• Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Paramacharya Devotees Who Sought Jnana

Not open for further replies.


Active member
appAlum aDi sArndhAr (The beyond who are united with the Foot)
Author: PANAmpaTTu KaNNan (in Tamil)
Compiler: T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
Source: Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 4, pages 1-5
Publisher: Vanathi Padhippaham

As narrated by the author:

A bank director in the country of France. He was keen on having a darshan of PeriyavargaL, having heard about him. Dr. Raghavan used to receive frequent phone calls (from the bank director). He would ask if he could come and have a darshan of PeriyavargaL. Dr. Raghavan (who was a Sanskrit professor in the Madras University) would inform PeriyavargaL about the request. Even though he had told, "He is very keen to have darshan of PeriyavargaL; he bothers me frequently", PeriyavargaL did not give his consent. Some years passed in this way.

Suddenly one day Dr. Raghavan received tidings that said, 'I have arrived at Bombay. I shall come over to Madras and meet you. Should please arrange for the darshan.'

At that time our Acharyas were staying in Mylapore Sanskrit College. One evening Dr. Raghavan was waiting to have darshan of PeriyavargaL. PeriyavargaL called him and inquired. When told about the Frechman's proposed visit to Chennai, PeriyavargaL said, "Alright, bring him."

Before he sat for the upanyAsam after the puja, PeriyavargaL called me and said, "If any European turns up, seat him on a chair, as he would not be able to sit on the floor. I shall see him after the upanyAsam."

When the upanyAsam was over and PeriyavargaL was about to get inside, he asked, "Did anyone turn up?" "No one turned up", I replied. At that time a man wearing a dhoti and towel came to the front and prostrated to PeriyavargaL four times. (The sampradaya is to always prostrate to sannyAsis four times.) Behind the man came Dr. Raghavan and SankaraNarayana Aiyer (professor of Philosophy at Mylai Vivekananda College). Since that European came in dhoti and towel I was misled. PeriyavargaL told me, "Ask him how did he knew about prostrating four times." The Eurpoean said, "I did as everyone did here."

PeriyavargaL told me, "Bring only the Frenchman." I said, "I wouldn't understand the English he speaks. It would be better if Dr. Raghavan or SanakaraNarayana Aiyer is present."

"The English you know would suffice. You bring him," quipped PeriyavargaL. Dr. Raghavan and SankaraNarayana Aiyer stood outside the thatti (a coconut leaf weaved sheet of cover).

The Frenchman who came inside and sat spoke: "I am studying Vedanta for sometime now. Suddenly one day I felt that my entire body had gone numb, that I was residing outside the body, and my figure was extended from the earth to the sky. I also saw universes hanging from my body. It was very blissful at that time. There was no trace of sorrow. After this incident, nothing bothers my mind in my daily life. My wife deceased. My son too was dead. These occasions did not create any ripple in my mind. I was always blissful.

"People in the bank think I am insane, looking at this mental state of mine. So I have an inherent fear that one day they might put me behind the bars (of a hospital)."

PeriyavargaL asked him, "What is inside? And what is outside? Aren't all things inside four walls?"

This question created a big change in him. He requested PeriyavargaL, "You should be always with me." Finally, he asked PeriyavargaL about some upadesham.

PeriyavargaL said, "What you are doing now (meditation), you continue. I shall be with you till your attainment." He tore a piece of the vastram he was wearing then and gave it to the Frenchman with the words, "Keep this always with you as my prasAdam." Such a heap of anugraha for him on that day. He took leave with immense happiness, having received the grace.

Coming outside, the Frenchman prostrated to Dr. Raghavan and said, "It was only because of you I got this much bhAgyaM."

PeriyavargaL went to bed after they were gone. After he retired, I asked him about a doubt in my mind.

Without replying anything to me, PeriyavargaL lapsed into sleep. He called me the next morning before he started his one hour japam. He asked me, "Do you know how many are the Nayanmars?"

I replied, "The Arupatthu Moover Utsavam is held (every year)! So, only sixty-three."

"Go to the Kapali temple, count and come back," he said. When I did it, I counted sixty-seven. I told this to PeriyavargaL.

"Who are those four people in excess?" he asked me.

I went back to the temple, inqured and came back. "One of them is the 'appAlum adi sarndharukku adiyAr!'" I said.

PeriyavargaL graced me with the knowledge, "appAl is those who are beyond desam and kAlam. Since the element of time is involved, it also refers to the adiyArs to be born in the hereafter. This man is beyond desam. He has just four janmas left."

Though PeriyavargaL who was such a jnani is not among us now, he is always living in his figure of grace and giving us abhayam.

Should Anandavalli Cry?
Author: Smt. Sulochana, PudukkOTTai (in Tamil)
Compiler: T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
Source: MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 4, pages 78-82
Publisher: Vanathi Padhippaham

My eldest daughter Anandavalli alias Meera has intense bhakti towards Sri MahA PeriyavAL since her early age. Once when we were having a darshan of ParamAChAryAL, some small boys were reciting shlokas and Vedas in front of Sri PeriyavA. Sri Maha SwamigaL listened to them keenly and asked them some questions, which they replied to. Looking at this, Meera was crying continuously with the thought 'These people know so much of what Sri MahA PeriyavAL likes, but I know simply nothing!'

After they left, Sri PeriyavA looked at Meera and asked, "Who is there? Why are you crying? What is your name?" "Anandavalli," replied Meera.

'Anandavalli' is the name of an ancient relative of us, who willingly took to the pyre when her husband died. Because of that incident, she is honoured as our family deity. All the eldest daughters in our family tree bear the name Anandavalli!

Now to the incident with Sri PeriyavAL. "Should Anandavalli cry? You should always be Ananda!" he said. "Do you know the songs of Janaki AmmaL who was always doing bhajans about me?" This girl said, "No." He said, "You know nothing. You know only me!"

I said to Meera, "See, Sri MahA PeriyavAL himself has told you. If you know him what other bhAgyaM you require? You don't have to know anything!" Meera at that time was seventeen.

After this incident, Sri Maha SwamigaL had taught her many things, both in her dreams and in person. He gave her upadesham in her dream, and thereafter in person, of the Ganapati Mantra and the 17th shloka in MUkhapancasati Arya Satakam (I look at AmbaaL as sarvarUpi). He told her in dream to seek the meaning of the Triyambaka Mantra from me. In her dream, he taught her the procedure to perform abhiSekah to vigrahas. When she was not able to do it properly, he came in her dream again and said, "You don't do it properly. It should be done this way." and demonstrated to her. There is no limit to what Sri Maha Periyavar had taught Meera in her dream.

*** *** ***

After Meera had the Ganapati Mantra upadesham, a song in the pUraya mamakAmam tune struck my mother's mind, as if it was sung extempore by Meera.

Tamil script of the song
ராகம்: பிலஹரி
தாளம்: ஆதி, அரை இடம்

குருவைப் பணிந்திடுவோம்--
ஸந்ததம் ஜகத்-குருவைப் பணிந்திடுவோம்.

காஞ்சி நகரந்தன்னில் காமகோடி பீடத்தில்
ஆட்சி செய்து நம்மைக் கடாக்ஷித்தருளும் ஜகத்-(குருவை)

கனவினில் வந்தெனக்கு கணபதி மந்திரத்தை
கருணையுடன் அளித்த காஞ்சிப் பெருந்தகையின்
தவத்திருப் பொற்பாதத்தில் தஞ்சமென்று அடைந்து
அஞ்சலி செலுத்தியே ஆனந்தத்துடன் ஜகத்-(குருவை)
Transliteration in Baraha 7.0
rAgam: bilahari
tALam: Athi, arai iDam

kuruvaip paNi~ntiTuvOm--
Sa~ntatam jakat-kuruvaip paNi~ntiTuvOm.

kA~jci ~nakara~ntannil kAmakOTi pITattil
ATfci ceytu ~nammaik kaTAkShittaruLum jakat-(kuruvai)

kanavinil va~ntenakku kaNapati ma~ntirattai
karuNaiyuTan aLitta kA~jcip peru~ntakaiyin
tavattirup poRpAtattil ta~jcamenRu aTai~ntu
a~jcali celuttiyE Ana~ntattuTan jakat-(kuruvai)
English translation
Let us bow to the Guru--
Always bow to the Jagatguru.

In the KAnchi city, at the KAmakOTi PITham
He who rules and blesses us with his glance (to that Jagatguru)

Who came in my dreams and taught the GaNapati Mantra
With grace, to that great sage of KAnchi,
Seeking refuge at his golden feet
And paying respects by joining palms with happiness (to that Jagatguru)

*** *** ***

My father, after he was a Chief Engineer in PudukkOTTai for a long time and retired, started living in ThanjAvur. He was for sometime the trustee of the Thanjai BangAru KamakShi Amman temple. My mother's name is LakShmI.

When my mother and mother-in-law together went to have a darshan of Sri PeriyavAL, my mother told ParamAChAryAL about how he wrote the number '3' on her head in her dream. To that, Sri MahA SvAmigaL said, "That is TrikUtam. Fifteen akSaras. Sri VidyA Mantra. You take the upadesham of that mantra from PudukkOTTai Sri GopAlakRShNa BhAgavatar."

When Sri GopAlakRShNa BhAgavatar once had darshan of Sri MahA PeriyavAL, Sri PeriyavA asked him, "What are you doing?"

"I am doing bhajana, staying at home."

"Don't just be there doing bhajana. Wander doing bhajana! (bhajanai seithukoNDu irukkAthE. Bhajanai seithukoNDu thiri!)"

After this advise, Sri GopAlakRShNa BhAgavatar went to several places, spreading the bhajana sampradAya and became famous all over India.

Some months later, my mother met Sri GopAlakRShNa BhAgavatar at PudukkOTTai and told him what Sri MahA PeriyavA had told her. Hearing that Sri BhAgavatar was very much moved and said, "He asked me to do the upadesham?!" Sometime later, he himself came to my father's house at ThanjAvur and did the mantropadesham to both my mother and father.

*** *** ***

At PudukkOTTai VAlAmbaL's house, Sri LalitA Bhajan was held every Friday. She was very skilled in the Sanskrit language and pujas. My mother and mother-in-law got a Sri Chhakra made through her and took it Sri MahA PeriyavAL. He kept it in puja for 11 days and gave it back in the brahma muhUrta of an early morning with his anugraha.

After this event, my mother composed a song in the 'RaghuvaMsha Suta' tune, considering the three PeriyavAs as TripurasundarI.

Tamil script of the song
ராகம்: கதனகுதூஹலம்
தாளம்: ஆதி ஒன்றரை, இடம்

சந்திரசேகர இந்திர சரஸ்வதி
சரணம் பஜாமி சரணம் நமாமி.

காஞ்சி மா நகரம் காமகோடி பீடம்
தன்னிலே விளங்கும் ஸத்குருநாதா (சந்திர)

குருவர்ய ஸ்ரீ சந்திரசேகர
இந்த்ர சரஸ்வதி வாக்பவ கூடம்
ஜய இந்திர சரஸ்வதி மத்ய கூடம்
விஜயேந்திர சரஸ்வதி சக்தி கூடம்
த்ரிபுரசுந்தரி ஸ்வரூபம் ஸ்மராமி. (சந்திர)
Transliteration in Baraha 7.0
rAgam: kadanakutUhalam
tALam: Athi onRarai, iDam

cha~ndirasEkara i~ndira saraSvati
charaNam bajAmi charaNam ~namAmi.

kA~jci mA ~nakaram kAmakOTi pITam
tannilE viLa~gkum Satguru~nAtA (cha~ndira)

guruvarya SrI cha~ndirasEkara
i~ndra saraSvati vAkpava kUTam
jaya i~ndira saraSvati madhya kUTam
vijayE~ndira saraSvati sakti kUTam
tripurasu~ndari SvarUpam SmarAmi. (cha~ndira)
English translation
Chandrasekhara Indra Sarasvati
I adore his feet and seek his protection.

In KAnchi the great city and at KAmakOTi PITham
You reside my Satgurunatha (Chandra)

The chief guru Sri Chandrasekhara
Indra Sarasvati is Vakpava KUtam.*
Jaya Indra Sarasvati is Madhya KUtam.
Vijayendra Sarasvati is Shakti KUtam.
Let us remember them as the very form of Tripurasundari. (Chandra)

*** *** ***

Note: *Vakpava KUtam:
Sri Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple Guide
(C.V.Ramanatha Sastry)

Kanchee, the most sacred of the seven Salvation cities of India, has in it Rudrakottam, Punyakottam, Kamakottam presided by Sri Ekambaranathar, Varadaraja and Sri Kamakshi Devi respectively. In this booklet the sanctity and vedic particulars of Shri Kamakoti Peeda Kamakshi Devi alone are dealt for the benefit of pilgrims. In this world of fifty crore yajanai area there are sixty four thaousand seats of Divine worship. Out of these three seats are very very important. They are 'Madhya Kudam' known as 'Jalandra Peeta' which is modern Jalandar in Punjab ,secondly 'Sakthi Kudam' known as 'Ottiyana Peeta' which is modern ?Kamaroopa?in Assam and third 'Vakpava Kudam' known as Kamaraja Peeta modern Kancheepuram in Tamilnadu,India Shri Kamakshi Devi shrine, in front of Devi. Again of these three sakthi seats, Kamakoti Peeta(Kamaraja Peeta) is the most important. No wonder then that of the seven salvation cities Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kasi, Kanchi, Avanthika, Dwaraka, Kanchi is said to be the most sacred of all for Salvation. Besides it is said that a man can attain salvation by living in Kasi (Benaras) whereas by merely thinking of Kanchi a person can obtain Divine Bliss (Moksha). So much about the sacredness of Kanchee has been said by great sages and saints.
(Courtesy: http://www.netsaber.com.br/resumos/ver_resumo.php?c=15802)

vittakam - skill, ability, knowledge, wisdom, learning, a hand-pose
You Build the Temple
Author: Jamba Nagasamy, Chennai (in Tamil)
Compiler: T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
Source: MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 4, pages 202-208
Publisher: Vanathi Padhippaham (Dec. 2006 Edition)

I was in Tiruvannamalai in my young age. Our house was near the foothill. One maami used to teach us song and dance and would ask us to sing before Ramana Maharshi. We would sing and dance before him, going in circles. He would never talk, only have a look with his eyes. After I was married, a relative told me, "You have seen Kumbakonam Swamy, maha tapasvi, go and have darshan once." PeriyavAL at that time had the name 'Kumbakonam Swamy'. My husband and I came to Kanchipuram to have darshan, but we were told that PeriyavA had gone out somewhere. We went to three or four nearby villages, but could not see him in those places. I was yearning for the darshan.

Only when PeriyavA had come to Madras, we could have his darshan. At my first sight of him I thought, "He looks typically like Ramana Maharshi. What tejas in those eyes!" PeriyavA was keenly looking at me.

Since then, we have been having darshan of PeriyavA for the last 50 years. If this man (my husband) has work, we would come on a Sunday and return the same day after darshan. One Sunday, when PeriyavA was in Sivasthanam, we came for his darshan. Some sumangalis were talking among them loudly and happily. When inquired, one maami said, "PeriyavA asks us to build a temple. Will you join?" We gave our immediate consent.

We prostrated to PeriyavA and told him about the news. PeriyavA asked Rajappa GurukkaL who was near him to show us the Sivalingams. Of the four Lingams we had a look, the Sevilimedu Lingam lingered in our minds. It was a large Lingam. When we said to PeriyavA, "We had a look at four Lingams", he immediately said, "You build the temple for the Sevilimedu Lingam." Whatever way he came to know of what I had in mind? Later when we started with the arrangements, he asked us to have one Sri Nagarajan of Kanchipuram for assisting us. My husband would come every Saturday and Sunday and buy the things required for building the temple.

