Thanks to Sri Venkatesan Ramadurai for the share with a rare photo….
A spiritual leader of the highest order descending to the mundane world as ` obiter dictum’, to dwell on a subject for a few minutes, converted a nineteen- year-old who was addicted to coffee and tea, into a complete abstainer.
His Holiness Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamigal who adorned the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam for 87 years was a beacon light of spirituality and devotion, an embodiment of grace and simplicity and an incarnation of love and compassion.
I had the good fortune of having heard him one divine evening, towards the end of December 1960, at Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, where I was doing my final year of degree course.
His Holiness, while giving his anugraha bhashan for about an hour, descended to worldly matters like the habit of people drinking coffee/tea. He described how the habit affects the individual, family and society.
While speaking on this topic for about ten minutes, he emphatically stated that the perceived benefits of taking coffee is not based on scientific facts. Instead, it brings more woes than benefits.
He lamented about how society had succumbed to the bait and even the poor borrowed to drink the brew, even though they had no food to eat.
Coffee was drunk by some in bed even without brushing their teeth! He expressed his anguish as to how and when good sense prevails upon people to give up this habit in their own interest and that of their family and society.
The Swami’s censure made a deep impact on me and I decided to give up coffee and tea immediately.
I bid goodbye to coffee on Sankaranthi day of 1961.
To the day, I have not sipped a spoon of tea or coffee, even though I had to spend more years in very cold places.
Once again, I realised the greatness in not falling a prey to this habit when I was in the Audit and Inspected department of a nationalised institution.
During the time, I had to go on tour to different states of the country, I used to watch my colleagues who travelled with me, get upset and refuse to work when they missed their cup during the office break.
On the contrary, I was perfectly at peace. It is will power that sustains me in such situations.
But for that evening of December 1960, I too would probably be one among the billions today who are addicted to their cup coffee at the accustomed hour.
* By N. V. Subramanian, Chennai
* (Source: Moments of a lifetime)
Categories: Devotee Experiences