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Thread: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

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    Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    Disclaimer for my Translated Materials

    These English translations done by me of Paramacharya darshan and experiences of devotees from their original presentations in print and other media are posted here with the sole intention of carrying the divine message of Paramachaya to the members of this Forum, for a discussion among the members so as to understand and practice the directions contained in the message.

    As a translator, I have no commercial interests or financial considerations in spreading Paramacharya's message and darshan experiences, and have no claims of copyright for the translations.

    I have duly quoted the source of these translations, and I hereby acknowledge the credits to the publications, authors, devotees and any other people concerned. Since Paramacharya is the real source, I understand that the original credit of these materials accrues to SriMatam, Kanchipuram followed by the other people involved in spreading Paramacharya's message.

    If anyone involved with these publications has any reservations on the implicit consents and permissions assumed in these translations, for the spiritual benefit of mankind, the same may be brought to the notice of the Forum Administrator, for necessary changes or removal of the material presented.

    'saidevo', as translator of the materials presented.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Want to Know the Greatness of mantra siddhi?"
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Oct 6, 2006

    Once a brahmachary (bachelor) youth came to have darshan of Kanchi Mahaswami (HH Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati). He prostrated before the sage and got up.

    Swamiji looked at him keenly and said, "Are you not Kulitalai Sankaran? You are fine?"

    "With your blessings, yes, Periyavaa", said Sankaran.

    "Alright, what is your age now?"

    "Thirty, Periyavaa."

    Periyavaa laughed: "So you have decided to lead your life as a brahmachari, without any idea of marriage."

    "Yes, Periyavaa", said Sankaran.

    "Alright, anything special about your coming here now?" Periyavaa laughed. "And you wouldn't come without a reason!"

    "Yes, Periyavaa. I have come to get a doubt cleared."

    "Is it so? Come on, tell me" said Periyavaa. "What is that big doubt you have?"

    "It is a doubt about mantra japam, Periyavaa", replied Sankaran.

    Periyavaa asked quickly: "If it is about mantra japam... Are you doing any mantra japam?"

    "Yes, Periyavaa".

    "Oho... You have had an upadesam?"

    "Yes, Periyavaa".

    "Whoever is that Guru?"

    "Mysore Yajna Narayana Ganapadigal", said Sankaran.

    "Good, very learned; whatever the mantra?"

    Before Sankaran could open his mouth, Swamiji said, "Wait, wait. You should not tell me the mantra. That should remain with you as a secret. Just tell me which devata (God) it is about."

    "Hanumat upAsanA paramAna mUla mantra, Periyavaa" said Sankaran.

    "Alright. What is it that you want to get clarified in this mantra japam?"

    "It is like this, Periyavaa. I am performing this mantra japam since my twenty-third year which was when I got the upadesam. I am doing it for the last seven years, still I don't know anything."

    "What do you mean by saying 'I don't know anything'?", asked Swamiji with surprise.

    "What I mean, Periyavaa, is that I am not able to find out if I have got the siddhi of that mantra" replied Sankaran, his voice echoing his sadness.

    Swamiji said without hesitation: "What are you going to do by knowing it? Anyway, are you doing the japam for AtmArtam (to know the self) or kAmyArtam (for a specific purpose)?"

    Sankaran said: "I am doing it only for AtmArtam, Periyavaa. Still, I am at a loss to understand if I have got the mantra siddhi and the grace of the devata. I pray to you to kindly tell me about my progress". As Sankaran said this with all humility, tears started rolling down his eyes.

    "Only the person who does the japam can understand if he has got the mantra siddhi, by personal experience. There will be a time when the person will experience it, Sankara," said Swamiji with vAtsalyam (affection).

    Sankaran wasn't satisfied. "No, Periyavaa. I haven't had any personal experience so far. And I don't understand anything about it, though I continue to do the japam, as advised by my Guru, for the last seven years. Sometimes my mind becomes very tired, Periyavaa. You should kindly inform me about any way that I can know it." As he spoke this, Sankaran joined his palms in reverence and prostrated before Swamiji.

    Acharyal (Swamiji) was quiet for sometime. He understood Sankaran's confusion. He decided to make the disciple understand what he wanted to know. He asked Sankaran to squat on the floor near him and began talking:

    "Many years back, in Sringeri Sri Sarada Peetam, a mahaan named Nrusimha Bharati Swamiji was the peetathipathi (pontiff). One day, a sishya (student) of the matam (hermitage) belonging to that region came to have a darshan of the Swamiji. He did not come for nothing. He bore the same question that you asked me now.

    "After prostrating, he presented the guava fruits to Swamiji.

    "'Come, you are fine? Tell me what you want', said Swami Nrusimha Bharati with utmost kindness. The sishya told him politely, 'Swami, I am doing japam of a mantra that was given to me by an upadesam. I am doing the japam for many years now. Still I am not able to know if I have got the mantra siddhi. How do I know it Swami?'

    "Swamiji said at once, in a bid to persuade him, 'You continue to do the japam in an AtmArta way. That devata itself will bless you with the siddhi phala (fruits of the efforts) eventually.'

    "The sishya was not satisfied with this reply from the Swamiji. He persisted, 'No, Swami. I need to know if I have got the siddhi of the mantra. You must tell me a way to know it, I pray to you.'

    "Swamiji understood the sishya's mental state. He called him near and said enthusiasticaly, 'Don't worry, my child. There is a way!"

    "'Is there a way, then kindly bless me with the knowledge, Swami!' The sishya was in a hurry of excitement.

    "Nrusimha Bharati Swamiji said laughingly, 'Every day, before you start your japam, spread paddy grains on a wooden seat, and cover it with a vastram (cloth). Sit over the grains and do the japam. Continue in this fashion day after day. On that day when the paddy grains on the seat fry and blossom into flattened rice, you will understand that you have got the mantra siddhi you have been seeking to know. You understand this?'

    "Even though the sishya understood it, he thought confusedly that if the Swamiji was telling him this way just to satisfy him or if this would really be possible. Suddenly he asked an unexpected question to the Swamiji.

    "'Gurunathar should excuse me. I pray this to you with an intention to know. I should not be mistaken for testing a sage in the guru stAnam (the position of a guru). Spreading the paddy grains, covering them with a cloth... and they will fry...'

    "Before he could finish it, Swamiji laughed and said, 'You want to know if I have had any such experience, right?' He asked for a wooden seat to be brought then and there and placed facing the direction of east. He asked for a lot of paddy grains to be spread over the seat. When this was done, Swamiji placed his vastram (cloth) over the grains, seated himself in padmaasana and closed his eyes. By this time a large crowd had gathered in the place.

    "Only a few seconds later, there was a continuous noise of the paddy grains getting fried and flattened. There was a little amount of smoke also. Swamiji got up and removed his vastram (cloth) that covered the grains. On the seat were dazzling white flowers of fried and flattened rice! The crowd was amazed.

    "Nrusimha Bharati Swamiji looked at the sishya who asked the question. The sishya was standing sobbing. No one could speak anything more..."

    As Kanchi Swamiji finished his narration of this episode, Sankaran was standing amazed, with tears in his eyes.

    When he started to say something soon after, Swamiji interruped him and said, "What Sankara, are you going to ask me to demonstrate to you?" and laughed heartily.

    Sankaran fell at Swamiji's feet, his eight limbs touching the floor, and said, "Enough Periyavaa! You have made me understand the mahima (greatness) of mantra siddhi. Kindly bless me, and permit me to return to my place."
    Last edited by saidevo; 01 December 2006 at 11:44 PM.

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    The Astrologer Who Astonished the Arcot Nawab!
    Author: Sri P.N. Sankara Raman, Kambarasampettai
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Jul 24, 2006

    As told by the author:

    It is several years since the incident I have narrated here happened. At that time, my father P.M. Nataraja Sarma was working as a Sanskrit teacher in the Bishop Heber College, Trichy. He had immense bhakti and respect in Kanchi Mahaswami Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati.

    Nattham village is located on the north bank of Kaveri in Trichy district. Once Mahaswami was camping there. My father wanted to have darshan of the Sri Tripura Sundari-Sri Chandra Mouleeswararar puja Swamiji was performing there. With three days coming up as holidays, he reached Nattham village on Friday night. The puja was over. Since nobody knew my father there, he was not specifically welcomed. Wearing the vibuti prasadam given by Mahaswami on his front, he lay down to sleep in a corner of the pandal. The next two days passed by in the same manner. My father had an eyeful darshan of pujas and the arAdhanas.

    The third day was the Vinayaka Chaturti festival day. After the special puja was over, my father went to get the prasadam from Swamiji and told him about going back home. Swamiji raised his head and said, "First take the kozhukkattai (modakam) (a favourite sweet dish of Sri Ganesha) kept in front of Pillaiyar, sit somewhere, eat it leisurely and then come back; we shall discuss about your returning home."

    My father was amazed. He wanted to take leave but Swamiji asked him to first eat the kozhukkattai and come back! After he ate the prasadam, Swamiji called him. Periyavaa was very happy to learn that my father was the paternal grandson of Pudukkudi Srinivasa Josyar (astrologer). Swamiji reminisced about his grandfather and the incidents that happened at that time. My father was quite surprised!

    Swamiji continued: "Your grandfather went to Malayala Desam and learnt Jyotisha systematically. He also took up the upasana of devatas (chanting mantras on demigods). It was an interesting incident how he became an astrologer of Arcot Nawab. At that time, Tiruchirapalli was under the rule of Arcot Nawab. The Nawab had many astrologers. One day the Nawab ordered all the astrologers residing in his region, including those with him to come to his kaccheri (sabha). Many new astrologers assembled. Your grandfather was one among those present.

    "After the Nawab came to the kaccheri, the Diwan got up and told to the astrologers: 'Nawab is organizing a competition for you people. You should all write down in a piece of palm leaf the name of the gate on the fort wall through which Nawab will go out for hunting today, put it inside a (palm) cover and give it to us. All the palm covers will be sealed and preserved. When Nawab returns, the seals will be broken and the leaves will be read out. Nawab will honour the man who has given the correct answer.' So every astrologer noted down as east or south or west or north as the gate according to his computation and submitted his cover.

