Vidvan Aashukavi Sriman U.Ve.Meyyur Narasimhachari – an interview by Dr.Sreeram Jaganathan

Sriman U.Ve. Meyyur Narasimhachari

The karma of some of us is linked and that is why we are attracted to some people without a reason even. Otherwise how, myself, a reserved face to strangers would have been attracted to the 86 years old Sriman Meyyur Narasimhachari, the elderly Srivaishnava who goes about his daily visit to the Sri Vedanta Desika Devasthanam, Mylapore in a very quiet manner? The attraction was mutual, I should say. Once my Guru and mentor Dr.S.Padmanabhan introduced us to each other. From then on the hoarse or gravelly voiced would stop and enquire ‘Enna Sreeraman! Sowkyama irukkera?’. He would often handout a piece of paper that would contain some verses in Tamil neatly handwritten and photocopied. The verses would be on Lord Srinivasa or Swami Vedanta Desikan or other acharyas. I would wonder how many would even read them in full, forget about appreciating it. Ofcourse I would run through it quickly and pass on my acknowledgement and appreciation to the blessed poet – He began writing only after retirement with the grace of Lord Hayagreeva – in his own words.

The blessed dampati

The dampati, should have been married for atleast 65 years) are an excellent example of how a married couple should live, especially to the younger couples of modern times who find it a challenge to get along even quite early. Listen to the words of Smt. Vijayalakshmi at the end of the audio file (given at the end of this article) wherein she speaks proudly about her understanding husband! (Her voice is a bit feeble though)

When I was waiting in the hall of the typical agrahara house with a mittham etc the attention of my eyes was grabbed by this picture of Padmavathi Thayar. I assumed it was a photograph and moved on to the next object. Only when the Swami said that it was his painting that was done some 50 years ago I was amazed! Narayana! can this be a painting? I assumed it was a photograph! What a talent! He has painted Swami Desikan also! (see below)

Sometimes when Emberuman chooses to bestow his grace on someone he does not limit it at all. Please see the art work that he has done in soap pieces that we would use to only take bath! As typical of him he has gifted them all but these three – matsya, kurma and a bhanjika. He is so unassuming and casual about his talents! Once in his office days his piece of ingenuity won him the first place in an art exhibition! Alas! those were the days sans technology! Else we could have saved so many things for posterity!

Swami Desikan reincarnated in archa form with the wonderful fingers of this Swami, keeps blessing him daily!

This Swami has composed about 300 poems in Sanskrit in different vrttas, around 3500 verses in Tamil, about 120 songs in Tamil that can be set to music (some of them have been set to music and performed in the past). He has completed the grantha-chatushtaya kalakshepam (all after retirement).

Swami seeing me off after the interview














Having so many compositions in his forte he is a gifted sishya who has been extolled by his Acharya, who is no ordinary scholar, but mahamahopadhyaya, mahavidvan Perukaranai Chakravarti Swami in his forewords to Swami’s books ‘Thirumayilaith Thirumal Shathakam’ (100 pasurams) and ‘Thiruvinnagar Pamalai’ (273 pasurams).

H.H.Poundareekapuram Anadavan has also rendered his srimukham to the latter book. He has published his carnatic compositions in two parts under the title ‘Gaanasudharnavam’. He has composed 3000 pasurams about various divyadesa perumals. He recited some of his pasurams with his childlike enthusiasm for the delight of the listeners.

‘khyatilaabhapoojaasu vimukho vaishnava janah’ – It would not be an exaggeration to praise this bhagavatottama with the above words! He has been writing so much without an eye on any recognition! He continues to write still, photocopy it and shares it with like minded bhagavatas! Adiyen could only express a wish that adiyen would arrange through someone to have all his compositions typed atleast to present them through a blog or website!! I wish someone takes up this contemporary poet’s compositions for some research work!

Swami is being honoured before the interview

The link to the audio file of the interview is https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZwCUW-Z6EYKQTX_pPLJPuTCId4PJg2L

It is really high time this Swami gets recognised for his contribution to Tamil and Sanskrit poetry.

Dasan

Sreeram.

