The Kendras and Archanas

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The Kendras and Archanas

The Kendras is a unique concept of the Shri Reddiapatti Swamigal adiyargal (followers). There are 12 main Kendras as designated by the Guru himself. The Kendras are named after the months of the Tamil calendar, which is similar to the 12 months of the English Calendar. Each of the Kendra has the responsibility to help devotees achieve their ends with the help of the Guru Shri Reddiapatti Swamigal.

Each of these Kendras during the designated month will organise to perform a “LAKSHARCHANAI” – chanting the 1008 mantras of Shri Reddiapatti Swamigal so as to achieve 100,000 numbers. The effort culminates with a minimum of 100 devotees sitting down at a pre appointed place in the house of the Kendra and offer flowers at the feet of the Guru’s photo with the intonation of each mantra.

The master of that particular house is known as the Kendradipathi. He has the responsibility to ensure that the devotees are comfortable during the entire process of the Laksharchanai celebrations. The event almost resembles a typical South Indian marriage.

The pooja commences with the reception of the devotees who are offered the Thamboolam, which actually denotes a warm welcome. The devotees once seated begin the proceeding with a small stint of meditation. The all-powerful sound of OM reverberates the enclosed atmosphere from an audiocassette and the devotees with their eyes closed focus their mind on the Divine. The fragrance of the agarbathis (fragrance sticks) fills the atmosphere coupled with the serene silence results in a special vibration which all the words would not be able to describe.

The meditation succeeds the reading of the Arul Vaakku (Divine Message). Arul Vaakku is actually a conversation with the Guru himself and helps the devotees to understand the nuances of the mantra with which the Archana is performed. The Arul Vakku written in the beautiful Tamil language elucidates the essence of life with lovely anecdotes, which makes one’s understanding so easy. Thereafter we have the Abhishekam for the idols of Shri Reddiapatti Swamigal and Shri Paripoorna Vinayakar.

The Abhishekam is usually accompanied by the singing of the Ganesha Pancharatna Kritis that has been set to the Carnatic style by the Guru himself and expounded beautifully subsequently by Arul Kavi Thava thiru Sadhuram Swamigal who has also attained samadhi. The singing is either in the form of a concert with all percussions or in the form of group singing. The atmosphere is charged with the song of the Divine.

The Archana – chanting of the 1008 mantras of Shri Reddiapatti Swamigal, follows the Abhishekam. All devotees sit in absolute surrender to the Divine. A leader reads out the mantra each of which ends with the word “potri” which also means “namah” in Sanskrit which means “my humble offering to you with profound respect.

The Ananda Kummi follows the Archana. Ananda Kummi as the names suggest is a moment of great happiness. After having tuned the mind and body to the Divine, the body experiences unprecedented happiness and would like to dance in the joy of the creation. There are special Kummi songs, which are sung, in rhythmic beats and the devotees go around in a circle around the Guru’s photograph decorated and kept in the centre. The clapping of the hands to the rhythm and the dancing really peaks to an ultimate moment with the Divine.

The Divine in such an exalted state is then offered the Maha Deeparadhanai, which essentially is the chanting of the Vedic mantras culminating with the lighting of the camphor and invoking the blessings of the Divine.

The kendradipathi then provides prasadam - Adiyargal virunthu - to all the devotees who with tears of joys in their eyes, satiated leave for their respective homes carrying the pleasant experience of the Divine.

There are large numbers of devotees of Shri Reddiapatti Swamigal and each one of them are desirous of performing the above Archana in their house. Thus in addition to the 12 main Kendras there are now around 52 other Kendras who are now called as the Sahasranama Kendras where the achievement of 100,000 archanas is not compulsory.

The 52 Kendras are spread over the States of Tamil Nadu predominantly, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Shri Reddiapatti Swamigal devotees are living in Singapore, the USA, and Germany and also in the United Kingdom

❝ The Arulsattam is simply a way of life and is the rich distilled essence of all the great religions of the world ❞