Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ascent

A laughter as one the Gods themselves be jealous of;
A laughter as the roar of the first thunder on the Earth;
A laughter that could rend the worlds asunder.
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RudranArAyaNa Sastry was the nityAgnihotri of his village. He had completed a thousand chanDi homAs till date. He was the foremost authority on tantra in his kingdom. Yet he lived as an ascetic, living on alms and prasadam of the village kAmAkshi temple. He breathed KAmAkshi in every breath. He lived in a small house in the shadow of the kAmAkshi temple. He was born every moment as the son of his loving Mother, and died every moment pining for her eternal love. To him She was the beginning, the end, and everything else.

It was VijayadaSami, and it was the last day of rudranArAyaNa Sastry's old life and the first day of new life, the day when he would call out to the skies waiting to carry out his orders, the day when he would start living without dying every moment, the day when he would finally reach his Mother in her heavenly abode.

The divyachandana lEpita utsava-vigraham of the Heavenly Sankari was adorned with flowers-

SevantikA vakula champaka pATalAbjaiH
punnAgajAti karavIra rasALapushpaiH
bilvapravALa tulasIdala mAlatIbhiH
tvAmhi pUjayAmi jagadIshvari me prasIda!

The utsava vigraham was kept on the ratham and dozens of devotees slowly dragged out the enormous vehicle of the tribhuvanESwari onto the wet road after a rainy night--

chaturbhuje chandrakalAvataMse
kuchonnate kunkumarAgashoNe
puNDrekShupAshAnkushapushpabANa
haste namaste jagadekamAtaH

It has been held that the ratham should never stop on the road till it reaches the tank at the other end of the village. And it never did till now. While the people were pulling the divine vehicle ahead, none but he saw a pool of water on the road right in the path of the vehicle. The pool was deep and wide enough for the huge vehicle to get stuck. But the people dragged it along chanting the Mother's name.

And he beheld Her, his mother, coming towards him in this Divine chaos with mangaLa Arathi being offered to her. There were people everywhere. And a thousand bells were ringing at the same time. And She seemed to him--

As vAgdEvI saraswathi early in the morning to be worshipped in his small house with white lilly flowers,

Manikya vInAm upalAlayanthIm
madhAlasAm manjula vAg vilAsam
mahEndra nIla dyuthi kOmalangIm
mAthanga kanyAm manasA smarAmi.

As AnnapUrnEsvari at noon in the corn fields with turmeric, rice, corn, and chrysanthemum

prAlEyAchala vamsa pAvanakari kASIpurAdhISvari
bhikshAmdEhi kRpAvalambanakari mAtAnnapUrNESvari

As padmagandhini mahAlakshmi worshipped in the evening in the temple with lotuses, and marigolds,

lakshmIr kshIrasamudrarAjatanayAm srIrangadhAmESwarIm
dAsIbhUtasamastadEva vanItAm lOkaika dIpAnkurAm


And as kAtyAyanI kALika with bright red flowers at midnight in the cremation ground.

KALika VarALika
Prachanda jvAla mAlika
kapAlamAla dhArika
Dushta samhArika

And so he laughed.
Yea! It was the same laughter as one the Gods themselves be jealous of;
Yea! It was the same laughter as the roar of the first thunder on the Earth;
Yea! It was the same laughter that could rend the worlds asunder.

The bells were still ringing.

So he realised this is how he has been ordained to ascend to his Mother. This is where the door opens for the path to his Home. And he laughed again. People looked at him with wonder and fright. But they kept dragging the ratham. It was almost over the pool. rudranArAyaNa jumped before the wheel of the ratham and covered the pool with his body.

The ratham went on unhindered. The bells kept on ringing.
And the devotees sprinkled the water from red pool over their heads.

I have died today,
My Mother has come for me,
I am born today.

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kAmAkshi-- in VarALi by SyAmA Sastry, set to misra chApu. Rendered by Maharajapuram Ramachandran

6 comments:

Sriram C S said...

A very nice post! Can you give some more insight on the slokams that have been interspersed? I really liked the style of redundant statements. Having said that a thought... The people dragging the ratham along even as rudranArAyaNa Sastry fell in front of it seems slightly impossible. The last lines seem to be very familiar - not in the sense that I've read them before somewhere (i.e., not accusing you of plagiarism! :P), but more a feeling of deja vu.

Gandaragolaka said...

ok. first the shlokas:
1) Sevantika... is a mantra used in vishnu/dev worship and it lists the names of the flowers used.

2)both chaturbhuje... and manikya veenam...are taken from Shyamala dandakam of Kalidasa

3)lakshmir... is a standard lakshmi mantra chanted after sri suktam.

4)kalika... is actually part of a kriti composed by me long ago.
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"The people ... slightly impossible." Haha, Thanks for the compliment! Its like this... you are a normal person while I am a crazed bastard. It is to be expected that you cannot empathise with my characters who are also crazed bastards like me :)
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Yes. I have been told that before you it is not the first time that they have heard of this. Perhaps this is why India is the beginning and end of everything there was, is, and will be.

Anonymous said...

I hope you do not identify too much with Rudranarayana Shastri. [After reading your well-written story]

I hope you do not empathise too much with Rudranarayana Shastri. [After reading your comments]

Everyone, including me, has his own share of irrationality, but some may cost too dearly.

Gandaragolaka said...

Do not worry. I am too timid for that. Its just some hidden part of me that forces itself out sometimes.

Ragz said...

Have been visiting blogs after a long time. But surely a different post from you this time. This mightve been a small story but I do have a lot of questions, maybe we should chat sometime about it. Neverthless as usual a wonderful post

Gandaragolaka said...

doubte!... naaku doubte! (from 'anaganaga oka roju')

we will chat sometime!