Thanks to Shri Suresh P for the fine work in translating this…..
Shri Bharani Mani in his own words — Part 1
I met Him for the first time in Valavanoor (near Pondicherry). My
father was no more and I was living with my mother and brother. I was
8 years old in 1946 and He was camping there in the house of Shri VT
Ramaswamy. My mother wanted me and my younger brother to take Thumba
Poo (Thumba flower) daily to Swamigal. We took them in the morning to
Him and He enquired as to who I was, in a state of concentration.
Someone said we were Kannappa’s children.
He said, “tomorrow you both must tonsure your head and come with the
Poo”. I told Him that I need to take permission from my mother to
shave my head. He said, “do not worry, tell your mother that
Periayavaa asked you two to shave your heads and she will will not
My mother agreed to His suggestion and we shaved our heads, took bath
and went to see Him with Thumba Poo in our hands. He had just arrived
in His mena after taking Snanam in the nearby Pennaiaaru river. We
were standing near the mena waiting for Him to come out. He did not
come out even after a long time. Then someone told me that He was
already inside the temple doing poojas. I was totally surprised as to
how He got out of the mena and went inside the temple!
We went inside and He beckoned us with His hand to come in. He asked,
“did your mother say anything regarding your head tonsure?” I said,
No, she did not object. He gave us Prasadam. He normally does not give
Prasadam before completing Poojas but that day, for reasons known only
to Him, He gave us the prasadam and proclaimed,
“From this very day all your troubles and difficulties are gone for
good da, go and inform your Mother!.”
From that day true to His words, all our family problems slowly
started to disappear.
On another Pradosham day He was camping in Ellis Chathram in
Villupram. He looked like Lord Parameshwaran all decked with
Rudrakshams! I went there with my sisters’s son Vidyashankar, who was
studying in Class 2. He was very fond of cows and had lots of them at
He said, “Thatha, will you give me a cow?” My sister objected, but He
said, “it is ok, let the boy talk”.
He said “you just want a cow right? No problem, I will give it. But
there is a condition, if you study Class 5 I will give it.”
VS asked, “can you make a promise to give it?!”
He said, “there is no necessity to make promises, once I give a word I
will not go back. And you should also be like that. Agreed?”.
Three to four later He came to Valavanoor and camped in my sister’s
house itself. VS reminded Him of the cow.
He asked him, “In which class are you studying?”
He replied 6th.
“Ok, did you study in Class 5?”, He asked.
“6 comes after 5 only no?”
He says, “answer my question, did you study in Class 5 or not?”
“When I was studying in 4th class, I had tuition and got double
promotion to 6th!”
He said, “You did not study Class 5, so how can I give the cow to you?
See, this cow is destined to be near its mother, that is why you did
not study class 5!”
What a Deerghadarshi!
My mother lived healthily for 102 years before she passed away recently.
He called my uncle Shri KV Krishnaswamy and told him there is a place
called Krishnapuram near Tirunelveli and there were just 8 to 10
houses; ” your father had got a loan of Rs 150 from a person in one of
the houses and it is yet to be repaid. Are you able to sleep properly
at night? You must not be…”
KVK said, “You are riight, I am unable to; there is some kind of
uneasiness in me although physicallly I seem to be ok”.
“Yes you will not be able to sleep properly; do one thing, go and
return the loan to them. And then you will be able to sleep
“Do I need to pay the entire amount in a month?”
“No, you may repay in two months if you have a cash crunch now. You
may leave tomorrow. That person will first refuse to take them money
but will oblige later.”
KVK went there. That resident told him “my father has maintained a
diary and your father’s name is not there.”
“Please check again, Periyavaa has said it is true.”
He checked again, and KVK’s father’s name was there and that he was
owing Rs 150. He returned the money and also gave them Prasadam given
Periyavaa told him, “one must always take care to pay off ancestor’s
loans and this cannot stop. This is very important besides doing
tharpanams for them.”
He said, “and now I can sleep peacefully!”
In 1952, we came to Nungambakkam and I got admission in Ramakrishna
High school. When I went to the schoiol there for the first time, the
principal Anna asked me, “do you know how to do Abhivathaye”. I said
yes and immediately got admission!
