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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Guru bhakti, shAstrabhimAnam, vidvat and anuShTAnam

Apart from what is done for the country, even for the anugraha to individuals, there are heartwarming incidents about which Bharathi SwamigaL has told that either of them doing it is for both of them. For example:

In 1927, when Maha PeriyavAL was camping in Pallavur near Palakkadu, T.M.Krishnaswamy Aiyar led a Tiruppugazh bhajan concert and pleased everyone. To match his initials T.M., PeriyavAL gave him the title 'Tiruppugazh Mani'! Aiyar from there went directly to Kovai (Coimbatore) and sang 
Tiruppugazh in the holy presence of Bharathi SwamigaL's. His companions told the sage about the title given by Maha PeriyavAL, seemingly expecting that the Sringeri sage would also give a title. But then Bharathi SwamigaL said, "Keep that title as given by both of us together!"

To Tediyur ShastrigaL he had asked on one occasion in a very natural way, "If 'they' do something it is like our doing it, isn't it?"

Before going to Palakkadu, Maha PeriyavAL also had visited Kovai. The place he camped there was only in the Sringeri MaTham there.

In 1925, in the areas of Ramanathapuram district, both the PeriyavargaL were camping very near each other. While Maha PeriyavAL observedhis chAturmAsya vratam for two months in Ilayattankudi, in Kunrathur, within ten kilometers, Bharathi SwamigaL observed that fast. Without an iota of 
difference, Vidvans would visit both the MaThams and do shAstrArtha vichAram. Both the SwamigaL from them would inquire parasparam about the other's vyAkhyAnams and greatly appreciate them.

After finishing his camp in Pallatthur when Bharathi SwamigaL started to leave, it came to be known that Maha PeriyavAL was to come there immediately after his departure. The 'vIra bhaktAs' who keep boundaries talked with the implication as to how can Kanchi pIThAdhipatigaL come on pattaNa bhavani in kolAhalam there. Whereas Bharathi SwamigaL sported a 
mandahAsam (smile) and said, "aVALukku nannA mariyAdai paNNi bhavani nadatthungo (conduct their procession well with all honours to 'them'). To carry 'them' on the palanquin in the procession, we propose to send our own bhoyi (bhogi, palanquin carrier)s", and obliged by sending his carriers! 

With the  Sringeri kiMkaras(servants)carrying it,Kamakoti pIThAdhipatigaL 
 coming on the sivigai (palanquin) is an incident pouring sweetness 
like honey, right?Saying, "I have on no other occasion seen PeriyavAL in such distress groaning hAng, hAng", Kanchi MaTha Manager Visvanathaiyar would recollect an incident. He said it was one of the occasions when Bharathi SwamigaL as an avadhUta remained in atIta avasthas (extreme states) of dancing, singing, crying and laughing out. An adiyAr referred about it to Maha SwamigaL saying, "It is said that he was suffering from paitthiyam (madness)!" That was all! As if a nArAsam (an iron probe) entered his ear, PeriyavAL cried, "Shiva ShivA! Shiva ShivA!", almost screaming the words, and as never before expressed his distress instrong words! "ENDA, paitthiyam enna, sariyAyirukkiRatu ennannu nItAn sakalamum kaNDuTTiyo? ennamADA solluve, andha vArtthai! (Hey, you know everything as to what is being mad and what is being normal? How can you utter that word!)". After verbally expressing his  distress for a long time, he finally told the devotee, "Go to the Sannidhi and seek the pardon of Lord ChandraMauleesvara!"

Maha PeriyavAL in 1935, gave his blessing stance to Calcutta and conducted the Navaratri worship. 
In the administrative committee of that festival was a parama bhakta of Sringeri PiTham, named Madireshvara Sarma. He did his seva in the pujas for the first four days--until the day of Chaturti--but beyond that it did not suit him. As the thought, 'Whatever it is, will this be like the puja our Sringeri AcharyaaL does in our Sringeri pattati?' occurred to him, he felt restless and returned to Sringeri, travelling a distance of a thousand kAvatam.

But then Bharathi SwamigaL looked at him with an unusual sternness. "It is a mahA thappu (great mistake)--your leaving the puja in the middle and coming over here, entertaining an opinion of discord that we both are different. kShaNamkUda inge niRkAteyum! pOm angeye! (Don't stand 
here even for a moment! Go there forthwith!)", he said with nirtatkShaNyam (sternness).Since Sarma was a pakvi he learned his lesson; and obtained bhAvanA shuddhi.

In those days when today's travel facilities were not available, somehow Sarma managed to reach Calcutta on the day of Vijaya Dashami and fell at Maha PeriyavAL's feet. He told the sage about what Bharathi SwamigaL told him, and informed that his bheda eNNam (thoughts of difference) was broken. Laughing in Ananda, Maha PeriyavAL gave him the Navaratri prasAdams.

1966 February. Maha PeriyavAL was in camp in Mylai (Mylapore) K.Chandrasekharan was talking to PeriyavAL expressing his sadness about some book or essay or letter written by R.Krishnaswamy Aiyar  in AkShepam about SriMaTham.

Whereas PeriyavAL appreciated the clarity of that report of criticism on SriMaTham, saying, "enna clarity pArtthiyo? (what a clarity, you saw it?)"! I wondered at the display of the samadharshanam of a jnAni.

Looking at me PeriyavAL asked, "Do you follow these--displaying an abhinayam of one engaged in kusti (wrestling)--samAcharams?"

"I don't do it taking interest to follow up such things. By reading what Polagam SastrigaL is writing in the Pradeepam, I come to know something of the details. It is really sad", I said.

"Is it only sad? You get kO(pa)m (anger) on Krishnaswamy Aiyar--is it not
 so?", PeriyavAL 'probed' me.

It became nidarshanam to me by his uttering the word kOpam as kOm in the 
lisping of a child, how chidlike all these fights and debates are!

In vAstavam (reality) I had anger on that man--why make the bhedams (differences) among the Astikas (faithfuls) grow by directing their attention on matters that do not offer even an iota of help towards Atmikam. The same abhiprAyamadiyEn had about the 'vIra's on the side of Kanchi MaTham.

Feeling shy to tell that Satva Murti, 'Yes, I get only anger', I kept silent.

PeriyavAL himself talked, the child and the deity becoming one: "To my Ayus paryantam these fights are not going to be over; it does not seem to me that I can mediate and pacify them. Therefore there is no prayojana for you to agitate your mind on this subject. What I need now is that the anger you have towards Krishnaswamy Aiyar should be exhausted. Will you do a kAryam? He has written a book, The Saint of Sringeri. As the first thing, you buy and 
read it. What, will you read it?"

After such a direction that cannot be defied, can I remain without obeying it?

Thus under the puNyam of K.Chandrasekharan, Kanchi Chandrasekhara involved me in that another Chandrasekhara who is the Saint of Sringeri.

After reading that wonderfully written book, my kOm towards that author was gone completely! 
I got the clarity that if a Periyavar with such guru bhakti, shAstrabhimAnam, vidvat and anuShTAnam is indulging himself in controversial subjects, it is only the kaivarisai (sleight of hand) of that Maha Amma Maha Maya.

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