You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : December 1998

PRAKRITAM AZHAGIYA SINGHAR (PART 11)

Ramanbil_at_aol.com
Date: Wed Dec 09 1998 - 06:15:27 PST

PRAKRITAM AZHAGIYA SINGHAR, 
MY ACHARYA, FRIEND, PHILOSOPHER AND GUIDE (PART 11)

Dear Bhagavatas,
Presented below is Part 11 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
=============================================================
AZHAGIYASINGHAR'S KALAKSHEPA VAIKHARI 
(HIS INIMITABLE TALENT IN EXPLAINING)

 Supposing a mother has a number of children. Do you know which child would
be dearest to her? On which child would she bestow her utmost concern and best
attention? The answer is simple. Naturally, it is on the most handicapped of
them all. You will remember my telling that I was a common Srotha in all his
Kalakshepam classes. If you wish to award a prize for not the dumb and the
dumber but the dumbest, stupidest student in all the classes put together,
sure as anything, I would win the first prize. May be, this is the reason why
he would not proceed to the next line unless he made sure that I had
understood what was being explained (sometimes to the point of annoyance of
other brilliant students and everyone else was in this category).

 Any explanation of the esoteric involved in the Granthas conveyed in high
flying Paribashai would put off lay folks; And, Pundits would feel out of tune
with any  simple, straightforward language. Our Swami would present his talks
in a happy blend of both so that every segment would find it agreeable to
their predilections all at the same time ! This inimitable style comes to him
effortlessly like fish taking to water. A rare quality, which others could
only envy but would find hard to emulate!

 Even as he is talking he would grasp our doubts by merely looking at us and
within seconds he would be addressing the precise doubts. Even though he is a
' Param gathah' (one who has mastered), he would tune his presentation to suit
even dullest heads and according to the Paripakkuvam of the audience - who
would remain still like "Ezhudu Chithiram" (a painted picture) and like calves
listening to the flute of Kannan. Indeed, like Sri Rama, he is "Vaagmi
Srimaan"(Richly endowed with the gift of expression). What a blend of
incompatibles! It is indeed, "Seraatha Serkai", (the reconciliation of
incompatible requirements) as Tamil Pundits would put it.

 This would be like 'spoon-feeding'; like a mother feeding her baby showing
the moon and telling a story that grips the imagination of the baby. The way
he can sway your emotions, now hilarious, now sober, now saddening, now
consoling can only be imagined. And that way, he will make you appreciate the
mood of the context, the Tiru Ullam of the Alwar or Acharya  in any given
situation most effectively.

 Appropriate quotations from nooks and corners  of the scriptures would flow
like flood so effortlessly  that we would be tempted to feel with the students
of the Schoolmaster in Oliver Goldsmith's Deserted Village- 
" the more we listened, the more our wonder grew 
how his small head could contain all that he knew"

 He is anxious to give away all that he has learned to those who desire.
Did not Saandilya say -?
" Paatrastham Aathmajnaanam Kritvaa Pindam Sam Utsrujet/ 
Naanthardhaaya swayam yaayaath jagad Bheejam Abheejakrit"
Meaning: 
"An Acharya should unreservedly teach all that he has learned to his devoted
Sishyas. If he keeps close fisted, the seed of Knowledge will wither away"

 During the Kalakshepam, in order to make us understand better, he would give
the exact English equivalents. Not that he does not know English, but to make
us feel important, he would pose as if he is not sure of the correct usage and
consult us whether his rendering is correct. How clever in making us feel at
home!

 His time -keeping, shall I say instinct, is really marvelous. He would start
on the dot and finish on the 90th minute, if the lecture were to be for 90
minutes. Even Professors in College need to be reminded by the ringing of the
bell. When he starts and when he stops, you can adjust your watch. This razor
sharp precision has to be seen to be believed.

(To Continue)