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Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

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  #61  
Old 14 January 2011, 08:40 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

**************************************************
In Kanchi Mahaan's Shade of Mercy...2
Compiler: Raa. Venkatasamy (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Jul 2, 2004
**************************************************
"Have you gone to Cholapuram?" Maha Periyavaa asked a devotee from Salem who had gone to have his darshan.

As the Salem man hasn't gone there, the Mahaan turns a leaf from the history. "Avvaiyar, you know, took efforts for the marriage of the daughters Angavai and Sangavai, of (king) Paari. He called the Moovendhars (the three emperors Chera, Chola, Pandya) and rebuked them for not having helped for this marriage and conducted the marriage in their presence, which was in this place called UttamaCholaPuram. The entire place was later left under the care of the Chola king. A big village named Salem was given to the Chera king, and another villaged named Veerapandi was given to the Pandya king. Thus, the three places that were gifted to the Moovendhars (by Paari) are today known by the names UttamaCholaPuram, Veerapandi and Salem." The Mahaan thus gave the devotee some solid historical information which is not known to many people.

In the speech that he gave, news about many Siva Sthalams around Salem were made known. When he talked about the greatness of Salem Sukavaneswarar, he said that history had it that AruNagirinathar sang in front of the Murugan Sannidhi of that temple.

*** *** ***

This man was also a devotee from Salem. He had a desire for a long time to buy a car. He saved gradually, came to Chennai and bought a secondhand car. It was his intention to come over to Salem in that car after he bought it. He was a man who worshipped Kanchi Maha SwamigaL who was dear to him as his soul. He came to Kanchi MaTham in the car going through Kanchipuram on his way to Salem. He joined and stood meekly in the queue that had formed, for a darshan of the Mahaan.

At that time an old man came with his granddaughter and supplicated to Kanchi Mahaan for help for her marriage. The MaTham had a custom to extend help in such matters. Periyavaa told them to be seated on a side and asked his assistants for a cane plate. He asked the people who had come for darshan to contribute as they wished and drop the money on the plate.

In order to account for the money contributed, he asked a MaTham assistant to sit down with a notebook and record the name and address and the amount given by the donors.

As the Mahaan himself took the responsibility for such a task, the devotees dropped their mite on the plate, as they moved away after a darshan of the sage. When the collection reached a stage, SwamigaL asked the details of contribution to be read aloud. As the names and amounts were read, the turn of the Salem devotee came. He had dropped the entire money he had with him, keeping only a little for his travel. The amount he had contributed was five hundred rupees. As it was read Periyavaa looked at him once and said, "Two hundred and fifty is enough. Give the balance to him."

The Salem devotee was shocked. Why give a portion of his contribution back to him? It seemed to him that he had committed some apachAram (error), and the thought upset him very much.

Worried, he came near his car. The smell of petrol penetrated his nostrils. As he checked, he found a small hole in the petrol tank through which the entire petrol had leaked to the ground. He couldn't have returned to his place without repairing the tank and the money Periyavaa gave back helped for this purpose. Had the sage not returned the money, he would have to sell his gold ring to raise the money needed, for where would he go for a loan in this place?

The devotee happily narrated the bhAgyam he had to his friends.

*** *** ***

There were a number of shops such as a flower shop, a medical shop and others doing brisk business in front of Kanchi MaTham, many years back. The bank officials of Indian Bank had a desire to open a branch there and take care of the adminstration of the revenue and expenses of the MaTham. They expressed their wish to the MaTham officials and got the approval.

The conditions from the MaTham were that the bank should construct their own building in front of the MaTham. And whatever shops were required to be vacated for this purpose, alternate places were compulsorily to be given to the shopkeepers. The conditions were implemented, and the Bank branch was opened.

Two years later, a dampati (husband and wife) came and stood before Periyavaa and said, "Today is our wedding day. Maha Periyavaa should bless us." They prostrated to him.

Periyavaa recognised them. "You are the medical shop Mudaliar?"

"Yes."

"You father suffered much before he died?"

"Yes."

After inquiring about their welfare, the sage asked the next question. "Where are you keeping your shop now?" No immediate reply to this question came.

"We are yet to set up a shop; we are on the lookout for a suitable place."

"Why? Did they not provide you with an alternate place when you vacated from the MaTham premises?"

Mudaliar just dragged on. "About that..."

The Mahaan immediately understands that something had gone wrong. Ganesaiyer, the manager of the MaTham is brought to him. In a leisurely tone the sage conducts the inquiry.

"As far as possible we had provided alternate places to everyone." The manager says in a low voice.

"Seems no place had been given to the medical shop Mudaliar. Says he is on the lookout for a suitable place. Why, was there no place to give him?"

Ganesaiyer dragged on. "No, but we discussed things with him and decided..."

Thereafter, Periyavaa did not talk with anyone that whole day. He seemed to be in serious contemplation.

The decision he reached and announced created a bustle and also made people rapturous.

The news that the medical shop Mudaliar was not given an alternate place had put Maha Periyavaa in much saN^katam (embarrassment). Was it not a transgression to go back on a promise?

Maha Periyavaa had already sent the Mudaliar away after getting the address of his residence. Only then he called for the manager and inquired with him. There was ample space at the back of the MaTham, also facing the road. If a wall of the MaTham was removed they would have space three times in size of what the Mudaliar had earlier, and this space was allotted to him before that evening! The construction work was entrusted to an engineer devotee who had come on that day for darshan. Within three months, the shop was built and the Mudaliar had set up and opened his shop for business.

Maha Periyavaa was very strict that promises made by them should be kept at any cost. There was no bounds to the happiness of the medical shop Mudaliar after this incident!

**********
__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #62  
Old 15 January 2011, 09:15 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

**************************************************
In Kanchi Mahaan's Shade of Mercy...3
Compiler: Raa. Venkatasamy (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Jul 17, 2004
**************************************************
Maha Periyavar once visited Madurai. He was staying in a school in the North Masi Street. It was raining heavily, and the rains lasted for three days! ThamizhVeL P.T. Rajan, who was a resident of Madurai, had the desire to take Maha Periyavar to the Meenakshi Amman temple. He brought the car he had purchased recently and parked it in front of the building where Periyavar was staying. "It is raining heavily. If you get inside the car you may go and alight near the temple. I have great happiness to take you (in the car)." P.T. Rajan told the sage politely.

Periyavar asked him, "A new car?"

"Yes, but no other person has sat inside; only you should sit first!"

Periyavar smiled at these words. Then he called his disciple who stood nearby and said, "Go and have a look at the path that leads to the Meenakshi Amman temple."

That disciple carefully walked over the path to the temple and came back.

"How is the path?" asked the Mahaan.

"It is all dirt and mud, and bear the tyre marks of the vehicles that went to and fro." He continued, understanding the purport of Periyavar's question, "And in that mud, creatures such as worms and snails are crawling unsteadily."

Periyavar said, "A sannyAsi (ascetic) has three dharmas. The first dharma is that he should have no possessions; that is, he should not keep anything for himself. The second is brahmacharya (celibacy). He should know how to control and rule over his senses. And the third dharma is ahimsA. He should ensure that no jIvarAsi (living being) suffers because of him. In the present situation, if I go on foot or either in the car, there would be countless jIvarAsis that would be trodden over. Hence there should be no temple program for the time being. Postpone it. We will go later." Thus Periyavar avoided going to the Meenakshi Amman temple at that time.

Later, when the rains had stopped completely and the situation improved, he went on foot for darshan at Meenakshi Amman temple; and that with ThamizhVeL P.T. Rajan!

*** *** ***

Sadasivam was a man who belonged to Salem. He was a bachelor. He spent his days, hiring a room in a hotel. He had immense bhakti on the Mahaan.

A very large homam (fire sacrifice ritual) was conducted in the year 1990 at Kanchi MaTham, Salem. Vedic experts and pundits from outstations had been invited for the occasion. Their count exceeded sixty. The homam was held continuously for eleven days. It was only Sadasivam who ensured that the flowers needed for the homam were supplied without any hitch.

The homam was completed auspiciously. The next thing that the organizers had to do was to start for Kanchi, along with the tIrtha pots and the mahA rakSA (the homam ashes that served as protection), submit them to the Mahaan and get his blessings. Three notables accompanied the Vedic pundits in three vans to Kanchipuram. Sadasivam, who was responsible for the flowery works, also went with them.

There were good rains en route to Kanchipuram. At length they all reached Kanchipuram with the articles of the homam. Everything including the kalasa nIr (water in the pots) were kept before Periyavar. His face showed immense happiness when he looked at them, being the one who was well familiar with the phala (fruits) and bala (strength) of this homam.

Asking for a kalasa nIr to be brought to him, the Mahaan went inside, chanted some mantras and sprinkled the water from the pot over his head.

As he came out and sat, he took the large garland brought for him and wore it over his neck. He took the flowery crown in his hands and had a look at it. It was made with much decorations. The Mahaan raised a question, "Who made this?" The people who came in the vans pointed Sadasivam to the sage, who came out of the crowd wearing a lungi over his waist with a red shirt covering his upper part.

Maha Periyavar covered his head with the crown. "Does it look good?" he asked, a smile crawling over his lips.

Unable to speak in words, the people around nodded their head in affirmation, expressing their happiness and bowing to the Mahaan.

Meanwhile, Sadasivam removed his shirt and went and stood before the Mahaan. He did not know what to say to the Mahaan. His palms remained folded. Tears gushed from his eyes in streams. The Mahaan took the flowery crown from his head. He smiled at Sadasivam. Then he asked the man to bow slightly and placed the crown on Sadasivam's head. What a great fortune!

The people around shivered with ecstasy. Until then the Mahaan had only given this honour of placing a flowery crown with his own hands only to a well learned pundit.

Perhaps he thought that it was the right offer to a devotee who worshipped him with flowers!

**********
__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #63  
Old 18 January 2011, 10:16 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

**************************************************
In Kanchi Mahaan's Shade of Mercy...4
Compiler: Raa. Venkatasamy (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Aug 15, 2004
**************************************************
Kanchi Maha Periyavar was camping in Tiruchi National College High School during April 1960. Thousands of devotees came every day seeking his blessings. All of them were given tasty meals.

This anna dAnam that would start at eleven in the morning would last till four in the afternoon. The reception committee members felt it difficult to regulate the rush of the crowd and send the people away after properly feeding them.

They told their problem to the Mahaan and asked him if the people coming to dine might be given food in packets.

Kanchi Mahaan made them sit before him and asked just two questions.

One: where would they drop the banana leaves of the packets after eating their contents?

Two: Where would they go for a cup of water to quench their thirst?

The people sitting opposite him could not answer these questions.

Noticing their silence, Kanchi Mahaan said, "You people think of reducing the expenses and work involved. Only a man who is hungry would choose to sit in the first session and others in the last session?

"When I travelled to places, I have seen people drop after a meal the banana leaves in bins. I have seen Narikuravas (gypsies) collect any food left over in those leaves and then the cows feed on the leaves that still had some food crumbs. You see that your laying the leaves and serving food on them caters to the hunger of so many others?

"So drop your idea of preparing food packets this moment and serve food to all the people laying banana leaves for the purpose. To witness this many people taking food and spending for it is a great puNyam for you. And happiness for me too."

We would have witnessed feeding people but we come to know its importance only after our Mahaan talks about it!

*** *** ***

Raman was a photographer. He came to Kanchipuram with his powerful camera to take photos of Maha PeriyavaaL.

If he took a snap of Maha PeriyavaaL in meditation, the flash light might disturb his meditation; so he waited.

When the Mahaan got up from his dhyAnam, Raman opened his camera and kept it ready for taking a snap. The Mahaan stood up raising his hand, which seemed like a gesture of blessing. Raman quickly snapped some picture of the sage.

All the pictures he took using his powerful camera had so far come out well. So he had a satisfaction of a similar result this time too.

An assistant who came trotting to him asked excitedly, "Why did you take pictures even when Maha Periyavaa gestured to say no to you?"

Raman was confused. "Maha Periyavaa only blessed (by raising his hand)?"

"You thought his gesture to say no to be a gesture of blessing? The pictures you took of him would not have got recorded in your film", said the assitant.

This made Raman get angry. 'You do not know what sort of a camera this one is. How can the pictures I took not be recorded? Let me see.' With such a haughty thought in mind he went to his place and as a first thing had the frames washed and developed. Not a single photograph that he took of Maha Perivar was visible.

The next minute Raman understood that Maha Periyavar was sAkSAt Sarvesvara.

Later he came to Kanchipuram leisurely, took permission from the Mahaan supplicating with love and devotion, took snaps and got his wish fulfilled.

*** *** ***

Once in the year 1959 Kanchi Mahaan camped at Nazarathpet near Chennai. As he needed sandal paste for his puja, he called a man named Ramamurthy and asked him to grind the paste.

The same day he ground sandal paste and gave for puja, Ramamurthy felt some uneasiness in his heart in the evening. He rushed to a doctor and got his health checked.

The doctor said after his tests, "Your heart is weak. You should not carry heavy weights or do strenuous work, especially something like grinding sandal paste."

Ramamurthy came back to the Mahaan. As the sandal paste was needed on the next day too, the Mahaan called him and gave the work. He said, "ChandraMauleesvara would take care of everything. You grind and give me the sandal paste."

Unable to disobey the Mahaan's words, Ramamurthy ground and gave the sandal paste. Again he felt uneasy at heart and told PeriyavaaL what the doctor had said.

"It would be dangerous only if it is a heart attack. If the heart is weak some people might live even up to a hundred years. You do your work, don't be afraid", said the Mahaan. Were those not the words of God?

Thereafter Ramamurthy had the bhAgyam of grinding sandal paste for the Mahaan's puja for a long time. No such uneasiness of heart ever raised its head on those occasions!

*** *** ***
__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #64  
Old 19 January 2011, 10:19 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

**************************************************
In Kanchi Mahaan's Shade of Mercy...5
Compiler: Raa. Venkatasamy (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Jul 31, 2004
**************************************************
Auditor Venugopal was a native of Salem. He was a staunch bhakta (devotee) of Maha PeriyavaaL. He was the auditor of Kanchi Sankara MaTham. It was his custom to say word for word that it was only Maha Periyavaa who guided him to that profession.

As he gained some popularity, Venugopal bought a car. The desire of showing to Maha PeriyavaaL the new car bought for the first time (in his life) rising in his heart, Venugopal was headed straight for Kanchipuram in his car. Only when he parked the car in front of the MaTham did he come to know that the Mahaan was camping in Kalavai! The car then started off its trip to Kalavai.

Parking the car outside where Maha PeriyavaaL was staying, Venugopal went inside the camp.

