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JAYA JAYA SHANKARA!! HARA HARA SHANKARA!! I welcome all of you to this blogspot which is dedicated in entireity to my JAGAT GURU. I pray to my Kanchi Mahan to shower the blessings for the successful creation of this blogspot. I am in the process of collecting all the available information, speeches, audios, videos, books from the ocean of WEB. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the Original uploaders who provided the resources for me to gather and put the same in my blogspot. Please note that this site is regulary updated and request you to visit on regular basis to update on the happenings. I will leave you here...with Periavaa. JAYA JAYA SHANKARA!! HARA HARA SHANKARA!!
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Experiences with Maha Periyava: Paramacharya Stuns a Landowner!

On a Chitra full moon day, many years back, an abhishekam was performed in a grand manner with Mahanyasa rudra japam at Sri Mahalingaswami temple, Tiruvidaimarudur. The person who conducted it with 11 Vedic pundits was the landowner Narayanaswami Iyer of Tiruvarur. The rudrabhishekam that started at eight in the morning came to a completion at around one in the afternoon.
The landowner Narayanaswami Iyer was extremely devoted to Kanchi Maha Periyava. He decided that this rudrabhisheka prasadam should be submitted to Periyava somehow. He reverentially kept the prasadam on a banana leaf and folded it inside a new silk cloth. That same evening, he boarded the Madurai Madras passenger train at Tiruvidaimarudur railway station. He got down at Chengalpat station in the early morning, took a bus and arrived at Kanchipuram.
There was a large crowd at the Matham on that day. After finishing his bath and other chores, the landowner waited for Periyava's darshan. At about 12 o'clock at noon, Maha Periyava came and sat down, after finishing his Chandramouleeswara puja. The crowd of devotees rushed forward. The landowner couldn't approach Swamigal. He showed the prasada bag and begged everyone, "All of you please make way! I have brought Tiruvidaimarudur Mahalingaswamy rudrabhisheka prasadam for Periyava. I have to submit it to him."
No one seemed to give way. An employee of the Matham who saw the anxiety and haste of the landowner, created a way for him among the people and brought Narayanaswami Iyer near Periyava. When he saw Periyava, the landowner became insensate, dropped down heavily for a prostration and got up. Maha Periyava looked at him raising his head. He raised his brows as if he inquired what the matter was.
With his hands shaking, the landowner babbled, unpacking the prasadam bag, "prasadam, prasadu Periyava". "What prasadam?" asked Periyava and looked at him. In the meantime, the landowner managed to extract the prasadam. He kept it on the cane plate he found there and submitted it to Periyava. On that plate were found in a small banana leaf, vibhuti, kumkum, sandal paste together with some vilva dalam (leaves), two parts of a broken coconut, and some poovan banana fruits.
Maha Periyava asked, "All these are prasadam of which kshetra?" and looked at the landowner once again. The landowner calmed himself and said with humility, "Periyava! I performed the rudrabhishekam for Mahalingaswami at Tiruvidaimarudur yesterday. It was a large abhishekam with Mahanyasa rudra japam. This is that prasadam. Thinking Periyava would be happy, I rushed here to bring it, boarding a train; you must receive it and bless me."
Looking at that prasada plate sharply for some time, Periyava asked: "Narayanaswami! You are a big landowner yourself. Even then you performed this rudrabhishekam for Swami, teaming up with some other people to meet the expenses?"
The landowner replied, "No, Periyava! I performed it myself, out of my own expenses," stressing the 'myself' part a little.
Periyava smiled to himself. He did not leave it at that. "So you did for Loka kshema at Madhyaarjuna kshetra", he added.
The landowner replied with some uncertainty, "No, Periyava! For the last two or three years, there has been no yield in my fields. Some fields were even barren. I checked up with Tiruvidaimarudur Muthu Josyar. He advised me, 'On a Chitra full moon day perform rudrabhishekam for Mahalingaswami. That will give you an abundant yield!' Only on that belief, I performed it, Periyava".
The prasada that was kept before the Sage remained untouched. Periyava did not accept it. Saying, "So it seems that you did not perform this act either for Atmartam or for Loka kshemartam", he closed his eyes and dropped into meditation.
