Thanks to Shri Krishna for a lovely translation….
“In your Vikatan magazine, have you seen the weekly advertisement that coaxes people to convert to Christianity ?”
Kanchi MahaPeriyava was camping in Ilayathangudi then.
Chavi and Maniyan had go to Tiruchi to interview Periyar for an article that was to appear in Vikatan. After meeting with Periyar, they proceeded to Ilayathangudi. When they reached the place, Periyava was resting under a tree, interacting with His devotees.
On seeing Chavi, Periyava asked “Are you coming directly from Chennai or did you go elsewhere before coming here ?”
Chavi could not muster enough courage to say they were coming after meeting with Periyar in Trichy. So he said they were coming from Madras, which was neither the truth nor was it a blatant lie.
The circumstances in which Periyava was sitting there were a little different. At a considerable distance, a white elderly lady was sitting. She was keenly looking at Periyava from where she was sitting.
“I hear Vasan does whatever you ask him to”, Periyava said abruptly.
“Not really. If Periyava wants me to convey something, I’m ready to convey the same to him verbatim”, said Chavi.
“IN your Vikatan magazine, have you seen the weekly advertisement that coaxes people to convert to Christianity ?”
“Yes, I have”
“To whoever comes to Me from Vikatan, I have tried telling them that we need to stop that advertisement. Everybody says Vasan will stop it if Chavi requests him to. So you talk to Vasan and get him to stop it”, said Periyava.
Chavi did not immediately say Ok. Instead he started debating with Periyava.
“Hinduism is like an ocean. It is special in many respects. It is not a religion which will disappear easily. For the sake of this argument, let us assume that few Hindus do convert to Christianity after seeing this advert. It is not going to be a big loss for Hinduism. It is not such a weak religion”, said Chavi a little aggressively.
Periyava did not lose his temper after hearing Chavi speak in this fashion.
“Is that so ?” Giving statistics on how many Hindus had actually converted to other religions since 1920, Periyava said “The number of people converting from Hinduism is increasing day by day. At this rate, the adage ‘even ants can cause a stone to erode’ will come true”
Silence for some time.
MahaPeriyava again resumed “A communist writer Arthur Koestler by name came to see Me. He asked Me several questions. Silence prevails in the Church were Christians go to pray. But in your temples, there is the cacophony of musical instruments, children shouting, people conversing loudly; there is noise all the time. Should there not be silence in the place meant for praying ?”
“Since you people pray in Churches, silence is maintained there. As far as Hindus are concerned, it is not in the temples where they pray. Temples are places where Hindus express their gratitude to the Lord. There exists a ‘Puja room’ in every house. That’s where we pray. We also pray near river banks. We place ‘Naivedyams’ in temples and thank the Lord. We celebrate Pongal festival wherein farmers prepare Pongal after their harvest and express their gratitude. Just as people pay taxes to Kings as a note of appreciation, we express our gratitude to God. So the place where Hindus express their gratitude will definitely be noisy. Musical instruments play amidst joy overflowing”. This answer of Mine deeply convinced him.
“In the book that he wrote ‘Lotus and the Robot’, he has recorded that he saw Christ in Me’. Do you know Dr. Raghavan, secretary at the Music Academy ? He has a copy of the book. Once you go back to Madras, borrow it from him and read it”.
He continued, “Do you see that lady sitting there ? Both she and the writer are Christians. She also says that she sees Christ in Me. But we as Hindus advocate conversion of Hindus to Christianity. Is this right ?”
Hearing all this, Chavi began to see the truth in all this. He bowed to Periyava, took his blessings and left saying “I will convey Your wish to vasan”
Chavi wanted to meet with Vasan and discuss all this with him. However having felt that he should check Balu’s opinion first, he told all this to Balu
“This is just an advertisement, this is not our opinion. This is purely business. Kanchi Periya should realize this”, said Balu.
“Whatever it is, please stop the adverts. We should respect Periyava’s wish”, said Chavi.
Chavi tried persuade Balu for a long time but Balu did not agree.
Chavi did not give up and continued to debate. Finally after giving it some thought, Balu summoned the concerned editor and got the full details around the advertisement.
“It is a one year agreement. We still have 6 weeks left”, said the editor.
“That’s ok. Stop the adverts immediately. Dispatch a convincing letter to the party paying for the adverts”, Balu sent the editor away
“Are you happy now ?”, asked Balu
“Very much”, replied Chavi gratefully
Categories: Devotee Experiences