Mahaperiyava and MGR

I have always felt that Paramacharya Jagadguru Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, the sage of Kanchi is Bhagwan Shiva walking the Earth. He is also called as Mahaperiyava. Amma has a picture of Mahaperiyava on her bedside.

For all those who say that a public figure cannot be above scandals and some gossip here’s an example of a public figure who is blemish-less. Paramacharya is also an example of how a sage should be. There are countless incidents which showcase his greatness. A Twitter handle @anbezhil12 is chronicling many of these incidents as twitter threads.

Today I happened to see this beautiful thread about the interactions that MGR (the most popular Chief Minister of TamilNadu) had with Paramacharya.


Do read the thread at Mahaperiyava and MGR. Reposting it here –

M.G. Ramachandran was a famous actor and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He was very devoted to Sri Maha Periyava. M.G.R on returning to India after surgery from the US, went to Kanchi for Sri Maha Periyava’s darshan. He made a humble request to Periyava: “I wish
to do anything that You may say for the Matham”. 

Periyava told him: 
“There are vaara (days of the week) theerthas in Kanchi. You must arrange to clean and maintain them. Somvar-Ekambareswarar kulam, Mangalvar-Mangala theertham opposite to the Mutt, Budhvar-satyavratha theertham near Kaaligamedu, Chinna Kanchipuram, Guruvar-Kaayarogana theertham, Sukravar-Sukravar theertham, Kaamakshi temple, Sanivar-Sarvatheertham. Please don’t think of having bath in any of these now!” 

Periyava found it difficult to go and have bath in all the theerthams due to His age and ill health and one elderly devotee prostrated before Him and said, “It may not be important for Periyava to look after Himself, but Periyava is important to us. At least for our sake Periyava must take care of His health and should give up this practice. These are only for people like us, not for Periyava who is Saakshath Parameswaran!”

Periyava said to a Mutt assistant: “Tell him that I will give it up when I no longer feel hunger, pain or saddened when someone curses Me. I have not yet attained that stage”. 

Also, when Sri Maha Periyava initiated the construction of the Uttara Chidambaram temple in Satara, Maharashtra (it is a replica of Chidambaram temple in the South), He sent word to the Chief Ministers of the four States in the South: MGR, NTR, CM of Karnataka and CM of Maharashtra that each one must take the responsibility for the respective towers South, East, West and North. 

MGR was the first one to undertake the expenses for the Southern Gopuram (tower)! 
The Western Main Gopuram of the temple, which is the entrance to the temple came to be called ‘Maharashtra-Gopuram’ because the Government of Maharashtra financed it. The Northern Raja Gopuram, also known as ‘Andhra–Gopuram’, was financed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. 

The Eastern Gopuram, financed by the Government of Karnataka is called ‘Karnataka-Gopuram’. The Southern Gopuram by the Tamilnadu Government is ‘Tamilnadu Gopuram’. The Kerala Government provided seasoned wood of high quality for the entire Temple including ‘Dhvaja-Sthambha’ (the flag-mast). 

Once MahaSwamigal told MGR: “You are very popular with the people, so use your popularity for their welfare!” 

Another incident happened when MGR was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He wanted to visit and pay his obeisance to Sri Maha Periyava. ‘Idhayam Pesugiradu’ Manian took him to Kanchi. They were accompanied by Janaki MGR and Pitchandi, the personal secretary of the CM.

After MGR paid his respects and enquired about MahaSwami’s health, MahaSwamigal asked MGR for his promise to do three things. 
“Tell me. I will do,” replied the CM emotionally. 
“The first thing is, a lot of temples in Tamilnadu are dark without a lamp being lit there by anybody. I want you to arrange for lighting lamps in all temples.” 

“Secondly, many temples are in a dilapidated state. I want you to renovate them all and perform Kumbabishekam”(consecration). 

“Will do it for sure.” 

Then the Mahan said, “Pardon Nagasami.” Here it’s necessary to explain who Nagasami is. He was an official who researched about ancient temples and symbols and collected new details about them. He belonged to the Archeology department. He would compile all the ancient details that he collected through his continuous research and would publish them in newspapers and magazines directly. 

The Chief Minister himself would come to know about them only through newspapers. This irked the CM who considered it as a sign of disrespect to him. He ought to inform the government first and then should give them to the newspaper. So, the Chief Minister suspended Nagasami temporarily. 

Nagasami didn’t inform the Mahan about this. He didn’t ask the CM about it either. Seeing the CM observing silence for a minute or two, the Mahan started to speak: 
“Nagasami has done elaborate research about various temples and has given forth a great contribution to the nation. A lot of valuable details would have been hidden from the eye of the world, if only he had not conducted those researches.” 

The CM nodded his head as if to say “I will pardon him.” 

This incident highlights the greatness of Sri MahaPeriyava – the Jagadguru requesting for pardon on behalf of a good person to the ruler, giving due respect to the post he held. 

Sarvam Sri Krishnarpanam 🙏🏻

We miss such great sages !! They change humanity for the better. I have had the good fortune of getting Mahaperiyava’s darshan on a couple of occasions with my parents. He has blessed Krishnan as a young boy when Krishnan ran across the road and asked him who he was :).

Paramacharya Swami Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, lived to be a 100. He was identified as the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt’s peetathipati (head) at the age of 13 and was its head for 87 long years – a very public life of a spiritual leader and not a whiff of scandal. 

Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara 🙏🏿

1 thought on “Mahaperiyava and MGR”

  1. Mahaperiyavaa Paadhame Gathi 🙏🙏🙏🙏. We are all blessed that we lived in the era when The Karunyamoorthi graced this Earth with HIS physical form. In HIS sookshuma roopa HE continues to guide and bless us. I feel immense gratitude that HE accepted me as HiS devotee, and I pray to HIM my faith never fades. 🙏🙏🙏

    FYI – there are several online forums (Facebook, Instagram included) where devotee experiences of our sakshaath Ishwara are shared/posted. It is also so great to see youngsters perform/participate in monthly Anusham poojas. Ummachi Thatha’s compassion and simplicity appeals to all ages after all. Gives me a lot of hope for the future.


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