Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - III

Priya arangan adiyar,

(...12th May anubhavam continues)

With the forenoon drawing to a close, we traced out steps for the thadeerayadhanam(feast) held by Shri Mudaliaandan thirumaaligai. The varthamana Swamy was overwhelmed to see the students and poured his aashirvadam on them. The thadeeyaradhanam was excellent and the children rejoiced that Emperuman had accepted the pradadams with utmost bhoogam.

Back to our staying place, the morning exertion seemed to show on the children. An hour of rest brought them back to high energy levels. The function at Shri Mudaliaandan thirumaligai was to begin at 5: 30 p.m and the children started preparing themselves. Shri Mudaliaandan thirumaligai is located along the sides of one of the temple walls (thirumadhil). It is a thiruveedhi where Emperumanar and Selvapillai place Their footsteps during utsavams.

The first programme by the children was a debate captioned “edhu sirandha kainkaryam”( which is the best form of Kainkaryam?). Whether it was kainkaryam by the thought of mind/heart (maanasikam), by word of mouth(vaak), monetarily (dhanam) or physical kainkaryams (kaayikam)? The debate caught up with a lot of heat and as the conclusion was about to surface, Emperuman Selvappillai made a sudden appearance in the Thiruveedhi. Recording His charismatic smile in their hearts, the children returned. Coming to the debate, a unanimous conclusion was drawn crowning ‘ kaayika kainkaryam’ as the best among the contenders. A few reasons were very witty… A child said “Today morning all of us have had a wonderful sevai of Thirunaranan. If Emperumanar had not physically come here and unearthed Him and spent several hours fixing the kainkaryams at the temple, would we get to see the Magnificent Perumal today?” Another gesticulated with his hands “Your honours, what kainkaryams did the Lord of Kanchi and the Lord of Thiruvarangam give Udayavar? Hasthigirinathan gave Him the physical Theertha kainkaryam amongst all others. The Lord of Srirangam gave Him the physical kainkaryam managing the affairs of His temple. What kainkaryams did Udayavar himself give  Anantazhwan. It was purely physical kainkaryams. So our case is strong. We have a supreme precedent to decide the issue in our favour. Other Kainkaryams can be performed by being physically absent. Money can be sent from one corner of the world to perform kainkaryam at a divya-desam. But physical kainkaryam calls for more. It needs the person’s time, his physical presence, and his mental presence. He can think of nothing during the period of kainkaryam. So it is Physical kainkaryam that is the best. The other teams participating in the debate could do the least to confront the ‘Kaayika kainkaryam’ team though they did point out the greatness of each of the kainkaryams.

Next was a wonderful dance performance by a group of Srivaishnavas on the charitram of SriKooratazhwan and SriMudaliaandan. It was an enchanting view and the volunteers and SBK children thoroughly enjoyed the graceful movements of the dancers.

Finally at 7 p.m, the much awaited drama of the SBK students began. Shri Mudaliaandan swamy was a close observer of all the above mentioned events and it was a privilege to see Him encourage the participants.

The screens went up and a lady and a Sanyasi were engaged in a conversation. The sanyasi, Emperumanar makes His way into Thirukoaloor and is encountered by this woman making her way out of the divya-desam. Swamy, with His usual inquisitiveness, asks her why she is leaving the land that should only be entered into. The woman gives a series of reasons for her unfitness to stay in so holy a land. And one such reason was “Irumidar Pidittheno Selvappillaiyai pole ?” (Did I embrace the shoulders (throat) like Selvappillai?).

The instant the reply was given, the scene changed and SriRamanujachariar, adorned in white vasthram and a bare forehead paces his way into Melakkottai. Swamy is worried. He sleeps without drinking a drop of water or having any food. And Thirunaranan appears in His dreams and indicates His whereabouts and the place where Thirumankappu can be found. Swamy is overjoyed and with the help of the King, unearths Emperuman and builds a temple for Him. The town is named Thirunarayanapuram. But still, swamy is worried that the utsavar needed to celebrate all the utsavams is absent. Again Emperuman appears in the sleep of Swamy and orders Him to make a trip to the north and reclaim the utsavar from the Harem of the Mughal princess. Swamy hastens. The Mughal Emperor is awestruck at the serenity and composure of Swamy. But it is beyond his comprehension that a Hindu deity could be found place in the Harem of his daughter. He calls for the daughter and seeks explanation. The child, fearing separation from the Lord, claims to have many idols (deities) in her Harem. The Mughal king, with sarcasm, asks Emperumanar to call for His Lord and if the Lord happened to come, take Him along. Emperumanar, in the midst of a host of people, exclaims in a voice, the voice of a Father ‘ Thodar sangiligal salar pilar ennat…….saarnghapaani thalarnadai nadavano! And ‘Vaarayo NamSelvappillai’ and to the very astonishment of one and all present there, the beautiful deity slowly moves and having embraced Emperumanar, settles down on His lap. An intelligent girl of SBK devised a means to move Selvappillai automatically from the Harem to the lap of the child impersonating Emperumanar. The whole gathering was thrilled and drops of tears fell from the eyes of one and all. Even today, most of the time a purappadu happens for Selvappillai, Emperumanar would accompany Him as a sign of protection. When the child takes a stroll, the father accompanies.

(....to be continued)

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