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Thiru vEngadam

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Wed Oct 25 1995 - 14:54:25 PDT

In the recent years I have been able to hire a taxi
from Madras and back, about Rs. 1,700.  You must stay
overnight to be able to participate in the saRRumuRai
sEvai.  ANdavan ashramam has built a nice guest house.
Even if you don't get a private room you can sleep in the
huge hall.  Do not forget to take an alarm clock.  There
is no one there to give a wake up call.  The manager wise
cracked, "get up and give yourself a wake up call!"

Be in front of the main entrance of the temple no later than
5:30.  Usually a queue forms.  Jeer comes to the main entrance
after 5:30, more like 6.  Then we are allowed in.  There is a
mad rush to get to the top of the second queue that forms
by the side of the area where the Hundi is located.

After another wait of about 5 minues, we are allowed into the
sanctum.  Don't be surprised to see anout 10 people already
inside the sanctum.  After the saaRRumuRai and vaazhi thirunaamam
we are offered theertham and sataari.  Next, the group assembles
in Udayavar (Sri Ramanuaja) sannithi for a repeat performance
of the saaRRumuRai, theertham, and sataari.  Then we are oferred
prasaadam, dhudhyOnam.   It is an experience I will never
forget, will want to repeat as many times as I can.

Ah, I almost forgot, make sure you don't sport a mustache, unless
you have a beard too.  Make sure you don't have even a trace of
side burns.  If you do you WILL be stopped.  Of course, wear your
thirumaN/sreechuvarnam.  If you are married, i.e. six threads,
wear kachcham.

Yes, walking up the hill is much more satisfying than driving up.
It is difficult in the beginning and at the end, but over all
it is not difficult for any one in reasonable health.

I am told it is best avoid weekends and other holidays.  Don't
even think of New Years day, yes, the English one!

-- Dileepan