A few days after my meeting with Amma, we finalised details about my daughter's wedding.
My husband and I made a trip to New York to meet up with the groom's parents and grand parents and started discussions on where to hold the wedding and when to plan it.
Once again, the little child goddess started to "play " with me.
What follows is a letter I wrote to Kathy Allen explaining the events leading up to fixing the wedding and the response I received:
Om Gurubyoh Namah. Namaskaram Kathy, I was very happy to receive Aiya's blessings last Tuesday at the Ashland temple. I tried calling in the morning of the next day to the house where Aiya was staying, but since it went to voice mail, did not leave any message on the host's phone.
The little story I have to tell relates to the fixing up of my daughter's wedding. The story and query at the end can be passed to Aiya, if you think it's appropriate. I'm writing to you since Aiya seems to be a busy man with a hectic schedule! I hope you don't mind me taking this liberty with you!
My daughter Pavitra is a Ph.d student at MIT and recently got engaged to another doctoral candidate in the same university. The family my daughter will be marrying into are also South Indian brahmins and come from the same community as my husband and I.
While the marriage plans were being made initially, the groom’s family>wanted the ceremony to take place in the month of Aadi, ( mid July- mid >August), 2008, as this time frame was convenient for them. I hesitated because Aadi is generally not considered an auspicious month to hold weddings.>So, we shifted the date to the second week of June, 2008. June 11th was the date we considered first and this soon got shifted to June 13th, 2008. Our astrologers said this was a good day. I was quite happy since the number 4 ( 3+1), is Baala's number ( according to Ezhilmani).
In fact, Baala sent me this lightening message not to make further changes >and keep it on the 13th. She insisted the wedding should be held in Chennai, in the traditional manner and that She would be there to "carry it >through".
However, a combination of events made me shift what might have been a traditional South Indian wedding ceremony to a " destination >wedding" in Hawaii, and a civil ceremony , instead. Kuai was the chosen spot and I consoled myself there is >a Hindu, shaivaite monastery there and a temple. I thought we could go to >the temple after the " civil" ceremony was over.
Over the last month, I busied myself making all the arrangements for a >wedding on Kauai. The wedding date was fixed as June 9th. This was not an auspicious date but a more convenient one for guests to attend. I went along with this option since I did not wish to upset my daughter.
I prayed to Baala and asked her repeatedly why she was "playing" with me.>The message from her always was " this wedding will be in Chennai".>But how? I asked myself this last week.>The deposits for accomodation and wedding planners had been paid.>We had paid deposit on a large house we were renting on Kauai for a week to >accomodate guests, etc. During this time, the groom's mother requested me to do a painting for her.
So, since this was the month of Aadi and I chant Lalitha Sahasranamam daily, I >decided to draw a Sri Chakra.>This painting, in vibrant gold, red and yellow-- was finished on the last Friday of Aadi and I posted it to the groom's mother.
The painting was finished on Friday; it reached her on the following >Saturday. On Sunday,( the next day), I get a phone call late at night from my >daughter asking me " Mummy, they want to hold the wedding in India/ >Chennai. They have already booked their tickets for December 26th through >either 4th or 6th January. Can we cancel Hawaii now without too much loss >of money"? Although I was happy at the turn of events, I still >hesitated, because usually South Indian weddings are not conducted in the >month of Marghazhi.
I recited the Baala Kavacham and meditated on her. I got this message from >her very strong and loud :>" DO NOT THINK YOU ARE DOING THIS WEDDING.>I AM DOING IT.>TELL THE BOY'S PARENTS YOU WILL DO THE WEDDING ON JANUARY 4TH, 2008. I WILL >BE THERE TO CARRY THIS THROUGH.>THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN AUSPICIOUS MONTH AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED.>NOW, PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL MY SON" (referring to Ezhilmani).
I picked up the phone immediately and dialled the Baala Peetam in Nemili. >This was on Monday, August 20th. He picked it up almost on the first ring. >Quickly I explained the situation. He only laughed and quoted one of the >songs he had written " Naalum Kollum Edhu Siva Nayaki Thunai varum Podhu?"
Ezhilmani has told me to go ahead with fixing this wedding up for January >4th, 2008.>He reiterated that the number 4 was auspicious for Baala. So, any of the >dates-- 31st, 4th, 13th or 22nd would be o.k.>>I have however chosen Jan 4th as this was Baala's command.
I simply wanted to share this story with Aiya and get his blessings.
I am not at all an extremely well versed person with regard to our Shrutis or Smritis / Vedas. However, I do know that my deep belief in Baala is something extraordinary and that it is this Bhakthi that is perhaps showing me the path to becoming a better person.
Now, the query: Does Aiya conduct weddings? Do you think his schedule will allow him to be in Chennai on January 4th to do us the honor of conducting this wedding? I will of course completely understand if he cannot. If, however, he can, we would be extremely happy to make all arrangements for him and his family to travel to Chennai and stay there. I sincerely hope you will forgive me this intrusion into your time, I look forward to keeping in touch with you, Namaskaram, Uma.
The response I got:
Namaskaram Uma Amma, I am sitting here with Aiya at the peetham. He said it would be great if the marriage was held here and then he would definitely perform the wedding in a very grand fashion. Then he said he is not sure of his schedule. This is all he has said outloud after hearing the story. Beyond this, we do not know what will happen. But with your faith and devotion and connection with Bala, I am sure the best will work out. Do not fear there is no inconvenience in contacting me. If I can help in any small way, I am happy. Best wishes, Kathy
I am scheduled to leave Boston on September 11th and hope to be in Chennai on September 16th. It is my intention to visit Nemili; seek an audience with Shri Ramesh and finally, make a trip to Devi Puram, the temple complex built by Shri Aiya's Guru, Amritananda, at Vishakapatinam.
It is only after this pilgrimage do I intend to busy myself with plans for my daughter's wedding.
I would also like to make a trip to Shirdi and pay my respects to Sai Baba.
However, with Baala controlling my thoughts, actions and subconcious desires, I am strangely quite detached from all daily activities. I have become a mere on looker in this giant game I seem to be playing with this very powerful goddess!