Sunday, August 28, 2011

A clean sweep of Prarabdham !

Keeping our dwelling places very clean is of paramount importance to each one of us. Hence, every morning we engage ourselves or a maid on our behalf to do this work with utmost perfection. When it comes to the dwelling place of the Supreme Being, each one of us has the responsibility to keep it clean too as His place is nothing but our place.

Was it for Himself that He has descended His abode and settled amidst the most vulnerable planet in the Universe? A planet where in addition to the natural calamities, planned human calamities rock in succession? The sole object of His stay amidst us has been to redeem us from the clutches of Samsara. We have been caught in the web of samsara by our own deeds. He out of utmost benevolence and unconditional grace has conspired to save us.

Coming to the point, keeping His place clean is as important as keeping ours blemishless. But who will do this kainkaryam? Just as the responsibility to run the State vests with every citizen but out of practical difficulties a Head is appointed to look after the affairs of the State, the very same head is also to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the Temple of Lord clean. It was for this reason that the King of Thiruvananthapuram kept the now richest temple (quite amusing, the temple was already the richest with the coruscant Ananthapadmanabham adorning it. The media of course, is oblivious of this) clean with the golden broomstick. Tradition holds that the King would enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord every day pre dawn and would sweep the floor with a golden broomstick. Even now, the descendents of the King keep up to the tradition. Namazhwar in the second decade of the last Patthu of Thiruvaimozhi beautifully sings the Glory of Thiruvananthapuram wherein Azhwar states
“If We Go Here (Thiruvananthapuram) And Do Some Mopping And Cleaning Up Kainkaryam At The Temple Entrance, All Our Irremovable Sins Will Simply Disappear”

But since such a tradition does not (if there has been such a tradition in present day Tamil Nadu, please enlighten us) exist in our State, it is upto each individual to show devotion in cleaning up the temple premises.

The founder acharya of Srimaan Trust, Sri Parasara Badrinarayana Bhattar swamy recently travelled to Salem to do upanyasam for a month. While discoursing on SriGunaratnakosham, a work dedicated by Sri Parasara Bhattar on the glory of SriRenganachiar, Swamy took up the 50th shloka starting with ‘ Mathar Mythili….’ and made a deep exposition of it.

Here Swamy ParAsara Bhattar addresses Sri Ranganayaki as “Maathar-Mythili”. Oh My Mother Mythili! You took on the incarnation of Sita to accompany Your Lord during RaamAvathAram. You were kidnapped by Raavanan and he incarcerated you in Ashoka Vanam and put ugly and cruel Raakshasis as Your guards. They tormented you and committed so many apachArams and goaded you to marry their king, Raavanan. Among all the Raakshasis was one by the name Thrijadai, who was the daughter of VibhishaNan. She had a dream in which she saw Raavanan being destroyed by Lord Ramachandran and His retinue of Monkeys and bears. She woke up from her dream and counseled her fellow raakshasis to save themselves from the wrath of Lord Raama by performing complete surrender at the sacred feet of Seetha. Now the scene shifts from Sundara Kaandam to Yuddha Kaandam. The same Hanuman, who had witnessed the ill treatment of Sita Devi by the Raakshasis, has another opportunity to witness the greatness of Sita Piratti.The time was after Ravana Samharam. The place was Ashoka Vanam in Lankai.Hanuman had rushed to Piratti’s side to let Her know that the destruction of Raavanan at the hands of Her Lord had taken place. There HanumAn saw all the Raakshasis, who had committed the offense of causing pain to Piratti. Hanuman was mighty mad at them and sought the permission of Piraati to destroy those Raakshasis. He pointed out that the demo nesses have no repentance over the treatment they meted out to Piratti in their role as her jailors. He argued that all of the Raakshasis deserve to be killed:

The most merciful Saranaagatha rakshaki, Seetha Piratti counseled Hanuman against such rash deeds with these very famous words:
paapAnAm vaa SubhAnAm vaa vadhArhaNamatapi vaa

Kaaryam kaaruNyamAryENa na kascchinnaparAdhyathi


“Compassion should by a noble soul towards sinners as well for the good, nay, even for those deserving death. There is none who never commits a wrong”

Hanuman understands the power of the earlier appeal of Thrijadai on behalf of theoffending Raakshasis to Sita Devi. The most merciful Mother remembered that appeal and protected the Raakshasis.

But in the case of Emperumaan, He extended His grace to only those who unconditionally surrendered themselves to Him like Vibheeshana who left every belonging at Lanka and sought Emperumaan’s Thiruvadi and Kaakasura who was made to surrender himself unto the feet of Lord.

Thus when compared to the grace of Piratti which is like an unfathomable ocean, that of Emperumaan is only a handful of it!

Explaining thus the meaning of the Shloka, the Founder Acharya appealed to the gathering at Salem to come to Srirangam and undertake kainkaryam at the Thiruvadi of Piratti, Azhwars and Acharyas. In response, last Sunday, 50 volunteers from various socio-economic backgrounds visited Srirangam from Salem and drenched themselves in the Sannidhi Cleaning Kainakaryam. Singing the praise of SriRenganachiar, they devotedly swept, washed, cleaned, and dried the Sannidhi of Piratti, Thiruppan azhwar, Kooratazhwan and a few others. Amongst them, a woman by name Rukmini, mother of a 4 month old baby, immersed herself in the kainkaryam despite the need to attend to her child every now and then. The scene evoked great satisfaction on the faces of the onlookers itself as though they were involved in this kainkaryam and as if their houses were cleaned. Some even volunteered to participate.

Hope you too derive the same satisfaction reading this and seeing the photos. During your next visit to Srirangam, we request you to participate in the Kainkaryam of cleaning your Original House.

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