Little do we know of what is ‘Aachara’ and ‘Anachara’ in a strict bramhinical orthodox sense. The following narration was experienced by my guru Swargiya Parasuram Chandrasekhara Sastrigal. It is sure to draw out tears from the eyes of the readers at the Karuna Samudram that Kanchi Sri Mahaswamigal was.
On a shiny, windy day afternoon Sri Mahaswamigal went and sat under a tree at Tenambakkam (near Kanchipuram) where he had been camping for a long time. He had rested his ‘dandam’ at the root of the tree and was looking at the skies. A strong wind blew and the ‘dandam’ fell to the ground. A cowherd who was grazing cattle nearby came running, took the ‘dandam’ and placed it before swamigal and said, “Sami ! Sami ! your stick has fallen. I picked it up as you need it”, and ran away.
Sri Swamigal went into a “Kaashta Mouna” (no speech, no movements, no signals or signs and not looking at anyone; like a statue). The mutt sent for three pundits who knew how to prepare a new ‘dandam’. It so happened that one of them had performed “Pitru Karma” that day and hence cannot join the other two, till the next morning. Sri Mahaswamigal was stationed motionless unaware of anything.
On the next day, the pundits prepared the new ‘dandam’ with reverence and brought it to the presence of Sri Mahaswamigal in the afternoon. He broke his “Kaashta Mouna” and accepted it after laborious rituals. On completion, Sri Swamigal’s first words after 30 hours or so, to the pundits were, “From early morning you all have not taken anything. Go and have some food first.”
“We have not eaten from morning but because of that stupid maatukara payyan (cowherd) you have not had anything from yesterday,” exclaimed in agony one of the pundits.
“Why scold an innocent boy? Maybe he was a Yogi or a Rishi in his previous births. He has taken away all my ‘Tapas’ with a single touch of the ‘dandam’”, replied Sri Swamigal.
How are we to interpret this statement?
“Religion begins where reasoning ends”. ‘Acharam’ and ‘Anacharam’ become redundant with Sri Mahaswamigal’s blessings. It appears that we should take the lesson not to reprimand for any ‘Unacharam’ caused without intentions. We are at least not hurting another ‘Atman’ for an act already done.