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JAYA JAYA SHANKARA!! HARA HARA SHANKARA!! I welcome all of you to this blogspot which is dedicated in entireity to my JAGAT GURU. I pray to my Kanchi Mahan to shower the blessings for the successful creation of this blogspot. I am in the process of collecting all the available information, speeches, audios, videos, books from the ocean of WEB. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the Original uploaders who provided the resources for me to gather and put the same in my blogspot. Please note that this site is regulary updated and request you to visit on regular basis to update on the happenings. I will leave you here...with Periavaa. JAYA JAYA SHANKARA!! HARA HARA SHANKARA!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The sour pomegranate fruit

V. Swaminatha Atreya


It was in November 1963. His Holiness Sri Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Pitham stayed for 25 days at Kalyanapuram, a tiny village on the northern bank of Kaveri near Tiruvidaimarudur.
One morning. K.S. Gopalaswami Iyer of Ananda Lodge, Thanjavur came to me and asked if I would join him and a gentleman from Madras to go to Kalyanapuram to have darsan of Paramacharya. I jumped at the offer and went along with them.
When our car crossed a bridge over the river Viracolan at Tiruvidaimarudur at about 3 p.m., the giant lame tusker of the Math was feeding on coconut branches and leaves on the roadside. The cows of the Mat were being taken to the river for the wash. The Puja attendants were taking a nap in a pial in the first house. There was not much of an activity. We were greeted by the Math manager and taken to the Office of the Math, in a nearby house.
There our Madras gentleman gave a sheaf of hundred rupee notes to the manager and got it exchanged to one rupee coins, and put them in a big wooden tray. He had also brought some baskets of fruits, some jaggery, some small bottles of pure saffron, a large piece of Sandal wood, and some packets of pure camphor. WE arranged all of them in two bamboo trays. He changed to an improvised panchakaccham and wore the holy ash in his forehead, chest and hands. All this betrayed his inexperience.
All of us trouped into the Puja premises. His Holiness was in the cowshed, in the backyard of the house, I went ahead of my group and announced the visitor to His Holiness.
His Holiness just nodded. K.S.G. and the Madras gentleman arrived and placed the offerings before His Holiness and all of us prostrated. His Holiness recognised K.S.G. with a smile and carried on with the conversation He had with Y. Mahalinga Sastri (the great grandson of the reputed Mahamahopadhyaya Raju Sastrigal of Mannargudi). His Holiness was speaking about a work of Raju Sastrigal Durjanoktiniraasa (damnation of the words of wicked men) Y.M.S. contributed to the conversation with relevant quotations of the work. This went on for about thirty minutes.
I was a little nonplussed. K.S.G had taken me in his company simply because he thought that I was close to His Holiness and that I would be able to present his Madras friend to His Holiness without delay with all pomp and get rich dividend of blessings for him. But it now looked as if we were completely ignored. K.S.G. was prodding me from behind. I was helpless. The Madras gentleman tried to make his presence felt by laughing aloud at the light remarks of His Holiness. We were all embarrassed.
Somebody peeped in from the entrance of the cowshed. "Vedapuri! Who is it?", His Holiness asked. Vedapuri who was fanning His Holiness went and brought the Sroutigal of Vallalar Street, Mayuram. The Sroutigal held in his hand in small bamboo tray. Two coconuts and a bunch of plantain fruits were there. He recited a long hymn of Sama Veda and prostrated. He submitted with all humility that the marriage of his daughter had been fixed with a Vedic student and prayed for the blessings of His Holiness.
His Holiness remarked, "You have told me that your daughter was studying in a High School. Did she agree to the alliance?".
"Because of Periyaval's grace my family is still following the traditional style of life".
There was another peep in the entrance. Vedapuri rushed there, talked to somebody and returned. He announced "It is the old lady of Villianur. She has brought sour pomegranate fruits (Puli Madulai in Tamil) for Periaval. Here they are".
"Bring her here". Vedapuri went and returned saying, "She says she would prostrate before Periaval from there and go".
"Ask her to come here." She appeared at the gate, prostrated and stood trembling.
His Holiness took one of the fruits in His palm and rolling it, began to speak to Y.M.S.
"You know Vaitha!". Reference was to Vaidyanatha Swami Iyer of Illianur. "Once in those olden days I had some trouble in the stomach. the famous Natesa Sastrigal of Venkataramana Ayurveda College, Madras, advised me to take the juice of sour pomegranate. It is a rare variety. Because it is sour, nobody loves to have it planted in his gardens. This Vaitha had listened to this prescription, ran hither and thither and brought some fruits the third day".
"Then he planted it in the open yard in the middle of his house and nurtured it carefully. He did not plant it in the backyard, because the tree would be contaminated by the pollution of food left-overs and thought I might not accept them. All the fruits borne by the tree are brought to me. If I were in a different place this lady (His Holiness mentioned her endearingly "Amma") dries the fruit in a particular way, so that they would be taken after a long time. Vaitha is no more. Now his wife is bringing me these fruits frequently".
"Rarity is its value. Archaeological finds, though very old for any practical use, gain in value. Older the date of the find, greater is its value. This fruit has no value nowadays, because many remedies have sprung up for stomach disorder. Yet it is a rare thing. Very valuable. In this context, a passage in Ramayana comes to my mind. Hanuman is going round the palace of Ravana. The palace is replete with treasures of rare gems, and rare art pieces. He differentiates between the two kinds of wealth in a remarkable way."
His Holiness here spends some moments recollecting the passage.
"Yes, it is thus.
Ya hi vaisravane lakshmi!
Ya ca indra harivahane"!
Ravana has accumulated the wealth of Kubera as well as Indra. Kubera's wealth contains gold, silver and gems which can be valued and totaled but the accumulation of Indra's treasury contained invaluable, rare and old commodities, which were beyond the value of valuation. This is indicated by the word `Hariahana'. His horses were of green hue in colour, a very very rare species. They cannot be purchases in the market for any price. They are unique. Not even an imitation of them would be available. Such a rare thing is this fruit."
The listeners wondered as to what all this exhortation meant. Nobody understood.
His Holiness now turned to Vedapuri: "Come here. This large-hearted gentleman from Madras (His Holiness mentions his name very casually) has brought so much for me (His Holiness uses the word `Aparimita'_ Let it go to a good cause. You need not count it. Pour it all in the upper cloth of the Srautigal. He may have spend countless (Aparmita) rupees for the marriage. This may fulfil his requirements".
What a stunning finale to an apparently casual talk? The vanity of the Madras gentleman just vanished into thin air. By a singularly graceful gesture, His Holiness elevated him to a height, never imagined by him. The Srautigal got a windfall of countless heap of money for the marriage of his daughter.
That is His Holiness.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Wandering Sannyasi