Acharyal opened his eyes after fifteen minutes. There was so much clarity in his face! And a knowing look of having understood many things within those fifteen minutes was on his face. Everyone around was very quiet. Swamigal continued, "Alright... How many Vedic Brahmins attended the rudrabhishekam? "
"I had arranged for eleven Vedic pundits, Periyava!"
Swamigal persisted, "Did you know who the vaidikas were and which place they belonged to? Was it only you who made all arrangements? "
The devotees who were witnessing the scene were surprised at the detailed inquiry Periyava was making. They also understood that he wouldn't do anything without a reason. The landowner took a piece of paper that he had tucked in his waist.
"I am it reading out, Periyava.
Tiruvidaimarudur Venkatrama Sastrigal, Seenuvasa Ganapadigal, Rajagopala Shrautigal, Marutthuvakkudi Santhana Vaadyhar, Sundaa Sastrigal, Subramanya Sastrigal, Tirumangalakkudi Venkittu Vaadhyar, and then--"
Periyava interrupted him and asked easily, "All experts only, whom you have arranged. Alright, check if your list has the name Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal. "
Brimming with happiness, the landowner replied, "It is there, Periyava! He also attended the japam", showing surprise in his voice.
Though the devotees were taken by surprise at such detailed inquiry about an abhishekam that was over, no one said anything. Everyone was silent and attentive.
Swamigal said, "Besh, besh! So you had engaged Venkatesa Ganapadigal also for the japam! A very good thing. Maha Veda vit! Ganagadigal is now very aged. Even difficult for him to raise his voice. He would feel it hard to control his breathing and intone the japam."
As if he waited for this remark, the landowner replied, his tone raising, "Yes, Periyava! What you have said is very correct. He did not chant the rudram well. Sometimes he was sitting silent with closed eyes. Often he yawned. All these resulted in the shrinkage of the counting of the japam numbers. He gave a lot of trouble yesterday. I regretted having engaged him for the japam."
Swamigal swelled with indignation. "What did you say... What did you say? So you have the impudence to talk anything because you have the money? What do you know about the yogyatamsam of Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal? Would you match the dust of the feet of that Veda vit? How can you talk such words about him? I have now understood what happened yesterday at the Mahalingaswami Sannidhi! You answer my question now! When the Ganapadigal was sitting quiet with closed eyes at the time of the japam yesterday, did you not shout harshly at him, 'Engaanum, are you not getting the money, you are sitting still with a shut mouth without doing the japam?' Tell me, did you shout these words to him or not?" The landowner was appalled. The crowd was amazed.
Narayanaswami Iyer fell at Swamigal's feet. Swamigal did not say anything. The landowner got up himself. He closed his mouth and replied shivering, "My mistake, Periyava! It is true that I used the very same words you spoke know to the Ganapadigal in the Swami Sannidhi yesterday. Periyava should kindly pardon me."
Periyava did not stop. "Wait, wait. Did you do only that mistake? You did honour the vaidikals with money, right? How much did you give each vaidikal?"
The landowner gulped and said weakly, "I paid ten rupees for each head, Periyava."
Swamigal did not leave him with that. "Tell me correctly! I know everything! Did you pay all the vaidikals equally with ten-ten rupees each?"
The landowner stood silently. But the Acharyal did not relent. "Listen, I shall tell you what you did yesterday. Perhaps you feel shy to talk it out. You seated the vaidikals in a row at the Sannidhi and was giving the sambhavana of ten rupees to each of them. When the turn of Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal came, you decided, 'This man did not chant the rudram properly. Why should I give him ten rupees as I did for the others?' and gave him just seven rupees. You had the thought that somehow you had taken revenge on him. Did he care anything about it all? He just accepted what you gave him and tied it to the edge of his vastram." Acharyal asked him hotly, "Tell me, Is not what I am saying correct?"
The devotees were stunned. No one said anything. They wondered how Periyava came to know what took place in Tiruvidaimarudur temple yesterday.
The landowner prostrated to the Sage and said, "A gross mistake, Periyava! It was out of ignorance that I behaved like that! I won't behave in such a fashion henceforth! Kindly pardon me!"
