Total Pageviews

Thursday, August 8, 2013


If somebody asks, “ Periavaa being a total Saambavaal ( I really do not know the meaning of this word, but only can guess; does it mean Saivite?), how come Periava chants :Rama Nama?”, He will answer, “Aren’t they both same? Assuming that there is difference for the sake of Ruchibedham, Siva Himself chants ;Rama’s Nama always and enjoys the bliss, is it not? Because He always chants Rama Naamaa, He remains as SadhaSivan. Sadhasivom! Sadhasivom! Sadhasivom “----He will say. He will drown into the Omkaaram. When He comes out of the Trance, He will start again with the children: “Rama! Rama!” “Dama!” “Dama!”

Among those children, there was an orphan. When the child lost its parents within four months of its birth, some relatives brought him and laid him at the feet of AthmaBodhar. Swamikal, overwhelmed with love, left it under the care of a couple, who were doing service in SriMatam. Twice everyday, they would bring the child to Periava . Whatever may be other engagement , He will set them aside and play with the child for half an hour. Rama Naama practice for the child at an age when it can utter only “nku” ( ங்கு----- a sound a few months’ old baby makes)! The child gets ecstatic, the moment it sees His face!

One day, the foster father mentioned to Swamikal, “ everybody says that this child is going to be next Mutt chief”. Periava’s face became stone- -like, showing no feeling. 

After a small time gap, Periava murmured, “ I named him as Gnanasakaran, right? What the SriMatm needs now is a “Namasakaran”. Mother will soon send him.” 

Exactly at that moment, a married couple prostrated before Him. 

A smile appeared on His lips! Was it due to His inner happiness that Mother had sent him so soon?

That couple had migrated to and settled in Tamilnadu from the borders of Maharashtra. They were originally Brahmins from Tamilnadu only; later they migrated to Maharashtra. But, because they were Tamils originally, the surname ‘Dhravid’ got attached to their names. Recently, Sivaji’s father escaped from Bijapur sultan and established his rule near Senji and Thanjavur. Consequently, many Dravids, returned to Tamilnadu. They brought with them Harikatha Sampradhaayam and the practice of invoking Pandurangan in the jothi of lamp (குத்து விளக்கு), and sang Naamasankeerththanam. Was it not God’s will that this wealth ( Naamasankeerththanam) which belonged to them should spread in Tamilnadu also? That is probably why they now came to SriMatam and prostrated before Periava!

The husband’s name was Kesava Panduranga yogi and the wife’s name, Sugunabai. They were living in a house in the Mandanamisra agraharam in Kancheepuram!

Periava thought that that also fitted in place. There is a belief that Mandanamisrar who became AdhiSankarar’s primary disciple, also became the next Peetaathipathi to AdhiSankara here in Kanchi.

The couple sang Namaavalis in front of the Acharya, who was waiting for Namasakaran!

They wanted to be blessed with a child. Was He not waiting for that? He prayed to Ambaal soulfully.

He laughed at the other child ( Gnanasakaran) and said, “ Gnanasakara! Your princely rule is for another one year only! Then another fellow will arrive. Being a gnani, You will not compete with him. Both of you will live like the flesh and finger; a bond continuing from the previous Janma. Then one day, that bond will come to an end; He will become Naamasakaran and you………”----His inner voice broke down.

Next year, Sugunabai became a mother. The child looked so bright and beautiful as if Vittalan Himself has manifested as the child.

When Periava heard the news, His sacred face brightened up, and His lips muttered, “Uththama Purushan has arrived.”

He asked the parents to name the child, ‘Purushoththaman’.


Puru asked Periava, “Did you look at Gnani? He looks absolutely calm like Periava!”

But Periava, with a smile, replied, “ This Periava is never going to become a ‘Gnani’ like him. However much I chant ‘Siva, Siva’, it doesn’t impress my Divine Mother! Does She allow me to sit in one place ? No, I undertake the problems of all others. How can I attain Wisdom? Do you think Mother will allow you to sit calmly and meditate? Never! She is going to control you also ! Traditionally, the joy of doing Bajan and Namasankeerthanam is in your blood; you cannot sit like him unaware of any thing! We should be jealous of him. Mother has shown very little of Her influence on him . Only because of the bond of love he has with you, She has bound him lightly………” He stopped off suddenly.

“I am tired of chanting the ‘Siva’ Naama; I haven’t been blessed with ‘Siva Gnanam’. But that Siva Himself is sitting in Kashi and chanting the ‘Rama Nama’ without getting tired. Let me go there and learn from Him.” Saying this He started for ‘Kashi Yatra’.

