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Sri Nrusimha Priya

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Mon Feb 19 1996 - 11:17:57 PST

I was cleaning up my hard drive and found this article I
had keyed-in and posted in SCT almost two years ago.   I
am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did, for the second
time today.

This was among the first English articles that started
appearing in Sri Nrusimha Priya.  Now, each issue
contains at least one or two English articles.  Plans are
afoot for a complete English edition of the magazine.  We
the expatriates and our children are the ones who will
benefit most by an English edition.  Just imagine, Sri
Bhashya and Sri Rahasyathriayasara published in English
on a monthly basis (presently RTS in Tamil is appearing
in Sri NP)  It is doubtful that an English edition of Sri NP
will ever come out without the significant financial
support from all of us here.  So, please come forward and
pledge a life-time subscription to Sri NP.  Sri Jaganath
has already posted the details.  I ask him to post them again.

Let me close by citing the historical cross-sampradaya
nature of Srimad Ahobila Mutt.  It is the first Jeeyar of
Srimad Ahobila Mutt who initiated Sri Manavala
Maamunigal into sanyasam.  The fifth jeeyar of Srimad
Ahobila Mutt was a Thenkalai Sri Vaishnava.  He
undertook barasamarpanam under the 4th jeeyar before
taking on sanyasam and the jeeyarship of the mutt.
(Source Sri NP;  visit web page
and look for this article under 2nd - 7th azhagiya singars.)

Now, the Bhavan's Journal article that was reprinted in
the March 94 issue of Sri NP.

-- Parthasarati Dileepan

                An Episode to Remember
                  Prof.  S. Ramaswami

(There are certain incidents in one's life which are not
easily forgotten.  Prof.  S. Ramaswami (82), Chief
Professor of English (Retd.) of the Madras Presidency
College, recalls here one such incident which throws a
flood of light on the benignity of our Acharyas.  The
Professor does not remember the name of the Jeeyar in
his purvashrama.  From the information he has given
about his passing away at Naimisharanyam, It is
presumed that, he was Srivan Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava
Satakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan, the 43rd Jeeyar.)

It was in the thirties, the middle thirties, that it happened.
Many of the details have quite faded out of my memory.
Indeed, what I recall now may also be inaccurate in this
or that detail.  But the main outlines of the experience I
shall set out herein are vividly present in my mind.

I had gone to have darsan of Lord Srinivasa at
Gunasekharam across the sacred river Cauveri at its
broadest.  At the shrine itself I felt that I had one of those
experiences which one cannot easily forget, even if one
wished to.  There were, on that occasion, quite is few who
swung their heads with varying degree of intensity and
speed, with their hair flung over their shoulders.  One felt
a deep, a very deep pity for these, mostly women, who
did this peculiar form of penance before the Lord, in the
fond hope that the Lord would, as the Almighty Physician
of all human ills, give them a measure of relief from their
state of severe mental disengagement and distraction.

The darsan of the Lord was an enchanting experience.  I
felt deeply gratified and indeed happy.  I wonder why this
happens when one is in the presence of the Lord in
shrines like Gunasekharam, Swamimalai or Tirumalai.  At
the last of these places, although one has to compress
one's faculties of perception to an extreme degree amid
calls of 'Jaragandi,' one's experience gains an unusual
acuteness and intensity.  I did not quite feel like leaving
the shrine but, as Wordsworth says, the world, is, whether
we like it or not, too much and too long with us.  There
was a sudden alarm bell ringing in my ear.  The bus
would start for Tiruchi around 1 p. m. And one has to
cross the Cauveri besides.

I came out and got back to where I had started from, for
the shrine.  As I raced across, I found the bus leaving and
picking up speed rapidly.  Had I made a mistake in
thinking of the bus in the temple?  Several times,
undistracted by any thought of transportation back to
one's home, I had emerged from temples and found no
difficulty in getting back home.  But this time I had
missed the bus, Why?  What follows will give you the

Tired, hungry and yearning, yes, yearning for somewhere
to rest one's head, I walked into a street and sat on the pial
of a big but old-fashioned house.  The outer marks
showed that it was the house of a Sri Vaishnava.  But the
pial was both long and broad.  I had just thought of
resting my head and body on the pial when the door of the
house opened and out came a majestic figure.  On seeing
him,  I ventured, in fear and trembling, to ask if I might
rest my body (and my mind, too now in a state of anxiety)
on the pial of the house.  The great and good man, noting
my troubled look and unmistakable embarrassment said
"Emperuman has sent forth unique blessing.  Usually, a
little earlier I come out to look for an athithi (guest) to
whom I could pass on the Lord's Prasad before partaking
of myself.  Today, I finished my aradhan a little later than
usual.  And I wondered if the Lord would gratify my daily
wish this day too, as he had always done.  And lo! and
Behold He sends me in His infinite compassion and
measureless mercy a person who has just had darsan of
the Lord.  I believe it was Lord Srinivasa who sent you to
me.  Deign I beg of you to accept my humble offering of
the Lord's prasad.  I cant eat at all, unless the Lord in His
mercy sent someone to accept it at my hands before I take
it myself.  How merciful is the Lord.

He brought two potsful of water and very reverentially
washed my feet.  And taking me into the house he spread
out a long rosewood plank with silver ornamentation at its
four edges and prayed to me to sit thereon.  He went
inside to his puja room and brought out Perumal
theertham, richly fragrant with tulasi leaves and Kasturi
and gave me three spoonfuls.  Then he and his
dharmapatni cane out together and did four namaskaras
me. I ventured, all in vain, to point out that I was young
and not a Sri Vaishnavite.  Came a very gently-phrased
rebuke to avidya.  "We are all Sri Valshnavas.  The Lord
is within you and in all of us.  When we do a namaskar, it
is to the Lord within every one of us.  When we say, 'May
you live a hundred years', we are playing the role of the
Lord, though wholly unconscious of it.  Who are we mere
mortals to grant even a single year of life to another, not
to speak of a hundred years!  It is the Lord speaking
through us.  Pray, feel thoroughly at home.  This is your
home.  Since it is in the Lord's universe it is His, yours,
mine and everybody else's."

                      Rich feast
Then followed a rich, a sumptuous feast.  I cannot say I
did justice to the rich variety and the highly sanctified
quality of  the food I was served.  For sheer
sumptuousness it was hard to equal and impossible to

When I rose I was taken to the well in the rear of that
magnificent house and given plenty of water to wash my
hands and feet.  And when I came back to the dining hall,
I was given  a coconut, 'thambulam' and a silver coin on a
silver plate   I returned the silver plate and was about to
return the silver coin when that, great and gracious man
said, "Pray, accept our humble offering.  Really, it is not
my offering but the Lord's.  Is not all this the Lord's?"
I was reminded of the first verse of Isopanishad.  Here
was man living the Upanishadic teaching.  When I took
leave of him around four p.m. his eyes were not dry nor
were mine.

Years later, I heard of him.  He had become the Jeeyar of
the Ahobila Vaishnava Math.  He was on his way to
Badari Asram to worship Lord Narayana there.  And as
he was returning via Delhi, at Naimisharanya, the Lord
called him to His Lotus Feet.  And he should have been
happy to rest there as he had always thought, dreamed,
and meditated on those Lotus Feet, your refuge, His, and

Courtesy: Bhavan's Journal 31-12-93