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Friday, August 21, 2015

PeriyavA started his chAturmAsya vratam

The yAtrA continued. We stayed in the big building that belonged to the PANyam cement factory in the place called Nagari.

PeriyavA started his chAturmAsya vratam in that place. So, it was not possible to move to any place for the next two months!

Dunlop KRShNan mAmA--uncle, my father and I were directed to go to Hampi (the old capital city of the Vijayanagara sAmrAjyam--empire) and have a look. On our way back to Hagari, he had asked us to bring along two distinguished people at Hospet, who were members of the Hampi renovation council. They came with us in bahu saMtoSham--great happiness.

With them PeriyavA talked elaborately about KIzhambi and Hampi. He explained them the differences in the epigraphs at KIzhambi. He asked them, "What plans do you have for doing punaruttAraNaM--renovation, of Hampi?"

The discussions prolonged. Since it was time for his bhikShA, PeriyavA got up and went inside. When he came back after his bhikShA, the notables from Hospet were not to be seen. "Go out some distance and check. If they are seen, bring them along." (He told an assistant).

It was a shock to us that those people went away without taking leave from PeriyavAL. The man who went in search of them came back saying he could not find them.

When the Hospet anbars--friends, were passing BellAry, their car met with an accident. News arrive later on that one of them died on the spot and the other man escaped with heavy injuries.

Perhaps PeriyavA wanted to save them from that accident? Perhaps their fate was stronger (than the sage's wishes).

*** *** ***

1978, July 28.

To the four of us--myself, Dunlop KRShNan, Dr.SubrahmaNiyan, and kadarkkaDai--handloom shop, VengkaTarAmaiyar--PeriyavA gave an order: "Do daily pArAyaNam--recital, of dEvAram.

The conversation grew on the subject. PeriyavAL talked about AmbalavANa DEsikar (a pontiff of the TiruvAvaDuturai shaiva AdhInam and NamachchivAya PaNDAratthAr. He said that AmbalavANa DEsikar during his last days got relieved from the MaTham administration, and attained samAdhi at some other place. It was a surprise to us as to how PeriyavAL gets to know these historical news and keeps them in his memory.

*** *** ***

1978, August 2.

PeriyavA gave an elaborate explanation about the mahiman--greatness, of the KAnchIpuram and KumbakONam sthalas--sacred places.

He said that the widest roads in the world and the houses built close to each other with no gap in between were to be found in KAnchIpuram. Similarly, he showed how KumbakONam and its surrounding places house the largest number of temples and sacred places. 

"There are no hills at all in the Thanjai (ThanjAvUr) district. Yet, if only in that pradesham--region, are found the largest number of temples built of rock, the reason was only Ishvara-bhakti. Of the 274 pADal peTRa sthalanggaL, 200 places are in the ThanjAvUr district (presently Thanjai, NAgai (NAgappaTTinam), TiruvArUr districts). There are epigraphs in the temple of NAgesvara-svAmi at KuDandhai--KumbakONam, that mAnyas--grants, were given for study of the shAstras--Hindu scriptures.

"The CholA kings, during the times when KAvEri was in flood, built teppam--floats, and used them to bring the rocks from the Kollimalai, and built the temples.

"There is a sthalam called ANDAn-kOvil. An aDiyAr--devotee, called ANDAn lived there, so the village got his name. A canal called ODam-pOkki runs there. When the rocks were brought through ODampOkki to build the temple at TiruvArUr, they took one stone per trip and build the temple at SIrkAzhi. This is a place with numerous epigraphs. In these epigraphs, the content is written first in the grantha lipi, then in Telugu script and thirdly in the devanAgarI lipi."

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