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Chithirai Powrname @ Madurai Meenakshi Temple Today

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:I was away due to domestic exigencies.
    Being day of celebration of celestial wedding today being telecasted by evening I wish to bring to Attention the goddess Meenakshi’s Leela from my previously posted story copied below.

    At a time when undivided India was under British empire, an officer from Great Britain was posted by the then Queen Victoria to Madura - now known as Madurai - a city in the erstwhile Madras Presidency of South India. He reluctantly arrived sometime in the year 1812, assumed charges of District Collector of Madura.

    He was totally immersed in the city’s governance and soon got quite acclimatized to nuances of the local culture. He witnessed thousands of devotees collecting around Goddess Meenakshi temple, thronging in and around the shadow cast by towering seven-tier pinnacles and of the domes above the sanctum sanctorum. During popular festivals including chithirai thiruvizha (summer festival), the place attracted thousands from outstations and even from Far East. He was greatly moved and impressed by the faith of the devotees of Goddess Meenakshi.

    This impression had led him to a profound yearning and quest to enter the temple to have a look at the main deity at her sanctum. Under the extant rules of admission to the temple, authorities barred entry to followers of other faiths and religion to the temple and or sanctum. He being a Christian and given to respect other religions and their sensibilities, he did not force an entry into the temple. Day in and day out, this nagging thought of not being able to see the Deity at her sanctum was weighing heavily on him.

    Just around dawn, rain or shine, everyday he used to go around the city. Sitting on a saddle on his fully tacked white tall horse, he used to commence his rounds beginning at the temple, circumambulating the outskirts of huge Madurai Meenakshi temple complex. Residents and bystanders around the temple stood-still in awe, to watch him seated majestically on a robust stout shining horse with his booted-feet supported in glistening metal stirrups on either side. His profound desire to witness the Goddess and proceedings at her sanctum of the temple grew stronger day by day.

    Two seasons went by.

    It was vee hours of the sultry summer night, when he was all alone in deep sleep; he felt he had heard intermittent jingling mixed with chuckle and chortle. He woke up lazily to distant musical and rhythmic sound and then to his delight he saw without batting an eyelid, an angelic girl with a resplendent countenance radiating effulgence that dispelled the surrounding darkness stood tapping her foot at a distance; it was awesome to look at the bright aura behind her, her tresses tumblr styled, head bedecked with a gem-studded golden crown and wearing a flowing dark red skirt and a silk blouse.

    The ankles of her feet were tied with the small musical anklets (metallic bells strung-together). The girl was tapping her foot steadily and softly, beckoning him with her stretched forehands and crooked fingers to come close to her. He stood up lazily in darkness rubbing his eyes softly and stepped slowly toward her. But the distance between him and the girl was lengthening, as the girl was moving backwards producing hypnotizing intermittent rhythmic musical sound emanating from her anklets. He was following her for some time through large hall, long foyer and along the mud-laden tree-lined streets. At last, he found the girl had made him run and panting.

    They both had almost reached the main entrance of the Meenakshi temple complex. A pair of highly crafted ornated thick closed huge wooden doors fixed with numerous metallic bells stood blocking the entrance of the temple.

    At that juncture he felt the nip in the air which turned tad windy, blowing with a roar and kicked out blinding dust vortex followed by an eerie lightning and deafening thunder that pierced across the entire city. He simultaneously saw the angelic girl transformed into an exquisite woman waving slowly at him while aura receding behind her, she passed through the doors and into the temple. She vanished from his view which had left him nonplussed for a while. It was dark around him.

    In lashing rains, he went homewards totally drenched, only to find to his astonishment that his bungalow - an edifice that it was - razed to the ground and stood in a heap of debris. At the same time, the sight of his white stallion standing tall, looking at the distance rubble and kicking in its stable in the far corner warmed his heart. The horse shifted its gaze from the rubble to the master in proximity, its eyes welled-up; acknowledging master’s presence, it lifted its tail, neighed heavily, nodding its head vertically up and down.

    Ross Peter believed and concluded in his heart of heart that Goddess Meenakshi arrived in good time and granted apparition to escort him to safety and saved his horse and him. Many in the city too believed that he and his horse were saved due to the very act of his regular circumambulation on that horse during every dawn the shrine of Meenakshi temple with intense contemplation of the Goddess at Her sanctum.

    As a show of his eternal gratefulness and indebtedness to Goddess Meenakshi, in consultation with chief priest and authorities of the temple, Rose Peter donated a pair of highly decorated golden shoes weighing 28 tolas (A tola is approximately 11.5 grams) studded with 412 red stones, 72 emeralds, 80 diamonds and cat’s eye, pearls, sapphires. Even to this day, during temple festivals, temple authorities use these golden shoes to decorate and embellish replica of Goddess Meenakshi idol before the latter is taken on a tacked horse around within the precincts and the broad streets around the Meenakshi temple.
    Best wishes so all IL’ites.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
     
    teenulahari, sindmani, Maayon and 3 others like this.
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  2. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

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    @Thyagarajan although had heard this before, it was nice reading about Devi's Leela on this auspicious day.
     
    sindmani and Thyagarajan like this.
  3. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    It's the first time I have heard this story. Quite fascinating! Really enjoyed your narration.
     
  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for FB.
     
  5. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for enjoying and appreciation.
    Regards.
     
  6. poovai

    poovai Platinum IL'ite

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    Wonderful narration of the incident. Unknowingly, the British man worshiped Goddess in his own way. In turn, She saved his life;
     
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  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:Thanks for your appreciation and summing up.
    God Bless Us All.
     
  8. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @Thyagarajan Sir,

    This is an enjoyable story and I have read your old post.:thumbup:
     
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  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks your FB is refreshing.
    Regards
    God Bless Us All Always.
     
  10. Maayon

    Maayon Bronze IL'ite

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    I felt like the story being narrated by my grandma. I could visualize your words as I read.:clap2::clap2:
     
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