THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM -40
Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:
Did I get the slippers of Ramanuja for worship like Kongil piratti
“Dear Swami, let me now tell you the story of the simple, but strongly devoted lady, Sumathi! She is one who was so devoted to her Guru, Swami RAmAnujA. Do listen on!”, said the child of Tirukolur, yet again forgetting that she was speaking to Swami RAmAnujA himself!
In the Kongu region of Western Tamil Nadu, there lived a lady called Sumathi. Sumathi was living happily with her husband and his family.
Once there was a serious drought in Kongu. Lack of food and water made the place inhabitable. To escape this, Sumathi and her husband moved to Srirangam to stay with Sumathi’s relatives.
In Srirangam just then, Swami Ramanuja had set up a Mutt. Swami preached and guided His Sishyas and visitors in the right spiritual path. Many devotees were attracted towards this Mutt and Swami Ramanuja, and had started contributing financially and physically, and thus the Mutt flourished.
Swami Ramanuja, being a saint, would only consume food that he obtains through alms from 7 houses. This puzzled Sumathi. “Why would Swami go to such lengths to get food while he can easily have it prepared in the Ashram itself?
The Ashram is flourishing, after all!”, she thought to herself. Unable to contain her curiosity, One day, she posed this question to EmperumAnAr himself. To that he replied, “One who is a saint, has many disciplines and rules to follow.
One of which is to only eat what is provided as alms from 7 homes.”. The pure hearted Sumathi posed another question, “Oh Swami, what then do you do for those of your followers who come to the Ashram? Those who prostrate at your feet and offer prasad?”.
“I offer them guidance in the Sampradaya and preach good values, this is my duty”, he answered. The enthusiastic Sumathi then asked “Swami, what then will you offer me?”. With that, Ramanuja taught Sumathi the divine Ashtakshara Mantra.
Soon after, in the Kongu region, rains fell again, and life was slowly moving back to normalcy. Sumathi and her husband got prepared to travel back home.
“Swami, I am returning home to Kongu. However, before I go, could you please teach me the AshtAkshara MantrA again? I seem to have forgotten!”.
The kindhearted Acharyan not only taught her the Mantra again, but also gave her His ThirupAdukAs (divine sandals). What a bhAgyam! Children, shall we call Sumathi, Kongu PirAtti from now, since she was blessed by RAmAnujAchAryA ?
As soon as Kongu PirAtti reached home, she started to do Puja for the ThirupAdukAs of her AchAryan. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were not very devout, and so she placed the ThirupAdukAs in the loft and did her PujAs there.
One day Kongu PirA