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Guru upAkhyAnam (Tales about Gurus)-02

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pages 135-141 (concluding part)
X-ray eyes

The homam having been performed in a grand manner, it was time for the final rite of pUrNAhUti to take place.

The bhaktAs brought Periyavaa to the yAgashAlA (where the fire ceremony took place).

Periyavaa went round the yAgashAlA in pradakSiNa (clockwise) and had darshan of the kalasa kuNDas (waterpots). At that moment when his AGYA (order) for doing the pUrNAhUti was awaited, he said, "Let there be no pUrNAhUti now; can do it a little later", and went inside.

Everyone was nonplussed. Isn't this the right time, then why not do it?

After he went inside, Periyavaa called a disciple.

"The ghee kept for pUrNAhUti is not good; it has no homa yogya (fitness for the fire ceremony). Ask them to bring a fresh quantity of ghee."

After arranging it as told, the disciple had a look at the ghee tin. It was coated thick with grease, infected with seven or eight insects.

How were the defects of a half tin of ghee kept in a corner known to PeriyavaaL? Has he X-ray eyes? No, those eyes were svayam prakAsha (self-luminous) giving light even to the light rays!

Won't give a paisa

A vaidika (Vedic priest) who was a vedavid (Vedic pandit), an anuSTabdha (raised in staunch religious routines) and a nityAgnihotri (one who does 'agnihotra' daily) came for darshan.

Periyavaa was conversing with him, after inquiring about him. He appreciated the pandit's vaidika anuSTAnam.

The Agnihotri said: "I am going to do a yAga (fire sacrifice). Everything is ready. Many people support it...

"I need to buy the yAga paSu (goats)... seems it would cost a lot. Periyavaa should do anugraha. For buying the paSu, should do dravya sahAyam (financial assistance) from SriMaTham..."

Periyavaa expressed his blessings for the yAgam. "nalla kAryam. nannA nadakkum. (good work, will go well). The paSu himsa in the yAga is only ahimsa. Has dharma sammatam (sanction of dharma). I am a sanyAsin (ascetic). My dharma is what is known as 'ahimso parama dharma' (nonviolence is the ultimate dharma). Therefore, it is not my dharma to donate for buying the yAga paSu. So you complete your yAga, approaching some gRhastas (householders) for the dravya sahAyam."

The man who came was very adamant. His aim was to somehow get money from PeriyavaaL. He did stotra (praise) of Periyavaa with the words, "The Yajneshvara is not in Vaikuntam. He is sAkSAt (in person) here! Only Periyavaa is the Yajneshvara..."

"ShastrigaaL! If it is possible for you, perform the yAgam. I won't give a paisa from SriMaTham for buying goats... Had you told me about the yajnam in the beginning itself, sahAyam could have been done. But then for the type of kAryam you ask assistance for, it is not sanyAsa dharma to extent that help", said Periyavaa decidedly.

It seemed to the disciples that though it was a disappointment for the man who came, he took leave somewhat pacified, realizing that the mistake was on him.

Unruly monkeys

A Sunday evening in summer. Periyavaa was giving darshan sitting inside his mEnA (palanquin). Devotees in large numbers had turned up for darshan. Offers of plates after plates of fruits, raisins, suger lumps and honey bottles were on the ground outside the palanquin.

Suddenly an army of monkeys came there. In the bustle that followed, they mauled and ate the fruits; the honey bottles rolled on the floor.

The disciples were restless that they might go to Periyavaa and try to do some mischief.

No rEkA (line) of saMcalanaM (alarm) was seen on Periyavaa's face. An ishvarAGYA (divine order) of not to harm them came from him in the gesture of a snap of fingers! The loving devotees who came with staffs, stopped on their tracks, remaining motionless like the staffs they carried.

At length, finishing their work, the monkeys went away for their Rama Karyam. Periyavaa told a story to the devotees.

A village in the Thanjavur district could not withstand the trouble given by monkeys. A man hit a monkey that got caught in a stupid way, with a stick. Owing to internal injuries the monkey gave up its life after some days.

The girl child that was born next to him was speech impaired. The time to get that girl married came up.

The dampati (husband) came to Periyavaa, narrated their sin and wept.

"Make a monkey figure out of clay and give it as offer to the temple of your grAma devata (village deity). Give the girl in marriage to one who gives his heartfelt consent to marry her."

It happened in the same way. Later tt was learnt that the girl who was married gave birth to a child who spoke intelligently.

"Should not beat the monkeys. Should show compassion to them. They come in the paramparA (ancestry) of Ram Sevaks. Even though they might give us trouble, we must leave them, thinking of Anjaneya."

The loving devotees went melting, hearing the story and teaching from Periyavaa himself.

The 'bhaktA's can't go, but the others...

Every little creature enjoyed a grand welcome from PeriyavaaL!

In Sivasthanam, no one enters Periyavaa's room. He would take care of his own chores.

The assistants would place water in a small wooden pot at the entrance of the room. Individual wooden pots were placed for washing legs and hands, and for the anuSTAnam (religious routines).

In summer, small animals like rats, squirrels and birds, would roam about, searching for water.

Even though the shiSya-bhaktAs can't enter Periyavaa's room, there was no bar on these jantus (creatures) to enter. They would get inside in complete liberty, climb up the wooden pots, peep inside them, drink from the pots until their thirst is quenched and then run away.

Periyavaa would be watching and enjoying their arrival and departure!

Only we call them rat, squirrel, sparrow. To Periyavaa's eyes, did they appear as Pillaiyar, Ramapiran, Narayanan?

Don't beat the snake...
author:...... BrahmaSri Ramakrishna Dikshatar, SriMaTham Vidvan, Kanchipuram
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 142-156
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Pages 142-145

Mahaans are not afraid of any prANi (animal). In the same way, the viSha jantus (venomous creatures) do not also fear him.

Chaaturmaasya in Pandaripuram. A long venemous snake had crawled into the place where Periyavaa was staying. Everyone feared it. But then PeriyavaaL gave orders that no one should beat the snake. We clapped our hands and gestured to it to go away; and the snake cleared out of our sight on its own. Only we were troubled by sighting the snake, PeriyavaaL was never in saMcalanaM. And that snake too went on its own, and not just hurried off fearing our presence.

But then if it is a cat, PeriyavaaL would have some sort of fear! According to the Dharma Shastras, a hair of a cat sticking to the human body could mean much sin. Therefore, if a cat happens to drop by, Periyavaa would ensure that it does not come near him, by clapping his hands.

*** *** ***

When camping in the Karveti Nagar, PeriyavaaL was reclining near an anthill. There were lots of winged ants too. People like Ramakrishnan and Kannan requested PeriyavaaL not to stretch himself near an anthill. PeriyavaaL did not let to their words reach his ears. He reclined there and then and slept well. And not a single ant did crawl over himself!


The year was 1958. Sri PeriyavaaL was camping for a long time after the Chaaturmaasyam in the home of Mambalam Sri G.V.KalyanaRamaiyer.

During that time, a series of lectures were given by a prabala upanyAsaka (popular discourser) at Mylapore. A large crowd.

I had gone for a lecture during one of those days. The Upanyaasaka recited Appayya Dikshitar's shloka thus:

maulau ganga shashAnkau
kara caraNa talE shItalAngA bhujangAha
vAmE bhAgE dayArdrA himagiritanayA
candanam sarvagAtrE

itham shItam prabhUtam
tava kanakasabhAnAtha sODum kva shaktihi
cittE nirvEda taptE yadi bhavati na tE
nitya vAsO madhIyE

and explained:

"On your locks are the river Ganga and the moon. On your your feet and arms are the cold serpents. On your left is the compassionate daughter of the snow mountains and you have applied the cool sandal all over your body.

How, O Lord of the Golden Cosmic Hall, are you able to bear such cold atmosphere? You are welcome to stay eternally in my heart which is hot due to the sins I commit."

(Shloka transliteration and meaning from http://rasikas.org/viewprintable.php?id=12)

I felt some glitch there. What work do the smooth serpents have among the cool vastus (things)! There is no place for smoothness among this group of cold items. How can smoothness go with coolness?

komalAngA bhujanghA -- no; perhaps only shItalAngA bhujanghA is the correct usuage here?...

On the next day, when I got an opportunity to talk to Sri PeriyavaaL, I slightly hinted at this opinion of mine. Sri PeriyavaaL very much appreciated the 'shItalAngA.

Sending word to that Upanyaasaka the next day, Sri Periyavaa experessed his happiness to the discourser: "Heard that you explained the maulau ganga shloka very beautifully. This boy had listened to it..." And then from nine in the night until midnight, Sri PeriyavaaL explained us many things elaborately about this shloka, enjoying its purport from different angles.

"Instead of the komalAngA, the padam shItalAngA would be apt, says this boy. Seems to me what he says would be very appropriate. Now on, we can print it as only shItalAngA bhujanghA," Periyavaa said decidedly.

There was no limit to the santoSham felt by me and the other Vidvans. My body shivers to think about how Sri PeriyavaaL recognised a word I told him and with what puShTi he implemented it.

*** *** ***

(Was the 'shloka' had only 'komalAngA' originally which was changed to 'shItalAngA' in the later prints? For, all versions of the 'shloka' that can be searched with Google on the Net have only the term 'shItalAngA'. --sd)
Pages 145-150

It is my remembrance that the year was 1965. When Sri Maha PeriyavaaL was camping in Tirupathi, he arranged for performing a Kalyana Utsavam (for a fee of Rs.600/-). The Devastanam people gave prasAdam after the Utsava events were over. Srinivasa Perumal Darshanam was arranged for those who paid for the Kalyana Utsavam, outside the formality of the usual queue. Because of his devotion to PeriyavaaL, the Peshkar invited everyone who was with Sri PeriyavaaL--there were 15 people--for Perumal Darshanam.

"If a Kalyana Utsavam is done, to how many is the darshan permission given?"

"Six people", said the Peshkar.

"In that case, only six of us will come for this privileged darshan. Myself, Pudu PeriyavaaL and then four other people..."

"Everyone can go (for the darshan)...", said the Peshkar submissively.

"That is wrong, adharmam. The Devasthanam has framed a rule that only six people can go. You are a Devasthanam chippanti (staff member). Because of your bhakti towards me, if you send all the fifteen people for darshan, in that act two offenses arise. One is the offense of a Devasthanam official himself transgressing a rule framed by the Devasthanam! When the people who frame the rules do not respect them, then why the rules? The other (offense) is what I have done by giving you a nirbandha (insistence) to overstep the rule!..."

'Dharma is not for mere prasAram (preaching), it should be shown in anuSTAnam by the svayam.' Sri Maha PeriyavaaL by his own act had stood in proof of this statement. If 'rAmo vigrahavAt dharmaH'--Sri Rama is the holy form of Dharma--, our Maha PeriyavaaL is a second Rama was the truth I learned through my own eyes (on that day).

A prankish ruler!

Sri Maha PeriyavaaL, like children, had a tendency towards pranks. They would be very interesting.

One night, a man named Marakkannu had the paaraa (vigilance) duty. It was perhaps two in the night. He had slept, sitting on his chair. Sri PeriyavaaL who woke up, looked outside, and saw Marakkannu sleeping. He did not disturb either the sleeping man or anyone else. It was the duty of the man on paaraa to strike every hour on a metal disk with a hammerlike wooden log, to indicate the time. Sri SwamigaL took that log and moved away!

After sometime, Marakannu woke up and as it was time to sound the three o'clock gong, he searched for the wooden log. It could be got only if it was there? As the thought that only Periyavaa had moved past him, he became panicky.

As it dawned, as the first thing he went to Manager Viswanatha Aiyar and pleaded his case, nearly shedding tears. "Alright, you go now. I shall take care of it", the Manager said and sent him away.

Later at an opportune time he brought up the 'Marakkannu samAcAram'. "Call him."

Marakkannu came.

Sri Maha PeriyavaaL said laughingly, "You were afraid, weren't you? Well, don't be afraid!...", gave him a suger lump and sent him away!

By this Sri PeriyavaaL showed in action that everyone could be controlled by love, and that control by power could not always be successful.

*** *** ***

There were also entertainments with Sri Maha PeriyavaaL!

Once we were travelling from (Chennai) Tirumangalam to Ambattur. As usual, Sri PeriyavaaL was walking with his hand on the tricycle. Some seven or eight of us were walking along with him.

"Nilakanta, you have seen a kapaTa sannyAsi?"


"Nagaraja, what about you?"


Looking at me, Sri PeriyavaaL asked, "Have you heard of a kapaTa sannyAsi?"

"Heard of him... Ravana, Arjuna...", I said.

"Only those?"

With hesitation I said, "Kalidasan".

"Kalidasan? When did he become a kapaTa sannyAsi?"

"PeriyavaaL knows it... If Periyavaa tells the story, we would walk listening to it..."

"No, you tell it."

Kalidasa, who was the Asthaana Vidvan in the court of Bhojaraja, one day, when he heard something discourteous, quit the Sabha and started walking where his legs took him.

Bhojan could not spend his time without Kalidasa. How to find him? He wrote two lines of a verse and announced through a tom-tom that anyone who completed the verse with the other two lines would be rewarded.

Kalidasa, who was in a dAsIs house, though he heard nothing of the reward, completed the verse. The dAsI went and showed those lines to Bhojan. Knowing details from her, Bhojan later started in disguise in search of Kalidasa. On the way he saw a Sannyasi under a tree got the doubt if the ascetic was Kalidasan.

Conversation began paraspara (between them).

The Turavi asked Bhojan in disguise, "Who are you?"

"I was an adaippakkaaran (betel nut bag carrier) with Bhojan. After he was dead, I did not like to be there, so I came out."

"Ah!... My Bhojan is dead?" As the ascetic sorrowed and sang the charama shloka (the final verse), the man in disguise fell down dead. Since it was known without doubt that the man was Bhojan himself, the ascetic prayed to AmbaaL with a melting heart and sang shyAmalA daNDakam and then another verse with the meaning, "Here, Bhojan has awakened!

Bhojan really got back his life stood up.

I narrated this story and said finally, "It was on this occasion that Kalidasa enacted a play in kapaTa as a sannyAsi."

"That was very svArasya (with absorbing interest). The fatigue of walking all the way was not felt at all!", said PeriyavaaL.

Ambattur was reached.

*** *** ***
Pages 145-150

It is my remembrance that the year was 1965. When Sri Maha PeriyavaaL was camping in Tirupathi, he arranged for performing a Kalyana Utsavam (for a fee of Rs.600/-). The Devastanam people gave prasAdam after the Utsava events were over. Srinivasa Perumal Darshanam was arranged for those who paid for the Kalyana Utsavam, outside the formality of the usual queue. Because of his devotion to PeriyavaaL, the Peshkar invited everyone who was with Sri PeriyavaaL--there were 15 people--for Perumal Darshanam.

"If a Kalyana Utsavam is done, to how many is the darshan permission given?"

"Six people", said the Peshkar.

"In that case, only six of us will come for this privileged darshan. Myself, Pudu PeriyavaaL and then four other people..."

"Everyone can go (for the darshan)...", said the Peshkar submissively.

"That is wrong, adharmam. The Devasthanam has framed a rule that only six people can go. You are a Devasthanam chippanti (staff member). Because of your bhakti towards me, if you send all the fifteen people for darshan, in that act two offenses arise. One is the offense of a Devasthanam official himself transgressing a rule framed by the Devasthanam! When the people who frame the rules do not respect them, then why the rules? The other (offense) is what I have done by giving you a nirbandha (insistence) to overstep the rule!..."

