Echangudi patasala resumed – Must-read


echangudi1

In 2012, I posted this article that came sen Sakthi Vikatan or so (Eachangudi Veda Patashala starts from today). However due to various reasons, it couldn’t run continuously. For a very long time, there were no veda gosham in that house. In early 2017, Sri Ambi and others worked together to organize daily veda parayanam in the evenings. With the success of running it for some time, additional efforts were put in to start a full-fledged veda patasala.

Sri Hari, Bangalore, who has been instrumental in setting up Echangudi patasala is none other Sri Bharat Subramaniam’s uncle. Here is his small interview as well.

This was Periyava’s last wish (for lack of better terms) that we know of. It is all our responsibility to ensure that veda gosham does not stop in Echangudi. Let us do our best to support them.

For folks in India – please send your contributions directly to their trust (details

For those in US – pl refer to https://www.kgpfoundation.org/support.html – remember to mention “Echangudi” in the memo field.

This post will not be complete if I do not mention Sri Ambi and Smt Saraswathi Thyagarajan mami, who have been working tirelessly to run this. Our namaskaram to them for their selfless service and to Sri Hari who has Mahaperiyava’s paripurna kataksham.

One request – It is not enough just to donate – pl go visit this patasala when time permits – meet the vidyarthis, adhyapakar and Sri Ambi. This is in such a beautiful place and must-visit in one’s lifetime.

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Following article courtesy – Smt Saraswathi mami.

Eachangudi is a little-known hamlet in Thanjavur district that rests 6 km away from Thiruvaiyaru on the way to Kumbakonam. Once nurtured by the ever flowing Kaveri, today it is akin to the dried, erstwhile mighty river that fertilized the entire Cauvery delta. Ganapati Agraharam in Eachangudi is like its counterparts across Tamil Nadu – with cracking, old and dilapidated houses that weakly stand witness to their once thriving past. But, one house here is very different.

It is the house where Pujya Shri Thayar Mahalakshmi Ammal, the blessed soul who gave birth to Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal, the 68th Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam – known widely to the World as Mahaperiyava, was born and also years later, married Shri Shri Subramania Shastrigal. Not to be forgotten, the house was also previously blessed to midwife the birth of Mahaperiyava’s predecessor and cousin, Sri Mahadevendra Saraswati, the 67th Shankaracharya who was born as Lakshmikanthan. As if these glories were not enough, it is in this house, where the tiny little baby- feet of Mahaperiyava’s Poorvashrama younger brother, Pujya Shri Sivan Sar touched this Earth.

Mahaperiyava lived His life for the well-being of the tiniest of beings on Earth. The strongest, richest and the most influential from all walks of lives waited for a glimpse of His Dharshan even as He attended to the problems of the simplest of men who thronged to Him on his Yatra-Vijayams. It took one hundred years for Mahaperiyava to seek one personal help. Perhaps, it was the only time when he sought a personal favor. And that was not with any who was from the corridors of power, influence or money.

It was January 8th, 1994. Mahaperiyava would soon complete one hundred years in His mortality. His health had been a concern for quite some time and His trusted Sippandhikal could not allow Him to strain. From the many that waited patiently for His Dharshan, Mahaperiyava called upon one person, Shri Hari from Bangalore to come forward. He removed his Padhuka, blessed and indicated Shri Hari to move this holy pair of blessed wood on which those lotus feet had rested, to the same house in Eachangudi. On the very same day the Mahaan attained His Sidhdhi, the immortalization.

A year ago, Mahaperiyava upon knowing that Shri Hari had an ancestry from Eachangudi, had asked him this personal favor, something rare of the Mahaan. In His softest of voices,

He said to Shri Hari, “Can you help me? Would you be able to fulfil my request?”

A much disturbed and shaken Hari with his hands folded, answered “Periyava, please command an order, and I shall obey. You must not request a simple soul like me”.

Mahaperiyava said, “Eachangudi is where my mother was born. I would like to see Vedas being chanted there always. Will you make this happen?”

Shri Hari had purchased the house, and now Periyava’s Padhuka witnessed the first batch of Veda Adhyayana students chant and learn. However, those chants would not be heard soon. Mahaperiyava’s wishes would only succeed partially. Due to some reason, the Adhyayana would be stalled.

Even as I wanted to visit Eachangudi for some years, it would fructify only in January 2017. During my stay there for five days, I saw only the wax statue of Mahaperiyava and The Padhuka given to Shri Hari on His Samadhi day as the witnesses to the shrill silence that had crept in. There was no Avahanti Homam or the chants of Vedas. I left Eachangudi not only with a heavy heart, but with moist eyes.

There in Eachangudi, there was a simple soul like me, maybe like my son, who had the same grievance. We spoke about this dismal condition of the legendary house. We wanted to put an end to this gloom. We spoke to people over WhatsApp, Messenger and over the phone to seek their involvements too. With many enthusiasts like us, from February 17, 2017 Veda Parayanam started for an hour daily. Immediately, we received sizeable fund from a concerned sister and it helped in the successful completion of Yajur Veda Jataparayanam in June 2017.

