Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shabari Ashramam...A new beginning.

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,


If the Supreme Being is to be described in a word, we can call Him a Magician. If the world visible to our eyes is not enough to prove his touch of magic, then His descendance to our land and the acts of pure amazement staged by Him will convince us of the inexhaustible reserve of magic in His possession.


In all his avathars, SrimanNarayana exhibited His magic Himself or it happened under the supervision of His lotus eyes. When Bhaktha Prahlada was asked if the Lord existed, he said the Lord existed everywhere, from an atom to a pillar. This reminded his father of the Pillar he had built with his own hands taking all the measures himself. Even if by some magic Vishnu found a spot in other pillars, Hiranyakashipu knew He would not exist in the pillar built with his own hands. Picking up the Mace, he assaulted the pillar with all his strength; and holding the attacking end of the Mace in His hands emerged the Lord as Nrisimha. How can one describe or even understand this magic of the Lord?


Kushela (Sudhama), the close chum of Lord SriKrishna lived in utter poverty. Nothing to feed the children, no proper dress to wear. But his bhakthi at the feet of SriKrishan was intact. An inexplicable wish to meet the Lord arose in his heart and he carried with him the “ Aval” which was a favourite of the Lord during his studenthood days. The gatekeepers of Dwarakanath stopped him and sent a message to the Lord that a person named Kushela has arrived at the gate and is keen on meeting Him. The mere mention of the name sent the Lord into raptures. With his unkempt hair, without any alankara, without wearing the Paadukai, the Lord came rushing down and across the lanes to the gate and received the impoverished non-entity called Kushela. And after the meeting ,when kushela returned back home, a grand posh bungalow awaited him. All his children were handsomely dressed. His wife never looked so beautiful. Food was abundant. A true story of rags to riches. That is what happens when the Supreme Lord turns His vision on someone. A beautiful house (hut) arose in no time in the midst of the forest when Lord Raama asked SriLakshmana for a dwelling place.

Anything and everything can happen when we place ourselves in the hands of the Lord.Periya Perumal (Lord Krishna) and Namperumal (Lord Raama) have always had their beautiful lotus like eyes on our Trust. Many a structures have risen by the sheer magic of their Will. Many institutions and activities began at most unexpected times, all because of Them.


Similar is the story of “Shabari Ashramam” which was inaugurated recently. Seeing some very elderly people struggle without receiving any attention and living  an unimaginably difficult life, a spark arose in the mind of the Founder Acharya. Why not start a place for such people bereft of anyone to help them? And as the thought came, there appeared a person wishing to lend his house to accommodate elders without a family. And immediately began the working of “ Shabari Ashramam”. Even dreams take their own time to take off and end. But with the Grace of the Lord, Shabari Ashramam appeared just like how Dwaraka appeared by the Sankalpa of Lord. Shabari was the elderly woman who awaited Lord Rama and Lakshmana with hands full of fruits. She was the woman who fed the Lord. This Shabari ashraman wishes to feed elderly Bhaagavathas. Within a couple of days of inauguration, ten elders have joined the ashramam.The ashramam is in Lakshminarayana Nagar, Melur Road, Srirangam.


The person who has given his house needs the mangalasasanam of all. What a heart Shri Rajan and his wife have ! In a world where the elders of our own are thrown out, here are a couple giving their house (and kitchen utensils) for strangers. We pray the Lord to bless them with great prosperity and kainkaryam..


A doubt would arise in the minds of many readers. Why should the Trust venture to start old age homes? Is it not setting a wrong example to families? Will it not make it comfortable for a family to abandon its elders? One should put oneself in the shoes of the elders before harbouring such thoughts and feelings. An abandoned elder is suffering “Now”. He/she needs care “ Now”. When the family cannot or will not care, what will happen to the elder? What about elders who have no relatives alive? There is a case of an elderly woman who lost her son, grandson and the entire family in a single accident. What to do of her?And there are also elderly celibates and spinsters who need care.

Can we curb a disease simply by not starting a hospital? 

The son who is abandoning his parents today has not received the values imparted by our culture. That is the disease. What advice can alter the mindset of such persons? Ductility and malleability are features of children. Rigidity is that of elders. Can we watch the sufferings of the old and disclaim the social responsibility by simply attributing it to their family?  


The first entrant into the ashramam is Sri Krishnan. He worked at TVS, Bangalore. During his worktime, he learned under many scholars and has ever been a true practitioner of the principles of Srivaishnavism. His was disclaimed by his closest circle. So he came to Srirangam thinking his other relatives would aid him. That was not to be. And age kept mounting. He lost his wife before some years. He kept performing kainkaryam at Shri Periya Nambi thirumaligai till he could without expecting a single favour in return.But the weak limbs gave way one day and he slipped from stairs and was bed ridden. He was operated with a rod insertion and now can move with a stand (he is 73 now). When everyone abandons a true bhaktha, the Supreme Emperuman takes it on Himself to look after him. That has happened to this swamy.


The Gurukulam, Acharyah and Bhattar Kuzham are working at imparting value system in children. The children of the above institutions will never let an elder wither under their eyes. But that is a future event. We are witnessing the spoils of the past now!  


Lord Krishna is called “Anaatha sakha”, “anaatha naatha”. Srimaan Trust is a mere tool in the hands of Him and will not be a spectator to suffering elders. Hence this initiative.

The photos of the ashram and a few of its inmates are hereunder :


No comments:

Post a Comment