Acharya Vinobha Bhave


Our forefathers had made provision to enable villagers to have access to kinds of knowledge which no one is the village possessed. This is the tradition of the wandering Sannyasi. The Sannyasi travels continually among the villages for the greater part of the year, remaining in one place only for the four months of the rainy season. The villagers thus get the full benefit of his knowledge. He can teach them both the knowledge of the world and knowledge of self. A Sannyasi is a walking university, a wandering Vidyapith, who goes at his pleasure to each village in turn. He will himself seek out his students, and he will give his teaching freely. The villagers will hive him clean, pure `sattvik' food, and he will need nothing else. They will learn whenever they can. There is nothing more tragic than that knowledge should be paid for in money. A man who possesses knowledge hungers and thirsts to pass it on to others and see them enjoy it. The child at the breast finds satisfaction, but the mother too takes pleasure in giving suck, for God has filled her breasts with milk. What would become of the world if mothers began demanding fees for feeding the babies?
Nowadays, in a city university, nothing can be had without at least one or two hundred rupees. But the `knowledge' which is purchased there for money is no knowledge at all : knowledge bought for cash is ignorance. True knowledge can only be had for love and service; it cannot be bought for money. So when a wise man travelling from place to place, arrives at a village, let the people lovingly invite him to remain a few days, treat him with reverence and receive from him whatever knowledge he has to give. This is quite a feasible plan. Just as a river flows of itself form village to village, serving the people; just as the cows graze in the jungle and return of themselves will full udders to give the children milk, so will wise men travel of themselves from place to place. We must re-establish this institution of the wandering teacher.
In this way, every village can have its university, and all the knowledge of the world can find its way into the villages. We must be re-invigorate the tradition of the `vanaprasthashram' so that every village gets a permanent teacher from whom no great expenditure will be incurred. Every grihastha's home must be a school, and his field a laboratory. Vanaprastha must be a teacher and every wandering Sannyasi a university. The students are the children and young people who give an hour or two to learning and spend the rest of the day in working. This seems to me to provide a complete outline of education from birth to death.
Our Jagadguru of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha has, been for the last forty years moving from village to village mostly on foot, occasionally in the palanquin, the usual mode of conveyance adopted from ancient times. Latterly he has dropped even this mode of conveyance and always goes on foot. He holds the strong conviction that walking is least harmful to the insects and other being on the road, especially as ahimsa of an absolute kind is enjoyed by our Dharma for Sannyasins. Even to the most obscure corned of a village in our State he has gone and stayed and met and conversed with the people from the humblest to the highest in society. His stay in every village has been a source of inspiration, illumination and instruction to the people. He is a walking Encyclopaedia of variegated knowledge, such as History, Archeology, sociology, not to speak of our religious literature and branches of learning. Conversation with him has been a liberal education. By his stay every villager becomes a better, person mentally, morally and spiritually. Every man, woman and child has received his blessings and enjoyed the delight of words falling from his lips. The person stricken by sorrow has received consolation and courage from his sympathetic look and words. Those who come complaining with difficulties in life were encouraged to meet the situations with golden words of advice. The village institutions have received help and encouragement. The yield from the lands have become better. Timely rains have gladdened the hearts of peasants. In fact wherever he went he has spread joy, comfort knowledge and spirituality.
(The wise words of Acharya Vinoba Bhave truly picture our Jagadguru. Like him, our Jagadguru is a pedestrian by conviction).