    "Ultimately, on that day, the Nawab did not go out of any primary gate. He demolished the north wall of the west gate (the northern petrol bunk side of today's Main Guard Gate) and got out, travelled some distance towards Woraiyur on the west, then turned north and went up to the Kaveri bank. Then he turned south and moved through the demolished entrance in the North Andar Street (today's name is Puduppadi Lane) to the northern street of Rockfort. Then he turned east and came to the East Andar Street via the slanted rocky path. He came round the Rock from the right and reached his kaccheri which was at today's Town Hall through the Chinnakkadai Street. He did not go for hunting at all. After the Nawab returned, the seals were broken the palm leaves were read out. Only your grandfather's leaf had mentioned about the Nawab's activities accurately. The Nawab was amazed. The others in the kaccheri also were wonder-struck.

    "Thereafter, the Nawab legally gifted your father 80 acres of land in Pudukkudi. In the street south of the Rockfort, there is a black temple on the western side. Near that temple is a tall house with an iron gate. Opposite that house is a small house with thinnai (sit out). The Nawab also gave these two houses. Your grandfather spent gradually all the 80 acres of land and the two houses near the Rockfort for dharmic activities."

    With this reminiscence, Mahaswami blessed my father and bid him farewell. My father used to recite this incident to me often and feel proud about it.

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    "Sleep Near the Serial Furnace!"
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Sep 9, 2006

    Many years back, a Cittirai month. The new year's day. Morning hours. A large crowd and a long queue at Sri Kanchi Matam. A sixteen year old boy was among those waiting in the queue, which moved slowly. He reached near the stage where Mahaswamiji was seated, around ten o' clock. Acharyalh keenly looked at him for some time. He prostrated at once before the sage, his eight limbs touching the ground. He did not get up. Swamiji waited for sometime and then said, "Get up, get up my child!"

    He got up, raised his hands over his head and joined the palms. The stirrings of bhakti hadn't left him yet. Tears were flowing down his eyes.

    Swamiji called the youth near him. He obeyed, his palms still joined. Swamiji inquired: "Who are you my son? What is your name? From which place you are coming?"

    With great vinayah the youth brought his right palm before his mouth and replied, "Swami, my name is Balakrishna Joshi. I am a Gujarati Brahmin from Madras. My native place is Gujarat."

    "Which place in Madras?"

    "Hanumantrayan Koil Street Swami", replied Joshi.

    "What have you read up to?"

    "Up to the eighth Periyavaa", said Joshi, in a low, hesitant voice.

    "Alright. Since today is the new year's day," Swamiji inquired, "you thought you would have Swami darshan at the temples in this kshetram?"

    "It is not that Periyavaa. I came for a darshan of Periyavaa."

    Mahaswamiji said at once: "apacAram, apacAram, shouldn't tell that way. When you go to a place, you should first have darshan of the Shiva, Vishnu temples there. Wherever I go, I first have darshan at the temples there--only then any job. You understand?" Swamiji laughed.

    "I have now understood" replied Joshi humbly.

    "Alright, after you have prasadam from Acharyalh, you must go to the temples here before you board a bus to Madras, understand?" said Swamiji, a little emphatically.

    Balakrishna Joshi, a little emboldened now, replied: "I understand that well Periyavaa. As you have ordered, I shall have darshan at all the temples here and come back to the matam. For your anugrahah."

    Swamiji said laughingly, "That's what. I am going to give the prasadam now. Why come back to the matam? Oho... after Swami darshan you have decided to have your lunch in the matam and then board a bus! Good, good," Swamiji gave his consent.

    Joshi hesitated. There were tears in his eyes.

    "What is the matter?" inquired Swamiji with kindness.

    Wiping his tears, Joshi replied: "I wish to stay here for sometime, that's why..."

    Before he could finish, Swamiji interrupted him: "Here means? I don't understand."

    "In the matam Periyavaa", said Joshi with humility.

    "What, in the matam? This is a place for sannyasins. What work is there for young people like you?" Swamiji said with some sternness in his voice. "Have Swami darshan and get back to your place!"

    Joshi did not move. He again prostrated to the sage. And spilled the beans: "Periyavaa shouldn't say that. My wish is to stay in the matam and serve you for sometime."

    Swamiji understood the situation. The innocent, plain talk from Joshi attracted him and created in him a special preference for the youth. Without showing it, he said: "Serving me! There are many young people here! Why you as another? You start getting back to Madras."

    Joshi moved from that place, but not from the matam. He took his lunch in the matam and got himself seated in a corner outside the room where Swamiji used to take rest.

    The evening set in. Swamiji came out, finishing his bath. He saw Joshi but hurried past the youth without saying anything. Joshi tried standing within Swamiji's gaze, wherever Swamiji happened to be. For four days he tried with the vairagya of bhakti, but to no avail.

    The early morning of the fifth day. Mahaswamiji went for his ushas kala bath in the pushkarani of Sri Kamakshi Amman temple. He saw Joshi as he finished his bath and ascended the bank. "You haven't gone to Madras?" he asked obligingly.

    "No, Periyavaa! I am not returning until my sankalpa is fulfilled," said Joshi with vairagya.

    "Whatever that sankalpa?" Swamiji asked, as if he did not know.

    "It is to serve at your lotus feet for sometime, Periyavaa", replied Joshi expectantly.

    "Shouldn't have a sankalpa which is not a sAdhya." Swamiji walked away.

    Joshi did not lose heart. After having darshan of Sri Kamakshi Amman he went straight to the matam. He stood before the room of the sage.

    Swamiji came out for the darshan of his bhaktas. He saw Joshi. His heart softened at the vairagya of Joshi. He called the youth near.

    "Your father has an employment or a business?" asked Swamiji.

    "Business only Periyavaa. Buying and selling diamonds," replied Joshi.

    "For the kind of temperament you have, you will also become a big diamond businessman. At that time, you should strive to get the name of a honest diamond merchant. Alright, as you wish, you stay with the other boys and serve me for sometime." Swamiji had at last showed him the green flag.

    Joshi joined the four or five youth who were serving the sage. Two days went by in the darshan of Swamiji and doing the tasks he ordered. On those two days Joshi had his bed at night, along with the other boys, in a corner of the room where Swamiji slept. Joshi considered this a great boon.

    Swamiji called Joshi before he went for bed on the third night. As Joshi prostrated, Swamiji said, "Balakrishna Joshi, you need to do a thing from now. Be with me like the other boys and serve me the whole day. But you shouldn't sleep here in the nights--"

    Joshi was alarmed. He interrupted the sage and said hastily, "I pray Periyavaa should not give me such an order. Kindly grant me the privilege of sleeping here like the other boys do."

    "I am telling you with a reason," Swamiji showed some sternness in his voice. "You should listen to me."

    Joshi stammered: "Alright, Periyavaa. I shall do what you say."

    Swamiji laughed and said: "Say that! You go to the kitchen at night. There will be a wooden bench near the serial furnaces (kOttai aduppu). You sleep on that bench conveniently. Get up early morning, finish your chores, have your bath and come here for the service... What, you understand?"

    Joshi couldn't say anything further. Wiping his eyes, he said, "I shall do as you order, Periyavaa," and moved away. The other boys looked at this happening jocularly. He couldn't find the answer to the question as to why Swamiji wanted him to sleep alone in the kitchen near the serial furnace.

    As he came out, Joshi saw a mate and asked him inquisitvely if Swamiji had ordered any of them to sleep near the serial furnace. With an expression of disapproval that boy replied, "Never had Periyavaa asked any of us to do such a thing."

    Joshi felt insulted. It was ten in the night. Sobbing, he entered the deserted kitchen and settled himself on the bench near the serial furnace. He did not eat anything that night. Grief choking his throat, he was awake for a long time before he fell asleep. As the dawn set on the next morning, the matam woke up. Soon after, the vedic chantings and bhajan songs peculiar for a matam came floating in the wind.

    Joshi awakened. He finished his chores, went and sat down in the sanctum of Sri Kamakshi Amman. It did not occur to him to go for service to Swamiji.

    He came to the matam in the afternoon, had his lunch, and then went back to the temple sanctum. The usual bed around ten in the night, near the serial furnace. He did not go the sage at all.

    Two days passed in this manner. It was the morning on the third day. Swamiji called a sevak and aksed him with a worried look: "Two days back a boy named Balakrishna Joshi came here for seva... He is not seen now! Where did he go? Perhaps he has gone back to Madras without informing me?"

    Hesitatingly the sevak replied, "No, Periyavaa. He is only here in the matam."

    "Then why did he not come here for the last two days?"

    "No idea, Periyavaa."

    Meantime another sevak boy came that side, and Swamiji asked him about the missing Gujarati boy. He too had no idea.

    "Alright, check up with Joshi and tell him that I want him here now", ordered Swamji and went inside his room.

    Joshi stood looking small before Mahaswamiji.

    "Come, my child. Why, you were not seen here for the last two days! Are you not well?" Swamiji inquired with utmlost kindness. Joshi had no reply.

    "Any sadness... or anger... with me?" Swamiji asked like a child, happiness writ on his face.

    Joshi slowly opened his mouth. "No anger and all, Periyavaa! A bit of sadness in my heart though," he stammered.

    Swamiji looked at him with surprise. "Sadness... with me?"

    Joshi kept quiet.

    Swamiji did not stop. "Come on, tell me! Is it not that I should also know about your sadness?" As Swamiji encouraged Joshi to talk, the other boys were standing nearby with folded hands.

    Prostrating and bringing his palm before his mouth, Joshi began to talk. "Nothing else, Periyavaa. You ordered me to sleep in your room like the other boys for the first two nights, and I was happy. Suddenly you called me and ordered me to go and sleep near the serial furnace! I was saddened with the thought that perhaps since I am only a Gujarati brahman and not a brahmin of this side, you might have ordered me to sleep separately. Please pardon me Periyavaa..." Joshi sobbed and fell at the feet of Swamiji.

    Swamiji understood the situation. He did not say anything for sometime. Silence prevailed there. Then he asked the other boys to leave him alone, and called Joshi near. With utmost vAtsalyam he spoke: "adAdA... Balakrishna... For my asking you to sleep near the serial furnace you made up this meaning! I did not say that with such thoughts in my mind! You are a small boy, so you have misunderstood me!". With those words, Swamiji asked Joshi to sit before him. Joshi hesitated and sat down on the floor.

