Priya arangan adiyar,
The clouds seemed gravely serene. Only that they were on the brink of opening up and emptying their reserves with magnanimity. As we stood atop the hill of SriNrisimhan and glanced down at the scene that sprawled before our eyes, our breath stood still for a moment. The Pushkarni below looked like emeralds spread across an acre of land or was it an ornament (adukku padhakkam) that bedecked the pristine land below? We wondered. The trees below with wavy texture seemed to have risen from the seeds the very previous night. Such was their freshness. And in the midst of every possible shade of green, stood the towering structure, like pearls heaped conically in the midst of stones, the wonderful gopuram of Emperumaan.
Descending down the hill and into the town, the view was more appealing. As we walked fixing our gaze at the distant gopuram, we were faced by a group of Srivaishnavites. It was as though some divine dexterous sculpturer had chiseled their structure then and there. Their thejas, the long curls of pitch dark hair flowing down the sides of their tonsured forehead, the bright Thirumankappu with the splendid Srichoornam, the milk like white vasthram adorning their thirumeni, their sathvik demeanour, their dark eyes encasing immeasurable love for Jagadacharya made us realize where we were. They were carrying water from the pushkarni for the Thiruvaradhanam of Emperuman. Their lips were uttering the nectareous Stotraratnam of SriAlavandar in a mellifluous voice. The breeze wafting around our nostrils whispered the name of Jagadacharya. We were at Thirunarayanapuram, the land that knows nothing but Jagadacharya Ramanuja.
The occasion was as special as the land we were at. It was for the centenary celebration of the paternal uncle of the present day Shri Mudaliaandan swamy, the veteran Sri Koil Kandhadai Vadoola Kumara Srishaileshachariar swamy (Vaikuntavasi).The varthamana Mudaliaandan swamy (present day swamy) invited the students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham (SBK) to perform at the function held at Thirunarayanapuram and the children were overjoyed at the opportunity swamy had given them. With the group of SBK students and volunteers (with the founder acharya and Ammangar), the trip to ‘the enchanting Dakshin Badri’ was undertaken after seeking the permission of the Aadisesha pampered Lord of Srirangam. It was the 12th of May and the plan was to stay there till the . A rare spiritual experience was awaiting to unfold before us.
( to be continued)