- Maha Periyava
Experiences with Maha Periyava: The Spiritual Light to whom the World Bows in reverence-Former Minister Sri K. Rajaram
Thanks Ambi for the article….
Saluting Kanchi Maha Swamigal once more on this holy day of the 110th Jayanthi of Kanchi Sri Maha Swamigal, I bow to him again and write about some of the amazing experiences relating to Him so that today’s younger generation can know more about Him.
Before I write about my devotion to him, I would like to share with you what Thiru.G. Parthasarathy, a respectable gentleman whom I moved with, told me after having a darshan of Sri Maha Swamigal. Thiru.G.Parathasarathy was the Indian Ambassador to the United Nations. He was the Government Advisor when Smt.Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister. Whenever he visited Tamil Nadu from Delhi, he never missed going to Kanchi and having darshan of Sri Maha Periyava. Everytime he went, Sri Maha Periyava conversed with him for over half an hour. What was surprising about it was that He used to speak about events of the world that occurred till the date of their meeting. He would also advise the diplomat on how our country should conduct itself in the global scene. Thiru.G.Parthasarathy has described to me those details with surprise. I have many times heard him speak his wonder and appreciation for the nuances of knowledge displayed by the sage. We have both wondered about the innate divinity of Sri Maha Periyava.
When I went to have darshan of him one day, he was sitting in his palanquin. I went and sat before him. At that time I was having ministerial responsibilities. I had been elected to the Assembly from the PanaiMarathuPatti constituency.
There is a village named UttamaCholaPuram in my constituency. It is located on the banks of the river TiruMani Muttharu. The KaraipuraNatha Swamy temple is there in that village. That was Chera Nadu. It was in that temple that Avvaiyar conducted the marriage of the benefactor King, Paari’s daughters Angavai and Sangavai. Avvaiyar has sent tidings in a palm leaf that the MooVendars some come over and attend the marriage. Bowing to her order, the Chera, Chola and Pandya kings arrived and blessed the couples. This is not a legend, but history.
Maha Swamigal came to Salem from the city of Kovai (Coimbatore) on foot. UttamaCholaPuram is on the way. Opposite the road is the Shiva temple built by Uttama Chola, located on the banks of TiruMani Muttharu.
I contested for the first time in the PanaiMarathuPatti constituency in a by-election. It was my custom to pray to Shiva in that temple, who has the special name KaraiPuraNathar, before I went for canvassing votes from the public.
When Maha Swamigal arrived on the road before the temple, the Shivacharyas there received him with purna kumbham honours and invited him to visit the temple. Raising his head a little, Maha Swamigal looked at the temple. At that time the temple did not have a gopuram. He said, “You build a gopuram for the temple; I shall come later.” Receiving only the purna kumbham honours he continued his yatra on foot. I had not known this news for many years. The temple Shivacharyas told me the news when I won the election for the second time and went round the place. For me, it was great disappointment that Maha Swamigal went away without visiting the holy temple in my constituency! Thinking of finding out the reason from him, I asked him a naive question: “Why did You not visit the temple in my constituency?” I had the wonderful opportunity on that day to learn about the power of His memory.
He asked, “UttamaCholaPuram is in your constituency?” I had not told Him the village name and it was many years since He passed that place. I was sitting before Him, struck with wonder. “It has no gopuram; why don’t you build one?” He said.
Maha Swamigal had given the directive. I took leave of him with the firm intention of completing the task. From Kanchi, I went straight to the home of Thiru.K.S. Narayanan, whose venture was the India Cements company. He told me that he would talk to the company administrators and get me the required number of cement bags. I had to catch a person who would meet the expenses. I contacted Thiru.KailasaGounder of Erode, executive director of ArutSelvar Thiru.MahaLingam’s company. He gave me his full consent for the commitment. When I was thinking of a good form for the gopuram, I knew about the NangaValli temple tower. I went and saw that gopuram with friends; it was very well built. I arranged with that sthapati (builder) to construct the UttamaCholaPuram temple tower. Somebody should do the administration of all this work? I asked Thiru.R.Jayakumar to be the head of the temple construction committee, and he agreed. At that time, Thiru.Ramasamy Udayar was constructing the Ramachandra Medical College in Porur. I came to know that he had brought teak wood from Rangoon for the construction. I went to him to inquire about the wood needed. He said, “Whatever extent of wood you need for the doors, you saw it off from my stock. I shall send it through my own lorry.” A door measuring twelve feet in height was made.
It was initially planned to construct only a three-tired gopuram. On the advice of Thiru. Jayakumar, head of the Committee, it was decided to construct a five-tiered gopuram.
