It was routine, a day-to-day event, to see devotees narrate their woes and problems repeatedly to Periyaval and end their petition with the words, “Periyaval must be gracious to me.” It was very, very rare to see those who came for Periyava’s darsan leaving without asking for anything. From the time of the visvarupa darsan in the early hours of the morning, continuously for several hours following, a flood of devotees would repeat their difficulties several times over, circumambulating him and petitioning once again, every time they stood before him. With limitless patience Periyaval would listen to the devotees and then lifting his hand would reassure them with the gesture that assured protection and dispelled fearless.
Who can possibly describe this grace in words?
An old lady came to the Matha at Kanchi and repeatedly submitted the problems in her family to Periyaval. The attendant whose job it was to convey these submissions to Periyaval in a loud voice was once so exasperated that he replied quite impatiently to the old lady.
“Don’t you have anything else to do? How many times are we going to repeat the same thing, over and over again?”
Sri Periyaval said at once, “Why, my boy! Who is that? And why are you shouting so?”
“It is the lady. She can’t stop repeating the same thing over and over again!”
“What does she say? I cannot hear a thing. Tell her to repeat it once more and then tell me about it again!”
The old lady’s joy knew no bounds.