    Swamiji spoke with compassion welling up in his voice: "There was never such a reason as that you expressed now for my asking you to sleep alone on the wooden bench near the serial furnace. There was only one reason for that, Joshi. Look here!" Swamiji raised his vastram up to his thigh. There were bunches of reddish mosquito bites on Swamiji's rosy thighs!

    "My child Joshi! You see these bites of the mosquitos I have at night time? I am a sannyasin, so I can withstand them. Being a child you would have immense suffering. I saw you struggling with the mosquito bites on the first two nights. You have a rosy complexion like me! So I wanted that at least you could sleep well in a safe place, which was why asked you to sleep alone. Since the wooden bench is lying near the serial furnace, there would be absolutely no mosquitoes because of the heat from the furnace. And you would sleep well! That was the only reason for my order, but it so happened that you misunderstood me!" As Swamiji said this laughing, Joshi started sobbing loudly.

    He spoke sobbing, "Periyavaa, please tell me that you have pardoned me! Without understanding your compassion, I blabbered some nonsense!" That compassionate Lord was just laughing, raising his hands and blessing Joshi.

    "Joshi, you will also become a diamond merchant in future. Sell your wares for a reasonable prize and do a good business." said Swamiji as he blessed Joshi once again.

    In the later years, Balakrishna Joshi became a dharmic diamond merchant and was a beloved bhakta of Swamiji until the samadhi days of the sage. Some years later, Joshi also gave up his body to reach God's feet.

    Glossary:
    apacAram - offense, fault, something which contradicts Acaram or rules of conduct
    Acharyalh - teacher
    adAdA - an expression of sympathy
    anugrahah - blessing
    Cittirai - April
    kshetram - holy place
    matam - ashram, hermitage
    prasadam - a sample of a holy offering
    pushkarani - pond belonging to a temple
    sankalpa - will, purpose, determination
    sAdhya - possible, achievable
    sevak - one who serves
    Swami darshan - Here Swami means God.
    ushas kala - dawn time
    vairagya - dispassion, here firmness
    vAtsalyam - affection
    vastram - cloth
    vinayah - modesty
    Last edited by saidevo; 04 December 2006 at 03:20 AM.

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    "Sleep Near the Serial Furnace!"
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Sep 9, 2006

    Many years back, a Cittirai month. The new year's day. Morning hours. A large crowd and a long queue at Sri Kanchi Matam. A sixteen year old boy was among those waiting in the queue, which moved slowly. He reached near the stage where Mahaswamiji was seated, around ten o' clock. Acharyalh keenly looked at him for some time. He prostrated at once before the sage, his eight limbs touching the ground. He did not get up. Swamiji waited for sometime and then said, "Get up, get up my child!"

    He got up, raised his hands over his head and joined the palms. The stirrings of bhakti hadn't left him yet. Tears were flowing down his eyes.

    Swamiji called the youth near him. He obeyed, his palms still joined. Swamiji inquired: "Who are you my son? What is your name? From which place are you coming?"

    With great vinayah the youth brought his right palm before his mouth and replied, "Swami, my name is Balakrishna Joshi. I am a Gujarati Brahmin from Madras. My native place is Gujarat."

    "Which place in Madras?"

    "Hanumantrayan Koil Street Swami", replied Joshi.

    "What have you read up to?"

    "Up to the eighth Periyavaa", said Joshi, in a low, hesitant voice.

    "Alright. Since today is the new year's day," Swamiji inquired, "you thought you would have Swami darshan at the temples in this kshetram?"

    "It is not that Periyavaa. I came for a darshan of Periyavaa."

    Mahaswamiji said at once: "apacAram, apacAram, shouldn't tell that way. When you go to a place, you should first have darshan of the Shiva, Vishnu temples there. Wherever I go, I first have darshan at the temples there--only then any job. You understand?" Swamiji laughed.

    "I have now understood" replied Joshi humbly.

    "Alright, after you have prasadam from Acharyalh, you must go to the temples here before you board a bus to Madras, understand?" said Swamiji, a little emphatically.

    Balakrishna Joshi, a little emboldened now, replied: "I understand that well Periyavaa. As you have ordered, I shall have darshan at all the temples here and come back to the matam. For your anugrahah."

    Swamiji said laughingly, "That's what. I am going to give the prasadam now. Why come back to the matam? Oho... after Swami darshan you have decided to have your lunch in the matam and then board a bus! Good, good," Swamiji gave his consent.

    Joshi hesitated. There were tears in his eyes.

    "What is the matter?" inquired Swamiji with kindness.

    Wiping his tears, Joshi replied: "I wish to stay here for sometime, that's why..."

    Before he could finish, Swamiji interrupted him: "Here means? I don't understand."

    "In the matam Periyavaa", said Joshi with humility.

    "What, in the matam? This is a place for sannyasins. What work is there for young people like you?" Swamiji said with some sternness in his voice. "Have Swami darshan and get back to your place!"

    Joshi did not move. He again prostrated to the sage. And spilled the beans: "Periyavaa shouldn't say that. My wish is to stay in the matam and serve you for sometime."

    Swamiji understood the situation. The innocent, plain talk from Joshi attracted him and created in him a special preference for the youth. Without showing it, he said: "Serving me! There are many young people here! Why you as another? You start getting back to Madras."

    Joshi moved from that place, but not from the matam. He took his lunch in the matam and got himself seated in a corner outside the room where Swamiji used to take rest.

    The evening set in. Swamiji came out, finishing his bath. He saw Joshi but hurried past the youth without saying anything. Joshi tried standing within Swamiji's gaze, wherever Swamiji happened to be. For four days he tried with the vairagya of bhakti, but to no avail.

    The early morning of the fifth day. Mahaswamiji went for his ushas kala bath in the pushkarani of Sri Kamakshi Amman temple. He saw Joshi as he finished his bath and ascended the bank. "You haven't gone to Madras?" he asked obligingly.

    "No, Periyavaa! I am not returning until my sankalpa is fulfilled," said Joshi with vairagya.

    "Whatever that sankalpa?" Swamiji asked, as if he did not know.

    "It is to serve at your lotus feet for sometime, Periyavaa", replied Joshi expectantly.

    "Shouldn't have a sankalpa which is not a sAdhya." Swamiji walked away.

    Joshi did not lose heart. After having darshan of Sri Kamakshi Amman he went straight to the matam. He stood before the room of the sage.

    Swamiji came out for the darshan of his bhaktas. He saw Joshi. His heart softened at the vairagya of Joshi. He called the youth near.

    "Your father has an employment or a business?" asked Swamiji.

    "Business only Periyavaa. Buying and selling diamonds," replied Joshi.

    "For the kind of temperament you have, you will also become a big diamond businessman. At that time, you should strive to get the name of a honest diamond merchant. Alright, as you wish, you stay with the other boys and serve me for sometime." Swamiji had at last showed him the green flag.

    Joshi joined the four or five youth who were serving the sage. Two days went by in the darshan of Swamiji and doing the tasks he ordered. On those two days Joshi had his bed at night, along with the other boys, in a corner of the room where Swamiji slept. Joshi considered this a great boon.

    Swamiji called Joshi before he went for bed on the third night. As Joshi prostrated, Swamiji said, "Balakrishna Joshi, you need to do a thing from now. Be with me like the other boys and serve me the whole day. But you shouldn't sleep here in the nights--"

    Joshi was alarmed. He interrupted the sage and said hastily, "I pray Periyavaa should not give me such an order. Kindly grant me the privilege of sleeping here like the other boys do."

    "I am telling you with a reason," Swamiji showed some sternness in his voice. "You should listen to me."

    Joshi stammered: "Alright, Periyavaa. I shall do what you say."

    Swamiji laughed and said: "Say that! You go to the kitchen at night. There will be a wooden bench near the serial furnaces (kOttai aduppu). You sleep on that bench conveniently. Get up early morning, finish your chores, have your bath and come here for the service... What, you understand?"

    Joshi couldn't say anything further. Wiping his eyes, he said, "I shall do as you order, Periyavaa," and moved away. The other boys looked at this happening jocularly. He couldn't find the answer to the question as to why Swamiji wanted him to sleep alone in the kitchen near the serial furnace.

    As he came out, Joshi saw a mate and asked him inquisitvely if Swamiji had ordered any of them to sleep near the serial furnace. With an expression of disapproval that boy replied, "Never had Periyavaa asked any of us to do such a thing."

    Joshi felt insulted. It was ten in the night. Sobbing, he entered the deserted kitchen and settled himself on the bench near the serial furnace. He did not eat anything that night. Grief choking his throat, he was awake for a long time before he fell asleep. As the dawn set on the next morning, the matam woke up. Soon after, the vedic chantings and bhajan songs peculiar for a matam came floating in the wind.

    Joshi awakened. He finished his chores, went and sat down in the sanctum of Sri Kamakshi Amman. It did not occur to him to go for service to Swamiji.

    He came to the matam in the afternoon, had his lunch, and then went back to the temple sanctum. The usual bed around ten in the night, near the serial furnace. He did not go the sage at all.

    Two days passed in this manner. It was the morning on the third day. Swamiji called a sevak and aksed him with a worried look: "Two days back a boy named Balakrishna Joshi came here for seva... He is not seen now! Where did he go? Perhaps he has gone back to Madras without informing me?"

    Hesitatingly the sevak replied, "No, Periyavaa. He is only here in the matam."

    "Then why did he not come here for the last two days?"

    "No idea, Periyavaa."

    Meantime another sevak boy came that side, and Swamiji asked him about the missing Gujarati boy. He too had no idea.

    "Alright, check up with Joshi and tell him that I want him here now", ordered Swamji and went inside his room.

    Joshi stood looking small before Mahaswamiji.

    "Come, my child. Why, you were not seen here for the last two days! Are you not well?" Swamiji inquired with utmlost kindness. Joshi had no reply.

    "Any sadness... or anger... with me?" Swamiji asked like a child, happiness writ on his face.

    Joshi slowly opened his mouth. "No anger and all, Periyavaa! A bit of sadness in my heart though," he stammered.

    Swamiji looked at him with surprise. "Sadness... with me?"

    Joshi kept quiet.

    Swamiji did not stop. "Come on, tell me! Is it not that I should also know about your sadness?" As Swamiji encouraged Joshi to talk, the other boys were standing nearby with folded hands.

