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Friday, May 13, 2016

PENSION ........... Only for Government service ?

An elderly man was doing kaingariyam (service) in the MaTham until the year 1952. His name was PanchApakesan. For one who had only service to PeriyavA as his lifetime goal, since he suffered from some ailment, he took leave from PeriyavAL and returned to his village near TanjAvUr. Although he left KAnchi MaTham, he worshiped the MahAn day and night, always thinking of him. He never spared an inch when it came to his pUja vishayam. He had two sons and a daughter, all of them married. Seeing that his father was still engaging himself only in PeriyavA Kaingaryam, his eldest son spoke to him:
"Why dad, you have interest only in service to PeriyavA at all times? For the education you had, had you gone to some Government service then, by this time you would be receiving your pension. And that money would be useful to you for your expenses, isn't it?"
PanchApakesan was panicked with these words. His body shivered. Suddenly he couldn't even talk. Relaxing himself a little, he said:
"dEi (Hey son), one should be fortunate to do kaingaryam to MahA PeriyavAL. I got that bhAgyam, and I stayed near him doing my service. By that what harm have you people come to? You all studied well, and got married well. Only that human God ensures that we have no shortfall in life." Thus the elderly man had burst out his feelings. Should his own son blame the Deivam?
"No dad, had you gone to a Government service at least you would have received your pension now; only with this feeling of regret and concern that I spoke my words", said his son, putting an end to the subject.
A marriage took place in Chennai sometime after this incident. His eldest son was needed to go and he attended the marriage, which took place grandly. Immediately after the wedding celebrations ended, the groom and bride were taken to KAnchi for Periyavar's blessings. PanchApakesan's eldest son too went with them. One by one moved away getting PeriyavAL's blessings and his turn came up. Periyavar raised his head and looked at him. "Aren't you PanchApakesan's son?" was MahA PeriyavAL's question. "Yes", replies the son with surprise. "Is your father doing well?" continues the MahAn. "How much Athmaartha bhakti he has towards me you know? Keep him well. How many children for you?" After such inquiries, the sage continued:
"It is only my desire that I should do a lot for the people who do sevA (service) in this MaTham. But then I only administer the MaTham here; so I can't do much. I do paripAlanam (nourishing, guarding) of the MaTham only with whatever people give us. This is not a sarkAr (Government) office, isn't it? So what else can I do except to pray to KAmAkShi day and night that everyone should be prosperous? But then for what your father did in this MaTham and for his bhakti, it is my desire to do him something. So we have arranged for him to receive 25 kalam ( One kalam is equivalent to 12 marakkAl, which in turn is a measure of eight litres) of paddy every month directly at his village--as his 'pension'."
When he heard this, PanchApakesan's son fell shAShTAngam before MahA PeriyavAL, wailing. "SarveshvarA! I only talked to my father with concern. I never blamed it on his sevA to you. Please pardon me."
"I have not blamed you at all. I arranged for this small return only because I cannot do anything bigger to him." That trikAla jnAni comforted the son.
For the son who thought it was enough about his father's sevA, he too followed the example of his father and became PeriyavAL's slave. Even today at NeedAmangalam the pension arrives at his home in the form of paddy.
A school teacher, he came to PeriyavA Griham when he visited Salem for a marriage. This is the story he narrated then about the karuNai uLLam of KAnchi MahAn.

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