Welcome to My Blog.....

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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PLEASE LISTEN TO THE NEWLY UPLOADED SONGS ON SHRI MAHAPERIAVAA BY SHRI UDAYALUR KALYANA RAMAN

Devotees' experiences- English





Posted by Anand Sundaresan

Namaskaram - Ram ram - Shiva Shiva - Jaya Jaya Sankara
One more article to show the Greatness of Mahaswamigal who came on earth and adorned the Illustrious Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha, established by Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada, 2516 years ago. I am very pleased to share with you this incident which happened with my friend Mr Meenakshi Sundaram who was Secretary of Hindu Dharma Paripalana Sabha, Chennai, for more than 4 decades.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Their Holiness of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.
N. Sriram

Greatness of Kanchi Mahaswami - 14.
Posted by: "Dr.B.G.Y Sastry" drbgysastry@yahoo.com
Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:09 am (PST)
14. Periya Doctor... (The Great Doctor)
Author:  V. MeenakshiSundaram, Secretary, Hindu Dharma Manram, Chennai-33
Compiler: T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
Book:  Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 197-205
Publisher:  Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)
My memory is that it was the year 1957. Kanchi Maha SwamigaL and Sri Jayendra Saraswathi SwamigaL were camping in a house in
Rameswaram Road
, T. Nagar (Chennai). I was living with my parents in the northern end of the same street. My age then was twenty-two. I was studying in a Secondary Grade Teachers Training School.
Sometimes Maha PeriyavargaL used to pass through my house, either during the morning or the evening hours. I had often seen Sri SwamigaL cross my house on the street. My mother at those times would be waiting at the entrance with a camphor plate, after having drawn a kolam in front of our house. It became her custom to show the lighted camphor before Sri Maha PeriyavargaL when he came in front of our house, and prostrate to him. The progressive thoughts in my mind, a sense of defiance, the nerve of youth, the lack of maturity to distinguish between good and bad--all these came together when I chided my mother, "This man is some sanyAsi. Why do you prostrate to him? What do you gain by that act? You are thus prostrating to him in an uncivilized way continually, is he going to save you? Don't do such wrong things hereafter." Hearing my indecent words my mother said, "Podaa, po!" ("Mind your business!") And went inside.

Years rolled by. I started working as a teacher in the P.S. High School, Mylapore, Chennai in the year 1959. A few years later, my mother started suffering from a severe setback in her health, her B.P. shooting up. The V.H.S. hospital at Taramani, Chennai had just then been established. I admitted my other there for treatment. At that time I was taking tuition at their home for the two sons of Mani Ayer, proprietor of Kalyani Hotel (the hotel is no longer there now) near Mylapore Kapali temple. His family was very devoted and loyal to Sri Maha SwamigaL. They would often go to Kanchipuram and have darshan. They would consider doing service to his holy feet as their most enduring happiness. Mani Ayer was residing in a house in Mandavalli near Mylapore. In the small puja room opposite the hall of their house, an adorned holy picture of Sri Maha PeriyavaaL was kept. A lamp would always be burning by the side of the picture. I would be sitting on the swing in the hall and taking class for the two boys. Since the puja room was always kept open, when Sri PeriyavaaL's picture came under my glance, a prickling sensation would arise in me. I would get down, go and close the puja room doors and then continue my teaching. It has happened several times this way.

As I mentioned earlier, I was worrying over my mother's health condition and was teaching the lessons somewhat for the name of it. Tears would fill my eyes. The worry and fear that my mother would pass away leaving me alone would surge through my mind. One day when the teaching was going on, Tiru. Mani Ayer who was just back home asked me, "What Sir! You are worried; your eyes have turned red! What is the matter?" Wiping my eyes I said, "Nothing of that sort Mani Ayer! My mother's health is not alright. Hypertension. I have admitted her in the V.H..S. That is the cause of my worry."

Mani Ayer: You showed him to a good doctor?

Myself: I told you already that I have admitted her in the V.H.S.

Mani Ayer: What did they say?

Myself: They said that she will be alright, no cause to worry. But I am not satisfied with their words.

Mani Ayer: Sir! Let your worries go. I shall take you to a big doctor. Your mother will become alright if she just looks at him.

