Don't beat the snake-02
It is my remembrance that the year was 1965. When Sri Maha PeriyavaaL was camping in Tirupathi, he arranged for performing a Kalyana Utsavam (for a fee of Rs.600/-). The Devastanam people gaveprasAdamafter the Utsava events were over. Srinivasa Perumal Darshanam was arranged for those who paid for the Kalyana Utsavam, outside the formality of the usual queue. Because of his devotion to PeriyavaaL, the Peshkar invited everyone who was with Sri PeriyavaaL--there were 15 people--for Perumal Darshanam.
"If a Kalyana Utsavam is done, to how many is the darshan permission given?"
"Six people", said the Peshkar.
"In that case, only six of us will come for this privileged darshan. Myself, Pudu PeriyavaaL and then four other people..."
"Everyone can go (for the darshan)...", said the Peshkar submissively.
"That is wrong,adharmam. The Devasthanam has framed a rule that only six people can go. You are a Devasthanamchippanti (staff member). Because of your bhaktitowards me, if you send all the fifteen people for darshan, in that act two offenses arise. One is the offense of a Devasthanam official himself transgressing a rule framed by the Devasthanam! When the people who frame the rules do not respect them, then why the rules? The other (offense) is what I have done by giving you anirbandha(insistence) to overstep the rule!..."
'Dharma is not for mereprasAram(preaching), it should be shown inanuSTAnam by the svayam.' Sri Maha PeriyavaaL by his own act had stood in proof of this statement. If 'rAmo vigrahavAt dharmaH'--Sri Rama is the holy form of Dharma--, our Maha PeriyavaaL is a second Rama was the truth I learned through my own eyes (on that day).
A prankish ruler!
Sri Maha PeriyavaaL, like children, had a tendency towards pranks. They would be very interesting.
One night, a man named Marakkannu had the paaraa(vigilance) duty. It was perhaps two in the night. He had slept, sitting on his chair. Sri PeriyavaaL who woke up, looked outside, and saw Marakkannu sleeping. He did not disturb either the sleeping man or anyone else. It was the duty of the man on paaraato strike every hour on a metal disk with a hammerlike wooden log, to indicate the time. Sri SwamigaL took that log and moved away!
After sometime, Marakannu woke up and as it was time to sound the three o'clock gong, he searched for the wooden log. It could be got only if it was there? As the thought that only Periyavaa had moved past him, he became panicky.
As it dawned, as the first thing he went to Manager Viswanatha Aiyar and pleaded his case, nearly shedding tears. "Alright, you go now. I shall take care of it", the Manager said and sent him away.
Later at an opportune time he brought up the 'MarakkannusamAcAram'. "Call him."
Sri Maha PeriyavaaL said laughingly, "You were afraid, weren't you? Well, don't be afraid!...", gave him a suger lump and sent him away!
By this Sri PeriyavaaL showed in action that everyone could be controlled by love, and that control by power could not always be successful.
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There were also entertainments with Sri Maha PeriyavaaL!
Once we were travelling from (Chennai) Tirumangalam to Ambattur. As usual, Sri PeriyavaaL was walking with his hand on the tricycle. Some seven or eight of us were walking along with him.
"Nilakanta, you have seen akapaTa sannyAsi?"
"Nagaraja, what about you?"
Looking at me, Sri PeriyavaaL asked, "Have you heard of akapaTa sannyAsi?"
"Heard of him... Ravana, Arjuna...", I said.
With hesitation I said, "Kalidasan".
"Kalidasan? When did he become akapaTa sannyAsi?"
"PeriyavaaL knows it... If Periyavaa tells the story, we would walk listening to it..."
"No, you tell it."
Kalidasa, who was the Asthaana Vidvan in the court of Bhojaraja, one day, when he heard something discourteous, quit the Sabha and started walking where his legs took him.
Bhojan could not spend his time without Kalidasa. How to find him? He wrote two lines of a verse and announced through a tom-tom that anyone who completed the verse with the other two lines would be rewarded.
Kalidasa, who was in a dAsIs house, though he heard nothing of the reward, completed the verse. ThedAsI went and showed those lines to Bhojan. Knowing details from her, Bhojan later started in disguise in search of Kalidasa. On the way he saw a Sannyasi under a tree got the doubt if the ascetic was Kalidasan.
Conversation beganparaspara(between them).
The Turavi asked Bhojan in disguise, "Who are you?"
"I was anadaippakkaaran(betel nut bag carrier) with Bhojan. After he was dead, I did not like to be there, so I came out."
"Ah!... My Bhojan is dead?" As the ascetic sorrowed and sang thecharama shloka (the final verse), the man in disguise fell down dead. Since it was known without doubt that the man was Bhojan himself, the ascetic prayed to AmbaaL with a melting heart and sangshyAmalA daNDakam and then another verse with the meaning, "Here, Bhojan has awakened!
Bhojan really got back his life stood up.
I narrated this story and said finally, "It was on this occasion that Kalidasa enacted a play in kapaTa as asannyAsi."
"That was verysvArasya (with absorbing interest). The fatigue of walking all the way was not felt at all!", said PeriyavaaL.
Ambattur was reached.