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Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Maha SwamigaL is not the one who is keen about looking at his own holy picture. Carrying with bhaya bhakti the first copy of the book, which was titled Deivatthin Kural with a portrait of ParamacharyaaL on the cover page, and had come up to a thousand pages, we went to Kalavai where SwamigaL was camping--me and the compiler of the book Raa.Ganapathi too!

Quickly turning the cover, Maha SwamigaL looked at the inside. "You have published it this big! How many copies did you publish?" he inquired and blessed with a smile. That was (in) the year 1976. Today that first volume itself has come out in seventeen editions.

Only when the third volume of Deivatthin Kural was published, we arranged for a book release function. The man who released that volume and honoured us was R.Venkataraman, the then Vice President and one who had immense bhakti towards Sri Kanchi Periyavar!

At the time of the book release, Maha Periyavar was camping in Kurnool, Andhra state. We took the first copy of the book, submitted it to him in person and received his blessings. By then Bala Periyavar had also come to SriMaTham. An exhibition of the images of temple deities was also held in Kurnool at that time. I had taken with me Achi and our daughter Vanathi for the Kurnool trip.

It turned out to be a wonderful experience. Somehow our third daughter Vanathi's marriage was getting delayed. 'Her star was not good' and such other reasons were attributed for the delay. It was the time when Achi and I were feeling distressed, since no Maappillai (bridegroom) was forthcoming.

I am not accustomed to asking anyone that I want this or that. But when I met Maha Periyavar on that day it occurred to me that I should ask him. "Somehow the marriage for my daughter is getting into hurdles and delayed. SwamigaL should shower grace on her", I prayed and bowed to him.

The way SwamigaL accepted my prayer turned out to be something of a puzzle. "What? The hurdle is due to money? Are they asking much money for the Maappillai? Is your money blocked in the postagam (book) publication? Send the postagams to the MaTham. I shall ask them to give you money." As he spoke these words, I went sweating.

"It was not at all the problem of money... Some other reason, whatsoever...", I said quickly and added that the books were selling in high volumes. Thereafter he asked me details about the people who bought the book, of what age and place were they.

"Middle aged people buy it in good numbers. Even old people of seventy or eighty years... Apart from Chennai, people from Coimbatore, Madurai and Thanjavur also buy the book", I informed him.

Blessing us, SwamigaL asked Vanathi to come near him and asked her to take a plateful of prasAdams of fruits and flowers. I came out feeling much strengthened at heart. I went to Pudu PeriyavargaL who was in the nearby room, and narrated the incident to him.

With his usual mouth-filling smile, Sri Jayendrar called me near. "Periyavaa vAyAle, paNam taren, vAngiNdupo appadinnu solRate romba apUrvam; periya bhagyam. Inime unga pustangaL amohamA niRaiya viRkumnu artham... (It is a rarity and a fortune that Periyavaa with his own mouth said that he would give you money, and asked you to get it and go. From now on, your books will sell grandly and in large volumes, is its meaning.)" He spoke these words and gave his blessings. As willed by PeriyavargaL's holy mind, Deivatthin Kural came out in seven volumes, each of which saw many editions. I am very much satisfied and happy that I have been an instrument for this divine work.

It is not possible to know how and when miracles happen. As such a miracle, during the very next after we returned from Kurnool, Vanathi's marriage also saw its betrothal. One big surprise in it! We were wandering at places like Pallatthur, Kanadukatthan, Rayavaram and whatever other places in search of the Maappillai. We never knew that Vanathi's husband-to-be was residing in Devakottai, in the very next street to our house. Isn't it only Maha PeriyavargaL's arut prasAdam (favour of grace) that we came to have a lawyer son-in-law named Tirugnana Sambandam who had money as well as good character! Now a son has also been born to the Vanathi-Tirugnana Sambandam dampati who reside in Pudukottai; our grandson Karthik!

Once when we went to have darshan of Sri Maha SwamigaL he asked us about why we had named our publishing house as 'Vanathi Padhippaham'.

After telling him about my interest and devotion to Amarar Kalki right from my boyhood, I said that Vanathi was the name of one of the immortal characters of the historical novel Ponniyin Selvan written by Kalki and that we took that name for our publication.

"That is right! That AkAsha gangA there, the river which Bhagirata brought to the Earth; it is also Vanathi only. Vaan-nadi." As he spoke this, he looked at the sky and traced the map of a river in the air. I became ecstatic there and then.

Thereafter, whenever I went for darshan, and the people around him informed my arrival, he would immediately trace a line in the air and say, "Vanathi-thaane...? Let him come!" and that became a custom to him.

In the presence of Sri Jayendrar, the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao released the sixth volume of Deivatthin Kural and honoured us. Every time I went to meet Maha Periyavar, I would submit copies of the newly published books. SwamigaL used to have a glance at the cover and the composition of the books and would sometimes give his counsel.

During one such visit to SriMaTham, it happened that the cover picture of a book I brought to him was not liked by SwamigaL. It was a booklet for children. A picture of a man holding a dagger was drawn on its cover. When he said, "ido pAru (Look here)! This is a book read by children. Why these katthi, kabadA (knife, stick) and such things...", I became very much embarrassed. As the first thing after reaching Chennai, I arranged for another cover picture and changed the cover of all those published copies, and only then I had peace of mind. Such compassionate heart that was full of grace he possessed, which made him keenly observe each and everything and gently chide if anything was amiss.

Among the great fortunes I received in ParamacharyaaL dharshan experiences, I should also mention another such thing. He would daily perform what is called 'Atma Puja'. Many Anbars would have been familiar with that sight.

It is said that this void of space that is the universe is the God. It would seem void, empty space to our eyes. In reality, there is no such emptiness in the universe. The truth is that the ParamPoruL is omnipresent everywhere without exception.

When I experienced the bliss of ParamacharyaaL's Atma Puja worship, I thought only about it. I also thought about how he drew a line in the air with an empty hand and made a metaphor of 'Vanathi' of it.

That felicity of mind which sees in bhAvana (forming in mind) Ambikai and Ishvara as if they were present before the eyes, and worship them with archana and ArAdhana cannot come easily to the ordinary people. Only for the Maha Jnanis like ParamacharyaaL would the ParamPoruL that fills everywhere without exception be visible.

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