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Guru upAkhyAnam (Tales about Gurus)-02

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Maha PeriyavaaL who ruled over me
devotee:...... T.A.Bhashyam, North Mada Street, Chinna Kanchipuram
author:....... T.A.Bhashyam
compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source:....... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 6, pages 1-12
publisher:.... Vanathi Padhippaham (Jun 2008 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamil

Pages 1-5

The fortunes I obtained worshipping Maha PeriyavaaL are many and varied. Every time I went for darshan, I had filled my eyes with and felt happy at the sight of his graceful compassion that he showed towards all his devotees.

When Periyavar stood in blessing at Kollarchatram, two old smArta brahmins came in darshan of him.

After the usual inquiries, he asked, "A sAma veda pAThashAlA was run in your village, wasn't it?"

"Yes, we both studied our Veda only there..."

"And then, I went to seek another job..." Both of them stood with their heads down.

"At least something of what you studied is in memory?"


"Will come to mind. Both of you recite now..."

There was no other go, they got stuck with PeriyavaaL. They couldn't say "No we can't recite" decisively, for that would be construed as a big apachAram (disrespect).

"HariH Aum", they started, and that was followed by a pravAham (gush) of susvara sAma gAnam (melodious Sama Veda songs) for a quarter of an hour.

They were themselves surprised that they could sing sAmagAnam without a single discordant note.

Later when giving them prasAdam, he said, "If you recite the brahma yajna prashnam daily, what you have studied won't be forgotton." They took leave promising to do as advised.

*** *** ***

Sitting inside in the Kollachatram, Periyavar was talking to his bhaktas.

He stopped suddenly and said to a disciple, "A yAchakan (beggar) who has lost both his legs is going in the street with a kakSha daNDam (crutch supported by the armpits). Call him."

The beggar came and stood near the entrance. Periayar looked at him and ordered that a dhoti-towel be given to him.

A beggar going in the street--how did he come in the sight of Periyavar sitting inside?

*** *** ***

A turbulent situation in SriLanka. The Tamilians could not live without fear. Various kinds of constraints. Some of them who saught refuge in Tamilnadu came for darshan of PeriyavaaL.

It was then only a week after a leader of the SriLankan Tamils, Padmanabha, was murdered. A frightful tumult ensued in SriLanka.

A long queue for PeriyavaaL darshan on that day. When the turn of the Lankan Tamils came, they started talking about their sufferings just falling short of shedding tears. Periyavar looked the very personification of compassion.

"Leaving all your properties, you people have come just to escape from the situation? How is your jIvanam (life) here? If you return, would you get back your properties?"

Perhaps nobody talked to them with such kindness! Those people narrated the situation in Lanka in a heart-rending manner. PeriyaaL's words of sympathy were precious remedy to the bruises of their hearts.

"Peace should return to your nation... You people should get back your properties!", he blessed them with these words.

People awaiting their turn in the queue started feeling irritated (by this long interview). When an attendant of the MaTham explained to them, "We all can come back again another day and have darshan of PeriyavaaL if it is not possible today. But just look at the fate of these people...", the people in the queue were pacified.

*** *** ***

A few days before PeriyavaaL went for paramapadam (samAdhi), he was talking about our divya prabandha ghoSTi (Divya Prabandha Group).

"You have a shikhA (tuft of hair), lakShaNam (appropriate) to look at. If everyone in your ghoSTi keep a shikhA and do the prabandha sevA it would be blissful to look at", he said.

Some of the members who heard these words keep a tuft and do anvayam (associate) in the Group. "The day will come soon when everyone sports a tuft in accordance with PeriyavaaL's abhilAShA (desire)", I told him.

*** *** ***

The time when PeriyavaaL's shatApt (hundredth year) celebrations were held. He asked our ghoSTi to come over to the MaTham and do the Divya Prabandha service.

We recited arranging the divya prabandha pAsuras as koyil, tirumalai, and perumAL koyil.

When we stopped at a place, PeriyavaaL said, "Do the sevA of 'kaNNinuT chiRuttAmbu'." We were all surprised, because when the entire nAlAyira divya prabandham is about PerumAL, only the eleven pAsuras sung by Madurakavai Azhvar and started with 'kaNNinuT chiRuttAmbu' were in adoration of Nammazhvar. The people of our Group were very happy to realize that since the Azhvars are even more adorable than the Bhagavan, PeriyavaaL ordered recital of that pAsuram of Madurakavi.

*** *** ***
Pages 6-12 (concluding part)

A VaishNava Jeeyar SwamigaL had newly received the sannyAsa Ashrama svIkAram (order of the ascetic).

As he had much interest in Maha PeriyavaaL since his pUrvAshramam (earlier state of life), he wanted to meet the sage now. When his wish was conveyed to Periyavar, he sent the MaTham van. Jeeyar SwamigaL, myself and some assistants went in the van.

As the Jeeyar SwamigaL came, Periyavar welcomed him with a blossoming face saying, "vArum, shrI rAmAnujarE (Welcome, Sri Ramanuja)!" and followed it with the words, "No, no... srI irAmAnusarE!!" (This was because when do sevA of the prabandham, we would call it IrAmAnusa NUtrandAdi, adding an 'i'; and Periyavar had that subtlety in mind).

When the prabandha sevA was over, the sage blessed the saint with the words "innum oru nUtrANDirum--live for another hundred years..." and honoured him with a green shawl with jari decorations, and fruits. At that time the sage told the rare newsbit that the palanquin in the SriPerumpudur temple was given as a gift by the previous Sri Kanchi PIThAdhipatigaL.

*** *** ***

The Rajagopura Kalasam of Kanchi Varadaraja PerumaL temple had fallen down and broken. The divine repair project to the Rajagopuram was started at the initiative of Periyavar and the works were going on.

Periyavar at that time was camping in Tenambakkam. He took it as his custom to do daily pradakShiNam of the sannidhi mADa streets of the Kanchi Devaraja PerumaL temple. The pace of Periyavar's walk was one that could not be met by the others!

Periyavar stood for a few minutes at the entrance of our home in the North Mada Street and did dhyAnam; he looked towards the inside of the house. We did not understand then as to 'what for is this look of grace'. It was not known as to why Periyavar who passed our house with his usual pace every day stood before it on that day (23-12-1977) and then passed along.

Could it have been due to tiredness of his frame caused by the swift pace of his walk? No.

We understood the reason during that night. Yes, my sacred father on that night attained paramapadam (obtained VaikuNTa prApti).

(My father had no eyesight. He was always doing pArAyaNam of the Vishnu SahasranAmam. He would attend the gopUja, gajapUja held in the evenings at SriSankara MaTham located in the Yanaikatti Street; and do sahasranAma pArAyaNam there.

*** *** ***

I had gone to do sevA of PeriyavaaL, along with three directors of the New Delhi Central Government Transport department. Morning six-thirty on a Tuesday.

'Periyavar is not well, so no darshan today', the SriMaTham chippantis (assistants) told us.

The directors Tiru. Anandakrishna Aiyyar, Suman (a North Indian) and Gopalan were much disappointed.

Venkudi doctor examined PeriyavaaL and said, "Fever with 103 degrees of temperature; may not do the snAnam."

"Today is mangaLa vAram, I must do snAnam in the mangaLa tIrtham..."

"A thousand mangaLa vAra snAnas you have done; it's alright if one mangaLa vAra snAnam is not done."

Periyavar got up suddenly, came out quickly, inquired the Muslim who was selling pori at the GangaikoNdAn Mandapam entrance of his health, passed that way to the MangaLa TIrtham and prepared to take bath!

The MaTham assistants were aghast! They ran to him and said, "We shall bring some warm water, and Periyavaa should do snAnamin that warm water on the banks of the pond." Periyavar agreed to it.

Forthwith all of us (including the Delhi director) started doing pArAyaNam of the Purusha SUktam.

On the banks of the MangaLa TIrtha PushkaraNi, a mahonnata abhiShekam (divinely eminent bath) took place as a sight that filled the eyes and overflew.

It was a wonder of wonders for the three officials who were worried on that day about having at least a minute's darshan of Periyavar,--the sight of Periyavar doing snAnam, Purusha SUkta pArAyaNam becoming food for their eyes and ears!

*** *** ***

Once it happened that I, who was working in the administrative office of the Chennai Harbour, had to take my higher official Tiru. S.Ganesan for darshan of Periyavar.

After inquiring him of his pUrvottaram (preceding and following members in the family tree), the places he worked and such other things, Periyavar asked him, "Do you perform the sandhyA vandanam every day?"

"No. My udyogam (calling) is does not suit it... Periyavaa should excuse..."

After keeping silent for a minute, Periyavar said: "Shall I tell you a prAyashchittam (atonement) for it? Could you do it?"

"Shall do it", said Ganeshan.

"You said you have three daughters. What would you do if you had four?"

"I shall educate that girl too well and get her married in a good place."

"Assuming that you have four daughters, whatever you would do that fourth daughter, spend that money for a kAryam (task) I shall tell you now.

"According to our Shastras, the nitya karmAnuShThAnas (daily religious observances) and studying the Vedas differ as per the gotra--sampradAya. The SandhyA Vandana mantras are not identical for everyone. With proper pandits, you should arrange to examine those mantras and classify them based on the shAkhA-gotra-pravartAdi (brach of the Veda and gotra), and publish handy books. You must distribute those books free to the boys studying in colleges and polytechnics. At least a few of them would in later days undertake the karmAnuShThAnas as per their tradition. You call the Mahapandits of the Mylapore Samskrta College to your bungalow, discuss with them and publish the books..."

My higher official agreed to the proposal enthusiastically. (But then I have no knowledge if those books were published).

This incident is an example that Periyavar had concern for the next generation.

