Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - VI (end)

Priya arangan adiyar,

(....trip to SriAnantazhwan's thirumaligai )

The midday sun was merciful enough. The bus drove smoothly, occasionally squirming against the bumpy roads. The children, though expected to have lost energy, looked just the opposite. The ShreePaadatheertham of SriAandan furthered their love for Sampradayam. Discussing the athma- gunas of the Acharyas, the logical topic to follow was the vaibhavam of SriAnantazhwan. A lot was spoken on the unshakable Acharya Bhakthi that possessed Anantarya. His vairagyam, chastity of thought and intense speed of execution of Acharya aagnya were shared by all. The trip of SriParasara Bhattar to Thirunarayanapuram to fulfill Ethirajar’s wish of claiming Vedanti to the True Faith and his prior halt at SriAnantazhwan’s thirumaligai were discussed when the bus reached Siruputtur. Anantazhwan, who was almost four times the age of SriParasara Bhattar, prostrated before Bhattar when He visited Anantazhwan. Such was the Bhakthi and forethought Anantazhwan had. Anantazhwan knew the pulse of His Acharyan and foresaw the Anointment of SriParasara Bhattar as the next apostle of the Srivaishnava Faith after SriRamanuja.
The speaker pointed at the pond in front of SriAnantazhwan’s sinnidhi and explained that the water was sanctified by the Holy feet of SriParasara Bhattar. Having paid Homage to the divya-mangala vigraham of SriAnantazhwan and the Swamy of His thiruvamsam looking after the sannidhi, the children sat for a repeat session of the pattimandram. The difference was the presence a better and formidable supporter for the “Kaayika Kainkaryam” team. Shri Anantazhwan Himself! The children came out of the sannidhi and were about to get into the pond and sanctify themselves, when, a student halted and requested the founder Acharya to get into the pond first. After Swamy walked out of the pond, the children got into the pond and sprinkled the water on their head. They now had the SriPaadatheertham of SriParasara Bhattar and the present day Swamy of His Thiruvamsam too! Such was their Bhaava shuddhi.

The anxious bus driver beckoned. And time was running out. The sun was losing sheen. Taking leave of SriAnantazhwan, the children made their way back to Thirunarayanapuram. A final visit to the temple was part of the trip and the children took leave of the deities and the Jagadacharya. The Srivaishnavas there poured their love on the children and inundated them with the native savories.

The children were very happy and deeply saddened, both at the same moment. Such anubhavam was once a lifetime. They knew not if such cosmic positioning of events would ever occur again. This land was a land of fantasy. Holy fantasy. The sound of the vehicle brought them back to senses. Srirangam awaited them. Parents expected them. Routine spread its hands to welcome them back in its quagmire. Packing the bags, the children ascended the bus which had faithfully accompanied them all along. Now it too had to depart from Thirunarayanapuram. They could at least leave it back in memory of the trip. Could they not? No, they couldn’t. Train tickets weren’t booked. The bus had to be ceremoniously handed back to the owner just as they would be handed back to their parents. If the pangs of separation from Thirunarayanapuram could blow their hearts away, the hearts that knew this place only 48 hours, how would Emperumanar have felt; having built the town? Having planted its trees, having fed its cows, having laid its streets, having pruned its shrubs, having constructed the temple walls, having designed the ponds, having looked after the Emperuman like a mother fondling the just found long-lost child, having bathed Selvappillai for 12 years, having Him dressed, having hosts of Srivaishnavas ready to do anything for Him…the pain now felt was miniscule. Waving the hands to the Bhagavathas surrounding the bus and showing them anjali hastham, uttering the names of Swamy Ramanuja, the children retraced the steps back to Srirangam, dipping their hearts in the ocean of divinity, called Thirunarayanapuram.             

(An account of the trip of SBK children to Thirunarayanapuram on the 12th and 13th of May, 2012 ends.)

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