In August 2017, Shri Athirudram Ravi arranged a 10-day Chatur-Veda Parayanam with all his own efforts and resources. Saama veda Parayanam was held during Pujya Shri Sivan Sar Aradhanai. Bhrama Shri Ganesa Sharma honored with Pravachanam on Sivan Sar, the poorvashrama younger brother of Mahaperiyava, himself a Sidha Purusha on this occasion. When every Parayana was held, it was completed with Upanyasam in the evenings.

With Mahaperiyava’s blessings, Annadhanam – serving food for all was also possible in this blessed house. Monthly pooja on Anusha Nakshatra days and grandeur ‘Veedhi-Ula’ with sound and chorale is also being conducted. The renewed Veda Patasalai was started on December 7, 2017 with Shri Chandrasekhara Dravidji from Kashi. Belonging to a lineage of Veda exponents, Shekarji’s father was a Parama Bhaktha of Mahaperiyava who also had a great regard for the former’s scholarliness of Vedas and Sanskrit. Currently 10 vidyarthis are learning under him. The approximate expense is Rs 75,000 per month for the Veda Patasalai.

This was possible only with the help of many. Let us all join our hands together to continue our efforts in fulfilling Mahaperiyava’s wish of a Veda Ghosham always here.

Kindly write to eachangudivedapadasala@gmail.com including your complete postal address and the amount contributed.

[Donations are exempted from 80(G)
[ Kanchi sri mahaswamigal shatabdi mahalakshmi ammal trust
Indian overseas Bank Ganapathy Agraharam.
account number 126801000000700 / IFSC IOBA0001268



Categories: Devotee Experiences

23 replies

  1. Hi. I wrote to the Patasala. I think, the mail I’d is not correct. Can you please check and let me know. Thanks- Vedavalli

  2. spoke to Sri chandramouli ( 9551061788 ). in case one desires to send a cheque towards donation, the cheque is to be made payable to Kanchi Sri Mahaswamigal Shatabdi Mahalakshmi Ammal Trust and sent to ” Agraharam, Echangudi Post, via. Thiruvaiyaru. 613204 “.
    please also mark the forwarding letter to the attention of Sri Chandramouli. He mentioned that it becomes easy for him to send the receipt for the 80G deduction.

  3. The spelling of email id given at the end of Mr Mahesh’s post for Indian donors needs to be corrected.as there is no” a ” after ” e”.

  4. I wanted to send the intimation to the id given above. The mail has bounced. Can I have the correct email id please?

  5. it is very heartening to note the developments. the availability of 80G deduction should encourage more donors to contribute.
    I sent a mail to the patasala at the given mail id.
    the message was not delivered stating that such an address doesn’t exist.
    please indicate the correct mail id and also the postal address of the Trust to which donation cheques can be sent

  6. Jai Ma

    Asking infinite humble pardons at the feet of Mahaswamigal and all the devotees, please may a concern be expressed about the presence of printed texts while learning the Holy Samhita?

    SriSriMahaPreiyava was strongly against this practice, as far as one is told. It is most dangerous. There is a subhashita, about vidya consigned to writing being like para hasta gatam dhanam, wealth placed in the hands of another.

    Print is dangerous because printing causes mistakes, and invariably so. Please trust this: matra, varna, there is NO WAY to avoid this. This is why the SA-LAKSHANA veda patha was created. To introduce print AT ANY STAGE will jeopardize and poison the entire system AT SOURCE.

    Hope someone will please hear this desperate plea.

    With humble prostration to SriSri Mahaswamigal and all devotees.

    • gautam. Your concern is valid. I saw this practice of using printed books in other pathasalas too. Even some of the younger Dikshitars in Chidambaram use printed books while reciting Vedas in the temple.
      It is sad.
      I want to raise an allied concern . While renovating old buildings, they are now freely using modern materials like cement, steel, concrete, ceramic and other tiles. Are these in compliance with Vastu? Most probably not. The distinct vibrations we have in old tiled or even thatched structures are lacking in these modern buildings. [ It is a matter of experience that some of the temples renovated with modern material have lost the old atmosphere and vibrations.] I raise this point here because in our enthusiasm to do things, we should not use material or methods which interfere with the holy vibrations. Old buildings do require regular maintenance and timely repair; it may also be difficult to find old material like country tiles; but the substitutes should be in compliance with genuine Vastu.

      • Jai Ma

        Humble prostrations at the feet of SriSriMahaSwamigal and devotees

        SriNanjappa Sir,

        Thank you for your observations. Even at the holy SriSringeri Sharada Peetham, sanctified by the dust of the holy feet of so many realized saints, the free use of printed texts right at the beginners is most disturbing.

