- Maha Periyava, the Avatara Purusha
Courtesy: V.S. Krishnan
The year was sometime in late 60s. The place was Calcutta. I was working under Sri S.V. Narasimhan, the proprietor of Hauer trading company and Partner in Diana Rolling Shutters. Sri Narasimhan, an ardent follower of Maha Periyava, always used to call on Acharya whenever he visited South. Once Acharya expressed his wish that a Veda Padasala should be established in Calcutta where students can get opportunity to learn Brahma Vidya, the Vedas and Upanishads. Swamigal said that it is only an idea and Narasimhan should think how it can be made into reality.
From this very moment, it became a passion for Narasimhan. He always thought how such a project, conceived by Maha Periyaval, can be implemented. He realized he was too small to be able to implement such a massive project. But the very fact that Maha Swamigal entrusted this work to him indicates that Swamigal thinks that he can do it. The very fact that Swamigal expressed his wish to him made him duty bound to undertake it. He started making all the moves. Gradually he realized that there is a great power that functions behind him and he was merely being a tool, meeting people and praying. Soon, he realized that without himself making much efforts, things automatically started moving. Money started flowing and everything seemed to be moving smoothly.
But it was not so smooth. A particular ground was selected as an ideal spot and Narasimhan started negotiating with the land owner. Though the land owner originally agreed, later on he backed off. He said he has decided to give the land to some of his relations. When Narasimhan tried to persuade him, the landlord even spoke in a harsh language. Crestfallen, Narasimhan did not know any other way except to rush to Acharya. He visited Acharya at Kancheepuram and explained the whole scenario. Acharya listened to his story patiently, smiled himself and then said: ‘You proceed to Calcutta, see him again; let us see how things turn out”. Narasimhan did not share the optimism displayed by Maha Swamigal. He knew how adamant the land-owner was. There was no chance of his change of mind. Anyway, he returned to Calcutta. He hesitated to meet the land owner and yet decided to knock at his door because Acharya has commanded him. He was even prepared for the eventuality of doors being closed with a bang.
Narasimhan had the biggest surprise in his life when he was received with great warmth and hospitality. He could not believe his ears when the landlord said that he was in fact looking forward to his arrival and was now ready to offer the land to him. When Narasimhan enquired what caused his change of mind, he said that he is a great devotee of Kali Ma and Kali Ma came in his dream the day before and indicated that he should pass on the land to the same man with whom he was negotiating.
There was another occasion when Narasimhan made a hurried one day business trip to Madras. He was through with his business. He was scheduled to board the flight in the afternoon. Maha Periyaval was camping in Madras and he never wanted to leave Madras without meeting the Pontiff. But there was a problem. If he goes to meet Periyaval, he would not be able to board the flight. There was some urgent work he had to do at Calcutta and he should leave the same day. He was in a double mind whether to meet Pariyaval or return back. Something within him told that he cannot leave Madras without meeting Swamigal. “Come what may, I would see Periyaval” thought Narasimhan.
He decided he would have a quick glance of Periyaval, get his blessings and excuse himself. When he went to Sanskrit college, it was heavily crowded. In the midst of the crowd, Periyaval spotted him from a distance and smiled. Narasimhan wanted to hurry up but Periyaval, in his usual style of calmness, signaled ‘wait’. It slowly dawned on Narasimhan that he was going to miss the flight; something he wanted to avoid for so many reasons. He showed a kind of restlessness which Swamigal observed from the distance. Time was trickling fast. Still the sign from Swamigal was ‘wait’. Narasimhan told himself: OK I would sacrifice everything for the sake of Swamiji’s darshan and waited for his turn.
Atlast, after some time, Periyaval beckoned him and Narasimhan made his way to Swamigal. Then Swamigal said: “Calcutta Flight miss Panna Porai Allava?". Narasimhan was stunned. How did Swamigal know that he was going to miss his flight. Before he could regain himself from his surprise, Swamigal bestowed his blessings and then made another remark: “Go now and take your flight”. Since it was too late, Narasimhan said: “Para va Illai. Flight Kelambiyirukkum. Nan Nalakki Poren”. “No” insisted Swamigal. You go to Airport now. I tell you”.
Naraimhan did not want to disobey Swamigal’s words. He knew the flight would have left and yet he went to the Airport for the sake of honoring Swamigal’s words. When he reached the airport, he heard the announcement: “All the Calcutta bound passengers can now board the flight”.
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