Those who had the fortune of meeting the sage of Kanchi during his life time and getting his blessings cherish those memories. Those who had the privilege of being closely associated with him believe it is the sweet fruits of karma. Those who do not belong to either category satisfy themselves by reading whatever they can lay their hands on about him. Kudos to the writers, who have penned their own experiences and those of others, for the benefit of the devotees of Paramacharya.

P. Swaminathan belongs to the league of such authors, who have compiled anecdotes linked to Mahaperiyava. What ‘Maha Periyava’ contains are not mere incidents; they often reveal Periyava’s qualities that made him divine, human nature and more than anything else, facts of life and the hidden philosophy. Each episode is a lesson in Sanatana Dharma, which he epitomised.

Touching lives

The narrative takes the reader to several parts of the country… Bangalore, Kalavai, Hyderabad, Satara… where Mahaperiyava had camped, choosing remote villages that had no electricity, his grace touching people across strata. Lives are saved, disasters are averted and future indicated. Arrogance is tamed, pride punctured and ego conquered in his presence. Even as you smile at his childlike simplicity, you are overawed by the vision and wisdom with which his personality assumes visvaroopam.

Swaminathan has more than 25 years of spiritual writing to his credit. Many dilapidated temples have been renovated thanks to his essays. ‘Mahaperiyava’ is a volume of all the articles that he wrote as serials for Trisakti. Rare photographs make the book (Rs. 300), published by Kamadhenu Publications Ltd, Chennai (9003175272) a must in the collection of Periyava devotees.

Swaminathan (044- 22391788) gives lectures on the subject last Thursday of every month at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (Kamakoti Hall), Chennai, 6.30-8 p.m. On January 8, in connection with Anusham and the Aradhana of Paramacharya, the lecture will take place between 4 and 5.30 p.m. He will speak on Mahaperiyava at the Sri Rama Anjaneya temple in Chromepet, Chennai, 6.30-8 p.m.