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guru kripA vilAsam (On the Greatness of the Guru)

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Disclaimer for my Translated Materials

These selective English translations done by me from the Tamil book Sri GurukrupA VilAsam (3 volumes), published by the Devotees of Shringeri Sri ShAradA PITham are posted here with the sole intention of carrying the divine messages of the AchAryALs of the Sankara MaThams established by Sri Adi Sankara BhagavadpAda, so that we the members of this Forum can understand and practice the directions contained in the messages.

As a translator, I have no commercial interests or financial considerations in spreading the messages of our Gurus, and have no claims of copyright for the translations.

I have duly quoted the source of these translations, and I hereby acknowledge the credits to the publications, authors, devotees and any other people concerned.

If anyone involved with these publications has any reservations on the implicit consents and permissions assumed in these translations for the spiritual benefit of mankind, the same may be brought to the notice of the Forum Administrator, for necessary changes or removal of the material presented.

'saidevo', as translator of the materials presented.

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From the Publisher's Preface

This book is about the greatness of our AchAryAL Sri Chandrasekhara BharatI MahAsvAmigaL who as the 34th Jagadguru of DakShiNAmya Shringagiri Sri ShAradA PITham, held the post of the adhipati of the first MaTham established by Sri Sankara, with prasiddhi (great success and attainment) and was adored and respected by everyone as a sarvajna (all-knowing) and a jnAni who had reached the stage of a jIvan mukta (liberated while living).

The speciality of the essays in this book is that some of them contain the saMbhAShaNas (conversations) done by Sri AchAryAL in vistAram (elaboration) with some pandits who were faithful to the ShAstras. In a few others are described in great svArasyam (interest), the saMsargas (association) that happened with Sri AchAryAL in svAdhInam (with freedom) to SrI Abhinava VidyAtIrtha, who as a BrahmachAri by name SrInivAsan was doing gurukulavAsam (residential studentship), and whom Sri AchAryAL chose as his pratama shiShya (primary disciple) and later as the successor to the PiTham. The medhAvilAsam (shine of intelligence) of the ShiShya who remained the bAlasUrya (young sun), and the kRupA vilAsam (shine of compassion) of the GurunAthar who was a karuNAmUrti (embodiment of compassion), are clearly understood by us when we read these essays. We also get the Anandam (happiness) of having been there in that GururAjA's sannidhi (presence) when we read them now.

The lekhaka (writer, scribe) of these essays was Sri SachchidAnanda TIrtha, who was respectfully known as Sri BhAShya SvAmigaL. His name in his pUrva, brahmacharya Ashram was Sri VaidhyanAtha SAstri. When Sri Chandrasekhara BharatI MahAsvAmigaL was PIThAdhipati, Sri VaidhyanAtha SAstri worked as the adhyApaka (teacher) of the MaTham's 'Sri SatvidyA SanjIvinI' pAThashAlA (school). By his lofty traits, AchAram, niyamam, jnAbaka shakti (religious rigour, discipline, memory power), the sAmarthyam (capability) of composing SamskRuta verses, and connoisseurship he endeared himself to Sri AchAryAL and was blessed with the bhAygam (fortune) of always staying near the guru. In addition, he was the teacher who taught the kAvyas (epics), and was a caretaker during the time of pUrvAshrama vidyAbhyAsam (earlier stage education) of SrI Abhinava VidyAtIrtha who dazzled in mahonnatam (very high) as the thirty-fifth Jagadguru, soon after he was admitted as a young vidyArthin (student) under his earlier name SrInivAsan. For the writer too, direct sannyAsam (stage of being an ascetic) from brahmachAryam (stage of bachelorhood) became prAptam (possible). Later the writer travelled to places like MahAdAnapuram and KAshi kShetram and attained siddhi (liberation) with brahma sAkShAtkAram (Self-Realization).

The epic titled 'Sri Jagadguru CharitAmRutam' written by him has been published in four volumes. People who have those volumes today are bhAgyashAlIs. He has also composed several stotras (hymns) and individual shlokas (verses).

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pages 1-6

(The 'Writer' starts the first chapter with some verses of his own; the first verse is presented here--sd).

चमत्कृतसुचीचेताः चन्द्रचूडालसद्गुरुः ।
सच्चिदानन्दतीर्थेऽस्मिन् समुदञ्चयतां धृशौ ॥

chamatkRutasuchIchetAshchandrachUDAlasadguruH |
sachchidAnandatIrthe&smin samuda~jchayatAM dhRushau ||

"Sri Chandrasekhara BharatI Sadguru who attracts the minds of buddhimAns (the intelligentsia) may direct his glances towards this SachchidAnanda TIrtha."

All the jIvanmukta lakShaNas that were with Sri SadAsiva Brahmam were also with this GurumUrti, right from his bAlyam (boyhood)--this lekaka (writer) had gone into paravasham (self-obliterating happiness) during his stay in Shringeri, listening to the narrative descriptions of the elders of those days about those traits.

When he was a boy, Sri AchAryAL one day went to the Shringeri bazaar to buy something, reciting the MUkaPanchasati shlokas which was his habit, and totally forgot the kAryam (task) he came there for in the first place, and went a long way past the town. An elderly gentleman who passed by saw the boy and asked, "Why did you come this far, past the town?". The boy replied, "I have now come to MUkaPanchasati's 50th shloka." The older man laughed and took the boy home after buying the required article. Not one or two are the stories when he remained in complete absence of deha-smaraNa (body sense). All the lIlAs until his jalasamAdhi would thus remain as the life story of a JaTabharata. Such mahAns, like Sri SadAsiva Brahmam would appear only rarely. These mUrtis would seem mad and dumb to prAkRuta janas (ordinary people). This is what BrahmendrAL describes as the jIvan mukta lIlA in his AtmavidyAvilAsam:

तिष्ठन् परतरधाम्नि स्वीयसुखास्वादपरवशः कश्चित् ।
क्वापि ध्यायति कुहचिद्गायति कुत्रापि नृत्यति स्वैरम् ॥

tiShThan parataradhAmni svIyasukhAsvAdaparavashaH kashchit |
kvApi dhyAyati kuhachidgAyati kutrApi nRutyati svairam ||

"A person in the state of being in brahmam and experiencing AtmAnandam, meditates in one place, sings in another place, and dances in a third."

Everything about the book AtmavidyAvilAsam that BrahmendrAL experienced and recorded is mukhastam (known by heart) to our GurucharaNAL. Whenever he was in ekAntam (solitude) he would only be doing gAnam (singing) of this book. In Shringeri on the other bank of the Tungabhadra river inside the Narasimha Vanam if one climbs up the hill, the KAla Bhairava temple could be seen at the summit. It is the custom of our GurucharaNAL during the times of sAyaMkAlam (evening) to go there for vishrAnti (rest) daily, walking pAdachAri (on foot). While waking in this manner, he would take with him on some days, a few mukhya yatIshvaras (accomplished ascetic) and only the virakta shiShyas (dispassionate disciples) who were antarangam (in proximity) to him and walk along, reciting antAdi shlokas. We, his disciples too were in the habit of reciting some antAdi shlokas for him. At those times if some vairAgyapara shlokas (verses highlighting dispassion) are recited, he would be in paramAnandam. Among the reasons for his becoming compassionate towards this Lekaka, this habit of (the Lekaka's) recital of the antAdi shlokas was the chief one. When vairAgyapara shlokas were recited from the works chittAnushAsanam, shAntitarangiNI, vairAgyatarangiNI which were composed by him, and from the works vairAgyashatakam, and shAntivilAsam, he would do abhinandanam (applaud) with paramasantoSham (supreme happiness) and kindle the utsAham (effort) of the reciter. After the antAdi was over, he would sit inside the Alayam, have the disciples seated too and would ask them to individually recite the whole of AtmavidyAvilAsam and listen to it. In the same way he would also ask for and listen to the lalitakara (charming), AchArya-prakaraNa (sages-created) grantha-shlokas such as the svAtma-nirUpaNam. One should have done koTi puNyaM (one crore meritorious things) to witness him seated as the jnAnachchuDar (flame of knowledge) forgetting his physical self with AnandabAShpam (tears of joy) flowing, doing anusaMdhAnam (inquiry, investigation) into the meanings of those shlokas. This wouldn't be had by everyone. Apart from the viraktas and sannyAsis like us, for others at that time prevesham (entry) was not allowed. Thus, if we say that like the GopAlas mingled with KrishNaParamAtma and felt happy, we his antaranga shiShyas in those days floated in the flood of happiness, it would not be an adhishayokti (techinique of exaggeration). te hi no divasA gatAH | Those days are gone, never to come back.
Gurukripa vilasam

Dear Saideo,

Thanks. But this would run into several volumes. I think you
can give short summary of several incidents which will kindle
the interest of the readers. Thanks once agian,
namaste shrI Ranganathan.

It's true that the 'guru kripA vilAsam' book is in three volumes. Although I have read them all, I find that I am not competent enough to grasp the contents and summarize/paraphrase the contents. The idea behind my selective, mostly verbatim English translation is to share with our members what I enjoyed reading and benefited therefrom. Although this is a forum of Tamil Brahmins, I think there may be a good number out of the 6000-plus members who either can't read Tamil fluently or understand it well, and this one reason behind my English translation. Moreover, in these days when Hinduism is under siege and the Hindus are weak in religious unity, we need to spread the messages of our DharmAchAryas far and wide to create an awareness of 'overreaching Hindu consciousness', and my efforts are a small contribution in this respect.
pages 6-8

Thus, making a trip to the KAla Bhairava temple in Shringeri and on that occasion the shiShyas chanting antAdi together with the AchAryAL was a custom that was already there. This custom existed during the time of our ParamagurunAthAL Sri SachchidAnanda ShivAbhinava Narasimha BhArathI MahAsvAmigaL too. One day, only the three people--Narasimha ShAstri introduced earlier (this was the pUrvAshrama name of Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara BharatI MahAsvAmigaL), and the MahArAshtrians MarkaNdeya BrahmachAri, and Keshavabhattaji--had gone to the temple with him (ParamagurunAthAL). Among them, Keshavabhattaji was the pUrvAshrama name of this Lekaka's ashrama guru Sri SivAnanda TIrthAL. At the end of the antAdi shloka recital, asking these three people to sit down and looking at Keshavabhattaji the guru said: "Hey! Bhattaji, take down on a piece of paper what I am going to tell now." Forthwith, he recited and ordered the man to jot down some shlokas as anyopadesham (indirect counsel) in a manner that their kUTArtham (ambiguity of meaning) was intelligible only to Narasimha ShAstri and not to the others. To the man who wrote them, nothing was intelligible. All of it seemed like a puzzle. Still, since it came gurumukham (from guru's mouth) all he thought about it was to preserve it and so he kept it safely. He did not speak to anyone else about this. MarkaNdeya BrahmachAri too left for his desham (province). So this rahasyam (secret) was only known to Narasimha ShAstri and Keshavabhattaji. Since ParamagurunAthAL had ordered this Narasimha ShAstri to go to Bangalore for prauDavidyAbhyAsa (higher studies), he was staying with parents in Bangalore. With what purpose did SriSannidhAnam sent him to Bangalore is devarahasyam.

During this time, our ParamagurunAthAL suddenly attained videha mukti (gave up bodily existence). After he attained siddhi, when the prashna (question) of who to appoint as the next PIThAdhipati came up, many people pleaded that only a man belonging to the pUrvAshrama vaMsha of UgraNarasimha BharatI SvAmigaL should be appointed for the post; they also demanded that it was within their pAtyam (rights). Although ParamagurunAthAL had already told SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL in secrecy that only Narasimha ShAstri should be appointed for the post, since SannidhAnam did not express his abhiprAyam (opinion) in bahirangam (public), confusion arose. And though SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL spoke to them about MahASannidhAnam's abhiprAyam, those people were not prepared to believe it. They argued that since there was no written pramANam (proof) or sAkShitA (legal witness, evidence, testimony) it was all SrIKaNTa's kalpana (imagined opinion). So without heeding to the words of SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL and because of their saMbandham (relationship) with the pUrvAshramam of UgraNarasimha BharatI SvAmigaL who was guru even to our ParamAchAryAL, they demanded visheSha pAtyam for the post. Many people feared that things might go according to the wishes of that kakShiyAr (group). But then since that ParamagurunAthAL had expressed his abhiprAyam to the Mysore MahArAjA who visited long back, and also due to the shlokas taken down by Keshavabhattaji, everyone's abhilASha (desire, wish) was fulfilled. At that time, only after Keshavabhattaji (who later took up turIyAshramam and got the yogapaTTam--title SivAnanda TIrtha) came forth, explained the details of the incident that took place in the KAla Bhairava temple on that day and made public the shlokas Sri SannidhAnam had asked him to write down, ParamagurunAthAL's abhiprAyam came to be known to the world in spaShTam (clear perception). To that Keshavabhattaji too, the puzzle which was till then unintelligible was understood. Although Sri Narasimha ShAstri attached to the Bangalore Sankara MaTham knew about everything at that time, he kept quiet. Since this Lekaka came to know about these details through his Ashrama guru Sri SivAnandar, there is no scope for any doubt in the matter.

Now the shlokas that ParamagurunAthAL asked to be taken down in the KAla Bhairava temple:

saMsAranAmakasarinnAthottaraNe tavAsti yadi vAMChA |
bAlaka shRuNu madvachanaM shRutimastakasaMmitaM shubhodarkam ||

svIkRutapArahaMsyaH sthiratarasAdhanachatuShTayopetaH |
shraddhAbhaktiyutAtmA pravichAraya tatvamAtmanaH suchiram ||

"Hey Lad, if you have the desire to cross the ocean of 'samsAram' (this worldly life), listen to my words that are in consensus with the UpaniShads and would do good later on. Taking 'sannyAsrama svIkAram' (asceticism) and acquiring the four 'sAdhanas' with firmness of mind, do 'vichAraNa' (inquiry) of 'Atma tattvam' (Self) with 'shraddhAbhakti' (sincerity and devotion) for a long time."

With ten shlokas that started with these verses, he had informed his opinion to Narasimha ShAstri and had blessed him.
Dear Saideo,
I quite appreciate your efforts and agree with your views. Since I have their
publications, I felt it would be lengthy. That is all.

I will be grateful if you can give some more links to tamil version of sanskrit
books or even tamil scriptures. Many thanks and regards,
pages 8-11

In addition, from the 'AmbA Stotram' our ParamagurunAthAL blessed us with, his abhiprAyam is known in spaShTam. In it he has informed AmbAL that only to Narasimha ShAstri is the adhikAram (right, claim) for the next title.

सर्वज्ञं श्रीन&2371;सिंहं कुरु शिवदयिते सत्वरं मद्विनम्रम् ।

sarvaj~jaM shrInRusiMhaM kuru shivadayite satvaraM madvinamram |

By this he has prayed to AmbAL to make Narasimha ShAstri, who was to become his shiShya in succession to be a sarvajna (omniscient). This Lekaka has in the book 'Chandrasekhara BharatI Vijayam' too has elaborated on this.

सर्वज्ञं श्रीनृसिंहं कुरु सततमिति प्रार्थयन् पूर्वमंबांस्वात्मनं श्रीनृसिंहं वटुमपि कलयामास तादात्म्यभावात् ।
तत्तादृक्प्रार्थनातो नरहरिगुरुराडात्मना साकमादौसर्वज्ञं यं वितेने स खलु यतिपतिश्चन्द्रचूडो गुरुर्नः ॥

sarvaj~jaM shrInRusiMhaM kuru satatamiti prArthayan pUrvamaMbAM
svAtmanaM shrInRusiMhaM vaTumapi kalayAmAsa tAdAtmyabhAvAt |
tattAdRukprArthanAto naraharigururADAtmanA sAkamAdau
sarvaj~jaM yaM vitene sa khalu yatipatishchandrachUDo gururnaH ||

Looking at AmbAL, AchAryAL prays:

"Hey AmbikE! Make Narasimhan a 'sarvajna'. Also bless me by making my 'shiShya' too a 'sarvajna mUrti'."

That is, since the term 'Narasimhan' is in anvaya (association) with him in (his name) Narasimha BharatI as well as with his disciple in (his name) Narasimha ShAstri, it is understood that he has united him and his vaTu (boy, student) with the term 'Narasimhan' and prayed to AmbAL to make them both sarvajna mUrti (embodiments of omniscience). Would what that MahAn prayed for go waste? So it seems like himself he has made his disciple who is to succeed him in the PiTham an embodiment of omniscience by AmbAL's grace. What sukRutam (meritorious acts) did we do to get as our guru, Abhinava SadAshiva Brahmam who thus got sarvajna bhAvam through the anugraha visheSham of both AmbAL and his guru? We are certainly kRutArthas (successful). The artham (meaning) that just as our Adi AchAryAL did sarvajna pIThArohaNam by the combination of the padas (terms) sarvajnaM yaM vitena, our GurucharaNAL too adorned the ShAradA PITham which is like the Sarvajna PITham, is also dhvanita (echoed, implied) in this.

सर्वज्ञो यः प्रसिद्धः श्रुतिषु जगति वा सोऽपि कैलासनाथःज्ञानाख्यां चन्द्रलेखां शिरसि कलयते चन्द्रचूडोऽस्ति तस्मात् ।
तुल्यं शुंभोर्गुरोर्वा सहजमिह परब्रह्मविध्याधिपत्वं भेदं नो विद्महेऽस्मद्गुरुपरशिवयोः नामतोऽप्यर्थतो वा ॥

sarvaj~jo yaH prasiddhaH shrutiShu jagati vA so&pi kailAsanAthaH
j~jAnAkhyAM chandralekhAM shirasi kalayate chandrachUDo&sti tasmAt |
tulyaM shuMbhorgurorvA sahajamiha parabrahmavidhyAdhipatvaM
bhedaM no vidmahe&smadguruparashivayoH nAmato&pyarthato vA ||

In this world, the name sarvajna is asAdhAraNa (uncommon) only to Paramashiva. This is because as "kRushAnuretAH sarvaj~ja", the sarvajna padam in the nigaNTus (thesauruses) like AmarakoSham has been mentioned as only ShivaperumAn's paryAyapadam (synonym). In the same way, Shruti vAkyas such as "IshAnaH sarvavidhyAnAm"* do ghoShaNam (proclamation) of only Paramashiva as the sarvajna mUrti. Since our GurucharaNAL is also a sarvajna mUrti as mentioned before, in the matter of sarvajnatvam we cannot find any difference between our Guru and Shiva.

Again, Paramashiva is called Chandrasekhara; because he is wearing the chandra kalA (phased moon) on his shiras (head). Our GurucharaNAL is also wearing the chandra kalA of jnAnam on his head. So the name Chandrasekhara, as anvartha (obvious meaning) would apply to both. Paramashiva is embracing UmAdevi who is described as brahmavidyAsvarUpiNi in the Katopanishad. So he shines as the pati (husband) of BrahmavidyAmbikA. Our GurucharaNAL himself, because of the anugraha visheSham of Guru AmbAL attaining ParaBrahmam's aparokSha sAkShAtkAram/i] (visible unity of Self-Realization) shines as the BrahmavidyApati. Thus in all the distinctions of 'sarvajnatvaM, chandrasekharatvam, brahmavidyApatitvaM' both remain the same, by shabdam (speech) or artham (meaning) no difference could be found among them! Therefore what saMdeham (dbout) could be there in saying that our GurucharaNAL is only a Paramashiva avatAram?

Pancha-Brahma Mantras

The Pancha-Brahma mantras contained in the Taittiriya AraNyaka (X.17–21) of the KrishNa Yajurveda (where tenth chapter of the Tait*tiriya Aranyaka is also known as the MahAnArayaNa Upanishad), exalt Shiva through His five forms (faces)-–SadyojAta, VAmadeva, Aghora, TatpuruSha and IshAna. The five faces or forms of Shiva represent the five functions or acts (panchakrityas)-–creation, sustenance, dissolution, concealing grace and revealing grace, respectively. The five forms or faces of Shiva also correspond to the five syllables in the holy pentasyllabic mantra-–na-mah-shi-vA-ya. Note that the Tatpurusha mantra is but the Rudra Gayatri.

(more details here: http://shivamahimna.com/2009/07/pancha-brahma-mantras/)
pages 11-14

The mahima (greatness) of such mahAns should be seen keeping his jIvanmukta lIlAs in mind. But then it has become a custom that some people who cannot understand such greatness ask that whoever has got whatever of their abhIShTa (wishes) fulfilled, through his tapas and mantra shakti. How much matihInam (stupid, senseless) to expect (fulfilment of) kShudra viShayas from the mahAns who have appeared to give upadesham of only jnAna mArgam (path of knowledge)! Such expectations are all stories of medhAvins (learned people) who went to King BhojarAjan--a king who could give sarva aishvaryas (all affluences)--, and asked for leather slippers and a needle (to stitch them). Since our GurucharaNAL was a PIThAdhipati of a SamasthAnam, in commensuration with that sthAnam (position) he had tapassiddhi, mantrasiddhi and yogasiddhi in pUrNam. Still, he only hated all those siddhis.

As mentioned in the BhAgavatam:

न योगसिद्धीरपुनर्भवं वा वाञ्छन्ति मत्पादयुगं प्रपन्नाः ।

na yogasiddhIrapunarbhavaM vA vA~jChanti matpAdayugaM prapannAH |

he used to consider all those siddhis as obstacles to his jnAna mArgam. In the same way, he considered the mantravAda viShayas as atituchCham (mere trifles). In udAharaNam (example), while taking the bhAShya pATham, he would know about the mantra shAstra pramam (mental preference to the power of mantras) of some shiShyas and would often explain the harm it could cause, so they would steer clear of it. He would explain with such vAkyas as

उत्तमा तत्वचिन्ता स्यात् मध्यमं शास्त्रचिन्तनम् ।
अधमा मन्त्रचिन्ता स्यात् तीर्थभ्रान्तिस्ततोऽधमा ॥

uttamA tatvachintA syAt madhyamaM shAstrachintanam |
adhamA mantrachintA syAt tIrthabhrAntistato&dhamA ||

[--Maitreyi Upanishad,22
"The wisest take to contemplation on the reality (of Brahman); the middling ones contemplate on the scripture; low people think of the mantras; the lowest are deluded by (the efficacy) of holy places."]

He would explain:

"tattva vichAram is important. Only that as my shiShyas you should undertake. If that is not possible, at least you can do Ananda kAlakShepam (spend time happily) doing shAstra vichAram. Only those who don't have the yogyatA (ability, fitness) for these two acts should go for mantra vichAram. Even if you enter the mantra shAstram in that manner, of what use to you would those mantra prayogas (mantra recital) be? Only others would get the fruits of your mantra prayogam. You already have the mantras such as gAyatrI, and panchAkSharam needed for your atmArtham. Doing purashcharaNam (making preparations to learn and use) of other mantras are anAvashyam (unnecessary) for jnAnAdhikaris (eligible seekers of jnAnam)."

Saying and writing, "He gave some vibhUti, and the vyAdhi (ailment, disease) got svastam (cured), so he is a mahAn" won't show his greatness. We cannot consider it his honour to estimate one who is our jnAnaguru as a mantravAdi. Therefore, we leave out those things and only explain his jnAna mahima in this essay.

All the jIvanmukta lakShaNas that were with Sri SadAshiva Brahmam also shone in their fullness in our GurucharaNAL, but this was realized by only a few people. They are explained very well in the guru stuti titled 'SadgurupAdukAstavarAjam' written by this Lekaka...

Our GurucharaNAL would sometimes go antarmukham (completely inward in consciousness). It was his custom on those occasions to remain in ekAntam (solitude) in his room without venturing out. This Lekaka was blessed with the bhAgyam to often listen to the amrita vAkyas that used to gush out through his mukhAravindam (lotus face) at those times when he was doing ekAnta vAsam. He has also noted them down... One or two of those notes will be seen at the end of this essay.

No one can remain without going into Ananda paravasham (self-obliterating happiness) if they listen to our GurucharaNAL in the avadhUta state in his ekAnta room singing in hAsyam (with laughter), as gAnam (song) and with clapping of hands. But then to the servants who wouldn't know the front and back of these words, their meaning and interest wouldn't be intelligible. If someone with the necessary buddhishakti to relate them listens to him attentively, all those words would seem as adbhuta jnAna vAkyas (extradionary lines of knowledge) that came out with brahmAtnubhavam (experience of the Self).

At other times, if any SangIta VidvAns seek to sing in the Guru Sannidhi, he wouldn't consent to it and send them with the words, "Sing in the AmbAL Sannidhi." Because of this, there were some people who thought that he did not know anything about music. All those people would bring their finger to the tip of their nose if they listen to Sri SannidhAnam's ekAnta gAnas. This Lekaka has listened to them several times and found them to be so much susvara gAnam. At other times, since he has to follow the samasthAna niyamas and sannyAsa dharma, he won't be able to sing as he liked. Once he wears the appearance of a paittiyam (madman), there would be no bar to the lilAs such as hAsyam, gAnam, nartanam (laughing, singing, dancing), and handclapping without any restraints. Therefore, as explained in the AtmavidyAvilAsam,

विहरति बालवदेको विमलसुखांभोनिधौ मग्नः ।
अवधूतकर्मजालो जडबधिरान्धोपमः कोऽपि ॥

viharati bAlavadeko vimalasukhAMbhonidhau magnaH |
avadhUtakarmajAlo jaDabadhirAndhopamaH ko&pi ||

"As one immersed in the ocean of bliss, he plays like a boy. He wanders like an insensate (jaDa), a deaf man or a blind man, shaking off all his karmas."

our GurunAthar was doing lokAknugraham showing all his sAmarthya (ability) in acting like a child, a stupid man and a madman.
Dear Ranganathanji, Kudos to you for bringing out excerpts from "Guru krupa vilasam". Under the conditions, in which, our religion remains, your effort to spread such messages is highly welcome.
pages 15-18

This Lekaka has heard it many times--some medhAvins who could not understand this tattvam, doing parihAsam (fun, laughing at) of him calling him a mere madman. But it was his custom to refrain from replying to their remarks of sneer. This is because the results of trying to explain them something they don't understand and in a language they wouldn't understand could only be kaNTha-shoShaNam (parching of the throat). Still, if someone prefers to know the answer it would be as follows:

As mumukShu (desirious of liberation) we should all one day get into this stage of madness. Only after that stage happens to us would be the mokSha for us. Those who wish to have mokSha should look forward to even that stage of madness. Let it not be thought that this is the abhiprAyam (opinion) of this Lekaka. It is a stage accepted by prasiddha mahAns (acomplished sages). Are there mahAns greater than SadAshiva BrahmendrAL in this world? His guru Paramashivendrar should also be a mahAn. Only he has revealed this rahasyaM (secret). He was alleged to have lived for a long time in KAshi after giving sannyAsa dIkShA (initiation into asceticism) to SadAshivendrAL and sending him away. When people from the DakShiNa Desham went on yAtrA to KAshi, he inquired them about his shiShya's yogakShemam and they informed him with tears: "SvAmi! SadAshivendrar who is your shiShya wanders like a madman; behaves without any vyavasta (restraints); talks without any connection in his speech. O when will he be cured of this stage of madness we don't know!" His guru Paramashivendrar was also in tears. Seeing that they asked, "O Guru! even you are distressed?" He told them in reply: "Yes, I am distressed too. But then its reason is different. You are distressed that he is suffering from madness; I am distressed that such madness has not happened to me till now, and whatever time it would take for me to reach that stage." It is this personal history that our ParamagurunAthAL has mentioned in the 'SadAshivendra stuti' he wrote:

उन्मत्तवत् संचरतीह शिष्यः तवेति लोकस्य वचांसि शृण्वन् ।
खिद्यन्नुवाचास्य गुरुः पुरोहो! उन्मत्तता मे नहि तादृशीति ॥

unmattavat saMcharatIha shiShyaH taveti lokasya vachAMsi shRuNvan |
khidyannuvAchAsya guruH puroho! unmattatA me nahi tAdRushIti ||

"Listening to the words of the people, 'Your disciple is wandering like a madman', his guru told them that such madness did not happen to him."

Thus he narrates graphically the incidents that happened before.

In this way our GurucharaNAL too has displayed his various jIvanmukta lIlAs. As stated above, in all these--that is, pAndityam, vairAgyam, jnAnam, tapas, jIvanmukta lakShaNas--in all these features there is no difference between the PUrva BrahmendrAL and this Abhinava BrahmendrAL. But then since the pratibandham (hindrance, constraint) of the JagadgurusthAnam was held by our GurucharaNAL, he couldn't wander out as he wished.

As mentioned (in the shloka):

संत्यज्य शास्त्रजालं संव्यवहारं च सर्वतस्त्यक्त्वा ।
आश्रित्य पूर्णपदवीमास्ते निष्कम्पदीपवद्योगी ॥

saMtyajya shAstrajAlaM saMvyavahAraM cha sarvatastyaktvA |
Ashritya pUrNapadavImAste niShkampadIpavadyogI ||

"Giving up the magical net of scriptural expositions and worldly affairs, the Yogi, united in the omnipresent Brahmam, stands like the motionless flame of a lamp."

since he could not give up all the vyavahAras (affairs) it was not possible for him to do svechChA-vihAram (spend time as he wished) as 'paryaTati pATitAshaH, aTavIkANeShvaTannAste (wandering ascetic and teacher). When our bhAgyavisheSham is in balam (forceful) he cannot shun his PIThAdhikAram, isn't it? Therefore, in all other features both are identical. In the matter of samAdhi too it happened in that way. BrahmendrAL, playing with children and asking them to dig a deep pit on the ground in Nerur, climbed down the pit, asked them to close it and got into samAdhi. And our GurunAthAL got into the TungA river, sat in padmAsanam did prANasaMyamanaM (breath restraint) and got into jalasamAdhi. What if it is sthalasamAdhi or jalasamAdhi? Both the MahAns, giving up this shell they came to possess due to prArabdham (action of karmic balance), attained videhakaivalyam (bodiless, absolute unity) and got united with Parabrahmam. Both remain as an akaNTa vastu (limitless substance) that is omnipresent. And shine even today in the lotus of our heart.
Of the upadesha vAkyas that came out of him when our GurucharaNAL was in ekAntam, only one or two or given below. One day when he was standing in his solitary room looking outside, as this Lekaka came under his glance, he called him with the words, "Hey ShAshtri!" and said the shloka:

जगदंबापदस्मर्तुः नहि दुःखं कदाचन ।
यदि जायेत नूनं तत् सुखोदर्काय केवलम् ॥

jagadaMbApadasmartuH nahi duHkhaM kadAchana |
yadi jAyeta nUnaM tat sukhodarkAya kevalam ||

"For one who worships the lotus feet of AmbAL, misery will never happen. In case any misery crops up it will only be for a good ending, this is certain."

and then spoke a few words about Mantresvara Sarma and roared as he finished his speech, "Write down, write down, go." This Lekaka couldn't understand anything of his words. While he was noting down the shloka immediately after he reached his place, a sudden opinion came up in the mind. Thinking that this could be an order to send the verse to Mantresvara Sarma, he wrote it and sent the note to the latter. But then it was not intelligible as to why the sage wanted the verse to be written down. When SannidhAnam became bahirmukham (conscious to the outside world) after two months, different people came to have his darshan. Mantresvara Sarma too came. When he was asked of the sequence of events relating to the verse mentioned above, he said with pravasham: "Had this shloka not come, whatever would have happened to me?" When he had lost his job and with his family expenses increasing, he was restless as to what to do further, since this had happened to him even with his doing puja unfailingly to the AmbAL mUrti divinely favoured to him by GurunAthAL, he was confused with adverse thoughts and was getting insincere about the AmbAL Puja, and it was at that time that he got GurunAthar's blessings, and he started worshipping his Devi with distinguished devotion and becaue of that he had then got a better job and so he had come to inform this to SannidhAnam,--both him and this Lekaka were sunk in surprise.

