Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guru Samarpanam - Issue#4

Dear all

The article contains :

1. Biography

2. Mahaperiyava Miracles

3. Voice of God

1. Biography

Birth – Youth

The holy birth of our Swamiji took place at Vizhuppuram in the Salivahana Sahaptam 1817 – year of Jaya, month of Vaikasi, 8th day [20th May, 1894]. He was born as the second son to his father who was working as Supervisor of Schools at Vizhuppuram. Having named his first son Ganapathi, Subramania Shastrigal named his second son after the residing deity of Swamigal, also their family deity (Kula deivam), the holy name of ‘Swaminathan’. Shastrigal had four sons and a daughter apart from our Swamigal. They were our Swamiji’s elder brother Ganapathi Shastri, younger siblings Lalithambal Ammaiyar, Sambamoorthy Shastri, Sadashiva Shastri alias Shivam, Krishnamurthy Shastri alias Kunju Shastri. Krishnamurthy Shastri learnt Rig Veda from the renowned Mayavaram Brahmashri Krishna Shastrigal who had served in the Mutt for a long time. He also had the honor of teaching Vedas to our present Peetathipathi Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal in His youth. Subramania Shastri passed away in his 74th year in July, 1929.

Subramania Shastri performed all samskaras due to by a father in the appropriate age including performing Upanayanam for Swaminathan in 1905, at Tindivanam. The 66th Acharya Swamigal of the Peetam had blessed and sent his prasadam for Swaminathan at the time of his upanayanam. Swaminathan also receievd gifts on the occasion from Shastri’s friend, the Zamindar of Soonampet, Diwan Bahadur Arunachala Mudaliar. Swaminathan’s brilliance prompted Shastrigal to home school him till the age of eight. He also trained the boy in music at a very young age.

Demonstrating the phrase that “proof of the crop can be seen in its infancy” [Vilayum Payir Mulayile Theriyum], Swaminathan was brilliant and was capable of grasping and remembering anything that he saw or heard just once. Mahalakshmi Ammal would teach all the hymns and the stotras that she knew to the kids. Swaminathan like to learn these stotrams very much but did not get the opportunity to learn Sanskrit at that time. When his father was stationed at Tindivanam, he was enrolled into second form at Arcot American Mission High School for the first time. Swaminathan was popular for his witticism, humor and especially epigrammatic speaking conveying multiple meaning in a sentence. His father him a favorite amongst the siblings and affectionately called him a name atfer a parrot.

Studies and Prizes

Swaminathan’s excelled in studies coming first in the class, first in all exams in every grade, won all trophies in every annual day celebrations. He even got the first prize in learning the Bible. All the Christian teachers treated him with affection. May be without realizing it they were proud of having a future Saint as their student in their school. When Swaminathan was studying in third form, the assistant superintendent of schools, Manjakuppam Singaravelu Mudaliar came to the school for inspection. He was attracted by the spark in Swaminathan’s face and was amazed at the way he answered all his questions without hesitation. He took Swaminathan with him in his rounds to higher classes, introduced Swaminathan to other teachers and students asked questions from the higher standard curriculum and was astounded when young Swaminathan answered every question. When he enquired about the boy and found that Swaminathan was the son of Subramania Shastri who worked for him, he called Shastri and told him that his son was going to become a genius one day. Subramania Shastri was very pleased at this comment and thanked him profusely. It did not occur to Subramania Shastri that his son was going to become the Jnana Guru of the whole world. He just thought that Swaminathan would one day hold a very high position in the Government.

2. Mahaperiyava Miracles

“Marikozhundu Miracle”

Devotees throng the place wherever Mahaperiyava camps. There were many frequenters who visit Mahaperiyava and he also knows them. One day there was an old lady who visited the Mutt to have darshan of Mahaperiyava. When her turn came she paid her obeisances to our Acharya. Mahaperiyava blessed that old lady and placed some fruits in a tray and asked her to take those fruits as prasadam. Along with fruits there was a small bit of Marikozhundu [small herb or shrub which is an aromatic herb known also called as Artemisia pallens or Dhavanam] in the tray. The Old lady saw and throwed out the small bit of Marikozhundu and took only the fruits with her. Our Paramacharya after seeing this told her, “why you have thrown that (marikozhundu) it will be useful to you please take it with you. The Old lady wondered for a minute as to why the Acharya is asking her to take it. However she instantly took that Marikhondu and ket it safely with her without even questioning it. After having darshan she left the Mutt and reached the Bustand where she catched a Bus to her place. Immediately after boarding the bus she felt tired and slept unconsicously. The lady who was sitting next was a mischivous lady and stole her purse which was kept inside her bag. When the conductor came and asked her to take the ticket she woke up only to find her purse missing and in the hands of the lady sitting next to her. The old laday started shouting that the purse belongs to her and she had stolen it the other lady told the conductor that it is her purse and even told the exact amount of money in the purse.

