Periava turned to the singer and said, “ I am going on talking some thing. Whether you understand or not, you are also listening to it , thinking, ‘Periava is talking; let me keep listening’. Your bus will go away. What is the time now?”.
As many looked at their watches and told Him the time, His anxiety disappeared as there was still half an hour before his bus was expected here.
He started telling me about the singer. The readers will not understand the full impact of the sympathy and love He had for this man, by merely reading this; it should be witnessed in person. It was akin to the love Lord Krishna had for the shepherd people who do not know their right and left hands.
“ The singer comes from a village just beyond Velur. I don’t recollect the name as it was a strange name; Periava also did not tell me his name. But where is the necessity for knowing the name when he happens to be the representative of those innocent persons who are fortunate to have the ‘Poornaanugraham’ ( full blessings) of Periava?
‘ He has a small inherited land. Their livelihood comes from that. He survives without being affected by the bad effects of education ( Only Periava, the personification of Simplicity, can express the person’s inability to learn in such a beautiful and camouflaged way that gives him merit!, and at the same time, it serves as a mischievous prick for us, the ‘wise’ people!). He and his widowed mother live there all by themselves; he hasn’t thought about marriage; they survive by themselves and do not do any harm to others ( by this He also indicates the innumerable harms we do to others, and how we live without any peace of mind). He had a liking for singing from his tender age; but could not afford to learn from a teacher; whenever some neighbor or a nearby hotel plays a song from the radio or gramophone, he used to rush there, listen to it; he absorbed whatever he could with his ability to absorb. Aim and attitude are more important than what one can do actually, is it not? That way, he has run here and there and has learnt as much as he could. ( see how sympathetically He values a person’s ability or the lack of it!).
“When he learnt about me,” He turned to him and asked, “when did you hear about me?”
“At the time of Periava’s Kanakaabhishekam.”------replied the singer.
“That means, for about six or seven years. When some persons mentioned about Ambal, he developed a staunch devotion towards me. He also wanted to sing before me but was worried whether he would be allowed to; more over, for coming to Kancheepuram some money is required, which he didn’t have then
By now, the sobbing from the singer attracted His attention. He turned and looked at him kindly and said, “Do not cry! Money will come and go. You are not running after it! Who has, today, that attitude? Nobody! Even boys who earn five hundred and thousand ( He mentioned this thirty years ago! Today it is fifty thousands!) are looking to go to America; why boys? Take the case of retired persons who have earned in thousands; these persons go to unethical ways to get extension; the thought, ‘yes, this is enough’ doesn’t occur to such persons. Even if that thought comes, it goes off immediately!. This has come to you naturally, and it should not vanish! Even for the sake of seeing me, do not go after money. I will always be with you, you can rest assured.”
Who will get this sort of promise?
The fortunate ‘innocent’ prostrated once again before Him. And so many other souls joined him in that.
Deciding not to make him more emotional, He turned towards me and said, “From the moment he came to know about me, he became too eager to see me. He has waited for seven/ eight years, it was like a penance for him. Now only he could save about fifteen rupees. He immediately kept that money separately for me ( When He said this, although He hid His emotion, it showed in His words!). After keeping the exact amount for the bus fare, he bought all these fruits, flowers and this garland I am wearing for the remaining money and rushed here ( Oh! That is the secret behind the garland which He didn’t remove from His neck!). All he has got now is just the bus fare for the return journey.”
Oh! My innocent friend, we will never experience the sort of Devotion, and the sense of sacrifice that you exhibited!------thought I.
I got motivated that I should do some service to this fortunate guy and appealed to Periava, “ I am returning only after witnessing the night pooja; therefore, may I arrange to take him to his place in our car and leave him?”
Periava quickly said, “ No! don’t expose him to such conveniences! ( the Tamil word used here for ‘don’t expose’ is ‘காட்டிக்குடுக்காதே!, what a meaningful expression! )
After Periava completed the briefing about the singer, he asked Him about me. SriSaranar told him about me, which I felt was very much exaggerated and which did not please me also; on the contrary, it gave me immense pain; pain because, what He told him was all about my fame as a writer, which I have always disliked. A writer , with his own ability, what he learns by seeing and hearing, and above all with the Divine blessing , can write a lot that will please and elevate the minds of those who read them; but what of the writer himself? And the elevation of his mind? There have been any number of literary greats, pundits and those who wrote specifically on matters of ‘Atma’; but how many among them would have elevated their own souls to higher levels? Caught between the force of writing on one side and the downward pull of the fame achieved, it is a cruel race for the writer to make progress.
Why then, Periava not only calls me as ‘writer’ repeatedly but also talks about the fame which hurts me? Is my whole life going to be spent this way, writing for others’ benefit
When is He going to ‘win’ me over to His side? Has He forgotten my appeal to Him made two years ago?.
Unable to contain myself, I told Him, “Why Periava is always talking about this so—called fame as a writer? Has Periava forgotten my request made two years ago?”
He looked at me with those big eyes, full of love and kindness! That itself calmed me quite a bit and assured me that He will not let me ‘down’.
Then, He looked at all the others present there, and said, “It is only four years since he started writing; many people say that he is doing it because of my Anugraham; but, within two years, he wants me to bless him for stopping that!”
Then, He turned towards me and said, “ Let that go on; let it continue for the benefit of the world; Why should we think that it is an obstacle? If it has to happen for the benefit of others, let it continue; along with that, let us not lose sight of what we desire, and pray Ambal to bless us and guide us for achieving that also. I will also pray on your behalf!”
Could I have asked for more than what He said in the end?
But still, I persisted, “ But, I feel why Periava also should repeatedly keep mentioning about my carrier and the fame, as if what other people say is not enough? Why Periava should stress on the ‘writer’ identity. I dislike this ‘writer’ identity.”
He laughed mischievously and said, “ So, you want to identify yourself with the soul, without any other external identity? ( I do not know how far my translation of this is correct. Hence, I will mention what Ganapathy anna wrote in Tamil. “ ஒரு ஐடென்டிடியும் இல்லாம, அப்படியே ஆத்மாராமனா இருந்துண்டிருக்கணுமோ?)
“ I don’t desrve to ask for such an exalted status. But, since I hope I have some little of Periava’s and Sri Ramana Bagavan’s blessing, I can’t say that I do not have THAT desire at all. And, should there be an identity at all, then it…..” I couldn’t speak further.
“Come on! Tell me! Come close and tell me!”-----urged Periava, and gestured with His hands for others to move away.
But before they moved, I, from a distance, propelled by the clarity of mind that He filled my mind with, said, “ Should there be an identity at all, then, I want to be ‘Ambal’s child; although everything and every being is Ambal’s children, I want to experience that truth with my personal experience”.
Though I mentioned the word ‘Ambal’, I never saw Him different from Her. But though I could ask openly for the personal experience of ‘being Her child’, I couldn’t ask ( rather, I hesitated to ask) Him for ‘being His child’.
SriSaranar closed and re opened His eyes, filled with Her love and affection.
Then, He said , “ The fact that you have such a claim, itself shows that, She has kindled this desire in a corner of your mind , with or without your knowledge. As She has sown this desire in you, She will certainly help in its growth. You also pray for it; I will also pray.” Again the plentiful blessing!
Source: Shri.Surya Narayan