Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Spiritual Diary: Chapter 28

I left India a few days later and headed back to London and then on to Boston.

I arrived during early November just in time for Thanksgiving and relished the opportunity to be back with my daughters!

I carried on with my meditation and prayers as was my normal routine. However, one day in early December as I was listening to some songs on Nemili Baala, I received a very quick message from her. She wished for me to do a portrait of her as a nine- year old child seated on a lotus. I had done this previously, of course and had given it to the temple. However, this was the message I received along with the instruction that it should be finished on Pournami. This was just a few days away.

The very same day I started this divine task. I prayed that Baala would give me the strength to carry it out.

I immersed myself completely into the world of Baala. I listened to the CD’S and cassetes continuously as I set out to draw the portrait.

Slowly, the picture took shape and within a few days, I had finished the pencil drawing. On Pournami day in early December, I finished the entire painting and all that was left was the drawing of the eyes.

Just as I was about to draw the left eye of the Goddess, another message was flashed to me- “Call your daughter, Paavana immediately”.

Without hesitation, I put down the brush and picked up the phone.

Normally, my second daughter is never in her room on campus and this was a major source of friction between us. However, I was surprised when the phone was picked up immediately, almost at the first ring. There was a problem!

Over the next few weeks, I prayed to Baala to give me sufficient strength to withstand any downturn in my life!

Almost a whole month went by and the painting I had stopped working on was just covered and pushed away in a corner as there were more pressing family matters to attend to.

Christmas and New year came and went and then, in early January just before the full- moon day for the month, I had a direct request from Baala to do another, fresh painting of her. This time the instructions were unmistakable.

“Give the original painting to Haran Aiya of Raja Rajeswari Peetam in Rochester and give a large photo copy of it to VenkatGiridhar who writes all the songs, at Nemili”.

I was expected to finish this painting by Pournami .

I was intrigued by the mention of Raja Rajeshwari peetam, yet again. I visited their website and casually looked up what they offered in the online publications section. To my surprise ( actually, knowing Baala, I should have expected this), was a quarterly magazine that had been dedicated to this great goddess. On the front page was the smiling image of Baala as a nine- year old, a copy of the painting hanging in Kancheepuram.

Hardly believing my luck, I decided to base my image on the photo- copy which I hurriedly printed out.

Over the next few days, I was once again totally lost in the unfathomable world of Baala. Her songs and stories, the latter read by Venkatgiridhar, were the only sounds that fell on my ears. I shut myself up as if in a little cocoon with all my thoughts focused only on her in both my waking and dreaming state.

It’s no surprise that with the grace of Baala, the drawing was finished very quickly. There were two times when I received her precise and unmistakable orders. The first command was when I was trying to draw her folded right leg. I was copying this image from another artist’s impression and try as hard as I could, the position of the right foot was not quite acceptable. I put down my pencil and silently asked Baala “ Why am I stuck while drawing your beautiful feet”?

The response was not only immediate but hit me like a thunderbolt”Don’t draw My right foot using that artist’s picture. He didn’t get it right. I want you to draw it using your own skills”.

That was it! I picked up my pencil and looking at the position of my own right leg and foot in the mirror, proceeded to complete the picture.

The second order came as I was drawing Baala’s eyes.

‘Don’t copy my eyes from that artist’s painting. Draw it entirely out of your imagination”.

The portrait was finally finished and I painted Baala in glowing colours. On Pournami day, I painted in her eyes. My hands trembled as I drew in her left eye. “ What message are you giving me this, second time”? was my silent question.

Immediately, her response came “I love you and will be with you always”.

I finished her eyes in silence; rather it was Baala who finished Her painting for me!!

I took a photograph of the completed painting and put in onto a disc. I remembered the directive of giving the photo- copy to Nemili.

However, I was in Boston in January, 2007, with no particular plan of visiting Chennai at that time.

Within a few days of finishing Baala’s painting, my husband called from London and informed me that my presence was required in Chennai on certain work- related matters; documents had to be signed, etc. He had planned to come down to India with me as well!!

I left Boston immediately taking almost nothing with me except the precious disk that had Baala’s photo on it.

I stopped over for a couple of days in London and here, I made a large photo copy of my portrait. I also drew an image of the Sri Chakra , again under the directive from Baala, to give one original painting (i.e. the sri- chakra) and the photo-copy to Nemili.

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