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Saturday, December 17, 2011


A young vaidik couple prostrated to Paramacharya and rose in SriMatam, Kanchipuram. The young vaidik appeared to be around 25 years, his wife about twenty. The Acharyal, who was conversing with another bhakta, paused it and looked up at the dampati. Happiness spread across his face. He said with enthusiasm, "Are you not Raghunathan, son of Madurai Seshu Ganapatikal? But then, I should address you in such a way! Because you have now become Raghunatha SastrigaL! Like your father, you have become well known in the Madurai region." Paramacharya continued: "Obviously, this is your AmbadaiyaL. She is the grand-daughter of Tiruchirapalli Vaidhyanatha Ganapadigal. The only daughter of Subramanya Vadhyar. Am I right? Last year, your father and father-in-law both came here with your marriage invitation, to seek the blessings of Matam. You also came and prostrated, correct? Alright. Now as dampati you are both cooperative and well?" Swamiji asked with rightful concern. Raghunatha Sastri promptly replied, "We are very well Periyavaa, with your blessings." Swamiji did not accept that. "You have said it, but your wife doesn't open her mouth!" He laughed as he said this. Gaining her wits, the young wife replied, "My name is Alamelu, Periyavaa. We are happy only... happy." Swamiji took note of the thread of sadness that ran through her acknowledgement. "It is not that Amma! Your tone betrays that you are not all that happy. Come on, tell me more." "Nothing of that sort, Periyavaa", Alamenu tried to get by. "No, no! Your tone is telling me that you have some sadness. Come on, tell me what it is." Alamelu said hesitatingly, "Periyavaa, I am a very God-fearing woman. Have full faith in the shastra and sampradayakah. Before my marriage, I used to go for pilgrimages with our family, relatives, and well wishers. It was very much to my liking! I am married with him for a year now. And we have not gone anywhere Periyavaa, that is the cause of my sadness!" Before she could finish, Swamiji interrupted, "Why...why couldn't you go?" Alamelu hesitated. "After marriage, I cannot go for pilgrimages on my own, isn't it so, Periyavaa? Only if the bharta comes along with me, the fruits of the yAtra will be realized? I asked him twice or thrice, but he did not come!" She started crying as she narrated her woe. Acharyal persuaded her, as he understood the situation. "What Raghunatha SastrigaL, is it proper to let your wife have a drop of tear in her eyes? After all is she not asking you to observe a holy routine? tIrthayAtrA and kshetrAdanam. What is the difficulty in going as she asks you for?" Paramacharya raised his bows. Young Raghunatha Sastry prostrated to the sage once again and said, "What she asks for is reasonable, Periyavaa. But then to visit the northern kshetrAs for at least ten days, and that it possible for me Periyavaa?" "Why don't you try it and fulfil the affectionate wishes of your wife?" Raghunatha Sastry replied in a poignant voice, "Periyaa knows everything. I have vaidikam for vritti. My father is also not too well, so I have to take care of his assignments in addition to mine. You tell me Periyavaa, how can I go for yAtra once in two months, leaving aside all my vritti?" Pamaracharya was silent for sometime. Then he said laughingly, "So you both have come to me for madhyastha in this matter," and continued: "What she says is reasonable. She has a taste for going tIrthayAtrA with bhakti. She also knows that after marriage the fruits of any yAtra will be available only if accompanied by the husband. What you say also has reason. Your vritti is vaidikam. You will be busy for all the thirty days in a month. It would be very very difficult to go on tIrthayAtrA with wife, once in two months. So, what can be done?" "Only you can tell us a way Periyavaa", the husband and wife said together. Swamiji sat for sometime, thinking. Everyone was eager to know what he would suggest as a remedy. After sometime, AcharyaL started speaking. "Alamenu! You are determined to go on tIrthayAtrA once in two months. You also are familiar with the dharma shastric rule that the fruits of a yAtra will be realized only if your husband comes with you. Since he has vaidikam as his profession, he says it would be very difficult for him to accompany you. So you do onething..." Before he could proceed, the couple said, "kindly bless us with a solution Periyavaa." Sitting a little more uprightly, Swamiji said: "I shall tell you a way, listen Alamelu! Whenever you start for tIrthayAtrA, before actually stepping out of home, request your husband to stand facing east and prostrate to him! What you do, Raghunatha SastrigAL, place your upper angavastra in the hands of your wife and tell her that her carrying your cloth is equivalent to your accompanying her, and bless her for the yAtra. You both will get the punya of having undertaken the yAtra together. And neither of you will have any uneasiness of mind. What... happy now?", Swamiji asked them mercifully and gave them prasAda. The couple were happy with the solution given by MahaperiyavaaL. With tears of joy, they prostrated to the sage. Everyone around who were witnessing this incident were happy with Paramacharya's tactful handling of the situation.
by: Muralikrishna Venkatraman

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