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!