The whole SriMatam also started with Him happily for ‘Ganga Snaanam’! But strangely, He stopped Puru and Gnani from proceeding to Kashi with Him! Having been so closely associated with them, He cut them off, just like that! 

“ From now at least I should become a ‘Gnani’, a little bit! Like the famous saying “ Karma hasn’t left one, even after going to Kashi”, why should I take these two with me? I am going to Kashi, to beg Annapoorneshwari, to bless me for achieving ‘Gnana Vairagyam’, Is it not?”-----saying this, He decidedly didn’t allow them to accompany Him!

Although He was outspoken, who can know what was in The depth of His heart?

Gnani, as usual, kept quiet; did not utter a word. But Puru started a war. “ If Periava, leaves me in the middle like this and goes away, How Ambal will give Him ‘Gnanam’? Never! I loved Periava because He loved me. Now, if He goes alone leaving me here, how will Ambal bless Him?” He blew the war trumpet!

It was akin to the anger Kumaraswami displayed, when He was denied the mango!

Swamikal looked at him fondly and spoke to him with the coolness of sandalwood paste, “ My dear child! Be a good boy now and let me go my way! Come later! You must certainly come when it is time! You will come! Certainly, you will come! But after a certain important event has taken place!”

He had the magical power to quell the opposition, with one kind look and a few kind words! Puru, who started off angrily, calmed down at these words. But , he was a bit confused, ‘That day, when we were talking about ‘Guru Vandhanam, He was talking in singular; He left out Gnani and talked about me only; today also, He says, ‘you will come!’ in singular only.!----he thought.

Without any further explanation, Vishwathikar started on His ‘yatra’. First, He started with a visit to Rameshwaram as per custom
A little later Panduranga Yogi (Puru’s father ) attained Lord’d lotus feet. Sukuna bai entered the funeral pyre along with him.

Puru who was immersed in sorrow, thought, “ Periava said that I would go to Kashi, after an important job is completed. What He meant must be the death of my parents. In the Brahmin’s vocabulary, ‘Karyam’ means ‘last rites’.

Gnanasakaran, fulfilled the void in Puru’s heart, after the loss of his parents and absence of his Guru. “ I am holding on to my life only for your sake” Puru said, embracing Gnani and cried. He remembered the indications Periava gave from time to time, and cried, “I won’t leave you, my dear” and tightened his grip.

Gnani caressed Puru’s head and back, and reminded Puru of all the vedantic training they had, and talked to him about renunciation.

But Puru said, “ I will never get that in your case”

“ In that case place your faith and love on the Almighty. You know so many ‘Abangas’ and ‘Namavali’s inherited from your ancestors. Make them your friend. What is the use of making me your friend?”---said Gnani.

“How can you say that so easily? Are you going to become a ‘Sanyasi’? You are talking so boldly because Periava is not here, is it not? Look now, I am going to take you to Kashi and leave you with Him, now! The important event which He mentioned about is also over. Come on, Let us go”------said Puru.

“Do you think I can be without you? It came out of me, involuntarily. Ok! Let us go!”---Gnani agreed.

Along with them Fate also started the journey. “ Oh! Here are two youngsters who are of the age for ‘Kashi yathra’ during their marriage ceremony. But, they have started for two different destinations, in two different directions.”-----murmured the Fate.

The twosome, walked along, crossing jungles, hills and rivers. Crossing Andhrapradesh, they enetered Vindhya region, full of hills and dense forests. There was a river flowing, which they guessed to be Narmada, but there was not a single human to confirm it.

Suddenly, Gnani fell ill with a poisonous fever, typical of the hill region. Fate is playing with them!

In the totally isolated forest, Puru looked after Gnani, as best as he could. He was really scared!

“No Puru, leave me here and run away from this region, before this cursed fever infects you also .

“ No! No! Never”---protested Puru vehemently.

“My dear fellow! How can you hold on to me ? When the ocean of Wisdom is coming near me, to take me away, How can I not get immersed in that and attain Bliss? There is nothing either you or me can do in this matter. Just like the ocean of wisdom is flowing towards me, the same ocean, in the form of our Guru is waiting for you in Kashi. Don’t trouble yourself for me any more. There is not an iota of use in that. Guru Saranam is the only way out for you; Run away from here and reach His lotus feet without any further delay! Make Naamaavali’s your companion and go to Him.”----Gnani spoke.

