Time is past 3 pm.
A crush of people have gathered around the body, to see the rituals being carried out. Its a bit of a neck-stretch if you havent got a good place to watch from. I decide to stretch my legs instead, and walk across to the eastern side of the Ashrama, where the Veda Patashala and Goshala (cow pen) is.
Here is a picture of the Goshala.
The Ashram manager told me once that there are a few cows here that are from “Cow Lakshmi’s” line.
I then walk across to the Samadhi site. Better to be early and get a vantage view. The site is now cemented and done. Here’s a picture.
Little Brahmachari boys from the Veda Patashala are waiting near the Samadhi pit, on the left.
Notice the elderly man, wearing a shade of ochre, in the left of the picture above. I sit down next to him, and we chat. He is an ‘oduvaar’, singer of Tamizh songs of Naayanmaar saints. He sings in the Seshadri Swami Ashram next door. He tells me that Swami Ramanananda liked hearing him sing these songs of Siva.
I request him to sing a few songs..
“Namachivaya vazhga, Nadhan thal vazhga immaippozhuduhum ennenjil ninggadhan thal vazhga”, he begins… What a song! (“Long live the God’s name – Namasivaya! Long live the holy feet of God! The feet that do not leave my heart even for a moment, long live those holy feet!).
For the next half an hour or so, I listen to him songs of the prime-four Naayanmaars.
And then he asks me, “ippo Pattinathaarukku povoma?” (“Shall we now move on to Saint Pattinathaar?”). I beam my assent. He sings a Pattinathaar song. Then I ask him – “Swami…Arunagiri…”, requesting him to sing a song of the great saint Arunagirinathar, who hailed from Arunachala. He sings with joy.
What a blessing! Sitting in front of Arunachala, listening to the songs of the great Tamizh saints, sung by a traditional oduvaar….
And when he rounded off his songs, Vedic chants could be heard, as the priests proceeded with the rituals that had to be done with the body of Swami Ramananda before it could be interred.
And then they brought the body to the Samadhi site.
To be contd….