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Re: A Real Life Example! (re wealth)

From: Venkat Nagarajan (
Date: Fri Jul 23 1999 - 08:14:57 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
namO nArAyaNA.

On a positive note let me provide an example of someone who lead a
austere and peaceful life:

An Example: 

Sri. N.S. (Nadathur Sadhu)Varadachari, popularly called in his day as `No
Shirt' Varadachari used self-study as a means to acquire knowledge of
our siddhantham.  He was close to HH. Sri. thirukudanthai andavan.  He
taught himself Sanskrit and studied the Bhagavad Gita, Itihasas, and the
philosophical works of our Acharyas.  In fact he used to recite from
memory everyday, till the day of his death, the Bhagavad Gita in its
entirety.  What VairAgyam, mahavishvAsam, this mahan had.  I do not
have even have the adikaram to walk on the same ground as this great

Quoting from an article in the Hindu:

Varadachari who was a man of stout heart was the son of N. S.
Anantachari and Singarammal. He was born in Tenali near Tirupati
on January 25, 1897. He was a student of the redoubtable Rt. Hon'ble V.
S. Srinivasa Sastri in the Triplicane Hindu High School and of Dr.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in the Madras Presidency College where he did
his Honours in History and Economics. He took his Law degree in 1918
and had his apprenticeship under Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer and K. S.
Rajagopala Iyer, leading luminaries of the then Madras Bar. But the
turning point of his life came very soon when Mahatma Gandhi visited
Madras on C. Rajagopalachari's invitation. Late Prof. K. Swaminathan,
Chief Editor of the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi says:
``Like Bhishma of old, N. S. Varadachari had the courage to take
and the strength to keep a self-denying vow. On August 13, 1920,
N. S. Varadachari, K. Santhanam and a few other youngsters were
among the audience at Jamma Masjid at Triplicane, where Gandhiji
pleaded for boycott of foreign clothes, titles, schools, law courts and
so on and added almost playfully: I don't expect you to become fakirs
or to give up wearing chappals and shirts and coats. N. S.
Varadachari took up the challenge, asked `why not?' and in that
one golden moment, threw away not only the legal profession, but
also every shred of luxury and symbol of status. A patriot of purest
ray serene, N. S. Varadachari lived a long, austere and noble life,
shirtless, shoeless and selfless.'' He was at the forefront of several
satyagraha movements led by Mahatma Gandhi and served sentences
in various jails for over eight years. A great lover of Sanskrit and a keen
student of the Bhagavad Gita, NSV was a wholly home-grown fruit on
the tree of Indian culture.

I say with great joy and honour that the jiva described in the above
paragraph was my Grand father.
There were many and still are a few, non ascetics, who shun wealth 
We should not try to put our own spin on acharya's comments to suit our
needs!   Shastras are clear!  It is our understanding that is clouded by
avidya-karma.  Transitoriness is misery; the dictates of the shastras,
specify a course of life for the brahmin that seeks to minimize
transitoriness.  How far each one gets towards this ultimate goal 
ultimately depends on the will power and the prarabdha of that jiva (for
the paramAtman controls the fate of jivas in accordance with prarabdha

BE?  I don't think so !  (We are placed in a position that is in accordance
with our mature set of karma; how we progress from there is based on
our actions. )  Ultimately each jiva must make that decision by itself.

adiyEn ramanuja dasan