Puru wept uncontrollably. “Oh! This must have been ‘that important’ event, Guru was talking about all those days!’ he understood. “Gnani, anyway, you are going to leave me and go away. I can’t go with you. I am a novice ;the ocean of wisdom will not accept me. I will go to Kashi; I do not want either Guru or God, without you. I shall meet Periava just once, pour out my feelings and jump into river Ganga and kill myself! If what they say that if one dies in Kashi, one will attain Mukthi, is true, I shall join you.

Gnani caressed his hair and told him slowly, “There is no ‘you’, no ‘I’, no ‘going’ and no ‘joining’, in Mukthi. In the height of your emotions, you are talking and planning something. Amma’s plan only will come true, my dear fellow! Even if you think that you will never attain Maturity of mind, through Bakthi and Gnana, suppose Amma doesn’t think that way? Will Mother leave you with this perishable body of mine, instead of taking you to Eshwara, after all your bajans and Bakthi you have performed? Mother will never let all the study and analysis you have practiced on Gnana go waste. If She thinks that you should live, after my death, who can change that? Accept Her will and follow.”

Puru blurted out, “Leave Amma alone! You may not be aware of the depth of love I have for you, nor Mother. But, I know! It is stronger and more sacred than the love Radha had for Kannan. In the name of that love, and on the lotus feet of our Guru, I vow, that if I do not die after your death, I shall jump into Ganga and kill myself. This is my sacred vow!”

Even being at the end of his life, Gnani was overwhelmed by the strength of the love, Puru showered on him. He asked him to come near, put his hands around his neck, and slowly muttered in his ear, “Mother is going to play with you and tighten Her grip on you; but She has kindly taken away the burden from me.”

The soft hands that were embracing Puru’s neck, slowly slid and fell down.

The bond broke up!

To be continued…………

“Kamakoti is going to shine as Premakoti, and Namakoti; it is going to become Ramakoti, in the name of Sri Raman, the best among menfolk. Mother, strange is your ‘Leela vinotham’! You, who comes with a sugar cane bow, in all your red glory, are going to come now with a steel bow, and in the greenest of green colour, as Sri Ramachandran! You also prove with the Naamaa, that you and SriRama are one and the same. Squeezing your famous SriVidhya Manthram,, you have taken the juice and created the “RAMA” sabdham (sound), with the three alphabets, ‘Ra’, ‘A’, and ‘Ma’ which represent , sequentially, ‘Agni (Fire), Surya (Sun) and ‘Chandra’ (Moon). You have ordained that in this SriMatam, where SriVidya puja was the most important, the sweetest and the easiest ‘Rama Nama’ should also spread. You have pledged to uplift the future mankind, who will not be mature enough to practice the intensive rituals, with ‘Naama Sankeerththanam’!

When, for the first time, the new born baby Purushothaman, was brought to Athmaa Bodha Acharya ,how can one describe the joy shown by that Sanyasi! “He who was born for this SriMatam, has come to the SriMatam?”---exclaiming thus with utmost joy, He took the child with both the hands. Oh! What kind of hands were those?! The hands which perform Rudhrabhishekam and Rudhra Thrisathi Archana! He touched and caressed the child from head to foot with those hands which have become superior to Siva Himself, with constant worship of Lord Siva.

He looked at Pandurangan ( the child’s father ) and told him, “ You were born in Kanva Gothram. Therefore, bring up this child of the SriMatam in your home, just like Kanvar brought up Shakunthala.” And gave the child back to him.

Purushothaman grew up as the pet child of SriMatam. Whether tha child was dear to Swamikal or more dear to the elder ‘child’ Gnanasakaran, could not be discerned. Oh, the love the elder fellow showered on the younger one ! Certainly, it must be the remainder of the previous births. Swamikal was seeing with His inner mind , what was going to happen once the remainder is exhausted!

‘Aksharabyasam’ and ‘Upanayanam’ were performed for both of them together in the SriMatam itself. The children who were bright and smart, shone like the young sun due to Gayathri Anusanthaanam.

‘Flower and its scent’ or ‘Flesh and nail’ may not be the proper analogy to their bond and friendship. ‘Purushothaman and Gnanasakaran’ will be the best analogy. Acharyar was instrumental to the development and growth of this bond! In their childhood days, whenever He gave fruit or candy to both of them, He will not allow them to eat it by themselves. He will tell Purushothaman to feed it to Gnanasakaran and ask Gnanasakaran to feed it to Purushothaman. Why did the Saint encourage this bond to grow like this? May be, in order to make it ripe and cut it at some time!

The only obstacle in the path of these two attaining Mukthi was this bond continuing from previous births. It should have a free run till it burns off and gets charred. For this purpose only, the Saint is stuffing the powder and placing a wick in that.