    Prostrating and bringing his palm before his mouth, Joshi began to talk. "Nothing else, Periyavaa. You ordered me to sleep in your room like the other boys for the first two nights, and I was happy. Suddenly you called me and ordered me to go and sleep near the serial furnace! I was saddened with the thought that perhaps since I am only a Gujarati brahman and not a brahmin of this side, you might have ordered me to sleep separately. Please pardon me Periyavaa..." Joshi sobbed and fell at the feet of Swamiji.

    Swamiji understood the situation. He did not say anything for sometime. Silence prevailed there. Then he asked the other boys to leave him alone, and called Joshi near. With utmost vAtsalyam he spoke: "adAdA... Balakrishna... For my asking you to sleep near the serial furnace you made up this meaning! I did not say that with such thoughts in my mind! You are a small boy, so you have misunderstood me!". With those words, Swamiji asked Joshi to sit before him. Joshi hesitated and sat down on the floor.

    Swamiji spoke with compassion welling up in his voice: "There was never such a reason as that you expressed now for my asking you to sleep alone on the wooden bench near the serial furnace. There was only one reason for that, Joshi. Look here!" Swamiji raised his vastram up to his thigh. There were bunches of reddish mosquito bites on Swamiji's rosy thighs!

    "My child Joshi! You see these bites of the mosquitos I have at night time? I am a sannyasin, so I can withstand them. Being a child you would have immense suffering. I saw you struggling with the mosquito bites on the first two nights. You have a rosy complexion like me! So I wanted that at least you could sleep well in a safe place, which was why asked you to sleep alone. Since the wooden bench is lying near the serial furnace, there would be absolutely no mosquitoes because of the heat from the furnace. And you would sleep well! That was the only reason for my order, but it so happened that you misunderstood me!" As Swamiji said this laughing, Joshi started sobbing loudly.

    He spoke sobbing, "Periyavaa, please tell me that you have pardoned me! Without understanding your compassion, I blabbered some nonsense!" That compassionate Lord was just laughing, raising his hands and blessing Joshi.

    "Joshi, you will also become a diamond merchant in future. Sell your wares for a reasonable prize and do a good business." said Swamiji as he blessed Joshi once again.

    In the later years, Balakrishna Joshi became a dharmic diamond merchant and was a beloved bhakta of Swamiji until the samadhi days of the sage. Some years later, Joshi also gave up his body to reach God's feet.

    Glossary:
    apacAram - offense, fault, something which contradicts Acaram or rules of conduct
    Acharyalh - teacher
    adAdA - an expression of sympathy
    anugrahah - blessing
    Cittirai - April
    kshetram - holy place
    matam - ashram, hermitage
    prasadam - a sample of a holy offering
    pushkarani - pond belonging to a temple
    sankalpa - will, purpose, determination
    sAdhya - possible, achievable
    sevak - one who serves
    Swami darshan - Here Swami means God.
    ushas kala - dawn time
    vairagya - dispassion, here firmness
    vAtsalyam - affection
    vastram - cloth
    vinayah - modesty
    Last edited by saidevo; 04 December 2006 at 03:22 AM.

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    Can a Wife Go on a Pilgrimage Leaving Her Husband at Home?
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Sep 22, 2006

    A young vaidik couple prostrated to Paramacharya and rose in SriMatam, Kanchipuram. The young vaidik appeared to be around 25 years, his wife about twenty.

    The Acharyal, who was conversing with another bhakta, paused it and looked up at the dampati. Happiness spread across his face.

    He said with enthusiasm, "Are you not Raghunathan, son of Madurai Seshu Ganapatikal? But then, I should address you in such a way! Because you have now become Raghunatha SastrigaL! Like your father, you have become well known in the Madurai region."

    Paramacharya continued: "Obviously, this is your AmbadaiyaL. She is the grand-daughter of Tiruchirapalli Vaidhyanatha Ganapadigal. The only daughter of Subramanya Vadhyar. Am I right? Last year, your father and father-in-law both came here with your marriage invitation, to seek the blessings of Matam. You also came and prostrated, correct? Alright. Now as dampati you are both cooperative and well?" Swamiji asked with rightful concern.

    Raghunatha Sastri promptly replied, "We are very well Periyavaa, with your blessings."

    Swamiji did not accept that. "You have said it, but your wife doesn't open her mouth!" He laughed as he said this.

    Gaining her wits, the young wife replied, "My name is Alamelu, Periyavaa. We are happy only... happy." Swamiji took note of the thread of sadness that ran through her acknowledgement.

    "It is not that Amma! Your tone betrays that you are not all that happy. Come on, tell me more."

    "Nothing of that sort, Periyavaa", Alamenu tried to get by.

    "No, no! Your tone is telling me that you have some sadness. Come on, tell me what it is."

    Alamelu said hesitatingly, "Periyavaa, I am a very God-fearing woman. Have full faith in the shastra and sampradayakah. Before my marriage, I used to go for pilgrimages with our family, relatives, and well wishers. It was very much to my liking! I am married with him for a year now. And we have not gone anywhere Periyavaa, that is the cause of my sadness!"

    Before she could finish, Swamiji interrupted, "Why...why couldn't you go?"

    Alamelu hesitated. "After marriage, I cannot go for pilgrimages on my own, isn't it so, Periyavaa? Only if the bharta comes along with me, the fruits of the yAtra will be realized? I asked him twice or thrice, but he did not come!" She started crying as she narrated her woe.

    Acharyal persuaded her, as he understood the situation. "What Raghunatha SastrigaL, is it proper to let your wife have a drop of tear in her eyes? After all is she not asking you to observe a holy routine? tIrthayAtrA and kshetrAdanam. What is the difficulty in going as she asks you for?" Paramacharya raised his bows.

    Young Raghunatha Sastry prostrated to the sage once again and said, "What she asks for is reasonable, Periyavaa. But then to visit the northern kshetrAs for at least ten days, and that bimonthly...is it possible for me Periyavaa?"

    "Why don't you try it and fulfil the affectionate wishes of your wife?"

    Raghunatha Sastry replied in a poignant voice, "Periyaa knows everything. I have vaidikam for vritti. My father is also not too well, so I have to take care of his assignments in addition to mine. You tell me Periyavaa, how can I go for yAtra once in two months, leaving aside all my vritti?"

    Pamaracharya was silent for sometime. Then he said laughingly, "So you both have come to me for madhyastha in this matter," and continued: "What she says is reasonable. She has a taste for going tIrthayAtrA with bhakti. She also knows that after marriage the fruits of any yAtra will be available only if accompanied by the husband. What you say also has reason. Your vritti is vaidikam. You will be busy for all the thirty days in a month. It would be very very difficult to go on tIrthayAtrA with wife, once in two months. So, what can be done?"

    "Only you can tell us a way Periyavaa", the husband and wife said together.

    Swamiji sat for sometime, thinking. Everyone was eager to know what he would suggest as a remedy. After sometime, AcharyaL started speaking.

    "Alamenu! You are determined to go on tIrthayAtrA once in two months. You also are familiar with the dharma shastric rule that the fruits of a yAtra will be realized only if your husband comes with you. Since he has vaidikam as his profession, he says it would be very difficult for him to accompany you. So you do onething..."

    Before he could proceed, the couple said, "kindly bless us with a solution Periyavaa."

    Sitting a little more uprightly, Swamiji said: "I shall tell you a way, listen Alamelu! Whenever you start for tIrthayAtrA, before actually stepping out of home, request your husband to stand facing east and prostrate to him! What you do, Raghunatha SastrigAL, place your upper angavastra in the hands of your wife and tell her that her carrying your cloth is equivalent to your accompanying her, and bless her for the yAtra. You both will get the punya of having undertaken the yAtra together. And neither of you will have any uneasiness of mind. What... happy now?", Swamiji asked them mercifully and gave them prasAda.

    The couple were happy with the solution given by MahaperiyavaaL. With tears of joy, they prostrated to the sage. Everyone around who were witnessing this incident were happy with Paramacharya's tactful handling of the situation.

    Glossary
    AcharyaL - teacher
    AmbadaiyaL - Tamil word for a brahmin wife.
    bhakta - devotee
    bharta - Tamil form of bhartru meaning husband, supporter.
    dampati - husband and wife
    kshetrAdanam - visiting holy places
    madhyastha - mediating
    sampradayakah - tradition
    shastra - scriptpures
    tIrthayAtrA - visiting holy rivers
    vaidik - related to Vedas
    vaidikam - Tamil for Vedic rituals and chanting
    vritti - here occupation, profession.
    yAtra - pilgrimage

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    Disclaimer for my Translated Materials

    In consultation with my friends elsewhere on the Net, I have added a disclaimer for my Translations that takes into account any copyright considerations.

    I have added the Disclaimer at the beginning of this thread.

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    MahaperiyavaL's Magical Timepiece!
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Dec 04, 2006

    Kanchi Paramacharya was once camping with his entourage in a choultry at Pudukottai, Tamilnadu, on his way to Tirunelveli. After completing the Chandramouleesvara puja on the night he reached there, Swamiji was seated before retiring for the night.

    He called Nagarajan, a youth who was assisting and told him, "Appa, Nagu! I need to get up at three-thirty early morning tomorrow for my snAna. You remember it!"

    The youth Nagu with great reverence replied, "As you order, Periyavaa! As you told me now, at exactly three-thirty in the morning, I shall sing the namAvali hara hara sankara... jaya jaya sankara."

    Swamiji smiled as he understood Nagu's words. He asked him, "Since it won't be proper to say 'I shall wake you up at three-thirty Periyavaa', you said you will sing hara hara sankara... jaya jaya sankara!"

    Nagu grinned sheepishly. He did not know what to answer.

    "Alright, do as you please!" Swamiji went to his room.

    It was eleven in the night. The choultry was steeped in sleep. Swamiji had also retired. Nagu couldn't sleep. Worry caught hold of him. There was not a single wall clock or alarm timepiece in that choultry. What he had was a very old watch presented by his uncle on the occasion of his upanayanam. He was not used to wear it on the wrist as he was with the sage most of the time. The watch was taking refuge in his old trunk. He did not touch it after winding it up every day and setting the time.

    The apprehension 'How could I wake up Periyavaa, if I wasn't awake at three-thirty?' took hold of him. Coming to a final decision, he went to the store room and retrieved his watch from his trunk. He came silently to the entrance of Swamiji's room and seated himself on the floor. He started chanting Vishnu Sahasranama silently, taking care that no sound escaped from him. Looking at his watch now and then, he was reciting the verses in repeated cycles.

