I owe my faith to my father. He has been the one who taught me the ABCs of all that I am today. For a week now, I was being constantly reminded of a particular story that appa used to narrate to us kids, so animatedly.
It’s a fabulous story, with stellar poetry. I kept enjoying it within me, but there always comes a point beyond which you know there is more. Likewise, this story of Lord Vishnu got me thinking, and I wondered the pertinence behind the reminder. The story revolves around Thirumizhisai Alwar.
[Trivia: Alwar means one who is immersed in the Lord. There were 12 such Alwars in Tamil Nadu, known for their love and service to Lord Vishnu]
This is how the story goes:
Thirumizhisai Alwar while living in the Kanchipuram District of Tamil Nadu, had empathy for an old woman, as the age didn’t allow her to offer temple cleaning services as before. With his ascetic power, he transformed her to a young, beautiful woman.
The news soon spread, and the King called for Kani Kannan, the Alwar’s disciple, to the court room. Overwhelmed by the Alwar’s prowess, a desire took over the king: he wanted the Alwar to sing his praises. Kani Kannan responded that the Alwar would praise none but the Lord. The King instead suggested Kani Kannan to do the honors. Again, his request was refused. The King could tolerate no more, and banished Kani Kannan from the kingdom.
So he came back to his Guru, and requested permission to leave. Thirumizhisai Alwar took the matter directly to the Lord, and out came this beautiful poetry:
“Kani Kannan pogindran, kamaru poon kachi manivanna, nee ingiruka vendam
Thunivudaya senna pulavan naan solgiren pannagappai suruti kol”
Meaning: Kani Kannan is leaving Kanchipuram. My dearest Manivanna, You too mustn’t stay here. Roll up Your five headed snake bed (adisesh). I, Thirumazhisai Alwar, the poet himself is telling You this, come with us.
So there was Kani Kannan walking out, followed by the Alwar, who was in turn followed by the Lord Himself. That meant an empty sanctum-sanctorum. An ominous omen soon set in Kanchi, and the King realised his mistake. He asked for mercy, and requested Alwar and Kani Kannan to return. As they returned, the Alwar sang thus:
” Kani Kannan pokozhindhan, kamaru poon kachi manivanna, nee ingiruka vendum
Thunivudaya senna pulavan naan solgiren pannagappai paduthu kol”
Meaning: Kani Kannan is not going anywhere. He is not leaving Kanchi. My dearest Manivanna, You must return. You must be here. I, Thirumazhisai Alwar, the poet himself is telling You this, spread Your five headed snake bed (adisesh), and lie down.
To every one’s astonishment, the pristine form of the Lord was back in the temple premises. Hence the name: Sonna vannam seitha perumal/yathokthakari/the Lord who did as told 🙂 Beautiful, isn’t it?
This is by far, one of the stunning love stories I have ever heard.
As this story kept replaying in my head, I asked my Guru, “So why are you reminding me of this story?”
I then realised, how it was only the earlier week, when I was looking forward for a musical session with other mates at Parthi. Though Brother Siddharth and I were planning for one, the weekend plan didn’t fructify. I had left it there. The very next day, I had got what I wanted, but not until this story kept coming my way, did the message sink in.
This is what had happened:
My friends Charan, Geetha, along with C and I, had gone to visit Brother Sai Kaustuv. After a loving Satsang and some stories, unexpectedly the night ended on a musical note. Brother Kaustuv sung his wonderful compositions, making the domino effect come to play. Charan, Geetha, C – all joined in. The night ended on a high, with C singing his composition from college days. We were exuberant as we walked home, and without any realisation, I had let it slip by.
Ah! I get it. Hence the reminders. I looked at Him, and I knew what He wanted to tell me: “You don’t need to ask explicitly SB, I give, give, I ever give”.
To that I will raise my glass ❤
Much love to you Bhagwan,