author:...... Jayalakshmi Ammal, Pollachi
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 4, pages 8-12
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Dec 2006 Edition)
After Sri PeriyavaaL came out finishing his bhikSA, I kept raisins, cashews, cardamoms, and saffron flowers in a thin vial on a plate before him as arpaNa (offering) and prostrated. As I bowed, the thin vial of saffron flowers dropped to the floor and broke into a hundred pieces.
Before I could move away to get a cloth and clean the place, Sri PeriyavaaL began to drop the saffron flowers mixed with glass pieces into his mouth and started eating them. He did not take into his ears my cries, "aiyo, aiyo! Glass pieces have got mixed with the saffron flowers. Please do not eat them. I shall bring a fresh supply", and ate the entire lot.
I was affected by intense fear and sorrow. The glass pieces would enter Periyavaa's stomach and cut his intestine! My buddhi agitated by the thought, 'It is going to be a great danger for him. I have become the cause for it!', I took no food and sat like a stone statue in a corner.
When Kannan, Periyavaa's personal assistant came that side in the evening, he asked me, "Why are you crying, sitting here?" I narrated the incident to him.
Kannan said immediately, "Sri PeriyavaaL is an avatar of Parameswara who took the AlakAla poison and survived! No peril will come to PeriyavaaL. You go and take your food. And attend to your other work." He moved away.
As told by him, nothing happened to PeriyavaaL! He was attending to his kArya krama (schedule) in the normal way.
Only then I got back my breath! Perhaps the glass pieces that got mixed with the saffron flowers also became the flowers?
*** *** ***
Though Sri PeriyavaaL used to describe himself as a sAmAnya sanyAsi (common ascetic), there are incidents wherein he displayed his svaya rUpam (real self), of his own accord.
It was the time when Sri PeriyavaaL was camping in Tiruvanaikkaval. Me and my husband needed to have darshan of him and return to Thanjavur. The next day was a somavAra amAvAsya (Monday as new moon day). We had to do pradakSiNa of a peepul tree in Thanjavur.
Periyavaa conversed with everyone who came there and bid them farewell with prasAdam. But, when we did prArthanA he would remain as if he did not hear our words; when we went in the queue he would stop giving prasAdam with the person before us, and when our turn came, would get up and go inside--he was doing such things repeatedly.
We gave up the plans of our Thanjavur trip and stayed there for the night. I was very angry within.
After the viSva rUpam on the next early morning, before he sat for his one-hour japam inside the menA, he directed the kArvAr (manager), "After three quarters of an hour, even while I am in the japam, make arrangements to carry the menA to the banks of the KoLLidam", and shut the door of the palanquin.
Thinking, 'Can't do pradakSiNa of the Asvatta (peepul tree). At least let me go round PeriyavaaL', I started doing pradakSiNa of the menA. After it was over, the menA started. We accompanied it and took our snAna (bath) in the KoLLidam.
As Sri PeriyavaaL sat for his anuSTAnam, he called me and asked, "How many pradakSiNas did you do?" I said, "Ninety." There was no way Periyavaa could have known about my pradakSiNa! Then he asked me to complete the remaining count of pradakSiNas.
After the pradakSiNa was over, he asked me, "Reciting what shloka did you do the pradakSiNa?"
Me: I did pradakSiNa, reciting 'Gurur brahma gurur vishnu gurur devo maheshwarah'.
Sri PeriyavaaL: What would you recite during the Asvatta pradakSiNa?
Me: 'mUlato brahma rUpAya, madhyato vishNu rUpiNe, agrataH Siva rUpAya vRukSa rAjAya te namaH'.*
Sri PeriyavaaL: Then what? It is TrimUrti there; it is the same here too!
With these words, he blessed me with the prasAdam.
From then on, I took up the niyamA (routine) to do pradakSiNa to PeriyavaaL only on the somavAra amAvAsya.
*** *** ***
When we were in Thanjavur, one day in the early morning he appeared in my dream and asked, "Will you get me bAdAma (almond) kernels?"
On the very next opportunity we bought almonds and went to Orikkai village near Kanchipuram. It was then that Sri PeriyavaaL had given up anna bhikSA and was taking only nel pori (parched paddy grains). We stood confused as to who to entrust the almonds with so that they might reach PeriyavaaL's bhikSA.
An AmmaaL took us to ugrANam (groceries) Gopalaiyer. Since he was anxiously searching for something at that time, he said, "Please don't disturb be now. It is time for PeriyavaaL's bhikSA." When we asked him, "What are you searching? Anything we could buy?" He started lamenting, "Where would you get bAdAma here? Ants have eaten all the stock of almonds in a single night. If the manager comes to know of it, he would get angry with me. Only if you go to Kanchipuram you will get almonds. By that time PeriyavaaL's bAdAma will be over."
Our joy knew no bounds! We gave him the almonds we had brought. Gopalaiyer heaved a sigh of relief!
We understood that things connected with PeriyavaaL would go well automatically, and that those who consider them as the doers were only instruments in the scheme of things.