Compiler: Raa. Venkatasamy (in Tamil)
Source:Sakthi Vikatanissue dated Jul 17, 2004
Maha Periyavar once visited Madurai. He was staying in a school in the North Masi Street. It was raining heavily, and the rains lasted for three days! ThamizhVeL P.T. Rajan, who was a resident of Madurai, had the desire to take Maha Periyavar to the Meenakshi Amman temple. He brought the car he had purchased recently and parked it in front of the building where Periyavar was staying. "It is raining heavily. If you get inside the car you may go and alight near the temple. I have great happiness to take you (in the car)." P.T. Rajan told the sage politely.
Periyavar asked him, "A new car?"
"Yes, but no other person has sat inside; only you should sit first!"
Periyavar smiled at these words. Then he called his disciple who stood nearby and said, "Go and have a look at the path that leads to the Meenakshi Amman temple."
That disciple carefully walked over the path to the temple and came back.
"How is the path?" asked the Mahaan.
"It is all dirt and mud, and bear the tyre marks of the vehicles that went to and fro." He continued, understanding the purport of Periyavar's question, "And in that mud, creatures such as worms and snails are crawling unsteadily."
Periyavar said, "AsannyAsi(ascetic) has three dharmas. The first dharma is that he should have no possessions; that is, he should not keep anything for himself. The second isbrahmacharya(celibacy). He should know how to control and rule over his senses. And the third dharma isahimsA. He should ensure that nojIvarAsi(living being) suffers because of him. In the present situation, if I go on foot or either in the car, there would be countlessjIvarAsis that would be trodden over. Hence there should be no temple program for the time being. Postpone it. We will go later." Thus Periyavar avoided going to the Meenakshi Amman temple at that time.
Later, when the rains had stopped completely and the situation improved, he went on foot for darshan at Meenakshi Amman temple; and that with ThamizhVeL P.T. Rajan!
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Sadasivam was a man who belonged to Salem. He was a bachelor. He spent his days, hiring a room in a hotel. He had immensebhaktion the Mahaan.
A very largehomam(fire sacrifice ritual) was conducted in the year 1990 at Kanchi MaTham, Salem. Vedic experts and pundits from outstations had been invited for the occasion. Their count exceeded sixty. Thehomamwas held continuously for eleven days. It was only Sadasivam who ensured that the flowers needed for thehomamwere supplied without any hitch.
The homam was completed auspiciously. The next thing that the organizers had to do was to start for Kanchi, along with the tIrthapots and the mahA rakSA(the homam ashes that served as protection), submit them to the Mahaan and get his blessings. Three notables accompanied the Vedic pundits in three vans to Kanchipuram. Sadasivam, who was responsible for the flowery works, also went with them.
There were good rains en route to Kanchipuram. At length they all reached Kanchipuram with the articles of thehomam. Everything including thekalasa nIr(water in the pots) were kept before Periyavar. His face showed immense happiness when he looked at them, being the one who was well familiar with thephala(fruits) andbala(strength) of thishomam.
Asking for akalasa nIrto be brought to him, the Mahaan went inside, chanted some mantras and sprinkled the water from the pot over his head.
As he came out and sat, he took the large garland brought for him and wore it over his neck. He took the flowery crown in his hands and had a look at it. It was made with much decorations. The Mahaan raised a question, "Who made this?" The people who came in the vans pointed Sadasivam to the sage, who came out of the crowd wearing a lungi over his waist with a red shirt covering his upper part.
Maha Periyavar covered his head with the crown. "Does it look good?" he asked, a smile crawling over his lips.
Unable to speak in words, the people around nodded their head in affirmation, expressing their happiness and bowing to the Mahaan.
Meanwhile, Sadasivam removed his shirt and went and stood before the Mahaan. He did not know what to say to the Mahaan. His palms remained folded. Tears gushed from his eyes in streams. The Mahaan took the flowery crown from his head. He smiled at Sadasivam. Then he asked the man to bow slightly and placed the crown on Sadasivam's head. What a great fortune!
The people around shivered with ecstasy. Until then the Mahaan had only given this honour of placing a flowery crown with his own hands only to a well learned pundit.
Perhaps he thought that it was the right offer to a devotee who worshipped him with flowers!