My Mom gave me prasad yesterday as she had completed Sundhara Kandam Parayan and I felt blessed as she did parayan of holy book after many months.
I have to tell you something beautiful about my recent pilgrimage to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Sri Rangam. When I got down the Trichy railway station, I was thinking where to stay that night and how to reach all the temples I planned within 2 days. This is because I wanted to travel all temples by Bus.
I got in to a Bus and in few minutes a old man came and sat near me. Somehow we both spoke and he told me that he too is a Sai devotee. I gave him little Picture of Shirdi Saibaba which I printed for StarSai. He told me how graceful is Sri Ranganathar and I can stay in Sri Rangam itself and told me a affordable lodge there which truly was Sai’s guidance for me. He told me his daughter lives in Saibaba colony in Coimbatore and he regularly visits Nagasai mandhir when ever he comes here.
There is something very surprising to Sai devotees about how Sai is good in making events fall in place. The old man would have got some other bus or sat some where else. We call it Sai Leela but to Sai its very normal happening. He guided me on how to have peaceful darshan and also manage to visit all other temples, where to get bus to travel etc.
Anyway, Now I shall describe my experience while having Darshan of Sri Ranga in Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Sri Rangam.
Waiting for Darshan of Sri Ranga in Que:
It was already 12.15. So I fastly walked inside the Sannidhi of Ranganathar to wait in que. There was two boards written 250 Rs, 50 Rs. I asked a man where to get the tickets. He said, you just have to stand in que and get tickets as you go forward. I stood in the 50 Rs que. I know most of the devotees who come to Temples have some problems in Mind. Its mostly middle class and the lower middle class people whom you come across in India where ever there is crowd. I believe these ordinary people makes our country and love to learn a lot from them because am one among them.
There were women trying to manage their kids all craziness. It seemed that its going to take a long time for the que to move. So everyone sat. I was standing for a while as the women near me occupied all the space with their children. I kept chanting Sai Sri Ranga in mind. Then I also sat down and started meditating.
Meditating on the way to have Darshan of Sri Ranga:
Yes. Meditating intensely when the people around you were shouting, speaking and kids playing with their toys. I was deeply remembering the greatness of Sri Ranga for he has been very kind to bring me to his holy shrine. We have to remember how the people who built these temples has strained and shed their sweat and blood to create a home for Sri Ranga. These pillars, the stone carvings. All these carries in it devotion of someone who lived thousands of years back.
Even inch of the stones and carvings in the holy ancient Temples speaks about devotion and faith of our ancestors. So we can’t be simply speaking and worrying that we have to wait long for darshan. We have to remain in peace and so I was meditating. I was blessed with a beautiful Vision. I saw Maha Vishnu like the painting below. Honestly, I am not very good at meditating but I believe in chanting – I kept chanting holy name of Sri Ranga, Sri Ranga in my heart imagining the graceful Lord Maha Vishnu and was truly blessed with this divine vision.
I don’t seek visions but when it comes, I feel happy.
I could not Meditate longer as everyone stood up. I felt why I missed to bring the little book of Vishnu Sahasranamam. Though my mind was chanting gods name, I kept observing whats going on so that I can write in starsai.
I saw a couple with a child and someone’s brother. The husband was carrying the kid and I was thinking “Nalla vela vaanguralunga saibaba” . Now a days I see Husbands carrying kids. After some time, the wife carried the child and I felt this is good – 50/50 family. When the crowd of devotees moved forward, I saw two women arguing for going ahead. The wife I told earlier went ahead and her husband was with the kid a little behind. She was scolding him for missing the track. Koodave poganumaama.
I was thinking, Mundinjan da. After sometime, they cooled down and smiling with their child. I know the child is blessed as am going to write about her in StarSai. I felt probably life gets interesting with these little fights. While I kept chanting,I felt good that the crowd moved forward and finally we were nearing the holy abode of Sri Ranga.
My Humble request:
The reason I describe about devotees is that I realized we must be calm and in peace when we go on a pilgrimage. Please try to take a little book of Gods and read. You can take mobile as in India, Mobile helps during emergency but don’t play games in mobile. I felt very much hurt when a guy was playing games in his mobile. Look at how beautiful the temple is. We can’t even lift a single stone or pillar to construct Temples which our ancestors built with devotion. We must respect their good heart in providing us this sacred temples. Please be silent. Calm and remember the God in your heart while you go any temple.
