Whoever the bhakta that comes to him, without looking at the distinctions of paNDita-pAmara--learned and rustic, rich and poor, jAti-matam--caste and religion, his pAngu--(Tamil)manner, of showering compassion to everyone is alAti--special.
"I am taking lessons in music. I need to sing before PeriyavA", a boy supplicated to him.
singing this song, when the boy was uncertain about some words, PeriyavAL prompts him the right padas--words. Then he asked the boy, "LakumikarA--what is the meaning?" The boy could only blink.
shrI PeriyavAL said, "In Telegu, the word 'Lakumi' is a variation of the word LakShmI; the meaning is 'LakShmIkarA'--lustrous hands. Sing well". He explained and blessed the boy.
To proclaim a specific guNam--quality, pANDityam--scholarship in a man (even if it is of the size of a mustard seed), and specify it as mountainous, to him in front of others, is a distinctive nature with PeriyavAL.
(a) Guru ArAchanA day in KAnchi MaTham. shrI R.NaTarAja aiyar (Secretary, METTUr Chemicals) stands before him after the ArAdhanA is over, folding his hands over his chest, wanting to take leave. A crowd of people around.
PeriyavAL says: "You do a great upakAram--service, to the MaTham and to me. In addition to doing dhana-sahAyam--monetary assistance, from time to time, all that you did in vaibhavam--grandeur, for the Guru ArAdhanA! kShemamA iru--remain in prosperity." It's not an overstatement that NaTarAja aiyar went meling in the heart.
(b) One J.VenkaTarAma ShAstrigaL is my friend. A man of great vidvat--intelligence/knowledge. One day when he was coming, PeriyavAL spread both his hands, and lifting them above his head and asked me, "varAnA--is he coming?" I understood it as saying 'sumaithAngi--support stand, varAnA--coming?' and said yes. (The man who came was from a place called sumaithAngi). When he came, PeriyavAL told him, "You are much learned, a great paNDita--pandit", and proclaimed to the people around: "This one reads lots of books. Any book that he has not read is one that is yet to be printed! Which is why we refer to him as a real sumaithAngi."
How many mahAns could there be who thus applaud vidvAns--pandits, wholeheartedly? It came to my mind that on this subject, a RAjA--king, called Bhartruhari, has spoken in his book 'nIti shatakam'.
manasi vachasi kAye puNyapIyUSha pUrNA
tribhuvana mupakArashreNibhiH prINayantaH |
paraguNa parmANUn parvatIkRutya nityaM
nijahRuti vikasantaH santi santaH kiyantaH || 79 ||
Let us see how this verse remains as the very lakShaNam--expression, of PeriyavAL:
1. manas, vAchas, kAyam--mind, speech and action, all these full of holy nectar,
2. pleasing the three worlds with numerous actions of beneficence,
3. ever magnifying the minute good qualities of others, and
4. rejoicing and blooming with happiness at heart;
how many such are there? Not an iota of doubt that PeriyavAL is one who matches all the four lakShaNas mentioned above!
Keeping himself knowing of all the guNAdhishayas--exceptional qualities, and svabhAva--inherent nature, resting with the various kinds of people who come to him, the pAngu--(Tamil)manner, of shrI PeriyavAL advising him or that society of it, even if its a somewhat undesirable svabhAva, is matchless.
(a) A conversation about the progress of the art of printing in these days was going on in KAnchi MaTham.
"In those days, all the people, paNDita-pAmara--learned and ordinary, would read the books in full, even through palm leaves, and educate themselves. These days even with the printing facilities having arrived and books published in nice forms, no one goes through them completely."
A question to me: "As the Golden Jubilee Issue of the Advaita SabhA, a pustakam--book, called 'AdvaitAkSharamAlikA' was published. You read the book?"
"I read some essays (in them)."
"pUrA paDikkalaiyA--not read it in full?"
"Would there be some panDitas--pandits, who would have read it in full?"
"It's not known to me."
Forthwith what PeriyavAL said: "If we send a mail enclosing the book, and tell them that for those who write back having read the book in full, a sum of rupees two hundred will be sent to them from the MaTham, perhaps they will all read it in full?"
My heart was sad listening to these words. "I shall read it in full as early as possible", was the only reply I could give him.
(b) Once in Tirumala, the Shukla-Yajur Veda jaTA(pATha) pArAyaNam was held. On completion of it, a Veda pandit came to PeriyavAL and said:
"In accordance with PeriyavA's abhiprAyam--intention, we did the pArAyaNam--chanting, well. It came to pUrta--completion, yesterday." He repeated this a few times. (This was because no sambhAvana--honorarium, was given there).
PeriyavAL said, "BhagavAn VenkaTAchalapati would have been satisfied. santoSham--happiness, for everyone."
"Should give me leave to return."
"Go and come back in kShemam--prosperity."
Then in a week, to that Pandit and others, PeriyavA sent the deserved sambhAvana--honorarium, to their homes through a ShrI MaTham pratinidhi--representative.
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PeriyavAL had visheSha kAruNya--special compassion, prIti--kindliness, towards the Veda paNDitas. Just their having memorized the Veda shabdas--Vedic accents and words, is the complete reason for adoring them. This fact has PeriyavAL stressed many times:
(a) Took place in KAnchi MaTham one day. PeriyavAL is asking: "The vaidikas who are the vAdhyArs--teachers,--do they know the artha--meaning, of the karmas they conduct?
"Some people think low of them that there is no use if the meanings are not known."
A mail for the MaTham came to him just at that time, and he asked the vilAsam--address, on it to be read out. The man who read it out, as he read the word PIN, PeriyavAL asked him, "You know what is PIN? Does the postman know (its expansion)? Does the postmaster know it"
The one who read the address stands speechless.
"Even if no one knows the meaning of PIN, once a number is written with the word PIN, the mail reaches its destination correctly, right?
"In the same way, if we recite the Veda mantras with their svaram--intonation, even if we do not know their meaning, the articles of our homam--fire sacrifice, would reach their destined devata. There is no necessity to know the meaning.
"But then I shall give you (the expansion for) what is PIN. It is 'postal index number'." PeriyavAL had known it!
(b) Some other incident. A vaidika sammelanam--meeting of Veda pandits, in KAnchi MaTham. PeriyavAL says to me: "Even some vaidikas are short of their AchAram--required rigours, and live as they like, so why should we honour them, some people ask. For me, the tIrmAnam--determined opinion, is that they must be adored, since the Veda mantras which are devatArUpam--divine form, reside in them."
(c) Guru ArAdhanA in Kalavai. On the evening of the first day, the brAhmaNas appointed for the ArAchanA have assembled. It is time for doing their parichayam--introducing them, to PeriyavAL. PeriyavAL comes.
Arriving at and standing near the stage adjacent to the place the Vaidikas are sitting, where an Asanam--seat, for PeriyavAL is arranged, he said, "."
The Vaidikas went melting like heated sugar syrup.
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