*** *** ***

Periyavar had unnata bhakti (high devotion) towards Sri Kanchi Devaraja PerumaL. (Deva PerumaL = Devarajan = Varadarajan).

On the day of Garuda sevA, if PeriyavaaL happens to be in Kanchipuram, it was his custom to do sevA to PerumaL standing in some place (inside the sannidhi, at the Gopuram entrance, entrance of the sixteen-legged mandapam, entrance of the Kacchabesvara temple or near the GangaikoNdAn Mandapam opposite the MaTham).

In return in the evening, as accords a MaThAdhipati, the honours of bahumAna panchamudra saDAri* would be done to Periyavar.

In the same way, if Periyavar happens to be in Kanchipuram, on the day of Sri VaikuNTa EkAdasi he would come to the temple (sometime between the morning and night), do sevA of PerumaL without disturbing others and return to his place. I have also witnessed his going on pAdayAtra to the eight sannidhis in the eight Divyadeshas in Kanchi for having the aShTa vishNu darshanam on the VaikuNTa Ekadasi day.

*** *** ***

*This link, among others, has information as to why is a saDAri honour done in a PerumaL temples:
What is a SADARI ? why this is put on the head of devotees in srivishnu temples ? what it symbolises ? - Yahoo! Answers
The Stories Periyavaa Told
devotee:...... Radha Ramamurthi
author:....... Radha Ramamurthi
compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source:....... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 6, pages 173-179
publisher:.... Vanathi Padhippaham (Jun 2008 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamil

A tuRavi (ascetic) who was going on pAdayAtrA (tour on foot) to Rameswaram stayed in the village common maTham, acceding to the request of the people of the village.

He would visit every house in the village daily in the morning and ask, "arisi vAngalaiyO?" (did not buy the rice?--literally).

The village people enjoyed this new custom in the beginning. But then later on they started feeling irritated by the ascetic daily asking them this question.

One man took courage and asked the ascetic: "Swami, aren't we sending you your bikShA (alms) every day each taking his turn among ourselves? Then why ask 'arisi vAngalaiyO?' If we don't have the rice how can we give you the bhikShA?"

The ascetic was calm for a while, without feeling angry. Then he said: "It is only my mistake not to have told you people in a way you would understand it. I did not ask "arisi vAngalaiyO?" Only to remind you of the name of the God, I asked "ari sivA engalaiyO?" (did not say Hari, Siva today?) In this age of Kali, only the name of the God is the simplest way towards liberation. I was prompting you only towards that way (by my question)..."

The villagers' respect towards the ascetic multiplied several times on hearing this explanation from him. Everyone came forward competing among themselves to be of service to him. The relationship between them was becoming closer. After four days, however, the ascetic left the village to continue his yAtrA.

*** *** ***

aDiyArs crowd (throng of devotees) around PeriyavaaL. Men on one side and women on the other.

On that day PeriyavaaL talked about 'easy' things and was drowning the devotees in the flood of humour and laughter.

Suddenly he turned towards the men's side and asked, "Who among you knows cooking?"

The men, including those who had not even peeped into their kitchen, said in a single voice, "Yes, I know it!"

"How would you prepare the kuzhambu (sAmbAr)?" was the next question.

The man who was first in the queue started saying: "Dissolving tamarind in water, then adding red chili powder and salt to it; the mixture should be boiled well and then served."

The man standing next said, "The mustard and red chillis should be first seasoned in some oil, then after the tamarind-salt-chili powder mixture is boiled, boiled dhal should be added to it, and after the whole thing boils once, the coriander and curry leaves should be added..."

Another man said, "The tamarind and red chilis both should be ground with water in the ammi (grinding stone) and then salt, boiled dhal and a pinch of asafoetida added to the mixture which must be boiled well..."

Thus some of the men narrated many wonderful ways of the recipe. Then PeriyavaaL's turn came up.

"All of you are great jnAnis! Those who have forgotten their ahamkAram (ego). For my part, I am still trying (to accomplish) it."

What does PeriyavaaL say?

"The reason for people to get confused is the thought of tAn (me). All of you people have no thought of that tAn! Only the tamarind-salt-chili-asafoetida stay in your memory. The thought of tAn never came up. Isn't this the state of jnAnis?" (PeriyavaaL was alluding that they forgot to mention about the vegetable added to the kuzhambu which has the name tAn--sd).

The ADiyArs stood as rock statues at the foothills of the Kailash mountain.

*** *** ***

A divine opportunity of having darshan of PeriyavaaL on the day of Tamil New Year came up.

We had gone there from Pudukottai, and submitted him the (tiny) flowers of the neem tree along with some tamarind and jaggery.

"How do you prepare the neem flower pachchaDi (salad)?" asked PeriyavaaL.

We spoke about it in a clumsy way.

PeriyavaaL said: "These three products are not enough. You must add honey and ghee. If you do it in pakvam (proper way), the pachchaDi will be tasty. The salad prepared in this way must be distributed to others; and they would become enchanted towards you!

"First, naivedyam (nivedanam--offer) to AmbaaL; and she would be enhanted! Then, to the ahattukkArar (householder, husband); and he would nod his head to whatever his wife says! Then, it must be given to the household servants, and they would do their work without murmur!"

Then he ordered to the ukkirANam (kitchen) for preparation of some neem flower salad, bringing it over and distributing to us.

"Know what is this for?"

A woman replied: "So that all of us would conduct ourselves in accordance with PeriyavaaL's Aj~jA/AGYA/Aj~nA (precepts)..."

"That is right... (but then) this is Tripurasundari prasAdam. You all should remain always as the bhaktais (women devotees) of AmbaaL."

What was in our palms did not seem to be a spoon of neem flower salad, rather as the sea of amRutam (divine nectar).

*** *** ***
Incidents that never escape from memory
devotee:...... Srimati Indira Balasubramaniam, West Thana, Mumbai
author:....... Srimati Indira Balasubramaniam
compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source:....... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 6, pages 180-196
publisher:.... Vanathi Padhippaham (Jun 2008 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamil

Pages 180-185

Kanchi MahAn needs no introduction. If it is one kind of joy to read about the experiences had by those who approached him, it is another kind to share them with others; and to write about them is a third kind. He was also unique in fulfilling the yearnings of those who sought him.

It was the time when kanakAbhiShekam was being arranged for the MahAn. A letter received from the MaTham said that those who wished to participate in the service might give according to their shakti gold worth one sovereign or an equivalent amount in rupees.

I decided to give the pair of bangles that I had made for my marriage. Although it was a month and a half for the day of the kanakAbhiShekam, we had no plans to visit Kanchipuram at that time. And this man (my husband) would be very strict that what we offer should not be known to a third person; so it wasn't possible for us to send the offer through a third person. He said we might send a 'draft' for an equivalent amount (for the bangles).

Whereas I said, "Have already kept it for Periyavar, can't change it." I had inquired with two jewellery shops as to whether the pure gold obtained from melting the bangles would amount to a sovereign. With confusion in mind, as I thought that perhaps PeriyavaaL was not willing to receive my offer, tears welled up in my eyes.

As I entered the house, what a surprise! A man from the MaTham was talking to 'this man'. He said that the letter was sent as an advance announcement and that he had come in person to receive the offer.

A relative woman of mine had lost a number of her jewels since her husband was not behaving properly. I told her, "You too give a sovereign." She did as I said and thereafter she did not lose anything.

*** *** ***

Thinking of PeriyavaaL if one climbs down his/her doorsteps, it would be his responsibility until the person returns home. During the MahAn's north Indian yAtrA we went to Solapur where he camped. The railway station master of that place, though a Marati, guided everyone who sought his help to the place where the sage was camping.

He asked us to take a bus, so we got into a bus. The conductor asked us to get own at a place. We got down and walked. It was very dark, with no sign of human movement. A stretch of fields on both sides. Even after walking for a half hour we couldn't locate the place where the MahAn was staying. Fear seizing my mind between its jaws, I thought of the MahAn and prayed to him. Not even five minutes would have passed and we sighted a boy riding on a cycle at a distance. We also came to know that he belonged to the MaTham. When we asked him he said, "Only ten minutes walk, follow me."

Once we went to a place called Miraj and stayed with the MahAn in the MaTham for two days. The day of our return came. A Marati man came on that day with family for darshan. When he inquired us about Periyavar, we said, "you can go inside and have darshan." When he went inside, we came out and stood under a tree. We were discussing, 'there seems to be no vehicle or bus from here to the Miraj railway station; how are we to go there?' A car that went passed us stopped suddenly. The Marati man we were talking to awhile ago, got down and told us, "Where do you want to go? You can't get a vehicle here, so come in our car." Getting rapturous about the MahAn's compassion for us, we accompanied them.

*** *** ***

The MahAn was staying on the other side of the river in Pandaripuram. When we went there, it was eight o' clock at night. A boatman promised to take us to the other side and did so. When we offered money for the service, he refused to take it. "I don't get money from people who come to have darshan of the MahAn", said that poor Marati boatman.

We could buy lots of the tulasi leaf bunches there. Stringing them into a garland using the fibre of the banana tree, we gave it to him and stood aside. I was a bit distressed at heart that he did not even have a look at it. A hour passed. A Marati man brought a statue. He said, "This Lakshminarayana statue we got when we dug our land." Periyavar did abhiShekam to the image with water from his kamaNDalu. Adorning it with the tulasi garland I had submitted, he asked the man to take it home. Perhaps he did not wear the garland himself knowing that the statue would be brought to him.

*** *** ***

Sometime later, four or five people brought a man bitten by a snake. With his mouth foaming, the victim found it hard to breathe. Periyavar looked at him once and gave a lot of vibhUti. A man who brought the victim smeared it all over the body and dropped some in the victim's mouth. Half an hour later, the victim was restored to normal health and went back walking with the people who brought him.

*** *** ***

He was an expert in appearing in dreams too for blessing a person. One of my elder brothers died when he was eighteen years old. At that time my mother's age was hardly thirty-four. When my mother had thoughts of suicide with no thought towards her other children, he appeared in her dream. My mother changed her mind and lived on, and reared us all, feeding us with devotion towards Periyavar.

Many years back my mother became unwell. I found myself crying before Periyavar in my dream. The cut half of a coconut was in his hand, filled with its water. He says to me, "Look, I have only given you a good coconut." Today my mother is eighty years old.

*** *** ***

During the year 1974 my father once took diamonds to a goldsmith's home to make them into a diamond stud for me. He went around eight in the morning but did not return even at nine in the night. Those days there were no telephone facilities like we have today. Worry started spreading in our mind. My mother said, "Come, let us pray to Swami." Crying, I said, "Who else is there for us, except PeriyavaaL?" Before I could finish that sentence, my father's head was seen at the doorsteps. It is another matter that he explained the delay in his returning.

*** *** ***
Pages 185-191

We had gone to Kalavai. 'This man' had taken the examination for the A.M.I. and told so to Peiyavar, with the discomfort of having not done well in the exam showing in his voice. The MahAn blessed him and we returned. The exam results came, and he had passed it successfully in a good class.

It is our custom to keep new clothes, savouries and whatever else, before his portrait and then use it. On the morning of the day PeriyavaaL attained samAdhi, I did anusha pUja. At three-fifteen in the afternoon, I placed to his portrait a sweet ball made of sugar, soyabean flour and wheat flour. At seven-thirty in the evening a phone message came from Chennai. My mother told me that Periyavar had attained samAdhi at 2:55 pm and asked me to do nivedanam with pAyasam for at least ten days.

*** *** ***

He was an ascetic, jnAni; and would say that keeping more wealth than required was the cause of all afflictions. Although we only seek from him our ihapara sukham (worldly comforts), he would fulfil our needs and also stress his opinion.

At Kalavai, a devotee told him: "I have got promotion. They have included me in the 'A' grade."

"Will get income that meets your needs?" asked Periyavar.

"I get more than what we need", said the devotee.

"Then why the promotion?" asked Periyavar, sporting an enchanting smile.

*** *** ***

My husband had pain on the left side of his stomach. The doctor could not understand the reason for it. We asked my mother to represent the case to Periyavar. Periyavar told Amma, "Pray at the DakshiNamUrti Sannidhi. Ask them to serve meals to two brahmaNas at Rameswaram on the Sankara Jayanthi day." We complied with his advice for three years and the stomach pain subsided and vanished. When we went to Satara we told him that we were doing the act of charity for three years. The MahAn said it was enough.

*** *** ***

When my sister AvayAmbaaL and I were children, the darshan of Periyavar we got at ILayAttankudi was our first memory. Some years back, she had arranged to come over Pune and then go to Bombay and Chennai. But then since the wife of a popular leader died on the previous day, there was tension in Maharashtra, a bandh (closure) was announced and the autos and buses were off the road. I rang up Pune and asked her to change her date of departure. But she said that she had to go to office on that particular date at Chennai, so a change of date would not be possible for her. "There could be problems due to anti-social elements. Some people have even lost their lives", I said.

She replied in a single word, "All those things Periyavaa would take care." 'Tut, this did not occur to me?' I thought. On the next day I went to Kalyan, received her and got down at Muland. As we came out, only police heads could be seen everywhere. We had a heavy trunk and a bag in our hands; would take twenty-five minutes to walk down the distance. We stood perplexed not knowing what to do.

"Amma, what did you come here for? Want to go home?" a voice was heard. Turning my head, I saw Velu, the newspaper delivery man of our adjacent street. I had talked with him once or twice. He came forward, took our bag and trunk, kept it at the backseat on the bicycle and accompanied us till we reached home, pushing his bicycle all the way.

*** *** ***

Once in my dream, he descended from the portrait I usually do anusha pUja to and stood before me. A string of jasmine flowers in his hand. Sri Jayendra SwamigaL comes from the entrance of the house. Giving him the string of flowers, the sage says, "Give this to her." It is remarkable that at that time there was no portrait of Sri Jayendra SwamigaL in our home.

*** *** ***

I was travelling alone from Chennai to Bombay. Three men were on the side seats. I had the habit of sleeping deeply at night. Could have been two-thirty at night, I was awakened suddenly. I did not know how I woke up, but found a man standing on the side of my head. I sat up, seized my handbag hard (a photograph of Periyavar was in there) and asked him, "What happened to you? What do you want?" "Nothing", said the man and returned to his seat. I woke up the women sleeping in the adjacent seats, told them what happened and asked them to keep awake for the rest of the night. I had no doubt that it was only Periyavar residing in the form of a photograph in my bag who woke me up at that right time.

*** *** ***

We were living in Muland. I could publish a book of our search efforts for an own house. We were tired with so much efforts of looking out. There was even an occasion of having paid an advance money that was returned. When we went to Kanchi we informed Periyavar. Periyavar would always inquire about a thing and get to know it thoroughly. He asked, "What is the next (railway) station? How far is Dombivili from there?" Then, "Only the pagaDi (house advance) system in our place? How much pagaDi did you pay for the house you reside in presently?"

After we returned home, we got our own house, at Thana.

*** *** ***

At Miraj, a Marati man submitted two baskets full of bhakShaNas (savouries) that included adirasam. Periyavar was in meditation. Sometime later, hearing Periyavar's voice, my husband peeped out. "Call SriKaNTan", said the sage. When the man came, "Distribute these bhakShaNas to everyone", he said. Two hours later, he inquired if everything was distributed. Even a small thing would not escape his memory.

Looking at a family who came in the evening, Periyavar asked, "Your son who quit house when he was a boy, how is he now?". Then he asked, "Am I telling you jOsyam (astrological prediction) now?" After a minute's silence, "Had he gone in a good manner, he would only be in a good position". That family returned, confident that their son who had deserted them was doing well. And the MaTham's rule that no astrological prediction should be done was also not transgressed.

*** *** ***

When my husband had gone to Kanchipuram, a woman wept to Periyavar, "My tirumAngalyam is lost in a theft. I am very poor." Forthwith Periyavar asked a MaTham assistant to bring a new tirumAngalyam from the MaTham stock, gave it to the woman with his own hand and asked her to wear it.

*** *** ***

Periyavar came walking from Tenambakkam to Kanchipuram. We followed him. My mother at that time picked up some sand from Periyavar's footprint that was not obliterated by any other footprint and gave the sand to me. Today that sand is receives the utmost consideration in our anusha pUja at home.

*** *** ***
Pages 191-196 (concluding part)

This one happened very recently. My younger sister had saved some money for Kamakshi Amman. But her doing something for the deity was getting unduly postponed. During this time she had gone to listen to a lecture by a paurANika (one who is well-versed in Puranas). In an incident that he narrated, he said that a man once showed PeriyavaaL two packets and said, "One for the MaTham and another for Kamakshi." Periyavar replied, "Then say that both are for me"!

Having heard about this incident, my sister took the money she had saved for Kamakshi Amman and bought puja and abhiSheka things that Periyavar may use for his panchaloha vigraham and gave them to him. It was a surprise that she had to spend the entire savings of six hundred rupees, not a rupee more,--or less.

*** *** ***

Among Periyavar's devotees, my mother's chitthi (maternal sister) and chitthappA (maternal sister's husband) were prominent. ChitthappA was doing some business in Bombay. The business suffered a sudden loss, the family went broke and came to Chennai. Periyavar was at that time camping in Chennai. Chitthi spent most of her day in the MaTham. Although her twenty year old son had died during this time, she continued to do errands such as preparing the flowers for puja.

She said that Periyavar doing puja would give her darshan alternately as Goddess Kamakshi and God Shiva at those times. When she looked again, he would appear as a smiling sannyAsi.

One day, Chitthi's daughter, a child, found that her dress had caught fire. Chitthi said that she at once thought of Periyavar, put out the fire, and removed the child's dress. There was not a small burn on the child's body. Later carrying out Periyavar's directions, Chitthi and ChitthappA went back to Bombay and started doing business again. Is it necessary to say that the sage sent them back only to restore their earlier status?

When it was time to seek an alliance for her elder daughter, Periyavar asked her, "You toil now (for your daughter's marriage)! Tomorrow you would demand in the same way for your son, is it not?"

Chitthi said, "I shall not demand anything at all"--and kept her word. Apart from this, she lived with vairAgyam without wearing any jewels on herself. Later, entrusting the family responsibility to her son, she came to Kanchi with her husband. Periyavar gave them shelter in the MaTham. They had darshan of Periyavar for three times a day. Sometime later they rented a house and went to live there.

Once when she had gone to Kanchi, Chitthi's daughter told Periyavar that a byepass surgery was being recommended for her husband's heart condition.

"The doctors say that the surgery is a must. Periyavaa should cure him without any surgery", she supplicated. The MahAn blessed her and her husband became well without any surgery to the surprise of the doctors.

*** *** ***

Tiru Raghavan, my aunt's husband, after his retirement, was teaching Veda in the MaTham's Veda PAThashAla. When Periyavar was camping in Andhra, Sri Raghavan took the PAThashAla children and went to the Tungabadra river bank. Asking them to recite the Veda, he got in the river. It was not known if he knew about the depth of the river, but he let himself be carried away by the river, joining his palms over his head. The body had gone very far away. My aunt's family was not secure financially. Periyavar arranged for searching the body and carrying out the antima kriyas (last rites) at the expense of the MaTham. He also comforted my aunt. Her last daughter wasn't married at that time. To Raghavan's elder brother, Periyavar had given the title 'vidyArti' and kept him in the MaTham. For the last daughter's marriage, Periyavar sent sari and dhoti from the MaTham and blessed the couple.

