Part 1 – Chapter 3 – Encounter with Palaniswami – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam

Chapter 3 – Encounter with Palaniswami – Visit to Kuruvapuram

The efficacy of constant meditation about Srīpāda Srīvallabha

I resumed my travel from Vichitrapuram only due to the mercy of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. My mind was eager to visit Parameswara[1] in Chidambaram. My travel continued for three days in a happy way. I was getting food without asking for it. On the fourth day, I stood at the threshold of a Brahmin’s house and begged for food. A ferocious housewife came out of the house and yelled that there was no food. I waited for some time outside the house. The householder came out and said, “I am not fortunate enough to extend hospitality to guests and visitors. My wife is a great shrew. When she gets angry she breaks earthen pots on my head. In this matter, my wife and the wife of my guru stand on an equal footing. However, there is one difference. My wife demands from me the cost of pots broken, but the wife of my guru does not harass him in that manner. Just now some pots were broken on my head. There is no dearth of food and water in our house, but I must compulsorily reimburse the cost of broken pots immediately. This is very troublesome to me. If I could get some money distributed during religious functions as sambhāvana[2], today there would be no trouble. If it is not possible then I must borrow the money from someone. I can only repay the loan whenever I get money through sambhāvanas. Out of the money received by way of sambhāvanas, I use a portion of it for the repayment of debts and the rest is handed over to her. This system continued for some time. However, in the recent times, she is taking away all the amount of
sambhāvanas. Therefore, I am not able to repay the loans. People who know my position are no longer coming forward to offer me any loan. They are asking me, ‘How will you repay the loans? Are you thinking that you can repay the debts when you receive money through sambhāvanas?’ That way is also closed now. As I am rich, no one is giving any donation. Moreover, they are ridiculing me. I must now pay the cost of broken pots. After scolding you sharply, my wife called me inside the house and said, ‘There is a pilgrim in the street. You go along with him and bring a donation received at any place. Then only you will receive food in the house.’” Then that henpecked husband told me that he would come along with me. He said that he knew very well all the houses of the Brahmins in the village and that they might get meals as well as money as dakshina[3]. I was taken aback. I thought “Srīpadā! Srīvallabhā! What is this horrible test?” I went to each and every house in that village of Brahmins along with that Brahmin. No one offered any meals, not to speak of offering any financial help. Then that Brahmin who accompanied me lamented, “Till now I am only unlucky. As you joined with me, your fortune was also lost and you also became unlucky.” Then I told him “Srī Dattatreya is the omnipotent Lord who provides food to all creatures! He dwells in Kuruvapuram in this Kali Yuga[4] assuming the name and form of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. I am going there to see Him. Let us sit at the foot of that audumbara tree chanting His name. Let us leave it to the mercy of Srī Datta.”

The Brahmin agreed to that. Hunger was scorching in the stomach. We were chanting the name of Srīpāda Srīvallabha in a feeble voice. While we were continuing the chant of the name of Srīpāda, servitors of the
king of Vichitrapuram approached us and submitted, “Sirs, the yuvarāja[5] is now able to speak. His muteness was removed. The king ordered us to immediately bring you. Therefore, you please come along with us.” I could not disclose our miserable plight to those royal servants. I told them that I could not come alone and that they should take my companion also along with me. The servants of the king agreed to that. They took us with all respect seated on the backs of horses. Seeing this, the residents of the agrahāram[6] were utterly amazed. The king said, “Mahātmā, even after knowing that you are a great scholar, I sent you with empty hands without honouring you. After you left, the prince fell unconscious. We did a number of services to him. After a long time, he opened his eyes and began uttering ‘Srīpāda Srīvallabha Digambarā! Srī Dattadeva Digambarā!’ The prince disclosed that a very tall, extremely handsome yogi of sixteen years appeared and placed holy ash in his mouth. Who is that yogi? Where is his residence? What is the relationship between Lord Srī Datta and that yogi? Kindly tell us”.

I submitted with humility, “In what way can I describe the glory of Srīpāda Srīvallabha? He is actually an incarnation of Lord Datta. His form of incarnation is very extraordinary as that of the incarnation of Srī Krishna. What I heard about Him is only very little. I am travelling to Kuruvapuram to have His dārshan. I am visiting sacred places and holy men on the way.”

The learned people of Vichitrapuram wondered at this strange happening. They praised Srīpāda Srīvallabha in various ways because the king now got his good nature back, they were rid of the troubles, and that their yuvarāja’s mutism was cured on account of their austerities for forty days.

The king honoured me with a donation of gold. The king’s preceptor said, “Sir, wisdom dawned on me after so many days. I realised that Shaivaites by abusing Vishnu and Vaishnavites by abusing Shiva are only amassing sin and that no purpose is served. As a result of our abusing of God, we experienced all troubles. With or without knowing, we observed austerities for forty days for propitiating Lord Datta, thanks to the advice of Mādhavā Nambūdri. We are very indebted to you.”

When we took leave of them, Mādhavā Nambūdri also expressed his resolve to come along with us. We agreed. We three returned to the village of my Brahmin friend. We distributed the gold given to us by the king to the Brahmins of that agrahāram. After receiving gold, my friend’s termagant wife offered us food. Afterwards, she became a devotee of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. She turned docile, leaving her previous termagant temperament.

Mādhavā Nambūdri and I travelled towards Chidambaram. Sage Agastya appointed Parabrahma Sastry, a resident of Ryali village situated in the Godavari region, for the priesthood of Dharma Sāsta Ayyappa Deva[7]. In the course of time, Vedic scholars from the village Nambūru of Gartapuri[8] were invited by the royal families ruling Malayala Desa[9]. Many Brahmins left Nambūru and propagated Vedic knowledge in Malayala Desa. These people are called Nambūdri Brahmins. The ancestors of Ādi Shankara[10] also belonged to Nambūru. Nambūdri Brahmins are famous for their religious observances and traditions, discipline and devotion, proficiency in mantra, tantra and yantra practices, but Mādhavā Nambūdri was an unlettered one. He was eking out his livelihood working as a cook in the houses of some Brahmins. He lost his parents in childhood. Close relatives did not help him. He had an unshakable devotion towards Lord Datta. After hearing about the incarnation of Srīpāda Srīvallabha, he was eager to visit Him as soon as possible.

We heard that there were some great siddhas near Chidambaram. We visited Srī Palaniswami, an old hermit leading a solitary life in the hills. When we arrived at the entrance of the cave of Srī Palaniswami, he saw us and greeted us, “Both Mādhavā and Shankar are coming together? What a fortune!” We realised that he was a great siddhā who could call us by our names even without any acquaintance. Merciful Srī Swamī said, “My sons, it is time to cast off this body and enter into a youthful body in accordance with the command of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. The age of this body is 300 years. It is the order of Srīpāda that I should leave this body and live for another 300 years in a new body. Even the liberated ones during life, and those who crossed the circle of birth-death order of Creation, should return when Srīpāda orders them to
come back! The great resolve that administers the entire Creation has incarnated in the form of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. His descent will always take place in the subtle worlds of higher regions. To come in human form is rather rare. His is a comprehensive yogic incarnation. Incarnations emerging from a fraction of His infinite powers always take place on this earth to protect devotees. My son Shankara, you have mentioned about Sage Kānāda and his theory of atoms in Vichitrapuram. Please explain in detail.”

Word References

[1] The highest God
[2] Monetary compensation, fee
[3] Monetary offering
[4] Dark age
[5] Dauphin, crown prince
[6] Village inhabited mainly by Brahmins
[7] Ayyappa is Dharma Sāsta, born out of the union of Shiva and the female Mohini form of Vishnu
[8] Today: Guntur
[9] Modern Kerala
[10] A great Vedic teacher

Video of Part 3 Chapter 1 of Encounter with Palaniswami – Visit to Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam (English)

Video of Part 1 Chapter 3 of Encounter with Palaniswami – Visit to Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam (Kannada) – Coming soon

Video of Part 1 Chapter 3 of Encounter with Palaniswami – Visit to Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam (Telugu) – Coming soon

Video of Part 1 Chapter 3 of Encounter with Palaniswami – Visit to Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam – Coming soon

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