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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bhagavata is greater than Bhagavan

Source: In the Presence of the Divine
Narratives of Experiences with Maha Periyaval - Volume 1
Translated by: Sujatha Vijayaraghavan

There were some attendants in Sri Matha whose mother-tongue was Kannada. They felt superior to others because Periyava's mother-tongue was also Kannada. 

These attendants would address the Tamil attendants as 'Hekkana'. ignorant of what the word meant, the Tamil attendants were under the assumption that it was something like, "Sir" or "Ayya" or "Svami". 

One day as Periyaval walked past, he heard a Kannada-speaking attendant address a Tamil-speaking attendant as "Hekkana". No one had ever seen Periyava in such anger till then.

"If these boys are 'Hekkana", what are all of you? Are you cruel animals? You need not enter the Pujakattu hereafter!" Periyaval passed this terrible command and went away.

The Tamil attendants could not make out head or tail of it all. Later when they made enquiries, they learnt that the word meant 'bandicoot'. Pujya Sri Anantananda Svami lived in Sri Matha at that time. The attendants who had been punished sought his mediation. Svami Anantananda would speak to Periyava without fear or reserve. The next day, at an opportune moment, he petitioned to Periyava.

"Periyava must not take words uttered thoughtlessly in a serious vein. Periyaval and I are also Kannadigas. Forgive them and allow them to serve in the Pujakattu as usual".

They were re-admitted in the Pujakattu only after that. 

Periyaval never got angry however much he was insulted. But he could never tolerate it if someone teased or disrespected his attendants. 

Periyava demonstrated that the Bhagavata is indeed greater than Bhagavan.

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