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Friday, October 3, 2014

Experiences of Maha Periyava: Ramanatha Ganapadigal delivers the Bhagavatha Saptaham

A Vedic Pundit by name of Ramanatha Ganapadigal hailed from Karur and was living in Srirangam. His wife’s name was Dharmambal. They had a daughter named Kamakshi. Though the Pundit was a master in Vedas, he did not pursue Vaideegam (performing Vedic rituals as his profession) but he used to do “Upanyasam” (spiritual discourses) for a living with whatever little income he earned through that source. The family members were staunch devotees of Maha Periyava.
Their daughter’s marriage was fixed suddenly and groom was a teacher in a nearby village. His wife Dharmambal asked his husband “Our daughter’s marriage has been fixed. How much savings have we got?” Ganapadigal replied, “Do you not know that in so many means I have saved about five thousand rupees and we can carry out the marriage in a simple manner”. Dharmambal was furious, “How we can conduct the marriage? We need to buy jewels and vessels. There are catering and other expenses and we need at least fifteen thousand rupees more”.
Ganapadigal looked at her and she said, “Don’t worry I have a suggestion. Please buy some fruits and go to Kancheepuram and meet Maha Periyava and tell him that our daughter’s marriage has been fixed and that we need fifteen thousand rupees. He will definitely help us”. However Ganapadaigal did not take up her idea and replied “How is it possible to ask our Jagadguru ‘dhanam’ (money) when we should only ask for ‘jnanam’ (knowledge). However Dharmambal argued and convinced her husband and made him travel to Kancheepuram the next day.
On that day there was a heavy rush in Kanchi Mutt and everyone was carrying a fruit basket and Ramanatha Ganapadigal was also in the queue with some fruits along with the marriage invitation expecting to meet the Maha Periyava. In between someone compulsorily took the fruit basket and kept it along with others. While he was crying that his fruit basket was having the marriage invitation nobody paid attention to him.
Suddenly there was a voice “Oh! Is it Karur Ramanatha Ganapadigal? Please come. Is everyone fine at Srirangam? Is your religious discourse going on well?” The voice came from none other than Mahaperiyava himself. He then enquired about his family’s details and the discussion was going on. Ganapadigal did not know how to tell the issue of his financial needs. Somehow he managed to open the topic, “Dharmambal told me to visit you and tell you about the marriage of our daughter….” Before he could finish Periyava told him, “My blessings are there in full and …. I have one assignment for you can you do for me?”
Ganapadigal then asked what the assignment was and Periyava told him that few days ago someone from a village near Kadayanallur (near Tirunelveli) had come and told Maha Periyava that the cows in their village were experiencing mysterious death and it was decided to conduct a “Bhagavatha Saptaham" (discourse on Srimad Bhagavatham for seven days) in the village temple as parikaram. Periyava then asked him to take some money from the Mutt so that he could start to Kadayanallur the same night itself.
Ganapadigal reached Tirunelveli the next day and he was picked up by the temple priest at the Junction. He was put up at the house of the priest and to his surprise nobody came to meet him. He consoled himself that he could meet people at the time of the discourse. However when he commenced his discourse i.e. “Bhagavatha Saptaham” in the evening only the temple priest, the temple security guard and the Lord Varadaraja Perumal were the only attendees. When he enquired, he was told that the entire village got distributed over an issue as to who should be the President of the temple and till that issue was resolved nobody in the village had decided to enter the temple.
However Ramanatha Ganapadigal sincerely carried out his Saptaham in front of the Lord for the next seven days while it was attended by the temple priest and the security guard. On the last day the priest told him that the discourse was excellent and it was priceless however due to poor response he gave the “Sambhavana” (fees for rendering the discourse) of sum of thirty rupees, the only amount which was available with the priest at that point in time. He also got Ganapadigal the train ticket for his return journey. Ganapadigal reached Kancheepuram via Vizhupuram the next day and reached Kanchi Mutt.
