There was an old woman near the precincts of Thanjavur by name Lakshmi Patti. She got married at a tender age and as fate would have it, she also lost her husband by the age of five.
In those days, a woman who lost her husband was considered inauspicious and hence the people started to call her ‘Thukkiri’ meaning ‘one who brings inauspiciousness’. She was not allowed to come out of the house and hence was confined indoors. She was taken care by her parents until they were alive and as days passed, they also passed away. Her relatives were taking care of her.
There was no one to talk, no place to go and so Lakshmi grew lonely day by day. Since no one wanted to see her, she used to take bath in the Kaveri river before dawn and would come and lock herself in her home. When her parents were alive, she used to listen to stories and learn slokas from them. She was very interested in Rama Nama and it attracted her very much. There was a swing in her home and she would incessantly chant Rama Nama sitting on the swing. She slowly started to chant it all throughout the day. She used to put a mark with a charcoal stick for every thousand nama she chanted. Slowly all the walls had this mark and she soon ran out of space on the wall to strike a mark.
As years passed, Lakshmi also attained old age and slowly her neighborhood kids would come and talk to her. She would teach them moral stories and slokas.
One day, one boy came home running. He told her that his father was seriously ill and the doctor told them that he was in a very critical condition. She consoled him and said that there is nothing that Rama nama cannot cure and she said she will give thousand Rama Nama for his father’s speedy recovery. She said that he will recover fast and went and erased a mark.
The boy went away and after some time came back running with his mother who came straight and prostrated unto Lakshmi patti. The mother told Patti that her husband was ailing and was bedridden for quite some time and that the local doctor had lost all hope about her husband’s survival. Once the boy came home running with the message that you had given Rama Nama for his father’s recovery, he immediately sat up and the local doctor mentioned that he is completely cured of all diseases. Saying so, she prostrated again and again.
Since then, whoever comes to Patti with a problem, she would give Rama Nama to absolve their problem and soon this spread far and wide. Soon Lakshmi patti was considered very auspicious and no function happened without Patti.
One who was branded as a symbol of ill-luck was considered the most auspicious one and it was possible by Rama Nama. This goes to show the glory of Rama Nama.
12 years, San Jose CA