Testing times


It has been exactly a week since I have been down psychologically after hearing a tragic event happened to one of our readers, a most sincere devotee of Mahaperiyava, who is living here in the US. While I am not at the liberty to elaborate the details, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the magnitude of the tragedy that this devotee is undergoing can’t be explained in words. This family has been the most sincere devotee of Periyava – followed every bit of His teachings, following achara/anushtanams, doing so many dharmic activities / supporting it etc. I came to know that this family has been so much contributing to several periyava kainkaryam appeals that were posted in the blog – all because Periyava is everything to this family. Although I do not know this person at all – not seen her at all, talked to her only a week back – this incident has shaken me a lot – makes my chest feel heavy..I have been praying everyday to Periyava to help this family at this difficult time. That’s all we could do.

Although we all are vedantic students, understand the laws of karma etc, at times, few incidents baffle us. We feel so unconvinced when such things happen – for instance, a natural calamity, someone losing their young children. Recently, a young ghanapadigal, in his late 20s, passed away by falling from the bike – that too not in an accident situation. He got married just 6 months ago. It made all of us feel so sad and angry at swami at the same time. We are not very convinced on why this happens.

HH Vaariyar swamigal used to say “a ship is sailing in the ocean; few birds sit on the ship and soil the place; the captain of the ship comes and drives away those birds. Where will those birds go? Or where could they go in the middle of the ocean? it will fly away from the ship for short time and come back to the same ship and sit.” Swamigal used to say this to draw the analogy that we are like those birds. Even though while suffering, do not have any other choice but to fall at the feet of Parameswaran, who is none other Periyava, instead of getting at Him for the sufferings.


Let us pray Periyava to help this family to get over this situation and regain confidence for the years ahead.

I am writing this here as this blog is a temple for Mahaperiyava and praying in the temple for another devotee is the least support we could do.

Periyava charanam!


Categories: Devotee Experiences

43 replies

  1. JAI SAI RAM. We are devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. My Wife (Lakshmi) and I have gone through the unfortunate incidents/events of grief duly narrated, for which our family is also not an exception. We lost our beloved son, Sai Raghavendar, on 27 November 2017. He was so affectionate to Bhagawan
    Sri Sathya sai Baba and had been rendering service right from his age of 14 years and was an active office bearer in the “Sri Sathya Sai organization”. After completing his C.A. examinations on 15 Nov 2017, he was into his routine, attending his office work till 19 Nov 2017. On 19 Nov 2017, he attended regular Bhajans (he was also a good singer), in the Samithy and on the same day, he suddenly developed abdominal pain and was admitted in Hospital and the diagnosis was an infection in the abdomen due to food poison. He was recovering very well and was to be discharged on 28 Nov 2017. It was so unfortunate that he suddenly developed very severe cardiac arrest by 11.00 a.m.,and somehow, he was rescued and regained consciousness slowly and he asked for swamy’s Vibhoothi, and I applied the vibhoothi on his forehead along with a small pinch, he swallowed, which he used to do whenever he is in the state of anguish. But, suddenly he left us on the same night, as if the time had come for him to leave, in response to the directions of the Divine.

    We are totally flabbergasted by the said happenings and the pathetic part is that we centered our entire focus on our one and only son and eventually the very objective of our life is totally lost and devastated. In fact, our marriage was conducted with divine blessings of Beloved Periva.

    However, with lot of prayers, I was looking for a solution to make our life meaningful. Somehow, I could get the opportunity to go through the articles and events, which have really comforted us to take our life forward through “Surrender” ourselves to the Divine with a strong and firm belief and faith that he will definite be reborn to us in the ensuing birth as delineated by Mr.Muralidharan and will continue to serve the society.




    • heartfelt condolences. Any words of consolation will not be useful for the grieving family. Only Time will heal and give them back their strength. Pray god for giving them endurance to bear this loss.

  2. I offer my prayers & all my “Punniyams” on the lotus feet of Perriava for offering solace to the family which is going through tough time


  4. Our prayers are with the Madam. She will overcome the situation with the blessings of Mahaperiyavaa.

  5. The test in Spiritual life to evolve towards the highest state is to surrender completely to the Divine and His Will whether it is favourable or unfavorable to us. Lives of Sixty Three Nayanmars are examples in this regard. They held onto Siva Dharma firmly even at the cost of their life despite extreme sufferings/hardships and tests from Lord Siva.

  6. I recollect an experience by a shirdi saibaba devotee in one of the saibaba experiences blog. I used to read it many number of times.In case if this helps…

    —-Sai Sister Neeta from India says: I am a very humble devotee of Shri Sai Baba, and I am attached to Baba from childhood. The experiences I had in the past years and with every passing day my devotion and faith is increasing. I feel His holy grace and blessings in everything that happens in my life. Om Sai Ram. I would like to share my experiences with Baba happened in the year 1999. I had a daughter, on 17th November, when she was of 4 years and 5 months, she was detected Blood Cancer (Leukaemia). She was our only child and this news shattered our family. It is our daily routine that we used to have Udi Prasad after our prayer and Pooja. My daughter was also very much devoted to Shri Sai Baba. Whenever she gets high fever (104°C) she used to tell us to give Udi Prasad, so that her fever will go down. She also used to listen to the “Sai Ram Dhoon” as she believed that she will be fine. During her treatment in Tata Memorial she had undergone Bone Marrow for 10 times. But when I cried she used to tell me that “Mamma don’t cry you pray to Sai Baba.”

    One day when she was hospitalized in Tata Hospital, one of my husband’s friends came to meet her. And he told us that he is going to Shirdi. When my daughter knew it she cried to go with him to Shirdi, so we promised her to take there after her treatment. It was Thursday, and that day doctors told us to arrange platelets for her. So we paged this message on pager. Many donors called us to donate platelets. Among them one donor from Mumbai itself called me and told me to donate her platelets, but till then we’ve already got the donor, so I refused her. She then asked me to meet my daughter. And in the evening she came and bought Sai Baba’s Photograph and Udi Prasad for my daughter as if Baba Himself sent it. We were overwhelmed to receive it. Then after few days during her catheter implant surgery she told me that she saw Sai Baba in operation theatre wearing white choga with garland of red roses. Though she was in pain after surgery but was very happy and said, “Mamma I saw Sai Baba, He touched my forehead and said to come to Shirdi.” After three months of her treatment, doctors refused any further treatment as she was not responding to the treatment, so she was advised only symptomatic treatment and that her life is only for 3-4 months. So we with the girl (who came with Baba’s photograph) her mamma and papa went to Shirdi. We received Baba’s shawl which was touched to His Samadhi and Udi Prasad. After Sai’s Darshan we came back home.

    Sitting besides my daughter, daily I started reading “Sai Satcharitra” (Holy Book on Sai Baba’s Life) On 21st May 2000 my daughter breathed her last breathe, with Sai Baba’s shawl around her and Baba’s photograph (which I used to keep on her chest from the time she was diagnosed cancer) and the last word she uttered was – “Mamma give me Sai Baba’s Udi.” I applied Udi on her forehead and also gave it to her as Prasad. After this incident I and my husband were totally blank. No reason to live, but by Sai Baba’s grace we managed to live. It was my strong belief that she is with Baba and I always prayed Baba to take care of her. I used to offer milk, food etc as “Bhog” to Baba and pray Him to have it both together. After few days on Thursday we met a Baba who himself was a devotee of Sai Baba told us that Sai Baba will visit to your house on 8th Thursday from today, you will have to recognize Him as He can come in any form. On 8th Thursday myself and my husband both prepared my daughter’s favourite food, as it was my strong belief that our daughter is with Baba and has her food with Him daily, so Baba will not come alone.

    It was exactly at 12 noon (the time when Prasad is offered to Sai Baba in Shirdi), we saw the lane was empty, not a single person we could see and “A Pure White Cow With Her Calf” coming towards us. We offered them food and just after that when we saw them from the terrace they both disappeared. This was such a beautiful and amazing experience that I can’t explain in words. Whenever I think of that moment tears rolled down Om Sai Ram that’s it. Our entire life is insufficient to thank Him. Since it was my routine to read “Sai Satcharitra” specially Adhyay (Chapter No. 48)- In it Sai Baba gave blessings to the couple ( name Sapatnekar) whose child died due to some disease and Baba says to them that – “ I am here, not to take away anybody’s child but I can do one thing that I can give back the same child in her womb.” These words of Sai Baba gave me strength to bear my daughter’s loss and I believed that my same daughter will come back. Daily my prayer to Baba was to give back my same child.

