Prayer to the Paramacharya
TOWARDS THE end of the 19th century, May 20, 1894, to be precise, corresponding to eighth day of Vaikasi “Jaya” year, humanity was blessed with the birth of Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal, who at the age of 13, in 1907, took to a life of renunciation and for 87 years travelled on foot through the length and breadth of this country, blessing all sections of the people, who longed for his darshan. A polyglot, he spoke to the devotees in their native tongue and discussed all their areas of interest with equal felicity. Every devotee, after having darshan felt happy that the Acharya cared about him and of his family.
Universally respected, religious heads and Adeenams supported the Acharya in his movement to promote the Bhakti Marga.
Paramacharya had a soft corner for Sri Kripananda Variar. During one of their meetings, Variar tried to prostrate before Paramacharya, who stopped the devotee. To an amazed Variar, Periyava said, “You are wearing Sivalinga around your neck and it will touch the floor if you prostrate and that should not happen.” Overwhelmed, Variar shed tears, moved by the deep respect Swami had for Siva puja. Once when Variyar was asked to speak about himself, he was at a loss for words. Kanchi Paramacharya who was present on the occasion, said, “Why don’t you tell people that you have given away every penny you have earned, keeping nothing for yourself?” Variyar remarked, “Even my wife doesn’t know that I give away everything I earn, but now the Paramacharya has told everyone.”
In 1927, (on October 15) Mahatma Gandhi, during his tour of South India called on Paramacharya, who was camping at Nallicheri in Palakkad. The meeting took place in a cow-shed. Gandhiji was highly impressed with the handspun saffron cloth the Acharya was wearing.
The remarkable dialogue between the most venerated religious head and the Father of the Nation went on for more than an hour, Paramacharya using the medium of Sanskrit and Gandhiji speaking in Hindi. The Sage of Kanchi impressed upon the Mahatma, that faith and devotion to God, alone, decided the fate of all human activities. Gandhiji reciprocated the sentiments.
It was 5.30 p.m. and when Rajaji, who had accompanied him, reminded him that it was meal time (Gandhiji did not take food after 6 p.m.), the Mahatma replied that the dialogue with Swami was more nutritious for him. Paramacharya presented an orange to Gandhiji, which he received with great satisfaction, the fruit he expressed, he loved most.
Paramacharya visited the former princely state of Cochin in 1928, when Sri Rama Varma Maharaj (who was later in 1948 installed as the “Maharaja of Cochin”) had darshan of the Acharya.
To honour the Maharaja who was eminent as a distinguished ruler and a great litterateur, the Paramacharya desired to confer on him the title “Darsana Kalanidhi.” The presentation ceremony was held in Ernakulam on December 4, 1948, and the entire elite section of the State attended the function. With the invocation prayer by Sri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar the celebration began and Sri Ananthakrishna Sastrigal read the “Srimukham” presenting the title.
The Srimukham described the greatness of the Maharaja, his noble qualities of head and heart.
The Srimukham was presented by Justice Panchapakesa Sastry of the Madras High Court, who paid glorious tributes to the great qualities of the Maharaja and his immense support for the study of Sanskrit.
In his reply, the Maharaja said, “I prostrate before His Holiness, who as Adi Sankara is an incarnation of Lord Parameshwara. I cannot find words to express my gratitude or thank His Holiness for bestowing on me a great honour. In the olden days even kings surrendered before religious Heads, who had the power of their penance as the only valuable asset. King Rama Pada of Angadesa prostrated before Sage Rishyasingar for rain and King Dushyanta before Sage Vasishta for progeny. I pray before His Holiness to bless this country with happiness to all.”
The same prayer holds good now. Prayer for a peaceful, happy and fearless life, free from drought and famine.
Categories: Devotee Experiences