Sri Bala Charanam. JULY 13TH, 2009.
Sri Bala’s Divine Miracle!
“Keep your right leg absolutely still. Don’t move your body for the next 45 minutes”, said the lab technicianas he prepped me for an MRI scan of my knee.
I closed my eyes as I slowly slid along the conveyor belt into an extremely claustrophobic capsule. A pair of headphones were clapped on my ears. “You might hear some really loud noises, don’t be afraid” said the assistant helpfully, and then I was left completely alone.
I tried to compose myself while lying on that very narrow bed inside the cylindrical shaped tunnel where magnetic rays would map and take a detailed picture of my leg. A dye was to be injected so that the soft tissue areas surrounding the bone could be highlighted and interpreted accurately. “ Please help me Bala”, I screamed loudly, yet silently in my head. “Where are you when I really need you?” I whispered and then tried to bring all my energies and concentration into the middle of my eyebrows. I imagined I could see Sri Bala Peetam at Nemili and the smiling faces of Sri Ezhilmani, Baby Amma, Baba.G, Mohan and Murali.
I tried to hold on to these familiar faces as the loud noises started, beating out a tuneless pattern like a hammer hitting a tin drum.
How did I end up inside this enclosed space? Why was I inside a hospital? Why was Bala making me undergo this unreal scenario?
Well, it all began like this. For a month now, I had experienced pain and slight discomfort in my right leg. This had started while I was engaged in the task of creating the beautiful “mandapams” for Sri Bala. In fact, on the day I delivered Bala’s sparkling dresses and the colorful mandapams, my right knee was extremely swollen and painful to the extent I could not carry out my namaskarams to either Bala or the Peetathipathi, Sri Ezhilmani.
I treated this condition with ice packs and pain killers and by the time I reached London, it wasn’t too bothersome. However, especially after my arrival in New York, the right leg was acting up again . I found that my knee was hurting all the time and walking and climbing stairs were proving to be difficult.
Although I did allow a few weeks to slide by, I knew that I had to take myself to a doctor soon. I was merely finding excuses to visit the hospital. First, I busied myself doing the “homework” set by Baba.G in his CD “Guruvarullum Thiruvarullum”, where he had asked his students to carefully sift through all the songs he had written and jot down his advice on various topics like “anger, ego, hatred, vengeance, etc, etc”.
Next, in the final lecture for the month of June, Baba.G had asked us to listen once again to all 3 CDs he had published and then write him a letter.
While I started off this letter in Tamil thinking I would merely emphasize a few of the salient points in his weekly speeches, I got totally carried away. I ended up writing about 22 pages in fluent Tamil ( this itself is a miracle for someone not used to writing in this script for over 30 years). The second astonishing fact was that I was able to quote from many of Baba.G’s sayings each week providing what looked like a concise précis of all his advice thus far.
I mailed this long letter to Baba.G on July 6th and called him on Guru Poornima day to both receive his blessings as well as to alert him to the fact he had to read a long letter from me.
Baba.G’s reply was amazing . He said “No one except you turned in the first homework I set . However, a relative in the family has completed the second homework and has handed over his thoughts on my weekly speeches in a long letter format. Since you are the only lady to finish it in this manner as well, I am really happy. I’m going to publish these letters in a pamphlet soon.” He gave me all his blessings on that auspicious day honoring our Gurus and I felt totally happy and relieved as if I had passed out successfully after an arduous exam!
The day after Guru Poornima, I decided to take myself to a nearby hospital to have my knee checked. I read Bala’s “Noi Neekum Pathigam” and the “Andhadhi,” and filled with a lot of confidence and the certainty that Bala would surely take care of me, I set off to the hospital along with my husband.
It was a nice, sunny morning and we walked the 20 blocks up to the hospital. My husband, noticing that I was walking briskly, commented that the doctor would probably let me off quickly with a few painkillers. We reached the hospital by about 10 a.m. and got the “fast track” service to see a doctor that morning. After a few preliminary checks, my knee was duly examined and since it was still swollen, an x-ray was required to get a clearer picture.
Half an hour later, the x-ray results were produced and the doctor returned to interpret the results. One look at his face and I knew something was wrong. The x-rays had revealed an abnormality. A dark mass, presumably a tumour or a bone growth, was visible near the knee. Possibly this was the culprit causing both the pain and a certain loss of sensation in my leg. The doctor suggested gently that this situation needed further investigation. “It could be a benign growth or a cyst. However, we can’t rule out cancer. So, you need an MRI scan to help give the proper diagnosis”, he said.
