Friday, 24 February 2012

Grand homam besides the anjali . .

Final day at Chidambaram.
I spend longer time inside the temple.

Vasu Iyengar, a Bharatanatyam dancer in Delhi and Purva Dhanasree, who is a Vilasini Natyam dancer take turns to offer their anjali before the Lord.
Sitting against a stone pillar and watching the dancers, and the pilgrims do what they are here for is a visual and aural experience.

But there is a bigger event in store.
Closeby, the stage is set for a rudra homam. Dozens of Deekshitars, trays of an assortment of herbs, seeds and dried stuff, rows of fruits and flowers . . .this is really grand and true to a ritual.

Curious, I meet a young women in a classic Conjeevaram sari. A Korean, she tells me that her husband studies Sanskrit and Astronomy at Madurai Kamaraj University and was keen to have a yagnam conducted here. Two other Koreans join them and gently repeat after the priests, the slokas. The yagnam runs for about three hours . . .

I realise I haven't visited the temple tank. The thought does not cling.
I am distracted by a little gathering of schoolgirls who sit in the shadow of the east gopuram and listen to a briefing by their teacher.

So much happens in an hour in a temple of this kind. . .

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