*** *** ***
pages 18-19

Another incident is about this Lekaka. This Lekaka in his pUrvAshramam, under orders from his Guru, had gone to a village called PaLavADi. All of that village belonged to the Shringeri MaTham. The village was experiencing drought due to absence of rain for sometime. Since it was a bhUmi that looked up to the sky for sustenance, the irrigation of the corn fields was done from a lake. And the lake had gone dry. Since the village people supplicated, SannidhAnam had sent this Lekaka to do pArAyaNam of the VirATa Parva (of the MahAbhArata); and he had to follow his Guru's orders. When he reached the place he became apprehensive of the situation there. The wells were very deep and the lake was completely dry. If the lake was filled, they said, there would be no worry for three years. To fill it up, what shakti is there with us? Still as GurucharaNAL has that shakti, he has sent us. It is our duty to follow his orders, so this Lekaka did in kramam (order) the VirATaparva PArAyaNam, parjanya japam (litany to the rain god) and other related things in accordance with his Guru's orders, which had a timeframe of 12 days. But then since there was no sign of rain, to do it for an additional 12 days, this Lekaka extended his stay there. After 20 days, since he was afflicted with malaria fever, this Lekaka had to stop the PArAyaNam. Rains too hadn't come till then. His body became ashaktam (weak) and since it was only a kugrAmam (hamlet, petty village) no medical facilities were there. Somehow this Lekaka managed to be there for another two days with thoughts of his GurunAthAL, and then went to the town Sivamokka, took medical help there, and when he was a little better, returned to Shringeri.

With the apprehension that his kAryam was not in pUrti (completion) so how could he have darshan of SannidhAnam, when he went to the MaTham, he got the news that GurunAthAL had gone into antarmukham. When he met SriKaNTha ShastrigaL who was having his office room adjacent to GurunAthAL's room, the man asked in anger, "Why should you agree to that kAryam if it was not possible for you to do it?" Forthwith, a roar was heard from the nearby room: "subhikSham, subhikSham, pUrNamadaH pUrNamidam" ("abundance, abundance, only wholeness there, wholeness here")! As GurunAthAL's shabda (loud words) came, ShAstrigaL send this Lekaka out. Nothing was intelligible then. On the evening of the next day, when the attendant came and said that SriKanTha ShAstrigaL was calling him, immediately this Lekaka went to his office room with some alarm. With mandahAsa (a gentle laugh) SriKanTha ShAstrigaL said, "O Shastri! All your pArAyaNa-kAryam has become saphalam (fruitful). Our manoratham (wishes) are pUrNam too; and the manobhIShTam (ardent wishes) of the people of the PaLavADi village too has become pUrNam (fulfilled). Look, we have received a telegram which says that half the lake is full and that it was still raining heavily." And he showed the telegram. Both of us understood what SannidhAnam said as pUrNamadaH pUrNamidam and subhikSham, subhikSham.

Therefore, even when he was in antarmukham, our SannidhAnam never failed to do anugraham to his disciples.

(end of chapter 1)
*** *** ***
pages 20-25

शृङ्गाद्रिसंभूतमतिप्रशान्तं स्वसेविनां पावनमार्तिहारि ।
विद्यासुतीर्थाख्यमुदक्प्रवाहं विराजते जन्ङ्गमतीर्थमेकम् ॥

shRu~ggAdrisaMbhUtamatiprashAntaM svasevinAM pAvanamArtihAri |
vidyAsutIrthAkhyamudakpravAhaM virAjate jan~ggamatIrthamekam ||

Born in the hills of Shringagiri, removing the sins and sufferings of those who revere him and making them pure, and wandering from south to north, shines the very peaceful PuNyATIrthaM (sacred stream), which has taken a human form as Abhinava VidyAtIrtha.

We have already narrated about the countless avatAra lIlAs and jIvanmukta lIlAs of our GurunAthAL (Sri Chandrasekhara BharatI SvAmigaL) who was adorning Sri Shringagiri Jagadguru vyAkhyAna siMhAsanam (throne with a duty of exposition of dharma). Many other people too have explained his greatness through their experiences. However, since no one has written in detail about the shiShya parigraham (taking charge of disciples) he did as loka kShemArtham (for prosperity of the world), and as many people prayed for something to be written about it, let us explain something about it in this essay.

That the present MahAsannidhAnam (SrI Abhinava VidyAtIrtha) for the last five years is doing saMchAram (wandering) in our DakShiNa Desham from KAlaDi to Chennai and Hyderabad, giving a variety of lectures about dharma, and by the rain of nectar of his multitudinous teachings growing the crops of the Karma, Bhakti and JnAna yogas in the mental fields of all Astika mahAjana (people who believe in God) in accordance with their adhikAram (claim, right, privilege), and purifying all the places he passes through, shining as some jangamatIrtham (a moving form of pilgrimage) in the form of VidyAtIrtha--is known to all of us who are parama bhAgyashAlis (very fortunate) to watch it all in person and read about it in magazines, feeling very happy.

We can never forget--and never we would--that it was only our GurunAthar (Sri Chandrasekhara BharatI MahAsvAmigaL) who created such an apUrva jangamatIrtham for our sake. "How did he select such an utsava mUrti? What are our gains in it? How did he bring about the sAdhana sampad (spiritual transformation) in that siShya during the disciple's pUrvAshrama phase?" If something is published in brief about such themes, would it not be well understood by our many guru bhaktas as to what extent our ParamaGurunAthAL was illustrious as a dIrgha-darshin (sage with prevision)? Our writing is only for this sake.

As we mentioned earlier, how did we get an apUrva jangamatIrtham? It is known to everyone that this apUrva tIrtham who is VidyAtIrtha mUrti roaming from south to north and sanctifying our entire BhArata Desham, was residing in Shrigagiri in his pUrvAshram under the name SrInivAsan. Conducting his upanayanam too in vidhivat (according to rule) in the Shringagiri MaTham, and after doing samarpaNam (handing completely over) of their son for gurukula-vAsam (residential studentship) at our Paramaguru MahASannidhAnam, his parents left for their residence in Bangalore. From thereon, only this MahASannidhAnam was the mAtA pitA guru deivam--all--for this SrInivAsan. Sri MahASannidhAnam too accepted it and asked SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL to make all arrangements so this boy remained under his sight at all times.

It is the tIvra abhilASha (ardent wish) of our MahASannidhAnam that during the time of vidhyAbhyAsam (education and training) no affinity towards saMsAram (worldly affairs) nor any prapancha vAsana (worldly impressions) should occur to the vidyArthins (students). So he selected a place that was suitable to these needs for their vidyAbhyAsam. It was a kuTIraM (cottage) located in the Narasimha Vanam on the other bank of the Tungabhadra, near the adhiSTAnam (tomb) of ShrI NarasiMha BhAratI MahASvAmigaL and very near the SatchidAnanda Vilas Ashramam where Sri SannidhAnam lived.

The RamAyaNa and other scriptures report that the RiShyaShringa kShetram (sacred place) is the most parama shAntam in the whole world. And within that kShetram, ShrIMaTham on the bank of the TungA river is a place which is so much ramya (delightful) and ekAnta (solitary). But then considering that the structures of ShrI ShAradAmbAL Alayam and the Veda PAThashAla (vedic school) that are within the precints of the MaTham are always filled with yAtrikas (tourists), sevArtIs (worshippers) and vidyArthins, so pUrNa ekAta vAsam (completely isolated residence) couldn't be obtained here, our GurunAthar chose NarasiMha Vanam on the other bank, leaving out even ShrI ShAradAmbAL SannidhAnam. Perhaps it was his desire to somehow raise this SrInivAsan into a RiShi KumAran without any sort of prapancha vAsana by guiding him to concentrate only on his vidyAbhyAsam! In accordance with his saMkalpa (will, mental resolve), SrInivAsan too shined as a RiShi KumAran in his brahmachArya avasthA (state of bachelorhood).

After selecting this place, GurucharaNAL employed a cook in that ekAnta kuTIram (solitary cottage) and facilitated the comfort of sAtvika AhArAdi (spiritually congenial food). He also let three other boys to stay with SrInivAsan as sahapAThis (classmates) and appointed this Lekaka exclusively to stay with and attend to these four boys guiding them into doing SandhyA Vandanam, Agni KAryam, SUrya NamaskAram and such other practices without fail, and also teach them the Upanishad part of the Vedas along with a few Samskruta bAla pAThas (elementary lessions). This Lekaka gets goosebumps to think about the memoirs of having taught bAla shikSha (elementary education) to this MahAn who is adored all over the world. In effect, this Lekaka got the bhAgyam of teaching this MahAn bAla shikSha during his bAlyam (boyhood).

In accordance with ShrI SannidhAnam's orders, this Lekaka too resided ahorAtram (day and night) in that kuTIram (cottage) and attended to those four boys. Since there was no communication at all between the Shringagiri village and this NarasiMha Vanam, there was no avakAsham (intermediate time, room, occasion) for these four vidyArthins for sports and games outside their vidyAbhyAsam. Even if they wanted to play, boys couldn't come from the other bank. So they could only play with the deers and peacocks there in the sAyaMkAlam (evening) times. To anyone who sees the boys thus playing with the deers and peacocks, they would appear as RiShi KumAras and a sort of AhlAdam (refreshment, gladdening of heart) would occupy the onlooker's mind. And those who have watched all this in person would only be reminded of the memoirs of the gurukula-vAsam done by Kusha and Lava (sons of ShrI RAmA) in the VALmIki Ashram. This Lekaka too got the bhAgyam of watching it all, feeling happy and be gladdened at heart. Since ShrI RAmachandra ShAstrigaL taught the boys kAvya pAThas (lessons in the epics), he also got this bhAgyam sometimes. All these arrangements were only for SrInivAsan who was to succeed him as a disciple with the title. But only later everyone came to know about the shiShya parigraham that was being done to the boy. Isn't "phalAnumeyAH prAraMbhAH"* the lakShaNam of the MahAns?

As to why did this thought of shiShya parigraham occurred to our MahASannidhAnam when he was still within 40 years of age, there was a good reason for it. Even at the time he obtained sannyAsam he did not have the willingness for this PIThAdhikAram (position of pontiff). He had informed it in spaShTam (clearly) to SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL who was then the sarvAdhikArin (general superintendent) (of the MaTham). That Parama GurunAthar had the name NarasiMha ShAstri in his pUrvAshrama, right? If we pay attention to the saMbhAShaNaM (conversation) that took place between him and SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL when the latter compelled him to take up sannyAsam as well as PIThAdhikAram, we would understand his inclination. The conversation was as follows:

SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL: NarasiMhA! Our GurunAthar has expressed his wish to give you sannyAsam along with the PiThAdhikAram.

NarasiMha ShAstri: I shall accept the first (of the two things) you told me now. I am not in a position to accept the second.

SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL: You say you would accept mere sannyAsam? When SannidhAnbam himself has appointed you as PiThAdhikAri is it proper to say no to it?

NarasiMha ShAstri: SannidhAnam has informed me in sUchana (as a hint) once sometime back to obtain only sannyAsam.

SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL: Would he have recommended just sannyAsam for uttama shiShyas like you? So if it is sannyAsam, the PiThAdhikAram also goes with it.

NarasiMha ShAstri: But I have neither the inclination nor the administrative skills to handle the PiThAdhikAram.

SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL: If you have no skills (for that) would the Guru AjnA (Guru's orders) be what it is?

NarasiMha ShAstri: Only as "pravichAraya tatvamAtmanaH suchiram" (persisting inquiries into the Self for a very long time) has GurucharaNAL ordered me once long before. So the Ashrama svIkAram (taking up the Ashram of ascetics) is only for Atmatattva-vichAram (inquiry into the Self) and not for PiThAdhikAram.

SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL: You can do Ashrama svIkAram as his ShiShya and do Atma vichAram as you wish. What stops it?

NarasiMha ShAstri: Only this PiThAdhikAram stops it. If I accept the PiThAdhikAram, wouldn't there be many laukika vyavahAras (actions and practices of worldly life)?

SrIKaNTa ShAstrigaL: You need not fear it. I shall accept and administer all the laukika vyavahAram. I shall ensure that there would be no impediment to your Atma vichAram because of them. So you don't have to worry.

NarasiMha ShAstri: If you take up administration of all laukika vyavahAras and give me the saukarya (facilities) for Atma vichAram and shAstra abhyAsam (scriptural reading and practice), I am ready for the Ashrama svIkAram.

"phalAnumeyAH prAraMbhAH"* (consequences inferable from the commencement). The English saying "A task well begun is half done" is similar.
pages 25-29

What we know from this saMbhAShaNaM is that without any willingness to hold the PIThAdhikAram (position of pontiff) or interest in laukika viShayas (worldly affairs), exclusively for the sadA Atma vichAra saukaryam (facility of incessant spiritual inquiry) that he accepted sannyAsam, isn't it clear? Perhaps it was because of this inclination of his that he took saMkalpam (mental resolve) to do shiShya parigraham so that he might be able to keep away from the tasks related to the SamasthAnam even while he was young. Although until that time, due to the nirbandham (compulsion) and prArthanA (supplication) of his devotees he did anusaraNa (followed) of the customs like kirITa dhAraNam (wearing a crown) and such other samasthAna ADambara (institutional fanfare), since they all seemed hurdles to his Atma niShTha (mediation on Self), through shiShya parigraham he renounced everything and do anuShThita (practise) his jIvanmukta lIlas.

If he has to keep away from the SamasthAna kAryas, should he not thoroughly examine and appoint a suitable PIThAdhikAri? Only for that purpose he made arrangements as narrated above for four vidyArthins to do gurukulavAsam. Although SannidhAnam had realized that only SrInivAsan was the appropriate adhikAri (authority), for the sake of sampradAyam (tradition) he arranged for the other students to be educated and trained along with him. Soon after the kAvya pATham started, he called the boys and personally tested them. In every parIkSha (examination) only SrInivAsan came out in the first rank--the readers could have known this without mention. Our GurucharaNAL went into paravasham looking at his disciple's medhAshakti, gurubhakti (cability of knowledge, devotion to guru) and vAkvilAsam (skill in speech and writing). Should it be told that this Lekaka who was with them also went into paravasham?

After some training in the epic lessions, the guru would ask them to recite antAdi shlokas and test them. Everytime he went to the KAla Bhairava temple with the boys, he would also ask this Lekaka to accompany them, and do vimarshanam (discussion, inquiry) of many interesting viShayas (themes). Let us mention one or two among those viShayas here.

One among the four vidyArtins mentioned above was a student of English. He was one who had visheSha abhimAnam (special affinity) for the English language. While playing in the evening times on the banks of TungA he had bragged something about the greatness of the English language. Saying such things as "Although Samskritam is lofty, can it be equal to the rAja bhAShA (sovereign language) English?", he had outwitted the other boys. Since this fellow was a chatterbox, the points of the other boys about the greatness of Sanskrit did not yield the desired results.

This was known only later, since this Lekaka was not present at the scene. The next day this happened, when this Lekaka as usual with the boys accompanied GurucharaNAL and reached the KAla Bhairava temple, the sage asked everyone to be seated and ordered them to do charcha (debate) about the subject, "Is Samskritam a great language? Or English a great language?" The boy who bragged about the greatness of English yesterday simply blinked today.

Looking keenly at him GurucharaNAL asked. "AppA, in Samskritam how many names are there for sUrya (the sun)?"

The boy started counting the padas (tokens) in the Amarakosham.

"Let it stay. For chandra, nakShatra, samudra (moon, star, ocean) for these things, how many names are there?"

SrInivAsan recited the shloka in the Amarakosham. Nothing was intelligible to that boy.

"sari (alright), let it be. Somebody tell me in English how many paryAyapadas (synonyms) are there for sun, moon, star and ocean."

The other boys looked at the chatterbox. He could tell only one name for each of the things.

"Do you understand that when there are so many words in Samskritam, why in other languages there should be only one word? Is it not established by this that saMskRutam mAtru bhAShA (Sanskrit is the mother of languages), and the other bhAShAs are only its saMtatis (progeny)?" The sage asked the question, laughing.

The boys, surprised, looked at each other. Later they discussed within themselves, "This is the reply for what we talked about in the riverbank. How did he know about what we were talking?" How could the boys know that their guru is a sarvajna mUrti?

One day in the KAla Bhairava temple when he was thus explaining to the students the greatness of Samskritam, by agasmAt* (chance) a vidvAn (pandit, scholar) arrived there. He seemed to be feeling distressed. Even as he sighted the pandit at a distance, GurucharaNAL thought of something, and when he arrived he told the following shlokam to the students loudly so the pandit could hear it, and ordered them that they should memorize it and recite to him on the next day; and then he started doing kushala-prasnam (inquired about life and health) with the VidvAn.

दारा इमे मे तनया इमे मे गृहा इमे मे पशवश्च मे मे ।
इत्थं नरो मेषमानधर्मा मेमेकरः कालवृकेण नीतः ॥

dArA ime me tanayA ime me gRuhA ime me pashavashcha me me |
itthaM naro meShamAnadharmA memekaraH kAlavRukeNa nItaH ||

"These wives are mine (mE), these children are mine (mE), these houses are mine (mE) and these cattle are mine too (mE mE). The man who thus says 'mE, mE', has the same disposition as a sheep (which bleats 'mE, mE') and is taken away by the wolf of time."

As he heard this shloka, that VidvAn gushed tears profusely, and prayed to the sage saying, "PrabhO! What I came to have your darshan for from a long distance has now been fulfilled. My mind has got shAnti (peace). If I could get the mantrAkShata prasAdam it would be convenient for me to return to my place by the next train."

With a mandahAsa (smile) GurucharaNAL sent him away giving him prasAdam. This Lekaka who was nearby couldn't understand anything (about VidvAn's words). Although that VidvAn received the prasAdam due to some doubt, he did not return home on that day. On the next day too to the KAla Bhairava temple this Lekaka and that VidvAn had come, along with the students. Looking at the students first, GurucharaNAL asked them to recite the shloka one by one. Then he explained its meaning as in an upanyAsam (lecture) and asked them one after another, "You know why did I tell you this shloka?" Each student stated a different reason. But then the reason stated by our SrInivAsan was the most appropriate, which was: "The greatness of the Sanskrit language is expreseed by this verse. The mere sound 'mE' refers to 'me, my preferences to my own people' as well as to the bleat of sheep. Thus we can see only in Sanskrit words, each of which refers to different meanings. This shloka came (from our Guru's mouth) only to showcase the greatness of that Sanskrit language." As SrInivAsan spoke loudly with confidence, we were all impressed.

But then the VidvAn who had come did not agree with this explanation. He humbly requested SannidhAnam of his desire to speak about it: "PrabhO! Only to do samAdhAnam to (pacify) me has this shloka come from SannidhAnam's mukha-kamalam (lotus face). Although I have aishvaryam (wealth) in yadeShTam (abundance), I have no putra bhAgyam (fortune of a son). Whatever is born gets antardhAna (vanishes). My samsAram (wife) is also not well. I came only to express these kaShTa (grievances) to SannidhAnam and get some rakShAbandhanam (protective cord) and then return. After I came here and heard this upadesha mozhi (words of advice), since I did not wish to inform my grievances here, I took leave yesterday itself. Had I returned yesterday, I couldn't have heard the explanation of this verse completely. Having heard that also today, my mind is at peace now, so I have decided that no rakShAbandhanam is necessary. Therefore, there is no doubt that this shloka was released yesterday by SannidhAnam only for my sake." With these words, the VidvAn took leave. Later it was heard that he took sannyAsam in KAshi.