Before he finished, Periyava continued, "Wait, wait! It would have been less worse had it ended there." He asked, "For the japa brahmins, you arranged for the meals at the house of Ramachandra Iyer of Mahadhana Street, right?"
"Yes, Periyava!"
"You served sumptuous meals, of course, with a feeling of immense happiness. You had arranged for cooking of very tasty sweet pongal, with lots of cashew nuts and raisins added to it, and you served it with your own hands, with ghee dripping from it in the meals session, right?"
Narayanaswami Iyer was more and more appalled. He closed his mouth and spoke with uncertainty, "Yes, Periyava! In the session I served only the sweet pongal with my own hands."
"Alright, does your conscience admit that you did it with the dharma for serving a meal?" Swamigal asked him sternly.
The landowner did not open his mouth. Acharyal said by himself, "You need not tell me, I shall tell you! When you served the sweet pongal, since it was very tasty, the vaidikals asked for repeated helpings. And you obliged them. But when Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal, giving up his restraint asked you many times, 'Serve me more of the sweet pongal, it is very tasty....' did you not carry on without serving him more, though you heard him? How many times did he ask you, giving up his normal reticence! And you did not serve him more! You committed the sin of partiality in a meals session! Was it dharma? You insulted a great sadhu!" Swamigal fell into silence, overwhelmed with distress.
The landowner stood with his head bowed down. The devotees were amazed and speechless. Closing his eyes and folding both his legs behind him, Acharyal sat upright. His divine frame looked like the Lord Parameswara Himself. He sat motionless.
Fifteen minutes passed by in complete silence. Then Acharyal opened his eyes. Everyone was silent. Acharyal continued his talk, looking at Narayanaswami Iyer: "Mirasudarval! You should know one thing. Ganapadigal is eighty one years of age now. He had done rudra japam in countless kshetras since his sixteenth year. Sri Rudram is always coursing his veins and nerves and breath. He is such a Mahan. The way you behaved to him is an act of great sin.... an act of great sin!" Periyava stopped, unable to continue further, and closed his eyes.
He resumed again after sometime: "Your act of partiality in the meals session affected him deeply. You know what he did? I shall tell you, listen. He did not go back to his native place Thepperumaanallur yesterday evening. Instead, he went to Mahalingaswami temple. He did pradakshina of the outer courtyard three times… Went straight to Mahalingaswami and stood before Him. You know what he prayed for, joining his palms?" Periyava couldn't continue. He steadied himself and then resumed his talk.
"With tears streaming down his eyes, he spoke to the God, 'Appa, Jyoti Mahalingam! I am your steadfast devotee. Since my early days I have recited mahanyasa rudra japam countless times in your Sannidhi. You have listened to it. I am now eighty one years old. I have the mental strength, but that strength has gone in my speech! It can't be that you wouldn't know what happened this afternoon when we were dining. I asked that landowner many times, leaving my shyness aside, for more of that pongal, since it was very very tasty. Though he heard me, the landowner moved away as if he did not hear my request. You know that I have an immense fondness for sweet pongal. Though I asked him out of temptation, I was grieved that he did not serve me more.
'But then only after I had finished my meals, washed my hands and sat on the thinnai it occurred to me whether I could have such a jihva sabalam at this age. This is the reason I am now standing before you, Appa Mahalingam! With you as the mediator, I take a vow from this moment. Everyone gives up some favourite edible when they go to Kasi. It is only you who is in Kasi, as well as here. Therefore I take a vow before you that I will not touch the sweet pongal or any other sweet dish from now on until my soul goes out of this body! This is a promise Mahalingam.' With that vairagya pramanam he said, 'Appa Jyoti Mahalingam! I take leave of you now," and did shastaanga namaskaram twelve times. Tears were flowing down Ganapadigal's eyes, as he left for his place. Now, you tell me... Was what you did dharma? Will Mahalingaswami agree to it?"
Periyava stopped. It was then three o' clock in the afternoon. "I don't want any bhiksha today", said Swamigal. No one moved from there. Not even for their lunch. Total silence prevailed. Tears were seen in everyone's eyes. The landowner Narayanaswami Iyer stood transfixed. He could not raise his tongue to speak. Everyone's wonder was, 'How did Periyava narrate everything that happened yesterday at Tiruvidaimarudur as if he witnessed them personally?'