Suddenly one day PeriyavA started on a yAtrA. I was very eager that PeriyavA should perform in the kumbhAbhiSeka of our temple. But we were told that PeriyavA was leaving for the North and it was not certain when he would return.

Sri Muthiah Stapati carved the AvudayAr but we built only the sanctum sanctorum. Since PeriyavA had gone on yAtrA we could not perform the kumbhAbhiSekam.

I would daily go to the Shiva temple (BharatIsvarar temple), light a lamp and go round nine times with the prayers that PeriyavA should come for our kumbhAbhiSekam. Meantime we visited the North and had darshan of PeriyavA. He was at that time in Mahakaav. When he saw us he said, "Conduct the temple kumbhAbhiSekam." I parayed to him, "Only PeriyavA should come and do the kumbhAbhiSekam." He smiled and gave me the directions, "You visit all the doorsteps here, get some rice and wheat telling the householders that they were for my sake and send them to wherever I happen to stay." Then he looked at my husband and said, "You can't come yourself. Send them through Joshi." I was doing as ordered without break.

Because of everyone's prayer, PeriyavA came to Kanchi. On the day he reached there, we went to him with a proposed kumbhAbhiSekam date. He gave his anugraha. When we came out, we were told that there was another kumbhAbhiSekam in Sivasthanam and that PeriyavA would visit only that and not ours. We went back and told this news to PeriyavA, but he asked us to conduct it on the same date.

The kumbhAbhiSekam day came. Ours was a simple ceremony with an expense of 6,000 to 7,000 rupees. They were doing it with a large sum of one lakh rupees. My mind was in a flutter that he should come. I was doing the smaraNa the whole night, constantly repeating to myself the words, 'PeriyavA should come', 'PeriyavA should come'. Before going to the temple in the morning when I went to have his darshan, he told me of everything I was thinking the whole of previous night. I was in a spiritual tingle.

Just seven people were there in our kumbhAbhiSekam. When we were almost done, and was about to pour the water in the holy pot over Swami, a boy came up running and cried, "PeriyavA is coming!" He literally came running, his feet going red in the hot sun of the Chitra month, took over the pot from us and did the abhiSekam himself. With PeriyavA, about a thousand people had gathered in our place. With many cars and vans on the queue, our kumbhAbhiSekam took place in a very grand manner--what grace we had! Even when writing this, my eyes pour water. He named the Swami Kailasa Nathar and did his bhikSA inside the sanctum and showed me 'I am the God!'

Since then, we used to do abhiSekam for Kailasa Nathar and submit the prasAda to him. If one of us did not make it to him, he would inquire the reason therefor.

Whenever I had mental suffering he would come in my dream and say, "Why do you grieve when I am with you here?" Once when he came to Neyveli I was made a volunteer for the time of his pujas. One day I was standing alone. He called me and asked, "What would you want?" I did not know what to reply to that. I just thought that it was enough if I could have a perennial look at him. He gave me his anugraha with a gesture of his hand and gave me kungumam. My friends told me that I missed a good chance and should have asked to be blessed with a child.

It was ten years since I was married. In this way, PeriyavA used to give me anugraha of what I had in mind, but I wouldn't be able to orally ask him anything when I stood before him. He would of course know everything about me.

In the meantime, PeriyavA asked the then minister Hon. Veerappan to arrange for the structural extension our temple. A committee was formed and the kumbhAbhiSekam was supposed to be held by a notable in the place. When the kumbhAbhiSekam date was fixed, I went to PeriyavA and asked what I should do about it. He said "Do nothing; just continue with it." Thinking why PeriyavA said like that I went back to my place. The kumbhAbhiSekam was on the 5th day of the Thai month. The Sankranti festival was over and on the day of Kanu we were sitting after our meals. A SriMaTham assistant came and said, "Pudu PeriyavA wants you two to come immediately." When we rushed to meet him, he said, "Only you are doing the kumbhAbhiSekam. Come tomorrow. Get the anugraha of PeriyavAL and go." We were very happy. My husband said that it was not possible for him to withdraw the money at that time. He said he would make arrangements for the money and asked us to come on the morrow. He also said, "PeriyavA's health is not very good. Do not disturb him. Myself and Bala PeriyavA would come and perform your kumbhAbhiSekam."

On the day of the kumbhAbhiSekam, we prostrated to PeriyavAL and took leave. I just thought inside my mind, "When we built a small room, PeriyavA came running. Now when this temple has been extended PeriyavA is not able to come." What a wonder! The PeriyavAs came and performed the kumbhAbhiSekam as assured and gave us prasAdam. The crowd dispersed. When we just thought of taking some prasAdam as food, Maha PeriyavA came to the temple in that advanced age. I was apprehensive that Pudu PeriyavA might chide me, but nothing of that sort happened.

Later when we inquired, we learnt that the 'notable' who was to have conducted the kumbhAbhiSekam was out of station, so we had the bhAgyam. In this way, PeriyavA has done a lot of anugraha for us.

AvudayAr - (Tamil) the base of a Lingam
sumangali - (Tamil) women who had their husbands alive

'With the Bells Ringing Aum...'
Author: Radha Ramamoorthy, Pudukottai (in Tamil)
Compiler: T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
Source: MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 32-43
Publisher: Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

The Sound of Aum

I used to write poems and songs on PeriyavAL and submit to him. I would write on an ordinary paper and keep it in PeriyavA's sannidhi. He would take and read it himself or would ask Sri Balu who would be on his side to read it. Sometimes he would ask me to read it and listen.

On one occasion, I wrote a song as a Raaga Maalika on the daily puja that PeriyavA does. I kept it near Sri PeriyavA. He said to Sri Vedapuri SastrigaL who was beside him, "Take it and read." The SastrigaL took and read the paper. When he was half way through, PeriyavA asked him to stop. Exactly at that time the MaTham's bell rang and PeriyavA said "Aum! Aum!" loudly for each stroke of the bell. After it was over he said, "Now you read on."

Vedapuri continued, reading the next line I had written, which was "With the bells ringing Aum, Aum...". All of us there were surprised.

Why should the bell ring exactly at that time? Why should PeriyavA recite "Aum... Aum..." for each stroke of the bell? Which God's saMkalpa is this?

That incident seemed to make me realize PeriyavA as telling me, "You don't write anything on your own that is not known to me. It is my anugraha that makes you write."

What Place? What Name?

My sister-in-law's husband had come to our house at Pudukottai from Bangalore. He gave me a notebook full of 'Sri Ramajayam writing' and ten rupees in cash, and asked me to submit them to PeriyavAL with the words, "Bangalore Kuppusamy Aiyer asked me to submit this notebook and this money of ten rupees."

There was a large crowd near PeriyavA when I entered Kanchi SriMaTham. Famous pundits and other famous people had assembled near him. Since I could not stand in the vicinity of PeriyavA for a long time, I placed the Sri Ramajayam notebook and the money on the fruit platter of someone else and stood at a distance. Little by little the crowd dispersed. PeriyavAL too stood up, with that notebook in his hand.

"Who placed this?" he asked.

"Myself", I said.

"What is the name of the man who wrote this? Is he from Bangalore? What else did he give?"

I was shaken at his words. "PeriyavA! Kuppusamy Aiyer came from Bangalore to our house in Pudukottai. He gave me this notebook and ten rupees. It was my mistake to have submitted it without telling PeriyavA; should kindly pardon me."

He made me say what I hesitated to speak. And there was also a smile on his face that looked at me!

This incident taught me that we cannot hide anything from PeriyavA. I realized that whoever told me whatever to be conveyed to him, it should be told verbatim to him and any offering submitted to be given personally to him.

I am Ganapathi too!

My brother-in-law's daughter Jaanaa and I often used to go to Kanchi and have darshan of PeriyavAL. We would submit different offerings each time we went there.

On one occasion, it occurred to us to string a beautiful aRukampul garland and offer it to him. With araLi flowers forming the border, we prepared a large aRukampul garland and went on the next morning to offer it.

By the time we reached Kanchi it was eight in the morning. PeriyavA was sitting, conversing with everyone around him. We kept the garland pack and a pack of suger lumps in front of him. He took it and kept it aside in a corner. He did not even open the pack to look what it contained. We were having darshan of him, standing.

A woman came around ten o' clock. She had in her hand an intricately designed silver armour for Pillaiyar. As ordained by the sage, she had arranged for the silver armour, for the Pillaiyar of the temple at their place of domicile, and brought it for PeriyavA's anugraha. PeriyavA took the kavacam from her, kept it on his lap and told his disciple nearby, "Take that," pointing to the pack in a corner.

The disciple unwrapped the pack and handed over the aRukampul garland to PeriyavA. How did he know the contents of the pack, without looking at it or asking about it?

He enwreathed the silver kavacam with the garland. It fitted nicely as if tailor made for the object. Then he took the kavacam with the garland, fitted it his chest, turned to all the four sides and gave darshan. We all went into ecstasy.

The woman who brought the kavacam stood with joined palms, tears welling up in her eyes. PeriyavAL gave the kavacam with the garland to her through his disciple.

What we took to offer him was an ordinary thing; but for the fullness of heart we had, there was no limit to it! This was because, he made us somehow realize the abheda between him and Ganapathi.

I am Kamakshi too!

A woman, who was a resident of the place where PeriyavAL was camping, had aparimita bhakti on him. Because of her family circumstances, she could not go out of her house often and have darshan of the sage.

One day she somehow managed to be out of her house and came to SriMaTham camp for darshan. It was afternoon. Sitting on the puja stage itself, Sri PeriyavA was talking with many people. This woman went near the stage with the camphor plate in her hand to take an Arati and looked at the face of PeriyavA, but he abruptly turned his face away. She tried twice or thrice but PeriyavA did not show her his face.

The woman was very unhappy. When PeriyavA looked like facing her, she lighted the camphor. But before she could go near and wave her Arati in circles, PeriyavA got up and went inside. Stunned, she moaned to herself, "Ambike! Why do you test me like this? What sin did I commit?" Consoling herself, she said, "Alright, I will take the Arati for you" and waved the flame to AmbaL Tripurasundari kept on the puja stage and started for home very disappointed and tearful.

As she came out of the pandal, a man came running and said, "Amma! PeriyavA's call for you." "For me? Can't be," she said with hesitation. "Yes, for you only Amma, come!" said the man. She went inside hesitatingly. PeriyavA who was sitting on the stage told her, "Don't feel disheartened that you had to take the Arati meant for me to AmbaL. Now you show me the Arati."

She staggered to take the camphor and placed it on the plate. Her hands shaking, she lit the camphor. Steadying herself, she went near him and waved the Arati in front of him in circles, and looked at PeriyavAL's face. PeriyavA appeared to her as sAkSAt Kamakshi with her sugercane-bent bow and parAnkusha and smiling face. Short of fainting, the woman patted her cheeks loudly with the words, "Amma! Amma!", bhakti flooding herself.

This was the incident that made us realize that the AmbaL on the stage and PeriyavAL are one and the same. The woman was Nagalakshmi, of Trichy. She told me the incident herself. I have heard similar incidents where PeriyavAL gave darshan as AmbaL to people from their own mouths.

I am Parameshwara too!

The Vasanta Navaraatri time in Satara. Some of us from Pudukottai went and stayed there for a week to offer suvAsinI bhikSA. We used to offer PeriyavAL with different kinds of flowery garlands and crowns.

On an evening, ten of us were sitting on the floor outside his room. Sri PeriyavA came out. We bowed to him. Rajam AmmaL submitted a nagAbharaNa kirITa (a crown in the borm of a snake). Made of veTTivEr (cuscus-grass), with a bead of sandal paste, it was formed as an umbrella of cobra snakes.

PeriyavA took the crown and gave it to a disciple beside him to adorn the Shivalingam nearby.

RajammaL hastily prayed to him, "PeriyavA should wear it."

PeriyavAL pointed to the Shivalingam and declared, "He and I are not different. I am Him and He is me", and gave a laugh. An instant flash of light that resembled lightning appeared before our eyes as he spoke the words. What bhAgyam! We were dumbstruck, sitting in a shiver of ecstasy.

Compassion to the Narikurava

A village near Villupuram. A man of the narikurava tribe camping there, decided to commit suicide due to family afflictions. He came to the railway station and stretched himself on the platform, with the intention of jumping onto the rails when the next train came.

The man slept. He had a dream-like vision, wherein a saamiyar (sage) appeared before him and said, "You need not die. Come and see me. I shall grant you peace." He woke up with a start. A wave of freshness spread through his body.

It occurred him to search for the sage who came in his dream. He sold the gold ring he was wearing for a long time and started on his search using the cash he obtained for the ring. He went from village to village and had darshan of many sages, but none resembled the man who came in his dream. He did not give up, though he was depressed.

Maha PeriyavA was camping at that time in the village called Ekambarakuppam near Vellore. The nomad who came that side sighted the sage one evening. He stood before the camp entrance and started shouting: "Oh Saami! This is the Saami! You asked me to come! Come on, come out!" Sri PeriyavA called RajammaL and told her, "Find out who he is and serve him some food. I shall see him tomorrow morning."

As RajammaL went to him and said, "Appa, who are you? I shall serve you food. Saami will see you in the morning and talk to you!", he repled, "Yes, Thaayi (mother)! I had a quarrel with my two wives. I married a third girl. One day I saw her mix poison in the food she served to me. I was shattered and decided to end my life. At that time this Saamiyar came in my dream and asked me to see him."

PeriyavA came out on the next morning. The nomad immediately wailed, "Saami! You appear to me like my mother. I shall collect the garbage and be with you here!"

PeriyavA said, "Get back to your village properly. People will treat you with respect henceforth. You think of me whenever you face a difficult situation. Everything will be alright!" He gave the nomad fruits. He also collected and gave money from the people there and sent him back to his place.

This incident was narrated to me by Pudjkottai RajammaL. When this happened, Trichy Subhalakshmi, Trichy DharmambaL and some other women were there with her.

He Thought, It Came About

Sri PeriyavA was conversing with people and giving darshan with a smile on his face. Before him on the floor were platters of different kinds of fruits. My memory is that it was during the month of Purattaasi (Aug-Sep) or Aippasi (Sep-Oct).

A girl child was walking round and round the crowd. PeriyavA called the child and said, "Take one fruit that you like from these fruits." There were pineapples, apples, grapes, guavas and oranges on the platters.

But then the child said, "I want a mango!" It was not the season for mangoes. Even the maavadus (tender little raw mangoes) had not started to grow on the trees. PeriyavA sat thinking! He said, "Vedapuri! Check with Mettur Swami if he has any dried mango chips", closed his eyes and started meditating.

Within minutes, two people came from Andhra with a fruit platter, picking their way among the crowd. There wre two large mango fruits on the plate. PeriyavA opened his eyes. He called the child and said, "Take them!" The child happily picked up one fruit from the platter.

Vedapuri returned with the words, "No mango chips there" and was stunned to look at the mango on the child's hand.

"ENdaa! How did the mango fruit come?" asked PeriyavA.

With overwhelming emotion, Vedapurai replied, "PeriyavA thought about it! And the mango came!", tears coursing his eyes.

We were happy to witness the PeriyavAL's shakti with own eyes.

It was not known where the Andhra people who brought the mangoes went. May be they had gone to a place not visible to our eyes?

I am Narayana too!

My daughter Janaa had designed an aishvarya kolam. It was on a framed Mahalakshmi portrait, decorated with broken glass pieces of different colors. We submitted it to PeriyavAL. He took it, admired, and said, "This is Mahalakshmi. Where should I keep Mahalakshmi? Should be on my chest." With these words, he kept the Mahalakshmi portrait on his chest, turned to all the four sides and gave darshan to everyone there. We understood that PeriyavA made us realize that he was also the aMsa of Narayana.

