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Friday, March 8, 2013

Maha Periyavaa

Go', He Said; It Went Away!
devotee:...... S. Balarama Rao, Kanchipuram
author:....... S. Balarama Rao, Kanchipuram
compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source:.......Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaLvol. 1, pages 103-107
publisher:.... Divya Vidya Padhippaham (Aug 2008 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamil
translator: saidevo

About thirty years back, Bairava Subramanya Aiyer was running aprasAdashop on the Tiruttani hills. Myself (adiyen) was among the people who worked in that shop. I fell ill once because of incessant work. As time passed, the fever shot up. Deciding that I could reach home by ten in the night, I started walking slowly down the steps in the mountain path, staggering, and repeatedly taking rest here and there, and finally reaching the last step.

There was a palanquin parked on the banks of the TeppakkuLam (temple pond with a small construct at its centre, used to ferry the deity on a float at festival time). A man came towards me from that direction. He asked me, "You've come down from the hill top?" I said, "Yes." "Then you come here." He took me to the palanquin. I peeped slightly inside the palanquin. From there Sri Maha Periyavar gave darshan to my darkened eyes as ashAnta svarUpi(form of peace). I stood joining my palms, forgetting about myself.

"You come from the hill top? Is the temple open?" Sri Periyavar asked me. "The temple is locked Swami!" I said with utter humility. "There will be aprasAdashop there?"--Sri Periyavar. As I said, "That is also locked", he kept silent for sometime. Then Sri Periyavar told me, "These people who carried me here are very hungry. They could getAhAram(food) neither at Puthur nor at Nagari. I told them that they would certainly get something after we reached Tiruttani. After arriving here, even with their getting in and out of the hotels on the Teppakkulam banks, they couldn't get anyAhAram." As Sri Periyavar said this, I did not know what to do.

Though I was staggering with fever, I thought that I would take care of my health later and said, "If Maha PeriyavA gives the order, myself can prepare food for them." Sri Periyavar asked me with surprise, "What can you do in this night?"

I said, "I am an employee of theprasAdashop atop the hill. I can prepareveNpongal(salted rice pongal) for these people."

Sri Periyavar said, "If that is the case, well and good. I shall walk up the path of the mountain stairs, asking them to climb through the regular path. You go quickly and prepare (the food), go."

As Sri Periyavar said the last word "go", my fever went away without leaving any trace. Like a runner in a sports race event, I ran up the hills via the singular footpath and reached the top.

TheprasAdashop owner was not present on that day. I broke the news to his wife. That noble woman said, "You climbed down the hill only to see the doctor? And why do you ask for my permission when the Vaidyanathan Himself has cured you and given you orders? This incident has happened only for the welfare of us all! You freely go and prepare theAhAram!" Immediately I lit the wood furnace and prepared theveNpongal. Then I woke up a man who was sleeping there for assistance, and carrying the food, a wooden ladle,mandAraleaves to serve food, andpuLikkaaicchal(boiled tamarind mix) as side dish for thepongal, and arrived at Murugan'sdhvaja stambha(holy flag post).

Within a few minutes Sri Periyavar arrived at the hill temple. With the electric lamps in all theprakAras (courtyards) switched on throwing brightness around, the organs trumpeting music and with thepUrNa kumbham, as the temple official Krishna Reddiyar, the temple administrator Kulasekhara Naidu, many other employees, and the priests were waiting to receive Sri Maha Periyavar and take him inside, the sage looked around. I stood before him with joined palms.

As Sri Periyavar asked, "TheAhAramis ready?", I replied, "Have prepared and brought it here." "Alright, you serve these people and then come", Sri Periyavar ordered me. Asking the palanquin bearers to sit down on the floor, giving them the leaf plates and serving them theveNpongal, I said, "These have been prepared exclusively for you. ThepuLikkaaicchalis there for side dish. Eat well to your satisfaction. I need to go to the temple and have darshan of PeriyavAL." When they said, "You proceed, we shall take care of ourselves", I went inside the temple.

Sri SwamigaL was standing near themUla sthAnam(sanctum sanctorum). As I had that darshan, I rubbed my eyes and looked keenly to distinguish as to who was TanigaiMalai Murugan and who was ParamAchAryar.

Tears gathered and gushed down my eyes with the darshan of Sri Periyavar as DeivaGuru and JagatGuru. The darshan was (at last) over. Sri Maha SwamigaL came out (as himself).

The temple employees who were bowing to him giving way, I went and stood before him with joined palms.

As Sri Periyavar said, "They are all very happy. You prepared it tastily and fillingly! Much, much happiness for them. Their stomachs are also full", and stood blessing me, I knelt down for ashASTaaN^ga namaskaramand then stood up.

"When you go to sleep every night, chant the Rama Nama." When Sri Periyavar blessed me with these words, it was one o' clock in the night.

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