Falling down to Periyava's feet, the landowner started sobbing vehemently. His tongue slurred as he said, "Periyava! What I did was a great sin! I did it out of vanity. Kindly pardon me. Never again shall I behave like this in my life. You should say 'I have pardoned you'!" The landowner patted his cheeks loudly.
Acharyal did not open his mouth. The landowner was persistent. "I pray to you, Periyava! You should accept this Mahalingaswami rudrabhisheka prasadam. Kindly pardon me!" He pointed his hands towards the prasadam plate.
Acharyal said, "Let it be, let it be there. That Mahalingaswami Himself will give me the prasada anugraham."
Before he finished his words, a voice was heard outside the crowd: "Make way, make way!" Everyone moved to make way.
Only a tuft of hair knotted at the end on the head. A bright five-folded dhoti on the waist, with a silky green cloth covering it. A large rudraksha garland on the neck. A noble man, who could be around sixty-five years old, arrived near Periyava, carrying piously a brass plate on which was the prasadam preserved in a silk cloth. He submitted the prasadam plate reverentially to Acharyal and said, "My name is Mahalingam. I am the archaka of Tiruvidaimarudur Mahalingaswami temple. Yesterday a rudrabhishekam was performed for Swami. A landowner conducted it. My elder sister is given in marriage to this place. I came to submit the prasadam to Acharyal and then look her up. Periyava should do me the anugraham." Swamigal prevented him as he proceeded to prostrate.
Saying "You people have been given Shiva deeksha, you shouldn't do namaskaram to me", Acharyal accepted the prasadams brought and asked the Sivacharya to be given the Matham's honours in return. In the meantime, the Sivacharyal saw the landowner who was standing at some distance. "Periyava, it is this man who had conducted the rudrabhishekam there yesterday. He has come himself come here!" With these words, Mahalingam Sivacharya left the place, taking leave of the Sage.
The landowner Narayanaswami Iyer again prostrated to Acharyal and patted his cheeks loudly. He pleaded, "Again and again I pray to you, Periyava. It is a great sinful act I have committed. Only you should tell me the remedy for this act."
Swamigal got up briskly. "I cannot tell you any remedy for this. Only Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal can tell you the remedy."
"Will the Ganapadigal tell me the remedy for the deed of this paavi, Periyava?” the landowner asked with grief.
Swamigal said in a slightly raised voice, "If you have the praaptam, he will certainly tell you!" and hurried inside. He did not come out at all.
The landowner waited for a few hours. And then, having come to a decision, he left the place and arrived at Chengalpat boarding a bus. He caught a train and arrived at Tiruvidaimarudur on the next morning. He finished his bath in the Kaveri river there and with firmness of heart started walking towards Thepperumaanallur. He walked briskly with the resolution that he would somehow meet Venkatesa Ganapadigal, falling shastaangam at his feet, ask for his pardon, perform the remedy he would suggest and obtain paapa vimochanam.
The landowner entered the Thepperumaanallur agraharam. He inquired the first man he came across, the address of the Ganapadigal. The man pointed to a house on the street before which there was a crowd of people and said, "You have come to offer your condolences? That is the home of Venkatesa Ganapadigal. Early this morning, he suddenly passed away. A painless, peaceful death. Go and have a look."
Narayanaswami Iyer was stunned. He felt as if someone had hit him on the head. The firm words of Acharyal at the Matham yesterday seemed to ring in his ears. If you have the praaptam, he will certainly tell you!" He now understood that Periyava had known yesterday itself that the landowner would not have the praaptam.
The landowner went to Ganapadigal's house, offered his condolences, and prostrated to the gross body of the Ganapadigal, seeking his pardon mentally. Then he moved away from the place.
Later on, the landowner did a lot of service for the Mutts in the North and obtained Mukti in Kasi.
Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)
Source: *Sakthi Vikatan* issue dated Nov 05, 2006

Photo: Experiences with Maha Periyava: Paramacharya Stuns a Landowner!  <br /><br />On a Chitra full moon day, many years back, an abhishekam was performed in a grand manner with Mahanyasa rudra japam at Sri Mahalingaswami temple, Tiruvidaimarudur. The person who conducted it with 11 Vedic pundits was the landowner Narayanaswami Iyer of Tiruvarur. The rudrabhishekam that started at eight in the morning came to a completion at around one in the afternoon.<br /><br />The landowner Narayanaswami Iyer was extremely devoted to Kanchi Maha Periyava. He decided that this rudrabhisheka prasadam should be submitted to Periyava somehow. He reverentially kept the prasadam on a banana leaf and folded it inside a new silk cloth. That same evening, he boarded the Madurai Madras passenger train at Tiruvidaimarudur railway station. He got down at Chengalpat station in the early morning, took a bus and arrived at Kanchipuram.<br /><br />There was a large crowd at the Matham on that day. After finishing his bath and other chores, the landowner waited for Periyava's darshan. At about 12 o'clock at noon, Maha Periyava came and sat down, after finishing his Chandramouleeswara puja. The crowd of devotees rushed forward. The landowner couldn't approach Swamigal. He showed the prasada bag and begged everyone, "All of you please make way! I have brought Tiruvidaimarudur Mahalingaswamy rudrabhisheka prasadam for Periyava. I have to submit it to him."<br /><br />No one seemed to give way. An employee of the Matham who saw the anxiety and haste of the landowner, created a way for him among the people and brought Narayanaswami Iyer near Periyava. When he saw Periyava, the landowner became insensate, dropped down heavily for a prostration and got up. Maha Periyava looked at him raising his head. He raised his brows as if he inquired what the matter was.<br /><br />With his hands shaking, the landowner babbled, unpacking the prasadam bag, "prasadam, prasadu Periyava". "What prasadam?" asked Periyava and looked at him. In the meantime, the landowner managed to extract the prasadam. He kept it on the cane plate he found there and submitted it to Periyava. On that plate were found in a small banana leaf, vibhuti, kumkum, sandal paste together with some vilva dalam (leaves), two parts of a broken coconut, and some poovan banana fruits.<br />Maha Periyava asked, "All these are prasadam of which kshetra?" and looked at the landowner once again. The landowner calmed himself and said with humility, "Periyava! I performed the rudrabhishekam for Mahalingaswami at Tiruvidaimarudur yesterday. It was a large abhishekam with Mahanyasa rudra japam. This is that prasadam. Thinking Periyava would be happy, I rushed here to bring it, boarding a train; you must receive it and bless me."<br /><br />Looking at that prasada plate sharply for some time, Periyava asked: "Narayanaswami! You are a big landowner yourself. Even then you performed this rudrabhishekam for Swami, teaming up with some other people to meet the expenses?"<br /><br />The landowner replied, "No, Periyava! I performed it myself, out of my own expenses," stressing the 'myself' part a little.<br /><br />Periyava smiled to himself. He did not leave it at that. "So you did for Loka kshema at Madhyaarjuna kshetra", he added.<br /><br />The landowner replied with some uncertainty, "No, Periyava! For the last two or three years, there has been no yield in my fields. Some fields were even barren. I checked up with Tiruvidaimarudur Muthu Josyar. He advised me, 'On a Chitra full moon day perform rudrabhishekam for Mahalingaswami. That will give you an abundant yield!' Only on that belief, I performed it, Periyava".<br /><br />The prasada that was kept before the Sage remained untouched. Periyava did not accept it. Saying, "So it seems that you did not perform this act either for Atmartam or for Loka kshemartam", he closed his eyes and dropped into meditation.<br /><br />Acharyal opened his eyes after fifteen minutes. There was so much clarity in his face! And a knowing look of having understood many things within those fifteen minutes was on his face. Everyone around was very quiet. Swamigal continued, "Alright... How many Vedic Brahmins attended the rudrabhishekam? "<br /><br />"I had arranged for eleven Vedic pundits, Periyava!"