My paternal grandmother was a devotee of Vailankanni, though she was a Vashishta Madhwa Brahmin. She would always tell my Mom to visit Vailankanni when she went to Rameshwaram. Granma believed that Vailankanni as a form of our own Hindu Shakti Devi. Devotees of Vailankanni are present in every religion.
2 incidents made me also a devotee of Mother Mary. One incident was when Mom fell ill very badly and was admitted to Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai. We did not know if she would survive. The doctors had labeled her Mystery Woman because they were unable to find out what was ailing her. Her health was deteriorating every day. From the window nearest to her bed, we could see the Mount Mary Church, Bandra.
My sister and I prayed to Mother Mary for Mom’s health. I told Her if something happened to Mom, I would bring all the idols and the photographs of Gods that Mom had and drop it into the sea near the church. I also said if something like that would happen, Mother Mary would not be in our home.
8 days later the doctors diagnosed that Mom was suffering from Sarcoidosis and calcium shot up and down the graph. They were still not sure if Mom would survive. That took another 10 days. Eventually, the quantity of calcium in her blood began to come down. We brought her back home after 24 days of hospitalization. She took bed rest for 3 months. 6 months after discharge she normalized and was on steroids for 2 years.
Another incident made me a staunch believer in Mother Mary. I had applied for M.Sc. after my grad. I got a university seat in St. Xavier’s in the first list itself. Nobody else got this honor. Till then, we would visit the church often. But since that year, we began to celebrate Christmas at home, in a grand manner.
We have been finding several similarities between the birth of Jesus Christ and Lord Krishna. One – Christ was born at night in a horse stable. Krishna was born in jail during midnight. Both the mothers delivered their children in uncomfortable places. At the time of Christ’s birth, a star guided the Maji to the stable and Rohini Star indicated the birth of Krishna. Jesus was blessed by angels. After the birth of Krishna, Maha Vishnu Himself appeared before Vasudeva and Devaki telling them to exchange the child with Yashoda and Nanda’s daughter in Gokul. Thus, during the birth of these 2 divine people, miracles have happened. Both were born to vanquish the bad and uplift the good.
This time during Christmas, I placed the idol of Vasudeva taking the Child Krishna through River Yamuna, with the crib, on Christmas Day. I am sharing the pictures here.