Friday, August 26, 2016

Greece Princess Irene with Bala Periyava!

Five decades ago, members of a royal family from Greece met Kanchi Paramacharya HH Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal at Machilipatnam in the district. The family came as seekers of truth. The spiritual voyage was supremely worthwhile. Since then, the family has continued to attend the programmes being organised by the Kanchi Mutt all these years.

Clad in maroon red saree and vermilion on her forehead, Princess Irene, recollected, “We met Paramacharya 50 years ago at Machilipatnam. I am glad to visit Andhra Pradesh again.” Recounting that they came to know about the greatness of Indian philosophy through Indian philosopher TMP Mahadevan, 

Ms. Irene said that her family has been organising seminars and meetings on philosophy for the last five decades. The Vedas and Indian philosophy alone could show path of peace to the world. The Vedas were a rich source of knowledge. The Vedas belong to everyone. The Vedic life was above caste, region, religion and country. World peace can be achieved by following Vedic life, she said, adding one can see God in every human being if he or she sheds ego.

Kanchi Shankaracharya HH Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal said that the Vedas contained essence of every faith. It was the duty of every citizen to protect the cow, He said.
Greece Princess Irene addressing a gathering at Labbipet Venkateswara Swamy temple in Vijayawada on Thursday August 25th, 2015.

Source: The Hindu.

Bala Periyava Pictures from Krishna Pushkaram 2016 in Vijayawada!

Thanks to Shri Krishnamoorthy for these lovely pictures which were taken in Durga Ghat in Vijayawada!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Kanchi Mahaperiyava's idol installed at Thiruvannamalai Shankara Matam!

Kanchi Mahaswamigal's panchaloka idol was installed on August 21, 2016 at 11 am in Thiruvannamalai Sankara Matam with Sri Rudrabhishekam, Upanishad parayanam, Sahasranama archana followed by Veda Parayanam, Namasankeerthanam, Thevaram and Thiruvasaga Parayanam. Earlier in the day, more than 300 Devotees did Giripradakshinam of the Arunachala Hill along with Mahaperiyava's idol. The Panchaloka idol's monetary value is Rs 1 lakh. Many Devotees participated in the function.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Your singing made Me break My Vow of Silence!

My Guru Maharajapuram Santhanam was a great devotee of Kanchi Mahaperiyava. He has composed a thillana and three other songs on His Holiness which he rendered in almost all concerts as also in cassette recordings.

I had the opportunity of singing with my Guru as vocal support since Aug 87 till 23rd June 92 (his last concert in manjakkudi village). I had the wonderful chance of accompanying my Guru to have darshan of Mahaswamigal and also sing along with my Guru and get the prasadam from His Holiness. many times. My Guru had lot of cherishable experiences with the Saint - out of the many one experience my Guru narrated very often is given below:

When Shri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer was residing at Nungambakkam and Mahaperiyaval was camping at a place adjacent to his house and was in mounavratha. One evening when Shri MV Iyer was singing at his house "Vinayakuni" and singing neraval at "anadharakshaki Sri Kamakshi".

Suddenly Mahaperiyava got up from His seat walked and reached Shri MV Iyer's house and entered. An agitated Sri MV Iyer then performed namaskaram and Periyaval said:

"Your singing made me come into your house! and of course out of the mouna vratham also!"

That time Sri MV Iyer had a desire in his mind. He wanted Mahaperiyava to gift the rudraksha combined spatika mala that Periyava used to wear. But he did not get this in his life time.

Later when my Guru visited Sri Periyava at Satara one evening, Periyava asked him to sing Mohanam in detail. Then when my guru asked if he could leave, but the Saint asked him to stay that night. Early in the morning when my guru heard some sound in the adjacent room, and when he opened the window, he was surprised to see Periyava cleaning His staying place on His own!

Periyava on seeing my guru through the window asked him to come and sing mohanam ragam "evaruru ninuvina" again. My guru sang and Periyava gave prasadam and permitted him to leave.

My guru left with heavy heart as he was expecting that gift that his father wanted to receive. My guru would have waked some 100 feet. Suddenly the mutt staff asked him to come back to Periyava as instructed by HIS HOLINESS. My guru rushed back to the Saint.

The smiling Saint removed the rudraksha cum spatika mala and presented it to my Guru. My Guru was in tears. May be this was the beginning of the honours that my Guru received which even his father did not!


Narrated by Dr Radhakrishnan Ganesh about his esteemed Guru Shri Maharajapuram Santhanam. In the first picture is Carnatic Vocal Maestro Shri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer and in the second are a young Dr Ganesh and his Guru Maharajapuram Santhanam

Sunday, August 21, 2016

She felt a 'Fernweh' to visit Thenambakkam!

I have never had Darshan of Kanchi Mahaperiyava's padhukas and we were wondering how to get to know Pradosham Mama's residence address in Kanchipuram where they said a Padhuka is kept. I believe Paramacharya heard my request I guess and made that darshan available to us at Thenambakkam. 

Here are Swamigal's Padhukas in a beautiful Golden case. He had used these padhukas when He used to stay at Thenambakkam and left them there. We have never seen it on our earlier visits here. It must have been under lock and key. Even a subtle thought, wish is answered by Paramacharya. Reason enough for all our thoughts and prayers to be Noble. Is it not?


