This Blog is dedicated to my grandfather, Late Shri.R.Chokkappa Mudaliar, whom, I believe is still guiding me from holy heavens (I do have reasons for this, which I will write below). I always have felt very proud of him, since other than the General Manager face of Bank of Thanjavur, he had a very special position, which was gifted to only other two people in Tamil Nadu.

Yes. He was one of the three guardians, appointed by Late Thanthai Periyar (E.V.Ramasamy Periyar), to the trust, which he had established with all his properties. My grand father did resign from the council very soon. Due to my Grandfather’s association with Periyar, he remained a very strong Atheist, most of his life.

Being brought up by him for 7 years, from my 12th year to till his death in 2001, I didn’t have great interests in visiting temples, though I was in Thanjavur, and just a couple of kilometers from Brahadeeshwara Shrine. Only shrine which I used to go, was Thiyagaraja temple in Tiruvarur, when I visit my maternal Grand parents. The Lord is simply beautiful in all alangaras. After all he is a Raja 🙂

As the fate would dictate, my life started changing. And the first incident was a rude shock.

I ran into “Thiyagaraja” temple, with my mind chanting “Aarora Thiyaraja” as always. It was a sunday evening in early ’03, around 5.55 pm, just a day before my BE project review.

Timing was my usual one to enter a small mandapam near the sanctum of Shri Thiyagaraja, to witness “Sayaratcha pooja”. The Lord in his floral decoration and divine beauty used to glow in the huge pooja, which goes on for 45 minutes, with lot of mantras being chanted and upacharas performed. Definitely a treat to our eyes, I never miss it, if I go to Tiruvarur.

I was entering the mandapam, when I was given a tight slap by a elderly brahmin person. Before I could get my foot down on floor, I was greeted with a volley of third rated words, which no one has dared to talk to me ever. Furious, and since I couldn’t understand why he bet me, I raised my hand to hit him hard.

Suddenly, I clearly heard my paternal grandfather telling me, “Thunnoru poosirukkan…adikatha”, meaning, he is having sacred ash on his forehead, don’t beat him. Shell shocked, I started looking around calling “Thatha thatha (Grand pa, Grand pa)”, since he had died almost couple of years ago. It took me sometime to understand what had happened, that the person had gone somewhere. I couldn’t find him in the crowd to beat him again. And the reason he hit me was a mistaken identity !

I don’t know what had happened to me, I was so angry that I couldn’t sleep that night. Couldn’t tolerate such a shame inside sanctum of the Lord, whom I had always loved. The next day morning before leaving to college I went to temple again,reluctant to leave Tiruvarur without seeing Him. As I walked inside the mandapam, a known kurukkal came smiling at me saying, “He is in Gold kavacha today. You are blessed to see Him in this form, since its very rare. Also have this prasadam.” Sugar pongal was definitely sweeter than usual one and after I told him what happened the previous day, he was more than happy to let me inside the sanctum sanctorum, where the king Thiyagaraja sits for a pradhakshina. “All sins will get absolved child!” were his kind words later.

When I prostrated myself before the Lord, I could feel something moving away from my forehead. After all, the Lord of Universe has Himself blessed me, with what even one in a million will never get – entry inside sanctum sanctorum!

That was the first miracle I remember in my life, where I felt the presence of Lord Shiva. When I traveled back to college, there was only one question in my mind, “Why Me?“. This question still lingers, no answers though…Past Karma? I don’t know.

I simply thought my Grandfather descended from Holy Heavens to protect me !

A rude and bigger shock came 2 years later, which made me fall to the floor, which made me spineless, trembling….and finally made me to believe God’s existence. It is a story which I always wanted to forget, but will write on it in my next blog !

Samiappa Palanivelan

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