Myself: Is that so? Who is that doctor, my mother would be cured if she is shown to him? Where does that big doctor reside? When can I see him? Shall I bring my mother right now?
There was anxiety in my reply; also haste and enthusiasm; much anticipation; because my mother should get well completely soon.

Mani Ayer: Your mother need not come. It is enough if only you come.

Myself: Mani Ayer! The disease is not for me, but my mother! If I come, how can my mother become alright? Should not that big doctor test my mother?

Mani Aiyer: Not necessary. If that big doctor just looks at you, your mother will become alright.

Myself: (with some distrust) If I am seen my mother would become alright? Such a kind of doctor? Alright. If that is the case I shall come right now. Come on, let us go and see him.

Mani Aiyer: You cannot see him just like that. He is not here. He is in Kanchipuram.

Myself: In Kanchipuram? Why should such a big doctor reside in that place? Who is he? M.B.B.S. or M.D.?

Mani Aiyer: He is beyond those degrees. He is the doctor of the doctors. (Pointing to Periyavar's picture in the puja room) He is the doctor I referred to.

Myself: (laughing loudly without being aware of it) What Mani Aiyer! This man, doctor? He is the doctor of doctors? What do you babble? How can a sanyAsi become a doctor? If it is a question of some puja or rituals I can believe it. But then you talk of this man as a big doctor! Hmm... would it be possible for this sanyAsi to cure my mother? This is just your imagination.... (The words came out of the edge of my sorrow).

Mani Aiyer: What, MeenakshiSundaram! You who are born in the Brahmin community talk this way?

Myself: What then Sir! After saying that you would take me to a big doctor, you now say that you would take me to a sanyAsi! How can it be possible, this kind of an action?

Mani Aiyer: MeenakshiSundarm, your mother should become alright for you. Only that, right? I am responsible for it. We go to Kanchipuram tomorrow itself, alright?

Myself: (with klesha) Mani Aiyer, if we go to him, will my mother really get well?

Mani Aiyer: Certainly. Enough if you have darshan of him and just speak about your mother. Your mother will certainly get well. You can also remain in peace.

Myself: In that case I shall come to Kanchipuram. But when we are there you should not compel me to remove my shirt, take bath, wear vibhUti-kunkumam, or do namaskAram. I shall come; see him; tell him about my mother; that's all. (The torsion of the young blood was not gone yet).

Mani Aiyer: What ayyaa, would you not take bath daily? Would you not remove your shirt occasionally? Not wear vibhUti-kunkumam even rarely? Do those things just once tomorrow! What, will that drown your lineage?

Without knowing why, I did not object but agreed to those words of him. On the next day, the three of us--Mani Aiyer, myself and Tiru. Venkataraman who worked with me--started and reached Kanchipuram in the morning hours. Taking bath in the Sarva Tirta KuLam and wearing vibhUti and dhoti, I reached the gates of Kanchi SriMaTham for the first time in my life. And yes! There was a feeling of something like an electric vibration in my body. We enter the MaTham. Kanchi MahaSwamigaL in the front hall! Yes, the big doctor! He was sitting, leaning on a rice bag. Fruit plates and garlands of flowers are seen before him. Also a queue for his darshan. We too tucked ourselves in that queue.

A bamboo plate in my hand. In the plate are fruits, spinach and some vegetables. My glance falls on the ascetic king seated there. Without any efforts, tears start to flow from my eyes. Yes, I weep without my knowing it. I don't understand the reason. Why should I weep? His keen look that has divine light falls on me. Raising his head, that god gestures me to come to him. He might have known my sorrow with his prevision.

