Kalyanapuram Sri Venga had darshan of Sri MahaPeriyava from his early childhood (1933), as his father was an ardent devotee of MahaPeriyava even when Periyava was very young.
Once Sri Venga Thatha saw Sri Kunju Sastrigal, a (poorvashrama) brother of Periyava pleading to HIM for a grand ceremony of ‘Brahmo Upadesam’ (Poonal Kalyanam) for his kid. He wasn’t wealthy. So, he was seeking some monetary support of Periyava.
As we all know, the Kings, Queens, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Chief Ministers, Zamindars, Mirasudhars and the whole world was at the feet of Periyava waiting for His command. Yet, Periyava simplicity personified replied to Sri Kunju Sastrigal…
“There is an event of Dharma-Upanayanam happening at the Kumbakonam Matam… You get it done there!”
[“கும்பகோணம் மடத்துல தர்ம பூணூல் போடறா… நீயும் அங்கேயே போட்டுக்கோ!”].
Sri Kunju Sastrigal was aware about Periyava’s staunch adherence to Dharma but still Periyava’s reply was a shock to him.
“Dharma-Upanayanam?” – Sri Kunju SAstrigal pleaded again…
“From the Matam? Where is the money in Matam (for all these)? If you have maoney you do it, else get a Dharma-Upanayanam!”, Periyava replied. [“மடமா? மடத்துல ஏது பணம்? உன்கிட்டே காசு இருந்தா, நீ போடு. இல்லையனா தர்ம பூணூல் போடு!”]
Sri Kunju Sastrigal was further shocked. Why Matam? If Periyava shows an eye, there are 1000s of VIPs who would come forward and do Periyava’s Purvaashrama grand kid as a very grand festival…
“No way! – There it stood.” [“ம்ம்ஹும்!”], recollects Sri Venga Thatha.
Thatha also says that if a Purvaashrama closer relative comes with any obligation of this sort, Periyava’s stand becomes even more tougher. There is no need to explain further on how this incident would have concluded.
Periyava once told Sri Ugranam Thiyagu Thatha : “Aren’t you aware that I don’t take anything from the Matam other than ‘Vibhuthi’?” [“இந்த மடத்துலே இருந்து விபூதிய தவிற நான் வேற ஏதும் எடுத்துக்கறது இல்லைன்னு உனக்கு தெரியுமோ இல்லையா?”].
That happened when few Sweet Lime fruits(saththukudi) were bought for Rs. 10/- from Sri Matam’s account without Periyava’s knowledge.
Sri Venga thatha also recollects that when two mentally challenged boys, one who was Sri Kunju Sastrigal’s son and the other from a devotee’s family came to Sri Periyava’s camp for possible cure, Sri Periyava was giving solution to the boy from the devotee’s family to stay at ‘Mantralayam’ for 30 days. But HE did not offer any such advise to the other boy from His Purvaashrama brother’s family.
Periyava’s stand of adhering to the righteous is above everyone. No comparison.
Prayers to Periyava to keep us in the right path all the time.
Note: Kalyanapuram Sri Venga Thatha attained the lotus feet of Sri MahaPeriyava in March 2014 at the age of 100. The complete video of Sri Venga Thatha can be viewed below: