Experience of Shri S.Balasubramanian, Mysore

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Blessed thy greatness in forgiving our faults.

Blessed thy knowledge, seeing the One in all

Blessed thy devotion to the formless Supreme

Blessed thy faith in God with forms attributes

Blessed thy care in worship single minded.

Blessed thy simplicity for the barest needs

Blessed thy insignia inseparable, the bamboo staff

Blessed thy kamandal, the possession whole and sole

Blessed thy  robe saffron, single and simple.

Blessed this land where thou walks and live in

Blessed the holy rivers made holier by thy bath

Blessed thy message from the assembly of nations

Blessed thy preaching straight and simple for good of all

Blessed thy spiritual son, next in succession

Blessed his spiritual son, a rishi in the making

Blessed those of us who live in thy times

Blessed doubly those who are blessed by thee.

                                                                                   

I am 74 years old and retired as Chief Postmaster, Bangalore GPO.  When I was in K.R.Nagar, Mysore district in the sixties, I came in close contact with the late Sri.Sankaranandha Swamiji of Yoganandeswara Mattam.  He was the head of the local Sankara Mattam, It was an independent Mattam.

After my transfer to Mysore, Swamiji called on me during May 1967 and asked whether I would accompany him to Srisailam.  Earlier, I had gone with him on a pilgrimage of South India.  He mentioned that he had an invitation from the Paramacharya of Kanchi to attend the inaugural function of Kanchi Sankara Mutt in Srisailam on 22.03.67. I consented and we both started. After an overnight halt at Bangalore we proceeded to Hindupur by train and from there, by a direct bus to Srisailam.

On the way to Hindupur I enquired from Swamiji whether he had any money with him.  I added that I had started without any plans and that I apprehended some shortage of money for the return journey.  He brushed it aside and told that if necessary he would get cash from Paramacharya. But I remonstrated that it would not be proper.  He, however, said that as a sanyasin he could do so without any compunction.  And we continued the journey, reaching Srisailam in the late evening.

After being accommodated there, Swamiji reported to the Paramacharya, and I accompanied him.  On return he told that apart from Periyaval and Pudu Periyaval two more Swamijis had come in response to the invitation.  To perform the “abhishekam” for the idols of Adi Sankara and his four disciples totaling five, there was a shortfall of one more Swamiji and as such his arrival was pleasantly welcomed as he filled the gap of the fifth sanyasin.  He too felt a sense of satisfaction regarding this sacred assignment.

The morning functions, `bhiksha’ and `prasadam’ over, word came from the Paramacharya at 3 p.m. that he wanted to meet me.  After their discussions I went inside by pre arrangement and had “ekantha darshan” of the great sage.  I had earlier seen him on a few occasions but not at so close and in exclusion to others.  He kindly enquired about my ancestral village in Pallakkad and on informing him he recalled precisely when he had visited the place. It happened before my birth.  I had heard about his prodigious memory and now I had a direct experience of it.  With his blessings I took his leave with a sense of serenity, joy and fulfillment.

After the puja in the night, when I followed K.R.Nagar Swamiji to our camp, an elderly person came from behind and enquired if   I was the manager of the K.R.Nagar Mattam and the train or bus fare from there to Srisailam.  He also told me that I had to sign a voucher and take the fare for both of us from the camp office of the Mattam.  I politely declined stating that as a house holder I had to give and not take any cash from the Mattam He, the  late Sri Kandaswamy Iyer, looked me straight in the eye and questioned  whether I had the temerity to disobey the wishes of the Paramacharya who had  desired to defray  our fare.  I now realised the mistake of my misplaced sentiment and apologised for the refusing, an unwittingly committed error. I could not help wiping tears of joy and this did not go unnoticed by him.  In fact I was very much in need of cash to make up the deficiency but at the  same time not prepared to ask any one for help.  I obtained the cash from the office-counter.

When I thought of the mercy of the Paramacharya in saving me from an embarrassing situation, having come to know of our conversation in a distant train through his clairvoyance, I had no words to express my feelings.  I knew that he was a walking God on earth, but now I witnessed it is no exaggeration and that he is very much so.  Sri Shankarananda Saraswati Swamini was delighted that he was proved right.

 II

The second incident is more recent.  During the mid 1980s, I had been to Madras on a few occasions and every time, due to one reason or another could not go to Kanchi and have darshan of Paramacharya.  It irked me that fate had conspired to deprive me of this favour. So when, I started from Hubli in May 1987 to attend a weeding in Madras, I hoped that this time there would not be any impediment.  Late Sri V.S.Subramanya Iyer retired epigraphist had also come from Mysore.  After the function, he had a programme to attend in Kanchi on 27.05.87 to pay respects to the Paramacharya who he had known for a pretty long time and at whose behest he had undertaken some work in Kanchi as an epigraphist.  While travelling in the bus on that day he was narrating his personal experiences with the great sage.  It was exhilarating. He also predicted to me to await  such surprises when we reached there.