Subhalakshmi AmmaL of Trichy once told him with regret, "PeriyavA! Today is somavara amAvAsya (a Monday new moon night). Without remembering that I should walk around the peepul tree this evening, I have come over to Kanchipuram."

Pat came the reply. "So what? You go round me 108 times. That would be enough!"

Periayavaa was not just Narayana; he was also Asvatta Narayana!*

* The peepul tree was considered as the male principle (Asvatta Narayana) having multiple tiny seeds for maximum propagation. In Tamil its name itself is 'Arasu' (King). The neem tree on the other hand (with a single large egg-like seed) was always associated with Mother Goddess (female principle) in South India.

(Symbolism in Indian Concepts of God : Narayan MKV blogs on sulekha, Religion blogs, Narayan MKV blog from india)

AbharaNa - ornament, decoration
abheda - undividedness, sameness, identity
aishvaryam - supremacy, sovereignty, might, power, affluence
amAvAsya - the night of new moon
aN^kushaH - a hook a goad used to control an elephant
aparimita - unmeasured, limitless
araLi - oleander
aRukampul - (Tamil) harialli grass, cynodon dactylon
kavacam - armour, mail, jacket, the bark of a tree.
kirITam - crown, diadem, crest, any ornament used as a crown
narikurava - a nomad tribe that hunts for eating and sells strings of beads and articles made of animal horns.
saMklpaH - will, volition, mental resolve
somavAra - Monday
suvAsinI a woman married or single who lives in her father's house.
veTTivEr - (Tamil) 1. cuscus-grass; 2. black cuscus-grass

Paramacharya's paripUrNa kaTAkSa
author:..... Dr. S. Ramakrishnan, Chennai-92
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:....... MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 89-92
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

On a day some fiteen years ago, we received the paripUrNa kaTAkSa of Kanchi ParamAChAryAL -- Paramaatma.

My wife, daughter and I went to Kanchipuram and had darshan of ParamAChAryAL, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi SwamigaL and Sri BAla PeriyavAL; we also had darshan of the night puja. And then we had the early morning viSvarUpa darshanam of ParamAChAryAL and witnessed the go pUja.

We had purchased at Kamakshi temple two copies of the first-time-published Guru pictures that had all the three AcharyaaLs together. We went to Sankara MaTham to give the pictures to ParamAChAryAL and get his anugraha. We had PeriyavAL's darshan and gave him the pictures praying for his blessings on them. Receiving them, MahA SvAmigaL inquired, "Where were these bought?" It seemed that he was having a glance at that publication for the first time.

He called an assistant, ordered him to get the pictures framed, and on receiving them framed, hang the pictures in two places in the MaTham.

We had boundless ecstasy that the pictures we gave were going to adorn the MaTham. That is the grace of ParamAChAryAL! How many devotees are waiting for an opportunity to hang gold-framed pictures on the walls of the MaTham! This being the case, it was our parama bhAgya that he gave us the opportunity. We were reminded of Sri Krishna Paramaatma voluntarily asking and taking aval (flattened rice) from Sudaaman.

We went back to MaTham around one o' clock with the two framed pictures and another copy of the picture (we bought for us).

ParamAChAryAL came and sat around 3:30 hours. We gave the three pictures to the assistant for handing them over to PeriyavAL. He ordered the framed pictures to be hung on the MaTham walls. He was keeping the third picture with him. We came to know the reason for this act only later. We understood that it was PeriyavAL's saMkalpa to grace us with a holy scene resembling the one in which Adi Shankara and his disciples sat and did vedanta vicAra.

We had that eye-overwhelming sight very soon!

ParamAChAryAL came and sat like Adi Shankara. BAla PeriyavAL sat before him, two vedic pundits sitting beside him. The vedanta vichAra started. And we witnessed the scene of Adi Shankara teaching his disciples! BAla PeriyavAL uttered some verses on brahmAtmAnanda anubhava from the Taittiriya Upanishad and MahA SvAmigaL did the vyAkhyAnam for them.

Don't we say "gurostu maunam vyAkhyAnam" about Sri Dhaksinamurthy? Here it seemed to us as "gurostu lalita vyAkhyAnam". One particular sentence recited during that vedanta lesson comes to mind even now: "tat brahmana: parimara ityupAsita.* BAla PeriyavAL's vyAkhyAnam for this verse was "parimariya te iti parimaraH - vAyurityartaH". He said that the term parimaram meant vAyu.

The two pundits who sat beside BAla PeriyavAL participated in the spiritual debate. The three of us exprienced this brahmAnanda for an hour. Then ParamAChAryAL gave BAla PeriyavAL and the others curd-filled, seeded coconut halves as prasAdam.

We had limitless joy when we understood that it was only to give us this brahmAnanda darshan that he kept us in the MaTham under the guise of ordering the pictures to be framed.

Then he returned to us the third picture (that had the three Acharyas, ParamAChAryAL in the middle with joined palms) with the mantrAkSata and his blessings.

My complete faith about this incident is:

1. ParamAChAryAL took chittam to give us karuNa kaTAkSa. That was why (though there were many devotees waiting to give him gold-framed pictures) he took the two pictures from us by voltuntarily asking for them.

2. He gave us the immense fortune of ordering that the two pictures we gave be hung on the walls of the holy Sri Sankara MaTham.

3. He also made us experience the brahmAnanda of the vedatana vicara scene that could be had nowhere else.

*The verse is:
tat brahmana: parimara ityupAsita|
paryenam mriyante dvishantas spatna: |
pari ye (a) priyA prAtruvyA:||

We should (also) worship Him as the destroying force. The person doing so would conquer and destroy all His enemies, haters, and bad persons.

-- The taitrIya brigu valli verse 10.4
(SriRangaSri List Archive: [SriRangaSri] Manthra Raja Part I)

kaTAkSa - a glance or side look, a leer, caught by glance, an arrow-like look of love, a sidelong glance
vyAkhyAnam - explanation, gloss, commentary

The PeriyavAL I Saw
author:..... bhAShyamaNi Dr. Sivaramakrishna SastrigaL, Tiruvanaikkovil
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:....... MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 236-240
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

We have the pride of having lived in the time when the walking God ParamAChAryAL was living. When Sri Rama's eminence is spoken

yam cha rAmam na pashyettu yashcha rAmam na pashyati ||*

Those who Rama did not see and those who did not see Rama were both bhAgya hIna (forsaken). There were many people who had just been looking at him for hours at a stretch, considering that PeriyavAL need not talk to them, but their just looking at him was a great bhAgya. 'Periyavar's glance should fall on us. If his glance touches us, is there any act that does more pAvana (purifying) than that glance?' There were people who went and stood near him with this consideration. I have seen many who were yearning to talk him or just hear him inquire 'who are you?' and 'which place?'

On one occasion, some ten to fifteen of us were standing (in his presence). At that time Periyavar's vAk (words of advice) blossomed.

"We study Vedanta. But no one has brought it into experience. No one takes any efforts in this direction. The Brahman of our Advaita shAstram (philosophy) is of two kinds: nirguNa, saguNa (without and with attributes). NirguNa Brahman is without avayava (parts or limbs). On the same NirguNa Brahman we meditate, by bringing it into saguNa. In the form we meditate on, it would arrive (as the Devatas). It is said that there are thirty-three crores of Devatas (gods). The (same) Brahman remains anugata (inherent) in all the Devatas. If looked at in this manner, the Muslim-worshipped Allah and the Christian-worshipped Jesus are all our Brahman only! If this opinion arrives in all the religions, then there will be no fights in the world in the name of religion."

Everyone was immersed in surprise, having known about the broad-mindedness of PeriyavAL.

*** *** ***

One should not find fault with anyone.

A man is coming to Kanchipuram for the first time to have dharshan of SwamigaL. When he came by a bus he asked the man seated beside him, "I need to go to the MaTham to have darshan of SwamigaL. Which stop should I get down for that purporse?" The man said that he had no idea. This man somehow got down and arrived (at the MaTham). He went to see SwamigaL with a plate of fruits. When he went inside, he saw the same man who was seated beside him in the bus talking to SwamigaL.

This man was seething with anger. He at once complained to PeriyavvaL. PeriyavAL immediately said, "After all he did it only for your good! If he showed some place as the place for you to get down, you might be misled and delayed. Therefore you should think that he only did you good by saying that he did not know." Both the men who were listening to this advice stood ashamed.

*** *** ***

Once a devotee brought a mentally deranged boy before SwamigaL and said, "This boy has mental illness. His is not consistent in his normal behaviour. He does not even know hunger. He remains just like he is mad. You should give your anugrahA and cure him."

The reply SwamigaL gave to that was strange. "Why do you think of getting him to normalcy? It can be said that he does not have puNya or pApa (virtuous or sinful acts) in this birth. Only a person whose mental status is normal would daringly commit sins; and suffer its effects. He would have self pity when he suffers. This one does not have that status! A bhakta calls even Parameswara Pitthaa! piraisoodi (O the Crazy! who wears a crescent). Therefore it is better that he remains like this."

The man looked somewhat satisfied and took away the boy after bowing to PeriyavAL.

In much the same way, PeriyavA would reply to questions such as 'This one has defective vision; this one's ears are not capable of hearing; this one is dumb, he can't talk; should give anugrahA to these people.' His reply would be on these lines: "Does this one have no vision? Then he does not have the sins committed by the eyes. Sri Krishna gave divine eyes to Dhrita-rashtra and made him have His Visva Rupa Darshan. Is it an ordinary thing that an eyeless gets eyes and has darshan of God! Krishna Paramatma told him, 'Remain with eyes henceforth.' You know the reply he gave to that? 'I do not want to see the sinners with the eyes that have seen You. So You make me blind once again.' Therefore this one does not have the sins committed by the eyes."

"The earless will also never commit the sins done with ears. Words unfit for the ears will not fall on his ears. He will not listen to words that speak ill of great people. TirukkuraL says:

"yaathanin yaathanin neengiyaan nothal
athanin athanin ilan.

"That is, whatsoever a man has dispassion for, he won't get the distress due to that (he has renounced).

"The dumb will not commit the sin done with speech. It is due to speech that we easily earn pApa. That will not happen to this one; he can do satya vAkya paripAlanam (keeping up the words of truth). He won't get the words of blame that he lied, that he bore false witness, that he talked ill of great people. Therefore, it should be considered that it is a great bhAgya for this one to remain a dumb. If someone gives him the power of speech, then that someone will become a great sinner. If I say these things openly, some people will be unhappy with me. Therefore I would simply say, 'Remain in prosperity.'"

In this way, PeriyavAL's vision would be a tatva dRuSTi.

*The actual verse is:

yashcha raamaM na pashyettu yaM cha raamo na pashyati || 2-17-14
nindataH sarvalokeshhu svaatmaapyenam vigarhate |

All the people blamed the one who did not see Rama and the one who was not seen by Rama. Such a person would blame himself of it.
-- Valmiki Ramayanam, Ayodhya Kandam, verse 2-17-14

anugata - hanging behind; gone after, followed, visited, occupied, conquered; following, complying with, obedient; equalling, resembling
avayava - a limb, member, part, portion
dRSTi - seeing, viewing, beholding (also with the mental eye); sight, the mind's eye, wisdom, intelligence; regard, consideration; eye, look, glance.
adiyongaLaiyum AtkoNda aruLALar (The Merciful Who Elevated His Devotees)
author:..... P. Srinivasan - AndaaL, Baranur
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:....... MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 4, pages 21-77
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Dec 2006 Edition)

This is a long story of stunning spiritual experiences by the authors. I shall translate and post them in convenient instalments. -- saidevo

Pages 21-24

I had not seen Kanchi Kamakoti PITham MahA PeriyavAL until that day in person; only in pictures. I had a dream one night: MahA PeriyavAL is standing in my dream. After having darshan, I prostrate to his holy feet and get up. He gave me a persistent, keen look of grace. I awoke in that state of ecstasy.

'Who is he? Nothing about him was known to me except that he is an Advaita sanyAsi, Kanchi Kamakoti PIThAdhipati.

'Perhaps he is guiding my Atma vicAram (Self Inquiry)?

'I have heard that he has the custom of going on yAtrAs. Where would he be staying now?'

I met Sri Duraiswamy Aiyer the next day in his office and asked him, "Where is Kanchi MahA PeriyavAL staying now?" He replied, "MahA PeriyavAL is in Neyveli. He is coming to Panruti from there."

We (me and my wife) went to where he was staying in Panruti one day. He was sitting on the floor in a room.

Sri MahA PeriyavAL gave darshan veiling his body in a saffron cloth, with which he had also covered his head.

Some people paid their obeisance to him and returned with prasAdam. Even after paying their obeisance, some old women were supplicating their family matters to him. It was not possible for us to get past the people who stood like a wall in front of him, blocking the view; we were losing patience. Finally we stood before the holy personality of Sri PeriyavAL and prostrated to him.

As he saw us, Sri PeriyavAL closed his eyes. He was silent for sometime. Though we stood before him with hesitation, he did not open his eyes. We moved away. Suddenly Sri PeriyavAL's voice was heard loud and clear. He conversed something with those who stood before him. We were surprised!

We went to him once again and stood after prostrating. Immediately Sri PeriyavAL closed his eyes and became silent. We couldn't understand the reason; we moved away from him. And Sri PeriyavAL's voice was heard again! Thinking what sort of a wonder it was, we went to him yet again, prompted by curiosity, prostrated and stood up. The same disappointment! Sri PeriyavAL kept silent, closing his eyes. We lost heart. Since it was Shivaratri on that day, six sessions of puja were held there until dawn on the next morning.

Later, we started for our native village. Duraiswamy Aiyer, who was an office friend, also came with us in the bus.

"Did not MahA PeriyavAL talk anything to you? He usually inquiries and talks well with everyone! Also give prasAdam?" He sympathized with us with his words.

*** *** ***

Duraiswamy Aiyer was an officer where I worked. He was a graduate who had culture and devotion. He was a man with close connections to Sri Ramakrishna MaTham and had interest on the SwamigaL of that MaTham. His family members were disciples of the MaTham of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti PITham.

Because of his concern for me, he gave me the English book Ramakrishna, my Master (written by Sri Sarada Nanda, prime disciple of Sri Ramakrishna) and asked me to read it.

In those days (1960) only we two (me and my wife) were living in our house in the Vazhaipattu village. For us it was complete solitude!

Daily during the night hours I would make her sit before me, read out that biography of Ramakrishna line by line and translate it into Tamil for her. Though she was literate in the English and Sanskrit languages, since it required special experience to understand the spiritual and vedanta paribhAshA (phraseology), I would give her the explanations. She grasped the details well. Likewise, I would also read out Swami Sivananda's books and articles to her. She also started to have devotion and faith towards Swamiji. She told me that she had Sri Swamiji's darshan in her dream and got comfort for her entreaties. Thus, we had an agreeable family life.

In the year 1965, we moved to a new house in Nellikuppam.

It was only after that we had spiritual experiences such as Kanch Sri MahA PeriyavAL darshan, worship of Emperumaan in the Divya Desams, Satsangs, and arrivals of sAdhus (sages) and bhAgavtas (songster discoursers).

paribhAshA - technical terminology; phraseology, discourse, censure
Last edited:
Pages 25-27
AmbaaL's Coming

One day, a sumangali maami from Kumbakonam came and stayed opposite our house. She used to do puja to Kamakshi Amman, with the AvAhanam of the Amman on the kutthu viLakku (standing brass lamp). When the puja was over, she would reply, looking at the jyoti (flame) of the lamp, to the questions asked by the people present about problems in their life.

A woman from her house invited everyone in the vicinity for the puja. My wife had also gone. Several women had come for the puja on that evening. That AmmaaL (woman) answered the questions of many in the form of AruL Vaakku (divine reply), until late in the night.

