There have been a lot of Sages, we hear, in the Puranic Age.
The Compassion,Discipline,Self-Denial and Simple Living of these Sages are so unbelievable that one tends to dismiss them as a figment of imagination.
But, as if prove ourselves totally wrong ,there comes a time when Sages of such Nature appear.
Along with Sri Ramana Maharishi.His Holiness Sri Chandra Sekarendra Saraswati of Kanchi Mutt is one who can give us a glimpse into the world of Sages and their Compassion.
Like Ramana, Periyavar/Periyava(Elder/Great Man), as Sri Chandra Sekara Saraswati is fondly called, was not a Man of Miracles.
He exuded Divinity ,Peace,Calmness and Bliss.
He always had time for the poor and the distressed.
For him,a piece of Gold or a piece of tin were the same, as Lord Krishna proclaims as the characteristic of a Stiththa Pragna( Man who is anchored in Reality).
He was learned beyond words.
Astronomy,Astrology,The Vedas,Modern Science, Archaeology,History,Sociology,History of The World,Numismatics,The Bible, The Koran,Zend-Avesta,- you name it, he can put any scholar to shame.
Yet he will seek clarification from people as if he knows nothing.
I am reminded of Sri.Ramana Maharishi of Tirivannamalai.
Sir Arthur Osbourne, the Maharishi‘s biographer recalls an incident.
Osbouune asked Ramana, whether what He teaches is The Advaita of Sri Sankaracharya.
Bhagwan replied ‘I am expressing what I have felt. Learned people like you tell me that it is like what Sankara said.I do not know’!
The same humility was evident with the Periyavar.
Osbourne records an instance concerning The Periyavar.
Arthur Osbourne came to India in search of Sages/Realized Souls, seeking knowledge.
He toured the length and breadth of India and could find none.
Some one informed hm of Ramana Maharishi.
Osbourne went to Sri Ramanasramam,Tiruvannamalai.
Bhgagwan Ramana Maharishi never tried to convert people into his line of thinking.
( His normal refrain was ‘ if you are hungry,you have to eat; I can not eat for you;I can not do any thing,If you want to realize God, you have to attempt)
Osboune sat among the group of people in front of Sri Ramana.
Ramana did not even look at him.much less to talk to him.
Osbourne was disillusioned.
He thought of Ramana Maharishi as a Charlatan and he left.
While leaving Tiruvannamali he chanced upon travelling with the Periyavar.
While travelling, Periyavar casually observed ‘ you have come to India in search of a Guru.
You are not satisfied.You have seen Ramana. You think he is a charlatan.Ramana is your Guru, you will return to England and come back to Ramana’
Osbourne came back and became an ardent Disciple of Ramana Maharishi and published Ramana’s Biography and edited ‘The Mountain Path‘ till his death’
Periyavar was one whose intuition and compassion knows no bound.( I am using the present tense as he showering his Blessings even now, though he left his physical frame)
I shall be posting a few instances.
Now I am posting a Video about the Kanchi Periyavar by Suki.Sivam , well-known Speaker.
Jagadguru Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal (Tamil: சந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி சுவாமிகள்) (May 20, 1894 – January 8, 1994) or theSage of Kanchi was the 68th Jagadguru in the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. He is usually referred to as Paramacharya or Mahaswami or Maha Periyavaal.
Maha Periyavaal was born on 20 May 1894, under Anuradha star according to the Hindu calendar, into a Kannadiga Smartha Hoysala Karnataka Brahmin family in Viluppuram, South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu as Swaminatha. He was the second son of Subramanya Sastri, a District Education Officer. The child was named Swaminatha, after the family deity, Lord Swaminatha of Swamimalai, near Kumbakonam. Swaminatha began his early education at the Arcot American Mission High School at Tindivanam, where his father was working. He was an exceptional student and excelled in several subjects. In 1905, his parents performed his Upanayanam, a Vedic ceremony which qualifies a Brahmin boy to begin his Vedic studies under an accomplished teacher.
Incidents leading to Sainthood
During the childhood of the Acharya, his father consulted an astrologer who, upon studying the boy’s horoscope, is said to have been so stunned that he prostrated himself before the boy exclaiming that “One day the whole world will fall at his feet”.In 1906, the 66th Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peethamperformed the annual Chaturmasyam (a forty-day annual ritual performed by Hindu ascetics while remaining in one place), in a village near Tindivanam in Tamil Nadu. This was Swaminathan’s first exposure to the Math and its Acharya. Later, Swaminathan accompanied his father whenever he visited the Math where the Acharya was deeply impressed by the young boy.
Good site on Periyava.