Murugan in a Ball of Rice?
My husband is an ardent devotee of Lord Murugan. During the month of November, all Murugan’s devotees observe a special six-day fasting in the name of the Lord. The rituals vary among devotees, but my husband was very particular that he followed his own rituals which consisted of semi-fasting the first 5 days and full fasting on the sixth.
We are fortunate to have the privilege of hosting Amma whenever Amma visited Canada. Amma happened to be staying at our house during that year’s Murugan fasting festival. My husband tirelessly served Amma, but he also maintained his fasting schedule. So, on the sixth day, he went without food for the whole day and by midnight still hadn’t eaten anything.
Amma usually asks the devotees if they had had their meals. When Amma asked my husband, he told Amma that because it was the termination of his fasting, he must bathe first and then only eat food that was freshly prepared. Amma figured it would take at least a couple of hours before this devotee could eat again and Amma couldn’t bear the thought of this devotee starving even for that long.
Amma asked me to bring some rice and curries in a bowl. When I did, Amma mixed them up, rolled the rice into a tennis-ball like orb and handed it to my husband. My husband, not wanting to break his own ritual, humbly refused. Amma asked for an explanation. How could he tell Amma that he did not want to break one of his own (silly) rituals against Amma’s offering? So, he fibbed blaming it on Lord Murugan.
He said that Lord Murugan would not forgive him if he broke his ritual on the last day. Amma laughed and persuaded my husband to take a bite of the rice ball insisting that Lord Murugan will understand. When he did, his teeth clicked on something metallic inside the rice ball. Alarmed with fear, he dispersed the rice ball. What did he see?, a smiling Murugan statue with His bestowing hand showing “fear-not!”