Now the conductor was confused as to whom the purse belongs. Suddenly there was a spark in the face of old lady and told the conductor that there is one more stuff inside the purse and if the purse belonged to lady asked her to inform what the stuff was. Now the lady who stolen her purse was shocked to hear this statement and could not utter anything. The Old lady then told the conductor that there is small piece of “Marikozhundu” inside per purse and asked the conductor to check this. When the conductor opened he noticed the small piece of Marikozhundu inside the purse. Then the lady who stolen the purse accepted her mistake. Upon the request of old day the other lady was pardoned.

The Old lady now thanked Mahaperiya for asking her not to miss the small piece of Marikhondu!

3. Voice of the God – Teachings & Discource of Mahaperiyava


It is a distinctive feature of Tamilnadu that wherever one looks around, there are temples for Pillaiyar. In fact even without the need for a regular temple with canopies etc., our Lord Pillaiyar sits under a pipal tree with just skies above. A Pillaiyar temple on every street, Pillaiyar on river sides and under trees and so on. He has thus acquired all over Tamil Nadu a unique place not available to other gods and bestows His grace. The practice of calling Him affectionately as Pillaiyar is unique to Tamilnadu. He is the eldest son of Parvathi and Parameswara, the Mother and Father of the Universe. He is the one entitled to be first called Pillai (Son). Since it is not appropriate to call Him merely Pillai the respectable way of calling Him Pillaiyar is Tamilnadu’s distinction.

‘Kumaran’ means Pillai (son). All over Bharat the names ‘Kumaran’ Kumaraswamy refer to Subrahmanya, the younger son of Parvathi-Parameswara. In Tamil too we say Kumarak Kadavul. But He is not referred to as ‘Kumarar’. He is only called ‘Kumaran’. In order that the eldest son’s name should sound respectable we have named Him Pillaiyar. Vinayaka is the first son and He is Child-God. Yet, He was the beginning before everything else. Pranavam is the origin of everything. It is from Pranavam that the entire universe and all life appeared. Pillaiyar is the visual form of that Pranavam. If one looks at His elephant face with the curved trunk He will look exactly like Pranavam.

Even while being a child and looking a child, Pillaiyar, with the figure of Pranavam, is the first in uplifting His devotees. The example of the poetess Avvaiyar will alone do to show this. Avvaiyar was a great devotee of Ganapathi. Concentrating on Vinayaka of the form of Pranavam between her eye-brows and meditating on

Him, she sang in his praise the “Vinayagar Agawal” which contains the essence of Yoga Shastra. By regular devotional recitation of the same one can gain the highest wisdom [Jnana]. There is a story connected with Avvaiyar. Sundaramurthy Swamigal and Cheranman Perumal Nayanar started their journey to Kailas. They desired take Avvaiyar also with them. But she told them, “you may go as you please. Just to join you I will not hurry up with my puja. Puja to Vinayaka is to me Kailas. They left. Avvai completed her elaborate puja. Pillaiyar appeared before her, lifted her by his trunk and reached her to Kailas in one swing. Sundaramurthy and Cheranman Perumal reached Kailas only after Avvaiyar. There Cheranman Perumal sang the hymn ‘Thiru Kailaya Jnana Ula’. Arunagirinathar makes an oblique reference to this in Thiruppugazh.

Singing in praise of the Lord of Pazhani he refers to Pazhani as a place in Kongu territory ruled by Cheras. He thus relates Kumaraswamy to the event of Sundarar and Cheranman Perumal Nayanar having reached Kailash. However Pillaiyar the eldest is already connected with that event. He reached grand old lady Avvaiyar in a wink to Kailash. Vigneshwara is the Lord who grants great benedictions with effortless ease.


· Pujyasri Mahaswamy Divya Charitram – Sri Sambamoorthi Sastrigal, Sri Kuppuswamy

Iyer, Sollin Selvan “P.N. Parasuraman”
· Kanchimahanin Karunai Nizhalil – Ananda Vikadan Publications
· Voice of God – Volume – 1 – Kanchi Mahaswami Peetarohana Shatabdi Trust

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