From one among the many devotees’ perspectives
In the early 1970’s-began my long journey to Rathinagiri –drawn irresistably by a saint. An epitome of absolute simplicity – clad in loincloth, smeared in vibhuti all over. His eyes very fiery and mysteriously very lustrous. His Looks were very penetrative and intensely focused as well incisively scanning.
It was quite difficult to see him straight into his eyes as he would be looking into the very eyes of the onlooker. I had experienced a comprehensive comfortableness in his very focused and intense look. Something within me started telling this is HIM.
I am absolutely certain I had no notion of HIM within me in search of such a venerable and holy person-but something kept repeating within me that your search ends here as it is HIM of which I had no previous or personal knowledge.
Ever since my first visit in late1970’s,which was on a Monday – my weekly holiday I developed a longing for my week end- first to see HIM Swamigal and in the process pay obeisance to the presiding deity on the hillock-BALA MURUGAN.
In the earlier days the interaction were mere exchange of looks which were a balm to the troubled mind. I would exclaim it as recharging the battery. Later when I started to seek solutions to my problems which were aplenty and unending, the responses would be either writing on the slate or white board or on a piece of paper. This once a week schedule graduated and morphed into as often as possible thereafter.
Swamigal’s self-imposed resolve not to leave the hillock for three decades plus, till he accomplished his avowed mission of constructing his envisioned Temple merits boundless admiration, besides setting a benchmark for others to emulate him Steely resolve in achieving set objectives, not by aby external compulsion but by an inner thrust.
What really is stunningly staggering- our Swamigal while conceiving and generating thoughts within himself have transformed a brick and mortar hillock shrine into a massive structure of place of worship for devotees to other worship and seek blessings besides providing employment opportunities to more than five hundred families directly and indirectly many more. Swamiji made Rathinagiri globally known thus drawing the attention of tens of thousands devotees world over.
Our Swamiji’s social responsibilities like providing drinking water facilities for the Rathinagiri hamlet, police station, post office, electricity system office, banking facilities with ATM and stop over facilities for devotees. Shops for vendors to sell their wares related to offerings and other eateries outlet. This apart mandapams for marriages and tonsuring enclave. Annadanam for up to 300 a day is routine.
A rural hospital, a facility where at affordable cost get treated for cataract, dental, ortho, a well-equipped biochemistry lab, X-ray, ECG etc. This apart from Swamigal’s devotees who are eminent medical professionals from various disciplines visit on Sundays for diagnose and dispensation as a service to our Swamigal.
School up to +2 with updated facilitates and labs on par with the urban, besides transportation of children to and fro from school are all mute testimony of one man army who took upon himself to initially restructure a mortar and brick place of worship on par with six abodes of Lord Murugan with sustained focus, devotion and unremitting dedication.
The facilities foresaid are subsequent add on. This temple and its surroundings are ever a beehive of activities in the sense of additions, alterations and modifications to cater to the needs of devotees.
Swamigal’s followers and devotees, were and are, ever eager and willing to subscribe generously in terms of men, money and materials which is quite commendable. In fact, rather than Swamigal seeking assistance for getting the work done, it was and is offered to him in unending measure speaks volume on Swamigal’s dedication for a cause and his devotees devotion to him.
Those who are in the know of the history of Brooklyn Bridge which was considered to be impossible and inconceivable by the experts at that distant time was built by John Augusta Roebling against all conceivable odds. It is a saga in itself.
If Brooklyn Bridge is an edifice to be remembered for the fierce dedication of one man who made the seemingly impossible-certainly possible, our Swamigal’s efforts brought about a small structure to a huge edifice against all odds to its present stature. None on the highway could miss this grandeur.
The similarity is the accomplishment of both the complicated structures referred to above is not by normal conventional verbal communication, but by non-verbal gestures and signals. This an excellent and classic example that more than words deeds speak is well established if only the conviction, and commitment is constructively focused.
The earlier CEO of L&T–India, Mr. Ramakrishnan who was an ardent devotee of our Swamigal was not only astounded but equally astonished by the knowhow and intricate knowledge on construction aspects of our Swamigal, which helped in building a huge edifice as against the small earlier mortar and brick structure.
This narrative is quite inevitable to drive home the fact of Swamigal’s innate skills and constant upscaling the art of planning, organising, leading and evaluating to its highest level, which eventually made other temple authorities requesting his help in constructing or restructuring temples and consecrating them. Often no consecration of temple takes place without his participation, subscription, suggestion and consultation both far and wide.
This apart-our Swamigal is widely known to have brought about solace, succour and solution to innumerable devotees, by redressing their personal and familial grievances in writing, as well prescribing ablutions to be performed once their respective issues getting resolved. This is the proof of his accountability dimension, both personally and spiritually as an enlightened individual to all those who who come to him for resolution of their grievance.
From a last rung devotee’s dimension – I feel and find, Swamigal as an integral part of every devotee’s lives each in its own way. His contribution to social upliftment and spiritual devotion is stellar and sterling.
It would be quite an understatement to exclaim –our Swamigal is a very down to earth in terms of Friend, Philosopher and Guide in every devotee’s integral life. His very venerable presence is quite assuring and comforting and his benign and effusive simile is all pervasive. It would be quite difficult and diffident not to think of Swamigal in every moment of our life living and lived.
Swamigal and the presiding deity Balamurugan for me and our family members- would consider ourselves as destitutes without him in every moment of our lives. Our family members-numbering around a dozen thereof, every breathe in and breathe out is by the grace of our Swamigal. There is much more narrative on our Swamigal’s grace and munificence for which-no description is possible within the bounds of expressions, for it is not finite but infinite, as well as vast as vastness could be.
In the first paragraph I had stated that the long journey to Rathinagiri started on a Monday in 1970, which resulted in myself and my wife finally relocating ourselves in Rathinagiri effective 6th Oct 2012 and continuing to live under the benign grace of Bala Murugan Adimai and Bala Murugan the presiding deity.
It would be uncharitable if mention is not made of his single handed, single-minded, quest for redressal of human upheavals and problems, that had made innumerable devotees throng to him in unending measure across the globe, in person or thru contacts and e-mails, inasmuch he had established hithertofore an unknown hamlet Rathinagiri as a place of worship not to be missed, besides making it appear on Indian landscape and map.
I and my wife, my son, grandsons and great grandchildren till date seek upon him for guidance before taking any crucial decisions, irrespective of issues. In net effect our comprehensive submission to his sublime grace and sagacity is total and complete inasmuch every devotee of Swamigal he is an integral part of their respective lives each in their own way.
Our Swamigal’s devotees encompass bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, professionals, celebrities and dignitaries from all walks of life from zenith to nadir is a reflection of his outreach sequel to his unassuming qualities and exemplified simplicity.
His devotees are quite content with the contentment that there is refuge in Rathinagiri, reach there for relief and redressal.
Rest assured it is.