Can Mahaperiyava cross the ocean?

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?
3 NJ Anonymous 90s
4 NJ NJ Manimandapam Team ‘13/14
5 NJ Sri Guruvayurappan 90s?
6 Chicago / SFO Dr —– – these padhukas are in SFO 80s?
7 Chicago KKSF Midwest 90s?
8 Chicago My place ‘13
9 Chicago Anonymous ‘18
10 Chicago Anonymous ‘18
11 Indianapolis Anonymous ‘16
12 Indianapolis Anonymous ‘16
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.

Comments welcome!

Periyava Sharanam

Categories: Announcements

24 replies

  1. Has not mahaperiyava while in sareera appeared in dreams of devotees in USA etc. Has he not in atleast some cases personally confirmed the dream. So even while in body he had gone USA etc by his yogic power and appeared in dreams of devotees

    Tatvaabimani Devatas r present in respective tatvas. For eg wherever water is there (any country) VARUNA IS THERE. DEIVATTIN KURAL 2nd vol reg DEVATAS CLEARLY STATES THIS

  2. Great work, Mahesh. Keep it up. If the Indian diaspora can kindle a Vedic spirit through mantras, satsangs and worship Maha Periyava with great devotion, then the world is certainly going to be a much better, peaceful and happy place for all living beings. Hara Hara Sankara, Jaya Jaya Sankara

  3. பெரியவா ….

    காஞ்சிபுரம் ப்ருந்தாவனத்தில் இல்லை

    விக்ரஹத்தில் இல்லை..

    பாதுகைகளில் இல்லை..

    அனுஷ பூஜை மத்தியில் இல்லை…

    யாரார் ஸநாதன தர்மத்தை அவலம்பனம் பண்ணனும்னு நெனக்கறாளோ…
    ஸந்த்யா உபாஸனம் பண்றாளோ..
    காலம்- காசு எல்லாத்தையும் விரயமாக்காமல் கணக்கா இருக்காளோ…
    கிடைக்கிற நேரத்தை நல்ல விஷயங்களில் (இஷ்டா பூர்த்தம்) செலவழிக்கிறார்களோ…
    குல தைவத்தை மறக்காமல் வருஷத்துக்கு ஒரு தடவையாவது தர்சனம் பண்ணுகிறார்களோ…
    ச்ராத்தம் தர்ப்பணம் முதலான பித்ரு கர்மாக்களை விடாது செய்கிறார்களோ…

    அவர்களோட ஹ்ருதயத்தில் ஸதா இருக்கிறார்.
    வேறெங்கும் இல்லை.

    ராம ராம ராம ராம

  4. Mahaperiyava physically crosseds ocean when he walked across Pamban bridge and reached rameswaram but his visit is not out of india and and not for earning a livilihood and stay there. laxman,

  5. He is sarva vyapi. Where is he not there?

  6. Of course MahaPeriyava himself seems to have told his devotee who proudly declared that he offered shraddham while abroad “நீ போனது போறாதுன்னு உங்க அப்பாவையும் அழைச்சுண்டு போயிட்டு பெருமையா சொல்றியா ” In 1984 Nov, my dad died. From Nov 85 i had to do amavasya tharpanam (because an eclipse had occurred in between). But i was in Gulf. My home sastrulu said that i should not do. So i approached the Principal of Sanskrit college. I sought his advise / direction. He asked me “Now that you have come to me- what made you come to me?”. My response. “I am performing Deva karayas such as Puja, Daily abhisekam to spatika lingam etc, Manusha karyas such as sandhyavandanam, eating, sleeping abroad. Why not i do Pithru karyaas also – since it is my obligation / duty/ repayment of runam (debt)”. HIS ANSWER WAS SIMPLE. “You have a valid point. So keep doing all 3 karyas (deva, pithru, manushya). Better than not doing at all. Do not worry about karma phala. But since you have this kind of interest and our scriptures stipulate such rules (which i can not amend only for you), better return to India as and when you feel that you have earned enough for life”. When we carry the thought of Mahaperiyava with us wherever we go, we already have established (prathistapana) HIM in our inner temple. HOW do we justify carrying a temple for HIM in our heart when we travel abroad? If we become sudras (employees for wages) or vaisyas (busines people) how do we justify doing brahmin rituals? As a corollary, does that justify giving up all rituals? VERY COMPLICATED ISSUES.

