The consequences of our karma have to be faced, and there is no getting away from this. No amount of weeping and wailing is going to make a problem go away. But those who are true devotees of God have the power even to nullify the effects of karma, said Sengalipuram Rama Dikshitar, in a discourse.
The story of Appoodi Adigal illustrates this. Appoodi Adigal, who lived in Thingalur, was a great devotee of Lord Siva, but more importantly a devotee of the Saivite saint Thirunavukkarasar whom Adigal had never seen.
He ran several charitable services, all of which he named after Thirunavukkarasar. He also named his sons after the saint. One day, Thirunavukkarasar himself came to Thingalur. There he noticed that the institutions run by Adigal and was curious to know why they had been named after him. He enquired about Adigal and went to meet him. Adigal welcomed him.
When Thirunavukkarasar asked him why he had named charitable services after someone else, instead of running them in his own name.
The question angered Appoodi Adigal, who recounted the greatness of Thirunavukkarasar. When the saint revealed who he was, Adigal fell at the saint’s feet, and asked him to stay on at his house.
Appoodi Adigal’s wife and children were all staunch devotees of Siva too. His wife prepared a meal for the saint, and Adigal asked his son to cut a plantain leaf to serve the food on. While the boy was cutting a leaf, he was bitten by a snake.
The boy ran in with the leaf, and told his father what had happened and died soon after. But Adigal and his wife did not tell Thirunavukkarasar that their boy was dead, for they did not want to lose the opportunity of serving Siva’s devotee. So they served him food. When he had partaken of the meal, Thirunavukkarasar asked Adigal where the boy was. When he learnt he was dead, Thirunavukkarasar sang praying for Siva’s mercy in restoring the boy to life, and the boy was revived. Thus even death is reversible, if the devotees of God so will it. Such is the power of bhakti.