This year is 117th Year of Kanchi Mahaswami's jayanthi, Sri Guru Paduka Samajam (www.srigurupadukasamajam.org) along with siva vishnu alayam in Natesan Nagar, Chennai, India have arranged for a week long celebration. Similar celebrations are conducted in all adishtanams and a special homam is organised in Maha periya manimandapam in orikkai.
Day 1 witnessed a heart melting discourse on Maha Periyava Mahimai by Bhramasri B Sundara Kumar. By Guru's anugraham (Blessings) i could listen to the discourse. There was a decent gathering of about 100 people. Periyavas murthy was decorated and placed on a raised mandapam. The discourse was supposed to start at 7 PM but there was no current in the entire locality, and luckily by 7:15 electricity was restored and within few minutes the upanyaskar arrived, he was invited with purna kumba and he started the discourse after performing arthi to Maha Periyavas Murthy.
Some excerpts from the lecture.
- Some historians conceive that Adi sankaracharya in one's span of life could not have achieved work of this magnitude and hence it is possible that all these achievements could have been done by different persons with the same name 'Sankara', and because of the name it is attributed to Adi Sankara.
All their notions are based on one small doubt that one person cannot achieve so much, for all of them our Maha Periyava is a befitting example, his contribution to sanatana dharma can be compared with that of Adi Sankara's contribution.
- He has raised the bar so high for following sanyasa dharma that no one has or can equate his austerity.
- He lived a life so pure and simple just to show us the path and to prove that all that is told in the shastras are still valid and can be followed.
- Every religion have their own religious book (Bible, Quran etc.) but a single book cannot be prescribed for hinduism since this encompasses thousands of practices (bhakthi, yogam, mukhthi, ayurvedam, mantram, thantram, jnayanam, puranas, ithihasas etc). Hence a single book cannot be said to be a conclusive reference for hinduism, but this drawback also was fulfilled in the last century. Maha swamis discourses were all compiled and released as a set of books under the name 'Deivathin Kural' (Voice of god). This can be taken as a single book for the whole sanatana dharma, there is nothing else in hinduism which is not discussed and explained the book
- Adi sankarar's mother asks sankara, what is the path to attain mukhthi. Sankara says that in kali yuga bhakthi is the only recourse available since all other paths (jyanam, karma etc) will be difficult to follow and attain. She futher asked him what is the way to attain bhakthi, for which he answers there is only one way and that is by the krupai of a true Guru. She asks him how to find a suitable guru, adi shankara in his viveka choodamani tells the lakshanas (identities) of a true guru some of which are listed below.
1. A true guru does not bother about earthly comforts
2. He does not treat even those who insult him or inflict harm on him as a enemy, since he sees everything and everyone as parabhramam
3. He is full of compassion and sympathy
4. He is a stithapragyan (This is a big topic for discussion as to who is a sti-tha-prag-yan)
5. He always follows the path of sathya and dharma and urges others to follow the same
This is all i remember now, there were many more. i will try to recollect and update later.
- Maha swami was in the sanyasi peetam for more than 87 years and in all these 87 years he has never travelled by modern means of transport, he would travel (even when he was in his late 90's) only by foot. he used to travel in his early years by a palaquin but in his late thirties started his yathra's only on foot. This is one of the sanyasa dharma, likewise he followed and never slipped from any of the dharma and set a example to the fellow beings to follow one's dharma strictly.
- What we see as miracles are but the work of god which happen very naturally, likewise there used to happen miracles every minute in his sannidhi and he always used to put the credit on kamakshi or other gods, as if he has nothing to do with what is happening around him.
Upanyaskar mentioned several instances of his personal experiences which shine like sides of a diamond. All these will make this a very lengthy post.
Finally when the discourse drew to a completion there were many wet eyes and melted hearts. Day 1 concluded with prasadam distribution.
May his radiance shine and remove the darkness of ignorance from our hearts
Jaya Jaya Sankara, Hara Hara Sankara.