    When it was 3:30 exactly, Nagu got up, wiped his eyes, folded his hands, looked at Swamiji's room sang the hara hara sankara... jaya jaya sankara in a low voice. Within moments, the door opened. AcharyaL came out smiling, with the tejas of Lord Shiva himself and gave Nagu his suprapAda darshan. Only Nagu had the blessing to get this darshan on that day.

    AcharyaL slowly walked up to the entrance of the choultry. Nagu rushed to make arrangements for the sage's bath. The choultry woke up gradually.

    The next night, and the next, Nagu's pattern of staying awake, singing Vishnu Sahasra Namam and the hara hara sankara namavali continued.

    On the fourth night when Nagu was doing his routine, tucking his watch at his waist, he fell asleep inadvertently. Suddenly he was awakened by a divine voice singing hara hara sankara... jaya jaya sankara. Jolted out of sleep, Nagu saw the smiling AcharyaL, his face replete with compassion.

    Swamiji said with vAtsalya, "My child! It is exactly three-thirty now. Seems you slept because of tiresomeness. With a full day's service, it is natural you would have the strain." Smiling, Swamiji started walking slowly towards the entrance of the choultry. Nagu confirmed that the time was 3:30 from his watch at his waist.

    He was wonderstruck and confused at the sage waking up at the right time. The divine voice singing the namavali echoed in his ears repeatedly. He hadn't heard such a song from the sage earlier.

    It was eleven on the next night. Swamiji had retired. Nagu vowed to himself that he would stay awake at any cost the whole night. He had also brought water in a small brass pot, to wipe his eyes if he was overwhelmed by sleep.

    The time was 2:30 in the night. Though he had managed until then, Nagu couldn't stay awake any further despite his best efforts, so he folded up sleeping on the floor.

    The door opened. AcharyaL came out slowly. He saw the sleeping Nagu and the brass water pot on his side. He understood and laughed.

    "hara hara sankara... jaya jaya sankara. Appa, Nagu wake up!" Swamiji called softly. Nagu got up, jolted to wakefulness and saw the smiling sage before him.

    "Nagu, it is exactly three-thirty. Poor boy, you couldn't get up in time today also. Alright, arrange for my bath." Swamiji proceeded to the entrance as he did usually. Nagu wondered as he checked the time.

    After the afternoon puja, Swamiji was seated alone. Nagu went and prostrated to him and stood nearby meekly without uttering a word.

    Swamji began the conversation: "Appa Nagu, from your namaskaram it seems that you want to know something from me. What is it, ask me, don't feel shy."

    Nagu hesitated and tried, "It is nothing, Periyavaa." Swamiji laughed. "I understand what your mind wants to ask me. When you couldn't stay awake with a watch on you, you are confused as to how Periyavaa could get up at the exact time, when he does not have any sort of timepiece! Right?"

    Slightly emboldened, Nagu said, "Yes, Periyavaa. In spite of my best efforts, I somehow went sleeping at the time when I should have been awake. And you got up and awakened me at the exact time of three-thirty. I am ashamed Periyavaa. How does Periyavaa know the exact time..."

    Swamiji interruped him and said, "You have the doubt that some karna yakshini tells me the time!" and laughed loudly.

    "It was not that Periyavaa. Just a curiosity to know..." Nagu hesitated.

    Swamiji continued: "No yakshini told the time in my ear. It was a bus that told me the time! The T.V.S. bus of Madurai T.V. Sundaram Iyengar's company. When I came out on the first morning after you awakened me with your namAvali, I noticed a bus pass by the choultry gate. On the next two mornings also a bus got past the choultry gate at three-thirty! On inquiry, I was told that it was the first bus of the T.V.S. company in the morning that arrives at Pudukottai from Madurai. There was not a second of difference in the exact time of three-thirty when the bus passed by the gate, day after day. People used to say that you can adjust your watch using the time of arrival of a T.V.S. bus at a particular place. I understood they were right! From the fourth morning, I got up as I heard the noise of the bus. There is no other secret in this, Nagu!" Swamiji laughed, absorbed in himself.

    Nagu was just looking intently at the face of Swamiji, as he finished his reply.

    Glossary
    karna yakshini - god of the ears
    snAna - bath
    namaskaram - the action of prostrating
    namAvali - a series of God names
    suprapada darshan - having darshan of a sage when he gets up in the morning
    tejas - divine splendour
    upanayanam - the Hindu thread ceremony
    vAtsalya - affection

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    Re: Kanchi Paramacharya: A Virtual Darshan

    "For this Sanyasi, perform Thirukalyanam for the Ninth time!"
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Nov 20, 2006

    This is an incident that happened some years ago. An evening time. A large crowd in Kanchi SriMatam waiting for a darshan of Maha Swamiji. Periyavar came out of his solitudinous room. He came to the stage where he usually sits and seated himself, leaning on the wall.

    One by one the people came before him. Prostrated to him. And appealed to him with an earnest prayer to solve their problems. Swamiji gave them suitable replies, blessed them and gave them prasAdam.

    Eight-thirty in the night. All the people had gone after darshan. Swamiji was about to raise and get back to his solitudinous room. A dampati came hurrying up. Behind them rushed a young girl. All the three of them prostrated to Paramacharya. Then they extracted the articles they had brought from four 'big shopper' bags, spread them out on the large cane plates that were seen near them, and submitted them to the sage. AcharyaL pointedly looked at the cane plates for sometime. They were filled with sugar lumps, cashews, pistachio nuts, almonds, dry grapes, and dates. Surprised, Swamiji looked at the people who brought them, and happiness coursed his face lines.

    adede! It's our Viswanathan! When did you come from America? Your wife has also come... Besh, besh! Very glad. Everyone is fine? EndAppa, why have you brought such a lot of cashews and dry fruits? Any good news of a marriage? Here, standing by your side, isn't she your daughter? Oho... you have fixed her marriage! Why, Viswanathaa, there is no marriage invitation on any of these plates?" Swamiji asked.

    That was it. The three of them fell at AcharyaL's feet, sobbing loudly, as if a sluice was released and a flood of water gushed forth.

    Maha Swamiji could not understand. He checked himself and asked with affection, "Why Viswanatha... did I say something irrelevant? You people are sobbing like children?"

    Immediately Viswanathan patted his cheeks loudly and said hastily, "Shiva, Shiva! apacAram, apacAram. Nothing of that kind, Periyavaa. The moment you asked, 'Arranged your daughter's wedding, where is the invitation?', the three of us couldn't contain our sorrow, Periyavaa! She is now twenty-five years old. We are trying, since her seventeenth year, coming over from America and staying here for two months. Not a single varan did crop up, Periyavaa! Somehow the chance slips by. She is educated. Has beauty. We have money. With all these things, there is no luck!" He started crying again.

    It was nine-thirty at night. AcharyaL understood the situation. He thought of easing the tightness that prevailed. "It is alright, don't feel sad. Come and sit here, all the three of you!" He pointed to the floor oppsite him.

    The three people sat meekly. AcharyaL started speaking: "Viswanatha! I know that you are doing plenty of dhana dharma for temples/ponds and the poor and destitute. Such a mental agony for you! Alright, how many years now since you went and settled in America?"

    "Twenty years, Periyavaa" replied Viswanathan.

    Swamiji pointed to the girl. "She is your eka putri?" he asked smilingly, "what is her name?"

    Closing his mouth, Viswanathan replied, "Her name is Aparna. Yes, my only daughter, Periyavaa."

    "Did you show her horoscope to the jyotishikahs?"

    "Checked with a number of astrologers, Periyavaa. Everyone of them talks about some dosha or other. They also suggest remedies. I have done everything they recommended!"

    "What are the things you did?" asked AcharyaL inquisitively.

    "I did Pitru dosha pariharah with tila homam at Rameswaram. Then shukra prIti at Kanjanur. Rahu prIti at Tirunageswaram. Guru prIti at Alangudi. Special puja at Tirumananjeri near Kuttalam. Shani prIti at Tirunallar with a bath in the NaLa Tirtham... I did so many of such things, Periyava!" said Viswanathan.

    Before he could finish, Swamiji clinched it with the words, "So you say it is a lack of phala prApti." Abruptly Swamiji said to Viswanathan's wife, "You have got the jewels-and-bolts ready for the daughter's marriage?"

    "Everything is ready, Periyavaa", she replied.

    "Besh, besh! How many sovereigns (of gold) you give to her?"

    Viswanathan replied, "Thirty sovereigns for our daughter, Periyavaa. In addition, we have made two separate sets of jewels worth twenty sovereigns each."

    "What for are those two separate sets of twenty sovereigns?"

    "It is like this Periyavaa. If Aparana's marriage is fixed, with that marriage, we have decided to perform the marriages of two poor girls, meeting all the expenses. Which is why the two separate sets of jewels. But then Aparna's marriage itself is not getting fixed, Periyavaa!" Viswanathan expressed his longing, tears popping up in his eyes.

    Swamiji slipped into some serious thinking. It was ten thirty at night. Then he asked Viswanathan, "Within how many days you people should return to America?"

    "Twenty days more, Periyavaa."

    "Besh, besh," Swamiji was happy. "You people have finished your dinner?"

    "Not yet", said Viswanathan.

    Swamiji sent word for the cook and asked him when he showed up, "What is available?"

    "Rice uppuma and pumpkin sambar", said the cook.

    Swamiji asked Viswanathan's family to go the kitchen and have their food. He waited until they came back. It was eleven in the night then. He looked at Viswanathan affectiontely.

    "Viswanathaa, you have a noble heart! With your daughter's marriage, you are ready and waiting with jewels for performing dharmic marriages for two other girls. What a broad mind you have! Kamakshi will guard you". Swamiji assuaged him with gentle words and said, "Do one thing. You go to Tiruvaikkaval tomorrow morning with your family. There you perform abhisheka ArAdhanam to Mother Akhilandeswari and Jambukeswarar and pray to Them. What you ask of your daughter Aparana is that... there they would have adorned Mother Akhilandeswari with a shining tATangakah on Her ears. Ask your daughter to have a keen darshan of the ornaments without blinking her eyes and praying 'let me be married soon!'. After doing this--"

    Viswanathan interruped Swamiji as he said excitedly, "Periyavaa, our family deity herself is Tiruvaikkaval Akhilandeswari!"

