It is the seventh day of the Namazhvaar Utsavam at Sri Kesava Perumal Temple. Sridhar Bhattar is standing beneath the eastern raja gopuram just past 6pm on Saturday (May 22) evening, on a day when the temple should have been devotionally vibrant with the chanting of Namazhvaar’s sacred verses.
A couple of the temple staffers are beside him but that is it.
He says that there are a few devotees who come and stand in front of the raja gopuram and invoke the blessings of Kesava Perumal and Mayura Valli Thayar but most of them have chosen to remain indoors in the last fortnight.
“The archakas are present in the morning and evening to perform the aradhanam and the daily rituals at the temple every day.”
The Namazhvaar Utsavam is being conducted inside the temple with Prabhandham recital of a 100 verses taking place in the morning.
Tuesday May 25 is Vaikasi Visakam, the annual birthday of Namazhvaar, a big day in the year at Vaishnavite temples.
With a more stringent lockdown coming into effect, Sridhar Bhattar is not sure if the big flower garland will be delivered for Namazhvaar’s birthday alankaram on Tuesday
“Given the new lockdown measures coming into effect from Monday, we may not even have a procession inside the temple on his birthday. It is likely that Namazhvaar will be stationed in front of the Pey Azhvaar Sannidhi and his birthday celebrations including the Saatru Murai will be undertaken in a quiet way,.” he says.
- Report by S. Prabhu