Puru and Gnani studied in the SriMatam school (Patasala) itself till their 15th year, and became well versed in Vedhanthas. Along with knowledge, they attained maturity of mind also. But because their mutual love for each other was intensely burning, they did not turn to the path of Sanyaasam.

They used to tell each other, “ Even though we are mad after Bakthi and Gnana, why are we not able to give up this bond as Maya?”

They put this question to their Guru also. Now and then, He will not budge; now also He didn’t answer it outwardly. But His inner mind spoke to Ambal, “ So you are playing with them? Ok! Go ahead! A few more years only, is it not?”

Swamikal wanted Purushothaman to master the Adhvaitha Vedhantha Granthas; as He could not spare the required time for doing that, He entrusted that task to Sri Keervanendra Saraswathi Swamikal, who had come to Kanchi for a long stay. Gnanasakaran also accompanied Puru and learned the secrets of Athma Vidhya.

One day, Acharyar asked Purushothaman casually, “Puru! You are now studying plenty of Granthas; suppose sometime in the future, you are writing such granthas, yourself, you have to write ‘Guruvanthanam’, right? Tell me who will you write about?”

Puru used to talk to Him freely; he laughed and said, “Our Bagavathpaadhar (AdhiSankarar ) got Guruvanthana slokas from such great disciples like Sudheswarar, and Padhmapaadhar. But Periava (AthmaBodhar), is going to get Guruvanthana slokas from this Puru only. Why Periava is asking for this lowly biksha now itself?”

“ That is why I asked you, I don’t want that bad luck. I shall bequeath it to Keervaanendrar only.” He replied with a laugh, then making His voice more serious, He continued, “ You must write Guruvanthanam to him only first. If your conscience does not allow you to omit me, you may mention me after his name. He is only teaching you, is it not? What is that I am doing?”

It is not necessary for Divine Guru to teach in the usual way physically; Their kind look is enough to drive away all the doubts. But still, Keervaanar is physically straining himself in the task. Therefore He told Puru that he should respect the teacher who is teaching him, more than his Guru.

“ I shall do as you wish” said Puru obediently. He knows when to talk freely and when to be serious.

“Is it the same for Gnani also?”---queried Puru.

He did not reply!

Puru looked at Acharya, with a confused mind. But it was the face of a Gnani; no traces of any thoughts on it!

To be continued………………………..

The Acharya, who brought up Puru as his own life, asked him in a casual manner to die.

For him also, it was quite an easy thing to do; because, the initiatory Manthra He gave him a little while ago has burnt down all the bodily feelings; it made him realize that he is a part of a much much bigger life. Then why hesitate to die? 

He looked at his Acharya for a moment, did a ‘Pradhakshinam around Him, and prostrated before Him.

Acharya was sitting like a statue!

He shaved off his abundantly flowing tuft and came and stood on the bank of river Ganga.

Devi Bhageerathi was swirling away.

“Oh! Bhavani, the destroyer of all sins! Ganga Bhavani!—uttering these words, he bowed before the river. 

The next moment, Puru’s body disappeared into the Ganga.

Millions of waves, sang the Ramasabdham, and they entered Puru’s body through the roots of hair. The breathing stopped. Any moment, the body will float.

“Get up and come! This is an order from your Guru—an order much greater than all the vows!”---came the voice of his Guru from above!

When the life has almost gone out of his body, how can he come up? But still…….

He got up and came above! Did Ganga push him— the one who obeyed his Guru’s order--- up? Did She not lay a bridge of lotus flowers for Padhmapaadhar, the beloved disciple of Sri AdhiSankara?

Puru came out of Ganga, the river which originated from the lotus feet of Lord Narayana, fully drenched, and stood before his Guru.

He came towards him, love and kindness flowing out of Him!

He offered the Saffron cloth, woven with the red of Karunyam, to him.

“Ambal vested with me the twin responsibility-----one that you should not die and two, that you should not break your vow! You vowed to drown in Ganga and die! Before you jumped into the Ganga, all your ego was destroyed by Rama Nama. Then, to fulfill the vow, you drowned your body in the Ganga. Your breathing stopped for a moment. By Divine Grace, you have come back with a new life! Even if you doubt it, you don’t have to worry that you did not sacrifice your life as per your vow. All the Sastras say that when one becomes a Sanyasi, he loses his previous birth and is reborn. Our own Sri AdhiSankara came out of the crocodile’s grip, only after taking a rebirth by accepting Sanyasa, was it not? In order that you may go in the footsteps of Sri Bagavath padhal, you got this good fortune. Come take this……”

He gave the Saffron cloth to him through ManthraSabdham. As a prelude to this only, He had enacted the event of shaving the head!