*** *** ***

As she suffered from a heart ailment, my mother-in-law had been admitted to the hospital. When my mother and I had gone to Kanchi, we informed Periyavar of this news. The MahAn blessed raising his hand. Thereafter, my mother-in-law lived for seventeen years and died in her seventy-ninth year of age.

*** *** ***

He would help in human form at times of emergency. On long journeys he would come as a fellow traveller. Countless familes owed him their living. Among those who shed tears for his attaining samAdhi, there were poor cycle-rickshaw drivers.

Kanchipuram has attained its fame not just because of its temple, but also because of our Periyavar and his successors Sri Jayendra Periyavar and Bala Periyavar.

*** *** ***

Several years back we met Sri Jayendra SwamigaL and told him the news that a child was born to us but died shortly after birth. He gave us prasAdam. In the next year, our son was born on the day of his avatAra nakShatram avittam. The name that was set for the child according to our family tradition was Swaminatha Sarma. The name we gave him was Chandrasekhar.

*** *** ***

Once my elder brother was unwell. When I was worried much over it, Sri Jayendra SwamigaL appeared in my dream. He asked, "Your ANNA is not well?" and laughed. From the very next day my elder brother started progressing in health.

Sri SwamigaL had cured us countless times giving us his prasAdam when we supplicated to him about our ailments. He also cured the stone in my son's kidney in this way. We informed Sri PeriyavaaL when our son suffered from backache and that the doctor recommended treatment using acupuncture. Sri Jayendra SwamigaL said at once, "All those things are not necessary. Apply this ointment and it will be fine", and gave us a small bottle of Amrutanjan. An ordinary Amrutanjan, a jaladoSha nivAraNi (cure for common cold), when it was touched by the hand of Sri Jayendra SwamigaL, cured backache.

*** *** ***
'aRanUl nuTpam': Sharpness about the Shastras
devotee:...... a rich man of Chinna Tippa Samudram
author:....... Chandramauli, close disciple
compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source:....... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 6, pages 207-209
publisher:.... Vanathi Padhippaham (Jun 2008 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamil

Sri Maha SwamigaL was once camping in an old PiLLaiyAr temple in the village 'Chinna Tippa Samudram' near Madanapalli.

People used to refer to the name of the place only as 'CTS' instead of using its full name. It was the occasion when Sri Sankara Jayanti was round the corner. Considering it, Sri Kalluri Veerabhadra SastrigaL, an ardent devotee of Sri PeriyavaaL, and I took a bus from Chennai and reached 'CTS'. Both Sri Kalluri Veerabhadra SastrigaL and his brother were both experts in Sanskrit. They were natives of Andhra Predesh. Sri Pujya pAdAL himself knew about their 'vidvat' (scholarship). He used to come often and meet Sri PeriyavaaL.

Sri Sankara Jayanati was to come two days after we went there. During that time there were only three men to do the 'kaingkariyam' (service) to PeriyavaaL; (whereas) between thirty and forty people used to come daily for the darshan.

There was a 'dhanika' (rich man) in that place, who had a large family. He was Sri PeriyavaaL's 'parama bhakta'. The arrangement was that it was only in his house the devotees who came seeking darshan of Sri PeriyavaaL had their stay and meals.

Sankara Jayanti was celebrated grandly in the place where Sri PeriyavaaL was staying. Sri PeriyavaaL ordered Sri Kalluri Veerabhadra SastrigaL to give a 'vAkyArtham' lecture.

Sri PeriyavaaL himself explained that the name Sankaran was given to Sri BhagavadpAdAL in accordance with the kaTapayadi saMkhya (Katapayadi system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Paddy seeds in the manner of 'virai dAnam' were distributed. Then we all went to the tanikA's house and had our 'bhojanam' (meal) there.

On the next day was scheduled in the rich man's house the Upanayanam function of his grandson. On the morning of the Upanayanam Sri PeriyavaaL called the two aNukkat-toNdars (personal assistants) Ramakrishnan and SriKanTan and ordered, "Today is the Upanayanam in their house. Ask the people who have come here, not to have their meal in the Upanayanam house. Both of you cook the meals and serve them here." He also asked the 'tanikA' to be informed of this decision.

A great shock for the 'tanikA'. 'What mistake have we committed?' was his worry; with an yearning if he should not get the 'puNyam' of having fed the Sankara Bhaktas.

He felt like wailing. Maha PeriyavaaL was informed of his sorrow. The reply he gave was: "They would perform the 'nAndI shrAddham' in the Upanayanam house. The Shastra says that others should not have a meal in the house where 'nAndhI' is performed. So I asked for the arrangements to be made here."

No doubt that Sri PeriyavaaL demonstrated this Shastra related 'kAryam' for all the people. How many people familiar with the Shastras know about this scriptural injunction?

Note: Here is an article about the 'nAndI shrAddham':
Ammupatti's thoughts: Nandisradham

In the PuShpagiri maTham
author:....... T.N.SuppiramaNi
compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source:....... MahA PeriyavAL darisana anubhavangaL vol.3, page 001-009
publisher:.... VAnathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamizh

In the year 1978, shrI PeriyavargaL was camping in the campus of the PANyam cement factory located on the banks of the Hagari river, which is a tributary of the TunggabhadrA river.

Our father was then working as the Station Master of the Kadapa (formerly Cuddapah) railway station. The PuShpagiri maTham is located in ChennUr near Kadapa. Occasioned by a meeting with the manager of that MaTham, MAyavaram KaNNAvaiyar, the friendship between Father and him was growing. Owing to that, we had the opportunity of PuShpagiri SvAmigaL staying for fifteen days in our gRham--house, doing pUjA in-vistAram--elaborately, and giving darshan to his bhaktas--devotees.

One day PuShpagiri SvAmigaL said, "The very kAraNam--reason, for my taking up saMnyAsam--renunciation, is only PeriyavAL!

"When I had completed my college education, he asked me, 'Will you take up the administration of the PuShpagiri maTham?' First I did not agree to the proposal. But then PeriyavA spoke to me about the distinctions of the PuShpagiri maTham. The health of the then pIThAdhipatigaL--pontiff, of the PuShpagiri maTham was not alright at that time. The MaTham was in much a kShINa--withered, state. When PeriyavargaL ordered me, 'Only you should take up the responsibility as pIThAdhipati of that MaTham and set its administration right', I could not refuse him.

"PeriyavargaL KAmAkShi svarUpam--form! Seems there will be no worldly news that would not be known to him!" We were much delighted to listen to him declare in this way.

Did you witness an accident?

When my thambi--younger brother, had darshan of PeriyavargaL, he asked, "Did you witness any accident on your way?"

"Yes..." Why he asked that question was known later.

When certain mukhyastas--VIPs, from BellAry, after going to MantrAlayam, were returning in their new car via Hagari, they had darshan of PeriyavargaL. The uttaravu--order of the sage, was that they stay in the place for the night and continue their return journey on early next morning. As they had to get back immediately, they started without staying for the night, and met with an accident en route!

Bring your mother!

For four or five years, our mother was suffering from rheumatism. She was bedridden. But then my mother had a great wish to have darshan of PeriyavargaL. How could it happen?

When supplicated to PeriyavargaL with much hesitation, he said, "Bring her".

Taking Mother in a car, we parked it at the entrance of the temple where Periyavar was staying. PeriyavargaL's dRShTi--sight, fell on the car. The sadas--assembly, of vedic pandits was going on inside the temple. Hearing the noise of the car, they muttered their disapproval and looked at us with disdain.

But then PeriyavargaL, as if he was calling a child, called to my mother, "vA...vA--come..come". My thambi and I supported Mother and took her near him.

"MaNi, seat her in-bhadram--with dear care" PeriyavA said, and started talking to Mother. In the pravAham--rush, of emotions, my Mother could not talk to him properly. Somehow she managed to narrate to him about our family problems. He gave her his anugraham--divine favour, "Everything will be alright gradually... don't worry."

When Mother was talking, PeriyavargaL asked me many times, "MaNi, is that your mother talking?" I said, "yes". Only later the kAraNam--reason, was known.

In her last days, Mother could not talk and she breathed her last in that state of health. Only this the mAmunivar--great sage, had indicated to us on that day.

In Shiva temple...

A village called VENivIrApuram near BellAry. Populated by people who depended on agriculture for their life. If there were no rains, there was no jIvanam--life.

They came to PeriyavargaL and supplicated to him in Kannadam.

"Is there a Shivan temple in your village?"

"There is."

"Do abhiShekam--pouring water over, (to the Shivalingam) with a hundred-and-eight pots of water. Enough if you do it uttering the mantra shiva, shiva. Do shivanAma japam sitting in the sannidhi--divine abode, until sUryodayam--sunrise."

As ordered by Periyavar, the shivArAdhanam was held on the next day. On the day after, they skies parted and it rained heavily!

The vigraham--image, VidyAraNya did pUja to

The mukhAm--camp, (of the sage) was in the Hospet ChintAmaNi maTham.

A LalilAmbAL vigraham is there, to which the Adhipati of that MaTham does daily pUja. PeriyavargaL said that it was vigraham VidyAraNya, who established the Hampi city, did pUja to.

A karNa-parampara--heard through the ears (not written down), legend is that in a guha--cave, located on the banks of a pond in Hampi, HanumAn did sandhyA-vandanam. VidyAraNya had done tapas--penance, in that guha (MalayALa brahma kuDi--lineage).

PeriyavargaL stayed there.

The custom-forlorn temple car was run

Since some parts of the ratham--car/chariot, of the Hampi VirUpAkSha temple suffered a damage in a fire accident, that custom of running that car (in an annual festival) was abandoned. PeriyavA encouraged the people of the TunggabhadrA Steel Company to get it repaired. Even in the state of complete repair, for some reason, the car refused to move. When the news was conveyed, PeriyavargaL came to that place and stood for sometime with closed eyes. Then he asked the car to be pulled. And the car moved happily, gently shaking (its tall frame)!

