Article that talks about the greatness of aacharam while doing nithya puja, on nithya karma – particularly sahasra gayathri as Sri Dikshitar elaborated and Periyava approved. It is amazing to hear Dikshitar’s definition of gnani’s lakshanam and mentioning Mahaperiyava as one such gnani and top of all, Periyava Himself hearing that upanyasam!
“Mahaaswamibhyo Chandrasekarendrasaraswateeyathivarebhyo Namo Nama:”
s/o Brahmasri Sengalipuram Ananatharama Deekshitar
1, Second Cross
Salem 636 007
In the late seventies, when Sri Maha Periyaval was touring in Maharashtra and then in Andhra Pradesh, we had the opportunity of having His darshan often. At times every week. Once before He was nearing Kurnool, we went to Kurnool, took bath and then proceeded north in search of His camp. On seeing the cycle rickshaw on the banks of Godavari we stopped, to see to our delight that Maha Periyaval was giving darshan to many devotees including some ministers.
He was sitting on the banks of the river on sand, below a very big banyan tree, facing north the direction in which the river was flowing. He enquired whether we have preserved the recordings of my father, Brahmasri Sengalipuram Anantharama Deekshitar. We said yes. Then we were asked whether we have brought any of the tapes there with us. We said yes. Then He asked whether we can play them, so that He could bear them. Saying yes, we searched for a portable tape recorder among the people who had gathered to have His darshan. No one had it. This search took some time and were called and asked the reason for the delay. We conveyed the non availability of a tape recorder. Then we were asked why we had brought the tapes when we had no player. We said that there was a cassette player in the car. He asked whether we can then bring the car near Him and play the cassettes. Though we had thought about it earlier, the driver was hesitant to do so, fearing the problem in bringing the car on the sands on the river bank. With the help of the people there the car was slowly brought near Him and while doing so He got up.
We thought He had decided to go for ‘biksha’ thinking that we were unable to arrange for the playing of tapes. We yelled at the person sitting in the car to play some tape and the driver pulled out the two speakers and placed them before Maha Periyaval. To out utter surprise there was enough length of wire to bring the speakers near to Him. Immediately we realized that Maha Periyaval got up only to turn towards the river, so that He can sit facing east and closing His eyes, started Japa so that lno0 one would disturb while listening to the tapes.
The cassette which was played started with the narration of the ‘Lakshanam’ of spiritually elevated great souls and ‘Gnanis’ quoting from our scriptures, puranas Sastras etc. Sri Deekshitar proceeded further that as none of such great Gnanis would ever reveal and declare their spiritual status and in the kali yuga others being not in the required spiritual level to realize the greatness of such elevated soul, then how to realize such Gnanis . The answer to this as given in puranas, Sastras, scriptures etc. were described by Sri Deekshitar, concluding this topic, Sri Deekshitar mentioned our Sri Maha Periyaval as such Gnani.
There were many devotees standing around Him including those from Andhra Pradesh, who could not understand Tamil. We were all in ecstasy and were practically crying in joy.
After about two hours of listening, He ordered us to stop playing the cassette and then got up.
In the evening, after we all got permission to leave for salem and when we were about to change our cloth, we were ordered to come back. When we did, He told me that in the morning, as the upanyasam tape commenced abruptly He asked us to play the beginning of the selected Upanyasam. A few Vedic scholars from Andhra had also come to have His darshan. Often asking us to stop the tape, He would explain the matter being dealt with by Sri Deekshitar in the recorded tapes. On Sri Deekshitar giving some meaning to a particular sloka, those scholars were asked whether they understood what Sri Deekshitar was narrating. Each of them told the different meanings of the sloka. Sri Maha Periyaval then said that the meaning described by Sri Deekshitar was entirely new and not from any of the famous commentaries to Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam (“Vyaakhyanam – s”).
It has always been the case that not even once we had returned having darshan of Sri Mahaperiyaval, without He enquiring about me and my family. Invariable, He would always enquire about the performance of ‘Nitya pooja’ at the Sri Adhishtanam of Sri Deekshitar located at Chinnatirupati, Salem. The adherence to ‘Suddha Aacharam’ while performing the Nitya pooja too was discussed many times in different perspective and He has asked us many times as to how we adhere to it.
