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Experiences with Maha Periyava: Moral Dilemma (Dharma Sankatam)
One day, several years ago, in 1989; at about six in the evening, Kanchi Sri Maha Periyava was seated blissfully and giving darshan to the devotees.
My elder brother, Thiru.Sundaram who was earlier a Tahsildar in Kanchipuram and then an Asst.Collector and I were sitting for darshan. During the time this incident happened my elder brother was serving as Welfare Officer in the District Office for the backward classes at Tirunelveli. He had come for Periyava’s darshan and had to return to Chennai the same night.
One by one the devotees moved forward and prostrated to him. When our turn came, we too prostrated and got up. With a smile, he said “Are you in hurry? Stay on for a while”. We surrendered to to his command and sat in front of him. Lifting up His hands, He gestured to everyone (around 30 people) who had come there for darshan to sit down.
Sri Maha Periyava’s eyes moved over the crowd repeatedly and settled on a devotee who was seated in a corner with reverential devotion. Periyava spoke to him and the gentleman got up. He had wrapped his shirt around his dhoti in lieu of an upper cloth, as a mark of respect.
“Your name?”, “Murugesan” said the gentleman in a respectful tone.
“What is your profession?”
“You feed the world” said Swamigal with a smile and told the devotee to sit down.
Periyava’s eyes began to move over the crowd of devotees again and his hand pointed towards another devotee. The devotee got up and said that his name was Munusamy and that he was the Revenue Inspector at Vellore.
“How do you help people?”
“I issue the Land Ownership documents, Title Deed to housing plots and other such certificates that people seek”.
All of a sudden Periyava looked at me and asked me, “What occupation are you in now?”
I was shaken, because I was then serving as the Deputy Tahsildar at the Tamilnadu Consumer Federation.
The chief duty of that post at TASMAC was to sell the liquor varieties from the Government godown to the retail liquor shops. How could this be considered as public service?
So, I replied with hesitation, “I am serving as the Deputy Tahsildar in TASMAC”. I broke into sweat in embarrassment. However for some
reason Periyava did not ask me about my job in detail.
Periyava’s eyes then fell on my brother. He got up and said that through his office he was arranging free education, distributing food and clothing to people belonging to backward communities and that he was also distributing sewing machines and coal iron
boxes and that he was holding the post of Assistant Collector then.
When Periyava heard him, He said “In this gathering there is a Revenue Officer, Deputy Tahsildar and Assistant Collector who serve the people. What else could we possibly need? He then laughed captivatingly in an inimitable manner.
As for me, my heart was beating fast. At any moment, Swamigal’s eyes may fall on me again. How could I talk about my job which brought harm to the community? Within my heart, I addressed a prayer to Him, “Swami, I do not wish to continue in this post which I have been holding for the last three years.
Please bless me so that I may be relieved from this office”. Swamigal who was compassionate to me did not embarass me by asking me about my job. Within a few weeks after this meeting took place, I was relieved from that post and was posted as a Deputy Tahsildar in the Collector’s Office.
Although it was the Government that issued the transfer order, there is no doubt whatsoever that it was really issued by Swamigal gracious heart.
Author: Irasu, Chennai-61
Source: Maha Periyaval – Darisana Anubhavangal Vol.2
Categories: Devotee Experiences