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A few moments with Paramacharya

Dr. Raja Ramanna


In recent years I have been interested in the philosophy of science. This approach to knowledge has been neglected and is only now becoming an essential part of science. The fact that the various components of science like Physics, Chemistry, Biology have merged into one, makes a philosophical approach inescapable, as it used to be in the past, and in fact the old name for science is Natural Philosophy. It is indeed an anomaly that many of the Doctors of Philosophy as fabricated in our Universities each year, know little of philosophy as an integrated approach to knowledge.
It was in this frame of mind that I accepted an invitation from the Theosophical Society at Adyar to contribute an article for their Centenary celebrations. I chose the title "Physical Reality- Is there any other?" I chose the title "Physical Reality- Is there any other?" and stressed the strength of the scientific method of analysis-both ancient and modern-and the paradoxes we face in understanding consciousness on the basis of scientific postulates.
I made a passing reference to Adi Shankara and Advaita, on the need to throw to our materials constraints to understand a higher reality. The paper was reprinted in the Journal Dilip.
This Journal, I believe, was inaugurated with the blessings of Shri Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. I had heard of the Acharya from various people but many of them went to him to get relief from the usual disappointments of life-family disagreements, injustices promotions, solace from persecutions from unsympathetic and sadistic bosses. But whoever it was, whenever mention was made of the Acharya, it was always in connection with his erudition and his simple life. I, in my cynical ignorance, presumed the people designate others as learned only when they are unable to understand what is being said.
I was indeed greatly surprised when one day, someone who had seen the Acharya came to me saying that the Acharya would like some answers to questions he had, concerning my paper reprinted in Dilip. After looking at the question, I replied that the answers could not be transmitted through an intermediary but if I were permitted, I would seek darshan of the Acharya during one of my visits to the Reactor Research Center at Kalpakkam.
On arrival at Madras airport, I asked my friends if they had fixed a day and time with the Acharya. They seemed bewildered for they did not know how they could `fix a day and time' as there was no one is the Ashram who could do this, I, soon, began to realise my smallness in expecting to get a time and place from an Acharya who had realised the vastness of Advaita. In our stupidity we try to transform the entire universe into our own small world restricted to seeing the Acharya as though I was seeing a Minister or Secretary in Delhi. This itself was a lesson in higher philosophy.
I soon realised that I just had to go to the Ashram to imbibe the atmosphere and sink into the vastness of something beyond the material world around us. In Advaita what after all are time, place and the material aspects of life? If one has to realise something of Advaita from the feet of the Acharya himself, the atmosphere around must be consistent with the aim of acquiring supreme knowledge. I had not understood the need to such consistencies and this was my second lesson.
It was on the morning of July 5 that I set out to Kanchi. I was accompanied by Sri Krishnamurthy, an Accounts Officer, who is also in his spare time a Veda lecturer. (How much greater is his spare time activity!) I requested that I be accompanied by a Sanskrit scholar in case the Acharya led me to difficult discussion on ancient knowledge and science, again assuming that it was going to be like a meeting or one of the so called learned bodies at Delhi, Bombay or Calcutta. How ignorant I again was!
We arrived at the Ashram at about 8.30 a.m. The place encloses a small temple with a building to its side which is no more than a glorified hut. This serves as the residence of the Swamiji. There were several devotees waiting for the Acharya to give darshan, and in one corner a student was being assisted by one of the inmates in the recitation of the Rig Veda. At another spot, there was somebody reciting Sanskrit Stotras with an excellent intonation. For all this, I was grateful as I had not yet come to resonate with the atmosphere and was not sure why I was there at all.
The worship, at the small but ancient temple, raised in me the usual doubts and questions as to why worship must be like this at all.
To add to my questioning state, I noticed some policemen around, not at all in consonance with the surroundings. Somebody said the Governor of Tamil Nadu was coming and hence the bandobust. One of the aides of the Acharya spoke to us and suggested we wait for the appropriate time as the Acharya was busy reading something inside.
On a raised platform adjoining his room is a small window barely a square foot wide through which devotees people in to get darshan. I also looked in and saw in the somewhat dim light the Acharya deeply engrossed turning the pages of a book. At this moment, the Governor arrived and we all moved back. The Governor also went towards the window for a short time and left soon after, but all the while the Acharya continued his search among the books irrespective of what was happening outside.
A little while later, a strange peace seemed to envelop us and I felt as though we were in a space where the devotees, the temple and everything around us were some minor objects in a great enactment. Everything around was simple to the extreme, and nobody seemed aware of one another's presence except as objects created for some purpose to disappear soon into nothingness. In spite of this feeling of negation, it seemed to me that we were all there trying to get at something which was yet beyond our reach. It was nothing that this world could provide. Even as I was meditating about why we- an odd assortment of people- were there at all it began to appear that the strains of the Rig Veda was the only material thing of value in that atmosphere.
Suddenly, one of the aides of the Swamiji called us to the window, as the Acharya wished to see us. He then asked his aides in his very weak voice in Tamil to open the pages of a book. After selecting the page with his finger, from a distance, he asked me if I knew enough of Sanskrit. I was happy that I had Krishnamurthy with me.
The translated version of the page, I give below:
Katyayana, in one of his Vartikas, also shows himself in favour of Advaita The meaning of the aforesaid Vartika is as follows:
Truth is Brahman, knowledge is Brahman. Brahman is endless. We can understood Brahman by experience. So what is the use of the sentence taken from philosophy, etc., which tell about God?
It is repetition only. Is it not?
No. The scholars know Brahman well. Others will have confusion. In order to avoid if these sentences repeat the same frequently. Even the Bhaskyakara (Patanjali) while commenting on the Sutra opines in favour of Advaita. How can we see the mark of (Non-existent)?
Yes, We can see it. It is like mirage.
Explanation: The thirsty deers see the mirage and think it to be existing. So they run towards the place where they saw the mirage which actually does not exist. It is due to illusion only.
Similarly we see a beautiful place called Gandharva Nagara in the clouds. Really it is not there. Due to (illusion) one thinks non-existing thing to be real. Really only one is there. That is Brahman. While commenting on the Sutra the Bhashyakara quotes others in support of Advaita as follows:
For example, Kala (time) is one. But for our convenience we have divided it into three such as past, future, present.
It does not exist, move and is not pushed. Even the waters that seem to flow towards the sea, really do not flow. Moreover, the world is one and nothing moves. The things that we are unreal. They are visible because of illusion.
Here, Katyayana, the commentator of Mahabhashaya, says, a person who understands the world and Brahman in this way is not blind. `He alone sees really'. Further he says. "He who implements the idea that is, translates the idea into practice is a real Yogi."
Meaning of the above verse:
To the person whose ignorance is destroyed by real knowledge, God gives light equal to the light of the sun.
As I do not know Tamil except in the form of a crude dialect, the aide translated all that the Swamiji had to say into Kannada and I replied in Kannada. Even the aide had difficulty in understanding the Swamiji as his voice was very feeble. I referred to my talk on Reality and the questions the Swamiji had raised and gave my answers. The Acharya pointed to the page of the book again. Though Krishnamurthy tries, we had to admit that we could not understand the sloka just at the moment.
The Swamiji suggested to us to study it and return again.
The Acharya then made a mention of my contributions to science and asked whether I knew of Krishna Iyengar. After thinking of all the Krishna Iyengars I knew, it then occurred to me that he was referring to Dr. K.S. Krishnan, the great physicist and philosopher.
Dr. K.S. was well known to me during my early years in the Atomic Energy Commission and I had listened to his discourses on Philosophy.
The Swamiji then asked me to study the philosophy of Nagarajuna. I said that it is remarkable that the Swamiji should refer to Nagarjuna, as I was reading at the very moment his philosophy through the book of the late Prof. Hiriyanna (Mysore University) on Indian Philosophy, which I believe, is the best book on the subject. I said, Nagarjuna was the greatest scientific philosopher of all times. The Swamiji nodded his head and asked me to send him a copy of Hiriyanna's book, a book which fortunately had been recently reprinted.
The Swamiji then lifted his hand in benediction and we did our Sashtanganamaskaras and receded to the background. In the spareness and austerity of things around, we seemed smaller materially than anything we could think of and yet the power of the consciousness of the spirit was enhanced by the darshan. The Acharya's message to me was clear. `To the person whose ignorance is destroyed by real knowledge. God gives light equal to the light of the Sun.'
What better inspiration can there be for the pursuit of science and philosophy? The material world has its laws but human consciousness has a higher reality which can be understood only when ignorance is destroyed by the real knowledge, even as the great Adi Sankara himself achieved.
I must have been in direct contact with the Swamiji for less than half an hour, but in regions outside material time, I must have been with him always Here at last I knew I had been in the presence of a learned man and an inspired man.
Physicists have always wondered if there is a direct interaction between two conscious human beings without the aid of the sense organs. I believe I have some verification of its possibility.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Concept of Maya