        Even more disturbing are the problems in pronunciations in simple things as the Shantipatha in the ShriSuktam at the Sri Chandramoulishwara Puja by the young Shankaracharya. sh is NOT s; Sh is not sh. Such problems slowly begin to creep in with book learning.

        Please try to watch the vimeo recorded of Srimat Mukund Joshi, a revered SamagA at the Veda Vigyan Kendra, Barshi, Maharashtra. Early dawn, one tiny bulb, current fails, chanting proceeds smoothly in total darkness. After some time, electricity restored, chanting continues without any attention to light or dark. AhorAtrAn samdadhAmi!!

        Perhaps we should also try and establish/retain contact with such notable centers of vaidika learning, and create strong, self-reinforcing networks.

        SriSriMahaswamigal’s Holy Birthplace and the place that gave birth to such a pure Shakti as His holy Mother should become an ideal of RkSamhita and Shadanga Rgveda studies in time, if His blessings bear fruit, as they must.

        Even the present Holy Jeeyar of Sri Ahobilam Math is a Rgvedi and has many fond memories of the times SriSriMahaswamigal helped him in his youth, and also took the greatest pains to revive almost-extinct shakhas, not bothering whether they were ayyangars or smarta holders.

        The revered Jeer talks of a time when SriSri Mahaswamigal found a single person who was then working as shopkeeper. I do not understand Tamil, so could not follow his narrative, but the Holy Jeer was very upset, saying that the SriVaishnava community neglected these treasures, and criticized SriSri Mahaswamigal, and yet it was only HE who took the trouble to hunt out this sole surviving inheritor and nurture him, even though a Vaishnava.

        The Holy Jeer also mentioned how SriSriMahaSwamigal behaved with such love towards another although I was unable to follow the narrative. I hope some of you will go and translate these incidents for the rest of us. There is so much of our Mahaswamigal’s life that should be revealed for the sake of the world.

        It was like this. There was a great SriVaishnavite scholar, who by the grace of the Holy Vedamata, had perfexct command of all 4 Vedas. SriSriMahaswamigal was on one of His yatras, and wanted to pay His respects to this scholars who would not even set his eyes on a Dasanami Sannyasi. I could not grasp any of the details.

        How sweetly and gracefully SriSri Mahaswami behaved was the Holy Jeer’s point but sadly all the details remain unknown to me. All the beauty of the characted of these two holy men are brought out by these reminiscences. And it is sad that such supramundane learning did not allow that holy scholar the divine eyes to discover the sanctity within SriSriMahaswamigal.

        As for the building material, to this day, I miss the small 2-roomed mud cottage built with heavy, thick clay walls and bamboo, in Bengal. I can remember sitting on its 2 or 3 steps with my back against the clay, and being able to lapse into meditation. today, whenever needing to focus the mind, I still imagine myself there, the peace, solidity, calmness, shiila/coolness of the heavy clay, which is one with the Holy Bhuvaneshwari, and immediately remember what SriSriMahaswamigal said about the Devatas.

        Masonry, sand and brick embody a lot of baking, fire, violence inflicted on the products of the Mother Earth and the restless energy remain trapped.

        What is the problem with meat? Nothing, per se, except that the restless energy and the karmic ripples pursuant to eating the meat need to dissipate somewhere.

        A similar analogy may be drawn to materials born out of fire. They create issues for temples, I do not know if i am even close to being right since terracotta and brick temples do exist. But in the same regions of Bengal where these brick/terracotta temples were created, we do find ancient stone monuments, so where there is a will, there is a way.

  7. Mahesh Anna,how to reach from chennai-by train;kindly guide.

  8. Namaskarams.
    I had spoken to Sri.Ambi.
    No issues.Thanks.

  9. Namaskarams.
    As suggested I sent a letter to that email address,after transferring my contribution,but I got a failure message.Please clarify.
    Thanks.

  10. Great inspiring video and article. It is really a herculean task to run a Veda Patasala given the necessity to earn a decent income for livelihood. Let us all pray to Maha Periyava for granting us the right attitude which will make us take efforts to pursue his eternally-relevant teachings.

  11. Mahesh Anna-dhanyosmi.

  12. Dhanyargalaanom Mr Mahesh. Thank you very much for posting this video about the background of how Eachangudi Veda Padashaala is revived. May Maha Periyavaa bless this and as per the wish of Sri Hari, may that place become VEDA EACHANGUDI.

  13. Namaskarangal Sri Makesh sir. Wrote to the padasala e mail address and it has got bounced. Love to contribute to the padasala. Please advise the padasala address details and the contact person / phone numbers if any.

    Jaya Jaya Sankara, Hara Hara Sankara.

  14. Namaskarams to Sri.Mahesh Sir. Since last one hour ,we have been watching the video, reading the mail and we are grateful to you for the post. We shall start our monthly contribution to the Noble purpose. Sri. HARIs Seva is so great that thanking is a small word. Be, Mahaperiava would ensure non re birth to you all. Pranams swami.

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