  7. We all have our views on this subject but need to see what the ultimate authority (Maha Periyava) has said in this regard. Sri Periyava says with respect to why deities should not go outside Bharatham through a Vinayagar incident. It is a big series but posting a few snippets from Deivathin Kural. Per the below as well one of the audios in Periyava kural HH has clearly said one reaps the benefits of Karmanushtanams only if done in Bharatha Desam. Agreeing or not is upto us 🙂 Rama Rama

    பாரத தேசத்தின் தனித்தன்மை

    அது ஸரி, பாரததேசத்தை விட்டு தெய்வ பிம்பங்கள் போகப்படாது என்று பிள்ளையார் ஏன் நினைத்தார், அது ஸரிதானா, நியாயந்தானா என்றால் —

    ஒரு மரத்துக்கு ஜலம் விடுவதென்றால் கிளையிலா விடுவார்கள்? பூ, காய் மேலா விடுவார்கள்? வேரிலேதானே விடுவார்கள்? வேரிலே விட்டால் கிளை, இலை, பூ, காய் எல்லவாற்றுக்கும் ஜலம் போய்விடுகிறதோ இல்லியோ? அப்படித்தான் தெய்வ ஸம்பந்தமான விஷயங்களுக்கெல்லாம் லோகம் என்கிற இந்தப் பெரிய விருக்ஷத்திற்கு இந்த பாரத தேசமே வேராக இருக்கிறது. இலைமேல் பூ, காய் மேலும் கொஞ்சம் ஜலம் தெளித்தால் அதுகளும் அதனால் கொஞ்சம் பச்சென்று ஆனாலும், வேரில் விட்டால்தான் அந்த இலை, பூ முதலானதும் உள்ளே ஸத்துப் பெறுகிறது. அந்த மாதிரி வெளி தேசங்களில் செய்யும் பூஜாதிகளாலும் அந்த தேசங்களுக்குக் கொஞ்சம் நன்மை உண்டாகுமானாலும், இந்த பாரத சேதத்தில் செய்கிறதால்தான் அந்த தேசங்களுக்கும் உள்ளூரப் புஷ்டியான பலன் கிடைக்கும்.

    லோக ஸ்ருஷ்டியில் பகவான் ஒவ்வொரு தேசத்தில்தான் நல்ல க்ளைமேட், ஒவ்வொன்றில்தான் நல்ல பயிர் பச்சை, ஒவ்வொன்றில்தான் வைரம், தங்கம், இன்னும் விலை உயர்ந்த தாதுப் பண்டங்கள் என்று வைத்திருக்கிறானோ இல்லியோ? சில தேசங்களை ஒரே குளிர் என்றும் இன்னும் சிலதை ஒரே கொளுத்தல் என்றும் வைத்திருக்கிறான். நில வளம், நீர் வளம், தாது வளம் இல்லாமல் அநேக தேசங்களை வைத்திருக்கிறான். வளமுள்ள தேசங்கள் வளமில்லாத தேசங்களுக்கு ஏற்றுமதி பண்ணி உதவும்படி வைத்திருக்கிறான். அப்படி தெய்வ ஸம்பந்தமான விஷயங்களுக்கு இந்த [பாரத] தேசந்தான், ஒரு பவர் ஹவுஸ். ஊர் பூராவுக்கும் லைட் கொடுக்கிற மாதிரி லோகம் பூராவுக்கும் தெய்வீகத்தை ஸப்ளை செய்யவேண்டுமென்று வைத்திருக்கிறான். மநுஷ்ய தேஹத்தில் ஹ்ருதயம் என்று முக்யமான அங்கமாக ஒன்றை வைத்து அதுதான் தேஹம் பூராவூக்கும் ரத்தத்தை ஸப்ளை செய்து ரக்ஷிக்கும்படியாக அவன் வைத்திருக்கிற மாதிரியே இந்த விச்வ விராட் ஸ்வரூபத்தில் ஸகல தேசங்களுக்கும் தெய்வ ஸம்பந்தமான, தர்ம ஸம்பந்தமான, ஆத்ம ஸம்பந்தமான ஜீவ சக்தியை ஸப்ளை செய்து ரக்ஷிக்கிற ஹ்ருதயமாக நம்முடைய தேசத்தை வைத்திருக்கிறான்.

