Sri Gayathri Devi
Mother of Vedas - GAYATRI DEVI
When Sri Gayatri , with the Maha Meru (Sri Chakra), was to be consecrated, Swamigal wondered where She ought to be taken on Her first visit. Incidentally, a doctor from the Apollo Hospitals called to invite Swamigal for his birthday celebrations at the Mookambikai temple in Kollur, Karnataka. Sri Gayatri's prime pilgrim centre is Mookambikai.
Considering the doctor's call a divine message, Swamigal accepted his invitation. At that time, he had just bought an Innova car, which he would use for the karikolam, to transport the idols to be consecrated.
A couple of days before the day of the travel, the rear seats were removed to check the accommodation of the deity in the space. However, once She was placed inside, they could not remove Her! The Swamigal said She was like an obstinate, yet beloved child refusing to get off , and seemed ready to travel. Not wanting to leave Her in a vehicle all night, Swamigal was forced to travel the same night. It was the month of Karthigai, when the Lord of Fire is venerated by lighting lamps all through the month.
Halfway through their journey, the doctor called to say that his birthday celebration had been cancelled. Having begun the journey, Swamigal decided to anyway proceed to Kollur. About 50 kms. before Bangalore, a name board "Siva Ganga Peedam" caught his attention. He stopped the vehicle, alighted and found a pumpkin-seller with just 5 pumpkins left for sale. Swamigal bought all of them and enquired about the name board. The pumpkin seller offered to show him the location of the peedam. They went to the Siva Ganga peedam and Swamigal was astounded to find that it was indeed a Sharada peedam. The first homam for the Danvantri idol had been performed at a Sharada peedam in Pondicherry in 2005! Was this a coincidence or was it a play of cosmic forces?
Swamigal now began to worry about the karikolam. 'By Her own wish, Sri Gayatri managed to come to Lord Siva here, but how am I going to get the karikolam done in this lonely place at this late hour?' However, he lit the traditional Karthigai lamps and performed the aarthi.
Soon after the aarthi, a line of cars drove in, attracted by the Karthigai lights in the vehicle and the magnificence of the Gayatri idol. Each person in the visiting cars generously donated Rs. 1000/-. Verily it was divine grace chalking this programme all the way through. Swamigal then proceeded to the Sri Ramachandra Math near Gokarna. He waited there for three hours before the pontiff gave him an audience and welcomed Sri Gayatri with the poornakhumbam. During this unexpected wait, Swamigal received the message that Sri Gayatri was enchanted by the recitation of the Vedas at the nearby Vedapatashala. He also received another message that he must perform a Samashti upanayanam at his peedam and the abhishekam to Sri Gayatri for that day must be performed by one of the boys who had received the initiation.
After meeting the pontiff , it was too late to travel back, and Swamigal had to stay at the Mutt . He learned the following day that there had been an accident on the route he was to have travelled! The delay was indeed providential!
Lord Rama's footsteps are found here, and He is known to have performed the Gayatri pooja and the navaavarna pooja at this very spot. The navaavarna pooja is a complex pooja performed to propitiate the powers of the Sri Chakra.
Swamigal was delighted to find that both the Sri Gayatri idol and the Sri Chakra herein were identical to the ones he had brought with him. Any wonder then that Sri Gayatri and the Sri Chakra directed him here!?
Proceeding to the Mookambika temple, he reached there after 9 p.m., yet he was able to get darshan of Sri Saraswati not just once but five times.
When Sri Gayatri returned to Walajapet after karikolam and was awaiting installation, a couple invited Swamigal to their son's upanayanam, which was meant to be held elsewhere. He requested them to place their invitation at the lotus feet of Sri Gayatri. When he read the invitation, he realised that the upanayanam was on the same day as the consecration of Sri Gayatri. He then invited the child to perform the abishekam for Sri Gayatri after he was initiated at the upanayanam. Since then, every year, on the Gayatri installation day or on one day during that month, he conducts a samashti upanayanam, and one of the newly initiated boys conducts the abhishekam for Sri Gayatri on that day.
At the Sri Ramachandra Mutt, Swamigal had witnessed the modhaka abhishekam. That inspired him to invite 108 brahmins from Gokarna to Walajapet to perform the athirudra homam.
An important message that he wishes to acknowledge is that those who cannot learn the Vedas can learn the Gayatri mantra and they will get the blessings as having read the Vedas itself. Vedas are not only for Brahmins: every Hindu is entitled to study the Vedas. An analogy he gives is related to a library. Can it be dictated that only the librarian can read the books there?
When Swamigal narrates this story, his palpable awe, the immediacy and his wonder at how things finally culminated shine through, close to six years after the event.