Trip to Dharmasthala - Childhood Nostalgia - Part - 2
We were too sleepy to get ready for the Darshan (visiting the deity in a temple), but my mother made us all get ready. We had to bath in ice cold water and get dressed up to go to the temple. It was only then, my grandma told that we might have to stand in the queue for 3-4 hours easily. This was easily the worst thing I heard in about a hundred years!
My uncle left us to join his colleagues for an Since we could not find any place to lock our belongings, with the driver going to the driver's quarters, we could not find the car to lock our things either, my aunt opted out to stay in the hall till we finished and came back after our Darshan. As anticipated, we stood in the queue for about 4 hours. My cousins dozing off in the queue line.
The word "Dharma" traditionally means righteousness, justice and truthfulness.The Dharmasthala temple houses the shrine of Lord Shiva, Manjunatha. Dharmasthala represents religious tolerance. The temple is situated on the banks of a river called Nethravathi. Dharmasthala temple caters to the belief of people who come for worship, justice, need and curiosity, so no doubt, the temple was crowded beyond imagination.
After waiting for a long time, we finally had Darshan and came out of the temple. By this time, our driver had come to the entrance of the temple. He too had finished his Darshan. When we came to the car, he asked if all of us had a good Darshan. We told him that our aunt could not go. He was very upset hearing that. Apparently, there is a belief and custom that whover comes to that village should definitely have Darshan of the powerful deity presiding the temple - Lord Manjunatha.
He refused to start from there without my aunt getting the Darshan. With a huge delay in our itinerary already, we did not want to delay further. We tried arguing with the driver but in vain. To wait in the queue again for another 4 hours for our aunt's darshan seemed a humongous task.
We left my mom, brother and cousins in the car. Me, my aunt and grandma went to try our luck. When we were standing in the fag end of the queue, a security guard came to us and asked us why we were waiting again. He must have noticed us standing the queue in the morning also though we never recognized him. We explained our situation to him and he asked us to follow him. He took us through some shortcut and led us straight to the Garbagriha (the innermost sanctum of a Hindu temple where the idol of the primary deity of the temple resides).
He stopped me and my grandma and allowed only my aunt inside. What took us 4 hours took my aunt only 10 minutes. She went directly into the garbagriha and had a peaceful darshan that lasted longer than ours. Outside my grandma said that the darshan is a blessing to my aunt who sacrificed it to take care of the luggage. I felt it too.
She came back and we wanted to thank the security guard, we forgot to thank him in all the tension and excitement of being taken in a shortcut. We searched him all around the temple premises and even outside the temple in all directions but never found him. The driver was taken aback when he saw us back this early. When we told him the story of the security guard, he was all thrilled and started the usual the guard is none other than Lord Manjunath himself!
To tell the truth, a corner of my heart still believes in miracles and why couldn't the words of the driver be true? Well, the rest of the trip was uneventful and peaceful.