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.
During this time, my father returned after attending Irumudi. Amma had told him to attend Her Avathaara Thirunaal celebration. When my father went back as per Amma’s intructions, Amma observed Mounam throughout his trip. My parents were ecstatic that my father was blessed with the opportunity to attend Amma’s Avathaara Thirunaal function. However I was deeply disappointed, as I had expected Amma to clarify why She had asked him to return.
That night I went to bed foolishly thinking that I would have wasted a trip and my time if I had left my classes to see Amma and She was silent for the duration of the trip. That very night Amma came into my dream for approximately 30 seconds and told me to come see Her and that She would speak to me. Immediately after the dream I woke up at 3.15am to the sound of a ringing bell and my mother chanting 1008 Potri. This dream stunned me and inspired me to go.
During the trip, Amma was mostly Mounan. Again, I was initially disheartened due to my expectation based on the dream. However I had several gem-like opportunities to do thondu (much of which I can only dream of today) and also met may many people with many complications and worries, that by the 7th Paatha pooja the desire that Amma should speak to me had vanished. It was that very day that Amma spoke to me, fulfilling her prophetic dream to me.
Following this trip, I was unsure when I would next return. Fortunately at the end of my schooling I started a part time job and though I had no intention to go to Maruvathur, I began saving my earnings. A few weeks later my mother’s friend asked if someone could accompany her to Maruvathur. Initially my mother was to go, however due to her work commitments, it was better for me to go. As such the money I had earned worked out perfectly to cover my travel expenses.
Prior to this trip I have always travelled with my parents. However on this trip, Amma created several chances for me to be independent, as the Sakthi I travelled with had a different perspective on partaking in Amma’s poojas. As it was Amma’s homeland, I felt She was always with me, and I was never alone. Many miracles occurred during this trip, the most notable being Amma’s blessings for the youth in Australia to form a Mandram.
Amma’s divine instruction, “Ilanjarhalai valarthuvidu” was Her very first gift to direct me towards the stepping-stone of my spiritual journey. With our Mandram having been established, I became immersed in Amma’s thondu and prayers more than ever before.
That second year, although my parents could not accompany me, I confidently booked a five week trip to Melmaruvathur. On the flight the fear of staying alone in a hotel started to creep up on me, however Amma ensured from my arrival to my departure that I was always in good company and supported.
Initially there were devotees from my own country; however as each of them left, Amma would ensure that I met a new Sakthi who also needed accommodation or someone to share with. This repeatedly happened until at one point I was told to vacate and move to a hotel a little further away to accommodate the staff conducting the Eye camp.
I really wanted to stay with Amma for one more week and also wanted to undertake thondu at the Eye camp, however staying alone scared me. That morning I went to Paatha pooja feeling dejected. As I went in, Amma blessed me with much delight. That itself felt replenishing. As I went out and sat with a group of foreign devotees, out of nowhere a little girl of about age 2 ran and sat in my lap for a few seconds. I was so surprised, as I had not looked at her or gestured her to come to me. For the few seconds the little girl was in my lap I felt a profound sense of a mother’s love and care.
As the little girl got up and ran off, a Sakthi I did not know approached me and said she had just witnessed what had happened and that she believed it to be Amma, for the girl was nowhere in sight. As we got to talking, it so happened that she was staying at the same hotel I was staying at, and her room was one of the very few that did not need to be vacated. She kindly shared her room with me. Little did I know that Amma had not only blessed me with a room but had also gifted me with a great spiritual friend, mother and mentor in the form of that particular Sakthi.
I have been incredibly fortunate in my life with the grace and blessings of Amma. I hope to share many more experiences in the future and be a beacon of light that spreads Amma’s divine love and messages.
GURUVADI SARANAM - THIRUVADI SARANAM
A.M.M.A Mandram devotee (Anonymous)