MOTIVATION For Sri Andal'S Baktha sabha

HOW I WAS ENLIGHTENED ABOUT SRI ANDAL'S CAUSE AND HOW WE WENT ABOUT SEEKING SUPPORT FOR SRI ANDAL'S CAUSE (SERTHI USTHAVAM)

In september 2001, I took V.R.S from Central Bank of India after putting up 32 years of service and settled down in Srirangam where my family had been since 1995.

As with all Vishnu Bhaktas Acharyas and Nityasoories I already had a special place for Sri Andal in my heart. Veli Andal Sannidhi is in our street. I started visiting the temple and paying my obeisance to Sri Andal. The temple priest at that time was Sri V.Rangarajan (Bhattar, we used to call since he was the priest). He always laid traps to woo the devotees to do something or the other for Sri Andal and the temple. He used to keep me back after my obeisance to Sri Andal and daily repeated his pleas for arranging for paying respects to Sri Ranganathar at Sri Andal's Sannidhi when He will be accepting Mariyadai from devotees during His visit in our street on the next day to Teppostsavam. Since He is crossing her Sannidhi,. his plea was that Andal being His consort, Sri Ranganathar must visit her Sannidhi and accept offering from her. In fact He must first visit her before visiting any other�devotee's place. But neither the temple authorities nor the incharge of the Andal Sannidhi were doing any thing. We must do something.

This appealed to me and accordingly I submitted a memorandum to the temple authorities to make arrangements for Sri Ranganathar to visit Sri Andal's Sannidhi next day to the March 2002 Teppotsavam agreeing to bear the expenses. But I had applead very late, the temple authorities (The Asst. Commissioner) orally told that such applications must be submitted atleast 2months in advance to discuss with various officials and then only orders could be passed.

Then�as it is always the second�item on his agenda,Sri V.Rangarajan told that we must make all efforts to make the authorities to arrange for Sri Andal -Sri Ranganathar (Thirukalyanam) Serthi Utsavam to be conducted every year, as the same was being done in Sri Ramanujar's time; now discontinued because of various reasons. (He had earlier given a petition to that effect and it had been rejected on the grounds that such Utsavam was not conducted in living memory of any, that there were no records to that effect and that a new Ustavam could not be included as per Temple Rules).�

This also appealed to me. Mr. Rangarajan suggested approaching�a VIP who had influence with the government and/ or temple authorities. I understood the enormity of the venture. I suggested that we must approach a group of VIPs and not any single VIP. I also decided that we must approach all authorities simultaneously. It was not a snipper shot assignment -�taking position (approaching a VIP) and taking aim (motivate him/her) and hitting the bull eye (getting the necessary G.O or a letter from the temple authorities) but it was and it is an undertaking like seizure of a�fort- assignment - cover the fort from all sides. I also decided that we must not take confrontationist attitude. We must mingle with staff of the temple from grassroot level, discuss the matter, find if they/any offer valid reason why Sri Andal Sri Ranganathar Thirukalyanam Serthi Festival should not be conducted�, clear the doubts and motivate them/ frame their minds to cooperate when the order would be received.

Both of us went to Selaiyur, submitted our plea and took the blessings of Sri Azhagiya Singer he being my Achaarya. Then we started the campaign in right earnest. We sent appeales to all Jeers, religious leaders, scholars and upanyasakas , the chief minister , Tamil Nadu, the Minister for H.R & C.E & The Commissioner here. We started visiting Bhattars, Acharyas Parasara Vedavyasa Bhatters, Kandadai Aannan , Prabhanda Ghosti members, Sri Padam Thanguvaars,�Paricharakas, other Kainkaryaparas and even Bhagavatas who prepare daily garlands, we have covered about 87.5% of temple people (Mahajanams as I prefer to call them). Even in the early stage I became more and more convinced as we met one after the other that the Serthi Utsavam must have been held ,then discontinued. One of the strongest boosts to our cause came from Sri Vaishnava Sri A. Krishnamachari of 'Panchajanyam'. Apart from attending our meetings, he gave an editorial in support of our cause. He also gave me historical facts and records in support of our cause. In the mean time I had developed other ideas also or rather, Sri Andal and Sri Ranganatha initiated certain thoughts in my mind .

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