(More photos of Him can be seen at http://valmikiramayanam.in/?page_id=2 )
Known in his Poorvashrama as Sri Kalyanarama Sastrigal of Angarai village (near Tiruchi), fellow devotees of Kanchi Paramacharya used to refer to him even before he took to Sanyas in July 1992 as `Angarai Periyava’ only and never by his name. Though he had a big family to support and no other means of livelihood, this savant from Angarai gave up his Central Government job 50 years ago and took to uninterrupted `seven-day’ recital of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhattadri’s Narayaneeyam in the forenoons followed by a discourse on it in Tamil in the evenings on the suggestion of Kanchi Paramacharya and brought immense relief and solace to families of countless devotees since then. From 1973 to 1991, he did this `Saptaha Parayanam’ preceding the auspicious Janmashtami every year in the immediate presence of Kanchi Paramacharya. It was delightful to see the Sage of Kanchi sitting nearby and listening to the discourses in rapt attention, as if it were for the first time he was hearing the glories of Lord Krishna!
One of Angarai Periyava’s admirers happened to be none other than a Poorvashrama younger brother of the Sage of Kanchi himself, by name Sadasivan but lovingly known as `Sivan Sir’ who advised his own large circle of friends and devotees to go for advice and solace to Angarai Periyava. And they obeyed Sivan Sir’s advice implicitly all through.
As for himself, this Savant was averse to publicity of any kind — he was indifferent to fame or name or circumstance of affluence or its opposite — he was fond of quoting the praise of Vedanta Desika by his son extolling such qualities of head and heart in his illustrious father and held that as the ideal of his own life.
No account of Angarai Periyava will be complete without a mention of V. Janakiraman who served His Holiness faithfully for 47 years without break. Angarai Periyava was the very personification of simplicity, compassion and wisdom.
Article Courtesy: The Hindu
Thanks to Ram Anantha for the reminder!
Swamigal’s poorvashrama name was Sri.Kalyanarama Bhagavathar. Earlier, people around Him called him Sastrigal or Angarai Periyava on the lines of Mannargudi Periyava, Mayavaram Periyava etc. He felt it was too high.He said the word Periyava can only fit ‘Mahaperiyava’, When people addressed Him as Sastrigal he said ‘I haven’t read any sastram’
He liked to be addressed ‘bhagavathar’, the way Mahaperiyava addressed him. bhagavathar means one who belongs to bhagavan.
On taking sanyasam (from Mahaperiyava’s padukas) He took the deeksha namam – ramachandrashraya – which means ‘one who depends on ramachandra’ (the chandra here alludes to Sri.Chandrashekara Saraswathi Swamigal – Our Mahaperiyava) He chose this name over ananda, yogi etc. He felt that He can’t even call himself ‘ramachandra dasa’ because ‘dasa’ means servant. He said ‘I am not even fit to serve rama’. Such humility in a person who dedicated his whole life to Rama.
Sivan Sir kept referring to him as Swamigal upon which Swamigal suggested that he can be referred as ‘Govinda Damodara Swamigal’. He was fond of Govinda nama and ‘Govinda Damodara stotram’ by Bilvamangalacharyar. He felt that by saying ‘Govinda Damodara Swamigal’ his devotees will get the punya from chanting the names of Govinda.
In Sri Ramadurai’s video interview, he says Mahaperiyava stating that Angarai Periyava was the avatharam of Adi Sesha. Throughout the life of Sri Angarai Periyava one can clearly understand from his unswerving devotion towards Sri Guruvayurappan. Although clear statistics are available of his Srimad Ramayana and Srimad Bhagavatha parayanams, there is no count available of either Sundara Kandam or Sriman Narayaneeya parayanams since he performed them countless times. Even while asleep, one could hear him mumble shlokas from Sriman Narayaneeyam. He stayed for most part of his life in Triplicane at Hanumantharayan Koil street, just a few hundreds meters away from the famed Parthasarathi Swami temple, but shunned popularity of any sort. I know of a family who stayed next door to the building that he lived in, but they did not know such a mahapurusha existed amidst them. He would never agree to perform Parayanam and Pravachanam to a big audience for he feared that would popularize him. He had government job, serving the Indian Postal Department, but gave up the job since Mahaperiyava advised him to follow the Bhagavatha jeevanam, as followed by his forefathers. This is in spite of the fact that he had a large family to support.
His primary advise to devotees would be to perform sandhyavandanam without fail whatever be the situation and to hold firmly to the Holy Feet of Mahaperiyava, who is non-different from Sri Guruvayurappan.
Shri Ganapathy has written a beautiful article about this Periyava on how He led His life as mentioned in Ramayana.
To download – click here
Categories: Devotee Experiences