That in this way, GurucharaNAL's every world is capable of giving several meanings and could comfort several minds is an experience often had by the disciples who moved with him.

agasmAt: what are the Samskrita roots of this word, whose meaning is usually taken as 'chance'? Perhaps Agas (transgression, offence, fault) and smat (at the same time, along with)?--sd
Dear Saideoji, ur further translated publications from the book'Guru Krupa Vilasam' are very thrilling. In fact, I think, there may be a number of people who are unaware of the greatness of Sri Chandrasekhara Bharathy Mahaswami. Ur efforts will do a long way in taking Him to those people. U accrue a good amount of punyam not only by ur thinking about a Jivasnmuktha, but also making others think of Him.
namaste Sankaranarayananji.

I am happy with your appreciation and pray for our gurus' blessings to continue with my efforts.
pages 30-33

While SrInivAsan was thus along with the other boys lived as Rishi KumAras doing gurukulavAsam and vidyAbhyAsam, one day SrInivAsan's mother mAtRushrI SrI LakshmiyammAL had come from Bangalore to see his son and have darshan of GurunAthAL. After having darshan of SannidhAnam first and then meeting and chatting with her son, she left Narasimha Vanam at five in the evening and reached the other bank. Forthwith, SannidhAnam too started out to the KAla Bhairava temple. This Lekaka also went along with the vidyArthins on being informed by the watchmen. While on the way to the temple, GurunAthar recited the following shloka and asked the boys about its meaning.

सूते सूकरयुवतिः सुतशतम्-अत्यन्त-दुर्भगं झडिति ।
करिणी चिराय सूते सकल-महिपाल-लालितं कलभम् ॥

sUte sUkarayuvatiH sutashatam-atyanta-durbhagaM jhaDiti |
kariNI chirAya sUte sakala-mahipAla-lAlitaM kalabham ||

--haMsa saMdesha by SrI VedAnta Desika

"A sow, i.e., a she-pig gives birth to a hundred, ugly young ones in a trice whereas a cow i.e., female elephant gives birth to a stately baby over a long period, which is fondled by all the rulers of the land."

The boys somehow managed with their combined efforts to arrive at the meaning of the verse.

He asked them, "Can anyone (of you) tell me why I recited this (verse) at this time?"

The boys were in bhramitaM (confusion, amazement). At length SrInivAsan managed to use his medhAvilAsam (shine of intelligence) and came up with the meaning. "Even if a large pAThashAlA (school) prepares a hundred vidyArtins and they don't study properly or have the medhA shakti, there will be no prayojanam (use). If another small school prepares a single boy and that boy shines as a medhAvin (learned person), he would be admired by kings and bring kIrti (fame) to that small school." As he expressed the abhiprAyam (opinion) that came to his mind, Guru, this Lekaka and the other boys were immersed in surprise. This was something they did not expect.

Looking at this Lekaka, GurunAthar said, "What is your abhiprAyam?" Without being able to express his opinion in spaShTam (with clarity), this man said in sUchakaM (hint). "The bhAgyam of giving birth to a MahA PuruSha who is capable of holding the lofty postion of Jagadguru which is adored by kings is given to only one ammAL (mother). There would be no use if the other mothers give birth to many sons." Then this Lekaka started to talk something more about LakshmiyammAL but the sage stopped him with a jesture. He went on to talk with some vidyAbhyAsa subjects in a bid to conceal the reference and sent everyone away.

Later this Lekaka noticed the boys talking among themselves in hushed tones. "SrInivAsA! Only about your mother did SannidhAnam recited that shloka, right?", a boy asked, and this Lekaka went into a state of goosebumps as he listened to SrInivAsan's reply: "I knew that. Can I speak that out myself? Which is why I did such an ullekhaM (intuitive description)."

A month after this happened, SrInivAsan was transformed into SrI Abhinava VidyAtIrtha. If that 14 year old boy had the rAjatantraM (strategy) and sAmarthyam (capability) to hide and change the meaning of a verse that he knew well referred only to his mother as she had taken leave of them hardly five minutes back, by doing an apUrva ullekhaM (about its reference), readers can guess how much loka tantra jnAnam that MUrti, now 44 years old, should have.

How much bhAgyashAlis everyone of us to have been blessed with such a sarvajna mUrti as our VidyAtIrtha Guru! We are witnessing in person and experiencing for the last four generations as to how every guru in the Shringagiri PITha Parampara (succession) shines as a ratnaM (gem). Aren't we witnessing how each one of them shines matchless in tapas, vidyA and AtmajnAna niShTa? The reason for all that is the training and education they received in their boyhood.

This vidyAbhyAsa svakarmanuShThAna (study and rigours of Self-reliance) training is one that is asAdhAraNa (extraordinary) to the Shringagiri MaTham. Because it is durlabhaM (rare, difficult to obtain) that such an ekAnta sanniveshaM (residence and foundation in solitude) is obtained anywhere else. First it should be ensured that the winds of civilization does not blow (in that life). And there must be good sahavAsaM (classmates). NarasiMha Vanam had plenty of such saukaryaM (facility). The sahavAsa doSha of bad boys can never reach this place. And there is no anna doShaM too; because it is the custom here to take only the sAttvika AhAraM (spiritually conducive food) that was offered in nivedanam in the daily puja. Since this Lekaka was doing AtmArtha pUja to the bANa lingam and the NarasiMha MUrti and AmbikA (Mother) given to him in anugraham by our GurunAthar, and the order was that only the annam given in nivedanam to those devatas should be taken, there was no prasakti (connection) to any anna doShaM at all. Thus, only because the vidyAbhyAsaM was held without anything lacking in anna shuddhi, sharIra shuddhi, vAk shuddhi, manas shuddhi (purification of food, body, speech and mind), today SrI Abhinava VidyAtIrthAL's mahima (greatness) shines all over as vAsAma kosaraM (beyond the reach of any word).

Thus our GurucharaNAL is one who did vRuddhi (foster, increase) of tapas shakti, medhA shakti, Atma niShTa (power of penance, knowledge and meditation on Self) right from his brahmacharya avastha (state of bachelorhood). Why is why the SrInivAsan who was then growing like Kusha-Lava did in their VAlmIki Ashram, today shines as the Jagadguru. From this the readers would have understood that if today he has the apUrva mahima that sends everyone into spiritual raptures by his upadesha amRuta varShaM (rain of ambrosial teaching) in mahA sabhas filled with thousands of mahA rasikas (members of audience), vidvAns (pandits) and prabhus (lords), much like Kusha-Lava who was doing RAmAyaNa prasangam (elaboration) in the mahA sabhA (great assembly) at the ashvamedha mahAmaNDapam (royal hall) presided over by SrI RAmachandra, it is only because of the tapobalam (strength of penance) he practised from his brahmacharyam (bachelorhood); the education he learnt and realized; and that in turn was due to curriculam set up by our GurunAthAL. Only that curriculam makes him who was then living like Rishi Kumaras playing with deers and peacocks, today move with Rajas, Mantris (ministers) and RAshtrapatis (presidents). Makes the whole world bow to him at his feet. Only our GurunAthAL is the mUla-kAraNam (root cause) for all this accomplishment.

To that GurunAthAL himself this VidyAtIrtha was doing sushrUShA (service) with paramabhakti (supreme devotion) for 24 years always being with him. Our GurunAthAL too planted a sapling and saw it growing with patra-puShpa-sakhAdi (leaves, flowers and other accompaniments) and only after knowing that this sapling would evolve into a phala vRukSha for sadhus (nivAsavRukShAH sAdhUnAm) became antardhAna (vanished, passed away) after 24 years.

निवासवृक्षं साधूनां विद्यातीर्थं वितीर्य नः ।
योऽन्वग्रहीत् स्मरामस्तं चन्द्रशेखरसद्गुरुं ॥

nivAsavRukShaM sAdhUnAM vidyAtIrthaM vitIrya naH |
yo&nvagrahIt smarAmastaM chandrashekharasadguruM ||

"VidyatIrtha who has penetrated beyond the worldly life is the shelter of a tree for sadhus. And let us remember Chandrasekhara Jagadguru who understood it with his prevision."
Gurukripa vilasam

Dear sri Saidevo,

Nice and absorbing translation. All the Pontiffs of sri Sringeri Mutt
are not only highly learned in vedanta and the darshanas, they are
all Jivanmukthas. Their knowledge of uttara mimamsa and tarka
is superb. They are very keen that we do our swadharma without
fail. I still remember their conversations with many devotees on this
aspect. I pray the Gurus to shower their blessings on you.
Last edited:
pages 34-36

अगौरी-रमणं कञ्चिदफाल-नयनं नुमः ।
अविनायक-तातं तमपूर्वं चन्द्रशेखरं ॥

agaurI-ramaNaM ka~jchidaphAla-nayanaM numaH |
avinAyaka-tAtaM tamapUrvaM chandrashekharaM ||

1. Chandrashekhara (ParamaShiva) is PArvati's spouse. One with an eye on his forehead, and father of VinAyaka. Although these three features are not with our SannidhAnam, he too is a rare Chandrashekhara. Let us adore him.

ब्रह्मविद्या समाश्लेषे ऽप्यूर्ध्वरेतो व्रतान्वितम् ।
तथाऽपि विद्यातीर्थस्य जनकं सद्गुरुं नुमः ॥

brahmavidyA samAshleShe &pyUrdhvareto-vratAnvitam |
tathA&pi vidyAtIrthasya janakaM sadguruM numaH ||

2. Although Sadguru is with the woman BrahmaVidyA, he never relinquishes his brahmacharya niyama (rigours of bachelorhood). Although it is such, he is father of a tanayan (offspring) called VidyAtIrtha. He is one who has blessed us with his shiShya VidyAtIrtha. Let us adore him.

तीर्थ प्रसाद दातारः सन्त्वन्येऽपि मठाधिपाः ।
विद्यातीर्थप्रदाता तु केवलं नो जगद्गुरुः ॥

tIrtha prasAda dAtAraH santvanye&pi maThAdhipAH |
vidyAtIrthapradAtA tu kevalaM no jagadguruH ||

3. Every mahAn gives tIrthaM and prasAdaM. Only our SannidhAnam is the one who gave us the tIrthaM of jnAnam (in the form of Abhinava VidyAtIrtha).

