Make the divine your Valentine - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
This valentine we tried to make it special by visiting the Sripuram - Spiritual Oasis in Thirumalaikodi in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. It was 5.00 am in the morning, took a cold shower, packed the breakfast (not sure of good eateries on the way) and left to the nearby busstand. We had to board the bus leaving for Chennai and get down on the way at Vellore. It took us about 4 hours to reach Vellore from Bangalore. By 11.30 a.m we reached Vellore bus stand and then took another bus to the Golden Temple, Vellore. There was lot of rush as people from the nearby states of South India would plan a visit to this marvellous structure on the weekend.
The entry to the temple is very strict. We have to submit our mobile phones, camera and any handbaggage before we enter the temple premises. All these services are very well organised with proper queue and coupon systems. So atleast you are assured that your items are safe and secure. We collected our Divya Darshan pass (Rs.100/- each) to escape the queue and meet the goddess a bit early. But the experience to the main temple was amazing as we had to passed through a star shaped pathway.
In between the star shaped pathway is where the goddess resides. In and around this star shaped pathway are beautiful sutras which are given by Shakthi Amma (the spiritual master) who is the inspiration behind Sreepuram. Every step that we took to the temple was unique as we read the sutras. It was a message from the God to practice all these basic principles in life before we reach him. Some of these sutras were
You become what you think
Only as a human being can we offer services to other people who are less fortunate and needy
Chanting and mantras can create divine energy and help in soul cleansing
Every human being requirs a 'Guru' to remove the bad karma and lead him to the patch of righteousness
Good Thoughts, Good deeds, Good actions
Surrender to the divine can help you from all your worries.
Throughout the day there are various pujas which are conducted at Sripuram for world peace, happiness and unity. The chanting of ''Om Namo Narayani'' and bhajans were on throughout as we walked towards the temple. The area around the Sreepuram Golden temple is sorrounded by a water pool. As always devotees want to satisfy their wishes. I saw many people offering coins in the pool and a few women even praying and offering their bangles in the water. I am not too sure why they do this, but many were. As we entered the temple, the yellow metal gold started reflecting in the eyes as if a thousand rays of the sun. The chandeliers from the cieling we are all glittering. There were pillars around which had the golden elephant and the mandarin ducks.
As the queue moved, we seeked the blessing of the Goddess Lakshmi Narayani. After the darshan, we have to move out through the last phase of the start shaped pathway again to the exit. Here again, those sutras were listed to remind about peace, unity, happiness and fulfillment in life. It is said that certain shapes can attract divine energy and therefore the Devi is placed in between the symbol. The beautiful landscaped gardens also have the statues of Devas which makes it look like a Secret Garden. As we came out of the temple, we were offered prasadam and then we moved ahead to the Annalakshmi restaurant to have lunch. The food was sumptuous and divine. Then we proceeded for our retun journey to Bangalore by bus.
The golden temple at Sreepuram, Vellore is a place every devotee must visit , if you have not been able to visit the Amritsar Golden Temple in Punjab.
Sarva Mangala Mangalye
Shive Sarvartha Saadhige
Sharnaye Thiryiambike Gowri
Om Namo Narayani
For more details you can visit http://www.sreepuram.org/