This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.
Incidents from the life of Maha Periyava
A few incidents in our lives are etched in our memories like beautiful paintings. These memories are so vivid that every time we reminisce them, we enjoy the same bliss, as we had originally experienced. Such divine incidents which took place in the life of Kanchi Kamakoti Acharya Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal fondly called as “Maha Periyava” by everyone, are brought back to our memories as we commemorate His birth month. We are sharing such incidents which our Sri Swamiji shared with us.
Maha Periyava would always partake food only after the sun rises. Once during a rainy season, dark clouds hid the Sun not letting it show up on the sky for 2-3 successive days. Consequently, Maha Periyava did not take any food during that time. His devotees felt extremely sad at the sight of their Guru not eating anything. The ever-compassionate Maha Periyava took pity on His devotees, stepped out and looked at the sky. It was as dark as the previous day. Gently clapping His hands, Maha Periyava signaled the clouds to move away! Just as commanded, the clouds gave way and there emerged the glorious Sun God! Maha Periyava had darshan of the Sun God, and once again, clapping, signaled the clouds to move back to their original position. And the clouds faithfully obeyed! The devotees’ joy knew no bounds as Maha Periyava partook of food that day.
Once an elderly couple came to have Maha Periyava’s darshan. They informed Him that were 81 years old and that their children were forcing them to celebrate ’Shatabhishekam’ (a 80 year celebration) and that they were not interested. Maha Periyava enquired the reason behind their reluctance, for which they said that the function invitation would indicate that the couple had seen a 1000 crescent-moons in their lifetime and that they had not made it a habit to see the crescent moon every fortnight. ’Would it not amount to lying in the invitation about witnessing a thousand crescent moons, while I have indeed not?’. Hence he was reluctant to celebrate the function. Upon hearing this Maha Periyava with a smile on His face said, “You don’t have to lie about having seen 1000 crescent-moons. Instead, you are going to see 1000 crescents and have your children fulfill their desire of celebrating your Shathabhishekam in a grand manner!”
He then advised the confused couple to visit Ekamreshwara temple in Kanchipuram and have darshan of the Sahasra Lingam in the precincts. The Sahasra Lingam is a big Shiva Lingam with 1000 small Shiva lingams in it. After having the darshan of the Sahasra Lingam, the couple came back and prostrated to Maha Periyava. “Are you now ready to celebrate your Shathabhishekam?”, He asked the bewildered couple. Maha Periyava explained, “Did you not have the darshan of the ‘Sahasra Lingam’? Each of those Lingam forms sports a cresent moon! Now you have seen 1000 crescent-moons in your life. Go ahead and celebrate Shathabhishekam per your children’s wish. It would not amount to lying anymore!”
The couple couldn’t control their tears, and with their tongues tied they prostrated and then left without having the heart to leave His presence.
Original Tamil article by Dr.Bhagyanathan, Madhuramuralii June 2014.
Translated by Viji Ramakrishnan, Dallas, TX