Once, while we had been to Kancheepuram in eighties, along with the son of Sri Tambu Deekshitar (my first cousin), who is a “Ghanapaati”, Sri Mahaperiyaval ordered him to come near Him and asked him to reite an ‘anuvaakam’ from Sri Rudram in ‘Ghanam” format. (“Nama : Somaya”) But to our utter disappointment, Sri Mahaperiyaval never turned to our side and did not even notice whenever He was told that the son of Sri Deekshitar had come with family. We were all disappointed very much and my wife started crying saying that we have committed some sin/mistake which must be the reason for Sri Mahaperiyaval ignoring us. Though having not come prepared to stay overnight, we took a room in a nearby lodge and returned to Sri Mutt to have His darshan, in the early hours next day.
The treatment and reaction of Sri Mahaperiyaval did not change. With very heavy hearts, we all returned to Salem in the evening. Our relatives informed that my uncle Sri Anjaneya Deekshitar, (younger brother of Sri Anantarama Deekshitar), had passed way the previous day. Then only we could realize that we had ‘Aasoucham’ (pollution) just when we entered Sri Mutt and that was why Sri Mahaperiyaval avoided us. But He talked to my cousin’s won, who had no such ‘Aasoucham’ as he was a ‘Brahmachaari’.
In the year 1975, a devotee of Sri Anantarama Deekshitar commenced performing “Sahasra aavarti’ of “Sri Gayatri Maha Mantram” at Sri Adhishtanam daily without break for a month He decided to perform this on listening to Sri Deekshitar recorded Upansayam, wherein Sri Deekshitar narrates the importance of performing “Sahasra Aavarti” with concentration, daily, without break for a month, outside the house. Sri Deekshitar also cites ‘Manu Smruti’ as to how such person performing “Sahasra Aavarti” gets rid of all “Paapam” effortlessly in the same way as the snake gets rid of its outer skin.
This was done separately after performing “Praata: Sandhyavandanam”. After completing the japams for thirty days’ he went of Kalavai, where at the Adhishtanams of His Guru and Paramaguru, Si Mahaperiyaval was camping.
Without talking to any one who had come to have His darshan, Sri Mahaperiyaval went to the east side of Sri Adhishtanam-s. This devotee along with his friends decided to do “Pradakshinam” of the Adhishtanam-s . On coming to the south east side, they could hear the voice of Sri Mahaperiyaval. They climbed upon the foundation stones and clutching the compound wall, started listening to Sri Mahaperiyaval, who was facing north and so could not see the devotees. He was telling as to how Sri Deekshitar preached successfully the importance of perfoming “Karma” and moe specifically “nitya karma”. He was also recollecting as to how Sri Deekshitar went to even many villages far away from big towns and cities, as ordered by Him to give ‘Upanyasam’ on our ‘Vaidika dharma’ under the auspices of ‘Veda Dharma Paripalana Sahbha’ (an institution founded as directed by Sri Mahaperiyaval to spread the knowledge of Vedas and the importance of performing the ordained karmas) He was telling how the Upanyasams of Sri Deekshitar had high level of positive impact on most of the listeners.
At this time Sri Mahaperiyavl mentioned about our relative who was in the Sri Mutt doing service for some time. He enquired about the name of our relative as if He could not recollect it. At this time His “Sishyas” standing in front of Him looked at us. Immediately Sri Mahaperiyaval asked them whether some one is standing behind Him and turned towards us. He asked the devotee (who performed ‘Sahasra Aavarti’ for a month) to continue performing the ‘Sahasra Aavarti’ as often as possible. (“innum niraya gayathri panindu iru”) The devotee was delighted as he had not told anyone about doing the japams. When the devotee replied that he would and that he has been doing it at Sri Adhishtanam of Sri Deekshitar at Salem, Sri Mahaperiyaval, keeping His right palm on His chest, with a smiling face, nodded His head to convey that He very well knew it.
The delighted devotee has been performing the ‘Sahasra Aavarti’ and is naturally experiencing the effects of it. He is also in the habit of narrating the incident to many to induce them to start themselves performing ‘Sahasra Aavarti’ of ‘Sri Gayathri Mahamantram’, preferably in a sacred place outside the house.
Article Courtesy: Sri Shivaraman.
Categories: Devotee Experiences