Monday, February 6, 2017

"This Prasadam is common to Hindus and Muslims!" --- Mahaperiyava

Chief Justice M.M. Ismail used to go to Kanchi, pay his obeisance to Kanchi Mahaperiyava and discuss with Him for hours at an end on spiritual matters of both Hinduism and Islam. On one such occasion it was getting late for Periyava to do His daily rituals and a Sishya informed Him about it very politely.
Periyava then said,
"We must give Prasadam for the Judge!"
Everyone was taken aback. 'What to give? He may not accept it' was the thought in their minds. Periyava then called a Sishya to come close to Him and whispered something in his ears. The Sishya went inside and returned with a 'Velli pezhai' (a small silver box).
Again, everyone thought, "Ha, that can't be the Prasadam. There must be something inside it!" and they were curious to know. The Chief Justice accepted the pezhai and opened it.
The fragrance of 'chandan' (Sandal) filled the air!
Periyava then said,
"This is the common Prasad for both Hindus and Muslims. You celebrate 'chandanakoodu' festival and we offer 'chandan' after abishekam.....!"
Periyava was laughing while there were tears in Shri Ismail's eyes!
Chief Justice Shri (Late) MM Ismail who was an ardent devotee of all the Three Acharyas of Kanchi Matam was born on Feb 8th in the year 1921.


Shri Ismail is seen standing beside the portrait of Shri Kripananda Variar.

Erwadi santhanakoodu festival is a month long festival held in Ervadi dargah, located in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu to commemorate the anniversary of Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badhusha nayagam whose grave is in Ervadi. The festival is organised as a National Integrity festival by the local Dargah Huqdhar Management Committee (D.H.M.C.), constituting the heirs of badhusha nayagam called as Mujavirs or Levvais. It is a monthlong festival happening every Hijri year in the full Islamic month of Zil Qa'dah.

It is organised to commemorate the anniversary of Hazarat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badhusha Oliyullah, at the famous Erwadi Dargah always stands as a symbol of religious harmony. Every year hundreds of thousands of people, cutting across religions and communities, within Tamil Nadu and from other states mostly from Kerala and even from other countries, throng Erwadi on this day to witness the festival, marking the sandal anointing ceremony of holy the tomb.

A sense of unity in diversity is exemplified by the ‘Santhanakoodu’ festival with all community people's participation and contribution and going in a procession, led by a decorated elephant, dancing horse and preceded by a dancing folk arts troupe at midnight. People of all faiths, hue and colour throng the pathway leading to the dargah with reverence, once the procession reach the dargah, people of all religions enter the dargah and offer obeisance. The day is declared a holiday by the district administration and Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operates special buses throughout the night for the benefit of devotees.

Also, in Sufi tradition, sandalwood paste is applied on the Sufi’s grave by the disciples as a mark of devotion. It is practiced particularly among the Indian subcontinent disciples. In the Tamil culture irrespective of religious identity, sandalwood paste or powder is applied to the graves of Sufis as a mark of devotion and respect.

Source: wikipedia

Jyothi Prabhu says: "I was in Kanchi a few years back standing in Ambal's Sannidhanam in Gayatri Mandapam in Kanchi Kamakshi Amman temple, when my mother pointed at two ladies standing by the barrier looking at HER. They were dressed very well, costly saree, lots of gold, toe rings, thali (wedding mangalasutra) but no Pottu! (bindi). My mother told me could be muslim ladies. I could not resist and asked them if they were Muslims and if so why they were there...

Please note I told the ladies, Muslims believe only in nirguna form of worship and why were they even visiting a temple. One of them just said, "Avvo, Amma ileya....nanga yella kolandey.....She is Mother is it not, we are all Her Children"! Can you even reply back... Kamakshi Sharanam Sharanam!"


  1. Everything mentioned in this article is wonderful. Grateful for publishing it.

  2. Jaya jaya jaya kamakshi, sri gurubhyo namah