The Ayyappan Puja Sangham, Coimbatore started 58 years ago with the blessings of Lord Ayyappa has grown into a very big organisation and conducts spiritual programmes throughout the year. The Puja Mahotsavam and the Annual Day of the Sangham is celebrated during the last week of December every year. The daily programs includes homams, Rudra Poojas, Poornahuti, Vasordharai, Maha Deeparadhana, Cultural programmes, Annadhanams etc. Sri. Arunji Founding Trustee of the Art of Living Foundation was invited to give a Musical discourse on Thirupavai and Thiruvempavai and its relevance to the present day living.
On the 26th of December evening the Sangham hall was filled with people. The sacred heat radiated by the homams and poornahuti of the day got transformed into a cool and pleasant ambience by Sri.Arunji’s invocation on Lord Ganesha and Lord Ayyappa. The discourse began with the significance of the Maargazhi maasam known as Dhanur maasya. It is usual that people tend to get into Tamo Guna during this month Thirupavai and Thiruvempavai gives ways and means to overcome it. Sri. Arunji then spoke about Thiruvempavai and its author Saint Manikavasgar and his devotion to Lord Siva.
This was followed by a melodious song,
“Ambalatharase, Arumarundhe Anandha Theane Arul Virunthee.
Podhunadatharase Punniyane Pulavarellam pugazh ganniyanae”
The powerful lyrics of Saint Vallalar’s Thiruarutpa blending so well with Sri.Arunji’s mellifluous voice created blissful vibrancy in the surroundings.
Then came the anecdote filled with humour taking the crowd to irresistible laughter as Sri Arunji referred to the recent rains in Chennai the Capital of Tamilnadu where it poured for 3 consecutive days creating hardship for the people and damaging property worth Crores of Rupees. He said no doubt Andal in her Thirupavai, had prayed for 3 rains every month without hindrance to people and property. But the prayer was for one day rain and nine days of sunshine to be repeated thrice every month. This was the wish but what happens now is the opposite. A picture can speak more than a thousand words enjoy Sri.Arunji’s narration captured in video
Sri.Arunji also explained what life is all about. A person fell into a well and in the midway he was able to get hold of a tree branch and was able to cling on it. When he looked below he saw a big python and adding to his misery were two rats biting the same tree branch on which he was hanging. While trying to escape his hand accidently touched a bee hive and the bees started stinging him all over. Bearing all the pain and agony he felt something sweet in his tongue. It was the honey dropping from the bee hive. He forgot the pain and agony for a moment enjoyed the sweetness. This is what life is all about. The python symbolises the diseases and illness, the tree branch the Medicare and the doctors, the two rats are symbols of Kalan and Mirthyu. The bee stings are the agony and insults showered on us by our family, relatives and the society and the few drops of honey are the moments of happiness. Everyone needs to enjoy such moments of happiness and forget the miseries in life.
There was not a single dull moment during the entire two and half hours of the discourse. From children to octogenarians the diverse crowd enjoyed the “Thean Amudham” Bhajans. With the vocal support singers and the musicians rendering able support Sri.Arunji was at his amazing best. The “ Vishamakara Kannan” and the Hanumath Jayanthi Special “Vettalayile Malakattunga” enthralled the crowd.
Our appreciations to the Sri Ayyappan Puja Sangham Coimbatore for making excellent arrangements.
We received some interesting feedback from the audience and here are a few:-
Ms.Sandya Ramesh wrote:
“Arunji was a great hit with his ready wit, humour and pun. ( DAWN - and not DON as he put it )
Seamless and spontaneous blending of the invocation number on Ganesha to fit the context of the Ayyappa Mahotsavam. Was well done and it set the mood immediately as people were looking forward for more music
His introduction to the great hymns of Thirupavai and Thiruvembavai and the message to drive out the thamogun in us, wake up early in the month of Dhanur maasya gave a fresh angle to it. I believed that there could be some serious meaning to Dhanur maasya and comes Arunji's googly. Don’t we sleep all cuddled up; and not to forget Kumbakarna.
Of course his anecdote on the recent flash floods in the Capital city with the lines “Boat maele thanni pona” was so well said and he linked it to Sri Andal’s memorable lines “Theengindri naadellaam thingal mum maari peidhu ".
Oomaiyo, Sevido, Ananthalo - Keeping mum to gossip, blind ear to others insults / harsh words and remaining COOL - indeed very aptly interpreted.
“Neiyunnom, Paallunom” - dietary control during this time of paavai noanbu.
He sang “Kaakai siraginiley” and highlighted being Eco-friendly, linking to Aandal who had sung about bio diversity in nature friendly lines, birds chirping, bees resting on flowers, trees, plants and fragrance. How well he blended “Siruthuli” the local eco movement of the city”
Smt.Rajam Mani Iyer. “ In my eighty odd years, I have not come across such an enlivening discourse full of soul lifting music intermingled with knowledge. Sri. Arunji, has explained in simple language how the message of Thirupavai and Thiruvempavai could be applied in our lives”
Sri.Venkat a resident of Singapore “ Sri.Arunji got the full involvement from the audience and it was a lively two and half hour session which I will cherish for a long time.”
Yesterday, being my birthday I took the opportunity to visit my son in his school at Mettupalayam. The Principal of the school - a state awardee for best teacher - is a role model for the students. I had given him CDs of CN-1 & 5 earlier. He was profusely appreciating CN -5 and particularly the song "Vettalayile Maalai Kattu ..." which he has heard till now for nearly 500 times ! He had choreographed this song during the childrens' day celebrations. This song had made many teachers dance who had never even tapped their toes. The "thiruppavai .. tiruvempavai .." discourse has had a terrific impact on all. As you rightly said, if we bring smiles and happiness on all their faces, our job is done.