Sunday, March 15, 2015

Praying for Rain

A Temple Tank remaining dry
Famine may happen at any country. History tells us the serious consequences of several draughts that happened in many parts of the world. Agriculture gets the first beating from a draught. Then it affects the citizens who are already down with negligible farm output.

The great Tamil work, "Periya Puranam " outlines the effects of a draught situation that prevailed in those days. Places  like Thiruveezhimizhalai, Arisil Karai Puthur and Thirupungur faced the gruesome famine. Eyarkon Kalikkama Nayanar prayed Sivalokanatha of Thirupungur for rain and offered agricultural land ( "aaru veli " ). God answered his prayers and to the jubilation of the entire village,abundant rain  followed. When it rained more than the requirement, floods started surrounding the village and posed problem to the crops and people as well. The Nayanar prayed The Lord again and offered the same amount of land to the Temple if the rain stopped.  Thus the Temple was gifted with 12 veli of land for saving the village.

God exists everywhere, be a desert or a delta. Sri Rudram, the central part of the Vedas stated thus: "Varshyaa ya cha avarshyaaya cha. " People think more of God when they are in trouble. Only great souls treat all situations alike. They come as a solace to help the common man and free him from distress. When the people of Thiruveezhimizhalai welcomed Thirugnanasanbandar and Thirunavukkarasar, the great Saiva acharyas to the village and reported them about the draught situation over there. The Saints prayed the Almighty for the sake of the devotees and received coins from The Lord to be used until the draught was over.

Los Angeles Times has reported the scarcity of water in California and described that the water storage might last for one year only. It is a result of monsoon failure over the last decade. In the absence of water supply to the fields, agriculturists have almost exhausted the underground water by using pump sets. A situation has thus arrived when people can be served with drinking water alone. It has finally left the people to pray for rain.

The Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt used to advice people to perform "Athi Rudram " and pray Lord Shankara for rain. In a place like California, where Indian community lives in good numbers, organising the event should not be a problem. What is more important is the participation combined with devotion. Since it is a result oriented event, sincerity counts more than anything. There may be many Vedic Pundits in this region,serving in Temples. As eleven days of chanting  will have to be made, married men in traditional attire can participate and chant the Mahamantra. Others who are not well versed with "Sri Rudram "can take a book/i pod and follow others. Only few professionals may be invited from India  when it is absolutely essential. By doing so, it will not give room for the professionals in India from crossing the barrier as prescribed by Dharma Sastras. Simultaneously, it gives an opportunity for Hindus living in U.S. to learn Sri Rudram and chant them regularly. They may even think of sending their children to Veda class. Of course, it is a matter to be decided by Californians. The gravity of the situation is to be considered as the top priority as Athi Rudra Maha Yagyam is normally aimed to wipe off the agony faced and please Lord Rudra.