    It was on 8th June 2002 Baba answered my prayer and by His Blessings and Grace I gave birth to a baby boy who exactly resembles my daughter (From nails to hair). My son now is 12 years old and he used to tell me – “Mamma its fine that I am born as your son because if I were born as a girl I would have left you after marriage, but now I will stay always with you.” Om Sai Ram—–

  7. First of all we all have t think our family is not ours but periyavas.

  8. Mahaperiavaa Charanam!

    I have no words to express myself at the shock that i am going through after reading all the incidents!

    As you have all rightly pointed out , where can we go like the birds , we can only go MAHAPERIAVAA and he will stand by us guiding and guarding us through.

    We do not know what all is in store for us due to our karma ? Let us keep faith in HIM and he knows what is best for us.

    Pray MAHAPERIAVAA be with the family and bring them back to their normal life.

    Guruve charanam ! Mahaperiavaa Charanam Charanam Charanam

  9. “Bhagavan Yogi Ram Surat Kumar has said, அப்பாவை (இறைவன்) சார்ந்து வாழ்பவர்களுக்கு, அவர்களை புனிதப்படுத்துவதற்க்காக அப்பா சில கடினமான சூழ்நிலைகளை உருவாக்குவார்.”

  10. மஹேஷ்,
    தை வெள்ளிக்கிழமையான இன்று இந்த பதிவை படித்து நெகிழ்கிறேன்.

    எல்லோர் வாழ்விலும் இப்படி சம்பவங்கள் நடந்திருந்தாலும் இந்த சம்பவங்களை படிக்கும் பொழுது நொறுங்கித்தான் போகிறோம்.

    இந்த கட்டத்திலிருந்துு மீண்டுவர மஹா பெரியவாளைத்தவிற எந்த சக்தியும் உதவமுடியாது. அந்த குடும்பத்தினர்ளுகக்கு மஹாபெரியவாளின் மீது பக்தியும் நம்பிக்கையும் பல மடங்குகூடிட ஒரு மிகப்பெரிய வாய்ப்பாகவே பார்க்கிறோம். நம் அனைவருடைய ப்ரார்த்தனையும் அதுவே.

    லக்ஷ்மி அவர்கள் பதிந்தது போல மஹா பெரியவாளிடம் சரணாகதி அடைந்திட ப்ரார்த்திக்கிறோம்.

  11. I have been a silent follower of this Periyava family. I greatly appreciate the hardwork ans sincerity of Mahesh and the bakthi of rest of the family. The reason I came forward to comment here is to share my own experience. I hope it brings hope and strengthens our committment to Periyava and His teachings.
    I come from a family of ardent Periyava and Srimatam devotees. I am blessed to have had the Dharshan of Periyava many times. I should say that my busy life kept me at a distance from Periyava for almost 20 yrs. I went back to Him ( rather He came back to me because of his Karunai) few months back, which my little brain thinks, is to be with me in my tough times.
    My husband had what we thought was a life threatening health issue few months back. I was sitting in the emergency room with my only weapon-Periyava Japam.
    I swear I felt Periyavas presence in the form of a cool breeze (inside a closely shut emergency room with no fans anywhere nearby). This is a precious experience of mine which I dont share even with close family, leave alone strangers. It didnt surprise me when my husband was cleared of any serious illness and we walked home.
    My son had a very bad eye problem and he lost an eye after a 6 month battle. Having a young kid with one eye is unimaginable for any parent. If I say we underwent enormous mental struggle during the past 6 months it would be an understatement. But I am at peace with a sane mind and a belief in Periyava sky rocketing several fold inspite of my son losing an eye. All because of Periyava lifting me up and making me understand that he He is there for me. On the days the struggles were peaking, Periyava was a Karunamurthy and sent some good news our way, the days I cried myself to sleep, He would come in my dream and on the day my son was to undergo emergency surgery, He came in the form of a Doctor who wanted to try an experimental procedure which averted the surgery.
    We all know Him as a magician curing illnesses and preventing mishaps but the most magical way He works is to nudge our mind to handle our situation better and to bear our lifes struggles with poise.
    I have done nothing good in this life and I am not fit to even utter Periyava Thirunamam. If He could make me feel his presence, this family who lives with Periyava smaranai will not be abandoned!
    I pray to Periyava to watch over this family in trouble and all the rest of the Periyava family and that He uses all of us in His kaingaryam
    Sorry for any incoherence in my narration. It was written with too much emotion pouring out!