    Swamiji said, "Besh! It is a good thing then. So you go with family tomorrow morning and do this. Then you go straight to Tirupathi. There you perform a Tirukkalyana utsavam to Srinivasa Perumal and pray to Him. Everything will turn out well. All these cashew, dry grapes and suger lumps that you have kept here generously like the endowment rows in a marriage... take all those things and offer them to Akhilandeswari." As he said this, Swamiji got up. Viswanathan's family prostrated to him.

    Viswanathan looked at Swamiji and said hesitantly, "Periyavaa, since the seventeenth year of my daughter Aparna, every year when I came here, I performed Tirukkalyana utsavam to Tirumali Srinivasa Perumal. So far we have have done it eight times, Periyavaa!"

    "Alright Viswanathaa! What is there to lose? As this Sanyasi says, perform it for the ninth time!" Swamiji said laughingly and hurried to his room.

    In the next two days, Viswanathan's family completed the ablution and worship and tATangakah darshan at Tiruvanaikkaval as ordered by Paramacharya and reached Tirupathi.

    On that day, a number of bhaktas had remitted money to perform Srinivasa Tirukkalyanam. There was a large crowd in the marriage hall. Viswanathan's family was sitting in a corner in the centre portion of the hall. The vaikanasa bhaTTAcAaryas were conducting the celestial wedding of Lord Srinivasa chanting vaivAhiha mantras in a grand manner. Their intonations reached a peak and vibrated throughout the hall.

    Viswanathan grieved within his heart thus: 'Appa Srinivasa! Is this your dharma and nyAya? You get your wedding performed every day in such grand manner! What sin did my daughter Aparna commit? Why do you not get her married to a suitable varan?' He started uttering a sob. His wife and daughter began to sob and weep, suffocating in their grief.

    A family was sitting near Viswanathan. The family head appeared to be fifty or fifty-five years old. He rubbed Viswanathan's back comfortingly. "Sir, my name is Vaidyanathan. Madras. I am watching you for a long time. On this occasion of witnessing the Tirukkalyanam with joy and happiness, it is not proper for you three people to sob and weep," he said tactfully.

    Viswanathan was moved. Briefly he poured forth his worries to the gentleman who comforted him. Vaidyanathan turned and looked at Aparna. His mind told him that the girl was stately and beautiful.

    Vaidyanathan asked him: "Your gotra?"

    "vAthUla gotra", said Viswanathan.

    "We are Srivatsa. Alright, your daughter's age?"

    "She is now twenty-five; why do you ask?"

    Vaidyanathan said, "Let this Tirukkalyanam be over. Then I shall take you and talk to you in detail."

    Srinivasa Kalyanam came to a completion and everyone was given prasAdam. Vaidyanathan took Viswanathan's family to the quarters where he was staying for the occasion.

    There he told Viswanathan, "I have only one son. He is twenty-six now. Name Srinivasan. We belong to Melattur on the Thanjavur side. I am now working in the Defence Accounts in Madras. My son is employed in America in the Ford Motors company with a good salary. He is coming tomorrow to Madras on leave. I have been searching for a suitable alliance for him for the last three years, but nothing settled. We are all devotees of Kanchi Kamoti Matam. Three months back we had darshan of PeriyavaaL and prayed to him with the grievance of our son's marriage being delayed. He said 'Pray to Tirumalai Srinivasa and perform a Tirukkalyana Utsavam, your son will get married immediately.' Only today came the prApta. If that Periyavaa's anugrahah is there, even you daughter can become our daughter-in-law!"

    They exchanged the horoscopes and showed them to a famous josyar in Tirumalai.

    What a surprise! The astrologer who examined the horoscopes said that they matched on all the ten aspects perfectly! Both the family were very happy. They returned to Chennai the same night. Srinivasan arrived from America the next day. He found Aparna suitable for him. Aparna also found him suitable for her.

    Within fifteen days, Viswanathan fixed an auspicious day and booked the Rajeswari Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai. After the arrangements, both the families went to have darshan of the Kanchi Mahaan. Since there was a heavy rush, only around nine in the night could Viswanathan's and Vaiyanathan's family approach the sage.

    Periyavaa looked at them keenly, his two palms shading his eyebrows. Both the families prostrated to him. Vaidyanathan was standing behind Viswanathan. As before, Viswanathan submitted the generous offerings of suger lump, dry grapes, cashews and so on and stood before the sage, his hands folded across his chest.

    A divine happiness was seen on Periyavaa's face. After looking at Viswanathan for sometime, he said in a loud voice, "EndAppa Viswanathaa! Immediately after performing the Tirukkalyanam to Srinivasa for the ninth time for this Sanyasi, has not the phala prApti been gained? Besh, besh, your daughter Aparna is indeed lucky!" and uttered a rolling laughter.

    Both the families were stunned. No one could raise a tongue.

    Swamiji continued: "Viswanathaa! You grieved and wept very much the other day. It occurred to my mind that your daughter was having the janmAntriya vivAha prati bandhaka dosha. Only for the nivritti of the dosha I asked for Akhilandeswari's tATangakah darshan and the performance of Srinivasa Tirukkalyanam for the ninth time! You understand now?" Following Swamiji's laughter complete silence prevailed there.

    Swamiji continued: "Who is going to be your sambandhi? What is his native place?"

    Vaidyanathan, who was standing behind Viswanathan, came to the front and prostrated to AcharyaL. He said, "It is me, Periyavaa, who is going to be his sambhandi! It's all your anugrahah."

    Periyavaa placed his finger on his nose. "Who is this? Oh Melattur Vaidyanathan! EndA Vaidyanathaa, three months back you came and told me that no girl's horoscope was found to be matching for your son working in America. I remember having asked you to perform Tirukkalyana Utsavam for Tirumalai Srinivasan and pray to Him. Alright, when did you perform the Tirukkalyana Utsavan?"

    Vaidnathan said, "Both of us performed the Tirukkalyanam on the same day Periyavaa! We finalised the alliance in Tirumalai itself. All your blessings!" His voice turned husky as he spoke.

    "Rest in prosperity!" AcharyaL blessed them with a filled heart. It was ten in the night. Swamiji said laughingly, "It is beyond time, Viswanatha! They said that it is the same rice uppuma and pumpkin sambAr in the Matam today. Do have your tiffin here without fail!" He bid them farewell with the compassion of a mother.

    Glossary
    apacAram - offense, fault, something which contradicts Acaram or rules of conduct
    abhishekah - ablution
    anugrahah - blessing, kindness
    ArAdhanam - worship, homage
    Adede! - (Tamil) an expression of surprise indicating familiarity
    Besh, besh - an expression of appreciation, popular in the Brahmin community.
    bhakta - devotee
    dampati - husband and wife
    dosha - defect, deficiency, impurity
    eka putri - only daughter
    EndAppa - (Tamil) for 'why, my boy!' or a similar expression
    gotra - literally, a cow-pen; also one of the 49 sub-divisions among brahmins supposed to be sprung from and named after celebrated teachers.
    Guru prIti - propitiating god Guru (Jupiter)
    janmAntriya vivAha prati bandhaka dosha - deficiency from previous births that goes against the chances of getting married
    josyar - (Tamil) astrologer
    jyotishikah - an astrologist
    nivritti - satisfaction, disappearance
    nyAya - justice
    Periyavar - Holy man, a grammar-friendly Tamil title for a wise man
    phala prApti - attaining fruits, also success in an endeavour
    Pitru dosha pariharah - corrective action for deficiency in rituals to ancestors.
    prApta - attainment, fulfilment
    prasAdam - a sample of a holy offering
    Rahu prIti - propitiating god Rahu
    sambandhi - joined in a relationship
    Shani prIti - propitiating god Saturn
    shukra prIti - propitiating god Shukra (Venus)
    tATangakah - ear ornament
    tila homam - fire ceremony using sesame
    Tirukkalyana utsavam - celestial wedding ceremony
    uppumA - a rice dish, also known as kichadi
    vaikanasa bhaTTAcAarya - ancient and traditional chief priests in Vaishnava temples of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka
    vaivAhiha - relating to a wedding ceremony
    varan - (Tamil) a prospective husband

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

    "A Double-Stringed Chain in Eight Sovereigns?"
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Dec 20, 2006

    An early morning, many years ago. It was slightly drizzling. Maha Periyavaa was seated in solitude at Kanchi Sri Sankara maTham. After the bhaktas had darshan of him, Swamiji arose to go to his room. Just then an old grandam and a young woman came running and prostrated to the sage. Swamiji sat down again, looking a bit keenly at them.

    With happiness crawling on his face, Swamiji said, "adede! is it Meenakshi Paatti? What a wonder you have come in the morning time? Who is near you? Your granddaughter? What name?"

    Meenakshi Paatti said, "Periyavaa! I am coming to the maTham to have your darshan for ever so many years. Till today I haven't informed SwamigaL about me. There was no such opportunity. But then, it has come now. This girl standing by my side is my granddaughter born through my daughter. Since she was born in this town, we named her Kamakshi. I had only one daughter, and she closed her eyes twelve years ago, leaving this girl to my care. Some disease she had. Her husband also died before her due to a heart attack.

    "Since then I am plodding on alone with this girl. I put her in a school. Study didn't get into her head. So I stopped it with her fifth grade. Now she is fifteen years old. My duty will be over once I give her hand to a man!"

    AcharyaL listened to her patiently. "I understood when I saw you come here and stand before me in the early morning itself, that you who used to bring pArijAta puS^pam for Chandramouleesvara puja every morning around ten o' clock, have come to me now with a purpose. What is the news?" he said.

    Hesitating at first, Meenakshi Paatti began: "Nothing, Periyavaa. A suitable alliance has come up for this girl. The boy is also from this place. School teacher. Sixty rupees salary. Good family. No demand-and-take harassments. They say that both the horoscopes match well. Somehow only you should perform this marriage, Periyavaa!" Paatti prostrated to him.

    AcharyaL's tone showed some heat as he chided her: "What? I should perform the marriage? What are you talking?" Within moments he cooled down and said, "Alright, what do you expect me to do?"