The traditional speciality of that Shiva temple was that on the Chitra Purnima day, the Lingam was immersed in a decoration with two bags of cooked rice, and on the next morning sambar was mixed to the rice and distributed as sambar sadam to the devotees. That was the traditional custom that existed in the temple. So I thought about holding a dinner to the devotees who attended the kuda muzhukku (kumbhabhisekam). I met the head of the Washermanpet rice vendors association and asked him to donate twenty bags of rice for the purpose, collecting it from their members. They collected the rice and sent it themselves through a lorry. My friend Thiru.Mehta was the Chairman of vegetable vendors association in Kodaikanal. I asked him to send through a lorry, vegetables that grew in those hilly regions such as cauliflower, cabbage, and brinjal, collecting them from the surrounding gardens in sufficient quantity to serve thirty thousand people. My friend Srinivasan was in Dindigul. His ‘Savorite Semiya’ factory was opened sometime ago under my presidentship. I asked him to provide the required semiya (vermicelli) from the factory. My Kovai friend Annur Balu sent me a sum of sixty thousand rupees to meet the wages of people who cooked, served and cleaned. The Lankan minister honourable Tondaiman came over and graced the festival. The festival that began with the nadhasvaram of NamagiriPettai Tiru. Krishnan, went on wonderfully well for three days. On the concluding day of the festival, my ministership was taken away from me.
On the day after, Sri Maha Periyava, as requested by me, sent HH Jayendra Saraswathi and HH Vijayendra Saraswathi to the temple. They arrived and started the poojas in the temple. It is going on regularly until this day. The reason I have written in such detail is to show how Maha Swamigal’s Arul vaaku (words of grace) became a reality. This is something I cannot forget in my lifetime.
Afflicted by diabetes, I was under medical treatment in the hospital of Dr.M. Viswanathan. Around ten o’ clock one morning some IAS officials came to my room with a garland. When I asked the reason for the garland they said, “From today you are our minister.” I came to know that after dismissing twelve ministers, Puratchi Thalaivar had given me many portfolios including Agriculture. I did not go to Ramavaram to thank him. When the other ministers went there, he had inquired about me. When he came to know that I was hospitalized, he came straight to the hospital. I was upset when the police officials came running to my room and said, “The Chief Minister is coming (to meet you).” I was admitted on the third floor. I ran to Dr.Viswanathan’s room. The doctor himself received Puratchi Thalaivar and brought him to my air-conditioned room. On arriving to my room Puratchi Thalaivar said, “Rajaram should be treated to get well, whatever the expenses.”
It was a time of drought when the portfolio of Agriculture was given to me. There were no rains. The fields had developed cracks. I did not know what to do, except that I remembered Kanchi Maha Swamigal. After attending a function in the Kanchi region, I entered Kanchi Matham. Thiru. Neelakanta Aiyar, the Manager there, knew me from my childhood. He received me and said, “Maha Swamigal was repeatedly asking about your coming here. He stretched himself a little while ago on the stage and has gone to sleep now.”
I said, “I shall stand at a distance and have darshan without making any noise”, and went to the stage where Maha Swamigal was resting and joined my palms before him. A few minutes passed. Maha Swamigal turned slightly and suddenly got up and sat. On seeing me he asked, “When did you come?” “Just now”, I said. “Why did you send word that you wanted to see me?” He asked.
I said, “There are no rains in the state. At this time the Chief Minister has given me the Agriculture portfolio. The grounds have developed cracks. How can I survive as an Agricultural Minister in a state that has no rains? I will earn disgrace. I have come to pray to you to perform a yagam for the rains.”
“Did you come only for this?” he said. “Yes”, I replied.
He was in a meditative state for sometime, bowing his head in silence. After sometime He said, “Right tomorrow I shall arrange for a fifteen days yagam at the Kamakshi Amman temple.”
I had a programme at Chengalpat in the evening. Finishing it, I sat in my car. After I had a meal, the vehicle was going towards SriPerumbudur. The vehicle started sverving on the road. I could not sleep, so I reclined on the seat. I sat up and looked out of the car window. No one will believe what I say! Blinding sheets of rain were pouring down the windshield as if someone were emptying pots and pots of water over the car! It is a torrent of rain! The word Kanchi Maha Swamigal gave me had borne fruits within hours! The grounds were green once again throughout the state. All over the State, the paddy crops became fertile. The harvest was fruitful and the State had plenty of drinking water too. Since there was plenty of water for irrigation throughout the state, my portfolio got a good name. These happenings were in fact the blessings of HH Sri Maha Swamigal upon the State and on me.
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