Vilakshana Vaishnavan – Sriman Parthasarathy, Thirukoshtiyur

Sometimes, in life, only in hindsight, do we realise how something good happened to us by a mere stroke of chance or luck. In our Sampradaya we say such things happen due to krupa of Acharyan and SriyaHpati. That is how we met Sriman Parthasarathy, a kainkarya Sriman, archaka of Swami Desikan Sannidhi of Sri Ahobila mutt, Thirukoshtiyur. We had been to Thirukoshtiyur to have a darshan of Sowmya Narayana Perumal and to fulfil a couple of prarthanas. We had an excellent darshan and someone said to us to visit Swami Desikan and Hayagreeva Perumal sannidhi situated outside the temple premises. It was already late and we were in a hurry to go back to Srirangam. ‘We will see next time’ – we said to ourselves and reached the Gopuram. Right inside the gopuram, an elderly Srivaishnava approached me and began to bless my young son, with pasurams from the Nalayira Divya Prabandham and Desika Srisooktis in his chaste Tamil with a nice tune. He was visibly very excited and happy to see us. I thought he was another Sevarthi and thanked him and came out.

Vilakshana Vaishnavan – Sriman Parthasarthy

Outside the temple, when we met the archaka swami who facilitated our darshan and told him that we were leaving and would visit the Desikan Sannidhi next time, he told us that the Desikan Sannidhi archaka was just entering the temple. My father, realising that the Srivaishnava whom we met was indeed the archaka, went in search of him to offer a sambhavana. After a hide and seek my father finally found him. Sriman Parthasarathy asked my father to come to the Sannidhi and offer it there and so we had to visit the Sannidhi.


Lakshmi Hayagreevan – Swami Desikan Sannidhi

            We took Parthasarathy Swamin with us in our Vehicle and throughout the way he was in an ecstatic mood singing verses from the Divya Prabandham, lost in his anubhava. He was a very systematic person. He brought the keys from his house and meticulously went about his role as an archaka. He showed harathi and blessed the entire family with pasurams from the Divya Prabandha and Desika stotras. Through him we learnt the following – The Sannidhi is 300 years old. Some of the sthalathars had constructed a sannidhi for Swami Desika and installed an idol of Hayagreeva. But in due course of time continuous worship was affected due to some difficulties and in the previous century the Sannidhi was handed over to H.H.Devanarvilagam Azhagiyasingar of Sri Ahobila mutt for a better governance. H.H. 43rd Jeer arranged to install an archa murti of H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan. With the anugraham of H.H.Villivalam Azhagiyasingar and the kainkaryam of Bhagavatottamas like Thirukoshtiyur Tiruppernagar Ramanujacharya Swami, the madaipalli and mandapam were constructed. The well has been renovated and since then facilities have been provided for the stay of Sevarthis. The Tirumaligai of Swami Desikan that stands opposite this sannidhi is a testimony of the arrival and stay of the great Acharya in this divyadesam.

Swami Desikan Tirumaligai

It has been renovated with the support of many noble donors and the general public. Special Tirumanjanam, Sevalaka Satrumarai is being carried out every Tiruvonam in this Sannidhi. After nearly 50 years, the avatara utsava of Lakshmi Hayagreevar (Avani Shravanam), Swami Desika (Purattasi Tiruvonam) and H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan (Purattasi Kettai) are all being conducted through the income generated from Trust created for this purpose. Contributions are welcome vide a cheque or a demand draft in the name of ‘Thirukhoshtiyur Shri Desighan Sannithi NAKS’ and sent to Sri Parthasarathy Bhattachar, Shri Desigan Sannithi, West Car Street, Thirukhoshtiyur 630210, Sivaganga District. His mobile number is 9941158635.

