DHARSHAN OF TEMPLES OF LORD SASTHA
(AYYANIN ALAYA DHARISANAM)
Sri Maha Saastru Priyadasan V. Aravind Subrahmanyam
Translated by Shri. Thiruvarur Chandrashekaran
Compilation of this book has been possible only by the great blessings of the BHAKTHA PARIPALAN (Saviour of thedevotees), SRI HARIHARAPUTRA, who is behind each and ever action of mine, each and every second.
Though, I had been to various temples many a time, but this time after the temple visit the thought and desire to record the same occurred to me somehow, resulting in this presentation.
Throughout this trip I felt and went through a wonderful experience of the divine power and play personally, and as such the entire compilation has been made under my own supervision.
I had no plans, none whatsoever, to release it as a book. It has been my practice to write down as an aid memoir, all important happenings in my life before my memory fades away. In the same way it just occurred to me that I should record all these for my own benefit. So I wrote. That’s all to it.
Someone who happen to read it, opined that this could be got printed as a book. Such of those experiences felt by me personally have been got omitted , by way of editing, retaining only those matters which can be shared with all the readers . So now this is in your hands in the form of a book, a reading material.
At a few places it may sound as self-adulation. I know pretty well how dangerous it isto brag about. I always pray to the Lord that I should not get caught in that MAYA.
If still some one feels that this is nothing but trumpeting my one-upmanship, then I would like to make it clear that I have no such intentions and it is not the fault of my thinking but only of my failure to express adequately in writing.
I don’t have any proud feelings as if these experiences felt by me, were bestowed upon me only, by the Lord. I consider them as the LEELAS, playful acts of the, AKILANDA KOTI BRAHMANANDA NAYAGAN, the omnipotent,the omnipresent, the Creator of the Universe, extended to me too as a servant of His devotees. It is this feeling which had been got expressed as a volume now.
This was actually written in Tamil titled AYYANIN ALAYA DHARISANAM and it became a Superhit travelogue and Shri. Thiruvarur Chandrashekaran came forward to translate in into English. Since its a very lengthy text iam posting it part by part.
Permit me to say that it is He who has made me to write this and it is He who has made all of you to read, He, who is the saviour of the devotees, who is omnipresent.
And let us now start the journey.
With the holy thoughts of the lotus feet of the Lord.
V. ARVIND SUBRAHMANYAM
94.B. Third Street, TATABAD,
DHARSHAN OF SASTHA TEMPLES
Arrangements & Preparations
Where else are there temples of Lord Dharma Saastha, other than Sabari hills? I posed this query to the audience during one of my discourses.
I then said that as far as I am aware of, there are about 6000 Saastha temples, big and small, all put together, both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This kindled the interest in the minds of many to visit them all.
With the grace and blessings of the Lord, the Saastha Preethi celebrations went off very well on 26th July 2009.
Immediately after the function was over, a voice was heard “Why not arrange a trip to visit the temples and come back?” That was from Vibhawan who made the proposal, which was promptly seconded by Sarvajit.
After considerable debate, a decision was finally taken to undertake the trip, availing a total of three holidays including the holiday on Gandhi Jayanthi (2nd October).
We offered our prayers to the Lord and requested Shri. Chandru (Sabari travels), to make necessary arrangements for booking of a vehicle.
Many got wild with me. The reason being I had not informed about this trip to anyone, other than the direct members of our Sangam. Nor had I extended any invitation to others.
Bombay Balu Iyer had not yet returned from abroad. Mr. Subrahmanyam phoned from Madras and said, “Just let me have your programme. I shall make all the necessary arrangements.”
Mr. Ram babu called from Vellore and said, “ If only you had just given us a hint, all our members would have participated in the trip”.
Sri Sundaram (guruswamy) of Kambangudi almost said the same thing. He also added, “If we travel with you we come to know of many hitherto unknown facts about the places and temples we visit, which adds more pleasure to the dharshan .
I too share their wish. . But this time since it was decided that preference be given to all those who had extended their help and full cooperation for the successful conduct of the Saastha Preethi function, none else was extended an invitation. Next time if so willed by Him, I shall certainly inform all, well in advance, so that all of us can make a visit together.
There were fourteen of us initially at the start of the programme. But at the last minute a few could not make it.
At first I got vexed. “What is this? Is it a herculian task for these people to pay a visit to these temples?”
But however, by the grace of the Lord, within few seconds, wisdom dawned upon me.
Is it “We” who decide about visiting a temple? The emphatic reply is “No”!
What ever happens is as per His will and desire. It is He who invites and invites only those whom He wants to undertake the trip.
Unless He wills our name in His mind for such a trip, will it at all be possible for us to embark upon such a journey? Or for that matter, will it all be possible to have His dharshan? Certainly not!
I just recollected what I had read somewhere:
“ Only when the Lord calls out our name for the first time we come to know about a Kshetra. When for the second time He mentions our name, the thoughts enter our mind to join such a Yatra group. When for the third time He calls aloud our name, then and then only, we can step inside His temple and also have His Dharshan.”