I could see the doctor and hear his words clearly. However, “I” seemed to be a mere witness to what was going on. One part of my mind was telling me “ this scene is unnatural and surreal. Surely, Bala is not going to make me undergo a major health set back”. However, the reality was that the next step would be a complete analysis of my blood and kidneys to see if the latter could process the dye that would be injected during the MRI scan.
The doctor stood up and said “Please don’t worry. We will merely evaluate your condition and give you the option of having the knee surgery eitherhere or in London”.
Once again, while I registered this conversation, my mind refused to accept the implications. Involuntarily I started to shiver even though it wasn’t cold inside the room. My husband remarked that perhaps we should proceed directly to London that weekend to perform the exploratory surgery on the knee. His reasoning was that we should not delay finding out whether the tumor was cancerous or not.
Meanwhile, my daughter was summoned to the hospital and I could see that this news deeply troubled her. Although I tried to remain positive, we all knew that inevitably my knee required some immediate surgery to determine if the “dark mass” was indeed “sinister”.
The hours passed by slowly. It was almost 3 p.m. by the time the doctor popped by again to apologize for the long wait to get into the MRI room. Apparently there were many emergency cases that day and there were no openings until 6 p.m.
There was nothing else to do but resign myself for the long wait. I took out the Bala Parayanam book to read the “Noi Neekum Pathigam” ( Song to remove all diseases). Almost immediately I heard Bala’s voice “Don’t read this prayer inside the hospital”. So, I decided to read through the calming verses of Sri Bala Andhadhi. Although my lips moved to enunciate the words, I could not concentrate. So, with a silent appeal to Bala, I closed my eyes and thought about her instead.
It was exactly 3.55 p.m. when my daughter and husband returned after a late lunch. I remember the time exactly because I got the directive at that moment to send an SMS message to Baba.G’s cell phone. I requested my daughter to type out the following message.
“ Sri Bala Charanam. Namaskaram. I’m sending you this message from my daughter’s cell phone. I came to the hospital to check out my knee pain. The x-ray was abnormal. A tumour is suspected. I’m waiting to get an MRI scan done.
We are all very shaken up. Please Baba.G pray to Bala for a miracle.
If you get this message please send me an SMS”.
My daughter glanced at me while typing out the request for a “miracle”. She said “Mum, you can’t really ask for the impossible. Just accept in your mind that some sort of exploratory surgery might have to be done to get a biopsy of that tumor. Maybe you can ask Baba.G to pray that it won’t be cancerous”.
I replied “ No, I am going to request Bala for a miracle. I want to ensure that no knife comes anywhere near my knee!”
My daughter sighed in disbelief but dutifully typed up the message. “ Wait” I exclaimed, “don’t hit the send button until 4 p.m.” But it was already too late. The message was sent at exactly 3.57 p.m.
In my heart I knew that the message would probably never get read instantly since it was about 1.30 a.m. in India. Baba.G was bound to be fast asleep!
For the next couple of minutes I closed my eyes and thought of Baba.G’s face in the portrait I’d done .My reverie was broken by the “ping” of an SMS message.
My daughter came up to me with her phone “ Mum, he’s sent you a reply”.
I could hardly believe my eyes! It was exactly 4 p.m. ( Bala’s number).
The message read “ Baba.G and Bala are always with you. Don’t worry, all your problems will soon melt away”.
At that very moment a hospital attendant approached me with a wheel chair. There was a vacancy in the queue for the MRI scan and I was to be taken to the third floor x-ray room immediately.
I knew with certainty that Bala had heard my plea. My eyes were moist and a fresh energy surged back.
A few moments later, I found myself in another room waiting to be taken into the area where the MRI scan was to be done. Hardly ten minutes after the first SMS message arrived from Baba.G, another message was sent to my daughter’s cell phone. This one said “ Bala’s and Baba.G’s rains of blessings are on you”.
I thought of my painting of Baba.G. I recollected the manner in which Bala made me change the background color three times and later made me paint many gold dots on the pale blue color as if to depict Baba.G would rain down blessings on all Bala’s devotees.
So, this is the background story of how I came to be lying on that narrow bed, with my knee strapped in, hearing discordant, loud hammering sounds as the magnetic imaging device was mapping out the contents of my leg!
I remained in total darkness for about 30 minutes as I closed my eyes to avoid both the bright lights inside the capsule as well as to avoid the feeling of claustrophobia.
