A Rare Photo & The Answer to A Million Questions…

A Rare Photo was published two days ago here.

IsThisPeriyava

  • 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?

All these questions are answered below :

  • Is this Periyava ?
    • Yes, Saksath Periyava
  • Who is the Swamiji standing next to HIM?
    • Marathi Swamigal
  • How old could this photo be?
    • Taken in December 1929
  • What could have been HIS age then?
    • Periyava was 35 years old then…
  • Back to the first question again, Is this Periyava , really?
    • Yes, this was taken when Periyava came to Thiruvannamalai for Karthigai Deepam after HIS Chaturmaasyam in South Arcot District in a place called Manaloorpettai.

Sri Ganesa Sarma mama explains further in this small video below. Please scroll down for the English narration on the same:


Here is a gist of the interview recorded with Sri Ganesa Sarma: ” Many people wanted to know regarding the person standing in the accompanying photo- Is this Periyava (means Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swamigal ) ? Yes it is very much Periyava. The Swamiji standing next to HIM was known as Marathi Swamigal. This photo was taken in December 1929, when Periyava was 35 years old then…This was taken when Periyava came to Thiruvannamalai for Karthigai Deepam after HIS Chaturmaasyam in South Arcot District in a place called Manaloorpettai. Marathi Swamigal took to sanyasa after many years of government job. But he lost his Dhandam ( The holy bamboo stick carried by a Sanyasi). If a sanyasi looses his Dhandam, the practice is to obtain another stick from another Sanyasi and hence Marathi swamigal came in search of a spiritual master who could give such a bamboo stick. He went right up to Rameswaram and on his way when he came to a village known as Manaloor pettai where Periyava was observing Chaturmasya auterities he stayed with him.

At that time, Periyava was suffering from weakness and hardly could manage his routines. But in spite of such health condition he continued to perform his daily pooja to Sri Chandramouleeswar . In this difficult times, Marathi Swami took care of him including giving bath, though the custom in the Matt is that Shankaracharya should not be physically touched! It looked as though Marathi swami came there to take care of Periyava! Marathi Swami was an ardent devotee of Periyava and as such treated him as his God and guru. though Marathi Swami was twice the age of Periyava. But if you look at the photo, Periyava is standing like a shishya and Marathi Swami looks like a guru. Every day Marathi swami will wash Periyava’s feet with Gomyaam ( Holy cow urine) and after washing he will apply sandal and put flowers on Periyava’s feet and worship His feet. He also used to collect the cow urine with which He washed Periyava’s feet and drink the same. Marathi Swami was so devoted to Periyava.

It is borne out by the following incident. Once Periyava went to Tirupathi (Temple of Balaji) on the Hill. Marathi swami was climbing behind him but he was bit slow in climbing. While Periyava reached the temple and had the Darshshan of Lord Srinivasa and came out and stood near the main entrance of the Balaji temple. At that time Marathi swami reached the main entrance.On seeing him Periyava called the Executive Officer of Tirupathi Temple and requested him in Tamil that Marathi Swami be escorted to inner sanctum to have darshan of Lord Srinivasa (Balaji). Since Marathi Swami could not understand Tamil, he asked Periyava as what was the issue. Periyava who could converse in Marathi and Kannada told him in Marathi that he has asked the Executive Officer to escort him to Ballji temple inner sanctum to have the Darshan of Lord Srinivasa. On hearing this Marathi Swami told Periyava that he is not going inside to have darshan , as periyava who is standing at the gate is his Balaji and from the gate only he returned without having darshan of Balaji. Probably Marathi Swami is the only person who came right up to the Main entrance of the temple but chose not to have darshan as he considered his guru – Periyava as Balaji.This incident is very similar to that of Sri Ramanuja.

Once in Srirangam, Lord Ranaganatha’s murti was brought in a procession for worship by house holds which are located in the street surrounding the temple Sri ramanuja went had darshan of Lord Ranaganatha who came right up to the doorstep of Sri Ramanuja’s residence, one of his disciples who at that time was busy in the kitchen of Sri Ramanuja was instructed by him to go and have darshan of Sri Ranganatha murti did not do so. But on learning about this Sri Ramanuja queried him as to why he did not have darshan of the Lord Ranganatha , the disciple informed his guru, ” For you Lord Ranganatha may be Lord, but for me you are the Lord and your seva is more important, Such was his guru bhakti.


{ 12 Comments }

  1. M.Narayanan says

    Only Sri Ganesa Sarma could give this clarification. The Great Experience of HH Marathi SwamigaL with Maha Periyava in His Youth, the Bhakthi and Services rendered by Sri SwamigaL to Maha Periyava are scintillating! Sri Marathi SwamigaL Saw Sri Balaji in Maha Periyava and did not go into the Temple and have Dharshan! What a Great Soul Sri Marathi SawmigaL is? Great Picture as mentioned by Sri Ganesa Sarma, evoking profound Bhakthi to Maha Periyava as shown by Sri Marathi SwamigaL! Hara hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara!

  2. Parameswaran Narayanaiyer says

    Mahaperiyavaacharanam—Charanam—Charanam—Charanam—–
    The apt person Sri.Ganesh Samaji has cleared all the doubts.
    Thanks a ton Sri.Shivaraman ji.
    Meendum Charanam Charanam Charanam Charanam.
    Parameswaran from USA

  3. Natarajan R says

    I am now 60 years, Darshaned many times in his last ten years, interested to see his rare photos for the past 40 years, surprised even after his mukthi, that too after 22 years, to see his rarest photos. In those days I wondered why there was no photos of
    Marathi swamiji, pasupathi iyer (tirupadiripuliyur)
    Why no interviews with their family members, etc
    Long time Manager Vishwanathaiyer iyer like that,etc
    (divyacharitiram, what life has taught me.. Ref)
    Now Who preserved this Marathi swami and periyava photo is to be mentioned. We have to thank him.

