A DAY WITH THE LIGHT.
This is an article, from the book “Maithreem Bhajatha” authored by Sri Ra.Ganapathy, and published by Dhivya Vidhya Trust.
The Tamil name for this article is “ஒளியுடன் ஒரு நாள்”.
I have tried to translate this wonderful article, which describes a day of MahaPeriava, from the time He wakes up in the morning to the late night hour when He goes to take some rest. Any one reading this article by Ra.Ganapathy anna, will have a complete visualization of Periava’s one day in life, as if one is witnessing it by being in SriMatam along with Periava.
Let us straight away go to the article.
How will an enlightened one look like?, How he will talk? How he will seat himself? How he will walk?-----Arjunan was eager to know answers for all these. We also will have the same desire. When we know the answers, a sacred fountain will wash some of our dirt.
Our ‘Jagath Guru, is also an enlightened soul,---What will He look like?
At peace with Himself; loving in company.
How He will talk?
Very fluently and soothingly.
How He will sit?
In innumerable positions!
How He will walk?
As gentle as a swan, and as fast as the Persian horse.
Is it enough if we end this analysis so briefly?
Ok! Let us look at our Acharya Swamikal’s daily routines in the chronological order! On the occasion of this sacred Diwali day, let us remember the daily routine of the Light of Wisdom. Does not ‘Guru’ mean ‘one who removes the darkness’?
Around 4=30 in the early morning, called the ‘Brahma Muhurtham’, the sound of drum ( called ‘Nahaara) will rise in waves in SriMatam. The sound of another type of drum, called ‘Parai’ will follow. The attendants will wake up, on hearing these sounds.
But, very much before that time, which nobody other than the close attendant will know when He woke up, GuruNathan would have got up, and would have finished His morning calls.
While going to the ‘Kottakai’ for the morning calls, the way He wraps His robe around His head according to Sastra will also look beautiful.
After answering the morning call,, He will perform the cleaning process exactly as per the Sastra,---- how many times to clean with mud and water, how many times to gorgle the mouth with water etc.
The time He wakes up in the morning also must be as specified in the Sastras. When He Himself has stated once “ one ‘Muhurtha kalam’ is 48 minutes. ‘Brahma Muhurtham’ starts three ‘muhurtha kalam’s before sun rise; therefore, if the sun rise is at 6 A.M, then, ‘Brahma muhurtham’ starts at 3=36 A.M.; If one doesn’t wake up even after it starts, then it is bad.” we can easily guess that He must have woken up before that time. We have to emphasize the phrase ‘easily guess’ because, when it comes to His personal matters, He will never reveal anything! We have to make a fair guess and understand!
TO BE CONTINUED………………………..
A DAY WITH THE LIGHT.
Part 2.Our Acharya Swamikal is indeed an amazing mixture! When we see the simplicity with which He mingles with every one, from the poorest, we realize what an unassuming person He is. We get the pleasure of obtaining a crystal clear picture of a man of purity and simplicity.
But even in that crystal clear picture, we notice a cunning way of hiding things! I have given the title, ‘A day with the Light’. Light not only shows other things clearly, but it also shows itself clearly; and that is why , it reveals other things clearly. The hero of this article is like that light , hence the title.
But strangely, ‘A day with the Light’ will also happen to be ‘A day with secrets’.
He has concealed the matters of His personal life, even from those who have spent their whole life time in His service, let alone a day.
There is another strange thing here! We normally, hide from others , our mistakes, short comings and ordinary human behavior. On the other hand we take pride in somehow showing off our abilities, something good we have done etc. We even go to the extent of creating imaginary capabilities and showing them off.
He is certainly not guilty of such mean qualities. If one looks from His point of view, it seems there may be some shortcomings in what He does, and how He conducts Himself. He speaks out about such short comings , openly.
Whether one is an avatar, or has lifted himself to an exalted position through his achievements and by divine blessings, as long as he wears a human body, there will be the usual ordinary behavioral patterns which are associated with it. There is plenty of evidence for this in the life histories of great Mahans and Avatars. That way, SriSaranar, openly speaks out about such patterns found within Him.