Again that talking god beckons me with a raised hand. I walked slowly and peacefully to him, placed the bamboo plate in my hand before him and prostrated to him unknowingly.
"You are ashtasahasram (a sub sect)?"
"Yes."
"What relationship do Seshadri, Kunju in Karukudi have with you?" (Karukudi is a hamlet near Tiruvaiyaru).
"They are relatives of my aunt."
"Your grandfather was the Palace Receiver in Thanjavur! Was he before or after Sundaram Aiyer?"
I nodded head that I did not know it. Silence prevailed for some time.
Raising his head, "You have admitted your mother in the hospital? How is she now?"
What! That god asks me the same question that I came to him with, seeking remedy. For this too, I just stand sobbing, with no reply from me.
"Don't worry! Your mother will get well and return home."
Yes, that big doctor had given a new lease of life to my mother! That mahaan looked sharply at me for some time. Then, giving me prasAdam, he blessed, "Give this to your mother. She will get back home well."
To this date, I heartily bow and adore that "great doctor" who vanquished the demon of ignorance in my mind and put me on the right path.
As foretold by that "great doctor", my mother got well and arrived home safely. The big doctor has saved my mother's life. He is taking care of us till this day.


FROM HER BLOG ABOUT KAMAKSHI AMMAN IN THE SOUNDARYA LAHARI


Re: 1956 Maha Periyavar Swamigal

Kamakshi Amman, Kanchipuram - Year 1951

In the calm of the night, when the world sleeps, the breeze brings with it the fragrance of fresh water lilies in full bloom. With the moon’s reflection dancing around these full bloom lilies, it is the blissful moment of the night to be imbibed within the soul. The tranquility of the breeze in the leaves, the shimmering waves of the water as the moon shines through, dotted with lilies letting loose their fragrance is for the world to catch a glimpse of this inner beauty. The brightness of the sun by day parallels the calm of the moon by night as time moves from the sunshine to the moonlight across the brow of the Mother Goddess Kamakshi.

Such are the words that describe so beautifully the form of the Mother in the Soundarya Lahari. An ocean of beauty, far deeper than the star lit clear sky by night glowing in the presence of the moon. Within the chamber that houses the Goddess one can feel this silence of the night, this fragrance in the air. The darkness of the inner chamber, lit up with the lamps that bring the glow to her face, the Mother sits within, calm and compassionate to her children, her lotus eyes in partial bloom which is just truly divine.

The Mother was first captured on canvas by Artist Silpi in the year 1951. As the Artist meditated on the Mother, he asked for fewer flowers to cover her form so that he could capture her in greater detail. He describes her seated on her lotus seat, her feet covered in sacred kumkum powder, a different form of turmeric that is offered to the Goddess and later adorns the foreheads of her devotees. Kamakshi Amman, in her calm form is decorated with jewelry taken from the temple treasury. Her idol made of black stone, adds beauty to her face with the glow of red on her forehead depicting her third eye, one that she too possesses apart from her divine lord Shiva.

In front of her lies the sacred Sri Chakra yantra within its yoni peetha surrounded by 8 Goddesses, 3 to 4 of whom are captured here. The chamber is lit up with oil lamps that bring out the sacredness of her form, while the incense adds fragrance to her room. The brass bell is rung occasionally to present the Mother with the light, the flame of the arti that light up her divine face for the world to see. The brass pot with the spoon contains sacred water for her children to take, as a blessing of the Mother. The floor covered with offerings of flowers and kumkum bring peace to the mind when the ocean of beauty glides through.
Kamakshi Amman, Kanchipuram - Year 1963
Artist Silpi had this chamber and the Goddess dressed with a difference in the year 1963, a form that is not always in our luck to see. Every element that adorned the Mother during a festival was pulled out of the temple treasury. The utsav murti is grandly decorated in these treasures, so much so that much of the Mother gets hidden among the shower of flowers that are offered to her. Within the chamber, the Artist observed every piece of jewelry that adorned the Mother. The pearls that adorns her neck, is described in the Soundarya Lahari as those found within the skull of elephants, in this case from the head of Gajasura, the elephant demon that Lord Shiva vanquished. She holds the silver sugarcane in one hand, and an intricately designed veena covered with precious stones in the other. The Goddess has been captured as she would be adorned on Vijaya Dasami day during Navaratri. During this time she takes the form of Saraswati and therefore holds the Veena. A parasol covered her head on this day, clearly painted for the benefit of the devotees, by the artist.

