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Editor's Note - 13 (June 1, 2009)

The Spotless And Unbridled Flood Of Joy

Dear Fellow-Bhagavathas,

The grandeur of Brahmothsavam at the temple has engulfed the atmosphere. As I sit to write this instalment, the air of festivity of the morning’s Thiru-Ther is still lingering on; just as it would be to the hundreds of devotees who were treated to Srinivasa’s superb decoration in a Sikaiththaadai (hair-do), the honouring of Swami Desika with His beautiful garland, Perumal’s majestic gait leading up to the Acharya’s Sannidhi, the reverberating Ghoshti of Periya Thirumozhi and the Vedas and so on. It was a sight to behold as devotees vied with one another enthusiastically in pulling the Car and it must have been a smooth and enjoyable ride for the Lord himself!

One cannot help but relive the seven days' festivals that have gone through so far and the fascinating ambience over and over again, be it the Garuda Sevai, Sesha Vaahanam, Naachiyar ThirukKolam, Venugopalan ThirukKolam or the Ekantha Sevai after these morning processions, or the daily Pathi Ulaathal in the evenings.

We still have the likes of Thotti-Thirumanjanam, Mattai Adi/Theertha Vaari, Dwaadasa Aradhanam and Vettiver Chaparam to go, before the curtains go down on this Brahmothsavam.

It is not all. We are destined to be blessed with more bliss as the two Azhagiyasingars – Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Divya Padhuka Sevaka Srivan Satakopa Sri Narayana Yathindra Mahadesikan and Srivan Satakopa Sri Ranganatha Yathindra Mahadesikan, with Lord Malola and the entourage – are scheduled to arrive here in the evening of June 1 (Monday). The Ahobila Mutt’s annual Thirunakshathra Uthsavam of Nammazhwar (Vaikasi-Visakham) will be celebrated during the next few days here.

Maybe this propensity of the Lord to keep bestowing us with such divine experiences – the flood of joy of the spotless and unbridled nature – made the Azhwar exclaim:

கொள்ளமாளா இன்பவெள்ளம் கோதில தந்திடும் என் வள்ளலேயோ!
(Thiruvoymozhi 4-7-2)

Let us all continue to dip in and sip in the ambrosia. Those of you who are not based in Chennai and/or cannot make it, the customary video/photo coverage will be available after the Uthsavam gets over.

The original plan for this Note was to be an extension of the previous episode, vis-à-vis, Bhagavathas. However, since Brahmothsavam is topical and there was this strong urge in sharing the experience with you, the plan has been put on hold.

Just to recapitulate, the topic of discussion was the ‘exalted status’ or the ‘pride of place’ accorded to the devotee in our Sampradaya. Don't pivileges and benefits entail duties and responsibilities? This brings to the fore a few issues like what qualities make a Sri Vaishnava, what he ought to do and not to do as prescribed in our scriptures and propagated by our Acharyas, etc.

So the next episode will try and explore the same, with the main focus on the basic requirements and norms to be followed to fit the bill ‘Sri Vaishnava’.

Meet you in the next Note.

எங்கள் தூப்புல் பிள்ளை பாதம் என் சென்னியதே!

Natteri P. Srihari (a) Lakshmi Narasimhacharyar

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