    • Namaskaram. You are a realized soul. To be associated with you in any form would be a Blessing in any junction in the journey of our souls! To reach that equanimity / equipoise of thoughts is a terrific achievement/progress. To that end, help me Sri Periyavaa!

  12. Praying to Maha Periyava for the family and our namaskarams to Smt Lakshmi for her unflinching devotion to Periyava even during testing times.

    Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara

  13. Periyava, we are too small and ignorant to understand and accept the laws of Karma and poorva janma papam, etc. All that we know is that we are under Your care and You become our Rakshak. Please save us all including the family referred in this post. Pranams,!
    R Balasubramanian Chennai 59

  14. Prayers and More Prayers is what will help, the more we pray as a group it will help people to bear and live through the situations and come out of it with HIS Blessings and Grace. Maha Periyava is always around to guide and comfort us. Total Surrender is all we have to do. Namaskarams to Maha Periyava. May HE Guide us all.

  15. I am really shattered to hear this news Mahesh.My sincere prayers to MahaswamigaL as He is everything for us..Matha..pitha..dheivam all the more He is prathyaksha Parameshvaran! She will surely come out of this very soon. Shankara..Sarweshvara

  16. Some time we are in perplex as to why these things to happen, but then our mental maturity is not enough to understand all these. Had we that capacity, perhaps, we would have dared anything in this world with or without any reason. Everybody and everything should be controlled by sometime or some reason and the the controller is HIM.

    Both incidents (Sri Mahesh’s narrated and Smt. Lakshmi’s) shattered me very deeply, but that is how the life is and everyone has to undergo these situations. Only Maha Periva should give us strength to stick with these inevitable situations. What else we can ask HIM?

    Periva Kamala Paadam Sharanam. Jaya Jaya Shankara…… Hara Hara Shankara!

  17. Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara sankara

  18. Sincere prayers to Periyava for alleviating the difficulty of the family during these testing times.

    In the face of such extreme suffering, life itself becomes meaningless and void. One invariably thinks… why this existence at all? In this ever declining kali-yuga, where misery & suffering is abundant, ordinary human being have no option but to surrender to Periyava (ParaSakthi) unconditionally. May these challenges push and gode us, even more towards Periyava… let us merge and dissolve in him completely. Om Shanti.


    Words fail me to console the family,that Sri.Mahesh has written about. But Smt .Lakshmi’s personal loss is no less intriguing..As all of us agree,we have no real choice than falling at the lotus feet of Sri.Periyava.
    Sri Periyava Charaname saranam. .

  20. My God bless the family… But one thing… All the things will happen with the consent of Him. We only the spectators.We can only realise the fact when we fly in the High altitude…! we must believe that the other door will definitely be opened to that family immediately… In our hands only one thing is thare… That is Prayer… Prayer… Prayer… whole heartedly…!!! Om Shanthi… Om Shanthi……!!!!.

  21. Our family prayed and HH Maha periyava answered.
    We shall all pray for this family.Mass prayer shall definitely help the family.

  22. It is these kind of incidents which remind us that How helpless are we. Total surrender is the only way out. We think we are doing so many things but it is like this, things are happening they way they are supposed to happen and you are a witness. It is beyond all logic. A silence. Surrender without choice..Nothing more………..Sarvesham shantibhavathu. Sarve Bhavantu sukhinaha………….

  23. With all these shocks and blows, my bhakthi to Periavaa has become100 fold stronger. Thats what keeps me going.

    • I am humbled Madam. Eeshwara!

    • Thanks Smt Lakshmi for sharing your story to console her. Like Sri SR Iyer mama said, I never heard a calamity as worse as your case. Despite your bakthi grew 100 fold stronger. Thanks again…I understand it takes time – won’t happen immediately. My intent of posting this here is to get this family more moral support at this difficult time – we are all a large Periyava family. If we do not even say kind words and sit for a minute to pray for others’ problem, then what good is our life worth for?

      From: Sage of Kanchi Reply-To: Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 1:00 AM To: Subject: [Sage of Kanchi] Comment: “Testing times”

  24. Feel very sad for the family.. praying to Mahaperiavaa to give them the strength to handle situation like this. HE will never let this family down…

    A dejavu: 4 yrs back, we were to have a grahapravesam for our ‘to be purchased new house ‘on june 14 th. All preparations done and folks from far off were arriving. The day before, at around 7 pm my son and husband returns home after seeing to all the logistics for the function the next day.

    to cut the story short:

    ssuddenly my son falls unconcious and my husband runs out to call the doctor who was two doors away on the same floor. I was losing my mind and calling out to periava and kamakshi to save my son. Later I came to know that my husband collapsed at the door of the doctor and passed away while I was listening to the doctor at the hospital that my son has a time bomb clicking in his brain which could burst anytime which is fatal… without even knowing that I have lost my husband..already afew minites before ..calamity!!!

