It is common knowledge now that a spate of data on Maha Periyava is flooding emails and face book nowadays to the extreme joy of Periyava devotees. It does not matter who wrote what and which was the source of the information, inasmuch as the contents of such messages speak of the supreme soul who lived with us and there is rich and rewarding benefit ensues to the readers
I have summarised the information fitting conversation wherever needed to make it easy to follow:
Once four foreigners visited Kanchi Mutt to have dharshan of Maha Periyavaa. They were an Israeli, an Italian, a German and a British. They had come to do their Ph.D., in Philology on the topic of 'the most ancient languages in the Occidental and the Oriental world'. They were studying Latin, Hebrew and Greek languages in the Occidental part and Sanskrit and Tamil in the Oriental part.
Periyava was in his private quarters, performing his nithya karma and anushtanas and elaborate poojas ; they had waited and desired to take a photo of Him but His kaingaryams refused permission to photograph the Periyavaa. They were heartbroken that they could not take a picture. All the four of them were standing near a tree since morning waiting for the Periyava to finish his poojas and give dharshan. Many were already waiting like them
Some one asked them '' how come you all have been standing for the past 6 hours? One of them looked at his watch and exclaimed, 'oh my God, has it been 6 hours? He is a Man of Certainty and is Beyond Time!'
Periyavaa came in after 10 minutes. All went and prostrated to Him. Looking at the man (who had the camera hanging on his neck) who had wanted to take the photos, Periyavaa gestured with His hands indicating that he can take pictures now. He posed for three photos and stopped him before the fourth.
''Whey have you all come here and with what purpose? " asked Periyavaa.
''We have visited many places regarding our research on the most ancient language''
"Oh I see. Did you arrive at any conclusion as to which is the most ancient language?"
The Israeli replied, "Hebrew is the most ancient in the Occident; but in the Oriental, people say that both Sanskrit and Tamil are the oldest, we are confused and that is why we are here for Your opinion".
Periyavaa added "There is another language which is the most ancient than all these, it is the Vedic Language. It is the Source of even Sanskrit and Hebrew.'' Periyavaa thought for a while and then added
"There is a verse about Rebirth in Hebrew, can you recite it completely?" HE asked the Israeli by giving the man the first two words.
The Israeli recited it for 3 to 4 minutes. Swamigal looked around and asked some Mutt student boys, and addressed them
" You have all learnt Rig Veda, can you recite this particular verse? he suggested certain manthras to the boys."
Those boys recited the vedha manthra for about 5 minutes.
Periyavaa then addressed the Israeli ''Did you understand what these boys recited now?"
The four men remain quiet.
Maha Periyava smiled and turned to the boys and said "you all will definitely not understand what this man had recited in Hebrew!"
He then turned to the Israeli and said, " what you have chanted before is the same as what these boys chanted!"
The 4 foreigners were stunned and did not know what to respond. Periyavaa told them that he will prove it and asked for a paper and a pen.
"In Vedas it is mentioned that the world has been classified into 32 portions/regions. And in each of the 32 geographic regions, Vedas say how the Veda Aksharas have changed/pronounced in those places!"
He asked each of them which region they came from and then explained how a particular Veda Aksharam has been changed in the individual places! He asked the boys to recite the particular verse from Rig Veda again and told the men how each Aksharam in Rig Veda in that verse
will sound in their Regions!
"I will now say this verse with some difficulty as it has been a long time since I had Abhyasam. and the Mahan started to chant the manthra slowly, slightly differing from the basic sloka aksharam so that it matched how it will sound in Hebrew. After he recited the aksharams he asked the Israeli if he understood the recital of the manthra and aksharam and observed any familiarity.
To the Vedic boys He said, "I said the slokas in a slightly different form based on how each Aksharam will sound in Hebrew. Please do not think it is wrong; there is this injunction in the Vedas that it can be recited this way also."
To everybody's astonishment and surprise, the Israeli started to recite in Hebrew what exactly Periyavaa chanted the aksharas in a modified form, as it resembled Hebrew language. The Israeli therefore chanted it together with Him!!!
After this demonstration Periyavaa addressed all assembled there "I told you earlier, the same verse in Rig Veda is present ditto in Hebrew, but the Aksharas have changed slightly. (like we say "Yamuna" but in the North it is "Jamuna", "Va" in the south is "Ba" in West Bengal, "Paa" in Tamil is "Haa" in Kannada etc)
Therefore, the most ancient language in the world is the Vedic language!" Swamigal asked the the paper and pen to be supplied to the four men to prepare a table and fill it with how the Rig Veda Aksharams sounded in their language. This was completed in 15 minutes.
The Israeli was shocked and exclaimed, "this is something unimaginable!"
He asked him, "what do you think now? Do you now agree that everything has sprung from Vedas?"
The look on the Israeli was not convincing.
Periyavaa interpolated ''what are you thinking. May be the Vedas could have originated from Hebrew?"
The man nodded his head "yes, it could have been the other way also, may be the Vedas could have come from Hebrew".
Periyavaa replied smilingly "you have only the lock, whereas we have both the key and the lock! It is even mentioned in the Vedas as to which Maharishi from here in India went to your region and spread/taught Vedas in Israel!"
The man seemed to be convinced in the end that the Vedic language is the oldest and time honoured''