(First Edition, Part II)
All over the world, during the ages, several thinkers have attempted to define the purpose of life, the relationship between man and his Creator, and to understand the Creator. It is only through devotion that man can know or experience his Creator or God. To attempt to explain God is well nigh impossible. The great Buddha maintained silence when he was questioned about the nature of Reality. Jesus Christ maintained silence when Pontius Pilate questioned him as to the nature of Truth. To understand God one should cast off force, fear, arrogance, desire, anger, sense of possession and ego and should be devoted to his duty with a feeling that he is discharging his divine functions. To succeed in such an effort, divine grace is essential.
To help man to reach God many saints have made their appearances in our holy land. One of the foremost in that distinguished order is Sri Sankara Bhagavatpadal. Sri Adi Sankara’s Advaita philosophy is considered one of the greatest expositions of Hindu thought and philosophy. Such great men guide us in our search for God. Our Kanchi Kamakoti Peetathipathi Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya belongs to the distinguished line of successors of Sri Adi Sankara. This saint, whose seventy-fifth Jayanti we are celebrating, is one of the foremost religious teachers and preceptors in our present day world. To meet him is a thrilling experience and to know him is a rare privilege. He is overflowing in his affection and sympathy and words of encouragement for the countless people who flock to him with their tales of woe. His benign smile and sparkling eyes are sources of great solace to his devotees. By his soft and kind words the thoughts of people are turned towards making themselves better men and women and for invoking the grace of God.
The sanctity of a religion depends upon its Holy Men. The Hindu religion owes its pre-eminence to the great saints it has produced throughout the ages. It is our good fortune that in our midst we have the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetathipathi whose exposition of God and religion is unparalleled.
It is fortunate that Sri V. Ramakrishna Iyer recorded the discourses of the Kanchi Acharya during his visit to Madras City in 1957. The subjects covered by His Holiness are varied and with sincere zeal and devotion and with the blessings of the Acharya, Sri Ramakrishna Iyer has fulfilled his assignment with great credit. This is the second of the two very precious volumes of the Acharya’s discourses that is being published by Sri K. Nilakantan. The public owe a deep debt of gratitude to Sri Ramakrishna Iyer and Sri Nilakantan.
On the seventy-fifth Jayanthi of the Kanchi Acharya let us all pray for his long life and perfect health so that he may continue to shed divine light to guide us along the path leading to God.
Kasturi Ranga Iyengar Road, P.S. Kailasam
Madras Judge, Madras High Court
12th May 1968.