We are on Top of the World Because…

It is that time of the yet again, when things get a bit difficult, for I am lost for words to thank the Divine for the wonderful Gift who was sent down to the earth and to be my fellow passenger with me to celebrate her birthdays with me (this is 35th Birthday spent with me – No I am not going to reveal how many before that – I don’t want anything happening to me on a day like this)

For someone very very special, Dearest Aparna, May your Birthday be blessed with everything God wants to give you! Not everyone is lucky enough to have someone as special as you in one’s life… I’m one of the lucky few! May beauty and happiness surround you today and beyond. I hope your Birthday is awesome, wonderful, full of love and laughter… just like you!

When Cakes Come as Gift, You count it as Blessings and cut it at midnight.
Then it was a competition and choice for her to make. Who First! She found this way – Apple of our eyes. One Best gift she gave me apart from herself

 

The Formality got to be done!

 

My Share, after the Kids
Return Gift
Kiddo! Who made it special for her, apart from getting the new home in Order
Kiran, a permanent fixture – an invisible hand behind organizing every such celebration
Arun, she had to jump high to reach him!

We missed having Sindhu this year at the midnight, after nearly 13 or so birthdays. She is blissfully settled into her marital home and I am sure she terribly missed the evening too.

Now for my customary tribute! As always I have nothing else to add, year after year and after each birthday and wedding anniversary, except to say that it has only got better, like the wine. It has been an amazing journey for me with her presence. As they say in Mechanical Engineering, a perfect fit. People ask me how does it work, the relationship that kept blossoming, the love that multiplied, family and no of extended family getting larger and larger, yet what clicks and where do you find the time to nurture the relationship. My honest answer was “I don’t know! It is her and all credits to her”  For no rhyme or reason, it is simply working well and Thank Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji of the Art of Living and also the Divine who chose to shower infinite blessings on me, by bringing her into my life.

No blues for anyone, if this woman in blue is around. Ask anyone who knows her

What makes her so special? What is that we all see in her that makes her a fantastic soul? It is the way she lives every moment. A wonderful human being! A great mum to biological and huge number of manasik ones, a lovely friend and wife to me, great sister to her brothers and so on. All the kids could not have asked for a better and no Non-Sense Mum!

What is exemplary is her commitment to fulfil what she has resolved to achieve. Examples galore on the persistence and diligent efforts that she invests, that is worth emulating for anyone. That is the kind of infectious quality she brings to those in her circle of influence.

If I were to emulate and advise anyone else what would be the best she has – her ultimate clarity on the priority – Absolutely unshakeable, selfless loyalty to the family and all her near ones.  I have never seen her frown whenever anyone has sought out for any help. Be it within or outside the family. In a dog eat dog world that is not a quality anyone finds so often. Thank you Aparna for being an example that all the kids and friends and myself can look up to, to try and live!

Happy birthday dear one my darling wife. Someday I hope to match up to what you are! Until then Love you loads and May God and Gurudev bless you with health, peace, happiness in abundance.

To sign off! My usual song dedicated to you – Top of the World

Happy Twenty Eight

It is never easy to find stronger words year after year when the bond gets stronger. Vocabulary fails each time an attempt it made to express what this journey and specially with a fellow traveller like Aparna.

Ever grateful to her and the Divine for taking the plunge this day 28 summers ago. Task to describe this amazing journey becomes tougher when she ensures that it gets better and better each moment.

This is the angel of my existence and of many lives around me. When going gets tough, we rest assured that a strong shoulder appears from nowhere to assure and boost our confidence. Different matter that in other times she finds ways to worry when there is nothing to worry (probably that is how she rehearses for tough times) This is a trait that has stood her and all of us in good stead.

Thank you Aparna for being there, For being a source of strength, For effing us to grow and most importantly For making us feel nice about ourselves.

Time just flew and it is tough to believe we cleared 28 summers in a jiffy with lovely addition of gems into this lovely garland that you wove together, along the way.

My customary song dedicated to you

No song would do justice to what you really are.

Happy 28th Anniversary and Wish you an unending Journey of bliss.

With the one who always steadied the boat however Choppy the water got

Loads and Loads of Love

#KeralaFloods: Devaprashnam – Conversation with the Divine in Sabarimala & Warnings Ignored

Now the the worst phase of the man made (to be specific, Communists made, click here #CommieMadeDisaster for what Twitter felt about it)  disaster in Kerala, the worst flood of the century, is over and has entered Rehabilitation phase, time to look back at possible lessons (that we will still not learn). Starting this series with a Mystical Event (based on experiences shared by many who have partaken it in the past) that took place in Sabarimala – The Ashtamangala Devaprashnam. While the focus of this piece is not to explain or defend the practice (I am a non-entity to write a commentary on much revered Prasna Marga, leave alone Deva Prashna which is altogether a different realm. It is to highlight the findings which got published in various media way back in June 2018 (that is 2 months before the disaster struck Kerala). Point is not even that, why selectively some recommendations (that got material or pecuniary benefit to some) got accepted and implemented in a jiffy but that which (with benefit of hindisight) affected much larger population were not even deemed worthy of a look-in

The Devaprashnam was primarily called for, because of the incident where an Elephant carrying the Idol from Sannidhanam to Arattu Kadavu ran amok injuing a few pilgrims and setting panic. (Manorama News Report below)

The Devaprashnam was delayed and held only in June 2018, because of passing away of Tantri Kandararu Maheshwararu.

Here is the article published in June 2018 Edition of “Sree Ayyappan” official monthly of Akhila Bharatha Ayyapa Seva Sangham on the findings of the Devaprashnam.

The one below is another clipping I recieved on Whatsapp from a friend

There was a Television report telecast (according to information given to me) on June 18th 2018, where the findings and warning about disasters in Pamba was mentioned.