Next day afternoon after the routines were over he met Maha Periyava. Maha Periyava then enquired about his trip to Kadayanallur and asked how the discourse went. Ganapadigal somehow controlled his emotions and told Periyava that due to some problem in the village nobody attended except the temple priest and the secuity guard. For this Maha Periyava replied, “Ramanatha nee periya bhagyasalida therla okkanthu Krishnan sonna upadeshathai Arjunan oruthan than kettan onnaku parru rendu per vandu kettirukka” (Ramanatha your are so lucky that when Krishna gave upadesha only Arjuna was there to hear but for your two people were there to hear!) and started laughing.
Maha Periyava then thanked him for going there on his request and completing the Saptaham and then gave him “salvai” (cloth given as a token of respect) and a dakshina of rupees thousand and blessed him. Ganapadigal suddenly remembered the original purpose for which he came to Kancheepuram i.e. the marriage of his daughter and informed Periyava about the same for that Periyava blessed him that the marriage would get over in a very good manner by the grace of Chandramouleeswara (“jaam jaam nu nadathi vaipar”) and asked him not to worry and bid him farewell.
The next day Ganapadigal reached Srirangam and he was thinking all the way that how he was going to face his wife and also about the fifteen thousand rupees which she had requested from Maha Periyava. When he reached his home his wife Dharmambal greeted him and gave water to wash his feet and took him inside the pooja room and lo!
There was a bamboo basket full of fruits, sari, dhothi, turmeric, kumkum, flowers, two Mangalasutras (thirumangalyam) and a bundle of currency notes! Ganapadigal was speechless and Dharmambal said “Today morning some people came and informed me that they are coming from Kanchi Mutt and told me that Maha Periyava had instructed them to hand over the gifts for our daughter’s marriage.” Ganapadigal said “Dharmu I didn’t ask anything but still he has sent this to us. What a magnanimous person he is” and started counting the currency and it was exactly the fifteen thousand!!!
Ramanatha Ganapadigal was moved by the grace of the Maha Periyava and started crying profusely.

Photo: Experiences of Maha Periyava: Ramanatha Ganapadigal delivers the Bhagavatha Saptaham <br /><br />A Vedic Pundit by name of Ramanatha Ganapadigal hailed from Karur and was living in Srirangam. His wife’s name was Dharmambal. They had a daughter named Kamakshi. Though the Pundit was a master in Vedas, he did not pursue Vaideegam (performing Vedic rituals as his profession) but he used to do “Upanyasam” (spiritual discourses) for a living with whatever little income he earned through that source. The family members were staunch devotees of Maha Periyava. <br /><br />Their daughter’s marriage was fixed suddenly and groom was a teacher in a nearby village. His wife Dharmambal asked his husband “Our daughter’s marriage has been fixed. How much savings have we got?” Ganapadigal replied, “Do you not know that in so many means I have saved about five thousand rupees and we can carry out the marriage in a simple manner”. Dharmambal was furious, “How we can conduct the marriage? We need to buy jewels and vessels. There are catering and other expenses and we need at least fifteen thousand rupees more”. <br /><br />Ganapadigal looked at her and she said, “Don’t worry I have a suggestion. Please buy some fruits and go to Kancheepuram and meet Maha Periyava and tell him that our daughter’s marriage has been fixed and that we need fifteen thousand rupees. He will definitely help us”. However Ganapadaigal did not take up her idea and replied “How is it possible to ask our Jagadguru ‘dhanam’ (money) when we should only ask for ‘jnanam’ (knowledge). However Dharmambal argued and convinced her husband and made him travel to Kancheepuram the next day.<br /><br />On that day there was a heavy rush in Kanchi Mutt and everyone was carrying a fruit basket and Ramanatha Ganapadigal was also in the queue with some fruits along with the marriage invitation expecting to meet the Maha Periyava. In between someone compulsorily took the fruit basket and kept it along with others. While he was crying that his fruit basket was having the marriage invitation nobody paid attention to him.