Jagatguru Sri MahaswamigaL is a God who took form and walked and lived among us in our times. He lived, shrinking his oon and swelling his inner light and poured on us the insatiable nectar of Ananda. Spending most of his time inside his 'mena' (palanquin), he served for the welfare of this world.
MahaswamigaL's power of memory is very big. It was his speciality to keep every little thing keenly in his mind and express it at the right time. We shall recollect an incident here.
This sage was a cherisher of nature and solitude. He liked staying in places such as open sheds and choultries, shades of trees and roadside places during his yAtrA.
He was touring in Andhra Pradesh state once. He stayed in a shed on the roadside. A devotee came in a car to have darshan of Sri Maha SwamigaL.
"My name is Kalyanam. I am appellate authority in the customs department. I belong to the Thanjai district. Lots of problems in my family; no peace of mind. Only Periyavaa should solve them. Which is why I have come for darshan."
Periyavar asked him to sit down and heard his family problems. Then, raising both his hands, blessed and sent him, giving him a fruit.
One or two years passed. Spring came up in the life of Kalyanam. His problems were solved and peace returned. He came back to thank the sage, who was in his yAtrA at that time too. The man had darshan of PeriyavargaL on the way, lowered the burden of his mind on the sage's feet and stood happily.
"Because of PeriyavargaL my family lives in peace. I want to submit some offering to SriMaTham." PeriyavargaL laughed and said, "Need not offer anything now" and sent him. Kalyanam returned half-heartedly.
Several years passed. maha kumbhAbhiSekam arrangements for Thillai Peruman were being made.
I was asked to come to SriMaTham one morning. Thiru T.N.Krishnamoorthy, who was the SriKaryam of SriMaTham at that time, and I went and stood before Maha SwamigaL. Sitting inside his palanquin, he was giving us orders on the tasks to be done at the time of kumbhAbhiSekam, which included Tirumurai Music, Tirumurai Seminar, reciting Tiruvacakam completely, and the children of dIkSitAs reciting Shambhu Natana Stotra.
A man came. Periyavar asked him to sit with us. The man who had come was Kalyanam, the arbitrator.
Periyavar asked him, "You met me on this day at this place (giving him the details), you remember it?" The man was astonished. When reminded of his second darshan, the man somewhat recollected the details and nodded his head.
"Are you fine now? You wanted to give money to the MaTham! Can it be given now?"
"I shall give it now definitely, no problem," said Kalyanam.
"That money is not needed for the MaTham. It is kumbhAbhiSekam time at Thillai for Nataraja. I have instructed these people about the tasks needed to be done there. You give your money for those tasks and get them done. Let that money go to Nataraja. You discuss with them and come back."
The three of us came out, discussed the details and went back to him. Maha SwamigaL was also happy and bade us farewell with a smile.
To bring to memory in those few minutes, the details of a meeting that took place many years back, and fulfil at the right time a man's wish made long back, chanelling for service to Nataraja Peruman -- it only brings amazement to think about the loftiness of such act of blessing, such divine welfare and divine feeling.