Experiences with Maha Periyava: The Mystic Who Dazzled the Western Professors
Professor Robinson was the President of the South Carolina University, U.S.A. He was trained in Greek philosophy.
A team of professors from many departments of some of the universities of the U.S.A. came to Chennai.
I told Robinson, “You must go to Kanchi and have darshan of Periyavar.” That was all! His eyes blossomed. He narrated the wonderful story of their visit to Kanchi on the very same day. They roamed Kanchi in small groups, knowing nothing about Sankara Matham or Periyavargal. Robinson and two others came accidentally opposite the entrance to Sankara Matham. They entered, thinking it was a temple. He narrates what happened there, himself:
“The cot was a charpoy fitted with ropes. A man of matured old age was sitting on it. A large crowd around him. We did not understand anything. Suddenly a boy came running to us. ‘Are you from America?’ he asked us. Surprised, we said ‘Yes.’ There was absolutely no chance that anyone there would know us. The next question stunned us. ‘Who is Professor Robinson among you? I have orders only to bring him to the sage.’
“I had darshan of Periyavar. He asked me to sit near him. That was all! I was not conscious of the passing of them thereafter!” Robinson was unable to continue talking, overwhelmed by tears of joy. I understood that the one who said it did not see and the only that saw it did not say.
(This same Robinson, when he came to the American Embassy in Chennai in April-May 1994, rang up Dr. Padma Subramanyam and inquired, “Is Maha Swamigal fine?” When he was told that Sri Swamigal had attained siddhi, he had asked, “Is it on January 8th or 9th?”
“How do you know it so correctly?” Dr. Padma had asked him.
Robinson replied in a voice choked with emotion, “On that day Maha Periyava gave me darshan (in a vision), said ‘Goodbye’ thrice and disappeared… If I told this news to anyone in our place, they wouldn’t be able to understand it, which was why I couldn’t verify it with anyone here.”)
Author: Dr. Padma Subramanyam, ‘Nrutyodaya’, Chennai
Source: Maha Periyaval – Darisana Anubhavangal Vol. 2, Pages 231-235