Swaiye Saranam Ayyappa !!!
Exactly 23 years back when I was struggling in my career with no clue about my future, I was really searching for somebody who can guide me with his supreme guidance.My father was indeed the most lovable and respected person for me but still he was unable to help me in certain aspects which needed a big network of social contacts.Under these circumstances our family was just finding hard to set its foot in a firm way as we had very little people to help us.
Things were highly difficult and I too was in a very bad phase with no clear idea about the way how I can take on my life which was highly challenging.During that period I was doing agarbathi sales and it was done on a door-to-door basis.Somehow,I had a chance to meet one of the nicest persons whom I have met in my sales career and he was the owner of a small shop which used to sell items related to puja and worship.The owner of the shop was a retired Vice Principal of a very famous college in Trichy and he was very cordial in the very first meeting itself.He showed lot of compassion on me and empathized me for the hardships what I had to face in-spite of my decent academic credentials.
I used to meet him regularly and during one such meeting he said “You just go to SABARIMALA observing 48 days of pure devotion, which involves certain strict protocols and then you will definitely sense a change in your life “.Initially,I was not attracted by that since I did dot have that much faith in GOD,since I believed that IT IS OUR EFFORTS WHICH ARE MORE IMPORTANT than the prayer what we put to GOD.Anyhow my inner mind was suggesting to me that I have to obey the words said by a very pious and matured man who is very experienced in life.So I went to my father and asked his permission to take this holy pilgrimage and observe 48 days of fast.My father immediately said no because since in our faith (Madhwa Brahmin) we do not follow such things and there is no such precedent in our family.I was very much upset and I requested my father repeatedly for his consent and he was vehemently opposing that.
Surprisingly,a few days later he himself came forward and allowed me to go ahead with my proposal but with a rider,he said that after returning form Sabarimala I must continue another 48 days of fast for our family deity who is none other than Lord Balaji of Tirupati.I was doubly happy and thanked my father for his gratitude and at the same time I explained to him that the practices which one follow after wearing the holy MALA are good for health and mind which improves us in many ways.He too agreed with that and I immediately went to my GURUSWAMY asking for a place in his group so that I too can accompany them.Initially he was a bit reluctant and after he found that I was really determined to go and after ensuring that I am strictly following the protocols,he agreed to include me in his group.
After confirming that, for the first time in my life I WAS SERIOUS ABOUT GOD AND STARTED TO STRICTLY FOLLOW WHAT ONE HAS TO DO AFTER WEARING A “MALA”.To be frank I used to get up at 4.30 in the morning and used to bath in shivering cold water and perform rigorous puja,then go to temple and then come back to home to have my cup of coffee.The same thing was done in evening also and I used to respect every “Swamy” whoever I come across.
I spent the entire 48 days in the same way and it was really a wonderful experience altogether and seeing my devotion and sincerity even my GURUSWAMY was astonished and he gave special attention to me and many group members appreciated me for the way how I observed the fast.Many people became friends to me and everybody started to help me in a way or other.Lord Ayyappa IS VERY COURTEOUS AND GENEROUS for people who are highly sincere in the way how they observe their fast.
Devotees call him as “KANKANDA DHEIVAM” meaning that GOD who is VISIBLE and who immediately comes to the rescue of his devotee.I have practically realized that in my life and with highest conviction I WRITE HERE THAT,TRUE DEVOTION IS NOTHING BUT STRONG FAITH AND UTMOST DETERMINATION.If one has these two, then somehow or other you will find a way out for the struggles that you face in the life.
The need of a guide who is called as a GURUSWAMY is very important and that person must be above all and who alone is capable of dispelling the darkness which has to removed to to see the bright side.I am highly fortunate and blessed to have a wonderful and affectionate GURUSWAMY who still guides me in the right path and who is even active in-spite of his ripe age.His name is Prof.Kunjithapadham and he is the man who changed my course of flow in the journey of life.
SABARIMALA is a place where everybody is equal and that is the reason why we call every devotee as SWAMY instead of his name.If one is sincere and devoted then HE will guide us in the right way and in the right direction……
SWAMIYE SARANAM AYYAPA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!