Credit: TV Janam

Summary of the findings and remedies (from the Sree Ayyappan Magazine)

The changes that has been brought in the rituals is not to the liking of the Lord Ayyappa. The 5 day Ezhunallathu ritual (Procession) done after Makara Vilakku for Malikapurattamma has deviated a lot. There is a  displeasure seen in Lord for discontinuing the practice of using Elephant for this ezhunallathu during the Makara (Jan-Feb) month. If there has been trouble with Elephant, the remedy is not to discontinue using Elephants for the rituals, but to determine the causes for the trouble. However use of Elephant in the Meena (March-April) month is not mandatory. The defects on the Thidambu (The idol carried on the Elephant during ceremonial processions) has to be rectified immediately. Lord is unhappy for discontinuing the use of accompanying Vaal (Sword) from the ceremonial proceedings. This is an essential accessory for the Ezhunallathu.

Blocking the vision of Lord Ayyappa is the Shelter built on top of 18 Holy steps. This has to be rectified immediately. Ponnambalamedu has to be protected. Lot of shortcomings in the Naivedya also is seen. Along with Aravana, even Milk payasam has to be offered on all days. The night puja before Lord retires for resting, has to essentially have Paalpayasam as naivedya along with Tambula puja. The Tila Payasam (Sesame seed Payasam) which is currently only offered on Saturdays has to be done everyday. Ensure purity of all offerings including Sandal paste. Newly built Bhasma Kulam has no natural flow. It has to be rebuilt. ತ

Sharamkutti has been moved from its original place and is rendered impure. Vandiperiyar Subramanya Swamy temple which is closely associated with Sabarimala is totally neglected, which needs to be remedied. It is also seen that some Vaishnava temple has been destroyed which needs to be recovered and restored. Change of Kochukadutta Swamy temple also is not to Lord’s liking. Nagaraja or Snake that has a lot of significance in Sabarimala has seen some killings of snakes. Similarly, there has been killing of cow, to be remedied by building a Goshala and protect them.

Sri Rama Padam in Pamba Triveni has to be protected. There is Bhadrakali in Pamba. The change that has happened in the location where Guruthi (Symbolic blood offering to represent Vitality) has been reason for lot of repercussions.

Malikappuratamma also has to be given equal importance as in Sabarimala. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF A CALAMITY IN PAMBA 

TV Janam reports over and above that Kandararu Maheswararu, who expired in May, died out of pain due to removal of Mohanaru  as Sabarimala thantri over a scandal. It was found the cause for the demise of the thantri was due to son Kandararu Mohanaru’s misfortunes. Rectification of the senior thantri’s cause of worry was needed.

Translation of the picture that has point to point findings.

  1. Location of the Temple doesn’t indicate any fault
  2. Likelihood of land related disputes against Sabarimala for which some Prayaschitta (Atonement measures) have to be undertaken
  3. Increase Naivedyam (offerings) to Lord Ganapathi
  4. Need to give attention to satiating Lord Ganapathi which is ignored at this time
  5. The second installation of Lord Ganapathi in front of Homa Kunda (Sacrificial Fire place) has to be moved to appropriate location, installed and regular Puja and Abhishekham to be performed
  6. Tantri (Vedic and Spiritual Head  who decides on the Primary and core rituals and practices in a Temple) and Melshanti (Chief Priest) who currently reside within the compound of the Main Temple complex have to be moved out and located outside the compound walls.
  7. All the priests including Chief Priest should be given Orientation classes every year by Tantri on the rituals, traditions and practices.
  8. Kalabam (Sandal Paste) Abhishekam is not part of the Temple tradition. Since it is being done, ensure it is done the right way.
  9. As per the signs emerging, Lord Ayyappa is not getting comfortable and adequate rest. Tantri has to find a remedy for this.
  10. The doors of the Sanctum Sanctorum doesn’t close properly, this needs to be addressed on priority and changed at the earliest
  11. Many such defects on the structures outside the temples needs to be fixed too
  12. Most problems would be solved, just by proper worship of Lord Ayyappa
  13. Priests, Security and Police have not been noble and have been faulty through their deeds and words. This has to be remedied
  14. Priests, Police & Devaswom Security should behave properly with the Pilgrims.
  15. One of the primary reasons for these problems is misbehaviour with the devotees and pilgrims. Staff who are related to pilgrim management or interaction should be given proper training
  16. We can see signs that there is concerted efforts by various organization to defame Ayyappa Temple. Remedial (Parihaara) and Atonement (Prayaschitta) actions would help us to hear Good news in this regard.
  17. Lord is being used as a means of conducting business. This has to be stopped.
  18. Do not indicate in any forms sponsors inside the temple premises.
  19. THE DAIVAJNAS (ASTROLOGERS ASKING QUESTIONS) SEE IMPENDING CALAMITY IN PAMBA
  20. Proper puja and Naivedya (Divine Offering) to be performed in Ganapathi temple in Pamba
  21. Mahamrutjunajaya Homam to be performed every month in Sabarimala. This has to be done for one year.
  22. The rivalry between Alangad and Ambalapuzha petta thullal teams is not being liked by Lord Ayyappa. This is easy to be remedied. (For more reading about the ritualistic significance of these two teams, click HERE)
  23. Bhasmakulam (The temple pond in Sannidhanam) has to be rebuilt.
  24. Lord Ayyappa wants a part of the revenue to be earmarked for the needy.
  25. The current Devaswom board has the will to issue orders to the Management committee.

Additional Reading : 

  1. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2018/jun/17/devaprasnam-for-reinstatement-of-kandararu-mohanaru-as-thantri-1829247.html
  2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/decks-cleared-for-the-return-of-kandararu-mohanaru/articleshow/64628998.cms