tamaso maa jyotir gamaya – 3

Then comes the King….

Lord Arunachaleshwara and his consort Apitakuchamba, and son murukan, ensconced on the bull Nandi…. The great Rishabha-vahana…This is the chariot carrying Somaskanda, Lord Siva accompanied by his consort Uma and his son Skanda… The skanda idol is so small that it is hidden among the garlands…

rishabha-vahana

Below is another picture of the Rishabha-vahana…

Notice the chief-priests dressed in ceremonial finery.

rishabha-vahana3

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Another picture, that shows them, close-up

chief-priests

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The procession moves slowly. They stop every ten or fifteen yards or so… People come out of houses nearby and approach the chariots, and watch with reverence, folded hands, the Aarti (lights) being waved before the Gods… And they offer flowers and such… And accept Vibhooti and Kumkuma…  The atmosphere is electric, soaked in a silent kind of joy… People young and old, rich and poor, all line up as one family, all children of Arunachaleshwara-Apitakuchamba…  जगतः पितरौ  वन्दे पार्वती-परमेश्वरौ ॥

After the chariot of Arunachaleshwar-Apitakuchamba, comes another chariot, that has the Lady, Goddess, Mother Apithakuchamba, all by Herself, sitting on a throne atop Nandi, the bull. Oh, how beautiful she looks… Dressed in blue, her face dripping with compassion, her feet clearly visible, bestowing her blessings to all ….

ambal

We saw the picture of chief-priests, who sat in the main chariot…

In the chariot of the Mother though, the folks who are sitting, enjoying themselves are quite different. Oh yes, these are the young kids… With vibhooti on their foreheads, joy-riding, they are having the time of their life, riding with Mother Apitakuchamba….

kids

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Bringing up the rear of the procession is the idol of Chandikesha…the devotee saint who oversees all that is offered to the Lord… whose permission devotees take, before taking away any Prasadam from the temple…

chandikesha

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After seeing the Chandikesha chariot, I walk back to the main chariot of Arunachaleshwara-Apitakuchamba-skanda… A group of college boys are standing in a chain, to keep the crowds from spilling on to the chariot… Some men, devotees, their foreheads swathed in Vibhooti, are chanting the Tamizh Tevaaram… Another is chanting the Sri Rudram of the Vedas… A devotee is holding aloft a torch that burns Sambarani powder that emits wonderful fragrance as it burns. The fragrant smoke wafts in the pre-dawn sky…

rishabha-vahana4 

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So that was a photo-stream from 7th December, morning…

Today is 11th December… The finale of the great festival… The Bharani Deepam Day… Annamalai-kku Haro-hara! Happy Karthigai Deepam! May there be luminance always! May all be happy! ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।।

Om! Peace! Peace! Peace!

Today, Dec 11th, is also the birthday of the great poet Subhramanya Bharati… And on this day of Karthigai,  I am reminded of his song…

செந்தமிழ் நாடெனும் போதினிலே -இன்பத்
தேன்வந்து பாயுது காதினிலே…

And as a little Deepam ‘special’, come join the Rishabha-vahana procession, feel the pre-dawn breeze, the wafting fragrance… as the picture comes alive, in a little video shot below… Enjoy….

                       – To be contd –

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One Response to “tamaso maa jyotir gamaya – 3”

  1. Meena Says:

    Kamesh,

    Enjoying the journey you are taking us through. How beautifully you are depicting everything! Grown up in Delhi, these sacred occasions of South India have been a rarity. The beauty in the simplicity of events there are refreshing!

    Meena

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