“I started to sing ‘Sama Gana Vinodhini’…”


Ilayaraja’s experience with Him

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IMG_20130107_194739

Ilayaraja

 

“The Jeer sent Shri Desikan to Swamigal to apprise Him that Mantralaya temple which had initally accepted to take responsibility to construct the Gopuram of Srirangam Temple is having second thoughts on this and requested Him to come with another person for this task. He was in Silence that time.

He Himself drew the picture of a Gramaphone on the ground and asked the persons near Him to start telling the names from the Cine field. One by one the names were said and He asked them to continue… Suddenly, someone mentioned my name, upon hearing which He gestured with His Hand that I was indeed the one!

I came to know of His decision through an acquaintance of mine, a person called Chandramouli from Tiruchi. This person used to play the Mridangam. He met me unnannounced at Prasad Studios in Madras one evening at 7 pm and told me all that had happened!

“He asked you to build Srirangam Temple Tower (Gopuram) and gave His anugraham”, said he.

“Oh, Periyava has said this? Then I will definitely do it”, I told Chandramouli.

When I think of it now, I was taken aback on hearing this. Until then I had never seen Him. There was no direct communication from Him to me or from the Jeer regarding the construction of the Gopuram for Srirangam temple.

“The total cost for the Gopuram will be Rupees 22 lakhs but He requested you to take care of the 6th Tier only which will cost approximately 8 lakh rupees”, he told me.

“I had already given my concurrence for the whole Gopuram itself! Do you know from where I got the conviction to say that? It is all His Grace only, I left the burden of the work to Him only, what else? If He says something then He will ensure that it happens, I have no role in it at all!”, I told him.

After that, I developed an intense desire to meet Periyava. I told this to Shilpi the famous artist and he said he would also come. We two along with Chandramouli planned to have His darshan. At that time we came to know that He was camped in Satara.

We met Him at a nearby village called Mahagaon. It was in the remote suburbs and He was in a cowshed in a garden and we reached that place at around 3 pm afternoon. We passed on the word of our arrival to His Kaingaryams. He was observing Mounam, a vow of Silence. We were taken inside the place where He was present. He asked in sign language, “Who we were?”. The Kaingaryams introduced us one by one to Him. And then He raised His right Hand in blessings to us! Next when He moved His Head slightly, I had a vision of His effulgent eyes. So luminous were they. I had never seen such brilliance in One’s eyes until then in my entire life! Those eyes did something to me. (it is interesting to note that Shri Ilayaraja begins to talk in ‘pure’, in a ‘written’ Tamil from this point to until the end of the interview! The thought of Those eyes really did something to him even now at the time of the interview!)

On seeing that Luminiscent One, I was frozen. I simply lifted my hands above my head in respect and started to weep profusely. He was holding a Mango in His hands for a while and He gave it to me as a prasadam. That is the biggest anugraham (blessing) I have ever had!

We came to know from someone that He was planning to go to a nearby village in the evening. We felt sad on hearing this that we will have to return home. But He gave me limitless joy when it transpired later that He was not going anywhere that day!

That night all of us were sitting in the garden under the open skies. It was Pournami (Full moon night) I think. There was not a single cloud in the sky. The infinite stars in the sky were shining gloriously presenting a magnificient spectacle. Without getting my consent, His Kaingaryams told Him that I was interested to sing a song! He gestured Ok to me. I started to sing ‘Sama Gana Vinodhini’, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar’s song.

When I started to sing the words ‘Sama Gana…’ He suddenly turned His Head towards me with all His infinite compassion. I started to weep again while I was singing. I lost control and struggled to complete the song somehow. After this He came out of His Silence and started to converse with me. I got the feeling that He was talking to me just to bless me.

(Unable to type, I am gripped…)

Then He identified 27 Nakshatarams (Stars) in the sky for me and told me their names one by one! He explained in great detail about each of them and their positions in the sky. He also pointed out the 12 Rasis Mesham, Vrishabham etc. Oh, what a blessing! Sarveshwara.

To this day, I am unable to fathom why He explained in so much detail about these stars us on that spectacular night!

With that our stay in Mahagaon came to an end. This incident triggered more desire in me to meet him regularly in the future. To see His physical form is like seeing a ‘Thava Yogi’. His form represents Compassion, Love, Devotion.That is He! It will always be in our hearts. Those who were fortunate to see Him can never forget That ‘Yogic’ form of His, or His Eyes, or His Divinity or His Compassion. I was blessed to receive them in my Heart. I consider it to be His anugraham (blessing) for me.”

*****

This is my translation of the video interview which was posted here recently. The caricature is a late 80s one of Shri Illayaraja by Sage of Kanchi Facebook member Shri Keshav. Swamigal’s photo is the one which adorns our Pooja Room at home. Today has been a weeping day for me. This is one of the best incidents I liked. Maybe because of the magnificient stars in the Sky and Our Sarveshwaran surveying it like a King. Maybe for that simple musical genius. Sarveshwara.



