Why Srirangam is endearing…

Sri Rangam Temple
Apologies for the length delay in post.

Adiyean had always liked to visit Divyadesams that are less crowded and where we can have a darshan of Perumal whenever we felt like. Needless to say, Alwarthirunagari & Thirukurungudi come first. Tirumala Tirupathi, though being crowded is an exception as visiting the divine hill itself is an wonderful experience. Srirangam generally hadn’t been my first choice for a divyadesam trip owing to the heavy crowd and humid climate. How would Sriman Narayana let me not like His bhooloka vaiukndam? Of course He did make me understand why Srirangam is so endearing to Sri Vaishnavas. Recently adiyean had the opportunity to visit Srirangam and having visited Srirangam many times adiyean hadn’t expected any surprises, but it was not to be. Adiyean went through the Vellai Gopuram and took left to go to Thayar sannithi. Just near the mandapam, out of nowhere, there was a small and beautiful temple of Lord Sri Rama. Adiyean had visited Srirangam so many times but in all earlier visits adiyean hadn’t ever seen it. Seeing Lord Sri Rama always brings boundless joys, but an unexpected darshan brings even more joy. Adiyean’s Srirangam visit had begun well! Next adiyean had a darshan of Thayar and then proceeded to have a darshan of Lord Sri Ranganatha.

As usual there were lengthy queues for Ranganatha darshan, but somehow adiyean’s mother chanced upon to meet a local who took us inside the mandapam and once inside the mandapam there was another known person who got us a darshan of Sri Ranganatha Swamy for a good 2 -4 minutes. One thing adiyean had always felt when visiting temples is that, if we earn for a good darshan, the Lord always grants us with a wonderful darshan someway or the other. Having blessed with a good darshan adiyean had an entire evening to spend in Srirangam. After staying for sometime at the room, adiyean left to the temple at about 6. This time adiyean went through the main entrance. And to my sheer disbelief and joy, just after walking a few meters there was another temple of Lord Sri Rama to the left. All these days adiyean had known of the Pattabhisheka Ramaswamy temple with the beautiful and large deity of Sri Rama and another temple of Sri Rama just nearby, but nothing more. Adiyean was happy to see so many temples for Lord Sri Rama. Adiyean continued and visited all small sannathis that adiyean could find. Finally after visiting Ramanujar sannathi & Chakarathalwar sannathi adiyean sat for sometime in the large pathway between the two sannathis. The atmosphere was magical. A lot of devotees were moving around, children were playing and there was mild breeze. It was only then adiyean realised why Srirangam is so endearing. Srirangam can be enjoyed anyway we like. If we like to see utsavams, there is always something happening for most part of the year. If we like Divyaprabhandam recitals, it happens daily at the Ramanujar sannathi and of course the Pagal Pathu & Raa Pathu during Marghazhi month. If we like to enjoy Him with thousands of devotees we can do it too. And if we like to enjoy Him in serenity, there are lot of sannathis which not many devotees do not even know exist. Or we can just sit and be immersed in the atmosphere of the divyadesam. Our acharyas have written a lot about the greatness of Sri Rangam, but at a basic level for a not so enlightened soul like adiyean, this unique trait makes Srirangam so endearing.

Please share your Divyadesam experiences in Comments…