<br /><br />Suddenly there was a voice “Oh! Is it Karur Ramanatha Ganapadigal? Please come. Is everyone fine at Srirangam? Is your religious discourse going on well?” The voice came from none other than Mahaperiyava himself. He then enquired about his family’s details and the discussion was going on. Ganapadigal did not know how to tell the issue of his financial needs. Somehow he managed to open the topic, “Dharmambal told me to visit you and tell you about the marriage of our daughter….” Before he could finish Periyava told him, “My blessings are there in full and …. I have one assignment for you can you do for me?” <br /><br />Ganapadigal then asked what the assignment was and Periyava told him that few days ago someone from a village near Kadayanallur (near Tirunelveli) had come and told Maha Periyava that the cows in their village were experiencing mysterious death and it was decided to conduct a “Bhagavatha Saptaham" (discourse on Srimad Bhagavatham for seven days) in the village temple as parikaram. Periyava then asked him to take some money from the Mutt so that he could start to Kadayanallur the same night itself.<br /><br />Ganapadigal reached Tirunelveli the next day and he was picked up by the temple priest at the Junction. He was put up at the house of the priest and to his surprise nobody came to meet him. He consoled himself that he could meet people at the time of the discourse. However when he commenced his discourse i.e. “Bhagavatha Saptaham” in the evening only the temple priest, the temple security guard and the Lord Varadaraja Perumal were the only attendees. When he enquired, he was told that the entire village got distributed over an issue as to who should be the President of the temple and till that issue was resolved nobody in the village had decided to enter the temple.<br /><br />However Ramanatha Ganapadigal sincerely carried out his Saptaham in front of the Lord for the next seven days while it was attended by the temple priest and the security guard. On the last day the priest told him that the discourse was excellent and it was priceless however due to poor response he gave the “Sambhavana” (fees for rendering the discourse) of sum of thirty rupees, the only amount which was available with the priest at that point in time. He also got Ganapadigal the train ticket for his return journey. Ganapadigal reached Kancheepuram via Vizhupuram the next day and reached Kanchi Mutt.<br /><br />Next day afternoon after the routines were over he met Maha Periyava. Maha Periyava then enquired about his trip to Kadayanallur and asked how the discourse went. Ganapadigal somehow controlled his emotions and told Periyava that due to some problem in the village nobody attended except the temple priest and the secuity guard. For this Maha Periyava replied, “Ramanatha nee periya bhagyasalida therla okkanthu Krishnan sonna upadeshathai Arjunan oruthan than kettan onnaku parru rendu per vandu kettirukka” (Ramanatha your are so lucky that when Krishna gave upadesha only Arjuna was there to hear but for your two people were there to hear!) and started laughing.<br /><br />Maha Periyava then thanked him for going there on his request and completing the Saptaham and then gave him “salvai” (cloth given as a token of respect) and a dakshina of rupees thousand and blessed him. Ganapadigal suddenly remembered the original purpose for which he came to Kancheepuram i.e. the marriage of his daughter and informed Periyava about the same for that Periyava blessed him that the marriage would get over in a very good manner by the grace of Chandramouleeswara (“jaam jaam nu nadathi vaipar”) and asked him not to worry and bid him farewell.<br /><br />The next day Ganapadigal reached Srirangam and he was thinking all the way that how he was going to face his wife and also about the fifteen thousand rupees which she had requested from Maha Periyava. When he reached his home his wife Dharmambal greeted him and gave water to wash his feet and took him inside the pooja room and lo! <br /><br />There was a bamboo basket full of fruits, sari, dhothi, turmeric, kumkum, flowers, two Mangalasutras (thirumangalyam) and a bundle of currency notes! Ganapadigal was speechless and Dharmambal said “Today morning some people came and informed me that they are coming from Kanchi Mutt and told me that Maha Periyava had instructed them to hand over the gifts for our daughter’s marriage.” Ganapadigal said “Dharmu I didn’t ask anything but still he has sent this to us. What a magnanimous person he is” and started counting the currency and it was exactly the fifteen thousand!!! <br /><br /> Ramanatha Ganapadigal was moved by the grace of the Maha Periyava and started crying profusely.

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