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FACE TO FACE WITH ACHARYAS - I

VVijay236_at_aol.com
Date: Thu Jul 17 1997 - 14:40:26 PDT

FACE TO FACE WITH ACHARYAS -I

Dear Bhagavatas,

Note: I had the opportunity of having intimate discussions with almost all
Yathivarass  as well as several Acharyas, Scholars and  Friends belonging to
our  Siddhantam during my sojourn in India.

The very list of the names of the galaxy of luminaries will make this write
up unwieldy.  For now, I will briefly mention only a few of these mahans who
without any hesitation  shared their knowledge and expertise with me and
offered several works  with permission to edit them suitably for  flashing
 on our internet journal.

The subjects discussed and the range of breadth and depth of the insights
gained are too staggering to be included in a short write- up like this. I
will present them  in due course and in the  appropriate contexts.

THIS WRITE UP IS ON  SOME OF THE ACHARYAS WHOM I MET. Many of them have been
very intimate with me for long, some  rather close, some  not-so-close and a
very few just acquaintences.

(1) SRI PURISAI  NADADUR KRISHNAMACHAR SWAMI 
(26/3/97, 06/4/97 and 16/4/97)
BEFORE COMING TO USA, I HAD THE PRIVELEGE OF  ATTENDING HIS KALAKSHEPAMS ON
SRIBASHYAM. 
He is the Editor and Publisher of the official journal of Ahobila Mutt viz.,
NRISIMHAPRIYA. He was extremely happy about our activities here and had
presented a detailed report in the PANGUNI issue  and a brief write up again
in the VAIKASI issue. (Incidentally, I belong to the Nadadur lineage).

HE HAS ASSIGNED  ME THE TASK OF TRANSLATING HIS MONUMENTAL WORK ON SRIBASHYAM
AND HAVE IT PUBLISHED THROUGH OUR INTERNET JOURNAL.

(2) SRI PAYYAMPADI SETLUR SRIVATSANKACHAR SWAMI :
(former Principal, Sanskrit College, Madras)
Before coming to USA, I have attended his Kalakshepams on Sandhya vandanam
and other Anushtana Granthas. In an inimitable style and diction and
 illustrations that are matter- of-- fact and down- to- earth, he could bring
lofty esoteric ideas within the understanding of even layfolk like me!. As
described by Oliver Goldsmith, 
"the more we listened, the more our wonder grew 
how his small head could contain all he knew".
(Incidentally,  as a School student of Mct Muthaiah Chetty High School, I
used to attend with my parents, the Kalakshepams of the great SRI SETLUR
NARASIMHA CHARIAR SWAMI at Purasawalkam where we lived)

(i)  31/3/97: During the farewell given to him on his retirement as Principal
of the Madras Sanskrit College, his admiring students revealed through
several examples how he was an "AASU KAVI"- one who could compose instant
poetry in Sanskrit. THIS IS ONE OF THE LESS KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THIS WELL KNOWN
ACHARYA. He was kind enough to offer me several publications of the SVPS for
the propogation of our Siddhanta through our internet journal. 

(ii) 30/4/97: I represented our members on the occasion of his
SASHTIABDAPOORTHI celebrations.

(iii) 31/5/97: I was priveleged to speak on the occasion of the send off
accorded to him in the Sri Visishtadvaita Pracharini Sabha, on his new
assignment as the head of a Research project at the French Institute,
Pondicherry.

(3) SRI V.N. GOPALADESIKAN : (16/3/97) 
I met this doyen of our Siddhanta at Kumbakonam who has given us his book
"Hinduism - A Doalogue"-  when I went there for Kal Garuda Sevai at Nachiyar
Koil. He presented me some  of his booklets like Srivaishnavan' and
 'Tanians'. He expressed his happiness over our efforts here. HE PAID GLOWING
TRIBUTES TO THE QUALITIES AND ERUDITION OF OUR V. SADAGOPAN. (BOTH HAIL FROM
THE SAME OPPILIAPPANKOIL.)

(4) SRI TIRUPPUTKUZHI NARASIMHA TATACHAR SWAMI: (8/6/97)  An Octogenarian,.
he is the head of "HAYAGRIVA VIDYA PEETAM" and Editor of "KANCHI PERARULALAN"
monthly journal in which the Andavan of PP Asramam writes a series entitled "
Ramanai Karpoam". A write up about our activities has appeared in the MASI
issue of the journal. As I went to take  leave of him on the day of my
departure to USA, he blessed our efforts and promised to send the numerous
books he has published for translating in English for flashing on our
internet journal.

(5) SRI T.N. ARAVAMUDHAN: (7/6/97): 
A Ph D Scholar in Sanskrit, he is the son of the above Tatachar. He has
written a brilliant thesis for his doctorate in the University of Madras on
"Rahasya Trayaartha Samgraha' of Kemuara varadachar, Son of Swami Vedanta
Desika. A book that is a MUST for every Srivaishnava.

(6) SRI ANANTHA NARASIMHACHAR , BANGALORE (24/3/97): 
He is the Srikaryam of Poundarikapuram Asramam.He gave a brilliant talk in
the Desikar Sannidhi at East Uthra Street, Srirangam.
HE GAVE A VERY NOVEL EXPLANATION TO THE HIGHJACKING  OF THE PRANAVAM- (AN
EXCLUSIVE HALLMARK TO SRIMAN NARAYANA) AND PREFIXING IT TO THE NAMES OF
DEVATANTARAS. (More about this later, please)

(7) SRI VEDANTACHAR, MELKOTE: (19/3/97):
This Grand Old Man of 90+, a retired Pofessor of Sanskrit College, Melkote,
he is the father-in-law of the above Anantha narasimha char. He hosted guests
without number who thronged Melkote for the  Vairamudi Sevai..

(8) SRI ANANTHA NARASIMHACHAR, SRIRANGAM :
 (17/3/97, 24/3/97 and 10/4/97) 
An ex principal of Seshasayee Institute of Technology, Trichy and an
authority on our Siddhanta, he is providing lucid explanations to the various
works of Swami Desika through Audio Cassettes under the auspices of Srimad
Andavan of Poundarikapuram Asramam.His latest release is on "Yathiraja
Saptadi"in a set of 7 Cassettes..I have bought one set.  Copies can be
obtained from him for a nominal price. I was his guest during my visits to
Srirangam.

(9) SRI  C. SESHADRI SWAMI, VADIVELPURAM, MADRAS :(17/3/97) 
Totally dedicated to Desika Darsanam, he publishes in the form of leaflets
and  small Pamphlets of 4 pages each, point by point, the salient ideas
contained in the various works of Swami Desika and distributes them
ABSOLUTELY FREE to those interested. This capsule style presentation is
ideally suited for the modern youth who have no time for anymore than a
fleeting perusal and the reader in a hurry. Nevertheless, he creates an
yearning in the minds of younger generations to dive deeper into the
originals. He is thus literally taking Desika's works to the doorsteps of the
devotees.

Besides, he has brought together  about 40 ladies well versed in Desika's
works especially, Paduka Sahasram and arranges to recite them in the
individual Srivaishnava homes and Sannidhis in Tamilnadu and elsewhere (upon
request).Very commendable efforts, indeed.

Together, these 2 efforts are akin to the spread of Christianity by Christian
missionaries - but, definitely of a higher quality in intent and content.

(10) SRI SEVA SWAMI , VILLIVAKKAM, MADRAS
(28/3/97, 30/3/97 and 13/4/97) 
An Octogenarian and Recepient of President's award for outstanding service to
Sanskrit and Religion, he is the Editor and Publisher of "SRI DESIKA SEVA",
 monthly journal. An original thinker and a revolutionary exponent of Swami
Desika Darsana, he has built a temple and installed beautiful idols of
Lakshmi Hayageeva, Ananda valli Thayar, Bashyakarar, and Swami Desikan and
does the Nitya Tiruvadana himself. Anyone visiting Madras should not miss a
visit to this shrine called "MANIMANDAPAM". During our discussions on all the
occasions, he shed new light on various aspects of our Sat- Sampradaya with
an eloquance and clarity all his own. With the help of stalwarts like SRI
 M.K. SRINIVASAN, (my Classmate and) the President of Desika Research Center,
he is translating all the works of Swami Desika in ALL THE INDIAN LANGUAGES
besides English and DISTRIBUTES THEM ABSOLUTELY FREE. A write up on our
Satsangam has appeared in the CHITRAI issue. He has DONATED all the books
published so far by the Center for being flashed here on our Internet
journal.

(11) SRI V.S.KARUNAKARAN: He gave a brilliant talk during the Tirunakshatram
of PP Andavan. He raised the question why Andal prayed to Manmathan and
answered by saying that she was invoking not Cupid but Madana Gopalan who is
really  'Saakshaat Manmatha Manmathaha'.! 

Again, he raised another question why she appealed to Srinivasa and not
Krishna and answered that while Krishna was fickle minded flirting with other
Gopis,  Srinivasa is the one who could be trusted to be determined ! 

He said that as the Lord is the only 'Aann' (Male), and she was at his feet
'Thaall', she is called 'Aanthaal' ! a pun on 'Aandaal' and 'AnnThaal'!

(12) SRI LAKSHMI THATHACHAR SWAMI (21/3/97)
I met this multifaceted personality at Melkote when I wnet there for the
Vairamudi Sevai.He is the Director of Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote.
which has published several works and Commentaries on our Vedanta Granthas in
Kannada, Sanskrit and English.With  a  Science cell with an incredible
infrastructure of Computers and other sophisticated equipments, the Academy
is dedicated to an intensive research A library with nearly 20,000 books, and
a garden Called Daivarama completes this pictureque institution. 
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FACE TO FACE WITH ACHARYAS will conclude and  FACE TO FACE WITH SCHOLARS will
continue
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
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