Brass lamps give way to silver, few flowers cover her divine beauty and her third eye glows on in red, while she displays compassion on her face. This form of the Goddess is unknown to the world at large; it is a glimpse we get if we are lucky enough to visit her shrine. It is through the paintings of this gifted painter, that we realize his silent sensitivity towards bringing this divine form of the Mother to the world. It is bringing alive the ocean of beauty of the Soundarya Lahari, through is paintings for those who have never set eyes on this form of the Mother.


1956 Maha Periyavar Swamigal



SRI JAGADGURU CHANDRASHEKARA JAGADHGURU SWAMIGAL 1956


It was a moment in unsung history when the Mahaperivar of Kanchipuram granted Aritst Silpi an audience, a moment that the artist had waited for over a month foregoing his work; it was a moment that changed the life of Artist completely.

In the late hours of the night, after the entire world had sunk into deep slumber, a dialog commenced between two people. One was a revered saint, loved and respected by all and the other was an artist, talented but unsung. Within the sacred room, in the light of an oil lamp, the bright and clear eyes of the saint lit up as he whispered the truth to the painter.

He said, “You have lived many lives, and in all of them you have worshipped the Lord sincerely. You have been a Sthapathi at various temples in your past lives where you have sculpted various forms of the Divine. This is your last birth. Do not dilute this sacred skill anymore. Take a vow that you shall paint the form of the divine alone hence forth. Your talent is divine, you are blessed, and you are already aware of the sciences of the Shila Shastra and Samudrika Lakshanam, you need no more education. Go into the world again, at sunrise tomorrow, with a goal to bring the divine into every home, through your paintings.”

The artist took leave and went across the land, to the remotest temples across the country to capture the very form of the Divine into his canvas. It was not an easy task that lay ahead, for the restrictions were tough, and only the orthodox and pure hearted could perform such a miraculous feet. He was told, "You shall not use your imagination, you shall not change anything that you see within the shrine chambers, you shall follow the law of Shilpa Shastra, and you shall capture the character of the Divine in various forms as described in the Samudrika Lakshanam. You shall not use extra lights, you shall work within the limited lamps lit within the chamber, and capture the changing swarupa(features) of the Divine as you meditate through the experience of painting. In this way, you shall capture the power of the Divine within the shrine chamber into your painting, the secret of which shall be expressed through the strokes of your brush."

The artist did as told, and started a whole new life dedicated to the Lord, to his Guru, his guide who blessed his every breath through the rest of his life.

Artist Silpi, was a family man, and his wife was a staunch devotee of the Paramacharya. As age took over, she was unable to visit the saint at the Kanchi Matt and seek His divine blessings. She requested her husband to go and capture the essence of the Paramacharya in his painting and make a portrait that she could worship at home for the rest of her life.

In the year 1956, Artist Silpi made another visit to the Saint to capture His portrait, for his wife. It was a difficult proposition as the Saint did anything but co-operate. He moved around, to make it extremely difficult for the artist, testing his devotion and his patience to capture His being. When it finally ended, the painter held a master piece in his hand. An expression of devotion, one that captured every finger and toe that the Saint otherwise hid, one that even captured the divine light the enveloped the form of the Saint.

It was a true masterpiece. Within the color the Saint stares on, the clarity in His eyes so beautifully captured, the vivla leaves still so fresh, the divine glow of spiritualism in His being which no photograph could ever catch. The only lamp that lit the room lay at His feet, a light that lit up so much of his Divine form, this celebrated Saint has never been captured such. Within the chamber where he posed and watched an artist paint, He blessed this work by granting us a vision of His divine presence for the world to feel, to imbibe. Kanchi Mahaperivar Sri Jagath Guru Chandrasekarendar Saraswathy Swamigal lives on in the painting of Artist Silpi.

The Extra Nayanmar



Periyava
In my series of stories of Sri Sri Chandrashekarendra Swamigal(Periyawa) .One real story which happened some years is narrated below:(Source is as before Tamil mutt clarion-text- - Devivathin Kural)
There was a bank director in Paris,France. He was keen on having a darshan of Periyava, having heard about him. Dr. Raghavan used to receive frequent phone calls (from the bank director). He would ask if he could come and have a darshan of Periyava. Dr. Raghavan (who was a Sanskrit professor in the Madras University) would inform Periyava about the request. Even though he had told, "He is very keen to have darshan of Periyava; he incessently calls me", PeriyavargaL did not give his consent. Some years passed in this way.



