Total Pageviews

Thursday, April 4, 2013


PeriyaaL took special interest inanAdai preta samaskAram(cremation of unclaimed Hindu corpses). He formed a committee called Jivatma Kaingarya Committee. This committee was started in 1953 in Kanchipuram. Even before that, the work of cremation of unclaimed Hindu bodies was going on in Kumbakonam.

Pandit Nehru came to Kanchipuram. They collected donations for receiving him. After the reception felicitation was over, a balance of two thousand rupees was left. The head of the committee and the municipal chairman Dr.Srinivasan gave that amount to the Jivatma Kaingarya Committee. Until that time money was spent only from the MaTham for the cremation of unclaimed Hindu bodies. The caste of the dead person was not looked at; only that he/she must have been a Hindu. Periyavaa would say often that theanAdai preta samaskAramwill give the fruits of akoti ashvamedha yAgam. (Incidentally, I came across this Telegu Website:

*** *** ***

PeriyavaaL had limitless compassion towards everyone.

Once, when in Kavalai, PeriyavaaL's guru--paramaguru'sArAdhanamwas performed. Two days later, seven or eightsumangalis came. They told PeriyavaaL, "According to our Panchangam, the Aradhana should take place only today. We came with much eagerness..."

"That is only a difference in Panchangams. So what? We can have an Aradhana today also!... JanakiRamaa, buyveshti-sombu(dhoti and pitcher) and make arrangements for the Aradhana..."

For that day's Aradhana, only SriKantan was thekartA! Usually, only thepUrvAshrama bandhus of the Paramaguru would be thekartAs; but then this was a sudden, (special) Aradhana!

*** *** ***

An election time. Certain political leaders who associated themselves closely with the MaTham came and told Periyavaa that he should issue a press release cavassing votes for a particular party.

Periyavaa was in Kalavai. "JanakiRamaa, you go forthwith and bring SriKaryam", was the orders.

C.S.Visvanathaiyer was the SriKaryam. He was a sub-registrar in the Cooperative Society. On Periyavaa's orders, he gave up the job and came to the MaTham. From that day until the end, only ninety rupees every month was the salary paid to him!

"idho pAr(look here). The election comes in two days from now. I should not be in Tamilnadu at that time. I am starting now. You are the Adhikari, right? So I called you to inform before I left."

Visvanathaiyer stood amazed!

Periyavaa started forthwith, and travelled to Valaja Sivan Kovil, Chinnak Kanchi village, Sholingar (Periayavaa climbed up the two hills and had darshan), Ramakrishnapet, and then via Atthumanjeripet, we reached Karvet Nagar in Andra Pradesh on the day of the election!

*** *** ***

Whatever groceries--rice, dhal, vegetables--the people give in a village, those should be used up then and there. Nothing should be kept for the morrow. That was theuttiravu(orders). 'grAmaika rAtram' (the night in a village) is the Sannyasi dharma. Ishvara should give the requirements daily. The unfaithfulness of what to do if it is not given tomorrow, should never come up, is the principle of PeriyavaaL.

*** *** ***

However intense the summer, PeriyavaaL would not sweat. Only for the satisfaction of his devotees he would give permission for fanning him with a palm leaf hand-fan; not for his own comfort. No rancid smell would ever issue out of his body.

He would ask two people to stand opposit to each other and fan him. "The mosquito would bite not just me, also the man who fans me? So if two of them wave the fan standing opposite to each other, the air would also blow to them!", he would say.

*** *** ***

A story narrated by V.S.V.

Velur camp during 1942-43. Camp at Tirupati Devasthana School. SriKaryam went in search of PeriyavaaL, looking inside each and every classroom. And in one of them--a miracle! Levitating two feet up from the ground in a sitting posture, Periyavaa was immersed indhyAna samAdhi!

V.S.V. returned noiselessly. Later, he did not ask PeriyavaaL about it; and PeriyavaaL also never told him.

Such deep training did PeriyavaaL have in HaThayoga!

*** *** ***

When he came back to Kanchipuram finishing his Andhra Yatra, hisvAsam(residence) was only on the banks of the SarvaTirtham. He stopped takinganna bhikSA. Initially he tookaval(flattened rice); later onlynelpori(parched rice).

As days went by, he also stopped the simple ritual he was performing as Atma puja, using a ball of sandal paste. Periyavaa wassahaja(natural) in aturIyAtIta(beyond Turiya) state, without anyloka prajna(world consciousness) ordeha prajna(body consciousness). There was noprayatna, AyAsa(effort or tiredness) of going further advanced in the state.

