Remembering MahaPeriyava : Gunaatita

Remembering MahaPeriyava
A write up series by Chandarsekharan Raman.

(Thanks to Chandru for sharing his insight of Sri MahaPeriyava through Bhagavad Gita)

Today, May 20th is the day when Sri MahaPeriyava was born 123 years ago! He came down to this world to lift us all up and His life itself was full of examples for all us to follow.

This incident happened a few days after He had just ascended the Kamakoti peetham. Those days the mutt was not in good financial position. There were debts, and this young boy who was incharge of the mutt, did not not even know the complete details of the debts.

One day when He was just about to start the Chandramouleeshwara puja, a lady shouted from outside, “Oh.. Brahmana!” This young boy replied in soft voice, “What?”

“First give my money back, and then you can continue with the puja. I am not going to leave this place without my money”, she demanded.

“Which money are you talking about?” the young sanyasi asked.

“The money that I loaned out to the mutt. How many days should wait for? I am tired of asking again and again. Today I am not going to let you go. Pay me the money to the last paisa and then you can start the puja”, she sternly said.

The young boy did not even know what to say. But He knew what His responsibility was — to carry in His shoulders what Adi Shankaracharya had ordained. He told the lady, “I will arrange for the money. Please bring any document you may have to show how much the mutt owes”. The lady left the place.

Fast forward to 70 years later. He was showered with gold during the kanakaabhishekam. His golden words on that occasion: “I have been showered with gold and there is only one reason for this — I go by the name Shankaracharya. So, all credit goes to Adi Shankaracharya”

MahaPeriyava MahaVishnu

On this day, let us remember this gunaatita, for whom the insult by the lady or the kanakaabhisheka, was just as equal. He was a living example of the verses in the Bhagavad Gita where the Lord says,

समदुःखसुखः स्वस्थः समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः |
तुल्यप्रियाप्रियो धीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुतिः || 14-24||

मानापमानयोस्तुल्यस्तुल्यो मित्रारिपक्षयोः |
सर्वारम्भपरित्यागी गुणातीतः स उच्यते || 14-25||

The wise man, who is the same with reference to pleasure and pain, abiding in Himself, the same with reference to a lump of clay, a stone or gold, the same in pleasant and unpleasant situations; the same with reference to censure and praise…

Who is the same towards respect and insult, the same towards the views of a friend or an enemy, who has given up all undertakings — he is called the one who is beyond the gunas.

अपारकरुणासिन्धुं ज्ञानदं शान्तरूपिणम् ।
श्रीचन्द्रशेखरगुरुं प्रणमामि मुदाऽन्वहम् ॥

Article Courtesy: Remembering MahaPeriyava Write-Up Series


  1. says

    So many incidences in a matter of hundred years, how many blessings, the supremacy of the Lordship , those can be compared to the Upa-katha of the great epic THE MAHABHARATHA.
    Oh! my dear mind/memory do not ever forget this great SAGE till the end of your life and beyond.
    Blessed are we, the people of India,Tamil Nadu in particular, for very many sages has taken birth here.
    Humble pranams to all those Gurus of the Guru parampara starting from Aadhi Shankara.

    warm regards,

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