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Remembering Maha Periyaval - Part 2

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I had made an attempt to document a few of the fortunate incidents which I was blessed to be present at the August presence of Pujya Sri Kanchi Maha Swamigal. You can find the article in the link below :

Remembering Maha Periyaval

I am presenting a few more of my experiences here.

“Swagatham Krishna”

Sri Kanchi Mahaswamigal was standing on a raised platform listening, or patiently standing, while a few people were chanting Rudram, Chamakam, etc. They were the embodiment of affluence – the jari dhoties, the gold/silver ornamented rudraksha maalas, spatika maalas, etc glittering on their bodies. They were chanting aloud, more interested in impressing those around. In short, the air was full with religious humbug, which was more than conspicuous.

Suddenly, His Holiness left the platform, walked to a corner and stood before an old lady with his eyes expressing ecstasy and joy. That lady was wearing a cotton saree which was tattered and old. She was doing the aarti with closed eyes in a clay lamp (agal vilakku), singing

“Swagatham Krishna”, “Sharanagatham Krishna”

in a shaky, choking, hoarse voice. Sri Mahaswamigal was standing before her with rapt attention accepting the aarti with utmost delight. When she completed her aarti Sri Swamigal abruptly left the place, as if the entire exercise was over. Was Sri Mahaswamigal waiting only for that lady’s aarti?

By that time, those who were reciting vedic hymns had stopped chanting and were confused whether they should continue or not. A mutt attendant informed that Sri Swamigal had gone for the day, which meant that they can leave. They were given some prasad by the attendant as instructed by the mutt chief.

Dozens of apples, baskets of flowers, bundles of agarbatti and many other pooja items were brought by them as offering while Sri Mahaswamigal seemed to prefer the simple aarti of that poor old lady. Maybe he preferred a heart filled with simple devotion to an exhibition of knowledge and wealth.

From that time onwards, I have tried to adopt the “Shradha” (sincerity) of that lady while doing my religious activities, not giving too much importance to decoration, prasad varieties, etc. Care to join me?

Let us take refugee at Lord Krishna’s feet and chant aloud, “Sharanagatham Krishna”, give us the “Shradha” (sincerity) to worship you.

That obstinate lady

On that day, it was around 11 am when a fairly well placed lady walked into Sankara mutt and desired private audience with Sri Mahaswamigal. She was continuously shedding tears, her eyes swollen and face red due to continuous weeping.

Sri Mahaswami himself came out and tried to pacify her by saying that she had his full blessings but to be alone in a room with a lady was strictly forbidden to sanyasi’s like him. The lady was adamant to talk to him alone. Sri Mahaswamigal could have turned her away by ordering the mutt staff to give her some “prasad” and send her away. The Ocean of Mercy he was he some how wanted to cheer her by some means.

“Dharma” never fails. Suddenly Sri Mahaswamigal ordered for a stone deaf man to be found and sent to his room with that lady. The puzzled Sri. Srikantan (the attendant of Sri Mahaswamigal whose services used to remind everyone of Anjaneya’s services to Lord Rama) was beyond words or bewildered as to how to suddenly find a totally deaf man to accompany the lady?

Saints and sages perform miracles as though they are mere coincidences. They need not prove anything to anyone.

A deaf man was present at the Sankara mutt at that time who accompanied the lady to Sri Mahaswamigal.

After sometime the lady came out with all smiles accompanied by the deaf man who was unaware of anything.

Sri Mahaswamigal never exempted himself from any of the rules and regulations of sanyasa dharma. Today if by chance one notices sadhus, sanyasis or holy men constantly in the company of women devotees, shall we ignore them as they are imitations? Nothing can be imitated without an original. Let us go and search for that original for eternal bliss.

Religious Unison

Along with two friends I was proceeding to have darshan of Sri Kanchi Mahaswamigal. To our surprise and delight we saw him coming towards the town limits. Out of reverence we stood at the road side and waited till he crossed us.

Suddenly, whole crossing us, he turned his head and told, “I am going to have Perumal darshan” and walked away. Being a mediocre, or less than mediocre person I took it as it is, until my ardent devotee and shrewd friend told me, “I know you have not understood properly. Sri Swamigal does not need anybody’s permission to do anything. It is a subtle order that we should follow him. Do you know sanyasi’s will not order or command anyone?”

The huge northern side door of the temple was opened when Sri Swamigal entered with his entourage. Near the gate was a huge “kulam” (pond) where hundreds of pundits were performing some religious rites. On seeing Sri Mahaswamigal they all rose in unison, still continuing the chanting.

Sri Mahaswamigal lifted his “dhandam” quite high and was standing still like the Himalayan peak.

If one Saivite mutt pontiff could evince so much respect from so many Vaishnavite scholars or pundits the sloka of

“Sivaya vishnu roopaya,
Siva roopaya vishnave,
Sivasya hrudayam vishnu,
Vishnuscha hrudayam shivaha”

meaning “Shiva appears in Vishnu form while Shiva’s form is only Vishnu. This is so because Vishnu resides in Shiva’s heart and in Vishnu’s heart there is Shiva”, appears to be true and beyond doubt.
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