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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bhagawan Padi Alappan

The incident narrated here goes back to not less than 45-50 years!

While Sri Mahaswamigal was camping in a very small village near Kaveripakkam (in the national highway between Chennai and Bangalore) this incident is said to have taken place. 

It was the practice in those days that Guru Dakshina (tribute to Guru), mostly in coins, used to be counted and sent to Kanchi Mutt. For expenses, funds used to be received from the mutt only. Rarely a portion of the collection money used to be taken for expenditure at the direct instructions of Sri Swamigal.

The Shiva leela commenced when the flow of visitors’ number became far and few. Despite repeated requests by Sri Srikantan who was managing everything, funds from the mutt was negated by Sri Mahaswamigal with a standard reply, “Bhagawan padi alappan” (God will take care)

“How is god going to help when the daily food management itself is a problem and the voluntary Kaanikkai (contribution) from devotees is less than 1 Rupee everyday?” was the wonder for Sri Srikantan. 

Meanwhile a tourist bus from Andhra broke down near Kaveripakkam. Spares had to be brought from 30 miles (not kilometers) away. The repair work was sure to take not less than 3-4 hours. Not knowing what to do, the tourists got down from the bus and were straying here and there. A shepherd boy approached them and asked, “Samiyarai paakka poringla ?” (Are you going to see the Swamigal?)

They eagerly approached the place where Sri Swamigal was camping. Each devotee offered “kal ana” (1/16th of a rupee), “arai ana” (1/8th of a rupee) as “Guru kanikka”. While returning, they found a few tourist busses parked near their bus which were also from Andhra. They had stopped to find out whether any help was required. When they heard about Sri Swamigal, they also went to have darshan.

The “Guru kanikka” now became a huge pile of coins. Next day when the employees sat down to count the coins Sri Srikantan ordered, “We’ll put it in a sack and send it to the mutt. Let them count and account it there.” A sack was brought and the coin heap was taken in a ‘padi’ (a steel vessel used for measuring rice, wheat, etc) to be dropped into the empty bag. 

From behind Sri Mahaswamigal approached and told, “Srikanta ! I told you ‘Bhagawan padi alappan’. Ippo padi alandhuttana ?” pointing his finger at the measuring vessel (‘padi’) which Sri Srikantan was holding in his hand. The pun on the word “padi” figuratively means blessings as well as a measuring iron vessel in material terms.

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