Paramacharya an Avatar of Lord Sankara Himself
Sir Isaac Newton, said that he seemed to have been all his life gathering a few pebbles on the shore, whilst a boundless ocean of truth still lay beyond. Who can, on this earth, attempt even feebly to scale the immeasurable, matchless mighty and the majestic Himalayan glory and the grandeur of the Maha purusha, who occupied and animated the whole century. I am honest fact an alpathma with a limited knowledge, endeavoring to pay my humble obeisance to a Paramatma, based on direct and intense personal experience.
Way back in 1972 to say precisely, on 8th January, I proceeded to Kanchi to received the blessings of Maha Periyaval, for the sathabishekam of my father-in-law and my mother-in-law accompanied me. On the way near walajabad a small town my father-in-law, wanted to relax and I escorted him to the other side of the highway. My second daughter who was only 4 years old then, sneaked out of the car and darted across to reach me, like an arrow released from the bow.
Being a highway a vehicle was coming at a great speed and my daughter was knocked down and crushed under the wheels. Every one saw the accident and was stupefied in sheer horror at the tragic accident. As a result, my daughter sustained skull injury and her head was drenched in blood. Virtually it was like potato mash. She was bleeding profusely through her nostrils, ears indicating severe and serious head injury. Her pelvis cracked, left leg fractured, left jawbone gave way and was dangling down. Her left eye ball got stuck up leaving a red blood streak. To crown all these external injuries she sustained multiple internal injuries. My wife who was in the advanced stage of pregnancy saw the accident and she swooned, portending deleterious impact on her health. The child was rushed to the Govt. Hospital at Kanchipuram and a team of doctors who attended on her emphatically declared that her life was ebbing away. The child was then brought back to Madras, without Mahaperiyaval's darshan and admitted in the General Hospital.
Even here the specialist, Neuro surgeons unanimously said that the child would not survive. It was a measureless shock to me, at the drastic medical verdict on her condition. Immediately my wife dispatched her brother to Kanchi to convey the news of the accident to Paramacharya. Her intense faith in his blessings and grace remained un-wavered and unshaken.
After patiently hearing the report of the accident, the great sage closed his eyes for a few seconds, picked out an apple from a nearby bamboo tray anointed it with holy water from his kamandalam performed pooja to it and gave it to my brother-in-law directing him to keep it by the side of the child in the hospital. He assured that the child would survive the crisis through the grace of the Jaganmatha Devi Kamakshi. The child was not responding to any treatment. The doctors were much worried. The apple blessed by Paramacharya was kept near her bed. In a week's time miracle took place. My child recovered fully baffling the Doctors. She started telling me and others that a small child with extraordinary beauty defying description, wearing rich habiliments, with a golden crown on her head displaying divine smile was guarding her day and night. Lord Tennyson said that "More things are wrought by prayers than this world dreams of". Here no prayer was offered but the infinite mercy and the grace of Mahaperiaval saved my daughter from death.
The second incident was after she fully recovered, I took her to Mahaperiaval. Though he was laid up with high temperature he gave me darshan, and enquired the health of my daughter. I burst into a tempest of tears for his mercy, compassion, kindness and divine blessings. He then instructed me to perform Sahasra Aavrti (1000) Gayatri Japa, every Sunday and avoid discussing politics which would invariably involve turning the mind away from things spiritual. He said that my performance of Gayatri Japa alone would repay my indebtedness. For some months afterwards I obeyed his command with implicit faith and earnestness and switched over doing Gayatri Japa every day instead of only on Sundays.
The third incident was that I went to Satara in Maharashtra, where the Paramacharya was camping. Around 3.00 A.M.) in the wee hours) the Paramacharya sent for me and asked me to recite Dhayana Sloka of the sacred Gayatri, which I did it trembling within myself. For nearly 30 minutes, the great sage gave a rich annotation, and instructed me to etch it in my mind while performing the japa. I however confessed that being too small, mired in profound ignorance it would be difficult for me to capture the picture of sacred Gayatri, as it was expounded, but I enthroned the lotus feet of Mahaperiaval in the inner recesses of my heart while doing the Japa. He displayed his benign and divine smile. It was an epochal event in my life. He aroused and awakened my sensibility and sensitivity to the glory and greatness of sacred Gayatri.
Our Mahaperiyal was a living manifestation of Parabrahmam. Alexander of Macedon said "I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well". In an apparent reference to Aristotle who molded and made him a man among men. If today, we claim to live well in the words of Alexander, by cultivating our gardens, in the words of Aristotle, by shedding our insularity, angularity, animosity, antipathy, and acrimony it is due only to the grace of Mahaperiaval.
Whenever one went to Kanchi to have his divine darshan in a turbulent, turgid, tempestuous or agitated mind, his placid features, the brightness of his face, this ethereal charm his touching humility the tenderness of speech and natural dignity calmed and quieten the mind and one felt of having tasted ambrosia and returned home fully recharged and invigorated.
Mahaperiaval was a greater promoter in the adherence by all of us to traditional values, immemorial customs, sastric practices, prescribed in our sacred scriptures. Through his numerous lectures, discourses, he fulfilled the ends of information, reformation and transformation and he promoted the development of an integrated and rounded personality. he though that these observances are too sacred to be tampered with or modified to suit the so called changed conditions of life and changing times. He felt acutely unhappy that even the twice born were apparently some what contemptuous of traditional practices and values. He regarded this phase with dismay and anguish because in his view we are seeking a rudderless, oarless and unguided course of living which could end only in disaster. He risked being called an obscurantism because of his intense and deep attachment to traditions. Once can only hope that the present dangerous and disastrous drift which is our present sad, sordid and sorry state of affairs will be halted through his grace and compassion from his seat of bliss at Kanchi.
Let us transform or lives into great harmony with the great teaching of Adi Sankara Baghavathpada and our matchless Mahaperiaval, hailed everywhere as an authentic Punar avatar of Adi Sankara, why even as the great Lord Sankara, himself the great Nilankata, Brahadeeswara, and Parameswara, whom it was our privilege to see in the flesh not so very long ago.
Difficult as it may be for us to live up to the very high ideals which our illustrious Paramacharya held out to us, it should be our duty to him, at least to endeavour to live up to that.