As per the usual practice, one evening in Shringagiri this Lekaka took the vidyArthins to the KAla Bhairava temple on the orders of SrI MahASannidhAnam. There were many flowering plants on the way. When we were passing through them, we found a man driving away a cow. Seeing him throw a stone at the cow and beat it with a stick, SrI SannidhAnam called him near and asked, "Can you beat a cow?" The watchman replied, "This is not a cow belonging to the MaTham. Some cow that came from the town. Since it is damaging the flowering plants, I drive it away."

SannidhAnam said, "appA! Among cows, one should not distinguish between our cow and another's cow. It is a speechless animal. It should never be beaten."

The watchman started shivering in fear and said, "SvAmi! It can't be driven out without beating it."

Our GurunAthAL said, "I shall tell you an upAyam (approach). Here, pluck this green grass that has grown on this side of the path, prompt the cow with it and escort it out." The watchman did as told and the cow readily went with him.

To SrInivAsan and the other students who were witnessing this incident, the sage said, "Let me see if you can come up with a shloka that is uchita (proper) for this sandarbhaM (circumstance)."

Everyone was in digbrama (perpexity towards a direction). Nothing came up to this Lekaka too. None of us knew how it 'came in sphuraNaM' (flashed) to SrInivAsan alone. He said in a confident tone,

upAyena hi yachChakyaM na tachChakyaM parAkramaiH (note #1) ("Strength and power lie in the way a strategy of attack is planned and executed.")

and we all appreciated his pratibhA shakti (presence of mind). He was only fourteen at that time.

Although SannidhAnam was happy in his heart, he said, "Let it be. Can you people come up with anything else?" We all started blinking again, including this Lekaka.

At that time, a sAvukAra (zamindar) arrived there. He asked, "Can I come to the KAla Bhairava temple too?" the sage said, "AhA! can come" and took the man with him. We went discussing this cow. That cow happened to belong to this landowner but we did not know how our SannidhAnam knew it. Inquiring some yogakShemaM with him, the sage asked looking at this Lekaka, "What is the reply to what I had asked you?"

Since he had some leisure meantime to think about it, taking up the example in today's bhAShya pAThaM (lecture on Sankara's 'bhAShya') on the subject pasvAdibhishchA-visheShAt (cognitional activity of animals like cows) about how the bhAShyakAra (commentator) elaborated in the words:

हरित-त्र्ण-पूर्ण-पाणिम् उपलभ्य तम् प्रत्यभिमुखी भवन्ति

harita-trNa-pUrNa-pANim upalabhya tam pratyabhimukhI bhavanti
--in Adi Sankara's commentary on Brahma Sutra

[A cow, for instance, walks up to a man who advances with some fresh grass in his hand.]

this Lekaka said, "The subject that came up in today's lesson is seen in pratyakSha (before the eys) here. Because as mentioned in the previous line, (note #2)

yathA daNdodyakaram puruSam abhimukham upalabhya,
mAm hantum ayam icChatIti palAyitum Arabhante

since we have seen here in person the cow running away when the watchman approached it with a stick and after being advised by SannidhAnam he took a bunch of green grass in hand, and the cow started following him, I have realized that all that the BhAShyakAra said is real."

SanndidhAnam approved it with a mandahAsa (smile) but said, "This is your abhiprAyam (opinion); what I came to talk about was different."

1. This line is from the Hitopadesha tale of the crow devising a strategy to kill a black serpent that ate up its eggs by dropping the Queen's golden chain in the hole at the base of the tree where the serpent lived.

upAyena hi yachchhakyaM na tachchhakyaM parAkramaiH |
kAkI kanaka\-sUtreNa kR^iShNa\-sarpamaghAtayat || 187||

2. From Adi Sankara's commentary on the Brahma Sutra:

यथा दण्दोद्यकरम् पुरुशम् अभिमुखम् उपलभ्य,
माम् हन्तुम् अयम् इच्छतीति पलायितुम् आरभन्ते
हरित-त्र्ण-पूर्ण-पाणिम् उपलभ्य तम् प्रत्यभिमुखी भवन्ति

yathA daNdodyakaram puruSam abhimukham upalabhya,
mAm hantum ayam icChatIti palAyitum Arabhante
harita-trNa-pUrNa-pANim upalabhya tam pratyabhimukhI bhavanti

"A cow, for instance, when she sees a man approaching with a raised stick in his hand, thinks that he wants to beat her, and therefore moves away; while she walks up to a man who advances with some fresh grass in his hand."

pages 36-39

He recited a nIti shloka:

गोशतादपि गोशीरं प्रस्थं धान्यशतादपि ।
प्रासादेऽपि च खट्वार्धं शेषाः परविभूतयः ॥

goshatAdapi goshIraM prasthaM dhAnyashatAdapi |
prAsAde&pi cha khaTvArdhaM sheShAH paravibhUtayaH ||

ane explained its meaning. While doing so he also recited another shloka:

धेनुर्वत्सस्य गोपस्य स्वामिनस्तस्करस्य वा (च) ।
पयः पिबति यो यस्याः (यस्तस्या) धेनुस्तस्येति निश्चयः ॥

dhenurvatsasya gopasya svAminastaskarasya vA (cha) |
payaH pibati yo yasyAH (yastasyA) dhenustasyeti nishchayaH ||


and he asked, "Know why I have told you these shlokas?" Only SrInivAsan gave an appropriate reply to this too.

Although a man might possess hundreds of cows, riches and abundant grains, what is used for his own jIvanam (living) is svalpa (very little). In the same way, although the Vedas are ananta (endless, countless), as the saying goes, 'yatsArabhUtaM tadupAsitavyam' (note #1), only he who absorbs their essence is bhuddhishAli (intelligent).

The sAvukAra (zamindar) who heard all these started speaking: "SvAmi! I don't support this. I think what SannidhAnam spoke about go-saMrakShaNa (safeguarding cows) and other points are only for my sake. Because, it is my mistake that I keep hundreds of cows and don't safeguard them properly, and even beat them. It is also a mistake that I sell their milk and use the money for my family. Henceforth, I shall use the milk of those cows for devatA viShaya (deity worship) and feeding sadhus. This is certain." He promised and kept his promise. SannidhAnam too was happy saying, "ekA kriyA hi arthakarI babhUva" ("the same action has multiple meanings"):

That is, (1) the meaning of the pankti (row, series) pasvAdibhishchA-visheShAt (cognitional activity of animals like cows) that came up in today's bhAShya pAThaM (lecture on Sankara's 'bhAShya') became vichatam (Tamil)(evident, clear). (2) As SrInivAsan pointed out, only sArAgrahaNam (grasping the essence) is pradhAnam (important). (3) As the sAvukAra mentioned, it is clear that go-saMrakShaNa is also a great dharma.

After they reached the kuTIraM (cottage), SrInivAsan was talking to the other boys. "Had I been asked, I would have given another point too. That is, since the meaning "the upAdhyAyas (teachers) should not beat the boys; they should correct them to good ways in the same manner that the cow was controlled using a bunch of grass" is also explained by this, it should have been mentioned as 'chaturarthakarI babhUva'. He told this in a voice that could be heard by this Lekaka, and by his prankish laugh that went along with that, became dear to our minds. Thus this Lekaka has many times experienced such skills of speech that followed the boy along with his medhAvilAsam since his bAlyam (boyhood).

Although our GurunAthAL was always remained in the great jIvanmukta state, during the times of vyavAha (worldly life), he would talk just like the normal people. Sometimes he would speak humourously and for tamasha and would delight his disciples. One day when going to the KAla Bhairava temple, after testing the students in the RaghuvaMsha Shlokas he asked: "They call it RaghuvaMshaM. Can you tell me who were all in that VaMsha?" After some names were mentioned, he asked, "Let it be. rAmasya pitA kaH? (who was Rama's father)?" The boys replied, "DasharathaH." When he asked "tasya pitA kaH? (who was his father?)" the reply "AjaH" was given. Again he went on asking, "tasya pitA kaH? tasya pitA kaH?" The boys too replied with the names Raghu, DilIpan, but they couldn't go beyond that. When the GurunAthAL said, "There is a folk tale about this. Have you heard it?", we prayed to him to tell us the tale.

GurunAthar started narrating with mandahAsa (smile): "There lived a great prabhu (lord) in a place. He was a kRupaNa shikhAmaNi (the crown of misers). But he 'did sambhAvana' (honoured) some VidvAns so that the people might think that he was a dAtA (donor). As many VidvAns started coming to him on hearing this, he came up with an upAya (stratagem). That is, he set a nibandhana (binding, condition) that he would give money only to those who answered his questions without giving up, and nothing to others. For this purpose, he was ready with a question. He would ask those who came to him, "What have you studied?" The VidvAns would say something like tarka (logic), vyAkaraNa (grammar), Vedanta and would expect questions to be asked in their area of study. But he would only ask a question from the RaghuvaMsham. That is, he would start with the question, "rAmasya pitA kaH?" and would go on, "tasya pitA kaH, tasya pitA kaH?" The VidvAns who arrived, would give up after a few names and return without getting any money from him.

TenAli RAmA, the vikaTakavi (cown-jester-poet of the Vijayanagara kingdom), heard about this and went to the prabhu with some proper preparation to counter his questions. The prabhu as usual asked him, "rAmasya pitA kaH?" and he replied, "DasharathaH". To the question "tasya pitA kaH?", he replied, "EkAdasharathaH". To the next few questions "tasya pitA kaH?", he went on replying, "dvAdasharathaH", then "trayodasharathaH" and so on. The rich man got tired of these replies and entreated the poet, "aiyA, namaskArams to you. Please do not tell this reply to anyone else. I shall give you the required sambhAvana", and sent the poet away.

"How is the story I told you?", SannidhAnam asked us, laughing. We too were laughing for a long time. At length he gave us leave saying, "You people too don't tell this story to others and cheat them. Forget it and pay attention to your studies."

This humourous incident experienced by us with SannidhAnam seems to have taken place today. SannidhAnam asked us to forget it, but forget we couldn't, however much we tried. Thus even in his jIvanmukta state he was a paramarasika (having taste for art and speech).

