I grew up in a very religious family. My mother Parvathy and Father Mathrubootheshwaran (Lord Shiva as Father and Mother) grew up in Kerala. My father moved to Mumbai looking for employment and, my mother joined him after marriage. I had two older sisters and two older brothers (Only one sister is alive now, the rest have passed away). We celebrated all festivals with enthusiasm and joy.
My grandfather was a Sanskrit scholar and, he performed Shiva Pooja every day. I remember sitting with him (I was four years old) during Pooja and ate lunch with him every day. He was very fond of me, called me Kunjumacchi (Little God). He passed away when I was five years old.
Later I will narrate the story father told me how grandfather could predict his death and, he assembled everyone before he left his body.
Priests visited my house very often. Some of them were very humble and kind, while others were rude, egoistic. I was upset with the ego-centric priests as they were ordering my parents with demands, yet my parents treated them as God.
My parents told us we should be God Fearing. I was struggling with the notion of why I should fear God. God is very loving and kind. I never discussed or clarified it with my parents. Those days we never questioned our parents. We followed whatever they told us to do.
My childhood and teen years were devastated by Asthma attacks. It started when I was in the fifth grade. The class teacher beat me with a cane on my left-hand knuckles. I was crying all day and was traumatized. That night I experienced my first wheezing attack. I lost my childhood pleasures of playing with my friends, getting wet in the first rain, eating ice cream, or have any cold drinks. The frequency of the attacks started to reduce during my college days as I started doing yoga and taking Homeopathic medicine. During the Asthma attacks, I would wonder why God gave me this punishment. Everything happens for a reason. We can only connect the dots looking backward.
My mother’s discipline was exemplary, always looked radiant. She recited Devi Mahtmyam every Friday and all nine days during Navarathri.
Mother used to sing devotional and classical songs all morning while she was cooking. I used to do my assignments sitting by the dining table, listening to her songs. She never forgot to offer bhog (offerings to the divine-an act of gratefulness) even a single day, morning, and evening.
Mother offered bhog to Guruji every day since Guruji visited our house and, I did “Pada Pooja” in January 2014, until 28 days before her transition. In one of the discourses, Guruji mentioned two devotees, who never missed giving him Bhog every day. From the year November 2012 to January 2014, there were only 4-15 devotes in the Ashram on any given day. One time I was the only one in the Ashram -: ))))))) with Guruji, Vidhya Swamiji, and Raghu Swamiji. Guruji’s discourse was at 9 am in the morning followed by private meetings. Guruji would have lunch around 12 noon and rest from 1 pm until 5 pm. In the evening discourse started at 6 pm and extended up to 9 pm or 10 pm and sometimes up to 1.30 am or 2 am. I will explain more details in future posts.
My dad was a simple, honest, hard-working person, compassionate, kind and, giving. He worked as a Sales Manager in a British firm, Metal Box Company of India Ltd. They changed his name to Easwer from Mathrubootheshwaran, a tongue twister for them. He carried his lunch from home every day, very rarely ate outside, only if there was no choice and, never had any alcohol in his life. There was always “Easwer’s Coffee” in any company or client’s official events. He was into rituals and astrology. During his later part of the life, after he turned eighty, he was always chanting Gayatri Mantra throughout the day until he passed away at the age of 92 years.
I was sensitive and always had the fear when the dreadful Asthma attack would manifest on me, especially the few weeks before the examination. Mother taught me Vishu Shasranmam, Ganapathi Stotram, and many slokas for my good health. She asked me to recite Lord Hanuman Slokas to get rid of fear before taking the exam.
I had the worst Asthma attack before my Math prelim exam in XI standard. I will continue my spiritual journey in my next post.
Stay tuned. Please feel free to post your comments and, discussions are most welcome.