Sri Kanchi Mahaswamigal was standing on a raised platform listening, or patiently standing, while a few people were chanting Rudram, Chamakam, etc. They were the embodiment of affluence with jari dhoties, gold and silver ornamented rudraksha maalas, spatika maalas, etc glittering on their bodies. They were chanting aloud, more interested in impressing those around. In short, the air was full with religious humbug, which was more than conspicuous.
Suddenly, His Holiness left the platform, walked to a corner and stood before an old lady with His eyes expressing ecstasy and joy. That lady was wearing a cotton saree which was tattered and old. She was doing the aarti with closed eyes with a clay lamp (agal vilakku), singing ‘Swagatham Krishna Sharanagatham Krishna’.
In a shaky, choking, hoarse voice, Sri Mahaswamigal was standing before her with rapt attention accepting the aarti with utmost delight. When she completed her aarti, Sri Swamigal abruptly left the place, as if the entire exercise was over. Was Sri Mahaswamigal waiting only for that lady’s aarti?
By that time, those who were reciting Vedic hymns had stopped chanting and were confused whether they should continue or not. A Mutt attendant informed that Sri Swamigal had gone for the day, which meant that they could leave. They were given some prasad by the attendant as instructed by the Mutt chief.
Dozens of apples, baskets of flowers, bundles of agarbathis and many other pooja items were brought by them as offering while Sri Mahaswamigal seemed to prefer the simple aarti of that poor old lady. Maybe he preferred a heart filled with simple devotion to an exhibition of knowledge and wealth.
From that time onwards, I have tried to adopt the Shraddha (sincerity) of that lady while doing my religious activities, not giving too much importance to decoration, prasad varieties, etc.
Let us take refugee at Lord Krishna’s feet and chant aloud, ‘Sharanagatham Krishna’, give us the Shraddha (sincerity) to worship you.
As narrated by a devotee
Categories: Devotee Experiences