Suddenly one day Dr. Raghavan received tidings that said, 'I have arrived at Bombay. I shall come over to Madras and meet you. Should please arrange for the darshan.'

At that time Acharyas were staying in Mylapore Sanskrit College. One evening Dr. Raghavan was waiting to have darshan of Periyava. Periyava called him and inquired. When told about the Frechman's proposed visit to Chennai, Periyava looked at him intently for a moment then looked elsewhere at a distance as if talking to someone mentally and then said, "Alright, bring him."


periyava

Before Periyava sat for the upanyAsam after the puja, he called one of the mutt-inmates and said, "If any European turns up, offer him on a chair, as he would not be able to sit on the floor. I shall see him after the upanyAsam."

When the upanyAsam was over and Periyava was about to get inside, he asked, "Did anyone turn up?" "No one turned up", I replied. At that time a man wearing a dhoti and towel came to the front and prostrated to Periyava four times. (The sampradaya is to always prostrate to sannyAsis four times.)

Behind the man came Dr. Raghavan and SankaraNarayana Aiyer (professor of Philosophy at Mylai Vivekananda College). Since that European came in dhoti and towel the mutt-inmate was misled.
PeriyavargaL enquired the mutt-inmate, "Ask him how did he knew about prostrating four times?"
The Eurpoean said, "I did as everyone did here."

PeriyavargaL directed the mutt-inmate, "Bring only the Frenchman."

The mutt-inmate said, "I wouldn't understand the English he speaks. It would be better if Dr. Raghavan or SanakaraNarayana Aiyer is present."

"The English you know would suffice. You bring him," quipped Periyava.

Dr. Raghavan and SankaraNarayana Aiyer stood outside the thatti (a coconut leaf weaved sheet of cover).

The Frenchman who came inside and sat spoke: "I am studying Vedanta for sometime now. Suddenly, one day I felt that my entire body had gone numb, that I was residing outside the body, and my figure was extended from the earth to the sky. I also saw universes hanging from my body. It was very blissful at that time. There was no trace of sorrow. After this incident, nothing bothers my mind in my daily life. My wife deceased. My son too is dead. These occasions did not create any ripple in my mind, I felt that Iam not connected with anyone of them. I was always blissful.Since, Iam alien to all these, I request your guidance....

(He paused for a moment....)

Also, people in the bank think I am insane, looking at this mental state of mine. So I have an inherent fear that one day they might put me behind the bars (of a hospital)."

Periyava uttered cryptically with love beaming in his face and a strange kind of admiration at the Whiteman, "What is inside? And what is outside? Isn't everything inside four walls?"

This question seemed to created a big change in the Frenchman.His eyes were seen brimming with tears as if he was one with the universe represented by the Pontiff.

There was a pregnant pause, not a leaf whispered...
Then he composed himself and requested Periyava, "You should be always with me."
He also asked Periyava to proffer him some upadesham.

Periyava adviced, "What you are doing now (meditation) , you continue. I shall be with you till your attainment.This is my promise."


He then as a rare gesture of benediction, tore a piece of the wornout khadi spun-vastram he was wearing then and gave it to the Frenchman with the words, "Keep this always with you as my prasAdam(holy sacrament)."
Such was the bountiful heap of anugraha for the Frenchman that day that he was inebriated with joy as he left the mutt.

Coming outside, the Frenchman prostrated to Dr. Raghavan and said, "It was only because of you I got this much bhAgyaM(pronouncing the word Bhaagyam with great difficulty)."

Periyava went to bed after they were gone after some period of silence and rumination.He shifted his glasses which he rarely wore for sometime and placed it down and was preparing his small bedsheet to sleep. After he retired, the mutt-inmate asked about the incident and why this grace to a whiteman whether he was really worth as many of the westerners having euphoric feelings construe it as something great.

Without replying anything to him, Periyava lapsed into sleep.

He called him(the mutt-inmate) the next morning before he started his one hour japam. He asked me, "Do you know how many Nayanmars(Top- most shivite siddhas respected for their high spiritual status and shiva-bhakthi in Tamizhnadu) are there?"

