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The Matchless Mahaswamigal of Kanchi
(Former Trustee, T.T. Devesthanam)
It is said that the sanctity of a religion depends upon its Holy men. Our religion owes its pre-eminence to the great Saints, Sages and Seers, it has produced throughout the ages. Our Mahaswamigal belonged to the distinguished line of successors to Sri Adi Sankara and guided us in our search of God. He revived our traditional values and practices, Vedas and Sastras and attracted the worldwide pointed attention. I share some of my personal experience based on intense facts.
I had certain serious problems in my "Solvent Extraction Plant - LVR Oil and Fats (P) Ltd., Uppal, Hyderabad. In the year 1979 the Mahaswamigal was then camping in Sholapur. I went there to unfold my problems to Swamiji. He then instructed me to build a temple dedicated to Vigneshwar and that the idol should be akin to the one embedded in the wall in his camp site. At his suggestion a temple was built to Lord Vigneshwara called Srushti Ganapathy and consecrated. Pandits were arranged for the consecration by Mahaswamigal himself. On the appointed day particularly at the time of consecration a Garuda - i.e., the Vahanam of Lord Vishnu protector of the universe was hovering around the temple tower. The circumambulation of the bird three times during the consecration of the temple (in the western parlance Church) positively assured prosperity in plenty. My problems relating to the establishment and the factory were solved amicably, afterwards.
Next, in the early thirties it was extremely difficult to go to Thirupathy to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara. One had to trek the beaten path with all physical exhaustion for a number of hours to reach the temple. There were no facilities like choultries, bathing steps, etc. The temple opened at 11.00 a.m. and closed at 5.00 p.m. One had to cook under the shade of a tree with dry twigs. It flashed on my mind suddenly why Annadana (serving of free meals) free of cost should not be arranged with epitomized Mahadava Seva (Serve to God). I ruminated over this scheme when I grew up. I therefore placed a scheme before our Mahaswamigal who listened to the details and blessed me to launch the scheme.
With the blessing of Mahaswamigal I approached late Sri N.T. Rama Rao, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The details of the scheme, duly blessed by Mahaswamigal awakened his abiding interest. It was started unostentatiously, humbly with the measureless blessing of Kanchi Mahaswamigal.
On the epochal day of the inauguration in May 1985 late Sri N.T. Rama Rao hailed my sincere efforts and remarked that the humble beginning of the scheme by a single individual was the corner stone for the enlargement of the scheme auspicated by the TTD. Now more than 20/25,000 pilgrims are served with free full meals daily and this scheme is hailed everywhere as something nonpariel.
Next when I faced some domestic problems and some eye ailment of my wife (who was insisting on her eye operation being perform only by Dr. S.S. Badrinath, the famous eye surgeon), both myself and my wife met the Mahaswamigal at Kanchi Mutt. The Swamiji took both of us inside and presented saree/blouse to my wife and a dhoti to me in a bamboo place and blessed both of us. Dr. S.S. Badrinath who was refused to do this minor operation, called me over phone the very next day and voluntarily gave his kind consent to do the operation. The operation was a success and even today my wife's health is good. We all felt happy with the blessings of His Holiness.
In the year 1979 both myself and my wife along with Late Sri Challa Kondaiah, former Chief Justice of AP and his wife met the Mahaswamigal at His Sholapur camp and solicited His advice and blessings. At this time somebody from inside of the Asram came and informed, His Holiness that a cow of the Asram being pregnant was writhing with labour pain to deliver a calf. In view of the acute and alarming situation, Swamiji immediately went inside. Since he did not return even after 15/20 minutes, we all went inside and found that His Holiness was in mediation. After sometime the cow delivered a calf safely.
On 29.9.96 I attended a celebration in honour of 103rd Jayanti of Sri Sankaracharya Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, under the auspices of Association for Hindu Dharma. After attentively listening to the various speeches on multi dimensions of the grace of Mahaswamigal, His divine grace was upper most in my mind.
In the same conducive situation I retired to bed. I had that night a most pleasant and divine dream in which Lord Mahavishnu the protector of the universe was conversing with our Mahaswamigal. I was present and Lord Vishnu sought confirmation from our Mahaswamigal whether the author of the article was instrumental in launching Annadana Seva in Tirupati which ultimately galvanised the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh to take up this scheme and to encompass nearly 20,000 pilgrims a day. The Mahaswamigal confirmed that the author was the founder of this scheme and was instrumental in launching Vidya Dharma, (free education) Vaidya Dhanam (free health) and Kanya Dhanam (free marriage) and when confirmed Lord Vishnu remarked that due to this reason he was blessed enough to be present in the Vaikuntha (Heavenly abode) and witnessed the divine meeting.
I woke up suddenly from the divine dream which even today sustains me to continue doing charities in a humble way. If today I am leading a life of absolute shanthi it is due to the grace showered on me by Mahaswamigal in abundant measure. He was an avatar of Lord Parameswara (Omnipresent) himself, came to this planet to redeem our life. His grace and blessings still animate the world from his seat of bliss at Kanchi.