Many Jaya Jaya Sankara to Shri Lakshmanan for this great share. Rama Rama
Experiences with Maha Periyava: You Build the Temple
I was in Tiruvannamalai in my young age. Our house was near the foothill. One Maami used to teach us songs and dance and would ask us to sing before Ramana Maharshi. We would sing and dance before him, going in circles. He would never talk, only have a look with his eyes. After I was married, a relative told me, “Have you seen Kumbakonam Swamy, Maha tapasvi, go and have darshan once.” Periyaval at that time had the name ‘Kumbakonam Swamy’. My husband and I came to Kanchipuram to have darshan, but we were told that Periyava had gone out somewhere. We went to three or four nearby villages, but could not see Him in those places. I was yearning for His darshan.
Only when Periyava had come to Madras, we could have his darshan. At the first sight of him I thought, “He looks typically like Ramana Maharshi. What Tejas in those eyes!” Periyava was keenly looking at me.
Since then, we have been having darshan of Periyava for the last 50 years. If my husband had work, we would come on a Sunday and return the same day after darshan. One Sunday, when Periyava was in Sivasthanam, we came for His darshan. Some sumangalis (women who have their husbands alive) were talking amongst themselves loudly and happily. When inquired, one Maami said, “Periyava asks us to build a temple. Will you join?” We gave our immediate consent.
We prostrated to Periyava and told Him about the news. Periyava asked Rajappa Gurukkal who was near Him to show us the Sivalingams. Of the four Lingams we had a look, the Sevilimedu Lingam lingered in our minds. It was a large Lingam. When we said to Periyava, “We had a look at four Lingams”, He immediately said, “You build the temple for the Sevilimedu Lingam.” Whatever way He came to know of what I had in mind? Later when we started with the arrangements, He asked us to have one Sri Nagarajan of Kanchipuram for assisting us. My husband would come every Saturday and Sunday and buy the things required for building the temple.
Suddenly one day Periyava started on a yatra. I was very eager that Periyava should perform in the kumbhabhishekha of our temple. But we were told that Periyava was leaving for the North and it was not certain when He would return.
Sri Muthiah Stapati carved the Avudayar (the base of a Lingam), but we built only the sanctum sanctorum. Since Periyava had gone on yatra we could not perform the kumbhabhishekham.
I would daily go to the Shiva temple (BharatIswarar temple), light a lamp and go round nine times with the prayers that Periyava should come for our kumbhabhishekham. Meantime we visited the North and had darshan of Periyava. He was at that time in Mahagaon. When He saw us He said, “Conduct the temple kumbhabhishekham.” I prayed to Him, “Only Periyava should come and do the kumbhabhishekham.” He smiled and gave me the directions, “You visit all the doorsteps here, get some rice and wheat telling the householders that they are for my sake and send them to wherever I happen to stay.” Then He looked at my husband and said, “You can’t come yourself. Send them through Joshi.” I was doing as ordered without break.
Because of everyone’s prayer, Periyava came to Kanchi. On the day He reached there, we went to Him with a proposed kumbhabhishekham date. He gave His anugraha. When we came out, we were told that there was another kumbhabhishekham in Sivasthanam and that Periyavaa would visit only that and not ours. We went back and told this news to Periyava, but He asked us to conduct it on the same date.
The kumbhabhishekham day came. Ours was a simple ceremony with an expense of 6,000 to 7,000 rupees. They were doing it with a large sum of one lakh rupees. My mind was in a flutter that He should come. I was doing the smarana the whole night, constantly repeating to myself the words, ‘Periyava should come’, ‘Periyava should come’. Before going to the temple in the morning when I went to have His darshan, He told me of everything I was thinking the whole of previous night. I was in a spiritual tingle.
Just seven people were there in our kumbhabhishekham. When we were almost done, and was about to pour the water in the holy pot over Swami, a boy came up running and cried, “Periyava is coming!” He literally came running, His feet going red in the hot sun of the Chitra month, took over the pot from us and did the abhishekam Himself. With Periyava, about a thousand people had gathered in our place. With many cars and vans on the queue, our kumbhabhishekham took place in a very grand manner–what grace we had! Even when writing this, my eyes pour water. He named the Swami Kailasa Nathar and did His bhiksha inside the sanctum and showed me ‘I am the God!’
Since then, we used to do abhishekam for Kailasa Nathar and submit the prasada to Him. If one of us did not make it to Him, he would inquire the reason therefore.
Whenever I had mental suffering, He would come in my dream and say, “Why do you grieve when I am with you here?” Once when He came to Neyveli I was made a volunteer for the time of His pujas. One day I was standing alone. He called me and asked, “What would you want?” I did not know what to reply to that. I just thought that it was enough if I could have a perennial look at Him. He gave me His anugraha with a gesture of His hand and gave me kumkumam. My friends told me that I missed a good chance and should have asked to be blessed with a child.
It was ten years since I was married. In this way, Periyava used to give me anugraha of what I had in mind, but I wouldn’t be able to orally ask Him anything when I stood before Him. He would of course know everything about me.
In the meantime, Periyava asked the then Minister Hon. Veerappan to arrange for the structural extension our temple. A committee was formed and the kumbhabhishekham was supposed to be held by a notable in the place. When the kumbhabhishekham date was fixed, I went to Periyava and asked what I should do about it. He said “Do nothing; just continue with it.” Thinking why Periyava said like that I went back to my place. The Kumbhabhishekham was on the 5th day of the Thai month. The Sankranti festival was over and on the day of Kanu we were sitting after our meals. A Sri Matam assistant came and said, “Pudu Periyavaa wants you two to come immediately.” When we rushed to meet him, he said, “Only you are doing the kumbhabhishekham. Come tomorrow. Get the anugraha of Periyaval and go.” We were very happy. My husband said that it was not possible for him to withdraw the money at that time. He said he would make arrangements for the money and asked us to come on the morrow. He also said, “Periyava’s health is not very good. Do not disturb Him. Myself and Bala Periyavaa will come and perform your kumbhabhishekham.”
On the day of the kumbhabhishekham, we prostrated to Periyaval and took leave. I just thought inside my mind. ‘When we built a small room, Periyava came to bless us. Now when this temple has been extended Periyava is not able to come.’
What a wonder! The Periyavaas came and performed the kumbhabhishekham as assured and gave us prasadam. The crowd dispersed. When we just thought of taking some prasadam as food, Maha Periyava came to the temple at that advanced age. I was apprehensive that Pudu Periyavaa might chide me, but nothing of that sort happened.
Later when we inquired, we learnt that the ‘notable’ who was to have conducted the kumbhabhishekham was out of station, so we had the bhagyam (fortune). In this way, Periyava has done a lot of anugraha for us.
Author: Jamba Nagasamy, Chennai (in Tamizh)
Source: Maha Periyaval – Darisana Anubhavangal – Vol. 4
Compiled by Jagadguru Sri Maha Periyava – Kanchi Paramacharya Fb
Categories: Devotee Experiences