    Paatti was happy. "It's like this, Periyavaa! I have somehow managed to save five thousand rupees for her marriage. I can complete the marriage within that amount. But then the boy's mother has said compulsively, 'Paatti, whatever or however you do it, you must present a double-stringed, eight-sovereign gold chain for the neck of your granddaughter!' I couldn't do anything big by way of jewels-and-bolts for her within my income. I have arranged just a bangle of one sovereign each for each hand of this girl. Only that is possible for me. Where can I go for an eight-sovereign double-stringed chain, Periyavaa? Only you--"

    Before she could finish, Swamiji asked her with some anger: "Tell me, you want me to provide her with a double-stringed chain in eight-sovereigns?"

    Meenkshi Paatti prostrated to him and rose. Patting her cheeks loudly, she said, "apacAram, apacAram, Periyavaa. I am not coming to say that. A number of rich and big people come for your darshan daily. Could you not gesture to any of them to arrange for the eight-sovereign double-stringed chain?" Paatti asked him longingly.

    "What? To gesture to the big people who come for a darshan? There is no such practice. If you want, you seek some other alliance where they don't demand eight or ten sovereigns! Only that is better for you." Swamiji got up.

    Meenakshi Paatti said anxiously, "I pray that Periyavaa shouldn't leave me with such advise! This is a very good alliance, Periyavaa. The boy has a sanguine temperament. They got their own girls married with a gift of an eight-sovereign double-stringed chain each. Therefore they desire that the girl coming as their daughter-in-law should also come with a double-stringed chain. Nothing else, Periyavaa. Only you should provide me with guidance in the matter!" Paatti begged the sage.

    AcharyaL, who had got up, sat down again. He was immersed in deep thoughts for sometime. Then he started talking with compassion: "Will you do something I suggest now?"

    "I will do it definitely. Please tell me what!" Paatti was excited.

    "Go to the Kamakshi Amman temple tomorrow with your granddaughter. Both of you pray to Her, 'This marriage should take place grandly with the required eight-sovereign double-stringed chain provided. Only You should arrange it, Amma!' and do pradakSiNa of the sannidhi five times. Prostrate before ambAL five times and go home. Pray this way for five days. Kamakshi will arrange the things as you have desired in your mind." AcharyaL blessed them smilingly.

    As she prostrated and got up, Meenakshi Paatti said, "What is it Periyavaa, you suggest everything five times!" She asked with eagerness, "If I do it that way, AmbaL Kamakshi will surely arrange my granddaughter Kamakshi's marriage?"

    "I am not suggesting the five-times requirement myself. AmbaL has the adulation panca saMkhyopacAriNi. She grants favours happily when she is worshipped in multiples of five." Swamiji said, "I told you only that, nothing else!"

    "When do we start this, Periyavaa?"

    Swamiji smiled. "It has been said shubhasya shIghram. Today is Friday. Why, you start today itself." He said and bid them farewell.


    With her granddaughter beside her, Paatti walked towards Kamakshi Amman temple. Since it was Friday, there was a heavy rush in the temple. Mother Kamakshi dazzled in full splendour due to special adornments of that day. Both of them closed their eyes and prayed as advised by Periyavaa. Paatti had an arcanA performed in her granddaughter's birth star and secured the prasAdam.

    Then they both prayed to Amman about the eight-sovereign double-stringed chain and went around the inner courtyard clockwise five times. Then they prostrated to AmabaL five times as Swamiji had suggested. With faith in heart, they went back home.

    On Saturday morning, Paatti started from her house with her granddaughter. Collecting the coral-jasmine flowers, she hurried to Sankara maTham. There was a heavy rush in the maTham. Meenakshi Paatti was standing in the queue some twenty or thirty bhaktas behind. She heard what the person before her was telling his neighbour with concern. 'Today is the day of the anushA star. PeriyavaL's birth star. So Swamiji has taken up a vow of silence today. He wouldn't talk to anybody. Only mukha darshan.'

    Anxiety got hold of Meenakshi Paatti. She worried, 'I thought of reminding Periyavaa about the eight-sovereign double-stringed chain, but it seems that won't be possible now.' When they got near Periyavaa, they prostrated to him. That para brahmaM was sitting with no sign of life in him. Paatti paused, yearning that he would ask something about the chain. Swamiji's assistant told her a bit sternly, "Paatti, move away please! Periyavaa adopts a vow of silence today. He won't talk. See, how many people are waiting behind you!"

    She made her way towards Kamakshi Amman temple, along with her granddaughter. As advised by Periyavaa, they performed the panca saMkhyopacAra worship on that day and got back home. Maha Swamiji continued the vow of silence on the following two days also. Paatti and her granddaughter could only have a darshan of the sage at the maTham. Paatti started worrying, 'Four out of five days has gone by since Periyavaa's advice but nothing happened! Will Mother Kamakshi open her eyes and bless me or not?' She could only grieve within herself.


    It dawned on Tuesday. Sri Kanchi maTham was very brisk on that day. A bhajan troupe from Arani was immersing the maTham in bhaktic ecstasy.

    AcharyaL came and sat in his usual place. There was such a maha tejas in his face! He had dissolved his vow of silence. There was a large crowd waiting for PeriyavaL's darshan. A middle-aged maami in the queue prostrated to Swamiji happily as her turn came. Happiness was writ on her face. She submitted the things she had brought--a large bunch of rastaLi bananas, un-shorn coconuts, sweet lemons, oranges, pumpkins, and chubby raw-bananas--and prostrated again.

    Swamiji smiled to himself as he glanced at the items kept before him. Then he narrowed his eyes and looked keenly at the woman. "Aren't you Ambujam, wife of Needamangalam landowner Ganesa Iyer? You came two months back. Told me something, feeling sad. Looking at the way you have come now with a large banana bunch, it seems that your problems would have been solved by the grace of Kamakshi, right?"

    Ambujam prostrated again and said, "True, Periyavaa. My only daughter Mythili was made to stay away from her husband's home for the last three years. Two months back I came running to you, reported this humiliation and wept. It was you who advised me to do five circumambulations and five prostrations for five days and perform ablution and worship in the Kamakshi Amman temple of this town. I completed them with extreme care, and what a wonder, fifteen days back, my son-in-law Radhakrishnan who works in Jamshedpur Tata Steel Plant came over himself and took his wife Mythili back with him. It's all that Kamakshi's grace and your blessings, Periyavaa!" Tears of joy filled her eyes as she spoke.

    Swamiji said, "Besh, besh, very glad. Let the dampati rest in prosperity! By the way, where did you get such a big bunch of bananas? Looks massive!" Swamiji's laughter rolled by like thunder.

    Ambujam said smilingly, "This bunch was harvested from our own banana bed, Periyavaa; which is why it is so big!" She spoke with humility.

    Showing happiness, Swamiji ordered her, "Alright, only Amma Kamakshi has rejoined your daughter and son-in-law. So you offer this big banana bunch to Her and distribute the fruits to the bhaktas who visit the shrine."

    Ambujam said, "No no, Periyavaa. Let it remain in this sanctum. I have an identical bunch to offer to AmbaL. Now I seek your leave to have a darshan of AmbaL, complete my prayers and get back here." She prostrated.

    "BeshA! After completing your prayers you must take food in the maTham and then only should get back to your place. Remember it!" Swamiji gave her his consent to leave him.


    There was not much crowd in Kamakshi Amman temple on that day. It was eleven in the morning. As it was later than usual, Meenakshi Paatti hurried to the temple with her granddaughter. She halted at the shop selling arcanA packs, and told her granddaughter, "Hey Kamakshi! Today is the day of completion. So we shall do everything in five numbers as told by AcharyaL. What you do, get five arcanA packs with five coconuts, five bananas, betel leaves, nuts, etc. and come back running!" and gave her the required money.

    The granddaughter bought the things as ordered. Paatti performed the arcanAs to AmbaL and prayed Her with tearful eyes, 'Amma Kamakshi, I am completely depending on You only! I have no refuge except You and SwamigaL. Only You should arrange for the eight-sovereign double-string chain and complete my granddaughter's marriage in a fitting manner.' As Paatti sobbed, her granddaughter was also moved and wept. Then they started going round the inner couryard from left to right. They were on their fourth round.

    "Paatti... Paatti... Paattee!" Meekakshi Paatti looked back at the loud call from her granddaughter and chided her angrily, "Why do you cry so loud? What have you lost to raise such a noise?"

    "Nothing lost Paatti, but something gained! Please come here, I shall show you!" She took her grandma to a corner, opened her right palm and showed her something. It was a severed, double-stringed chain with a front.

    "Where did you find that?" Paatti asked with surprise. Her granddaughter said, "As I was coming behind you with a bowed head, my eyes chanced on this chain. I took it at once, and no one had noticed me! This chain is severed Paatti. Check if it is original or just a coated one."

    Paatti took the chain in her hands to guess its weight. She said, "Looks like sovereign, Kamakshi! May be eight or eight-and-a-half sovereigns. This has been granted to us by Kamakshi Herself backed by the blessings of Periyavaa. Alright, let us go out first!" She packed the chain inside the edge of her sari and hurriedly came out, forgetting to complete her fifth circumambulation.

    It was one in the afternoon. Four or five people were waiting for the darshan of AcharyaL in the maTham. Meenakshi Paatti prostrated to the sage with her granddaughter and got up. Swamiji looked at her and laughed. She was confused whether to tell Swamiji about the chain or not.

    Swamiji forestalled her. "Today you should have completed your panca saMkhyopacAra pradakSiNa in order. But then it was not completed because of a vastu that came to the hand of your granddaughter! That sudden delight did not allow you to do more than four pradakSiNas. You came hurriedly, thinking that Kamakshi has given you Her pUrna anugrahah. What, am I right?"

    Paatti was shocked. She became insensate, and swallowed her words as she spoke: "SwamigaL shouldn't mistake me. Once that (object) came to the hand of my granddaughter, I assumed that AmbaL Herself had dropped it for my granddaughter to take. In that sudden delight I totally fogot that I had to make one more pradakSiNa."

    Periyavaa said relentlessly, "Only that you forgot. You did not forget to get the vastu weighed at Rangu Patthar's shop. Or get the severed portion melted in the furnace to rejoin." He clinched his talk with the words, "Let it go. When you weighed it, was it exactly eight sovereigns?"

    Paatti and her granddaughter were stunned. "All you said now is satyam, Periyavaa!" said Paatti.

    Swamiji asked her calmly, "Tell me in fairness. To whom does that padArthaH belong?"