When I passed out of SSLC the Principal gave me an autograph signed
“Bahut suno, bolo come” in Hindi ie Listen more and Speak less. I felt
this might be of use later in life and hence I preserved it.
Swamigal was in Thenambakkam; that time Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal
had gone to North India for a meeting with other spiritual leaders. I
reached Thenambakkam at 9 amwith my friend Srinivasaraghavan, who was
to see Him for the first time. He was observing kaasta mounam for 9
days. Lot of devotees came by bus at 6 am itself and were waiting for
His darshan. Another of my friend Balasundaram, my colleague was also
there. He said, Swamigal is on silence, let us go to Kamakshi Amman
temple and come back.
I was upset at this suggestion. I told him that I came here only to
have His darshan. For me Kamakshi, Meenakshi is only here.
The touring party had also left. We were the only three friends and
couple of others more there.
He got up and gave us darshan. He gestured with His hand and asked us
to come in. He looked at me and said breaking His Kaasta Mounam,
“ What did you say just now?’
I started to shake thinking I had said something wrong.
And he also said, “ we have become successful there”.
I did not understand His second statemnt. He clarified. “ Jayendrar
has gone to N India for the first time and He has successfully
interacted with the other spirtitual Gurus there and it is like a
victory for Him!”
“what did you just say now”, He repeated.
I said that my friends wanted to go to Kamakshi Amman temple as You
were observing Kaasta Mounam, but insistted that You are Kamakshi and
Meenakshi for me and that I am not going with them to the temple.
He said, “I admire your steadfastness and sincere belief, that is way
one should be!”
I was extremely relieved and happy!
He continued, “You have this intense rock like Bhakthi and you did not
do any mistake”.
“Do you remember your headmaster Anna in your school?”
“He had given you an autograph? What did he write there?”
I had forgotten about the autograph as it was many years back in my
SSLC days! I was employed now.
“I remember just this, Bahut Suno”, I said.
Next phrase was “bolo come”, correct?”, He said!.
Another miracle, as I had never spoken about it to Him!
“Do you know its meaning? Listen patiently to everything people say.
Even if they scold you. But always speak sparingly and concisely.”
He looked at Srinivasaraghavan and asked me who is he. I told Him.
Turning to Srinivasaraghavan He said, “Your father is Aaravadhacharya,
correct? Some say it as Aaraavamudhacharya wrongly. You are a singer
and you will be aware of this song where ‘Aara Amudhanai paadi pera’
We were shocked as I have taken Srini to meet Him for the first time!
“Your grandfather was very devoted to the Matam. But not your father,
do you know that,” He said. He did not know. “But your father is an
expert in Sanskrit. He has writen a book are you aware? You do not
seem to know. Normally I read a book only once, but I have read your
father’s book Vishayathryasaarasaaram three times! You also make it a
point to read it.”
Then He asked me, “ how far is your house from his?”
“Approximately half a mile.”
“Why are you not sure? Is it 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 furlongs? This is
what I told before, you should speak less but with clarity and
conciseness! This is why your headmaster had wrote those gems in the
sutograph, do you understand now?!”
“Go to his home and learn Sanskrit frpom his father. Sanskrit teachers
normally will start with Shabdha manjari but his father will teach in
a different manner using Ramodhandham. It will teach an opponents’
strength first, ie we need to know Ravana’s strengths first before
arming ourselves. This is the way to teach.”
I learnt for a few months only as Srini’s father was not in good
health and I told Him. He said, “it is ok and enough. It will help you
in the future.”
There was an old person called Dattaji who resided in Nungambakkam. He
had retired from RBI. Periayavaa used to camp in Nungambakkam for two
Veda Dharma Shasthra Paripalana Sabha used to conduct sadas in Vedas.
I was the secretary. Dattaji used to collect Re 1 from every house for
Mahaswamigal’s intention of sustaining the vedas, providing help to
poor families for conducting marriages, upanayanams etc.
My friend Vaidyanathan and myself learnt Yajur Vedas after office in
the evening. Swamigal asked me and Vaidyanathan,
‘will you both do me a favour?”
Please tell me Swamigal, I said.
