It was a Saturday, 5th of March, 2005. I had just joined Digibee, Chennai, and we as a family with my college friend, Athreya, went to Thirumalaivaiyavoor Sri Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal temple. One has to take right in Padalam cross road towards Vedanthangal to reach it. Completely deserted road. Only notable feature, throughout the way from main road to temple were stray dogs, looking very ugly. So much of rashes, wounds, and God, better not to see them.

It was evening around 5.30 pm, when we started walking up the steps. There are some 60 – 70 of them. We were almost crossing half, when Appa sat down on the parapet wall, taking a breath. Myself and my friend were chatting, two steps above that and my brother was there with us. My mother was gazing around the hill.

Appa was wavering in mind and tired, from the time we left. He had a very bad day in office, with lot of senior management tortures, for doing unduly things. Strongly rejecting it, seems he had already invited problems.

Amma came to him, and asked, “Are you feeling giddiness? Your face is pale.” Appa told yes to her, and told we will climb remaining stairs. He just got up, that I felt some involuntary urge to catch him. I took his hand and all of a sudden, he fell down crumbling in the stairs in a split second. I had never seen him like this, and I started trembling. But just then the worst had started.

Appa started massive sweating, irregular breathings and was not responding to our calls. Calls to Appa became cries in 5 mins. Absolutely no one to help in the hill, and the car, in which we travelled was not visible even. Driver had taken elsewhere for parking. Only 4 of us were there, and my friend started chanting Srinivasa Gadhyam, a story, which Vishnu likes to hear, in an effort to revive Appa’s consciousness.

In 10 mins, I became nervous. What was going to happen, I didn’t know. My brother was visibly very frightened, so I told him, to go get the water bottle from the car. Appa was lying unconscious in my laps. Athreya was still chanting, and by now, Amma started crying heavily.

“Sai Baba, Kaapthunga (Save him) !” was her repeated cry. Praying to Shirdi Sai became her habbit when she was in Delhi (’99-’03). I didn’t like it though at that time. I didn’t believe in praying a mortal, in short. All my trials to console her went in vain. 10 mins became 30 and then 40. Not knowing what to do, I was still sitting with Appa in my laps, praying to our family deity Periya Thambiran, and Shiva, only God whom I worshipped after my college days incident, to come and save him. Clock struck 6.20 pm. It was getting darker and still there was no help in the hills.

Suddenly, a small black dog came out of the bush 20 steps down. I was so afraid on seeing it, since I thought it was going to bark / yell. Rather, it came gently towards my father, laid 2 steps down to him, and started staring straight into his eyes. 15 – 20 seconds went by. I couldn’t believe my own eyes on what it was doing, but, it slowly closed its eyes, and my father opened his !!!

Miraculous! Miraculous!! Things which I had read only in books and stories were happening just in front of my own eyes!

Appa regained consciousness completely. I was literally out of the world, and we started shouldering Appa towards the temple. After going 10 -15 steps, I turned back to see it, it was gone!

When coming back home, the frame of dog was still in my mind. Very shiny skin, not fat, not skinny, very calm looks and above all, a lion-like majestic walk on the steps. Something told me, this dog doesn’t belong to this place. Compared to all stray dogs, I should say, this was elegant.

Once we came back, I seeked advice from an astrologer. His pariharam was simple. “Offer small Rose garland to Vadivudai amman for 21 days, and do archana, Your father will be back in good health”, were his words. And opposite to my faith, my father recovered completely!

How? how? was the question in my minds. What’s the relation between planets and human life? How can a garland offered to a Goddess revert health? I still felt OK, since she was Consort of Shiva, whom I had started liking somehow 🙂 Slowly I started reading Pancha Mukha mantras of Shiva and memorizing them. Goddess was still a feet away in my liking, but who cares! As long as Appa is fine, it’s OK…was my idea.

Years later, one evening, I was incidentally reading Sai Charitha and leelas somewhere, and many ardent devotees had written about a shiny black dog which accompanied them through troubling times! So, was Sai the savior on other day ?

Unanswered…

When a door closes, something else opens….is a golden rule, which I always believe. My Appa’s health went for a toss, to open the kingdom of Gods before me, which I firmly believe now.

Two yagnas which we did, one in 2005 and other in 2006, turned my life upside down, introduced Shiva in depth to me, and told clearly, what Vedas can achieve.

Details in next blog !

“Anant Koti Brahmand Nayak Raja Dhiraj Yogi Raj Par Brahm Shri Satchidananda Sadguru Sai Nath Maharaj Ki Jai.

-Samiappa Palanivelan

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