'kOyil nannA varum!' (The Temple Would Come Up Well)
Author: P.S. RamaChandran, Chennai-19 (in Tamil) Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Feb 6, 2008 translator: saidevo
A wonderful incident that happened in my life and immersed me in Kanchi Maha Periyavar's karuNai kaTAkSam (glance of compassion): About 45 years ago, we were residing with family in the Tiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar at Perambur, Chennai. In that area, the employees of the Simpson Group of companies, B & C Mills and the Government were also residing.
We had our own Residents Association. Still, we wanted to start a satsangam (Spiritual Association). 'satsangam duHkham prasayamati'--that is, the association with sAdhus and the wise would lessen the grief, it is said. Accordingly, through the Satsangam we started, we helped in a small way the poor students and the afflicted. In addition, it was a custom to keep the holy portrait of Sri Hanuman in some of our friends' homes and do nAma-sankIrtanam (singing the glorious names) on Saturdays.
With such happenings, some of us wanted to build a Vinayaka temple in the vacant plot near the Tiru.Vi.Ka. statue. We decided to form a group for the purpose and collect funds. Along with me, SundaraRajan, KrishnaMurthi Aiyar, Srinivasan, RangaChari, Mani, Ethiraj, Dharanipathi, Kothandapani, Padmanabha Rao--thus many of us were in the group. The task of collecting funds began. Erecting a hut in the vacant plot, we first started worshipping Vinayaka.
Days passed by. We couldn't get enough funds. We met AnanthaRamaKrishnan, Chairman of the Simpson Group of Companies and explained him about our holy temple work. He gave a donation of one thousand rupees. It was a large sum at that time. Following AnanthaRamaKrishnan's donation, funds started collecting fast. Still, it wasn't enough to build a temple.
An anbar (devotee) in the group proposed, "We can go to Kanchipuram and have darshan of Maha SwamigaL. If he gives us his anugraham and blesses the project, we can advertise in the popular magazines and collect funds." The proposal seemed okay to us. We contacted Kanchi SriMaTham. They said, "Periyavaa has gone on yAtrA to vada desham (northern part of the country). It is not known when he will return to the MaTham. You ring up after a week. We shall inform you about any news from Periyavaa."
It was the time when communication facilities were not as widespread as today. With such limitation, we used to book a call to Kanchi SriMaTham at regular intervals, get the connection and inquired. There was no news about Maha PeriyavaaL's coming to Chennai.
It was a Wednesday. A dream in my sleep in that night. News came that Maha SwamigaL started from Nellore, passed through Perambur and was camping in Rao Bahadur Kalavala Kannan Chettiar's school. We run to have his darshan and get his blessings. As the dream dissolved, I was happy, because as it dawned it would be Thursday, Guruvaram, and I had Guru darshan in dream!
After it dawned, I narrated the dream to my friends. They laughed, "You would have been thinking about it (the project) the whole night, hence the dream." At that time, RangaChary who came running in a hurry said, "Anna, RamaChandran's dream has come true. Periyavaa who came from Nellore is said to be camping in Kalavala Kannan Chettiar's school since midnight!" I felt a shiver of ecstasy!
Taking bath, all of us stared immediately. A delightful shock as I reached the school. That walking God was seated in the same place I saw in my dream, and in the same pose with a smile! We prostrated, our eight limbs touching the ground. We bowed to him and explained everything about our Satsangam, Vinayaka temple construction, and AnanthaRamaKrishan giving us donation. Maha periyavaaL blessed with the words, "kOyil nannA varum. We shall come to the place in the evening."
An employee of the MaTham informed us that Pudu PeriyavaaL Sri Jayendrar would be coming to the Tiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar Vinayaka Temple on that evening and explained us about the tradition of receiving him. Our legs and hands did not work! Worry caught hold of us that we needed to receive Pudu PeriyavaaL with the required honour but we had not a single paise in the Sangam, so where to go for the money? But then, knowing that SwamigaL was coming to their place, the local people came up with financial assistance.
Pudu PeriyavaaL came around seven o' clock in the evening. The tunes of Nadhasvaram, the chanting of Vedas and the devotees singing 'hara hara sankara jaya jaya sankara' transformed Tiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar into a Svargapuri. After worshipping the Vinayaka in the hut, Pudu PeriyavaaL blessed the people. When he took leave, he said, "Come to the camp tomorrow." We went there the next day, got Maha PeriyavaaL's anugram and blessings and returned. Later, an advertisement seeking funds for constructing the temple with Acharya's anugraham was published in the magazines. Funds came by in heaps. The Temple arose in gAMbhIryam (majesty). The kumbhAbhiSekam was performed in a grand manner in the presence of Variyaar SwamigaL. Thus Maha PeriyavaaL's vAkku, kOyil nannA varum became a reality.
We had then done pratiSTA (consecration) of only Vinayaka in the temple. In the later days it became a large temple that included Anjaneya, Aiyappa and the Navagrahas. It has been several years since I changed my residence from Tiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar. On the rare occasions I happen to have darshan in this temple, thoughts about Maha PeriyavaaL would crop up and gladden my heart.