He replied replied, "The Arupatthu Moover Utsavam is held (every year)! So, only sixty-three. This is but obvious even a child in Tamizhnadu can answer this."

"Go to the Kapaleeswarar temple(near Mylapore Sanskrit Temple), count and come back," he said.



When he did it, he counted sixty-seven to his consternation. He told this to Periyava.(** Infact, after hearing this story, I(Author-Shreeram Balijepalli) too went to the temple and counted it, though hitherto, I had been offering Vilva patra(Bel leaves) to each Nayanmar but always used to assume like the mutt-inmate it was 63 nayanmars)

"Who are those four people in excess?" he asked the mutt-inmate.

He went back to the temple, inquired and came back. "One of them is the 'appAlum adi sarndharukku adiyAr!'" He said.

PeriyavargaL graced me with the knowledge, "appAl is those who are beyond desam(country) and kAlam(time). Since the element of time is involved, it also refers to the adiyArs to be born in the hereafter(in the future). This man is beyond desam(France). He has just four janmas(the future birth when he would become a Nayanmar) left."

This left the mutt-inmate speechless. The Frenchman was never to be seen again both in his country and in India.
 








Value Of Annadhanam By Mahaperiyava
It was the time when Kanchi Maha SwamigaL was staying in Kalavai, many years ago. It was a Sunday. A large crowd had gathered for darshan. One by one the devotees prostrated to the sage, received his blessings and moved away. A middle-aged couple prostrated to AcharyaL and stood up with folded palms. Keenly looking at them, SwamigaL said, "adede... who (is this)... Palur Gopalan! You came a year back. That time you spoke about some problems. Aren't you fine now?" and laughed.


Kanchi Mahaperiyavaal
That Palur Gopalan replied, "We are very fine Periyavaa. As directed by you, from the time we started feeding an atithi in the noon time every day, only good things are happening, Periyavaa! Good harvest in (my) fields. The cows don't die as before! The money that dripped out of hands without control for expenses stays in hands now. All that is (due to) the greatness of the atithi bhojana you have asked us to do, by your anugraha. I am doing it daily. Nothing else (is the reason for the prosperity). " Tears filled his eyes as he spoke. His wife who was standing by his side was also in tears of joy.
AcharyaL said, "besh, besh. It is fine if you have understood that good things happen due to the act of atithi bhojana. Alright, Today both of you have come over here. There in Palur--who will do the atithi bhojana?" AcharyaL inquired worriedly.
Gopalan's wife replied promptly, "We have made alternative arrangements for that Periyavaa. atithi bhojana will not be missed even for a day."
Maha SwamigaL was very happy to hear it. "That's the way you should do it. You must have a resolution to feed the hungry. Doing atithi upacAra will give such an anugraha and safeguard the family! One day sAkShaAt Parameshvara himself will come in the form of an atithi, will sit and eat, you know that?"
SwamigaL was talking with kutUhala. To listen to these anugraha words, the people standing in the queue surrounded him. He asked everyone to sit down on the floor. The crowd of devotees sat down.