As he saw Venugopal entering, Maha Periyavaa asked him, "car vAngiyirukkiyo? (So you have bought a car?)". And that was even before Venugopal started telling the sage about his new car. The auditor was dumbstruck. The Mahaan was one who knew time in all its three tenses.

"Yes", he said slowly. For a moment he even thought if it was a mistake in buying the new car before he had a word with the Mahaan. But then the Mahaan never found fault with living comfortably within one's means!

"It is a good thing only. Alright, you do an errand for me now!" said the Mahaan.

The auditor only nodded his head in affirmation, consenting to do an errand for the sage.

"You need to go a little distance from here and turn right. If you go along the road thereafter, you will sight a pond. An old man will be sitting on the banks of the pond. You bring him here in your car. What, will you do it?" The auditor started off even before the Mahaan finished.

Going like an arrow on its course, the auditor found the old man with a beard on the banks of a pond. He did not think if Periyavaa wanted to bring that old man. For he knew that there would be a thousand meanings in what Periyavaa said.

Going near the old man, the auditor spoke to him about the sage's instructions.

"Did he call me? Then surely I shall come with you", said the old man. Staggering, he got into the auditor's brand new car, who took him to the Mahaan's sannidhi (presence). The old man stood folding his palms before the sage.

"enna saukkiyama irukkiyA? (What, are you doing well?)" was the question Periyavaa asked the old man.

"edo irukkEn (somewhat fine)!"

The MaThams honours were given to the old man in accordance with the directions of the sage. After giving the old man dhoties, shawls and some money for his expenses to the man's satisfaction, Kanchi Mahaan told the auditor: "Take him and drop him where he wants to alight and then come back!"

A car ride for the old man again. The auditor dropped him as he desired and then came back to the MaTham. He did not ask who that old man was, nor the sage said anything about it. Auditor Venugopal stood before the Mahaan, his hands humbly folded across his chest.

"The man you brought here--do you know who he is?"

The auditor nodded his head to say no.

"When I was a small boy, suddenly one day he brought me in his horse cart. I did not know why at that time. Only after coming here, they said that I was the 68th PIThAdhipati (pontiff)... I did not know Samskrutam at that time... I did not know Vedas... Only after coming over here, all those lessons. How many years have gone by, did you notice it? It was only this periyavar (respectable old man) who brought me here, making me sit inside his horse cart. He also did not know then why they asked for me here! How can I forget him? I suddenly remembered him, which is why I asked you to bring him here in your new car," said Maha Periyavaa.

**********
__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #65  
Old 22 January 2011, 09:36 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

**************************************************
In Kanchi Mahaan's Shade of Mercy...6
Compiler: Raa. Venkatasamy (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Sep 14, 2004
**************************************************
Maha Periyavar was camping in Pandaripuram in the year 1981. When people were having his darshan in a line, in the midst of the crowd, a Seit from North India brought and kept a tin of ghee before Maha PeriyavaaL.

As he saw that, the Mahaan said, "One rupee... one rupee...". No one there had any idea of why he said that. Thinking that the sage was really asking for a rupee of money, people started taking an one rupee coin to keep it handy.

The Mahaan told his MaTham assistant nearby: "I had asked that Seit to procure ghee for only one rupee. Ask him why he has brought a tin of it!"

People around were surprised looking a this. They blinked, 'When would Periyavaa have asked this Seit to procure ghee?'

The Seit who understood it spoke in a leisurely way: "Somebody kidnapped my daughter. Swamiji came in my dream and said, 'Procure ghee for a rupee and come to Pandaripuram. Your daughter will return home untainted.' As told by him, the next day my daughter returned home safely. That is why, instead of the one-rupee-ghee I have brought a tin of it."

This made everyone there surprised and happy that the Mahaan had made them realize that it was true that he appeared in the dream of the Seit and spoke those words.

That Mahaan who is omnipotent, gets to know everything and extends his graceful assistance to the needy then and there.

*** *** ***

The incident that Karuppatthur Chandrasekhara gaNapAThigaL narrates about the lofty state of that mighty God who gives his anugraha to the world, would make us go into ecstastic shiver.

The gaNapAThigaL went to attend a satas (assembly) that was held in the presence of the Mahaan when he was camping in KaLahasti. Having had darshan of the Mahaan, the gaNapAThigaL was going round the MaTham premises.

The dim light of the oil lamps burning here and there. Suddenly a noise of someone clapping his hands. The gaNapAThigaL turned and looked in the direction he heard the noise from. In the inky darkness, nothing was visible to his eyes, so he continued walking.

Again the clap of hands! When the gaNapAThigaL walked in the direction of the noise, he saw the Mahaan sitting hidden by a pillar.

"Come here!", he called the gaNapAThigaL. The saMbhASaNaM (dialogue) that ensued between them is given here.

Mahaan: Some people will not feel anything when they are struck or pinched in some parts of their body. They say that those parts have gone numb. You have heard of such a thing?

gaNapAThigaL: I have heard of it. What Periyavaa said is vAstavam (truth).

Mahaan: For some people, sometimes their tongue won't feel the taste. And some would have lost their power of hearing, either in birth or in the course of time.

gaNapAThigaL: Heard of it.

Mahaan: For some, when they have cold, their noses would not smell; they will be alright when the cold is gone.

gaNapAThigaL: Yes, I have noticed it.

Mahaan: Have you noticed me frequently? If you have done it, you would understood one thing well. People who come to see me, make me wear a variety of garlands. Have you seen my taking some fragrant flowers from those garlands and smell them?

gaNapAThigaL: I have seen it that way oftentimes.

Mahaan: But then the reality is that no smell is felt by me. This state continues for nearly forty years now. Alright, if at least a foul smell is felt by me, no, I have sort of tested it. I have not yet encountered an atmosphere that would make me hold my nose. If this is the case with me, those who come to have darshan of me have a different state. They would hold their noses with their hands and cloths and suffocate... seen it? (a loud laughter). Thus, no foul smell is also not known by me! I am one who is beyond all these things.

Hearing Maha SwamigaL thus speak explicitly, the gaNapAThigaL stood amazed. Since then, Karuppatthur Chandrasekhara gaNapAThigaL keeps telling, his heart melting, about the grace of that great God in whom are immersed all the pleasures of the world, but who shows up himself as a simple man beyond the world, doing his anugraham to everyone.

**********
__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #66  
Old 26 January 2011, 09:38 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

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In Kanchi Mahaan's Shade of Mercy...7
Compiler: Raa. Venkatasamy (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Sep 28, 2004
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Maha Periyavar, who is the omnipotent Parameswara Himself, was camping in Sri Kanchi MaTham, KumbakoNam. The Vyasa Puja was being held there with all glory. The ChandraMauleesvara Puja being over, all the devotees were in a hurry to get Maha Periyavar's darshan, who was distributing the abhiSheka tIrtham (holy water of ablution) with his holy hands. A devotee's turn came in the line formed by them to receive the prasAdam. Giving him the prasAdam, the Mahaan looked at him, raising his head.

He told the devotee, "You come early tomorrow for the Veda pArAyaNam (recitation)." What alternative is there to the Mahaan's orders?

As ordered by the Mahaan the devotee came up early the next morning and participated in the occasion of Veda pArAyaNam. When the pArAyaNam was going on, Maha Periyavar made a surprise visit, which was unusual.

