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Sai Ram. While listening to some good devotional Stotras in praise of Lord Siva today morning, I was suddenly reminded of His divine grace and how He comes to us in our low moments to give us strength and assurance that He is always there at our call. In the year 2001, I was on a pilgrimage to Tirupati, Sri Kalahasti etc. After visiting Tirupati, I went to Sri Kalahasti. I was feeling very low because I fell from self imposed high moral standards (details are not important) and was really miserable. He then gave me solace through two incidents - first through a good book that described the Sthala Puranam (the ancient history of that place) in which it was mentioned that Lord Brahma Himself had to do penance for some temporary deviation from Dharma and He did it at Sri Kalahasti...
The second incident was even more direct. Adjacent to Sri Kalahasti temple is a small hillock where Bhakta Kannappa, one of the greatest devotees of Lord Siva did penance and offered his eyes to mitigate the suffering of his beloved Lord (whose eyes bled voluntarily-in order to test devotion of Kannappa). I went to the hillock and was chanting Om Namah Sivaya closing my eyes and suddenly was overpowered by grief at my repeated failures to lead a dharmic life. Suddenly 'grace' comes in the form of a divine vision - Lord Siva, as Nataraja, dancing. The vision was very clear where the 'Third Eye' is supposed to be located - I was very happy but was left wondering why Nataraja of Chidambaram should give me darshan at Sri Kalahasti. Then He sort of gave a message that the whole world is a stage for His dance and He is the dancer and we are just puppets! The message did not come in clearly immediately but slowly seeped in...
The divine grace of Lord seems to really pour when we are down. When the ego is down, He comes and teaches us.
December 12, when this was written was a Monday, a day considered very holy for worshipers of Lord Siva. I am glad that He made me recall this episode today. Om Namah Sivaya.