I imagined I was in Bala’s Peetam at Nemili. I pictured in my mind’s eye, Ezhilmani Mama walking in with his customary smile, greeting me with a joke. I could see Baby Amma smiling at me , enquiring how I was. I saw Mohan wearing his red, silk dhothi , doing “abhishekam” to Bala so tenderly.
I could see Bala, little Bala standing proud and “tall” despite her physical stature, accepting the turmeric, coconut water and milk “abhishekams”.
I could see very clearly Mohan taking out the “alankara deepam” and swirling the lamp so lovingly and respectfully in front of Bala.
Then, I could see Murali taking care of all the people who had gathered at the Peetam, attending graciously to all their needs.
Finally, I got a glimpse of Baba.G. However, unlike the others, I could only see his face just like it is in the painting I have done of him. I tried very hard now to concentrate on his face.
I started at the crown of his head and moved my attention to the three vibhuthi stripes on his forehead and then down to his eyes. I looked into his big eyes, dark and fathomless as if outlined by an eye-liner pencil. They seemed to be looking inside the whole of me- trying to send me a message. But I could not hear it. Then, my attention was drawn to his nose and finally rested on his mouth.
At this point, the whole face came into view and the mouth started to move and talk :
“Ungallukku ondrum illai. Neenga Ezhundhu Vara Poreenga. Intha Navarathirikku, Neenga Nemilikku Vandhu Engalloda Irukka Poreenga. Ondrum Illai Ungallukku. Bayam Vendam”.
“Nothing is really wrong with you. You are going to get up and walk. This Navarathri, you will be spending with us in Nemili. Nothing’s wrong with you. Have no fear”.
The hammering sounds rose to a crescendo and then stopped for a bit. The lab technician came into the room and said I’d done well so far and hadn’t moved at all . “Now”, he said, “I’m going to inject the dye. Please keep still for another 15- 20 minutes”.
I was pushed into the confined space once more. This time, I was feeling a bit uneasy. I just wanted this episode to end quickly. Once more the loud noises began to resonate in the small chamber. With my eyes closed I appealed to Bala.
“Oh Bala, please help me. I can’t stand this anymore. Why are you putting me through this unnecessary stress and tension?” Bala’s face came floating into my mind’s eye. This was the face painted on the wall of the Peetam by an artist, long time ago. Her eyes were very bright and Bala’s face came closer and closer towards me. I could now see her standing in her green skirt, with her right hand raised high in blessing. I could see this hand also coming closer and closer to me. I could see this small, tender hand decorated with “Marudhaani” (Henna), with one small orange-red circle in the center of the palm, surrounded by smaller dots and the fingers covered too, with little orange- henna caps.
Immediately after this vision, another face came into view. This was the face of Bala in the painting I’d given to the Peetam in January, 2008. This time, Bala’s eyes were glowing like diamonds as she came closer to me. Next, I could see two hands. Why, these belonged in the painting of my “Arpudha Bala”.
Then, I saw the face of Arpudha Bala merging into the face of “my” Bala painting and then both these faces dissolved into the face of the “standing Bala in the green skirt”.
All this happened within a fraction of a second. What happened next was even more astonishing. The “merged” face of all these three Bala’s entered the face of Baba.G in the portrait and seemed to get totally absorbed in his face!
Baba.G’s face looked like an amalgamation of all the Bala images I’d drawn so far and then a golden glow seemed to emanate from his face and spread all around like a halo!
I remembered instantly, the reason why Bala told me to put in that golden halo when I painted Baba.G’s portrait.
Bala’s message sounded very clearly at that moment:
“Nothing is wrong with you. The MRI scan will show no tumor. I have orchestrated this whole incident to “prove” to you how much power my son Baba.G possesses”.
The next minute I felt a warmth over my knee as if someone was caressing it. I thought it must be the dye doing its job.
A few more seconds and then Baba.G’s face appeared and said “It’s all over now”.
At that very moment, I heard the door of the room opening and the technician entered to pull me out of the capsule.
“What happened to you just now?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” I enquired.
“Your leg moved after I injected the dye. Up until then you were keeping very still”.
I was totally confused. I certainly didn’t recall moving my leg. Worried that this could mean the results might be skewed, I said “Maybe it was an involuntary action. I hope it won’t hurt the results”.
The man didn’t answer; just took me back to the waiting area where I could see my daughter and husband waiting anxiously.