Since my wife had no interest in the puja and AmbaaL Vakku, she did not ask any questions. The woman (who invited her) prompted her to seek AmbaaL (the woman in trance) AruL Vaakku for any problem that she might be having.

My wife said, "I don't need anything." AmbaaL laughed; "Ask about your problems, I shall reply to them," she said.

My wife said calmly, "I have nothing that needs to seek a solution for." She came home and narrated the incidents to me.

I told her, "Since it is a Friday and as a Sumangali invited you for puja, it was alright that you went. You need not go hereafter."

At eleven hours in the night, the woman assistant came running and told us, "Kamakshi AmbaaL asked me to bring you." I sent my wife with her. Everyone present in the opposite house had left. Only AmbaaL was there.

She said, "It was only you who did not supplicate anything even after my voluntarily prompting to you. I am getting the niyama(na) (orders) from AmbaaL. Don't ignore it! I shall myself come to your home. I shall do the AvAhanam of AmbaaL in your kutthu viLakku. When AmbaaL Herself comes to your home, don't say no to it! You need not do any arrangements for the puja. You shall have no expenses. I am coming right now."

My wife told her, "I shall go home now seek my husband's counsel and then tell you" and came home. I thought about what she told me and decided that since it was the night of a Friday, we needn't block it, so I gave my consent. It was midnight when that AmmaaL came to our house.

Within a few minutes she did the AvAhanam in the kutthu viLakku in our puja room, did nivedanam of banana fruits, submitted tAmbUlam, did karpUra Arati (waving a camphor flame) and then gave my wife upadesha of the mantra that had AmbaaL's bIjAkSara, and advised her to perform kumkuma arcanA for 108 times to the dIpam (lamp) daily; she told us that the fruits will be seen within three months.

Looking at me Kamakshi AmbaaL said as AruL Vaakku, "You are approaching a guru in your AtmArta search. That will become saphala. There will be a darshan of a mahAn (great sage) either on a river bank, a pond levee, or in a temple. There will be mantroupadesha by him to you. Further, AtmakSemam (spiritual advance) will become possible for you, by remaining in the gRuhatAshramaM (ashram of home). You will get kSetrAdanams (visiting holy places)."

Thereafter, receiving turmeric, kumkumam and tAmbUlam, she left with happiness.

*** *** ***

AvAhanam - calling, inviting, inviting a deity to be present
bIjAkSara - the first syllable of a Mantra or spell
saphala - having or bearing fruit or seed, fruitful; having reward, profit or success
tAmbUla - betel leaves and areca-nut
Pages 27-33

My wife was performing the KutthuViLakku Puja in accordance with the divya vAkku (divine saying) of Sri Kamakshi AmbaaL.

Sri Kanchi Kamakoti PITham Maha PerivaaL darshanam and saMbhASaNaM* both became a prApta (fulfilment) for us during the Sankara Jayanti vaibhava (celebrations) in the house he was born, which is in the East Hanumar Koil Street, Villupuram.

maN^gala vAdyas were playing. Vedas were being recited. The jaya ghoSas (loud proclamations of divine victory) rent the sky. An ocean of people all around. A dampati (husband and wife) went swimming across the crowd. Their body and heart were filled with joy.

Moving, the procession reached a mammoth pandal (thatched shed). It was around six in the evening. The elephant that came in the procession reached near the stage erected at the far end of the pandal.

Because of the crowd, the dampati couldn't enter the pandal. As they were standing in the street, they sighted an assistant of the MaTham swiftly entering the pandal. The woman (among the dampati) approached him and asked, "Swamy! I wish to take 'mutthu Arati' in this lotus plate to Periyavar. When can I do it?" He said, "This is the right time, you people come with me." He created a path in the crowd by gesturing along and brought them near the elephant that was standing by the stage. The elephant bowed to the dIpam (flame that was being waved). Adi Sankara's pAdukAs (icons of holy sandals) were gracing the stage. PuduPeriyavAL and the MaTham vaidikas recited Tothakashtakam and prostrated. Thereafter, PuduPeriyavAL gestured to my wife, and she took the Arati.

In March 1966, Sri Kanchi MahA PeriyavAL and PuduPeriyavAL were camping in the agrahAram (street of brahmin houses) in the Hanumar Koil Street, Villupuram, for the Sankara Jayanthi. We both came down from Nellikuppam and stayed in my younger sister's home. After witnessing the puja performed by Sri PeriyavAL in the MaTham, we returned to my sister's home. We started again to the MaTham in the evening. She (my wife) came with her many-colored kumkumam-decorated brass plate to take the mutthu Arati. Though I had told her that it would be very difficult to take it inside the MaTham with the decorations intact, and that it might not be possible to get near PeriyavAL in that heavy crowd, she did not listen to my words. She carried the plate with extreme care. I have narrated above what happened when we approached the MaTham.

Sand was spread on the floor. Sri Maha PerivaaL was sitting on the sand below the stage, folding one leg horizontaly and keeping the other straight up but bent double at the kneecap, and holding his long daNDam (holy staff) in his hand.

He graced the crowd of devotees with his blessed look. Sometime later, he called someone in the crowd by a gesture. One by one the men got up in response, only to find that it was not him. People nearby aroused us saying, "It is only you he is calling."

As I stood up hesitating, he nodded his head in affirmation. I went near him and prostrated. My hands and legs were shivering. I stood near him folding a hand on my chest and covering my mouth with the other.

I saw him as a flame of sacrifice, a tapasvi (great ascetic) in his seated posture, covering his holy frame and head with a saffron cloth. His splendrous tirumukha mandalam (orb of holy face) blossomed, revealing a row of white teeth. Then he called my wife also. She came and stood by my side.

"Where are you coming from?"

"From Nellikuppam."

"When did you people come here?"

"We came here this morning."

"Where did you eat in the afternoon?"

"We ate in my sister's home in Santana Gopalapuram. We came here again at six in the evening."

"What was happening then?"

I narrated him the details.

"She prostrated saying a shloka (right)? You came only then?"


"What are you doing?"

"I have the job of a clerk in the Nellikuppam Suger Factory."

"In the same factory, there is one by name Subbu, a Telegu; would have a small cikai (tuft of hair); very quiet, won't talk much; the vibhuti on his forehead would be a touch-and-go (pattum padAmalum)."

"Yes. This man (adiyen, me) is also working with him."

"A relative of his, by name Mani, is working there, you know him?"

"I know him."

"He would have smeared his front brightly with vibhuti. Would always be talking humourously, right?"


"There is a paatti (old woman) in their home, you know?"

"I have seen her. They are staying near our home; only after seeing Mani's mother and that old woman standing outside here, we came in."

"His ammA (mother)? You know her? svIkAra ammA (adopted mother)? Own mother?"

"That I do not know."

"That ammA's ears cannot listen! You know that?"

"Maybe; has she not become aged?"

"Is it not good that the ears can't listen?"

We both kept silent.

"It is good if the ears can't listen! Because, the apasmAra (twisted) words of others won't get into the ears; that itself is good; can remain having bhagavat cintanam (thought of God)."

We both nodded our heads to say yes.

"That ammA knows Telegu; knows SamskRutam (Sanskrit); knows all about Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavat Gita and Srimad Ramayana; she would tell a lot of divine information."

"This man (I) has not talked to that mother."

"You know Telugu?"

"No. This man is a SriVaishnavite."

"What, you are a SriVaishnavite?"

"Yes, only a SriVaishnavite."

"You are a SriVaishnavite? A SriVaishnavite?"

"Yes, SriVaishnavite. (A gap of silence.) People say that PeriyavA is coming to Nellikuppam."

"Are they making arrangements?"


"strI, purushA (women and men) all are keen about it?"


"Brhamins, how many of them are there?"

"May be about a hundred families."

"How many are having a tuft of hair?"

"Only about ten people are having tufts."

"Only that much?" (A gap of silence.)

"Would you come again this Sunday?"

PeriyavA had kept the answer he expected in his question.

"Yes, we are coming."

Even after this long saMbhASaNaM (conversation) he did not give us prasAdam.

Smiling, he raised his hand and gave his anugraha, also giving us his anumati (assent) to take leave.

We stood hesitating. Again he raised his hand, giving his anugraha and nodded his head with a meaningful smile and look.

Only we were not given the prasAda. We prostrated wholeheartedly and started to move away.

* darshanam, sparshanam, saMbhASaNaM (darshan, touch, dialogue) are the three great bhAgyas that a devotee or disciple can have of a Guru or Acharya. However, in the tradition of the pIThams, the pIThAdhipatis (pontiffs) have no tactile contact with the devotees or disciples, so sparshanam by them is unthinkable. With Gods, in the Bhakti Yoga path, not only these three but also AliN^ganam (embracing), by the devotee and the deity is also possible in the bhakti bhAva (state of devotion). -- sd

ghoSaNam - proclamation, speaking in a loud voice
maN^gala vAdya - musical instruments played on auspicious occasions
saMbhASaNaM - conversation, dialogue
svIkAra - making one's own, appropriation, claiming, agreement, consent, robbery, forcible seizure
Pages 33-37

I went to the office after finishing my nityAnuSTAnam (daily religious observances) the next day. As a first thing, I told Sri Subramanyam (Mani) and Sri VenkataSubramanyam (Subbu) in detail about my darshan of Sri MahA PeriyavAL at Villupuram. They were happy.

Mani was of my age. Srimaan Subbu was ten years elder to us.

Since Mani had in turn told his mother when he was home, that evening his mother came to our home, and asked us to give a complete narration of our darshan; her heart melted and eyes shed tears profusely.

She told us how she came to know by personal experience that Sri PeriyavAL was a siddha purasha (a man of siddhis). Since we believed it in full, some spiritual experiences became possible for us. And they became our Atma poSaNaM (spiritual nourishment). In accordance with Sri AcharyaaL's saMkalpa (will), 'Amma' came to our home daily in the night, did Atma vicAram (spiritual deliberations) and remained as a sat-saN^gam (spiritual companion) in order that we might get Atma paripakvam (spiritual maturity).

'Amma' was a sanyAsini (ascetic) by heart. Nobody knew that she was always in bhagavat cintanam doing mantra japam. Their family were residing four houses away from ours. Amma was aged more than eighty years. We came to have that old woman who attained Atma jnAnam as our 'Amma' by Sri MahA PeriyavAL's wish. She showed her vAtsalya bhAvam (profile of affection) to us, that Telegu Paatti by name 'LalithambaaL AmmaaL'!

In the first meeting, our conversation lasted till midnight. We both would be awaiting Amma at seven every evening. Amma's talk was Vedanta; breath was Bhakti. Some Atma shakti entered inside the three of us and made us experience the utkRSTa (superior) state of bhakti based on tatva jnAnam.

Amma had deep knowledge in Sanskrit. She had done pArAyaNa (study) of Adyaatma Ramayana, Valmiki Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavat Gita, Devi Mahaatmiyam and Vishnu Puranam several times.

Amma would narrate to us in a way that made impressions in our minds, the spiritual experiences she had by her darshans of Kanchi PeriyavAL, since the times when she was a lass till she met us.

"Wherever the vyaktis (individuals) who are doing Atma vicAram are, he would seek and go to their places under the vyAjam (pretext) of yAtrA (tour), do AkarSaNaM (attract) of them without anyone knowing it by his yoga balam (yogic strength), do pakvam of them (ripen their condition), order their path and then continue his yAtrA." Amma has narrated such experiences of hers. I was eager to write them down and sought her permission, but she did not give her consent. She said, "It is not possible to narrate or write down my sixty years of Atma anubhava; there is no necessity for it; Sri PeriyavAL has given me the preraNaM (direction) to narrate them only to you people. That is why I have narrated even parama rahasyAs (utter secrets) to you without any vAk tadangal (interruption of word). I have not told them either to Mani or Subbu. Since you are suitable adhikAris (entitled to), I tell them according to Sri PeriyavAL's saMkalpam."

Owing to the tapo-balam (strength of penance) of mahAns (great sages) waves of spiritual vibrations are formed around them. The Atmika shakti (spiritual potency) of the jivAs (souls), even if they happen to be immersed in sAmanya (ordinary), samsArika (worldly) matters, is kindled when they come inside the circle of these spiritual vibrations. The souls would feel the freshness arising out of clear thinking, when they are inside the circle. Once they get out of the circle, they would get back their svAbhavika nature (usual self).

But the souls in the nature of soft iron, when they have this experience, get larger amounts of their spiritual powers kindled, and tend to retain much of them permanently. This is possible only by experience.

I shall narrate to what extent this siddhAnta (principle) applies to the svAnubhAva (personal experiences) of the three of us.

Sri MahA PeriyavAL is a massive magnet. 'Amma' is the vyakti who has retained within herself the Atma shakti kindled by that magnet! I feel that due to Sri Amma's sat saN^gam, those electro-magnetic waves, that inner feeling of spirituality resides permanently in our souls and directs our actions.

*** *** ***

Sri MahA PeriyavAL, though he did saMbhASaNaM (conversation) with us for hours together with love, he did not give prasAdam only to the two of us!

We told Amma, "What is the reason for not giving us prasAdam? This is what we can't understand until now." Amma said, "I too don't understand it."

She continued, "After all you are going to have darshan of him this Sunday, let us see what happens then."

We both went to Villupuram on the following Sunday, had darshan of Sri MahA PeriyavAL in the MaTham and prostrated to him. Sri PeriyavAL keenly looked at us, but kept quiet. On that day also he gave prasAdam to everyone (except us). Though we prostrated to him once again among those people, he regarded us keenly and just sat in silence without any motion. He did not give prasAdam only to the two of us! Though we tried following him wherever he went in the MaTham and prostrated to him several times, he did not either talk to us or give prasAdam. We returned to our place.

This act of Sri MahA PeriyavAL made us think. When 'Amma' came to our home the next day, we narrated our experience of the previous day to her. Amma also thought it out seriously and said, "I shall tell you later."

AkarSaH - attracting or drawing towards oneself, drawing away from, withdrawing, attraction, fascination
AkarSaNaM - pulling, drawing, attracting
cintanam - thinking, idea, being engaged in thought, anxious thought
poSaNaM - nourishing, fostering, supporting, maintaining
paripAkaH - well cooked state, well ripened, condition, fruits of, end, effect, skill
preraNaM preraNA - driving or urging on, impelling, impulse, passion, order, direction
saN^gaH - coming together, union, meeting, contact, friendship, fondness, attachment
vyAjaH - pretext, pretence, semblance
vyaktiH - perception, form, individual man, distinction
Pages 38-41

Sri PeriyavAL in the course of his yAtrA was staying for a week in the premises of the (Cuddalore) Majakkuppam Municipal High school.

Manjakkuppam is located near our village. For that entire week, we went there early in the morning and in the evening, had arshan of PeriyavAL and stood after prostrating to him.

Only Sri PeriyavAL looking at us, remaining silent, and giving kumkuma prasAdam to all the others was going on. At intervals we went near him again and again and prostrated. He did not give us prasAdam; but as we moved away, he gave prasAdam to those who stood after us. We went with 'Amma' and her family and prayed silently. He gave prasAdam to everyone except us. He did saMbhASaNaM (conversation) with 'Amma' and her family and bid them farewell by waving his hand. 'Amma' was also surprised.

A week later, (during May 1966) he camped in Nellikuppam for three days. I took leave of absence from my office, and we stayed in the MaTham. Finishing our nitya kAryAs (daily routine), cooking and meals at home, we would go to the MaTham. We stayed there since morning till ten o' clock in the night. He gave his kaTAkSa (side look) to us, but neither talked with us nor gave prasAdam.

