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”.
Categories: Devotee Experiences