Sri Maha Periyaval is a divine incarnation and the God of the Kali age whose presence is a blessing upon the world No other God existed for my father except Sri Periyaval. He dedicated his three sons, my brothers and me, to the service of Veda when he heard Sri Periyaval's discourse. He gave my sister in marriage in a kanya vivaha ceremony to a scholar who had studied the Veda. So too, by his will, kanyas were given in marriage to my elder brother and me.
In the days when I was a student in the pathasala, if we happened to get two or three holidays at a stretch, we boys would be sent to Sri Periyaval by our teacher. 'Chant the Veda in Periyaval's presence', he would say. On such occasion, Sri Periyaval would make concerned enquiries to ascertain that we had been fed properly. None can match that concern. I have enjoyed his presence by accompanying him when he walked in Andha Pradesh through places such as Karvet Nagar, Bukka and Ramagiri villages. Periyaval was gracious to me and sent me to BrahmaSri Goda Mantralayam. Later, I applied for a post of Vedaparayana at Tirupati and by Sri Periyaval's grace passed the selection examination. I went to receive Periyaval's blessings and take leave of him. Quite unexpectedly, at once he gave me his permission to take up the post and blessed me by placing a lotus flower in my hand. He said graciously, "Do your service without violating the codes of the Sastra. In case such a situation occurs, when you have to violate the Sastra, give up your job and come to me. I shall take on your responsibility".
I studied the Veda in Periyaval's Vedapathasala in Chinna Kanchipuram. In the days when I was a student there, proper arrangements had not been made for our food. So Periyaval instructed devotees to prepare sweets and snacks on the day of their birth-star every month and after showing the preparations to him, hand them over to us at the pathasala. The devotees did so on the day of their birth-star. When we students went to Sri Periyaval for darsan, he would ask us, "Who brought sweets and snacks for you today?" in a concerned tone. It is a memory sweet to recall, even today, the manner in which he would refer to the name of the devotee and ask us, "Did so and so bring you the snacks today?"
One need not make a special effort to receive Sri Periyaval's darsan. If the Veda is chanted, he would come on his own and give us his darsan. This reminds me of the words "mantradinam tu daivatam", which means that God is bound to mantra. The moment he learnt that we were chanting the Veda, he will, on his own, come to where we were seated and bless us with his presence.