While there are many padhuka yatras happening in India and US, I have not done so far due to my own apprehension about the sanctity that we need to maintain while having Periyava with me. So far, Periyava had traveled places that are a max of 1 hour drive due to the same reason. My colleague and friend – Sriraman Nagarajan, Chicago brought his cousin to my place few months back and they requested to bring the holy padhukas to St Louis.
Although I agreed, I was really worried on how it would all work on the above point. While I was confident that the much needed acharam/anushtanam at the host’s place, my most important worry was to make the trip without halting for restroom etc as I don’t want Mahaperiyava to wait in the parking lot etc. It was a 5 1/2 hour drive from Chicago to St Louis. My wife & I started to drive with two main conditions – no coffee, tea and no movie songs during our drive!!! We did our best not to stop but we had to for a bio-break. Although for a very short time, I felt terrible – absolutely terrible. While coming back, with Periyava anugraham, we did a non-stop from door-to-door – I was extremely delighted! I have not asked others who do padhuka yatra on these logistic questions – maybe I should – I dont know what’s right vs wrong on these matters. Thanks to the host, Sri Ramesh, who gave us lots of songs – bhajans, Carnatic music and Tamil devotional songs for our ride back to Chicago – that helped a lot!
Devotees in St Louis were absolutely thrilled, excited and gathered in large numbers to participate in anusham. They made wonderful arrangements for the puja and all went well as planned – rudrabishekam, sukthams, upanishad parayanam etc. Everyone had an opportunity to see the padhukas, offer Vilvam to the padhukas and sing bhajans etc. There was a request from another Sastrigal who just started a new temple – just started. He really wanted Periyava to come and stay even as short as 5 mts. However, Periyava decided to stay there for a good 30 mts. Sastrigal was very happy to have such a great blessing from Periyava.
The host Smt Srividya & Sri Ramesh were fantastic in hosting us. Ramesh, even in his schooldays along with Sriraman had participated in Pidi Arisi program in the neighborhood they lived in Chennai – has strong Periyava devotion in both their families.
Great trip – tiring – but felt great. If Periyava decided to go and bless devotees, who are we to stop!
There is one more trip pending for us – to visit Sriram Sthanu in Ohio. He lived here in Chicago for a long time – a good friend of us – recently relocated to Ohio and have been requesting Periyava Padhukas to their place – should do soon!
Thanks to Ramesh for putting together a nice video of the event….