As for as we are concerned Maha Periyava is everything. It never occurred to us to go to any other place specifically other than Kanchipuram. Every time when we go to Kanchipuram, we would have Dharshan of Maha Periyava and get His Blessings and return. We even went to Kamakshiamman temple only occasionally. Kamakshi and Maha Periyava are not different. It is purely His Blessing that my daughter Madhumati survived her strormy childhood and it is a miracle that she herself has a son!
When my daughter was 6 years old, my wife asked one day ‘why don’t we go to Thiruvannamalai and perform Giripradhakshanam?’ I didn’t take it seriously. She kept repeating it. At that point I said jokingly that it is said that even by thinking of Thiruvannamalai one can attain Mukthi and so she might think of the malai! To that she said ‘it is said that by doing girivalam our ‘karma’ our karma would get reduced’. It made me to think. Soon we decided to go and fixed a date.
At this point I have to mention about my wife’s suffering. She has severe sinusitis and was having severe headache, fever etc. and taking medicines. The day before we were scheduled to perform the journey, she was having fever and didn’t sleep the whole night. We heard that many obstacles would come before we embark on this holy journey. So we decided not to go back on our determination and started on that day with the Blessings of Maha Periyava. After we locked the house and reached the road, an autorikshaw was waiting. He took us to the nearby auto stand in Mylapore and arranged one for us to go to the bus stand and he refused to take money from us!
Then we reached Thiruvannamalai by bus and stayed in a hotel. By evening we went to the temple and then to Ramanasramam where we bought a book on Girivala Mahimai. We learnt that the Giri itself is Siva, many many Rishis, Mahans, Thapasvis are all doing Giri pradhakshinam in an invisible form even today. We have to do Giri valam with utmost dedication, respect and Bhakthi chanting mantras silently, and do it in slow pace and in straight line and not in criss cross fashion in order not to cause inconvenience to the Rishis performing girivalam. We vowed to do accordingly.
The next day early morning at 4 we started after shower even though she was not well. She could not even do namaskaram in from of the temple due to severe pain. ‘Maha Periyava thunai vara vendum’ was our prarthanai. There was no road, light or any facility in those days. We didn’t think of these things. Our minds were filled with Bhakthi and divine thought of pradhakshinam of Siva and there were no expectations. Accordingly we did and completed the girivalam in 4 hours chanting Gayathri and did namaskaaram in front if the temple.
It was a divine experience during the whole stretch experiencing the smell of Vibuthi, Mooligai etc and had dharshan of many sannathis on the way. After completing, we had breakfast and boarded a bus back to Chennai. On the way she asked me if they have left something. I checked everything and said we didn’t leave anything back. After reaching home she found out what she had left! She pressed her face and said there was no headache and that she had left her illness in Thiruvannamalai. Remember she was able to do namaskaram after completing! It was nothing short of a miracle and the sinusitis did not surface until now even after 25 years!
After that the Giri attracted me so much that I started going every Pournami to the extent that my relatives and friend used to say ‘ if it is Pournami Ravi would have gone to Thiruvannamalai! I was running a clinic in Tambaram. After finishing at about 10 pm, I used to board a bus, reach at 2 am, leave the slippers in a roadside shop, start doing Girivalam, finish at 5, return at 10 and go to hospital. That was routine. Some days there would not be a seat in the bus so that I would go standing, do girivalam and come back standing.
On many occasions my wife and daughter would join me. On one Karthigai day it started raining after we started Girivalam. We did not stop. But continued in heavy rain and completed. My daughter’s Bakthi and devotion at that tender age in spite of her physical suffering simply was spell bounding. On one occasion we saw a Sanyasi with ‘Visiri’ in his hand and got His blessings. We came to know in later years that He was the Mahan called Visiri Samiyar or Yogi Ramsurathkumar.
After I came to Malaysia, I was not fortunate to do Girivalam as often as I used to do earlier. Now a days there is a lot of change there. There are proper roads, lights and other facilities but there is a risk in going in the darkness. Times have changed. Yet there is an interesting experience on one occasion… One day we started Girivalam after doing namaskaram in front of the temple. I started moving in front. They were behind by about 10 feet or so. Suddenly a totally black dog lying near the temple was startled when I crossed, jumped and stood up. This was told by my wife and daughter. Then he started escorting us, closely following us, touching us with his body on and off and wagging his tail. He came along upto Adi Annamalai temple, half way until day break. After that he disappeared. Was he a Siddha? It was a divine and strange experience for us.
Thus we can go on about Thiruvannamalai. Even now I am doing maanasiga Girivalam during my daily Sahasra Gayathri japam along with my family members. A few months earlier I had written on Paramacharya’s 3 Commandments in http://mahaperiyavaa.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/paramacharyars-3-commandments/ .
In that I had mentioned about breathing exercise during Gayathri japam that in one breath 10 Gayathris can be chanted. Instead it is easier and useful to do 5 Gayathri in one breath as given below.
My wife is instrumental in my attraction towards Thiruvannamalai. Now I must tell something about her here. I am fortunate to have got her in my life. She has some divinity in her. She is like a Spatikam. Those interacting with her get reflected through her and they see themselves. If they are pure and good hearted, they like her and don’t like her if they are otherwise. It is a fact. The proof of this is that she was instrumental in our daughter Madhu getting a new life from the utmost adverse situation early in her childhood with Maha Periyava’s Blessings and it is a miracle that she has a son of her own!
Last time I had written about my getting Blessings from Sri Musiri Periyava and I had mentioned that He is one of the 4 Mahans Maha Periyava has mentioned in His own voice. The other 3 are Sri Sivan Sar – Maha Periyava’s poorvasrama brother, Sri Pradosham Venkatraman mama, and Sri Angarai Periyava – Sri Kalyanarama Bhagavathar from Triplicane – His Adhishtanam is situated in Pazhur on the way to Musiri from Trichy.
Sri Musiri Periyava has ruled that Gayathri japam is not for ladies and should be done by only those who have got Upanayanam done.
I have given the relevant hyperlinks for ease of reference only and not to promote myself. This is done with the sole purpose of telling the world of Maha Periyava’s Grace on my family as a gratitude. His Grace is self spreading and Blessing us all. I will be gratified if someone is inspired and advance spiritually with His Blessings.
I want to end this write up now. I request you all to do Girivalam whenever possible without any expectations and with complete devotion and Bhakthi, chanting stotras, in a proper way and get spiritual advancement and all good things in life with Maha Periyava’s Blessings.
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara.