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car vAngiyirukkiyo?

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  • car vAngiyirukkiyo?

    Auditor Venugopal was a native of Salem. He was a staunch bhakta (devotee) of Maha PeriyavaaL. He was the auditor of Kanchi Sankara MaTham. It was his custom to say word for word that it was only Maha Periyavaa who guided him to that profession.

    As he gained some popularity, Venugopal bought a car. The desire of showing to Maha PeriyavaaL the new car bought for the first time (in his life) rising in his heart, Venugopal was headed straight for Kanchipuram in his car. Only when he parked the car in front of the MaTham did he come to know that the Mahaan was camping in Kalavai! The car then started off its trip to Kalavai.

    Parking the car outside where Maha PeriyavaaL was staying, Venugopal went inside the camp.

    As he saw Venugopal entering, Maha Periyavaa asked him, "car vAngiyirukkiyo? (So you have bought a car?)". And that was even before Venugopal started telling the sage about his new car. The auditor was dumbstruck. The Mahaan was one who knew time in all its three tenses.

    "Yes", he said slowly. For a moment he even thought if it was a mistake in buying the new car before he had a word with the Mahaan. But then the Mahaan never found fault with living comfortably within one's means!

    "It is a good thing only. Alright, you do an errand for me now!" said the Mahaan.

    The auditor only nodded his head in affirmation, consenting to do an errand for the sage.

    "You need to go a little distance from here and turn right. If you go along the road thereafter, you will sight a pond. An old man will be sitting on the banks of the pond. You bring him here in your car. What, will you do it?" The auditor started off even before the Mahaan finished.

    Going like an arrow on its course, the auditor found the old man with a beard on the banks of a pond. He did not think if Periyavaa wanted to bring that old man. For he knew that there would be a thousand meanings in what Periyavaa said.

    Going near the old man, the auditor spoke to him about the sage's instructions.

    "Did he call me? Then surely I shall come with you", said the old man. Staggering, he got into the auditor's brand new car, who took him to the Mahaan's sannidhi (presence). The old man stood folding his palms before the sage.

    "enna saukkiyama irukkiyA? (What, are you doing well?)" was the question Periyavaa asked the old man.

    "edo irukkEn (somewhat fine)!"

    The MaThams honours were given to the old man in accordance with the directions of the sage. After giving the old man dhoties, shawls and some money for his expenses to the man's satisfaction, Kanchi Mahaan told the auditor: "Take him and drop him where he wants to alight and then come back!"

    A car ride for the old man again. The auditor dropped him as he desired and then came back to the MaTham. He did not ask who that old man was, nor the sage said anything about it. Auditor Venugopal stood before the Mahaan, his hands humbly folded across his chest.

    "The man you brought here--do you know who he is?"

    The auditor nodded his head to say no.

    "When I was a small boy, suddenly one day he brought me in his horse cart. I did not know why at that time. Only after coming here, they said that I was the 68th PIThAdhipati (pontiff)... I did not know Samskrutam at that time... I did not know Vedas... Only after coming over here, all those lessons. How many years have gone by, did you notice it? It was only this periyavar (respectable old man) who brought me here, making me sit inside his horse cart. He also did not know then why they asked for me here! How can I forget him? I suddenly remembered him, which is why I asked you to bring him here in your new car," said Maha Periyavaa.

    Source: Sakthi Vikatan issue dated Jul 31, 2004