Thanks Shri Venkatesh for this rare photo and the article
When Maha Swamigal was in Tenambakkam, I used to go there. With me came my two friends, who were engaged in the sacred work of building the Karumariamman temple in Samiyar Thottam, to seek his blessings.
I introduced them both to Periyavargal. They were Vaishnavas. He asked them, “Is the samashrayanam done for you?”
“You know what is samashrayanam?”, he asked me.
“Don’t know”, I said.
“To do such kaingkaryam–service, Vaishnavas should get the anumati–permission from their Acharyas. Without that, it is not uchitam–proper, to get engaged in this.” Saying this, he asked me, “Will you build a temple?”
What could I say? I did not reply anything.
But then, two months later, for some reason, those two people, resigned from their positions. They engaged me in that work and made me a secretary.
All Maha Periyavargal’s anugraham. With donations, that temple was built at a cost of two lakh rupees, and the kumbabhishekam too took place in kolahalam–grand fanfare.
Meantime, once I supplicated to Maha Periyavargal, “I am doing the koil kaingkaryam. Same way I should do kaingkaryam to Periyavargal too.” He said, “Do it for Ambal (Karumariamman). It would be like doing it to me.”
The very next day that temple kumbabhishekam was over, I resigned the post of secretary of the sacred works committee, came to Periyavargal and informed him. “You have the skill to collect?” he asked me.
What could I say! I just kept quiet without saying anything.
He gave me this order: “It’s of much puuyam, if the cow is given Aharam–food, our ancestors and elders have said. Informing the neighbouring houses, you visit them, collect the peels of vegetables that get collected on Thursdays and Fridays, and bring them here. They can be fed to the cows.” I continued to do that kaingkaryam for a long time.
Because of this, I had the bhagyam to have darshan of Periyavargal every Saturday.
author: Karikaittholi Krishnamurti
compiler:T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
source: Maha PeriyavaL – Darisana AnubhavangaL vol.2, page 191-198
publisher: Vanathi Padhippaham (May 2005 Edition)