Experiences with Maha Periyava: Boundless grace and compassion
One is apt to think that “boundless compassion” exists only in rhetoric till one has a darsan of Paramacharyal. In His marvellous presence one instinctively recognised boundless compassion, purity, grace and the quality of equal vision. Countless must be the instances of His Grace curing diseases, warding off calamities, giving peace of mind and above all, guiding an aspirant on the razor-edge path of ascent along the Sushumna. Instance of the last kind might not be normally made public, as they pertain to the innermost lives of the persons. I happened to know of at least one such case, as it was of my father. From among my experiences, I give the following few.
When, more than four decades back, I passed the competitive examinations and got appointed to a top service, Paramacharyal specifically advised me that I decline that offer, which I did. At that time almost all who knew me were against my going by His advice and some even said that He was not qualified to give such advice! Events, far later, showed how gracious and farsighted He had been and what great kindness. He had shown in giving that advice!
Once, He, in His own inimitable manner, knocked good sense into me, and gave a lesson in dealing with one’s Guru Maharaj. It is as follows.
He was camping at the place of my posting and I came to know that the timepiece He was using was not working well. So, I went to the shop and selected a good piece, which had a black dial and against which radium coated white numerals and hands stood out well. (Please bear this description in mind.) It was a bit costly. A relation of mine who was with me. At that time, and who was rather close to the SriMatham, advised me to go in for a cheaper variety. His reasoning was that devotees were giving timepieces to the SriMatham fairly frequently, and one cannot say whether Periaval will use a particular piece at a given time; and hence a costly place may not be with Periaval all the time. I was taken in by this argument, and got a cheaper piece, which had a white dial. I had completely overlooked the point that a Sishya must offer only the best to his Guru, particularly when it was available. When I took the piece to the SriMatham, Perival had gone inside, and so I gave it to Pudu Periaval, and informed the Manager, When I went in the evening for darshan, the Manager called me aside, and gave back the timepiece, saying, “Periaval saw the timepiece and wanted to know who had given it. He was told that Nagarajan had given it. He desired that the article be returned to you with the remark that He preferred to have one with black dial, against which white numbers were prominent. Many, who were present at that time, offered to get such a piece. But Periaval said that Nagarajan only should get it.” When I heard this, I broke down and cursed myself for having listened to specious advice, and having been stingy towards Guru Maharaj. Needless to say that I rushed to that shop, was relieved to find that item on the shelf, and bought it. The above incident shows the all-pervasive awareness and infinite compassion of Periaval. I felt really happy and blessed, when some months later I saw Him using that same timepiece.
In 1962 Periaval was camping in Elayathagudi. On the day we went for darsan, He had walked a long distance and was seated in a temple. Pudu Periaval was in the SriMatham Camp, after seeing whom we went by cart to the place where Periaval was. I sought His blessing for the upanayanam of my son, to be performed soon. He said that we could go after taking “akshata”, and were wondering why we in particular were asked to wait. After some time a devotee came in a car, and Periyaval sent the car to the camp to get the “akshata”, gave it to us and permitted us to go. The reason for His action was revealed to us very soon. On the return journey my son (whose upanayanam had been arranged), suddenly became sick and started vomiting. No medical help was available In the bus or outside. We could only pray to Periaval and clutch the “akshata” so kindly given by Him. The boy became normal in a short time, and there was absolutely no problem thereafter. Then only we realised that Periaval, with His infinite grace and compassion and all-pervading knowledge, had given the “rakshaa” to mitigate the evil which might have befallen us otherwise.
I could write on and on. It all comes to the same thing, “BOUNDLESS GRACE AND COMPASSION”.
Who can fathom Paramacharyal’s infinite greatness?
Author: T.B. Nagarajan