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Date: Mon Dec 14 1998 - 14:41:49 PST


Dear Bhagavatas,
Presented below is Part 15 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.
Anbil Ramaswamy

About 20 years ago, on the Panguni Dwadasi day in the year Pingala, our Swami
had just then returned home after a visit to Melpakkam Swami for consulting
him on some doubts on the Ahnika Grantam which he was printing. A telegram
followed by a telephone call was received requiring him to come immediately
for doing Tiruvaradanai. When our Swami went to pay his respects to the
Azhagiyza Singhar, he was asked to give a discourse on Easwara Saadhaka
Anumaanam in Sastra Yonitvaadi Adhikaranam of Sribashyam. When after finishing
the discourse, our Swami took leave, the Jeeyar asked Natteri Santhanam "Did
we call him only to send him off? Bring that letter and give it to him". The
letter was from a Tennacharya Swami who had great regard for Sri Sannidhi. He
had suggested therein that while he was in good health itself, the Azhagiya
Singhar should make arrangements for installing his successor at once,

On the following Amavasya day, due to sudden illness, the Jeeyar summoned and
asked our Swami to do Abigamana Aradanai after which he addressed our Swami
that he should henceforth take over the Abigamana Aradanai to Malolan. (Which
means he should take over the mantle of the Peetam). When our Swami submitted
"Adiyen Asakthan", the Jeeyar ordered in the presence of all and Malolan  "Na
Utharam Vaktum Arhasi" (Accept without any pleas to the contrary !).

It was a sight for Gods to see when thousands of his Kalakshepa Sishyas
thronged at his house at # 5, Srinivasa Iyer Street Extension, West Mambalam
to give a historical send off to our Swami from Grihastaasrama to
Sannyasaasrama. Our Swami 'appeared' to take it easy in spite of the fact that
he had lived an enviably happy married life with a loving wife and three
obedient sons and members of the family.

More than the send off by the Sishyas, it is the one given by Swami's wife who
had lived with him devotedly for over 46 years that deserves special mention.
Addressing our Swami she said "En Manathaik Kallaakki Konden; Neengalum Ungal
Manathaik Kallaakkik Kollungal" meaning "I have made up mind; You make up
yours". Listening to these words, our Swami did not look back and left his
home finally. The conflict of emotions surging in their hearts and the
exemplary way in which both controlled their minds at that momentous moment
beggar description. Indeed, Mami was an epitome of composure. But, the Mami
who said she had hardened her mind could not bear the separation for long. She
attained Paramapadam within a year and a half after our Swami took Sannyasam.

Before the mega event, our Swami,  wanted to visit Desikan Sannidhi at Thoopul
and several other Divyadesams like Kanchipuram, Tirupati, Sriperumpudur,
Tiruvaheendrapuram etc.  Adiyen had arranged for a van to take the Kalakshepa
Goshti members to accompany our Swami in his itenirary -  an unforgettable
experience indeed.

On the day he arrived after the visits to various shrines, Srirangam wore a
festive look. All the roads from the Rajagopuram to the Ahobila Matam premises
were filled with a milling crowd, surging forward to receive our Swami. On
reaching the Matam, our Swami paid obeisance to Azhagiya Singhar and told him
"Tyaktvaa Putraamscha Dhaaraams Cha Bhavantham Saranam Gatah" - "Leaving wife,
family and everything I surrender at your feet"

It was a Dwadasi day.  The great day had arrived for performing Jeeva
Sraddham. Under the patronage and immediate presence of Paravaakkottai Sri
Goplala Desika Maha Desikan of Poundarikapuram Asramam, Ganapadi Vaduvur
Desikachariar Swami, Sri Melpaakkam Swami and other Vidwat Sreshtas commenced
the preparations from 8 a.m. onwards. 

Around 3.p.m, Our Swami declared raising his hands over his head that from
that moment, he had given up everything he deemed his own - wife, children,
relatives, wealth (not much of it, though). When he was saying this, one could
palpably see the limp in his throat choking his voice but at the same time one
could also notice a firm determination to surrender everything at the feet of
Malolan. Not a drop of tear from his eyes though tears rolled down from the
eyes of the onlookers who were visibly moved.!

As required, the Swami had to fast and keep awake the whole night. Our Swami
kept himself awake listening to the Kalakshepams of other Swamis and chatting
with some of us. There were some media people who were asking him several
questions like what he proposed to do in his new role. He replied that it
would be sufficient if he could preserve the rich heritage bequeathed to him
and he did not propose to do anything novel or revolutionary. When another
reporter asked what he thought of the Kainkaryams the then Chief Minister was
doing for the temples in Tamilnadu, he replied that it was too early to
comment.  Thus, was the night spent without rest for him (and for us too)

(To Continue)