On entering the Mattam he was told by one of the staff, that the Paramacharya was enquiring about him.  So when he went to see the pontiff, I followed him like a shadow so as not to miss the chance.  Outside, there were many devotees waiting for his dharshan.  We saluted him traditionally by prostrating at his feet.  Paramacharya enquired  about Subramania Iyer’s welfare.  I was introduced by him.  There was an animated discussion between them about copperplate inscriptions.

The Paramacharya wanted to draw his attention to a verse in Sanskrit on a nine learned men (nava ratnas ) who adorned the court of kind Vikramaditya.   It was on the tip of his tongue but could not instantly recall it. So too, my guide and friend Subramanya Iyer and a few other persons standing there.  At that moment I recited the verse and the great Acharya lovingly asked me how I knew it.  I replied that in my student days I had come across  it and though his grace I could recollect it.  Then he said that he was deaf these days  and wanted to express it again as it did not surface in his memory due to deafness with age. When others who were standing before him could not draw out the word `stone’ from him, I asked him whether he meant `stone deaf’ spelling it letter by letter as s-t-o-n-e, and he replied in the affirmative.  He explained that a stone cannot hear.  He said he too was like that now.  Hearing this from his own mouth, I felt tearful.  Flesh is different from spirit and it is subject to the six modifications i.e. birth, existence, growth, mutation, decay and death, and it made no difference between a sage and a sinner.

The idea of the Paramacharya in seeing Subramanya Iyer was to have a stone inscription available in the Mattam, read and explained by him.  It had not caught anybody’s attention so far even though it was lying in one place for years. He was stumbled upon it.  As it was a heavy stone slab difficult to lift, he walked to that place along with Subramanya Iyer, I followed  them.  There was,  some difficulty to decipher the inscription and on my suggestion a chalk piece was brought with which I traced on the letters, making it readable.  Paramacharya was bending over the slab and I was very close to him, tracing the characters.  I was overwhelmed with joy for being alongside him doing some very humble service.  In this process when he walked upon the earth,  I could collect the dust trodden on by him.  Thus I was rewarded much beyond my expectations on account of his fulfilling my sincere desire to meet him at least this time.

In the afternoon, we again met him in his room.  Except  for the two of us there was no one else present.  I took this opportunity to get blessings  for the marriage of my first son and told him that the alliance has been decided.  He enquired  about the dowry and asked if I was taking any.  I replied in the negative. He did not leave it at that.  He further asked whether instead of cash, I was taking things in kind like a vehicle or jewels. I replied, in all honesty, that I was not taking anything in kind either.  He was visibly happy and blessed me. 

III

 For my daughter born under `Ashlesha’ or `Aayilyam’ star, I did not get any response  for bridegrooms inspite of advertisements. Naturally, I was much worried that every marriage season eluding an alliance for her. With a heavy heart I went to seet the Paramacharya on 16.02.1990, without any specific idea, when I was camping in Madras.  After praying at the Kamakshi temple I reached the Mattam in the evening and stood in the queue for darshan.  One  person was  holding `thirumangalya charadu’ and it struck me that I should get a similar one and have it blessed by him.  So  I got two  which I hold.  When my turn came, I realized that I had  no tray or container to keep on which  to place it before him.   I had only a book i.e. Lalita Sahasrananamam which I had taken for reading in the temple.  I kept the `charadu’ on the book and Balu took it  to have it consecrated.  After enquiry, Paramacharya  did so and gave it back.  Then he opened the  book which was in Malayalam and asked Balu what it was.  He, in turn, asked me.  I replied that it was the Lalita Sahasranamam a book I used to read.  In conveying this to the Paramacharya,  Balu informed the Paramacharya which I read and added, prompted, perhaps by Providence, that I desired to attain “siddhi” in Lalita Sahasranamam.  The benign Acharya blessed, keeping the book in his palm and closing his eyes, and gave it back to me.  This was an unexpected bonus, and a very rich bonus too.  What divine design!