'Dharma is not for mere prasAram (preaching), it should be shown in anuSTAnam by the svayam.' Sri Maha PeriyavaaL by his own act had stood in proof of this statement. If 'rAmo vigrahavAt dharmaH'--Sri Rama is the holy form of Dharma--, our Maha PeriyavaaL is a second Rama was the truth I learned through my own eyes (on that day).

A prankish ruler!

Sri Maha PeriyavaaL, like children, had a tendency towards pranks. They would be very interesting.

One night, a man named Marakkannu had the paaraa (vigilance) duty. It was perhaps two in the night. He had slept, sitting on his chair. Sri PeriyavaaL who woke up, looked outside, and saw Marakkannu sleeping. He did not disturb either the sleeping man or anyone else. It was the duty of the man on paaraa to strike every hour on a metal disk with a hammerlike wooden log, to indicate the time. Sri SwamigaL took that log and moved away!

After sometime, Marakannu woke up and as it was time to sound the three o'clock gong, he searched for the wooden log. It could be got only if it was there? As the thought that only Periyavaa had moved past him, he became panicky.

As it dawned, as the first thing he went to Manager Viswanatha Aiyar and pleaded his case, nearly shedding tears. "Alright, you go now. I shall take care of it", the Manager said and sent him away.

Later at an opportune time he brought up the 'Marakkannu samAcAram'. "Call him."

Marakkannu came.

Sri Maha PeriyavaaL said laughingly, "You were afraid, weren't you? Well, don't be afraid!...", gave him a suger lump and sent him away!

By this Sri PeriyavaaL showed in action that everyone could be controlled by love, and that control by power could not always be successful.

*** *** ***

There were also entertainments with Sri Maha PeriyavaaL!

Once we were travelling from (Chennai) Tirumangalam to Ambattur. As usual, Sri PeriyavaaL was walking with his hand on the tricycle. Some seven or eight of us were walking along with him.

"Nilakanta, you have seen a kapaTa sannyAsi?"


"Nagaraja, what about you?"


Looking at me, Sri PeriyavaaL asked, "Have you heard of a kapaTa sannyAsi?"

"Heard of him... Ravana, Arjuna...", I said.

"Only those?"

With hesitation I said, "Kalidasan".

"Kalidasan? When did he become a kapaTa sannyAsi?"

"PeriyavaaL knows it... If Periyavaa tells the story, we would walk listening to it..."

"No, you tell it."

Kalidasa, who was the Asthaana Vidvan in the court of Bhojaraja, one day, when he heard something discourteous, quit the Sabha and started walking where his legs took him.

Bhojan could not spend his time without Kalidasa. How to find him? He wrote two lines of a verse and announced through a tom-tom that anyone who completed the verse with the other two lines would be rewarded.

Kalidasa, who was in a dAsIs house, though he heard nothing of the reward, completed the verse. The dAsI went and showed those lines to Bhojan. Knowing details from her, Bhojan later started in disguise in search of Kalidasa. On the way he saw a Sannyasi under a tree got the doubt if the ascetic was Kalidasan.

Conversation began paraspara (between them).

The Turavi asked Bhojan in disguise, "Who are you?"

"I was an adaippakkaaran (betel nut bag carrier) with Bhojan. After he was dead, I did not like to be there, so I came out."

"Ah!... My Bhojan is dead?" As the ascetic sorrowed and sang the charama shloka (the final verse), the man in disguise fell down dead. Since it was known without doubt that the man was Bhojan himself, the ascetic prayed to AmbaaL with a melting heart and sang shyAmalA daNDakam and then another verse with the meaning, "Here, Bhojan has awakened!

Bhojan really got back his life stood up.

I narrated this story and said finally, "It was on this occasion that Kalidasa enacted a play in kapaTa as a sannyAsi."

"That was very svArasya (with absorbing interest). The fatigue of walking all the way was not felt at all!", said PeriyavaaL.

Ambattur was reached.

*** *** ***

I read many years back in a Letter to Editor on Rajaji:

The Executive Officer of TTD once on a visit to Madras paid a call to Rajaji and gave him the prasadam (ladoo included.) He accepted the prasadam, but also chastised him for bestowing him a special favour.

Pages 150-156 (concluding part)

An incident that happened during the Kashi Yatra in the year 1933.

Sri PeriyavaaL's 'visit' to the Banaras Hindu University on an evening.

When PeriyavaaL went there, Madak-kulatthur BrahmaSri Chinnasamy SastrigaL was giving a lecture, about 'vidhi rasAyanam', a Mimamsa work written by Appayya Dikshitar. Sri PeriyavaaL was enraptured by Sri Dikshita's style of writing. He was happy talking about it to 'AtmaVidya BhushaNam' Injik-kollai BrahmaSri Jagadeeswara SastrigaL who had accompanied him. (Only later to this incident, Sri PeriyavaaL read all the Granthas of Appayya Dikshitar).

A reception to PeriyavaaL was held in the Kashi Raja's palace. Notables from the city were present. And a large number of Pandits. A feeling of derision in their hearts; an asUya (displeasure) that could not be placed: 'Why should this man bear the title Jagadguru?... With two questions, we can corner him!"

As PeriyavaaL came and seated himself, a Pandit asked in Avesha: "Who is that Jagadguru?"

"Myself", said PeriyavaaL.

"Oho? You are the Guru for the entire Jagat?"

"No, jagatAm guruH na (I am not saying it in the meaning 'a guru for the Jagat'). jagati padyamAnAH sarve mama gurave" (All the creatures in the world are my gurus--in that meaning I am Jagadguru)."

The North Indian Pandits were dumbfounded. They never expected such a simple explanation.

PeriyavaaL looked at the nests that sparrows had built in the pigeon holes constructed on top of those buildings. He showed it to the Pandits and asked, "kimitam (what are these)?"

"nIDa (nest, resting-place)."

"kena nimitta (built by whom)?"

"caTake (sparrows)."

"Sparrows with no hands or legs build nests. Though we have hands and legs we can't build nests like them. The sparrows have a kriyA shakti. That, I don't have. Therefore, the sparrow is my guru..." PeriyavaaL said, and worshipped them with folded palms, after patting his cheeks.

The North Indian Pandits who saw this in person were amazed. They bowed to him, adoring him, "You are indeed the Jagadguru!" Until the last day PeriyavaaL stayed in Kashi, there were coming to him daily and prostrated.

The story of the Uppuk Kuravan (the salt merchant)

A large duHkham, an unbearable shokam befell me. I could not go to have darshan of Sri Maha PeriyavaaL for four months.

PeriyavaaL sent word for me. Two or three big officials came and took me to him.

It was ten in the night. Solitude. The shine of an akal viLakku (earthern lamp).

"...nipuNau", said PeriyavaaL slowly, "sollu (tell me)."

"tava hi charaNAveva nipuNau... the fourth shloka in the Saundarya Lahari...
tvad-anyaH pANibhyAM..."

PeriyavaaL, slowly, "Only AmbaaL is the adaikkalam (asylum) for everyone. She knows it--what to give, how, and when..."


"SambaMurthy, would you know about the sandai (Shandy, a mobile market)?"

"I know. Many merchants will bring various goods and sell them. The sandai will be held on a specific day in a week in every village. They would be travelling under a schedule of 'this place today, another tomorrow'."

"Would you have heard about uppuk kuravan (a salt merchant)?"

"Yes. Those who earn their living traditionally by selling salt in the sandais."

"Yes, such an uppuk kuravan; one who had bhakti in Kamakshi...

"Once, when he finished his work in a sandai and was on his way to the next village, he came across a jungly region. Some thieves watched this man, carrying his salt bags on a donkey. 'Dei (hey), this man would sell his salt tomorrow, carry money and go this way. We would at that time seize his earnings...', they made a plan. Forthwith,--would you know about the firecrakers they burst?..."

"In temples, during the days of Utsava, they would prepare firecrakers with cracker-explosive mixture, hardening it and inserting a wick. When the edge of the wick is lit by fire, the spark would slowly traverse through and reach the explosive content; and that will burst with a loud noise."

"Yes, what the thieves planned, if they burst a firecraker, the donkey would get upset and run in confusion. The uppuk kuravan would scream in fear, faint and fall down. Then they could seize the money from his lap...

"On that day, when the uppuk kuravan spread his ware in the sandai, it rained heavily and all the salt melted away. He had naSTam, manak-kaSTam. He scolded Kamakshi with whatever words that came to his mind. His anger was also that he should return home with no money. Turning back, he travelled through the jungly region. When they signted him, the thieves lit their firecracker. The spark travelled through the wick up to the pipe that held the explosive mixture. When they were happy that it was about to burst, it did not burst! When they investigated the reason, they found that the explosive mixture was thoroughly wet in the rain that showered in the morning! So it did not catch fire. They said at once to the uppuk kuravan 'Swami has saved you. It was only for your good that it rained. Go home and worship God.'

"The uppuk kuravan was dumfounded. 'Then, what I thought as AmbaaL doing me droham (betrayal of trust) was only wrong?' He thought, 'Kamakshi, forgive me. You know what I want, and when. Had it not rained and I had sold the salt and come this way with the earnings, these thieves would have beaten me up. It is my good time that you saved me!'

"Therefore, whatever we get is only AmbaaL's prasAdam. Remaining without asking for anything is the good that we can do to ourselves..."

When Maha PeriyavaaL's low-toned, leisurely, long talk came to an end, it was two-thirty in the night.

"The ten tons of iron on my head has been unburdened", I said.

His starting with the sandai and ending it with AmbaaL--though it was for my mental comfort, it suits everyone in the same state of mind, right?

"Without skipping it, you read Ramayana daily. You will get peace of mind", said PeriyavaaL.

The Ramayana ParayaNa and the peace of mind continue together, to this day.

AveshaH - entering, influence, intentness, devotion, pride, flurry, sudden agitation, anger,
possession by a god, spirit or demon, apoplectic or epileptic giddiness
PeriyavaaL's Distress
Author: V. Swaminatha Atreyan (in Tamil)
Compiler: T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
Source: Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 206-216
Publisher: Vanathi Padhippaham

Kanchi MahaswamigaL was walking towards the west, in an early morning, behind a cycle rickshaw, on the right side corner, via Music Academy in Cathedral Road, Chennai. (It might be in the year 1964-65). People who accompanied him were Neelakantaiyer of P.G.Paul & Co., SriMaTham Sivaramaiyer, Paanaampattu Kannan, Srikantan, Royapuram Balu and this man (that is, myself). Ten to twenty devotees added themselves to the crowd here and there.

When they reached the corner of the road that turns to Gopalapuram, MahaswamigaL called me.

"There, at the back, in front of the petty shop, is one with a tuft on his head, breathing smoke out of his mouth! Do you see him? Go to him and ask 'Paravaakkarai...you know the ShrautigaL?' and then come back."

I ran. He was lighting a beedi using the glowing end of a smouldering rope that was hanging there. It was revolting to look at him. I approached him and asked.

"Hey, you know the ShrautigaL of Paravaakkarai?"

He became apprehensive and dropped the beedi. "Who are you? What for are you asking?"

"Acharya SwamigaL wanted to know..."

"PeriyavaL? Where?"

"There", I pointed out to him. He ran away the opposite side. I waited for sometime and then reported to MahaswamigaL. "I asked. He ran away without replying anything."

SwamigaL walked silently on the Gopalapuram road. Some distance away, inside a compound, a pandal was erected and festoons were displayed. Devotees received the sage with pUrNa kumbham.

After we ascended the four steps at the entrance of a large bungalow, a place in a corner of the verandah, adjacent to a wall was pointed out. The boys placed the seat on which SwamigaL sat.

The devotees bowed to him and left one by one. They had to go to their offices!

SwamigaL got up and was about to go inside. At that time he came. Vibuti bands on his forehead. Irregular bands on the chest and hands. He had tied a towel around his waist. He prostrated to the sage.

PeriyavargaL sat down again.

"Who is this?" he asked, pointing at me.

"A few minutes back Periyavaa had asked only this man to find out from me if I knew the Paravaakkarai ShrautigaL...", he said. "Yes, I am the grandson of Paravaakkarai ShrautigaL. The name is pranatArti."

"Don't say pranatArti. That is Swami's name. Say pranatArti Haran. Or Haran. Swami would remove the pIDA of those who prostrate to Him. That is the (meaning of the) name."

"Everyone call me this way. So it has become a habit."

"What is the reason you are like this! Did you do the adhyayanam?"

"Thatha had taught me sAmam and all."

"Tell me a sAmam", said SwamigaL, indicating a popular sAmam. He recited two or three sentences. His tone was loud, well modulated, tender and sweet.

"I forgot beyond this!"

"You have elder or younger brothers?"

"Two elder. They took up the English education and are employed somewhere. Since I am good at chanting, Thatha taught me Sama Veda. I did not like it. So I ran away from the house."

"What do you do now?"

"I am helping the policemen."

"You help the policemen? What is that help?"

"They take me to the courts. I testify as a witness. They pay me for that..."

"How did you get the smoking habit?"

"When I go with them, they would buy (cigarettes or beedis) in bundles. Also give me two or three."

"You tell the court only things you saw, is it not?"

"I had not seen anything! They would tutor me. And I repeat it!"

"The lawyers would ask you questions thoroughly?"

"Yes. That is why the policemen would take me to the place of murder and tutor me that the murder took place here and in this manner; I was standing at this place; it was crowded; I was just witnessing things for fun. The murderer ran away towards the direction of east. He had a sickle in his hand. Blood poured out from it. -- This is how they tutor me. Have I not testified in many cases? So I have a good practice. In whatever way the lawyer would question me, I would give an intelligent answer. Two or three times I had spoken incoherently. For that, the policemen beat me up severely."

"Do you wear a shirt and all when you go to the court?"

"No no. The policemen would not allow it. I have to wear large vibuti bands. I should have kept my poonool white with soap. They also compel me to wear a towel around my waist."

"Is it not a sin to bear witness in this manner?"

"Sin only. I know well. But I have no other go!"

"Is that so? I will show a way out, will you do it?"

"Please tell me."

"There is this Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore. You go there in the evening, sweep the west gopura entrance and sprinkle water on the ground everyday. I shall ask you to be given ten rupees. And also a meal in the afternoon!"

"Kovil undaik katti and all will not suit me."

"No temple prasAda for you. I shall arrange for your eating at a house of one devotee daily in turn. You eat within that ten rupees at night."

"All that won't work out right for me."

"Don't be in a hurry! Stay in the MaTham for two days. Watch the ChandraMauleesvara puja. Immediately after the puja, I shall ask you to be served food. Think over and let me know."

"It wouldn't be possible today. A big case in the Egmore court. If I don't go to bear witness they would break my backbone. Let me go." He went away.

SwamigaL looked at him till he went out of the compound. Then he rose and went inside.

Neelakantaiyer and I went after him.

PeriyavaaL looked back. Neelakantier started talking slowly. "In spite of Periyavaa telling him so much, he did not listen?"

"Let him remain! The policemen have taught the public an occupation called bearing false witness!"

Neelakantier said: "What will the policemen do? Suppose a murder takes place in broad daylight and many people have seen it. It is well known who did it. But then who will go to the court to testify? Everyone has got his job. If they go to bear witness, the lawyers would make them wander to and fro the court entrance. They can't escape it. So those who have seen in person won't testify. Even if the accused accepts his crime, the case would be dismissed for want of a witness. And complaints will arise that the policemen did not conduct the case properly. So they have no other way than to fabricate a false witness."

PeriyavargaL said: "A murder is the first injustice. Those who saw the murder not coming up to testify is the second injustice. Those who have not seen it testifying falsely is the third injustice. And you argue to justify all these injustices!"

"Periyavaa should excuse me. I just told what happens in the world."

