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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Maha Periyavaa

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pages 135-141 (concluding part)
X-ray eyes

The homamhaving been performed in a grand manner, it was time for the final rite ofpUrNAhUti to take place.

The bhaktAs brought Periyavaa to the yAgashAlA(where the fire ceremony took place).

Periyavaa went round the yAgashAlAin pradakSiNa(clockwise) and had darshan of thekalasa kuNDas (waterpots). At that moment when his AGYA(order) for doing thepUrNAhUti was awaited, he said, "Let there be nopUrNAhUtinow; can do it a little later", and went inside.

Everyone was nonplussed. Isn't this the right time, then why not do it?

After he went inside, Periyavaa called a disciple.

"The ghee kept for pUrNAhUtiis not good; it has no homa yogya (fitness for the fire ceremony). Ask them to bring a fresh quantity of ghee."

After arranging it as told, the disciple had a look at the ghee tin. It was coated thick with grease, infected with seven or eight insects.

How were the defects of a half tin of ghee kept in a corner known to PeriyavaaL? Has he X-ray eyes? No, those eyes were svayam prakAsha (self-luminous) giving light even to the light rays!

Won't give a paisa

vaidika(Vedic priest) who was avedavid (Vedic pandit), ananuSTabdha(raised in staunch religious routines) and anityAgnihotri(one who does 'agnihotra' daily) came for darshan.

Periyavaa was conversing with him, after inquiring about him. He appreciated the pandit'svaidika anuSTAnam.

The Agnihotri said: "I am going to do ayAga (fire sacrifice). Everything is ready. Many people support it...

"I need to buy the yAga paSu(goats)... seems it would cost a lot. Periyavaa should doanugraha. For buying thepaSu, should do dravya sahAyam(financial assistance) from SriMaTham..."

Periyavaa expressed his blessings for the yAgam. "nalla kAryam. nannA nadakkum.(good work, will go well). The paSu himsa in theyAga is onlyahimsa. Hasdharma sammatam(sanction of dharma). I am a sanyAsin(ascetic). My dharma is what is known as 'ahimso parama dharma' (nonviolence is the ultimate dharma). Therefore, it is not my dharma to donate for buying theyAga paSu. So you complete your yAga, approaching some gRhastas (householders) for the dravya sahAyam."

The man who came was very adamant. His aim was to somehow get money from PeriyavaaL. He did stotra(praise) of Periyavaa with the words, "The Yajneshvara is not in Vaikuntam. He is sAkSAt (in person) here! Only Periyavaa is the Yajneshvara..."

"ShastrigaaL! If it is possible for you, perform theyAgam. I won't give a paisa from SriMaTham for buying goats... Had you told me about theyajnam in the beginning itself,sahAyam could have been done. But then for the type ofkAryam you ask assistance for, it is notsanyAsa dharma to extent that help", said Periyavaa decidedly.

It seemed to the disciples that though it was a disappointment for the man who came, he took leave somewhat pacified, realizing that the mistake was on him.

Unruly monkeys

A Sunday evening in summer. Periyavaa was giving darshan sitting inside his mEnA(palanquin). Devotees in large numbers had turned up for darshan. Offers of plates after plates of fruits, raisins, suger lumps and honey bottles were on the ground outside the palanquin.

Suddenly an army of monkeys came there. In the bustle that followed, they mauled and ate the fruits; the honey bottles rolled on the floor.

The disciples were restless that they might go to Periyavaa and try to do some mischief.

No rEkA (line) of saMcalanaM(alarm) was seen on Periyavaa's face. AnishvarAGYA(divine order) of not to harm them came from him in the gesture of a snap of fingers! The loving devotees who came with staffs, stopped on their tracks, remaining motionless like the staffs they carried.

At length, finishing their work, the monkeys went away for their Rama Karyam. Periyavaa told a story to the devotees.

A village in the Thanjavur district could not withstand the trouble given by monkeys. A man hit a monkey that got caught in a stupid way, with a stick. Owing to internal injuries the monkey gave up its life after some days.

The girl child that was born next to him was speech impaired. The time to get that girl married came up.

The dampati(husband) came to Periyavaa, narrated their sin and wept.

"Make a monkey figure out of clay and give it as offer to the temple of your grAma devata (village deity). Give the girl in marriage to one who gives his heartfelt consent to marry her."

It happened in the same way. Later tt was learnt that the girl who was married gave birth to a child who spoke intelligently.

"Should not beat the monkeys. Should show compassion to them. They come in theparamparA(ancestry) of Ram Sevaks. Even though they might give us trouble, we must leave them, thinking of Anjaneya."

The loving devotees went melting, hearing the story and teaching from Periyavaa himself.

The 'bhaktA's can't go, but the others...

Every little creature enjoyed a grand welcome from PeriyavaaL!

In Sivasthanam, no one enters Periyavaa's room. He would take care of his own chores.

The assistants would place water in a small wooden pot at the entrance of the room. Individual wooden pots were placed for washing legs and hands, and for theanuSTAnam(religious routines).

In summer, small animals like rats, squirrels and birds, would roam about, searching for water.

Even though the shiSya-bhaktAs can't enter Periyavaa's room, there was no bar on these jantus (creatures) to enter. They would get inside in complete liberty, climb up the wooden pots, peep inside them, drink from the pots until their thirst is quenched and then run away.

Periyavaa would be watching and enjoying their arrival and departure!

Only we call them rat, squirrel, sparrow. To Periyavaa's eyes, did they appear as Pillaiyar, Ramapiran, Narayanan?

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