History & Culture

This octogenarian has seen Athivaradar in both centuries

Athi Varadar at Kancheepuram

Athi Varadar at Kancheepuram   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

Octogenarian V. Sriraman feels blessed about the opportunities

Neither the heavy crowd nor age could deter 88-year-old V. Sriraman from going to Kanchipuram for a darshan of Athi Varadar. What was unique about his darshan? It was the third in his lifetime.

Born in 1931 at Mulugaripattu, near Cheyyar, Sriraman was sent to Kanchipuram (40 km away) by his father Varadachariar, a Vedic scholar, to learn Sanskrit, Desikar stotras and Vedas. It was then that Sriraman had Athi Varadar’s darshan for the first time — in 1939.

Recalling that visit, Chennai-based Sriraman says, “The Sannidhi Street opposite the Varadar temple echoed with the chants of Divya Prabandham, Vedas, Desikar Prabandham and stotras. My cousin Ghanta Venkatavaradan Thathachari (now 87 years old) lived in that street and we both had the darshan of the Lord in the reclining posture.” After completing his academics in Chennai, Sriraman moved to Bangalore in the 1970s, where he worked as a superintendent in the Postal Audit.

In July 1979, he along with his wife and children, travelled to Kanchipuram to have a darshan of Athi Varadar. “We stayed there for four days and saw the deity every day. While there was not such frenzy then, the excitement of having a darshan of the Lord who appears only once in 40 years was there. People thronged the town through the 48-day period and I remember donating ₹100. We were also allowed to visit the temple tank.”

Sriraman feels extremely blessed that he was able to be part of this occasion again.

This time round, when he expressed his wish to visit Kanchipuram, his family members wondered whether the 88-year-old would be able to withstand the two-hour drive from Triplicane, the large crowd at the temple and the sweltering heat. While they were trying to make special arrangements for his trip, Sriraman decided to visit in the first week of the festival.

Instead of using the wheel chair kept for senior citizens near the Eastern entrance of the temple, he decided to wait in the long queue meant for free darshan.

“I remember that on the previous two occasions, I was able to have darshan within a few minutes. I waited for one and a half hours this time. Later in the evening, I walked up the hill to have darshan of the Moolavar.”

Not the one to give up, the octogenarian now plans to have a darshan of the Lord in the standing position.

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:16:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/this-octogenarian-has-seen-athivaradar-in-both-centuries/article28895188.ece

Next Story