    லோக க்ஷேமமே இங்கே நம்முடைய தேசத்தில் செய்கிற வைதீகமான யஜ்ஞ கர்மானுஷ்டானாதிகளில் தான் இருக்கிறது. அதைப் பற்றிக் கொஞ்சங்கூட ஸந்தேஹப்பட வேண்டாம். அப்படி லோகத்தையே வாழ்விப்பது யஜ்ஞம்; வேள்வி என்பது. அதற்கு இரண்டு அவசியமானவை. ஒன்று யஜ்ஞம் பண்ணுகிற கர்த்தாவான ‘யஜமானன்’. இன்னொன்று யஜ்ஞத்தில் உபயோகமாகிற அதி முக்கியமான த்ரவ்யங்களைத் தருகிற கோ தான்.

    • Maheswaran (mahesh) and Srinivasan agree to disagree it seems

      • It does not matter whether I agree or not. Posted what Sri Periyava has said on this subject word by word on this 🙂 Rama Rama

      • We respect both of you and the great service being rendered by both of you. Devotees of mahaswami look forward to seeing your e mail everyday, ever.
        Ramasubramanian sk

    • Sai
      I appreciate your steadfast interpretation of Mahaperitava’s teachings and instructions.
      Those were the days when only a minuscule percentage of Indians went abroad.
      So all these restrictions were okay at that point of time.

      But think about the present day.
      How many Indians alone are there in foreign countries?
      Brahmins will be the biggest group among Indians who migrated to USA.
      I think it is totally impractical to ask them all to return to India just for the sake of following some scriptural injunctions.

      Scriptures say that the main characteristic of a Brahmin is that He should not save anything for the next day. In other words, they should beg for their daily needs for living for that daily needs alone.
      And scriptures have laid down strict rules for their daily life.
      If you have to follow all these injunctions then all Brahmins must leave their jobs and go back to their respective villages, to live on alms.
      And I think in the present day Brahmins exist only in caste names.
      All of us, including ME and YOU, are Shudras as none of us follow the strict injunctions laid own by the Shastras for a Brahmin.
      Even living in a city in India, cannot help you in following these injunctions.
      So it is plain hypocrisy to ask them to return to India, just to follow a few injunctions, which may or may not impact our spiritual lives.

      I think the core teaching of Mahaperiyava, for the present generation, is to follow an ethical, moral and spiritual life. In other words, everyone should try to lead the Vedic Way of Life, where the final goal is merger with the Brahman. All the other external rituals and paraphernalia are meant to progress in that path to reach the Divine. There is a saying in Telugu ‘Aachaaramu, Anushtaanamu, Aatmaa-Abivriddhi Kosame’ meaning all the customs and rituals are meant only for the emancipation of our Soul.

      Without keeping the Final Goal in sight, talking about all other external rituals and customs is just intellectual gymnastics. In the present day such people advocating needless orthodoxy will be isolated as even their own children will not be agreeing with them. So asking people well settled in foreign land and continue to follow all our Dharmas is NOT proper.

      Our aim now should be to protect the Hindu Dharma, and inculcate the spiritual values to the next generation, without insisting too much on these orthodoxies.

      Ofcoure you may tell that ‘I am going against the instructions of Mahaperiyava’. Yes I agree. But I want His core teachings to be spread far and wide so that every Person reaches the Divine, in whatever place he or she is placed. In other words I want the rice to be distributed and not the chaff. Ofcourse there are always a few Great Ones who preserve the paddy (rice and Chaff) for cultivation, for the next generation.

      Last one confession. I have never been to any foreign land and my children are well-settled in Chennai itself. . So I don not have any axe to grind in this regard.

      So Mahesh, continue your good work at Chicago itself.
      Mahaperiyava is the Great Guru who is Omnipresent and Omniscient.
      Believe in His Grace.
      That’s enough for the present.

      • A Small Correction. Please read this sentence
        “So asking people well settled in foreign land and continue to follow all our Dharmas is NOT proper”
        “So casting aspersions on people well settled in foreign land and continue to follow all our Dharmas is NOT proper”

      • Sir – I did not write anything stating this is my view nor I said anyone is wrong or asked them to come back to Bharatham 🙂 All I posted was Maha Periyava’s words from Deivathin Kural. As you yourself mentioned your words are against the instructions of Maha Periyava. I’m not going to comment on that either 🙂 Take it easy. Rama Rama

      • Just a small post in response to the reply by Sai Srinivasan as there is no ‘Reply’ tag on his post.
        Ram Ram. I did not mean to offend you in any way.

        Deivathin Kural is an ocean.
        We take what is appealing to us or what is possible to follow and leave the rest.
        Mahaperiyava has spoken about all these things and much more also.
        I have taken the portions which appeals to me, the devotional path which He has laid down for ordinary devotees like me.
        Probably some follow the ‘Orthodox’ matters as it appeals to them.
        My submission is that you can follow Mahaperiyava’s teachings in any place provided you have the proper attitude and aptitude.
        And I just wanted to record that there is nothing wrong in taking the Vigraham of Mahaperiyava to USA
        What is needed is Devotion. If you have that in full measure, your every action is correct, irrespective of what all others say.