The interesting part about Sriman Parthasarathy follows from now on. A native of Thirukoshtiyur, he had to leave the place at the age of five due to poverty and lack of support from his father. After doing his primary education in Tirunelveli he underwent dharma upanayanam and was sent to Madurantakam Patashala where he completed OSLC (XI) in the year 1975 because free education was provided. He learnt the Divya Prabandham, Desika stotra and Paduka Sahasram during this period. Due to financial constraints he took a job in a transportation company in Amritsar. It was the sheer play of destiny that took him so far. He started from being a porter but could move up the ladder as he knew typing and shorthand. He moved in to sales roles with other transport companies. His sincerity and straightforwardness were rewarded with frequent transfers, threats from co-employees. He was even beaten black and blue once in a revenge for terminating some sales men who cheated upon their reports. His faith in dharma and bhakti in SriyaHpati saved him from all such difficulties. Finally, he took retirement and came to Chennai. During his frequent visits to Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashram he got familiar with H.H.Srimushnam Andavan who directed him to take up an archaka role in some sannidhi in Srirangam. He was chosen for his svarupa and dedication. He just carried out the orders of the Acharya. After getting trained in the basics of agama the grace of Swami Desikan brought him back to his own native place, Thirukoshtiyur, only to serve his beloved acharyan – Swami Desikan. He teaches Divya Prbandham, Paduka Sahasram and Desika Stotras through Whatsapp to many people from different parts of the country. His only aim is to carry on his kainkaryam in an uninterrupted manner. He is working with utmost dedication and takes active role in fund generation towards upkeeping of Desikan Sannidhi and Desikan Tirumaligai. Though having travelled nearly the entire length and breath of the country (he has worked in Assam even) now he has chosen to live in Thirukoshtiyur for the service of Swami Desikan! He lives in a house nearby the Sannidhi with his wife and is very enthusiastically involved in the development and maintenance of the Sannidhi.

Inner view of Swami Desikan Sannidhi

Weekly program on basics of anushthanam for Srivaishnava men by SRV

A cross section view of the participants

On 03-03-2019, with Acharya anugraha, Sree Ramanuja Vidyalaya (SRV) began a weekly in-person-attendance-program on the basics of anushthanam for Srivaishnava men @ Samrakshana Yoga Centre, 13/11, Sri Ranga nivas, First cross street, R.A.Puram, Chennai – 28. SRV profusely thanks the benevolent couple – Sriman Parthasarathy and Smt Vedavalli Parthasarathy dampati for accomodating this program in their premises.

Sri Bhaktavatsalam Swami teaching the audience along with his sishya Sri Vasudevan Swami

 

Sri U.Ve.Bhaktavatsalam Swami is the chief instructor of the program and he is assisted by his disciple Sri.U.Ve.Vasudevan Swami. Twenty eight participants took part in the inaugural session.

 

 

Srikaryam Swami extending his anugraha bhashanam

 

Dr.S.Padmanabhachariar, the Srikaryam swami of Sri Ahobila mutt, gave an anugraha bhashanam and explained in a simple manner why one needs to follow the injunctions of sastras and the importance of nitya anushthanams. Sree Ramanuja Vidyalaya extends its gratitude to all the above mentioned three Acharyas. The link to some of the photos and videos of the session is as below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PzBa2GaJm4U-VG7QCAmIEcchmOKeeTVf

DAsan

Sreeram.

First Anniversary of SRV and Thyagaraja Aradhana @ SRV

With Acharya krupa, Sree Ramanuja Vidyalaya (SRV) completed its first year of official functioning on the 26th of January 2019 and it was celebrated with a stotrapatha ghoshti by kids and their parents.

Adiyen gave a welcome speech and then the ghoshti happened with a parayanam of nine stotras including Desika mangalam.

The link to photos and videos of the function is as below:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=14ibIiPAugxd7PdEhrFIr4NtRD4PUzD6T

As 25-01-2019 happened to the bakula panchami day (a) Thyagaraja Aradhana, Smt.Anusha, adiyen’s dharmapatni, had organised a rendering of the pancharatna kritis with her students.

The link to the photos and videos of the function is as below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-3xTW2YDpSAqZm3cJUTvGEh4P0X-2Gkb

regards

DAsan

Article on aruttha panchakam of Swami Desikan

Adiyen presented the below paper on aruttha panchakam, a Tamil prabandham of Swami Desikan at Madurantakam Patashala on the 4th of December 2018 during the 750th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Desikan. The paper below is in English but I presented it in Tamil with quotations from Nalayira Divya Prabandham and Desika Stotras and prabandham for better appreciation by the audience. The below sloka on Lord Rama of Madurantakam was composed and read by me during the presentation.

Adiyen being felicitated by Sri.U.Ve.Villur Nadadur Karunakarachariar Swami who adorned the adhyaksha post.

श्रीमन्तं  तं धनुष्मन्तं रामानुजसमाश्रितम् ।

गतिमन्तं सतां मध्ये वन्दे सकरुणाकरम् ।।

(I salute him (Lord Rama) who is who is presiding (here at Madurantakam) along with Sri (Sita), Sri Ramanuja (one meaning Lakshmana, and other being Sri Ramanuja who underwent Samashrayana ceremony here), & Lord Karunakaran & who moves about in the hearts of his devotees.