    "To AmbaL Kamakshi."

    "Tell me yourself, can you take it secretly and pack it inside the edge of your sari?"

    "A mistake... nothing else but a mistake! Should excuse me. I have done it inadvertently." Paatti was genuninely repenting. She placed the double-stringed sovereign chain on the brass plate that was found before Swamiji, her hands shaking. Swamiji laughed.

    It was now two in the afternoon. Swamiji asked Meenakshi Paatti and her daughter to sit before him. It was at that time that Ambujam AmmaL, wife of Needamangalam Ganesa Iyer, who had taken leave in the morning, came back full of sorrow and prostrated to the sage. Her eyes were shedding tears profusely. Swamiji saw this and said affectionately, "adAdA, why do you shed tears Amma?"

    Ambujam Ammal wiped her tears and replied, "It is like this, Periyavaa. Two months ago when I did the five days seva in the Kamakshi Amman temple I prayed to AmbaL earnestly that I would offer Her my eight-sovereign double-stringed chain if she united my daughter and son-in-law, who were then separated. AmbaL has united them. I went to the temple to offer my chain. It slipped from my neck and fell down somewhere. I searched everywhere anxiously but the chain could not be found. What can I do now, Periyavaa?" She started wailing.

    Swamiji turned his face to Meenakshi Paatti and looked meaningfully. Paatti prostrated to him and got up briskly. She took the double-stringed sovereign chain from the brass plate before the sage in her hand. She turned to Ambujam and said holding up the chain, "Amma Ambujam. Check if this is the double-stringed chain you lost."

    Ambujam took the chain from her hand and checked. "The same, the same chain, Paatti. How did it come here? Looks very wonderful!" Paatti narrated everything that happened to them in the same breath.

    Ambujam Ammal hugged Meenakshi Paatti. "Paatti, you don't worry at all! I am informing you this before our AcharyaL. I shall arrange for a new double-stringed chain in eight sovereigns for your granddaughter! Her marriage will be performed grandly. This double-stringed I have prayed to offer to AmbaL. This evening I shall take you and your granddaughter Kamakshi to the jewellery shop in this down and get her an eight-sovereign double-stringed chain. In addition, I shall give you five thousand rupees for the marriage expenses."

    Swamiji was sitting as the prat^yakSa kAmAkshi, witnessing this scene. Everyone prostrated to AcharyaL. He looked at Meenakshi Paatti and said, "Today you and your granddaughter did not do the five pradakSiNas. Go in the evening, do five pradakSiNas and five prostrations, and have a darshan of AmbaL." Saying this he bid them farewell.

    It is not possible to narrate in words the happiness and ecstatic shiver that Meenakshi Paatti and her granddaughter experienced at that time.

    Glossary:
    adAdA - (Tamil) an expression of sympathy
    adede! - (Tamil) an expression of surprise indicating familiarity
    ambAL - Mother Goddess
    anugrahah - blessing, kindness
    apacAram - offense, fault, something which contradicts Acaram or rules of conduct
    arcanA - worship
    besh, besh - an expression of appreciation, popular in the Brahmin community.
    bhajan - hymns praising God
    bhakta - devotee
    closed her eyes - (Tamil) died
    dampati - husband and wife
    maami - (Tamil) a brahmin housewife
    mukha - face, countenance
    panca saMkhyopacArini - pleased by five kinds of service, honour, worship
    Paatti - (Tamil) grandmother
    padArthaH - a thing or object
    para brahmaM - (Tamil) formless God
    pArijAta puS^pam - flowers of the coral tree
    pradakSiNa - on the right side, go clockwise
    prat^yakSa - visible, perceptible
    pUrna - complete, full, whole
    rastaLi - a variety of bananas
    sannidhi - the building where the deity is installed
    satyam - truth
    shubhasya shIghram - auspicious things quickly
    SwamigaL - (Tamil) Swamiji
    tejas - divine splendour
    vastu- an article, object (among many other meanings)

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

    The Connection Between the Chettiar's Grandson and the maTham
    Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Oct 21, 2006

    An evening in Kanchi SrimaTham. A large crowd in a long queue had gathered to have darshan of Paramacharya. Time was slipping by. Slightly tilting his head, Swamiji glanced at the waiting people and saw a twenty year old youth in the queue. Looking intently at the youth, Swamiji called his assistant Ramu, another youth, who came near him and stood, his hand covering his mouth.

    "Ramu, you see the person standing as the fifteenth in the queue? A short boy with a slightly blackish complexion. You need to buy a shirt and pant piece that will suit his size", Swamiji ordered. "Get the cash from the office, and buy good quality cloth from the Mudaliar textile shop near the maTham."

    Ramu was surprised and confused at this sudden command from the sage. He knew that he couldn't ask the reason, so started to proceed on his task.

    "Ramu, come here!" Swamiji called. "You know about the name of the modern textile variety?"

    "I know it Periyavaa."

    "Come on, tell me?"

    "It is called terry cotton, Periyavaa."

    "Hm... the same thing. Get a costly piece from that variety."

    Within fifteen minutes, Ramu appeared before the sage with the cloth. Swamiji was very happy as he looked at the cloth from a distance.

    "Besh, besh. It is very good da!" Swamiji appreciated Ramu. "You do one thing. Get a bamboo plate and fill it with fruits, purna phalam, and place the cloth on them. Tell the manager that I wanted a sum of six thousand and seven hundred rupees, placed in an envelope, get the money and keep it on the plate. I shall tell you later about what to do next." With this order to his assitant, Swamiji started conversing to his bhakta nearby.

    An envelope with the amount ordered was brought. Swamiji gestured that it be placed on the plate.

    Now the twenty year old boy was standing before Paramacharya, who looked at him head to toe. The youth prostrated to him. Swamiji turned and looked at Ramu, who came near him, running.

    "Ramu, take that plate in your hands." Ramu did as he was told.

    Swamiji said with a blossoming face, "Give that plate to the boy and tell him of my bountiful blessings to him and his family."

    The youth could not understand anything about the offer of cloth and money. He simply blinked at the sage, looked this way and that, and stood without knowing what to do.

    AchryaL understood his confusion and anxiety. He spoke, "Ramu, ask him not to get confused. Tell him it is the blessing from the maTham to him and his family. Ask him to safely deliver the money in the cover at his home."

    The youth nodded his head, though he understood nothing. He again prostrated to the sage and moved away with the surprise gift.

    Fifteen minutes passed. Everyone had left, having a darshan. AcharyaL came to his room and sat. He called Ramu near.

    "Why Ramu, you did not ask me the reason for my honouring the boy in a special way?"

    Ramu hesitated and said, "How can I ask Periyavaa about such things? I am here only to carry out your orders."

    "Alright, you don't have to ask me! I shall tell you the reason myself."

    Swamiji spoke: "This incident happened many years back. Our maTham at that time was finding it a little difficult to make ends meet. I decided to undertake a yAtra to the north Indian regions with my retinue. We started at an auspicious time. I came to the entrance of the maTham. There was a small grocery shop opposite the maTham. It belonged to a Chettiar. The maTham had an account for buying groceries from that shop.

    "As he saw me at the maTham entrance, Chettiar came running. He prostrated, tieing his upper vastram around his waist. I thought that he had come to offer his respect knowing that I was about to go on a yAtra.

    "'What ChettiarvaL, you are fine? How does your groceries business go?' I inquired him.

    "He closed his mouth and replied meekly, 'Somewhat alright, Swami, but the going is really difficult. I heard that Swami is going on a yAtra north and would return only after five or six months.'

    "I told him, 'That's right, ChettiarvaL... might take five or six months to return.' He took his time thinking something, hesitated much and then said, 'It is not that Swami. The maTham has an account with our shop, as Swami knows. There is a balance amount for the four to five months goods supplied that remains to be paid. I too find it difficult, with four months rent for this shop in arrears. I am just submitting my problems to you. You finish your yAtra and come back.' As he said it, Chettiar again prostrated.

    "I said, 'ChettiarvaL! Immediately after coming back from the yAtra, I shall arrange to clear your dues.' and started on my yAtra.

    "When I came back finishing the six months yAtra and looked opposite the maTham, the Chettiar's shop was locked. Later when I inquired, I was told that the Chettiar had attained kAla gati three months back suddenly, when he was out of station. Nothing was known about the whereabouts of his relatives! I later inquired about the amount of dues to the Chettiar's shop. It was a sum of eight hundred and seventy five and three-quarters of rupees. I settled the debt with the principal and interest only today! You understand what I am saying? The boy I honoured today was none other than the paternal grandson of the Chettiar. What was due to the grandfather has been settled with the grandson, with principal and interest. No worry henceforth!" Swamiji finished.

    Ramu was wonderstruck as he heard the tale. In the meantime another assistant boy came that side. Ramu took leave of the sage and rushed to the entrance of the maTham.

    The twenty year boy was standing there with the blessed bamboo plate on his hands. Ramu was very happy to see him and tactfully inquired about the matter.

    The boy said, "Yes, I learnt from my grandmother and father that my grandfather had a grocery shop opposite the maTham a long time ago. I heard that his relatives came to settle in Krishnagiri after the sudden demise of my grandfather, closing down the shop due to mounting debts.

    "Now my father is running a grocer shop there. I came here touring with my friends from my place. I don't understand why Periyavanga did all these to me. It is very surprising!"

    Ramu was speechless as he understood the foresight of his walking God. He went inside the maTham, wondering about what he saw and heard. It was around seven in the evening. AcharyaL was sitting alone in his room.

    He saw Ramu and smiled meaningfully. Ramu did not understand. AcharyaL called him near and said, "You had a doubt about the authenticity of what I told you. So you got it confirmed from the Chettiar's grandson at the maTham entrance!" Paramacharya laughed loudly.

    Ramu sought his pardon, weeping and saying that he did it out of curiosity only. Paramacharya blessed him with a raised hand, still smiling.

    Glossary
    Besh, besh - an expression of appreciation, popular in the Brahmin community.
    da - a singular Tamil form used with males, to show affection and liberty.
    kAla gati - expiry of time, death
    Periyavanga - a form of addressing Paramacharya, generally used by people who are not brahmins. (Brahmins use the term Periyavaa)
    purna phalam - a coconut which is not shorn from its case.
    vastram - cloth
    yAtra - pilgrimage

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