·       Sakthi Vikatan - 22 Oct, 2010     2010-10-22-part 1 and 2

 Edited Nov 11, 2017

Ramanamaharishi God of Compassion.   Guru’s Grace 

                                                                                                               Author: Balakumaran    


Uththaḍi Nāyaṉār had an urgent call to leave Bālaswāmy for his town. He was worried about who will take care of Bālaswāmy in his absence. There was no dearth for food. Someone will bring the food for Bālaswāmy. He worried about having a person to safeguard Bālaswāmy from the intrusive and bothersome visitors.

Pazhaisāmi, a Malayali and the officiating priest at Tiruvaṇṇāmalai Vinayakar Temple in the AyanKuam Street very often met Bālaswāmy. Thirty-seven year old Pazhaṉisāmi brings no-salt-added Naivēttiyam to Bālaswāmy. Vinayakar Puja was important for him.

Pazhaṉisāmi was an acquaintance of Srinivasa Iyer. The latter told the former, “You shed tears holding on to a rock idol as God. There you see a God sitting in the human form. He who knows Braḥmam is equal to God. Go help him. Perform Puja.”  His outlook and direction changed; Pazhaṉisāmi developed deep love for Bālaswāmy. With a view to help him, he sat by his side and experienced an inexpressible deep spiritual transformation.

Pazhaṉisāmi is not a youngster. He is not a mere man. He realized the Brahma Tejas. Pazhaṉisāmi lived in a small town near Palakkad and in search of spiritual liberation could not stay at home and came to Tiruvannamalai as the appropriate place for his spiritual development. The mountain, the temple, and the Sadhus made him ecstatic.

AyanKuḷam Vinayakar Puja had a sparse crowd and gave him a deep tranquility. He enjoyed the solitude and helped him control his sensual impulses. It was a stepwise progress.

In a mature state, Pazhaṉisāmi surrendered to Bālaswāmy.

For the mature-minded, Jñāṉi’s proximity gave comfort. Sitting close to him precipitated a flood of laughter. Compassion sprang forth. Love was brimming. For all these, there was no need for them to see face to face. There was no compulsion for a talk.  Singing, reading… are non-events there.

At mealtime, the daily duty of the caretaker comprises giving food to Bālaswāmy, wiping the face, hands and feet, changing the loincloth, cleaning the sitting place and sitting him back in his place. That completes the daily duty. When a devotee supplicates in a loud voice, the caretaker discourages and removes him gently and prevent people from prostrating before Bālaswāmy and touching him.

Pazhaṉisāmi’s customary duty is to offer solace by saying, ‘What is the use of seeking material welfare? Ask yourself the cause of desire and grief. Think deeply of what really undergoes pain and suffering?’ He makes the supplicants sit there for a while and later send them on their way.

Pazhaṉisāmi does not know reading and writing in Tamil. He knows only Malayalam. He used to borrow Tamil spiritual books (Vivēka Sūdāmai, Kaivalya Navanītham…) from the Mutt Library and tried to read them. Those books are hard to read even for the Tamil speakers. Pazhaṉisāmi did not understand the head or tail of what he read. He read them again and again and tried to keep them in his memory.

Pazhaṉisāmi's inability, Bālaswāmy understood. One day, Bālaswāmy took the book from him and turned each page applying a sweeping motion on each page and gave it back to him. A sudden change was inside of him. He thought, he understood everything in the book.

‘There is nothing new in these books. I have earlier realized all that in the books. All these are in my experience and knowledge. Such was his understanding. Movingly, he opposed his palms at Bālaswāmy, who smiled back at him ever so slightly.

Pazhaṉisāmi is a blessed person. He is where he should be. He received what he needed. Guru’s compassion and grace were in abundance. Knowing the pupil’s needs, the Guru satiates his spiritual thirst. A good Guru talks little. He does not engage in elaborate long-winded discussions and lectures. He does not order pupils to do physical exercises.  He does not show off pranayama exercises and self-enquiry. He instructs the pupil by saying without telling, and by thought transfer. The transformation takes place in the devotee.

He who is in touch with himself, who immerses deep into his self, and who knows who he is, he can touch and change the mind of the other. Guru’s proximity is ecstasy. The continuous mirth inside oneself is supreme joy. A hubris-free majesty. A control with no anger. A desireless state. Whatever one needs, he will get: a trust replete with the essence of solitariness and a fertile mind.

The great disciple close to the Guru will know his lifespan with clarity. He knows the time of his death. The big question shatters; the answer appears from inside as a pearl; the determined lifespan become known; there is cessation of conflict with others and desire for things does not afflict him.

Your calculus ends before mine. What fight do I have with you? Come and sit down. No one to call an enemy of mine. No one to call as a relative. The calculus that everyone comes and goes is easily understood. That is a great liberation.

You can realize inside the godliness well up into a flood. Then, you will know and understand clearly the meaning of Great Sayings (Mahāvākyas).

The mind is immersed in solitary tranquility. It feels things as they are. All these do not come from teaching. It is not learnt from lectures. The hubris of the lecturer and the listener’s impatience are in head to head rivalry; all are liable for misinterpretation. Silence is the good stratagem.

The Jñāni can bring about internal changes in a disciple and make him or her a mature one.

Pazhaṉisāmi is a mature disciple. He was intensely pursuant in finding God. Finding Bālaswāmy after a long wandering and looking for God as his Guru was the end of his journey.

Thāyumāṉaswāmy in his poem says, “You are the mountain caught in the hold called love.” Bālaswāmy was in the love-hold of Pazhaṉisāmi and taught him.