He noticed that the bhaktA (devotee) who got his anugraha the previous day was reciting the Vedas with sincere devotion. When reciting the Veda mantras, however, the bhaktA had breathing problems, so he faltered as he recited the shlokas (verses) with difficulty. Kanchi Mahaan realized that the devotee should be having some problem in his throat or lungs.

When it was time to distribute prasAdam after the recitation was over, he called the devotee and asked him to wait.

The devotee seemed to have sanchalanaM (trepidation) in his mind that he did not recite the Vedas properly and the Mahaan had found out some errors in his chanting.

After sometime, a physician came and examined the devotee thoroughly as ordered by the sage. Later when he took the devotee to his hospital and conducted more tests, the physician found out that the devotee had a heart ailment, which caused the falter in the Vedic chanting.

The physican cured the devotee with good treatment that involved no surgery, in accordance with Maha Periyavar's orders.

Some ten days later, the devotee came to have darshan of the Mahaan, who ordered him, "Now you do the Vedic chanting for sometime." The devotee was able to do the chanting without any falter or other problems. Thus Maha Periyavar saved the devotee from an incoming setback of health. Know what the devotee said about this? "As mentioned in Thevaram, when we do sincere prayer and worship to Bhagavan, any setbacks and difficulties that should reach us melt away automatically."

*** *** ***

Among the people who were involved in the sevA (service) to Kanchi Mahaan, SriKaNtan is an important person. He was the one who thought there was no other world than the Mahaan.

Once the Mahaan was not in the MaTham; he was at some distance away. One evening, SriKaNtan was working in the manual wet rice grinder with all sincerity of devotion to work.

His hands were working but his mind was filled with thoughts of the Mahaan. A MaTham assistant hurriedly came to him.

He said in a hastening tone, "Your orders are to come immediately, leaving whatever work you are doing now."

SriKaNtan never asked about why the Mahaan gave him such an order. He came hurriedly to the Mahaan's sannidhi (presence). The moment he left the place, the roof of the portion of the building where he sat, came down crashing. Had he not got away, he would have been buried in the rubbles.

He survived on that day due to the compassionate heart of the dIrgha darshi (one who has prevision) Kanchi Mahaan. Could he ask how that Sarvesvara knew what was to come? With tears in his eyes, SriKaNtan did a shASTaaN^ga namaskaram and bowed to that God.

Glossary:
dIrgha - long (in space and time), lofty, high, tall; deep

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रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #67  
Old 28 January 2011, 09:36 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Reputation: 81567
Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

With the God...
author:...... Thanjavur SanthanaRaman
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 41-65
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Pages 41-48

Even during my days of innocence I have seen Kamakoti Sankaracharya SwamigaL move about in his mEnA to and fro, morning and evening, along the Mela Veedhi (western street), Thanjavur. I have run behind the palanquin, my tuft of hair hanging loose. I have seen the bhogis (palanquin bearers); the man running before them, musically chanting 'Rama Ramaiyah', 'RamE Ramaiyah', 'Kanchi Kamakshi', and 'Madurai Meenakshi'; the frequent playing of the musical instrument called 'Gowri KaaLai'; and a majestic SwamigaL with a dazzling, rosy physique wearing wooden sandals getting down in front of some houses and the AstikAa (devotees) of those houses receiving him with their families. This was my first darshan.

During his Thanjai Vijayam (visit) in the year 1942, he went on a Pattina Prevesam. My maternal uncle Sri Sundaresa Sarma was totally involved in it. I gave pUrNa kumbham in front of my vyApAra sthalam (business establishment). He asked my maternal uncle, "Chimizhiyaa?" My uncle replied, "Yes." SwamigaL took up the coconut on the pUrNa kumbham, holding it by its tuft and said, "This has it, but he doesn't have!". With a mandahAsa (smile) he gave us his anugrahA.

*** *** ***

SwamigaL's camp in Satara, in the north. I had gone for his darshan.

"Do you know about Raja Raja Cholan?" he inquired me.

"He built the Thanjavur Periya Kovil; a great Chakravarti. Only this much I know."

"He gave a title to himself, you know about it?"

"No."

"He added the title 'SivapAda-shekharan' before his name. You know the meaning? Parameswara has a name Chandra-shekaran. He wears Chandran (moon) on his head. That is to protect Chandran. Let it be; why the name 'SivapAda-shekharan' to this king, you know? Because he always remained in the bhAva (state) that he was wearing Parameswara's feet on his head. Alright, next time you come, bring a write up of what you know about him."

I went for darshan when he was in Kanchipuram. I was keeping a notebook in my hand. He saw me and told the man near him, "Ask what he has brought in his hand."

"During my last darshan I was directed to bring a collection of what I knew and what I could find in books about Raja Raja Cholan. I have brought that write up."

"Give it to me." SwamigaL opened my notebook and had a glance at its contents.

"Only you wrote all these?"

"No. I gave the details to a teacher in my school, asking him to write them down. My handwriting wouldn't be good!"

"Where did you collect these details from?"

"After PeriyavaaL's utthiravu (orders, direction) I went to the Archaeological Department to gather the details. I could get nothing from them. Then I looked up the books about the Chola Kings in the Madras University Library. There were a lot of details in the book written by Neelakanta Sastry. I selected from them and had my selections written down."

"You have given a table, read it," SwamigaL said. I read it.

He asked me to read about the state of the Shastras, Vedanta, Veda Bhashya, country administration, and temple administration in the days of the Cholas. I read them out.

I had taken my notes in English about these things. In one place, there was the phrase 'The affairs of the Temple'. When I read it, he said, "Stop. Read again?" I read 'The affairs of the Temple'. "It is not correct (the pronunciation)", he said. Two or three sevArtis (devotees, worshippers) observed our conversation, standing behind me. Whatever one of them thought, he told me, "You tell PeriyavaaL 'activities related to the temple'". I turned my face to look at him. Sri PeriyavaaL asked at once, "Who is he?"

"I came to have darshan of PeriyavaaL", he said.

"Ask him to move away", PeriyavaaL told me. I laughed within myself.

"The affairs of the temple...right, read further." I read on.

On that occasion the Supreme Court justice Sri Renganathan Misra had come with his family for darshan. SwamigaL conversed with him about his family matters, their kSema lAbha (health and prosperity) and then looked at my side. I continued to sit there.

Another sevArti, son-in-law of Karaikudi Sri Alagappa Chettiar had come. SwamigaL talked to him and then looked at me. It took up more than two hours before these two people bid farewell to the sage.

I read again the details about Raja Raja Cholan. Suddenly he asked me to stop.

"It is over three hours since you came here. Someone or other comes up. Alright, you come often to see Pudu PeriiyavaaL (right)? You note down and bring your doubts and other things to consult him? How does he deal with you?"

I thought for a moment and replied: "Mostly when I come here, he would be giving darshan sitting in a room in Sureswara Acharya Sannidhi. When he sees me, he would gesture me to come into his room from the rear entry. He would then explain the answers for the things I had noted down, and bid me farewell. After I get the anugraha of his prasAdam I would take leave of him."

"People would be standing in a crowd outside! What would Periyavaa do?"

"He would answer my questions, give them prasAdam and also reply to their queries and send them."

"That doesn't come easily to me. Look, I have made you sit here for four hours!" he said.

When I continued reading, the term 'Urakam' came up. At once he asked me to stop reading.

"Where are we now?"

"Kanchipuram."

"This place?"

"Sivakanchi, periya (bigger) Kanchipuram."

He was not satisfied with my reply. Some people were standing behind me. An old dampati (husband and wife) among them joined their palms to PeriyavaaL. "Ask them what their place (of living) is." I asked them.

Old man: Palakkad.

PeriyavaaL's face brightened. "Ask him if the Amma nearby him is his samsAram (wife)."

I asked. He said, "Yes."

PeriyavaaL's question to them: "Is there a Kamakshi temple near your place?"

Old man: I don't know.

AmmaaL: Seems Periyavaa asks about 'Urakam Kamakshi'...

"Ask that AmmaaL to come to the front."

She came.

"You have gone there, that temple?"

"I have gone. They would have portrayed AmbaaL on a piece of cloth."

"Alright, go and come back." Periyavaa gave her his anugraha with a smile.

Then he told me this story:

"The Kamakshi here was very prasiddha (celebrated, famous) in the olden days. She remained dazzling in her sannidhi. One day a Malayala Namboothiri came here to have her darshan. He stood amazed looking at AmbaaL. It seemed he was a sAktA (Goddess worshipper). The Namboothiris would come to the temple with a palm leaf umbrella (thAzham kudai). You have seen a palm leaf umbrella? (I said 'yes'). It can't be collapsed. He sat in the AmbaaL Sannidhi, and by his japam did AkarSaNaM (attract) of a kalA (part) of AmbaaL on that umbrella and went away to Palakkad. His village was nearby. He did AvAhanam (invoked) of AmbaaL by transferring her presence from the umbrella to a cloth on which he had drawn a portrait of her figure. They named their village with the same name as this place where Kamakshi is residing. Kanchipuram has another name Urakam."

He narrated this tasteful history with his characteristic natural fluency.

When I returned to my place, I asked about the pronunciation of the word 'affair'. They looked up an English dictionary and told me. I remembered having read somewhere that in the pronunciation of the English language Sri Sri Maha SwamigaL would excel the Englishmen themselves.

*** *** ***

Glossary:
mandahAsa, mandahAsya - smiling, gentle laughing
shekharaH - crest, crown, a peak, the chief or head of any group
vyApAra - occupation, employment, business, profession, function, concern

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__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #68  
Old 29 January 2011, 08:23 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Reputation: 81567
Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

With the God...
author:...... Thanjavur SanthanaRaman
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 41-65
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Pages 48-55

My wife had a severe health problem. The doctor's opinion was to do a major operation and that immediately. I admitted her in a popular nursing home in Tiruchy. The surgery was scheduled for the next day. Only me and my wife were there in the hospital. They took her to the operation theatre. My mind was very upset with confusion and worry. I did prArthanA (prayed) to our Kuladeivam (family deity) Ezhumalaiyan (the God of the Seven Hills). The unsteadiness of mind persisted. Suddenly I remembered of PeriyavaaL. I did prArthanA to him that after she gets well we both would come and have darshan of him, that only he should save her life and that I would offer a sum of Rs.1,008/- as kANikkai (token of my gratitude). Within a hour and a half they brought her to the ward, the operation being over.

The doctor told me, "We thought many things about the case, but there was no danger to life. The operation was done successfully", and went away. I mentally prostrated to Ezhumalaiyan and PeriyavaaL. They discharged her in three days and we came to our station.

Thereafter, the festival of Gokulashtami came. I told my wife that we should go to Kanchipuram and have darshan of PeriyavaaL and that we should take the snacks such as seedai, murukku to those who do kaingaryam (serve with hands) to the sage. Taking our preparations, we reached the Sivaasthanam. After the morning darshan, Periyavaa sat for his anuSTAnam (daily religious practice) at about seven o' clock. We could see him go about his anuSTAnam inside the Sivaasthanam thatched shed from outside. I was hesistant as to how to express my prArthanA (prayer) to PeriyavaaL. I beckoned to an assistant who was serving the sage.

I told him, "I am a bit shy to express it to him. I had done a vENduthal (prayed with an offer) to PeriyavaaL. He saved my wife's life. I need to submit the kANikkai; don't know what to do. It would be better if you could make the vignApanam (supplication) to him at an opportune moment and tell me his directions thereupon."

After Periyavaa finished his anuSTAnam, the assistant made the vignApanam to him in a loud voice: "Thanjavur Santhanam has come. He feels shy to make the vignApanam to PeriyavaaL. He says a major operation was done on his AtthukkAri (home maker, wife). At that time he says he did vENduthal to PeriyavaaL to save her life. They stand outside as dampati (husband and wife)."

Smiling, PeriyavaaL touched his chest and said, "enakkA vENdik kondAnAm? (Was it me he prayed to? Ask him how much?" I said, "I prayed to remit a kANikkai of Rs.1,008/-."

"Ask him if he has brought the money."

"I have brought it."

Listing to the conversation, my wife blinked. She knew nothing about my vENduthal (prayer and offering).

PeriyavaaL forthwith directed that the fruits, coconuts and other things that were kept there as kANikkai to him be gathered in two large plates in such large quatities that it would be difficult to lift the plates. Then he said, "The SastrigaL who is doing the Rig Veda pArAyaNam (reading aloud) here--call him!" That man came. Periayvaa asked both of us to stand together, place Rs.504/- on one plate, give it to the SastrigaL and prostrate.

Then he sent word for another SastrigaL who had finished pArAyaNam of Srimad Bhagavatam there and asked us to place Rs.504/- in another plate, give it to that SastrigaL and prostrate.

Then he told everyone there loudly with that same vasIkara (enticing) smile, "You heard this! He says his samsAram (wife) underwent some operation. For that he had prayed to me (to save her life) and has brought Rs.1,008 to offer to me. Everyone would make supplication to Swami (God), Kovil (temple). And look, this man has prayed to me!" He laughed loudly, and everyone around echoed his laugh.

I was full of shyness.

He gave us his pUrNa anugraham and said, "poyittu vaa (go and come some other time)". An unforgettable incident that always stands before my eyes.

*** *** ***

There is no one to match PeriyavaaL in playing games that can't be understood.

The Nallicherry village near Thanjavur. Sambasiva ShrautigaL, who had done pUrNa adhyayana (complete study) of Vedas lived in that village. He took (sannyAsa) ashram in his antima kAlam (final days). He had only one son, who also had done pUrNa adhyayana. The son had a very weak heart. He could not do the Veda pArAyaNa for more than five minutes continuously. His condition at those times would cause fear in the onlookers. Because of this, the other vaidIkas (Veda chanting practitioners) did not call him to accompany them for the kAryams (Vedic rites). The son and his mother lived a difficult life.

When he recites Vedas in a loud and clear voice it would be blissful. But then what to do? Suppose his prANan (breath) goes away in the middle? So I would ask him to stop his recital at his first discomfort. I used to help him as much as I could. Such a habit as this one, he had.

One morning he came to me with his old mother. He said, "I am going to Kanchipuram. I shall have darshan of PeriayvaaL and ask him, 'A son of a man who did Veda adhyayanam and became a sannyAsi is suffering in this way even for the next meal! Could you do not do something for me?' My mother also accompanies me."

I said, "Why do you disturb PeriyavaaL? I shall do something for you." "No, I must see PeriyavaaL", he said. "It would be better if you could give me money for our tickets." I bought them the bus tickets, gave them extra money for expenses and sent them away. In my other works, I forgot about this incident.

On a morning after ten days, he was waiting with his old mother at my vyApAra sthalam (office). I asked him, "Did you go to Kanchipuram? What did Periyavaa say?"

"What did he say! I said 'I was sannyAsi Atthup puLLai (son of an ascetic), one who has done [i]pUrNa veda adhyayanam; you ask me about whatever verse in the Vedas, I shall recite it to you'. I said 'you must do some help to mitigate my suffering'. He said 'Stay here with your tAyAr (mother), I shall tell you a way out.' Thereafter, I was telling him the same thing, doing darshan every morning and evening. Suddenly he said yesterday evening, 'You get back to your place.' Asking a boy to get us the tickets, he asked me and my mother to return to our station. Even PeriyavaaL has spread his hands to say no."

His eyes went red when he said this. I was also embarrassed. Then I sent them to their village by a bus.

It was around eleven o' clock. With the same cloth bag that he brought when he came back from Kanchipuram, this man (the son) appeared alone in my office. There was clarity in his face. He was sobbing with hiccups and could not talk properly.

I assuaged him and said, "What? Tell me." He said, "I have talked wrongly of PeriyavaaL" and suddenly prostrated in the middle of the shop.

"What is it?" I asked him again. I got surprising details from him.

After seeing me at nine that morning, he had gone back to his village by bus with his mother. At the corner of the street, the street residents one by one accosted him and said, "Some people have unloaded a cartload of paddy on the thiNNai (raised portico) of your home. We were asked to keep vigil over it until your arrival. Fortune favours you!"

Giving the home key to his mother, he caught the next bus and had come to see me.

He was full of sobs and hiccups. "PeriyavaaL, Deivam, I had said something without knowing him."

I pacified him and sent him back to his station. Later when I went to Kanchipuram I came to know further details about the incident. I learnt that Periyavaa had decided to give his kAruNya (compassion) and anugraha (favour) to the man on the very day he had gone to him.

A week later, a popular landowner of Kumbakonam had come to have darshan. Periyavaa in his usual sweet manner had inquired the landowner after his agricultural activities and his earnings in that year. Then the sage asked him, "Will you give me a cartload of paddy?" The landowner had agreed.

Periyavaa had directed him, "You go now and have darshan of Kamakshi and then come back here." After the man had gone, Periyavaa had inquired our hero about his address and if there was a thiNNai in his home and so on.

When the mirasudar (landowner) came back, PeriyavaaL gave him the address and said, "Offload a cartload of paddy on the thiNNai of that house. You go to Kumbakonam today itself. Will the paddy reach his home by tomorrow evening?" The mirasudar had also returned to Kumbakonam that same day and sent a cartload of paddy on the very next day and offloaded it at his home, asking the street residents to take care of the load."

Is this game after the anugraham Krishna Paramatma did to Kuchela? Compassion can only be that of PeriyavaaL!

*** *** ***
__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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  #69  
Old 30 January 2011, 09:00 PM
saidevo saidevo is offline
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Reputation: 81567
Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

With the God...
author:...... Thanjavur SanthanaRaman
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 41-65
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Pages 55-65 (concluding part)

Kanchipuram. The puja being over, Periyavaa was giving tIrtham (holy water). When I received it, he looked up at me. "Did you witness the puja?"

"Yes."

"Pudu Periyavaa did the puja kaingaryam (service) bustling with perspiration. You saw that?"

"Saw that."

"Ten days ago Pudu Periyavaa told me, 'When Periyavaa does the puja I want to do the kaingaryam.'

'There are boys to do that,' I said.

'But then from tomorrow I want to do it; should permit me,' he said. 'Yes,' I said. That's why, you saw it today? How much activity! Bustling with perspiration, he handed me over with each and every thing and did the kaingaryam! Saw that?"

*** *** ***

The holy temple of Sri Thanjavur Bangaru Kamakshi AmbaaL is under the AdhInam (control) of SriMaTham. The year was 1980. The Agent of SriMaTham met me one day and said, "You have been appointed as SriKaaryam of Sri Bangaru Kamakshi AmbaaL temple. You come with me to the temple and take charge."

Within two months of my assuming office, a telegram from Sri PeriyavaaL's Ahamadabad camp arrived: 'Come here immediately. You should be given the register(ed) power (of attorney).' I reached Ahamadabad. SriSri PeriyavaaL gave me the power of attorney and got it registered. Sri JanakiRamaiyah was also with us then. When I started from Ahamadabad, SriSri Periyavaaal said, "Sri MahaSwamigaL is at Sholapur. You have darshan of him on your way back." I had darshan of Sri MahaSwamigaL at Sholapur and submitted the power of attorney document to him, prostrating. He read the document using a lens.

"They have given you 'vast power'", he said.

I nodded my head in silent affirmation.

"Only you they have appointed?"

"They asked me, 'A man has to be appointed as SriKaaryam in Thanjavur, send a list of suitable people. I sent a list of 4,5 persons. SriMaTham Agent interviewd them all personally. Suddenly the Agent came to Thanjavur one day and said, 'Only you have been appointed. You take charge.' I told him about my saN^katams (difficulties). He said, 'You be there temporarily. We will see later.'", I said.

Silence for sometime. Then he said to the man nearby with a smile, "Only I asked this man to be appointed, you know?"

I kept silent.

"What kaSTam (difficulty) is there for you?" he asked me.

"I have moved very closely with the people in charge of the temple. Because of this post I can't be strict with them, that is the main kaSTam."

"Understand one thing! You give the order. If anyone comes to me for appeal I shall not do anything embarrassing to you. Is that enough?" he said.

My eyes turned red. I prostrated to him. He blessed me. I took leave and started. When I came to the entrance, a man came running and said, "Call for you." I went inside again.

"They have given you vast power. But your being there is for the 'pleasure' of (Pudu) PeriyavaaL", he said.

"It is alright", I said, nodding my head. "What does he say?" said Periyavaa to the man nearby. The man said, "He says yes." "Ask him what he has understood." The man gave me a look.

I said forthwith: "The minute Periyavaa asks me to quit, I should quit at that time without any questions." He laughed and bid me farewell, blessing me with his two raised hands.

What amount of concession! At the same time what strictness!

*** *** ***

Camp in Sivasthanam.

I had gone for darshan of Sri MahaSwamigaL. Thanjavur SaravaNa Bhavan Hotel proprietor Venkatachalam Aiyer had come with me.

I was standing after having darshan. "Do anyone teach Vedanta pATham (study), Shastras in the Sankara MaTham at Vadakku Veethi (north street)? Seems Melattur SastrigaL is not there now?" he asked me.

"After Melattur SastrigaL passed away, there has been no one there."

"Better to appoint someone there who has read Shastras. There was this man Dave or somebody who was read in Shastras? What does he do?"

"He has gone to Tirukkoyilur. I heard that he took SannyAsa Ashram", I said.

"Ashram or not, bring him, make him stay in our MaTham and ask him to teach telling him that I told it."

My friend nearby asked me in a low voice, "Who is it that Periyavaa is referring to?"

"A man called Dave is there in the Mela Veethi (west street) Dave Lane. He has gone to Tirukkoyilur. I told PeriyavaaL only about him."

He said at once, "That man? I know him well. Our shop's coffee is a favourite of his. Even before opening the shop he would come in the early morning, take his coffee at five and then only would go."

I laughed within myself.

PeriyavaaL was attentive to what we were talking. "Who is he? What does he say?"

My friend replied, "I have a hotel in Thanjavur. This man Dave PeriyavaaL referred to is very fond of our shop's coffee. He would never stay away from visiting our shop at five in the early morning for a cup of coffee. That is what I told him."

PeriyavaaL said forthwith, "Then take this man behind you! Once Dave sees him, he would come with you! It has turned up easy now."

Everyone who heard this saMbhASaNaM had a hearty laugh. Such was MahaSwamigaL's play!

*** *** ***

Camp at Ukar Kurdu, 1980. I had gone for darshan with my wife. He was alone, leaning against a wall in a roofless building. It was perhaps six-thirty in the morning. Nobody else was there. The people who do kaingaryam (service) were at a distance, doing their jobs.

Sri MahaSwamigaL talked to me about Vedanta, Shastra and such things for a long time. He also discussed about my job and about myself. Then he was silent for sometime.

Then he said, "We have a duty, know that? We are getting aged. Which is why we light one lamp from another, so the lokakSema (prosperity of the world) would continue.

"You have become a favourite with us. Is it that I ask you to bring money or coins? Only that you stay with us."

When he said this in his own natural facial expression in a kind voice, I was moved to tears. I prostrated to him immediately, saying, "I shall do what Periyavaa asks me to." He gave me his anugraha with a smile.

*** *** ***

Sholapur camp, 1981.

I reached for darshan at six o' clock itself in the morning. He took the prasAdam I had brought with me. He inquired me the details of the nityappadi (daily affairs) and practices of Bangaru Kamakshi temple. 'How many people would come for darshan? What is the nivedanam (offer to God)?'--such questions one after another. He asked me about the details of practices up to the ardha yAmam (midnight).

"All this you arranged after taking charge?"

"All these are practices since ancient days. They have always been in place," I said. He gave me a smile meaning that he is aware that I was not untruthful. His next inquiry was about the AbharaNa alaN^kAra (jewels and decorations) of AmbaaL. He gave his abhiprAya (opinions) about the subtleties of each and every jewel.

He talked elaborately about the kAsu mAlA (necklace of coins). My hairs stood on end in ecstasy of what he told me in the last.

"AmbaaL's neck is soft. If you put all those things on her neck, her neck merikikkum (would feel the pain)", he said.

A scene that AmbaaL was standing before him feeling pain in her neck wearing all those jewels ran before my eyes. I couldn't forget it. When he had that vision and said this folding his two palms, he had an indescribable ecstasy.

"Know about the pancha bANas (five arrows)*?" he asked me.

The words arising from his mukha kamalam (lotus face) would always be apt and full of bhAva (expression). So I kept quiet.

After sometime, he gave an upanyAsam (speech) explaining the pancha bANas and linking the shloka (verse) from Saundarya Lahari with it.

Then, "What has become of the time?" he asked.

"It is ten-thirty now."

"I have been talking for such a long time. Would that be six when you came here? I talked all about AmbaaL, and the time went by so fast. poyittu vAppA!" he bid me farewell with his anugraha.

*** *** ***

A telephone call from Kanchipuram around 4 o' clock in the afternoon on January 8, Saturday, 1994, that SriSri MahaSwamigaL had attained his siddhi (passed away) a while before. I had the feeling as if a thunder struck me, for the first time in my life. I had an urge to reach Kanchipuram immediately. An old, experienced sthAnika (official) of the Thanjavur Bangaru Kamakshi Amman temple had told me long back: if the Kanchipuram SriMaTham pIThAdhipati (pontiff) attains siddhi, Sri Kamakshi's shesha vastram (cloth worn by the Goddess) and prasAdam from the temple should adorn his gross body before he is placed in his samAdhi. I went immediately to the temple, adorned Sri Kamakshi with a new Benaras silk sari, conducted the puja, and then having the garment removed, I travelled by car to Kanchipuram with the garment and the prasAdam. An unbearable grief in my mind. I regretted the loss that befell me.

The incident in Srimad Bhagavatam came to mind, where Arjuna conveys the news to his brothers that Sri Krishna Paramatma has given up his gross body. 'Sri Krishna has disappeared. After acting like a relative to us all, he has gone now disappointing us that we could not know about his real form.' This same words cropped up in my mind. The paramporuL (Absolute Truth), took the disguise of an Acharya, moved among us in simplicity, gave us darshans, rare upadeshas (teachings), sancitifed our desam (country) treading its length and breadth with his holy feet, strove for the welfare of the world, enfolded everyone without the distinctions of caste and religion, stressed the need to follow in practice the duties ordained for each of us, and was shining as a matchless AsAn, Acharyan (teacher).

*** *** ***

I reminisce again and again.

The gross body is kept for darshan, decorated by the honours and prasAda from many Devasthanams. Pudu PeriyavaaL and Bala PeriyavaaL nearby! What a stir of pangs and grief! They had his parupUrNa anugraham (complete spiritual favour) and they always remained in dhyAnam (concentration) of their guru bhakti, shushrUSa (service to guru), vAkya paripalanam (keeping guru's words), reverence, and complete obedience to guru's words.

A large crowd at the other side. Here, Muslims with faces deep in sorrow. Here, the Christian priests, nuns; and the shiSya kotis (numerous devotees). A crowd with no distinctions of caste and religion. How could such a crowd assemble is a puzzle in itself.

But then the truth is that they had all had darshan of him with limitless love and he embraced them all showing no distinctions of poverty, wealth, caste or religion.

Note:
panca bANa - the five arrows of Cupid, made of flowers comprising aravindam, cUtam, aSOkam, navamallikA, and the deadly nIlOtpalam (http://rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?pid=45807).

Glossary:
AdhIna - resting on or in, situated; depending on, subject to, subservient to
pATha - recitation, recital; reading, perusal, study
sthAnika - taking the place of anything else, substituted for; any one holding an official post, governor of a place, manager of a temple etc.
shushrUSakaH - attendant, servant

**********
__________________
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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Old 31 January 2011, 09:29 PM
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Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

PeriyavaaL's Greatness
author:...... S. Panchapakesa SastrigaL, Kumbakonam
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 73-81
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

In Kanchipuram Sivasthanam, the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Advaita Sabha was held. A number of maha vidvAns (great pundits) had gathered. NooraNi Sri Ananta Krishna SastrigaL was also there. One of the Udupi Paryaya pIThAdhipatis (pontiff) was on his vijayam (tour) to Kanchi. NooraNi Sri Ananta Krishna SastrigaL supplicated to PeriyavaaL to bring the Udipi pontiff to the Advaita Sabha. Sri PeriyavaaL asked Sri Ananta Krishna SastrigaL himself to bring the pointiff to the Sabha.

Udupi SwamigaL visited the Sabha with happiness. Everyone asked him to give an anugraha bhASaNa (holy lecture). So he gave a long vicAram (inquiry) and spoke that the Advaita Shastra had its own shortcomings. He elaborated on many things in his talk of nearly an hour. Looking at the Pandits, he asked them to reply to the points he raised in his lecture. But then since he talked fast and long, the vidvAns asked him to repeat his lecture. To that Udupi SwamigaL said that if Sri PeriyavaaL directed him to repeat his lecture he would do so. Sri PeriyavaaL at once said with a mandahAsam (gentle laugh), "You don't have to repeat it. I shall do the anuvAdam" and did his anuvAdam like a tape recorder, without leaving an aMsam (part) of what Udupi SwamigaL had said. All the maha vidvAns, including the Udupi SwamigaL were wonder-struck. Since I was also present there at the moment, I had the bhAgyam of experiencing the greatness of Sri PeriyavaaL.