Puru, discarding the human life and stepping into the Ascetic life, dressed himself in that Saffron robe and stood there, in the purest of pure form.

Even today, in the Bajan songs, our story’s hero is eulogized as ‘Equal to hundred manmathas’ (கமலாஸுத சத ஸுந்தர ரூபம்), and ‘one who has a lovable body equal to a crore manmathas’ (மன்மத கோடி மனோஹர ரூபம்) But unlike the Manmatha who attracts with a mere bodily beauty, Puru shone with a sacred beauty. This beauty is decorated, not by golden robes and curly hair, but by shaven head and saffron robe and the bamboo stick! While the outside was red in colour, the inside was pure white! Is there a colour for the Athma?

To be continued……………………

River Narmadha was flowing towards the ocean.

Puru’s mind became rock solid; Mother must have helped him in that! There was no facility there for cremating the body; Puru , with an iron will, dragged the body and threw it in River Narmadha!

Narmadha is masculine! Why? Normally, river ( NADHI in samskrit) is considered feminine; Bakthi (Devotion) is feminine and Gnanam (Wisdom) is masculine; Bakthi , lowers itself further and further, and ends up in Total Surrender ( SARANAGATHI); That is why, the rivers which flow down ( flow east) are considered feminine; where as Gnana is a trait which raises up and up and eventually reaches the peak ( Brahmam’); and therefore, rivers which flow upwards ( meaning westward) are considered masculine. And therefore, river Narmadha which flows westward, is considered masculine, and consequently, it is called ‘Nadham’ and not ‘Nadhi’. Gnanasakara! Narmadha should only take you, who have gone up in the path of ‘Brahmam’ and leave you with the ocean. Purushothaman, on the other hand , should go ‘down’ in the Bakthi Marg.( path of devotion) ; Ganga is waiting for him! But whether it is ‘NADHI’ or ‘NADHAM’, the destination is the OCEAN!

AthmaBodhar , it looked, was waiting on the banks of Ganga, only for Purushothaman! Puru wailed before Him, as much as he could. But, that ‘AMMAIYAPPAR’, who brought up Gnanasakaran as His elder child, did not stir a bit and was seated calmly! Will He interfere in the path of Mother?

“Oh! Why this life in me is not going off on its own?”-----cried Puru.

“When it is not leaving on its own, then it will not leave even if you force it”-----quipped the Kanchi Muni (RISHI), known for His kindheartedness!

“I am going to jump into the Ganga and die; I have vowed to do so!” -----said Puru.

“Aha! ( meaning ok)”-----replied the Acharya, without so much of tension! “ This “I” should perish! To destroy this “I” only, Ganga is flowing, cool and white and sweet! Rama Nama is the name of that Ganga! Keep dying eternally, by jumping into that eternal Ganga! Make that Ganga flow wherever you go, and make those places, Kashi! Sprinkle all the living beings coming into your sight with that 'Ganga’ and make them sacred!”-----With these flow of words, the Achrya brought His mouth near his Right ear, and muttered, “RAMA! RAMA! RAMA!”

Oh! With what sort of feeling, He would have uttered those two alphabets!? Did He become one with Kashi Vishwanathar, and uttered those divine words? Did all the flood of kindness of that ParaBrahmam enter into those words? And in turn, entered Puru’s ears?

The Puranas say that Sri Ambal, lift those who are on the doorsteps of death in Kashi , lay them down on Her laps, and fan them with Her sari, while Eshwaran with His ‘Neela Kantam’, utter Rama Nama in their right ears and send them to ‘Moksha’ . Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsar had actually witnessed this incident with his own eyes! The two words that Swamikal uttered were pregnant with Ambal’s fond lap, sari, Eshwaran, His throat of nector, Rama Nama, and the great ocean of pleasure that is Sri Rama, and entered into Puru’s ears and filled his heart! Swamikal, put into Puru all the experience and knowledge of His ascetic life with those two words! What a sacrifice!

The ‘Naama Ganga’ rolled Puru and pushed him into the ocean of Rama Nama! In that gushing all the sins, distress, and ignorance were destroyed.

The fire in the letter ‘Ra’, which is the Agni destroyed the sins; the brightness in the letter ‘A’, which is the ‘Sun’, removed the darkness of ignorance, and the coolness of letter ‘Ma’, which is ‘Moon’, removed the distress and pain. The pleasing coolness bubbled forth; It is not the pleasure of body; nor the pleasure of the senses; nor the pleasure of intellect; but the pleasure of pleasure! It was Atman the pleasure (Athmanandaham).

