Sami, I Picked up your Dhandam!

Periyava Sitting Dhandam Sudhan
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – How to treat others if someone commits a mistake unintentionally? Sri Periyava teaches us a lesson of the highest order.

Anantha Jaya Jaya Sankara to Smt. Padma for the share. Ram Ram

On a shiny, windy day afternoon Sri Mahaswamigal went and sat under a tree at Tenambakkam (near Kanchipuram) where he had been camping for a long time. He had rested his ‘dandam’ at the root of the tree and was looking at the skies. A strong wind blew and the ‘dandam’ fell to the ground. A cowherd who was grazing cattle nearby came running, took the ‘dandam’ and placed it before swamigal and said, “Sami ! Sami ! your stick has fallen. I picked it up as you need it”, and ran away.

[A little note here: The ‘dandam’ is a staff which sanyasi behold always. It has a folded up cloth at the top which is very sacred and cannot be touched, taken or put down as one wishes. No one should touch it as it contains the concentrated power centre of that sanyasi. The folded cloth is called “Brahma sutra” which can be made ready only by a few pundits specially trained in it.]

Sri Swamigal went into a “Kaashta Mouna” (no speech, no movements, no signals or signs and not looking at anyone; like a statue). Sri Matam sent for three pundits who knew how to prepare a new ‘dandam’. It so happened that one of them had performed “Pitru Karma” that day and hence cannot join the other two, till the next morning. Sri Maha Swamigal was stationed motionless unaware of anything.

On the next day, the pundits prepared the new ‘dandam’ with reverence and brought it to the presence of Sri Maha Swamigal in the afternoon. He broke his “Kaashta Mouna” and accepted it after laborious rituals. On completion, Sri Swamigal’s first words after 30 hours or so, to the pundits were, “From early morning you all have not taken anything. Go and have some food first.”

“We have not eaten from morning but because of that stupid maatukara payyan (cowherd) you have not had anything from yesterday,”
exclaimed in agony one of the pundits.

“Why scold an innocent boy? Maybe he was a Yogi or a Rishi in his previous births. He has taken away all my ‘Tapas’ with a single touch of the ‘dandam’”, replied Sri Swamigal.

How are we to interpret this statement?

“Religion begins where reasoning ends”. ‘Aacharam’ and ‘Anacharam’ become redundant with Sri Maha Swamigal’s blessings. It appears that we should take the lesson not to reprimand for any ‘Anacharam’ caused without intentions. We are at least not hurting another ‘Atman’ for an act already done.

Hara Hara Shankara Jaya Jaya Shankara

Categories: Devotee Experiences


10 replies

  1. After loosing His entire Tapas Shakti to an innocent cowherd, still He maintained the calm and interpreted the incident in suitable way. He is Karunaa Saagaram! No other words I know……..

  2. Sir, please add the importance of Ekadasi deepam in the Ekadasi reminder. Thank you for putting articles everyday.

  3. I am now 60 years read lot of incidents for the past so many years. These kind of such secret spiritual matters till date we have not heard. He maintained one way of life, which was known to all, in open way, upto his life time

    But now a days lot of incidents, raising some doubts about authenticity, who told, etc., which are not suitable for his frequency, his way of life,

    He has not made open statements on strict secret spiritual matters to public. Sorry.


    • While I agree with you in general, this particular incident has been authenticated. I had read this way before the current trend of sensationalizing His stories and running a business became fashionable in the public domain by many spiritual groups. I’ll try to dig out the Tamil source.

      The broader point you raise is of course valid. Well meaning, but perhaps short of time moderators find it convenient to just cut and paste what they get on whatsapp/fb without taking the trouble to quote the source. I’ve seen this blog quoted as the source for some made up stories at other places!

      Mahaperiyava stood for truth in every small aspect of his dealings as an example to all of us. In such a temple, as the Tamil saying goes a drop of poison in a vat of milk will still make the milk poisonous. I’ve pointed this lack of sourcing many times in the past on this forum to no avail.

      The best we as devotees can do is to be like the swan and separate out milk and water and consume only the milk. My fear is as time passes these untruths will get mixed up with truths and it will be hard to separate them for future generations (as it happens with every prominent Spiritual figure in our tradition).

      • As I wrote under a different topic in this forum recently, spiritual magazines and speakers have been generating lots of fanciful accounts everyday just to be appealing to their audience.
        While incidents will be described in great detail,it is surprising why the names of places, persons , years cannot also be remembered if these incidents were true.
        If quotes such persons would only be happy to be mentioned and so no offence to anyone..
        But then real reason is that most of these are just stories written in dramatic style with a buildup to a climax.
        Really sad to note this continuing trend of using an Avatara Purusha’s life and name for personal gain

  4. Some persons are speaking real incidents without any addition, deletion( but some are total imagination.)
    Let them understand, that all are not believing.

  5. Humble pranams . I have heard that yati dharma sangraha says a sanyasi can keep or not keep dhandam. After deciding not to keep, he may decided to keep in future and may throw away too. There are anushtanas to be performed for that when he keeps and some sanyasi may find that it’s a daily routine which may not suit higher consciousness. Sharing this just for information only on this Context.

  6. We would like to know more about Dhandam. From the above incident we come to know how powerful Dhandam is.

  7. Do not know what to say or interpret. Maha Periyava Knows best. Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara!

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