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. The original article was written by Dr. Bhagyanathanji, Personal Secretary of Sri Swamiji.
Sri Swamiji’s Recent Visit to Cuddalore
Many discourses and Radha Kalyanams take place in Sri Rajagopalaswami temple, Rettai PIllaiyar temple in Cuddalore Puduppalayam as also in Sankara Mutt in Baburao Street, Cuddalore. In his boyhood days Sri Swamiji has participated in these functions on many occasions. As Sri Muralidhara Sarma, the disciple of Sri Sri Anna, is the son of Cuddalore Sri Balarama Shastri, Sri Sri Anna has visited Cuddalore several times.
Sankara Mutt is in Baburao Street. One Sri Duraisamy Bhagavata had taken the responsibility of running this Sankara Mutt. He was also working in P.N. Bank. Here in Sankara Mutt, Radha Kalyanam used to be celebrated every year in a grand manner by such bhagavatas as Srivanjiyam Ramachandra Bhagavata, Venkatarama Bhagavata, Krishnamurti Bhagavata, Balu Bhagavata, Nadukkaveri Krishnamurti Bhagavata. Food used to be served to all visitors in the courtyard of the houses in that street. It would be evening by the time all the visitors were fed! A person called Bhoovaragamurthy lived in that street. He was a journalist in Dinamani (a Tamizh daily). He also used to take part in this celebration and render service.
Sri Sri Anna has performed Srimad Bhagavata saptaham in this Sankara Mutt every year for fourteen years! Needamangalam Krishnamurti Bhagavata used to discourse in Cuddalore. The temple would then overflow with people. Gopi Bhagavata, who is world renowned today, used to do bhajan in this Sankara Mutt right from his childhood. He used to discourse along with Navaneethakrishnan.
When a few months back Sri Swamiji visited Cuddalore for mass prayer, Raja Bhagavata who now takes care of Sankara Mutt prayed to Sri Swamiji that he should discourse in Sankara Mutt. Sri Swamiji had nurtured the desire to discourse in the place where he had enjoyed satsang during his childhood and boyhood days. Though initially it had been decided to do Bhagavatam discourse for seven days only four days of Bhakta Vijayam discourse could be done, for want of time.
On Thursday [15th March] Sri Swamii came directly to Cuddalore, had darshan of Sanjeevi Anjaneya on the banks of River Gadila and in the evening discoursed at the Mutt. The next day being Sri Swamiji’s birth star – Swati – Raja Bhagavata had arranged for a satsang in the morning. It was Friday. In the evening Sri Swamiji visited Lord Devanathan’s sanctum sanctorum.
At that time, the Lord’s Consort was being taken on procession. She was wearing a beautiful dress of pearl [‘mutthangi’]. The Mother moved on procession with Veda chanting. The Sri Vaishnavas who enjoy the Lord and His Consort moved here and there carrying Her in a slow, graceful, swan-like walk. Sri Swamiji said softly to Aswin who was by his side, “The divine Mothers of all Divyadesams are verily my Mothers. Yet, this [Cuddalore] is my place of birth. The Divine Mother here is verily my real Mother. It is only because she desired me to see Her wearing the dress of pearl that She has brought me here and blessed me.”
The next moment the Mother was seated on a swing. The Bhattar (head priest) who stood near Sri Swamiji said to him, “The Mother has led you here today only for you to see Her wearing the dress of pearl.”
Sri Swamiji at once experienced horripilation in his body and his eyes shed tears. In a tone of wonder Sri Swamiji exclaimed, “People say the Lord does not speak! But see the Mother is speaking to me!” After visiting Lords Devanathan, Ranganathan and Rama’s sanctum sanctorums, Sri Swamiji came to the Mutt to discourse.
The next morning Sri Swamiji conducted a special abhishekam to Selva Vinayaka near his boyhood home and offered silk clothing. Sri Swamiji then visited Sri Vilwanatheeswara temple, Mariamman temple and then went to the Rama Bhajana Mutt newly built by Vaniya community at Cuddalore O.T.
On Saturday evening after the discourse Sri Swamiji visited the Veda Patasala nearby. The next morning, Sunday, Sri Swamiji performed special abhishekam to Sri Padaleeswara-Periyanayaki and offered new clothes. That day the Sivachariyar [head priest] had dressed the Divine Mother Periyanayaki beautifully in the saree. She seemed so full of life like a beautiful sumangali wearing the traditional nine yards saree.
Next came Radha Kalyanam. There was a huge crowd. Sattanatha Bhagavata sang wonderfully filling every heart present there with joy. After a very long gap, this was the first time that Sri Swamiji was staying in Cuddalore continuously for four days. Every day lots of devotees visited Sri Swamiji and poured their affection on him. Sri Swamiji’s school teacher, Sri Thirunavukkarasu, read the welcome address every day. Sri Kartik and Sri Natesan served to make this event a grand success.
Translated into English for Madhuramurali magazine English edition, April 2017 issue