Categories: Devotee Experiences

15 replies

  1. Raja sir, though born as a DALIT, lives like a brahmin in word, deed and action.

  2. It is indeed great to learn that Sri Ilaiyaraja had the complete blessings of Sri Mahaperiyaval, by consenting and completing the construction of Srirangam Temple Gopurams. One Great Sage has decorated the other Gnani with his blessings. Ilaiyaraja is a blssed man.

  3. Mr Suresh. Thank you very much for sharing this great occasion of moment.
    Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara

    Balasubramanian NR

  4. Ilayaraja begin his life from a very feeble begining,,only because of his hard work,devotion and his love and bakthi towards his mother helped him a lot to come up in his life.Our Periyava disown any own what ever he may be,if he is not sincere to his mother and father.The quality of Adi Sankara in his Matru panchakam sincerly explain the hard ships of a mother to his child. Periyava Loves every one wheather it is a animal,bird,or a human being.His love is boundless and it is very big. Shri Illaya Raja is a blessed soul,his simplicity, correct disciplined approach to the subject loved and liked by periyava,and Ilayaraja find a space in the heart of OUR MAHA PERIYAVA. HARA SANKARA JAYA JAYA SANKARA.

  5. I know about this throught anna Ganapthi Glad to read this.
    May God bless all.

  6. thanks for transcribing. great effort. keep this effort going for the benefit of non-tamil speaking people like us.

  7. NORMALY WE WOULD REFER FAMOUS FILM PERSONALITIES AS ‘STAR’ !!! I DON’T KNOW, WHY THIS, PROBABLY IN FRONT OF THE MOONLIKE DIVINITY, THEIR GLORY MAY BE SOMETHING LIKE A TWINKLING STAR ONLY . OR IT MAY BE SO THAT THEY SHOULD ALSO SHINE LIKE THE STAR WHICH ARE IN THE GROUP WITH MOON AND THEY SHOULD PERFORM QUALITATIVE ITEMS.

    IT IS ALSO SAID THAT WHEN A ‘MAHAN’ TAKES BIRTH , A STAR COMES DOWN TO THE EARTH , WHICH WAS WITNESSED BY GREAT SOULS. SHRI ILAYARAJA WAS BLESSED WITH SARASWATI KATAKSHAM TO COMPOSE VILLAGE-LORE SONGS AND OTHER DEVOTIONAL SONGS IN THE FILMS, DUE TO WHICH HE WAS BLESSED WITH ‘LAKSHMI-KATAAKSHAM’ ALSO BY THE WAY OF COLLECTIONS FROM THE INDIRECT INCOME OF ‘RASIKAAS’, A PART OF WHICH WAS REDIRECTED TO THE GOPURAM-KAINKARYAM OF THE TEMPLE BY SHRI MAHAPERIYAVA, BY WHICH HIS FAME GREW FURTHER LIKE A GOPURAM.

    FINALLY, THANKS FOR THE TYPED VERSION OF VIDEO OF SHRI ILAYARAAJA, AS I DON’T HAVE THE FACILITY OF VIDEO. HOPE TO READ MORE SUCH IMPORTANT EVENTS.

    WITH GREAT RESPECTS.

  8. I learnt from a learned Maha Periyava and Sivan Sir devotee that apparently on no single day all the 27 stars and 12 Rasis appear together – Sri Maha Periyava brought them together to Bless a great devotee who helped complete Sri Rangam Raja Gopuram. Could people familiar with the astronomy enlighten us regarding that?

    This incident parallels Lord Krishna getting the Sun and the Moon together to “advance” amavasya a day earlier in Mahabharatam. All the five elements are Sri Maha Periyava, that notion appears to be the subtle message behind Sri Maha Periyava’s explanation to Sri Ilayaraja.
    Hara Hara Shankara! Jaya Jaya Shankara!

  9. GREAT INCIDENT…. ONCE AGAIN TO SHOWER HIS GRACE TO DISCIPLES…

  10. Mr. Panchanathan Suresh, its a very good and nice translation. Just one thing, the final piece of Illayaraja “thanking the Chandramouli for giving him a chance to meet Maha Periyava.: is missing.

    Many people have not heard that Illayaraja has met Maha Periyavaa. Thanks Mr. Sivaraman & team. It is a wish that Illayaraja has to compose songs on Maha Periyavaa, with lyrics by him and in his own voice. Those who listened to Illayaraja songs on Sri Ramana Maharishi (Ramana Malai), lyrics, music & voice by himself, will agree.

    And Illayaraja will come to know one day why Maha Periyavaa has told him about the Stars, as happened to many devotees, as we heard.

    கோடி கோடி அடியவர்களில் கடை கோடி அடியவனின் சரணங்கள்

  11. SureshwarAya sarveshwarAya sarvAtheethAya namo namstE.

    • Sarveshwara.

      • Heartfelt pranams for the Tamil to English translation. I was wondering who will do the translation and enable non-tamil reading bhaktas like me to relish this incident.

        This is a great service, I feel Paramacharya himself prompted this translation.

        Thank You.

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