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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Experiences of Maha Periyava: The Sethji and His Terminal Illness

This incident happened about 35 years ago. Paramacharya was staying in Chennai for a few 

months, blessing people and giving discourses. From Chennai, he continued his yatra out of 

the city and stayed for a few days in a brick tiles manufacturing factory at Noombal in the 

Poonamallee high road past the city border.

I went have a darshan of Paramacharya one evening, accompanied by a Sethji from Calcutta 

who was a wealthy philanthropist. In the usual way I prostrated to the Sage, my eight limbs 

touching the ground. Sethji also prostrated in a similar manner. I joined my palms and 

stood meekly.

Looking at us once and raising his head, Paramacharya asked, "You told me earlier once…

was it about this man?" He was matchless in his powers of estimation and retention. I 

agreed to his words and said with humility, "This man was pestering me for a long time to 

take him for darshan, which is the reason I brought him here."

I need to tell you a few things about this man. This Sethji is very pious. He used to come 

daily to my upanyasas on Mahabharata and Ramayana, which I held in Calcutta. Since I was 

giving explanations in Hindi also, a number of North Indians used to come to my discourses.

Before I started my discourse, I would always talk about the greatness of Sri Kanchi 

Paramacharya for some time, after the initial prayers. My speech would be about Acharya's 

immense knowledge, power, tapo shakti, and his greatness with examples that highlighted 

them. Only then, the actual discourse would commence. This is a principle I have been 

following for a long time.

Though God has given the Sethji all sorts of fortunes, He had also left him with a large 

deficiency. It was the misfortune of not being able to take food through the mouth: his 

gullet was not functioning. His regular food was supplied to his digestive system artificially 

through a hole in the stomach. With this intense suffering he was living his days.

There was no treatment that he did not take to get this deficiency rectified. He had met all 

the world experts in the field of medicine. There was no count to his temple darshans, 

prayers and the efforts using mantra and tantra. Still there was no cure in sight. Since he 

had heard about the greatness of Paramacharya from my daily discourses, he desired to 

have a darshan of the Sage and check if at last that would cure his malady.

During a recess in the discourse, he held on to it firmly that he and I should go to Chennai 

and have a darshan of Paramacharya.

I was apprehensive about taking him without the prior consent of Paramacharya. I told him 

that I would go to Chennai and get Acharya's consent and then take him. He immediately 

got me a plane ticket to Chennai.

On reaching Chennai, I informed Paramacharya about this Sethji at an opportune time and 

asked for his consent to bring the man for darshan. Though he discussed with me about the

 satkarya (good deeds) in Calcutta, he did not say anything about my request. When I 

reminded him again after sometime, he curtly said, "Not now". Since Sethji might be 

shocked at Paramacharya's reply and lose hope in the ultimate cure, I simply told him that I 

would take him when I left Calcutta after my discourses.

In a way it was a mistake to have brought him, though I did it as a service. All the good and 

bad that happen in our life are due to our punya and paapa spread over many births. Man is 
 bound to face them. The sins can be reduced only by suffering their effects. If there is 

continuous suffering, it only shows the quantum of accumulated sins. If the sufferings are 

faced with faith in God, their effects will be felt less, and good things would reach us when 

the sins are exhausted. With his foresight, Paramacharya is clear giving such explanations 

for the good and bad that we face in our life.

One of the reasons that he would not encourage meeting such sinful people who suffer now

is that they would simply look for pariharas without realising that they have to suffer for 

their sins.

I stayed a little distance away from him and kept on reminding him about giving darshan to 

Sethji. He did not give a positive reply. It was getting late at night. I approached him with 

an intention of taking leave and coming the next morning.

He sensed my thought and said, "Nothing can be done in his matter! Take him away. Ask 

him to be devoted to God, do good deeds and God will save him!"

I became a little bold and said, "He is doing such good things for years together now. Is 

there no parihara at all? Everything should have a parihara! Don't our Dharma Shastras 

provide vimochanas for curses and sins? In God's creation, should there not be a parihara 

for everything? You should kindly give him your anugraha." I argued strongly in favour of 

the Sethji.

Paramacharya listened to me carefully, kept silent for some time and then asked me to 

come near him with the words, "If that is so, come nearer."

"Will he do what I ordain for him?"

"He will do it; I shall ask him to do it."

"If he doesn't do it?"

"If he does it, let him get prosperity; or else let him suffer."

"It would require a large amount of money for what I ordain for him. Can he make it?"

"He is a millionaire. He would even spend all his wealth to get well."

"He should publish in Sanskrit the eighteen Puranas in our Veda Shastras in separate 

volumes on good paper in good print and distribute the volume sets free to eligible Vedic 

Pundits. Will he do this? Can he do this?"

"He can. I shall ask him to do it."

"You know the eighteen Puranas? Give me their names."

I told him the names in this order:

1.Sri Matsya Purana

2.Markandeya Purana

3.Bhavishya Purana

4.Bhagavata Purana

5.Brahmanda Purana

6.Brahma Vaivarta Purana

7.Brahma Purana,

8.Vamana Purana

9.Varaha Purana

10.Vishnu Purana

11.Vayu Purana

12.Agni Purana

13.Naradiya Purana

14.Padma Purana

15.Linga Purana

16.Garuda Purana

17.Kurma Purana

18.Skanda Purana

I was happy that my act had a happy ending.

I called Sethji and told him the matter. He was immensely happy and said, "Yes, I would do 

this", as he prostrated to the lotus feet of Paramacharya, shedding tears. Paramacharya 

blessed him profusely and asked his assistants to give him prasada.

As soon he reached his place of domicile, Sethji started this task as the first thing. He 

allotted an entire floor of his large building as office for this venture. He called Vedic 

Pundits and scriptural experts from many states, consulted them, and printed the Puranas in 

good print on high quality paper in large-sized books, spending a fortune on the task, and

 distributed them free to eligible Vedic Pundits as ordained by Paramacharya. The word 

prem (love) was mentioned in the part of the book that mentioned its price.

Without checking if his disease was lessening and without even worrying about if it would 

reduce, or feeling skeptical about it, he was totally and fiercely engaged in the publication 

of the Puranas as ordained by Paramacharya. Seventeen Puranas came out as books, but 

there was no ease in his condition! Even during the days of this Dharmic activity, he took 

food only through a hole in his stomach.

As the work on the eighteenth Purana, the 'Skanda Purana' started, Sethji had suddenly 

started eating with his mouth as everyone did! His tongue got back its tasting capabilities! 

He got the bhagyam of his birth that was not in sight all these days. The cruel disease that 

gave him untold suffering every day and minute was at last cured and gone with 

Paramacharya's anugraha.

When I got the news, I met Paramacharya and told him, "Acharya's Shakti is the Shakti! 

Sethji has come alive due to the boon, the anugraha you gave him! Only Paramacharya's 

anugraha saved him, after he resorted to all kinds of measures. Only you are the God!" I 

stood before him, drowned in gratitude, shedding tears.

The words that Maha Shakti spoke at that time gave me a darshan of him as the God seen 

with my own eyes (Kankanda Deivam).

"It is the Shakti of Dharma Shastras of our country that has saved him, is it not?" he said. 

Neither I nor has anyone ever heard him declare at any stage that it was his or was done by 

him. After knowing about this miraculous incident, the experts from the Western countries 

started crowding to seek His darshan.

This rare incident was narrated by Mukkur Srinivasa Varadacharyar Swamigal, the man 

responsible for Ashtalakshmi Temple in Chennai.

Source: Book Paramacharyar pages 142-151, 1992 edition

Author: 'Paranthaman' (V.Narayanan)

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