Justice Ismail’s Kamba Ramayana Discussion

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Chief Justice of Madras Mohammad. Mohammad. Ismail is one of the most decorated man who earned the respect of everyone in Tamilnadu. He was very proud about the tradition of Bharat. He is a great Tamil scholar & in his own words “RajathiRajan / Chakravarthy” in Srimad Kamba Ramayanam. He is in fact a perfect vegetarian, which may surprise many or even shock few. One day, he has come for the darshan of Periyava. Sri A. Sa. Gnanasambandam (A.Sa.Gna) has accompanied him. Periyava was asking several questions & checking whether he cared to see few of those rare points, etc. in Srimad Kamba Ramayanam. Not that Periyava wondered about Sri Ismail’s knoweldge on it but definitely Sri Ismail has become thrilled about the in-depth knowledge & vast know how of Periyava. கற்றோரை கற்றோரே காமுறுவர்! (KatroRai KatroRae Kaamuruvar!) Yet, he didn’t surrender his title “RajathiRaja” in Srimad Kamba Ramayanam until Periyava asked him one question…

“Sunguna saandhra Raa…” Sri Thyagaraja Swamigal calls Sri Rama with numerous qualities. Same way, among Periyava’ numerous qualities, Sri Ismail was enjoying few.

Periyava quoted a ‘paadal’ from Srimad Kamba Ramayanam & asked him “இதில்.. ‘மாலையில் தெரியும் பாம்பு போல’ன்னு வருதே, அப்போ ஸ்ரீ ராமர் உவமானம் (simile) என்றால், உவமேயப் பொருள் எது?” (“In this line, it draws an analogy to “a snake in the evening”. If so, Lord Rama’s smile is the object helps to compare, what is the subject of comparison?”)

Sri Ismail has begin to think and after sometime he couldn’t get it at all. All his proud about his unparalleled knowledge on ‘Kamba Ramayanam’ vanished away. He couldn’t just respond at all.

Periyava quickly ordered a book put by ‘Advaita Sabha’ & shown him an article “Advaita in Kamba Ramayanam”. The essence of it is, if Sri Ramar is ‘Uvamai/object helps to compare’, ‘Uvameyam/subject’ is ‘Sriman Narayanar’! The proving verse comes 45 verses later.

Sri Ismail has later said, “Till now I thought I am a Chakravarthi in Kambaramayanam. From this moment, my ego has completely gone!”

Of course, Periyava never took such surrender as a matter & will quickly change the subject…

After a honest & highly exciting conversation, Sri Ismail & other visitors wants to take ‘utharavu’ & leave. Prasadham was brought. Vibhuthi, Kumkum & others. They were given to all & Periyava asked them to hold on for Sri Ismail… Periyava has told something inside & someone has brought ‘something’… If Periyava gives Vibhuthi, Sri Ismail will take it 100%, he is such a devoted personality but Periyava was getting ‘something’ else… On getting it on hand, Sri Ismail know that it’s ‘chandan’ (Sandalood paste).

Periyava, “This is a prasadam common for both of us!”. Periyava will never push anyone out of their dharma & of course never wish anyone to cross also…

Sri Ismail later in 1977 wrote an article about Periyava in Kalki. He titled it  “THE Spring of Compassion”. He has narrated the experience/s he had. On the day of the Maha-samadhi of Periyava, he was one of the first VIP to reach. He has said, “The pontiff is simply beyond praise. We were all supremely privileged to be his contemporaries.” Belonging to a faith that says, “All praise goes to HIM”, Sri Ismail says,”Periyava is simply beyond praise”.

Born in a Muslim family, Sri Ismail had great respect for Hindus/Hinduism and blessings of Allah and Lord Rama without which he couldn’t have become an exponent in Kamba Ramayanam. We are extremely lucky to have such people who lived and practiced “Unity in diversity”.

Ram Ram!



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9 replies

  1. It is not very clear in which
    Verse we find Narayana as uvameyam
    Gopalakrishnan

  2. Great experience to read about this. Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara!

  3. இது குறித்து முன்பே படித்திருக்கிறேன் அதனை கீழ்க்கண்டபடி ஒரு பாட்டாகவும் வடித்திருக்கிறேன்.

    ஒற்றைத்திகிரியான் போலும் உலகாளும் நாயகனாய்
    கற்றவர்கள் போற்ற எங்கள் காஞ்சி முனி வீற்றிருந்தார்
    ஒற்றைத்
    நற்றவத்தார் உலக நலன் நாடும் நற்பெரியவர்கள்
    எற்றைக்கும் போற்ற இங்கு எங்கள் குருநாதன் நின்றார்
    ஒற்றைத்
    மாற்று மதத்தவரும் அவர் மகிமை உணர்ந்தவரும்
    போற்றியே பாடுமந்த புண்ணியனின் நாமம் சொல்வேன்;
    வேற்றுமை பாராதெவர்க்கும் விழைந்ததை நாளும் நல்கும்
    பேராற்றலைப் பாட மனம் பெருமை கொள்வேனென்பேன்
    ஒற்றைத்

  4. My room mate in Guwahati (1980s) Shri S L Chandrasekaran was with Shri Maha Periyava for few months, when he happened to watch Mr. Ismail’s visit to the Mahan. Unlike we Hihdus who fold hands or ‘ கை கட்டி நிற்றல்’ in front of great souls, Md.Ismailji simply let loose his hands in a joint posture as per Islam custom. By observing this Shri Maha Periyava understood that he was a Muslim and mentioned about it to others. The underlining point is one should follow one’s own tradition.

  5. Maha Periyavaa Karunaiye Karunai proving his krupai to one and all. Justice Ismail, an exponent in Kambha Ramayanam was a well respected personality among all communities and he had high regards to other communities, particularly Hindus. My Dad was a Teacher in National High School, Nagapattinam during the school days of Janaab Ismail. When he was Acting Governor in TN, he was camping in Trichy. At that time, my Dad who was in Trichy wanted to convey his regards and went to meet him where he was camping. But, the authorities did not permit my Dad saying the Governor has no time as a lot of dignitaries were waiting for meeting. Yet, my Dad wrote his name in a chit and requested the auhtorities to just show that to the Acting Governor. The authorities obliged and within minutes, the authorities told my Dad, “Sir, Governor wants to meet you, please come.” My Dad went to him and the Governor rose from his seat and offered his pranams to my Dad saying, “Sir, how can I forget you Sir, you were a Teacher when I studied in National High School, Nagapattinam, with your blessings I am now the Acting Governor. Please let me know if I can do anything for you Sir.” My Dad replied, “No, Sir, I came to congratulate you and convey my pleasure and Best Wishes, that is all.” Such was his humility and wonderful attitude.

    • I am also a student of national high school. 1960 sslc. Pl tell me your father’s name. My house was 8,neela sanadhi st. Regards. Sivaramakrishnan

  6. Dear Sri Mahesh

    Namaskarams… Thanks for posting this… Mahans are beyond religions… Even today, one can see many of our Islam fiends more particularly ladies in their attires can be seen in Sri Ramanshramanan…Even during Bagawan’s time Dr. Syed from Pakistan was His disciple and was Blessed to live in Ashram as an inmate…

    This article emphasis it… Mahans are beyond religions

    Om Namo Bagawthe Sri Ramanayh… Periyava Pdhame Gathi

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