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Friday, April 24, 2015

The Experiences of Two Devotees

The Experiences of Two Devotees
author:...... K.Nataraja OduvAr & R.G.Venkatachalam
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:......... Maha PeriyavaL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 2, pages 53-56
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)
translator.. saidevo

Tiru K.Nataraja OduvAr, residing in the TirumetraLi Street, PiLLaiyArpALayam, Kanchipuram is now seventy-eight years old (2003). Limitless bhakti towards Maha SwamigaL. He says:

When PeriyavargaL was going on his palanquin, I have sung the Tevara hymns many times. Once he rose in blessing at TirugnAnaSambandhar Kacchi MetraLi, PiLLaiyArpALayam. I sang the 'TirumetraLi Tevaram'. Forthwith PeriyavargaL directed me, "You sing the Tirumudukkundrap Pathikam." I sang the GnAnaSambandhar Tevaram that begins with the words, 'dEvA, siRiyOm pizhaiyaip poRuppAy, periyOnE!' ('my Lord, please bear with my mistakes, I am a small man'). Then the AGYA (orders) was to sing the 'TiruEkambam Pathikam'. I sang the Appar Tevaram beginning with 'paNDu seyda pazhavinaiyin payan' (the result of karma done in olden days). PeriyavargaL was happy and he blessed me.

When he was camping in Satara, we three OduvArs went to that place as part of a holy pilgrimage. SwamigaL was very happy when he saw us. He directed us to stay for two days and sing Tevaram during the puja. Accordingly, the three of us stayed in SriMaTham and sang Tevaram. At the time of our taking leave of him, he blessed us with the gift of a vEshTi (dhoti). The grace that touched us even more than that was his helping us with a van to reach the railway station.

In the Periyavaa MaTham located in Kanchipuram Bangaru Gardens, pratimAdam (every month) during the viShesha pUja on the day of anusha nakShatra, around ten o' clock in the daytime, if I continue to do the Tevara ParayaNam; and when the portrait procession goes on the pushpa pallAkku (flower-decorated palanquin) at night too, if I continue to do the Tevara ParayaNam as a service--the reason for it all is Maha PeriyavaaL's apAra karuNai (immesurable compassion) only.

*** *** ***

R.G.Venkatachalam, pramukha (notable) of the Manjapra BrahmaNa SamUham, Palakkad District (Govinda Nilayam, 25, Ganga Nagar, Kodambakkam, Chennai-25) is among the SriMaTham parama bhaktAs. Now living in Chennai after holding high positions, he has immense affection for the 'soil' of his birth. Collecting money for over fifty lakh rupees, he has renewed Sri Guruvayurappan Alayam in Manjapra.

Although the paramAnanda anubhavams he had with Sri Maha SwamigaL are a lot many, he goes into rapture, repeatedly talking about a specific incident.

It was his custom to come regularly for SwamigaL darshan every year during the bhikShA vandanam.

In December 1988, the transport people were on strike. Just when it was thought that he might not come, this man somehow managed to reach Kanchipuram. During the darshan, Sri SwamigaL asked him, "What is your salary?" He replied to it.

The anugram was, "Henceforth, when you come for bhikShA vandanam, come with two-three tirumAngalyams made to order."

This man was in confusion. To what sampradAya (tradition) to make the tirumAngalyams? As smArta sampradAyam, telegu sampradAyam and so on, each of it is different?

"What are you thinking? Whatever the sampradAyam, it is alright..."

Venkatachalam was amazed, wondering how his talk with his own mind fell on PeriyavaaL's ears.

Three years passed by after this incident.

It was the time of bhikShA vandanam. Venkatachalam came to SriMaTham. A crowd was waiting to seek darshan of PeriyavaaL. Standing at a distance, Venkatachalam was waiting for his turn. Some elderly sumangali woman, seemingly in a poor state, was earnestly appealing to Sri SwamigaL about something.

On the face of Sri SwamigaL, parama shAntam (supreme peace).

When his turn came, Venkatachalam went near SwamigaL.

"As per Periyavaa's AGYA (order), I have brought the tirumAngalyam."

With a snap of his fingers, PeriyvaaL called the elderly woman who talked to him earlier.

"She says her daughter's marriage is fixed, so she needs a tirumAngalyam? Here, give this to her with your own hand."

Venkatachalam was moved. He says:

"Ayya, I faced a lot of difficulties. Even then, I did not stop bringing the tirumAngalyams! Is it not Periyavaa uttaravu (orders)? How can I forgo it? Will not PeriyavaaL know it all?... My patni (wife) passed away as a sumangali, without any suffering. What else do I need?"

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