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AgnihOthram Sri Ramanuja Tatachar

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Nov 11 1998 - 18:39:01 PST

Dear VedAbhimAnis : I am happy to read Sri Krishnaswami's
posting on his "MutthA " . AgnihOthram swamy's family
and ours have ties over many decades . He is my maternal
grandfather's AchArya ; He is the AchArya for my sister
thru her husband .He knows me from my highschool days at
Kumbakonam and has been a very good friend of my father .
I have seen him as a boy , when the last of the great Yajnam 
in India was performed by Sri PattaNNA Swamigal and 
His son at the site behind Iyengar St , KumbakONam ,
where there was a thiDal next to VedanaarayaNan
and Brahman temples . 

AgnihOthram swamigaL has blessed me abundantly .
Every year , I contribute to the ChaithrOthsavam 
Veda PaarAyaNam ghOshti for Sri SarangapaaNI .
He officated as the agrEsarar at my father's 
80th birthday few years back at Oppilaippan Koil .
I wish I have been fortunate to sit with this
Mahan , who lives the Vedic life and help him 
especially now ,when he is busy documenting the many
rare tests and their intrepretations .His contributions
to the intrepretation of the meanings oft he vedAs and 
the Vedic Rituals are world class . As Sri Krishnaswaamy 
mentioned , he is indeed "a revolutionary ". His alliances
with like minded VedaabhimAnis has caused him some 
problems , but he is the last one to take note of these
critics . Even today , he is producing monogrphs
inspite of his physical problems that limit his 
movement .From Oxford to Berkeley , he is known 
for his authoritative contributions . He is such a
gentle and tolerant mahAn , the embodiment of 
the eternal values enshrined in the VedAs .
My suggestion to those visiting India is to
visit this great Mahan and prostrate before him
and receive his blessings .  

Among all the great scholastic works that he has
authored , the one sponsored by T.T.DevasthAnams
in 1985 with the title, "Eternal Relevance of
VedAs " is my treasure .Here , he applies 
"the Vedic quinessence to the contemproary
Social issues " and proves convincgly that
Vedic relevance is eternal and universal.
Here, he has "built a stable bridge between
the Vedic Consciousness and modern thinking on 
various topics such as humanitarian approach ,
universal outlook , DharmA , politics and economics, 
which form the pillars of the edifice of human existence".

This monograph has 205 pages of distilled 
insights of a life long study of Vedams 
and the eternal Vedic messages. The last
three chapters on the creation of Social ,
political and economic consciousness 
according to Veda ManthrAs are simply 
brilliant and original . The study of 
the important role of women according to
the VedAs is some thing that is quite relevant 
to the recent discussions on the Bhakthi list 
about the status of women in modern
times . With Veda pramANams , he proves
convincingly that woman according to VedIc
rks have a lofty place in society and quotes
a Vedic passage , which concedes that women
are more intelligent than men and why so .
He also quotes the Veda manthram that women are 
the embodiment of Sridevi .

In response to a dear Bhakthai's question , I plan
to write soon about the Vedic women , who
have given us Rks . These wives of Vedic seers 
were equal manthra drushtAs and are acknowledged 
as RishikAs of these manthrAs that we recite 
from Rg Vedam , the oldest of the Vedams .
These RishikAs are famous wives of Rishis 
whom we revere Athri , VisvamithrA , VamadevA,
BharadhvAja , VasishtA, Bhrugu et al and their
descendants .

The lady seers of VedAs are a study in themslves
to settle the issues related to the superior
role of women in the Vedic culture.If we call
our darsanams as Vaidhika Mathams , darsanams 
rooted in VedAs , then there can not be any
dispute to the high status given to women
in our darsanams.Some of the RishikAs are
LopAmudrA , the wife of AgasthyA .The very
first book of Rg Vedam has two rks attributed to
her ( I.179.1-2) .Some of the other rishikAs are:
RomasA , VisvavArA , AangIrasI Sasvathi , apAlA,
SraddhA , GhOshA ( Veda GhOsham ) , VasukrapANi ,
SuryA , Urvasi , Juhu , VaagAmbhruNi and
PaulOmi Sachi. They are authentic SamhitAkarakAs
in their own right . In addition to RishikA's mystic
statements born out of true pursuit of knowledge ,
the Rishis themselves have attested to the central
and indispensable role of women in maintaining 
the health of the Society and dharmA .

I will cover these areas later as  a tribute to
AgnihOthram Sri Ramanuja TatachAr Swamy , one of
the Aadarsa PurushAs among the 20th century Vedic
scholars .

DharmO Rakshathi Rakshitha :
Oppilaippan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan