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Thursday, July 4, 2013

"The epitome of refinement" -Maha Periyaval

When Maha Periyaval was camping at Sivasthanam, the aradhana for his Guru was to be celebrated. 

Thirty-two Vedic scholars who followed the injuctions of acara-anustana impeccably, would be appointed as prime participants in the aradhana. They would be gifted a small silver pot, a silver container used for anustana, a pair of wooden sandals and an umrella. 

A Vedic scholar who was one of the foremost in Sri Matha was also invited to be one of these thirty-two participants. He was very close to a business magnate's family in Chennai. His instructions were undisputed for the performance of all rituals as far as that family was concerned. Besides, in his absence no ritual would take place there.

The business magnate was a leading person in his field. His work took him abroad often. A news item in a popular magazine stated that the gentleman drank hard liquor and ate non-vegetarian food at a dinner during one such trip. 

The day before the aradhana, a friend form Chennai brought the magazine along and read out the news item to Periyava. When Periyava saw that the Vedic Scholar who officiated in the businessman's house was among the special invitees for the aradhana celebrations the next day, he flew into a rage.

"Instead of worshiping a vaidik who forsakes acara and eats in the household of one who drinks and eats non-vegetarian food, it is good to offer the food to cows. Tie the new piece of cloth that have been purchased to the horns of the cows in the cattle-shed and offer all the food that has been cooked to them", he said and slapping himself on his forehead, Periyava went inside. 

His instructions were carried out.

The dignitaries who had come for the aradhana went in a group to Periyava and prostrated to him.

"The Vedic scholars who have been invited must not feel hurt. Periyava must be gracious and permit the aradhana celebrations according to the rules prescribed", they prayed.

Periyava relented and agreed with them. Once more all the food offerings were cooked and the aradhana took place without the slightest disregard to the injunctions of the prescribed code of conduct in such matters.

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