But, at the same time, He will conceal from others’ view, His own capabilities, and the good deeds He has performed! He will never talk about the great enlightening and divine experiences that He had had!
Not only that, when He gives some amazing experiences in enlightenment and Devotion to some of the devotees-----He will never show that He has performed those acts.
He never speaks about the greatness of His ‘Vidhvath’, openly.
In this ‘hide—and—seek’ play only, He never shows openly, the sacred way He performs His daily duties , minutely, as per the Sastras. He never says, that whatever He does from waking up, till going to sleep, are all as per Sastras.
But, fortunately for us, unlike matters of enlightenment and devotion, as matters of Dharma coming under the path of Karma (Duty) are associated with matters of outside world, we have the privilege of witnessing , through such an act, at least one good aspect of His observance of Sastras.
That itself, guides us in that path to some extent; At the least, it enables us to have a look at such a path, and urges us to sympathize with our inability to follow it.
TO BE CONTINUED………………………..
A DAY WITH THE LIGHT.
But , as soon as He ‘wakes up’, His prayer for the humanity will begin—yes, even before He goes for the nature calls! He will chant this sloka daily as soon as He wakes up:--
ஸர்வே பவந்து ஸுகின:
ஸர்வே ஸந்து நிராமயா: !
ஸர்வே பத்ராணி பச்யந்து
மா கச்சித் து:கபாக் பவேத் !!
“May all live happily
May all be healthy
May all receive good things
Let not anybody suffer.
On some day, we can hear this sloka being recited by Him; but most of the days, this will be recited silently in His mind.
On one particular day, when He recited this aloud, the attendant heard it and appealed to Him to teach him that sloka. Periava, then said involuntarily , “Oh! Did I chant this aloud today?”
After listening to the appeals by the devotees early in the morning, He will go for His bath.
Periava takes bath three times a day. In the early morning, it is ‘Pratha: snaanam’, in the forenoon, it is ‘Madhyanika Snanam’, and in the evening, it is ‘Saayankaala Snaanam’.
In between one bath and the subsequent Pooja, Sri Saranar speaks in Samskrit only. He speaks the Divine language as if it were His mother tongue. When He handles (speaks) all the languages like Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, and even English, like His mother tongue, then, while He speaks the Divine language how can It be anything else but sheer beauty?! The way He speaks Samskrit, will be as easy and as simple as His life. And as it comes so soothingly from His Loving heart, everybody can easily understand it. In case somebody doesn’t understand, it will be translated by someone else.
There will be some who may think “What is wrong in speaking in any other language than Samskrit? Why (practice) Sastra even in this?”
When we look at how Periava’s one day passes off, there will be many things done as per Sastras. Even though He is an Adhvaithi within Himself, what we see openly is the way He practices Dharma Sastra; this is what we can notice in His daily routine. Therefore, we should tell those who raise a question as above, an important, fundamental point about Him, His individuality.
In God’s creation there is a law of Nature, that for any thing, there will be another one which is just opposite; they are known as the ‘Pair of Opposites’—even Periava has mentioned about this aspect. In God’s creation, this unavoidable opposite power called by scientists, ‘the Anti—body’ or ‘Anti—atom’ is a part of HIS ‘leela—vinotham’ —Periava used to say this.
In HIS strange ‘Leela’, in the present time of the Kali—yuga, God has made the humans to discard the disciplinary controls in the name of ‘Freedom’. In this process, there are people who totally shun religion and Sastras, without understanding the good and bad of it; there are others, who, based on their reasoning and convenience, adopt some which they think as good and discard some which,according to them, are not good. So there must be an ‘Opposite’ for this also, is it not? Therefore, there must be someone who accepts and adopts the religious disciplines and the rules of Sastras. There ARE some people like this also. But circumstances do not allow them to practice them in their lives, although they accept them in their minds.
During the marriage celebration of Lord Shiva, all the people in the three worlds had gathered in the Himalayas. Because of this the stability of the earth was disturbed; at this time, in order to neutralize this unstable position, God sent Sage Agasthya to the southern tip as an opposite reaction.
