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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The PeriyavAL I Saw

uthor:..... bhAShyamaNi Dr. Sivaramakrishna SastrigaL, Tiruvanaikkovil
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:....... MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 236-240
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)

We have the pride of having lived in the time when the walking God ParamAChAryAL was living. When Sri Rama's eminence is spoken

yam cha rAmam na pashyettu yashcha rAmam na pashyati ||*

Those who Rama did not see and those who did not see Rama were both bhAgya hIna (forsaken). There were many people who had just been looking at him for hours at a stretch, considering that PeriyavAL need not talk to them, but their just looking at him was a great bhAgya. 'Periyavar's glance should fall on us. If his glance touches us, is there any act that does more pAvana (purifying) than that glance?' There were people who went and stood near him with this consideration. I have seen many who were yearning to talk him or just hear him inquire 'who are you?' and 'which place?'

On one occasion, some ten to fifteen of us were standing (in his presence). At that time Periyavar's vAk (words of advice) blossomed.

"We study Vedanta. But no one has brought it into experience. No one takes any efforts in this direction. The Brahman of our Advaita shAstram (philosophy) is of two kinds: nirguNa, saguNa (without and with attributes). NirguNa Brahman is without avayava (parts or limbs). On the same NirguNa Brahman we meditate, by bringing it into saguNa. In the form we meditate on, it would arrive (as the Devatas). It is said that there are thirty-three crores of Devatas (gods). The (same) Brahman remains anugata (inherent) in all the Devatas. If looked at in this manner, the Muslim-worshipped Allah and the Christian-worshipped Jesus are all our Brahman only! If this opinion arrives in all the religions, then there will be no fights in the world in the name of religion."

Everyone was immersed in surprise, having known about the broad-mindedness of PeriyavAL.

*** *** ***

One should not find fault with anyone.

A man is coming to Kanchipuram for the first time to have dharshan of SwamigaL. When he came by a bus he asked the man seated beside him, "I need to go to the MaTham to have darshan of SwamigaL. Which stop should I get down for that purporse?" The man said that he had no idea. This man somehow got down and arrived (at the MaTham). He went to see SwamigaL with a plate of fruits. When he went inside, he saw the same man who was seated beside him in the bus talking to SwamigaL.

This man was seething with anger. He at once complained to PeriyavvaL. PeriyavAL immediately said, "After all he did it only for your good! If he showed some place as the place for you to get down, you might be misled and delayed. Therefore you should think that he only did you good by saying that he did not know." Both the men who were listening to this advice stood ashamed.

*** *** ***

Once a devotee brought a mentally deranged boy before SwamigaL and said, "This boy has mental illness. His is not consistent in his normal behaviour. He does not even know hunger. He remains just like he is mad. You should give your anugrahA and cure him."

The reply SwamigaL gave to that was strange. "Why do you think of getting him to normalcy? It can be said that he does not have puNya or pApa (virtuous or sinful acts) in this birth. Only a person whose mental status is normal would daringly commit sins; and suffer its effects. He would have self pity when he suffers. This one does not have that status! A bhakta calls even Parameswara Pitthaa! piraisoodi (O the Crazy! who wears a crescent). Therefore it is better that he remains like this."

The man looked somewhat satisfied and took away the boy after bowing to PeriyavAL.

In much the same way, PeriyavA would reply to questions such as 'This one has defective vision; this one's ears are not capable of hearing; this one is dumb, he can't talk; should give anugrahA to these people.' His reply would be on these lines: "Does this one have no vision? Then he does not have the sins committed by the eyes. Sri Krishna gave divine eyes to Dhrita-rashtra and made him have His Visva Rupa Darshan. Is it an ordinary thing that an eyeless gets eyes and has darshan of God! Krishna Paramatma told him, 'Remain with eyes henceforth.' You know the reply he gave to that? 'I do not want to see the sinners with the eyes that have seen You. So You make me blind once again.' Therefore this one does not have the sins committed by the eyes."

"The earless will also never commit the sins done with ears. Words unfit for the ears will not fall on his ears. He will not listen to words that speak ill of great people. TirukkuraL says:

"yaathanin yaathanin neengiyaan nothal
athanin athanin ilan.

"That is, whatsoever a man has dispassion for, he won't get the distress due to that (he has renounced).

"The dumb will not commit the sin done with speech. It is due to speech that we easily earn pApa. That will not happen to this one; he can do satya vAkya paripAlanam (keeping up the words of truth). He won't get the words of blame that he lied, that he bore false witness, that he talked ill of great people. Therefore, it should be considered that it is a great bhAgya for this one to remain a dumb. If someone gives him the power of speech, then that someone will become a great sinner. If I say these things openly, some people will be unhappy with me. Therefore I would simply say, 'Remain in prosperity.'"

In this way, PeriyavAL's vision would be a tatva dRuSTi.

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