Three kaingkaryaparAs who attended to the MaTham routines stayed in our home. We considered it our bhAgyam. The names of two of the three were Bangalore Sri Kandaswamy Aiyer and Sri Balasubramanya Aiyer. When Sri Kandaswamy Aiyer talked to MahA PeriyavAL he pointed to us and said, "I am staying in the home of Srinivasan." PeriyavAL only listened to him silently.

At night on the third day Sri MahA PeriyavAL sat in his menA and started off. He came with his parivAra (followers) to our colony in Janakiram Nagar. He went straight for Amma's home, entered it and sat down on the floor in a room. Mani did pAda pUja to PeriyavAL. Submitting the upacAra (services) he waved the karpUra Arati (camphor flame). Amma and her family prostrated. On account of the vAtsalyam she had towards us, as she prostrated to the holy feet of the sage, she pointed to us who were standing nearby and supplicated, "Here Srinivasan - AndaaL dampati have come, to have darshan of PeriyavAL." Sri PeriyavAL gave his silent kaTAkSa and sat with closed eyes for sometime. He did not give us prasAdam; instead, he stood up, sat on his menA and started for the MaTham.

Early next morning, Sri MahA PeriyavAL started off his yAtrA, sitting inside the menA.

Like a madman, I ran beside the menA, having darshan of him. In the light of the hand torch, Sri MahA PeriyavAL gave a silent darshan. The menA stopped when it reached the village limits. Sri PeriyavAL smiled, raised his hand in blessing and closed the menA doors. I stood stunned, and thinking 'When can we meet PeriyavAL the next time? What is the sambandham between him and me?', reached home with immense sorrow.

I told everything to 'Amma'. Amma said, "I cannot understand PeriyavAL's lilas (sports). PeriyavAL has made some saMkalpa in your affairs. He is waiting for a suitable opportunity to give his anugraha and make the lives of both of you AtmArtha (spiritual) and divya jIvana (divine living). Only this much can I understand now."

Amma was one who had understood very well the tApam (yearning) of this jIva. Sri PeriyavAL would select using his tapo balam (power of penance) suitable jIvas, develop them to maturity and give his anugraha for uplifting them to further yogic heights. No one in our world knew about Amma's state of spiritual advancement; only the two of us knew it. He had given Amma by his mere kaTAkSam, his anugraha and blessings spread over many years, so she can reach the heights which can only be attained by Yoga Sadhana.

Amma would tell us that he had given a way through her to develop us, the two jIvas, in the path of bhakti and entrust to a suitable AcharyaaL, so we can reach the bhagavat caraNAravinda (God's lotus feet).

"Since the days you became aware of your surroundings, you have the taste of bhakti and have been doing Atma vicarA (spiritual inquiry). Only your pUrva janma saMskAra (accomplishments in previous birth) are the reason for this state. This jIva is yearning to get pUraNatvam (completion) in this janmA itself. Seeking the family Acharya, both of you have done Samasrayanam (Vaishnavite religious initiation) through him as per sampradAya (tradition).

"Accordingly, this jIva is restless to get the Atma bodha (knowledge of Self) so it can reach the tattva, hita, puruSArthas (complete understanding of the Self). That very beat of yearning, through MahA PeriyavAL, would enable the jIva to find an uttama Acharya puruSa (excellent guru) who could make the soul to attain the lakSya (aim) of its yAtrA in kAlakramam (due course). As soon as you meet such an Acharyan, your mind will become taTastha (reach the shore) and you will be struck with the knowledge 'he is my prANa nAthan (protector of soul)'", Amma said.

kaingkariyam - (Tamil) service, office of a servant.
saMskAra - accomplishment, preparing, arranging; cultivation, education; purification, sacrament, consecration, any rite or ceremony, esp. funeral obsequies; impression
Last edited:
Pages 41-48

chAturmAsya vratam

One night 'Amma' came to our home in her usual way. The AtmavicAram (spiritual inquiries) started. She explained us about the Bhakti Yoga in Gita. She gave vyAkhyAnam (commentary) on every shloka. We were listening to her with shraddhA (care). In the middle of her speech, Amma said:

"Srinivasa! Something strikes me. I think it would be right. Sri PeriyavAL thinks 'you must have a shikhA (tuft of hair)'. So if you go to him with a shikhA and do vandanam, he will immediately give you prasAdam."

I laughed humorously and said, "I don't think what you say would be right. In case he has such a tiruvuLam (divine thought) he could have ordered me! Moreover, PeriyavAL gives prasAdam in all places, to all classes, even to those without a shikhA! Why should I alone be an exception?"

"He looks at you as a visheSha vyakti (special individual). He looks at you as a jIvan who is yearning to have Atma paripAkam. He considers that for the AtmavicAram that has happened to you, a shikha in the shAstrokta way (as decreed in the Shastras) is a necessity. It is his saMkalpa (reflection) that if you change to shikhA and kacchA in bahiranGgam (exterior), the paripakvam will automatically happen to you and bring pUrNatvam (completeness)."

For that I replied:

"I am somewhat toiling with AtmavicAram in my antarangam (interior). In this effort, I am being given anugraha and guided by Sri Avadhuta SwamigaL and Sri Swamy Sivananda Sarasvati. With full faith, I read about the bhakti and vedanta viSaya (subjects), do yogAbhyAsa (yogic exercises), dhyAnam (meditation) and thus carry on with my sAdhanA. It doesn't occur to me that a shikhA is a necessity for these things. I preseve in rahasya (secrecy) the SishtAchAram (the anuSTAnam of our sacred predecessors), bhakti viSayam. No one should know about this connection between me and Bhagavan. I shall in any case attain nargati (liberation) anyway. Sri PeriyavAL's such conditions would apply only to the days of old; they are unsuitable for these days."

Amma said with a cool confidence:

"All that you read and observe until now are of course good; there is no doubt about it. The time has come for that to shine. You have realized well that the AtmA (soul) is different and the sharIraM (body) is different. Then why the abhimAnam (self-conceit) about the sharIraM? The talk about those who do not follow the Shastras is a different issue. I believe that since you remain faithful in the Satanata Dharma, it would be shreSTa (best) for you to observe the shAstra vidhis (rules of the scriptures), remain in shikhA, panca kacchA and do bhakti and nityAnuSTAnam (daily observances). An abundance of Atma lAbha (spiritual gains) is waiting for you. My vaakku (word) will not go untrue. Since PeriyavAL is giving a preraNa (direction) in my mind, I am telling you this." Amma thus finished her advice to me.

I realized that for such hitopadesham (good advice), PeriyavAL has given us Amma as our Atma bandhu (spiritual connection) by his anugraha towards us. Immediately, pointing to my wife nearby, I said, "I don't know if she would like my changed exterior or not; I need to get her consent." And that was the wonder! As one who has moved with me this long, understanding my inner life, she said without any hesitation, "I give my full consent. What I see are only his Atma gunAs (spiritual traits). The changes that would happen to his exterior would not make me hate him." 'Amma' was just laughing, her toothless mouth wide open!

Looking at her Amma said, "You have passed! It is a matter of joy that you don't remain as a hurdle to his spiritual progress. Both of you together should lead the spiritual life. That is also MahA PeriyavAL's saMkalpam. (to me she said) You get into a shikhA on an auspicious day."

Next she said, "You two go to the Tirupathi hills. This is a good sUcakam (indication). You have your shikhA in Tirumala itself, have Swami darshan and then go to KaLahasti. Sri PeriyavAL is staying there for his chAturmAsyam. Have dharshan of him. He will give you prasAdam immediately. And he will be very happy."

We both went to Tirumala and stayed in the evening at Sri Parakala Matham. In the early morning the next day (4-7-1966) I changed my hairstyle into a shikhA.

We bathed in the tIrtha (waters) of Swami PushkaraNi. Wearing kaccham and tirumaN kAppu (the Vaishnavite religious symbol), I stood with my wife at the entrance of the Rajagopuram of the Tiruvenkatamudayan temple.

At that time, the PIThAdhipati (pontiff) of the Tirumalai EmperumAnAr Jiyar Matham, Periya Jiyar Swamy (Srimad Sadhu Ramanujachar Swamy) came to the temple with his honours, surrounded by his disciples. adiyen (this man, I) prostrated to Jiyar SwamigaL.

Jiyar Swamy gave me his kaTAkSa (glance), called me near him and asked, "Swamy which Divya Desam?" I said, "adiyen from Vazhaippattu village near TiruvahIndraPuram." He said, "eLLA! sAtthumaRaikku" (take him with us near the God) and took me with his gOshti (group) and let us stand near the KulasEkaran Padi of the garbhagRuha (sanctum sanctorum) of Tiruvenkatamudayan. We did sevA along with the gOshti of Jiyar Swamy, singing the sAtthumaRai pAsurAs (hymns) of Tiruppavai.

In those days, Periya Jiyar Swamy would give his anugraha only to those SriVaishnavas who wore shikhA, panca kaccham and Urdhvapundaram (the mark of upgoing lines worn on the forehead by Vaishnavas), came to his MaTham and submitted daNDam (prostrated to the authority of the sceptre) to join his gOshti when he visits the temple for sAtthumaRai sevA.

*** *** ***

KaLahasti is a Siva sthalam (place). The KaLahasteeswarar temple has been honoured by the Nayanmar hymns. The place is mentioned is the puranas. The temple is located at the foothills of the KaNNappar Malai. In the vicinity of the temple is the PasuMaTham. The SvarnaMukhi river runs in front of the temple. Sri MahA PeriyavAL was observing chAturmAsyam camping in the PasuMaTham.

We both reached PasuMaTham at eight hours in the morning. The kaingaryaparar (assistant) took us to where Pudu PeriyavAL was staying.

We prostrated to Pudu PeriyavAL.

"Nellikkuppam dampati! Very glad! Had darshan of PeriyavAL?"

"No. We are coming just now."

"Go quickly and have darshan of PeriyavAL."

We went inside the MaTham; at that precise moment the kaingaryaparar came to us quickly and said, "PeriyavAL's directive for you; he is there in that room." He took us to the room. We stood near the threshold. It was a small room, and seemed a bit dark; we looked keenly through the darkness. Sri MahA PeriyavAL was sitting inside on the floor. His white teeth glowed in the darkness. His eyes blossomed and emitted light. The coolness and vAtsalyam (affection) of his look comforted and cooled our minds, and they melted. The Jagatguru's voice rang loudly like a bell.

"Both of you come inside! Looking this side, prostrate together," he spoke as he gestured with his hand. Keeping raisins, kunkumam and phala mantrAkSata in a cane plate upon a small wooden tripod before him and touching them with his fingers, he gave us his kaTAkSam (glance) with a smile.

"Both of you together take the prasAda plate", he said.

"Only now you have become a SriVaishnavan!", he told me and was in parama santoSam (joy of full satisfaction).

"We came to Tirupathi, had sevA of Venkatesvarar and then came to have darshan of PeriyavAL from there", I said.

"Amma told you? Amma is your jIvanAdi (lifeline), right?" he said.

Since he had set the answer in his own question, we said "Yes."

"Amma would tell a lot about Bhagavat Gunam?"

"Since PeriyavA darshan in Villupuram, for the last three months, Amma comes to our home daily and talks about Bhagavat Gunam until late night", we said.

"Nataraja! Take these people to 'Swamimalai Amma' and ask her to attend to them", he said.

"How many days on leave?"

"One week."

How to narrate Sri PeriyavAL's krupa (compassion) and vAtsalyam (affection)! For three months he observed silence only in the case of the two of us, he was strict in not giving us prasAdam, and got his saMkalpa that he had made about me fulfilled, mentally acting through 'Amma', and the Anandam he had thereupon--what to say of it! For him, an Advaita Sanyaasi, what is there to be done by this man?

kaccha - the hem or end of a lower garment (tucked into the girdle or waistband)
lAbha - gain, advantage, capture, conquest; perception, knowledge.
paripAka - being completely cooked, ripening, maturity, full development, perfection
preraNa - impulse, activity; setting in motion, urging, inciting, direction, command, impelling to
santoSaH, santuSTi full satisfaction, mirth, joy, happiness
shikhA - tuft of hair
sUcaka - pointing out , indicating , showing , designating
vandana - praise, worship, adoration, reverential greeting
Pages 48-54

On one occasion we both started from Nellikuppam and reached KaLahasti around seven in the morning. We went to the place where Sri PeriyavAL was doing puja and had darshan of him. We were both staying with 'Amma'. In accordance with Amma's upadesha, we would always be standing in Sri PeriyavAL sannidhAnam (nearness). Sri PeriyavAL would converse sometimes with the darshanArtis (darshan seekers). We would be keenly watching those conversations. Many things could be learnt from those saMbhASaNas (conversations).

The saMbhASaNa would be such as to suit the vyakti (individual). Sri PeriyavAL would ask questions from Vedanta, Siddhanta, ManuNIti Shastra, AchArA, anuSTAna, vrata, upavAsa, puNya sthala, sthala purANA, Adiyar Charitra, viGYAna (science), economics, astronomy, shilpa kala (sculptural arts), Agama and more, and prompt the suitable replies from his devotees. If none of them is able to give an answer, Sri PeriyavAL would himself explain it in a way that was intelligible to everyone. Sri PeriyiavaaL is an encyclopaedia of knowledge; a walking university. One can get the knowledge of many things just by being with him and listening to his words--katRalitR kEttalE nandRu (listening is better than reading) as the saying goes.

That evening Sri PeriyavAL called Sri Natarajan, a brahmacarya kaingkaryaparA (bachelor assistant) of the MaTham and told him, "Nataraja! Take these people for a visit to PanchaMukhesvarar Alayam and come." We both followed him. An ancient stony maNDapam (pavilion) was in the vicinity of the MaTham. It was located on the foothills of the KaNNappar Malai, hugging the hill. The rock of the hill formed a wall on one side the pavilion. Some figures were carved on the wall, which included Murugan and Meenakshi KalyAnam. Ascending the stairs at a side of the pavilion, we came to its terrace. A small sannidhi (sanctum) was built there on the slope of the hill. There was enough gap around the Shivalingam inside for one person to go around it. Natarajan said, "This Lingam is the PanchaMukhesvarar." Faces were found carved on four sides of the Lingam. We told him, "There are only four faces instead of five; still you call this image PanchaMukhesvarar!"

"That is what I don't understand too."

Now we moved a little away to the left on the terrace of the pavilion and looked at the rock that leaned against the pavilion. We noticed the figures of Vinayaka, Muruga, Shiva, and AmbaaL in half-formed shapes, started as sculptures but remaining unfinished with the embellishments. We couldn't guess the reason for the scultpural work coming to a halt in an unfinished stage. All the three of us returned to the MaTham.

MahA PeriyavAL asked us, "What did you see?"

Since we were aware of svabhAvam (natural inclination) of Sri PeriyavAL, we had come back after observing every detail with care. We narrated the details of what we saw to him. When our narration touched on PanchaMukhesvarar we told him, "Only four faces were seen, not five."

Sri MahA PeriyavAL uttered an Upanishad vAkya and said, "There is one more face on the top that looks skyward!" Then he explained in a way intelligible to our buddhi. "Sadyojatam, Vamadevam, Aghoram, Tatpurusham; and there is another face that looks up!"*

"We did not notice it!"

Sri PeriyavAL blessed us with the knowledge, "If Paramesvara is omnipresent in all the four directions, then there would be no separate skyward direction! The skyward direction gets antargata (included) in the four directions. (They call it UrdhvaMukham.) Therefore it is not sAdhya (possible) to speak metaphorically of the fifth face as a separate entity."

"And then you told me about some sculptures carved on the rock that acts as a wall to the maNDapam", he continued. "I did not notice them when I went up! Nataraja, did you also see them?"

"Yes, I saw them only today. When we went yesterday, we came down from the terrace without going that side."

