Sri Pollachi Mahalingam passes away!

I am sure you all have seen the news. Great gandhian, great man! Will be remembered by all. I ran into an article he wrote about Periyava in kamakoti site….I am reproducing it here for all of you….


A mere thought of Mahaperiaval makes one come out with the expression “He has seen God”. This was what the followers of Moses said when he returned with the Ten Commandments. Such people are born once in ten thousand years and are called as Avatarapurushas. Moses gave Ten Commandments but Paramacharya’s life itself is a Commandment. Every word of what He speaks is a word of wisdom. Thousands have written on Mahaperiaval, on His traits of greatness, on His capacity to bless people, to solve the problems of people and lead humanity. Let me in this article highlight some of the statements of the great men on this great sage.

Eminent foreign scholars like Paul Dukes, Paul Brunton, Eughina Borghini, Milton Singer, Robert Walser and many others of international renown have come all the way to India to meet His Holiness and receive His blessings. In my opinion, no other Acharya had attracted so many foreign disciples as our Paramacharya. Every one of these people has been inspired by His Holiness. He kindled an intellectual spark in them. It was the great writer K.S. Venkataramani of international renown who wrote in Bhavan’s Journal of May 16, 1981, “Wherever my Acharyaswami is, there you find, burning steady and pure, the lamp of life and knowledge. He has surrendered everything at a tender age, youth, wealth and all the civil pleasures, for the service of man and the continuance of a mission. He is dear to us, even as the rolling sea is to the land-soiled art. Passionate and deep-rooted is our attachment to Sankara. He is our greatest blessing and our Adi Jagadguru”. He is our greatest blessing and our Adi Jagadguru”. The author of these words was acknowledged as a great writer by no less a poet than Rabindranath Tagore. K.S.V. is no more, but he was a farsighted writer. When he wrote these words, he was the only, rather the first person, who compared Paramacharya with Adi Sankara. Today everybody, almost every writer calls him a an Avatara of Sankara. What does it show? Great men see far ahead of times.

Bhartuhari, the saint king who authored the Trisataka said in his Neeti Sataka, “Those great and good men are rare who in thought, word and deed are filled with the ambrosia of Punya and who by series of benefaction satisfy the three worlds and who harness together even the little good qualities of others into the strength of a mountain and make them blossom in their own hear”. Those words aptly apply to Paramacharya. His greatest trait is His detached attitude. I would call it “detached attachment”. He came into contact with thousands of people of all sorts belonging to different types of traits. But He discerned only the good qualities in them and associated with them only in the context of their noble traits, always unmindful of the defects of the individual. By this detachment he showed that he was compassionate impartially and stood head and shoulders far above other mortals.

Dr. T.M.P. Mahadevan described Paramacharya as a “Mahapurusha” and according to Him “His presence is a blessing to the world. Thousands of people profit, even without their knowing, by contact with a Mahapurusha. There is no discard or divergence of views among the wise. The peace that pass the understanding is what they spread. Let the people resort to them for gaining liberation from the letters of finite existence.”

Who is a Mahapurusha? A Mahapurusha is one who radiates wisdom and light to others. I have from my own experience found out that Paramacharya is a Mahapurusha who can radiate light and wisdom to others.

There were three occasions when I had the spiritual experience of being at close proximity with a great sage of the level of Vyasa. Once when He visited our Sakti Pipes Factory at Elavur where he gave all of us the benefit of witnessing the Chandramouleeswara Pooja. The second occasion was when I went to Him to have His blessings for the Kumbhabhishekam festival of Vadalur Satya Gnana Sabhai which he gave spontaneously with a heart full of joy. The third occasion was when I met Him with Bhageerathan just to pay my respects. He asked me to have the darshan of the Goddess at Thiruvanchiyam which I did and I was immensely benefited. Of course, I received His blessings recently when I went to Kanchi to hand over copies of “A Hundred Years of Light” which I brought out on the occasion of His Centenary Celebrations.

Paramacharya has a highly pragmatic and spiritual approach to problems. In an exclusive interview to the illustrated Weekly of India on 11th August, 1963, he stated: “It (Sanskrit) is still a living language, in a recognizable form, in Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Ceylon and several other countries. When we adopt Sanskrit as the national language, we show our readiness to share the common heritage of all the South-East Asian countries, which will at once accept India as one among them. The Russian language also contains a number of words derived from Sanskrit. It is high time we raised our classical language to the status of a modern language for practical, utilitarian purposes. Meanwhile, let us not banish English form our hospitable land. It is a wonderful language, is it not? It is our only medium of communication with the outside world/”

In fact, I have been in my own humble way propagating this view during the last ten years. To my pleasant surprise I found that His Holiness was the pioneer in this matter. Obviously it was the will of God that I should be His agent to give circulation to this view of Mahaperiaval.

Like his predecessors, the Sage of Kanchi, with His capacity for subtle inspiration, guides the national mind and He has been doing so for many years. Instances are many. However, a few can be cited. He fully identified Himself with the National and Swadeshi movement in those days, changed over to Khadi as His saintly attire and this was His symbolic personal association with the national cause of freedom struggle.

Again, when the Indian Constitution was being framed, Paramacharya called a well-known Vedic scholar and asked him to meet Sardar Vallabhai Patel to pass on a message from Him on the need for a vital provision in the Constitution to the effect that the religious belief. This message was duly transmitted through a meeting arranged by “The Hindu” with the visiting officials of the Indian Government with the Vedic scholar deputed by Paramacharya. As a result Article 26 of the Constitution was enshrined and this extended constitutional protection, not just to the major religions-Hinduism or Islam-but to every sub-sect of these religions.

