Excerpted and translated from Shri Mumbai Vijayan Swamigal’s discourses on his guru, His Holiness Mahaperiyava of Kanchi.
A bustling town in Thanjavur district was home to the owner of a large and flourishing apparel store. It was the time when his adversaries were gaining strength and beginning to hinder his progress. Desiring a peaceful life, the store owner decided to visit Kancheepuram to seek the blessings of Mahaperiyava.
After reaching the Matam, he joined the hundreds of devotees waiting to get a glimpse of the saint. As he approached Mahaperiyava, He fixed His omniscient gaze on the store owner and pronounced the following blessing,
“The power to save life is at hand but it will take time to eliminate poverty.”
Saying thus cryptically, Mahaperiyava offered him a lemon as prasadam. Obtaining Mahaperiyava’s blessing, the store owner returned home.
During her husband’s absence, the wife of the store owner decided to take her children to visit her parents. After traveling all night, the store owner reached home in the morning. Approaching his home, he was alarmed to see a large crowd gathered in front of the house. Anxiously pushing the spectators aside, he witnessed a shocking sight – his house and his store had been consumed by flames and razed to the ground. He frantically searched for his family among the rubble until a neighbor’s assurance that his wife took the children to her parents’ place brought great relief to him. Tears of gratitude gushed down his face as he touched the lemon in his shirt pocket and remembered Mahaperiyava’s divine pronouncements. He incurred huge losses as a result of the unfortunate incident and lived under the protection of his in-laws.
Eight years after the accident, I was traveling by bus towards Pudukkotai. The person sitting next to me was the owner of the erstwhile garment store. During the journey, I was chanting my guru, Mahaperiyava’s moola manthram. Finding himself drawn to Mahaperiyava’s manthram, he eagerly enquired about my spiritual bond with my guru. I explained briefly how after years of spiritual quest, my compassionate gurunatha, Mahaperiyava, had commingled as light and sound in my heart and had taken residence therein. Overcome with emotion, my co-passenger respectfully grabbed my hands and declared, “you are the angel who has come to deliver me from adversity. It is He who has sent you to save me. My enemies reduced me from prosperity to poverty. I am alive today and living by the generosity of my relatives only because of the boundless compassion of Mahaperiyava.”
I alighted from the bus after my guru propelled me to utter these words in blessing to my co- passenger, “Please do not grieve. The compassionate one who protected you from the jaws of death will certainly provide the means to sustain that life and bring it back to prosperity. Your hardship ends here. You will flourish!” That night I prayed fervently to Mahaperiyava for his devotee’s progress.
Three and a half years later, as I was waiting for my transport at Mannargudi bus station, a van fully loaded with a consignment of textiles, came to a halt in front of me. The garment store owner and his son alighted from the vehicle, respectfully drew me close to the van, and made me touch it. With deep faith and tears of joy, they said that if I touch the vehicle with the goods, they will indeed be blessed. Praying to gurunatha, I wished them to grow, prosper, and to have unshakable faith forever in his Holiness Mahaperiyava.
Our Mahaperiyava fulfilled His words to the store owner. He protected their lives and also restored their lost wealth gradually. Let us always remember that even if we, with faltering faith forget the guru, the compassionate guru never forgets the devotee!