MISCELLANEOUS

Trials undergone by Pattinathar

CHENNAI DEC. 26 . While God chooses a few of His servants and deputes them to reform people in the world, who had strayed away from the path of virtue, at times He also picks a few who had been wallowing in worldly pleasures and showers on them His grace and transforms them totally, to be His messengers. Once such persons turn God-intoxicated they will totally dedicate their life to make a glorious success of their Divine mission. They will refuse to be attracted by the worldly pulls, will cling to the deity they worship and be firm in their views. They will loathe to change their loyalty and devotion to their personal God telling others that their intimate deity, who will regret their shift and discard them while the new-found deities will also suspect their genuineness and thus both will be unhappy with them.

A rich merchant, who had no other interest in life except to amass wealth was selected for such a Divine mercy. Lord Siva was born as his son and was duly trained in business. Sent on a voyage once for trade with others, he returned with a shipload of dried cow dung cakes. While the son vanished, the commodity thus turned waste and there was a message that not even broken needle (without even the eye) will accompany one when he dies.

This was a turning point in the rich man's life and he became aware that when a child is born, it brings with it nothing and while on reaching old age and dies, he will not take even a coin with him. He distributed his entire wealth among people and reached a stage when he felt even his dress was a heavy load. This was Pattinathar, a saint, who had completely surrendered to Siva and went about propagating His message. He was interred at a suburb of Chennai.

There were trials during his mission, said Sri Ma. Ki. Ramanan, in a lecture, when he was suspected of having stolen jewels from a royal palace, but God made him stand the test. Later when his sister got enraged at his act of giving away his wealth to people, served him with a sweet mixed with poison, he threw it on her house and it caught fire. When his mother died and when dried wood was not available to cremate the body, he made a bier with the outer covering of (green) plantain trees and caused them to rise in flames. One who thinks to harm God men will reap the consequences. Even like the shadow, sin follows evildoers doggedly and leads to their ruin.