|Goddess Narayani on Earth|
Om Shakthi Narayani Siddar Peetam – Ariyur – Vellore
I was suddenly introduced to Om Shakthi Narayani Sidhar Peetam in a dramatic manner. One day when I returned late night from my work, I found several vehicles parked outside my house and about ten persons waiting inside. One of them introduced himself as Magistrate Durai Shanmugham, spokesman of the Om Shakthi Narayani Peetam, located in Ariyur, near Vellore. He told me about the twenty-year-old young man called ‘Sathish’ who transcends into Goddess Narayani so much so that people have started calling him Narayani Amman.
All my life I have been suspicious of ‘Godmen’. I am also wary of stepping into the realm of uncertainties and I am unwilling to set examples with my behaviour which may not have desirable implications for others in society. Hence, I generally stay clear of unexplainable phenomena while not adversely commenting on them. However, I heard the story of the young man (Goddess Narayani Amman) with great attention and sincerity.
Goddess Narayani was born as Sathish Kumar on 3.1.1976 to Nanda Gopal, a cooperative spinning mill worker and Jyoti Ammal, a school teacher in Satvacheri village, near Vellore. From his childhood he has been having mystic experiences. From the age of six or seven he was found worshipping Ganesh and images of other Gods under the trees instead of playing with other children. By the time he was twelve, he was seeing wonderful visions of a circle of light between his eyebrows, while going to sleep. By the time he was sixteen it became known that he was having the gift of performing miracles and materialising objects from thin air.
In October 1993 Goddess Narayani seem to have informed him that she will appear in the form of a Swayambhu (self-manifest idol) from the anthill near the family house in Ariyur. It appears on that day as seven children poured the turmeric water on the anthill, the fumes came out, the earth burst open and a Swayambhu idol of goddess materialised. This is the icon, which is worshipped everyday now in the Peetam. In short, we can say that the grace of the goddess is believed to be upon Sathish from a very young age.
For his humble origins he has had an unusual childhood and youth. His education stopped with school leaving, which he completed in Vhooris School, an educational institution run by the Christian missionaries. He had not come in contact with any religious or spiritual teacher or Guru and had not undergone any formal learning in scriptures or religious texts.
The group had come to invite me to participate in the twentieth birthday celebrations of Sathish and to set up a platform for future philanthropic and welfare activities of the Peetam. I was very reluctant to accept the invitation due to my long-standing prejudice against Godmen.
I did not know any of these people and I wanted to know why they should want me to come. To which they replied that the Goddess Narayani herself had instructed them to invite me. After getting the instructions they had left Vellore immediately at 4.00 p.m. and had reached Madras by 7.00 p.m. and since then, had been waiting in my house.
It was getting more and more interesting. After much thought I decided to accept the invitation. I had two of my own children nearly twenty-years-old. I thought ’ let me treat this young man also as my own child and go for his birthday celebration with an open mind and experience the goddess and all that may follow’. The Peetam was also registered as a trust during November 1995 to undertake charitable and welfare activities and I thought it may be enlightening to know how the Peetam wanted to become socially useful.
Thus I attended my first function in the Peetam. It was a humble beginning. There was only a small house and the image of Goddess Narayani was housed in a makeshift temple. I participated in the Puja and other rituals and witnessed the materialisation of vibhuti (holy ashes), kumkumom (vermillion) and a small icon of goddess that I still carry in my handbag as a good luck charm.
This was the beginning of my relationship with the Peetam. For last three and a half years I have remained in touch with the Peetam and have seen it grow. The good word about the grace of the god upon the Peetam has spread far and wide. A large temple and a Gyana Mandapam are under construction. There is a nursery school and a dispensary. The Peetam has also acquired seventeen acres of land for utilising for public purpose.
After performing numerous miracles in the tradition of ‘Saibaba’ Mother goddess has visited many countries like Canada and USA on invitation. Today Narayani Amman has a sizeable number of devotees in Canada and USA as well as in Singapore, including a large number of ethnic Chinese devotees, a group of whom recently visited the Peetam.
During my recent visit to the Peetam I met the Physics teacher of Sathish and his elder brother Balaji and gathered some more facts about his early childhood and school days.
Mr. D. Venugopal – Physics teacher of Sathish
Speaking on his student’s progression as ‘Narayani Amman’ said, ” I used to teach Physics in Vhooris School in Vellore where Sathish was a student of +2. A lot of things started happening in the school. One day a lot of vermillion was materialised by Sathish. Another day he materialised a red rose and gave it to me. After sometime the rose turned white.
Other students used to challenge him or tease him. Once a student called Ramprasad taunted him about his miracles. At that time Sathish did something and the entire classroom was filled with flowers. After that nobody teased him. One day the headmaster called him and said that he had heard that the boy could materialise things and said, “You must materialise something for me just now.” On hearing this young Sathish materialised a chocolate for his head master who being a science teacher was flabbergasted. After that day he did not say anything to the boy.
After his retirement, Mr. Venugopal has become a devotee of his erstwhile student. He seems to have attained resolution of his personal problems and spends most of his time in the Peetam.
Balaji, elder brother of Sathish,
Who is a microbiologist, spoke about the childhood memories of his younger brother thus: “Sathish was always different from other children. From a young age he was doing pujas and worshipping the images of Ganesha and other gods sitting under a tree or in the puja room. I actually never gave it any importance. I thought he was playing with the images. I did not think he was serious. From the age of twelve he used to visit our family house in the Ariyur village, to worship the anthill over there every Friday. He will go direct from school to Ariyur on Thursday evening and stay with a neighbour. On Friday morning he will worship the anthill and go to school directly from there. He was very devoted but I did not realise it then. Many times the rest of the family also followed him to worship the anthill on Fridays.
I used to occasionally hear about some miracles from the boys in the school but I dismissed them as pranks. When Sathish was sixteen, I was in the college at Pudukottai and my mother rang up to tell that the Goddess has bestowed Sathish with the divine powers, which have become manifest. The whole town has come to know about it. I told my mother that it was nonsense.
Anyway when I came back home I did not believe it and told Sathish that what he did was a gimmick. At that time he was chewing a pan (beetle leaf) and told me to drink his spit. I refused but my mother insisted that I must take whatever is being offered to me (by the Goddess) so I put forward my palm to hold his spit and drank it. It was sweet milk and not a beetle spit. I was totally shocked. From that day, I stopped questioning him and jeering at him.”