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Unsung heros

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (Dileepan_at_utc.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 02 1997 - 17:53:45 PDT

Almost 600 years ago Sri Malolan jumped into the hands of HH Sri Athivan
Satakopan, the founding Jeeyar of Sri Ahobila Mutt, and took up nithya
sancharam to visit Bhakthas in their towns and homes.  Ever since that time
the Lord has been more or less in constant journey over the length and
breadth of India.  Travel in general is filled with uncertainty and
anxiety.  But to travel with Sri Malolan, the mandapam, utensils, and a
retinue of Kainganryaparars, not to mention preparing prasadam twice a day
is almost impossible.   It is His grace that make all this happen.

What is a typical day at the Sri Mutt like while Sri Malolan is on
sancaharam?  In honor of Sri Satakopa Jeeyar's thirunakshathram next
Tuesday I would like to share some "sancharam" news.  What follows is a
rough translation of selected parts of travel news from July 5th through
the 8thpublished in the current issue of Sri Nrisimha Priya.  During this
period Sri Malolan was traveling from Nagpore to Orchcha in M.P, via
Bhopal.  The final destination was Hrishikesh where the Jeeyar observed
Chathurmasyam.  At the present time Sri Malolan is in Naimisaranyam en
route to Delhi.  I hope my translation brings out the difficulties the
Kainkaryaparars gladly endure in the service of Sri Malolan and Azhagiya
Singar.  They are the unsung heros of Sri Vaishnavam.  They deserve our
utmost respect and support.  So, whatever your affiliation may be,
contribute to your Mutt or Ashramam.  That is the least we can do.  It is
these institutions that keep the Sri Vaishnava tradition alive.  We worry
that our money may not be spent properly.  But from the following it must
be evident that they are not rolling in luxury.  IMHO, many of us can't
stand the inconveniences for a day at the Mutt, even when they are not
traveling, let alone while on Sancharam. Our contributions go in one way or
another to support these unsung heros.


 adiyEn


====Sancharam News============
July 5, 1997 (Betul)
--------------------
It was past 7:00 p.m. by the time we reached Betul.  Due to wrong
directions given at Nagpur we ended up traveling 420 KM in stead a mere
280.  We could not find a suitable house with a well in Betul.  Therefore
we had to camp outside town in a farm house.  It was constantly drizzling.
The house was dimly lit.  Paddy bags were stacked everywhere.  More than
half the main hall was filled with paddy bags.  The free area was swept
clean and Sri Malolan was ensconced in this area.  There was only one other
room.  It was prepared for Srimad Azhgiya Singar.

There was no place in the house for preparing prasadam for Thiruvaradhani.
There was a cowshed outside.  It had granite flooring.  But it was open
around three sides.  The cows were taken outside.  Screens were placed
around the open sides of the shed.  Now we had a make shift kitchen.
ThaLigai began in all earnest.  By 11 p.m. Panaka Aradhnai was completed.

Due to incessant rain the floor was wet.  There were about 55 shishyas,
men, women, and children, traveling with Malolan.  They managed somehow.
They are forced suffer such inconveniences routinely while traveling.  But
they endure with a smile.

July 6, 1997 (Off to Bhopal)
----------------------------
The morning was quite benign.  Men completed their anushtanam at the well.
The women went to a Chathram in town and completed their morning ablutions.
 Visvaroopa, Abigamana, Ijjya Aradhanai were completed as usual.  At
Haraththi time the owner of the farm, Prakash Agarwal,  arrived.  He
offered to bear all the expenses for the day.  He requested Azhagiya Singar
to make a visit to his house, which HH did later in the day.  Due to
constant rain Kainkaryaparars could not sit and take prasadam.  Therefore,
"kalandha prasadam" was distributed.

We left by 11 a.m. and reached Bhopal by 6 p.m.  We stayed at Kuha Mandhir.
 The stay was comfortable.  Students and teachers from a nearby Sanskrit
school came to have darsan.  They conversed fluently in Sanskrit.  Srimad
Azhagiya Singar expressed happiness about this.

July 7, 1997 (Orchcha)
----------------------
After Visvaroopa, Abigamana, Ijjy, and Thadhiyaradhanai, we left Bhopal for
Orchcha.  Orchcha is about 13 KM out of Jansi.  The roads were extremely
rough and narrow.  It was raining incessantly.  It was past 10:30 p.m. by
the time we reached our destination.  Sri Malalon stayed in an old
building.  Azhgiya Singar had to stay in a building about 1 KM away.  The
entire area was completely deserted.    Due to heavy rain and wind there
was no electricity.  It was pitch black.  We could not even locate the
front of the building.  With the help of flash light and candles, bushes
were cleared to make way for Sri Malolan to be taken inside.  It was 12:00
midnight when all this was completed.  Somehow well water was brought.
Tonight only milk and fruits for Sri Malolan and kainkaryaparars.  On
occasions like this evening Thiruvaradhanai had to be skipped.  This
happens very rarely.

Kainkaryaparars had to sleep on the ground surrounded by bushes and the
constant annoyance of small insects.  (Comment added: These are not just
youngsters, some are in their sixties.)  Srimad Azhagiya Singar felt bad
for the difficulties endured by the Kaikaryaparars.  It was past 1:00 a.m.
by the time the bus with women and children arrived.  They had lost their
way.  They slept in the vehicle itself.  Dear readers, just imagine whether
you would put up with such difficulties even for a day.

July 8, 1997 (To Brindavan)
---------------------------
The next morning was wonderful.  There was a big river nearby called
Bedhvaa.  Everyone had a wonderful dip in the river.  Srimad Azhagiya
Singar observed anushatanam in the river.  A Sanskrit professor from nearby
came in.  He shared with us many wonderful stories about this place.
Visvaroopam, Abigamanam, and Ijjya were completed in a splendid manner.
Everyone was happy.  The difficulties of the previous night seemed a
distant memory.  Challenge and delight come in cycles during travel.  We
were ready for another day's journey.  Our next stop was Brindavan, about
280 KM away.
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