In the same way, in order to act as an opposite force to the indiscipline and chaos prevalent in the earth due to fall in discipline in humans’ life styles, God has created this ‘avatar’ of our tiny sage (Periava).
TO BE CONTINUED…………………………………….
Our GuruNathar does everything as per Sastra. Our Sastras have specified rules for performing all duties including the very earthly matter such as married life, purely for the sake of the uplift of the soul. Similarly, SriSaranar, practices the rules given in the Sastras for a Hermit/ Sanyasi, flawlessly.
“Why so much disciplinary controls for an Adhvaithi?”----ask many.
Actually, true practitioners of Adhvaitha only can follow the disciplinary controls as per Sastra. In ‘Dhvaitha’, the mind always exists; the mind can experience ‘another’ only if it exists, is it not? If there be a mind, then the inevitable different view point will also come into picture.; once that comes, then ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ will follow for sure. The mind will not like being controlled. When ‘likes’ and ‘Dislikes’ are present, they will creep in even if it be Sastras, and oppose each other. For an Adhvaithi, there is no illusion that the mind is the ‘I’. He is one who has realized that the ‘Soul’ (Atma) with no controls, is the ‘I’ He plays in the world of Dhvaitha through some illusory appearance, which we call the ‘Mind’. He does not have a difference of viewpoint. He sees all as one. Because of that, the one which appears as the ‘mind’ neither likes nor dislikes anything, and accepts whatever comes to him. As he does not discard anything, he accepts everything that comes along.
When everybody shunned the disciplines of Sastras, our ‘Adhvaithi’ was vested with the responsible position of ‘Jagath Guru’. Is He not the one who enjoys the ‘freedom of Atma’ with no controls? Therefore, He makes us believe that the ‘illusory mind’ is governed by all controls!A DAY WITH LIGHT
We said that He takes bath thrice daily. Taking bath also is as per Sastras. One should not take the water in a pot or mug and pour it on the head, but should dip himself in water till the head goes below the water surface. This is called ‘AVAKAHA SNANAM’ (அவகாஹ ஸ்நானம்).
Whenever He camps in places where there are rivers or ponds, there is no problem. In places where there are no such facilities, water will be collected from well, and poured in big vats; if there is no vat, one will be built for this purpose! If there is no well also, one will be dug! There is no use the ‘modern—thinkers’ making a sarcastic face!
(In 1932, when SriSaranar was camping at Samskrit College in Mylapore, a well which was already there, was converted into a pond. It has been named “Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Theertham’).
He will chant the ‘Akamarshana sutram’ (which has to be chanted during bath), while taking His bath. Then follows dressing, smearing of the sacred ash, wearing Rudhraksha and other pooja garlands.
There was none who hasn’t eulogized Him, none who hasn’t prostrated at His feet when the saffron—robed Saint , with sacred ash on His forehead, ‘Kandika’ (neck lace like Rudhraksha) around His neck, ‘Kamandalu’ in one hand, and the ‘Dhandam’, symbolic of the rule of ‘Dharma’, in another, appears before them!
When the Karunya Moorthy’ Periava, shining with the Fire of Wisdom (ஞானாக்னி) and the Flame of ‘Acharam’ (ஆசார ஜ்வாலை) gives Darsan, our hearts will say “Paramasivan, Paramasivan”!
In the morning, a Vedic scholar will perform puja for the cow which is reared in SriMatam for puja. Gurunathan, who carries with Him the abundant nectar of kindness and love, will come there after His bath as ‘Purity Personified’, and participate in the ‘Go—Puja’, and pray in front of the cow which gives the milk for the ‘Abhishekam’ of ‘Eswaran’. This is the demonstration for the expressions in Lalitha Sahasranamam,, ‘GURUMOORTHY’, ‘GUNANITHI’ and GO—MATHA’ in that order.
Cow is a beauty in association with simplicity. Elephant is a beauty in association with elegance. GajaPuja will be performed after Go—Puja’.
After this, GuruNathar will complete His morning rituals.
