My blessed experience

Mahavidwan Dr. S. Arunaivadivel Mudaliar

The word `Kadavul' in Tamil meaning God is significant because He stands beyond (`Kada') as well as with (`ul'). He guides and activates beings in the form of "Guru, Lingam and Sangamam". All these three forms are indeed His manifestations.

Among these three divine forms recognized by Saiva Siddhanta, the Guru form is the foremost one. The Linga form is mute and expressionless. Although Sangamam is a sharing form, it does not share words and wisdom. Only the Guru form expresses itself, shares works and wisdom.

In our traditions we refer to Guru also as Acharya. Among the Acharyas, the chief one is the `Paramacharya'. Indeed it is a rare chance for one to get a glimpse and experience the joy of being in the immediate presence of a Paramacharya. If one succeeded, I will rate it as a divine stroke or luck. Against this background, I wish to share here with the readers the divine chance I got in my life of meeting the God-incarnation, the Paramacharya of Kanchi.

Whenever we refer to Kanchipuram, only the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya Swamigal and Srimatham has been in existence for several centuries come to our minds. The present time is indeed a golden period.

The Jagadguru Paramacharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Sarasvathi Swamigal is entering His hundredth year. For 87 years He has presided over the destinies of the Kamakoti Matham. His greatness and works of wisdom are known all the world over. With profound gratitude all of us recall His generosity and kindness to all.

I have had the privilege of message Paramacharya on more than one occasion. His gracious vision has fallen on me not only because I live in Kanchipuram, but also because I have modest mastery over the Tamil language.

Appreciating my commentary on "Thirumurai", the Saiva Sacred Canon, the Paramacharya honoured me along with my close friend and associate, Sri K. Vijravel Mudaliar in the precincts of Kamakshi Amman temple. I recall His benign blessings with gratitude and personal pleasure. In my 80th Birthday Celebration organised by the Kanchi Perumakkal Thondaimandala Adeenam, The Paramacharya honoured me with a silk shawl and Rs. 2,000/-

His concern for me and my family is deep. My only son, Sri. A. Palaravayan (Professor of Tamil, Loyola College, Madras) too, enjoys similar concern. The Paramacharya has always recognized my son and has given ample opportunities to him to participate in the activities of the Sri Matham and encouraged him in literary pursuits. I consider that all the recognition I have got in my life are primarily due to my acquaintance with the Paramacharya, a personality that beams and radiates sympathy, concern and kindness.

The township of Kanchi has several credits. Tamil language can boast of eight Kanchipuranams explaining the mythological and historical aspects of the temples. Among these Puranams, many people follow the one composed by Madhava Sivagnana Yogi of Tiruvavadhthurai Aadhinam, I wrote a commentary on this puranam and in that context, the Paramacharya sent a messenger to locate the temples that are mentioned in the puranam and where continued worship is going on. As per His directive, I made a list which included the Mangala-teertham and the "lost" Mangaleswaram temple as one located right in front of the Sri Matham, when the Paramacharya came to know this, He ordered the Matham to repair the tank and locate the temple, so that worship can again take place.

This temple and the tank are believed to have been built by `Mangala' an associate of Uma Devi from Mount Kailasa. The Paramacharya has ordered for the continued repair o several other temples identified in the commentary on Kanchi-puranam.

According to this Puranam, Brahma conducted a Yagna and was blessed by Siva at a place called "Sivasthanam". The present name of this place is Tenambakkam. That is why the Paramacharya camped at Tenambakkam for a few years and graced the disciples and followers at the holy sport.

I am indeed gratified that I have small place in his great heart as a commentator of this Kanchi-puranam.

I pray to Kamakshi and Ekambaranathar to bless the Paramacharya to adorn the Sree Peetham of Kanchi Kamakoti Matham for many more years to come.