When I, a graduate in Computer Engineering, try to recollect those precious events that happened some fifteen years ago, I get a strange feeling of both bliss and perplexity, bliss because not every one gets a chance to have that experience and perplexity because I was too young then to fully understand the significance of the experience.
I was doing my fourth standard in a local school at Madurai, My father, a professor of Sanskrit, had prepared a dramatised version of Bhagavad-Gita and had trained two of us in enacting it. On repeated practice, I also got trained in mono acting the same. We came to know that His Holiness Sri Paramacharya was camping at Pandarpur in Maharashtra for Chaturmasya. My father suddenly decided to go to Pandarpur for a holy darshan of the Paramacharya along with Sri A. Kuppuswamy, one our well wishers, an ardent devotee of His Holiness and presently engaged in Swamiji's services at Kancheepuram.
We landed at pandarpur one fine morning. Paramacharya's Ashram was on the bank of the river Chandrabagha. The town was heavily crowded for a local festival and we could not hire a room in any lodge. After a bath, we went to the Ashram with our luggage. The Mahaswami was talking to some local visitors. When my father got a chance to talk with His Holiness he informed Him about the dramatised version of Bhagavad-Gita and asked him to enact it. When I was doing so, I could see the accordance with the dialogue. I too was aware of the meaning and when I saw someone as great as His Holiness Himself enjoying my action I felt encouraged to do my part better.
Paramacharya then called one of His disciples to look at the action and with a unique expression of bliss and interrogation, had a talk with the latter. Later we came to understand that His Holiness had planned to make a banner of that particular verse of Bhagavad-Gita the same expression with which uttered it, Everyone was astonished by the coincidence. On the same day, I had the privilege of enacting the drama three or four times in the august presence of His Holiness.
After the lunch there were no visitors. I was busily engaged in gathering pebbles and His Holiness was there, quite nearby, alone, watching me. He was going on questioning me and I was replying very casually. I could not understand how privileged I should have been get that chance, but now I realise the greatness and kindness of His Holiness in devoting His precious time to talk with such a little girl as I. Suddenly Paramacharya called one of His disciples and enquired in a caring tone "Kuzhandai saappitaalaa?" (Did the child take meal?) Doesn't this one question reveal the soft sympathetic nature of His Holiness who is as anxious about every living being as a mother? Later on I learnt from my father that all including him were very much moved by that enquiry.
Afternoon passed off in such conversations. Then came the evening. There were many local people for darshan. In the afternoon itself, I told His Holiness that I was learning Hindi. In the evening, when I was still enjoying myself collecting shells, Paramacharya called me and put to me a few questions in Tamil. How happy I was then! As a small girl, I was overwhelmed with joy on the importance given to me and I did not realise Swamiji's intentions. Though nothing is unknown to Him, the way His Holiness makes others feel their importance and responsibility it does not matter if it were only a girl of 7 years, is a true mark of His greatness.
That night we were asked to stay in the Ashram itself. Usually no girl is allowed to stay there but Paramacharya's kindness permitted us, as otherwise, we had no other place in the town to go to. Next morning also I had the chance of enacting the drama.
After the lunch, with a heavy heart, we left for Madurai.
That was the festival day at Pandarpur and we could not enter the temple of Lord Panduranga. But our hearts were so filled with happiness that we had the satisfaction of having a very peaceful darshan of the Mahaswami who was none other than the Lord Panduranga Himself.
It is because of His Holiness's unfathomable grace and unfallible blessings. I am what I am. I prostrate at the lotus feet of His Holiness and pray that the entire humanity gets the share of His blessings.