"Another anguish in that. All this in the guise of a brahmin! The policemen believe that the court would believe a brahmin's word as truth even if he falsely testifies. Let all that go. This ShrautigaL's grandson is like this!"

"He doesn't get into his ears what Periyavaa says!"

"What will he do? He says the policemen would beat him if he does not attend the court!"

"Seems Periyavaa is in much klesha. What can we do?"

"You know that it is in the shastra that a sanyAsin should not give room for pleasure and pain in his mind?" Saying this the sage went for his bath.

It was about three o' clock in the afternoon. I was sleeping in the verandah, next to the puja room.

"Rama!" -- a loud voice was heard. I woke up.

Melur maamaa--Ramachandraiyer--is the man who was attending the chores in PeriyavargaL's puja room. A very orthodox man. He was a lion-sighting-dream (meaning terror) to all the puja assistants. He would supervise the puja chores flawlessly. Even after the puja murtis are locked in the iron safe, he would be there guarding them.

He came out of the puja room with a large brass pot in his hand. He saw me and called.

"Did you come along in the Periyavaa's entourage this morning?"

"Yes, I did."

"What happened at that time?"


"Something had happened! Periyavaa did not perform the puja today!"

"Is that? It is like this..." I told him the story of the Paravaakkarai ShrautigaL's grandson.

He moved away, stroking the front of his head with his palm.

In the meantime, MahaswamigaL got up and came around to ease himself in the restroom.

I bowed to him.

"What did Melur maamaa say? Seems he did not take food today! Did you inquire?"

I wiped my eyes.

"You want to tell me something! Why not say it?"

"What can I say to PeriyavaaL? A shloka of shridhara AyyavaL comes to my mind."

"AyyavaL shloka? Would drip with bhakti rasam! Chant it, let me see."

"tvan nAmadheya rasikA: taruNendu maule
dhuHkham na yAnti kimapIti hi vAdamAtram |
deshamIkila svavipatIva vahanti dhuHkham
trukocarIbhavati dhuHkani jantumAtre||

(I am sure that my phrasing of the shloka is bound to have errors. I request the readers to supply the correct lines as I can't find them myself. -- saidevo)

"Tell me once again!" I recited it again.

"There! Tell me the meaning, let me see."

"The Lord who is wearing the crescent moon! Everyone says in this world that those who utter the sweet name Shiva Shiva would not suffer distress. It is only just talk. In reality, such people will melt with empathy if any suffering man or beast or worm comes into their sight, as if the distress happened to them!"

"You said it well! Did you notice an interesting thing in that?"

"What? I did not notice!"

"He says 'taruNendu maule'. He addresses it to our ChandraMauleesvara. It is only the murti that his gurunathar Bodhendra Saraswati performed puja to--Chandramouleesvara. Only to him he has sung this way." Saying this SwamigaL moved away.

I had an impulse to tell him something. Had I said it, probably that would have been construed as an apacAram.

We can exchange it within ourselves!

Sridhara AyyavaL, who lived three hundred and fifty years ago, had supplicated to that ChandraMauleesvara that a PeriyavaaL with a mind that melts at the sufferings of others is going to take birth!

adhyayana - reading, studying, especially the Vedas
beedi - a handmade, raw cigarette, wrapped in dry leaves
gopura - the ornamented gateway of a temple
kleshaH - pain, suffering
kovilp/i] (Tamil) temple
maamaa - (Tamil) a brahminical address for an elderly or respected person
pandal - a shed erected using plates made of dry coconut leaves
pIDA - pain, distress, agony, trouble, loss, ruin, neglect, restriction, bindign, eclipse, catching
poonool - sacred thread
sAmam - (a verse of) sama veda
shloka - poem, hymn, poetic composition
Thatha - (Tamil) grandfather
undaik katti - a temple prasAda which is actually a bowl-shaped lump of rice, made by pouring cooked, steaming-hot rice into bowl-shaped stone depressions in a slab of stone.

Last edited:
Tales from the SriMaTham Assistants
author:..... SriMaTham Balu
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 236-256
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Pages 236-239

As narrated by BrahmaSrI E.S.Vedapuri SastrigaL, Vivek Nagar, Chitlapakkam, Chennai-600064. (He is a native of Esayanur, North Arcot district.)

Maha Periyava is a Purusha of pranks. When I was sleeping at night--at one or two o'clock--he would wake me up. I would get up hurriedly with the thought 'what could be so important now?' "What did you eat at night? Ate to a full stomach?" he would ask, and then say, "Aright, go and lie down!..." A small prank!

*** *** ***

Maha Periyavaa, whenever he commences an upanyAsa (lecture) would first recite the shlOka (hymn) 'sruti smriti purAnAnAm Alayam karuNAlayam'* and only then would start his speech.

Once he sights a Pillaiyar temple, immense joy would overwhelm Maha PeriyavaaL! A coconut should be broken by dashing it against the floor (sidarkkAi) for all the Pillaiyars. "appO thANdA, kuzhandaikaL ellAm vandhu tEngAi chillu poRikkUk koLLum (only then will all the children come and pick up the coconut pieces)", he would explain as the reason for the act. A coconut will always be there in his mEnA (palanquin), just for the purpose of the sidarkkAi!

In the same way, whenever he goes to Kamakshi temple from SriMaTham, he would ask for a bunch of bananas to be given as nivedanam (offer) to the Gangai Kondaan Mandapa Anjaneyar. He would recite the 'buddhir balam shlOka' and ask for Anjaneya's anugraha (blessings).

*** *** ***

kArvAr is the name for the manager in SriMaTham who attends to the welfare of the assistants who do edupidi vElai (run an errand). Once the manager did not 'measure the wages' for the Bhogis who carry the palanquin. The Bhogis when they next carried the mEnA sang thus, in order to bring it to the notice of Maha Periyavaa:

"Rama Ramaiyah
Kanchi Kamakshi
Madurai Meenakshi
Kasi Visalakshi
inda vELaikku (for this session)
innikku padi pOdalE (today no wage is given)
ayyAtAn kEtkaNum (only our Lord should inquire about it)."

PeriyavaaL understood the matter. Later he talked to the kArvAr, pacified the Bhogis and asked for the wages to be given to them.

*** *** ***

If Periyavaa is not there in the palanquin, it would be heavy to carry! There was a Bhogi named Beddha Kunju.

"ayyA ERikkaNum (my Lord should mount the palanquin)", he would join his palms in supplication.

"ENdA (why, my man)?"

"pallakku ganakkiRathu (the palanquin feels heavy)!..."

"nAnthAn pallakkilE illaiyE (But I am not inside the palanquin)?"

"If 'ayyA' mounts it, it would feel like a cushion on our shoulder..."

Periyavaa would mount the palanquin for his sake.

*** *** ***

In those days when a yAtrA (tour) is undertaken, three horses would accompany the entourage. One is the savAri kudirai (horse for mounting). Another is the Tangaa (a kind of drum) horse. When the border of a village is reached, the assistants would sound the two Tangas on the horse, in order to announce Periyavaa's arrival to the people of the village. The third is the tapAl (Mail) horse, used to get the mails from the post office and post the mails from SriMaTham.

In addition, at the village border, they would play a vAdyam[/o] (musical instrument) called Gowri KaaLai. Its notes would be heard over a very long distance.

In the days of the 1944 yAtrAs, twenty-two irattai mAttuk kUNdu vaNdi (twin-bullock-driven, closed carts) used to go with the entourage. First the Puja Cart; and lastly the Karvar Cart. The guru pAdukas (Guru's sandals) would be carried in a small cart. It had the name Arai Vandi (a half wagon).

*** *** ***

Camp in Trichy. An Amma had stolen the Tirumangalyam (holy wedding badge) from another Amma nearby. When that Amma came to receive the tIrtha prasAdam (holy water), "You came in search of puNyam (merits) or to carry the burden of the pAva mUttai (sin-bag)", Periyavaa asked her. "Take the tAli (Tirumangalyam) out and give it (to her)."

Then calling the woman who lost the article in theft, he asked her husband to tie the tAli in the ChandraMaulishvara sannidhi (precinct); and dropped a handful of Kumkumam in her hands, blessing her with the words, "You would remain in prosperity."

*sruti smriti purAnAnAm
Alayam karuNAlayam
namAmi bhagavatpAdam
sankaram lOkasankaram

We salute the sacred feet of Sri Sankara, the abode of Srutis, Smritis, Puranas and of compassion, and who ever accomplishes the good of the world!

Please start a new thread to say what you have started saying. This thread is all about Kanchi Mahaperiyavaa only.
Pages 239-243

A man from Andhra brought two baskets of quality mangoes. "SwamigaL should eat these fruits."

Periyavaa asked him to distribute the fruits to everyone assembled there. At length, only one fruit was left in each basket. Periyavaa gave away one fruit as prasAdam to him.

The Andhra man did prArthanA, "Periyavaa should eat that (remaining) fruit."

"Me! Only two pieces from this fruit would come to me (for eating)! Should we not give something to the boys who do the kaingkariyam (service)? Do think that I ate the two baskets of fruits myself!..."

*** *** ***

Periyavaa was very fond of sangItam (classical and devotional music). He would also sing himself.

Camp in Varakur. He asked me to come near him. "Shall I sing a song? Would you listen to it?", he said. When I said okay, he sang in a voice that was audible just to me:

"kaNNA, chandramaulISvarar kitta
vedapuri... vedapuri...
indak kattai viLakkil
nAlu tiripOttu eNNai vittu,
Etthi vai, vedapuri...

"My dear, to ChandraMaulishvara,
Vedapuri... Vedapuri...
In this wooden lamp
rest four wicks, pour oil,
and light the lamp Vedapuri..."

Instead of giving an order to light the lamp, he conveyed it in a subtle way.

He would say that we should read the Panchangam (almanac) daily. Many fruits can be obtained by knowing the tithi, vAra, nakSatra, yoga, karaNa, he would say. He would also listen to the daily reading of the Panchangam.

*** *** ***

If he goes for the 'koTTAkai' (washroom), gangAjalam (Ganga water) should be kept ready on a plate of stiched ('mandArai') leaves for his Achamana (purificatory sipping of water).

He would do japam sitting inside his mEnA and closing its door. It was known by the very name 'oru maNi japam' (an hour's japa). There would be an alarm timepiece. Until his japam was over, he should not be disturbed, whatever the urgency.

*** *** ***

Periyavaa has taught me cooking! (What, you are looking with widely opened eyes? You think whatsoever time did Periyavaa went to the samaiyal kattu (kitchen construct)? Everything would be understood by him without ever reading a book.)

"Know how to make kUttu (vegetable stew)?" he asked me once. I said I did not know. "Make it as I tell you; there will be no leftover of the kUttu..."

"Boil some water and put some greengram dhal (payattham paruppu) in it. When it is somewhat boiled, drop the cut vegetables. After it is well cooked, season it with a pasty mixture of grated Bengalgram dhal (kadalai paruppu), coriander seeds and coconut. Drop some pepper and cumin seeds. Done this way, there will no leftover of the kUttu."

I would prepare it as advised by Periyavaa. The atithis (guests) who stayed with me would also partake it. The entire kUttu would be consumed."

Only making kUttu can be conversed with me. What can I understand of any talk about the Upanishads?

*** *** ***

What for are the panchendriyAs (five senses)? Only for bhagavat-ArAdhanam (worship of God). Only good should be done. bhavan-nAma (the holy name of God) should be written, spoken. Vishnu Sahasranamam should be chanted. karmAnuSTAnam (daily religious practice) should be done.

When Periyavaa is present in SriMaTham, he would walk around the four Mada Streets as pradakSiNam (goind round clockwise) of Kamakshi. All of us should accompany him reciting Vishnu Sahasranamam twice or thrice.

*** *** ***

In those days the monthly wages of the cippantis (staff members) were only for the sake of its name. But then staying with Periyavaa would in itself be Ananda (happiness). For the man who rolls the wicks, three rupees per month; when Periyavaa goes out, for the man who carries the silver staff, eight rupees; for him who does the kaingkariyam (service) when Periyavaa goes to the 'koTTAkai' (washroom), three rupees; for him who grinds the sandal paste, eight rupees; for him who plucks the bhilva leaves and arranges them in order, eight rupees; for him who prepares the nivedanam at night, fifteen rupees; for him who prepares the day nivedanam, twenty-two rupees.

Both morning and night there would be nivedanam of Vadai-Payasam.

*** *** ***

At the places he goes camping, he would ask me to perform the Avahanti homam. "ellOrukkum niRaiya chAppadu kidaikkaNum-dA (everyone should get plenty of food, dear)", he would say. Doing AvAhanam (invoking) of AnnaPurani on the kalasa tIrtham (potted holy water), I would do the homam according to the place and time. PeriyavaaL was very fond of getting the Avahanti homam performed!

*** *** ***

tithi - lundar day
vAra, vAsara - day of the week
nakSatra - one of the 27 asterisms
yoga - 1/27th division of the solar longitudinal duration
karaNa - an astrological division of the day equal to half a tithi

For a good article on the Hindu calendar, check: Hindu calendar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

*** *** ***
Pages 243-248

kELungo (listen to me)! Once there was a large crowd to witness the puja. An aged Amma was sitting, wearing a nArmadi (fibre made, worn by orthodox Brahmin widows) sari. Calling me, Periyavaa pointed out to that Amma, and told me to ask her, "nInga sumangaliyA (are you a Sumangali, a woman whose husband is alive)?" For me--it gave shivers. How can I ask that question at her? But then Periyavaa wants me to ask it. I approached her with fear and asked, "nInga sumangaliyA?" "Yes," she said. "Why do you ask?"

"Periyavaa wanted me to ask you..."

"Tell him I have come only from Sumangali village."

Only then I understood that Sumangali was the name of a village! Using that name, Periyavaa had played a trick on me!

*** *** ***

D. JanakiRamaiyah, Lingappan Street, Kanchi. Age 87.

kumbhAbhiSekam of Sri Kamakshi temple took place in 1944. It was during that time that Janakiramaiyah came in close connection with SriMaTham.

Belonging to the sect of tIrtha-prohita, JanakiRamaiyah was a headman of their group. During his father's time, there were three or four Purohit clerks in their home. They would go to the Kanchipuram railway station, check for the arrival of any North Indian tourists, bring them and provide them with the facility of food and lodging. People from royal families and Marvaris used to come from the North. These Prohits would arrange for their performing sankalpa snAnam, tarpaNam in the SarvaTirtham. JanakiRamaiyah laments, immersed in old mamories, "That custom has completely stopped now! No one comes with the intention of doing pitru kAryam, and there are no manuSya to arrange for such rites."

At one point of time Mahaswamigal did tiraskAram (giving up) the right as traditional administrative trustees of Sri Kamakshi Kovil. The temple came under the control of the Government Endowments Department. But as minister M. Bhaktavatsalam fervently pleaded with SwamigaL, he consented for the appointment of a Dharmakarta as the representative of SriMaTham. JanakiRamaiyah was made the temple trustee during 1953-54. Later, the case came up for hearing in the court and Kamakshi Kovil once again came under the administration of SriMaTham. SwamigaL appointed JanakiRamaiyah in the post of SriKaryam when the latter had gone for the kumbhAbhiSekam of Madurai Meenakshi Kovil. Owing to failing health, JanakiRamaiyah took retirement from the post in 1984.

*** *** ***

Let us listen to the man himself.

When I took charge of the temple, there was absolutely no income. If we placed a hundi, half the collection would go to the sthAnika (temple office). Therefore we kept a hundi called NityaPuja Dharma Hundi. Once in a year we would open the hundi. There would be only thirty or forty thousand rupees in it. Only then we would settle the grocery and flower shop accounts; those people would wait patiently till such time.

