Thursday, December 14, 2006

Incidents from the Life of Kanchi Paramacharya - 01

Hare Krishna,

The following exhilarating incidents were mentioned by one of the disciples of Sri Madhuramurali Swami (visit to know more about Sri Madhuramurali Swami). She spoke about the following incidents from Kanchi Mahasvami’s life on her visit to Sydney.
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The foremost attribute of any saint/guru is the immense unshakeable faith in God. Paramacharya was also an embodiment of that certitude. In one of his early yaatras, Mahasvami was camping in a small village in Andhra. The finances of Mutt were shallow at those times, but Acharya wasn't perturbed by that state of affairs. As is customary, the well-to-do people in that village – only a handful (it being a small village) - provided for the needs of the Mutt like pooja items, Bhiksha, Annadhanam etc. on a rotation basis. When the manager of Mutt saw that each of them had already provided for a day each, he approached Mahasvami for moving on to the next place.

Paramacharya fell in love with the serenity and calmness of the village and felt that they should stay for a few more days which would provide an opportunity to Paramacharya to spend a few more days in Dhyanam. The manager told him that nothing was left literally for the next morning even for pooja and he dare not ask again any one in the village for meeting the operating expenses. He said there were even no provisions to offer Bhiksha to Paramacharya on the following day. Paramacharya smilingly told him that he was ready for upavasam. The manager replied politely that it may suit Paramacharya but the employees including him could not do so. Mahasvami just told him that "Kavalai padade, Ambal Padi alappal" (an expression in Tamil to the effect - do not worry, Jaganmata will take care, Padi is an old measure for grains). The manager just murmured how Ambal could do so in this remote village. He told Paramacharya that even if someone was to give cash, things would have to be procured from far off place since nothing was available in the vicinity. Paramacharya just smiled and went to retire.

The manager was trying to sleep in a cot outside the camp but with a heavy responsibility on his shoulders, sleep was evading him. At about 11 PM in the night, he saw a line of bullock carts with lanterns dangling between the two wheels coming along at a distance. When they came near the camp, one of them jumped out and asked the manager the whereabouts of a Sadhu from Southern side who was camping in that village. When the manager replied they have hit the right place, their chieftain got out and told the manager that they were from a nearby village and after the harvest, they usually offer their first lot to the village deity. After hearing about this great Sadhu, they decided to offer him this time since they considered both the offerings to be on the same plateau. As they had to resume the work the next morning, they decided to come that night itself to fulfill their obligation.
The manager was spell bound and speechless. Regaining the power of utterance after a while, he went inside and woke up Paramacharya. He sought his permission to accept the offer. Paramacharya came out and blessed the villagers; he told the manager to accept the grains, vegetables etc. At that point the chieftain humbly told Paramacharya that they wished to offer them in their own customary manner and Paramacharya nodded His head.

They took out the "Padis" – the measuring jar in metal - filled them with various grains and then poured them in the receptacles of the Mutt. The manager was in tears seeing how "Ambal Padi alanthal" in that middle of night. Paramacharya also took out a yellow pumpkin from the lot of vegetables and gave it to the manger saying " so, you can have your favorite paal kootu (some dish made of milk and pumpkin) tomorrow " subtly telling him that he need not fear of having to observe any upavasam the next day.

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Paramacharya is also known as for his wit and humor and for the pun of words.
Once an artist came to Mahasvami and told that he is going to offer something different from other devotees. He then said to Paramacharya that he is offering his "kavalai" (worries) to him so that he will be relieved. Paramacharya replied spontaneously that whenever a devotee offers him anything he takes a small part of it and returns the remainder to the devotee. By that practice, he will take the "va" from his offering and return back the "kalai" to him. (kalai in Tamil means art).
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Hari Om,


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