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Date: Thu Jul 24 1997 - 07:51:22 PDT


Dear Bhagavatas,,

Sri Sundararajan in his above article, referred to Prativadi Bhayankaram
Swami as " a Prathah Smaraniyah" (one to remember at sunrise) to anyone who
had had the fortune to meet him, or even to look at him from a way off, or
had read any of his works, or attended his discourse."

This is absolutely true. As a School boy in the 1930s and later as a College
student in the 1940s
I had the good fortune to attend his discourses. The majesty (Gaambhiryam) of
his voice, the magnitude of his diction, and the torrential flow of his
delivery can only issue forth from the heart of one who had unshakable
conviction of what one was saying.

Besides other places, he used to deliver his discourses at Ramanuja Koodams
and Bhajana Koodams where members of Chettiar and other Non brahmin
communities thronged. By the force of his arguments, he transformed them into
staunch and unremitting Vaishnavites- who could recite the Arulicheyals of
Alwars with greater felicity and ease and their devotion to Sriman Narayana
grew deeper than even some of the established Srivaishnavas.

He was indeed, " Prativadi Bhayankaram"- One who struck terror in the hearts
of his opponents in arguments. I vividly remember how Rajaji clashed with him
by saying that Nammalwar himself equated  Lord Narayana with other
Devatantaras (I forget the actual verse quoted). When refuted by PBA,  Rajaji
 explained that he wrote not for great scholars like Sri PBA but to ordinary
folk. Sri PBA retorted that his refutation was not meant for the Chief
Minister cum Governor cum Governor General (that Rajaji was) but for the lay
folk who were likely to be misled (by virtue of Rajaji's position)- if a
proper and timely caveat was not entered against the remarks. And, if I
remember right, Rajaji admitted that he wrote to be 'Janaranjakam' not
because he was convinced. A strategic withdrawal indeed !.

Even those who differed from his views would think a hundred times before
giving expression to their viewpoints lest they should meet with a
devastating repartee from Sri PBA.

Apart from Sri PBA, I have attended the Tiruppavai Kalakshepams of Sri
KARAPPANKADU  SWAMI at the SRKM High School (Main), A doyen of Tennacharya
Sampradaya, he took special care never to offend anyone. Though firm and
decisive in his views, he would couch his delivery in such sweet and soft
expressions that he endeared all shades of Srivaishnavas. His son-in-law, Sri
Venkatapathi, was my classmate in Sribashyam classes at the feet of Purisai

Much more recently, I had the good luck to attend the discourses of an
equally talented and a really noble personage of Tennacharya Sampradaya viz.,
Sri VELUKKUDI SWAMI. He combined the majesty of Sri PBA and the mellowness of
Karappankadu Swami and was a great Anushtatha. After Tiruppaan Alwar and Sri
Aandaal, he is the one who attained the Lord's feet immediately before the
Sannidhi of Periya Piraatti at Srirangam after having renderied "Ganta Seva"
 at the Sannidhi of Periya Perumal. Our Jeeyar used to go rapturous about
this great personality, whenever a reference to him came up during the

I am indeed blessed to have had the good fortune of listening to these noble
personages. As such,
I could feel the full import of the statement of Sri Sundararajan ," It is a
memory that purifies".
I thank him for arousing in me nostalgic remembrances of those glorious days.

Anbil Ramaswamy