Great questions…Amazing answers…See His top 3 priorities for rest of His life – it is all about guru bakthi….. Thanks to Shri Guruvayurappan for sharing this…
Q: How do you feel about the verdict?
HH: Dharma has prevailed. Truth has won. That is what matters.
Q: What has the last nine years been like for you?
HH: More or less the same, except that the Mutt officials had to spend more time on the case related issues.
Q: Was it tough?
HH: I have been trained by my Guru to bear everything. There is no question of the situation being tough. Times were challenging because we were facing a completely new set of situations.
Q: Was there no difficulty for the two of you?
HH: Our work and routines were disrupted. There were several restraints in the early days. Over a period of time we understood how to carry on our work in spite of such disruptions.
Q: Apparently several devotees have stopped visiting the two of you. Attendance at major functions at the Mutt has decreased.
HH: Is it not to be expected? What would a lay person do when there is a concerted campaign by all the influential segments of society? Many people played safe and reduced their frequency of visits to the Mutt. As soon as I was released on bail, do you know, there was constant surveillance and every devotee who came to visit me was scanned? There were plain clothes men all over. I myself told visitors to take it easy, in the early days. Now people have started coming as before. In recent times the devotees thronging the Mutt has increased manifold and in fact more than during normal periods.
Q: Has normalcy been restored in the Mutt?
HH: The daily Chandramouleeswara Puja was not disrupted even for a day. Every religious function has been celebrated as it should be. Nothing has stopped. All the normal Mutt practices have been carried out, as always.
Q: How have you kept yourself busy?
HH: Praying, studying, meditating. I have been busy travelling, visiting devotees in various places, attending important functions etc. There is plenty of work that has been done during the last 9 years as well.
Q: For example?
HH: I can give you several, here is one, the year 2007 was the 100th year of our Mahaswami becoming a Peetadhipathi of the Mutt. His speeches in Tamil, considered the most authoritative treatise on Hindu religion (running into nearly 10000 pages) were translated into English and several other Indian languages. Several other books on the senior Sage were brought out. This helped us to reach people across India. I continued to travel to various parts of the country as before while the Balaswami remained at Kanchipuram performing the daily poojas, looking after the affairs of the Mutt, blessing thousands of devotees who have been visiting the Mutt.
Q: Did you not feel disappointed that you had to give up your pet hospital project?
HH: First I do not have pet projects. Second I do not give up on things that will serve the needy and the deserving. If that project did not work out, another will. If you want to do something important, you will always be tested with obstacles along the way. We will carry out the good work as intended.
Q: How is your health now?
HH: I am ok now. I am as fit as a 79 year old person can be. I am carrying out my work as before.
Q: During the initial stages several people indulged in character assassination and published sensational articles about both of you. Will you take them to court?
HH: I have lost 9 precious years, and there is so much to do. I have to use the remaining years in fulfilling the directive and wishes of my Guru.
Q: What is your agenda for the future?
HH: We will focus on just 4 areas. These are:
a) Fulfilling the wishes of my Guru and ensuring proper support to the study and propagation of the Vedas.
b) Carry forward Adi Sankara’s teachings
c) Renovation and maintenance of temples
d) Reaching out to the poor and needy with education, medical care and vocational support.
Q: Will the Mutt ever gain back its lost glory?
HH: The Mutt has gained glory because of its spiritual work and service to people. My Guru and I have walked across the length and breadth of Bharata Desa, travelling to the smallest of villages and performing poojas there. We have been instrumental in reviving thousands of old temples, consecrating new ones, building schools and medical centres. Our duty is to follow dharma and spread it. Help people live more meaningful and peaceful lives. That is what the Mutt has always done and we will always do. We will continue to do what must be done. Glory can come and go. What must be sustained is how we serve people. As far as the devotees are concerned, the ones with the faith and the commitment will always continue to be devotees of the Mutt. Adi Sankara and our Acharyas have given us enough ways to help the spiritual pursuits of our devotees.
Q: Wont this incident always be a blemish on the Mutt?
HH: There are several invaders who vandalised our temples. Today when you see the disfigured temples you remember the invaders and their acts of vandalism. What as perpetrated on the Mutt has been termed as an act of vandalism by several people.
Q: While you were moving around, the Balaswami confined himself to Kanchi. Why is that?
HH: In the initial days, we travelled to Kalavai and later to Tirupathi together. We observed one Chaturmasyam in Tirupathi. He has to perform the trikala pooja every day. Moving around with the pooja is not a simple thing to do. He remained in the Mutt to meet devotees who come to Kanchi.
Q: It is being said that the Mutt’s funds position has suffered.
HH: Not really. Our devotees saw to it that our funds for daily operations were not affected. We did not suffer even when our bank accounts were frozen. Such is the ardent devotion of our people. You must remember that there are families who have been devotees of the Mutt for several generations. Their relationship with and faith in the Mutt are unshakeable. Yes, we would need fresh infusion of funds to carry out many of our new projects.
Q: If you have to describe the entire experience in 1 word or a phrase, what would it be?
HH: Testing times for truth.
Q: Is there anytime in the last 9 years, you wished the whole incident had not happened?
HH: Only once. That was when the Tsunami hit TN and other parts of the country causing immeasurable havoc. Whether it was Latur or Bhuj, my devotees and I were providing relief to the victims. This time while my devotees carried out relief work, I could not be there in person. My heart went to all those affected.
Q: What is your message for your devotees and to the rest of the world?
HH: My message to my devotees is very simple. Work with renewed vigour. Carry out the wishes of the Mahaswami. We do not have to reinvent any new agenda. Focus on doing good things, follow Dharma. Do not worry about anything else. The Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam is 2500 years old institution established by Adi Sankara himself. It has weathered difficult times before. It has been affected by the vagaries of the world including wars. It has survived all these years only because of the Acharyas who followed in the footsteps of Sankara, the devotees and their devotion of truth and dharma. Lord Chandramouleeswara and the illustrious unbroken line of Acharyas that the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam has had will continue to bless us as always. Do not dwell in the past; it is a waste of time. You cannot change anything that has happened. Do not worry about what the future holds for us. It is in the hands of Jaganmatha Kamakshi. All will be well.
Leave everything in the safe hands of Tripurasundari Sametha Sri Chandramouleeswara and continue to do your duty and protect dharma. He will look after what must happen. Have the grace and courage to accept His will.
My message to the world is not much different “In all your hurry to be successful, pause a moment to contemplate on truth and Dharma. May all be blessed to realise their full potential.
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara