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Thread: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

  1. #81
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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    Pages 243-248

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

    "Periyavaa wanted me to ask you..."

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

    Let us listen to the man himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Yes, that much Guru Bhakti!

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

    *** *** ***

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

    PeriyavaaL was fond of sankarAbharaNam (ragha).

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

    *** *** ***

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

    --viShNu purANam

  2. #82
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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    Pages 248-256 (concluding part)

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

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

    *** *** ***

    PeriyavaaL had limitless compassion towards everyone.

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

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

    Visvanathaiyer stood amazed!

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

    *** *** ***

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

    *** *** ***

    A story narrated by V.S.V.

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

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

    Such deep training did PeriyavaaL have in HaThayoga!

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

    An interesting incident.

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

    "This does not look like a human bone."

    "How do you say that?"

    "This one is heavy."

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

    Ninety minutes...

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

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

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

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

    I told Periyavaa what she said.

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

    Things turned out precisely as planned.

    *** *** ***
    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.

    --viShNu purANam

  3. #83
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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    Why the Name Ammangar Street?
    author:..... Seema Bhattar, Kanchipuram
    compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
    book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 257-263
    publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (Surce: http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/eboo...mam/index.html)
    Glossary:
    bhraSTa - fallen, dropped down, sunk, ruined

    **********
    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.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

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

    Pages 264-271

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    --viShNu purANam

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    Pages 272-278

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    **********
    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.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Pages 278-280 (concluding part)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    **********
    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.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

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

    Pages 10-13

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

    Silence prevailed for sometime.

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

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

    How simple had the Tattvam become!

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

    SwamigaL did not say anything.

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

    Sama Veda, 233.1.

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

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


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

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

    Kaivalya Upanishad 3.

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

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


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

    (Translation from:
    http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache...blyPrayers/NaK
    armanaa.pdf+%22kaivalya%22%22na+karmana%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&client=opera)

    Glossary:
    pUrtaya dharmam - to perform the meritorious works called pUrta, such as digging a
    well.
    svArtha - on one's own affair or cause, personal matter or advantage, self-interest.
    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.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Pages 13-21 (concluding part)

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

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

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

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

    I went and told it to PeriyavaaL.

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

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

    Some chippantis hesitated, with agitation in their hearts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

    "Waltair."

    "How far from here?"

    "About thousand miles."

    "About or Nearly?"

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

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

    "Sanskrit, M.A."

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

    The Sanskrit Vidwan was nonplussed.

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

    "Paper..."

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

    "Paper..."

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

    "Paper..."

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

    "Lemon fruit", I said.

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

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

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

    "I know."

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

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

    "What for this milk?"

    "For abhishekam."

    "Alright, alright, keep it here."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Even today the tear pops up!

    *** *** ***
    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.

    --viShNu purANam

  9. #89
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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    The Mahaan Who Wiped Our Tears
    author:..... SivaSri Jagadeesa Shivacharya, PandanaiNallur
    compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
    book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 22-25
    publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We came back and apprised Periyavaa of the details.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    "About three hundred rupees."

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

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

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

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

    --viShNu purANam

  10. #90
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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    Darshan in paurNami
    author:...... Va.Ve.Ramani, Mumabi
    compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
    book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 26-28
    publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

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

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

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

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

    *** *** ***

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

    Glossary:
    parichaya - acquaintance, intimacy, familiarity with, knowledge of, trial, practice, frequent repetition, meeting with a friend.
    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.

    --viShNu purANam

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