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Obeisance of the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham
Dr. M.A.M. Ramaswamy
Bharat, our Mother Land, is often called the 'Dharma Bhoomi', the country of righteousness.
This Dharma Bhoomi gets its sanctity from the great 'Avatars' from time to time.
The great Gautama, the compassionate Buddha, was born in India. Adi Sankara who was in incarnation of Ishvara himself, "the ever-shining glorious lamp of Advaita" as Max Muller would call him, took birth in our land and gave light to the whole world. He gave a new foundation to our religion. Likewise Ramanuja and Madhva gave a new meaning to our lives by propagating devotion to God.
Coming to modern days Sri Aurobindo talked of "Supramental Energy" that would make the human race divinised. The mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram gave a sense of new direction to our lives by Her concept of compassion.
The inspiring sage of Tiruvannamalai, Ramana Maharishi, ennobled humanity by this message of Love and Wisdom.
In this line of saints and savants, the Jagadguru His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi, the 68th centenarian Pontiff of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam is very unique person. He is a real "God among men", the " walking God" to quote Paul Bronton who was blessed by the Grace of His Holiness. His Holiness is a true embodiment of all hold qualities of head and heart that distinguish an ordinary man from an immortal Avatar.
The Paramacharya of Kanchi is a direct descendant in the Gurupeetha Parampara established by Adi Sankara himself.
The Kanchi Sage is an embodiment of compassion and wisdom. His very presence amidst us is a great good fortune to all of us and really we are all blessed to live in his times.
I am here reminded of an episode from the history of Greece. The great King Philip of Macedon wrote a letter to the well known philosopher Aristotle on the birth of his son Alexander, later the Great. The letter ran thus:
"Be it known this day that a son is born to me. I am happy that he is born but I am happier still that he is born in your times so that he can call himself a contemporary of the great teacher, Aristotle."
Similarly we were very fortunate to live in the time of the Kanchi Mahaswamigal.
All dignitaries without exception include Kancheepuram in their itinerary because every one wants to sit at the feet of the Holy Paramacharya whose compassion and grace and engulfs all.
I had myself experienced this delight of his presence which takes you to ethereal heights. Let me quote the Paramacharya himself on how to travel on the path of Dharma
"Nothing is possible without hard work. If we voluntarily take a job, do we not willingly bear all difficulties then?
"But in the case of Dharma why should we say there are difficulties? There will be difficulties. But work carried out under difficult conditions give more benefits and a better sense of achievement. So we should not leave Dharma at all. (From "My Mission", talk delivered by Paramacharya in 1975 at madras).
The lucid exposition in his message gives us an insight into the great thinking of the Acharya. His message is simple and straightforward. Everyone should adopt the path of Dharma. There is no escape from it.
You find the world today in turmoil. Brother kills brother. Countries after countries spend crores and crores an arms and guns. But they have no money for the schools and their own children's education. The UNESCO in a recent report has pointed out succinctly that if only ten percent of the funds spent on armaments by various nations is spent of Elementary Education the world will become a better and safer place for the coming generation. But no one listens to this sage's advice.
We are attacking nature. Forests are plundered and dangerous industrial effluents are let into rivers, we find the air full of pollution. With water and air full of irritants and poison how can any one expect the 'homosapiens' to survive at all?
So the only answer to the world problems today seems to be the Dharmic path shown by the Paramacharya of Kanchi.
To quote his own words, "My mission is to save humanity from destruction, somehow".
When Adi Sankara was preparing to leave his mortal coils his disciples prayed to him to give them a final "Upadesa". The Bagavatpada recited the "Sopaana Panchakam", a beautiful poem of five stanzas. A line therein says"
"Thad uditham karma svanushteeyathaam" Practice well all the duties enjoined in the Veda".
This was also the message of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: "Do your duty". Yes. Action is our duty; result is not our concern.
The great sage of Kanchi, the God that walks on earth gives the same message. If every one does his duty then the world will become a heaven. It is in our hands to build a new world-order without any reference to caste, colour, creed or sex. As the famous bard Thiruvalluvar said in his first couplet :
Rev. G.U.Pope translated this as follows:
"A" as the first of letters, maintains every speech; the "Primal deity" is first through all the world's domains".
Thus our path to glory is the Divine path, as per Thiruvalluvar and as the Kanchi sage emphasizes. It is the path of 'Dharma' alone that can save humanity from its sure destruction towards which end we seems to be rushing.
Let the Paramacharya save humanity and bless the globe so that it will come back to the path of Dharma. My obeisance to this inimitable Jagadguru.
As Albert Franklin, the former U.S. consul at madras said some years ago after meeting the Maha Swami, "He is a beacon light. Only India could have produced him".
Franklin was right. Only Bharatmata could have produced such a RATNA among Rishis.
"Maitreem Bhajata" (cultivate friendship) this is the message of the Paramacharya to a tension-torn world. If there is a Guru who himself has set an example of what he preached, the Paramacharya is one. He has striven all his life to remove inter-religious and intra-religious conflicts and difference. He is himself am embodiment of harmony, the perfectly stringed lute that make celestial music.
My obeisance to Him.