Arutthapanchakam

     Sri Vedanta Desika, a non-pareil multifaceted acharya of the Srivaishnava tradition is an author of more than a hundred literary compositions in different genres of literature in Sanskrit, Tamil and Manipravala, a mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil. His Tamil compositions do not match his Sanskrit compositions in terms of quantity but definitely do in terms of quality. His extraordinary ability to summarise abstruse Vedanta tattvas in chaste and poetic Tamil is one of his unique qualities. His Tamil compositions are hailed as Desika Prabandham.

Aruttha panchakam is one such composition in Tamil consisting of eleven verses which summarise the concept of arthapanchaka – a set of five doctrines or topics that a mumukshu, a seeker of liberation, must know according to Sri Vaishnava tradition. This composition is in kocchaga-kalippa meter and is dedicated to Lord Varadaraja, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and who is the presiding deity of Perumal koil, Kanchipuram. Vishnu, along with Sri, His eternal consort, is Brahman or Paramatma and Lord Varadaraja is identified as Paramatma in this work. The subject matter of this work is elaborated in the 4th adhikara of his own another work, Srimad Rahasyatraya Sara, celebrated as his magnum opus.

Generally, whenever a man ardently desires to attain an object in life, he must thoroughly know about the object of desire, the ways and means to attain it, the potential obstacles in attaining and the consequences of attaining it. He may also try to know his own Self in relation to the object, so as to know if the desire is worth pursuing. These aspects are thoroughly discussed from the point of view of moksa, the ultimate desire of man, in aruttha panchakam.

Attaining Brahman, or constantly experiencing Brahman to be precise, is moksa according to Vedanta, and hence knowledge of Brahman is the first artha. The knowledge of one’s own Self, the attainer, is the second artha. The knowledge of the means to attain Brahman is the third artha. The understanding about the obstacles that have not led to attainment of moksa is the fourth artha and awareness about the nature of moksa itself is the fifth artha. These five together (panchakanm) are called as artha panchakam in Sanskrit and aruttha panchakam in Tamil.

All important aspects of the first artha, namely Brahman, its svarupa or essential nature, rupa or form, guna or attributes, vibhuti or wealth and ayudha or weapons are all discussed in the first two verses. Brahman possesses satyatva (ever unchanging in its nature), jnanatva (of the form of knowledge), ananta (being infinite in its nature), anandatva (blissful in nature) and amalatva (being pristine in its nature) as its svarupa. It has an auspicious transcendental rupa that matches the brilliance of its svarupa. Besides svarupa and rupa, Brahman possesses infinite number of auspicious gunas like jnana, bala, tejas etc. Its eternal abode, Srivaikuntha, and the manifested universe in which the jivatmas keep experiencing the results of their karma in a seemingly unending cycle of births and deaths, Prakrti, are his vibhutis – they are called nityavibhuti and lilavibhuti respectively. Further to the above, Brahman possesses several divine ayudhas among which five are quite popular and they usually adorn the vigraha of His beautiful archa forms in temples. Brahman, i.e Vishnu and Sri together, rules all sentient and non-sentient beings. It pervades all beings and resides in them as antaryami, and by whose will, the svarupa, existence and functioning of all the sentient and non-sentient beings depend upon. Brahman grants moksa to those who resort to It and propitiate It.

The third and the fourth verses delineate the svarupa of the Jivatma. That the Jivatma is different from his gross body, senses, mind, prana and intellect, and is of the form of jnana, with jnana as a guna, and is ever subservient to Paramatma, who resides as his antaryami, is the summary of the 3rd verse. In the 4th verse the experiences of a Jivatma in the lilavibhuti are highlighted. With a body granted by the will of Paramatma in accordance with his karma, the Jivatma, until the dawn of right jnana, is born repeatedly (acquires new bodies after the loss of previous ones) to experience the results of his karma and thus subjects himself to the travails of samsara. In this, he is led by Paramatma, who resides in him as antaryami. This becomes a lilarasa to Lord Varadaraja and his eternal consort.