Darshan of Sri Ranga:
I saw Sri Ranga and felt really blessed. You can’t get enough of this holy darshan. You can’t feel more blessed in your life time. The priest gave me thulasi and a white lotus which I considered came from Sri Ranga himself.
Once I had darshan of Sri Ranga, I got token of the Anna dhan and went to have it. Every one suggested I must have annadhan in the temple. I am extremely sorry friends. I could not wait in que and also the place was too congested for me. I saw ordinary people very innocently waiting in que with sweat due to hot sun. I saw a girl who must be around 18 – 19, climbing a railing to reach her parents.
I walked to Ayiram Kaal Mandapam, Hall of Thousand Pillars:
People who come to such sacred Temples in hurry have no time to look at the Ayiram Kaal Mandapam – Hall of Thousand Pillars in the same temple. I saw only few devotees from some village innocently looking at the beauty of the 1000 pillars hall and speaking to each other that they will open it during festive times only. It was closed. So I walked in the edge of the hall to other side and suddenly saw a man chanting
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare”
He didn’t bother me and kept chanting. I walked back to the middle of Temple and pleaded Sri Ranga to forgive me for not having his sacred prasad. I bought some prasad and had it sitting there.
I wish they have a bigger place for Anna dhan hall friends though its hard to organize in such a huge temple. So I can only appreciate for what’s done so far.
Then I saw a Sannidhi of Lakshmi Narayana Perumal.
You know, they have 5 holes in the floor. It seems Mahalakshmi will keep her fingers inserted inside these holes and peep towards her left to look into the Door – Swarga Vasal and she was able to get darshan of Narayana – Sri Ranganathar.
The priest kept telling this to all devotees who came there.
The 5 holes represents the five elements of Nature – Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Space. The 3 entrance ( vasal) represents three desires – Desire on Land, Desire on Women, Desire on Gold ( Man Aasai, Pen Asai, Pon Asai). The philosophy is that when a person controls his 5 sense organs and avoids the above mentioned desires, he can reach Vaikunda.
There was another interesting thing he said, The temples are having big height because in Dwarapa Yuga people lived for 1000 years. They did dhyana for 600 years and led family life for 400 years. They lived a very sacred life. Their average height was more than ours and hence when they keep the finger in the 5 hole in floor, they were able to peep and have darhsan of Narayana.
He said, in our Kaliyuga, our height has reduced and we live less. He said as thousands of years pass on the life of human will reduce and height also will.
I liked something about this priest. He kept repeating this story to every devotee. Priests must say such Puranas to devotees once in a while as we all have little time to read Puranas.
Then i went to Dhanvanthri temple and also the most beautiful sannidhi was the Thaayar.
The Goddess Thaayar was truly amazing and graceful. I loved her dearly and prayed her whole heartedly and got the prasad.
I came out and met a old women in front of Dhanvantri temple. Prayed the Lord to bless my parents and sister, katya and bil with good health. The old lady told me I will be blessed with Good wife with good heart.I gave her Sai picture for which she was happy and told her I write about temples. She was happy.
Then I had darshan of Chakarathalvar and Andal. I lit lamps in many placed friends.
I truly loved this holy Darshan of Sri Ranganathar.
I am sorry if i wrote something that is off topic. I just try to keep my writings to suit everyone who reads it. We have to present spirituality as nature as possible.
May Sai and Sri Ranganathar bless all who reads this
There was a place where they kept lots of Mirrors and Andal. I loved this temple so much
Today is Ekadesi and am happy to write about Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam.
Sriranga Ranganathin (Mahanadhi)
I love this song so much by Mahanathi Shobana especially because of the Low angle shot of the Sri Rangam Gopuram. Thanks to the devotee who added this Song on Youtube.
A truly amazing music and visuals . Is it really a spiritual site. Don’t I write all my stories here? Yes. It is because Sri Ranga lives here. I choose the video to have real visuals as the first few shots of the Temple in early morning is filmed beautifully.