    Then the truth darns on me that absolutely nothing is in our hands and only complete surrender will help one remain sane and handle situations. we get kind of emotionally blunt sometimes… but thats because we understand that things are beyond our comprehension..

    Believe me, periavaa will give you all the mental and physical strength to withstand any dire situations..what is to happen will happen but … HE will be with you through and through.

    • Well. that’s what Mahaperiyava terms as EQUIPOISE and we can earn that only the Grace of Mahaperiyava.
      Thanks for sharing a stellar example.

    • Terrible Madam. This is the worst case I have ever come across anywhere. I am just amazed how you could cope up with this double tragedy of unfathomable sorrow. Words of solace or prayers become meaningless here in such a situation. Eeshwara!

    • YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!

    • Amazed at the way you handled the biggest tragedy in your life through the grace of Periva .

    • Your account brought tears to my eyes. This is indeed very tragic. But the remarkable fact that your bhakti towards periyava not only remained steadfast but increased multi fold is a proof that periyava has held you with him firmly throughout this tragedy. Considering that everything around us is pure brahmam, I can only draw the aspect that your loved ones have simply dissolved into and become one with that Everything – which is Mahaperiyava.
      Well, words can offer only little solace. I can only prostrate to that Everything along with you, and beg him to bless us with the strength to tide through this turbulent sea of samsara..

  25. Our sincere prayer to Maha Periava to bless the family to over come their difficulty.

  26. Sri Mahesh: You have drawn perfect analogy contained in Sri Vaariyaar Swamigal’s pravachanam.

    “HH Vaariyar swamigal used to say “a ship is sailing in the ocean; few birds sit on the ship and soil the place; the captain of the ship comes and drives away those birds. Where will those birds go? Or where could they go in the middle of the ocean? it will fly away from the ship for short time and come back to the same ship and sit.” Swamigal used to say this to draw the analogy that we are like those birds. Even though while suffering, do not have any other choice but to fall at the feet of Parameswaran, who is none other Periyava, instead of getting at Him for the sufferings.”

    I offer my sincere prayers to the said family you are referring to and to that of the Ganapaadigal’s family.

    Yesterday, while contemplating before Sri Periyavaa, I posed the following question to Him:

    1. (Late) Sri Maharajapuram Santhanam is second to none in nadhopaasanaa, and so is
    2. (Late) Prof. Jon Higgins [affectionately called Bhagavatar in TN music circles]

    Both of them had goary death.

    My poser was when such divine souls meet with such a tragic end, “what is there in store for me, My Lord? [Maera kyaa hoga Kaaliya?]

    Both my beloved father and grandfather enjoyed anaayaasena maranam. Will you extend the same joy to me as well?”

    Howsoever may our ends come, I think we must always have Him uppermost in our minds. Rest, in His hands. It is always His/Her/It’s Will that is done.

  27. What can we say as we do never understand the Karmic theory.
    As rightly said let’s pray to Mahaperiyavaa to Bless the family with strength to bear the calamity and come out of it at the earliest.
    And Mahesh, I really appreciate your decision to maintain the anonymity of the family.

  28. True. For such issues, we do not have any answer. For example in chennai Purasawalkam temple, the madapalli incharge only daughter immediately after marriage met with bike accident and expired few years back. I do not know how this could happen to a sincere devotee who daily served the god with holy prasad. I was angry at that Perumal. But god is the only person who knows what to give or take. Let us surrender to him and pray that the said family be given enough strength / support to bear the ordeal and come out more stronger. May be the family is being tested ultimately for something more good to follow later.

  29. I pray Periyava to bless this family abundantly to get over the situation and be devoted as before. Sometimes, the cosmic laws totally puzzle us. May this family become strong since many such incidents happen to test our belief in God.

  30. My sincere prayers to the Living God, MahaPeriava, to make this family get back to routine. we are all ordinary humans who are ignorant of such tragic things befalling good people. Except offering our prayers at His feet, let us not try to analyze such events and confuse ourselves because, the truth is that we cannot find any reasons.

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