Outstanding incident…thanks kannan for posting in FB….I am not sure if this was shared already here….
A family went to have the darshan of Maha Periyavaal. Along with them, they took one of their family friends who lived in the USA for some decades. The friend did not have any great faith in our religion, system and especially the monks wearing the saffron; he went along with him with utterly non-interested to meet Him. He was under the impression that Maha Periyavaal was a fundamentalist, an uneducated monk. This NRI had no great respect at all for Him. Not only that, he uttered such inauspicious things about Him, ‘what does He know? Does He know English?’.
There was a big throng of devotees at the Mutt and the family was standing in a decent distance from Him. As usual, Maha Periyavaal saw this family with His graceful eyes, and called all of them near to Him.
They all went near Him, the friend too.
After all the usual courteous enquiry towards the family, the Master looked at the NRI friend and asked about his details, including his name, whereabouts, his predecessors, where he is working etc etc.
Then He asked, ‘you are born in India, and you know Tamil; your wife was also born in India and should know the mother tongue. When you two converse will it be in Tamil or English?’
The friend replied ‘We never use Tamil at home, we use only English. The same goes for the kids also.’
Then Maha Periyavaal asked, ‘before speaking, you may have to think and conceive the sentence. Is the thought process in Tamil or English?’
The friend replied, ‘That too in English only’.
Some minutes later, an old lady came to have Maha Periyavaal Darshan.
Maha Periyavaal looked at the NRI person and said, ‘This old lady is now very poor, but once upon a time she was very rich. But even after she lost all the materialistic wealth her devotion towards the Mutt, Acharya and me has never changed even a bit. Could you please tell me what is the English word which will describe this unflinching devotion, which can’t be changed by external situations? I would like to know.’
The man was flummoxed. He thought and thought for a while but did not know that word.
Maha Periyaval smiled and told him, ‘please take your time and let me know’.
Even after some time, he could not come up with the required word.
Then Swamiji said, ‘Can I suggest one word? Could you please confirm whether the same can convey this meaning? EQUIPOISED’.
The man was spellbound and fell on Maha Periyavaal’s Feet to Pardon him for his ego..