In the Mangala Sloka(invocation) to this Beeja Ganita(algebra), Bhaskaracharya says that supreme which is Infinite, does not suffer diminution when creating the world out of Himself, or gain addition when the created word attains Laya(merger) in Him. For, if the addition of even a fraction can make a difference to the infinite, then it could not have been infinite before such addition. Similarly infinite cannot become less than the infinite when any thing is taken away from it. The Infinite is poorna, full and limitless Supreme. The Prapancha (Universe) which is infinitely varied, is also limitless Supreme, the limitless Supreme will remain intact. Therefore, if this Poornam ( the infinitely varied form of the objective Prapancha) is taken away from that Poornam (the subject which is Infinite), that Poornam, the subject Infinite, alone will remain.
This may be illustrated mathematically as follows : if 2 is divided by 2, the quotient is 1. With 2 as the dividend, if the divisor is progressively reduced as 1, 1/2, or 1/4 etc., the quotient will respectively be 2, or 4, or 8,etc., Thus the divisor becomes less and less, the quotient will become more and more. When the divisor is the least, that is infinitesimal, approximating to Zero, the quotient will be infinity. This is known as the Khaharam - Kha standing for Aakas, signifying poojyam (zero), haaram, meaning taking away or dividing.
How do we verify the correctness of an arithmetical question in division? We multiply the quotient with the divisor and check whether the resulting is equivalent to the dividend given in the question. In this Khaharam, or division. In this Khaharam, or division of any number by zero, the number that is divided stands for the Prapancha 9the pluralistic universe of infinite variety), the divisor, zero or Poojyam, which in mathematical language is an indefinable factor, approximating to nothingness, stands for Maya, and the quotient is the Infinite, that is Brahman. For the purpose of creating the Prapancha, which is dividend, Brahman , which is the quotient , multiplies itself by Maya, which is divisor. Even as I divided by Zero, or 2 divided by Zero, or 3 divided by Zero, will give the same quotient, when the Infinite is multiplied by Zer, it is undeterminate, and therefore, it can take the values 1,2,3 etc., which are Bheda sankhyas, or numbers connoting differences, standing for the plurality of the world. The Upanishad says that the One Absolute determined to become many, and for that purpose. It associated itself with Maya, and become Many. When this Absolute Infinite multiplied Itself in association with Maya, which is tantamount to zero, it appears as 1,2,3,4 etc., the several objects of this Prapancha. But when any number is multiplied by Maya. The dividend, which is the plurality of the prapancha is the Infinite variety. The quotient, which is Brahman, is Real Akhanda and Ananta. In the Saanti Mantra, Poornam adah is the quotient , Absolute Infinity, and Poornam idam is the dividend, pluralistic Infinity. Advaita anantam multiplied by Poojyam is Dvaita anantam. if the latter is divested of is Maya -- by a process of Khaharam-dividing by Poojyam which is Maya -- we get the Advaita anantam. Maya multiplies the formless Infinite which is One only without a second , into an infinity of finite forms. Th One alone , that is real, has value; the Many, which are products of Maya, are like Maya, without ultimate value. So Brahman is not affected either by diminution from It (creation or Srsti) or by the addition to It(merger or Laya) of Prapancha, which has no ultimate value.
The Divine Mother is the Creative Principle of the universe, the Maya Sakti aspect of Brahman, which makes the Infinite One appear as the Infinite Many. She presents the formless Supreme in finite forms. It is only by her grace that one can transcend the Maya and obtain the advaitic realisation of the One without a second.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A living God on earth