    • Santhanam Krishnan says

      To Mr Pavan : Here is a gist of the interview recorded with Sri Ganesa Sarma: ” Many people wanted to know regarding the person standing in the accompanying photo- Is this Periyava (means Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swamigal ) ? Yes it is very much Periyava. The Swamiji standing next to HIM was known as Marathi Swamigal. This photo was taken in December 1929, when Periyava was 35 years old then…This was taken when Periyava came to Thiruvannamalai for Karthigai Deepam after HIS Chaturmaasyam in South Arcot District in a place called Manaloorpettai. Marathi Swamigal took to sanyasa after many years of government job. But he lost his Dhandam ( The holy bamboo stick carried by a Sanyasi). If a sanyasi looses his Dhandam, the practice is to obtain another stick from another Sanyasi and hence Marathi swamigal came in search of a spiritual master who could give such a bamboo stick. He went right up to Rameswaram and on his way when he came to a village known as Manaloor pettai where Periiyava was observing Chaturmasya auterities he stayed with him. At that time Periyava was suffering from weakness and hardly could manage his routines. But in spite of such health condition he continued to perform his daily pooja to Sri Chandramouleeswar . In this difficult times Marathi Swami took care of him including giving bath, though the custom in the Matt is that Shankaracharya should not be physically touched! It looked as though Marathi swami came there to take care of Periyava! Marathi Swami was an ardent devotee of Periyava and as such treated him as his God and guru. though Marathi Swami was twice the age of Periyava. But if you look at the photo, Periyava is standing like a shishya and Marathi Swami looks like a guru. Every day Marathi swami will wash Periyava’s feet with Gomyaam ( Holy cow urine) and after washing he will apply sandal and put flowers on Periyava’s feet and worship His feet. He also used to collect the cow urine with which He washed Periyava’s feet and drink the same. Marathi Swami was so devoted to Periyava. It is borne out by the following incident. Once Periyava went to Tirupathi (Temple of Balaji) on the Hill. Marathi swami was climbing behind him but he was bit slow in climbing. While Periyava reached the temple and had the Darshshan of Lord Srinivasa and came out and stood near the main entrance of the Balaji temple. At that time Marathi swami reached the main entrance.On seeing him Periyava called the Executive Officer of Tirupathi Temple and requested him in Tamil that Marathi Swami be escorted to inner sanctum to have darshan of Lord Srinivasa (Balaji). Since Marathi Swami could not understand Tamil, he asked Periyava as what was the issue. Periyava who could converse in Marathi and Kannada told him in Marathi that he has asked the Executive Officer to escort him to Ballji temple inner sanctum to have the Darshan of Lord Srinivasa. On hearing this Marathi Swami told Periyava that he is not going inside to have darshan , as periyava who is standing at the gate is his Balaji and from the gate only he returned without having darshan of Balaji. Probably Marathi Swami is the only person who came right up to the Main entrance of the temple but chose not to have darshan as he considered his guru – Periyava as Balaji.This incident is very similar to that of Sri Ramanuja. Once in Srirangam, Lord Ranaganatha’s murti was brought in a procession for worship by house holds which are located in the street surrounding the temple Sri ramanuja went had darshan of Lord Ranaganatha who came right up to the doorstep of Sri Ramanuja’s residence, one of his disciples who at that time was busy in the kitchen of Sri Ramanuja was instructed by him to go and have darshan of Sri Ranganatha murti did not do so. But on learning about this Sri Ramanuja queried him as to why he did not have darshan of the Lord Ranganatha , the disciple informed his guru, ” For you Lord Ranganatha may be Lord, but for me you are the Lord and your seva is more important, Such was his guru bhakti.

    • trv says

      my sincere attempt to translate the gist of what was conveyed by a devotee about Kanchi Mahaan’s appearance

      This rare picture was shot in 1929 December month – in Maha Periyava (greatest of the Seer) in his 35th year ..
      standing by the side of a another senior (by age) swamiji … &
      on the background seen a high raise temple tower …

      (as per narration)
      aged seer is known as Marati Swamy (swamiji from Maharashtra) – who had lost his Dandam enroute (sacred stick – which is the identification for any sage who has renounced everything & taken up Snyasam). This Marati swamy was on his way to reach Rameswaram and enroute happened to know about Maha Periyava’s stay at a place popularly known as Tiruvannamalai (place of Agni Lingam). As a natural resort Marati Swamy approaches Maha Periyava for a solution & instantly got the Best of the Solutions – Dandam of Maha Periyava was given to Marati Swamy & thereby Marati Swamy taken up younger Maha Periyava as his Guru.
      Then on Marati Swamy is ever found behind the group of Maha Periyava.
      One suce followup visit to Tirupati, Marati Swamy did not even enter Balaji Sannidhi … for him Maha Periyava was everything ….

      To listen to the video message ,,,, in Tamil … is a hair-raising experience … Delighted to listen & now to attempt to translate for your understanding …

      All errors are mine … Please mind only about the Supreme .. one more of Maha Periyava’s anecdotes ..

  4. moulishankar v. says

    Any mention of my grand father Rathna Amirthagatesa Iyer, a sastribal and land lord of vadakurangaduthurai, near ganapathy eechanguti, thanjavur district. He was a divotee of maha periava and we could not hear anything about. if so anything or any photo of my grand father with maha periyava may be informed to me.

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