यत्र यत्र रघुनाथ कीर्तनम्
तत्र तत्र क्रितमस्त कान्जलिं |
मारुतिं नमश्च राक्षस अंतकम् ||
Yatra Yatra Raghunaatha-Kiirtanam Tatra Tatra Kruta-Mastaka-Anjalim |
Vaasspa-Vaari-Paripuurnnaa-Lochanam Maarutim Namata Raakssasa-Antakam ||
Kanchipuram Kamakoti Peetadipathi Sri Sri Sri Maha Periyava has explained the importance of Offering Vada Malai to Bhagwan Hanuman.
Once a bhaktha from North India paid respectful visit to Kanchi Sri Maha Periyava. After bowing before him in reverence, the bhaktha stood uncomfortably for some time as if he was expecting something from the greatest sage on land. Kanchi Sri Maha Periyava immediately observed his dilemma and casually asked him ‘do you have anything to ask?’
The bhaktha indeed came carrying long standing doubt in his mind on Bhagwan Hanuman. Even after discussing the issue with several learned pundits he was not convinced with their replies. As he was debating within himself whether Sri Maha Periyava would be able to clear his doubt, he was elated that the greatest Sage himself volunteered to clear his doubt.
Hesitant bhaktha asked ‘Maha Periyava, I have certain doubt on the offerings made to Bhagwan Anjaneya…
As he hesitated to continue, Sri Maha Periyava prompted him ‘Oh, you have some doubt on Vayu Puthra (Son of Vayu Bhagwan)… tell me what your doubt is.’
‘Swami….Ajnaneya remains the adapted deity (Ishta Devata) in many families; my doubt is on the offering made to Him’. As Maha Periyava remained silent, the bhaktha continued ‘In South India, people garland Him with Vada, an item of savory prepared with Urud Dal and Pepper, while in North India, the bhaktas offer him Jalebi, the sweet dish. Why this variance?’
Not only the bhaktha who raised this question stood anxious for an answer, other devotees assembled there too were anxious to hear Maha Periyava’s clarification.
Maha Periyava explained thus ‘All of us are aware when new born at home in their babyhood sometimes show obstinacy and refuse to eat, their parents carry them outside calling moon and stars to come down in an attempt to feed the baby. As the baby look at the beautiful moving moon, they get excited and attempt to catch it when their mother feed the child and the child too take the food without offering resistance. This is how a stubborn Baby is mollified and fed at home.
When the moon can be a play ball to a child in their babyhood on earth, how can Bhagwan Hanuman too be different in his childhood? Once Hanuman in his babyhood attempted to catch the glowing reddish Sun with his hand to eat it thinking it to be a fruit. In an attempt to catch it he flew in air to reach Surya Bhagwan. Noticing it, the celestial were too shocked but could not stop his run towards the Sun.
At the same time, to enact eclipse, Sri Rahu too was moving fast to catch Sun, but he could not match the speed of Sri Hanuman and lost in the race. Therefore pleased with Bhagwan Hanuman, Sri Rahu declared that henceforth whoever offered food made of Urud Dal and offered prayers to Bhagwan Hanuman, then the paapa accrued out of his curse (influence) would not harm them, and thus those afflicted with Sri Rahu Dosha as per their respective individual astrology / horoscope would get relieved of it by offering prayers to Bhagwan Hanuman. However one condition put forth by Sri Rahu was that the offered food should match the shape of his body i.e flexible. Perhaps this is why those who offer prayers to Bhagwan Hanuman put flexible garland made out of Urud Dal said Sri Maha Periava and paused for a while and continued further.
Whether Jalebi or Vada, both are prepared with Urud Dal only.
Since South India has plenty of Salt Pans in her region producing Salt which is also exported, those in South prefer to make Vada made of Urud Dal mixed with Pepper, a savory item and garland Bhagwan Hanuman in the shape of flexible ring.
Similarly in Northern India, Sugar cane is cultivated in large parts and the Sugar produced is also exported in plenty. The North Indians basically eat more sweet items beginning even from their breakfast. Therefore they offer Jalebi, sweet item, again made out of Urud Dal to garland Bhagwan Hanuman.
As long as the ill effects of Sri Rahu Dosha (paapa) gets removed by offering garland made out of Urud Dal as suggested by Sri Rahu – ‘let it be Vada or Jalebi – what item is offered should not matter’. Sri Maha Periava concluded loudly laughing.
Quickly not only the North Indian bhakta who raised this question fell flat on the feet of Sri Maha Periyava fully satisfied in getting his long standing doubt cleared, but also those of others who were present there too fell at the feet of Sri Maha Periyava.
Jaya Jaya Shankara
Hara Hara Shankara
Jai Shree Ram
Pic Credit: Google – Thank you to respective owners