Merrily to Vaikundam’s Yellow Brick Road | My Take

Yet another year when Christmas and Vaikunda Ekadeshi dates collide bring joy and happiness. I remember visiting the Sathyanarayana Perumal Kovil way back in my 8th standard 1988 upwards. Appa had just settled down in Chennai permanently and was an active Trust member. So, his visiting temple on Vaikunda Ekadeshi was his personal choice. In the many years of visits to the temple on this date, I have gathered much.

In the early days Appa, amma (yes amma I am not faking) and I would visit the temple together on this auspicious day. Later my uncles would join in especially, Lallu Chittappa, Ananthu Chittappa, and when Bunny comes for breaks while she was freshman. Back then the conversation in the line would be brothers discussing past visits and temple politics, sometimes we discuss stories connected with Paramapadam things here and there.

The intensity of holding silence in the line happened after Appa and I made our rounds incredibly early in the day. Usually, we are back by 7 am from our visit. Once when appa was not able to walk with a walking stick the Organizers of the event in the temple allowed us to cut the line and have a quick visit. If you have Lallu chittappa, then it is your lucky day, you might land Pongal prasadam too.

Lallu chittappa had a way of handling things and knowing details that are insider info. There is much that I have yet to learn in life from my uncles and aunts. I feel blessed to have a family and even the extended nuclear style members forming the bases of the family tree, yup love having them. They were all unique and when I think about it, I feel that life could not have been better.

This time the Covid-19 precaution had resulted in the Swarga vassal not being open and social distancing was followed as per rules and regulation. Of course, the deities were arranged with floral decoration and sparked of divinity.

The interesting thing is that when one visits the temple the thought should be centered on the main personal god but that is not the case. My personal observation is that when I am waiting in the line, I am thinking about my slippers being stolen, or worry about not thinking of the Lord, or worrying if the gas cylinder at home is switched off.

I almost sound like my mother. So, I prefer to go through the process of preparing the lamp lighting space of the pooja room. It is almost meditative peaceful feeling for me. I like the smell of the incense sticks and the warmth of the lamps like small beads on silver lamps and terracotta lamps.

For me, Vaikunda Ekadeshi is a special day! I have been visiting Sathyanarayana Perumal kovil since its Kumbabeshekam. So, the connect with the temple could be way before 1988. I am not sure. It meant meeting family members, later just to prayerfully think of the Lord, these days I keep chanting Rama Nama.

Sathyanarayana Perumal has always been my best advisor and my late night hang out was to watch the temple light and communion in the cloak of darkness with the Lord. I often meditate in my younger days. I would sit on the water tank which was three-fourth covered.

I would sit facing south and under the starlight I would enjoy the cool evening breeze from the sea. During October month the chill of the weather used to make it even the more special. That is when the lamps in various houses used to lighten the burden of the heart.

I love to watch lights cloaked by darkness. Bartlett night sky could be enjoyed only after 11 pm. Because night life still happens. At my brother’s place it is the kitchen after the lights are shut. I love to sit near the huge window and watch the bay light up on the fringes.

Lighted lamps always felt warm and the same warmth could be felt when I see the temple lights and lighted lamps. Maybe this love for lamps started with some forced assignment from my mother but later I felt a natural need to light the lamps.

Image Source: wikipedia