22. The Kavadi Festival-1.
Perhaps the most potent propitiatory rite that a devotee of Shanmukha undertakes to perform is what is known as the Kavadi.
The benefits that the devotee gains from offering a Kavadi to the Lord are a millionfold greater than the little pain that he inflicts upon himself.
Generally, people take a vow to offer the Lord a Kavadi for the sake of tiding over a great calamity.
Though this might, on the face of it, appear a little mercenary, a moment’s reflection will reveal that it contains in it the seed of supreme love of God.
The worldly object is achieved, no doubt, and the devotee takes the Kavadi; but after the ceremony he gets so God-intoxicated that his inner spiritual being gets awakened.
This is also a method that ultimately leads to the supreme state of devotion.
The Kavadi has various shapes and sizes, from the simple shape of a hawker’s storehouse (a wooden stick with two baskets at each end, slung across the shoulder) to the costly palanquin structure, profusely flower-bedecked and decoratively interwoven with peacock feathers.
In all cases the Kavadi has a good many brass bells adorning it and announcing it as the Kavadi-bearer draws it along.
As the Kavadi-bearer very often observes silence, the bells are the only eloquent signs of a Kavadi procession
To be continued .....