ChandrahAsan's KALI

During that time came the ArAdhana--worshipping, month of the AchArya who held the title before PeriyavAL.

Taking the help of SakhArAm BhaTTar who was doing pUja kaingaryam--puja services, in the RAmar temple at a place called GangavatI, PeriyavA ordered to appoint for the ArAdhana, uttama--most elevated, Vedic pandits of KarnATaka.

An atyanta shiShya--prominently close disciple, (now METTUr svAmigaL) and I, along with SakhArAm BhaTTar, visited the kugrAmas--hamlets, and invited several pandits who had done-arpaNa-of--dedicated, their life to the Vedas.

At that time, we saw the apUrva mUrtam--rare image, of HanumAn, in the KALI temple at KukkanUr, Koppal district, where the purANa-kAla--of Puranic times, ChandrahAsan worshipped. A pair of glittering stones of ratnam--gemstone, was fixed in the eyes. The installation of the image was such that the bhakta--devotee, from whatever spot he had darshan, had the impression that HanumAn was looking at him.

Vacate the maNDapam immediately!

The mukhAm--camp, was in Anakunti, on the banks of the TunggabhadrA river. One can see the ruined Chinna--cut images, of the KRShNadevarAya sAmrAjyam--empire, here.

They say that this was the place where shrI RAmA, standing behind a tree, killed VAli with his arrow. Similarly, it was the place of Nava BrindAvanam, considered sacred by the MAdhvas. The Nine BrindAvanas located on a rocky island in the midst of the TunggabhadrA is adored as the KAshi of the MAdhvas. So, MAdhvas used to visit the place in large numbers, and do pUja with bhakti--devotion.

The AnnapUraNI temple, which is under the administration of the ChintAmaNi maTham, is located in the city of Hospet. Goddess AnnapUraNI was given a decoration with laDDus, in accordance with Periyavar's AGYA--orders!

Around two o' clock in the afternoon, he gave his shiShyas sudden and urgent orders to immediately vacate the maNDapam--pavilion, where the cooking and dining was done, and move to the place adjacent to the AnnapUraNI temple. "There would be a cat and its kitten staying in the samaiyal-kaTTu--(Tamizh) kitchen. Drive them away too."

The maNDapam vacated by the shiShyas, after the next half-an-hour, for whatever reason, started falling down slowly!

PeriyavA saved everyone, including the cat and its kittens!

A boxful of fruits

When I went for darshan once, he asked me, "Will you buy fruits for the pAThashAla--Vedic school, boys?"

I was in goose bumps. It is enough if he said a word, "Buy fruits"? Shall I not carry it out as the first task, keeping it on top of my head?

The words of someone making an inquiry in MarAthi (language) was heard. PeriyavargaL asked the man to be brought inside at once. The details narrated by the man who came were: He was a retired employee who worked under a rAja-kuTumbam--royal family, of KAshmIr. Presently he was in SatAra. That KAshmIr king was one known to PeriyavargaL, he said. Gathering information that PeriyavA was camping in SatAra, the King had sent ten wooden boxes filled with high quality apples, to be presented to the sage. Taking delivery of those boxes from the office of the lorry company, the man had come straight to PeriyavargaL.

He piled up the boxes before PeriyavargaL. "It has turned out very well! You are saved from the expenses! Take two-three boxes and distribute them among the pAThashAla boys. You take one box..."

When hundreds of bhaktas were yearning to get one fruit from PeriyavAL, I had the fruit prasAdam--divine gift, of a boxful!

The bhakti of the boatman

The mukhAm--camp, was in PaNDarIpuram. Getting down from the bus, one can have darshan of PeriyavargaL, only after crossing the ChandrabhAgA river.

It was eight in the night when we got down from the bus. The sky was overcast with rain clouds, and it was drizzling. Dangerous floods swept the river.

The boatman at first did not oblige. He said in MarAthi, "It is dangerous to cross the river now. You can go in the morning." When we said, "we need to have darshan of SvAmigaL...", he said, "Shankar guruji? achChA--well, climb the boat."

After reaching the other bank, I stretched my hand with the fare to him.

"nahin--No, I won't get money! Shankar guruji is our eye-witnessed deivam--god. The very PaNDarinAtha (he is)! He called and talked to us. It was like ViTTal himself coming over and talking to us!"

Earth-ruling kings and well-read pandits adore PeriyavAL. Here a pAmaran--an illiterate, adores him! How can this be?

Giving up the idea of finding an answer, I am falling at the sacred feet of PeriyavA, doing vandanam--reverence, to him. Perhaps this is the answer?

Only that viDaiyERi--Bull-Rider, knows it.

*** *** ***
On the banks of the river KAvEri at Angkarai
author:....... a devotee
compiler:..... T.S.KOthaNDarAma sarma
translator.... saidevo
source:....... MahA PeriyavAL darisana anubhavangaL v03-p028-032
publisher:.... VAnathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamizh

From Angkarai, in the year 1986, some people had come for darshan.

After inquiring them about many general matters, he inquired probingly about the sandhyA-vandana ghat on the KavEri bank. Pointing to Angkarai ShrIKaNThan standing nearby, who was taking care of the bhikShA kaingkaryam--feeding the sage and his assistants, he said, "Whenever I ask him about Angkarai, this man says he doesn't know anything."

To that ShrIKaNThan replied, "It is since forty years I left Angkarai. So, I do not know anything about it."

The people who had come for darshan said, "Some people have encroached the sandhyA-vandana ghat and erected huts there; only a small place is left there."

shrIPeriyavAL: Those are poor people. You don't need to drive them away. In the remaining place, construct a compound wall, plant two bhilva trees and tulasi and nourish them.

They assured him to do it as ordered.

Later, ShrIKaNThan took saMnyAsa--renunciation, in the year 2003 and went to (shrIMaTham branch at) TiruvAnaikkovil, where he attained siddhi. When yatna--efforts, were initiated to bury the deham--body, in the shrIMaTham garden there, since shrIMaTham remained within the pancha-prakAram--five courtyards, (of the TiruvAnaikkA temple), some people did-AkShepa--objected, that no buriyal should be done there.

With no other solution was in sight, based on the suggestion given by a man who built the compound wall at Angkarai, and in accordance with the uttaravu--(Tamizh) orders, of shrIPeriyavAL, the body was taken there and the buriyal done.

For his saMnyAsa shiShya--ascetic disciple, who was to attain siddhi in the year 2003, his getting ready a place in the year 1986 itself... did it happen accidentally? or by shrIPeriyavAL's dIrgha dRShTi--foresight?

arE, Allah...!

shrIPeriyavAL was camping in the pumping station of the A.C.C.Cement Factory, on the banks of the KAgna river, in Hyderabad.

That pradesham--region, belonged to the Old Hyderabad SamasthAnam. Now it is a part of the KarnATakA state.

At a kilometer distance from that place, is the garden of a man named BhImasEnappA KiTTappA. He was the one who opposed the atrocities on the Razaks during the rule of the Nawab and won the battle. Accepting his wishes that PeriyavAL should visit his place, the sage went there one day.

In the time of mAdhyAnikam--noon, a Muslim devotee came for darshan. When shrIPeriyavAL told him, "Your wife came in the morning with fruits and had darshan", he was surprised and said: "I am working in a shop. When I walked this morning holding the rickshaw, BAbA--your holiness, had a look at me. I had a feeling of seeing Allah in person. Further it seemed to me that you said something in Urdu, my mother tongue. I could come only now, after my work is over. At home, my wife told me of her having darshan."

The sage gave him fruits and did anugraham, when the devotee thus spoke to him and prostrated. It is not surprising that MahA-PeriyavAL who is ellAvum--everything, not giving darshan as Allah.

Build a RAmar temple

The time when shrIPeriyavAL was in mukhAm--camp, in the year 1978, at Hampi. The yuvarAjA--prince, of SANDUr, had made Ramesh BhaTT, the assitant of the rAjaprohita--royal priest, of SANDUr MahArAjA, stay in Hampi, in order to provide the facilities required for shrIPeriyavAL's mukhAm.

During night, when shrIPeriyavAL's kaingkaryaparas--assistants, were sleeping, Ramesh BhaTT alone would be awake, enjoying shrIPeriyavAL's singing with rAgam--the specific musical note, saundarya-laharI, shivAnanda-laharI and many other shlokas--verses. Whenever PeriyavAL rose from his sitting, he would wake up the sage's aNukkat thoNDargaL--personal assistants.

One day after finishing singing a saundarya-laharI shlokam, calling him, shrIPeriyavAL asked, "All those who come to me seek something from me, whereas you don't ask me anything, why?"

Ramesh BhaTT: "PeriyavAL is god. His holiness knows everything. So, there is no avashyam--necessity, for any sort of prayer."

shrIPeriyavAL, at once: "Your tagappanAr--(Tamizh) father, has taken a saMkalpam--vow, to do rAma-pratiShTA--installation of shrI RAmA's image, in your grAmam--village. You do-pUrti--fulfill it."

The native village of Ramesh BhaTT named KAlkatigi, is located at 130 kilometers in the prAntiyam--region, of DhArwAr/DhArwad city (KarnATaka state). Ramesh's father had never come for darshan of PeriyavAL. And Ramesh did not know that his father had taken such a saMkalpam.

Ramesh: "My salary is very low. How can I build a RAmadeva mandir?"

shrIPeriyavAL: Without any shramam--exertion, in ten years, you are going to build the kOvil--temple, by your own earnings, and without getting any yAchakam--donation."