Among the millions of human beings, who are immersed in the ocean of mundane existence , only one or two may get this Athmaanandham after practicing severe penance; but Puru attained this rarest of rare experience, instantly through the initiatory Mantra by his Guru!

It is such an easy job to put a spark of fire on the tip of the wick of a bomb. But the consequences?! AthmaBodhar, who had stuffed Puru with Karma, placed the wick in it, in the past, put the spark of Naama in the wick now! All the old sins, bond and love, everything just exploded and vanished ! No more bond; No more friendship!

‘Oh! What a wonder!’—thought Puru, ‘ I am remembering Gnanasakaran; I am aware of his death! But, my heart does not hurt me any more; my eyes do not swell with tears; Is this called the destruction of old memories? Just a while ago, I was thinking he was real! Just like the fragrance of a true flower, the fragrance of the old bond was coming to me! That flower has now become a portrait of a flower; how can any fragrance emanate from it? What a wonder that this so-called truth has become a nontruth (lifeless picture)! It is the wonder of the Naamaa! Let me go to my Guru who gave me this wonder of Naamaa!’

Before he could open his mouth , AthmaBodhar spoke; words of fire, spoken as ice cubes! “ Ok! Let all other truths become untruths; let them vanish as day dreams; but you made a vow, at the time when you thought you were a lone person; you must keep that promise; You vowed on my feet that you would jump in River Ganga and die. What happened to that vow? Go! Go jump in the river! There is something before you do that. You forgot your vow itself; I had to remind you of that! You have to atone for this sin! The atonement is disgrace! Shaving of the hair on the head is an atonement mentioned in Sastras. Therefore, first shave your head and then jump into the river!”

To be continued…………………….

“You should go to Jagannathpuri and get hold of Nama Koumudhi. Moreover, something special is going to take place there. I told you about the Tamil Pundits, but even the illiterate people may not believe in and accept this concept of Nama as easily as they did in the North. They will think, “How mere uttering of the names Rama, Krishna, Siva, Amba is sufficient ?” Hence, we can turn them around only by showing the immeasurable power of the Nama, considered as mere name by them! Although Tamil Nadu is high in intellect, Vaishnavism and Saivism could be established there by Periazhvar and Gnanasambandhar only through some miracles that followed the intellectual debates. In the court of the Pandya king, Vaishnavism was established only after the bag of gold coins came by itself and fell in the hands of Azhvar ; in another incident with a Pandya king, after all the debates, the palm leaves with writings of Gnanasambandhar did not burn when thrown into the fire; and they came back to him against the current, when they were thrown in the river water; after these incidents only, Saivism was established there. Why all that, take the case of our own AdhiSankaracharya, the best among whose various debates was the one when He defeated Mandanamichrar; was that victory achieved only by intellectual debates? No! Mandanamichrar accepted defeat only after the flower garland worn by the Acharya remained fresh for twenty one days, without whithering away!

So, NamaBodha! Just because we are followers of Adhvaitha, do not think that we should criticize the miracles that happen beyond the borders of Nature. The tricks of Ambal are endless! She will conduct some events as miracles, so that the Adhvaithas do not become arrogant.! Now, in order to pull the ordinary people of the south towards Nama Mahima , some sort of miracle should happen! In addition to the book that will prove the power of Nama, some sort of miracle is going to take place in Puri to help you.”

“My dear child, so far I have been mentioning Nama, in a general sense; I didn’t tell you which specific Nama you should spread. Whatever be the Nama, each points to the Almighty only. If you chant any Nama with love and taste, it will lift you. Still Parasakthi shows differences between various happenings which She conducts, is it not? Accordingly, while you should spread all Namas, you should specifically spread Rama Nama first and Govindha Nama next. You may call this a compromise formula of Kamakoti Peetam. Because this MaTam has Chandramouleeshwarar Panchayadhanam, many think that this is a Saivite MaTam. But, being Adhvaitha followers, we have no such difference as Vaishnavam and Saivam. Ambal has wished to spread Rama Nama from here only to prove this point.”

“She has also played another trick! Generally, Siva is considered to represent renunciation; but now, Mother is going to spread Rama Nama through an ascetic like you, and at the same time, spread Siva Nama through a Gruhasthan ( married man), in Tamil Nadu. You will meet that person later in your life, who has been stamped and sent like you to spread Siva Nama.”

