He was a lion that roared when he took the stage in public events, having proficiency and a master's degree in the Tamil language and having being the chair person of Pattimandrams or debate sessions in India. But off the stage he was humble to the core, down to earth and very practical.
Having met him in Malaysia in 2005, our friendship took off. After I arrived at Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal's Ashram, the Sri Agathiyar Gnana Peedham, the first time, in 2005 on his invitation, Tavayogi invited me for an evening bath at the stream running close by. He brought along his dirty linen and started washing them. I volunteered to wash his cloths but he refused to part with them. I thought by doing so I could get some merit or punyam. After the bath, we prepared to leave, picking up our stuffs. Just then Tavayogi had a change of mind and told me, "We shall take another way back to the Ashram." He turned to me and told me to stay while he brought over our sandals from the opposite bank of the stream. I forbade him from picking my sandals, saying I shall pick them up myself. But he asked me to stay put, quickly waded across the stream, picked up my sandals too and brought them over to me. I was physically shaken up and close to tears. Here was a Guru of high standing, who everyone considers a Tavayogi, a head of an Ashram, and a great follower and disciple of Agathiyar and Chitramuthu Adigal of Panaikulam. I could not forgive myself for allowing him to do that.
Tavayogi too was kind to this soul many a times. After having purchased vegetables at the Methupalaiyam market, seeing me struggle to carry the gunny sack of vegetables, he snatched it from my hands and threw the sack over his shoulder and walked away taking big strides, carrying the sack rather easily. When he took me for his morning walk around Kallar, he passed me his shawl, saying it was too cold in the mornings. Later at Vedharanyam he passed my his shawl again to lay on the cement floor that had grease and grime all over it, minutes before the first ever miracle I witnessed, took place - Agathiyar opened his left eye in his granite statue at Agasthiyampalli. Again he laid his shawl on the terrain under the shade of the gigantic Nandhi at Breehadeeswarar Temple in Tanjore and invited me to share the 'makeshift bed'. We laid there gazing at the afternoon sky waiting for the main temple to open at 4 pm.
His desire to spread the Siddha path to Malaysia where his Paramaguru Jeganatha Swamigal and Guru Chitramuthu Swamigal had tread, walked and lived saw the light of the day when he made his first maiden trip in 2004, followed by several more later with his comrade and chief disciple Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyar, the last in 2016 to bless my daughter at her wedding. He was happy and mentioned that his desire to see the Siddha Marga instilled, followed and spread in Malaysia was fulfilled by AVM. His desire to built a proper temple cum ashram and meditation hall saw the light of the day too in 2016.
Looking back through the years of having come into acquaintance with him, brought back fond memories of him. He kept motivating us, guided us and occasionally shared a secret or two. I had written much about him in this blog.