Once I asked Periyavaa, "There is not enough money for the Kovil expenses? Shall I collect some entrance fee?" PeriyavaaL was very angry! He said sternly, "If a Sannyasi who does not touch money come for AmbaaL darshan, where would he go for money? Fee for Swami darshan? There is no provision in any law?... Not at all justified. Should not collect entrance fees."

Kamakshi has a golden necklace made of Lalitha Sahasranama coins; Periyavaa had the jewel made for her. Know how he arranged it? There was not a single advertisement. He asked everyone by his word of mouth and arranged for it!

"JanakiRamaa, would not the necklace of coins be heavy? Kamakshi would feel the pain if it is rested on her shoulders, is it not? Therefore, arrange for hanging it from a hook screwed in the tiruvAsi (the decorated arch around the image of the deity)."

PeriyavaaL's soft heart was worried that the necklace would feel heavy for Kamakshi who remained in cilA mUrtam (stone image) and dispensed her grace. For SriCharaNar is the one who had darshan of that mUrtam as sAkSAt AmbaaL!

idaik kELungo (And then listen to this)! Another similar incident. When he was in Chinna Kanchipuram Anaikatti Street MaTham, kanakAbhiSekam was performed for PeriyavaaL. It was his uttaravu (direction) that the gold showered on him should be used to make svarNa kavacham (gold cover) for Kamakshi's lotus feet and kavacham for AdiSankara statue.

Generally, to make a gold kavacham, they would first make an exact-fitting copper cover and then fix a layer of old over it, so the devotees would see it in happiness as a gold cover. But then what did Maha SwamigaL do?

"JanakiRamaa, the svarNam should touch AcharyaL's body. Therefore ask them to fix a golden layer on the inside of the copper kavacham too."

Yes, that much Guru Bhakti!

The svarNa kavacham of AdiSankara cilA mUrtam in Kamakshi Kovil was made, gold-layered on both sides of the copper cover, as directed by Periyavaa!

In the year 1953, Periyavaa read from a copper plate edict in SriMaTham. It was mentioned in the edict that the Kamakshi garbhagRuha vimAnam (dome of the sanctum) was a golden dome and that there was a tannIr pandal (charity act of supplying free drinking water) at the entrance of SriMaTham. Forthwith he arranged for starting a tannIr pandal. It was arranged then and there that a Pattiamma (old woman) would be given a monthly wage of fifteen rupees, plus one AzhAkku (one-eightth of a measure of) rice daily. That dharma continues even today.

Following PeriyavaaL's directions, Pudu Periyavaa has carried out his Guru's order by providing a golden dome for Kamakshi.

*** *** ***

When Periyavaa was staying in Tenambakkam, Kalki Sadasivam and M.S. came for darshan and submitted the royalty amount of sixty thousand rupees they received from the sale of records of Kamakshi SuprapAdam Stotra she recited. At that time, a house came up for sale in Chinna Kanchipuram Sannidhi Street. Periyavaa asked for purchase of that house from the royalty amount. It was only in that house that Dr. Badri performed the second eye surgery for PeriyavaaL.

*** *** ***

A Puja was performed in Nungambakkam Dattaji's house. He made it a grand occasion with a flowery pandal and other magnificent decorations. The adjacent house was that of Maharajapuram Viswanathan Aiyar. He came for darshan. "Viswanatha, Dattaji has erected a poopandal. Nee sangeeta pandal pOttu jamAi (you erect a pandal of music and make it grand)", said Periyavaa. The sankarAbharaNam AlApanA he had given in his concert on that day... adAdA! two hours passing by was not felt at all!...

PeriyavaaL was fond of sankarAbharaNam (ragha).

It was then that he made me the manager of the MaTham.

*** *** ***

sthAnika - mfn. belonging to a place or site, taking the place of anything else, substituted for (gen. or comp.); m. any one holding an official post, governor of a place, manager of a temple etc.
Pages 248-256 (concluding part)

PeriyaaL took special interest in anAdai preta samaskAram (cremation of unclaimed Hindu corpses). He formed a committee called Jivatma Kaingarya Committee. This committee was started in 1953 in Kanchipuram. Even before that, the work of cremation of unclaimed Hindu bodies was going on in Kumbakonam.

Pandit Nehru came to Kanchipuram. They collected donations for receiving him. After the reception felicitation was over, a balance of two thousand rupees was left. The head of the committee and the municipal chairman Dr.Srinivasan gave that amount to the Jivatma Kaingarya Committee. Until that time money was spent only from the MaTham for the cremation of unclaimed Hindu bodies. The caste of the dead person was not looked at; only that he/she must have been a Hindu. Periyavaa would say often that the anAdai preta samaskAram will give the fruits of a koti ashvamedha yAgam. (Incidentally, I came across this Telegu Website: http://ashwamedhayaga.com/ --sd)

*** *** ***

PeriyavaaL had limitless compassion towards everyone.

Once, when in Kavalai, PeriyavaaL's guru--paramaguru's ArAdhanam was performed. Two days later, seven or eight sumangalis came. They told PeriyavaaL, "According to our Panchangam, the Aradhana should take place only today. We came with much eagerness..."

"That is only a difference in Panchangams. So what? We can have an Aradhana today also!... JanakiRamaa, buy veshti-sombu (dhoti and pitcher) and make arrangements for the Aradhana..."

For that day's Aradhana, only SriKantan was the kartA! Usually, only the pUrvAshrama bandhus of the Paramaguru would be the kartAs; but then this was a sudden, (special) Aradhana!

*** *** ***

An election time. Certain political leaders who associated themselves closely with the MaTham came and told Periyavaa that he should issue a press release cavassing votes for a particular party.

Periyavaa was in Kalavai. "JanakiRamaa, you go forthwith and bring SriKaryam", was the orders.

C.S.Visvanathaiyer was the SriKaryam. He was a sub-registrar in the Cooperative Society. On Periyavaa's orders, he gave up the job and came to the MaTham. From that day until the end, only ninety rupees every month was the salary paid to him!

"idho pAr (look here). The election comes in two days from now. I should not be in Tamilnadu at that time. I am starting now. You are the Adhikari, right? So I called you to inform before I left."

Visvanathaiyer stood amazed!

Periyavaa started forthwith, and travelled to Valaja Sivan Kovil, Chinnak Kanchi village, Sholingar (Periayavaa climbed up the two hills and had darshan), Ramakrishnapet, and then via Atthumanjeripet, we reached Karvet Nagar in Andra Pradesh on the day of the election!

*** *** ***

Whatever groceries--rice, dhal, vegetables--the people give in a village, those should be used up then and there. Nothing should be kept for the morrow. That was the uttiravu (orders). 'grAmaika rAtram' (the night in a village) is the Sannyasi dharma. Ishvara should give the requirements daily. The unfaithfulness of what to do if it is not given tomorrow, should never come up, is the principle of PeriyavaaL.

*** *** ***

However intense the summer, PeriyavaaL would not sweat. Only for the satisfaction of his devotees he would give permission for fanning him with a palm leaf hand-fan; not for his own comfort. No rancid smell would ever issue out of his body.

He would ask two people to stand opposit to each other and fan him. "The mosquito would bite not just me, also the man who fans me? So if two of them wave the fan standing opposite to each other, the air would also blow to them!", he would say.

*** *** ***

A story narrated by V.S.V.

Velur camp during 1942-43. Camp at Tirupati Devasthana School. SriKaryam went in search of PeriyavaaL, looking inside each and every classroom. And in one of them--a miracle! Levitating two feet up from the ground in a sitting posture, Periyavaa was immersed in dhyAna samAdhi!

V.S.V. returned noiselessly. Later, he did not ask PeriyavaaL about it; and PeriyavaaL also never told him.

Such deep training did PeriyavaaL have in HaThayoga!

*** *** ***

When he came back to Kanchipuram finishing his Andhra Yatra, his vAsam (residence) was only on the banks of the SarvaTirtham. He stopped taking anna bhikSA. Initially he took aval (flattened rice); later only nelpori (parched rice).

As days went by, he also stopped the simple ritual he was performing as Atma puja, using a ball of sandal paste. Periyavaa was sahaja (natural) in a turIyAtIta (beyond Turiya) state, without any loka prajna (world consciousness) or deha prajna (body consciousness). There was no prayatna, AyAsa (effort or tiredness) of going further advanced in the state.

Sitting on the steps of the bank at SarvaTirtham one day, he said, "I shall have my bhikSA here." Receiving the pori in a kottAnkacchi (coconut half-shell), he had his bhikSA. A large number of devotees were watching it. Later I went to him when Periyavaa was alone, fell at his feet and supplicated, "Periyavaa is pIThAdhipati; should not have bhikSA in public this way; there will be dRSTi dosham."

From the next day, he had his bhikSA only inside the hut!

Periyavaa would not ignore that it was after all told by some sAmAnya kaingkariy kartA (ordinary assistant), so what if he don't heed it. He would only look at the nyAyam (justice) in what was told him.

He asked for planting Akatti Keerai saplings on the western bank of SarvaTirtham and growing them. He explained, "Akatti Keerai is very good for the cows; (giving it to them is) puNyam."

*** *** ***

An interesting incident.

A plan was devised (in 1958-59 in my remembrance) to build the Puja Mandapam (16-legged mandapam) in SriMaTham. When the news came that Periyavaa was to come to have a look at the place, I tidied up the place removing the grass and bushes. At once place, we dug up two or three bone pieces and an Agal lamp. PeriyavaaL had a doubt: was there any Samadhi of some Mahaan earlier, and if that was the case only an adhiSTAnam (tomb of an asetic) could be built, not a Puja Mandapam?

"This does not look like a human bone."

"How do you say that?"

"This one is heavy."

Four days passed. "JanakiRamaa, what you said was right. I asked it to be sent to the Guindy Institue for testing. Only animal bone (they confirmed)!"

Periyavaa who knows about the three phases of time tells me, "JanakiRamaa what you said was right!" How does this look?

Such nirmalamAna manasu (flawless heart)! No room for any impurity there! His very svabhAva was such!

*** *** ***

The Mukti Mandapam at the Viswanathar Kovil in SarvaTirtham was where PeriyavaaL did his vAsam. Nearby are the adhiSTAnams of many Mahaans.

The Mukti Mandapam is found only in three sthalams (holy places): Kashi, Puri and Kanchi.

Only in that hut at SarvaTirtham bank was the cataract surgery on PeriyavaaL was performed. Dr.Venkudi Balasubramanyam did the surgery.

He gave the uttiravu that the Vyasa Puja should also be held only there.

During the time of Vyasa Puja, there would be visheSa sambhAvanA (special honorarium) for the cippantis (staff members), pandits and Veda pandits.

For the pandits who studied Vedas the sambhAvanA was the highest--five-and-a-half rupees! The utaama sambhAvanA was five rupees. For the officials such as managers, five rupees. For the assistants doing kaingkariyam, two or three rupees. Among those who came for darshan--for those who studied Vedas, five rupees.

*** *** ***

Indira Gandhi came and had darshan. An unforgettable experience it was.

Tenambakkam. Periyavaa was on this side of the compound of the well, sitting on the floor. 'Only JanakiRaman can be here.' Everyone dispersed.

A chair was placed on the other side of the compound of the well for Indira Gandhi to sit. That Amma did not sit, however!

Ninety minutes...

Just like that, without removing her eyes, she was looking at PeriyavaaL. (Indira Gandhi had eyes shining like those of a lion!)

Then Periyavaa said, "enna veNumnu keLudA (ask her what she wants)." I asked her in Hindi: "Anything to be told by you? You want his blessings?"

(Sanjay Gandhi's marriage was to be held within ten days).

"I have not come for that. Evil forces have grown by lots in the country. The country should get relieved of them and subhikSa (prosperity) should come up. I came only to pray for that."

I told Periyavaa what she said.

Spreading out the five fingers of his right hand and raising it, Periyavaa blessed, "Narayana, Narayana."

(Some of the political critics suggested this as the reason for the hand symbol of the Congress).

*** *** ***

What prasAdam to be given for Indira Gandhi? How should it be given?--all these had been decided earlier.

After her darshan of Periyavaa, she must be taken to the Shiva temple nearby. There in the Durga Sannidhi, a Gujarati woman who was a bhaktai of the MaTham (she took up her residence at Kanchipuram) would be ready with a garland of cardamoms (elachi). After the leader had her Durga darshan, the woman would garland her with that wreath of cardamoms on behalf of the MaTham.

Things turned out precisely as planned.

*** *** ***
Life History of Shirdi Sai Baba
Chapter XXX
It was the year 1917. Devotees kept coming to Shirdi in very large numbers like ants. A good number were drawn to Shirdi by Baba in the same manner as a thread is tied to the leg of a sparrow and drawn. The following is the story of one such devotee.
Appa Saheb Kulkarni
One day a fakir resembling Baba came to Kulkarni’s house at about noon. Kulkarni was not in the house. His wife and children asked the fakir whether he was Shirdi Sai Baba. The fakir replied that he was a servant of God and on His orders only he came to enquire about the welfare of Kulkarni’s family. He asked for dakshina . Kulkarni’s wife gave him a rupee. The fakir gave her some udi and asked her to keep it in her puja for worship. That evening when Kulkarni returned home and heard of the fakir’s visit, he felt sorry for not being present at then. He told his family that he would have given ten rupees dakshina. Though he was hungry, he went out in search of the fakir. As he could not find him anywhere, he returned home, had his meal and again started along with a friend in search of the fakir. All of a sudden, the fakir came from behind and extending his hand asked for the dakshina. Kulkarni gave him a rupee. Again the fakir asked dakshina and he gave him one more rupee. When the fakir asked again he took three rupees from his friend and gave it to the fakir. As he found the fakir not fully satisfied, he took him home and gave him another four rupees. When the fakir asked again, he gave him a ten-rupee note. The fakir gave him back nine rupees and went away. Since Kulkarni wanted to give ten rupees as dakshina, the fakir was not satisfied till he got the ten rupees. Kulkarni kept the nine rupees consecrated given back to him by the fakir in his puja room and worshipped them. When once Kulkarni visited Shirdi, he got a strand of Baba’s hair . He put it in a small silver container and tied to his hand. After those two incidents, he got a lot of money and also progressed much spiritually.
It was the talk of those days that Sai Baba’s hand was without bones and he would never send away anyone who approached him empty-handed. Because of this, many people like singers, astrologers and street circus performers came to Baba and exhibited their talents and received presents. When close devotees of Baba visited him along with their family members, Baba gave them clothes. Other than accepting dakshina, Baba never associated himself with any other financial matters. If someone came to Baba with any such proposals, he told them frankly that he did not want to involve himself in such affairs.
Baba not only never yielded to the lure of the lucre but also followed the same principle in respect of ladies. He was an Askalika Brahmachari throughout.
Sai Appearing as a Snake
Raghu Patil, a resident of Shirdi village, would start any work, only after visiting Baba and saluting him. Once, he went to Nevasa village to see his brother-in-law. He went by horse up to Srirampur and from there by tonga to Nevasa. He woke up the next morning and remembered Baba, praying to him with closed eyes. He heard the following words in Baba’s voice, "If I give darshan, do not be frightened." In the meanwhile, a servant working in the cowshed cried, "Snake!Snake!" . All ran there. Raghu Patil thought that Sai had come in that form and put a bowl containing milk in front of the snake, and it drank the milk. The frightened people ran away. While Raghu Patil was watching, the snake crawled for some distance and disappeared. He felt very happy that Sai had given him darshan in the form of a snake.
Feeding Baba
Among the women devotees who served Baba with utmost devotion were Baija Bai, Radhakrishna Mai and Lakshmi Bai Shinde. After the demise of Radhakrishna Mai, Lakshmi Bai Shinde attended personally to the needs of Sai Baba, like a daughter serving her father. In those days she was the richest women in Shirdi village having an exemplary character and serving Baba day and night. In the nights, only Mhalsapathi, Tatya and Lakshmi Bai were permitted into the mosque.
One evening, in 1917, when Baba and Tatya were conversing in the mosque, Lakshmi Bai came and saluted Baba. Baba told her that he was hungry. She told him that she would go home and bring food for him. After a short while, she brought roti ( leavened bread ) and curry. Baba took the food and threw it to the dog which was there. The dog ate the food completely and it wagged its tail out of joy. Then Lakshmi Bai asked Baba why he had given her the trouble to prepare the food, when he did not eat it., but gave it to the dog. Baba replied, "Please do not feel for it. To satisfy the hunger of the dog is the same as satisfying my hunger. Animals also have Atma. Lives may be different but hunger is the same. Humans can speak but animals cannot. Whoever satisfies the hungry will be giving me complete satisfaction. Know this as a great truth." From what Sai said we learn that he is present in all living beings, Omnipresent and Immortal. Let us all recollect what Baba said in such matters, "You need not go to distant places in search of me. If you cast aside your name and body form, Atma remains. This is there in all living beings. I am the Atma. If you can carefully realise this truth, you will know my true form and merge in me."
Bapu Saheb Jog’s Sanyas
After retirement from service in 1909, Bapu Saheb Jog came to Shirdi along with his wife and settled there permanently. They had no children and therefore no family responsibilities. Both of them were completely immersed in the service of Baba. After the death of Megha, Jog gave arathis in the mosque and Chavadi. He did this only till Baba’s Samadhi. He was also called Pujari Jog. In the evenings, he would recite sacred books like Jnaneshwari and Eknath Baghavata and explain them to the devotees who assembled there. But he did not enjoy peace of mind in spite of doing all these.
One day he asked Baba, "Baba, I am fully immersed in your service since so long. But there is no peace of mind for me. Why? When are you going to take pity on me?" Baba replied, "Wait for some more time. The sufferings for your past actions will be over. Your merits and de-merits will be burnt down to ashes. When you renounce all your attachments, conquer your lust and sense of tastes, and overcome all other obstacles, then your life will be a blessed one." After sometime his wife died. As there was no other attachment for him, he took sanyas. We must carefully observe Baba’s message in the above story. After overcoming our weakness like jealousy, selfishness and hatred, the other small enemies like, attachment, lust and tastes will remain and unless we win over these also, there will not be complete peace. The Sadguru teaches such things to his disciples according to their levels, and takes them on the Jnana Marga. But some Gurus who take the status and wealth of the disciples into consideration, cannot understand the level of the disciples. Even suppose such a Guru understands the level of his disciples to a certain extent, he will not teach them the main things for fear that they may leave him. This is the difference between Shirdi Sai Baba and the numerous Gurus that exist nowadays.
Arrival of Bal Gangadhar Tilak at Shirdi
Khaparde came along with Bal Gangadhar Tilak, to Shirdi on 19 May 1917. Khaparde who had come earlier also to Shirdi, had seen the greatness of Baba personally. Hence, he brought Tilak who was the extremist leader in the Indian National Congress and a freedom fighter, to have darshan of Baba and take his advice in the matter of freedom movement. There were proofs that Baba gve Tilak certain advices secretly. According to the then prevailing conditions under British rule, these matters were kept secret. After Tilak left Shirdi, then District Collector of Ahmednagar sent a CID Officer to Shirdi to keep an eye on the activities of Sai Baba and send a confidential report.
There were several proofs to show that Baba predicted that India would certainly become an independent nation, through a non-violent revolution only and not through extremist violent acts. He gave advice to Tilak along the above lines and there were indications that from that day the extremist actions were toned down.
Hindu-Muslim Unity
In those days, to attain independence for our country was the main issue. This was a political problem. The main social problem in the country was religious differences between Hindus and Muslims. The British Government did not try wholeheartedly to remove these differences. They thought that the minds of the people could be diverted from the movement for independence, if the religious differences were encouraged. Religious clashes occurred in the predominantly Muslim populated areas of Aurangabad and nearby places causing much hardship to the ordinary citizen. Unrest, disputes, loss of lives and properties were plaguing the society. Baba found that communal harmony could bring peace and happiness to the people rather than rituals. He also found that in both the religions and religious leaders, the qualities of equality, cooperation and love were completely absent. There was none then to bring peace to the common man in the fields of religion and politics. That was why Sai Baba dedicated himself to the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity and reminded all, that God is one. Sab ka Malik ek hai. The truths in both the religions were same. The gist of the two religions was the same. But the trouble lay with the heads of these two religions and their blind beliefs. The movement started by Baba for Hindu-Muslim unity was found to be necessary for the country’s political future and hence Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan "Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai". The main aim in Sai’s philosophy was to unite all religions. That was why he resided in a mosque where he started the Dhuni which was sacred to the Hindus. In the front side of the mosque, he planted a tulasi plant. The slogans given at the end of arthis Sai Nath Maharaj Ki Jai etc., resemble those recited at the end of the ‘namaz’ by the Muslims, and were prescribed by Sai Baba. In this manner, Shirdi Sai Baba made sincere efforts to unite both the religions.
Before trying to understand Baba’s conception of communal harmony, let us try to know what is religion and how it came into being. Religion was only a set of norms prescribed for the people living in different parts of the world, for their ways of living in relation to their societies. The humans established a society for smooth living, different fron non-humans like animals, etc. When different kinds of people lived together in a society, there would naturally be a clash of behaviours resulting in suffering to some. The living methods were decided keeping in view the climatic conditions of that place and the avaiability of natural resources. Taking into consideration all these aspects, certain experienced people had indicated certain norms to be followed. Some meant for the self and some for his behaviour in a society without causing difficulties to others. In this manner, the social regulations and taboos came into existence and deveoped into religions. So, religion means the regulated behaviour and actions of the people in a society. The aim was to see that all sections of people in a society were happy.
As time passed, such religions developed hatred among societies, leading to bloodshed . The causes for this were not religions or the philosophies, but the religious leaders. We had seen in the story of the ‘Two Goats’ in Chapter 18 that two brothers born to the same mother and belonging to the same religion killed each other. Same blood and same religion could not prevent this. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with religion and if at all there is something, it is only in the people. We should put an end to the hatred towards other religions. Our hearts should be filled with tolerance and love for other religions and equal treatment meted out to people of different religions. This is the philosophy of Sai Baba towards religious harmony. If we look at our country today, with a name like Hindustan, it has a number of people belonging to other religions - Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Jains. Now and then, in the name of religions, atrocities are being committed. The cause for this is not religion but religious leaders. Because of so many religions, India has been declared as a secular country.
If so many religions are there in a country, differences between the religions are bound to be there. Hence, some intellectuals are of the opinion that it would be good to have only one religion in a country. This appears to be a good proposal but it is important to know the methods by which it can be achieved. Violent methods should not be used. We must proceed only in the path shown by Sai Baba - Prema Marga . Marriages between persons belonging to two different religions should be encouraged. In this ways all religions can be intermixed to establish a Sai Religion by which we can forget all religious differences. The politicians and religious heads may take an initiative in this matter, so that there will not be any opposition from others.
Let us pray to Sai Baba that in this Sai Yuga the Sai Religion spreads not only in our country but throughout this world.
"Om Shanti! Shanti! Shantihi"
Why the Name Ammangar Street?
author:..... Seema Bhattar, Kanchipuram
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 257-263
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

The portion where there was (carved) a shaN^khu (conch) in the Kanchipuram Vararaja PerumaaL temple's utsavar tirumeni (holy body of the processional deity) was completely worn out. But then this came to be noticed only suddenly. Immediately, Srinivasan, the executive officer of the temple and Seema Bhattar (a priest) immediately went for darshan of Sri PeriyavargaL and apprised him of the dosha in Sri Varadhar's Utsava Tirumeni. Realizing the urgency of the situation, Sri PeriyavargaL ordered for contacting Devasenapathi, the sthapati (sculptor) at Swamimalai over phone, told the matter himself to the sculptor and asked the man to come over to Kanchipuram immediately. Observing great AchAram (religious purity), the sculptor repaired Sri Varadhar's Tirumeni and restored its previous glory. Ordinarily, works of this kind cannot be completed with such ease and urgency. Realizing that this was possible only because of Sri PeriyavargaL's special efforts and anugraha balam (strength of grace), everyone was surprised and happy.

The Ashta Lakshmi temple at Besant Nagar, Chennai came to a stage of completion due to the efforts of Mukkur Lakshmi Narasimhacharya. He came for Sri PeriyavargaL's darshan and apprised the sage of the completion of the temple works. Sri PeriyavargaL asked him, "Has the pratiSTA (installation) of the PerumaaL vigraha been done?" Mukkur Swamy replied that no Perumaal vigraha was installed in the temple. Sri PeriyavargaL immediately ordered for sculpting a Perumaal idol for the temple. After the PerumaaL idol was ready, Mukkur Swamy took it and showed it to Sri PeriyavargaL. The sage had a glance of the idol. He then pointed Justice Kailasam and his wife Saundara Kailasam who had come for his darshan to Mukkur Swamy by way of introducing them and said, "This man is going to be a Supreme Court Judge next week". Sri PeriyavargaL also asked the Judge to have a keen darshan of the idol.

The Judge and his wife took what Periyavaa said suddenly as his words of grace and considered it their bhAgyam, without giving any more importance to it.

As foretold by Sri PeriyavargaL, the very next week Justice Kailasam received orders appointing him as a Supreme Court Judge! Saundara Kailasam happily talked about Sri PeriyavargaL's jnAna dRSTi (prevision) with everyone she met. The PeriumaaL idol was also installed in the Ashta Lakshmi temple.

*** *** ***

Once Seema Bhattar took a tulsi (basil) garland that adorned Sri Varadhar to Sri PeriyavargaL, made him wear it and rejoiced. As a honour in return, Sri PeriyavargaL gave him a crystal chain. Generally, Sri Vaishnavas don't wear a crystal chain, but Bhattar accepted and wore it. Some Vaishnavas in the temple objected to his wearing a crystal chain. Bhattar consulted Sri PeriyavargaL and wore the same chain with gold and coral beads added to it as advised by the sage. This was acceptable to the Vaishnavas in the Varadhar temple. Sri PeriyavargaL's skill of removing obstacles met with unanimous appreciation.

*** *** ***

Sri PeriyavargaL was once camping in the Anaikatti Street MaTham in Kanchipuram. At that time, the popular carnatic vocal artiste Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi was staying in a house in the Reddy Street with the intention of having darshan of Sri PeriyavargaL. During one of those days, Smt. M.S. was singing marvelously in the Anaikatti Street MaTham in order that Sri PeriyavargaL would listen to it. Suddenly Sri PeriyavargaL came out and asked her to stop singing. Then he asked all those who were there listening to the songs to disperse. Then he asked the entire place to be washed with water mixed with cow dung. No one initially understood the reason for the sage's orders. After sometime, Sri PeriyavargaL explained that when Smt. M.S. was singing, a person who sat among her listeners was a karma bhraSTa (one who neglects his dharmic duties) who did not perform any rites for his dead mother and said, "Because that the place he occupied became unclean, I asked for having it washed with cow-dung and for the singing to be halted." When it was inquired as to who that karma bhraSTa was, it transpired that he was a cinema director. People were rapturous about Sri PeriyavargaL's jnAna dRSTi.

Sri PeriyavargaL was once camping in the Chinna Kanchipuram. A family from Chennai came to Kanchipuram for having darshan of the sage. Leaving the jewels that were bought for a marriage in their family in the car, they entered the camp for the darshan. Immediately on sighting them, Sri PeriyavargaL ordered, "You have had enough of my darshan; start immediately (to get back to your place)." Puzzled, the family returned to their car and found that the jewels they had left in the car were stolen. They came back to Sri PeriyavargaL and apprised him the matter. Sri PeriyavargaL said, "The thief who stole the jewels will be in the nearby bus stand. Catch him there and get back your jewels." Accordingly, they rushed to the bus stand and caught hold of the thief. The jewels were restored. They came back to Sri PeriyavargaL again, told the news and took leave after paying their obeisance to him.

In a similar manner, once a devotee came from Chennai came to Chinna Kanchipuram MaTham to have darshan of Sri PeriyavargaL. As he saw him, Sri PeriyavargaL asked him to rush back to Chennai immediately. Later the news was received that the person died of a heart attack as he neared Chennai. Sri PeriyavargaL's jnAna dRSTi was everyone talk of wonder.

*** *** ***

When he was in Chinna Kanchipuram, Sri PeriyavargaL once asked the people who came for his darshan, "There is a street called Ammangar Street here. How did the street get this name?" The Vaishnavas assembled there had no idea. Sri PeriyavargaL explained, "That was the street where the houses of Ayyangars and their devimaars (wives) were located a few centuries back. So it came to be called Ayyangar-Ammangar Street, which became just Ammangar street in the passage of time." The Vaishnavas were happy to know this news.

*** *** ***

Once Sri PeriyavargaL was sitting in the VenuGopal Swami Sannidhi in the Tenambakkam village near Chinna Kanchipuram. Seema Bhattar went to have his darshan during that time. Sri PeriyavargaL recited to him the holy words of Desikar,

"ponnahil sErnthu alaikkum punal vEhai vadakarayil
Tennan uhanthu thozhum tEna Vedhiyar dhaivam onRE

and said, "The asal (capital) invested by your ancestors (Brahma) is in Hastagiri. You people (who are of his lineage) are only getting the vaTTi (interest) earned from that asal."

*** *** ***

Once over forty brahmins from the area Vanniya Teynampet in Chennai came to have darshan of Maha Periyavaa. After their obeisance to the sage, they expressed their common mental agony: that brahmins were not able to go around in the area with respect as some atheists made fun and showed animosity whenever they came across the hair-tufts, sacred threads, and Vaishnavite marks that adorned the body of a brahmin. As he heard this, Sri PeriyavargaL asked them, "You people do the Gayatri Japam every day?" There was silence. He advised them, "Continue to do the Gayatri Japam daily. Everything will be all right."

As advised, they started doing did Gayatri Japam daily. Within two months the situation changed to their complete satisfaction. They met Periyavaa happily and conveyed the news. Periyavaa told them, "All the problems are due to your giving up Gayatri mantra. The power of Gayatri mantra is immesurable."

From the Pannirunamam, Desika Prabandam 11.
*289. HrusheekEsan & the left side of the Neck

yennidikEsan iRai keezh-idakkazhutthu yenRu ivaRRil
nannilai minnuruvAi nAlu muRkkaram koNDu aLikkum
ponnahil sErnthu alaikkum punal vEhai vadakarayil
Tennan uhanthu thozhum tEna Vedhiyar dhaivam onRE

(Meaning): PeraruLALan is the Only God for the great VaidhikAs of TenampAkkam located on the northern banks of Vegavathi river, who are worshipped in turn by the PaaNDyan King . That SrIgrAmam of TenampAkkam located on the banks of the river Vegavathi with jostling waves rushing gold and akil kattais to us has many Parama VaidhikAs with expertise in PaancharAthra Saasthram indispensable for Bhagavath AarAdhanam .That Prama Purushan on top of Hasthi Giri takes on the form of HrusheekEsan with the hue of the lightning and protects us with four hammers as His weapons . He faces the lower direction and occupies the left section of the neck to protect us.

Devathai: HrusheekEsan ; Hue: Lightning ; Weapons: Four hammers; Direction faced: lower ; PuNDra sTAnam: Left ide of the neck .

(Surce: SriPedia pannirunamam)

bhraSTa - fallen, dropped down, sunk, ruined

My 'bhAgyam' of Maha SwamigaL Darshan
author:..... Vanathi A.Thirunavukkarasu
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 264-280
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Pages 264-271

The days when I had my first darshans of Maha SwamigaL are still green in my memory. It was the year 1961.

Everyone knows well the writer R.V. The Kannan is a wonderful children's monthly published from the family of Kalaimagal. Its editor was R.V. So many writers have written in that magazine that it can be said there were no writers who did not write in the Kannan issues. Sri Jayendrar, the present Periyavar of SriMaTham was also such a 'Kannan writer'. His pseudonym was 'Kingaran'!

It was this R.V. who wrote the Pillaiyar Chuzhi for my connection with SriMaTham. It was an interesting divine experience.

We wanted to obtain a Srimukham from Kanchi ParamacharyaaL for the Mahabharatam prose work written by my friend A.Le.Natarajan. Our friend R.V. only took us for the darshan of ParamacharyaaL.

At that time SwamigaL was camping in Madurai, along with Pudu PeriyavaaL. The camp was in the Sethupati High School where Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati taught. A large crowd of over five thousand bhakta kotis were assembled there. Wherever one looked, the ghoSaNam (loud chanting) of 'Hara hara Sankara, Jaya jaya Sankara' was heard.

It was probably around nine in the morning when we reached the camp. Somehow, under R.V.'s arrangements, we went near SwamigaL, apprised him the details and submitted the prose work titled Vyasar AruLiya Mahabharatam written by A.Le.Natarajan for SwamigaL's Srimukham.

Inquiring about our names, details and the name of our publication, he received the book. We waited eagerly for whatever reply that might forthcome from him.

"The anugraham of the Srimukham may please be given today itself. We have come from Madras only for this purpose", R.V. said with humility.

"Is that so?", SwamigaL smiled. "Could you wait for a while? Let the Puja be over..." he implied with a sign by his hand. We waited under his orders. It was a long wait; and my first experience of such waiting.

It was possibly around six in the evening. An Anbar from SriMaTham called, "Thirunavukkarasu, Thirunavukkarasu...who is that here...SwamigaL has sent word for the man to come to him." I was jolted a little; I even had the doubt if he really called me in the first turn or perhaps it could be someone else.

Only R.V. encouraged and took me to SwamigaL. When A.Le. and I went to him, that Deivam spoke the name "Thirunavukkarasu" in full mouth, gave the Srimukham and blessed us. With so many Anbars assembled there, he did actually hear my name only once in the morning. Remembering it and now speaking my name as Deiva Vaakku, blossoming his holy mouth--it gave me shivers of ecstasy.

An organization named 'Deiva Vazhipaattu Sangam' was functioning in those days. R.V. enthusiastically participated in the organization with his religious services.

He would often visit Kanchipuram with his Satsangam sevaks, have darshan of Maha SwamigaL and bring his prasAdams of vibhuti, kunkumam, akSata. He would keep them wrapped carefully in tiny packets. I would also assist him in this work with parama santoSam.

The sevaks of the 'Deiva Vazhipaattu Sangam' would take those vibhuti, kunkumam prasAda tiny-packets and visit Chennai General Hospital and Royapettah Hospital on Saturday-Sundays. They would meet everyone who is treated in the hospitals and distribute these prasAdas which had the blessings of Kanchi SwamigaL, to them. The Anbars in sickbeds would receive those prasAdas with the high reverence of devotion. They would feel the happiness of personally receiving them from the hands of Maha SwamigaL himself.

It was obvious that more than the medicines, God's grace and the graceful blessings of Mahaans had more effect. This arrangement and plan went on very regularly by Kanchi Periyavar's anugraham.

The sevaks engaged in the job of distributing prasAdas would be very enthusisstic about it. I was not a member of that Sangam. Still I had engaged myself in this work along with my friend R.V. on many occasions.

Our duty will not be over with the distribution of the prasAdas. When we meet Maha SwamigaL the next time he would inquire about the experiences of the sevaks with utmost sincerity and feel happy about it. "You gave the prasAdam? What did they say? Did you visit them the next time?" The inner meaning of those questions was different!

Mostly, many of the patients who were seen in the hospitals during the first week would have become cured and discharged the next week we visited. If we said this to him, he would feel very happy and bless us. It was during the days I was engaged in this Tiruppani that R.V. used to take me to SriMaTham and make me have darshan of Maha PeriyavargaL. The experiences of having his darshan--those were blissful moments.

I was fortunate thereafter to come to have intense interest in Maha PeriyavargaL and his younger PIThAdhipatis Sri Jayendrar and Sri Sankara Vijayendrar and get their grace and blessings. These were only obtained by the blessings of our ancestors and the fruits of my earlier births--what else?

My father Ekappa Chettiar was a ripened Shiva Bhakta. When thinking about his habit of revering, adoring and worshipping Jnanis and Mahaans, it only seems to me that my connection with Sri Kanchi MaTham is only the fruits of pUrva puNyam.

For one who remained for many years a parama bhakta, standing at a distance and patting cheeks with the darshan of Mula Murti, the divine grace gave opportunities to the extent of having my sangamam there itself. Only the Kalki weekly that came in the holy name of Amarar Kalki whom I adore and worship, became the reason for such an opportunity.

Acharya SwamigaL's arul vAkkugaL (words of grace) were published every week unfailingly in the Kalki issues under different titles as full-page essays. More elaborate essays were published in special issues like the Deepavali Malar. I came to know that the man who compiled those treasures of wisdom and published them was Raa.Ganapathi, a parama bhakta of Maha SwamigaL.

It occurred to me that if those essays were published in a collection, it would be a puNyam for me and the Anbars also would be benefited. When I asked Raa.Ganapathi about this, he said it could be done only with the consent of SriMaTham, though he was personally happy about it.

Without any hesitation, I reached the great city of Kanchi and told Sri Jayendra SwamigaL in SriMaTham about my wish. In the later days, Maha SwamigaL only remained as the Mula Murti, without coming out much. Only Sri Jayendrar then remained as the Utsava Murti and functioned with all the interest and initiative the work demanded. We would only refer to him then as Pudu Periyavar. Later, Sri Vijayendrar was referred to as Bala Periyavar.

To have simultaneous darshan of the three SwamigaLs in SriMaTham was a peru (bhAgyam) given to people like us who were fortunate to live during the later part of the last century.

Although Sri Jayendrar was also happy about Maha PeriyavargaL's Arul Vakku coming out as a book, he was of the opinion that a word should be told to Maha SwamigaL also.

At the same time, some people had told him that such divine books might better be published by large Trusts who had the financial capability for such task, and had even named some popular Trusts. Maha SwamigaL was told about my wish and the opinions of other Anbars.

When I heard the news of what Maha SwamigaL reportedly said on hearing about my wish, I could not contain my emotions. My body was in shivers of ecstasy and a film of tears covered my eyes.

Referring to other popular publishing trusts (he said), "It would be good if those people bring out the book. But then they (the readers) would safely keep those books in their glass almirahs. Vanathi Thirunavukkarasu is better than that. The vishayam (wisdom) would reach all the people, won't it?"

It was not an ordinary faith that Maha SwamigaL kept on this poor man. I can never forget in my life the help and compassionate heart of Sri Jayendrar who obtained permission and blessings on that day from Maha Periyavar to publish the collection of his Arul Vakku in the form of a book titled Deivatthin Kural in Vanathi (Padhippaham).

It is amazing to think about how the Deivatthin Kural has been published today in seven volumes of compilations. These seven volumes would match the seven Maha Samudraas (great oceans). Enough if one reads all of them, there would be nothing more for him to know in the world, as he would realize then.

Vedas, Vedanta, Puranas, Politics, Culture and Tradtion, History, Mathematics, Astronomy, Modern Science--there is no subject that is impossible to reach for Maha SwamigaL's thoughts. Beyond publishing these compilations of Deivatthin Kural in book form in Vanathi, I can't think of any other effort of mine as a great and mahatva sAdhanA. It was the fruits of God's grace.
Pages 272-278

Maha SwamigaL is not the one who is keen about looking at his own holy picture. Carrying with bhaya bhakti the first copy of the book, which was titled Deivatthin Kural with a portrait of ParamacharyaaL on the cover page, and had come up to a thousand pages, we went to Kalavai where SwamigaL was camping--me and the compiler of the book Raa.Ganapathi too!

Quickly turning the cover, Maha SwamigaL looked at the inside. "You have published it this big! How many copies did you publish?" he inquired and blessed with a smile. That was (in) the year 1976. Today that first volume itself has come out in seventeen editions.

Only when the third volume of Deivatthin Kural was published, we arranged for a book release function. The man who released that volume and honoured us was R.Venkataraman, the then Vice President and one who had immense bhakti towards Sri Kanchi Periyavar!

At the time of the book release, Maha Periyavar was camping in Kurnool, Andhra state. We took the first copy of the book, submitted it to him in person and received his blessings. By then Bala Periyavar had also come to SriMaTham. An exhibition of the images of temple deities was also held in Kurnool at that time. I had taken with me Achi and our daughter Vanathi for the Kurnool trip.

It turned out to be a wonderful experience. Somehow our third daughter Vanathi's marriage was getting delayed. 'Her star was not good' and such other reasons were attributed for the delay. It was the time when Achi and I were feeling distressed, since no Maappillai (bridegroom) was forthcoming.

I am not accustomed to asking anyone that I want this or that. But when I met Maha Periyavar on that day it occurred to me that I should ask him. "Somehow the marriage for my daughter is getting into hurdles and delayed. SwamigaL should shower grace on her", I prayed and bowed to him.

The way SwamigaL accepted my prayer turned out to be something of a puzzle. "What? The hurdle is due to money? Are they asking much money for the Maappillai? Is your money blocked in the postagam (book) publication? Send the postagams to the MaTham. I shall ask them to give you money." As he spoke these words, I went sweating.

"It was not at all the problem of money... Some other reason, whatsoever...", I said quickly and added that the books were selling in high volumes. Thereafter he asked me details about the people who bought the book, of what age and place were they.

"Middle aged people buy it in good numbers. Even old people of seventy or eighty years... Apart from Chennai, people from Coimbatore, Madurai and Thanjavur also buy the book", I informed him.

Blessing us, SwamigaL asked Vanathi to come near him and asked her to take a plateful of prasAdams of fruits and flowers. I came out feeling much strengthened at heart. I went to Pudu PeriyavargaL who was in the nearby room, and narrated the incident to him.

With his usual mouth-filling smile, Sri Jayendrar called me near. "Periyavaa vAyAle, paNam taren, vAngiNdupo appadinnu solRate romba apUrvam; periya bhagyam. Inime unga pustangaL amohamA niRaiya viRkumnu artham... (It is a rarity and a fortune that Periyavaa with his own mouth said that he would give you money, and asked you to get it and go. From now on, your books will sell grandly and in large volumes, is its meaning.)" He spoke these words and gave his blessings. As willed by PeriyavargaL's holy mind, Deivatthin Kural came out in seven volumes, each of which saw many editions. I am very much satisfied and happy that I have been an instrument for this divine work.

It is not possible to know how and when miracles happen. As such a miracle, during the very next after we returned from Kurnool, Vanathi's marriage also saw its betrothal. One big surprise in it! We were wandering at places like Pallatthur, Kanadukatthan, Rayavaram and whatever other places in search of the Maappillai. We never knew that Vanathi's husband-to-be was residing in Devakottai, in the very next street to our house. Isn't it only Maha PeriyavargaL's arut prasAdam (favour of grace) that we came to have a lawyer son-in-law named Tirugnana Sambandam who had money as well as good character! Now a son has also been born to the Vanathi-Tirugnana Sambandam dampati who reside in Pudukottai; our grandson Karthik!

Once when we went to have darshan of Sri Maha SwamigaL he asked us about why we had named our publishing house as 'Vanathi Padhippaham'.

After telling him about my interest and devotion to Amarar Kalki right from my boyhood, I said that Vanathi was the name of one of the immortal characters of the historical novel Ponniyin Selvan written by Kalki and that we took that name for our publication.

"That is right! That AkAsha gangA there, the river which Bhagirata brought to the Earth; it is also Vanathi only. Vaan-nadi." As he spoke this, he looked at the sky and traced the map of a river in the air. I became ecstatic there and then.

Thereafter, whenever I went for darshan, and the people around him informed my arrival, he would immediately trace a line in the air and say, "Vanathi-thaane...? Let him come!" and that became a custom to him.

In the presence of Sri Jayendrar, the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao released the sixth volume of Deivatthin Kural and honoured us. Every time I went to meet Maha Periyavar, I would submit copies of the newly published books. SwamigaL used to have a glance at the cover and the composition of the books and would sometimes give his counsel.

During one such visit to SriMaTham, it happened that the cover picture of a book I brought to him was not liked by SwamigaL. It was a booklet for children. A picture of a man holding a dagger was drawn on its cover. When he said, "ido pAru (Look here)! This is a book read by children. Why these katthi, kabadA (knife, stick) and such things...", I became very much embarrassed. As the first thing after reaching Chennai, I arranged for another cover picture and changed the cover of all those published copies, and only then I had peace of mind. Such compassionate heart that was full of grace he possessed, which made him keenly observe each and everything and gently chide if anything was amiss.

Among the great fortunes I received in ParamacharyaaL dharshan experiences, I should also mention another such thing. He would daily perform what is called 'Atma Puja'. Many Anbars would have been familiar with that sight.

It is said that this void of space that is the universe is the God. It would seem void, empty space to our eyes. In reality, there is no such emptiness in the universe. The truth is that the ParamPoruL is omnipresent everywhere without exception.

When I experienced the bliss of ParamacharyaaL's Atma Puja worship, I thought only about it. I also thought about how he drew a line in the air with an empty hand and made a metaphor of 'Vanathi' of it.

That felicity of mind which sees in bhAvana (forming in mind) Ambikai and Ishvara as if they were present before the eyes, and worship them with archana and ArAdhana cannot come easily to the ordinary people. Only for the Maha Jnanis like ParamacharyaaL would the ParamPoruL that fills everywhere without exception be visible.

Pages 278-280 (concluding part)

Once I received a letter from the Pondicherry University calling for my biodata as they offered to confer on me a honorary doctor's degree. With great happiness I took the letter to Maha SwamigaL and submitted it along with fruits and flowers, seeking his blessings.

SwamgaL took the letter and had a glance but dropped it as such in the fruit-plate. Saying, "Are they also giving you a degree? We have already given you the title 'Samaya Ilakkiyap Prachaara Mani'", he called his assistant. After a awhile the assistant brought a shawl and wrapped it around my shoulders on SwamigaL's behalf. Without stopping there, SwamigaL took and gave a chain of coral leaves he was wearing, ensured that the chain was placed round my neck and blessed me. I felt as if he asked, "Beyond this what other great honourary doctor's degree for you?"

On another occasion my sister Meenal was very ill. She would not eat properly and remain as if in pramai (mental illusion). Maha SwamigaL was then camping in a village called Kattuppalli near Ennore. I took my sister to SwamigaL. Inquiring all the details about her, he looked at her and me in turns. The very light from Maha SwamigaL's look is capable of curing all diseases.

"Ask her to read TirumugaatRuppadai daily. If she can't read it, let some one read it to her. Enough if it reaches her ears", he said.

For a village that did not even have a tea stall, it was really surprising when the SriMaTham Anbars told us that meals was ready for all the people of our family as directed by SwamigaL.

After we returned to our place, within a single month my sister got completely well, due to the pArAyaNa vishesham of TirumugaatRuppadai as well as Maha SwamigaL's grace and blessings.

I had the bhAkyam of once telling ParamacharyaaL my experiences of coming on foot from Burma to India when I was young. He kept inquring in detail the cultural specialities of Burma. Burma is the present day country of Myanmar.

"You were in Burma... Did you know that many people who held a plough and did the cultivation of land there were all from Orissa? If it was night, they would hold a kootthu (street performance); and enact Ramayana and Mahabharata. You have watched it?" he asked me.

"I knew a little. Even the Krishna Leela Kootthu would be held, I had watched it." When I told him about what I knew, he raised his hand in blessing with a smile--a scene that stays before my eyes!

This One is a Small Boy
author:...... N.Venkataraman, Mayiladuturai
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 10-21
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

Pages 10-13

In the year 1949, Sri Maha SwamigaL did vijayam to AnandaTandavapuram and stayed there for forty days. I was a thirteen-year old boy then. Sri SwamigaL was prayed to, to commence the pUrtaya dharmam of desilting the holy pond that belong to the Shivan Kovil there; he consented, and thus had camped in that place.

When SwamigaL walked near our home (in a procession), we gave him the pUrNa kumbham, chanting the Sama Veda mantra that starts with the phrase 'abhi tvA'. This mantra is one that comes up as a Shiva Stotram. It is customary for the Sama Vedis to give pUrNa kumbham reciting this mantra.*

PerivaaL asked forthwith: "'na karmaNA...' Don't know it?" My father recited that mantra in full, and I chanted it along with him.**

Then, pUrNa kumbham in the next house. PerivaaL ordered me to chant the 'abhi tvA...' As I finished the mantra, he said, "Touch the coconut. Should not the power of the mantra you recited come to the coconut?" Only after I touched it, PeriyavaaL touched the coconut and gave his anugraham. Thus, in every house in the street!

*** *** ***

One day, after the bhikShA vandanam was over, he took a handful of the raisins kept in a tAmbALam (large brass plate) and gave them to somebody in the crowd. The man packed it in his shoulder towel and kept it safe with him. Since I did not know that it would not be uchitam (pleasing) to drop the raisins in the mouth in front of PeriyavaaL and chew them, I shared the ones I received with the PaThashala students present there and ate along with them.

Silence prevailed for sometime.

Then PeriyavaaL spoke: "This one is a small boy; does not know the world. So he shared what he got with the others and also ate it. I gave it to another man right? He is one who knows the world. So he packed them safe to give to his samsAram (wife)!

"Since the worldly vyavahAram is not known, svArtham is also not known. But the other man knew about the the worldly vyavahAram, so he was possessed of the self! Tied and kept them away safely!"

How simple had the Tattvam become!

*** *** ***

Four-thirty in the early morning one day. Sri Maha SwamigaL was not found in the mukAm (encampment)!

When a paaraa man on vigil duty slightly opened the door of the room SwamigaL had stayed in and looked inside, SwamigaL was not found! Alarmed, the paaraa man reported it to the other people, and this resulted in a bustle of activity, people going in different directions for searching.

It all resulted at length in finding SwamigaL in a pond two miles away, as he just finished his bath, squeezed water out of the cloth and wearing it, and then climbed up the stairs and walking.

SwamigaL did not say anything.

He sent word for the Manager in the evening; he inquired about the duty time of the paaraa men; and found out that they needed to be on duty from six in the evening until six in the next morning.

On the day PeriavaaL went 'missing' at four-thirty early morning, as he came out of his room, the paaraa men were in sleep, so they did not notice him going out. With duty involving long hours, it would be only natural to feel tired?

"From now on, change the paaraa duty timings thus: from six in the evening until ten at night; ten to two; and then two to six..."

This incident is enough to show the limitless humaneness of Sri SwamigaL!

*** *** ***

*It would be interesting to know this mantra and its meaning, so I checked up the Sama Veda translation by R.T.H.Griffith. Perhaps the following is the mantra referred to here. Please correct me if this is wrong.--sd

Sama Veda, 233.1.

अभि त्वा शुर नेनुमोऽदुग्धा इव धेनवः ।
ईशानमस्य जगतः स्वर्दृशमीशानमिन्द्र तस्थुषः ॥

abhi tvA shura nenumo&dugdhA iva dhenavaH |
IshAnamasya jagataH svardRushamIshAnamindra tasthuShaH ||

"Like kine unmilked we call aloud, hero, to your, and sing your priase,
Looker, on heavenly light, Lord of this moving world, Lord, Indra, of what mones not!"

**The reference I think is to this beautiful mantra from Kalvalya Upanishad. Please correct me if this is wrong.--sd

Kaivalya Upanishad 3.

न कर्मणा न प्रजया धनेन त्यागेनैके अमृतत्वमानशुः ।
परेण नाकं निहितं गुहायां विभ्राजते यद्यतयो विशन्ति ॥

na karmaNA na prajayA dhanena tyAgenaike amRutatvamAnashuH |
pareNa nAkaM nihitaM guhAyAM vibhrAjate yadyatayo vishanti ||

"Not by work, not by progeny, not by wealth, they have attained Immortality. Some have attained Immortality by renunciation. That which the hermits attain is laid beyond the heaven; yet it shines brilliantly in the (purified) heart"

(Translation from:
Significance of "Na KarmaNaa ..." (also referred to as Vedic Arathi in Chinmaya Mission): This article is intended to

pUrtaya dharmam - to perform the meritorious works called pUrta, such as digging a
svArtha - on one's own affair or cause, personal matter or advantage, self-interest.
Last edited:
Pages 13-21 (concluding part)

The store room in the campsite. One morning, Sri SwamigaL just entered the room and moved away through its exit.

Four or five chippantis (staff members) were preparing coffee in that room and taking it without PeriyavaaL knowing about it. They were all worried now as to whether PeriyavaaL would have seen what they were at. But then since PeriyavaaL did not ask anyone anything about it, they came to the samAdAnam (acceptance) that PeriyavaaL might not have seen their act!

Calling me that night, Periyavaa told me to inform through the Manager that a meeting of the chippantis would be held after supper. He asked the Manager to bring the book of accounts when attending the meeting.

"Which book of accounts?" asked the Manager to me.

I went and told it to PeriyavaaL.

"Any one or two of the books of accounts..."

When the chippantis assembled, Periyavaa told them, "Declare that 'everying in this notebook is correct!' and do namaskAram."

Some chippantis hesitated, with agitation in their hearts.

"What hesitation? If everything is alright, can do the namaskAram?"

"...vandhu (that is)..."

"That expense (anda silavu), in which account does it figure?"

"As having purchased the cattlefeed of cotton seeds for the cows..."

Sri SwamigaL understood the embarrassment of the employees. Since the custom was that they would take their meal only after PeriyavaaL had his bhikSha, and as that would be beyond two o' clock on many occasions, they needed some pAnam (drink) in the meantime. So SwamigaL said: "From tomorrow, I shall perform the first kAla (session) Puja before ten o' clock. After you people had your meal, I shall do the bhikShA vandana Puja after some leisure and then I shall have my bhikSha."

Thenceforth that custom which was favourable to the staff members came into force.

*** *** ***

Two professors from the Mayiladuturai college came to have darshan of Sri SwamigaL. One of them belonged to the Commerce department, the other to the Sanskrit department.

Looking at the Commerce professor, Sri SwamigaL asked, "Which place for you?"


"How far from here?"

"About thousand miles."

"About or Nearly?"

The professor was confused. He could not reply the question properly.

PeriyavaaL himself explained: "About means 'more or less'; it could be a little more or less. Nearly means 'almost'. That is, less than a thousand miles (in this case). Is that distance such?" Then looking at the Sanskrit professor, "What have you read (for your profession)?"

"Sanskrit, M.A."

"That is, you have read about Samskrtam. When are you going to read Samskrtam?"

The Sanskrit Vidwan was nonplussed.

"Only when you do (a course like) Siromani that involves sAhityam, vyAkaraNam, it would amount to reading Samskrtam. History M.A., Tamil M.A. means having read about History, Tamil...right?"

Sri SwamigaL had taught some educational nuances to the professors when he bid them farewell.

*** *** ***

There came a man who does neTTivElai (ornamental pith-work). He had assembled a large piece of decoration resembling a bouquet, which he showed to PeriyavaaL. Looking at me who was standing near, PeriyavaaL pointed to the green leaves in the bouquet and asked me, "What is this?"


Pointing to the neatly arranged jasmine flowers in the inner round, "What is this?" he asked.


Pointing to the next round of Rose flowers, he asked me, "What is this?"


A bright looking lemon stood in the centre. "What is this?"

"Lemon fruit", I said.

Looking at a slightly elderly man, PeriyavaaL pointed out the lemon and asked him, "What is this?"

"Netti", he said. Actually, everything was only netti (handicrafted shapes) and the artist had done it so tatrUpa (realistically).

"So you say sarvam ekameva", said PeriyavaaL, and ordered, "Explain it to this boy."

sarvam, everything--the green leaf, white jasmine, red rose, yellow lemon--all ekam eva, the samething, made of only one thing, which is only the netti paper!

Maha PeriyavaaL is one who could make it netti (easy, concrete), an Advaita principle that weighs heavily on the head, for the sake of a small boy.

*** *** ***

During an occasion of Sankara Jayanthi, a musician sat for a concert of jalatarangam. He was to begin with the stotra vAtApi gaNapatim bhaje. Although he was an experienced musician, he could not get the sruti right, howevermuch he tried. Depressed in heart that things had come to such a pass before Sri PeriyavaaL, he continued to try to set the right sruti.

Sri SwamigaL understood the musician's avastha (predicament). Calling a shiSya nearby, he sent word to the musician: "Ask him to remove an ounce of jalam from the fifth bowl."

When the Vidwan did that and tried, the sruthi was set properly.

At once the musician rose, came to PeriyavaaL and prostrated. With a faltering voice he said apologetically, "How are these things known to PeriyavvaL? I did not know it myself (being a professional musician)?"

*** *** ***

Temples having Rajagopuram in all the four directions--there are twelve of them in Tamilnadu. Among them, for the Vaishnavism, there is only the Srirangam Temple. All the remaining eleven temples are Shiva temples.

Sri SwamigaL would say that it is shreShTa to conduct Yajur Veda jaTA pArAyaNam and Rg Veda gaNa pArAyaNam in temples.

"You know about Vriddhachalam?", Sri SwamigaL asked me once.

"I know."

"periya kShetram (a large holy place). Nearby, ManimuttaRu, the holy river. You arrange for a jaTA pArAyaNam there", he told me.

I started the efforts forthwith. Although I knew nothing about pArAyaNam, by Sri SwamigaL's anugraham and by the assistance of several people, the jaTA pArAyaNam was held in a grand manner. I realized in anubhavapUrvam that it was only Sri PeriyavaaL who urges and guides an action.

*** *** ***

So long as Periyavaa was in camp at AnandaTandavapuram, it was my duty to collect the milk brought for Sri ChandraMauleesvara abhishekam and keep the milk pot near the puja construct. PeriyavaaL had given me that great bhAgyam!

One morning, he was sitting on the stairs of the pond, 'playfully' wetting his feet in water. At some distance were boys of my age. A man brought some milk at that time.

"What for this milk?"

"For abhishekam."

"Alright, alright, keep it here."

After sometime, Sri SwamigaL got up. Suddenly a boy took the milk pot in his hand. I was full of anger at him. Wasn't it my right to cary the milk pot? How can this one seize it from me?

I told him in a low voice: "dei (Hey), give me the milk pot, or else tolaicchup puduven (that will be the end of you)! AmA... kodudAnnA (Yes, now give it to me)..."

He was simply climbing up the stairs without handing over the milk to me.

Perhaps something itched in Sri SwamigaL's pAdukA. He removed them off his feet and asked me to carry them. I carried them. But then, the anger that the milk has changed hands did not subside in me. I kept murmuring in a way that only the boy could hear it: "madatthukku vaa... udaippen... seruppAl adippen (come to the MaTham, shall kick you and beat you with my sandal)..."

When we arrived at SriMaTham, I was given orders to set the pAdukAs down. PeriyavaaL wore them in his feet the went inside.

As I had berated, I pounded the boy left and right (veLutthuk katti vitten)!

That evening, PeriyavaaL sat on the thiNNai of a house. A crowd of ten or twenty people surrounded him.

"innikku pAlA, pAdukaiyA? enRa talaippil pecchu! (today's talk will be about whether it would be milk or the sandals)...", he said.

Everyone was surprised. PeriyavaaL used to give brief speeches now and then but they never had any pre-determined headings. Philosophical truths would burst popping out in them like ratnams!

"In the Nandigramam, to what was the pattAbhishekam done you know? Only for the pAdukAs!

"Ordinarily they would call what are worn on feet, sandals. That is the pAdarakSha (security for the feet). It would be known as pAdukAs if worn by the Sannyasis.

"Bharata kept Sri Rama's pAdukAs on the siMhAsana (throne) and performed abhishekams--pAlabhishekam!--to them.

"Therefore, pAl osatthiyA? illE, pAdukai osatthiyA? (which is loftier, the milk, or the sandals?)"

Saying this, he finished his talk suddenly, ending it with the pundarIkam, 'govinda nAma ankIrtanam'.

I felt like someone hitting on my pottu (forehead) with a chammaTTi (horsewhip).

What a great pAvi (sinner) was I; Periyavaa had given the very lofty pAdukAs to me, asking me to carry them. Nothing in them itched him really. Only to give me that bhAgyam he played it that way. In sheer madness I had beaten that boy talai kAl puriyama (caring nothing about his head or leg)...

Swami had hidden my eyes, resulting in my not understanding the bhAgyam I had received...

Even today the tear pops up!

*** *** ***
Dear Shri.Saidevo,
I started reading your postings in this thread very recently.They are really good and refreshing after going through several (hot)discussions in some threads under'General Discussions'.

I read your post no.2 on 03/12/2010 about some incident which an acharya of Sankara mutt is reported to have told a journalist some 45 years before.
I spent my first 20 years of life in Thiruvanaikoil,Tiruchirapalli-6(from 1933 to1953) where I used to visit Sankara Matam almost on daily basis whenever Kanchi Periavaal was camping just to enjoy free meals with payasam along with my friends My father was strict that none in the family to go and take free meals,as the same is meant for persons coming from outstation and performing 'Pada Pooja'.I used to take meals in the house and then go with friends.I think this was around 1943 or so.WE used to make friends with the cook so that they serve us payasam twice.Sometimes he will ask us to go and fetch tobacco for him.We were more interested as to when the Pooja will be over.
People used to say on many days that Kanchi Periavaa is annoyed and abruptly left without giving
'theertham' to all those present.On those days the serving of meals will get delayed and we used to pray God that he should return quickly and complete the offering of 'theertham'to all devotees so that we can take meals and leave for our homes.Many times,I recollect those memories and share with my children,now with grand children.
I was told by my elder brother(he was residing in our ancestral house till his death) a few years before that the statue of "VINAYAKA" in front of Goddess AKHILANDESWARI was installed in the temple by ADI SANKARA along with'THADANGAM' to the Goddess.IN fact he asked me to climb the stairs and see the statue of ADI SANKARA at the right hand corner of the sanctum where Lord GANESA is seated.It could be that the statue of ADI SANKARA was installed at that place by Kanchi
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The Mahaan Who Wiped Our Tears
author:..... SivaSri Jagadeesa Shivacharya, PandanaiNallur
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 22-25
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

Devotees saw with their own eyes that water was leaking from the corner of Sri Vishnu Durga's eyes in the aruLmihu Pandaadu Nayaki sameta PasupatiNatha Swami temple (at PandanaiNallur)! This happened on 19th Feb.1986.

They rushed and reported the matter to me. I went and had a look. Tears were leaking out of AmbaL's two eyes! There were no words to describe the agony of our heart.

I arranged to bestow worship on a young virgin girl, treating her as Durga, submitting saubhAgya dravyas, and performing the navAkSari mantra japam in front of the kannikA durgA.

"Why is this flaw, mother?" I asked her.

The virgin girl who was sitting as Durga told us that she had a vision of a divine girl who wore a green skirt telling her, "Reduce my burdern" and disappearing.

Thereafter, we performed special abhiSeka ArAdhanam to Vishnu Durga and the tears stopped.

We went to Kanchipuram to supplicate this matter to Sri Maha PeriyavaaL and seek his clarification and guidance.

Periyavaa gave us twenty-five litres of Gangaa Jalam (water from the Ganga). He asked us to spiritually strengthen it with one lakh AvRttis (repetition) of the navAkSari mantra, perform abhiSeka to Vishnu Durga with the strengthened water and then report to him.

After four months and after carrying out the orders of Periyavaa, we went to Orirukkai, a village adjacent to Kanchipuram, where Periyavaa was staying.

I told PeriyavaaL that the tears that had been flowing from Durga's eyes had stopped.

Periyavaa heard me and then contemplated the matter for sometime. Then he asked, "Does the roof over Durga touch Her head?"

I could not remember if it was so, though I have been performing the daily puja. I said, "I did not notice. I shall go back and have a look."

When I got back and checked the roof by inserting a thick thread between Durga's head and the roof, I found out that the roof was indeed touching Her head, for the thread did not appear on the other side. It was also confirmed that a crack in the wall had caused the roof to slant slightly and thus touch Durga's head.

We came back and apprised Periyavaa of the details.

Periyavaa ordered us to take Durga's statue out, make a shallow dent on the roof, then place the staute back on its base and then perform a kumbhAbhiSekam.

Changes were made as directed by him and the kumbhAbhiSekam took place in the Thai month of the year 1987.

We came back for PeriyavaaL's darshan with the prasAdam.

Periyavaa happily listened to the details and accepted the prasAdam. He said, "The people of your village are very fortunate. AmbaL's crying was to give everyone her anugraha."

While we were conversing, a Gujarati devotee came for darshan. Periyavaa spoke a few words to him.

Then, looking at us, he asked, "What would it cost for you people to make a trip here?"

"About three hundred rupees."

He asked the Gujarati to give us three hundred rupees. He considered PeriyavaaL's AGYA as his parama bhAgya and gave the money very happily.

We experienced and melted at the utmost consideration and compassion the divine PeriyavaaL had for the prosperity of Shivacharyas who touch the god and do puja.

Periyavaa not only cleared Durga's burden on the head, but also the burden in our hearts! Who else except PeriyavaaL can give such divine guidance?

AGYA - order, permission
aruLmihu - (Tamil) SrI, a divine form of address
AvRtti - repetition, recurrence to the same point, retreat
dravya - substance, thing, object
saubhAgya - welfare, good luck, success, properity, beauty, charm, grace
namaste shrI Krishnamurthy.

It is nice to read about the dining adventures of you and your friends at TiruvAnaikkA Shankara MaTham, which you have narrated with such frankness and innocence.

I was told by my elder brother(he was residing in our ancestral house till his death) a few years before that the statue of "VINAYAKA" in front of Goddess AKHILANDESWARI was installed in the temple by ADI SANKARA along with'THADANGAM' to the Goddess.IN fact he asked me to climb the stairs and see the statue of ADI SANKARA at the right hand corner of the sanctum where Lord GANESA is seated.It could be that the statue of ADI SANKARA was installed at that place by Kanchi

I have also read about Adi ShankarAchArya installing the big PiLLaiyAr statue opposite AmbAL in the Jambukeshvarar temple at TiruvanaikkA, but although I studied in Trichy and stayed there for more than ten years, I did not climb up the stairs and have a look at the Shankara stutue nearby PiLLaiyAr.

Since you are familiar with Shankara MaTham, I suggest that you check this post no.2 with them at KAnchi and give us the true picture. I think that several devotees of MahA PeriyavA, in their enthusiasm to see their name in print, tend to exaggerate or even imagine things they saw happened with PeriyavA around, little realizing that such accounts would only turn into urban legends and could even sully the name of the great sage.
Darshan in paurNami
author:...... Va.Ve.Ramani, Mumabi
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 26-28
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

Sri Maha Periyavaa is a god of compassion. To whose who seek refuge to Maha PeriyavaaL, he would be a saviour god. He would be the mAtA, pitA and guru of all jIvAs. Although Sri Sri Sri Maha Periyavaa remained a saMnyAsin, it seems to me that he considered all the people as his children. His greatness, and the goodness he brought to everyone of them, have no bounds. The Supreme Power (kadavuL/bhagavAn that is Sri Sri Sri Maha PeriyavaaL is always there everywhere.

Everyone who closely moved with him would narrate their experiences in different ways.

I had immense bhakti towards Sri Maha PeriyavaaL without my knowing it. Whenever I found time, I used to have his darshan. At one time I got the parichayam of Sri PradoSha Venkatararama Aiyar. He advised me to have darshan of Maha PeriyavaaL on every paurNima (full moon day). Accordingly, when I was once coming over from Bombay, the train that was to reach Arakkonam at four in the evening reached only at eight. Catching a bus, I went to Kanchipuram SriMaTham around nine in the night. Justice Misra came out at that time after having darshan.

I told the chippantis (staff members) that I needed to have darshan of Sri Sri Sri Maha PeriyvaaL, and also catch the 11:30 pm Mail at Arakkonam on the same night. They told me that by then Sri Maha Periyavaa had gone to have his vishrAnti and the next darshan time would only be in the morning. I remained helpless for some minutes. But surprisingly, Sri Maha PeriyavaaL gave me his darshan in another second! Looking at me, he asked, "enna koNdu vandirukkirAi? (what have you brought)?" I said, "I have brought some fruits." He took something from them and ordered me to distribute them to the others. I took leave of him at 10:30 pm in the night. The last bus at that time from Kanchipuram to Arakkonam was at 9:10 pm, and it was gone. So I started in an autorickshaw. The auto was in some trouble en route and stopped. The auto driver said that it would be difficult for me to get the train. After getting the vehicle repaired, when we reached Arakkonam it was 12:30 midnight. Only by the time I entered the platform, that train was just entering it. I can never forget this incident in my life.

*** *** ***

When I was working in my office, it was difficult to take leave. An officer of mine started giving me much trouble. I supplicated to Sri Maha PeriyavaaL. From that time there was no problem. When he was about to retire that officer asked me compassionately, "You want me to do any help?" I saw in anubhava pUrvam that Sri Maha PeriyavaaL would transform with his mana saMkalpam even such people who were cruel to their subordinates.

parichaya - acquaintance, intimacy, familiarity with, knowledge of, trial, practice, frequent repetition, meeting with a friend.
A Scene that Stands Green in Memory
author:...... G. Kanakasabhai, Lalgudi
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 29-31
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

Thirty-five years ago from now, I had gone on a sthala yAtrA to Kanchi Nagar with my tuNaiviyAr (wife). With the diDha eNnam (firm determination) to have darshan of Kanchi PeriyavaaL, we went to TiruMaTham on a puNya dinam (holy day).

A firm intention to somehow become the ilakku (target) of SwamigaL's nayana dIkShA. At nine in the morning we went to the SriMaTham office, met the Manager and told him about our abhilASha. He said that the darshan of SwamigaL could be had only after ten-thirty, gave us the kAla sandhi prasAdam and made us be seated. We told him that "we belonged to the Kaarkaattha Pillaimaar caste (see footnote 1), and had also obtained the Shiva DIkSha." "What if it is so? You people are also of pure thoughts", was the reply and the upachAra was given all along from the beginning.

When the directions came after ten-thirty that darshan of SwamigaL can be had, I too removed my mElangi (upper cloth), did pAda shuddhi (feet-washing), wore TirunIRu (vibhuti) and with bhaya-bhakti, stood in the queue with my tuNaiviyAr.

A long rEzhi (courtyard) before where PeriyavaaL stayed; an open passage at its outer end. Only through these the sevArtis should go. SwamigaL gave his aruLAsi (graceful blessings) with his hand from his PiTham to the sevArtis who had come.

When we both went, a disciple standing in the rEzhi asked us, "Who are you people? Where from you have come?" I said, "We are from Lalgudi, from the family of TambachiyapPillai." (Earlier the elders of my family had told me that when Kanchi PeriyavaaL came to Lalgudi our family elders had darshan of him in a bhikShA vandanam they hosted, so I told about our Periya Thatha ThambachiyapPillai.) For us too, SwamigaL gave his aruLAsi with his hand. We did namaskAram to him and moved away.

At that time the man who was in the rEzhi told us that SwamigaL called us once again. We went with the thought that it was our bhAgyam to have his darshan again. PeriyavaaL then asked me, "Nataraja Pillai pEranA? (grandson of Nataraja Pillai?)" I could not bear the pleasant shock it gave me. What to say about PeriyavaaL who recollects people who lived so many years ago! With his jnAna dRShTi (vision of knowledge), how he blossomed it all in blessing through his tiruVai (holy mouth) that Nataraja Pillai was kumArar (son) of Tambachiyap Pillai and that I was his grandson!--we were immersed in surprise over his long time vision.

We took his blessings again and then took leave. Even today we think about this kidaitthaRkariya pERu (a fortune not easily got) and go swelling in our hearts.


1. Pillai is a title used by many castes such as Vellalar, Vanniar, Karaiyar, Ahamudayar, Kallar et in Tamil Nadu and is also used by some Nairs of Kerala. It is also used by many Tamil speaking people in Sri Lanka.

The early census reports and manuals (I’ve read) give both karkatta and karaikkatu as synonyms for one of the subdivisions of the Pandya Vellalars. others are nangudis, panjais, arumburs, sirukudis etc. it was suggested that it derived from the territorial 'karaikaadu'.

...the name suggests Vellalars who saved or protected the clouds, or one of the authors says 'waiters for rain'. there is the legend of god Devendra withholding rain from the Pandyadesa after a quarrel with the king, and later instituting the Vellalars of the Pandya land as security for the clouds, hence the name of 'Karakava Vellal Waru', redeemers of the clouds.

(Ref: http://members.rediff.com/dockan/originofsurnamepillay.htm )

abhilASha - desire, wish; covetousness, affection
dRuDha - diDha (Tamil) mfn. fixed, firm, hard, strong, solid, massive; firmly fastened, shut fast, tight, close; whole, complete; difficult to be bent; steady, resolute, persevering
Incidents that Give a Poignant Feeling
author:...... R.Santhanaraman, Chennai-33
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 44-52
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

Pages 44-47

I think it was the year 1950. Periya PeriyavaaL Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati SwamigaL for chAturmAsyam was staying in the Semmangudi village near Tiruvarur. Wearing tirumaN and without even taking my (morning) cup of coffee, I was waiting to receive the first tIrtham after Periyavaa completes his puja. Around 12 o' clock when PeriyavaaL finished his puja and came to give tIrtham, the surge of the crowd pushed me who was standing first in the queue away by 30 feet. Since the others pushed me away who was standing in the queue for six hours without taking even a cup of coffee I cursed them within my mind, 'Let no one here be given the first tIrtham.'

Periyavaa who took the uttaraNi to give tIrtham said, without giving tIrtham to anyone, "There, call that AyyangAr boy standing at the corner". I went to him. He said to me, "'Although (my) PATTi asked me to, I did not take my coffee and waited starving for six hours, to get the first tIrtham; and still they drove me away? Let no one here be given the first tIrtham', you cursed? I appreciate your bhakti. You will be amogha. Here, get the first tIrtham!" Everyone appreciated me.

*** *** ***

Could have been 15 days since my upanayanam was held. PeriyavaaL did pattina prevesam in the Semmangudi village only on that day. Everyone prostrated to him on the street. I too prostrated and did an 'abhivAdaye'* to Periya PeriyavaaL. At once the people nearby looked at me and said, "apachAram, apachAram! You should not do an abhivAdaye to PeriyavaaL." I looked closely at Periyava PeriyavaaL. (There came the doubt in my mind, our VAdhyAr asked me to prostrate and say abhivAdaye to elders? But these people tell me I should not do it now? So is this man an elder (periyavar) or not?). PeriyavaaL looked back at me and said, reading my thoughts like an X-ray (reads the inside of a body), "A doubt has come to you as you looked at me if I am PeriyavaaL or not, right?" Then he told me, "'abhivAdaye' is a life history.--In those days, people would not buy a mAppiLLai (bridegroom) as they bought mADu (cattle) at the NIlatthanallUr shandy. They had learnt ingitam. Through the 'abhivAdaye' they would know that such and such man is of such gotram, such sUtram and then decide about giving their daughter in marriage to the man or not. Whereas I am a tuRavi (ascetic), I have no wife, I have no daughter--to give you. Therefore it is not necessary that you do abhivAdaye to me. It is not a mistake that you made an abhivAdaye, however. You understand?" "I understand", I said. In the middle of the road, an upadesham for me for 10 minutes. Can't forget it!

*** *** ***

In that same Semmangudi village at PattAmaNiyAr's house, after the puja was over, everyone went away. I was standing alone at the place where the kUDam (hall) and tAzhvAram (courtyard) met. PeriyavaaL is having bhikShA in the kitchen room at the other end of the hall. Throughout the (walls of the) hall, (framed) portraits of (the gods) Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Thanjavur Krishna and such others are hung. Raising my head I looked at a portrait. In one portrait PeriyavaaL having bhikShA was visible as a shadow. Forthwith I turned my eyes to look at some other side. PeriyavaaL saw me standing, called SriKAryam and asked him to tell 'the boy', "Don't look, move away." SriKAryam came and told me, "Looking at PeriyavaaL having bhikShA is improper; move away." I told him: "I did not look of my own accord. It was itself visible to me in that portrait located straight in my vision. Forthwith I stopped looking." Since this talk fell on PeriyavaaL's ears, he said from where he was, "Don't admonish that boy. He did not look at me with a wishing mind. My having bhikSha being visible from here at 45 degrees in the portrait as a shadow and reflected back to him at 45 degrees reaching his eyes."

Appreciation from PeriyavaaL for explaining my actual position; and kind words for me. Never to be forgotten.

*** *** ***

abhivAdanam - By Abhivadanam an individual expresses his descent-namely dynastic rishis,
gotra, sutra, veda, saka and name.

"When we do abhivadanam to elders, we state what sutra we follow – Apasthamba, Bodhayana etc. These refer to Srouta sutras. In ancient times, the Srouta karmas were given greater importance than grihya karmas. In addition, there are other texts called, sulpa sutras, dharma sutras etc. Among the four vedas, the kalpa sutras of Atharva Veda (which itself is very very less in practice), are not readily available." -- Vedangas

Rules on abhivAdanam are given at:

Examples of suitable representation of names in abhivAdanam are given at:
Re: name during abhivAdanam

The position of women and ascetics with respect to abhivAdanam is discussed at:
[sv-rituals] RE: Abhivadanam

If saying abhivAdanam is dvaidic and fosters the ego is discussed at:

An overview of Gotras and Pravaras is given at:

amogha - 1. a. infallible, efficacious, auspicious 2. unfailing, reaching the mark, fruitful
amogham - (Tamil) 1. unfailing, reaching the mark, fruitful 2. abundance, fullness, plenitude
ingitam - (Tamil) 1. hint, sign, indication of feeling by gesture. 2. sweetness,
tirumaN - A Vaishnava's holy symbol that he wears on the forehead.
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