Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Annadaanam -  done at the temple by such people as in villages who are devout has a subtly energizing effect - i saw that now ... two annadaanams over two evenings was deeply satisfying for all. The positivity that such collective activity at the temple generated will create other positivities. And  that drought has set in made the annadaanam very meaningful. People asked if it would be regularly conducted ! 

When I went to the village I told the people, Eashwaranma Chinakka, and others that two friends had specifically wanted to contribute for annadaanam at the village temple. I told then that if they were interested in completely taking charge they could. As there was severe water crisis I was unsure of the response, but the village people are unfazed by problems that deter the strongest of us !

The energy and enthusiam was remarkable.  People contributed the firewood, and the huge cooking vessels belonging to the village were brought out and a fireplace set up near the temple. The three stones put up for the fire were anointed with kumkum and turmeric. The fire was lit with a piece of camphor first as is supposed to be the tradition for auspicious cooking as in temple meals, or even when a fireplace at home in inaugarated

Five, six of the eager youth cooks and the women came together, and it was some collective time of peeling garlic, squeezing lemons ... and all advising all and sundry. Thr children playing around also joined in. The first day lemon rice was prepared and served, along with mysore pak. The next day was a garnished rice with sambar and a mixture. Food had never tasted more heavenly. Vasu organized a mike set, and called out to people to come. A mike was desirable the call had to reach the dalitwada homes across the railway track as well.

 All people came in the evening to the temple, and sat around on the sand outside under the starry sky and enjoyed a full meal. People took many helpings, and some took extra helpings home also. Next day breakfast was this is most homes. It was all community, led and done. 

I only interfered at one point, when I requested that no plastic plates/ sheets be bought to serve food in. The days of leaf plates is gone, and people buy plastic plates for community meals. I explained that I have seen the damage caused by plastics too closely, and that cows get strangled to death by ingesting these plates, and that people can simply bring their own plates to the temple. The village people understood and obliged.

Annasamy anna asked me, as we walked down together to the temple, if the annadanam was for both villages across the railway tract. When I said that was what the people had decided, he told me. 'Do you know what daanam is ? It is to give to all ... who ask and who do not ask ... without judgeing, or preferring.'

I realized whay annadaanam is seen as a superior custom.

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