This, according to me, is a very true statement. This is Truth nothing but the Truth.
Thus only when we receive a call from Him, it would become possible for any one to enter one of His temples and have His Dharshan.
This itself can be taken as an indication that the time for deliverance from the negative effects of ones past karmas has begun.
Notwithstanding the fact that no train ticket was available, Natarajan, managed to join the party after a tedious bus journey from Chennai. Somehow taking a clue from a casual mention made by me earlier Muthuraman, had made advance railway reservation and arrived even one day earlier. Likewise Sabari too arrived from Bangalore.
But what would you call it, if those who live in the same city, some of whom even reside in the adjacent street could not make it?
In short it appears that whom all He invited embarked upon the journey.
Our initial plan was to leave on Thursday night and proceed direct to Achchankoil. But at last minute a change took place in this plan. I made a change that instead of leaving on Thursday night we start on Friday noon and and go direct and land at Kallidaikkurichchi.
Some were unhappy with this decision under the impression that it is I who had made this change. (Few must have even cursed me inwardly, of which I was however unaware.)
Natarajan who had initially bought a ticket for Madurai, cancelled the same and caught the bus to Coimbatore and some how reached in time. Vibhawan, being my chellapillai, readily agreed to the suggested change and even got his examinations postponed to a subsequent day.
The Guruswamy mama, who had by then returned from Bombay, was however not satisfied with any of my explanations for the change in plan. He went on lamenting “Why should any one propose a change, once a programme has been finalized?” Chandru of Sabari Travels is a gem of a person. Though he did not openly say anything, I am sure he too must have been feeling pretty miserable at the change.
I myself don’t know why and what made me to make such an unpopular change? I, therefore, had to give some sort of an excuse to one and all. I was, however, fully conscious of the fact that what I gave was an evasive reply only.
But, later on, every one of us realized while having dharshan at Kulaththupizhai that the change made was not by me but by Him, the Lord Veeramanikantan.
The plan was to start on Friday at 13.00 hrs sharp. But true to the well known Indian punctuality the van left at 14.00 hrs sharp with Sarana Gosham(shouts of Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa) by all the members of the group.
Natarjan announced, ”The window seat is reserved for me” and took that seat and was fully engrossed therein. All the elders took the seats in the front side of the van while the younger battalion occupied the back seats. After chatting with Gurumama a little while, I too moved to the backside and joined the youngsters group.
Here I would like to make a special mention to the attention of the readers that all the members of the group were real gems. That is they had no mental corruption. For all of them this trip was a unique and the first of its kind.
Our journey continued pleasantly with every one enjoying the replay of the video recordings of our Saastha Preethi function as well as singing of Bhjan songs. We had the night tiffin on the way and the journey continued passing through Madurai town and then arriving at Thirunelveli.
Once we entered the borders of Thirunelveli, on the banks of the river Thambirabharani, an unexplainable pleasant feeling was felt by one and all.
In particular, as we proceeded on our journey in the van, from Thirunelveli to Ambasamudram, the dark hours, the gentle breeze, the open space visible at that time, the paddy fields, mountainous route, all combined together produced a peculiar feeling within me. My inner spirits whispered in my ears:
“Look Here! I am now entering the fortress of my favourite deity.”
I could even feel the dance of Lord Hariharasuthan in each and every inch of my body and also in every atoms around. I thus entered into an inexplicable stage of divine bliss.
Vibhu, who was sitting beside me, enquired “What Anna (elder brother)? Are you in Yoga-Nidra?”
I just smiled but did not reply. I do not know whether it was a casual remark by him or he was really aware of my blissful state then.
I felt exactly the same way when I first visited this place. Till date I could not unfathom the reason for such a feeling.
Even today when I close my eyes and visualize myself to be around that place I still get similar feelings.
Does it mean that the Lord has some work ear marked for me to be accomplished here? If that is so, He alone has to speak out.
Somehow by 22.30 hrs we landed at Kallidaikkurichchi. Uncle Sankararaman had made arrangements for our stay at one of his house, which was lying vacant. But as our ill luck would have it, when we landed there the electrical fuse had gone off in that house beyond immediate restoration.
So it was decided that all elder members would stay at the house where Sankararaman uncle was residing and the rest would stay in the house of Guru Mama, about ten houses further down in the same street.
Since Gurumama along with the family of his younger brother had moved and settled at Coimbatore, the house here was practically empty. Somehow Gurumama managed to get few needed items, including a fan. The lucky chaps were Natarajan, Varun and Sabari, as they opted to sleep in the inside room. They must have had a wonderful undisturbed peaceful sleep!!!
We had occupied the front portion and the adjacent room and were surrounded by the Ganalola Gandharvas, producers of hreengara melody sound! (How else to describe diplomatically the biting mosquitoes we have to put up with).
To be continued.....