Many years ago, Kanchi Maha Periyava had undertaken a tour of
the southern parts of Tamilnadu. After visiting Thanjavur, Trichy,
Tiruvanaikkaval, Srirangam, Dindigul and Cholavandan, he was travelling towards Madurai with his entourage.
The village folk residing on his path had his darshan and blessings,
calling on him in large numbers with their children. He blessed them
all with a smiling face and walked, giving them fruits and sugar
It was then time to approach the great city of Madurai. The people of a village on the way welcomed him with the honour of Purna Kumbham. Swamigal was singularly happy about the devotion and zeal of those villagers. He went and sat on the roots of a peepul tree on the roadside. All of them prostrated to him on the ground.
The Panchayat head of that village prostrated to the Sage with intense devotion. Then he said, "We pray for one thing to Periyava. We the poor people have come together and completed the construction of a new Pillaiyar temple nearby. We pray that Sami's feet should touch the temple precincts; should take mercy on us!"
Acharyal got up enthusiastically and asked, "Where is this temple?"
The Panchayat head replied, "Here, only at a calling distance. Please
come and give your blessings!"
Swamigal walked towards the Pillaiyar temple very briskly. He entered the temple with the honour of divine music and Purna Kumbham. Vinayaka was sitting inside the sanctum in the form of a six feet statue. The idol looked bright and mighty. Periyava looked at Vinayaka for sometime without taking his eyes off, and asked the Panchayat head if the Kumbhabhishekham of the temple was over.
"Not yet, Sami," said the headman.
Swamigal asked, "Since everything has been completed, why has not the Kumbhabhishekham been done yet?"
The Panchayat head replied politely: "Everything has been completed, Sami. Mahatma Gandhi is said to come this way within a month. Some notables of Madurai have promised us to conduct the Kumbhabhishekham on the day he comes this side, in his presence. This is the reason: we are waiting for Gandhiji."
Acharyal smiled to himself. He looked intensely at Vinayaka for two
minutes and then said: "It seems to me that there is no necessity for
that! Ganapathi is already staring with his eyes well open. You should not delay the Kumbhabhishekham any longer. Fix an auspicious day and conduct it."
The Panchayat head said, "No, Sami! The eye-opening ritual has not yet taken place for Vinayaka, Sami! We can't understand anything, if you are advising us this way..." He was confused.
Maha Periyava smiled again and said, "I am not telling this myself!
Ganapathi is staring, well and clearly, with his eyes open. Make
arrangements for an early Kumbhabhishekham! If Gandhi comes, let him have a good darshan!" The people around couldn't understand anything. They were waiting patiently.
The Panchayat head could not get over his confusion. He sent word for the sthapati who sculptured the Vinayaka statue. The words of Acharyal were apprised to him.
The sculptor was also firm in his conviction: "No, Swami... The eyes
are not yet opened for Vinayaka. Is it not customary that only I who carved the statue should also open its eyes? It is not yet done."
The sculptor fell at Acharyal's feet three times and stood with his
hands folded across his chest. Looking again at the statue firmly, Acharyal said, "The eyes of Maha Ganapathi have been well opened! He is staring happily. It is not good to delay further. Fix an auspicious day early and conduct the Kumbhabhishekham. Prosperity will follow."
With these words, Acharyal started moving hurriedly from that place.
The entourage followed. All the people went up to the village border
and then bade farewell to Periyava.
The village Panchayat assembled within minutes after the incident. The words of Acharyal were discussed in depth.
The sculptor who was slightly old told firmly:
"Because of his prevision everything would be intelligible Acharya
Swamigal. Still, I have not opened the eyes with my hand. Don't know
how Sami says that. I went to the statue and checked thoroughly. It
does not seem to have happened that way. What to do now?"
Silence prevailed there. No one opened his mouth. Suddenly a boy of
apparently twelve years of age came running to the meeting. He folded his eyes on his chest and stood.
The headman asked him politely, "Thambi! Why do you come running so hurriedly? What is the matter?"
The boy replied, "Thalaivare! I know something about the temple's
Vinayaka statue. Shall I tell it here?"
The headman was interested: "What do you know, come on say it
brother!" The crowd was looking keenly at the boy.
The boy started talking: "Ayya headman! I am telling the fact known to
me with a promise that this is true. That Samiyar Sami's words that the eyes of Pillaiyar have been opened is only true! If you ask me how--it was the time of peak sunshine some ten days before. The grandfather who is sitting here, the man who carved the Pillaiyar statue- his grandson and I are friends. You know what he did? He suddenly took up the chisel and hammer that his grandfather had kept specially for opening statues' eyes, and brought us to the temple.
"Saying 'Hey, look! My grandfather would open statues' eyes only this
way!', he worked on the eyes of Pilliayar, chanting, 'O Pillaiyar,
open your eyes!' and making us chant those words. When he finished, all of us boys jumped and danced saying 'Yea, Pilliayar's eyes have been opened!" No one in this village knew of this matter. We too did not breathe a word out anywhere! This is what happened, please pardon us!"
The crowd was sitting amazed. Tears issued from the eyes of the
Panchayat head. The village wondered about the greatness of Acharyal. The sculptor's grandson was hardly eight years old. The Panchayat brought him to the assembly and made inquiries. He admitted to have opened the eyes of Vinayaka. All of them ran to the temple and prostrated to Vinayaka. The sculptor examined Ganapathi's eyes well with the help of a lens.
Everyone wondered at the very beautiful manner in which netronmeelan (opening of eyes) had been done.
The whole village ran in the direction Acharyal had left. Swamigal was
relaxing in the shadow of a big banyan tree on the roadside of the
next village, with his entourage.
All of them ran to him and fell at his feet. The Panchayat head and the
sculptor started sobbing.
That Parabrahmam looked at these people and asked smilingly: "Now that you have verified and known that the eyes of Pillaiyar are open, go and complete the Kumbhabhishekham early. The whole region will have prosperity."
The walking God blessed them smilingly, with a raised hand.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Experiences with Maha Periyava: Did Pillaiyar open His eyes or not?
Many years ago, Kanchi Maha Periyava had undertaken a tour of