The obstacles to the attainment of moksa are discussed in the 5th and 6th verses. The Jivatma, oblivious of his – liege and Lord – relation with the Paramatma, chooses, out of ignorance, to be subservient to another Jivatma, who is also just like him. Being unaware of the fact that his essential nature is completely different from that of his body, he identifies himself with his body and relishes the transient and insignificant pleasures arising out of it. Until he seeks the guidance of an acharya he slips further in to the nadir of samsara, despite the omnipresence of the ever-compassionate Lord. Karma is said to be the reason for this and thus it becomes the main obstacle in transgressing the ocean of samsara. The origin of karma cannot be ascertained as it follows the bija-ankura maxim – the inability in finding out which came first – the seed or sprout. The Jivatma, because of karma, takes up four types of bodies in the course of his experiencing the results of karma – of gods, men, animals and plants due to lack of knowledge to overcome karma. Eventually the Paramatma bails out those who resort to Him.

The 7th and 8th verses deal with bhaktiyoga and prapatti respectively that are the two means recommended by sastras to overcome samsara. Bhaktiyoga is defined on the lines of ashtanga yoga of Yoga sastra, Paramatma being the object of meditation. It consists of the following eight limbs – yama or controlling the external senses, niyama or controlling the internal senses, asana or getting accustomed to a comfortable body position to pursue further aspects of yoga, pranayama or mastering the flow of prana, pratyahara or withdrawing the senses from outward objects, dharana or focussing on the divine form of the Lord and his auspicious attributes, Dhyana or constant contemplation of the same and samadhi or the immediate experience of a glimpse of the vision of the Lord. Not all Jivatmas can embark upon the path of bhaktiyoga due to strict norms of eligibility, and to those who cannot prapatti is recommended as an alternate means, which is equally efficacious. Prapatti, which is usually done through an acharya, is first performed at the lotus feet of Sri or Lakshmi, who is ever accompanying the Lord and who is ever compassionate without a reason. This is called as purushakara prapatti. With her grace on his side the Jivatma then approaches the Lord and performs prapatti adhering to the five limbs of prapatti. The Lord, pleased with the performance of either bhaktiyoga or prapatti grants moksa to the Jivatmas as and when it is desired by them or at the destruction of prarabda karama to be precise. It is at the end of the that life in which prapatti was performed in the case of prapannas.

The 9th and 10th verses describe the journey of the Jivatma to the eternal abode of the Lord and the nature of moksa. The Jivatma, who has earned the grace of Lord and having got rid of all his karma, leaves his confines of his body through the sushumna nadi, a subtle channel that leads to the path of moksa. In this final journey he is accompanied and guided by divine agents of the Lord and is taken through the worlds that appear in the way. He then reaches the nityavibhuti or Srivaikuntha only to shine in his pristine natural form and, along with eternal and other liberated Jivatmas, revels in performing all kinds of kainkarya or services, which were hitherto lost by him, to the Supreme Lord and his divine consort, who independently rules over his two vibhutis forever.

Through the 11th verse, which is the concluding verse, Sri Vedanta Desika submits that he has composed the work with the grace of those Vedic scholars who were blessed devotees of Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram, who was indeed propitiated by Brahma himself, and in stating the doctrines therein he has only followed the footsteps of his preceptors. He has placed this work at the lotus feet of Lord Varadaraja who is ever united with his divine consort, Sri. To those who recite the decad, this work will bestow all good, and to the learned scholars who read, it will give a sense of joy.

Here ends a brief outline of the Tamil prabandham by name Arutthapanchakam composed by Sri Nigamantha Mahadesikan.

Dr.Sreeram Jaganathan

 

 

SRV’s Stotrapatha Ghoshti – Swami Desikan’s 750th birth year celebrations

SRV Ghoshti photo Swami Desikan 750th year Thirunakshatra celebrations

The 750th birth year Thirunakshatram of Swami Desikan was celebrated by Sree Ramanuja Vidyalaya on the 21st of September 2018 with a stotrapatha ghoshti by its students and their parents – Madhavan Setlur, Srivallabhan, Abhinav, Amrit Narayan, Varshini, Aparajit Narayan, Deekshita, Madhavan L, Madhavan NS, Harshita, Hiranmayee, Padmasani, Pooja, Hrishikesh, Badri Narayan, Smt Lakshmi,  Sri Hari, Smt Ramya, Smt Anusha, Smt Sudha and Sri Lakshmi Nrsimhan.

The following stotras were recited by the students – Vegasetustotram, Ashtabhujashtakam, Kamasikashtakam, Paramarthastuti, Nyasadashakam, Godastuti, Sudarshanashtakam and Desika mangalam.

The link to the photos and videos of the event is available here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OokPE2oezH6J-_3CsxidJSxfC5qR0Otn

DAsan

Sreeram.

Saloon lessons

As I was offered a seat in a revolving chair one Wednesday early morning, I was reminded of my age-old working days in an IT company even as I was gazing at the mirror in front of me. The chair would have been high enough for a project manager to oversee his team leaders and team members working. But now I was alone and was about to be worked upon. ‘Hhhmmm’, began Chakrapani, the veteran old man,  trying to find his voice after gulping down a cup of coffee. ‘Kaapi saapidareengala aiya?’ he showed his hospitality as he would do every time I went to him. I politely refused his offer thinking if there was really enough left in the flask in his hand.

‘Mithuna raasi kaarargale’, beamed the astrologer in the television set who appears daily with a serene and smiling face raising the hopes of a million viewers perhaps, but with the same set of messages, yet carefully managing not to repeat the same on the following day. He also recommends a place of worship and a specific God to offer a puja for each astrological sign thereby raising the commercial prospects of the respective temples and their priests as well. ‘Tlick tlick’ went on the scissors in Chakrapani’s hand targeting the two month old beard that had spread wildly on my countenance. ‘Simha raasi kaarargale’, continued the astrologer after a commercial break filled with advertisements on undergarments during spiritual prime hours. Dropping his scissors suddenly and raising the TV volume with the remote, Chakrapani went in to a samadhi in with his eyes and ears wide open. When the astrologer harped on to wish the kanni raasikkaarargal, the TV’s volume was reduced a bit and Chakrapani’s went high. ‘Jayalalitha voda nakshatram thaan ennodathum – magam nakshatram simha rasi.

He then began his lessons on astrology to his only obedient student for the hour, who without much choice had to stay calm without any movement. The potential risk in being otherwise was too much. Chakrapani was one of the few hair dressers of the previous generation who partially met the requirements of vaidika customers, either in form only, or in function as well. Being in the form-er group, I was one of his regular clients. ‘Josyam theriyuma?’. I wondered how the daily repeated morning doses of astrology in various channels can make anybody an expert. All that one needs is patient and attentive hearing.  I said am not too much interested. ‘Enna raasi?’. ‘Kumba raasi’, I replied. ‘Poorattadhiya?’ he guessed my star with a masterly skill. ‘Romba nalla raasi. ithellaam pothu palan, kodiyila orutharukku thaan balikkum. avanga avanga jathakam eduthukittu poi kekkanum’. ‘nadakkarathu thaan nadakkum. Jnayitrukkizhamai varavendiya nee innaikku thaan vanthirukka. Innaikku thaan varanumnu vithichirukku. Yaaralayum maaththamudiyaathu’. He revealed his ideology of fatalism in life.

Finding a date for kshavaram is an arduous task for functional vaidikas. Even if one is a vaidika by form only, as I am, one has to be carefully away from the sight of other vaidikas as there is a chance of being confronted with expressions like ‘innaikku ashtami aache!’ etc when it is done on prohibited days. Sunday was a prathamai tithi and so I decided to go on Wednesday instead. But I had already informed Chakrapani that I would come on Sunday without verifying the tithi. Chakrapani had a good memory and he promptly quoted that as a testimony for his principle on fatalism in life. The Vedantin in me was rushing to talk about the individual will and a possibility to change one’s fate or karma with efforts but then he had a knife in his hand and I had a fear for my life in my mind.

‘Saami’ went on Chakrapani, ‘avanga avanga uzhaichu saapidanum. thaanam vaanga koodathu. namma uzhaichu aduthavangalukku kodukkanum. ithu thaan en kolgai vaazhkaila’. He recounted with pride how he had refused earlier two or three plates of food that was offered to him by autorickshaw drivers on the day or aruvathumoovar festival that just got over. Aruvathumoovar festival draws a huge crowd every year and leaves the roads badly crowded with half eaten food plates and crushed plastic cups with so many people eating to their capacity whatever is offered in the way. The auto drivers religiously collect money from their customers and feed the passers by with a sense of self-less (sponsored by others) social service. ‘Ethukku naan athai vaangi saapidanum. vendamnu sollitten. Naan uzhaichu paisa koduthu thaan saapiduven’. He then went on to criticize those people who subsisted on such offerings.

