Lord Guruvayoorappan had been always adorning our altar during my childhood days. HE is my dad’s Ishta devata. My mom’s favorite deity was Lord Shiva. So in my childhood days we often worshipped all the deities. Somehow I took a liking to the Shiva family more; especially Ganesha and Devi. I have seen my parents engaged both in Vishnu Sahasranama as well as Lalita Sahasranama paraynans. My mother also often chanted the Narayaneeyam. However I was never ritualistic and just chanted some Balvikas prayers and whenever there was thought of God; it was always Sai for me.
After getting married; initially with setting up the new household, pursuing a career; I hardly had time or even interest at that point in time to engage in elaborate prayers. My daily routine was just to light a lamp in the little altar we had with only Ganesha and Sai pictures. Once we moved abroad; the pull of spirituality was very strong and soon I began chanting the Lalita sahasranama and attending Sai bhajans. As time went by; the prayer sessions increased to include Rudrabhishekams, Sai parayans and many other such activities. My good friend teaches ‘Narayaneeyam’ and many of my other friends started learning with her. However I was never drawn towards learning it and to date I don’t know much about it. Soon in our colony many ladies started having the ‘Sampoorna Narayaneeyams’ at their places and I was often invited. I would tell the host that I would not read the scripture but I will attend and help out in any seva required for the elaborate puja.
It was during one such time that I happened to attend this session at a friend’s place. My idea was the same; just help out for 2 hours and get back. This was on 10th March 2016. After I rendered some help as I sat down for just a while looking at the beautifully adorned idol of Lord Krishna; I could hear something so clear within me; “Will you not have any prayers for me at your place? You always do Rudrabhishekams, Lalita sahasranama, Sai pujas etc; but never for this form of mine. It’s your dad’s 80th birthday this year and I am his favorite deity; so atleast for his sake have a ‘Narayaneeyam’ session at your place when he visits you in May/June.” I was taken aback and thought that it was my mind speaking and not necessarily some message. But as the thought grew stronger; I just told to myself; if the certain dates in my mind during the stay of my dad with me turned out to be a Thursday; then it is His message and I will think about having the session at our place. Right there I checked the dates; 5th May and 2nd June; both turned out to be Thursdays. I then waited the session to get over and with lot of apprehensions in my mind including not knowing anything about this prayer, not knowing most of the ladies of this group, hardly having attended any of these sessions; I approached the aunty I knew who was championing the spread of ‘Narayaneeyam’ here. I just told her that I would be really blessed to have a small session; not necessarily the complete one at our place and if atleast a few ladies can participate; it would be really great. I was stunned by aunty’s response. “Why a small short session; we will all come and chant the Sampoorna Narayaneeyam (complete elaborate one spanning about 6/7 hours) at your place and take the Lord’s as well as your father’s blessings’. Tears of joy filled my eyes and I just thanked the Lord and aunty from the bottom of my heart.
5th May was chosen as the day for the session. I had absolutely no idea how to arrange or go about this elaborate prayers. The aunty who had offered to help; gave me contact of another lady whom I didn’t know. Though I had seen her before; I had never interacted with her and didn’t know how to approach her. However I just called her. I was so surprised to hear such a loving, kind and supportive voice at the other end and I would really like the readers to know about her. She is Smt Mythili who strives to teach ‘Narayaneeyam’ and such other prayers to as many people as possible. She is pious lady and is highly devoted to Lord Krishna. She gave me so much confidence and assured me that we could perform the puja as grand as a wedding. The moment she told that; I just glanced at the sky and there was a huge rainbow as if already blessing us at the very beginning of the preparations. She started coordinating then on; giving me every detail of the puja, following up every now and then on the participants and prayer requirements etc.
On the D-day; she came in early bringing along with her the ‘Seer’ (paruppu thengai- a special offering during the weddings) and started with all the detailed prayers. Soon many participants joined bringing different types of offerings required after each dashakam. She held my hand guiding me through every chant and I was totally in bliss watching my beautiful Krishna smiling all the way. Soon it was the chapter on ‘Krishna Rukmini’ wedding. The scene is still so vivid in front of my eyes. My friends carried ‘Rukmini’ from the altar to the tune of ‘Nadaswaram’ along with the ‘seer’ items to the place where the prayer session was on and her divine Lord was eagerly waiting for her. That chapter was one of the most memorable one for me. The puja went off very well with God’s grace and support of the entire Narayaneeyam group. My father was so happy and very touched by the love of all the participants.
One of the highlights of this session was this incident. The prayers required to have picture of ‘Guruvayoorappan’ in the main altar. I have only one picture in our altar and I usually don’t remove any pictures from the altar. I have spare pictures of most of the deities. But I didn’t have a spare of this picture. I searched throughout in Serangoon Road for this picture but to no vail. My dad from the start itself told me to use the altar picture; somehow I was not wanting to do that. Finally I had to use the altar picture. ‘Man proposes; God disposes’. I thought; ‘Ok, it is Your wish; so be it.”. The puja session was so blissful with 27 ladies attending the session and creating such divine vibrations with the beautiful chants. After taking some rest that afternoon; in the evening I went to the altar room and found a gift pack given by one of the auntys. To my utter surprise and astonishment; as I unwrapped the gift; what do I find?? A huge framed picture of Lord Guruvayoorappan (bigger than my original one). What a miracle?? What a blessing? I profusely thanked the Lord and now that is the picture which adorns our altar.
We were in total bliss for the entire week. Seeing my father’s happiness was my greatest blessing. I realised how much the Lord loves him. The selfless service which he does without any expectation brought him all this love from people totally unknown to him and who made every effort to make this Pooja so successful.
Thanks to dear Lord, Sis Mythili, Aunty Girija and all the participants who so lovingly and with full devotion made this function a success.