Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Congregation of divine tones...

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

It all began when we received a mail from a Septuagenarian on the threshold of turning an Octogenarian.

A resident abroad, Shri Rangarajan swamy is a very devout Srivaishnavite. He shares the thirunakshtram of SriPeriazhwar. And the recently concluded aani swathi was special to him since it marked his 80th thirunakshtram. SriRangarajan swamy is settled in a foreign land and has relatives spread across Bhaaratam. He wanted to celebrate his 80th in style. Not by cutting a cake or buying costly gifts to family members; nor by merely holding a get together inviting his relatives and acquaintances in his vicinity.  He wanted to celebrate it by honouring the people who dedicate their lives for the Supreme’s kainkaryam. He wanted to make his 80th an instrument in showing his love for his sampradaya. He wanted to make his 80th a memorable event not to the onlookers and the photographer but to the Divine Couple. He wanted to celebrate it in Periya koil, under the shade of Periya Perumal, Periya Pirattiyar, Thiruppavai Jeeyar, Parasara Bhattar-the foster child of the Divine Couple, and Periya Jeeyar.

But how could he, living thousands of miles away from Srirangam attain his wish? A few days of intense thinking reminded him of our Trust. But in this world where our own children time their conversation with us owing to their hectic schedule, how could he expect a group of people whom he had never met to organize his 80th thirunakshtram? Yet, he was positive and immediately expressed his wish to us. A celebration of this magnitude would require the deployment of lot of time and physical effort on the part of the volunteers. The volunteers live to serve. It is for persons with noble intention that the Trust works day and night. The volunteers accepted the request with inexplicable happiness. And the entire event was planned to the T. 

The following were included in the spiritual menu that was to be enjoyed in a span of 5 days :
  • Yajur and Saama Veda Parayanam
  • 4000 Divya Prabandha Parayana
  • SriRamayana parayanam
  • Puraana patanam 
  • SriBashya parayanam
  •  Rahasya grantha parayanam
  • SriSudarshana stotra parayanam
  •  Upanyasams by vidwans
  • Sri Sudarshana homam for abhivriddhi of kainkaryams
  • Dharma upanayanam for a boy
  • Prasadams for 5 days to all Bhakthas
The volunteers set out to find persons for each of the above kainkaryams. Ones for the Divya Prabandham were available with little effort. But for the others, they travelled to various places and sought such persons as would perform the parayanams with great shraddha.

And so, 5 days prior to aani swathi, all the veterans arrived at the Gurukulam where the function was to be held. The children of the Gurukulam were the hosts and they were good hosts indeed. They looked after the scholars with great care. The congregation included scholars from Srirangam, Mannarkudi, Thiruvallikkeni, Seerkazhi, Tiruvellarai and a few other divya desams.

The ground floor where the deity of the Gurukulam resides was filled with the divya prabahdha adyakapas and the first day began with their energetic rendition of the pasurams of Periazhwar. The other rooms were occupied by scholars doing Sudarshana stotra parayanam. The first floor’s occupants were the Vedic scholars who filled the air with hymns from the Yajur and Saama Veda .The first floor was also occupied by dedicated scholars who recited kaandam after kaandam from Sriramayana and Chapters from the Puranas. The rooms at the end were honoured by the presence of persons reciting SriBashya and the 18 Rahasya granthams of SriPillailokacharya.

Thus, the 5 days were nothing short of an incessant shower in nectar. The children of the gurukulam participated in the each of the activity and played the role of hosts with aplomb. They even contributed to the cooking at the kitchen of the Gurukulam where prasadams were made on a large scale for the Bhakthas. They were the keen listeners to the upanyasams and offered the sambhavanai to the Vidwans who performed the upanyasams.

The last day saw the satrumarai of all the parayanams that had happened in the last 4 days. Sudarshana homam was held for the general well being of all kainkaryaparas. And a wonderful feast was arranged for all.  All the scholars where honoured and the send off was given to them with utmost respect. The scholars were extremely pleased for creating a platform to express their knowledge. 

The person who triggered the event was stationed in outside India. Yet his heart was here in Srirangam. Photos and videos of the event were sent him. And we could feel his feeling when he looked at the pictures and the videos. In each activity, the volunteers remembered him and his wish. And they wanted to leave no stones unturned to make this function memorable. And it did leave an indelible impression in the minds of all. Nothing but the Grace of the Divine Couple, Azhwars and Acharyas could have made it happen.

The act of SriRangarajan swamy should be an example for all of us to follow. Our birthdays should be used to help people in need, people who have dedicated themselves to the protection of the Vedas, people who remained faithful to the Azhwars and people who are in the service of the Divine. With long years of effort, the Trust has excellent selfless volunteers in its possession. With such volunteers, none need fear celebrating a function with a noble objective. We are all here for you. An act of selflessness gives us immense happiness and this joy can never be achieved by a selfish act. 

SriRangarajan sent us his words complementing the kainkaryam of the volunteers. The same is reproduced as per his wish :

“I am truly grateful to the Trust and its band of volunteers for agreeing to carry out this epic Kainkaryam in connection with my Satabhshekam. Sitting on my own land India, I could never have achieved this on my own. Living on a foreign land, this would have been even inconceivable. All this became a reality only through the Grace of Namperumal and Nachiar.....for planting this concept in the minds of the Trust and motivating me to participate in this Grand Kainkaryam. I am eternally grateful to the Trust and will continue to cherish this in the years to come "

For the photos of the event, please check below:

For the first two days, the pics are here :

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