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Friday, November 14, 2014

shrI MahA SvAmigaL's power of memory

author:....... M.V.LakShmI NarasiMhAchAriyAr
compiler:..... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source:....... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol.2, page 271-274
publisher:.... VAnathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamil 

shrI MahASvAmigaL's power of memory is one that would bring suprise. This, as yAn--myself, has known it, explain in this essay.

In the year 1952 during the month of May, on receiving the news that shrI MahAsvAmigaL was to make his sacred visit at KAnchipuram for the chAturmAsya vyAsa pUja, going pAdachAra--on foot, via ThaiyAr village, VandavAsi taluk, surrounded by his entourage of elephants, horses, bullock carts, parijana--attendants, and parivAra--followers, the public and the vEdhiyargaL--Vedic priests, of ThaiyAr thronged (to the main road), had darshan and bowed to him and did-prArthana--pray, 'after svAmi pUja today you might visit KAnchipuram in the evening.'

Giving the dravya--substances, needed for the puja, paddy-straw for the cattle of the carts, and plant sprout varieties for the elephants, the people of the village did-ArAdha--paid homage very well, to shrI MahASvAmigaL and his parivAram. shrI MahASvAmigaL too happily accepted it and blessed the people of the village.

shrI MahASvAmigaL's flood of compassion spread among the village people. Looking at the bhaktas--devotees, who honoured him with bhakti-shraddha--sincerity of devotion, shrI MahASvAmigaL ordered them, "If there are any veda shAstra vidvAns in this village, bring them to us."

It was at that time that aDiyEn--I/this man, (MElmar LakShmI NarasiMhan), had come (to the place) after studying NyAya-shAstram in the Ahobila maTham samSkRta kalAshAlA--university, at MadurAntakam, and appearing for the shiromaNi parIkSha--examination, in the Chennai University. The agrahAra-vasis--residents of agrahAram, introduced aDiyEn in the sannidhi of shrI MahASvAmigaL; aDiyEn worshipped him by prostrating. With aDiyEn, shrI MahASvAmigaL did kushala-prasnam--inquiry of health and welfare, in saMsRtam itself.

Since MahASvAmigaL was observing mauna-vratam--vow of silence, questions were asked by writing on a slate. Doing-parIsha--testing, of aDiyEn in the kusumAnjali of NyAya-shAstra, with great santoSham--happiness, he offered vEShTi--dhoti, fruits, and phala-mantrAkShata to aDiyEn and blessed. He also gave aDiyEn an AhvAnam--invitation, "You participate in the vyAsa pUja vidvat sadas that will be held in KAnchipuram."

*** *** ***

During 1963-64, shrI MahASvAmigaL came to TiruvaNNAmalai, doing saMchAram--an ascetic's wandering, through out the way. That time, along with shrI MahASvAmigaL, my friend in Shankara maTham, shrImAn MaNi shAstrigaL too had come. In a chance happening, he met me at the TiruvaNNAmalai temple, conversed with me, made me have darshan of shrI MahA PeriyavAL and introduced me to shrI MahASvAmigaL.

A question that shrI MahASvAmigaL asked me then, amazed me. It stunned me speechless for a second. The question that shrI MahASvAmigaL asked me was, "I had asked you in 1952 at ThaiyAr village, to come for the vidvat sadas to be held in the vyAsa pUja at KAnchipuram, why did you not turn up?" Only then my submitting-daNDam--prostrating, to him in person at ThaiyAr came to my mind. Whereas for shrI MahASvamigaL, the thought about me had stayed in his smRti--memory, for a long time. Since I was aparAdhin--one who has done something wrong, I stood without replying anything. 'What a wonder, shrI MahASvAmigaL's ninaivATRal--memory power!' with this Ashcharyam--surprise, speechless, my mind fluttering, as prAyashchitta--atonement, I fell neDunjchANkiDai--stretching myself out fully, and prostrated to him. I also sought his pardon for my mistake.

I became a pAtram--drinking vessel, for shrI MahASvAmigaL's kRpa-kaTAkSham--glance of compassion. To MaNi shAstrigaL shrI MahASvAmigaL ordered, "Today it is arranged for my saMchAram to KalasapAkkam. Ask him to come there at 10 o' clock tomorrow morning. Give him bus charge to come there." I hesitated a little. Looking at me, shrI MahASvAmigaL asked, "Why the hesitation?" "I don't know if they would give or refuse me leave in the school to have darshan of you. If I accept this bus charge money and couldn't come, I would again become one who has committed a mistake", I replied with disquietude.

"You meet the headmaster and explain the situation. You will get anumati--permission. Take leave now, and get the bus charge."

With the headmaster's anumati, I went to KalasapAkkam the next day to have darshan of shrI MahASvAmigaL. Since shrI MahASvAmigaL was engaged in the puja, I met ShrIMaTham shrIkAryam shrI RAmakRShNa shAstrigaL. Informing me of shrI MahASvAmigaL's niyamanam--allotment of task (for me), he made me recite the vAkyArtham--verse meanings, of shrI BhAShyam to the PeriyavAL who is sitting now in AsthAnam--assembly, in the MaTham, who gave aDiyEn as vidvat sambhAvana--honorarium, silver coins worth Rs.20, wrapped a KAshmIr shawl around me and honoured aDiyEn.

This reminiscence would remain with me without leaving my heart for vehukAlam--a long time.

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