“Look at the way She plays all these tricks! She has soaked you in RamaNama through me, who in turn is soaked in Siva Nama! Like Siva Nama for me and Rama Nama for you, Govindha Nama was dear to Bagavathpadhar. He said thrice, ‘Baja Govindham’, ;Baja Govindham’, ‘Baja Govindham’! You should spread that Govindha Nama also, which was so dear to our Paramacharaya!”

After intently listening to whatever his Acharya has been saying so far, Bagavan Nama Bodhar thought in his inner mind, ‘With the Anugraha of Ambal and the Blessings of my Guru, may whatever should be done through me, be done; I should at no time become arrogant, that it was done by me, for which I seek your Kripa’ and He prostrated in front of the Guru.

While it was expected in the SriMatam for quite some time that Purushothaman would be installed as the next Mataathipathi, the unexpected aspect was that the installation took place in Kashi instead of in Kanchi. Kamakoti gives Mukthi in Kanchi, and Rama Nama gives Mukthi in Kashi; therefore, it is only apt that the one destined to spread Rama Nama should be born (installed as Kanchi Mataathipathi) in Kashi, is it not?

Devotees coming to SriMatam camp in Kashi were ecstatic to see the two Acharyas, looking like the Sun and the Moon.

Athma Bodhar only would do the Upadhesa; Nama Bodhar, who felt delicate to start His Nama preaching in the presence of His Guru, kept silent. Although His Guru had mentioned earlier that “you and me are one and the same”, Nama Bodhar realized that He would be happy being subdued under the Guru. The youthful exuberance and the feeling of being free with His Guru, were totally absent now! He preferred to keep His mouth shut, out of respect for the one who initiated and converted Him as an Ascetic. In His inner mind, He was growing in Devotional maturity, day by day. In that blissful state of silent meditation, His inner conscience took root and spread; but the visible stem, branches, flower and the fruit, became the Dharma, Rituals, Bakthi and Nama Rasam.

Yes! Our NamaBodhar joined the long lineage of Mahans (Great souls). But, realizing that ‘Mahan’ or ‘Periaval’ means Athma Bodhar only, He kept aside as a true disciple.

Acharya noticed this; He understood that as long as He (the head) is there, His disciple (tail) will not stir a bit! At the same time He felt that the time has come for the Disciple to start his Avathara Karma, and that it should not get delayed on account of Him. He called him and said, 

“My dear Nama Bodha! As I keep observing this Northen part of Bharathavarsha, getting more and more fertile in Nama Ruchi, I feel that we should not allow TamilNadu to lag behind and starve; I will keep wandering here; you may please proceed to Tamil Nadu through Jagannathpuri and start your job! Victory be yours!” 

The calf bade farewell to the Mother cow!

Is it not true that Mahans will bring things together and cut them off at the appropriate times? 

Without followers of SriMatam tagging behind, without any identity that He is its next chief, Nama Bodhar started on His journey alone and reached Jagannathpuri. He came and stood on the shore of Mahodhadhi ( Bay of Bengal), the place where, Sri Krishna Chaithanyar, who chanted “Krishna” ‘Krishna” and drowned Himself as well as the world in the Bluish Beauty of Bagavan Kannan, also came and jumped into the Mahodhadhi, calling it “Here is my Manavalan ( the literal meaning of this word is ‘Husband’). Nama Bodhar thought, ‘ If Kashi is for Rama Nama, then Puri is for Govindha Nama’. He drowned Himself in that ocean of ;Govindha Nama’. 

When He was having Snanam (bath) in Mahodhadhi, He remembered Gnanasakaran! ‘This is the Eastern sea (கீழ்க்கடல்); Sri Chaithanyar, who bowed down in devotion, attained Mukthi in this sea; while, Gnanasakaran, who went up and up in Gnana, would have reached the Western sea (மேற்குக்கடல்), through Narmadha. But are these two oceans different? Though they seem to be separate because of the land areas in between, are they not the same spread of one water? ‘Gnanasakara! I will take your Gnana as my Bakthi, and consider you and me are one and the same, and dip in this water. I stopped crying at your loss quite some time ago; but I didn’t understand how it stopped by itself; and now I understand it, when I am taking a dip in this ocean where all rivers flow and merge.’


Our Purushothaman (of the previous birth) had darsan of Lord Purushothaman ( Jagannathan) flanked on either by Balaraman and Subadhra. He remained there in meditation till the temple was closed after the night puja, and filled His heart fully with Govindha Nama.

He decided not to go and disturb the poet Lakshmidharar in the middle of the night. He went and slept in the front yard (திண்ணை) of some house.

