Jagadguru Sri Maha Periyava - Kanchi Paramacharya
1 hr ·
Experiences with Maha Periyava: Student from Australia
Once, some learned people were conversing with Sri Maha Periyava. Even though the topic was on a high level Vedantic matter, Periyava’s talk and the language was so simple that even an illiterate could understand it easily. It was different from the lectures normally delivered by Pundits.
At that time, a young man from Australia came there to have His darshan. The young man was doing research on the comparison of various religions; and he could speak small sentences in Sanskrit.
After the normal enquiries, Periyava asked him what he wanted.
“How should I be? How should I live? What is way of life? What is the way to perform good deeds in life and to get good results?” The young man piled his queries, politely.
After a few minutes’ silence, Periyava said, “All that is OK! But why come here (Kalavai was the place) for knowing all this?”
“I am a traveller. I have toured a lot of countries and have had darshans of ‘Mahans’; talked to very learned people. All of them have told me good things and have given me good advice. But none of those talks came from ‘within’ and none touched the depth of my heart. Except that I felt I understood them all, the ‘Tathvam’ could not be understood by me…. Where ever I went in the world, everyone was mentioning only your name; that’s why I came here after a lot of difficulties.”-------answered the man.
Periyava was listening to all these with a divine smile on His face.
After a small silence, He spoke, “What new thing I am going to tell you? Our ancestors --- rishis and devotees----- have said it all. What new thing I am going to tell you which is not there already in the Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas?”------He stopped here and asked the learned people around Him, “What do you people think?”
One Vidhwan replied, “Periyava should give a lot of excerpts from ‘Ithihasas’ and ‘Puranas’; these should be printed in various languages and distributed everywhere, including countries outside India; we should organise meetings in a lot of places and talk on this; Periyava should attend these meetings.”
Periava broke into a laugh and said, “So? Everyone will understand once we organise meetings and talk on this? Will Dharma, and Bhakti rise? Will everyone get peace of mind? Is it not?”
“Look! How many persons from our country have asked the same questions this young man has asked now? In what he had studied, and in what he had researched all these queries have sprung up, but, there were no answers which he could accept from the depth of his heart. Even if we can’t say that there were no answers, it was like crossing half the well!”
Periyava continued, “There are answers, very clear answers, in our religion! Ways have been laid out! Results have been mentioned! But, because we know the answers, we don’t care to solve; once the solution is known, why go after the riddle? ---That is the careless way we look at them-----“
‘Erect a big shamiyana, decorate, arrange loudspeakers, and in the end distribute prasadam-----then a big crowd will gather! Those who deliver the lectures will become arrogant and say, ‘Look! People are flowing in waves after waves to hear me talk!’”
“Among the tens of thousands of those who applaud the lectures, will at least ten persons practice them? No way! In the case of foreigners, even if ten persons listen to such lectures, they listen with rapt attention. Though until about two centuries ago, when foreigners were not aware of our ancient culture and principle, now, they have formed a lot of organisations and are enthusiastically devoting time to the study of Vedas, Vedantas, Puranas, Ithihasas and practise Namasankeerthanams. “
Periyava turned HIS eyes towards the young man. The youngster was also looking at Him without blinking his eyes.
Periyava, then called a ‘shishya’ and told him to bring a particular book from the Puranas. After He got the book, He pointed to a specific portion and asked a Pundit to read it and also give the meaning.
The Pundit read it:
தஸ்மாத் ஸர்வேஷு பூதேஷு தயாம் குருத ஸௌஹ்ருதம்
ஆஸுரம் பாமுன்முச்ய யதா துஷ்யத்யதோக்ஷஜ:
துஷ்டே ச தத்தர இமலப்யமனந்த ஆத்யே கிம்
தைர்குண வ்யதிரேஹாதிஹ யே ஸ்வஸித்தா:
தர்மாதய: கிடகுணேன ச காங்க்க்ஷிதேன
ஸாரம் ஜுஷாம் சரணயோரூபமாயதாம் ந:
தர்மார்த்த காம இதி யோரபிஹிதஸ்த்ரிவர்க:
ஈக்ஷா த்ரயீ நயதமௌ விவிதா ச வார்த்தா
-------- (பாகவதம்----ஸ்கந்தம் 7—அத். 6)
After the Pundit read it with ‘Swaraa’, before he began to explain the meaning, Periyava Himself started with it.
“Tell him that I am not going to give him any new ‘upadesam’! This is a part which Prahlad preached to His disciples, which appears in ‘Bhagavatham’. Is it not Sasthriji?”
“We should give up ‘Asura gunas’ (qualities of demons); we should show love and friendship towards all animals. If we do that, Bhagavan will become happy. If He becomes happy, there is nothing that we cannot achieve. For those who surrender before the Lord, cling to His lotus feet, and recite Namasankeerthanam, where is the necessity for moksha (liberation)? If we submit ourselves (Atma) to the Omnipresent Bhagavan that is True Life.”
“To put it in easier terms, Bhakti should be pure, true and without any impurity what so ever; no falsehood is allowed. If we conduct ourselves this way, everyone will come to us.”
Every one there who was listening to the above was immersed in total happiness.
Some body started translating this to the young man in English, but he indicated that he did not need one as he had understood everything!
Source: Mahaperiaval Darsana Anubavangal vol. 7.
Compiler T.S.Kothandarama Sarma