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6th Centenary Celebration in India

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (Dileepan_at_utc.edu)
Date: Tue Jul 14 1998 - 11:01:12 PDT

Dear Members:

Preparations are underway in India for the momentous occasion of the 6th
Centenary of Srimad Ahobila Mutt.  I am attaching an appeal by Sri R.K.
Swamy, Chairman of the Sixth Centenary Celebrations Committee.  It is
important for all of us to take note of the activites Sri Ahobila Mutt is
sponsoring for the benefit of all Sri Vaishnavas for another 600 years and
more.  To support these endeavors a goal of raising Rs. 3 Crores has been
establsihed.  With the blessings of Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha this goal will be
easily achieved.  If you wish to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime
celebration please make your check out to Sri Ahobila Muth and send it to
1908 Preswood Dr., Hixson, TN 37343.  All your contributions will be sent
to Sri Ahobila Mutt Seva Samithi established by HH the Jeeyar for the
purpose of this celebration.

BTW, Sri Ramesh Sarangapani has already posted an invitation for the
celebration planned here at Sri Ranganatha temple, NY, during Labor day
weekend.  Please plan to attend the celebration.  Events of interest
include Thirumanjanam and Kalyana Utsavam with the accompaniment of
Prabhandham and Veda parayanam,  Concert by Madurai Sundar, Slide show of
selected 108 Dhivya Desams, lectures on Ahobila Mutt acharyas and Lord Sri
Lakshmi Nrisimha, a free-wheeling Q/A session, free prasadam, and much
more.  For more details visit our web sites:


http://www.cdc.net/~dileepan/ahobilam.html

http://www.geocities.com/~ahobilam/ranga.html

Details about the celebration are already available at these sites.  More
information will be added as they become available.

 -- adiyEn


==============Appeal from Sr. R.K. Swamy===============

ONCE IN A LIFETIME STAR EVENT
600 glorious Years of Sree Ahobila, Mutt

(Taken from Sri Nrisimha Priya, Ani, Bhagudhanya)


To the Sishyas of the Ahobila Mutt, all those belonging to

the Sreevaishnava school, Abhimanis and Aasthikas, the
genesis of the Ahobila Mutt and the legend it has carried
over the last 600 years should normally be familiar. 
However, for the benefit of the younger generation, one
article is appearing separately in this issue, on the genesis
of the Ahobila Mutt. The other on the greatness of the
Ahobila Kshethra will appear in the next Issue.

Santhana Dharma has been under heavy pressure over the
last 1000 years. Politically, Islam dominated till 1750 and
Christianity was the official religion of the state till 1947.
When India became independent, our Constitution
adopted a pattern of government in which the
administration was required to be neutral and equidistant
towards all religions.

It is in such a background that we need to stand back and
admire the enormous resilience shown by the Sanathana
Dharma school in surviving against all odds and
nourishing religious institutions such as Sree Ahobila
Mutt, Sree Parakala Mutt and Sree Vanamamalai Mutt. 
Equally important are the Sankara Mutts and Madhva
Mutts. These Mutts are specially deserving not only of
our veneration and respect, but also our warm hearted
congratulations on the excellent contribution they have
made to the preservation of our Vedhic traditions. In fact,
we can call them glowing lotus flowers that have risen
from the wide and deep recesses of the mud of the most
treacherous kind. If one stops to look back on the times
we have survived, one will not only shudder to reflect on
the religious environment of those times, but will also be
immensely happy that our religious institutions have
survived all those uncertain times. The celebration of the
Sixth Centenary of this great institution - the Ahobila
Mutt will stand out in sharp relief in such a context.

Apart from the divine initiation that this Mutt received, it
had the benign blessings of the doyen among the Alvars -
Nammalvar as he was called by Sreemath Adhivan
Satakopa Yatheendhra Maha Dhesikan himself. When
Sreemath Adhivan Satakopa Jeeyar resurrected and
installed the Svayamvyaktha Moorthi of NammalvAr in
Alvarthirunagari, NammAavar gave him an invaluable
memento in a ring with Hamsa Mudhra. This ring has
been in use successively by all the 45 Azhagiyasingars of
this Mutt. We have used this linkage - the picture of the
ring - as the emblem to commemorate the Sixth
Centenary of the Mutt as well.

In discussion with His Holiness, the Sixth Centenary
Celebrations Committee has drawn up an impressive
program to commemorate the event.

1. A 30 room residential complex is being built in lower

Ahobilam for the convenience of the visiting pilgrims. 
14 rooms in this complex will be air-conditioned.

2. The entire Nava Nrusimha Moorthi shrines on the
Ahobila hills are being renovated and steps are being
repaired to connect the Ahobila Nrusimha Shrine on the
hills to the shrine of Malola Nrusimha which is at a
higher level.

3. A permanent arrangement is being made to ensure
drinking water supply to the entire Ahobilam complex  to
be funded by the Ahobila Mutt.

4. The Lord Prahladha Varadhan will be adorned with a
gold kavacham on this occasion. This literally means
clothing Him in gold.

5. A Department of Vaishnavism will be established in a
leading University as a permanent endowment from the
Ahobila Mutt.

6. An effort will be made to enlist leading pandits in the
country and to recognise them with appropriate honors
(Puraskar). They will also be given a lump sum as a token
of the community's gratitude for their contribution to the
preservation of our Vedhic traditions in Sanathana
Dharma.