With the next few days after the mukhAm--camp, moved from Hampi, Ramesh got the opportunity of an udyogam--job, as a tablA vidvAn--drums expert, attached to the All India Radio Station at DhArwAr. He also got opportunities of performing in private concerts. With those earnings, in the tenth year thereafter, Ramesh built a RAmadeva temple and completed doing pratiShTA--installaton, of the vigrahas--images, his father had bought.

Ramesh BhaTT would say, his gratitude welling up, "It was not with my money, only by PeriyavAL's anugraham, that I could build this temple."

*** *** ***
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A servant's personal reminiscences--oru Uzhiyanin antarangkam
author:....... InduvAsan, VAlAjApeTTai
compiler:..... T.S.KOthaNDarAma sarma
translator.... saidevo
source:....... MahA PeriyavAL darisana anubhavangaL v03-p033-055
publisher:.... VAnathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamizh

Pages 33-37
For the first time, on 18.3.1978, I had darshan of PeriyAvAL.

It was a sacred shubha-dinam--auspicious day. The dinam when PeriyavA admitted me into his grace--ATkoNDa dinam.

My father shrI TR SundaramUrti (teacher, VAlAjA) has told me several times about the mahiman--greatness, of PeriyavAL. With him, I too have had darshan of PeriyavAL. It was just a darshan, with no feelings of ecstasy cropping up inside me.

But then the darshan of the eighteenth of March, altogether drew me towards his side.

Like the shiva-gaNas--Shiva's group of assistants, who do service to KailAsha-nAtha--Lord of KailAsh, I too was admitted to the group of servants who did service to PeriyavAL.

PeriyavA was then staying in SivAsthAnam. You know what task did he assign to me?

The task of watering, drawing water from the well there, the cows and calves of shrIMaTham and the mango plants and creepers there! In addition, the sweet task of preparing pAnakam--jaggery-sweetened water drink, to satisfy the thirst of the aDiyArs--(Tamizh) devotees, who thronged the place.

At those times, I did not know anything about the AchAra-anuShThAnas--religious routines, and the sampradAyas--customs, of shrIMaTham. People like METTUr RAjagopAla mAmA--uncle, (later, METTUr SvAmigaL), and BAlu mAmA trained me in those practices.

When he was doing pradakShiNam--going round, in the SivAsthAnam BrahmapurIsvarar Alayam--temple, PeriyavA would look at every plant there, and also look at the cows and calves, compassion welling up. (In later days, I had thought and felt happy about how much bhAgyam--fortune, those plant-creepers and cow-calves should have earned to get PeriyavAL's dIrgha-dRShTi--deep glance, grace them.)

Those days PeriyvAL himself would ask me, "What did you do today?" What he said on my reply would contain aneka upadeshas--many teachings. Any mistakes I committed, he would indicate and raise me up, without my knowing it--without hurting me.

Every day, early morning at three o' clock, starting from SivAsthAnam, he would do pradakShaNam of the four mADa vIdhis--surrounding main streets, of shrI VaradarAja PerumAL temple (all of us accompanying him, chanting the viShNu sahasranAmam repeatedly, in low voice).

*** *** ***

The day of 1978 April 16th.

Starting as usual at three in the early morning, after having darshan at shrI KAmAkShIamman temple, and then at SureshvarAchArya's sannidhi--divine abode, at shrIMaTham, he started his pAdayAtrA--travel on foot, towards a grAmam--village, called KIzhambi.

KAnchIpuram-vAsis--residents of KAnchIpuram, assembling in large numbers, supplicated to him in tears, not to go on yAtrA for bahudUram--long distance.

PeriyavAL was observing kAShTa maunam--complete, inactive silence. Without showing any signs, he contined to walk.

From a place called Chinnappa Samudram, on the way to AnantapUr, we stayed in a village called Katri. In this village, there is a purAtana--ancient, LakShmI NarasiMha temple.

Starting from AnantapUr and arriving at Sanghamesvaram, we then proceeded and stayed in a dilapidated maNDapam--pavilion, in a place called TammApuram.

The date of June 27, 1978 is one that cannot be forgotten in my life! On that auspicious day, I had the fortune of having darshan of MahA-PeriyavAL and Pudu-PeriyavAL together.

In that small maNDapam in disrepair, the trikAla--thrice a day, ChandramaulIshvara puja was performed in a grand manner.

From TammApuram, through the place called DADi-badri, we arrived at a place called KUtthi. A grand reception for PeriyavAL in that town. The chippantis--staff, and the town people had made elaborate facilities for our stay. Everyone was in utsAham--joy.

Then, from that place, we reached a small village named RAjApuram, at a distance of five kilometers. It was a day (13.7.78) of alpa-dvAdashI: that is, dvAdashI lasted only up to ten in the morning on that day. So, finishing our pAraNai--(Tamizh) food, before ten o' clock, we started towards a village called TimmAnjcharlA, thirty kilometers away. Without stopping anywhere en route, we were walking slowly. The time of night arrived. In addition, it started raining heavily! Hailstorm with thunder!

The path ahead was totally invisible! No sight of the ups and downs on the road was possible, and the legs slipped often. A good building was seen nearby. We had the yearning if PeriyavA would tell us, 'we can stay there'.

"Walk chanting viShNu sahasranAmam", were his orders. In other words, it was understood that we were not going to stay anywhere en route.

At that time, PANAmpaTTu KaNNan and I were going in the front, dragging the cycle rickshaw. shrIKaNThan mAmA and shrI BAlu mAmA came behind, along with PeriyavA, pushing the rickshaw. METTUr RAjagopAla mAmA came behind, on the right side of the rickshaw. Leading us was shrI Chandramauli (ChInu mAmA's son), signalling us through our passage with an electric torchlight.

It was eleven-thirty at night when we reached TimmAnjcharlA! The next morning we reached a bigger place called GuNDakkal.

The mukhAm--camp, was at GuNDakkal. A day after, I had to get back to KUtthi for a task. I went looking at the road I passed through. Only then it was known that the path we walked through two days back was a pukka jungle path!

*** *** ***
Pages 38-41

The yAtrA continued. We stayed in the big building that belonged to the PANyam cement factory in the place called Nagari.

PeriyavA started his chAturmAsya vratam in that place. So, it was not possible to move to any place for the next two months!

Dunlop KRShNan mAmA--uncle, my father and I were directed to go to Hampi (the old capital city of the Vijayanagara sAmrAjyam--empire) and have a look. On our way back to Hagari, he had asked us to bring along two distinguished people at Hospet, who were members of the Hampi renovation council. They came with us in bahu saMtoSham--great happiness.

With them PeriyavA talked elaborately about KIzhambi and Hampi. He explained them the differences in the epigraphs at KIzhambi. He asked them, "What plans do you have for doing punaruttAraNaM--renovation, of Hampi?"

The discussions prolonged. Since it was time for his bhikShA, PeriyavA got up and went inside. When he came back after his bhikShA, the notables from Hospet were not to be seen. "Go out some distance and check. If they are seen, bring them along." (He told an assistant).

It was a shock to us that those people went away without taking leave from PeriyavAL. The man who went in search of them came back saying he could not find them.

When the Hospet anbars--friends, were passing BellAry, their car met with an accident. News arrive later on that one of them died on the spot and the other man escaped with heavy injuries.

Perhaps PeriyavA wanted to save them from that accident? Perhaps their fate was stronger (than the sage's wishes).

*** *** ***

1978, July 28.

To the four of us--myself, Dunlop KRShNan, Dr.SubrahmaNiyan, and kadarkkaDai--handloom shop, VengkaTarAmaiyar--PeriyavA gave an order: "Do daily pArAyaNam--recital, of dEvAram.

The conversation grew on the subject. PeriyavAL talked about AmbalavANa DEsikar (a pontiff of the TiruvAvaDuturai shaiva AdhInam and NamachchivAya PaNDAratthAr. He said that AmbalavANa DEsikar during his last days got relieved from the MaTham administration, and attained samAdhi at some other place. It was a surprise to us as to how PeriyavAL gets to know these historical news and keeps them in his memory.

*** *** ***

1978, August 2.

PeriyavA gave an elaborate explanation about the mahiman--greatness, of the KAnchIpuram and KumbakONam sthalas--sacred places.

He said that the widest roads in the world and the houses built close to each other with no gap in between were to be found in KAnchIpuram. Similarly, he showed how KumbakONam and its surrounding places house the largest number of temples and sacred places.

"There are no hills at all in the Thanjai (ThanjAvUr) district. Yet, if only in that pradesham--region, are found the largest number of temples built of rock, the reason was only Ishvara-bhakti. Of the 274 pADal peTRa sthalanggaL, 200 places are in the ThanjAvUr district (presently Thanjai, NAgai (NAgappaTTinam), TiruvArUr districts). There are epigraphs in the temple of NAgesvara-svAmi at KuDandhai--KumbakONam, that mAnyas--grants, were given for study of the shAstras--Hindu scriptures.

"The CholA kings, during the times when KAvEri was in flood, built teppam--floats, and used them to bring the rocks from the Kollimalai, and built the temples.

"There is a sthalam called ANDAn-kOvil. An aDiyAr--devotee, called ANDAn lived there, so the village got his name. A canal called ODam-pOkki runs there. When the rocks were brought through ODampOkki to build the temple at TiruvArUr, they took one stone per trip and build the temple at SIrkAzhi. This is a place with numerous epigraphs. In these epigraphs, the content is written first in the grantha lipi, then in Telugu script and thirdly in the devanAgarI lipi."

*** *** ***

pADal peTRa sthalanggaL*--sacred places sung by the four chief pioneers of Shavisim (Appar, Sundarar, Sambandhar, MANikkavAchakar)
Pages 41-44

1975, August 6th.

We were reading appar devAram. PeriyavA told us then.

"SvAmi--god Shiva, has the name prANanAthar, prANeshvarar at (the temple in) Tirumanggalak-kuDi.

