My Visit to Kanchi in the summer of 2013!
Reached Kanchipuram at around 10.45 am on July 10th, 2013 and then briskly walked to the Matam. Entered the Matam at 11 am. There were about 10 people sitting in the pooja hall. The curtain for the pooja Mandapam was on. Was told that Bala Periyava had just commenced with the Chandramouliswarar-Maha Tripurasundari poojas.
So decided to go His Adishtanam and seek His blessings. What a sight it was to have His darshan after two long years! Decided to do 5 pradakshinams and 5 namaskarams each time. Made the first pradakshinam. At the end of it, saw a Sanyasi and another person and me do a namaskaram to this Sanyasi. I start speaking to Him about His acquaintances with Him. He says that He was fortunate to be with Him during His Satara yatra and that his account has been detailed in one of the books by Shri Ekamabaran or someone. He asks us to go into the room where He shed His mortal coils. We do a pradakshinam and a namaskaram.
Back at the Adishtanam I continue with the second, third and fourth pradakshinam. At the end of this that Sanyasi asks me to water the Thulasi plant pots which are lined up along the Adhistanams front wall. I complete the fifth pradakshinam. Then I fill the bucket with water and pour a tumbler to each of the approximately 30 to 40 plants. And at the end of it, also sprinkle water on them. And taking Him in silently all the while with Joy. After I am done, the Sanyasi blesses me with a Mango. Was quite surprised!
Now the time is 12.20 pm. Deciding to do Madhyanikam There itself, I ask the Sanyasi if I can do it using the tumbler with which I had watered the plants. He says No and Himself goes inside the Adhistanam and gets me a Panchapatram vessel. I sit on the southern door to the Adishtanam and do my Madhyanikam anushtanams very happily.
I tell myself that I should visit all the temples in Kanchi, Kalavai and Pradosham Mama's home too.
I can hear the nadaswaram strains and rush to the Pooja Mandapam. I can hear Amba Janani ninuvina being sung beautifully by a girl in Reethi Gowlai. As I am walking and looking at the Pooja Mandapam for the first time, Bala Periyava's eyes are already on me. I fold my hands and bow to Him. And take a seat on the left side in the front and start to see the Poojas. Now there are about 40 devotees.
The next song is 'Kamakshi Kamakoti Peethavasini' in Simhendra Madhyamam by that girl. Blissful. My son next sings Jagadha Nandhaka in Nattai. This was followed by Padame Thunai Paramasiva in Valaji by that girl. I can hear the words 'Thirumayilapuri' in this song. Awesome booming voice she had. This was followed by Kannithaye Namasthe in what seemed like Vasantha ragam. I send a note through my wife to the girl to sing Kanchadalaya Kamakshi in Kamala Manohari ragam. Before she could do that, the curtains are removed and we can seen Bala Periyava doing the Poojas majestically to the Thodi strains of the Nadaswaram. After this is completed, Kanchadalaya Kamakshi fills the air!
And then Periyava shows the the five or six kinds of Deepam to Chandramouliswarar and Tripurasundari. Reach out with a gesture of symbolically touching the flames with both my hands and brought them to my eyes with the thought, 'Let This remove all the sufferings to everything living/non-living in the Universe'.
Had prasadam at the Matam at 2.30 pm. In the queue now to have His Darshan in His room. He smiles at us and asks us to sit in a corner. People stream in and partake His Blessings. After they all are done, we are some four families sitting at His Feet. He speaks to everyone.
He asks me, 'Eppo Varel' when I came.
I answered, 'I came last Saturday morning to India'.
He replies with a smile, "No, I did not ask that!'.
Then I say, 'oh, I came to the Matam ' at 11.30 am today'.
Another smile and a nod of His Head. I am stumped as to what to say. He smiles and tells me, 'You are coming on July 22, 23 and 24th!'.
I had interpreted the question to be the Past, but he chose the Present and the Future!
I tell Him about our Sage of Kanchi (https://www.facebook.com/groups/Periyavaa/), Jayendra Periyava (https://www.facebook.com/groups/PuduPeriyava/) and Bala Periyava (https://www.facebook.com/groups/balaperiyava/) groups in Facebook. He says He will bless me with a Message later. I also tell him I am planning to visit Govindaram and Mahendramangalam. He blesses me with a booklet on Mahendramangalam.
And asks me to go to Villupuram first. I am stumped again and ask Him like a child, 'why Villuparam...'. He smiles back and says, 'That is where He was born, no?'. Blesses us with Mangos and then we take leave.
He blessed me with this picture the next day, the message of Anugraham for each one of us!
Did not have time to see any of the temples in Kanchi. Or Orikkai. Not even time to vist Pradosham Mama's house.
It is 4.45 pm. We go to Orikkai to have the darshan of Him in the Manimandapam for the first time. What a magnificent place. As we approach the Sanctum Santorum we see a lady showing a lit camphor and pouring her heart out to Him. She was alone. What a sight it was. It was poignant. The priest Ganapathy comes and tells us about the story of the Manimandapam. He says, 'I can feel Him here and there are many incidents to attest to this..' I listen in awe. Then he says. 'do you know what that Lady is? She is Pradosham Mama's daughter!'.
I do a 'Shankara' and head back home!