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Monday, June 3, 2013


Nearly twenty-five years ago, SriCharaNargaL was camping in the shrI MaTham, SatAra, for eleven months.

At that time, my father shrI KAshinAtha shAstrigaL, prayed to him of his wish to listen to the prasthAnatraya bhAShyam from MahA PeriyavAL's tirumukham--sacred face/mouth. (The ten UpaniShads, BrahmasUtra and Bhagavad GItA are together known as the prasthAnatrayam.)

PeriyavA told him, "agre pashyAmaH (will see in future)".

When two months had gone by, he called us himself, asked us to bring the bhAShya--commentary, books, and started his elucidatation of them. One shrI RAjagopa-aiyar would chant only the first line from each UpaniShad. MahA SvAmigaL would then talk about it in vistAra--elaborately, like the sluices of a dam opened, about all the topics mentioned in that UpaniShad, citing from various texts of the bhAShyakAras. This lecture would take place every day for seven hours; this being so, it is not necessary to mention how much kAruNyam--compassion, MahA SvAmigaL had towards us.

The long event of lecturers went on in succession for twelve days and came to completion.

PeriyavA alone gave the lecture every day for seven hours! It is matter of surprise that not only did he show any shrama--fatigue/exertion, but he talked every day with great enthusiasm.

For this pErupakAram--great favour, of PeriyavA, it wouldn't be enough even if we were to take howevermuch janmas--births and serve him.

*** *** ***

A college professor used to come every day for darshan. But he never sought to talk with or introduce himself to PeriyavAL. Perhaps the darshan itself gave him limitless santoSham--happiness/joy!

After four-five months, one day, looking at him, PeriyavA asked, "How come you came here now?"

A great surprise for the professor. "I am coming here daily?"

PeriyavA asked him the same question again. The professor returned home in a state of understanding nothing of the question. As he entered his house, a letter that was lying on the floor came in his sight. He took it and read. 'Very urgent. Forthwith you go to such and such college in such and such place and start your work there.'

How was the message of the letter known to PeriyavAL beforehand? 

Whatever... The professor got ready for the relocation with his trunk and bed.

*** *** ***

Four girl children for us in succession. But then we need a putra--son to save us from the put-naraka? The deities in temples did not open their mouth in reply to us. So I sought, along with my dharmapatni--wife, the Deivam that listens with its tiruchchevi--sacred ears, and replies with its tirumukham--sacred face.

He listened to our prayers for putrabhAgyam. When the darshan was over and he gave us leave, he gave a bilva-fruit as prasAdam.

Isn't the bilva-fruit one that belongs to Shiva?

In due course of time, a Shiva-pazham--Shiva's gift of fruit, arose in our home. Getting PeriyavaAL's permission, we named him as the very "Chandrashekara".

*** *** ***

In the place where SriCharaNargaL was staying, bedbugs had multiplied in large numbers. Where one placed his foot on the floor, the bedbugs were seen. On PeriyavA's sharIram--body, they would stick themselves in patches like the bees from a beehive, at times.

An anbar--devotee brought an insecticide to kill the bugs. PeriyavAL had come to know of this. He called the anbar.

"We eat food for our own sharIra-poShaNam--nourishment of body. Food for the bedbugs is the blood of the manuShya sharIram. The bedbugs themselves take their food! Without their food, how could they live? Right?

"There should be no jIva-hiMsa--injury to living beings. If we are in priyam--attached to one who does some upakAram--favour to us, it would not be a surprise; our elders would say that one who is in priyam even towards a person who does apakAram--wrong, to him is the virtuous man..."

After listening to this talk, would that Anbar have the heart to sprinkle the insecticide in PeriyavA's room?

But this is not a surprise. Within a day or two of this conversation taking place, the bedbugs themselves vanished--that is a wonder!

Perhaps the bedbugs had understood PeriyavA's bAShA--speech/language, or bhAvam--mental frame?

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