A story straight from Madurai on Devi Meenakshi and her beloved devotee!
O Mother! Meenakshi!
“O Mother! Meenakshi! A lot of dishes need to be cooked in the Maddapalli (temple kitchens). It’s a Royal Court of the Pandyan King. Yet, I am too tired! Can I not catch a few winks of sleep! Dear Mother! Do not forget to wake me up on time. Requesting Devi Meenakshi herself as an indulgent child would, Srinivisan, the chief temple cook of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple, locked the doors of his the kitchens and fell deep asleep.
The doors thudded loudly. A groggy Srinivasa woke up wondering who must be making such a loud noise at this hour. On opening the kitchen doors, he was surprised to find the Royal Guards staring down at him!
What do you to think Srinivasan? The hours for Devi Meenakshi’s worship and naivedya (offering of prasaaadam) are passing. How can you so irresponsibly shut yourself inside the kitchens? The temple head priest is awaiting the naivedya,” thundered the guards.
And the truth dawned on poor Srinivasa! “O Meenakshi! You have forsaken me! Had I not asked you to wake me up on time? Not a single dish has been prepared for Naivedya! What do I do now? There is no escape for me from a royal sentence!,” wailed Srinivasa.
At that time, someone yelled, “Move !!” Four to five people entered with one of the Bhattars (priests). Upon entering, they saw scores of vessels all filled with various dainty dishes – Sakkara Pongal (rice sweetened with jiggery), coconut rice, tamarind rice (Pulihora), Puran Poli, Vadas! Not a dish had been left out. O Srinivasan! Did you cook all this by yourself! Wonderful. And there your assistants are mumbling that you had shut yourself inside. Comical,” said the Bhattar.
All eyes gazing at the sweet polis and Sakkara Pongal!
Srinivasa was perplexed. “How was this possible? I have been asleep all the while. Who then managed to prepare the Naivedya?”
There was no end to Srinivasa’s amazement. Just then, the Bhattar exclaimed, “O Srinivasan! You should be rewarded with a golden ring for your stupendous effort! Come! Let us gaze at the divine face of Mother Meenakshi as the Deeparaadhana takes place.”
At the shrine of Devi Meenakshi, Shri Raja Maatangi, the head priest performed the Deeparaadhana. As the holy camphor flame illumined the graceful face of Mother Meenakshi, all present were in for a shock. Oh! Exclaimed the head priest. “The Mother’s ruby nose-ring is missing! How inauspiciuous is this. How many more surprises await us.”
The ruby ring that used to glow brightly on the nose of the Mother of the Universe was missing. The King was duly informed. Poor Srinivasa was again worried! One trouble after another. What mistake had he made that day!
At that moment the Divine Mother’s voice filled the walls of the temple! “Fear not my children!! My dear son Srinivasan did tell me to wake him up on time and told me that he was going to lay down for some time due to physical exhaustion!! I reached the kitchens to wake him up, but seeing him seeply asleep, I did not have the heart to wake him. So I took up his work! Finding not even a drop of light, I removed my ruby nose-ring and it shone bright, allowing me to cook all the naivedya that you see! Which mother would have the heart to wake up a tired baby? So I finished my dear son Srinivasan’s work! Go now to the kitchens and you shall find my nose-ring!”
Someone rushed to the kitchens and soon came out with the nose-ring. All were overjoyed. Srinivasan felt as if he was on cloud nine in the lap of his dear Mother Meenakshi. There were tears of joy in his eyes. “Mother !! Meenakshi!! Mother!! Meenakshi!, mumbled Srinivasan. The King and the minister prostrated themselves before Srinivasan. “Swami! You are Meenakshi for us now! Everyone else was spellbound as they all chanted the name of Devi Meenakshi repeatedly.
The Deeparadhana was performed for Mother Meenakshi!
And Srinivasan sang in joy. Srinivasan the cook, became Kavi Srinivasan
Mother Meenakshi had bestowed grace on Srinivasan, just as Devi Akhilandeshwari blessed Kavi Kaalamegham and Kamakshi showered grace on Muka-kavi.
“Isn’t the name alone of mother Meenakshi not enough to free on from the bonds of Samsaara!! Moksha is at hand!!
Source : Facebook/Shri R. Balaji
You can read the story in Tamil, Click Here
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