A devotee asked SwamigaL: "Is there such greatness in doing atithi bhojana, Swamy?"
SwamigaL replied immediately. "Yes yes! It is a maha puNya dharma that could lead to mokSa! It has benefited a number of people! Only when you ask people like this Gopalan who have experienced it, they will tell you. Such a lofty dharma is this one!"
A devotee got up and prostrated to the sage. He said with humility, "My name is RamaSethu. Tiruvannamalai is my native place. We all pray together to AcharyaL. We desire to listen more elaborately about the greatness of this atithi bhojana in a way we can understand it. Periyavaa should take mercy on us!"
SwamigaL asked him to be seated. The devotee complied. Everyone was watching the walking God in silence. That parabrahmam started talking after sometime.
"My memory is that it was (the year) thousand nine hundred and thirty-eight or thirty-nine. SriSankara MaTham was doing its administration from KummoNam (Kumbakonam) . I am going to tell (you about) an incident that happened at that time. If you listen to it devotedly, the greatness that lies in this (incident) can be understood! I shall tell you (now), listen (carefully). "
Swamigal stopped for a brief while and then continued: "There was a large house on the western bank of the Kummonam Maamaanga (Mahamaha) kulam. A grocer by name Kumaresan Chettiar was living in that house. I remember very well... The name of his dharma patni was Sivakami Achi. They belonged to Pallathur near Karaikudi. That couple had no children. They had brought a dependable boy from their native place and kept him with them for taking care of the grocery shop.
"At that time, the age of Kumaresan Chettiar was perhaps fifty or fifty-five. That Achi's (age was) perhaps within fifty. At all times only the nama smaraNa 'Shiva Shiva... Shiva Shiva' would be issuing out of the mouth of those two people. There was no other talk! Chettiar had in his house a single-bullock cart. Seating Achi in the cart, Chettiar himself would drive! Every day both them would arrive in their cart at the banks of Kaveri to take bath. Finishing (their) bath, they would come to our MaTham, prostrate, receive the blessings and go back. They were such an intimate couple. About them, I am going to tell (you now) something that will overshadow all these, look (listen)!"
He took to silence to keep them in suspense for some time. The devotees were waiting with eager expectations. AcharyaL started speaking again: "You know what work that couple had been doing for many years? To serve and feed the atithis! Don't be surprised! They would entertain the Shiva disciples with food, every day at noon in the hall of their house, without shrinking a face, whatever the number of disciples they received as guest. They would seat the disciple in the thinnai at the entrance (of their house), wash his feet with water, wipe with a cloth, apply sandal paste and vermillion to them and lead them to the hall and seat them there.



"They did not have any cook in their house! That amma would cook with her own hands, whatever number be the guests of Shiva disciples! Another important thing--if you ask what it is--is that they would inquire from the Shiva disciples the details of the vegetables and dishes they like, go and get them, cook and serve them! Such an elevated mind! Do you think how SwamigaL knew about all these things... There is no sort of secrecy about it. (One Sri) Sundaram Iyer, who was close to the MaTham, was looking after the accounts of Kumaresan Chettiar. Only he would tell me these things when he was free. Understand now?"
AcharyaL stopped for sometime and relaxed. None of the seated moved an inch. They were all looking with fixed eyes at Maha SwamigaL. That walking God continued: "One day it was raining very well. (It was) noon time. Kumaresan Chettiar came to the entrance (of his house) and looked (here and there). No atithi was in sight! Holding an umbrella, he descended the steps of the Mahamaham pond and surveyed the scene. A Shiva disciple was seated after bath in a small building there, wearing vibhUti (all over his body). Chettiar prayed to him and brought him for dining (at his home). He seemed somewhat like a well-read Shiva disciple. He came singing Thevaaram. Washing his feet, Chettiar led him to his hall and seated him. The couple prostrated to the Shiva disciple. Chettiar's dharma patni went to the disciple and asked, 'What vegetables are the favourite of Swamy? Please tell me, so I can go to the shop, get and serve them after cooking.'
"It seemed that the Shiva disciple was in good hunger. He got up and went to the backyard and looked around. He saw sprouts of tender spinach there. He came inside, called the mother and said that he needed nothing except the tender spinach in koottu and their stems in sambar and that it would be sufficient for him. Chettiar went to pluck the spinach with a bamboo plate in his hand. The rain had stopped by then. Since it was becoming late, the Shiva disciple who was very hungry, decided to give a helping hand for plucking the spinach, so he asked for a bamboo plate and went to the backyard.



