In search of God…after sorcerers and in the temples
Since his father was an agriculturist, Sundarapandian could not learn any other means of livelihood. Poverty ruled the family after the death of his father. He approached many religious leaders for solutions. He wanted to see God. He lighted candles on somebody’s advice and did many things to see God but could not see God. Somebody wanted him to spend money for getting rid of the evil spirits from his house.
On the advice of a Hindu man who promised to show him God, Sundarapandian bought and brought a cock, a cluster of banana fruits, a pot containing arrack and other things meant for heathen sacrifice to the former. After reaching a particular garden, he met the Hindu man with these offerings for sacrifice. The man concerned put these things in a particular spot, killed the cock and sprayed its blood around that spot. Then that man cried aloud, saying, “Oh, god, Sunderpandian has come to see you”. At that time, they heard a lizard screech. Immediately that man shouted in joy, looking at Sundarapandian, “This is your god. Your god has now spoken.” Afterwards, he and those who had come with him for the sacrifice started eating the roasted cock and drinking the arrack. Sundarapandian was very much disappointed because he could not see God except hearing the screech of the lizard. He wondered whether the lizard could be the god whom he wanted to see.
On another occasion, one priest who was adept in performing witchcraft approached Sundarapandian and promised to get rid of all his problems. The priest gave him a list of things to be bought for performing witchcraft. Sundarapandian spent about Rs.200/-. Sunderapandian was asked to accompany the priest at midnight to a cremation place where the dead bodies used to be burnt. He carried a live black cat and a hen along with other materials required for the witchcraft to the cremation ground with a great difficulty and asked the priest to show him any way the god as and when he (the god) made his debut. The priest then started a bonfire for sacrifice and wrote on a copper plate the request of Sunderapandian. The priest then killed the black cat and sprinkled its blood. Then he killed the hen and spilled its blood. He then tied a talisman around one of the hands of Sunderapandian, and asked the latter to run away from that place without looking back. He threatened Sunderapandian that the god would kill him if he looked back while running. The latter wondered as to how the God whom I wanted to see would kill him. He asked the priest how God would kill him. The priest got angry and warned Sunderapandian that the latter would vomit blood and thus would die. Out of fear, Sunderapandian ran and fell before a church while running. During this episode, he did not have revelation of God. He returned home very disappointed.
On another occasion, Sunderapandian called on a man who was adept in fortunetelling by beating a small trumpet. He told Sunderapandian that the god spoke to the former that his own relatives had performed some kind of witchcraft against him with the result that he had lost his father and all the property. Sunderapandian wondered if the god had spoken like that, why he could not see that god.
One of his classmates informed him that if he (Sunderapandian) wanted to see God, both of them should go to a temple at midnight. Sunderapandian accompanied his friend to that temple. A “holy” man made a debut there. He drank a bottle of “holy” water mingled with sandalwood power. His body started to shiver as if he was possessed by a god. People worshipped him falling at his feet. This man started giving “words of god” to the people who touched his feet. A large number of people touched his feet. They poured out barrels of water at his feet. His friend informed him that it was that god who would get rid of his problems. Sunderapandian was not satisfied with this episode and still wanted to have the revelation of God.
Sunderapandian went to a famous temple in Tiruchendur to see God on one Friday. He removed his shirt and tied his outer garment around his waist as a token of respect to God as was customary with the people who worshipped gods and goddesses. Many people prayed standing under a tree. Sunderapandian rushed there praying in his mind, “Oh, God, I want to see you because I have more problems in my life.” He saw a big golden idol lie there. Many devotees broke coconuts and offered fruits to a priest there. The priest in turn offered them “Vibuthi” – ashes. People then said, “We saw the god” and left the temple. But Sunderpandian was not satisfied with this ceremony. He started thinking who that god was. He returned home very disappointed.
In search of God….in the churches
Sunderapandian then approached Christian preachers and asked them to show him God. They told him that since he was a great sinner, he could not see God. Being enraged at such a response, he grabbed the shirt of a preacher and asked him to show God. The preacher told him that if he prayed, he would see God. Then Sunderapandian left that preacher and approached another Christian preacher who was his neighbor. The preacher informed him that the latter should go to the altar of a church all alone at night, and then should perform an obeisance before the altar, saying, “Oh God, I am a sinner. I want to see You”. Sunderapandian got the key of the church from its sexton and went to the church at midnight and did perform the obeisance with open eyes thinking that he should see God through his eyes as and when He appeared. Till 4 am, he was before the altar, praying. He could not see God. Then he shouted, “Are you the god? I searched for you but did not hear your voice. If you are the God, I will tell about you to the whole world. Otherwise, I will tell the world that there is no God”. After returning the key of the church to the sexton, he returned home as an atheist.