One day evening when Kanchi Mahaperiyava was giving darshan at the Kamakoti Peetam in Kancheepuram an old couple came there to have darshan and get the blessings of our beloved Paramacharya. The couples who were wearing new dresses came in front of our Acharya and offered their pranams / namaskaram to Acharya. Mahaperiyava then asked “Did everything went on well?”. The old lady was in tears. Periyava then asked them to sit there and started conversing with them. Though he was talking to them he started making garlands and finally prepared two garlands and then asked the couple to exchange the garlands. Also the Vedic Scholars who were present there started chanting the Vedic Mantras upon being asked by our Paramacharya. The old lady was murmuring “Sarveshwara Sarveshwara” all the time and was in tears. Mahaperiyava later blessed them and gave his send off.
Some of the devotees who congregated there were curious to know the reason as to why Paramacharya himself made two garlands and blessed them. One of the devotees approached the couple who told them that they belong to Bangalore and that day morning they celebrated “Bheemaratha Santhi” i.e. a function celebrated upon completion of seventy years and they were returning to Bangalore in the afternoon. The old lady expressed her desire to see our Paramacharya on the way and get his blessings but that her son replied that since he is having an urgent work the next day at Bangalore he cannot take her that day but will send her to Kanchi after couple of days. The old lady had no other option but to only mentally think and pray.
Not all mantras that create benign vibrations are necessarily meaningful. In this context we have the example of the music. The alapana of a raga (the elaboration of a musical mode) is "pure" sound, that is, it has no words, but it is still is capable of producing emotions like joy, sorrow, etc. During the researches conducted by a university team, it was discovered that the vibrations created by the instrumental music quickened the growth of the plants and resulted in a higher yield. Here is a proof that the sound has the power of creation. Also to be noted is the fact that the instrumental music played to the plant does not obviously have any verbal contact--- this establishes that the sound has its own power.
The remarkable thing about the Vedas is that they are of immeasurable value as much for their sound as for their verbal content. While the sound has its creative power, the words are notable for the exalted character of the meaning they convey. There are Tamil hymns of a very high order. To read them is to be moved by them; they touch our hearts with their intense devotion. But we have recourse only to a few of them for repeated incantation to expel a poison or to cure a disease. The authors of these hymns like Nakkirar, Arunagirinadhar and Sambandamurti have composed poems that are more moving and beautiful. But the sound of the hymns chosen for repeated incantation are potent like mantras. Among our Acharya's works are the Saundaryalahari and the Sivanandalahari. the recitation of each stanza of the Saundaryalahari brings in a specific benefit. The same is not said about the Sivanandalahari. The reason is the special mantrik power (of the sound) of the former.