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Experiences with Maha Periyava: Why did the Archagar Faint?
When I had gone to Sri Kanchi Matham once, I heard about this incident from an archaka (priest). Sri Maha Periyava was camping in a village near Trichy, about 45 years ago. When He started for the usual Chandramouleeswara puja one day, He told the manager of the Matham, “In a short while, the Akhilandeswari temple archakas will come here. Provide them bhojana (food) and bring them to me around two o’ clock.” Then He told a shishya (disciple), “Arrange for the sthapati (sculptor) to carve a two-foot Vinayaka statue”.
As directed by Periyava, the manager received the archakas with honours when they came in the afternoon, fed them and then took them to the sage. Periyava inquired everyone about their welfare.
The head priest told him, “The archaka who goes daily in the morning to open the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Akhilandeswari for public darshan, faints and falls down as soon as he opens the door. He recovers only after ten minutes.
Since this happens daily, the other archakas are hesitant to attend the pooja. Sri Maha Periyava said at once, “Tomorrow I shall come to the temple myself. You can open the temple after my arrival”. He gave them prasadam and bade them farewell.
Sri Maha Periyava went to Sri Akhilandeswari temple at 5:30 hours the next morning. The archaka fainted as soon as he opened the door. He recovered after ten minutes and then got up and went about his work. Periyava sat in nishta (meditation) for sometime. Then he called the head priest and said, “From tomorrow, ask him to enter the sannidhi (shrine where the deity is installed) by opening the side door!” He also explained the priest the way to do it and asked for the archaka to enter the sanctum two minutes after opening the door.
When the sthapati came with the Vinayaka statue at four in the evening, Periyava asked him to build a stoopi (dome) and install the Vinakaya statue on the dome in such a way that the lines of sight of both Akhilandeswari and Vinayaka met each other on the same plane. Sri Vinakaya was installed in the temple opposite his mother, Sri Akhilandeswari according to Agama rules and poojas were performed to Him. The incident of the archaka fainting did not continue thereafter. The Vinayaka statue is still located directly opposite Ambal’s sannidhi in such a way that the mother’s first glance falls on her first son every morning.
Author: A. Thiyagarajan, Chennai-80 (in Tamil)
Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Mar 03, 2007
Categories: Devotee Experiences