"The puranic legend of the place says that Agastya muni, doing prANAyAmam (controlling his breathing), brought water from the river, and did abhiShekam to prANeshvarar using his two hands. To control breathing is prANAyamam, not just touching the nose and chanting the mantra. When doing gAyatrI japam, one should control breathing and do it.

"chandrakam means a peacock's tail. There is a vAkya--statement, kalasha-chandraka nIlakaNTha visphurUtim kAlikA

When the clouds gather and grow thick in the sky, peacocks would spread out their tails and dance in joy. Herons would fly forming a row that resembles a garland. Parameshvara's dance was said to be one such! The megham--clouds, called nIlakANTha, the asthimAlA--garland of bones that resembled a crowd of white herons, and his visphrUti naTanam like a peacock dancing with its tail spread out! ... what beautiful upamAnam--simile!"

*** *** ***

"A man named kuRumbar gave a wood apple to SvAmi--Shiva, at TiruvIzhi-mazhalai.

"SvAmi in this place married KAtyAyanI--DurgA, and went around in his wedding procession in kizhavan kolam--(Tamizh) form of an old man. After giving darshan to everyone, he disappeared dampati-sameta--as a couple. Then he gave darshan to the sage KAtyAyana, with five hundred RShis--ascetics. The SvAmi at this place has a paTTappeyar--(Tamizh) nickname, called mAppiLLai svAmi--bridegroom god!

"In the AmbAL sannidhi street, there lived the kAtyAyana sUtrakAras--those who followed the KAtyAyana sUtra text, who were trained in the shukla-yajur veda. Here, for five hundred men, the name was only vizhiyAn--one who has the Eye, literally. Only for the five-hundred-and-first man, there would give SvAmi's name.

"In the month of vaishAkha pUrNimA--full moon day of VaikAsi month, the utsavam--annual festivities, would be held in the temple. Only if five hundred people are present, could this utsavam be held.

"There are five wonders in the chOzha-nADu--country of the Chozhas. 1. AvuDaiyAr-kOil koDungkai--curved roof of thinning stone; 2. Tiruvalan-chuzhi palakaNi--a latticed window of granite; 3. The maNDapach-chengkal--brick pavilion, at TiruvIzhi-mazhalai; 4. The madhil--compound wall, at KiDArang-koNDAn; and 5. The images of the eye and the viLAmpazham--wood apple, seen on the legs of the utsava vigraham--procession idol, at ViShNupuram temple.

"Once when there was famine, Appar and Sambandhar sang verses (on Shiva) invoking financial help to do-amudhu--feed, the aDiyArs--devotees. ShivaperumAn showered his grace (in reply) by keeping (two) gold coins on the bali-pITham--pedestal for offers to the deity, at the TiruvIzhimazhalai temple. Appar got a blemishless, full coin and Sambandhar got a defective coin at that time."

*** *** ***

When we were doing pArAyaNam-of--reading, the periya purANam, he spoke to us about Kambar and AmbikApati.

"In the maTham at TiruvoTRiyUr, to a girl who was working as a maid, Kambar was born.

"A woman called Ambikai CheTTy was worshipping a shivalingam at KIzhambi. That lingam had the name AmbikApatIshvarar. That very name Kambar gave his son. Kambar's wife too belong to TiruvoTRiyUr.

"The Ur--town, that was known by the name kalingga mAnagaram in the ancient time is now called TakkOlam.

"ToNDaimaNDalam was a nADu--country, which was the very embodiment of satyam--speaking truth. This viShayam--information, is seen in the stone epigraphs of Asoka's time."

In this way, PeriyavA would tell us countless pieces of news at frequent times.

*** *** ***

1978, September 21.

PeriyavA was staying in a car shed. The then prime minister shrI MorArji DesAi, and with him shrI P.RAmachandran, VAjpAi, DevarAj Urs, came and had darshan of the sage in that car shed.

*** *** ***

01. koDungkai at AvuDaiyAr-kOil
Arulmigu Athmanathaswamy Temple, Avudaiyar Koil - Thiruperunthurai, Avudayarkoil, 275 Shivan Temples, Paadal Petra Sthalam
at TirupperuntuRai
Panoramio - Photo of Thiruperundurai Kodungai - a masterpiece
at Thiruveezhimizhalai
Panoramio - Photo of

02. palakaNi at Tiruvalan-chuzhi
For Every Auspicious Beginning, Thiruvalanchuzhi | kshetrapuranas

03. Brick pavilion at TiruvIzhi-mazhalai
Panoramio - Photo of mandapam@ thiruveezhimizhalai
Pages 44-49

The yAtrA--journey, continued. We arrived at an old samasthAnam--princely state, called SANDUr.

shrI Ghorpade of the rAja-parampara--royal lineage, and the iLayarAjA--(Tamizh) prince, gave a very grand reception to PeriyavAL.

Fifteen days camp in this place. shrI Shankara jayanti was celebrated in-visheSham--with distinction.

President NIlam SanjIva ReDDy had darshan of PeriyavAL in SANDUr. What was important was where he had it.

PeriyavA gave darshan, sitting under a vanni--mesquit, tree, in the goShAlA--cow shed, run by king Ghorpade! The president was surprised at PeriyavAL's eLimai--simplicity, and samatvam--equality/equanimity. The meeting was a quiet incident, without any of the fanfare that accompanies a President's visit.

Where PeriyavAL stayed, king Ghorpade has constructed a temple resembling a maNimaNDapam--large hall, as a memorial for PeriyavAL. There was no limit to Ghorpade's gurubhakti!

*** *** ***

A kugrAmam--hamlet, on the way from ChittUr to MadanapaLLi. We stayed for the night at the Shiva temple. Since it was night and due to the exertion of walking, PeriyavA retired. Since it was customary to start the yAtrA in the early morning, all of us who were his disciples were ready. PeriyavA gave orders, "Let us start sAyaMkAlam--in the evening."

When there was enough sunlight, PeriyavA came out of the temple to give darshan. Some fifty to sixty people who had come from the surroundings, with their children, gathered and prostrated at a distance in reverence.

It was a surprise for all of us! The people of this village had come the previous night and had darshan standing in a queue. Since they could not have darshan if PeriyavA started in the early morning from that place, the people preferred the night for their darshan. Why did not these people too have their darshan at that time?

"Come near and have darshan", we went and invited them. They did not accept it. "We people should not come near the temple. We were waiting for sAmi--sage, rAtri muchchUDum--the whole of night. Only now has sAmi come out..." It was a village regulation that those untouchables should not enter the temple, they said.

We went to PeriyavAL to inform the matter. There was no need for that, however.

"There are lots of mango fruits given by those who had darshan last night. Collect them in a sack and give to these people. Let them eat, they are fasting since last night."

As we gave the fruits, they received and consumed them happily. "Didn't you people take anything last night?"

"No. We came to have a look at sAmi. sAmi stayed inside. So we stayed here because he should come out in any case..."

How did PeriyavAL know of their fasting? That is the brahma-granthi--BrahmA's knot!

*** *** ***

PeriyavAL's sallApa--making fun, Ecchu--jeers, and zleShas--puns would be in a way that would be pleasing; they would not hurt anyone.

He would call me in chellam--(Tamizh) indulgence, kitthuvAi--stutterer, and rickshaw OTTi--rickshaw driver.

We were staying in the VinAyaka temple near the MIraj city. The orders for me were to visit the place scheduled for our next camp and check the camping facilities there.

Carrying out those orders, I entered the VinAyaka temple. After taking bath, I met shrIKaNThan uncle.

"Since last night he did not take even water. Would not touch milk or the fruits, PeriyavA. We even tried to persuade him by begging, but no use. You are a small boy. If you ask him, perhaps PeriyavA might be in sammatam--agreement", he told me.

Doing vandanam--reverence, to PeriyavA, I submitted the fruits given by the anbars--(Tamizh) devotees, at the place where I had gone to check.

"You had your meal?"

I nodded no.

"Go have your meals and then come."

I had the thought that it was a good time to broach the subject that shrIKAnThan uncle spoke to me about. "I shall dine after PeriyavAL has his bhikShA."

When PeriyavargaL compelled me, I left the place saying "I shall dine later". Five minutes later, a call from PeriyavA. I went to him.

From the heap of fruits in front of him, he asked me to take a fruit per variety. I gave them to him. Cutting each fruit (with his own hands!), he gave a half to me and asked me to find how it tasted. Thinking that PeriyavA thought of himself consuming a half fruit that was not sour, I received the halves and at them.

PeriyavA asked me about the taste of each fruit. I told him.

"ippO pasi aDanggiDutthA?--(Tamizh) has your hunger subsided now?"

How natural were those words, without any trace of ekkaLippu--(Tamizh) conceit-tinged exultation about, 'Look, how easily have I deceived you!'

I was moved to the point of tears. Only the memory of my mother came up. Since I couldn't bear to be hungry, she would serve me sAdam--cooked rice meal, at precise hours in our house. My throat choking, I told him about shrIKaNThan uncle's sadness (about PeriyavA not taking anything for bhikShA).

"It was Sunday yesterday. I had milk and fruit. Only in prAyashchittam--atonement, I remained without having any bhikShA now. It is pradoSham day today. After doing pradoSha pUja, I shall have my bhikShA."

Should I feel garva--pride, for his answering me, considering me as of some importance? Or should I melt at heart for his atonement for a small doSham--fault? I couldn't understand.

(It is shAstra vidhi--scriptural regulation, that one should observe upavAsam--fasting, on a Sunday night. Therefore, the custom at shrIMaTham on Sundays was to take something before sUrya-astamanam--sunset, on that day. There would be no work at all in the kitchen on a Sunday night! Only in accordance with this, that PeriyavA instructed me as narrated above.)