7. A set of 25 Siromani Scholars will be identified and
they will be attached to five different Acharyas to study
in depth the Grantha Chathushtaya, namely, Sree
Bashyaml Bhagavath Vishayam, Sree Geetha Bashyam
and Sreemath Rahasya Thrayasaram.  These students will
study these subjects in the Karna Parampara Gurukula
system on a specific time frame - say five years - and will
be given a monthy stipend of Rs. 5,000/- each. The
Acharyas will also be remunerated appropriately. At the
end of the course, all these 25 students, who would
graduate in these subjects, will be given a lump sum of
Rs. 5 lakhs each so that their economic future is assured
at least to a point of an initial endowment on which they
can build.

8. There will be a souvenir to mark the occasion which
will carry authoritative manuscripts from learned pandits
in Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The Souvenir will
also carry color plates of Dhivya Dhampathis from
among the 108 Thiruppathis.

9. A documentary on Ahobilam will be planned, scripted
and produced to present the divine legend that elevates
the importance of the Kshethra, the nine Nrusimha
Kshethras (Shrines) at Ahobilam, the temples owned
and/or managed by the Mutt, display the customs and
usages unique to the followers of this institution, notably
those temple honors in vogue for the Ahobila Mutt
Jeeyars. To make the documentary even more interesting
an attempt will be made to relive those outstanding
contributions made by the Mutt over the  years. For

example, most of our young Sishyas may not know that
the steps to the Thirumalai (Thiruppathi) Hills were
initiated, organized and built by Sreemath Adhivan
Satakopa Yatheendhra Maha Dhesjkan himself.

10. We have requested the Government of India to bring
out a stamp featuring Sreemath Adhivan Satakopa Jeeyar
in commemoration of this event. We shall do all we can
to make it happen.

11. A remuneration package for the members of the staff
of Sree Ahobila Mutt is being worked out. It will not only
take care of their monthly salary content, but also make a
commitment to provide them with long term financial
support in the form of a group insurance scheme, gratuity
and superannuation endowment.

His Holiness has requested the Prime Minister Sree Atal
Behari Vaipayee to come and inaugurate the functions at
Ahobilam which will extend from 21st to 25th October
sure, 1998. It is hoped that the Prime Minister, the Home
Minister Mr. L.K. Adhvani and the Human Resources
Develoment Minister Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi will be
with us on this occasion.

Apart from these specific commemorative events, the
usual Sampradayik functions attached to such occasions
will also be in place. These are:

1. Vidvath Sadhas - Adhvaitham, Vishistcidhvaitham and
Dhvaitham to be held concurrently over five consecutive
days.
2. Vedhapardyanam, Dhivyaprabandham
3. Upanyasam for 3 days in Telugu and 2 days in Tamil.
4. A seminar on the life and preachings of Sree
Annamacharya who has rendered 14,000 songs on Lord
Venkatesa, 300 songs on Sree Ahobila Nrusimha and
quite a few laudatory verses on Sreemath Adhivan

Satakopa Swami (who was his Acharya). There will also
be music concerts spread over 5 days by leading artistes.

How shall we raise the funds necessary?
 ---------------------------------------
Sreemath Azhagiyasingar has nominated a hundred-
member committee to steer the celebrations of this event.
He is confident that each of the members will contribute a
sum of Rs. 1 Lakh directly, and where the individual is
unable to subscribe personally, he will probably collect
from his friends and relatives to make up his share. In this
way the committee will collect Rs. I crore.

The committee has developed a 1,000 rupee coupon, and
we have identified Sishyas who, we are reasonably sure,
will collect at least Rs. 10,000 each by collecting Rs.
1,000 from 10 different individuals. In this manner we
expect to collect Rs 1 crore.

The souvenir we have planned will carry color plates
from a large number of 108 "Dhivya Kshethra
Emberuman". Each one of these plates will carry a
courtesy message' from chosen advertisers. For example,
"Courtesy : Essar Group". The advertisers will be
requested to pay Rs. 50,000/-each. We are reasonably
certain that the chosen advertisers will be happy to
contribute in this manner because the souvenir will be
kept by the recipients as an heirloom in their homes
because of the extraordinary event that it commemorates.
They will also cherish the color plates which will be
carefully chosen and incorporated in the souvenir. The
likely financial contribution from this source will not be
less than Rs. 25 lakhs.

We already have offers worth Rs. 75 lakhs from a large
segment of Sishyas, Sree Vaishnavas, Abhimanis and
Aasthikas to contribute in cash and kind for the projects
we have announced. Thus we expect to raise a minimum
of Rs 3 crores for the celebration of the event, and we
also have assurances of continuous contributions to
subsidize the cost of maintaining the 25 students we have
identified for the study of Grantha Chathushtaya.

Last but not least, there will be the usual
Thadheeyaradhanam on all the 5 days to feed the people.
Here is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Nothing will make
us more deserving of the great heritage we have inherited
than to actively participate in the celebrations, both by
our physical presence and by contributing our mite in
cash and kind, to make the event, truly a memorable one.

May the Lord Lakshmee Nrusimha and His Holiness the
Azhagiyasingar bless us all in our endeavor to celebrate
this Sixth Centenary of Sree Ahobila Mutt in a fitting
manner.

Sixth Centenary Celebrations Committee
R.K. SWAMY
Chairman