There was a further wait for about 45 minutes before the doctor re- entered with the radiologist’s reports.
I took out the precious Bala dollar and photo that Ezhilmani Mama had given me, from my purse and clutched it tightly in my left hand.
The doctor’s face revealed straight away the good news. He said “Look, the radiologist says that the mass isn’t malignant or dangerous. However, the bad news is you do have a degenerative bone condition that has to be treated. I’ll give you some pain killers and you can get follow up treatment back in England.”
These words were like manna from Heaven. While the possibility of frail bones is something I had to attend to immediately, it was indeed a great relief that the tumor wasn’t cancer!
I thanked the doctor. It was exactly 7 p.m. when I sent the following message to Baba.G.
“ Thank You Baba.G and Bala for the miracle! You were the doctor who helped me today!”
The following morning (Thursday) I listened to the CD “Guruvarullum Thiruvarullum”. Today was the first Thursday in the month of July and Baba.G had elaborated on his role as a “Guru” who comes home to personally help each and every one of Bala’s true devotees.
My eyes brimming with tears, I called Nemili and spoke to Baba.G.
“Thank you so much for all your help yesterday”, I said “but tell me something. How come you were awake at 1.30 a.m when I sent that SMS message?”
Baba.G’s answer is perhaps the true climax of this entire incident.
“ Amma, I was woken up at that early hour by none other than Bala herself. I glanced at the clock and it was just past 1.30 a.m. I was directed to pick up my cell phone and read your message. What is really surprising is that I can’t usually read without my glasses. Normally all reading material would appear blurred. However, at that moment I could read your message very clearly. Yet, I only scrolled down to the bit where you had written you had a tumour and were waiting to go in for the MRI scan. I immediately sent you that first message and prayed for you. Then, I lay back in bed and went back to sleep. A few moments later Bala woke me up and said “Uma needs your help now. You want to know what a “miracle” is? And how you can perform miracles for other people? I will give you the power to help heal people. However, I shall tell you whom to use it on , when and how to administer it. Just at this moment Uma needs your help. This is what you should do. Get up and sit on the bed with your legs stretched out. Massage both knees and legs three times with your hands. Remove your hands on the final time and throw away all her problems. After you do this send her a second message”.
Baba.G continued “ This is exactly what I did. I massaged both my knees three times and almost like a sorcerer who removes the negative effects of “evil eyes”, I threw out whatever was causing you a problem. Then I sent you that second message”.
“Do you know what else Bala told me that night?” he carried on “ Well, she said this whole world would soon become aware of exactly what I can accomplish but my fame will be spread by those very people who are already, currently famous in the media today for their spiritual pursuits”.
I listened with awe. I couldn’t really say anything. After this revelation I was rendered completely speechless.
I thought of that mysterious “warmth” I had experienced in my knee and the remark from the lab technician about “how my leg had moved” without my awareness.
To think that Bala herself had intervened on my behalf; to even imagine that she had heard my call for help from thousands of miles away; to even consider for a moment that this divine child had woken up her son in the middle of the night and passed on instructions to cure me; to even think that such “miracles” can happen in the world we live in today, and I’ve been fortunate to experience it, is something I shall cherish until my dying day!
This entire incident defies all known logic and I am convinced they can be fully understood only by those who possess complete faith in Bala.
I have, thus far, written a lot about my experiences with Sri Bala and about the unique family living in her house at Nemili. I have painted a lot of images of Bala at her command and certainly over the last few months she has ensured that I understood the value of total faith in both her and my Guru Baba.G.
However, this recent experience has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sri BALA does not exist in Nemili as just a small statue hiding in the folds of a vast, colorful skirt.
She is definitely a “living” presence; a mischievous child Goddess who is loving and affectionate towards her devotees, always hovering nearby, waiting to rush in and protect them from impending danger.
I shall finish writing about this amazing incident by bowing in respect to Sri Baba.G who has been endowed by Sri Bala with such “miraculous” powers so that even he is not totally aware of his full potential!
Baba.G’s parting words to me were :
“Only this morning (Thursday), I read your original SMS fully. You had requested me to pray to Bala for a miracle. I wasn’t even aware of that request. I didn’t even read that sentence. Yet Bala made sure you got exactly what you wanted- just that Divine Miracle”.
“ When everyone else abandons you
I am here to protect You,
When everyone else lets go of your hands
My tender hands shall clasp yours warmly
And protect you until the very end”
Sri Bala’s Golden words as proclaimed by Sri Baba.G.