Monday, May 31, 2010

Guru Samarpanam - Issue # 2

Speech by Sri Muralidhar Swamigal about Mahaperiyava

There have been Mahatmas in every age. They have divine vision. Nothing is unknown to them. Sri Ekamram (a householder who had been a personal attendant to Maha Periyava for nearly three decades) said that once when Maha Periyava had camped in Pandaripura, there lived in this holy kshetra a young boy who used to do severe sadhana. He used to visit Periyava every day. His hair was unkempt and he wore religious marks on his body. He repeatedly sought sanyasa from Maha Periyava. But Maha Periyava's only response to all his pleadings was silence. Whereas, there was this man who was doing 'bhiksha kainkarya' (cooking and serving food) to Maha Periyava and who was not in the least interested in sanyasa.

But Periyava coaxed him into it! This man went on grumbling, 'I did not want sanyasa but Periyava has given it!' And people around found fault with Periyava's actions. They said, "How religious and spiritual this young boy is but Periyava has refused sanyasa to him whereas He has given it to another who does not want it and does not seem to deserve it!"

People see and judge a person outwardly whereas a Mahatma 'sees' through him and knows him inside out. After some years it was learnt through newspapers that this boy who had sought sanyasa from Periyava had married a foreign lady! With our limited mind we cannot see within. But a Mahatma's viewpoint ('drishti') is always right. To comment on their actions or to analyze their actions is very wrong. Maha Periyava came to the peeta (of the Kanchi Mutt) at the young age of 12.

Maha Periyava took sanyasa at the young age of 12. He came to the Peeta at this tender age. Just as we say a father should behave like a father, a mother should behave as befitting her status, so was Maha Periyava as a 'Peetadipathi' (Head of a Religious Mutt). He was an example of how a Peetadipathi should be. He was so in all aspects - as a Sanyasi, as a Guru, as a Vidwan and as a Tapasvi. He possessed highly exceptional qualities that are beyond description ('anirvachaneeyam' ).

He was an adept in Mantra Shastras. Once, a poor boy came to Maha Periyava in deep anguish. He had none to call his own except a sister whom he had married off. But she had become mentally deranged and her in-laws were pressuring him to take her back. He had no permanent earning or place of stay, and so was perturbed about bringing his sister back. She used to behave abnormally. Periyava asked the boy to bring the sister while He performed Lord Chandramouleeswara puja. Periyava said that after the puja He would do japa with the sandal paste ('chandan') which He would splash on her; and, she will react violently and run to a mango tree. Periyava instructed that none should follow her or stop her. She was very restless when she was brought in and would not stand there. Maha Periyava did as He had said. She ran out and hit against a tree and fell. She then became all right as the 'brahma rakshas' that had caught hold of her had left her. No allopathic medicine can cure such troubles. They will call it nervous weakness and at the most put the person to sleep using sedatives.

We proudly declare that a person had lived for 100 years but what is the use of living that long without a goal? But if Maha Periyava has lived a hundred years it had been a real living. He has shown how one should live. He remained as a beautiful ornament to the Peetta that he had occupied.

Once a topmost official in the Government asked Maha Periyava, "What is the way out ('gati') for me?" Maha Periyava said, "Once a goat has been caught by the tiger it can never escape its clutches. So, one on whom 'Guru kataksha' (glance) has fallen he cannot escape it." The official said, 'I am not a goat but a wild buffalo. The wild buffalo escapes tiger's jaws!' Maha Periyava said, "But the the scar of the attack has been left by the tiger. And that will work!" This person then asked, "Point out to me all the fake swamijis. I will put them all behind bars," and further inquired of Maha Periyava, "How to differentiate the good from the bad?"

Maha Periyava said, "Once while camping near Satara I had hidden three ripe mangoes in a basket full of unripe mangoes. When a child came in I asked it to pick a mango from the basket. It picked up a ripe one! A child could pick up the ripe mango from amongst a basket full of unripe ones. Just as the way a child knows what is ripe and what is unripe, so too would those who go out in search of Truth recognize a true Mahan at some point of their life." A devotee of Maha Periyava, was in tears as He did not visit her home. Maha Periyava said to her, "Why do you invite me into a home built of bricks? I will come and sit in the home of your 'hrudaya' (heart)!" What wonderful words? How could he coin such words out of the blue?

Once, Maha Periyava addressed a big gathering, "All of you have assembled here eagerly to listen to me. You have extended a big welcome to me here and all of you are also lending assistance to the Mutt. Everybody says that I must speak something. Instead, I feel that I can spend the time better in meditating on Ambal (Devi). What is the use of mere words? I feel that I should meditate on Ambal. There is no use of offering any 'upadesa' (counsel) to you all without doing any dhyana of Ambal. And again there is no need for words once I successfully complete the dhyana of Ambal and attain Her! This is because just by seeing me all of you will be transformed! Therefore, words are useless under all circumstances! "

Once, Maha Periyava performed a detailed 'upanyas' on Adi Sankara under the heading 'Egoless Acharyal'. Once, while speaking with His close devotees, Maha Periyava said, 'It is said that sanyasis (ascetics) should not possess any desire. But, I have a desire!' When the devotees asked, ‘What is it?’ Maha Periyava said in all humility, 'I desire that none in the world should know that such a sanyasi lives!' Further, in a 'Deepavali' special issue brought out by a weekly many years back, the replies of dignitaries from various walks of life to the question, 'what is the lesson learnt by you from the world?' had been published. This question was placed before Maha Periyava also. Maha Periyava said to them, "Every moment the world is teaching me some lesson. But only I do not possess the required maturity to learn!" This shows His humility.

Once, when Paul Brunton (a foreigner who came to India seeking a spiritual Master and the author of the famous book 'Search in secret India') sought 'upadesa' from Maha Periyava, Maha Periyava offered him the wonderful 'upadesa', "Be humble! You will find what you seek!"

Just through deep continuous thought ('smaran') of Mahatmas ('punya purusha') we will attain their state.” We also give below an interesting incident that Sri Ekamram (a householder who had been a personal attendant to Maha Periyava for nearly three decades) narrated, to show the value placed by Maha Periyava to all the work of the Mutt without any difference of high or low.
The different duties in the Mutt were allotted to different staff. As such it fell on a young man to wash the vessels used in the Sri Chandramouleeswara Puja. One day this young man while washing the vessels thought aloud, this is the lowliest and worst of all the services rendered in this place! This grouse of the young man fell on the ears of Maha Periyava who happened to pass by.

The next day Maha Periyava instructed all the staff of the Mutt to assemble in His presence.
When all had reported, Maha Periyava said, 'There are innumerable people who consider it the highest of blessings to wash the vessels used in Sri Chandramouleeswara Puja. But here is this young man who feels otherwise. Therefore, today he should be spared of this duty and all the rest of you should each wash a vessel!' And that day even the manager, who was only a year or two younger to Maha Periyava and a highly learned and intelligent man, lent a hand in washing the Puja vessels of Sri Chandramouleeswara. The young man quickly realized his mistake and fell at the feet of Maha Periyava. From then onwards he attended to his duty with all enthusiasm and reverence."

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