Dr. S. Padmanabhan

In 1966 when I was working in the Nagercoil Branch of the State Bank of India, one correspondent of the reputed daily "the Hindu" came there to discount a cheque. While he was talking with the Manager the purpose of his visit which was to write a detailed article about the Nagaraja temple at Nagercoil. He added that only a man well about this temple and since he was not able to write the article he wanted some one from the area to assist him. The Manager of the bank, Shri S. Krishnamurthy who knew that I was interested in such writings introduced me to the correspondent. Then both of them entrusted the work to me.
The article I wrote Nagaraja temple appeared in "The Hindu" on 7.8.1966. continuing this, thereafter, I happened to write a series of articles about the various temples in the area which appeared in "the Hindu" and also in some of the leading journals of India including Times of India Express and Bhavan's Journal. In 1970 my articles on the temples of Kanyakumari district were collected and published in a book form with a Foreword by the noted historian Dr. K.K. Pillay. In the same year the Tamil version of the Book under the title Kumarimaavatta-kovilgal was published with the benediction received from His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya of Kanchi. My connection with the Sankara Mutt at Kanchi started from then.
After many years I got the great opportunity of having a darshan of Mahaperiaval on 24th August 1986. I reached Kanchi Math early morning. I prostrated at the feet of Mahaperiaval presenting my book Hinduism, the Universal Religion which was a research paper presented in the World Hindu Conference held at Columbia in the year 1982. Swamiji was convalescing after an eye operation. Moreover, due to sore throat he was not able to speak. Sitting within the palanquin he talked gently and one Kumaresan was speaking, putting across to the devotees what Swamiji was saying in a low voice.
Receiving my book Swamiji closed the doors of the palanquin and with the help of a torch-light started to read the book. After 15 minutes Swamiji was requested to take bath. Within a short time he returned after he bath and said that he did not have the mind to place book down. I cannot forget these divine words of Mahaperiaval about my book. Looking at the from page containing the photograph of Sivalinga which was found in Roma, and which I had taken during my visit to Vatican Museum, Swamiji began to ask question after question. I explained to Swamiji the details about the Sivalinga; Swamiji was giving a patient hearing.
Then he uttered appreciative words on my book "Kumari-mavatta-kovilgal" written sixteen years ago, and "South Indian Temples", a paper presented in the World Conference on Religion held in Madurai. He blessed me for the success of my endeavors. I was wonder struck at Swamiji's photographic memory recalling all that had happened several years ago.
Later in 1987 on the eve of my daughter's marriage and in 1990 at the time of my son's marriage, I had the rare opportunity to have the darshan and blessings of Swamiji.
The bridegroom selected for my daughter was a Major in the army. Hence many members of my family were apprehensive and reluctant to have this alliance. At this juncture the thought of Swamiji came to my mind and I went to Kanchipuram with my family. When Swamiji was told about us, he stood up from his seat and came to us. He blessed us and advised us to proceed further without any hesitation. This incident was an unforgettable one. Needless to say, with the blessings of Swamiji, the married people are happy.
It is my earnest prayer to God that this Avathar of Almighty may live many more years and continue to bless the people of the world.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My experiences with His Holiness

Mantri Ratnam A.R.Seshiah Sastrigal

The Jagadguru Sri Paramacharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is an 'Avatara Purusha' descended as a complete person, to save the world, not as a person who developed by stages. He is an incarnation of Sankara.

The Paramacharya leads a very simple life like wearing homespun Khadi only. He believes that poor womenfolk spinning yarn of their own at their leisure hours could earn a fair and decent living conducive to Dharmic way of life. He will never stay in cognito within the four walls of a room. He will never sweat as he never takes salt. He will stand on single tow in kukkutasana posture and converse with the people nearby for hours on end. He is a master of all Yoga asanas. He has completely discarded salt, tamarind and chilies in any form the date of His ascension to the Peetham. His food consists of morsel of fried paddy with some fruits mixed (if they are available) and milk at times and He will quietly avoid any food if he happened to see unworthy and sinful people and observe complete fast for the whole of that day. At night He will never take food. I have found Him living for a month in Calcutta only on Vilva-fruit which will be very sour and most untasteful but medically recommended. He himself observes strictly the Dharna with 'kamandalu'(wooden water pot), a danda (holy-stick) and kashaya-vastra(ochre cloth). His austere celibacy is well-known and he prohibits any womenfolk to see him in private. He won't relish by himself music or fine-arts unless it be as dedication to God Sri Chandramouleeswara or other deities. He won't lay aside 'danda' at any cost unless it be for bath or wash. He will sleep with the 'danda' in his grab. His sleeping time will be very short and however late it be his going to sleep, he wakes up by 4 a.m. always and will be ready for a full time Japa.
He is very proficient in the Vedas and especially in the Rig Veda(Mutt's Veda). He has mastered all the Sastras in Vedantha (Advaita Philosophy) to the end of 'Siddhi Brahmanandeeyam', Tarka, Sahitya, Dharma-sastras, Puranas and itihasas. He is a keen student of English, French, Telugu, Canarese, Latin Literatures besides possessing a masterly knowledge of sacred Tamil literature like Tirukkural, Kamba Ramayanam, Sekkizhar's works and twelve Thiruppavai-Thiruvembavai conferences and also the originator of the singing of Kolaru-Pathigam on Navagraphas by Thirugnana Sambhandar. He organised all India Cultural Programs on Agamas, Bharta Kala, Silpa. His Mudradhikari Scheme is one of the social programs for keeping the temples clean, lighting the lamps with oil and congregation of people on Ekadasi days to prey to God and read Puranic stories. He wants the people of Two or three villages gather once a year and dig tanks of one region or other and take the temple cars around the places in festivals. He is very particular in helping the downtrodden, lone and sick people who are in their deathbed by uttering the name of Sri Rama into their ears, a spoon of Ganges water and Thulasi leaf for them to take in and undertake the cremation of the bodies with due rites. He called for Vedic Sammelans on all-India basis gathering all the Vedic scholars. He has arranged to provide pension for the learned scholars and introduced the scheme of remuneration to Vedic student. Veda-bhashaya (commentary on the Vedas) and Prayoga (conduct of religious rites), study of Dharma-sastras are dear to his heart. He has published Advaita philosophy as found in all literatures and languages. He knows epigraphy and has done some astute and deep researches in that area.
I can draw many instances for his remarkable foresight. Once he suddenly called the agent of the Mutt and ordered him to send by telegraphic money-order a sum of five hundred rupees to one poor man at Calcutta. After some months had elapsed, one fine day a poor fellow rushed to His Holiness sobbing and fell down at his feet saying that Sri Mutt's money order was received in time when his father expired and that he was able to do the last rites for him. his father was once connected with Sri Mutt Camp and he served by sorting Vilva leaves for Pooja.
Another instance is: a man rushed to His Holiness praying that he had settled his daughter's marriage but could not manage to find sovereigns for Thirumangalyam as was demanded by bridegroom's parents. His Holiness told him that as a sanyasi he did not have sovereigns but directed him to the temple of Sri Kamakshi and pray for the same. Meanwhile some gentlemen of High respectability from Bombay arrived to have Darshan of His Holiness and placed before Him some sovereigns as offering along with huge money. After they left, the poor man after praying to Sri Kamakshi came to His Holiness, who said to him that his prayer was heard and that he had the ten sovereigns.
I can quote more instances of this kind. But His act of Siddhi is not relished by Him and it will not be conducive to the elevation of mankind. Further He never desires to exhibit His powers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yes, I am blessed

