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PRAKRITAM AZHAGIYASINGHAR (PART 5)

Ramanbil_at_aol.com
Date: Wed Dec 02 1998 - 07:52:11 PST

PRAKRITAM AZHAGIYA SINGHAR, 
MY ACHARYA, FRIEND, PHILOSOPHER AND GUIDE (PART 5)

Dear Bhagavatas,
Presented below is Part 5 on the above subject being excerpts from my talk
during the 600th Anniversary Celebrations of Ahobila Matam held at New York
during the first week of September 1998.
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
=============================================================

HOW DID I COME TO KNOW HIM?

 It was almost a decade and a half ago, when in one of my visits to the
Acahrya of my family, Prakritam pontiff of Poundarikapuram Andavan Swami
Ashramam, he advised me to go to one Villivalam Krishnamachar Swami who was
delivering Kalakshepams in Adyar area itself and learn the Granta
Chatushtayam. Immediately I made a beeline to his home and conveyed the
direction of PP Andavan. Our Swami was so pleased that he literally drew up a
timetable showing where, at what timings and on what subjects he was giving
Kalakshepams. 

 From that moment onwards I followed him to all the homes- in Adyar, Besant
nagar, Nehru nagar, Vannan thurai, Mylapore, Triplicane and so many other
locations and at all times whenever and wherever he was handling classes. In
short, like a shadow and like Mary's little lamb of the nursery rhyme fame-  
"Everywhere that Swami went, I was sure to go". 

* In each one of the locations, there would be say 20 to 25 Vidyarthis
attending. Our Swami and my humble self were the common factors, he - as the '
Vaktha' and myself - as ' Srotha'. Our Swami, therefore, used to depute me to
convey any messages he desired to be conveyed to all his students everywhere.

 At one place, he would be teaching Chapter # 1, in another Chapter # 11 and
in yet another Chapter # 21 of say RTS, Bhagavad Gita and Tiruvoimozhi.   That
is how, I could cover all the above within say 5 or 6 years, what would have
taken about 15 + years to cover.  ( I had the opportunity of learning
Sribashyam at the feet of Purisai Swami and Anushtanams at the feet of
Srivatankachariar Swami. This is besides the courses of Paravakkottai Andavan
of Poundarikapuram Asramam which I had the privilege to attend.)

 Besides the formal Kalakshepam classes, I had the privilege of visiting his
house at West Mambalam frequently to clear my doubts in private. 

 There was not a single occasion when he was not willing to entertain me, in
spite of his busy schedule. And, never was there an occasion when Mami failed
to offer me the welcome cup of hot coffee the moment I entered their house.
Such was the affection showered on this worthless soul by my Acharya and his
Dharmapatni.

 It was because of this overwhelming sense of gratitude that I felt an inner
urge to compose and dedicate a "Tanian" long,  long before a formal Tanian was
composed at the time of his Sannyasa Sweekaranam.
It reads as follows:
(i)  Vignaatham Aathmaanam Vidyaa Vinaya Vibhooshitham
(ii) Viveka Vairaaghya Anushtaana Soulabhya Suseelam /
(iii) Asmath Darsana Sthaapaka Vyaapakaanaam Varishtam
(iv) Vande Gurum Villivalam Sri Krishnama Aachaarya Siromanim //

(i) He used to say frequently that "One should know One's self ". Here is one
who had known his self. Hence,' V ignaatham Aathmaanam '
(ii) Vidya (Learning) and Vinaya (Humility) rarely go together. Here is one
who blends both and blends them so perfectly. Hence, ' Vidyaa Vinaya
Vibhooshitham'- Not merely ' Bhooshitham' but ' Vibhooshitham'.
(iii) There may be so many today that seek to establish our Darsana. Here is
one who is outstanding among them all. Hence, ' Staapaka Vyaapakaanaam
Varishtam'
(iv) He is a Guru in the sense he dispels the darkness of ignorance. He is
Acharya because he throws light on the correct path. Hence, the use of the
words ' Guru' and 'Acharya'- Not only that. He is the diadem among Gurus and
Acharyas. Hence, 
' Choodaamanim'.

 This Tanian was submitted at the Sadas held at Prof. V. Ramabadran's house.
(Prof. Ramabadran is related to our Ramesh Sarangapani). When it was read out
and presented, our Swami was so moved and asked me how it came to be composed.
I just quoted the stanza from Godha Sthuti where Swami Desikan says-
'" Mounaan Mukharayanti Gunaah Tvadheeyaah" (meaning) It was his qualities
that made even a mute fellow like me to venture to compose.  I also quoted
Poet Bharatiyar's words -
" Nidhi Migunthavar Porkuvai Thaareer , 
Nidhi Kuraindavar Kaasugal Thaareer,
Adhuvum Arravar Vai Choll Arulveer"
meaning "Those who are wealthy may give their treasures, those who are not so
opulent may give smaller denominations and those who do not have anything may
at least give some words of praise"- 
and I was just doing the last direction.

He replied that one cannot win over another by force but he felt bound by love
and affection evidenced through this piece. He arranged to have this framed
and kept it in his house as a momento.

(To Continue)