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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How can He refuse to eat ..?

"Why don't you eat at least a little of this.. is it not sweet enough? Does it not appear tasty for you? Unni, You have to understand I am also just a small boy like you., and I cannot make the neipayasam the way my father makes"

The five year old was sitting in the Sanctum  where that naughty Child Unni was also standing,. unmoving, an idol as He is.. The idol had just been given an oil bath and has been rubbed with vaka(herbal shampoo) and adorned with fresh flowers. He was covered with sandal paste and wore a loincloth made of red silk, and carried a golden fllute in his hand.. 
The child had come to look after the comforts of Unni His father was running temperatue and there was no one else at home except this young boy to perform the worship.. His father had told him about the procedures to follow and the child, who really loved Unni, had followed the instructions to the dot..He was now sitting inside the closed doors of the Sanctum, with the lord and himself facing each other all alone.
It was time for the Lord to eat..

The Lord did not appear to listen.. 
But the child could understand the whims and fancies of another boy.. After all, he himself had sulked before his mother for long times before taking the food.. and he knew how much his mother persuaded him with love to eat each morsel of food.. So this Child also requires a lot of persuation..
"Unni, I know that the food may not be as tasty as that prepared by my father. So I have brought some pickles and condiments from home to add taste".
The child took out a coconut shell containing a few pieces of mango pickles, as if he was producing a trump card.. His mother had often done this trick with the little priest  himself..
But still the Lord did not move.. Time was slipping away and panic was gripping the child.. 
He thought,"In my childish ignorance, I have not done anything properly, and Unni is angry.. What can I do?"..Unni is so cute and nice.. But he had heard from his mother that Unni can be very naughty and could be very adamant too.. All thar the child could do was to cry his heart out ..
" Unni, if you do not eat, my father would scold me and punish me for not taking care of you properly.. True, I am very inexperienced and inadequate as I am a mere child.. But are you not a boy too? Okey, if you do not eat, I will just sit here before you crying all the time and will not move away or open the door, come whatever may."

Unni the child knew, how innocent, but how equally adamant a child of his own  age could be.. So he did not allow the impasse to continue.
 Unni opened up his palm and said, 
" You just give me the neipayasam, little by little in my hand.. I will eat only if you also eat along with me."
So the two children finished of the entire neipayasam, plantains, malar, , everything..
 Unni did not fail to taste with relish the pickled mangos.
Meals over, the young priest opened the doors of the sanctum and placed out the empty urulis and other vessels..
The Variar, Maraar and Nambissan, as also the Kizhshanthis were waiting outside in anxious expectation.. The food offered to God would go to feed them sumptuouly.. They were already in some irritation as the young thirumeni was taking too much time to offer naivedyam
They were simply shocked to see the vessels containing naivedyam completely empty, the food eaten and the vessels  polished clean and empty ..
"What have you done Kochuthirumeni, you were sitting there eating all the naivedyam?"
"Not exaclty.. I was feeding Unni.. He is really very naughty.. He ate the food only after a lot of petting and persuation and that too after I agreed that I would also share food with him"
Replied the young priest.
The employees of the temple could not believe it.. The god eating the offerings? 

The young thirumeni was lying..
So they made a beeline to the house of the Melsanthi, the father of the young priest. 
The child repeated what all he had already said.
The senior priest could not believe it..
 He had offered naivedyams to the idol innumerable times..
 But not even a small speck of food has even been eaten by the Lord. 
It was simply incredible.. 
The child was telling a lie.
"I will teach you a lesson.. Let us go before Unni himself.."
Ordered the senior priest.

"They were all in front of Unni. The father was presenting thrashes to the child at regular intervals and the child was crying..
"Show me how the idol ate the food,",, the senior priest was shoulting..
The boy just saw Unni standing there, silent and wearing an enigmatic smile.
"Tell my father what you did, Unni" begged the child..
But Unni was maintaining a measured silence.
However when the beating continued, Unni could not keep quiet any more.
Finally enough was enough.,Unni could not help shouting out,
" If you are punishing the boy for eating the naivedyam, you have to punish me first Thirumeni.. I have eaten the food and the child ate a little only becuase I refused to eat the food if he did not take some of it too."

"I ate it all because I could not disappoint my little friend."

That Unni is also called Guruvayurappan..

Sanctum.. the central room of a temple where the idol of the God is placee
neipayasam.. porridge made of rice, jaggery and ghee..
Melsanthi.. the chief priest
Kizhshantis.. the junior priests
Variar, Marar, Nambissan.. the hereditary temple employees.
Malar ..Puffed rice
Naivedyam Offering of food for God 

Uruli... the bell metal vessel where food is made
Thirumeni   the respectful reference to the priest or a nambuthiri brahmin
Kochu thirumeni... the young thirumeni,

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