Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chapter 89- Goddess Poleramma Comes for Lunch

In the ‘Banagana Palle’ village all of a sudden chickenpox spread like epidemic. Many villagers became victim of the same. As per local beliefs (superstitions) of the villagers, the village womenfolk thought that if they offered ‘Pongal’ (a sweet dish) and ‘Curd Rice’ to their local village deity ‘Goddess Poleramma’ then the epidemic would vanish from their village. As per their decision every woman started offering food to ‘Poleramma’. This news came to ‘Govindamamba’, the wife of ‘Sri Veera Brahmendra’. She being a compassionate mother of all, to bring harmony to the entire village she also decided to offer food to the village deity.

On one Sunday she got up early in the morning, swept and cleaned the entire house, bathed and prepared ‘Chaldi’ (last night’s rice mixed with fresh curd) as they believed that the deity ‘Poleramma’ was fond of eating that food and would protect all the villagers as her children if offered that food. As per the customs of ‘Poleramma worship’ she brought three bricks, smeared them with turmeric and saffron and arranged the three bricks like a triangle. Then she poured the ‘Chaldi’ on the banana leaf. At the same moment Swami who wasn’t at home due to some work outside, returned suddenly and entered into the kitchen. Seeing him coming she covered the three bricks and food with a sieve. Swami smilingly came near her and said, “Devi! What’s happened today, you seem to be very busy in something so ealy in the morning itself? What’s this which is covered under the sieve?” Swami uncovered the bricks and food arrangement. Govindamamba with a sense of remorse replied, “Swami! I’m sorry. Without informing you I was doing this. Actually all the village ladies were offering food to our village deity ‘Poleramma’ seeking protection of the children from the disease. All the women have already done this, so I thought I was late hence I also wanted to offer ‘Chaldi’ to ‘Poleramma’”. She immediately moved out of that room thinking Swami would scold her. Swami smiled and with the most affectionate tone called her by her name, “Govinda! Where are you? Come here once”. Hearing Swami’s call she came slowly like a child shivering with fear. Swami laughed first and then said smilingly, “Govinda! How silly you are! Do you think these three bricks would accept your food? Your wish of offering ‘Chaldi’ to ‘Poleri’ for the sake of entire village is very auspicious. Why are you scared on this? Come on! Be cheerful! My question is, how would these three bricks eat the offering you have given? That’s not possible right?” She nodded her head affirming his statement. Then Swami said,” Don’t worry dear! By the time I sit for my daily worship to lord Shiva, you cook good food and bring it inside the Mutt. I’ll invite ‘Poleramma’ to our home for lunch and fulfill your desire. I’ll make her come physically and eat the food prepared by you right in front of your eyes. Does this satisfy your heart, dear?” She felt extremely happy and rushed for preparing various kinds of food items. But out of extreme elation she revealed that news to her neighborhood lady. And then that’s it! That was the small spark (read news) which lit the entire forest (read village) through the word of mouth from one lady to another. Within no time entire village assembled in groups in Swami’s Mutt to see that miracle. Swami welcomed all of them inside.

Meanwhile, not aware of all these suddenly the Nawab of ‘Cuddappa’ village happened to drop in to see Swami. Hearing Nawab’s arrival, Swami came out and welcomed him inside, and did all sorts of hospitality. Swami enquired about the reason for his visit to his Mutt. Nawab replied, “Swami! Last time when you visited my palace and preached me kalagyana, you had told me that you would preach some more topics of Dharma and few more verses of Kalagyana. You asked me to find time and visit you in your Mutt for the same. After a long time I couldn’t stop myself, wanted to have your glimpses. Kindly preach me some more secrets of Kalagyana and quench my thirst”. Nawab prayed to Swami with full devotion. Swami accepted his request and said, “That’s so nice of you to have taken time to visit my Mutt. Surely I would discourse you with another chapter of Kalagyana but after the lunch. We’re waiting for some special guest today for lunch, that’s the reason of this huge crowd also!”

Swami invited Nawab inside the Mutt and asked Govindamma, “Devi! Call our children for lunch and serve the food. First serve food to ‘Poleri’ and then to us”. Following Swami’s instructions she went inside and came back with all the food items. Meanwhile all the children came and sat near Swami. Govindamamba carefully served food first for ‘Poleramma’ and then served to Swami, then she served her children, Siddhaiyya, nawab and few other village seniors. Then Swami revealed all the details to Nawab who in turn became exceedingly joyful for having visited Swami’s Mutt at the right moment. Nawab said, “Swami! I’m blessed to be here on this moment today. It was your grace only which made me come here to a witness another miracle of yours”. Swami smiled, closed his eyes, remembered ‘Poleramma’ and said, “Poleramma! Mother! Come here, see how many itsems your mother has prepared for you! Come soon and please your mother by having lunch with us today”.

To everybody’s astonishment, right in front of everyone’s eyes a young beautiful girl who looked like having an age around eight to ten years appeared and moved near the palce where food was served for her. He anklets made sweet sound in everyone’s ears and her face was as charming as a full moon. She had a sweet smile on her face and that kid having chubby cheeks mesmerized everyone’s hearts. Swami requested to accept the food. She willingly and with satisfaction ate all the items what Govindamamba prepared and then said, “Father! I am satisfied with the offerings, am I permitted to go now?”

Swami replied, “Devi! Thank you so much for accepting our invite and blessing us. I have decided to sit in Samadhi in another few days. In my absence in near future my second son ‘Govindayyacharya’ would require your help. So, whenever your mother calls you for anything, please come and do as she says”. Goddess ‘Poleramma ‘ accepted Swami’s request and said, “So be it! Whenever mother would think of me, I’ll appear and help her out!” Saying those words she disappeared then and there right in front of everyone’s eyes.Everyone felt extremely delighted for having sighted the goddess in reality. Everyone expressedtheir thankfulness to Swami in various words of praise and prayers. Then Nawab requested Swami to preach him ‘Kalagyana’ and delight his ears. Swami asked all the villagers also to stay back for some more time and started preaching them ‘Kalagyana’

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