Srimate Ramanujaya nama:
( A drop of gratitude)
There resided a very old Srivaishnavite in a divya desam. Age had laid its icy hands on his faculties. His vision had vanished. His ears heard little. His love for the Lord though, remained intact. He had mastered the Divya-prabandhams as a young man and passed his time devouring the sweet ecstatic outpourings of the Azhwars. He always carried about him, his nut wallet and in it, he had kept a Salagrama deity as his constant companion. When by accident, the tiny nut-alike salagrama deity mixed up with the nut, and entered his mouth while chewing the nut, he would of course feel the hardness of the deity different from the nut. He would then, with utmost reverence take Him out, wash with water, dry with his already dust laden robe, dress the deity and taking the cymbals ( taalam) in his hands, sing a beautiful verse from the sugary Tiruvaimozhi of Saint Namazhwar and then lull the little Salagrama deity to sleep. This confusion and the ensuing events happened almost on an everyday basis. A young Srivaishnavite, noticed the happenings with absolute astonishment. With rage running through his veins at such an irreverent blasphemous treatment to the Supreme Being, he hastened to the old person and reproached him severely. He demanded the desecrated Salagrama moorthi and the old man obliged succumbing to guilt. The young Srivaishnava was very happy at obtaining the Lord and he took Him home and started worshipping in all strict details of ceremonial worship. But the Lord appeared in his dreams on the very first night itself and said “ Ye fool! I was happy where I was. I had the felicity of becoming bathed in the nectar-like saliva of his holy mouth, very holy due to the constant chanting of the hymns of My dearest Azhwars. And I also had the supreme delight in listening to the sweet verses from the divya prabandham which he warbled to me. But now, you have deprived me of all this happiness and subjected me the tedious trials of your dry formal worship.” Put into great apprehension by this dream, the young Srivaishnavite forthwith restored the Salagrama to the former old custodian, who accepted the deity with love pouring out as tears and pasurams. Nevertheless, the old story of Salagrama entering his mouth as nut continued and the Lord remained in Bliss!
The Lord takes supreme pleasure in listening to the rapturous outpourings from the love-smitten and love-soaked hearts of His Devotees. Such devotees were the Azhwars. And hence, we give so much of importance to their verses. Just by pretending to carry streaks of their Bhakthi by chanting their words, we receive the Grace of the Supreme. What if someone live his entire life chanting their works and serving Lord? Sri Sundaram swamy is in his 80s now. But from the days of childhood, he has been in love with the words of Azhwars and of course, the Lord encased within them. Spending his time as the adyapakar in Sri Venkatesha perumal koil, Perumbur, he has succeeded in creating a large group of ardent devotees there.
He couldn’t grace the occasion due to the age factor and his son accepted the honour on his behalf.
The Sripaadam thangigal of Sathyanarayana koil were also honoured. The first brahmostavam of the Perumbur temple mentioned above was successfully completed by this group.It was a time when none had accepted the proposal and these people stepped in to conduct the utsavam. It was the very grace of Lord Venkatesha that both the honours happened on the same day. The sripaadam thangigal, unlike others, don’t restrict themselves to a specific temple. Even if there is an utsavam in another temple clashing with theirs, they make arrangements to conduct both. A great chance to honour them.
The photo of the representative can be viewed here :