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Oh! Parama sukham–chapter 14

Parmasukham continues :
“Why am I asked to look at ‘appam’ and not at laddu, when the blindfold is removed?”

 I asked my father when we raised from our seats after the ‘vratham’ ritual.
” Laddu no doubt,  is more attractive with its golden colour and  perfectly round shape than Appam”  Appa clarified.  Because of.its sugar and ghee content, many like its taste too better.  But it breaks and falls apart by a gentle press.. Appam is harder .You have to open with a little force.  It has its own taste and flavour too, although outwardly, it is less glamorous than laddu. Married life too is not a gentle sugar-ghee mix. It doesn’t glisten always. It should not fall apart easily by a single touch. The partners’ behavior and talk to each other may not be sugar-coated and ghee-dipped always. They could be like Appam, 
a bit hard and not so pleasing outwardly. But open it up and enjoy.    
Another simpler reason – laddu could be a later invention” . He laughed. I too joined him.
“Why not I sow the seeds in those small pots; they are so cute”  I asked him pointing at the small mud pots for ‘palikai’, “Why only women are allowed to sow the seeds ?”.
‘‘You and me are only clouds; not soil. Women are fertile soils and they alone have the capacity to receive the seeds, develop them and bring out the plants.” Appa added, ” notice, only sumangalies, women whose husbands are alive, are eligible for the ‘palikai’ development â€˜â€˜You didn’t tell me about tying thread on the wrist?” I was in a mood to ask questions and he, to answer.

“You are no more an irresponsible vagabond, but a responsible house holder now,” my father said. “The string signifies the beginning of a fresh chapter in your life. This is to remind you the necessity of self- discipline, linkage with various agencies and centers of power and also your responsibility to your self, your family and society. It gives you a support in your determination or ‘sankalpam ’ It reminds you of your new responsibilities. A new string is attached to your wrist . Beware, a new life is going to join you and your family. That additional jeevan will be always with you as a part of you and your body, till it wears out and detached from you. . Before encircling your wrist, that thread has undergone a purification ceremony through a dip in turmeric solution and got sanctified with a  mantram. That is a sacred one. So is the girl who will be joining you today.

An umbilical cord connects the embryo with the placenta, in mother’s womb and provides nourishment till the former develops into a baby and sees the sunlight. So, even before you get your shape and movement, you are connected by a thread with your mother, through which, you receive your oxygen, food and mother’s love. As a boy, thread is tied at your waist, wrist and across the shoulder or around the neck, on different occasions. 

“Some threads like bakthi, love, compassion etc. are invisible . These become stronger, if you lead a good life with positive thinking and helping attitude and become weaker, if you complicate your life with undesirable thoughts, acts and attitudes.” 

I enjoyed his words of wisdom and requested him to continue. There were a few others too listening to him.

“There are thin threads, like ‘bisathanthu’ or the narrow thread developed from the stem of lotus which the god of love, Kamadeva uses as string for his bow, made of flowers. Then, there are thick ropes like the ‘Kalapasa’ of  the death god,Yama. Thus, there are several threads and ropes connected with life. Those may be mythological facinations or flowers of imagination but they do have a place in our life.  

For the car festival you pull the chariot with the Lord’s decorated idol placed  inside, with a very thick coir rope. The rope has to be a really strong one, if you have to pull the God, your way, through your street, through your mind. Your devotion should be strong, unbreakable like a coir rope. Some time even with a thick rope the chariot may not move. Then use a huge elephant to push it from behind. That elephant is your satkarmas, good deeds. Satkarmass support bakthi, devotion. Satkarmas without bakthi will be like pushing the chariot from behind. So, that thick coir rope is very essential for the successful parade.
Satkarmas carry the Lord on their back for the procession.. 
“There is another explanation: Like a puppeteer, remotely controlling the action or inaction of the puppets, a Supreme power regulates our moves, according to our ancestors.That belief runs through our veins. That is how our poets and musicians describe the Supreme power as ‘soothradhari’, the one who holds the soothram or string. In Sanskrit dramas, a ‘soothradari’ or stage manager used to introduce the story and actors to the audience.
So, the ‘soothram’, on you wrist now, is to remember that ‘Soothradhari,’ and also to remind you, your additional  responsibility on achieving a new status”“Why should I tie the ‘soothram’ around my wife’s neck?” I asked my genuine doubt, “Why shouldn’t she do it?”
“Fool!” Father always uses the apt word, to address me. “If she ties the thread around your neck, the responsibility of maintaining the equilibrium is on YOU!. .That thin thread is to remind her that she is the uniting force in her husband’s family and by accepting your thread, she accepts the load of your parents, siblings and other close relatives of yours. She becomes the real ‘soothradhari’ of you and your family. Similarly, by tying that thread around her neck you assure her of affection, care and safety.
But remember that tying the thread or ‘mangalya dharanam’ came to practice much later than original ritual prescriptions  for the wedding,

”OK, fine Appa, now you have to clarify my biggest doubt ” I requested, “you know what it is ? “

” Yes I know ” My intelligent dad answered with a smile, ” the mystery of Charm- Sharada relationship. Come. let me first have a pan chew.” He collected his betel leaf box and took me to the garden .

Here is a synopsis of Charm’s relationship with Sharada teacher.

Charm was born and raised in an orthodox family and he was a timid boy strictly following his parental instructions . The extreme discipline on one hand and the abject poverty on the other compressed his free thinking capacity and crushed his enthusiasm to achieve something of his own till  he reached his adolescence. Then suddenly,  there was an urge to establish his individuality and project himself as an youngster of modern thinking. The fear of his authoritative father combined with his genuine affection for his family, however, again dampened his spirits. He was not good in studies but somehow passed the matriculation examination. With the recommendation of his father, he was able to get a teacher’s job in a primary school, whose owner happened to be his father’s student. 

He met Sharada there. She was a graduate, teaching higher class students. She was a lovely woman, cultured and compassionate and from a family of better financial back ground. On the first day of his joining the school, Charm asked for a loan of Ten Rupees from the manager for paying the school fess of his siblings. The manager didn’t oblige. During the  lunch hour, Sharada teacher came to know about this when the new entrant went around his colleagues begging  for a cash loan. She gave him the money.While returning home  she asked him how he would have paid the school fees if he had not taken up the job or she had not come forward to help him..

” My sisters will stop going to school “,  was the instant reply of the simple man .Sharada silently wept.

1 thought on “Oh! Parama sukham–chapter 14

  1. Namaskaram,
    It is very nice one.and you are very much on the root cause of other numerous gurus and other religions who has taken only a part of our sanathana dharma and spread them with the more exposure in medias who require such things to increase their TRP. this is because of our generation between 1945 to 1970 that they have been made ignorant of the values and their siblings were not guided in the right path because the parents them selves are ignorent. now the present days gurus are using better approach in communicating the thins in simple words and the present day’s life style and the stress developed due to loneliness and not trying to mingle with others and always suspecting others are the causes of today’s situation . if we start believing and the faith in the human values I am sure we need not bother about others trying to convert our people from our religion..

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