<br />Swamigal persisted, "Did you know who the vaidikas were and which place they belonged to? Was it only you who made all arrangements? "<br /><br />The devotees who were witnessing the scene were surprised at the detailed inquiry Periyava was making. They also understood that he wouldn't do anything without a reason. The landowner took a piece of paper that he had tucked in his waist.<br /><br />"I am it reading out, Periyava. <br />Tiruvidaimarudur Venkatrama Sastrigal, Seenuvasa Ganapadigal, Rajagopala Shrautigal, Marutthuvakkudi Santhana Vaadyhar, Sundaa Sastrigal, Subramanya Sastrigal, Tirumangalakkudi Venkittu Vaadhyar, and then--"<br /><br />Periyava interrupted him and asked easily, "All experts only, whom you have arranged. Alright, check if your list has the name Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal. "<br /><br />Brimming with happiness, the landowner replied, "It is there, Periyava! He also attended the japam", showing surprise in his voice.<br /><br />Though the devotees were taken by surprise at such detailed inquiry about an abhishekam that was over, no one said anything. Everyone was silent and attentive.<br /><br />Swamigal said, "Besh, besh! So you had engaged Venkatesa Ganapadigal also for the japam! A very good thing. Maha Veda vit! Ganagadigal is now very aged. Even difficult for him to raise his voice. He would feel it hard to control his breathing and intone the japam."<br /><br />As if he waited for this remark, the landowner replied, his tone raising, "Yes, Periyava! What you have said is very correct. He did not chant the rudram well. Sometimes he was sitting silent with closed eyes. Often he yawned. All these resulted in the shrinkage of the counting of the japam numbers. He gave a lot of trouble yesterday. I regretted having engaged him for the japam."<br /><br />Swamigal swelled with indignation. "What did you say... What did you say? So you have the impudence to talk anything because you have the money? What do you know about the yogyatamsam of Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal? Would you match the dust of the feet of that Veda vit? How can you talk such words about him? I have now understood what happened yesterday at the Mahalingaswami Sannidhi! You answer my question now! When the Ganapadigal was sitting quiet with closed eyes at the time of the japam yesterday, did you not shout harshly at him, 'Engaanum, are you not getting the money, you are sitting still with a shut mouth without doing the japam?' Tell me, did you shout these words to him or not?" The landowner was appalled. The crowd was amazed.<br /><br />Narayanaswami Iyer fell at Swamigal's feet. Swamigal did not say anything. The landowner got up himself. He closed his mouth and replied shivering, "My mistake, Periyava! It is true that I used the very same words you spoke know to the Ganapadigal in the Swami Sannidhi yesterday. Periyava should kindly pardon me."<br /><br />Periyava did not stop. "Wait, wait. Did you do only that mistake? You did honour the vaidikals with money, right? How much did you give each vaidikal?"<br /><br />The landowner gulped and said weakly, "I paid ten rupees for each head, Periyava."<br /><br />Swamigal did not leave him with that. "Tell me correctly! I know everything! Did you pay all the vaidikals equally with ten-ten rupees each?"<br /><br />The landowner stood silently. But the Acharyal did not relent. "Listen, I shall tell you what you did yesterday. Perhaps you feel shy to talk it out. You seated the vaidikals in a row at the Sannidhi and was giving the sambhavana of ten rupees to each of them. When the turn of Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal came, you decided, 'This man did not chant the rudram properly. Why should I give him ten rupees as I did for the others?' and gave him just seven rupees. You had the thought that somehow you had taken revenge on him. Did he care anything about it all? He just accepted what you gave him and tied it to the edge of his vastram." Acharyal asked him hotly, "Tell me, Is not what I am saying correct?"<br /><br />The devotees were stunned. No one said anything. They wondered how Periyava came to know what took place in Tiruvidaimarudur temple yesterday.<br /><br />The landowner prostrated to the Sage and said, "A gross mistake, Periyava! It was out of ignorance that I behaved like that! I won't behave in such a fashion henceforth! Kindly pardon me!"<br /><br />Before he finished, Periyava continued, "Wait, wait! It would have been less worse had it ended there." He asked, "For the japa brahmins, you arranged for the meals at the house of Ramachandra Iyer of Mahadhana Street, right?"<br /><br />"Yes, Periyava!"