‘unga aalungale sai baba koil munnadi kothudathelaam vaangi saapidaraangale. nyayama? pillai kutti illayo illa ennnanu theriyala. irunthaalum ethukku antha maathiri seyyanum?’. This question slapped me on the face as I have always kept worrying about the growing number of old parents being left behind by their sons and daughters who proudly work for other countries and have settled down with colorful cards as their identities. Not all parents are fortunate enough to be capable of living on their own without stress though being supported financially. And there are others who earn and live in this country yet neglect their aged parents.

What is the community doing for this segment of people? The sight of an old Srivaishnavite, with bright urdhvapundram and clad in panchakacham, knocking the closed windows of cars and begging at the signals of C.P.Ramaswamy road on a daily basis brings restlessness in my mind. But then I distract myself with the thought about my helplessness to this bigger social evil that is staring at all of us! Well the problem could be on either sides – neglected kids go on to neglect their aged parents. What are we doing as a society to take care of the neglected elderly? Does every old person have the capability and vairagya like that of Chakrapani?

Dr. Sreeram Jaganathan

Srimate Ranga Ramanuja Mahadesikaya namaH

श्रीमते श्रीरङ्गनाथपरब्रह्मणे नमः

श्रीमते रङ्गरामानुजाय महादेशिकाय नमः

परमपदकैङ्कर्यपदवीं प्राप्ताः ह्यः अस्माकम् आचार्यवर्याः श्रीरङ्गं श्रीमदाण्डवन् स्वामिनः श्री रङ्गरामानुजमहादेशिकाः अतीव कुशाग्रमतिमन्तः एवं परमकृपालवः सन्तः गतेषु एकोनत्रिंशद्वर्षेषु बहून् शिष्यान् सप्रियं शासितवन्तः । बहुभाषाप्रवीणाः सन्तः स्वीयहास्यभावेनापि सर्वान् अपि आकृष्टवन्तः । यद्यपि तेषां सन्निधौ सम्यक् परिचितः नासं  तथापि महाभाग्यमेकं प्राप्तवानहमिति विषयः महते प्रमोदाय कल्पते । किमिति चेत् हेमलम्ब वर्षे आषाढमासे यदा आचार्याः श्रीभूतपुर्यां सुनिर्मिते नूतने आश्रमे एकान्ताः आसन् तदा मन्मन्दमत्या आचार्यविषये द्वादशपद्यानि रचयित्वा तेषां सन्निधौ सविनयं समर्पितवान् । मम गुरुवर्याः श्रीमुकुन्दाचार्याः अपि तत्रैव आसीत् तस्मिन् समये । आचार्याः पद्यानि पूर्णतया पठित्वा आमोदितवन्तः इति विषयः महते प्रमोदाय कल्पमानः अस्ति मे । सार्थानां पद्यानां जालसङ्केतः अत्र एव दीयते । पठित्वा सर्वेपि मोदन्तु –

http://nakulasya-sughosha.blogspot.in/2017/09/acharya-stuti-malika-on-hh-srimadh.html

Seminar paper on Isvara tattva

An astika is someone who believes in the existence of God and a nastika is one who does not. This is the common man’s understanding about the terms astika and nastika. If this basis were to be applied to the दर्शन- darshanas (systems of philosophy) some of the astika darshanas like Sankhya would not qualify as astika darshana as they do not conceive of a principle called Isvara or God. They are able to account for the existence of the manifested world comprising of Sentient and non Sentient beings with merely two principles – प्रकृति and पुरुष (Prakrti and Purusha). So from the view point of philosophy the mere acceptance of existence of a permanent atma and non refutation of the Vedas can said to be basis for the classification of astika and nastika darshanas. This article, which was presented in a seminar at Madurantakam Patashala sometime in 2014, briefly discusses how each astika school (Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa and Vedanta) defines the Isvara tattva.

The link to the article is is https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5TNRFElGMV1UFVvajNpYkRsLXZWMjFXbDNia05GMnBDdjVr

Research article on Lord Vamana

In the year 2005, I presented a research paper on Lord Vamana in a 2 day National Seminar on “LORD VAAMANA in Art, Literature, & Religion” held at Mysore during 23-24 March 2015. The paper was titled “Lord Vamana in the Bhagavata Purana”. This paper brings out the meaning of the word Vamana – it does not mean a dwarf – and also details how the Bhagavata Purana glorifies the avatara as such. The link to the paper is as below:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ksIn8kR6DqSOFRghl-shKCtloXrJA1Np