*** *** ***
Pages 50-55 (concluding part)

A bhakta--devotee, named Kulkarni, placed a wrist-watch in front of PeriyavA.

'What is this for?', PeriyavA asked him by a glance.

"I have brought this so you can give to a man doing kaingkaryam--service, with you. PeriyavA can do as he wishes."

Picking up that wrist-watch, PeriyavA looked at it, turning it this way and that. Then he called and asked me to wear it on my wrist. "This should always remain in your wrist. Whenever I ask you the time, you should tell me", he ordered.

That wrist-watch is still with me. I am safeguarding it as a rare pokkiSham--(Tamizh) treasure.

*** *** ***

A village called UkAr Kurth on the banks of KRShNa river. There, we were staying in a Shiva temple.

PeriyavA would arise much early in the morning and sit up. He would at that time wake up one among us who were doing his kaingkaryam and converse with him.

One day when he was talking to me in that manner, he spoke elaborately about Indira Gandhi. (I gain nothing by knowing such things. In addition, it seemed to me at that time that there was a trace of sneer in PeriyavA's talk. Still I was listening to him as SivanE--doing nothing like Shiva!)

He said that Indira Gandhi was the arasu kAttha ammai--mother who saved the nation, in the twentieth century, and spoke about the sacrifices she had done for the country.

It all seemed awkward to me. PeriyavA would sometimes be conversing with us in a funny and sneering way. I thought it was one such occasion.

"Going to KAnchIpuram, on the outer compound wall of the EkAmbaranAthar temple, you should draw two pictures. One, the picture of the seventh century arasu kAttha ammai--also called tAntOnRi amman--self-manifested goddess; two, the picture of the arasu kAttha ammai (Indira Gandhi) in the twentieth century."

I was listening to it all, standing; and then I said, "No, I won't do it."

"Right, now get out (and see)", he told me.

When I came out and looked around, I found some Railway officials waiting for a darshan (of Indira Gandhi). And I understood that PeriyavA spoke so that it all would fall on their ears.

*** *** ***

Another funny incident.

"Prepare a hundred, or hundred-and-fifty, pavun kAsugaL--gold coins, and bring them in a bottle, do it forthwith", PeriyavA ordered me. I could not follow him for a minute. Then, understanding what he said, I moved away from the place and came out.

Many people were waiting outside for darshan. What PeriyavAL spoke to me had indeed fallen on the ears of everyone outside. Some of them had the nappAsai--(Tamizh) fond hope, 'A hundred, or hundred-and-fifty pavun kAsugaL! It would be preferable that I get two or three of them! I can keep them in the puja...'

Everyone surrounded me. They supplicated to me, "Get me two or three coins." "AhA!" I said and moved from that place.

To have darshan of PeriyavAL, Vedic pandits and those learned in the shAstras--scriptures, would come. Giving them importance, PeriyavA would bless them with some kind of sanmAnam--gift.

When I was moving away from that place fast, a mahA paNDita from Mylapore (Chennai) called me with nayam--(Tamizh) civility. "You should get me ten or twelve gold coins", he told me. "Okay".

What PeriyavA referred to (not to explain it as such in front of the many present before him) was only the chips prepared by cutting the nEndirangkAi--a variety of long banana that is famous in Kerala, into round pieces and frying them.

When I placed before him a bottle of those chips in an hour, I told him about what the Mylapore Pandit had asked me. "Call him" he said. The man came.

"Extend both your hands..." The Pandit was happy inside like getting drenched in a shower of snow flakes.

He extended both his hands. Taking a handful of chips from the bottle, PeriyavA dropped them into his hands. The Pandit couldn't understand anything. Still, how to ask PeriyavAL? What to ask?

When he came out receiving the chips, the Pandit asked me. "Why did PeriyavA give chips to me?"

"Only what you asked for."

"Me? Why should I ask him for chips? When did I ask him?"

"You asked me an hour ago; and I told PeriyavA about it..."

He blinked. "But then what fell in my ears sounded like gold coins..."

"That is nothing but this one! What PeriyavA uttered in zleShas--pun, was only this..."

A great disappointment for the vidvAn. He consoled himself, "The prasAdam--divine gift, PeriyavA gave..."

Calling things with iDukuRip-peyar--(Tamizh) conventional name, talking in zleShas--pun, all such things being in aparimitam--unmeasured, in PeriyavAL--we had enjoyed it.

*** *** ***

When we were staying in UkAr Kurth, (Tamizh cine actor) Gemini GaNesan's wife came for darshan. When she was talking to PeriyavAL, a poor brAhmaNa--brahmin, of that village came and sought financial assistance from PeriyavA, for the marriage of his daughter.

PeriyavA told Gemini GaNesan's wife, "If you have anything, why not give him?"

Forthwith, the woman removed a pair of gold bangles she was wearing and gave them, with much happiness.

"Don't give it to him now. Enough to give him four days before the marriage", PeriyavA said. Then he told a bank manager who had come there, "Keep these in your bank locker. You can give then later."

Two days later, the same brAhmaNa came and wept loudly. He said all the things at his home were lost in theft, on the previous night. The only property remained were the bangles in the locker! "By PeriyavA's anugraham--divine favours, at least those gold bangles escaped (from getting stolen)..."

Laughing, PeriyavA said, "What came for the head ended up with the turban, pO--go (with the consolation)", and gave him prasAdam.

The value of those bangles at that time was twenty thousand rupees!

If the kaingkaryaparas--assistants, of those days, had the bhAgyam--fortune, of enjoying such countless incidents presented before their very eyes, it is their pUrva-janma-puNya-phala--fruits of the meritorious acts of previous births!

kAkka, kAkka, aRaneRi kAkka: protecting dharma
author:....... from the darshan magazine
compiler:..... T.S.KOthaNDarAma sarma
translator.... saidevo
source:....... MahA PeriyavAL darisana anubhavangaL v03-pp056-058
publisher:.... VAnathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamizh

There are some visheSha dharmAnuShThAnas--distinct disciplines of dharma, meant for the saMnyAsins--ascetics. In that, for a tuRavi--(tam)ascetic, sitting as the pIThAdhipati--pontiff, there are severe disciplines and restraints.

A morning time at shrIMaTham, KAnchIpuram, a quarter of a century back. There was not much crowd of aDiyArs--(tam)devotees, on that day.

When MahAPeriyavAL was giving darshan, a sumanggali--married woman with a living husband, came like AmbAL who hasn't been decorated. She went straight to PeriyavAL and prostrated. As she got up her eyes were filled with sudden tears.

Some personal matter or problem or obstacle--she stands for guidance hoping for a private audience with PeriyavAL.

Her eyes beg: 'Why don't you let your look of affection fall on me?' Her lips tremble: 'Can't you listen what I would tell you?'

The aruLarasar--king of compassion, indeed wanted to listen to her. But then the vidhi--injunction that he should not talk alone with a woman restraints him?

The ammaiyAr--(tam)motherly woman, without moving from her place, was gushing tears. Only if she moves away could the other devotees waiting, can get near PeriyavA. How long should this predicament last?

With a snap of fingers, PeriyavA called a personal assistant. "Look for a man here who is stone deaf..."

The assistant was a fortunate man! He found a stone deaf man in a few seconds!

"Do one kAryam--thing. When he comes with that ammAL--motherly woman, call him by name clapping your hands. From his response if he turns his head to look at you, we can understand if he is really a deaf man..."

[In this tantra--trick/stratagem, that PeriyavAL taught him, there is a hidden meaning. Suppose the assistant, in some loss of interest, brings some man before PeriyavA telling him, 'You just stand before PeriyavA as a deaf man, that would be enough'? That would become a saMkaTam--embarrassment/discomposure for the ammaNi--(tam)motherly woman, who wants to discuss her family matters. So, an advice to test the deafness!]

With the stone deaf man standing near her, that ammaiyAr poured out all the Atangkam--affliction of mind, within her.

The karuNAmUrti--image of compassion. who was listening to her in patience, sent her away giving prasAdam and thus honouring her. Tears were (still) seen in the ammaiyAr's eyes, but those were tears of joy! Only the piRaichUDi--(Shiva) who wears the crescent moon, has answered her!

After the ammaiyAr left receiving prasAdam, a gesture to the deaf man, 'You too can go now.'

At the same time the tuRavu neRi--discipline of asceticism, was protected, it became possible to do pAlanam--nourish, a sumanggali with his aruL--compassion!

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The foe of the tobacco fumes
author:....... VenkaTarAman, TiruppUr
compiler:..... T.S.KOthaNDarAma sarma
translator.... saidevo
source:....... MahA PeriyavAL darisana anubhavangaL v03-pp059-060
publisher:.... VAnathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamizh

MahA SvAmigaL's mukhAm--camp, in Karnool. I went there for kShetrAdanam and darshanam.

Young age (we were of). Owing to circumstances, some of us (including me) were caught in the bad habit of smoking tobacco. I was praying to God for a long time that the habit should leave for ever. But then I did not give it up and continued to smoke.

We went for darshan of MahA SvAmigaL at Karnool. He was seated at a distance. Looking at SvAmigaL, I did a mAnasIka prArthanA--mental prayer, deeply, and with tears. He blessed me. Neither did I speak to him about my mental worry nor did he ask anything about it. But then his very compassionate look rattled me.

When I was returning to TiruppUr, I had intense fever and body pain. Was addmitted to a hospital after I reached my place. I became a new man within the ten days I stayed there! I got the yogyatA--propriety to say of myself as a bhakta of MahA SvAmigaL whose bad habit was gone. Even today, our family is praying to that deity who changed me as a man.

Today's youth who are afflicted with a bad habit, if they go round the brindAvanam of MahA SvAmigaL at shrIMaTham, KAnchi(puram), and do an AtmArta prArthanA, falling at his feet with tears and a melting heart, they would surely be relieved of the habit and live a good life.

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