In one of my recent posts, someone asked me a question, “Can Mahaperiyava cross the ocean?” and someone else mentioned that I was the first one to bring Mahaperiyava to US. This prompted me to write this post with some known details around this.
Let us first ask ourselves what is considered as Mahaperiyava? Is it padhuka? Is it vigraham? Or is it just a photo? According to Sri Pradosham mama and his devotees, even a small photo of Mahaperiyava itself is considered as Mahaperiyava Himself. We have heard that Sri Pradhosham mama used to do harathi , welcome the person who brings the photo to his house, give them veshti, sambhavanai etc (quite remarkable bakthi). If we use that yardstick Mahaperiyava came to US long long back.
If it were padhukas are same as MahaMahaperiyava (which is what we widely follow), here are some padhukas that I know of in US:
|1||DC/Virginia||First padhuka to come to US (I think) blessed by Mahaperiyava Himself knowing that they are going to US – Dr Sundararaman||70s/ 80s|
|2||NJ||Dr ———- – blessed by Mahaperiyava Himself knowing that they are going to US||80s?|
|4||NJ||NJ Manimandapam Team||‘13/14|
|6||Chicago / SFO||Dr —– – these padhukas are in SFO||80s?|
|13||Scottsdate,AZ||Anonymous – I think there is a set of padhukas||??|
|14||SFO||Brahmasri Chandramouli mama?||??|
|15||Sacremento||Sri Panchapakesan Kasiviswanathan||’14|
In total these are the 14 padhukas of Mahaperiyava that I am aware of. There could be more. if you know of any other padhukas, pl let me know, we can update this list – just for the sake of it! I have not included padhukas drawn by Sri L.S.Venkatesan and Sudhan – there are so many of them.
As far as vigraham goes, I dont know about panchaloka vigrahams. The one we have at our place was made exactly like the same Mahaperiyava at Sri Pradosham mama’s place was brought here in 2012/13/14. Later I am sure there are so many of them worldwide… When it comes to life-size Mahaperiyava, it was me who brought the first vigraham to US in 2016.
Now, coming to nitty gritties, even without any vigraham, when we have a sastrigal to do an event for any devata, we do dhyanam and avahanam. To me, who strongly believes in veda, if you do avahanam, that devata is right there – in wherever you do avahanam, kalasam, vigraham, chakram, padhuka etc. If you apply this rule, Mahaperiyava is visiting all places in the world all the time as people do avahanam all the time. That is the beauty of our vedic culture – we could invoke devatas in anything – stone etc as brahman is limitless and formless. So, now, when did Mahaperiyava come to US first?! Interesting right?
On a completely different topic, whenever I think about padhukas, I remember two folks (1) Dr SV Radhakrishnan Sastrigal, Srirangam who was in a different plane altogether – used to say “I don’t need padhukas. I can invoke Him anywhere I want” (2) one more mama in chennai, who passed away 5 years back – he was the one who pushed me hard to do ghorakshana. When he asked Mahaperiyava for His padhukas, Mahaperiyava replied “I am always at your heart, why do you need my padhukas?”.
So there are many folks in US and in other places outside of India, who carries Mahaperiyava in their heart like how anjaneya carried Lord Rama. So, they also transported Mahaperiyava out of India long back!
Sharing some of the details that I know to provide clarity and my thoughts.