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Sannyasa Dharmam
Date: Sun Aug 16 1998 - 05:40:29 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,

Sri Sadagopan has very succintly brought out how intimately he and his family
have been connected with the Azhagiya Singhars while explaining the Jeeva
Sraddham in reply to the query on the rites to be peformed by a Sannyasi with
reference to the passing away of their Poorvasrama relations.

I am yet to carry out the command of Sri Sadagopan to describe the Sannyasa
Sweekaranam of the present Azhagiyasinghar as an Eye-witness of the occasion.
But, I will submit a flashback that occured while reading his post on this

As pointed out by him, when once the Jeeva Sradhham is done, the Sannyasi
severs all connections with his erstwhile family members. Yet, it is very hard
for one who has had a long and happy married  life and a very understanding
and co-operative wife and children to suddenly snap all that he had been so
intimately associated with. 

I was an eyewitness to the  incident at his house in West mambalam, in which
the Dharmapathni of  Sri Villivalam Swami (that was his Purvasrama Tirunamam)
bade a goodbye to the Swami. And, this fact was also elaborated in the
Nrisimhapriya issue released at the time of the pious lady ascending to
Paramapadam. It was not a tearful send off despite the fact that the two were
leading an ideal Grihastasramam for nearly 40 years.

However, when he was performing the Jeeva Sraddham at the Dasavatara Sannidhi,
he stood up and raised his hands to repeat the declaration that he was
thenceforth renouncing all that he had - his wife, his sons, wealth (not much,
anyway) and all his possessions (Maam Madheeyam cha Nikhilam). He was visibly
shaken at that moment. His voice choked for a while and one could see the
poignancy in his eyes as he was pronouncing  this in public .Though the
onlookers were so moved that tears rolled down on their cheeks, the Swami had
so much controlled his feelings that there was no tears from his eyes ! 

I vividly remember the events, since I accompanied him in his journey to the
various Divya Desams seeking blessings from the Emperuman , like Kanchipuram,
Thooppul etc.before the actual Sannyasa Sweekaranam. I had arranged to take a
band of members of the Kalakshepam Goshtis in a separate vehicle 

The Swami had to fast throughout the function and was not to sleep that night.
He was sitting at a spot inside the entrance of the Dasavatara Sannidhi
surrounded by thousands of Sishyas and Abhimanis listening to the discourses
by eminent scholars and  answering questions.(More about this later). After a
long and strenuous exercise and travel surcharged with an unprecedented
emotional upsurge, ii is hard to believe how one could withstand all that ,
NOT sleep and be on an empty stomach throughout! Yet, he did it.

Later, in a private conversation, the Swmi expressed a sentiment that is still
ringing in my ears. He said "Ramaswamy. I do not regret my renouncing
everything on assuming Sannyasam but what I am sorry for is that I will be
denied the privelege of such " genuine Srothas" who throng to listen to my
Kalakshepams. Where will I get such an intimate and blessed company? Even if
there are some, my duties in the Matam would not permit me time enough to
discuss the Gunanubhavams of the Lord with such "an understanding band of

That, indeed was his regret ! Now what was our private privelege, has become
public property and millions are now benefitted by his discoures  and rightly
so !

When the news of the passing away of his erstwhile wife was conveyed to him,
he is reported as not exhibiting any reaction. Many will remember that one of
the erstwhile sons of H.H. Srimad Gopal Desika Maha Desikan of Poundarikapuram
Ashramam was killed in a bombing that took place in the RSS headquarters at
Madras. When the news was conveyed to the Swami, he reamined unmoved. 

These  occasions prove that though our Acharyas may look like any of us, when
it comes to personal grief on the tragic events like this, they remain
uncommonly calm, revealing their piety ,Virakti and their being of Suddha
Satva. and beimg truly divine. 

Regarding the last rites to be performed for the former parents of a Sannyasi
who predecease him, an exception is made only in respect of the mother for
whom, even a Sannyasi has to do the Karma. Probably to avoid this 
" Dharma Samkatam", it is seen that  sometimes in our Acharya lineage,
Sannyasa Sweekaranam is postponed till after the passing away of the mother of
the would - be - Sannyasi.

Adhi Sankara is reported to have performed the last rites of his mother after
he became a Sannyasi.

I will address the other issue later.

Anbil Ramaswamy