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Monday, October 20, 2014

Periyava And Tagore

It was Navarathri time and Periyava was in Calcutta. It was a grand celebration at Periyava’s camp.  Everyday there was a ‘Navaa Varna Pooja’, Sumangali Pooja, Kanya Pooja & many more. She never missed it out. She is a Mami settled in Calcutta. She was also a regular visitor to Sri Rabindranath Tagore’s ashram. After about nine long days to Periyava’s camp, she had been to Tagore’s ashram. Any Calcutta-vaasi is naturally a ‘Devi Upasaka’. And Tagore was a ‘Sri Vidya Upasaka’ but he did had some modern thoughts. Tagore’s command on Literature is known well. Mami had visited Tagore after a short break. Tagore was asking her where were she on those days. She explained that Periyava had come & there were Navavarna pooja, Sumangali pooja, Kanya pooja,  etc.
Tagore understood that Periyava was also a Devi Upasaka’.
Tagore , “Does Swamiji do Kanya Pooja with any child or only with Brahmin child?”
Mami, “No! Periyava never deviates from the tradition. He does Kanya Pooja only with  Brahmin child”.
Tagore, being one of the world’s highly respected (nobel) liberates , quoted one of the namas from the Sri Lalitha Sahasra Namam : “Aa’brahma keeda Janani” and said “He is a great Devi Upaska, won’t he know the meaning of it? It means SHE is the source of everything, from tiny insects all the way to Brahma (who creates the world). Still he is thinking having only a Brahmin child for Kanya Pooja!”
Mami was very upset to hear someone like Tagore taking a jig at Periyava. She came back to Periyava’s camp & her face was still dull.
Periyava asked, “நேத்தைய பூஜைக்கு வரலையோ?” (“Didn’t you come to puja yesterday?”)
Mami, “இல்லே பெரியவாதாகூரை பாக்க போய் இருந்தேன்…” (“No – I went to meet Tagore.”), she couldn’t decide ‘to say or not to say’.
Periyava understood and asked “ஏன்அவர் என்ன பத்தி எதாச்சும் சொன்னாரோ?” (“Did he say anything about me?”)
She couldn’t with hold, told everything what he said with tears.
Periyava smiled & said, “அவரை அதுக்கு அப்புறம் மூணு அக்ஷரம் இருக்குஅதையும் சேத்து படிக்கச் சொல்லு!” (“There are three more askharams – ask him to include them while reading”.
Now Mami caught up with enthusiasm. She knows there is a fitting reply but couldn’t get it. Was asking Periyava, what it means.
Periyava, “முதலில் அவரிடம் சொல்லு. அப்புறம் பாக்கலாம்…” (“First go and tell, let us see later”)
So without any other way Mami quickly went back to Tagore & said what Periyava said.
Tagore recollected “Aa’brahma keedajanani Varnaasrama Vidhayini Nijaakjaroopa Nigama PunyaaPunya Phalapradha!” Repeated it mentally few times. “Aha! Aha! Is this the way to understand the Devi’s Sahasranama? I never knew it. HE has replied. Swamiji has replied my very own question”.
Tagore told with a bit of excitement and also quickly begged down, “Swamiji is a Mahaan! Have you told what I told to him. Oh! It’s a mistake.”
Immediately, he found out the next step being a honest literal “I must have his darshan. Please arrange but not openly because evry Swamiji will put pressure on me to visit. But I must have his darshan!”
Mami came back satisfied to Periyava. Tagore did have darshan when Periyava visited a ‘Sethiji’s home’ unknown to common public.
Tagore wrote in his daily, “There are Mahaans even today whom I’ve to visit & STILL learn!” of course, without naming Periyava.
Many devotees have said – few  devotees have had darshan. Tagore is fortunate to hear from ‘Devi’ herself, this time. Probably out of his Upasana or out of Periyava’s Karunyam …

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