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Friday, August 30, 2013

'Stay with me!' .. Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol.2,

author:....... R.NatarAjan, TiruvaNNAmalai

compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma

source:....... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol.2

I came to KAnchi in the year 1954 to serve in the KAnchipuram Municipality High School. A place that was strange to me. My father's maternal uncle was the mudrAdhikAri of ShrIMaTham in Chingleput; obtaining a letter from him I came to KAnchipuram. Going straight to ShrIMaTham, I met shrIkAryam shrI C.S.VisvanAtha aiyar. My age at that time was twenty-one years. I was very lean, wearing a four-cubit dhoti.

I stood before shrI ParamAchAryaL and bowed to him. As he had received information from the Manager, he asked me with compassion, "When are you going to report for duty? Where are you going to stay?"

"I am going to report today itself", I said and stopped there. Five minutes of silence. Then the uttaravu--orders, came: "You stay in ShrIMaTham. Except during the school time, be with me." There was no limit to my happiness: such a fortune?, I wondered.

Keeping my trunk and bed at one side in a room, and wearing the school dress, I did namaskAram to shrI MahA SvAmigaL. Raising his hand, shrI SvAmigaL blessed me, "You will be well."

Going (to school) at 7:30 every morning, I would be back at 5:00 in the evening. After that only shrI PeriyavAL seva--service. I was required to read the newspapers such as 'The Hindu' at night. At intervals, I needed to reply to the questions that PeriyavAL might ask me. He would ask me about the lessons I took in the class. It was a daily 'test' for me.

On the third day of my joining duty, an interview from the TamilnADu government came for me. The job was that of the 'kAdi inspector'. I was somewhat tempted (to take it). Had I gone to that job, I would have (now) retired in the minimum as a Deputy Director. How to inform this matter to shrI PeriyavAL? I told the Senior Manager, but he did not like my accepting the offer. That night with great apprehension I informed shrI ParamAchAryaL about this news. Looking keenly at me, he said, suddenly lifting his right hand, "You be here. You will be well." That was all, I did not inform anyone about the interviews that came thereafter. That single AshIrvAda--blessing, became the mUlakAraNam--root cause, of the distinction, fame and awards I obtained in my work as a school teacher.

For four years from 1954-1958, I had the fortune of serving shrI MahA SvAmigaL by staying near him. What affection! What compassion! What love! They can't be explained in words. He would call me only 'NatarAju' with affection. If it was 9 o'clock in the night, "pOy sApTTu vA--go have your meal", he would say. My meal was arranged in ShrIMaTham itself. The third kAla--session, pUjA on some days would start at 9:30 in the night and end at 11:00. Only a very few people would be present for the occasion, me among them.

1954 March 22. The dawn of the golden time of Shankara MaTham. Yes! The day my GurunAthar was elected MaThAdhipati and took charge. The day of distinction when the mere shrI SubrahmaNyan was crowned as the 69th PIThAdhipati of ShrIMaTham with a new nAmam 'shrI Jayendra Sarasvati'. When the festivity that took place in the SarvatIrtham was over, and both the PeriyavargaL were waking towards shrI KAmAkShi Amman temple, I had the rare fortune of conversing with shrI Jayendrar. What followed it? Only that I became one of the principal disciples of shrI Jayendra Sarasvati SvAmigaL, known as shrI Pudu PeriyavAL, which continues to date. Fifty years since I became a disciple: to say that I am the senior-most disciple can't be an overstatement.

shrI ParamAchAryAL shaped shrI Jayendrar for the new responsibilities with love, and strictness at the same time. When I was not with shrI ParamAchAryAL, I would be with shrI Pudu PeriyavAL. Until 12 or even 1 o'clock at night, we would converse about many things. Such an experience I got for 21 years. I consider this as a great fortune I got in my life.

*** *** ***

How many rare incidents when I was with shrI MahAsvAmigaL!

It was in 1963 I think. The camp was at Mylapore. Nearly, 10,000 people had come for the darshan. Finishing his puja, shrI Periyavar himself blessed the devotees with tIrtham. When a middle-aged woman stretched her hand to get the tIrtham, he said, "The child is crying. Go give back the chain and come", and said to me, "You go with her, get the chain from her, return it (to the owner) and then come back." I was greatly surprised. At a distance was a woman crying, her child at her hip. The woman I lead to her, took a chain from her lap and gave it to that mother. Limitless happiness on the face of the mother. When it was told that only shrI SvAmigaL sent that guilty woman, every one was surprised and happy.

*** *** ***

Another incident: I think in 1965. A dampati--husband-wife, who had married recently. The man was aged 23 years, and was working in the Postal Department. The woman was aged 19 years. That young man would suddenly be affected with mental illness and would run hither and thither in ShrIMaTham. Learning that if he is given the tIrtha-prasAdam blessed by shrI PeriyavAL for one maNDalam--41 days, he would get well, the woman brought him daily for the puja. 

Fifteen days would have passed by. shrI PeriyavargaL, who gave tIrtham daily to him in his hand, on that particular day, without giving it so, did prokShaNam--sprinkle, on his head and went inside without giving tIrtham to anyone else further. The boy suddenly escaped the clutches of his wife and came running in the RAjavIdhi, his wife followed him swiftly. He went and jumped into the well in the house where the dampati was residing. His wife could not stop him. A distressful event, and the wife kept wailing continuously. Before the people from the fire-fighting squad could climb down the well, he was dead.

That night, shrI ParamAchAryAL suddenly looked at the people around him and asked, "Is that boy's kAryam--rites, over?" Only then it was understood that shrI SvAmigaL sprinkled the water on his head as he found that the boy's destiny was over.

*** *** ***

I went for darshan on the day in 1964 when I had written my M.A. examinations and the results were to be published. Unexpectedly, he gave me a suger-lump. I had not told him anything. The results had come in the newspaper 'The Mail', an eveninger, and I had passed the exams. When I went for darshan in the night, "You have passed?" he asked. I was dumbfounded for a minute: keeping all these shaktis within him, how simple and sahaja--natural, is he, I wondered. Just the look of grace from shrI PeriyavargaL would be enough. All our distresses would fly away.

*** *** ***

I also had the opportunity of attending the festivities of shrI BAla PeriyavargaL taking charge (as the 70th PIThAdhipati).

It is thus my pUrva-janma-puNya--merits of previous births--the fortune of my being a priya shiShya--affectionate disciple, of all the three PeriyavargaL.

Today, under the Ajna--orders, of shrI Jayendrar, I am serving as the mudrAdhikAri since 1995 in KAnchi MaTham, TiruvaNNAmalai, and doing service to establish a branch of shrI Shankara MaTham there.

Those four years when I could do service to shrI ParamAchAryAL with great bhakti--devotion, remaining closely with him, are the unforgettable puNya dinas--days of meritorious acts, in my life.

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