Faith

Serving the Lord

In Vishnu temples, Divya Prabandham (the verses of the Azhvars) and the Vedas are recited whenever the utsava idol (processional deity) is taken round the town. In Kanchipuram, in the month of May, these groups of devotees walk with the utsava idol of Lord Varadaraja, reciting praises of Him, as He moves through the streets of Kanchi. And they walk in the scorching summer heat, without footwear! They are out there on the streets until noon or even later, when the deity returns to the temple. And even after their return, they do not rest, but serve Him in other ways. There is a Vedic mantra for the star Uttarattadi, which says that obeisance is paid to Uttarattadi, the star which serves Ahirbudhnya. Ahirbudhnya is none other than Lord Narayana Himself, said V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse. The star Uttarattadi is like the scores of devotees one sees in the Kanchi Varadaraja temple, sincere devotion and service being the hallmark of this star as well. When His devotees sing His praises, it seems as if He is more effulgent than usual. Uttarattadi is lauded by sage Valmiki in his Ramayana. He compares the four sons of Dasaratha to the asterisms Poorva Bhadra and Uttara Bhaadra. Each of these asterisms has two stars. So in all, we have four stars. Just as these stars are in pairs, so too are the sons of Dasaratha observed in pairs. Lakshmana is inseparable from Rama, serving Him devotedly. In the same way, Shatrugna is always concerned about the welfare of Bharata, and is close to him. Sage Bodhayana lays down that the mantra for the star Uttarattadi must be recited for the udaka santhi ritual. In astrology, those born in this star have a magnetic personality. They are just and intelligent, with an inclination to the fine arts.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 1:01:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/serving-the-lord/article34184913.ece

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