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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Incidents that never escape from memory-

Pages 185-191

We had gone to Kalavai. 'This man' had taken the examination for the A.M.I. and told so to Peiyavar, with the discomfort of having not done well in the exam showing in his voice. The MahAn blessed him and we returned. The exam results came, and he had passed it successfully in a good class.

It is our custom to keep new clothes, savouries and whatever else, before his portrait and then use it. On the morning of the day PeriyavaaL attained samAdhi, I did anusha pUja. At three-fifteen in the afternoon, I placed to his portrait a sweet ball made of sugar, soyabean flour and wheat flour. At seven-thirty in the evening a phone message came from Chennai. My mother told me that Periyavar had attained samAdhi at 2:55 pm and asked me to do nivedanam with pAyasam for at least ten days.

*** *** ***

He was an ascetic, jnAni; and would say that keeping more wealth than required was the cause of all afflictions. Although we only seek from him our ihapara sukham (worldly comforts), he would fulfil our needs and also stress his opinion.

At Kalavai, a devotee told him: "I have got promotion. They have included me in the 'A' grade."

"Will get income that meets your needs?" asked Periyavar.

"I get more than what we need", said the devotee.

"Then why the promotion?" asked Periyavar, sporting an enchanting smile.

*** *** ***

My husband had pain on the left side of his stomach. The doctor could not understand the reason for it. We asked my mother to represent the case to Periyavar. Periyavar told Amma, "Pray at the DakshiNamUrti Sannidhi. Ask them to serve meals to two brahmaNas at Rameswaram on the Sankara Jayanthi day." We complied with his advice for three years and the stomach pain subsided and vanished. When we went to Satara we told him that we were doing the act of charity for three years. The MahAn said it was enough.

*** *** ***

When my sister AvayAmbaaL and I were children, the darshan of Periyavar we got at ILayAttankudi was our first memory. Some years back, she had arranged to come over Pune and then go to Bombay and Chennai. But then since the wife of a popular leader died on the previous day, there was tension in Maharashtra, a bandh (closure) was announced and the autos and buses were off the road. I rang up Pune and asked her to change her date of departure. But she said that she had to go to office on that particular date at Chennai, so a change of date would not be possible for her. "There could be problems due to anti-social elements. Some people have even lost their lives", I said.

She replied in a single word, "All those things Periyavaa would take care." 'Tut, this did not occur to me?' I thought. On the next day I went to Kalyan, received her and got down at Muland. As we came out, only police heads could be seen everywhere. We had a heavy trunk and a bag in our hands; would take twenty-five minutes to walk down the distance. We stood perplexed not knowing what to do.

"Amma, what did you come here for? Want to go home?" a voice was heard. Turning my head, I saw Velu, the newspaper delivery man of our adjacent street. I had talked with him once or twice. He came forward, took our bag and trunk, kept it at the backseat on the bicycle and accompanied us till we reached home, pushing his bicycle all the way.

*** *** ***

Once in my dream, he descended from the portrait I usually do anusha pUja to and stood before me. A string of jasmine flowers in his hand. Sri Jayendra SwamigaL comes from the entrance of the house. Giving him the string of flowers, the sage says, "Give this to her." It is remarkable that at that time there was no portrait of Sri Jayendra SwamigaL in our home.

*** *** ***

I was travelling alone from Chennai to Bombay. Three men were on the side seats. I had the habit of sleeping deeply at night. Could have been two-thirty at night, I was awakened suddenly. I did not know how I woke up, but found a man standing on the side of my head. I sat up, seized my handbag hard (a photograph of Periyavar was in there) and asked him, "What happened to you? What do you want?" "Nothing", said the man and returned to his seat. I woke up the women sleeping in the adjacent seats, told them what happened and asked them to keep awake for the rest of the night. I had no doubt that it was only Periyavar residing in the form of a photograph in my bag who woke me up at that right time.

*** *** ***

We were living in Muland. I could publish a book of our search efforts for an own house. We were tired with so much efforts of looking out. There was even an occasion of having paid an advance money that was returned. When we went to Kanchi we informed Periyavar. Periyavar would always inquire about a thing and get to know it thoroughly. He asked, "What is the next (railway) station? How far is Dombivili from there?" Then, "Only the pagaDi (house advance) system in our place? How much pagaDi did you pay for the house you reside in presently?"

After we returned home, we got our own house, at Thana.

*** *** ***

At Miraj, a Marati man submitted two baskets full of bhakShaNas (savouries) that included adirasam. Periyavar was in meditation. Sometime later, hearing Periyavar's voice, my husband peeped out. "Call SriKaNTan", said the sage. When the man came, "Distribute these bhakShaNas to everyone", he said. Two hours later, he inquired if everything was distributed. Even a small thing would not escape his memory.

Looking at a family who came in the evening, Periyavar asked, "Your son who quit house when he was a boy, how is he now?". Then he asked, "Am I telling you jOsyam (astrological prediction) now?" After a minute's silence, "Had he gone in a good manner, he would only be in a good position". That family returned, confident that their son who had deserted them was doing well. And the MaTham's rule that no astrological prediction should be done was also not transgressed.

*** *** ***

When my husband had gone to Kanchipuram, a woman wept to Periyavar, "My tirumAngalyam is lost in a theft. I am very poor." Forthwith Periyavar asked a MaTham assistant to bring a new tirumAngalyam from the MaTham stock, gave it to the woman with his own hand and asked her to wear it.

