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Navalpakkam Swamigal

Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com
Date: Tue Mar 03 1998 - 06:11:24 PST

Shri U. Ve. Agnihotram Navalpakkam Devanatha Tatacharya Swamigal reached
the lotus feet of his acharya recently.  I sincerely feel that it is a
great loss to the Vaideeka community and in particular to the Sri
Vaishnavas.  Swami was one of the few that lived from that generation of
MahAns who lived a way of life where one could distinctly see a thread of
continuity that can be traced back to the vedic period.   He was indeed a
rishi who lived among our midst in the 20th century.

Swami grew up in Navalpakkam learned Vedas from his father and proceeded to
learn Mimamsa sastra.  He was given the President's award for his work on
Mimamsa.  His acharam and anushtanam were immaculate to say the least.  One
of his favorite quote was: "Kinthu AnushtAna Nithyatvam Swatantryam
Apakarshathy".  Where is the freedom for the one bound by AnushtAnam.  By
freedom it is implied: The license to eat and dine wherever one pleases, to
wear whatever apparell that pleases etc.  Till his last breath he never
gave up well water, performing TrikAla sandhya in time, Bhaghavat Aradhanam
etc.,  Even at the age of 93, when I had an opportunity to record his
conversations his vAk shuddhi when reciting slokas was an example of how
pure words can be pronounced.  What a clarity.  What a great source of joy
they are.  Even during his last days his handwriting was immaculate to say
the least.  Is this not an example of what our achAram can do.    Kindness
poured from him.  The soft voice and the gentle demeanor made one adore
him.

Personally, not a single day passes without remembering that great MahAn.
I think it is the result of all my previous janma punyas that I had an
opportunity to meet that great mahAn.  Like Rajaji once said:  There are in
the world, men, whose acquaintance is beyond price and I was indeed
fortunate to have that priceless possession.

It appears Swami after performing his Nitya anushtAnas was complaining of
chest pain.  His son was trying to rush him to the hospital.  Swami reacted
by saying "EmperumAne, idhu ellam edukku? Un thiruvadiyil serthu
konduviden" and so ended his journey on the BhArata Punya bhoomi.

Vijayaraghavan