Sunday, December 23, 2007

Subramanya Bharathiyar ~ Saaga Varam Arulvai

Featuring Pictures from Full Moon Day at Ramboda Sri Baktha Hanuman temple, Sri Lanka
“Senthooram” is being appiled to Sri Baktha Hanuman. “Senthooram” symbolises victory. “Senthooram” is only offered at Hanuman temples

It was another special day at Sri Baktha Hanuman temple in Ramboda. The day was a full moon day in the month of October; freezing cold early in the morning, free of all the rays of the sun that are fully spreaded only after mid morning.

And there is spiritual looking Veerappa Chandrabose-busy running up and down the hill to bring flowers, silk, and other items for decoration at the temple, since daybreak. He has already begun to dress and decorate a brass statue of Sri Baktha Hanuman. He was willing to talk while working.

Veerappa Chandrabose (25), who hails from Pussallawa, began his career as a garland maker ten years ago. He has been making garlands for the Sri Baktha Hanuman temple ever since its inception in 1999.

Verappa Chandrabose says “Hanuman safeguards whoever believes him. I have total trust on him. I have a lot of problems in my life. But I surrender everything to him to look after”.

He gets flowers from Mathampai and Kurunegala to make garlands. Different coloured wool is also used with flowers to make garlands for special occasions. He is energetic and enthusiastic to be more creative. He gets delighted when the devotees praise him about the stunning styles in garland making. His acknowledgment would be a simple smile.

Apart from making garlands and undertaking decorations of statues at temple. He makes garlands for weddings and age attaining ceremonies. He used to travel to Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Colombo to decorate temples for festivals. But due to the current situation he does not travel to North and East. And also he owns a small shop at the foot of the mountain, which sells religious items such as idols, holy threads and garlands.
Sri Baktha Hanuman in Ramboda is 18 feet tall
“Kopuram”-the main tower of the temple
Devotees believe Sri Baktha Hanuman is a saviuor
Chief priest of the temple Maheswara Kurukkal places “Senthooram” on the forehead of a devotee
Veerappa Chandrabose dresses up Sri Bhaktha Hanuman
Sri Bhatha Hanuman brass statue is taken on procession on special days
Special poojas are held on full moon days
Flowers are brought from Mathampai and Kurunegala
Flowers stay fresh due to cold climate
Veerappa Chandrabose is looking for a life partner
Sri Baktha Hanuman in “Moolasthaanam”- main shrine of the temple is decorated for the festival
Veerappa Chandrabose decorates Sri Baktha Hanuman with skills that are marked by dexterity and grace
Devotees thronged the temple
Hanuman is considered as the incarnation of Lord Siva
Veerappa Chandrabose is happy about his achievements
Betel leaves and garlands are specially offered to Hanuman
Sri Baktha Hanuman enchants devotees from all ethnicities
Hanuman symbolises devotion and service
Hanuman is one of the most important personalities in the epic-“Ramayanam”
Hanuman’s weapon is “Gada” mace
Veerappa Chandrabose at his shop
Religious items are sold at the foot of the mountain
Hanuman worship is increasingly becoming popular in Sri Lanka
Hanuman is taken on procession outside the temple
Men carried Hanuman on the shoulders
Long hours were spent in the temple
It’s a belief that, Hanuman is easily reachable by chanting the name “Rama”
Flower petals are sprinkled and the Hanuman idol is welcomed at the main entrance of the temple
View of the Sri Baktha Hanuman temple in Ramboda from another mountain