A write up series by Chandarsekharan Raman.
(Thanks to Chandru for sharing his insight of Maha Periyava through Bhagavad Gita)
A Vaidika Brahmin family. The couple performs all the daily duties as prescribed by the shastras like aupasana, agnihotram etc. They have also performed Vajapeya yajnam. (One who has performed the Vajapeya yajna is given the title ‘Vajapayee’. The kings used to take them in a chariot with all respects and it was a custom the king himself would perform chatram and chamaram upacharam to such Vajapayees). They lived a very simple and poor life as prescribed by the shastras for a Brahmin. Four sons and four daughters and it was a big task to take care of the family. But they were doing their duties to the society.
Once a devotee brought some money to MahaPeriyava. He ordered one of his attendants to go to that Brahmin’s house and give the money to that family. The attendant brought it to their house but did not say MahaPeriyava sent it. The householder refused to take it, as shastras does not approve of a grhasta taking money from anyone. “We do not want the money” they said. The attendant came back to MahaPeriyava and said that the couple refused to take the money. “Why did you come back if they refused? It was your job to give the money to them. Go back and try again”, He said. The attendant went once again and requested them to take the money. “We are not in need of any money now”, the couple said. The attendant tried hard to tell them that it could be used for the daily rites or for maintaining their cows. The couple still refused. The attendant came back to MahaPeriyava again. MahaPeriyava told him, “Tell them that I sent it”.
When the attendant reached the couples’ house for the third time, there was another couple who had come to talk about their daughter’s wedding. The attendant told that MahaPeriyava Himself had sent the money. The couple took the money and gave it to the other couple so that they can use it for their daughter’s wedding!
When MahaPeriyava heard this, He said “See, even when they are living in poverty, they have this broad mind to help others”. “Avaa dhaan Periyavaa!”
MahaPeriyava used to have great reverence to such people who perform their duties as per shastras. He also felt that He could not do namaskarams to such people!
Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita,
श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः || 3-35||
Better is one’s own imperfectly performed dharma than the well performed dharma of another. Death in one’s own dharma is better. The dharma of another is fraught with fear.
Let MahaPeriyava guide us all perform to our own duties as much and as better as possible. My mind says “It is very difficult to perform all the duties as per shastras”. Lord Krishna gives the answer to that also:
नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते |
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् || 2-40||
In doing this, there is no waste of effort, nor are the opposite results produced. Even very little (svalpam api) of following this dharma protects one from the furious samsara!
So, let us do as much as we can to gain His grace to do further more! Let us remember and pray to this great Mahan who shed His mortal coil 21 years ago after living a full 100 years to bring us on to the dharmic path!
श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः |
Article Courtesy: Remembering MahaPeriyava Write-Up Series