Friday, April 20, 2018

Saaranga

"My lord, why do you bleed thus?" Trembled Loksaaranga, mouth agape
He sat there silent, while dawn led to daybreak
Frightened, Saaranga looked hither-tither, worries creased on his face
Searching for an answer to a happening impossible in this holy space

Knowing not what to do, Saaranga cried
Till the tears were no more, and his mouth dried
Falling into a stupor, he still held himself upright
And started to chant Hari's name, his eyes shut firm and tight

T'was then that those lamps standing therewent dim
Paled by the brilliance of that unseen brilliance of the divine light
Lo and behold! Hari stood firm and tall in front of him
The scar on his forehead was still bleeding, the blood shining bright

"Who was that poor soul that you hit with that stone?" He remonstrated
"Know not what he means to me? How could you cast this sin on him?"
"My Dear Hari, i know not who he is, what he means to you!" Cried Saaranga, scared in the presence of the sacred
The emotions and senses all simultaneously stood along, completely overwhelmed

"Thiruppan is he, a devotee very close to my heart," spoke Hari fondly of him
"That very heart of mine stand broken today, due to this uncalled action of yours, Saaranga,"
And tears began to flow down the cheeks of Hari, it was a sight most forsaken
The sun, moon and stars stood still, and best his own head with his very hands did Saaranga

"Sinner am I, Hari, forgive me if it were to be possible"
"These tears that flow down your eyes are heartwrenching and scary."
"The birds have stopped chirping, the flowers wilted, it is no less than an eclipse!"
"I hurt your favorite, and for this unpardonable sin with my life I shall pay."

Hari's tears disappeared, a faint smile replaced the sombre looks
"It is not that which you need to do for me o Muni!"
"Realize the true worth of the Atma jiva, and thrown lies your lesson in humility."
"Remove this veil of ignorance, ajnana, and arrogance this very moment Saaranga!"
"That is truly what you seek right now, this moment of truth is your victory."

Saaranga struck by a thought, fled the spot towards that place of morning
Where he had encountered, chanting Govinda's sweet as nectar name
He knew not what or how to repent for his unpardonable sin
All he knee was that he certainly had to mend his way

Fortune was his, for Thiruppan was still there, bleeding
The stone had caused much bloodloss, much reduced was his strength
"Forgive me O Great Thiruppan, i recognized not who you are," prostrated Saaranga at his feet
"Let me atone for my grave sin, please grant me permission at length."

Even before Thiruppan could say anything, the Muni bent down
And mounted him on his shoulders, usig all his strength
"Govinda! Gopala" he shouted himself hoarse, as he ran across Srirangam
To bring Thiruppan to the abode of Hari, there was no room for delay

They all stood, shocked, some aghast, mouths agape
How could a Brahmin touch a Paanar, let alone carry him all the way?
And it was then that many saw tears of remonstration in Saaranga's eyes
"Govinda! Gopala" he shouted, minding not obstacles that strew the pathway

Reached the temple, as they did in his unusual manner
The doors opened, the bells rang, the conch shells blared
T'was Hari Himself who came to receive this great man, this humble Paanar
And all along there was only this for the deities to say
"Saaranga is blessed to have carried you in his shoulders this way"
"A sage, a Munin is how people should call him now.
Your sweet words shall give his soul mukti this very instant."
"Sing, Thiruppan! I beseech you, pick the veena and play!"





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