The next morning, Sri PeriyavAL was starting from the MaTham. Sri Natarajan and the two of us followed him.

Sri PeriyavAL went straight to the pavilion and checked about the sculptures that remained incomplete as we had told him. Looking at us and smiling, he said, "I did not notice these when I came here earlier. Now I have come to know of them after a Vaishnavan tells me about them!"

About ten o' clock that night PeriyavAL was standing in the courtyard of the MaTham, looking at the sky. Only the two of us were standing beside him. After a long time, still looking up he said, "Would you complete them?"

I was shocked. Whatever dravya (money) I would need to spend for their completion! Might not be possible for me! I did not have the courage to say yes, so I remained in silence.

My wife who was standing near me nodded her head in the affirmative and prompted me with a sign to say yes; even then I did not open my mouth! How she got the courage to say that she would carry out PeriyavAL's orders! Looking at me vacillating, she hastened to reply, "Shall do it." PeriyavvaL at once looked at her keenly.

"When we should we start the tiruppaNi (holy work)? Could it be after we go to our village and come back?"

Sri PeriyavAL smiled and said, "Shall tell you later" and moved away. We would narrate every incident and matter to Amma and get her explanation for them.

The next day, Sri PeriyavAL asked for a sthapati (sculptor) to be sent to him. We were there with him at that time. He took the sculptor to the pavilion terrace and asked him, "Will you complete these sculptures?"

The sthapati looked at the sculptures penetratingly and said, "Since the rock of this hill here is very tender, it is not possible to carve figures with detailed embellishments. That might be the reason that the sculptor of the old times has left them incomplete."

PeriyavA was in shayanam (lying down) on the floor. It was about ten o' clock in the night.

"Srinivasa! You know about Karaikal Ammaiyar Charitram?" he asked me. I said, "I have heard she is one of the Nayanmars."

Later in the same courtyard, near Sri PeriyavAL's tiruvadi (holy feet) we both slept on the floor. We were deep asleep.

In the hours of early morning, we were awakened by Sri PeriyavAL's voice: "Yei! (hey), who is there?" My wife immediately took the brass plate that she always kept with her, put a piece of camphor on it and lit it with a match stick. Sri PeriyavAL had got up and was sitting. We had his Visva Rupa Darshan in the light of the camphor flame.

My wife had the custom to take karpUra Arati (waving camphor flame) to Sr PeriyavAL early morning every day and worship him, whenever we stayed in the MaTham. We were always getting Sri PeriyavAL's Visva Rupa Darshan in the camphor light amidst surrounding darkness. Since we also had the bhAgyam (fortune) and svatantram (liberty) to lie down near his holy feet as a dampati, which was made prAptam (sanctioned) to us only by his anugraha, the people in the MaTham treated us with kindness and respect.

*** *** ***

*Lord Shiva's Five Faces

Shiva's five faces map to the essence of a human being that he fills with:

Vamadevam - the powerful instinct of procreation, without which no creation could take place.

Aghoram - the procreative instict often manifests with aggression and the desire to possess and rule, so this is the face of Aghoram.

Sadyojatam - the face that kindles the desire to experiences of Truth fed by the false experiences of life.

Tatpurusham - the face that installs desires of authentic self-understanding.

Isaanam - the fifth face, also known as UrdhvaMukham pulls a soul towards MokSa.

In addition, Shiva is credited with a sixth face, the Atomukam, that throws back unripe souls into embodied existence.

upavAsa - fast, fasting
Pages 54-58

One early morning Sri PeriyavAL was going for his bath in the SvarNamuki river that was flowing opposite SriMaTham (in KaLahasti). Along with some others, we both followed him. Tiruvannamalai Ramu (an assitant) also followed Sri PeriyavAL.

As Sri PeriyavAL reached the banks of the river, when he was about to descend the riverbed, he turned his face to look at me. Forthwith, his holy feet relieved themselves gracefully of their pAdukAs (sandals) and walked on the ground.

The next moment, I took those pAdukAs, and followed him, holding the sandals in my palms. Water was flowing like a small canal in the middle of the river. We walked on the sands of the riverbed and reached the waters.

Sri PeriyavAL immersed himself in the river according to the rules and took his snAnam (bath). Except me, everyone took bath in the guru pAda tIrtham (waters flowing from the feet of the guru). Since I had the bhAgyam of taking bath in the waters of his holy feet on several occasions, I held his pAdukAs straight against my heart and felt rapturous, getting drenched in Sri AcharyaaL's parama krupa (complete grace).

After his anuSTAnam (daily religious practices) was over and Sri PeriyavAL came to the river banks, I went to his holy presence and submitted his tiruvadi nilaigaL (pAdukA) on the ground; he gave me his kaTAkSa (glance), gathered the sandals gracefully to his feet and walked briskly.

*** *** ***

One day, when the visva rUpa darshanam (early morning darshan) was going on, a man came with his family and bowed to the sage. Sri PeriyavAL asked him, "What is inflation?" (I thought the man might be a government official). The man gave an explanation, mixing Tamil and English, with a great effort. After he listened to the man fully, Sri PeriyavAL briefly explained to him the essentials of the subject.

*** *** ***

When Sri PeriyavAL was gracing the devotees with his presence in KaLahasti during chAturmAsyam, in his SriMaTham an ascetic called Odaacheri SwamigaL stayed with him. The ascetic always did his vAsam (living) with PeriyavAL in SriMaTham. In addition, many other sannyAsis had come and stayed there for the chAturmAsyam.

Every morning in front of Sri PeriyavAL bhASya pATam, pATaNam (lecture on the commentaries of scriptures), vAkyArtham (meaning of every sentence) were held. We used to listen to them.

After the visva rUpa darshanam, and after ten o' clock in the night, Sri Odaacheri SwamigaL would call and ask me to read out Periya Puranam in the flame of the tall, brass lamp. If read a verse wrongly he would say, "SrinivAsA! Read that sentence again." I would correct the mistake I made and read it properly the second time.

Sri PeriyavAL would be listening to everything, sitting inside his mEnA (palanquin). When it dawns, he would ask the reading to be stopped.

Since Sri PeriyavAL remained as a yati (ascetic), a PIThAdhipati (pontiff) and a Jagadguru (world guru), there was not at all a chance for adiyEn (this servant) to approach him and do kaingaryam (service) as dampati (husband and wife).

Even though adiyEn had no yogyatA (ability) of veda adhyayanam, vidvAmsam, pANdityam (Vedic reading, education, expertise) or was a dhanika (wealthy man) who could do limitless dravya sahAyam (monetary assistance) to SriMaTham, and although Sri PeriyavAL belonged to the Advaita sampradAya (tradition) and adiyEn to the Vishishtadvaita sampradAya, it was revealed to us by svAnubhavam (self experience) in the depths of our heart that only deivIka saMkalpam (divine will) was the reason for his keeping adiyEn together with my patni (wife) as dampati in his tiruvadi chAya (shades of his holy feet).

*** *** ***

Once a man from Calcutta came to KaLahasti to have darshan of Sri PeriyavAL. For many years, the man was employed and resident in Calcutta. He talked in English. When Sri PeriyavAL was doing the saMbhASaNaM (dialogue) with the man, he mentioned the name of a Seitji and asked the man, "Do you know him?"*

The official said, "I have seen him." The man who stood near and translated the conversation, translated it in Tamil as 'He says that he knows the man' and supplicated to Sri PeriyavAL.

Sri PeriyavAL said immediately, "He says something and you say something."

The translator said, "No, he says only in that way."

Sri PeriyavAL said with some emphasis, "He only says 'I have seen him'. It means that he has just seen the man. You translate it wrongly as if he said 'I know the man'! Did he say 'I know him'? Only if he says 'I know him' it would mean that he knows about the man or he knows some details about him. The meaning of what he actually said was that he could only identify the man as one who has that name", thus explaining the nuances of the conversation.

*** *** ***

* This Seitji is possibly Mansukh Mohan whose terminal illness PeriyavA cured by asking him to publish and donate the 18 Puranas in Sanskrit. An account of this incident is given in Kanchi Forum at this link:
Paramacharya's anugraha to Celebrities :: Forums @ KanchiForum.org
Pages 58-65

During early morning one day, when we had the Visva Rupa Darshan of Sri PeriyavAL, we revered him with karpUra hArati (waving camphor light). At that time I recited a shloka and stood after submitting daNDan (prostration) to him. That shloka enunciated the Guru Tatvam.

Brahmanandam parama sukhadam kevalam jnanamurtim
dvandvaateetam gagana sadrusam tatvamasyadi lakshyam
ekam nityam vimala machalam sarvadheesaakshibuutam
bhaavaateetam triguna rahitam sadgurum tam namaami.

(I salute to that Sadguru who is the source of eternal bliss, supreme happiness, who has true wisdom, who is beyond the dualities, who is infinite, whose attention is always on the divine, who is unique, eternal, pure, steady, and who sees with the eyes of wisdom who is beyond thoughts and beyond three gunas.)

A vidyArthin (student) named Sri Narayana Aiyer was with Sri PeriyavAL at that time.

When we were both taking bath in the SvarnaMukhi river that morning, that Narayana Aiyer was also bathing.

He looked at me and said, "Tell me the Sanskrit shloka you recited when you revered Sri PeriyavAL at the time of the Visva Rupa Darshan." I repeated the shloka for him.

He said, "If you don't know the Sanskrit langauge, learn it. Your pronunciation was not correct in the shloka you recited." I felt embarrassd.

Sri PeriyavAL was sitting during that night in his mEnA (palanquin) in the verandah on one side of the MaTham's courtyard.

It was perhaps ten in the night. Both of us and 'Amma' prostrated to Sri PeriyavAL and stood nearby. vidyArthin Narayana Aiyer was also with us.

Looking at Sri Narayana Aiyer, PeriyavAL asked, "Do you know these people?"

"When I was bathing in the river this morning I inquired him and came to know that these people are Vaishnava dampati from Nellikuppam. I advised him to learn Sanskrit."

After keeping silent for sometime, PeriyavAL recited a shloka and asked him its meaning. He told the meaning of the verse. (That shloka Sri MahA PeriyavAL recited that night did not stick to my mind.)

Sri PeriyavAL said, "Brahma also becomes the meaning of that word! Should you say Vishnu only? Keeping the meaning as Brahma you can explain the full meaning of the verse?

"With the kind of learning you have, even you do not know to tell the correct meaning of the shloka. And you went on to advise him? Whatever he knew he recited fondly."

From that day vidyArthin Narayana Aiyer moved with us showing greater affection.

*** *** ***

One day after the daytime puja Sri PeriyavAL came to the courtyard and stood near me around twelve o' clock to give tIrtham. Looking at me he said, "You stand here! Everyone will rush knocking against each other to get the tIrtham; you send them one by one in a line", and gave me the task of regulating the crowd. But then in reality all the people came in order, received tIrtham and moved away. She (my wife) was also with me at that time.

After giving tIrtham to everyone, he gave us tIrtham and said, "Go for your meals.

Once when he started giving tIrtham, he called us first and gave tIrtham, and said with hitam (kindness) "Go for your meals."

*** *** ***

One day after the daytime tIrtham everyone went to have meal. Sri PeriyavAL went for his bhikSA. Only the two of us waited until he came back from his bhikSA. After Sri PeriyavAL took his bhikSA he came out and sat inside his mEnA which was in the verandah near the courtyard. He was leafing through some palm leaves with keen attention. At that time, as advised by 'Amma', my wife stood holding a cane plate with sugar crystals, raisins and cashews in her hand and covering its contents with the edge of her sari. Sri MahA PeriyavAL raised his head and looked at her now and then but continued with his study of the palm leaves without giving any gesture to her.

At that time, vidyArthin Narayana Aiyer brought some darshanArtis (darshan seekers) to Sri PeriyavAL's sannidhAnam (nearness) and placed the tIrtha vattil (porringer with the holy water) and uttaraNi (a small ladle) in his front. Sri PeriyavAL also gave them tIrtham. Some time later he brought some more people. After giving tIrtham also to them, Sri PeriyavAL said, "ENdA! If you bring one by one, should I study or not? The satas (assembly) is round the corner and I am refreshing my memory for that event looking at these palm leaves. You only disturb me without letting me to read", and gave us with a meaningful look. Forthwith, we both bowed to him and moved away.

*** *** ***

One day as per Amma's advice, my wife kept a mixture of sugar crystals, raisins and cashews on a small cane plate, covered it with a piece of banana leaf and placed it before Sri PeriyavAL. We both prostrated to him and stood by his side. At that time, Sri Annadurai Ayyangar was discussing with Sri PeriyavAL about the arrangements he had made for the forthcoming satas.

Talking with him, Sri PeriyavAL dragged the plate and kept it under his hand. Inserting his right hand beneath the banana leaf, he took a pinch of the mixture from the plate, brought it to his mouth and with a gesture of wiping it, he dropped the mixture inside his mouth and said, "It's divyam (divine)" as he looked at us and then turned his look to Sri Annadurai Ayyengar and said "So you have made all the arrangements." Then he took two pieces of the suger crystals without anyone knowing it, kept them in his hand and at an opportune moment flicked one piece with his fingers. It fell near the legs of my wife who stood at some distance from him. The other piece fell near me.

Incidents such as this one were made prApta (attainment) for us many times.

*** *** ***

A day before my leave of absence at the office came to an end, I met Sri PeriyavAL in ekAntam (solitude) and spoke to him about it; on the next day too I supplicated to him. He gave me a keen ear but kept quiet about it. I told 'Amma' about this: "I need to report at my office at eight in the morning tomorrow. But Sri PeriyavAL simply kept quiet on both the occasions I tried to take his permission."

'Amma' said, "Sri PeriyavAL has no mind to send you away. So you write a letter to your office seeking leave for one more week; we shall see later." As per Amma's advice I wrote a letter seeking a week more of leave for me and hurriedly reached it to the mailbox.

After that night's puja we prostrated to Sri PeriyavAL. Giving us his kaTAkSa (look) with visible happiness, Sri PeriyavAL asked, "So you have applied to your office for a week's extension of your leave?", giving his opinion in that very question. I said "Yes."

Sri PeriyavAL said, "The Vidvat Satas is going to be held from tomorrow. I thought you might be present here to witness it."

*** *** ***

Am I a vidvAn (pandit) to explain vAkyArtham (phrasewise meanings)? Or at least have the jnAnam to understand the vAkyArtham explained by the vidvAns? Why such compassion to this Jivan in that Jagatguru?

When Sri PeriyavAL started for the Vidvat Satas on the next day with his ghoSTi (group), we walked near him as dampati. After Sri PeriyavAL sat on the Asanam (seat) topped with a tiger skin on the maNDapam (open hall) stage, as he gave us his kaTAkSam, I sat somewhat near him while my wife sat at some distance away.

The scene of hundreds of maha vidvAns who were tejasvis (bright ones) seated in gaMbhIram (majestically) in the sannidhAnam of Sri PeriyavAL on the maNDapam stage gave us Anandam (bliss).

The MahaVidvans spoke about the meaning and content of Vedas, Shastras, and Dharma, Agama, Silpa Shastras. Some of them gave speeches about Sahityam, Chandas, Niruktam, JyotiSam, Vaana Shastram and Leelavati Ganitam. Some others performed either singly or in groups Harikatha Kalaksepam, Burra Katha, Krishna Attam, KatakaLi, Bharatam, PandariBhajan and such other performing arts and also sang the Bhakti songs in such languages as Tamil, Telugu, Kannda, Malayalam, Marati, Gujarati and Hindi, with dances like Kolattam and Kummi, in ways that showcased the culture and unity of Bharata Desam, and made the audience happy.

