The first reason was that there was a tiny, bronze image of Bala that I had to return to the Peetam. The second was Bala’s summons to see an elderly aunt of mine.
The story behind the small bronze image of Bala is as follows. Just before the wedding, I received a gift from one of my mother’s cousins. Apparently this lady was a devotee of Bala Tripurasundari, (but not connected with Nemili Bala peetam). When she saw the image of Bala printed on my daughter’s wedding invitation, she decided to gift me a small statue of Bala that she had in her house. Apparently, this lady had placed an order at a local brassware shop for one small idol of Bala to keep and worship in her puja room. However, the shopkeeper made two of them. So, she decided to keep one and gift me the other. She sent the image to my home in Chennai, as she was unable to attend the wedding.
I received this idol with great delight. Here was Bala seated on her lotus pedestal, a young girl with smiling eyes and a long braid of hair thrown over her left shoulder.
I took the small statue into my Puja room and placed it near the portrait of Bala. Almost instantaneously, I received a directive. “Take this figure of mine to the Peetam. Don’t keep it in your Puja room”.
I was puzzled. However, I took this image away from the Puja room and left it on an undisturbed corner of the kitchen counter, meaning to take it in to the peetam on my next trip.
This episode occurred in November, 2007. Since then, I made innumerable visits to Nemili. However, every single time, I kept forgetting to take this statue with me.
On the Thursday of the third week in Thai, as I did my usual prayers to Bala, I received strong mental suggestions to pick up the phone and call my aunt. Now, this lady is extremely pious and had in fact called me up after the wedding was over, requesting me to take her to Nemili on one of my visits. Somehow, I had been unable to do so.
Today, I picked up the phone and dialed her number. As soon as she came on the line, I knew something was wrong. Her mood and tone indicated sadness. There were many problems in her household. Her grandson’s wedding wasn’t getting fixed despite many efforts over the past year. Also, there were some health problems faced by members of her family.
Hearing her dejected voice, I said “Why don’t you come with me to Nemili tomorrow?”
I’m going there anyway because I have been translating some of Babaji’s writings into English and I have to give him the documents. Do come with me!”
My Aunt agreed without a moment’s hesitation to accompany me.
The following afternoon, I set off with my aunt, armed with the copies of the translated work for Babaji. I got inside the car, ready to leave, when I just remembered there was no water bottle inside. I quickly dashed into the Kitchen and then saw the little idol of Bala sitting patiently by the Kitchen Sink, waiting to be taken to Nemili!
Soon, my aunt and I reached Sri Bala Peetam. It was around 5 p.m. on that Friday, the third and most important ‘Thai Velli”.
I introduced my aunt to Sri Ezhilmani and his wife. We listened to a few songs of Bala, seated by the peetam. Sri Ezhilmani gave his usual speech that he reserves for newcomers.
When he said the usual bit about how “all Kumba Raasi people must come to the peetam”, my aunt burst into tears. Apparently, she belonged to this minority!
It was obvious that my aunt was completely overwhelmed. She sat there in front of Bala, weeping like a small child. Fortunately, there were absolutely no visitors on that day and she had a free audience with Sri Ezhilmani. She related her problems to him and asked him to bless her.
Sri Ezhilmani gave her prasadam and told her in a reassuring manner that her grandson’s wedding would be fixed very quickly, that people suffering from ill health in her family would make a speedy recovery, and that the patter of tiny feet would be soon heard for those in the family who were childless.
Before leaving the peetam, I bought a few CDs for my aunt. I thought she might enjoy listening to Bala’s songs. I also got her a Bala parayanam book.
I almost forgot, again, that little idol of Bala I had hastily stuffed into my handbag. I brought it out hesitantly and told Sri Ezhilmani its little story and how I had been instructed to bring it to the peetam.
There was huge smile on Sri Ezhilmani’s face. Before he could say anything, Baby Amma walked in, saw the tiny idol, and exclaimed, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to have a small Utsava Murthy for Bala.” Sri Ezhilmani remarked that this was the best gift for his birthday!
Both of them repeated that it was an auspicious day to bring this image in.
Once again, I continued to stand in awe, a mere onlooker , witnessing the many miracles performed by this supreme Goddess, within whom all Gods reside!
Returning home, I prayed to Bala that my aunt’s family should find relief from their problems.
Hardly a week passed before I received the news that my aunt’s grandson’s wedding had been fixed. Also, from the relief I could hear in her voice, I knew that most of her problems were on the mend.
I thanked Bala sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.
Following this visit, I made two more trips to Nemili taking a few of my cousins to receive Bala’s grace. One cousin was desperate to get her daughter’s wedding fixed. Sri Ezhilmani’s reply was characteristic. “Fix up your wedding mandapam. Bala will find you a suitable groom”.
Within two months of this visit, I am happy to write that this child’s marriage has also been fixed!
There was yet another incident where my husband’s aunt had come in from Kolkata to Chennai for an eye operation. I went to meet her before the operation and found her very tense. Reaching into my handbag, I took out a small photo of Bala and gave it to her along with kumkum prasadam. I told her I would pray to Bala for her , on the day of the operation.
A few days later, this aunt called me and said that it was surely Bala who had helped her and given her the confidence to go through a tricky surgery.!
Sri Ezhilmani always says” Bala will treat you with just the same amount of love and affection you show to her”.
This is so true.
My life has been taken over completely by Bala. I don’t think there can be a moment when I’m not either thinking of her or remembering her family, or going over all those extraordinary experiences. If I write these lines today, they are at Her command.
Last night I thought to myself “ Who is going to read this blog-diary?”
I don’t know the answer. Perhaps Bala does.
However, I can state this firmly. Regardless of how many, or how few people have read these writings, I’m happy, because I have fulfilled what this divine child has asked me to do.