How beautiful.

Narrated by a good friend who dashes to Thenambakkam (it is about 10 kms from Kanchi) at the drop of her hat! She always likes to be Anonymous. She says, "Even before I went there for the first time, I felt a 'Fernweh'. It is a German word and it means a longing to go to a place where we have never been. A magnetic force attracting us. So true of Thenambakkam for me personally. Very apt for anything to do with Paramacharya."

Here are some beautiful pictures she had clicked there.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kanchi Matam's Aasthana Engineer!

Devotees from Madurai, offer Bhiksha vandanam on the first day of August every year, during Chaturmasya vratam. On one such occasion, when we had all gone for darshan, Kanchi Mahaperiyava asked us if we had offered bhiksha vandanam to Sringeri Maha Sannidhanam (the 35th Shankaracharya of Sringeri, HH Abhinava Vidya Theertha Swamigal seen with Sharadambal in the picture) Who was observing Chaturmasya vratam at Madurai then. We replied in the negative.

Periyava was not pleased with our failure to offer bhiksha vandanam to Yatis who were camping at our place. We were ordered to get a suitable date from Sringeri Maha Sannidhanam immediately, on our return to Madurai.

"Don't you all have funds?" was the rebuke we received from Mahaperiyava for our failure. 

We conveyed the same to Maha Sannidhanam and offered bhiksha vandanam on a suitable date just as we offer to Kamakoti Peetam.


The above is the Experience of 'Engineer' (Umayalapuram) Sundaram Mama. Thanks to Shri Mohan Ramiah for typing this.

Sundaram Mama says:

"I am eighty plus and remember things on and off and also I am poor in drafting my experiences for the social media. My association with Sri Kanchi Mutt and Sri Acharyals is over the last fifty years. Mahaperiyava never liked people to talk about His miracles, some of which have occurred in my family life. I only keep praying to HIM to take me to His Holy Feet at an early date. He used to call me as Madurai Engineer Sundaram. I had the privilege of being called Kanchi Mutt's Aasthana Engineer."

Our Acharyas had blessed Engineer Sundaram Mama to build the Arch in front of Adi Shankara Mandapam Temple in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, as seen in the above picture. (pic courtesy of What a Beautiful Arch it is!

Sundaram Mama seen in the year 2012 
in California, in the third picture.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Mahaperiyava did Dhanda Namaskaram to HH Mouna Guru Swami's portrait!

One of the greatest Saints who lived in the 18th century is HH Sri Mouna Guru Swamigal in Kumbakonam. Mouna Guru is a very generic name which has been adopted by numerous Seers. The word Mouna means absolute silence. 

The Paramacharya of Kanchi has talked a lot about this Saint in Deivathin Kural Voice of God book(Volume 3). When He describes the state of perfect bliss or Nirvana, He quotes 3 examples - Sri Sadasiva brahmendra , Sri Mouna Guru Swamigal and Sri Ramana Maharishi. While the other two are reasonably well known, Sri Mouna Guru Swamigal was not known except in close circles. The state in which these Saints lived bordered between Nirvikalpa Samadhi and Sahaja samadhi.

Mouna Swamigal is said to have initially stayed at Tirubhuvanam (around 8-10 kms from Kumbakonam) and then moved here. Swami Vivekananda has visited this Saint on three consecutive days when he came to kumbakonam. Annie Beasant, Arundale have visited him and Annie beasant installed the arch on the way to His samadhi, which can be seen even today. 

The following is an incomplete translation of Paramacharya's words in Tamil on Mouna swamigal:

"Mouna Guru Swamigal used to stay for hours in Samadhi. The body was still and his eyes would be closed or open but never blink. Even if someone where to take his fingers close to his eye, it would not blink.

Food was forced by His disciples down His mouth. Sometimes it went in and sometimes it just stayed there. Ants would swarm His mouth for the food and they also used to bite him. His skin turned red but the saint would never budge from His samadhi state.

Some devotees applied sugar on His tongue but there was not even saliva getting formed , indicating his complete withdrawal from all his senses."

Source of above:

One Shri Nalla Pillai was one of the disciples of  Mouna Guru Swami in Kumbakonam.  He was commissioned by North Arcot Collector to take photographs of prisoners in the district for police files.  He came to Arunachala Hills and having been impressed by Bhagavan Ramana, Shri Pillai gifted Maharshi Mouna Swami's portrait!

Kanchi Mahaswamigal once did His Dhanda Namaskaram to the portrait of Mouna Swami at the home of Shri KG Krishamurthy in Thiruvidaimarudhur! Mouna Swamigal had even visited Shri KGK's home in the late 1800s!

In the above picture Kanchi Pudhu Periyava is seen doing Dhanda Namaskarams to Kanchi Swamigal. This is how it is done.

Mouna Guru Swami shed His mortal coil on 22-Apr-1899. Even today His Mahasamadhi attracts numerous devotees. Located near the Kumbeshwara Temple in Kumbakonam (the city gets its name from this temple), this Shrine radiates peace and serenity. There is a small Shiva linga placed on top of His Adhistanam. The address is:
Mouna Guru Swamigal of Kumbakonam,
Valayapettai Agraharam (near Kumbeshwara Temple)
Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu - 612001