Pasalai Keerai poritha kozhambu(Spinach Sambhar)
"Sivakami Achi was standing at the backyard entrance, watching the two men pluck the spinach. Both of them placed their plates inside the house after enough spinach was plucked. You know what that amma did immediately? She washed the two spinach plates separately. She lit two furnaces, kept the spinach in two separate pans on the furnaces and started cooking. The Shiva disciple who was looking at her act was surprised! He was confused: 'What is this? Both the plates has the same spinach sprouts. Without using a single vessel to cook them why this mother lights two furnaces and cooks them separately?'
"After sometime, that amma took the pans out of the furnaces, took the disciple's spinach only to the puja room and offered it as nivedana to Swami. The disciple who was watching it was pleased with immense pride! Know what he had thought? He decided, 'I am a big Shiva bhakta. Sannyasi. So this mother has understood that Lord Shiva would accept only the spinach I plucked and offers it as nivedana. Still I would ask the mother herself after my meal about the offering.'"
Stopping here briefly, SwamigaL watched the devotees sitting opposite him. Nobody lowered a jaw. He continued: "The Shiva disciple, who had finished his dining, asked that Achi about his doubt. You know what reply did the Achi give? (She said 'Ayya, when the spinach was plucked in the backyard, I was watching. My husband chanted the name 'Shiva Shiva...' and plucked the spinach. So it became ShivArpaNa then and there. There was no need to offer it again. You plucked (the spinach) without chanting any name. That is why, I lit a furnace, cooked your spinach separately and offered it to the Lord.' The disciple was embarrassed to hear this. The couple then prostrated to the disciple. He appreciated the Achi's bhakti and wisdom and started on his way. They were a couple who served annam in such a way..."
AcharyaL stopped. The crowd of devotees was sitting with amazement. Nobody lowered a jaw. SwamigaL continued: "You know what was the phala prApti that was given to them for such incessant atithi bhojana? Some years later, they celebrated their shashti apta pUrti (completion of 60 years of age). On a Maha Shivaratri day they sat for darshan of the four sessions of puja in the Kumbeswarar temple. When they returned home, that amma, who sat in the puja room complaining of exhaustion, stretched out and breathed her last. Shocked, the Chettiar called her by name and went inside, but he too fell down and breathed his last. That was all. On that very day of Maha Shivaratri both of them attained the Shiva sAyujya together. Did you see the position that couple attained because of their act of incessant atithi bhojana? Even now, on every Maha Shivaratri day, I would remember the couple. They are the couple who served food in such a lofty manner."
AcharyaL finished. Tears seeped from the eyes of those who heard the story. The walking God stood up and said, "Seems it is almost two o' clock. Everyone will be hungry. Go inside and dine well", and bade them farewell with compassion.


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!"
Parijata Flowers

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.
Coral-Jasmine flowers(Parijatham)
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!"
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?"



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.



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.


Kamakshi Temple, Kaanchipuri

 



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.

6 comments:

  1. PERIYAVAL'S KARUNAIKKU UNDO ELLAI!
    NAMMAI ELLAM KAKKUM DEIVUM ALLAVO ANTHA KARUNA MOORTHY.
    KACNHI MAHA PERYAVAL EPPOTHUM NAMMUDANE IRUKKIRARGAL.
    ITHU SATYAM.
    ELLAM PERIYAVAL ANUGRAHAM.
    ranganathan@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. THANK YOU SIR!

    Thanks a million.

    ReplyDelete
  3. naam mahaaa punyam seidhavargal .. maha periya vaazndha kaalathil naamum indha mannil irundhom enbadhu .. avarudaya ninaipileyey meedhiulla num vazhnaalay kazhippom .. avar upadhesithuvittu sendra 'pidi arisi thittam', 'annadhaanam' 'gho samrakshanam' pondra punya seyalgalil eedupattu punyam serthu lokha kshemathukkaaga nummaal mudindhadhai seivom ... varum num thalaimuraigalai yum bhavath kaigaryathil eedubaaduthuvom .. jaya jaya sankara hara hara sankara

    ReplyDelete
  4. in the days when I could see him in person, there was no desire, now when few days are left to leave the earth, faith is brimming...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Reading these real experiences makes one think of the greatness of Mahaperiyavaar.
    May his ANUGRAHAM be upon me and all of us and take us beyond this Bhavasaagaram.
    Jay Jay Shankara Jay Shiva SHANKARA!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Blessed are we who had the darshan of His Holiness, blessed are we to hear about his holiness, blessed are we to read articles about his holiness, my humble pranams and request is that we all want to hear/read about each and every "happenings".

    Some people say that the epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana are imagination of those writers, let it be according to one's own belief.

    His Holiness Maha periyava was/is/will be real for ever. The God in the Human form. The savior, for all those who feel ORPHAN/INSANE/DESERTED/CURSED/UNSECURED/helpless/....

    ReplyDelete

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