A Rare Photo & A Million Questions…


  • Is this Periyava ?
  • Did HE ever wear Kavi Vastram that has “Karai” (colored border) ?
  • HE has no “Dhandam” in HIS hands – really?
  • Who is the Swamiji standing next to HIM?
  • How old could this photo be?
  • What could have been HIS age then?
  • Back to the first question again, Is this Periyava , really?

Updated: We got the answers for these questions two days later here.


  1. B.Yagnanarayanan says

    Ya . There is a story behind that. I think the story can be found in one of balu mama’s interview. If I am not wrong that sanyasi standing next to periyava lost his dandam and periva gave his dandfam. Am not sure.

    • Sudarshan says

      A sanyasin can never give his own dandam to another one. He will give a different/new dandam and not his own.

      • navEdaham says

        Sudarshan Ji!

        Perhaps, that’s what Sri Yagnanarayanan also mean.

        This story has been narrated/ confirmed by Sri Thiyagu Thatha in his interview. Sri Thiyagu thatha has extensive experience with the mystic-Maharastra Swamigal too.

        May be we can confirm this Periyava (Photo-Periyava) & Sri Marata Swamigal with Sri Thiyagu Thatha.

        Ram. Ram.

        Jai GuruDev!

        • Sudarshan says

          Well, Yegnanarayanan seems to have meant that the missing Dandam in Periyava’s hands could indicate that He has given away His own Dandam to the other Swamiji. To that I replied that a sanyasi can only give a different Dandam to another sanyasi, and never his own.

  2. Amarendra Athalye says

    Amarendra Athalye from Pune:

    1) He is very much Periava only.
    2) Yes, He occasionally wore bordered vastras in His early life.
    3) He appears to have kept His Dandam by His side, as permitted, though not visible in the picture.
    4) Swamiji standing to His next, in my view, is from Maharashtra, who assisted Him when He was suffering from Flu and tremendous weakness.
    5) His age by then must be 40.
    6) He is Periava only for sure.

    Jai Maha Periava!!

    • sudarshan says

      A Yati has to always keep his Dandam by his side, and never part with it. In fact, he is allowed to keep it aside only for a distance of less than 6 inches. Abiding by this Shastra rule, keeping the Dandam aside has never been in the practice of Yatis belonging to the Kamakoti Acharya Parampara. It is only be kept aside only during attending to the calls of nature, and not otherwise! A sanyasin should always carry his dandam and never allow anybody else to even touch it. There is an anecdote that Periyava in his younger years would tie the dandam to his body and sleep.

      • navEdaham says

        Sudarsan Ji!

        Periyava can never be known to have crossed the Sastra. So, looks like the Dandam was kept erect, along the short wall behind…. Periyava Himself.

        Ram. Ram.

        Jai GuruDev!

        • Sudarshan says

          But where is the Dandam seen in the picture??? Haven’t we seen enough pictures of Periyava, and most pictures show Him with the Dandam in his hands. And in the few ones where He is not holding the dandam, He is performing anushtanams and the Dandam is just within reach of picking up with a swing of the hand!

  3. Ananthakrishnan Natarajan says

    “On the first of Margazhi month in 1944, His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal fondly known as Maha Periyava performed Girivalam of Parvathamalai which is located in the Thiruvannamalai-Chengam Road. His Holiness started on foot from his camp at Kadaladi accompanied by the devotees and went round the mountain through jungles and hills and reached the camp back late in the night.”

    Consequently each year on the first day of the Tamil month of Margazhi, a special girivalam has been organised (including food) since 2009 by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. On this day many thousands of devotees arrive and perform a ‘special girivalam’ of Parvathamalai.

    Information obtained from the following link


  4. Ananthakrishnan Natarajan says

    By seeing picture this could be in the Year 1929 at the age of 35

    Other link

    Our Acharya Maha-Svami visited Tiruvannamalai twice, once in 1929 and again in 1944, both for the Kartika Deepam festival (when the holy beacon is lighted atop the Hill). On both the occasions he also made the customary Giri-pradakshinam (circumambulation of the Hill).

    The Ramanasraman lies on the route. I have heard reports from two very reliable and respected persons attached to the Asramam, Sri Kunju Svamigal and Mme. Suri Nagmma about what transpired when the Maha-Svami passed along the route. Kunju Svami must have been present on both the occasions and Nagamma on the latter one.

    • navEdaham says

      Aha! How deeply you’ve analysed.
      Must be that time…

      Koti-Namaskaram to you Ji.

      Ram. Ram.
      Jai GuruDev!

  5. Ravi V. says

    I am sure that this is HH Periyava picture. His Dandam could be not in the picture. It may have been kept on the side (typically this kind of picture is rare to see Him without dandam).

    As far as wearing clothes with borders, HH used to wear them if they were presented for bhikshavandanam. After meeting Gandiji, HH used only khadi (kadar) cotton only.

    The rule is: no one should be between the sanyasi and the dandam. There is not 6″ rule.

    I do not know who the other sanyasi is.

  6. T.S.Muralikrishnan says

    Never get confused our Periyava will never do any thing against Sastra. A Dhandi saint cannot stand with out his holy staff, if he lost it,he will immediately arrange to get it from his Senior or from any other senior saint of his choice.


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