Sunday, August 25, 2013
Finest Soul of our times His Holiness Sri Mahaperiyava Jagadguru Paramacharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam
Sri Kanchi Kmakoti Peetam,established by Bhagwan Sri Adi Sankara about 2500 years ago,has been adorned continuosusly by saints and sages and many of them have been Jeevan Mukthas.Sri Mahaswami,the 68th pontiff is one amongst them.Ever since the 13 year old Kannada speaking Swaminathan of Villupuram ascended the throne of the Kanchi Kamakoti Sankara Mutt in 1907 as the 68th Pontiff with the hallowed name of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal,the Tamil word “Periyava” has come to refer to His Holiness alone,now also called Sri Mahaswami.The very mention of Periyava evokes from everybody irrespective of caste,creed,community,race or any religion,not only love and admiration but genuine awe and respect.What is the magic that has worked this miracle?
The prestige of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam founded by Sri Adi Sankara,who was the first Sankaracharya in the Vaisaka Sukla Full Moon Day in 481 BC in his 28th year,has always been high because of the sages wo came to adore it as Matadhipathis.But,in it’s 68th Acharya, His Holiness Sri Mahaperiyava Jagadguru Paramacharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal who completed 99 years on June 4,1993,the Kamakoti Sankara Peetam has got a Matadhipati acknowledged by all as one of the noblest and finest souls of all times.Had he not taken to a life of renunciation at that tender age,Periyava would certainly have blossomed in to a statesman,a literateur,a scientist,a patron of music,arts and sculpture and a linguist,all combined in to one and would have taken his rightful place alongside the giants of modern science and history.Ever since he became the Matadhipathi in 1907 he has been guiding aspirant souls from all over India and even abroad.
Periyava is almost entirely self taught but what will astound everybody is the intensity of his Guru Bhakthi towards Adi Sankara,the exponent of Advaita.
Says Periyava, “It was by the Avatara of Sri Sankara that the Vedas,the smritis were resuscitated.It is by their resuscitation alone that the bservances connected with auspicious days such as Rama Navami,Nrisimha Jayanthi,Krishna ,Uttarayana Sankaranti,Sivaratri have been revived.The Jayanthi of Sri Sankara is the Jayanthi that has imparted to all Jayanthis their character as Jayanthis.On the fifth day of the bright half of the month of Vaisaka falls Sri Sankara Jayanthi.Like the pure white jasmine,Vasanti – Madhavi creeper,that causes delight,let this fifth day of the bright half month in the spring season,Vasanti – Madhavi embellish and delight our intelligence”.
If ever there was one among the mystics and saints of modern India,who has systematically discouraged belief in magic with respect to himself,it is Periyava.
There are thousands who have o one occasion or the other felt the impact of the “magic” of Periyava’s personality that has helped them to turn a new leaf in life.
Paul Brunton who was directed to Bhagawan Ramana by Periyava was one such.A savant from Angarai village who gave up a good government job long ago at Periyava’s command to propogatethe “Bhagavatham” is moved to tears when he speaks about te Paramacharya.It took Valmiki 24,000 “slokas” to narrate the story of Sri Rama.Veda Vyasa was able to ompose the entire Mahabharatha in a lakh verses.But can any one,even Veda Vyasa himself,pack (asks the savant) all that Periyava has meant to countless men and women in all the 87 years of his ministration in to a “Kavya” of any length?
All the same Periyava like Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari,is a staunch votary of the work ethic.He himself held the office he has been called to from 1907 onwards as a trust for the spiritual welfare of one and all.He never deviated from any of the tenets laid down by the distinguished predecessors even in minor details-the only legendary figure reputed for such strict observance of “Swadharma” that comes o mind is Sri Rama.
Periyava has been wearing khadi ever since it came in to vogue and it is well known that he discouragedostentation in marriages and advocates selfless social service and harmonious community living all around.Mahatma Gandhi met Periyava in nElliseri in Palghat district in the early twenties-C Rajagopalachari was with the Mahatma then.Periyava spoke in sanskrit to Gandhiji-but nobody knows to this day what transpired between the two Mahatmas then except that the meeting was called a memorable one by Gandhiji himself.Not that Periyava could bring himself to agree with everything that Gandhiji or Rajaji said or did.But it is plain that Periyava held Gandhiji and Rajaj in the highest esteem.
Sri Mahaswami has extnsively travelled on foot throughout the country and has addressed gatherings of all kinds,from the learned pandits to illiterate villagers on the need to practice the eternal verities exemplified in the Vadas and the Shastras.His Holiness has always discouraged denominational squabbles and has striven hard to inject a sense of unity among the followers of all faiths in India transcedding caste and linguistic barriers.Periyava’s efforts in these more than eight decades for renaissance of humanity and all Indian arts is such as to merit classifying Sri Mahaswami among the greats of Histry,but what is special glory is that he has been achieving all this without the backing of militiary might or money power.It isnot a tribute then to the intuitive wisdom of the simple Tamil people that they chose long ago to identify this Kanchi Acharya as Periyava which also means “great”.
Periyava is ever on the alert to discourage attempts to weave stories of magic and miracle around himself.The central theme of all his lectures is Vaidika Matham – religion propounded by the Vedas which His Holiness envisions as the hope and succour of the future generations not only in India but throughout the world.His Holiness is thereore never tired of making efforts to preserve Vedas and Vedic learning and is personally supervising the activities of the Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust created by him for the purpose.He propagated Sanathana Dharma of Hinduism.
Those who go to have a glimpse of Periyava see not only his humility but also his native humour and logical approach.Periyava’s utterances are always marked by simplicity and restraint – which are expressive of an inner harmony that is in it’s measure as abolute as any that the geatest saints have achieved.Strictly religious ,deeply spiritual and intensely human,Periyava is also unbeleivably generous and forgiving – words will be of no avail to describe the grace that flows from his eyes!
Posted by Venkataramanan Ramasethu