The primary impetus for this outcome is love. No one outside of yourself can teach love for all.  It is a natural stream coming from inside. Once you remove the impediments, the stream by itself becomes a flood.

Venkatrama Iyar working in the Taluk Post office in Tiruvannamalai was amazed by Bālaswāmy.

He developed a healthy curiosity to find the inner source of this Rishi and of the river of love. Where did this youngster come from? Who are his birth parents? Who raised him? Who are the parents? Under whose merit did this child take birth? He is immersed in Brahma Laya. What is the beginning of this? These are the questions, he wanted answers for.

The teenager-the future Bhagavan and the presently dubbed Bālaswāmy- was unknown to anybody there.

Who are you? What is your name?  He presented him with a paper and a pencil and waited for answers. He said to himself, ‘I am not going to the office today. I don’t care if the superiors become angry with me.  It must be known who you are.  So, he presented the loving order mixed with some nagging.

He saw a writing on the wall, ‘Service is the reward for service (that is rendered). (For this, this is the service.) That was written by Bālaswāmy. That means the youngster knows his three R’s. He must have been from a good family. He must have gone to school.  He insisted on knowing his natal name.

Assenting to Venkatrama Iyar’s request, Bālaswāmy wrote in English, ‘Venkatraman, Tirucchuzhi.’ ‘Tirucchuzhi-Where is it? Iyar did not know. It is a place of Siva’s temple.  Sundarar wrote poems on the temple. Bhagavan himself pointed to the name as Tirucchuzhi.

The town came to know of his name and town: Venkatraman and Tirucchuzhi.  This is the first time the world came to know of him, Bālaswāmy the youngster in search of himself and immersed within himself. This was when he became known to the outside world for the first time.

... Let us get Darśan

·         Sakthi Vikatan  2010-10-22-part2     Kanchi Mahan, the god of compassion.



Pattābhi raked his memory and presented it as an interesting story. There are many nuggets of information and lessons in those narratives.

This is the same story of one who hails from Tirunelveli side. His name is Sivan.  He visited the Mutt from his village often.

He belonged to Vīra Saiva sect. He had broad strokes of ash stripes on his forehead. He looked like ‘Siva Pazham.’ He was a stickler to purity. He was strict in Caste and Sectarian Convenances (Convenances, the social proprieties or conventionalities). He won’t use or eat onion in his food. That strict- observance.

          When Sivan goes to Kanchipuram, Periyava is all. He was about 80. Very rich. Mahāperiyava was his God. What Periyava said was Vedas (=Holy Testament).  Coming to Kanchi, he brought a turmeric-colored bag with loincloth, holy ashes, some currency notes…

When he sat in Periyava’s Sanctum, he was unaware of passage of time.  Ten days of Darśana was not enough.

OK, will he talk to Periyava. No.

Will he ask questions? Not even that.

“Periyavar does not have to talk to me. What is important is that I am in his thoughts.

Outside of the Mutt, he never eats or drinks.

Once, Siva went to receive orders from Periyava, after Darśan. 

Usually, Periyava moves his hand in a gesture of blessings. But that day, he said, “Are you leaving for your place? Won’t you have a drink of soda? OK, you are leaving. At least do it.” Periyava gave him permission to leave, mentioning about the drink.

Sivan boarded a bus in Chengalput going to Tirunelveli. There were four youngsters causing hue and cry. Sivan could not take the ruckus. Who will discipline that rowdy gang?

As the bus was nearing Madurai, the driver stopped the bus at a village. There was a convenience store at the bus stop. Sivan saw soda bottles piled high at the shop. Periyava’s advice to drink soda came to his mind.

He felt thirsty. He got down from the bus thinking of the advice of Periyava and quenching his thirst. He came back to his seat after the drink.

He did not find his yellow bag left on his seat. There was nothing of value in the bag.

The rowdy youngsters mocked him and said, “Hey, Old man, are you looking for your yellow bag?  See your bag on the seat behind yours. Go and sit there.”

The yellow bag was on the seat in front of the last seat in the bus and behind his original assigned seat. Sivan thought to himself, “OK, it is good enough to reach home. Why should I engage in any altercation with these boys?" Sivan sat where the boys asked him to sit.

Two of the four youngsters sat on his original seat on the bus.

It was dark of night. It was an hour since the bus moved from the store. What happened? A bus coming from the opposite direction at high speed crashed on this bus.

The youngsters, who confiscated his seat on the bus and talked to him mockingly, died on the spot. The eldely Sivan escaped without even a scratch.

Why did Periyava say, ‘Go have a soda before you leave.’?  Why did the bus driver stop at a hamlet opposite to the convenience store? The staked bottles were visible to Sivan from the bus. Why so? He escaped death because he got down from the bus for a drink and found he lost his seat to the youngsters upon re-boarding.

       How do these things happen?  Thinking of it… On one side is the instance, when he escaped death. On another side, the two youngsters lost their lives.  His mind and soul were hobbled by their death.

He understood that ten days of Darśan of Periyavar saved him from the catastrophe. ‘Have a soda’ rang in his mind and was a direct voice from God himself.

This event happened in 1983, after Periyava returned to Kanchi from a pilgrimage.

When I was talking to Siva, he described the event in great detail to me. I brought this event to the attention of Periyava.

Periyava enquired, “Is Sivan in good health?” He must have told, “I saved him.” Stupid. When and where I saved him? Paramesvara saved him.”

Hearing this, I was horripilated.

    Darśan will continue.