THE ‘SIVAM’ WHICH SAVED THE HUMAN SIVAN!
This story was narrated by Pattabi Sir, who had served Mahaperiava for over 25 years. Sri Pattabi narrates it to Mr. Charukesi. I have translated it from his Tamil book ‘Kamakoti Periava’, published by ‘Vikatan Pirasuram’.
This incident concerns one great devotee of Mahaperiava by name ‘Sivan’. He hails from a village near Thirunelveli; from there he used to visit SriMatam very frequently to have His Dharsan.
He belonged to the ‘Veera Saiva’ sect. his forehead will be smeared with the sacred ash and he will look like a ‘Sivap pazham’; very hygienic, and follows ‘Aachaaram’ strictly. He doesn’t eat onion; he has so much control over his life style.
He is a wealthy person, but, for him, everything is ‘Periava’ and only ‘Periava’; Is eighty years old. He considers Periava as his ‘Dheyvam’ and respects Periava’s words as ‘Vedha vaakku’
Whenever he comes to Kancheepuram, he carries an yellow bag, which contains a dhoti, a towel, sacred ash and a little cash. If he goes and sits in front of Periava, he loses the concept of time; even if he stays for ten days, it is never enough for him.
But, does he talk to Periava? No!
Does he ask Him to clarify any doubt? No!
“ It is not necessary for Periava to talk to me! What is important is the thought that I am in His heart and mind!”-------he will insist.
If he goes outside of his house, he doesn’t eat anything, nor does he drink even water.
Once, after Dharisanam, he went to Periava to ask for His leave.
Instead of the usual custom of waving the hand and blessing him, Periava asked him, “ you are leaving for your home? Why don’t you at least buy drink of ‘soda’ and have it? Ok! At least do it on the way “
Sivan boarded a bus in Chengalpattu and left for Thirunelveli. In the same bus, were also travelling four youngsters; the ruckus they created was unbearable. But who can tell those rude persons?
As the bus neared Madurai, the driver of the bus stopped it in a small village. And there was a petty shop on the roadside where the bus stopped. Looking from the window of the bus, one could notice a lot of ‘soda ‘ bottles, stacked there. Sivan saw them. Immediately he remembered Periava’s words “ at least do it on the way”
Sivan wanted to drink water. So, in order to quench his thirst and at the same time, obey Periava’s advice, he got down from the bus, had a ‘soda’ and returned to the bus. But when he came to the seat where he was sitting, he couldn’t find his yellow bag! Though it contained nothing of value, it was on his seat for identification.
Seeing this, the four youngsters, called him and said , “ hey, old man! ( in Tamil, “ யோவ் பெரிசு!-----which is an insulting way of calling elders practiced by some youngsters ) are you searching for your yellow bag?. Look! It is there on the back seat. Go and sit there!”------their tone was full of sarcasm.
The yellow bag was safe in the seat just before the last seat. Deciding not to pick any quarrel with them, Sivan went and sat there. Two among the four youngsters went and sat where Sivan was sitting till then.
It was night time; the bus started moving. After an hour or so, suddenly a lorry coming from the opposite direction came and collided head on with this bus! The two youngsters, who displaced Sivan from his earlier seat, and sat there, and who were talking to him in an insulting manner and tone of language, died on the spot! And Sivan escaped without even a small bruise!
Why did Periava tell him to buy a ‘soda and drink, at least on the way?
Why did the bus driver stop the bus in that small village, that too in front of a petty shop?
Why the sight of ‘soda’ bottles stacked there fell on his eyes?
His life was saved only because he went to drink a soda to honour Periava’s advice!
How did all this happen?. Thinking about it, Sivan cried uncontrollably!
Although his life was saved, he was terribly upset that two young lives were lost on the spot.
But one thing was sure, he realized. For him also danger was lurking around the corner! Only the ten days’ Dharsan of Periava has saved his life. Think and think and think about it, only one thing was certain. Periava’s words, “ at least have a soda on the way” were the words from God Himself!
The above incident happened, after Periava returned to Kancheepuram after completion of His Padha yathra, in the year 1983.
Sri Pattabi continues, “ Sivan was narrating this to me. I, then went and told Periava about this.
“Sivan is well?” asked Periava and continued, “ He told you that I only saved him? Where did I save him? That Parameshwaran only saved him”
I was simply overwhelmed hearing that!”
Thus , Pattabi finished his emotional narrative!