Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A dream-come-true

     Really dunno where to start from; what to say first! It's been quite a while since i wrote anything here! Lots happened, just that i got too lazy to sit and type my mind out! But I had to write about this! My 'almost-first-time' visit to Tirupathi!

    Not many noticed, but just a few days ago, there was a staus msg on my Facebook account saying this : The last time i visited Tirupathi was, 20 years ago!... I was hardly 3 yrs old then! It was for getting my head shaved (a religious custom for us). They say that the sanctum is not just-another temple. The Lord  himself has to invite you to give you his darshan. I believed all of them, and with reasons. I had seen many meticulously made-plans of visiting there, fail in the last  moment; and many unplanned visits successfully accomplished too! Me, being a strong 'timing-matters' believer!

     It was a dream knitted by us - siblings; to visit the place with parents (for the first time). The dream strengthened over the last few years, when things went terribly haywire! Strengthened to such an extent, that we did not mind NOT visiting it for lifetime(even though its a family-deity); if it was Not with parents for the first time! Yeah...did invite criticism and oppositions, when we Refused few offers we got with friends and relatives (one is Not supposed to deny a visit to Tirupathi - another Common belief); but we did not really bother! Even off-late we siblings have been facing, made fun of; for being Brahmins and NOT being able to visit the place for years together (parents did visit quite a couple of times). But as said, we stuck to our dream; and did not want any low-life to mess with it. Dismissed all of them, because poor things were ignorant about the bigger picture of it! We must let few things happen by themselves. (Guess SOMEONE UP there was really listening to us, and counting our thoughts seriously!).


      So, finally; after 2 decades; the plans were made and we were invited for a visit the place by a friend named Venkateshwara! All said and done! Call it a co-incidence, or a miracle, or whatever! It was a positive sign of  our dream coming true...


     The trip:

03nd Sept, Friday - 04 Sept (midnight):

  Our group of around 13 people; from Kadapa, reached Tirupathi at around 3:15 in the noon. It's become usual in my life! meeting new people and touring around with them. Ditto, the family friends were kind of New people in our life, and we had really struggled with broken telugu, and made-broken english; to converse with them!(Dad was at his best! he knows telugu!). Other than that, it was fun, fun, and fun.

     When everybody chose to climb the hill, instead of taking a bus; i too gave in!( i dint mind even going by bus, but majority won!) Like, i said; we had never experienced such a visit, just heard of them ; I wondered what was so much hype about the temple, and why people took so much of hardships for a few seconds of darshan! Didnot ponder about it, because i was enjoying the climb! Of course, the huge crowd of 13 made it fun and easy-going. (Ideally it should take you around 2-3 hours to clime the hill; but we took 5 hours. we had all the time on earth, FOR the mother earth;)) It was fun, shouting out loud slogans of GOVINDA, GOVINDA (I would never miss an opportunity of howling and shouting out loud). And then I had this encounter with my best friend (a monkey:P), at the mid-way (Just that I had forgotten that I was carrying a bunch of chocolates happily in my hands, and did not share it with them!); which had become a joke for the evening! Phew. Never ever seen a monkey thaat close to me!

     I loved the fact, that almost throughout the climb, I was holding dad's hand (something which is really special to me!). And so, distance did not really matter.... It was around 8:15p.m, when we reached the last step. And an hour later, reached the destination...

     After freshening up and then dinner, we started towards the main temple, for darshan. It was around 11:00p.m. Heard the guard at the entrance say that we would get darshan in just an hour! Rushed towards the queue. We aren't super-humans, and I admit that we were weared out, after those long hours of walk. Plus this crowd for darshan, made me finally ask mom as to why people struggle so much to get just a glance of the deity. "Nambike (belief)" , was the reply! I was almost there, and I just got more curious. To be frank, more than bhakti, I had a curiousity to see what was soo powerful about the place!

      As we moved nearer to the garbhagudi (shrine), my curiosity just grew more and morre...Until I had the first glance of the deity. Complete transformation! I donot know how to express what was my state of mind then. All i know is that i'd gotten the answers to all my questions, in just a single glance!

     A strange happiness, a spirit - grew out from nowhere. There was smile, some enlightened feeling. And despite my height, I was able to view the deity from a distance! I would not say that suddenly i grew taller, or i was walking on air! Thats what i call Supernatural calculations. Right timing! Strangely, nobody pushed me! And I was allowed to stand there for a while to get a full-fledged darshan; without asking anybody, with nobody bothering me! The crowd behind me was moving at its pace, me at my own! Do I call it my luck? or a reward for a wait for these many years? One thing is sure! This place carries LIFE, from eons of ages! Saturday had just dawned, it was 12:10 a.m, when we came out after the darshan.. enlightened! (just FYI, Saturday is considered an auspicious day for Lord Venkateshwara). The siblings' dream had just come true...!!:)

    Still the body ache was there, parallelly the enlightenment feeling. While everyone made plans for the next day; I had decided that this was not enough for me! I just got greedy, and I wanted to have another darshan.....

04 Sept, Saturday 2010 noon:

     Venki (the one who invited us), myself and 2 of his friends (Raghu and Hari annas); started for the second-time darshan. This time, the darshan was expected to take a good 3 hours of time. (Saturday , VIP visits etc etc). But we were prepared for that. As said earlier, we had all the time on earth to spend. Standing in lengthy queue for such a long time, never felt so comfortable and easy! Also, Hari anna was up with the mythological stories about the place; which helped us pass time. Interesting as they were, they made me believe in them! And then the broken-Telugu, made-broken english and Hindi; just made the conversations lively and interesting:P. And in the mid-way, I remembered my visits to Puri Jagannath and Palani too...

     The second-time entry to the garbhagudi(shrine), was equally enlightening! This time, twice darshan. Don't ask me how; I was just lucky to have a second look. Once again, right-timing! Came out completely satisfied, and happy. Only shedding a drop of tear was left out (which I didnot!)...and there - began my visit to the Tirupathi...


     So, that was pretty-much about my 'almost-first-visit' to Tirupathi. One visit-thrice darshan WAS a good deal indeed! A dream-come-true. It was a fulfilling experience - of the divine, of the sanctity that the place holds. All of which looked worth the 2 decades of wait; worth the long hours of walk.

     Must say, that Tirumalai Venkateshwara is Not a mere-earthling. It's a piece of 'The Cosmic Energy' , a slice of 'Heaven' - just existing on earth...

     Just hope and pray, that the other visits to any holy shrine henceforth,  be equally good ;):)...