Veda rakShaka (Guardian of Vedas)
author:...... P. Ramakrishnacharya, Rig veda adhyApaka, Mantralayam
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 169-176
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)
My father is VajpeyayAji J. Padmanabhacharya. I have four brothers born with me. My father is one who has immense bhakti shraddhA (devotion and faith) with Sri Sri ParamacharyaaL; one who made a completeadhyayanam(study) of the Rig Veda.
We were living in Kumbakonam. At that time, Maha PeriyavaaL called my father and said, "Currently there are no agnihotris among Madhvas. So you take up daily performance of agnihotram." Accordingly, my father tookadhyayana and became anityAgnihotri.
Some years passed by. One day my father was doing Veda pArAyaNam(reading). Two people came from Kanchi saying that they were sent by Sri SwamigaL. They informed that it was PeriyavaaL's orders that my father should take up position as the Rig VedaadhyApaka(teacher) of the Veda Bhavanam in Calcutta and dopurohitam (priestly ministration) to the Madhva population there. In accordance with PeriyavaaL's orders, my father went to Calcutta, taking my elder brother with him. He remained as the Rig VedaadhyApaka in the Veda Bhavanam there and was doing vaidIkam to the Madhava population there. After four or five years, in 1968, my elder brother died in a bus accident in Calcutta.
Maha PeriyavaaL had asked us to come to the Vijayawada satas(Vedic conference). When we met him there he directed us to give up the stay at Calcutta and remain in the Kaveri tIra (banks). So we came to SirugamaNi Agraharam. There Srimaan Venkatesa Aiyer helped us with a free house and monthly supplies of paddy in order that my father could continue his living there teaching in the Veda Pathashala and doing agnihotam.
nityAgnihotram, ishti, somayajnam--all these rituals were performed in an orderly way. By PeriyavaaL'sanugraha, several Madhva vidyArthis (students) entrolled through the Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust, studied and passed the examinations. Even today, SirugamaNi Veda Pathashala is going on. My younger brother ParasuRaman is theadhyApaka there.
After my father completed performence of the Vajapeya Yajna at Erode, we had gone to Mahakhan with our family for darshan of PeriyavaaL. We told the SriMaTham assistants there that we had come for PeriyavaaL's darshan after finishing the Vajapeya Yajna. But then Maha PeriyavaaL sent us back with the words, "Ask them to get back to their residence." We all went back and stayed in the choultry nearby with tears in our eyes that we could not get darshan of PeriyavaaL for some reason. After an hour passed, a retinue with an elephant, horse,chAmaram (large fan), VedaghoSaNam (loud chanting) and musical instruments, came. They said, "Someone who has done a Yajna has come to stay here. PeriyavaaL has sent the Sandur Samastana Maharaja to bring them to him with family." Unable to think further, we felt shocked with too much happiness.
With the Sama Veda ghoSaNam, Calcutta Sankara Narayana ShrautigaL escorted us. The Maharaja of Sandur took my father in a procession, holding a large umbrella to him. When we reached PeriyavaaL's camp, he told us all, "Why do you all have the pain at heart? Why these tears? The Dharma Shastra ordains us to witness those who have done the Vajapeya Yajna with royal honours under a white umbrella. It was only to see you all in such honours that I sent you back." He gave us the umbrella held by the Sandur Maharaja, spoke to us for two hours and sent us with his anugraha, removing all our unhappiness. This is an ever unforgettable incident in our life.
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I am working as theadhyApaka of the Pathashala in Erode managed by the Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust. In the meantime I got a job in the Tirupathi Tirumala Devasthanam. Before going there I had darshan of Sri PeriyavaaL in Belgaum. Though I stayed there for two days, I could not get Periyavaa's guidance, for he was in kASTa maunam (complete silence of body and mind).
Two days later, I told PeriyavaaL about the Tirupathi offer. He advised me, "Madhvas would studytarkam, vyakaraNam (logic and grammar). They won't do Veda adhyayanam. Therefore, you need not go to Tirupathi; remain teaching Vedas to the Madhva students. Vedas will protect you."
Accordingly, today I have taught complete Vedas to Madhva students in Mantralaya and sent 45 students prepared for the examination at Kanchi. If Madhvas are doing Vedaadhyayanam, the reason for it is only PeriyavaaL.
My brother ParasuRaman is teaching Vedas to Madhva students at SirugamaNi through the Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust. PeriyavaaL sent our another brother Damodaran who had completed Veda and Vedanta to study Dvaita Vedanta at Bombay Vidya Peetam. After finishing his study of Vedanta there, he now doesadhyayanam to Madhva students in Erode, in a Pathashala he founded there.
Only Veda Mata and Kanchi PeriyavaaL keep doing therakSaNam(protection) of the three of us brothers and our families.
Further if today my brother ParasuRaman is alive, only Sri Sri Maha PeriyavaaL'sanugraha is its reason. Already when we were in Calcutta he had problems with his heart in 1968. We showed him to the cardiologists in large cities like Calcutta, Chennai and Bombay. Everyone of them advised immediate surgery for him, or else he wouldn't be alive beyond a year; they also recorded their advice in video cassettes and gave us. I informed all this news in detail to Maha PerivaaL in Kanchi. He directed, "Nothing (of surgery) is needed. Let him do daily and fullpArAyaNa of the 41shlokas of Dhanvantari and Vayustuti and do the homam." He did the japa-homam for many years accordingly. After that whenever we met Maha PeriyavaaL he would ask him, "You continue to recite Vayustuti?" After a long period of 20 years he gave him permission for surgery, which was done at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai in the year 1989. By Maha PeriyavaaL's grace he remains today without any problems, as the Rig VedaadhyApaka in SirugamaNi. Owing to Paramacharya'sanugraha, Tiru. V.P. Raghavendra Rao met the surgery expenses for us.
During the time I was adhyApaka in Erode Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust, Maha PeriyavaaL orderedkannikAdAnam of my daughter in the Kanchi Sannidhanam. My daughter was only nine years old; I had arranged for the kannikAdAnamand for the Kalyana Mandapam.
There were many objections to it. When it was hardly twenty days for the marriage, the officials of the Kalyana Madapam told us, "The girl is only nine years old. If any press reporter from the adjacent street here reports it, there would be problems from the police the Mandapam. So we can't give you the Mandapam."
I went to Kanchipuram and supplicated this to PeriyavaaL. Paramacharya sent a person from SriMaTham with me to the house of Ramadurai Aiyer of Ayalur near Tiruchi. We detailed Ramadurai Aiyer about Paramacharya's directions for our daughter's marriage. Ramadurai Aiyer informed us, "Ten years back Maha PeriyavaaL told me 'I would send akanya to you. You perform thekannikAdAnam rites for her.' I am very happy that he remembered me after ten years and sent this girl." He conducted the marriage following the Madhva Sampradayam in a grand manner.
ParamacharyaL continues to give his anugraha to our family and do hisrakSaNam of it. The three of us get Rs.600/- every month from the Niyama Adhyayana Trust of Kanchi MaTham, doing the Niyamaadhyayanam through the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust, holding the pUrva bhAga parIkSA (entry level examinations).
We did our pUrNa adhyayanam from our father, in accordance with Kanchi SwamigaL's orders, through the Gurukula system doingbhikSAcaryam. In the same way, we have currently started theadhyayanam of ourkumAras (sons) too and teach them following the orders of Kanchi SwamigaL. We all pray that Veda Mada's blessings and the anugrahaof KanchipIThAdhipatis will always be there for our family.