I have always been attracted to Amma, even from an early age prior to my first trip to Melmaruvathur. At first, I was not able to identify the reason for this yearning. It may have been my mother’s influence. For despite all my other commitments, I would be always be compelled to travel to Maruvathur during my summer holidays to be with Amma.
My first three trips to Amma were divinely coordinated and precisely paved out by Amma. Indeed, these have been the most memorable; when I reflect on the grace that Amma showered on me then, and continues to do so.
Since then, I have made several trips to Maruvathur, some of which have been smooth, and others which have been fraught with obstacles and hurdles to overcome. Each of these experiences has taught me many spiritual lessons and provided me with several blessed opportunities and miracles.
I would like to share a few of the many blessings that I have been graced with by our beloved Arul Thiru Amma. After missing several opportunities to go to Melmaruvathur due to my own desire to travel elsewhere, my parents were adamant that they take me to partake in Irumudi prior to the commencement of my final year of schooling. I was hesitant as I was concerned that I would miss my summer holiday tuition classes which I felt were more vital for my exam preparation than seeing Amma. As such I did not go.
At the end of 2011 I was unfortunately made redundant from my work. Despite months and months of searching, it was very difficult to find a job due to the market conditions. By this point I started to contemplate studying in another field to increase the prospect of finding a job. However, I was still unsure as to whether this would increase the likelihood of finding a job and whether I should even move into a completely different career pathway.
In June 2012 my friend went to Maruvathur, so I asked her if she could do a Paatha Pooja for me and ask AMMA if I should study or to continue looking for a job. Amma said "mela padika sollu". I don’t know what I was thinking at that time, but even after receiving AMMA’s message, I was being slack and didn't make any progress to apply for any courses.
During this period, one night my mum was blessed with a dream with our Arul Thiru Amma. Amma told my mum "avalai chuma love panni kondu irukamal puthagathai eduthupadika sollu". Upon hearing about the dream, I took Amma’s message seriously and applied for a course in July.
Almost 2 months later I had the opportunity to go to Maruvathur for a friend’s wedding which was overseen by our AMMA. On my first day there doing Paatha Pooja, as I put my first step into the Arul Koodam AMMA uttered the words "padika thondangittiya?".
When my family first started praying Amma or how they got involved with Adhiparasakthi I wouldn’t know. I was too busy indulging in teenage mischief and had minimal communication with my family. I was aware though that my family attended Adhiparasakthi weekly prayers. They were reluctant to ask me to come along as I was a menace to our family and I was hesitant to go with them and cause them disrepute. One may wonder why this is so. Portraying my life at that point in time would draw a vivid picture of the whole situation.
Once I completed my higher education I thought the world was an oyster. Little did I know that the world is a dangerous place and parents are there to guide you in the right path. I was living my life ignorantly, reveling in worldly pleasures. I was trying to fit within the customs of the Western society. In doing so I started going out late at nights with “friends”, started working at a night club and almost always did not listen to my parents’ advice. It is common for youngsters at that age to behave in this way but I believe I went way beyond the threshold and caused enormous disrepute and grievance to my family and relatives. I might be harsh on myself by saying the above but I would rather take responsibility for my actions and learn from life’s lessons rather than living in denial.
I would like to share the blessings Amma gave me after partaking in my first Adi Pooram festival in Mel Maruvathur.
To understand the significance and value of Amma's blessing I need to first describe the hurdles Amma put in front of me almost one year before this. And to be honest with you it was not until these hurdles did I begin to have a true devotion to Amma. This is itself I consider to be a blessing on its own in bringing me closer to Amma.
First hurdle was a very traumatic time in my life, when my wife had decided to leave me. Felt like my world had turned upside down. And to make matters worse, and one of the unfortunate aspects of our community, gossip and rumours spread that reflected poorly towards my respect to women. Sadly a few Sakthi's within the Mundram I attended, were also spreading these rumours. Though never said to me and as invalid as most of them were, I did feel ashamed to bring my face to Mundram, a place of worship where Amma gives priority & respect to women. Even though I had really good support from my immediate family through the hurdles I was facing, I felt Amma was all I had to get through this. And so as uncomfortable as it was, I would at least attend for a little while every week.
You may have heard many Sakthis advocate for the power of Aganda Theepa Oil and its potency to cure illnesses. Aganda Theepa Oil is the oil used for the aganda theepam during the Navarathri festival (correct me if I am wrong here). The oil used in Maruvathur itself can be purchased there. I believe at mandrams here they mix the oil from Maruvathur with the oil from the aganda theepam lit here. This oil has the capacity to cure all illnesses under the sun.
BUT, what most people forget to realise is that it is not the oil itself that cures our illnesses. It is the belief that we have in Amma that transcends all scientific and logical explanations and alleviates all our physical illnesses. Although I was skeptical at first, Amma has shown the power of this oil by curing the numbness in my fingers and a rotator cuff injury which otherwise would have compelled me to undergo a surgical operation.