There were some attendants in Sri Matha whose mother-tongue was Kannada.
They felt superior to others because Periyava’s mother-tongue was also
These attendants would address the Tamil attendants as ‘Hekkana’. ignorant
of what the word meant, the Tamil attendants were under the assumption that
it was something like, “Sir” or “Ayya” or “Svami”.
One day as Periyaval walked past, he heard a Kannada-speaking attendant
address a Tamil-speaking attendant as “Hekkana”. No one had ever seen
Periyava in such anger till then.
“If these boys are ‘Hekkana”, what are all of you? Are you cruel animals?
You need not enter the Pujakattu hereafter!” Periyaval passed this terrible
command and went away.
The Tamil attendants could not make out head or tail of it all. Later when
they made enquiries, they learnt that the word meant ‘bandicoot’. Pujya Sri
Anantananda Svami lived in Sri Matha at that time. The attendants who had
been punished sought his mediation. Svami Anantananda would speak to
Periyava without fear or reserve. The next day, at an opportune moment, he
petitioned to Periyava.
“Periyava must not take words uttered thoughtlessly in a serious vein.
Periyaval and I are also Kannadigas. Forgive them and allow them to serve
in the Pujakattu as usual”.
They were re-admitted in the Pujakattu only after that.
Periyaval never got angry however much he was insulted. But He could never
tolerate it if someone teased or disrespected his attendants.
Periyava demonstrated that the Bhagavata is indeed greater than Bhagavan.
Categories: Devotee Experiences