<br /><br />"You served sumptuous meals, of course, with a feeling of immense happiness. You had arranged for cooking of very tasty sweet pongal, with lots of cashew nuts and raisins added to it, and you served it with your own hands, with ghee dripping from it in the meals session, right?"<br /><br />Narayanaswami Iyer was more and more appalled. He closed his mouth and spoke with uncertainty, "Yes, Periyava! In the session I served only the sweet pongal with my own hands."<br /><br />"Alright, does your conscience admit that you did it with the dharma for serving a meal?" Swamigal asked him sternly.<br /><br />The landowner did not open his mouth. Acharyal said by himself, "You need not tell me, I shall tell you! When you served the sweet pongal, since it was very tasty, the vaidikals asked for repeated helpings. And you obliged them. But when Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal, giving up his restraint asked you many times, 'Serve me more of the sweet pongal, it is very tasty....' did you not carry on without serving him more, though you heard him? How many times did he ask you, giving up his normal reticence! And you did not serve him more! You committed the sin of partiality in a meals session! Was it dharma? You insulted a great sadhu!" Swamigal fell into silence, overwhelmed with distress.<br /><br />The landowner stood with his head bowed down. The devotees were amazed and speechless. Closing his eyes and folding both his legs behind him, Acharyal sat upright. His divine frame looked like the Lord Parameswara Himself. He sat motionless.<br /><br />Fifteen minutes passed by in complete silence. Then Acharyal opened his eyes. Everyone was silent. Acharyal continued his talk, looking at Narayanaswami Iyer: "Mirasudarval! You should know one thing. Ganapadigal is eighty one years of age now. He had done rudra japam in countless kshetras since his sixteenth year. Sri Rudram is always coursing his veins and nerves and breath. He is such a Mahan. The way you behaved to him is an act of great sin.... an act of great sin!" Periyava stopped, unable to continue further, and closed his eyes.<br /><br />He resumed again after sometime: "Your act of partiality in the meals session affected him deeply. You know what he did? I shall tell you, listen. He did not go back to his native place Thepperumaanallur yesterday evening. Instead, he went to Mahalingaswami temple. He did pradakshina of the outer courtyard three times… Went straight to Mahalingaswami and stood before Him. You know what he prayed for, joining his palms?" Periyava couldn't continue. He steadied himself and then resumed his talk.<br /><br />"With tears streaming down his eyes, he spoke to the God, 'Appa, Jyoti Mahalingam! I am your steadfast devotee. Since my early days I have recited mahanyasa rudra japam countless times in your Sannidhi. You have listened to it. I am now eighty one years old. I have the mental strength, but that strength has gone in my speech! It can't be that you wouldn't know what happened this afternoon when we were dining. I asked that landowner many times, leaving my shyness aside, for more of that pongal, since it was very very tasty. Though he heard me, the landowner moved away as if he did not hear my request. You know that I have an immense fondness for sweet pongal. Though I asked him out of temptation, I was grieved that he did not serve me more.<br /><br />'But then only after I had finished my meals, washed my hands and sat on the thinnai it occurred to me whether I could have such a jihva sabalam at this age. This is the reason I am now standing before you, Appa Mahalingam! With you as the mediator, I take a vow from this moment. Everyone gives up some favourite edible when they go to Kasi. It is only you who is in Kasi, as well as here. Therefore I take a vow before you that I will not touch the sweet pongal or any other sweet dish from now on until my soul goes out of this body! This is a promise Mahalingam.' With that vairagya pramanam he said, 'Appa Jyoti Mahalingam! I take leave of you now," and did shastaanga namaskaram twelve times. Tears were flowing down Ganapadigal's eyes, as he left for his place. Now, you tell me... Was what you did dharma? Will Mahalingaswami agree to it?"<br /><br />Periyava stopped. It was then three o' clock in the afternoon. "I don't want any bhiksha today", said Swamigal. No one moved from there. Not even for their lunch. Total silence prevailed. Tears were seen in everyone's eyes. The landowner Narayanaswami Iyer stood transfixed. He could not raise his tongue to speak. Everyone's wonder was, 'How did Periyava narrate everything that happened yesterday at Tiruvidaimarudur as if he witnessed them personally?'<br /><br />Falling down to Periyava's feet, the landowner started sobbing vehemently. His tongue slurred as he said, "Periyava! What I did was a great sin! I did it out of vanity. Kindly pardon me. Never again shall I behave like this in my life. You should say 'I have pardoned you'!" The landowner patted his cheeks loudly.<br /><br />Acharyal did not open his mouth. The landowner was persistent. "I pray to you, Periyava! You should accept this Mahalingaswami rudrabhisheka prasadam. Kindly pardon me!" He pointed his hands towards the prasadam plate.<br /><br />Acharyal said, "Let it be, let it be there. That Mahalingaswami Himself will give me the prasada anugraham."<br /><br />Before he finished his words, a voice was heard outside the crowd: "Make way, make way!" Everyone moved to make way.<br /><br />Only a tuft of hair knotted at the end on the head. A bright five-folded dhoti on the waist, with a silky green cloth covering it. A large rudraksha garland on the neck. A noble man, who could be around sixty-five years old, arrived near Periyava, carrying piously a brass plate on which was the prasadam preserved in a silk cloth. He submitted the prasadam plate reverentially to Acharyal and said, "My name is Mahalingam. I am the archaka of Tiruvidaimarudur Mahalingaswami temple. Yesterday a rudrabhishekam was performed for Swami. A landowner conducted it. My elder sister is given in marriage to this place. I came to submit the prasadam to Acharyal and then look her up. Periyava should do me the anugraham." Swamigal prevented him as he proceeded to prostrate.<br /><br />Saying "You people have been given Shiva deeksha, you shouldn't do namaskaram to me", Acharyal accepted the prasadams brought and asked the Sivacharya to be given the Matham's honours in return. In the meantime, the Sivacharyal saw the landowner who was standing at some distance. "Periyava, it is this man who had conducted the rudrabhishekam there yesterday. He has come himself come here!" With these words, Mahalingam Sivacharya left the place, taking leave of the Sage.<br /><br />The landowner Narayanaswami Iyer again prostrated to Acharyal and patted his cheeks loudly. He pleaded, "Again and again I pray to you, Periyava. It is a great sinful act I have committed. Only you should tell me the remedy for this act."<br /> <br />Swamigal got up briskly. "I cannot tell you any remedy for this. Only Thepperumaanallur Venkatesa Ganapadigal can tell you the remedy."<br /><br />"Will the Ganapadigal tell me the remedy for the deed of this paavi, Periyava?” the landowner asked with grief.<br /><br />Swamigal said in a slightly raised voice, "If you have the praaptam, he will certainly tell you!" and hurried inside. He did not come out at all.<br /><br />The landowner waited for a few hours. And then, having come to a decision, he left the place and arrived at Chengalpat boarding a bus. He caught a train and arrived at Tiruvidaimarudur on the next morning. He finished his bath in the Kaveri river there and with firmness of heart started walking towards Thepperumaanallur. He walked briskly with the resolution that he would somehow meet Venkatesa Ganapadigal, falling shastaangam at his feet, ask for his pardon, perform the remedy he would suggest and obtain paapa vimochanam.<br />The landowner entered the Thepperumaanallur agraharam. He inquired the first man he came across, the address of the Ganapadigal. The man pointed to a house on the street before which there was a crowd of people and said, "You have come to offer your condolences? That is the home of Venkatesa Ganapadigal. Early this morning, he suddenly passed away. A painless, peaceful death. Go and have a look."<br /><br />Narayanaswami Iyer was stunned. He felt as if someone had hit him on the head. The firm words of Acharyal at the Matham yesterday seemed to ring in his ears. If you have the praaptam, he will certainly tell you!" He now understood that Periyava had known yesterday itself that the landowner would not have the praaptam.<br /><br />The landowner went to Ganapadigal's house, offered his condolences, and prostrated to the gross body of the Ganapadigal, seeking his pardon mentally. Then he moved away from the place.<br /><br />Later on, the landowner did a lot of service for the Mutts in the North and obtained Mukti in Kasi. <br /><br />Author: Sri Ramani Anna (in Tamil)<br />Source: *Sakthi Vikatan* issue dated Nov 05, 2006

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