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Friday, April 24, 2015


'' Thatha,  Ramanujulu  a  Telugu gentleman ,  has come to see you. Shall I bring  him in?''   Gopu the grandson asked.

'' By all means,  but I dont  recollect  having  known  anyone from Andhra by that name as yet.''  

Kamala the local school teacher brought a  taal  lean person, with deepset eyes and  partly bald headed  moustached old man in a khadar jibba.
On seeing him  Thatha  said ''Namasthe'' and before the person could talk anything Kamala teacher intervened and introduced him as a new colleague in her school. 

''He is our new Hindi  teacher.  When I told him about you,  he wished to see you and pay his respects''
Sorry  sir, I dont  know Tamil, and I will be happy to talk to you in English, as I am told you are not familiar with Hindi.

''Yes Mr. Ramanujulu.''  

I have  heard many interesting  stories about  Maha Periyavaa of Kanchi Mutt through Kamala teacher  which you write and told her also. 
I  wish to hear from you about Him, any incident which you may remember readily, which would make really happy to hear from you.

'' I am glad you have heard and know about the great God who walked on earth, until recently.  A couple of days  ago  I read about an incident whch would explain his Deerga Dharisanam (Fore knowledge) 

Thatha  then started telling about Maha Periyavaa.

''You see  Mr  Ramanujulu,  a small  bit of  salt is enough to turn  a potful of milk into curd.  When you are engaged in Dharmik activities  association with a single  bad element is enough  to spoil it.  That is why  our ancestors  always preached about our having to be very selective in acquiring  friends and entertain Sath Sangh. Any bad influence would prove disastrous for a long time good image earned by  hard work and sincerety.

Maha Periyavaa was once camping at Kalavai, near Kanchipuram.    It  was a bright  April morning with Sun's  rays beginning to be harsh. Despite the  sweating Sun,  there was a large crow of devotees thronged around the  hut-shed  where  Mahaperiyavaa was seated.   Then a  big car  arrived there and people  gave way to  the big pot bellied man who alighted from the car and neared Periyava's  place with baskets full of fruits and garlands.

Someone in the crowd knew him and murmured to others ''  He is a big criminal lawyer from Thanjavur''
The lawyer's wife  clad in ceremonial 18 cubit saree along with two boys, carrying  new dhoties, upper cloths accompanied the lawer who was wearing Panchakachcham  in the traditional way with his upper cloth tied around his waiste  carrying  a bamboo tray containing  the fruits, garlands, cashewnuts, dired grapes, almonds etc.,  and there was a brown fat envelope also therein. 

The family bowed and stood before Periyavaa, and the lawer folded his hands after placing the basket and tray ful of  offerings.
Periyavaa just gave a cursory glance at the tray and basket and in his feeble  voice  asked the lawyer, '' What is the envelope for ?''

''Periyavaa  it  contains  some  small  money''

''what do you mean by  ''small money''   Is it Ten rupees  or  Eleven rupees?''

The big lawyer  looked at people  around him watching the  exchange between him and the Periyavaa,  thought  perhaps  the Mahan has  underestimated his  image and so pretended to be  very humble and  polite but expressed loudly so that  all could  hear  ''Fifteen thousand rupees''
He  wanted others  to know he was rich and a big  criminal lawyer earning a lot and wanted to exhibit his capability.

For a few minutes Periyava  kept  silent and  then asked him '   How did you come here from Thanjavur?''

''  In our  airconditioned big car  Periyavaa''  replied the rich lawyer  in an audible loud  voice.

'' I see.  Take the cover  and  safely keep it back in the car. Flowers and fruits are enough''

The lawyer  never expected this and shuddered with utmost shock.   He  simply  followed the instruction given by the Periyavaa.

Periyavaa distributed the fruits and flowers to all others  in his presence and sent the family after  talking to them for a few minutes with Vibudhi Kumkuma  Prasadham.

The sound of the car leaving the place was heard by the silent spectators. 

Periyavaa looked at  the disciples and bakthas looking at Him perplexed as to why He  did not accept the huge sum of Rs 15000.  Periyava could easily read what was working on their minds and so he announced.

What  the criminal lawyer brought to me was part of the fees he earned in winning a case based on lies and falsity in the honourable Court. Swearing on holy books has become a laughing stock.   I  did not want to accept  anything  being part of a Papa Karyam. 

Though the Kanchi Mutt was poor and was in great need of funds for maintaining and administering the Mutt activities  Periyava was very firm in his principles.  The bakthas present  learnt  a bit of salt was enough to curdle a potful of milk. 

Ramanuju's eyes  were full of  tears and he  folded his hands and prostrated before Thatha and  wanted his permission to visit frequently to learn more  from him.  Kamala teacher  as usual had no  words to thank as her grateful eyes shed tears of perfect happiness. 

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