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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Maha SwamigaL Darshan

My 'bhAgyam' of Maha SwamigaL Darshan
author:..... Vanathi A.Thirunavukkarasu
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 264-280
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)

Pages 264-271

The days when I had my first darshans of Maha SwamigaL are still green in my memory. It was the year 1961.

Everyone knows well the writer R.V. The Kannan is a wonderful children's monthly published from the family of Kalaimagal. Its editor was R.V. So many writers have written in that magazine that it can be said there were no writers who did not write in the Kannan issues. Sri Jayendrar, the present Periyavar of SriMaTham was also such a 'Kannan writer'. His pseudonym was 'Kingaran'!

It was this R.V. who wrote the Pillaiyar Chuzhi for my connection with SriMaTham. It was an interesting divine experience.

We wanted to obtain a Srimukham from Kanchi ParamacharyaaL for the Mahabharatam prose work written by my friend A.Le.Natarajan. Our friend R.V. only took us for the darshan of ParamacharyaaL.

At that time SwamigaL was camping in Madurai, along with Pudu PeriyavaaL. The camp was in the Sethupati High School where Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati taught. A large crowd of over five thousand bhakta kotis were assembled there. Wherever one looked, the ghoSaNam (loud chanting) of 'Hara hara Sankara, Jaya jaya Sankara' was heard.

It was probably around nine in the morning when we reached the camp. Somehow, under R.V.'s arrangements, we went near SwamigaL, apprised him the details and submitted the prose work titled Vyasar AruLiya Mahabharatam written by A.Le.Natarajan for SwamigaL's Srimukham.

Inquiring about our names, details and the name of our publication, he received the book. We waited eagerly for whatever reply that might forthcome from him.

"The anugraham of the Srimukham may please be given today itself. We have come from Madras only for this purpose", R.V. said with humility.

"Is that so?", SwamigaL smiled. "Could you wait for a while? Let the Puja be over..." he implied with a sign by his hand. We waited under his orders. It was a long wait; and my first experience of such waiting.

It was possibly around six in the evening. An Anbar from SriMaTham called, "Thirunavukkarasu, Thirunavukkarasu...who is that here...SwamigaL has sent word for the man to come to him." I was jolted a little; I even had the doubt if he really called me in the first turn or perhaps it could be someone else.

Only R.V. encouraged and took me to SwamigaL. When A.Le. and I went to him, that Deivam spoke the name "Thirunavukkarasu" in full mouth, gave the Srimukham and blessed us. With so many Anbars assembled there, he did actually hear my name only once in the morning. Remembering it and now speaking my name as Deiva Vaakku, blossoming his holy mouth--it gave me shivers of ecstasy.

An organization named 'Deiva Vazhipaattu Sangam' was functioning in those days. R.V. enthusiastically participated in the organization with his religious services.

He would often visit Kanchipuram with his Satsangam sevaks, have darshan of Maha SwamigaL and bring his prasAdams of vibhuti, kunkumam, akSata. He would keep them wrapped carefully in tiny packets. I would also assist him in this work with parama santoSam.

The sevaks of the 'Deiva Vazhipaattu Sangam' would take those vibhuti, kunkumam prasAda tiny-packets and visit Chennai General Hospital and Royapettah Hospital on Saturday-Sundays. They would meet everyone who is treated in the hospitals and distribute these prasAdas which had the blessings of Kanchi SwamigaL, to them. The Anbars in sickbeds would receive those prasAdas with the high reverence of devotion. They would feel the happiness of personally receiving them from the hands of Maha SwamigaL himself.

It was obvious that more than the medicines, God's grace and the graceful blessings of Mahaans had more effect. This arrangement and plan went on very regularly by Kanchi Periyavar's anugraham.

The sevaks engaged in the job of distributing prasAdas would be very enthusisstic about it. I was not a member of that Sangam. Still I had engaged myself in this work along with my friend R.V. on many occasions.

Our duty will not be over with the distribution of the prasAdas. When we meet Maha SwamigaL the next time he would inquire about the experiences of the sevaks with utmost sincerity and feel happy about it. "You gave the prasAdam? What did they say? Did you visit them the next time?" The inner meaning of those questions was different!

