Unforgettable experience of an ardent devotee

Rajah Iyer Suriyanarayanan

I would like to share with the devotees a few of my experiences which I was privileged to have with the Paramacharyal.

I have been taught by my father, late Sri M. Rajah Iyer, Ex. M.L.C., My father firmly believed in helping the poor and downtrodden, particularly the teaching community. I lost my father in Feb., 1974. Poor people thronged to pay a homage to this man irrespective of their community in a small place like Ramnad. I decided to uphold his ideals. At that time I still had two of my sisters to be married. All my attempts to find a match to my sister, Rejeswari, failed due to various reasons. Someone told me that Kanchi Paramacharya is a living God and His blessings will certainly have a positive issue. I went to Kanchi on Friday, the 4th July'75 and we reached Kalavai at 5 p.m. in the evening. I was ignorant of the attire to be worn and hence a long sideburns, log hair, dark moustache and a jazzy reached the gates, near the Kalavai tank. A disciple specially told me and my wife alone to go over to the other side of the tank where Paramacharya might come to worship His Guru. I went over there as directed and founded only one old Sumangali lady with a very big mark on hear forehead.

I saw Periyaval coming suddenly there along with three disciples and he prayed for a few minutes in front of his Guru's Samadhi. Then he looked at me. I got a feeling which can never be described in mere words. The next round and again he looked at me. When he was just passing me, one of the disciples asked me to tell who I was. Next round and I had all the courage to shout to Periyaval, "I am son of Sri M. Rajah Iyer, Ramnad." That is all.

The great sage did not come out for a few minutes. The old lady by my side felt very annoyed. She told me in kind words, "My dear fellow! I have been having this unique darshan of Parameswara Himself on this sublime Friday. Why should you come in pants with sideburns and spoil such a darshan by shouting? Is it good on your part to do so?" My wife also felt we shouldn't have shouted. And we tried to remove ourselves from the very place and were walking towards the front. A few minutes of walk and I could see the `Perarul' coming again and this time I remembered the lady's words and hence took off my shirt and rushed to the wall. Then it happened, the inexplicable; only the people who have witnessed would know.

Periyaval in His total kindness asked me by gestures who I was. I said "Son of Rajah Iyer, Ramnad." Periyaval was, I learnt, observing silence that time. He started by mere signs, amply translated by His disciples, all about my father, now he received National Award from Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, his contributions in the Legislatures, etc. etc,. for 45 minutes. There was big crowd watching this unique event. Unconsciously I was crying like a baby.

He very kindly asked me why I had come there. I told him about my mission. With a smile Periyaval asked me "Is this the girl?" pointing to my sister. I said "Yes." Periyaval in all godly humour asked me, moving his finger around His rudraksha, whether all ornaments were ready for the marriage. I said "I need not spend a pie except to find a suitable match".

Then Periyaval with a radiant smile repeatedly blessed my sister. His compassion was all-pervasive. The time was 6.45 p.m. and it was pitch dark outside. I was about to go. I didn't know that we should get "Permission from Periyaval" before we leave. Some one asked me to get "Permission" and I did. He again asked me "How did you come from Madras?" I said "By car". He asked his disciple whether it rained on that day, to which he said "No". Then he thought for a second and again blessed me "Be careful on your way back."

Then it rained cats and dogs... It poured so heavily that we reached Kanchipuram, only at 11 p.m. We reached Madras in the early hours of 5th July. Next day, "The Hindu" published the news Kancheepuram experiences the heaviest rainfall of the last three decades" on that day.

I got a call on the 8th July from Mr. S.K. Vaidyanathan, an M.B.A., whom my father had approached in 1973 for an alliance. He said he was now thinking of marriage and would visit my house on 8th August. On 8th August, he stipulated only two conditions. I must take my sister to his parent's house at Udumalpet for their concurrence and (2) If at all his parents okay. it, we must do a simple marriage without paraphernalia and Streedhanams. Needless to say that the marriage took place and my sister and her husband are happily settled in Bombay with two kids.

On that day I decided that I know only one Deivam of my life and till date Periyaval has blessed me in various ways. I still don't know whether I deserve His grace but whenever I go to Kanchipuram, Periyaval blesses me and my family with affection.

Thanks to Periyaval's constant blessing I was able to get a lucrative foreign assignment in Nigeria in 1980. My family and I traveled all over the world every year. At last in `85 when Nigerian economy was not a good shape I asked my wife to pack first and I was to follow her in `86. With Periyaval's blessings my wife bought a house in Adyar and named it "Sankaram". But we didn't have water at all. We had to buy every day one lorry load.

I joined my wife in Feb.' 86 and as per the advice of some water-diviners I tried to put a 40' bore with plastic pipes. It was done some time in May'86. After spending a fortune there was no water coming. Another suggested to try a deep bore and jet pump. I did that. That also proved futile.

Totally vexed, my wife and I, on Saturday, the 24th May which incidentally happened to be Periyaval's Jayanthi day, got up at 4.30 a.m. had our bath and in all humility and devotion prayed to Periyaval. Then my wife witched on the jet pump. She could not believe her eyes as water started gushing out at 6 a.m. It never stopped. All my neighbours, my wife's mother and particularly the previous owner who sold his house to us only because of water problem, could not believe their eyes.

We also were enthralled and Periyaval's blessing were visible in this house. The flow of water had never stopped since June 11th `86, even during the worst days of water scarcity in Madras city. I just can't understand that unique unadulterated bakthi, constant chanting of Periyaval's Nama, has helped in getting hurdles and crises.

My only prayer every day is that all the world must get His Anugraha in full for several generations. to come.