“Dattaji is suffering alone at this old age going house to house and
collecting money. Can you assist him to collect funds for Vedas? Go to
every house and collect atleast 50 paise or Re 1. Ask them to
contribute money for the sake of Vedas. We can easily collect enough
money from just one wealthy person. But that is not the point. The
merits (punyam) of contributing to and sustaining Vedas should reach
maxmum number of people”, He said.
“Yes we will do it Swamigal.”
“But there is a problem attached to this task da’s”, He said. (da’s–
colloquial way of addressing youngsters in Tamil)
“People will scold you, threaten to beat you etc, but you both should
not open your mouths come what may.”
“Agreed Periayavaa, we will follow what You say.”
When Dattaji used to go for collection some people will tell him , not
today, please come tomorrow. He will say, ok, will come to you
tomorrow. But we used to feel for the 80 year old Dattaji who used to
get such responses, and despite this he did not give up, respecting
the word of Swamigal.
Telling Dataji to take it easy we started our rounds for collection for Vedas.
We reached the houes of an Ayurvedic Doctor who was a devotee of
Swamigal. We requested him to contribute for Veda Sammelan. He got
very agry and shouted at us very badly. “How many of you people are
doing such scam related work?”, he yelled.
We pleaded with him a lot, “ Please do not say such things. If you
will not give today, we will go back and come tomorrow”
He said, “get away, if you come again I will beat you up”.
“Even if you beat us, we will not leave without your contribution”.
While we were speaking thus, we saw Periayavva entering that street by
pushing a vehicle.
Realizing that Periyavaa was coming, The Doctor rushed inside and came
back with Kumbham/Rice and Rs 100 as contribution!
From the street He gauged the situation we were in and said, “Take the
money and gve the Dr a receipt” and moved on.
We did accordingly and then the Dr called me and my friend inside his home.
“I did not realize that Periyavaa had asked you two to collect the
money. Please do not tell Him what happened here”!
We said, “ok, we will not tell Him, do not worry”.
Swamigal called us at 5 in the evening and asked us, “Did the Dr beat you?”
“Did he scold you?”
“Did he say he will not contribute?”
“Yes there was a delay, but by the trme you came to the street, he
gave Rs 100; we got a good collection today of Rs 500.”
“You both have gone to lots of houses today, so go home and take
rest,” He told us.
He again told us, “I have said you should not tell lies.”
“No we are not lying.”
“You say, he did not scold you? But he would have shouted at you and
even threatened to beat you. What, am I not correct?!”
“What is Periyavaa saying? You had asked us not to open our mouths if
anyone does anything to us. That is why we did not tell you.”
“Do not worry about this. If someone gives you Rs 100 and you refuse
to take it, to whom does the money belog? To the giver correct? In the
same way if we do not take the scolding of others, that will not
affect you and will remain only with the person who is scolding! So
just ignore the bad behaviour of others! Do you understand?”
“Shankara..we are very happy”, we said.
The Veda Sammelan ran for 2 and a half days. He was there on the day
of the Sammelan and left for Sulurpet suddenly. He asked Jayendra
Saraswati Swamigal to do the poojas and then asked us to meet Him at
Sulurpet with prasadam and the theertham for poojas at Sulurpet.
Leaving , He said, ‘Conduct the Sammelan well. Do not invite any VIP’s
for the function. Only the Veda Paraayanams are important,
Determined as we were not to call any VIPs, but for things out of our
control, other people there decided to call a Chromepet Swami on the
last day of the Sammelan!
The function was concluded and we left for Sulurpet in a car taking
the theertam for the Abhisheakm to meet Him.
We found Him in a state of displeaure there. He did not speak to us
for 20 mins. After that He asked,
“who was the VIP?”
I said it was not in my hands and some people forcibly invited the
He said, “it is ok”. And partook the prasadam.
“Nobodfy listens to ME despite My saying that the VIP should not have
We did not understand why He said like that.
We came back and n two days time we saw an article in the newspaper
that the Chromepet Swami was arrested in some case.
When we met Him the next time, He said, “ this is why I had said not
to invite any VIPs”!
Categories: Devotee Experiences