Sitting on the steps of the bank at SarvaTirtham one day, he said, "I shall have mybhikSAhere." Receiving theporiin akottAnkacchi(coconut half-shell), he had hisbhikSA. A large number of devotees were watching it. Later I went to him when Periyavaa was alone, fell at his feet and supplicated, "Periyavaa is pIThAdhipati; should not havebhikSAin public this way; there will bedRSTi dosham."

From the next day, he had hisbhikSAonly inside the hut!

Periyavaa would not ignore that it was after all told by somesAmAnya kaingkariy kartA(ordinary assistant), so what if he don't heed it. He would only look at thenyAyam(justice) in what was told him.

He asked for planting Akatti Keerai saplings on the western bank of SarvaTirtham and growing them. He explained, "Akatti Keerai is very good for the cows; (giving it to them is)puNyam."

*** *** ***

An interesting incident.

A plan was devised (in 1958-59 in my remembrance) to build the Puja Mandapam (16-legged mandapam) in SriMaTham. When the news came that Periyavaa was to come to have a look at the place, I tidied up the place removing the grass and bushes. At once place, we dug up two or three bone pieces and an Agal lamp. PeriyavaaL had a doubt: was there any Samadhi of some Mahaan earlier, and if that was the case only anadhiSTAnam(tomb of an asetic) could be built, not a Puja Mandapam?

"This does not look like a human bone."

"How do you say that?"

"This one is heavy."

Four days passed. "JanakiRamaa, what you said was right. I asked it to be sent to the Guindy Institue for testing. Only animal bone (they confirmed)!"

Periyavaa who knows about the three phases of time tells me, "JanakiRamaa what you said was right!" How does this look?

SuchnirmalamAna manasu(flawless heart)! No room for any impurity there! His verysvabhAvawas such!

*** *** ***

The Mukti Mandapam at the Viswanathar Kovil in SarvaTirtham was where PeriyavaaL did hisvAsam. Nearby are theadhiSTAnams of many Mahaans.

The Mukti Mandapam is found only in threesthalams (holy places): Kashi, Puri and Kanchi.

Only in that hut at SarvaTirtham bank was the cataract surgery on PeriyavaaL was performed. Dr.Venkudi Balasubramanyam did the surgery.

He gave theuttiravuthat the Vyasa Puja should also be held only there.

During the time of Vyasa Puja, there would bevisheSa sambhAvanA(special honorarium) for thecippantis (staff members), pandits and Veda pandits.

For the pandits who studied Vedas thesambhAvanAwas the highest--five-and-a-half rupees! Theutaama sambhAvanAwas five rupees. For the officials such as managers, five rupees. For the assistants doingkaingkariyam, two or three rupees. Among those who came for darshan--for those who studied Vedas, five rupees.

*** *** ***

Indira Gandhi came and had darshan. An unforgettable experience it was.

Tenambakkam. Periyavaa was on this side of the compound of the well, sitting on the floor. 'Only JanakiRaman can be here.' Everyone dispersed.

A chair was placed on the other side of the compound of the well for Indira Gandhi to sit. That Amma did not sit, however!

Ninety minutes...

Just like that, without removing her eyes, she was looking at PeriyavaaL. (Indira Gandhi had eyes shining like those of a lion!)

Then Periyavaa said, "enna veNumnu keLudA(ask her what she wants)." I asked her in Hindi: "Anything to be told by you? You want his blessings?"

(Sanjay Gandhi's marriage was to be held within ten days).

"I have not come for that. Evil forces have grown by lots in the country. The country should get relieved of them andsubhikSa(prosperity) should come up. I came only to pray for that."

I told Periyavaa what she said.

Spreading out the five fingers of his right hand and raising it, Periyavaa blessed, "Narayana, Narayana."

(Some of the political critics suggested this as the reason for the hand symbol of the Congress).

*** *** ***

WhatprasAdamto be given for Indira Gandhi? How should it be given?--all these had been decided earlier.

After her darshan of Periyavaa, she must be taken to the Shiva temple nearby. There in the Durga Sannidhi, a Gujarati woman who was abhaktaiof the MaTham (she took up her residence at Kanchipuram) would be ready with a garland of cardamoms (elachi). After the leader had her Durga darshan, the woman would garland her with that wreath of cardamoms on behalf of the MaTham.

Things turned out precisely as planned.

No comments:

Post a Comment