In order to keep me usefully engaged during retirement, I was taking notes  on Vishnu Sahasranamam.  Later I toyed with the idea of writing something on Vishnu Sahasranamam not on the meaning of each nama, but some comparisons  of the namas in the Vishnu Sahasranamam itself.  After getting my Lalita Sahasranamam book consecrated by Paramacharya, the idea slowly crept into my mind to make a comparative study both Vishnu Sahasranamam and Lalita Sahasranamam and I found myself seriously engaged in this task.  The vibrations left by Paramacharya in my Lalita Sahasranamam book stirred my thoughts, and ideas began to blossom and flash at times, with his  blessings.  There were  times, when I was woken up from the sleep by  the flash of an idea that I  used  to keep a pen and paper by my bedside to immediately jot it down, lest I forget it in the morning.  Subsequently, adding Siva Sahasranamam, also, I could complete the task.  The book is titled `A comparative study of Vishnu Sahasranamam/ Lalita Sahasranamam/ Siva Sahasranamam’. A layman like could not have undertaken  this task without the specific blessings of Paramacharya.

It was my desire to keep  the typescript  of the book at the holy feet  of Paramacharya on the centenary Jayanthi day as my humble `kanikkai’ to the walking God on earth.  But, alas, the work was unfinished,  I heard the news of his `Mahasamadhi’ on 08.1.1994.

My sorrow and disappointment can well be imagined more than explained.  Later I showed the typescript  to Sri S.Radhakrishna Sastry of Srirangam a prominent disciple of Periyaval.   Unable  to publish the book due to the high cost involved, I ultimately deposited  it in the Library of the deemed University of Kanchi for publication when its  time and turn comes.

Incidentally,  I may add that when I was standing in the queue on 16/02/1990, an elderly Muslim gentleman, a Government employee, was standing ahead of me seeking the blessings of Paramacharya to get himself reinstated in duty, revoking his suspension.

The great Acharya  in his magnanimity, blessed him.

IV

 

There is an elderly Malayali lady in Thrissur, Kerala, called Saraswathi Varier.  In Kerala temples, the traditional garland makers of gods belong to the Varier community.  They are pious by nature.  In her younger days a particular `mami’ taught the Tamil alphabet.  Subsequently  she started reading periodicals like Kalki. And she progressed in learning Tamil which provided a leeway to know about the Paramacharya and his teachings.  Though  she could not meet him  during her  life time, she took him as her `maanasa gur’ and the all knowing Paramacharya blessed her in absentia.  As a result she started translating `Daivathin Kural’ into Malayalam.  These are published  in the Malayalam spiritual magazine `Guruvayurappan’regularly for more than a decade.  She derives her strength and knowledge from the tacit blessings of her `maanasa gur’ the Paramacharya.  She evinces avid interest in anything connected with Periyaval, in whom she sees the Lord of Guruvayur and vice versa.  To spread his message in Kerala, Paramacharya has selected  this blessed lady.  No one else, as I know,  has undertaken this gargantuan  task to translate his sayings into simple Malayalam.  Now in her late seventies, she continues this sacred task  in Kerala without  care for either name or fame.  In Tamil Nadu, she is not known at all.  Such is her selfless service in the cause of Paramacharya.

She has explained the meaning of  Lalita Sahasranamam  and published it.  About four years ago she placed one copy before the “Samadhi” of Paramacharya as her offering on her first visit to Kanchi. The Kanchi Mattam has, she told me, undertaken to print and publish its further editions.  Mysterious and strange are the ways of great souls like the Paramacharya.  Shunning the lime light and shying away from the glare of publicity, she, a very true devotee of Paramacharya,  virtually lives in him and her `Ista daivam’ Guruvayurappan.

In conclusion I wish and pray that the benign benedictions of the Paramacharya lead us all from the unreal to the real, darkness to light and death to immortality.



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13 replies

  1. NAMASKARM . Deivathin kural is also DEIVATHIN குறள்’ . In simple lines, He used to explain a lot. Though i have not learnt Sanskrit/Hindi properly, just by reading the volumes of Deivathin Kural, I am able to understand many difficult Sanskrit words and verses and about our ‘Sanatana-dharmam’. In our meditation centre in Guwahati City, the learned people here ask me to recite the Sanskrit namavali and shlokas, which they repeat. What a blessings !!!Shri Balasubramanian’s experience in writing (rather than video) makes me enjoy and cherish the leelas of Shri Mahaperiyava. Thanks to all those connected in this.

  2. ஸ்ரீ பாலசுப்ரமணியன் கொடுத்து வைத்தவர். அவருக்கு ஸ்ரீ ஸ்ரீ மகா பெரியவாளின் பூரண ANUGRAHAM நிச்சயம் உண்டு. அவருடைய மூன்று சஹஸ்ரநாமம் புத்தகங்களை பதிப்பிக்க என்னாலான உதவியை செய்ய முயல்கிறேன். என்னுடைய ஈமெயில் முகவரி gkailas@gmail.com

    ஸ்ரீ மகாபெரியவாளின் பாத கமலங்களுக்கு அடியேனின் நமஸ்காரங்கள்

  3. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, section I.iii.28

  4. ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
    तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
    मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
    ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

  5. Great experiences. I hope that Sri. Balasubramanian’s book , “A comparative study of the Three Sahasranaamams, Vishnu. Lalitha and Siva” , will be published by the University at Enathur by Maha Periyava’s Grace soon. Both Sri. Balasubramanian and Smt. Saraswathi Varier are blessed souls. Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara!