Divine fragrance, sincerity of devotion and complete peace pervaded the entire atmosphere. Thousands of people sat on the ground quietly and witnessed the performances of art on the centre stage and enjoyed them all.

*** *** ***
Pages 65-71

Once 'Amma' went to KaLahasti to have darshan of Sri PeriyavAL. When 'Amma' prostrated to Sri PeriyavAL, he inquired, "The Vaishnava Dampati haven't come with you?" She replied, "They told me that they would come later." She continued, "Shall I write them a asking them to come here?" To that Sri PeriyavAL replied, "You don't have to write to them, they will come on their own."

Forthwith I wrote a letter to 'Amma'. In the beginning of the letter itself I spoke to her about what was in my mind through a pathikam (hymn), which was from the Tiruvachakam by Manikkavasagar.

pAl ninaindu Uttum tAyinum sAlap parindu nI
pAviyenudaiya Uninai urukki uLLoLi perukki
uvappilA AnandamAya teninaich chorindu
puRam puRam tirinda selvame! sivaperumane!
uAnunait todarndu chikkenap piditthen
enkezhundu aruLuvadu iniye!

Compassionate, more than the mother who minds and feeds milk, You
melted the meat of this sinner, brightened his Inner Light,
showered the nectar of Desireless Bliss,
but wandered here and there, O my Wealth, my Lord Shiva!
I followed and caught You like the grime in my hair;
Where can you rise and bless henceforth!

One day when 'Amma' entered SriMaTham, they gave her the letter addressed to her name. She opened and read the letter, and then taking it in her hand, entered SriMaTham and stood before Sri MahA PeriyavAL bowing to him.

Asking "Who wrote that letter?", Sri MahA PeriyavAL held out his hand, and Amma said, "Srinivasan has written" and submitted the letter to him in a plate. Sri PeriyavAL took the letter and kept it with him. Four days later, we went to KaLahasti and had darshan of Sri PeriyavAL.

We stayed in the MaTham for a week, but MahA PeriyavAL did not talk to us about that letter!

We sought an explanation from 'Amma' for PeriyavAL's act. Amma said, "You have in your letter expressed the Arti (pain) of your heart using the blessed words of Manikkavasaga Swamy about SivaPeruman. Sri PeriyavAL looked keenly at your Atma and your heart that remembered and melted at the parama kRipa (full compassion) of Sri PeriyavAL, and understood through his previson your suggestive writing about catching him 'like the grime in your hair', as you remembered how Sri PeriyavAL nurtured your soul and gave it his anugrahA (favour). He asked me for your letter and kept it with him to suggest that he expects your arrival with eagerness and compassion."

*** *** ***

Once when 'Amma' came to our home and was doing her Atma vicaram (spiritual inquiry) in the usual way, she told me, "You are keeping the Salagramam with you that your ancestors did ArAdhanam (worship) to; why don't you do tirumanjanam (ablution) to it daily and do puja? My son started doing puja with the Saligramams in our home after giving them to Sri PeriyavAL and getting his anugrahA. From that day he is doing the Panchayadana Puja without fail. If you too give the Salagramams in your home to Sri PeriyavAL, get his blessings and start doing the puja, the puja will continue without any hurdles."

I performed TiruvArAdhanam for sometime. Later I used to do it only on special days.

We took our Salagrams as suggested by 'Amma' when we went to KaLahasti. 'Amma' also came with us.

One morning I went to Sri PeriyavAL with the box of Saligramams, submitted it to him, supplicated and stood. Amma was also with us.

Sri PeriyavAL took the Salagramam box, opened it and took the Salagramams inside one by one in his hand to have a look. Saying "This is the shilA rUpa (made of stone) Salagramam of Puri Jagannatha, this is Krsna, this one Sudharsanam", he kept the box with him and inquired, "Where is Ramamurthy?" about his personal assistant. Tiruvannamalai Ramu came hurrying and stood bowing to Sri PeriyavAL. Looking at him, Sri PeriyavAL said, "Take this and keep it in our pura room", and turned his head to look at me as he spoke. Ramu took the Salagramam box and came back after keeping it in Sri PeriyavAL's puja room.

Sri MahA PeriyavAL started talking about the nitya nivedanam (daily offerings) to Puri Jagannatha and the Rathotsava that is held in Puri.

"They would do nivedanam to Puri Jagannatha daily with large quantities of annam (cooked rice). They would distribute only that prasAdam to the people in the kSetra (holy place) and the yAtrIkas (travellers). anna dAnam is a speciality there. Jagannatha's prasAdam is very shreSTa (lofty) to have.

"If by chance anyone does not get Jagannatha's prasAdam, he should even try and take the sAdam (cooked rice) sticking to a dog's mouth that ate from the left over banana leaves thrown on the street. Such loftiness for Jagannatha's prasAdam.

"Jagannatha, Balabadra, Subhadra -- for these three people therw will be processions in separate rathams (chariots).

"Next year they would tear down those chariots and use the wood as fuel for their madappaLLi (temple kitchen). Every year they would make new chariots, that is the custom there. Jagannathan should be offered that much prasAdam daily as nivedanam. They would give it in plenty to sarvatrAL (everyone)." Sri PeriyavAL spoke blessing us with his glance.

On the day of my leaving for home, he looked at me and asked, "You know the meaning of danta varusham ('dental year')?" I blinked empty, having no idea.

"You don't know that? Prativadi Bhayankaram Annangaracharya Swamy used to say that humourously. When some Vaishnava is going to the temple in Kanchipuram he asked another Vaishnava who came out of the temple, 'The Prabhanta Ghosti started in the temple?' To that the other Vaishnava said, 'danta varusham is going on.' At least now you understand it?"

I said, "I don't understand it."

"In Sanskrit dantam means pal (Tamil for tooth); varusham means ANdu (Tamil for year). It means that they have started singing the {Tiru} PallANdu Pasuram. He was a Maha Vidvan. He would explain the meaning speaking in this way humourously and with pun in his KalakshebAm (discourse).

"If a Vaishnava talks hotly to another Vaishnava and says, 'I would make you have danta varsham, it would mean, 'I would make Devareer pour down all the teeth!' He would explain another meaning for the phrase in this way."

In these ways, Sri PeriyavAL would be talking to us lightly.

He gave us the leave to return and gave us his prasAdam. We asked 'Amma', "Now we don't have any Salagramam in our home! PeriayvaaL kept all those with him. If for a shrArda (annual ceremony for parents) the Vaidikas or my Periyappa (father's elder brother) come to perform the TiruvArAdhanam what reply could we give them?"

'Amma' said, "When he talked to you, Sri PeriyavAL talked about Sri Prativadi Bhayankaram Annangaracharya Swamy at length. Take that as a suggestion and you both go directly to Kanchipuram; (your) Swamy (there) is one who is very fond of you from your boyhood. You do daNDam (kneel) to him, tell him about the things that happened, get a Salagram from him with his blessings and then go to your place."

We both went straight to Kanchipuram and stood bowing to SrI Ubhaya. Ve. Swamy. His office Granta Mala was adjacent to his TiruMaaLigai. He was doing his vAsam (living) only there.

We stood prostrating to Swamy. Raising his head, Sri Swamy looked keenly. Then he inquired in his deep sounding voice, "Srinivasa, come! Where do you people come from?"

We both sat before him. Then we narrated the incidents.

Thereafter he called his svIkAra kumara (step-son) Srimaan Ubhaya. Ve. SelvamaNi and asked him to give us a Salagramam. We went to Swamy's TirumALigai. After doing TiruvArAdhanam to it, he placed a Salagrama mUrti inside a coconut leaf box along with a silk cloth and flowers and gave it to us with his anugraha.

*** *** ***

Arti - mishap, disaster, sorrow, pain, woe;
shilA - stone, rock, red arsenic, grind
Pages 72-77 (concluding part)
'The Fistfuls of Rice Plan'

When Sri MahA PeriyavAL was observing the Chaturmasya Vratam in KaLahasti, we were both standing in Sri MahA PeriyavAL's sannidhAnam (divine presence) along with 'Amma'.

Sri MahA PeriyavAL speaks to us:

"I have started a task called 'pidi arisi thittam' ('The Fistfuls of Rice Plan'). According to it, the women in each gRuham (house) should drop 'one fistful' of rice in a separate vessel when they take rice to cook; along with that they should also drop ten paise. You should go to each and every house, collect the rice and paise thus saved, take it to a temple, ask the temple officials to cook the rice, do naivedyam with it to the Swami in the temple and then make dispensable lumps of the cooked rice and distribute it as prasAdam to the poor people in the area, one lump per head. If there are any persons capable of doing physical work among the poor, the rice lump should be given only after receiving ten paise for it.

"Two benefits are obtained by this. Swami Naivedyam takes place even in small temples that are in srAma dashA (difficult times); the merit of having done anna dAnam to the poor is also obtained.

"The ten paise coins received with the fistfuls of rice and the ten paise coins got through the sale of cooked rice lumps, will be the wages for the pAriSada (attendant of a god) who is helpful in running this Plan, useful for him to buy curd, mustard, ginger, chillies, oil and such other things. This Plan should be spread among all the places. You run this Plan in Nellikuppam." MahA PeriyavAL thus appointed 'Amma' for the task. He also said, "In addition, today you go to each and every house in this place and tell them of this Plan."

My wife standing near said voluntarily, "I shall also go with Amma!"

Sri PeriyavAL said with a smile, "You are also going? Alright."

Amma and ivaL (this woman) went to some houses. It was sAdhya (possible) for Amma to do propaganda of the Plan in KaLahasti since the place was in Telegu Desam and Telegu was Amma's mother tongue. But then due to old age Amma had scanty listening power of the ears; and the Telegu language was not known to this woman who went along with!

No sooner these people entered some houses, the residents ignored Amma, did not listen to what she spoke fully and drove them away saying "go, go!"

Some others shouted, "These people would say something and enter the house and steal away things if we are not careful. Don't let them in!" and drove them away.

Some bhAgyashalis (fortunate) sincerely listened to Amma, came to know of Sri MahA PeriyavAL's direction and assured that they would carry it out.

That evening Sri PeriyavAL called 'Amma' and this woman and asked for the details of their visits. Amma and this woman apprised him of their visits to individual houses in order to do propaganda of the Plan.

After we got back at Nellikuppam, Amma and my wife visited individual houses in the area, spoke about Sri PeriyavAL's 'Fistfuls of Rice Plan' and involved some 25 families in the Plan.

Every week Amma walked to the houses, collected the savings of the seven days in cloth bags, carried them on her own to the Shiva temple some distance away from our residences and to a Vinayaka temple in the bazaar, did naivedyam regularly every Sunday with curd rice prepared out of the rice and distributed it one lump per head to the poor with her own hand. Though Amma was over seventy years of age, she carried out sincerely until her last breath, the kaingaryam (service) Sri PeriyavAL had ordered for her.

"One morning Sri MahA PeriyavAL was going to Sri KaLattheesvarar temple. We both went along with him. On reaching the entrance at the Gopuram, Sri MahA PeriyavAL looked at us and said, "You both remain here, taking care of my pAdukAs (wooden sandals)" and went to have Swami darshan. When he came back he walked to the MaTham joining the pAdukAs to his feet, and we came beside him. What is the tAtparya (purpose) of making us stand outside?

*** *** ***

One day people told us that Sri MahA PeriyavAL had gone to an ancient Shiva temple very near. We started at once and went there. A very small temple it was; the outside prakAram (courtyard) was replete with the growth of grass. SwamigaL sat squatting in a corner of a black rock at the base of the garbhagRuha (sanctum sanctorum). Only a few people were with him at that time. We inquired them. They said, "Sri MahA PeriyavAL is sitting in this place for a long time. We know nothing else about it."

We both stood along with them. Sri MahA PeriyavAL noticed our arrival.

He beckoned me to his side. Adiyen (I) went near him and stood.

Pointing to the black rock PiTham with his daNDam (staff) he asked me, "Can you read this?" I looked keenly at those inscriptions on stone. "I can't read them", I said.

"I shall tell you it, listen. Hari Aum...", Sri MahA PeriyavAL started reading and continued it. Suddenly he got up and started walking.

Amma told (my wife):

"You said some months back a sumangali maami from Kumbakonam who stayed opposite your house came to your house, did AvAhanam of Kamakshi Amman in the kutthu viLakku, gave you upadesha of the mantra that had AmbaaL's bIjAkSara, and advised you to perform regular puja observing formalities? It seems to me that as predicted by her Sri MahA PeriyavAL has done mantropadesham to your ahatthuk-kArar (home-man, husband) in the temple itself."

Since it is against tradition for an Advaita Guru to do a direct mantropadesham to a Vaishnava and the latter accepting it, MahA SvAmigaL has given upadesha to his antaranga bhakta (very close devotee) in the guise of reading from an inscription on stone. What a miraculous act is this one, replete with meaning, tact, subtlety and filled with deivIka lIlA (divine sport)!

Aren't we familiar that such subtleties are for MahA PeriyavAL a handy art mastered only by him!

dashA - time, period, condition, edge or border of a garment, wick of a lamp

Shastras' Valuable Truths: Sri PeriyavAL's Elucidation
author:..... Dr. R.Krishnamurthy SastrigaL, Mylapore, Chennai - 600004
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:....... MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 177-196
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Translating this essay is really a tough task for me who is not much exposed to the Sanskrit sentences and phrases of the Shastras discussed here. Although I can understand and translate their meaning, there is bound to be errors in my transliteration of the Sanskrit verses and phrases. I shall be grateful if members would point out and correct them then and there. What does the phrase 'tRtIya vipakti abheda' mean? -- saidevo

Pages 177-182

Sri PeriyavAL would give many apUrva, sUkSma (rare and subtle) elucidations of verses from all the Shastras at the end of the Sabhas of Vidvans (pundits) from many disciplines that he conducts. We cannot find these elucidations in any Bhashyas or other Granthas. I have got the great bhAgyam of compiling those rare elucidations that he told in Sabhas and to me privately and present a write-up of them.

1. aNoraNIyAn

[aNoraNIyAn mahato mahIyAn Atmasya jantor nihito guhayAm
"Smaller than the smallest atom is the Atman. Most expansive is He, greater than the great. Because He is the innermost existence in every thing, He is seated in the hearts of all beings." -- Swami Krishnananda's commentary]

This mantra occurs in our Narayaneeya Upanishad. PeriyavAL gives a wonderful elucidation for this mantra.

idam (place): near Kanchi (a spot on the way to Orirukkai).

samayam (time): the day of the Vyasa Puja.

sandarbham (occasion): Evening around four o' clock after the Vyasa Puja was held in a leisurely way. The beginning stage of the vAkyArtha sabhA (word by word discussion forum) of the Pandits.

"Now, till this time I was the vyAsa pUjAkarta, you people its witnesses. The multitudinous gurus, deities are all a single Paramatma only; there is no bhedam (distinction) at all. Being two is just a mere appearance. Only the ParamPoruL is the Satyam that appears as the multiple forms. It is explained in this aNoraNIyAn mantra: 'One who is smaller than the atom and (at the same time) greater than the greatest (which is the universe) is the Atma that remains in the hRudaya guhA (heart's cave)' is the mantrArtham (meaning of the mantra).

"If this meaning is to suit (this verse) completely, there should be only One Thing. If there be a Second, in comparison, This can only be either bigger or smaller (than the Other). It cannot be both. If a man says, 'This is the eldest of my elder sons and the youngest of my younger sons', then it is certain that he has only one son.

"But then initially this philosophy of Advaita will not be intelligible. Only after we do all the puja, punaskArya (winding up the puja) as bhagavatArpaNam (dedicated to God) and then do the shravaNa, manana, nididhyAsana (study, reflection, meditation), this will be understood. It is that philosophy of Advaita that Vyasa has deduced in the Brahma Sutra. These people who are pandits in that Sutra Bhashyam are now going to give you the vAkyArtha. Everyone should listen to it and attain the state of Advaita."

