Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - V

Priya arangan adiyar,

( ...the fascination of Yaadavadri continues)
13th May: In the land of Ramanuja diwakarar, the rising and setting of the physical sun is insignificant. The children rose before dawn and prepared themselves for the travel filled day ahead.

With the aromatic spices showered baalabhogam( breakfast), the children and volunteers were set for the day. Squeezing themselves into the mid-sized bus, they began the recitation of stotras on Emperumanar by various acharyas. Each child narrated the specialty of Thirunarayanapuram in his perspective. The bus slowly rode to Salagramam, a place bespeaking the glory of ShriMudaliaandan and His Invincible Master.

One of the SBK students narrated the history that beckoned us at Salagraman. Fearing prosecution at the hands of the father of Vikrama Chozhan, Swamy Ramanuja was made to flee Srirangam and seek refuge in the hilly North (places in the vicinity of Mysore). On the way, Swamy and His disciples faced the wrath of people of other Faiths. Salagramam was one such place. There was none of the True Faith, but plenty of people with enmity and avaidika thoughts. Having met with scant courtesy at this place, the keen senses of Swamy suggested the solution. From amongst the sishyas, Swamy called SriAandan and explained “Seat yourself for some time at the place where people come to draw water with your feet immersed in it.” Aandan obeyed and the inhabitants of the region unconsciously partook of the water purified by the holy feet of Shri Mudaliaandan. Very soon the disdain melted away and they felt themselves strangely attracted towards Swamy Emperumanar. And the shame of treating the Jagadacharya with indifference bit them like bug and they came entreating Swamy to embrace them into the True Faith. The paadukai (Holy feet = Mudaliaandan) of Emperumanar had achieved what the Master Himself could not achieve through heated debates. This place was earlier called Jaalagraman and Emperumanar renamed it Salagraman in memory of the purification of the inhabitants by the water that had the feet of Aandan – the name suggesting itself to him from the Vaishnavas partaking of the water that had washed the Salagrama( Holy stone) that forms an object of daily worship.

This Salagraman had given Sampradayam another ornament in the form of Andhra Poorna (Vatuka Nambi). The very image of Acharya- Bhakthi and Vishvasam at the Acharyan’s thiruvadi, Sri Vatuka Nambi is said to hail from this region and an image of Him has been fixed at the place for worship.

The children were immersed in the history that unraveled before them and by the time it was all explained, the historical scene presented itself. They and the volunteers sprinkled the SriPaada theertham of Sri Mudaliaandan on their heads and carried some in the vessel they carried. Halting there for some time, the children gulped a few fruits and set for the next holy destination, Siruputtur, avathara sthalam of SriAnantazhwan.

( be continued)

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