The meditation that He is in, is the REAL meditation! The JagathGuru, who listens to all our worldly matters and gives remedies,----if He sits on His one—hour Meditation, the whole world will slip away from Him! Even though it was called ‘one—hour-Japam’, He will immerse Himself in the ‘Atma’, which is the basis of all ‘Japam’ and ‘Dhyanam’, meaning, He will be one with the God (பரம்பொருள்). He will open His eyes exactly after one hour! To say that ‘He will open His eyes’ is itself an error, because when we say that, it means that He would have closed His eyes during meditation, is it not? We should not express it like that, When the whole body slips away from the world, whether the eyes are open or closed is irrelevant. If He starts His meditation when His eyes are open, He will be that way (eyes open) for the next one hour! The eyelids will never bat for even a second! Whatever happens around Him, doesn’t affect Him, His eyes will not move away. His eyes will be like those drawn in a picture!
On a particular occasion, when GuruNathar was in meditation, one of His attendants came there. He was shocked to see a cobra standing in front of Him, very near His face and looking at His eyes! His eyes were also open. But His eyes didn’t blink nor moved! The attendant silently went and fetched a basket and quickly covered the cobra with it! He continued to stand there to ensure that Periava did not open the basket when He came out of the meditation.
On another occasion, SriSaranar was going from Thondaiyarpettai to Thiruvotriyoor by walk. He was walking behind the famous cycle rickshaw—shaped cart, holding on to it. While He walks slowly like Sri Ambikai, when He goes on long ‘Padha Yatra’s, He walks very fast like a king. As an example to show how fast He walks,----When He walks on Roads, He will come to know of the existence of any small temple somewhere inside, off the main road. Immmediately, SriSaranar’s feet will discard the ‘Padhuka’s and walk on barefoot. The discarded footwear will be thrown away a few feet behind Him due to the speed at which He was walking!
That day when He was walking towards Thiruvotriyoor, suddenly there was a blood—chilling noise. It took some time for others to realize what that inhuman noise was ! Some puppies got caught under the wheels of a bus which was passing that way. The noise made by them due to the pain while dying, was that chilling noise. While those who were accompanying SriSaranar somehow recovered from that shock, He was continuing to walk in the same cruising speed, without any faltering of steps, like a doll.
Some people walking with Him, were appreciating His unperturbed state, and were telling the close attendants of Periava. One of the attendants who knows Periava, replied, “He is not aware now, that we are walking on the Thiruvotriyoor highway, that a bus passed by now, and some puppies got caught under the wheels. He is in the ‘one—hour Japa’!”
We wonder how one who has lost the awareness of one’s ‘self’ can continue to walk like that!
‘May my sleep become my Penance; May all my wanderings become ‘Pradhakshanam’----thus prayed Sri AdhiSankarar; but for our Sankarar, even wandering becomes Penance/Meditation!
Even in the state of bliss when only the Atma is experienced, our Periava had the amazing capability of working the body in a mechanical manner.
Even the sense of time is somehow associated with Him during the meditation! Because, exactly at the moment of completion of one hour, He will come out of His meditation!
If the clock does not show the completion of one hour at the time He comes out of His meditation, then the clock must be defective! He, who has been in deep meditation for an hour without being aware of anything around Him, will, after coming out of it, start the conversation exactly from the point where He left off!
As we have already seen, our Acharya, is good at ‘concealing’ things ;
In spite of that, on some rare occasions, some of His amazing power has opened up its petals! When He comes out of His meditation, some puzzling words/statements will spill out of His mouth. He will babble some name of a person and his place, but no one will know who he is. But Periava will cut the thread immediately. After some time, that same person from that same place would come there for Darsan! Or a letter would come from that person!
This is not an ‘ordinary’ amazing thing, but a ‘special’ one. Because during meditation, Periava is one with the ‘Brahmam’, having completely discarded the illusory world.
But when He comes out of it and into this world, some matter connected with this world spills out of His mouth, without His being aware of it!
How true it is when it was said that others cannot understand any one thing about the Enlightened souls!
TO BE CONTINUED…………………………