Alagumuttu Pulaxar

By Swami Sivananda

This most blessed Bhakta lived about 200 years ago. He was an accountant in a Subrahmanya temple at Nagai. He was in the habit of taking no food at all in the nighttime except some prasadam from the temple. Due to the day’s unusual labour and toil, one night he slept very soundly amid the Vahanas of the temple. After the Ardhajama duties of the temple were over, the priests and other authorities called for Alagumuttu but he did not come forth, his sleep being so deep and unmovable. Taking him to be absent, they left the temple locking the doors safely.

At dead of night, when all was still and silent, Alagumuttu woke up and saw none to his utter dismay. His hunger pinched him unusually severely so he appealed to God Subrahmanya for his helplessness and the Lord appeared in the form of a pious priest of the temple, and patting Alagumuttu on his back said,”What is the matter, Alagumuttu?”

Alagumuttu got up and asked for food; for his hunger knew no limit. Immediately heaven-ordered, heavenly made (and yet Alagumuttu knowing naught of all that), the most dainty food and refreshing drink were given to the fortunate bhakta. Blessed Alagumuttu ate of it and drank of it; and because it was from Heaven, it could not only allay the pangs of his flesh but burn away all Purvakarmas, as fire burns away a small piece of cotton. Full of divine lustre, he stood pure and perfect, pleasing to the Most High.

Then the priest-God or God-priest told him, “Alagumuttu, sing some songs in praise of our Lord.”

And, thus, answered the would-be sage, “Sire, what doest thou mean? When there is no smell of education in me, what can I sing, and how?”

Behold the change now all of a sudden! He who ere now was a simple priest before Alagumuttu, whom he took to be no more than a human priest appeared now in His native divine majesty, with six faces, twelve hands and all divine halo and paraphernalia, and spoke, “I am the holder of the divine Trident (Trisula); I am Shanmukha whom you worship. Sing then; and sing thou shalt.”

It was no dream; for Alagumuttu was fully awake. All his body was bristling with the in-flood of divine inspiration, his mind getting fully drunk in the depths of divine wisdom and learning. Alagumuttu stands full of expression and power, pouring forth the most wonderful songs in praise of Lord Shanmukha.

When the priests and the authorities of the temple and innumerable bhaktas were there the next morning opening the doors, they were beside themselves to behold the miracles of Alagumuttu flooding the temple atmosphere with the inspiration of his ecstatic songs.

From this time, Alagumuttu was known as a very great saint. His last days were as miraculous as this event. For, returning from his long and varied pilgrimage, he stayed near Shiyali, and while meditating on Sri Shanmukha, gave up his mortal body. His admirers were wondering at this here. Simultaneously, at his own place, at the temple of Lord Subrahmanya in which he was for long years serving, priests and others were seeing the vision of Alagumuttu rushing post haste into the shrine. They did not dare to interfere with this monarch, but in awe kept aloof, simply expecting Alagumuttu to return from inside; but Alagumuttu did not return. For, he rushed in not to return, but to mingle in the Lord whom he loved so much. It was, therefore, the holy ghost of Alagumuttu that the priests saw! He left the flesh there and mingled in the Lord here.

References:

 Sivananda, Swami. Lord Shanmukha and His Worship. World Wide Web edition. India: Divine Life Society, 2000.