Why so many questions?

Shri Subramanian, one of our readers, shares his experience with Him regarding a proposal to collect funds to maintain some basic needs of a temple. So much to learn from each of these experiences…. Thank you sir for sharing this….



During a Kanchi trip, my wife and I visited Kasi Viswanatha temple. It was then under archaeological dept undergoing renovation with fewer visitors. The gurukkal complained of the financial difficulties..no administration, fewer devoteesand only contribution from kanchi mutt. Just lighting the dheepams daily cost Rs30. As we were proceeding to the mutt, my wife said “we will collect some money for the oil for the temple dheepams. let us ask Periyavaa”   I said “We can make a donation Why ask periyavaa?  I am tongue-tied in his presence”  She said she will.

In the queue for darshan of periyavaa, a little ahead of us was a lady, her sari and jewels evidenced her riches. After offerings, she asked periyavaa: “I have saved about 50 thousand rupees which I want to give to the mutt. I seek periyava’s permission” Without delay, the answer came: “Not now, I will tell you later when and how it is to be spent”.

I looked at my wife with a ??

She said “I’ll ask Him anyway”

In our turn after namaskaram, she asked “Periyavaa, the temple is without money for even the dheepam oil. I want to collect and contribute for it with your permission”

A few seconds of silence.

Then periyava asked her “Is your Husband here?’

I bowed and stood in front of Him. 2 quickfire questions followed: “what is your job? How much do you earn?” After my answers, “How much can you contribute and how do you propose to collect money?”.

I answered ” We will ask from friends and relatives, add it to our maximum possible contribution and give”

Another silence and then “How many children have you?

“2 daughters”

Prompt quickfire :”Are they married?”

“Yes, both of them”  – as if He doesnt know!..I realised it was to alert me on responsibilities of the task and educate my wife in her simplicity!

Silence followed for a while. It was blissful. Standing before Him and having His darshan longer but I was worried for my wife.

At last anugraham and asirvadham came: “Collect what you can, “earmark” the amount and give to pudhuperiyava”

We bowed and reported to pudhuperiva”. Sometime later we fulfilled our wish within our limits as advised.

My wife was peeved as we came out of the mutt: “why so many questions, why not just yes or no? Why this about daughters and marriage?”.

I explained to her all the implications he subtly taught us:

1.Wife cannot launch this project without husband’s support.

2. project underestimated ! 30 Rs a month is >10000 a year. Total cost needs interest on lakhs as bank deposits.

3 If just a wish to be satisfied, we are reliable and sincere but beware the traps and pitfalls?? Exploiting His name we can make receiptbook collections, boost our images and perhaps our bank accounts too as some people do.

4. Even if reliable and honest, marriages of daughters may cause money stress and temptations. Don’t people break down Thirupathi hundis in their homes when in dire need? All this was in the query “how do you propose to collect money?”

Subtle, not many words, recognition of sincerity + ignorance .Thats Periyava!

Any project He sponsored  will be looked after by Him to succeed  well.



Categories: Devotee Experiences

9 replies

  1. Maha Periyava’s searching questions and giving responsibilities to those who would be able to them find expression in this incident. The rich Maami, though she said that she readily will give Rs. 5oooo is told to wait. For the Deepa kainkaryam, Rs. 30 a day will cost more than Rs. 10000 per year, which is proposed to be met from personal funds and from realtives and friends. The man works for his living and his wife is dependent on him and two daughters happily married. Many unsaid queries have been answered. Permission comes with Asiirvadham. Money to be collected, “earmarked” and given to Pudhu Periyava. All problems settled by Maha Periyava and a divine kainkaryam of lighting Deepam perennially in Kasi Viswanaathar Temple starts! Blessings for the entire family and donors! Education to the wife and to all of us. Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara aShankara!

  2. Everything the Acharyas do is per the guidelines set forth in our Shaastras. The very definition of the term ‘Acharya’ means one who follows the Shaatras and also shows the way for others. Mahaperiyavaa, Pudhuperiyavaa and Bala Periyavaa are truly extra ordinary in being able to stick to that definition in even the smallest of acts they do. As Shri VSK has said above, the devotees ability to understand the depth behind these seemingly simple questions is really touching and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I admire the devotee’s deep understanding of the simple questions asked by Periyava and being able to explain to his wife the subtlities and the profundness of these! Same dialogue …. understood differently by the couple!

  4. This incident has taught us about few words can make big effect on the life of the respected persons. Sri Periyaval will always take into account the sincerety of the Bakthas and then only answer the questions. Some times they are very subtle ( The second line the amount should be Rs.30/- per day, totalling to around Rs.10,000/er year)

  5. Maha Swami advice is within means what ever we can give back to society. If there is any left in our funds after our death entire amound could be given back to society.

  6. I love this aspect of Periyava. In few questions he has made a feasibility study of the project to be taken up. One should look into this aspect before making any emotional decision. Hara Hara Shankara Jaya Jaya Shankara

  7. living god teaching great lessons in few words!!! SRI PERIYAVAAA CHARANAM !!!

  8. Hara Hara Sankara Jaya Jaya Sankara

  9. That is Periyavaa and that is why HE is MAHAPERIYAVAA. Thiruvadi Charanam.

Leave a Reply