Today, Chitra month's Swati nakshatra.
Today's special is Narasimha Jayanti which should be celebrated according to Nakshatra.
Not only that!
Today is the birthday of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, who ruled Thiruvananthapuram!
I have written extensively about Swati Thirunal Maharaja in my "Kerala Kathaigal" series.
Swati Thirunal Maharaja is mostly known as a musician and learned scholar. But not many knew the divinity within him.
Let's see only two of them today.
- V. Aravind Subramanyam!
Once, a British government official came to Thiruvananthapuram and waited to meet Swati Thirunal Maharaja. His intention was to make some changes in the treaty, which included the King and the Travancore principality.
Swati Thirunal Raja was a very young boy at the time, and by signing this treaty, the king would lose many of his most important powers.
Not only that, but they will have to pay a lot of money to the British government.
The English officer wondered what knowledge this little boy would have to understand all this. He was a king who could sing hymns.
He thought that he could easily deceive him.
The king's instinct warned him that the officer had come with some vested interest.
After praying to Padmanabha Swami and his favourite deity, Sri Narasimha, he left, saying, "I'll see him later."
Almost two weeks have passed. After a fortnight, he asked the English officer to be brought to his durbar.
The English officer was prepared to get the signature of this boy by stealth.
The Maharaja had a seat placed near him and made the officer sit there.
The Maharaja spoke to him as if nothing had happened.
"What is the reason you came here?" he asked.
The English officer began to speak sweetly, thinking that his plan was going to work.
"You must accept and sign this new treaty," he said.
Meditating on his favourite deity, Narasimha, Swati Thirunal asked, "What?", looking at him intently.
Unable to bear the gaze of the king, the officer fainted there.
"None of our conspiracies will succeed until Swati Thirunal is the king of Travancore," the officer wrote to the British government.
Another incident occurred during the annual festival of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple.
After the Aaratu Utsavam at the beach, Padmanabhaswamy was returning to the temple surrounded by 8 decorated elephants.
The king of Travancore, Padmanabha Dasa, used to walk with a drawn sword in front of the main elephant. King Swati Thirunal was leading the procession.
Then, unexpectedly, one of the elephants that came for the procession started running erratically. The elephant lost control and ran uncontrollably through the crowd. Instrumentalists, torchbearers, and civilians ran around in fear.
But Swati Thirunal Maharaja, who was leading the procession in front of Padmanabha Swami, was standing like a statue in front of the elephant on which Padmanabha Swami was seated, holding his sword in his hand without moving even a single step. Narasimha Japa was running through his mind.
The mad elephant that was running around came running straight in front of Padmanabhaswami's elephant.
Maharaja was standing still, fixed his sharp gaze on the elephant, and peered through it.
Everything was happening in seconds. Government officials were dumbfounded. People were all panicked. The king did not even move his gaze.
Unexpectedly, the elephant came running, knelt before the king, and bowed down to the ground.
Swati Thirunal Maharaja, who had so much power, presented himself only as a devotee.
The power of Upasana is so secretive. To be protected! It will emerge when necessary.
- V. Aravind Subramanyam