Kainkaryya Siromani K. Padmanabhan
It was a hot summer day in 1964. I was returning from Mahabalipuram and Tirukalikundram after a holiday trip with my family by car from Madras. At Chingleput, I saw the signboard 'To Conjeevaram' and I asked the driver to turn left and go to that temple city. We reached there by 5 p.m., and after worshipping at Varadarajaswamy, Ekambareswarar and Kamakshi temples, we went to Sri Sankara Matham to have darshan of Periyaval Paramacharya. We were told that He was camping at a small hamlet, Kizhambi, a few miles outside the town and so we hastened to that place. A villager accosted us and asked us to hurry up since Paramacharya had just started Gajapuja which is just prior to Kamakshi Puja. We were lucky to see both and when I asked the Manager where we could have darsan to the sage, he asked us to wait for a few minutes and go to a spot on the banks of a small rivulet where He was seated on a darbhasan and performing Sandhya. We prostrated before Him. Looking at my wife Subbalakshmi, He asked "Are you not the daughter of my classmate Tiruvisanalloor Swaminathan's brother? Has his son Sundaraman passed the S.S.L.C. in 1935?" She said that he did not pass the examination that year but only the next. When I told Him that I was from Monocompu, He said "you are the son of my Kumbakonam X-ray doctor M.K. Sambasivan's brother." He looked at my second son Natarajan and asked me whether I intended to make him a doctor and I said I would try to do so with His blessings.
In obedience to His wishes, I asked Natarajan to take Biology group for his pre-University in Vivekananda College, Madras and in 1966, he came out with a D, D, D and was selected for admission to the M.B.B.S. course. But when he went to pay his fees, he found his name struck off. I advised him to join B.Sc., Chemistry in Presidency College and in 1969 he passed with a very high First Class and after putting in an application for M.B.B.S., out of the graduate quota of 100 seats, joined the U.D.C.T., Bombay for B.Tech as one of five selected purely on merit on an All-India level. He had lost all hopes of becoming a doctor, when one fine morning he got a telegram from the Madras Selection Board asking him to join the Stanley Medical College immediately. This was when the DMK was in power and it was only due to the wishes of the Paramacharya that my son was selected and it bore out the truth of His prophecy in 1964. Natarajan is now practicing as a doctor and radiologist at Moolakkadai serving the poorest section of the society in the city thanks to the Paramacharya.
The second unforgettable experience is the one when we were in Hyderabad in 1978. Sri Subasri, an ardent devotee of Paramacharya, asked me one evening why I had not gone to Sandur and had darsan of the Paramacharya camping there. I immediately left and the next morning I was standing before the sage performing Gayatri Japa in a small temple with very few people around. He immediately showed by signs that He had recognised me and told me that the previous day Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was due to see him. He added that in between I had gone there merely out of my love and respect for Him and not with any motive like the other. He blessed me and I have not looked back afterwards.
The third most important meeting with the sage took place in 1982, when He was camping in a small village called Mahagaon near Gulbarga. My wife and I left Hyderabad by Car at 5 a.m., and had just reached the outskirts of the small choultry at the end of a village road and barely had the car stopped than a lady came running to us and asked my wife to hurry up since the Paramacharya was waiting for us and had asked her to bring us to His presence without delay. It was really a wonder how He could know of our arrival and the moment He saw us, He told His assistant that she was His classmate's brother's daughter and I was the nephew of Moncompu Dr. M.K. Sambasivan of Kumbhakonam, all by signs, since that was His day of silence. He blessed us with both all the devotees gathered there, take food in the choultry and then go.
It was after this crucial meeting that we got an opportunity to go round the world for two years, especially the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A. While in New York on the 24th May 87 we went to the Ganesh Temple, New York and the moment we entered the Hall, I was greeted by the priest by name and recalled that he had officiated at the Padapuja done by me in Madras to Sri Jayendra Sarasvathi and that he had been deputed to New York temple by Paramacharya for two years. He asked whether it was my sixtieth birthday and when I said it was my seventieth, he told me it was my sampat-poorthi and the blessing of Paramacharya and made me worship at that temple on the occasion.
These are but a few of the instances which come to my mind at the time of the Birth Centenary celebrations of Paramacharya, who is GOD incarnate. All the members of my family and myself pray that the Paramacharya continues to live for many more years and bless us all so that the entire Universe may live in peace and harmony.