It is interesting to see how Nama fills a person with humility! The young Nama Bodhar, without an iota of pride that He is the chief—designate of a great Mutt, was sleeping , anonymously in the front yard of some house! But the Nama was awake inside Him.

There was a sound of some one knocking at the door. 

Bagavan Namar woke up, but didn’t get up as He was tired. He was watching , lying down. 
The owner of the house opened the door, and he was having a lamp.

There were two persons outside, one was the Brahmin who knocked at the door, and the other, who did not come near the house, but was standing in the street in a corner, was a lady. As she had covered herself from head to foot with a black robe, it seemed that she was a muslim lady. How did she accompany the Brahmin?

The house owner with the lamp, looked very bright and calm. The person who knocked at the door prostrated before him, his full body touching the floor. With tears flowing down his cheeks, he said, “ Swami! You are our savior; a very big sin and difficulty has to be removed by you only!”

“Sir! Calm yourself and tell me the whole matter. Let us see if SriRaman will let us down without showing a remedy?” –replied the house owner with love and kindness.

(சந்தணத் தடாகம்)

The Brahmin sobbed;

“Yes, the matter has to be told; it has to be exposed fully”----He started with this prelude.

“Swami! That lady who is crying in that black robe is not a muslim lady. She is my wife! We are from Tamil Nadu; and started for the Kashi Yathra. We went and obtained the blessings of AthmaBodhachariyar, before we started. When He gave the Akshatha ( sacred yellow rice mixed with turmeric), as she did not keep her hands properly, all the Akshatha fell down on the ground. We were a little perturbed; she gathered all the Akshatha and took them. Acharyar said, “You have collected all those which fell down? May the bad omen end up in Shubam ( good auspicious finish)! Not only for you but for the whole world!”----With these words, He sent us off.”

“When we were passing through Bamini kingdom ( present Gulbarga in North Karnataka, bordering Andhra), we were sleeping in a choultry. You know the atrocities committed by the muslim invaders there. They kidnapped her. What could I , a weakling, do? I thought for many days. Then I came to a decision that I would go to Kashi and commit suicide by jumping in River Ganga. I started, and wandered here and there like a mad man.”

“After a few months I was coming out of a river after my bath. At that time, she , exactly like you see her now, came within a few feet from me, prostrated and started crying. At first I couldn’t recognize her; but after hearing the voice, I recognized her. I was shaking madly. Then she narrated this----‘I deceived those cursed people and escaped from them As I have come outside their kingdom, there is no fear now. You have to accept me; please do not discard me’—she pleaded, and continued, ‘I have no right to ask for this from you; the way those cursed people molested me was unbearable; they pricked a lot of holes on my ears and put rings in them; they made me to discard my sari and wear this black one and put on this black robe over that. Without any sympathy what so ever, they even pulled off my Thirumangalyam ( the sacred yellow thread a husband ties around his wife’s neck during marriage ceremony); they wiped off my Thilakam and applied acid on my forehead so that I cannot wear a Thilak forever; alas! They did all sorts of things to me that should not have been done to a lady. I have become a cursed woman; but I don’t have the courage to die! You don’t have to accept me; cut me into pieces! That will not amount to a sin; it will be a cleansing act!”

I thought about it and said to her, “ Yes, what you said is correct. I had decided to jump into Ganga; now I will push you first and jump behind you; This is the right punishment for the abundant love we had for each other.”

“At that time, an old wise-looking man, who overheard our conversation, came towards us and said, ‘ Do not take any hasty decision on your own! There is remedy for every sin. There is a great man by name Lakshmiganhdhar in Puri; he is the son of poet Lakshmidharar, a sacred bloak. Go and surrender at his feet. He may be able to suggest a remedy to her other than dying.’

“Swami! After that only we came here to meet you though we have no right to do so. Though we should not have disturbed you at this untimely hour, because of our unbearable pain and anxiety, we woke you up. Please take a look at this poor lady who could not even change her sari for want of one, and who is hiding her face behind that robe, not only because she doesn’t want to show her barren forehead, but also because of the cruel travails she underwent. “

“Swamin! We don’t want to hide anything from you; we are a beloved couple; we want to live life again; we dared to die as there was no other way; if there could be a suitable remedy to neutralize this sin, please tell us a way.”

Thus, the Brahmin finished his long narrative.

“Why not?” asked Lakshmiganhdhar confidently, “There is remedy for even the worst kind of sin. I am talking about Sri Rama Nama only”.

The Brahmin was disheartened at hearing this reply. He just looked at the floor, unable to say anything.

To be continued…………………….

No comments:

Post a Comment