Another instance of the national spirit of His Holiness was the lifting of the ban on RSS through the influence he exerted on T.R.V. Sastry who negotiated with the Government of India and succeeded in the effort. Addressing the Swayam- sevaks in the Sanskrit College lawn in 1962, the Sage said “This is not a reception to me individually. It is really an honour for the cause I represent. In olden days, the kings used to receive and honour Sanyasis. Today our rulers are not following that tradition. In order that we do not feel that we are not honoured, you have given this honour”. He looked upon the RSS as a national organisation which stood for the national cause.

To Mahaperiaval, Hindu culture and Indian culture are one and the same. That does not mean sectarianism or fanaticism. In his eyes Hinduism is a broad-based religion. One example will make it clear. the Israeli Consulate in India published a booklet which it says that in 107 out of 108 countries the Jew were singled out for persecution and that the only country where they were allowed to survive and treated as brothers and sisters was India. Thus religious toleration was part and parcel of Hinduism.

One can write volumes on Paramacharya and volumes have been written on Him. The late Mrs. Indira Gandhi who visited His Holiness often said “The Acharya is one of the greatest men living on earth. He is in line with the ancient sages of India who by their mere presence gave strength and understanding to all of us. To meet the Acharya is a rare spiritual experience. He is a living Truth and Compassion.”

What H.G. Wells said of Asoka applies to Paramacharya. With a slight modification I assert: “Amidst the thousands of sages that have crowded columns of history, the name of Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Swamigal shines and shines alone – a star in the firmament of philosophy, religion and literature.”

Categories: Devotee Experiences

11 replies

  1. He was my mentor in my life since 80’s. He radiated grace, nobility and divinity to all around him. A humanist and an idealist amongst men. May HIS soul rest in peace. C P CHANDRADAS from USA

  2. A Gandhian
    An Industrialist
    A Tamil Lover.
    A Devotee.
    Above all A great Soul !!!
    Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi.

  3. First of all let us ask questions to ourselves:
    Are you a true bhramin as per Maha Periva words:
    1. Are we all doing three time Sandyavandhanam regularly?
    2. Are we learning Vedas?
    3. Are we educating Vedas free of cost.?
    4. Are we leading a simple and contented living and extending helping hand to neady person?
    5. Are we following our tradition in Toto?
    If yes,
    Then we have right to discuss on this matter.
    Maha periyava said 50 years back, may be more, that we are the root cause for all this miss deeds. At least let us be a bhramin from now onwards so that our future generation will at least prosper.

  4. Timely published article of Shri Pollachi Mahalingam. There are many rich people in this country .How many of them have they contributed to society and religion like him . He has been a great blessed soul .I feel that we are fortunate to live in time of these great souls.. Krish …besantnagar.

  5. Sri Pollachi Mahalingam is a great soul. His contributions to the causes of Saiva Siddhantham and Vallalar’s Teachings and Sanathana Dharma are enormous. He is a great thinker giving many useful solutions to the country’s problems. That the Governments hardly listened to them is a different and unfortunate matter. He contributed financially to bring out manyTamil religious and literary books in print. He started the outstanding Tamil religious and literary monthly magazine Om Shakthi! This article written by him on Maha Periyava is amazing and shows his ardent Bhakthi to Him! He has merged with God. Let the noble ideals which he lived for continue to guide us. That he passed away like Sri. Kamaraj on Gandhi Jayanthi Day, shows his great attachment to Mahatma Gandhi. Om Nama Shivaaya! Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara!

  6. Our Mahaperiyava, the Vedapurusha has shown to this world through is nithaanushtana and aachara that our Vedas,Ithihasas and puranas are more relevant today for us. He lived most of time in huts and villages, but His vision was always Global. He is indeed ourJagatguru,God’s gift through India to the world.

  7. I myself was in Pollachi way back in 1966 and know the Late Mahalingam’s family very well. Mr. Shanmugha sundaram and others – ABT Parcel service, N. Mahalingam & Co. Burmah-Shell dealers and what not. I was B-S representative at that time living in Mahalingapuram itself behind their petrol pump on Coimbatore Pollachi Road. Such a great man we have lost.
    Yours in grief, RAJAGOPAL SUBRAMANIAN of Burmah-Shell now living in USA.

  8. Very informative article

  9. Sri NM had such a devotion for Kanchi Mahan,his grandson is named as Sankarar-Vanavarayar’s son!
    Sri NM,known as Chairman for all his employees,is one of the True Gandhian,in Independent India,who 1)Never utters a Lie2)Never wears any dress,other than Khadi3)Pure Vegetarian,who was responsible for Intl Conference on World Veg Conference4)A Chess Genius,who sponsored Chess Champions like Manuel Aaron at a Time,when none knew about this game5)A True Disciple of Vallalar,but for whom Vallalar wd not have been made known to the rest of the World6)A True Vallal-none who goes to him for any social cause returned ever,empty handed7)A very very simple,approachable Human ,in the Truest sense of the Word,who conducts Gandhi Vallalar Vizha for Decades from Oct2nd .God decided to take him to the Heavens on this Oct2nd!May his soul rest in Peace!

  10. An article written with his heart and mind rather than a hand with pen. It shows his devotion towards the great Saint.

  11. Dear Sri Mahesh

    Thanks for posting the Write-up for Sri Pollachi Mahalingam. We are Blessed to read it, and requires re-read for few times.

    Sri Mahalingam Sir, is a great Educationist & Philanthropist, a dharma Sri Periyava used to advise. Yes Sri Mahalingam left His Body, with lot of learnings to be followed from his life… He is a rarest soul in the body of noble human body as fondly called as Pollachi Mahalingam, today’s world of money making from Education.

    As Bagawan Ramana Maharshi has said “Where will I Go? I am Here”…

    Om Namo Bagawthe Sri Ramananyah

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