  6. Mahaesh Gaaru:
    Here is a book review. This is about Maha periyava views on stree dharma
    compiled by anna Ganapathi.(Ra Ganapathi)
    *நூல் : *பெண்மை என்பதைக் காப்பாற்ற வேண்டும்.
    *தொகுப்பாசிரியர்: *ஸ்ரீ ரா. கணபதி. *விலை : *ரூபாய் 50/-.
    *வெளியீடு: *சனாதனா பப்ளிகேஷன்ஸ், 142, முதல் மாடி, கிரீன்வேஸ் ரோடு,
    ஆர்.ஏ.புரம், சென்னை-28. ஃபோன்: 044- 24641600.

    20-21-ஆம் நூற்றாண்டில் வாழ்ந்த மகான்களில் குறிப்பிடத்தக்கவர் காஞ்சி
    ஸ்ரீசந்திரசேகரேந்திர ஸ்வாமிகள். மக்கள் தங்கள் வாழ்க்கையை ஆன்மீகத்தோடும்,
    உயர்ந்த பண்பாடு, கலாசாரத்தோடும் செம்மையாக வாழ, அவர் நாடெங்கிலும் நடந்தே
    சென்று மக்களுக்கு நல்லுபதேசங்களை மொழிந்தார். அந்தக் கருத்துக்களின் தொகுப்பே
    ‘தெய்வத்தின் குரல்’ என்ற நூலாக பிரசித்திப் பெற்று விளங்குகின்றது. அதில்
    பெண்களைப் பற்றியும், பெண்கள் பேண வேண்டிய ஒழுங்குகள் பற்றியும் மகா பெரியவர்
    கூறிய கருத்துக்கள் இடம் பெறவில்லை. அவற்றையெல்லாம் இந்நூலாசிரியர் தனியாகத்
    தொகுத்து அதை மட்டும் நூலாக வெளியிட்டுள்ளார். இன்று ஒவ்வொரு குடும்பத்திலும்
    பல்வேறு பிரச்னைகளும், அமைதியின்மையும் நாளுக்கு நாள் பெருகிக் கொண்டே
    போகிறது. இதன் விளைவாக சில குடும்பங்கள் சீர் கெட்டு விடுகின்றன. இவற்றுக்கு
    ‘ஸ்த்ரீ தர்மம்’ பற்றி மகா பெரியவர் பல்வேறு சமயங்களில் கூறிய பல கருத்துக்கள்
    மூலம் விடை காணலாம். ‘எனக்கு சொந்த அபிப்பிராயங்கள் என்று எதுவுமில்லை.
    சாஸ்திரங்களில் கூறப்படுவது என்னவோ அதைச் சொல்ல மட்டும்தான் நான்
    கடமைப்பட்டுள்ளேன்’ என்று கூறும் மகாபெரியவரின் இக்கருத்துக்களை அடியொற்றி
    நடக்க, இன்றைய தலைமுறைக்கு சிறிது கடினம்தான் என்றாலும், அதுதான்
    பிரச்னைகளுக்குத் தீர்வு என்று நம்புகிறவர்களுக்கு இந்நூல் நல்ல வழிகாட்டி.
    *- பரக்கத்*

    On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 9:31 PM, Sage of Kanchi

  7. Blessed Sri Balasubramanian and , in turn, by reading his account of his experiences with Mahaperiyava, all of us are blessed.

  8. i wish that the book `A comparative study of Vishnu Sahasranamam/ Lalita Sahasranamam/ Siva Sahasranamam’ needs to be published. i am prepared to help in any way.. My mail id is nl1809@gmail.com.

  9. Namaskarams to Balasubramaniam Mama! Blessed person! Anantha Koti Namaskaram!

  10. Very interesting. Has the book on comparative study of Sri Lalitha, Sri Vishnu and Sri Siva Sahasranama been published. If not, then with the blessings of Mahaperiava would like to explore the possibility.

  11. Blessed thy spiritual son, next in succession –
    True indeed, the Path to the God-like Mahaswami,
    may indeed lie through living life like Periva Jayendra Saraswathi

    Blessed his spiritual son, a rishi in the making
    True indeed, Periva Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi
    is a true Rishi emerging, more in the Traditional mould….

  12. Periyava Smaranam is what we should have always. Undoubtedly, this site is aiding that.

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