*** *** ***

Periyavar came walking from Tenambakkam to Kanchipuram. We followed him. My mother at that time picked up some sand from Periyavar's footprint that was not obliterated by any other footprint and gave the sand to me. Today that sand is receives the utmost consideration in our anusha pUja at home.

Pages 191-196 (concluding part)

This one happened very recently. My younger sister had saved some money for Kamakshi Amman. But her doing something for the deity was getting unduly postponed. During this time she had gone to listen to a lecture by a paurANika (one who is well-versed in Puranas). In an incident that he narrated, he said that a man once showed PeriyavaaL two packets and said, "One for the MaTham and another for Kamakshi." Periyavar replied, "Then say that both are for me"!

Having heard about this incident, my sister took the money she had saved for Kamakshi Amman and bought puja and abhiSheka things that Periyavar may use for his panchaloha vigraham and gave them to him. It was a surprise that she had to spend the entire savings of six hundred rupees, not a rupee more,--or less.

*** *** ***

Among Periyavar's devotees, my mother's chitthi (maternal sister) and chitthappA (maternal sister's husband) were prominent. ChitthappA was doing some business in Bombay. The business suffered a sudden loss, the family went broke and came to Chennai. Periyavar was at that time camping in Chennai. Chitthi spent most of her day in the MaTham. Although her twenty year old son had died during this time, she continued to do errands such as preparing the flowers for puja.

She said that Periyavar doing puja would give her darshan alternately as Goddess Kamakshi and God Shiva at those times. When she looked again, he would appear as a smiling sannyAsi.

One day, Chitthi's daughter, a child, found that her dress had caught fire. Chitthi said that she at once thought of Periyavar, put out the fire, and removed the child's dress. There was not a small burn on the child's body. Later carrying out Periyavar's directions, Chitthi and ChitthappA went back to Bombay and started doing business again. Is it necessary to say that the sage sent them back only to restore their earlier status?

When it was time to seek an alliance for her elder daughter, Periyavar asked her, "You toil now (for your daughter's marriage)! Tomorrow you would demand in the same way for your son, is it not?"

Chitthi said, "I shall not demand anything at all"--and kept her word. Apart from this, she lived with vairAgyam without wearing any jewels on herself. Later, entrusting the family responsibility to her son, she came to Kanchi with her husband. Periyavar gave them shelter in the MaTham. They had darshan of Periyavar for three times a day. Sometime later they rented a house and went to live there.

Once when she had gone to Kanchi, Chitthi's daughter told Periyavar that a byepass surgery was being recommended for her husband's heart condition.

"The doctors say that the surgery is a must. Periyavaa should cure him without any surgery", she supplicated. The MahAn blessed her and her husband became well without any surgery to the surprise of the doctors.

*** *** ***

Tiru Raghavan, my aunt's husband, after his retirement, was teaching Veda in the MaTham's Veda PAThashAla. When Periyavar was camping in Andhra, Sri Raghavan took the PAThashAla children and went to the Tungabadra river bank. Asking them to recite the Veda, he got in the river. It was not known if he knew about the depth of the river, but he let himself be carried away by the river, joining his palms over his head. The body had gone very far away. My aunt's family was not secure financially. Periyavar arranged for searching the body and carrying out the antima kriyas (last rites) at the expense of the MaTham. He also comforted my aunt. Her last daughter wasn't married at that time. To Raghavan's elder brother, Periyavar had given the title 'vidyArti' and kept him in the MaTham. For the last daughter's marriage, Periyavar sent sari and dhoti from the MaTham and blessed the couple.

*** *** ***

As she suffered from a heart ailment, my mother-in-law had been admitted to the hospital. When my mother and I had gone to Kanchi, we informed Periyavar of this news. The MahAn blessed raising his hand. Thereafter, my mother-in-law lived for seventeen years and died in her seventy-ninth year of age.

*** *** ***

He would help in human form at times of emergency. On long journeys he would come as a fellow traveller. Countless familes owed him their living. Among those who shed tears for his attaining samAdhi, there were poor cycle-rickshaw drivers.

Kanchipuram has attained its fame not just because of its temple, but also because of our Periyavar and his successors Sri Jayendra Periyavar and Bala Periyavar.

*** *** ***

Several years back we met Sri Jayendra SwamigaL and told him the news that a child was born to us but died shortly after birth. He gave us prasAdam. In the next year, our son was born on the day of his avatAra nakShatram avittam. The name that was set for the child according to our family tradition was Swaminatha Sarma. The name we gave him was Chandrasekhar.

*** *** ***

Once my elder brother was unwell. When I was worried much over it, Sri Jayendra SwamigaL appeared in my dream. He asked, "Your ANNA is not well?" and laughed. From the very next day my elder brother started progressing in health.

Sri SwamigaL had cured us countless times giving us his prasAdam when we supplicated to him about our ailments. He also cured the stone in my son's kidney in this way. We informed Sri PeriyavaaL when our son suffered from backache and that the doctor recommended treatment using acupuncture. Sri Jayendra SwamigaL said at once, "All those things are not necessary. Apply this ointment and it will be fine", and gave us a small bottle of Amrutanjan. An ordinary Amrutanjan, a jaladoSha nivAraNi (cure for common cold), when it was touched by the hand of Sri Jayendra SwamigaL, cured backache.

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