Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara – Thanks to Shri Raman for the Whatsapp share. It will be interesting to see the direct Tamizh version of the article below. If anyone has, please share. Relating to this topic I’m also posting a quote from Deivathin Kural below.
Also, the interview published below in the comments section does not have contain the travel time to US, etc. As a caution, this interview needs to be taken in the right sense and context as we do not have the exact source, the context when the interaction happened, the purpose behind it, the perception of the receiver (professor), and his opinions, etc. Ram Ram
நம்முடைய தேசத்தில் மட்டும் தான் வேதத்துக்கு ப்ரயோகம், கர்ம பூமியான இந்த பரத கண்டத்தில் மட்டும் தான் வேத கர்மாக்கள் செய்தால் பலன் உண்டு என்றாலும் அந்தப் பலன் இந்த தேசத்துக்கானது மட்டுமில்லை. ஸகல லோகத்துக்கும் பலனை உத்தேசித்துத் தான் இங்கே நம் தேசத்தில் வைதீக கர்மா செய்வது. ஹ்ருதயத்திலிருந்து ரத்தம் சரீரம் பூராவுக்கும் பாய்கிற மாதிரி இங்கே செய்யும் வைதீக அநுஷ்டானங்கள் லோகம் முழுதற்கும் க்ஷேமங்களைப் பாய்ச்சி விடும். – பூஜ்ய ஸ்ரீ காஞ்சி மஹா பெரியவா
Vedhas are chanted only in our country and only if Vedha karmas are performed here in Bharatha Desam (karma bhumi), they are fruitful. But the fruit is not only for this country. We do Vaidhika karmas here keeping in mind the good of the entire world. Just as the blood flows from the heart to all parts of the body, the Vaidhika anushtanas we observe here bestow welfare on the whole world. – Pujya Sri Kanchi Maha Periyava
Experiences with Maha Periyava: Prayaschittam for going abroad!
By the blessings of Sri Maha Periyava, I have been able to do brain operations in India continuously in the government General Hospital in Madras from 1964 to 1992 and after I retired from government service, I have been in private hospitals for more than a decade.
What is perhaps equally important is that I have been able to involve throughout these forty years in training several dozens of young doctors in neurosurgery in the General Hospital, Chennai from 1964 to 1992 and in Apollo Hospital, Chennai recognized for DNB qualification in neurosurgery from 1992 onwards.
In those days when a Brahmin boy went abroad and returned he was supposed to go to Rameswaram and have a bath in the ocean for purification. Somehow although we are an orthodox family, I could not do this. Soon after my return I had to undergo surgery for hernia. Then I got married. Later I became very busy in hospital work and I could never get the time to plan a trip to Rameswaram.
Sometime in 1975 I went to Kancheepuram with my younger sister and niece to have darsanam of Maha Periyava. By that time I had already been abroad several times. An elderly Brahmin gentleman who had just come from Nigeria was present too to have darshan. There was a crowd of about sixty or seventy persons and Maha Periyava talked for about an hour on my problem of going to Rameswaram.
I am giving below the gist of the conversation His Holiness had with me.
His Holiness, while addressing the crowd of devotees: “This elderly gentleman had come from Nigeria to ask me if he should do Prayaschittam for going abroad”. Turning to me he smiled “Probably, Kalyanaraman also had come because he has a selfish interest in this as to whether he should also go to Rameswaram”.
His Holiness: “How many versions of Ramayanam are there in India?”
SKR: “Probably about a hundred”.
His Holiness: “There are about 300 languages and dialects in this country and probably an equal number of versions of Ramayanam. How did Rama and Sita return from Lanka to Ayodhya?”
SKR: “By Pushpakavimanam”.
His Holiness: “That is right. It is very interesting that neither in Valmiki Ramayanam nor in any of the other 300 versions of Ramayanam there is any mention that Rama and others did prayaschittam after returning from Lanka. You may say that they travelled by air and prayaschittam is required only if you travel by sea.
Then He mentioned the name of a Frenchman and asked if I had heard about him. I replied in negative.
His Holiness: “This man was a historian. He lived in India at the time of early Chola kings. At that time one of the daughters of the reigning King could not get suitable bridegroom in India. In those days Hindu Kings were ruling over countries now known as Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia etc.” Have you been to Bangkok?
HH: “Have you been to the famous Buddha temple there, which contains many pictures depicting the story of Ramayana in the prakarams of the temple?”
HH: “So the Chola king in south India chose a prince in Cambodia as his son-in-law. The prince came to India and married the princess. The royal couple accompanied by a large retinue of purohits, maids in waiting and servants returned by ship to the bridegroom’s kingdom. After staying a few days there the purohits returned by ship to India. This French historian has given a very detailed day by day account of this marriage in his book. He has not mentioned that the purohits did Prayaschittam either on reaching Cambodia or on returning to India.
Then His Holiness asked me: “How long does it take to go to America nowadays?
SKR: It would take about eighteen hours and if there is a break of journey in London about twenty four hours.
Then His Holiness enlightened us:
That is the real point. In the Shastras it has been specifically stated that if one did not do nityakarmanushtanam (daily religious rituals like sandhya vandanam, samitadanam, agnihotram) for three days continuously one had to do prayaschittam. In those days practically everyone did their daily religious duties. The only time they could not do so was when they travelled by sea as pure fresh water was not available for bath. That is why if they travelled by sea (for more than three days), they had to do prayaschittam. Probably the purohits reached Cambodia in two days and Rama reached Ayodhya in a few hours. Therefore, there was no need for prayaschittam.
If you apply that rule today, then some people in the present audience will need to do prayaschittam several times a year for omitting to do sandhya vandanam for three days in succession! One need not go abroad to qualify oneself for doing prayaschittam!
This is again a remarkable example of how His Holiness interprets the scriptures and gives simple anecdotes step by step to illustrate the point discussed, to a lay audience. Needless to say I was very much relieved that I had not “sinned” by not going to Rameswaram! The occasion also reinforced my resolve never to omit Sandhya Vandanam or reciting the Gayathri manthram even for a single day.
His Holiness continued:
Some people say that you should do prayaschittam only if you go to another island. Is Africa an island?
His Holiness: No, Africa and Asia form single large mass of land. Only about a hundred years ago when the Suez Canal was dug by the Englishman, it technically became an island.
In fact Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe were all one large land mass and in the millions of years that have gone by, the land mass drifted away from one another with the oceans coming in between them and formed individual continents.
Here again was another example of the vast knowledge of history, geography and geology that His Holiness had mastered.
He concluded by saying that neither the gentleman from Nigeria nor Dr. Kalyanaraman need to do prayaschittam because they have travelled for less than three days to reach India but everyone certainly had to do it if they had omitted Sandhya Vandanam for three days or more!
Author: Prof S.Kalyanaraman, Neurosurgeon, Chennai
Categories: Devotee Experiences