How do we know that we’re spiritually progressing? Periyava had answered many such difficult, complicated, intellectually-challenging questions from top-brains. “What question should I ask you?” is one such serious question to Periyava… Mr Arthur Isenberg’s question and Periyava’s answer to him is a message for all of us!
“The person who sat opposite to me was 65 years old, slim, a bit on the smaller frame side. The top of his head was almost entirely bald or shaven, the lower portion of his face was outlined by a white beard. He had white moustache and white eyebrows. His body was clothed in the saffron-coloured mantle of the Sannyasin”.
This is how Mr Arthur Isenberg described Periyava before asking his questions.
He came to Numbal, near Chennai with Sri Raghavan on 20th April 1959. It was late in the evening with full-moon.
He asked few intelligent questions to Periyava. Periyava knew it and so there was a smile in Periyava’s eyes.
Mr Arthur had also recollected, “Not that any of this mattered. What did matter was His face, and more particularly, His eyes, which looked at me with a mixture, or rather a fine blending, of intelligence, kindliness and compassion, while at the same time somehow reflecting a most gentle sense of humour”.
Periyava’s answer was perhaps, a bit anticlimactic to him. Periyava told him to continue along the line he was already following. He got clarified with few more questions..
Then he asked an important question to Periyava…
“How can one know whether one is making progress, stagnating or retrogressing in the quest of wisdom?”
Periyava replied: “If each year, the number of things or events, which can arouse your anger or lust grows smaller, you are making progress; if it remains the same, you are stagnating; if it increases, you spiritual development is retrogressive.”
Modern management gurus say, “Without measurement there cannot be any progress”. Here Periyava has blessed a measurement for spiritual progress: ‘How many happenings in a year that we put up with and how many times we react negatively to it?’
Prayers to Periyava to make us better day-on-day, month-on-month, year-on-year & birth-on-birth.
Hara Hara Sankara Jaya Jaya Sankara
Article Courtesy: Thanks to Sri Rathinam for sharing this incident which carries a very intense message for all of us.