B.L. Satyanarayan Sastry

On a fine early summer morning during 1967, I saw H.H. Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvathi Swamiji on the streets of Vijayawada for the first time in my life. I and my younger brother came to Vijayawada from Kakinada to attend the Gruhapravesam function of the newly built house of our cousin-sister. Then Kanchi Matham was camping in Labbipet at Vijayawada.
I and my brother were going to our cousin sister's house by walk. I saw Swamiji coming in the opposite direction. Paramacharya was on His way for a bath in the river Krishna. He was pushing the wheeled cart before Him. Several People were accompanying Him.
I quickly took off my shirt and stopped. As the Swamiji neared us I fell prostrate on the Bandar Road before the august Swamiji. The stopped and looked at me and my brother for a new seconds and proceeded.
After this my brother and I were slowly walking towards our cousin-sister's house. My younger brother suddenly started weeping and said "What an ill luck for me! While your samskara made your prostrate before the Swamiji, on the road of Vijayawada, my ahamkara held me out. I could not prostrate before Him." I consoled him. "We shall have Swamiji's darshan at leisure if time permits." But we were not able to have it.
After returning to Kakinada, I wrote a letter to Swamiji requesting Him to Visit Kakinada. I enclosed a copy of my work on Godavari Valley Development, wherein I made a fervent appeal to the Government of Andhra Pradesh to take up the construction of a barrage on the river Godavari at Polavaram.
A few weeks passed. I got the information that the Swamiji was to visit Kakinada. My joy knew no bounds at the thought that I could see the Jagadguru again.
I joined the Reception Committee to welcome the Jagadguru Sri Paramacharya and the Junior Swami Sri Jayendra Saraswati.
After that I met the Jagadgurus several times during their stay at Kakinada. On one good day, I called on the Paramacharya in the early hours along with Sri Mukkamala Kameswara Rao, then working as camp clerk to Collector, East Godavari District. We told our pravara and gotharm and prostrated before the Swamiji.
Then I placed in his hands a copy of my work on Godavari Valley Development.
The Paramacharya looked at me and my work intently and said "You wrote to us to visit Kakinada. We have come".
"Yes, Swamiji, I said.
For a while Swamiji looked at my work and a map of East Godavari District in the work. He then asked "where is Tulya Sagara Sangamam?"
the river Godavari breaks into seven months in East Godavari District before joining the Bay of Bengal. One such mouth is called Tulyabhaga. This Tulyabhaga joins the sea at a village called chollabgi, some three miles south of Kakinada town.
I showed the place to Swamiji in the map and told him that the joining point is just three miles south of Kakinada.
Then a lively discussion took place between the Swamiji and me on Planning and Development. I told the Swamiji that a project on the river Godavari at Polavaram would greatly help us relieve our food shortage and that the Administration was not taking any action for its construction.
"Why are you worried? It is of no use to you", Swamiji said.
"It will give food to lakhs of people, Swamiji", I replied. I knew that the project was of no use to me as I did not possess even a single cent of land. But I believed that this project will greatly help us in our economic development. To that day the project was still on paper piling up dust in the State and Central Government offices.
Swamiji shut His eyes for some time and said "It will come up during your lifetime."
I felt thrilled and postrated before the Swamiji and took leave of Him.
In January 1989 I went to Kanchi Matam to have the darshan of the Paramacharya.
The Paramacharya was in the palanquin. I and my family members sat before Him, behind the barricade. I place the published copied of my works of Mandukyopanishad and the typescript copy of the Coronation of the Sandals in the hands of the Paramacharya. He first looked at the work and then asked me about the publication.
I information the Swamiji that Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was going to publish the works. Swamiji felt happy and placed some flowers on the works and returned them to me.
The Swamiji then said slowly in Telugu - "mandukyam velugulatu velugu" (Mandukya is the Light of the Lights.)
I felt thrilled and fulfilled. This is the direct instruction from the Paramacharya. This is the SANDESA. This is the UPADESA. Tears rolled down from my eyes. I wept like a child.
My wife lighted the camphor. We offered the HARATHI to our Paramacharya. He blessed us all.
When I reported to my teacher Sri Rani Narasimha Sastri Guru about the discussion I had with the Swamiji at Kanchi, he too wept like a child and said "My child! Now there is no need for you to hear anything more. That instruction from Paramacharya is more than enough. You are blessed."
Yes; I am blessed.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Elakkai Maalai

On 14.12.1991, we went to Kanchi to have darshan of His Holiness Periyaval.There was a lot f rush.We were standing in a queue.After a little while, we reached the place where Periyava was giving Darshan.He was reclining in a chair with both Paadams seen.Shishyas were standing around him.
Our eldest son-in-law was having a very bad time.His 71/2 Sani was going on.We did not know what to do.At last , we took courage and told Periyava about his problems.He listened to everything we said , then he removed an "ELAKKAI MAALAI" from his neck , told his shishya to put around my husband's neck and blessed us.
After this incident , my son-in-law regained his position slowly. He is now happy and well settled.
We have kept the "Elakkai Maalai" in a copper sambadam, with pepper corns and pachakarpooram. Nearly 12 years have passed and even now , it looks fresh. When problems arise , whenever we feel sad, we touch the Elakkai Maalai to our eyes and it gives us a lot of solace.
From the Book - Moments of a lifetime.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Ganapathy from Trichy was Periyava's devotee.He was unemployed and it was a tough time for him to get a good job.
He came to Kanchipuram for Periyava's darshan and told to Periyava about this matter.Periyava enquired about the banks in Trichy.
When Ganapathy reached Trichy , he got two offer letters from the Banks.One was a permanent post at Chennai and another was a temporary post at Trichy.
Ganapathy was confused and he again sought Periyava's help regarding this. Periyava asked him to join in the temporary vacancy position at Trichy , which was quite unexpected for Ganapathy. However , after a few months , the person who went on leave had resigned his job and that Ganapathy himself was retained permanently for the same post.
Maha Periyava is an Avyajha Karunamoorthy (one who shows unstoppable grace) and there are many experiences this is one among them.
Name of the Book: Maha Periyava Maghimai


Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Light that shines in Kanchi

Sastra Ratnakara S.R. Krishnamurthi Sastrigal

Kanchi Paramacharya is the very embodiment of all the traits of a liberated soul. The very sight of His Holiness has an ennobling power. He showers His grace and compassion in all, they be high or low. It does not wait for any special reason or pretext. It is spontaneous like the season of spring which brings in its wake joy and solace to all. That His Grace is irresistible and winning is evidenced by my own experience which I relate below.
A few years ago, I was restless and disturbed. I was developing distaste towards everything around with the result that I was unable to study the philosophical works. What was more alarming, I started losing retentive memory. I could not recall all that I had learnt over the decades. Medical and other kinds of treatment proved ineffective. Everyone in the family grew sad and were much worried.
At this critical juncture I learnt that Sri Paramacharya had returned to Kanchi from Maharashtra, on the request by His Holiness Sri Jayendra Sarasvathi Swamigal to perform the Chaturmasya observance in Kanchi. Immediately I hurried to Kanchi with my family and prostrated before His Holiness in total surrender to him.
I placed before His Holiness all my agonies and anguishes. I particularly mentioned my tragedy of the loss of memory and the absolute happiness I had in the matter of teaching our sacred lore. For, I had been commissioned by His Holiness earlier to take classes in logic for His Holiness Sri Jayendra Sarasvathi Swamigal.
The Paramacharya then asked me to go over and stay in the Kanchi Sankara Math permanently. He ordered one of his attendants to fetch a Rudrashamala. When it was brought, he was touching the rosary with his palms, all the time enquiring about the welfare of my family. Then he commanded. "Wear this rosary". I received it and wore it at once.
That was all. In the following days my ailments and afflictions began unbelievably to disappear and, gradually, the memory of all that I had studied begun to return. Thus in a matter of days, I got back my powers of teaching.
The "Sri Rudram" tells us that the holy hands that worship Lord Rudra are lordlier than Lord Rudra Himself
(Bhagavattarah). This is proved in the instance of Sri Paramacharya.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mahaperiava’s Humour!


Once, an overweight lady came for Mahaperiava’s Dharsan. She was not able to do ‘Namaskaaram’ to Periava. With mixed feelings of Bhakthi and Embarrassment, she just stood there with folded hands.
“I am a diabetic. Doctor has told me that I should reduce my weight and for that I should walk for one hour daily. But, I am not able to walk even for ten minutes.” ---she complained to Him. Then she continued, “ Periava should tell me an easier way”.
“ All these doctors are same. They will only repeat what is written in medical books, but will never look from the practical point of view…”
The lady brightened up expecting that Periava was going to tell her an easy way!. Her eyes showed a lot of expectation.
“ If one wants to be healthy without any disease , one requires Bagavaan’s compassion….”
The lady’s heart started beating fast.
“ Is there a temple near your house?”
“Yes Periava! A big Shiva temple.”
“Good! Do six ‘pradhakshina’s daily in the morning and evening. And clean the temple with broomstick for 100 feet daily..”
The lady was very happy and returned home with Prasaadham!
A disciple who was assisting Periava, was struggling to control his laugh!
“ Did I tell her wrongly..?” asked Periava!
“ No Periava! The doctor prescribed ‘ walking’ , and Periava prescribed ‘Pradhakshinam’……”---answered the disciple!
‘Oh! Do you mean that the medicine prescribed by both of us is ‘Adhvaitha’ and the names are ‘Dhvaitha’ ..?”
That is a sample of Periava’s subtle humour!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Shall tell the children


A lady,in deep sorrow,told Periyaval.''My husband drinks a lot . He comes home at 12 in the night.His health is gone.I don't know how to get him out of this habit !''
''Do u have children?''
''Yes, a boy and a girl.''
''Does your husband love the children?''
'' Very much.He holds them as dear as life itself!''
''Tell your husband,'I shall tell the children of your drinking habit.'He will stop it because of his love for his children.''

It happened just like that.The husband pleaded with his wife,''Don't tell the children about this.I will give up this habit of drinking all together.''In a month he gave up the habit completely.

The lady told Periyaval about this with tears of joy streaming down her face,and prostrating to him,left.

Friday, April 3, 2015

To remove my sins

A devotee who had gone to Rameshwaram on yaatra ,offered a bottle of water from the Sethu to Periyaval. Periyaval placed the tirtha on the top shelf inside the palanquin. Every morning , as soon as he woke up ,he would look at the bottle , which contained the Kodi tirtha. Th e attendants did not understand why this was being done everyday. Every act ,every gesture that Periyaval made would be meaningful. He said , ''One is rid of one's sins if one takes a dip in Ganga and one accures merit. As for the Sethu ,its darshan has been recommended. So I thought I would at least look at the Sethu waters everyday and rid myself of my sins''
This was a shock treatment for the attendants ! A lesson in philosophy.

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