This is a true story that happened in my childhood. I was born and brought up in a house named ‘Om Muruga Illam’. My grandfather was a devotee of Lord Muruga. My father’s name is Shanmugam. Like this, there were so many ‘Murugan’ facts at our home. But it’s really a shame that my dad, uncles, grandfather – Nobody had 2 wives.
When I was 8 years old, I used to be a kid who would freak out even if the door bell rang. Of course, everyone in my family would’ve freaked out had the door bell rung, because there was no doorbell at our home.
But really I was afraid of everything. My grandfather came up with a solution for my phobia. He told me, “Don’t be afraid of anything. Whenever you’re afraid, just say ‘Am um om im em nam, saravana bhava shanmuga thevaaya namaha’. No ghost or devil will come near you. Lord Muruga will take care of everything, ok?”
“Ak ek ik uk ok.”
“What? Are you kidding me?”
“As us os is yes.”
“Murugan is a powerful god, da. Trust me da.”
“Trust me da. He even has our national bird on his side.”
“Ok, I trust you, ayya (ayya means grandfather). Can you tell the mantra once again?”
“Here it goes like this – Am um om im em nam saravana bhava shanmuga thevaaya namaha.”
“Ok, let me try. Am um om im eminem Arya bhavan namaha.”
“Dei dei dei. Why don’t you also order 3 masala dosas and uthappam? Listen carefully da. It’s am um om im em nam saravana bhava shanmuga thevaaya namaha.”
“Ayya, it sounds like a tongue twister. I think that dealing with ghosts and devils would be a lot easier than saying this mantra.”
“Try out. Lord Muruga is with you.”
“Ayya, would you try out a new pant when someone is with you?”
“Then how can you expect me to try a mantra out when someone is with me?!”
“You are confusing me.”
“Who? Me? You’re the one who confused me by saying mm mmm mmmm and more mmmms.”
“I’m writing the mantra in this paper for you. Try to memorize later. Before its expiry date.”
I took the anti-ghost paper device in my hand and started reading what was written on it. Halfway through the mantra, looking at my grandfather’s handwriting, I wondered why he didn’t become a doctor.
Somehow I managed to memorize the whole mantra. This is how I memorized the mantra – As I said each word, I imagined the ghost saying something back to me.
Me: Am im em
Ghost: Amma imma emma (in a crying voice)
Me: Chee chee. No umma to me. Get lost, ghost!!
After memorizing the complete mantra, I wanted to apply that somewhere because I didn’t want to run into a ghost only to find out that ghosts are deaf.
So I decided to try the mantra on a stray dog. At that age, I was very afraid of stray dogs. I thought that if I used the mantra on a dog, it would wag its tail and become friends with me and share food.
I stepped out of ‘Om Muruga Illam’ and waited for 5 minutes for a stray dog to show up. And then my neighbor uncle showed up. I waited for 6 more minutes and then a real stray dog showed up. I called the dog towards me, “Hey jujjju, jajjja, come on here.” The dog slowly started walking towards me. And slowly, fear started creeping into me.
I said to myself, “Alright, now is the time. Come on. Tell the mantra.”
I started telling, “Am um om im em nam saravana bhavaaaaaaa shanmuga thevaaya namaha.”
There was no reaction from the dog. It was still moving towards me. I thought that maybe the stray dogs talked a different language and didn’t understand Sanskrit. I tried again, “Am um om im em nam saravana bhava shanmuga thevaaya namaha.” The dog didn’t stop – It came very close to me.
My dad, after looking at me and dog on the road, came out of home and said “shoo shoo shoo” at the dog. And the dog ran away.
I sensed some relief after the dog was gone. That was the day I found out “shoo shoo shoo” is better mantra and more easy to remember.