Monday, October 15, 2007

The "ma" of my Sadhana!



" Om Hari Sri Ganapathayee namaha! " wrote the tiny little fingers on the tray of rice with joy and excitement, squatting on her dad's lap. She used to wait eagerly for this moment every year! The nine day Navaratri festival filled her home with energy and life. Her dad used to walk to every nook and corner of the house with a broom stick threatening the homes of spiders and bugs while her mom used to rearrange the home giving it a new look. The house echoed with the music and chitter chatter of all the students who used to spend long hours in her home practising and preparing for the oncoming cultural events which are routinely held at the famous thrikkakara temple.

The best part was decorating the pooja room for the "pooja vaipu". All the Gods and Goddesses were given a rose water bath. A ritual carried on with reverence and creativity. the small room was transformed in to a temple ....a temple of art and learning! ornate d with musical instruments , dancing bells and books. Each instrument was considered divine , and respected with the offering of new attire ( which later was to be worn by us).
Pooja vaipu is considered a sacred moment ...which is an act of total surrender ....an act of shedding ones egos which are build on learning and wisdom ....an act where one offers all knowledge acquired in this life to the Divine and prepare to be a Zero.

As young kids we were given all the time in the world to play once the pooja vaipu was done. We relished those moments of unhindered luxury when we never ever heard authoritative voices lecturing to us about the importance of reading our books! On the other hand we were asked not to read .... forcing us to break the rules and later put on a face of guilt.

Vijayadashami was on the tenth day . I usually woke up to the rhythmic sound which emanated from the kitchen .......it would be the sweet music born from the voice modulation of the coconut and the chirava(coconut scraper). The artiste would be Appa .. while Amma will be preparing the nivedyam for the day "phovu kalailolo" ( a blend of rice flakes and coconut and jaggery and banana) After bath, all would assemble at the koodi(pooja room) for vidyarambham or new beginning. For infants this day is considered auspicious to begin writing. And for the rest, this symbolizes the necessity of relearning, new beginning and the beauty of remaining a forever student eager to learn and re learn at each and every phase of our lives.

The "ma" of my sadhana is that I am a student forever......(a fact that I never realized during my school and college days). A role which makes life worth living ......I dedicate this post to all my gurus ..Guru means someone who guides you from darkness to light. It is difficult to name each and every one here... so as I visualise them in my inner eye I bow down before them seeking their blessings!

16 comments:

Suma Rajesh said...

nanduakka...u wont beleive it just sterday v were talking abt smera's vidyarambham.....may be next year.....and i was so happy to c that the Ma of ur Sadhana is just same to same.....during festival month our home mainly the puja room will be just like that of a temple as u said is true.....very well written....

Mishmash ! said...

The best part of pooja vaipu for me was the fact that none would give a lecture for wasting time and playing around :D my brother used to take our books to the nearby temple, quite religiously so he can escape from all studies...but my dance teacher used to follow everything , almost like the way you mentioned in your post...and I remember me taking my 'chilanka' too, to her place for doing the pooja.....your post just brought back all those memories :)

Shn

Jyothsna said...

WEll timed post, Nanditha! As kids we looked forward to escaping from studies on navami, but most often we had mid-term exams during that time! It was also fun to learn a new dance step or new song for the occassion....aah, those fun times!

Bharathy said...

I am falling in love with this post,Nandu!!!Very apt one for the season...and dedicating to the immoratl Gurus

Yes, we are all students...still learning...as long as we live..

It was my aunt who made us sit for the "ezhuthinu iruthal"..
Even my brother and me used to keep the books in the nearby thirunakkara temple and he with his happy words.."see we are not supposed to study till the pooja ends tomorrow".:)..

Lovely post ,Nandu I enjoyed every word of it!!!

SG said...

Very beautiful post and very apt for the occassion of Navarathri.

Yes, we are all students in our life. If we say we have learnt everything in life, then there is no purpose of life :)

Mocha said...

Happy Pooja Holidays. AFter coming coming here the holidays had been just another day. Seldom was D home for holidays. He had school so I couldnt do anything. This time he has holiday friday . SO I thought of doing pooja vekkanunathu. I rememberthe days i didnt have to study. Worse was that I thought after writing Om harisre.........in every book I will turn out to be very smart.

Maddy said...

I can see what you mean..the days when we had all those venets like vishu kani, vidyarambham, deepavali....
choosing which books to keep in the prayer room (typically hindi & maths)

Naveen said...

this post makes me very nostalgic ...i've not been at home during navarathri for ten years now .....

Kalyan said...

Hope you are having an wonderful festive season...lovely reading this post & reading about the elaborate celebrations....Have a nice time!

Bharathy said...

Nandi, I think, you are one of my best readers now...:)..trying out many of my recipes and giving me the prompt feed backs too :)..
First, the mango icecream..then the bondas..now the dal chutney..did you try that payasam intended for the cute Sishyas?:)..
Hugs to you dear..:)

Lotus Reads said...

Nanditha, what a beautiful post, you brought back such fond memories for me. I wish I could recreate this atmosphere for my kids but with no family here (Canada) things are so different.

Have a wonderful festive season!

Lotus Reads said...

p.s. I am also enjoying the comments!

MyVision said...

Nandu, enjoyed this post "ma"... Was trying to interpret whether it is Sudha madhyama or Pratimadhyama... I love raagas with pratimadhya more than those with sudha madhyama; Don't know why... Hence the "ma" caught my interest, moer than anything else... :)

I liked your statement "you are still a student and you didn't realize that when you were in school or college"... I think, we all are student till our last breath... learning cannot be stopped by anyone one any day... Thoroughly enjoyed the post.. and eagerly looking forward to Panchama of Sadhana.

Good to see that kanna and sree are not loosing these aspects of traditions even when they are in the US.

krystyna said...

Hi Nanditha!
Thank you for this message...I feel like being there and tougching these flowers and Goddesses...testing these excellences... learn.
Very encouraging!

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