*** *** ***

Once when Sri PeriyavaaL did his vijayam to Chennai, thousands of people had gathered to have darshan of the puja performed by Sri PeriyavaaL. A woman had come with her child. Someone had stolen the gold chain that was on the child's neck. Whatever efforts the woman took to locate it, she couldn't succeed; she was very unhappy. After the puja was over and the tIrtha was given, people queued up to receive the holy water. The woman who lost the chain came before the sage in her turn. A woman who stood before her extended her hand to receive the holy water. Sri Periyavaa looked at that woman and said, "You first give back the chain you have kept hidden in your waist to the woman behind you. Only then tIrtham for you." The woman who stole the chain gave it back as directed and the ignominy she suffered on account of her theft was known only to a few people around her. She had the mental peace that Sri Periyavaa saved him from an ugly situation. The woman who lost the chain was also happy. They both returned to their homes in happiness.

*** *** ***

Once Sri PeriyavaaL was staying in SriRama Mandiram of Kumbakonam. Pudu Periyavaa also was on his vijayam to the place. A wealthy man known to me did the bhikSA on that day. He made me stand upfront in the bhikSA vandanam and puja because of his affection towards me. It was one o' clock in the afternoon when the first kAla (session) puja was over. I had to go to the Vedic school to teach the veda bhASyam lessons.

Pudu PeriyavargaL was to come to perform the next kAla puja. Sri PeriyavaaL had gone inside, but sat in a place where everyone could see him. It would be three o' clock by the time the second kAla puja completed and the tIrtha prasAdam given. It was getting late for me. I needed to go before Sri Pudu PeriyavargaL sat for the puja. It would have been proper only if I left before he sat, not after, because I was sitting too near. But I had a desire in my mind. I had not taken food since that morning; it would be better if I could get the tIrtha prasAdam; the tIrtham poured as abhiSekam to Sri ChandraMauleesvara who was brought by Adi Sankara; and the abhiSekam was done by the hands of Sri Periyavaa. I grieved in my mind that there could be none who is more fortunate than the one who gets the tIrtha prasAdam from Sri Periyavaa's hands; but today that bhAgyam was not to be there for me.

Since tIrtham would be given only after completion of the second kAla puja, I left the place with the grievance that I did not get the bhAgyam. Exactly at that time, snapping his fingers, Sri PeriyavaaL ordered me to come inside. He asked me to extend my hand, gave me the tIrtham and his anugraha. Thus he did his anugraha to me even going against the niyama (restriction), knowing the grievance in my mind through his jnAna dRSTi (third eye). This is an unforgettable experience in my life.

*** *** ***

During the years 1950-51, Sri PeriyavargaL was staying in the Kumbakonam MaTham.

One night he gave an upanyAsam (speech). No microphone was kept before him at that time. People had filled SriMaTham in attendance. During his talk he recited the two phrases 'karma nAsha jalasbarsAt' of a shloka and kept repeating them, without uttering the full shloka. I thought out of ignorance that Sri PeriyavaaL did not know the rest of the shloka. Since I knew that shloka and since I was a boy, with bubbling eagerness I recited the shloka to him loudly, even while he was talking.

karmanAsha jalasbarsAt karadoya vilanganat |
kaNtakI bAhudharaNAt dharmaH kSarati kIrtanAt ||


Sri Periyavaa stopped his upanyAsam and ordered me to repeat the shloka. When someone interrupts in the middle of his speech, a speaker would normally be angry and jelous and think adhika prasangi (overly talkative) about the person who interrupted him.

But Sri PeriyavargaL is a KaruNAmUrti! When he ordered me to repeat the shloka, I started reciting it, but then forgot the lines! He blessed me with the words "The child has recited it." He pretended as if he forgot the shloka in order to give the chance to an enthusiastic boy, at the same time without exposing my ignorance. The incident is still fresh in my mind, standing as an example that there is no other icon of compassion than Sri PeriyavargaL.

*** *** ***

It was the year 1963. Sri PeriyavargaL was camping in Marudanallur. The Tiruppavai-Tiruvempavai conference was held in a grand manner in the Kumbesvara Temple, Kumbakonam. Sri Bhatavatsalam was then the chief minister of Tamilnadu. P.T.Rajan who did the tiruppaNi (holy works) of Madurai Meenakshi Temple and the Tamilnadu chief minister visited the place. It was the time of sandhya kAlam (dusk). I was sitting near Sri PeriyavargaL with a desire to listen to his anugraha bhASaNam (blessed speech). When he was about to commence his upanyAsam, Sri Periyavaa looked at me, folded his palm as if doing Acamana (sipping water as purification in a Hindu ritual) and gestured me to go out, thus making me realize that I should not skip my sandhyA vandanam at sandhyA kAlam for listening to an upanyAsam. I went forthwith to do the sandhyA at the holy pond.

At ten o' clock that night, without our inviting him, he visited our home in the MelaKaveri (west of Kaveri) and did paramAnugraham for more than an hour. He thus made explicit the truth that for a brahmin the karmas such as sandhyA vandanam are the most important; there is nothing loftier than them. 'If a brahmin does his duties regularly, I shall call on him personally and give my anugraham. Only he who does not do his dharma properly need to come seeking me.'

*** *** ***

The Advaita Sabha was held in TiruvidaiMarudur during a ChaturmAsya time. Sri PeriyavargaL who was observing a vow of silence gave it up and spoke in the Sabha saying that all the gRuhasthas (householders) should at least do aupAsanam (homely fire worship). From these two examples it can be understood that it was Sri PeriyavaaL's decision that a gRuhastA should never forgo the karmas ordained for him.

*** *** ***

Once when Sri Periyavaa was staying in Sivasthanam, Kanchipuram, a youth who had obtained the doctor degree for his researches in botony sought his darshan. Periyavaa asked him, "What is the reason for the name vetrilai (betel leaf), you know?" When he said that he did know it, Periyavaa explained, "vetrilai is a creeper. Any creeper would have flowers that ripe into fruits. The ripening into fruit may not be there, but at least the flower will be there. There is no creeper that never blossoms. But then in this creepr there would be no flowers or fruits. Only the leaves will be there. Since this creeper remains a plant with mere leaves it got the name vetrilai (mere leaf)."

The youth who had taken the doctor degree realized that it should really be given to PeriyavaaL.

*** *** ***

Sri PeriyavargaL had apAra jnAnam (limitless knowledge) in Silpa Shastras. He would teach facts that the sculptors themselves would not know. In the Agama Shastras, they have divided rocks into three kinds: male, female, neither male or female. Some statues of gods should be made only of male rocks, some of female and some of napuMsa (genderless) rocks. The sculptors would know the nature of the rocks by a cursory go at them with their chisel. But Sri PeriyavargaL would tell the nature of a rock just by looking at it.

In addition, there could be a toad inside the rock. Such rocks should not be used for sculpting god statues. Once a sthapati (sculptor) showed a rock to Sri PeriyavaaL, who said forthwith, "This rock has a toad inside it." The sculptor argued that he tested and decided that there was no toad inside, so he brought the rock.

Periyavaa asked him to break the rock. When it was done, a toad came out jumping from inside the rock. The sculptor was surprised. Thus the knowledge Sri PeriyavaaL had in Silpa Shastras is rare for even those who worked with it.

Glossary:
anuvAda - m. saying after or again, repeating by way of explanation, explanatory repetition or reiteration with corroboration or illustration, explanatory reference to anything already said; translation;
apAra - not having a shore, unbounded, boundless

**********
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रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.
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