  8. Those who have crossed our shores would justify their actions. Those who have not will object to the idols being carried out of the country. Neither is correct. What is more important is that the samsara sagara has to be crossed by anyone born as a human in this birth. Most of the brahmins are not following in toto the dictates of vedas. Many are relatively worse than some while some are better than others. I heard yesterday that late Justice venkataraman of Madras High Court (ICS) had carried on his shoulder the mortal remains and walked two kms when his driver cum cook had passed away in 1973. He was probably one of the staunch devotee of Mahaperiava and his son continues to be even today sir. Will we do it now other than carrying in a vehicle?

  9. Fantastic response. Thanks

  10. The reason for Mahaperiava asking Brahmins not to cross the ocean and go abroad, was there were enormous chances that those who go there would give up all the anushtanams, and would be polluted with a culture alien to ours.
    Moreover, HE is Sarva vyapi. He walks the whole universe and is present everywhere. Where is the question of crossing any ocean at al?

  11. For a traditional Hindu sanyasi it is wrong to cross the ocean. For one heading a traditional Mutt, it is unthinkable. Mahaperiyava did not do it in person. That is it. He did not even travel in a car or any modern vehicle. So, that is not the point.
    But Mahaperiyava is NOT confined to his body now, and there is no restriction on where he can go!
    Where does God reside? He resides in the heart of his devotees.
    “இறைவரோ தொண்டர் தம் உள்ளத்து ஒடுக்கம் ) -ஔவையர்
    “சந்ததமும் அடியார்கள் சிந்தையது குடியான ” -அருணகிரிநாதர்
    “எங்கே நினைப்பினும் அங்கே என் முன் வந்தெதிர் நிற்பனே ” அருணகிரிநாதர்
    “அஹம் ஆத்மா குடாகேஶ ஸ்ர்வபூதாஶயஸ்தித: கீதை 10.20
    ,And so he is taken to where the devotee goes.

    The next question is about physical objects like images, photos, padukas , yantras etc. When we do avahanam and pranapratishta, these objects do acquire the Power or Presence invoked. After all, we invoke Vinayaka in a lump of turmeric powder! The only doubt or uncertainty here is whether Vedic mantras do have real power outside India, which alone is considered Karmabhumi. This only learned orthodox pundits can answer. I do not know whether Agamic mantras ( with which temples are usually consecrated and puja rituals conducted ) also require to be clarified in this regard.

    Next we know the divine presence is embedded or inherent in objects like Shalagramam, Rudraksham. There too the power or presence require to be invoked by ritual puja, japa etc. Since these too involve mantras and not just prayers, the question of their effectiveness outside India still arises.

    We know from practical incidents that Mahaperiyava did not approve of Sraddha to be conducted abroad. So it would seem that Shrauta/Smarta karmas which are conducted with Vedic mantras would not have his approval when conducted outside India. But these restrictions may not apply to pujas which are conducted usually with Puranic mantras.

    These are issues on which only learned pundits can throw light. But as devotees, we would like to worship our Guru and Deity wherever we go. . Even in India, the mantras we use for routine pujas are mainly Pauranic, Only the initiated do use mantras from Srirudram, Purushasuktam, etc. The mantra may not be effective, but the devotion will work! Bhagavan clearly says in the Gita that He is attainable only through Bhakti. “பக்தி வலையில் படுவோன் காண்க ” -மாணிக்கவாசகர்.
    In short, the real point is not whether we can take objects abroad, but whether the Vedic mantras are effective (or authorised) outside Bharatvarsha.

  12. Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara. Janakiraman. Nagapattinam

  13. Ram Ram.
    I think there is nothing wrong in your action.
    My humble submission is that we should avoid such intellectual gymnastics on age-old traditions which have become obsolete now, for reasons beyond our control.
    What is needed is devotion to God and following the teachings of Mahaperiava, especially his instructions on leading an ethical and moral life.
    If we can do that, then Mahaperiyava can be taken even to the Moon.

  14. Mahaperiava is Deivam. He is Lord Parameswaran. He is always with His devotees. He is sarvavyapi

  15. As a sanyasi with the mortal sariram one shouldn’t cross the ocean. But as a sarva vyabhi, param porul, eternal he was is and will be everywhere.

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