September 10, 2009 – Day Two of the Thiruppavai Mahotsavam and Andal Kalyanotsavam

The day two of the Thiruppavai Mahotsavam began on the morning of September 10 with the ritual worship at 7:30 a.m. It is important that we have a brief introduction about the holy saint in consideration - Andal. Andal, a Tamil saint also known as the incarnation of Bhu Devi or mother earth is known for her unparalleled devotion to Lord Krishna. She is said to be always immersed in her devotional ecstasy.

Andal is known in the Tamil Culture as an Alwar, one who is “immersed” in the depths of enjoyment of God. Of the twelve Alwars, Andal is the only feminine Alwar of Vaishnavism. These saints revitilised the Tamil region of South India between the fifth and ninth centuries by their dedicated devotion to the Lord. She is credited with the Tamil works of Thiruppavai and Nachiar Thirumozhi which are still recited by the devout in the month of Margasira. The Srivilliputhoor temple is dedicated to her and is also her birthplace.

With that introduction, let us fast forward to the evening of that day. At 5:20 p.m. the beautiful Lord graced the occasion with His loving presence. Swami moved out of the residence into Sai Kulwant Hall. He completed a full darshan round. As He neared the block where the Veda chanting group was, the teacher who also takes pictures showed Swami the photos of the different elderly people offering Him a rose for the past two weeks. Swami patiently and lovingly saw through each of the photos and told him to give it to the people concerned.

As He moved in front of the stage, Swami called the priest conducting the worship and told him something. The priest seemed so pleased and he went back with the smile still dancing on his face.

As Swami arrived on the stage, He moved to the centre where the idols had been installed. He sat there admiring them perhaps and spoke to the main organizers about them. The deity was in a different pose on that day and Lord Ranganatha reclined comfortably as small statuettes of the twelve Alwars waited upon Him by the sides.

Swami then blessed Mr. Srikanta Rao to introduce the guest speaker for the day, Dr. Mylavaram Srinivas Rao from Guntur. Dr. Srinivas Rao began his speech by saying that he was offering his salutations to Sri Ranganatha, who has come in the form of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.


 

Comparing the body to an anthill, the speaker said that the body should be used to chant God’s name. Rain or shine, the anthill remains intact.

The anthill of body is the outer casing that enshrines the precious Atma. So, the body should be put to good use. Stating that it was only symbolic to sing Suprabhatam to wake up the Lord, he said that the Lord never sleeps.

It is only that we are waking up our inner consciousness.16,000 gopikas were with Krishna, the Vanaras were with Sri Rama, we are indeed fortunate to be with Bhagavan and have His darshan (sight), sparshan (touch) and sambhashan (speech).

The speaker said that we sing the glory of God early in the morning so that our whole day would be spent in the contemplation of God in spite of our busy schedule going through our daily rigmaroles.

After 45 minutes of the speech, Swami indicated to the speaker and Dr. Mylavaram Srinivas Rao ended his talk by again offering his salutations to Bhagavan. Swami asked for the prasadam to be distributed. He received aarthi and, as the clock struck seven, retired to the hallowed sanctum of the Yajur Mandir.

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