Last week on the day of Maha Shivaraathri, we shared a very special painting of Maha Periyava with Lord Shiva in dancing form behind his holiness on Artist Maniam Facebook page. It is with great reverence that we recount this beautiful incident connected to that painting.
This painting was specially made for a special section of Kalki Deepavali Malar issue of 1961 called ‘Sri Mugam’ . The original photograph of Maha Periyava that was given for use of this artwork had his holiness’ eyes closed.
But artist maniam felt it would be better if his holiness’ ‘Paarvai’ fell on the devotees. So he re-touched the photograph and completed this artwork.
When the artwork was taken by Sri Ra Ganapathy along with few others to get Maha Periyava’s blessings before publishing, his holiness had asked Sri Ra Ganapathy to bring Sri Maniam along next time he comes to the mutt. Consequently Sri Maniam and Sri Ra Ganapathy went to the mutt and met his holiness. During which time, Periyavaa casually gave a witty remark- “ Maniam, Nee yen kanna thoranthutte!” Even though this can be literally understood as the original photograph had his holiness’ eyes closed, he actually meant the fact that he realised that Lord Shiva was in Thandava pose behind him. And that he wouldn’t want the Lord to be represented behind him any more.
There has always been many instances where we have heard Periyava casually explain something as if something was a joke. But every word that this great saint ever uttered always had a greater meaning behind it . This was one such instance and from that year onwards, artist Maniam never painted any form of god behind Maha periyavaa.