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Friday, March 8, 2013

I Lived with God (English) - Part 2

Author: Dr.D.Sundararaman - that son of Doraiswamy Iyer

Part -2 

On my return flight from Madras to New York on 23rd Jan.’93, I was thinking about the suggestion of Mettur Swamigal. For about eight hours of the twenty six hours of travel, I ‘relived’ all my experiences with Periaval, during the years 1952 to 1967.

I decided, while the plane was flying high above the Atlantic Ocean, ‘I am certainly going to write’. On reaching home, I started to write. It was all done in my house. Only Ramani’s flute and Lalgudi Jayaraman’s violin were playing in the room. Where should I start? I thought I should start from my most unforgettable experience, my VISHVARUPADARSHAN of HIM, as described above. I know if he decides He will certainly see what I have written here.

What follows is quite personal. In the end readers would see certainly the role of Periaval in my life. Certainly I did not do anything to deserve His grace. Readers will find that I have not written anything about Periaval’s greatness as a top man in Spirituality, in Philosophy, in Religion and Social Reform.

I had the privilege of close association with Periaval for nearly fifteen years, from 1952 to 1967, very close especially during my student days from 1952 to 1960. I was a voluntary assistant to him during my vacation days. People in the Mutt and visitors envied me for Periaval’s affection for me. I enjoyed this! 

Why did Periaval shower his affection on me?, - then a poor college boy. What did I do to deserve his Kataksham? It is heart breaking to note that, even after I left him, abruptly many years ago and even when I have been quite far off, he continues to bless me. In 1985 when I was living in Mexico City, one day, I received a letter from my nephew Chandru living in Kancheepuram, after several months of silence. The day before he wrote that letter, he had gone to have darshan of Periaval. As usual there were many visitors and assistants. Suddenly, out of context, (as per this letter) Periaval poised a riddle to his assistants and visitors : “I have a person intensely in my mind, He flew away. Who is he?”

நான் ஒத்தனை மனஸால் நினைத்தேன்.
அவன் பறந்து போயிட்டான். யார் அவன்?”

These are precisely the sentences in Tamil. Even after half an hour of mutual consultations, no one could solve the riddle, even guess.
Periaval himself solved it; “Sundraraman, that son of Duraiswamy.” According to nephew, no one knew why Periaval should refer to me on that day. When I finished reading the letter, believe me, my heart almost stopped and I wept. There was no one in the house except myself. It is a wonder even today to me, why I did not collapse. 

When my wife returned from shopping she asked me why my face looked quite pale, as though hit by a devil. I showed her the letter from Chandru. On reading it, she said calmly it was only a very good omen, and said: “ it is only natural for Periaval to think about you, since you have been thinking about him always”. I have carried my thoughts about him wherever I had been wandering all these past twenty five years, or in whichever country I was sojourning…. I have not found peace within myself.

The dominating thoughts have always been how foolish I must have been in leaving Him, and His presence and how I missed a golden opportunity for salvation in this life itself. Any other person, if he had the same experiences as I had with Periaval, he would not have left him for anything in this world. But it is ironical that I have not been that eager these years to meet Him. I am even afraid of seeing Him face to face. I live and would like to continue to live with my pleasant and unforgettable memories of Periaval of the years 1952 to 1967.

An opportunity to write about myself and about Periaval’s role in my life arose in 1967, when I applied to Columbia University, New York, for Doctoral Studies in mathematics and to the Fullbright Foundation in India for travel grant. As per the application procedures, I was asked to submit a brief autobiographical sketch. I reproduce below the second paragraph from a copy of the sketch that I have.

“My family was so poor that I could not dream of University education at that time. However, a turning point in my life took place when Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt was very much impressed by my sincere desire to pursue University education.

With His blessings and financial help, University education was possible for me. But for His Holiness’ encouragement, I could not have had higher education and the need for writing this would not have arisen.

What I wrote then in 1967, applies even more now in 1993. That I am writing this article goes as a fulfillment of his emphatic prediction: ‘You are certainly going to write’

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