2. brahmavidApnoti param

This vAkyam is in the beginning of the Ananda Valli of our Taittiriya Upanishad.

The day of completion in Kanchi MaTham, of the visheSa satas (special assembly) of the Advaita Sabha. On the morning of that day PeriyavAL gave a rare elucidation to this vAkyam.

"brahmavidApnoti param--in this (sentence) there are four padams (words): brahma, vid, Apnoti, param. For these four words, a Rik (mantra) in four pAdAs (a quarter of a four-versed stanza) gives the explanation.

"It is customary in the Veda to do the vyAkhyAnam (explanation) of the mantras, in the BrahmaNa. But here, for the brAhmaNa vAkyam brahmavidApnoti, the vyAkhyAnam is given in the mantra which is Rik rUpa. Mostly in the Upanishads, mantras occur here and there to either confirm or explain what is said in the BrahmaNa. It occurs in those places as tatheSap yuktA--this Rik says the same thing given above.

"For the term brahma, the vyAkhyAnam is in the first pAdam as satyam jnAnam anantam brahma. SatChitAnanda Brahmam is the meaning. anantam means infinite; also has the name bhUma. Only bhUmA (fullness) is the sukham (bliss), not the alpam (trifle). So anantam is sukham, Anandam. Sat Chit Anandam.

"The Vid is one who has realized this Brahmam. How to realize it? By becoming the Atma that shines in the Akasha and realizing it in his lofty hRudaya guhA (cave of the heart). What is it that he gets thereby? He gets in one kSaNam (moment) all the sukha bhoga (enjoyment of bliss) completely (since they are all inherent in his svAtmAnandam). He gets nothing new. The para prApti (attainment of Param) lies in understanding the Advaita bhAva (state) of brahmaNA vipachitA, that is, remaining as the realized Brahmam, as pUrNAnandA (complete bliss)."

[It can be compared here that Lalita Sahastranamam says that it is only the svAtmAnanda lavam (a drop of the complete bliss), including the Ananda experienced by the Four-faced (Brahma).]

"The meaning in the third case (vetRumai) as 'going and reaching Brahmam' should not be taken here; since the other vAkyAs say 'he becomes Brahmam here and now', 'amrita iha bhavati', here it mentions this tRtIya vipakti abheda."

3. ajnAnena AvRitaM jnAnaM

For this shloka occuring in the Bhagavad Gita, the rare meaning that Sri PeriyavAL told me in saMbhASaNaM (conversation) when he was camping in a place called Mahagav:

PeriyavAL: Know that there are Guttu Shlokas in Bharatam (Mahabharata)?

Myself: These are Guttu Shlokas because they were composed to reduce the speed of PiLLaiyar's (Ganesha's) writing.

PeriyavAL: There is a Guttu Shloka in Gita! You know?

Myself: Don't know.

PeriyavAL: 'aj~nAnenanAvR^itaM j~nAnaM tena muhyanti jantavaH | j~nAnena tu tadaj~nAnaM yeSAM nAshitamAtmanaH ||' (5.15,16)

"Atma who is jnAnarUpam (in the form of knowledge) is veiled with ajnAnaM (ignorance). People are deluded because of that. If the ajnAnaM is destroyed by jnAnaM, Moksha will be attained."

Isn't this doctrine puzzling, confusing? How can ajnAnaM veil jnAnaM? If it is veiled, how by that same jnAnaM will ajnAnaM be destroyed? -- is the confusion. Vinayaka blinks. In those few seconds Vyasa has readily composed the shlokas of many chapters.

For this puzzle that comes in the fifth chapter, he gives the answer in the tenth chapter!

teshAmenukampArtham ahamaj~nAnajaM tamaH |
nAshayAmi AtmabhAvastaH j~nAnadIpena bhasvatA ||

To show mercy on the bhaktAs who always sing and think only about me and melt by those acts in their hearts, I as the jnAna rUpi (form of knowledge) enter the state of mind that remains akhaNdAkAram (not fragmentary, entire, whole) and is known as AtmabhAvam (state of the soul), reach the prati-bimbam (reflection), strengthen the jnAnam and set aside (the veil) of ignorance.

(In other words, svarUpa jnAnam by itself will not set aside ignorance. It only notifies its presence. But if the same svarUpa jnAnam is reflected by the mano vRutti (mode/nature/state of mind) that results from continued experience of the state of meditation on the Vedanta Maha Vakhyas after studying and reflecting on them, that will immediately burn the ignorance. Even if the sun has the svabhAva (inherent nature) to burn cotton, it burns the cotton only when the rays touch it through a special lens!

In this way, PeriyavAL has the capability to give answers for many Guttus.

sandarbhaH - occasion, circumstance, stringing/collecting together, arranging, mixture, union,

(to continue...)
Pages 183-186
4. bhUta-prakRti-mokSaM

At the end of the 13th chapter (verse 35) in Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan says thus:

"They who, with their eye-of-wisdom, come to know the distinction between the kSetra (field) and kSetrajna (knower), and the liberation of beings from prakRti go to the Supreme." (Swami Chinmayananda)

Adi Sankara's explanation for this passage runs thus: "of the bhUta-prakRti = of maya, mokSaM = total destruction." But then scholars like Vedanta Desika give the meaning as "of the bhUta-prakRti = of Shakti or maya, mokSaM = leaves."

PeriyavAL: Thus the two Acharyas explain--that is, after the tatva-jnAnam sets in, maya perishes and they reach the Param--is this right, or to say that maya (just) leaves the tatva-jnAni is right? What happens after one becomes a jnAni? -- Perivaa kept asking such questions.

In reply my Guru BrahmaSri S.R.K. said, "Only PeriyavAL who has the experience has to explain with certainty. How can we say anything?"

PeriyavAL: 'kaNdavar viNdathillai (those who have seen never explained it). It will be understood only after getting into the state of a jnAni.--Saying this, he laughed (the question away).

5. What is the Shastra?

There are sUtras in Brahma Sutra that mention what is Shastra in four ways. Veda and the Shastras are one and the same. 'vedAt shAstram param nAsti*'. That which teaches hitam (good) to us is the shAstram (authority, scriptures).

The hitam is of many kinds. So Vyasa says that the shAstram is also of four kinds.

1. In the third Sutra that says 'shAstra yonitvAt', he resolves in the first explanation, taking the meaning 'the whole Vedas' for (the word) shAstram, that the one that arranged for the creation of those Vedas is Brahmam, so Brahmam is sarvajna (omniscient).

2. Only the Upanishads that are known as Vedanta are shAstram. Because of these only that it is taught that the ParamPoruL (Brahman) is of the nature saguNa-nirguNa. Therefore, the Vedas are the pramANam (verbal authority) to know Brahman.

3. 'kartA shAstrArthavat-tvAt'*--in the third chapter the Sutra that talks about jIvakartRtvam, he means only the Karma Kanda, the pUrva bhagam (the earlier part) as the shAstram.

4. 'shAstradR^ishhTyA tUpadesho vAmadevavat.h' (1.1.30)*--in this Sutra it is mentioned that Indra teaches Pratardana to do upAsanam (meditation) on him only, because having experienced the truth that the Shastras are the MahaVakyas, he is and with Brahmam. Therefore, it is concluded that only the Mahavakyam that talks about the jIvabrahma-aikyam (oneness of Jiva and Brahman) becomes the shAstram.

Thus the shAstra padam (the word Shastra) is given the vyAkhyAnam (explanation) in four ways with four different meanings.

6. samitpANi

The Upanishads have mentioned that one who desires to have brahma-jnAnam (knowledge of Brahman) should approach a Vidvan who is brahmaniSTha (absorbed in the contemplation of Brahman) and through him should know the Atma. It is mentioned in the Mundakopanishad that at such a time the disciple should take in his hand samit (twigs used in Vedic fire ceremony) as an offer to his guru.

'tadvijnArArtham sa gurumeva abhiyagacchet
samitpANiH srotriyam brahmaniSTham
' (Mundaka Upanishad 1.ii.12)

Our PeriyavAL here gave a wonderful, rare meaning.

"Joining both the hands well (in anjali, with devotion) is the meaning of (the term) samitpANi.

"Because, 'samyak, itau, pAnI yatra' (when the two pANis have joined well)--we can thus do the samAsam (combination) [after such vigrAham (analysis)]. There is no shramam (exertion) to go after the samit twig if the guru is acquired. Enough to just join the palms!"

What amount of compassion in PeriyavAL!

('anjali paramAmudra kSipram devapraSadinI' -- It is explained that Anjali is the mudra that fetches God's immediate grace ).

'vedashAstrAt paraM nAsti na daivaM keshavAt param'--Mahabhararata, 2.71

With both the hands held up, it is stated that there is no shastra superior to the Vedas; there is no God superior to Kesava. (This is) true; (this is) true and again (it is) true. (http://www.vmission.org/docs/pdf/gurustotram.pdf)

'kartA shAstrArthavat-tvAt' --Sutra 31

kartA - the doer; shAstra - of the scriptures;Artha - meaning;
vat - possessing; tvAt - because of having the nature.

He performs actions. This is so because the scriptures are
meaningful. (Achintya Bedhabedha Tattva)

'shAstradR^ishhTyA tUpadesho vAmadevavat.h' -- 1.1.30 (30)

he declaration (made by Indra about himself, viz., that he is and with Brahman) is possible through intuition as attested by Sruti, as in the case of Vamadeva.

(Pratardanadhikaranam: Topic 11 - Brahma Sutras - Chapter 1: Samanvaya Adhyaya)

kSipra - flying back with a spring, elastic, quick, speedy, swift, fast, immediately
samAsa - throwing or putting together, , abiding together, aggregation, conjunction, combination, connection, union, totality
shramaH - toil, action, exertion, effort, distress, practising, achievement
vigrAham - division, analysis

(to continue...)
Sri Maha Periyava has saved my life so many times

From the time i was 6 years old to now I am 70 years , Sri Periyava has miraculously saved my life so many times and guided me. I do not worry about anything and I have been blessed with peace of mind and happiness. This is from the heart of a Gurubhaktha.
Pages 186-188
7. durgAM saraNamaham prapadye

An evening in Kanchi MaTham.

PeriyavAL: (to me) Just as it occurs oftentimes in the suprabhAta stotra, 'srI venkatesa caraNau saraNam prapadye' (Sri Venkatesa! I stay at Thy feet), does this 'saraNam prapadye' occur in any place on any Deivam (deity) in the Vedas?

Myself: No idea; only PeriyavAL should tell me about it.

PeriyavAL: Vedam says 'saraNam' only to AmbaaL who is the ParAShakti: 'durgAM devIM saraNamaham prapadye'. 'I surrender to Durga who removes all duHkham (sorrow)' is the meaning. To no one else in the Vedam is such 'saraNam' is mentioned. Therefore it is determined that ParAShakti is everything.

8. saptAdeva pramita

For Brahma Sutra (1.3.24), the rare explanation that PeriyavAL gave:

In the (following) vAkyam (assertion) that occurs in the Katopanishad,

angushTa mAtraH purushaH jyotirivaadhUmakaH |
IshAno bhutabhavyasya sa evAdya sa u shvaH

the word IshAna only refers to the paramporuL (Brahman). Therefore, the one referred to in the previous vAkyam as angushTa parimANa (thumb sized) is also the paramAtma. He appears as a drop in the cave of the mind. In the pUrva vAkhyam, the lingam (symbol) that is angushTam is weaker than the sruti. IshAnaH is not the lingam (symbol). It should be taken as the direct pramANam (proof) of Sruti. So, with the sruti that is prabalam (strong), only the lingam that is durbalam (weak) should adjust itself.

This is why, it occurs in the last line of the Bhashyam as 'IshAnasaptasrutereva'.

(I am not able to understand what Paramacharya means in the lines that the angusTam is weaker than the sruti, etc. What does the word sruti mean here? Knowledgeable members may please explain. -- saidevo)

9. sahanAvavatu.

In the Mahagav camp where many vidvAns had assembled in the sabhA, when the sabhA was about to start, PeriyavAL called A.Sivaramakrishna SastrigaL and told him to give the bhASyam (meaning) of the sahanAvavatu mantra. After the SastrigaL finished giving the meaning, PeriyavAL's saMbhASaNaM (conversation):

PeriyavAL: How is this 'mA vidviShAvahai' [The prArthanA (prayer) is that by guru and I should remain without dveSa (hatred) for each other]? Since the guru is a jnAni (enlightened), will dveSa occur to a jnAni for a shiSya (disciple)? If the dveSa is there, how come he is a jnAni? What exactly is in the bhASyam?

Everyone was silent.

PeriyavAL: Bring the pustakam (book) and see.

The book was brought and read: 'Let there be no dveSa arising out of pramAdam between the guru and the shiSya.'

PeriyavAL: Oho? pramAdam is only thinking in a thattukittu (confused) manner (right)? Did the shiSya thattukittu (disciple in confusion) was deluded into thinking that his guru had dveSa towards him? (For) dveSa cannot approach a jnAni who is pUrNam (complete)!

It is not right to even say that the dveSa occured to a jnAni in an unguarded moment! It should only be taken as dveSam being on the side of the shiSya because of his delusion.

'tatra ko moha kah shokah' -- thus the jnAni is the one who has no shoka-moham (sadness and delusion)? Is not the moham the mUla kAraNam (root cause) for dveSam? Can there be a tree without root?

*** *** ***

1. angushTa mAtraH purushaH jyotirivaadhUmakaH |
IshAno bhutabhavyasya sa evAdya sa u shvaH

-- Katha Upanishad, Iv.13

The thumbsized Purusha, the lord of the past and the future, is like a flame without smoke; He stays the same today and tomorrow. This is verily That.

2. OM sahanAvavatu|
saha nau bhunaktu|
saha vIryaM karavAvahai|
tEjasvinAvadhItamastu mA vidviShAvahai||
OM shAntiH.. shAntiH...shAntiH||

-- Mantra from ‘Bhrugu Valli of Taittariya Upanishad” of the Krishna Yajur Veda

There are five steps in this peace chant:
1. Sahanaavavatu means may we both be protected. The emphasis of this first word is protection.
2. Sahanau bunaktu means may we both be nourished. The emphasis continues to bunaktu, or nourishment.
3. Sahaveryam Karavavahai means may our activity become energetic. The key here is energy.
4. Tejaswi Naava dheeta mastu means let there be radiance.
5. Maa Vid Vishavahai means let there not be hatred.

Sri NV Raghuram: Mantra "Sahanavavatu" -part 5-

3. The intrinsic message of the Gayatri Mantra engulfs a wide gamut of ideals such as what the Isha Upanishad says:

yastu sarvani bhutanyatmanayay vamu
pashyeti sarva bhuteshu ch atmanam tato na
vijugupsate yasiman sarvani
bhutanyatmyvbhdi janatah tatra ko moha kah
shokah eikatva manupashytaha

"He who sees all creatures in himself, himself in all creatures, does not show abhorrence to any one; knowing all beings to be one's own-self and seeing the unity of man-kind, how can there be for him delusions, sufferings and sorrows".

Yugnopavit - Its Significance

moha - m. unconsciousness, bewilderment, perplexity, swoon; error, infatuation, darkness or delusion of mind (ph.), ignorance, folly.
pramAda - m. intoxication RV. MBh.; madness, insanity L.; negligence, carelessness about
prapad - throw one's self down (at a person's feet); f. the forepart of the foot.
suprabhAta - n. a beautiful day-break or morning. n. beautifully illuminated by dawn
vAkya - n. speech, words; statement, deposition (j.); sentence, periphasis (g.).
Not open for further replies.

Latest ads