A Moment Called Ananda
the Laksharcha at Sabarimalai
Moksha is not anywhere else and not an unknown thing. It is the nature of unsurpassed Ananda. Every human being, irrespective of his caste, creed and belief prays for Liberation and this eternal Moksha from the cycle of birth and death.
With this little preamble, let me dwell upon some of my experience regarding the Laksharchana we did to Lord Sastha at Sabarimala, who has been the Only God to me.
My great grand Father Shri CV Srinivasa Iyer – knowingly or unknowingly have had a great impact in modelling my life and activities. I strongly believe that because of His sincere service to the Lord, I am gifted with a priceless gem called Bhakti towards Hariharaputra.
More than forty/fifty years ago, my great grand father Shri CV Srinivasa Iyer started the Laksharchana to Lord Ayyappan at Sabarimala. Over a period of time the puja grew to great heights (even to Ati Rudram) during his age and came to stand still after his demise. Many others had tried to continue this and some could and some could not.
When I grew up, the desire to do at least the same Laksharchana to Lord Ayyappan started developing in my mind. Right from my childhood I did have to face that temptation.
What I heard from all quarters was only discouragement… But at that age I was not ready to accept that “something good is not possible…”
I am of the firm belief that whatever we do with full faith in the Almighty, we will never be let down. Only with this believe I ventured into our Sastha Preethi, my book Maha Sastha Vijayam, Sasthalaya Sevanam and now the Laksharchana.
Throughout my life there are numerous instances, where I had the experience of the divine play of my beloved and these has only enhanced my faith in Him.
Everything Sastha gives us is auspicious, if we will only wait long enough, with faith, for the final outcome.
I and numerous friends tried a lot for the laksharchana. We travelled, wrote letters met the officers… But nothing happened and finally at one stage I left everything to HIM and kept quiet.... Believe me.. Only at this stage by the grace of Bhaktaparipala things started coming in order... Certain things started happening even without any effort....
As the name suggests - I must thank Shri Ganesh from Chennai - who took the initiative on my craving desire. The blessings of all the elders and my Gurus stood with me…
We waited and the Lord gave us the chance for doing a laksharchana after a long time...
All our group members and Ayyappa devotees were in amazement thinking about the end result of our glowing hopes and expectations. But Iam a peculiar person (many call me alien to the present day trends... and a famous quote ???!!! on me "a man belonging to previous generation with ideologies lagging behind 40 years") when I imposed a rule that anyone who is sitting for archana should undergo 41 days vrutham - my fellow members, instead of being wonderstruck and delighted by this news, were outraged by it. "it is not practical.... You see we have office... etc etc "
I understand they must have been frightened off by something they'd find difficult to keep under their own control. At any rate, though there was an initial opposition... I said I would go along with it - even if we have 10 people.
But finally we had more than 60 people.... with more than 30 people ready for Archana with full Vrutham.
We started two days before the event and reached pampa by 5.00 Pm. The sky, which was clear during the day, and till that time, became suddenly and heavily overcast with dense dark clouds. Amidst heavy downpour, it should have been about 8 P.M. in the night, when our first batch reached Sabaripeetam after a very great difficulty. As is customary to, we paid our obeisance to the Sabaripeetam sought Samastaparadham by chanting Sharana Gosham…. After this some force started operating us… Shri. Hari started as if he were in trance and immediately I had the same feeling and we started moving and other came running following us… within 3-4 minutes we had reached Nadapanthal…
Immediately we saw the holy 18 steps and the Lord of the 18 steps waiting for us - It is because of his Karunyam we rise into His highest seat where we find waiting for us the Friend, the Beloved and Motherly Lord. This celestial joy is known as bliss.
Since Bhakta paripala was also with us, we had a wonderful Sastha preethi next day at our Room. Enjoying the Lord by every means was indeed ecstatic and tears of happiness rolled from the eyes. This was truly a rewarding experience.
Throughout the yatra whenever we had few minor problems and hitches, the willpower and faith in the Almighty took precedence and took care of all the problems.
That evening we offered pushpabhishekam to the Lord – the Pushpanjali was a wonderful sight of life time… We had made a crown to the Emperor of the Universe… We did not have the exact size, dimension of the idol…. nothing… I just ordered it out of my own conviction and intuition. Many discouraged us that this is going to be very big…. But at the end of Pushpabhishekam when He was crowned– it was a perfect fit… In fact, the ecstasy got transformed into tears, when we saw the Majestic Lord accepting us in front of Him. I could understand that the entire clan of devotees at Sannidhanam had the similar experience… It was bliss emanating from the Lord and filling everywhere. The happiness is indescribable and beyond all conception and only the experience can tell.
The purpose of the human existence is God realization and we experienced it… Literally it took more than ten to fifteen minutes to realize that we have not been able to relinquish the links to the mundane part of life.
Next day was the laksharchana and when the pujas began, everybody felt themselves in a very elevated state. The young master - Lord of the universe was sitting majestically giving audience to everyone. We were right in front of Him. Literally every nama was roared in the divine presence and since the meaning of each Nama is understood, everyone enjoyed the majesty of the master.
The blissful state of mind was much more and I was getting lost and so held my mudra vadi very tight to control myself.
Sitting in front of the Lord and chanting his divine name is always a great experience and various visions come before the eyes at that time. I have also had my share of the same
Finally the basmabishekam was made… The happiness and sense of fulfillment one gets with Ayyappan, after so much of ardor, effort, prayers, austerities, rigor and discipline are totally beyond description.
Icing up this cake of Grace – the Lord accepted the Mudravadi for almost 4 hours with him – giving us an acknowledgement for the Laksharchana. When the Nada was re-opened there was a great revelation and tears of joy came to our eyes when we had the Darshan.
I can still enjoy the salubrious breeze with all herbal fragrance of the Lord which I could feel on the Vadi…
At Sabarimalai Sannidanam, we will never feel like asking the Lord for any boon, because, it is Place filled with nothing but Ananda. On seeing Him, tears of Ananda surface and all thoughts get obliterated from the mind. Only Anandam prevails…
Gurum Poorna Lavanya Padadi Kesham Gareeyam mahat koti Surya Prakasham
Karamboruhanyasta Vetram Suresham Paranjyoti roopam bhaje Bhoothanatham