Mostly, many of the patients who were seen in the hospitals during the first week would have become cured and discharged the next week we visited. If we said this to him, he would feel very happy and bless us. It was during the days I was engaged in this Tiruppani that R.V. used to take me to SriMaTham and make me have darshan of Maha PeriyavargaL. The experiences of having his darshan--those were blissful moments.

I was fortunate thereafter to come to have intense interest in Maha PeriyavargaL and his younger PIThAdhipatis Sri Jayendrar and Sri Sankara Vijayendrar and get their grace and blessings. These were only obtained by the blessings of our ancestors and the fruits of my earlier births--what else?

My father Ekappa Chettiar was a ripened Shiva Bhakta. When thinking about his habit of revering, adoring and worshipping Jnanis and Mahaans, it only seems to me that my connection with Sri Kanchi MaTham is only the fruits of pUrva puNyam.

For one who remained for many years a parama bhakta, standing at a distance and patting cheeks with the darshan of Mula Murti, the divine grace gave opportunities to the extent of having my sangamam there itself. Only the Kalki weekly that came in the holy name of Amarar Kalki whom I adore and worship, became the reason for such an opportunity.

Acharya SwamigaL's arul vAkkugaL (words of grace) were published every week unfailingly in the Kalki issues under different titles as full-page essays. More elaborate essays were published in special issues like the Deepavali Malar. I came to know that the man who compiled those treasures of wisdom and published them was Raa.Ganapathi, a parama bhakta of Maha SwamigaL.

It occurred to me that if those essays were published in a collection, it would be a puNyam for me and the Anbars also would be benefited. When I asked Raa.Ganapathi about this, he said it could be done only with the consent of SriMaTham, though he was personally happy about it.

Without any hesitation, I reached the great city of Kanchi and told Sri Jayendra SwamigaL in SriMaTham about my wish. In the later days, Maha SwamigaL only remained as the Mula Murti, without coming out much. Only Sri Jayendrar then remained as the Utsava Murti and functioned with all the interest and initiative the work demanded. We would only refer to him then as Pudu Periyavar. Later, Sri Vijayendrar was referred to as Bala Periyavar.

To have simultaneous darshan of the three SwamigaLs in SriMaTham was a peru (bhAgyam) given to people like us who were fortunate to live during the later part of the last century.

Although Sri Jayendrar was also happy about Maha PeriyavargaL's Arul Vakku coming out as a book, he was of the opinion that a word should be told to Maha SwamigaL also.

At the same time, some people had told him that such divine books might better be published by large Trusts who had the financial capability for such task, and had even named some popular Trusts. Maha SwamigaL was told about my wish and the opinions of other Anbars.

When I heard the news of what Maha SwamigaL reportedly said on hearing about my wish, I could not contain my emotions. My body was in shivers of ecstasy and a film of tears covered my eyes.

Referring to other popular publishing trusts (he said), "It would be good if those people bring out the book. But then they (the readers) would safely keep those books in their glass almirahs. Vanathi Thirunavukkarasu is better than that. The vishayam (wisdom) would reach all the people, won't it?"

It was not an ordinary faith that Maha SwamigaL kept on this poor man. I can never forget in my life the help and compassionate heart of Sri Jayendrar who obtained permission and blessings on that day from Maha Periyavar to publish the collection of his Arul Vakku in the form of a book titled Deivatthin Kural in Vanathi (Padhippaham).

It is amazing to think about how the Deivatthin Kural has been published today in seven volumes of compilations. These seven volumes would match the seven Maha Samudraas (great oceans). Enough if one reads all of them, there would be nothing more for him to know in the world, as he would realize then.

Vedas, Vedanta, Puranas, Politics, Culture and Tradtion, History, Mathematics, Astronomy, Modern Science--there is no subject that is impossible to reach for Maha SwamigaL's thoughts. Beyond publishing these compilations of Deivatthin Kural in book form in Vanathi, I can't think of any other effort of mine as a great and mahatva sAdhanA. It was the fruits of God's grace.

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