Many Jaya Jaya Sankara to Shri Mani for sharing this lovely incident. Though I have read this before it seems new every-time reminding how great our Periyava is and how much we should learn in this world. Rama Rama
Experiences with Maha Periyava: “For me? All this Compassion of His for a sinner like me?!”
Filmmaker Sando Chinnappa Thevar and the famous Tamil Poet Kannadasan were close friends and were travelling in a car for a film shooting. Their vehicle met with an accident. Thevar escaped with minor injuries whereas Kannadasan sustained severe injuries and was admitted in a hospital in Madras in an unconscious state.
Thevar had a lot of respect and devotion for Maha Swamigal. He rushed to have darshan of Maha Swamigal, who was camped at Brahmapureeswarar temple in Sivasthanam (Thenambakkam).
“An accident happened”, said Thevar to Maha Swamigal.
Immediately Maha Swamigal replied, “How is Kannadasan?”
Thevar was wonderstruck at Maha Swamigal’s enquiry about the poet as he had not told Him about the poet. Thevar told Maha Swamigal about the major accident and how he escaped with minor injuries and how Kannadasan had got seriously injured and was also in an unconscious state in the hospital.
Sensing Thevar’s anguish, Maha Swamigal pacified him saying, “It is OK, do not worry!” He then asked Thevar to apply vibhuthi (holy ash) on the forehead of Kannadasan, put some into his mouth and keep the remaining vibhuthi below his pillow in the hospital. Maha Swamigal Himself packed the vibhuthi in a small packet and handed it to Thevar!
Thevar took the vibhuthi with a lot of hesitation, the reason being, Kannadasan was an atheist, a non-believer in God. Those days Kannadasan was seriously involved in the atheist activities of the Dravida political parties and was always speaking ill of Brahmins and Sanatana Dharma. In fact, just a week before the accident, Kannadasan had sullied the image of the Shankaracharyas in a meeting conducted just opposite the Shankara Matam in Kanchi! “How can I carry this vibhuthi to such a person?” wondered Thevar.
The Trikala Gnani understood the Thevar’s reluctance and told him:
“Without any hesitation go and apply the vibhuthi on Kannadasan. Just like how a small cloud hides a mighty Sun, this cloud of atheism is obstructing him so far. From now onwards, He will shine like the Sun! Do you know how illustrious his ancestors were? His great grandfather had rendered renovation service at Kanchi Varadaraja Perumal temple, his grandfather rendered renovation service to Kanchi Ekambareshwara temple and his father had rendered renovation service to Kanchi Kamakshi Amman temple. He has come from such a Parampara of holy temple service. Now do you understand?”
Thevar did as ordered by going to the hospital. He applied the sacred vibhuthi prasadam given by Maha Swamigal, put some in his mouth and kept the remaining vibhuti in the packet under the pillow. It was evening and Kavinjar Kannadasan was still unconscious. Thevar went to his home to rest for the night and came back in the morning to the hospital to see his friend. He went home worried as to what Kannadasan would say after he regained consciousness.
The next day Thevar went to the hospital to check on Kannadasan. He had recovered consciousness and was lying down with his eyes open. “For how many days have I been in this hospital? Please bring me a mirror, I want to see my face!” said Kannadasan. Thevar obliged. On seeing his face and vibuthi on his forehead, Kannadasan did not show any signs of anger. Instead he asked who applied it! Thevar mustered some courage and narrated his meeting Maha Periyava and how He blessed him!
When Kannadasan heard this, tears streamed down from his eyes!
“For me? All this Compassion of His for me? Just last week I spoke ill of Him. What a sinner I am!” cried out Kannadasan! “After I recover completely I will not first go to my home. Please take me to that Mahaan first, who showered His Compassion on a Sinner like me”, pleaded him to Thevar!
As per Kannadasan’s request He had darshan of MahaSwamigal and pleaded with Him to forgive him. His mind changed from atheism to Spirituality. Out sprang a poem on Maha Swamigal from the Poet Maestro. He submitted the poem to Maha Swamigal when he had His darshan again:
This is the poem:
பார்த்த மாத்திரத்தில் பாவத்தை அலம்புகின்ற
தீர்த்தப் பெருக்கு, திருவாசகத்தின் உட்கருத்து
கூர்த்த மதியால் மெய்ஞானக் கருத்துணர்த்தும் முழுமூர்த்தம்
கலிமொய்க்கும் இவ்வுலகைக் காக்கவந்த கண்கண்ட தெய்வம்
எம்மதத்தோரும் சம்மதத்துடன் தம்மதத் தலைவனென
தொழுதேத்தும் தெய்வக் கமலக் கழல் தொழுவோம் வாரீர்!
“Just by a mere look are the sins washed away
He who is the embodiment of Thiruvachagam (a great piece of Literature on Lord Shiva composed by Manickavachagar)
The One who expounds the meanings of Truth and Knowledge
with His razor sharp Intellect
The God who came to protect this world
The One who is accepted by people of all religions
as their own God
Let us pray and submit ourselves at His Lotus Feet
Maha Swamigal read the poem and gently told Kannadasan:
“What you have said applies only to Seshadri Swamigal. The One who is the Ardhanari of Thiruvannamalai! The One Who is Super human!”
“Write wholeheartedly about the greatness of Hindu religion!” Maha Swamigal told Kannadasan and blessed him.
And at that very instant, the seed was implanted in Kannadasan’s mind, the result of which was his magnum opus of a book, ‘Arthamulla Hindu Madham, the Insightful Hindu Religion!
Categories: Devotee Experiences