Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – We have read this experience in Tamizh before but this is slightly different highlighting the background of the bhaktha Shri ‘Vantondar’ Sankara Iyer. What a great devotee who turns the offer of possibly getting his vision back! Thanks to Smt. Bharathi for the share. Ram Ram
Experiences of Maha Periyava: Sankara, do the service…
When he was in his sixth grade in a school at Pudukkottai, and participated in the ‘Vellaiyane Veliyeru’–‘Quit India’, Independence movement, both his eyes were injured when the police fired on the mob. He stayed absconding for two years in Mudumalai. Both his eyes had turned completely blind. With indescribable dukha (anguish), he had darshan of Sri Maha Periyava for the first time in 1950, along with the patron Nattukkottai Chettiar who was acclaimed as the Devakottai zamindar. That was the turning point in his life.
When Sri Maha Periyava blessed him with the words, “Sankara, only for doing service, God has tested you in this way. You keep doing service, and no grievances will be there for you”, the dukham that he had experienced for many years disappeared and his mind became light and easy.
Later, he learned Tamizh very well, got trained to the extent of memorising the Shaiva, Vaishnava Tamil texts and started teaching the children. His favourite text was Arunagirinathar’s ‘Kandarubhuti’. A woman who was a relative of his came forward and married him voluntarily. It was the custom of Sankara Aiyar to go to towns and villages and do bhajan with the boys and girls. He would also enact stage plays. He would conduct examinations for the children and give them gifts. Even Christian and Muslim pupils used to take those tests.
In appreciation of his Tamizh Seva, Sri Kripananda Variar conferred on him the title ‘Vantondar’–an ardent devotee.
Whenever he had darshan of Maha Periyava, the talk would be about Devaram, Thiruvachakam and Thirukkural. Just by listening to anyone who narrated about Periyava, he would flood tears. He would wonder, “Who else is there who knows Tamizh (texts) so well as Him?”
He is presently seventy-six years old. During his seventieth year when his friends explained to him that he was likely to get his vision back due to advanced medical procedures, he declined it with the words, “By Maha Periyava’s anugraham I am happy now although without vision in my eyes. What is there to gain by obtaining vision henceforth?”
In the year 1958, when Maha Periyava was camping in the Sanskrit College, (Mylapore,) Chennai, he had gone for the Vishwaroopa darshan with the Devakottai zamindar. In those days it was Periyava’s custom to observe kashta maunam (silence) during the morning times. But then when these two people came, everyone was surprised at Periyava’s greeting, “Come, Sankara, come and sit down here.”
After the deepa namaskaram was over in the evening, Maha Periyava said, “Everyone was surprised when I gave up my maunam–silence, and talked this morning, but no one knows why. You people are happy looking at me in the morning at dawn time. But then how could that happiness arise for Sankaran who has no vision in his eyes? Which is why I talked so that he would at least be happy listening to my voice.”
Narrated by the ‘Vantondar’ Sankara Aiyar, belonging to the Sivagangai Cheemai
Source: Maha Periyaval – Darisana Anubhavangal vol.2, page 261-263
Categories: Devotee Experiences