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Thursday, June 11, 2020

coping with mental stress ! ~ flattening curve !! and Neeratta Uthsavam of Sri Andal

New Year 2020 dawned ordinarily but after a couple of months, people have realized that it is very different – the new normal is going to be far different than what we have been used to !  Brijesh Patel, the chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council, says he is waiting for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) formal announcement on the T20 World Cup, one that's been pending for a while now, before preparations can get underway to host this year's edition.  IPL would have begun on 29th March and people would have spent time happily cheering for their teams.

But Covid 19 changed it all – now for more than 2 months, people have remained at home, imagining worser things, hearing not so good things and some are depressed. Don’t you feel that there is sickness of overthinking ! ~ thinking of too many imponderables for which none has answers right now.

The total number of coronavirus cases across the world touched 7,360,239 on Thursday while the death toll soared to 4,16,201, with the United States continuing to contribute to a major chunk of it with over 2 lakh infections and 1,12,924 casualties so far.  Maharashtra and Delhi today again reported their highest single-day spike in new coronavirus cases as the infection continues to rapidly spread. Maharashtra saw 3,607 cases and 152 more deaths, taking its tally to 97,648 and its death toll 3,590. Meanwhile, Delhi reported 1,877 fresh cases and its death toll increased from 984 to 1,085.  Amid apprehensions of community spread of coronavirus and projections indicating that the pandemic peak in the state was still two months away, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today ordered stricter lockdown on the weekends and public holidays, with movement to be restricted to e-passes holders.

Countries around the world are working to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic. Flattening the curve involves reducing the number of new COVID-19 cases from one day to the next. This helps prevent healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed. When a country has fewer new COVID-19 cases emerging today than it did on a previous day, that’s a sign that the country is flattening the curve.

People become sick because of overthinking.  Sad for those daily wage earners, entrepreneurs, and others who are not able to do their daily work and have lost their livelihood.  On the other hand, there are people working from home, who theoretically should be happier and lot calmer – but there are talks of mental illness, distress,  depression and more.   Working from home seems to be here to stay, but people have suddenly realized that they are suffering from not going to Office.  Office premises was just not a physical space – it was also a place for meeting people, share work, crib, laugh and cry ! – all that is missed.

One major source of distress of many of us is – Temples are closed.  Emperuman would take care of us.  Darshan of Emperuman and doing kainkaryam in every little manner gave us comfort.  At Thiruvallikkeni divaydesam, there would be so many purappadu and we have already missed – Pallava Uthsavam, Sree Rama Navami Uthsavam, Udayavar Uthsavam, Sri Parthasarathi Brahmothsavam, Vasanthothsavam and Varadharajar Uthsavam.  Of the many uthsavams, Andal Neeratta uthsavam occurring in the month of Margazhi is a very pleasant one.  In the morning Andal would have purappadu, have thirumanjanam in Neeratta mantapam, then with a small purappadu around Kairavini kulam reach the temple for virundhu.  Here are some photos of Andal Neeratta Uthsavam way back in Jan 2016.

Of the incarnations of Sriman Narayana,  His descent in human form as Krishna has been glorified as the most accessible and endearing.  Among the Azhwargal, Sri Goda devi [Kothai Piratti @ Andal] is unique and her immortal hymns of Thiruppavai and Nachiyar Thirumozhi, do stand out.  Thiruppavai is on ceremonial austerity [Pavai nonbu] and her singleminded devotion in service to the Lord  is explicitly abundant.  
During the month of Margazhi, Thiruppavai is recited and to each day is attributed one pasuram.  Here is pasuram 25 of Thiruppavai :

ஒருத்தி மகனாய்ப் பிறந்துஓர் இரவில்ஒருத்தி மகனாய் ஒளித்து வளரத்*
தரிக்கிலான் ஆகித்தான் தீங்கு நினைந்தகருத்தைப் பிழைப்பித்துக் கஞ்சன் வயிற்றில்*
நெருப்பென்ன நின்ற நெடுமாலே உன்னை*  அருத்தித்து வந்தோம் பறைதருதியாகில்*
திருத்தக்க செல்வமும் சேவகமும் யாம்பாடிவருத்தமும் தீர்ந்து
                                                                                         மகிழ்ந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

Sri Andal praises the Lord who was born in anonymity as Devaki’s child and overnight moved out of incarceration to grow incognito as Yasodha’s child at Gokulam.  As He grew, he foiled the intent of despot Kamsa.  Andal with her group  pays obeisance  and beseeches upon that Lord to grant measureless wealth and blessed service to Him – the only thing which is capable to ending sorrow and providing eternal rejoice. 

Let us all pray to Goda Devi whose hymns offer us the right guidance and intent to look to the lotus feet of Lord.  Let us pray for ending of global suffering, Corona getting contained and people becoming happier.  We seek Andal’s blessing for the well-being of Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam.

Sri Andal Thiruvadigale saranam !!
adiyen Srinivasadhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar

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