma sat on the chair on which She usually does. There was another chair. Amma gestured to the saint to sit on the chair. As if he had stepped on fire, the saint said, “I? In front of You? No, no!” He refused. Amma turned to me and said, “Tell him to sit simply.” When I translated that, the saint looked at me angrily and said, “I am already repenting for the wrong I have done outside. Now, are you telling me to sin again?” He refused to sit and stood there, bowing in front of Amma.

“You left for Rameswaram twenty years ago! You told me that you would come back. Why didn’t you come?” Amma asked the saint. So far, the saint had been feeling somewhat comfortable. Hearing Amma’s question, he began to shiver. He wanted to say something, but he couldn’t. Words did not come out. He was still shivering with fear!

I didn’t understand clearly. Rameswaram? What new story is this? I became curious. I looked at Amma. Amma said, “Ask him. What does he say?” I turned to him. He said to me, “Twenty years ago, I went by this way to Rameswaram on foot. At that time, this place was not as it is now. I saw Swami (Adigalaar Amma) in a small hut. At once, I understood His power. I told Him that I would come back. Amma is angry with me, for I didn’t come here for several years. What I have done is wrong! Please tell Amma to forgive me.” He said these words very politely. I told Amma all these in Tamil.

I didn’t expect it at all! At once, Amma turned to him and said in very clear English, “Hey! Look here! Whatever you want to get, you can get it from here. What you don’t get here, you won’t get anywhere else.” While saying this to the saint, I saw Amma pointing Her right index finger. I couldn’t understand whether Amma meant Her Divine Feet, or the Maruvathur soil on which Amma was standing. Now, I understand. Amma was pointing to Her Divine Feet! When I heard Amma talk in English, I felt rather awkward. I thought that Amma could have directly talked to this saint. Why was I called to act as an interpreter? Maybe, Amma wanted me to be a witness for what happened in the Arul Koodam. I might have thanked Amma millions of times.

Amma began to talk in Tamil, “Ask him to talk. He has a few duties to perform. Ask him to complete them and come back. Tell him to have prasadam from the Temple.” I told the saint exactly what Amma said to me. He was very happy. Once again, he fell at Amma’s feet. Both of us took leave of Amma. He stood there for a moment and I felt that he was consoling himself. Once again, I was called inside. Wondering what Amma was going to tell me, I stood there. Amma asked me, “What? What does he say?” I told Amma, “Amma, he stands there as if he has forgotten himself. He didn’t say anything.” Pointing at Her own Self, our Amma said, “Okay...okay. You ask him who this Bangaaru is. Let us hear what he says.” With some hesitation, I said, “Amma...” Before I could complete, I heard Amma tell me with affection, “Doesn’t matter. You ask him.” When I came outside, I was wondering how to ask him about Amma. When I repeat Amma’s words, how can I say Amma’s name? May we address Amma by Her name?

Anyhow, I went to the dining hall with him. The hall was near the office. On our way, I asked him very politely, “Swami, we saw inside... Amma. Who is He?” The saint, who was walking, stopped immediately as if he had applied brakes. I still remember his glance. It was enough to burn me to ashes! He said to me, “Hey! Don’t lie! You know Him! If you hadn’t known Him, you wouldn’t have been so close to Him.”

I became confused. I expected him to give me some new information about Amma. Instead, I felt as if he had shot an arrow at me. The saint said that, I knew Amma very well. Is it true? How many are there among us, who have known and understood our Amma well? Do we behave in that manner? Somehow, I took him to the dining hall. He requested them to give him milk as prasadam. He went around the Sakthi Peetam, once again. When we came to the front gate, before sitting in his car, he took my hands in his. He thanked me for helping him. His car slowly moved forward.

However, I couldn’t remember anything that he had said. My mind was filled with what Amma said, “He can understand, but you couldn’t.” Amma’s words were echoing in my mind. Even now, they do. When will that day come? I am waiting for that day, just as you do...

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