1. The reference is to the following subhAShita that occurs in the uttaragItA-bhAShya:

अनन्त-शास्त्रं बहु वेदितव्यं
अल्पश्च कालो बहवश्च विघ्नाः ।
यत्सारभूतं तदुपासितव्यं
हंसो यथा क्षिरमिवाम्बुमिश्रम् ॥

ananta-shAstraM bahu veditavyaM
alpashcha kAlo bahavashcha vighnAH |
yatsArabhUtaM tadupAsitavyaM
haMso yathA kShiramivAmbumishram ||

The scriptures are endless; what is to be learnt is vast;
The life-span is brief; hindrances are many.
What is essential must be acquired and practised,
Like the swan separating milk mixed with water.

pages 40-44

Sometimes SannidhAnam would have oral questions to the boys. As if speaking in a casual manner, he would ask: "Was the cooking good today? What had they prepared? Was it tasteful to the mouth? Was the salt in excess? Was there too much pungency?" He would ask like normal people and get the answers. The other boys in their naivety would give normal answers without knowing his inner purpose in posing the questions. SrInivAsan alone would keep quiet. He would ask in amusement, stirring up that quiet boy too: "When asked about the meals, you people very well give your replies; but why does not SrInivAsan open his mouth?" SrInivAsan would reply, "It's all guru-prasAdam; and guru-prasAdam will always be good." However much the SannidhAnam tried to get the guNa-doShas relating to AhAra-viShaya from SrInivAsan's mouth, he couldn't succeed. On this subject, SannidhAnam always met with failure. Our SrInivAsan somehow understood that all his questions (about food) were to test the boys on the extent of their jihvA-chApalyam (whims of the tongue). So on that score he used his sUkShma buddhi (subtle wisdom) and remained very careful. Seeing that his tantra (spell) did not work with SrInivAsan, SannidhAnam stopped asking questions related to food. There is no doubt that by this the readers would have understood how viveka and vairAgya were set in that 14 year-old boy in an extraordinary manner that surprised one and all.

Haven't we already mentioned that during the times of evening, these four boys were playing with young deers, peacocks, and calves in the Ashram? One day they were thus playing with the animals in the mango grove there. It seemed that SannidhAnam was observing this from a window on the first floor of the nearby SatchidAnanda VilAsa Ashram. Since the other three boys were balashAlis (were physically strong), the young deer was in their control; whereas SrInivAsan was small in physique and puny, so the young deer easily knocked him down. Chanced to see that his GurunAthAL was observing him, shyness and fear overtook the boy, who got up and came to the cottage and stretched himself flat on bed. Knowing nothing about it, when this Lekaka went to SrIniVasan stretched out in bed and asked him, "what's wrong with your health?", the boy started shedding tears. He was normally parama vishvAsa with (always confided) this Lekaka, and would tell him everything without any secrets but that day he said nothing despite much persuation.

That night, the boy was laid up with fever. Although the cook prepared some kaShAyam (medical potion) for that, the jvaram (fever) did not subside. The boy started blabbing in fever. He would say something like, "Henceforth, I am not going to stay in Shringeri. My prAptam (fortune) is only as much." Sometimes he would prate "sadguro sharaNaM shivo&haM shivo&haM" ("I surrender to Sadguru; I am Shiva, I am Shiva.") When SannidhAnam was asked about this, he sent back this Lekaka saying, "Everything will become proper." For three days he was thus saying that things would be alright, except that he asked to be informed of anything SrInivAsan said and chattered in dreams. Since SrInivAsan always confided in this Lekaka and as he had much affection for him, he was very sorry to notice that the fever did not subside for three days. He could not bring in a doctor too without the orders of SannidhAnam. Thinking that SrInivAsan should have had some mental shock and after asking him several questions, this Lekaka knew something about the boy's mental deficiency and apprised SannidhAnam of it.

SrInivAsan himself had on several occasions seen SannidhAnam prescribing the necessary chikitsA (medical attendance) to the other boys when they were not well, and if the ailment was not cured with that, to chant mantras over some vibhUti and give it as prasAdam. This Lekaka came to know of the boy's depression due to his yearning that although his fever was strong, GurunAthar neither paid any attention to it nor send his vibhUti prasAdam. When this was informed to SannidhAnam, only the reply "Nothing to fear. All will be well" came from the sage. So this Lekaka returned to SrInivAsan with an empty hand. He told some lie or other to SrInivAsan as occurred to him at that moment, since telling him what SannidhAnam had actually said would only increase his yearning and depression. That is, when this Lekaka told him, "SannidhAnam himself is going to come to you in person and give you anugraham. So you sleep without any worries", that simple-minded boy believed it to be vAstavam (real). From that time, he started reciting the mantra, "sadguro pAhi, sadguro pAhi" ("O Sadguru protect me, O sadguru protect me!"). Whoever gave upadesha of this mantra to him, he chanted it incessantly.

At noon around 12 o'clock on that day, since it was the day of ekAdashI, when GurunAthAL went to the Tunga river for bath, he heard a voice chanting "sadguro pAhi" as he crossed the Ashram threshold. He called this Lekaka and asked, "What is that shabdaM (noise)?" This Lekaka informed him, "SrInivAsan thus yearns doing smaraNa of (reminiscing) you." Looking around all four sides to ensure that none is watching as far his eyes could go, SannidhAnam went to the room where SrInivAsan was laid up. On seeing him, SrInivAsan hurriedly picked up himself and fell at the MahAn's feet chanting "sadguro pAhi". Since there was no such custom of touching the feet in worship in the MaTham, this Lekaka was afraid of whatever apachAram (ritual offence) it might bring in. But then without giving scope to any such apprehension, the sage lifted him, stood him erect, placed his hand on the boy's shiras (head), and after asking, "Is the fever still there?" as if he knew nothing, "All will be well, go and sleep", he advised the boy and went for his bath. This Lekaka stood like an image of stone.

This Lekaka went into paravasham, "What wonder, even the lie we told SrInivAsan for pacifying him has become a reality!" Somehow, SrInivAsan's head received GurunAthar's abhaya-hastam (hand-press of protection). The shiShya who fell at his feet, he lifted with his aMruta-hastam. After that SrInivAsan never fell ill. He rose in stature more and more as if he was continued to be lifted up. Although so much happened, the situation was such that no one could decide on SrInivAsan's rightful claim to pIThAdhipatyam (position of pontiff). To suit that, SannidhAnam too conducted himself as askata (free from ties).

Later, from what astrologers explained on studying SrInivAsan's jAtakam (horoscope) it was revealed that a great khaNDam (life risk, emergency) that was to happen to the boy became nivRutta (annulled) only due to GurunAthar's anugraham and once he rose from it, it was all Chakravarti Yogam (fortunes of an emperor) for him. We were later discussing among ourselves, "Perhaps to let that khaNDam to annul itself within that period of three days, GurunAthAL did not do any parihAram to him." Somehow, GurunAthAL who is a sarvajna-mUrti saved SrInivAsan, and thereby saved all of us who are his shiShya koTis (multitude of disciples), right? All of us are parama-dhanyas (very fortunate).

This Lekaka who witnessed and experienced this incident in person decided that only SrInivAsan was the right choice to succeeding in title. This was because, although our GurunAthAL's nayana-dIkShA (initiation by glance) had been given to SrInivAsan many times before, only today he received the sparsha-dIkShA (initiation by touch) that is to occur at the time of taking sannyAsaM.

SrInivAsan would often say that this sparsha-dIkShA that no one could get was received by him only by the efforts of this Lekaka. This Lekaka used to tell him that the actual reason was the guru-bhakti of that bAlaka (lad) and the prabhAvam (supernatural power) of the mahAmantra "sadguro pAhi". The others said that it was only his adRuShTa viseSham (luck). The astrolegers said that since a great risk was annulled, it was all an emperor's fortunes for the boy. Thus, many people explained it in many ways. No one would object, however, that the mUla kAraNam (root reason) was the bhAgya visheSham (distinguished fortune) of the mahA-janas (great people) of this BhArata Desham that gave them this apUrva VidyAtIrtha MUrti for their guru. Thus, only after examining thoroughly all the qualifications of viveka, vairAgya, medhA shakti, vAk chAturya, jnAnam, tapas (discrimination, dispassion, power of knowledge, dexterity of speech, knowledge, penance) that SannidhAnam decided to do shiShya parigraham (taking charge of disciples).

शांकरी मूर्ति-रेशा हि चन्द्रशेखर-संज्ञिता ।
विज्ञान-दीप-कलनाद-ज्ञानं परिमार्ष्टु नः ॥

shAMkarI mUrti-reshA hi chandrashekhara-saMj~jitA |
vij~jAna-dIpa-kalanAda-j~jAnaM parimArShTu naH ||

शृङ्गक्ष्मा-भृत्-समुद्भूतं विद्यातीर्थं सुपावनम् ।
कलिदोषहरं किंचित कलयामः पदे पदे ॥

shRu~ggakShmA-bhRut-samudbhUtaM vidyAtIrthaM supAvanam |
kalidoShaharaM kiMchita kalayAmaH pade pade ||

*** *** ***
pages 45-47

विनाऽपि फालनयनं विना क्रोधं विनाऽनलम् ।
विनाशितस्मरं स्मेरं स्मरामश्चन्द्रशेखरम् ॥

vinA&pi phAlanayanaM vinA krodhaM vinA&nalam |
vinAshitasmaraM smeraM smarAmashchandrashekharam ||

"We remember the smiling Sri Chandrasekhara BharatI Sadguru who vanquished Manmatha (Cupid), without any eye on the forehead, without any anger, and without any spark of fire."

श्रीनिवासाख्यया गूढं भस्मच्छन्नानलोपमम् ।
बालयोगिवरं किंचित् संस्मरामः पदे पदे ॥

shrInivAsAkhyayA gUDhaM bhasmachChannAnalopamam |
bAlayogivaraM kiMchit saMsmarAmaH pade pade ||

"We often contemplate in mind on a BAlayogi (young yogi) who is hidden in the name SrInivAsan like the fire hidden in the ashes."

Did we not mention in the previous essay, the history of the sparsha-dIkShA (initiation by touch), obtainable by no one, received by our SrInivAsan by the amRuta hastaM of our GuruCharaNAL? This Lekaka had decided that on that very day the Guru did shiShya parigraham (taking charge of disciples) of him. Because, it is customary to normally give sannyasam on the day of ekAdashI. Those who do Ashrama svIkAraM (receive the ashram of asceticism) at Shringagiri would mostly approach the guru on that day of ekAdashI and receive mahAvAkyopadeshaM (mantra of initiation). It was also customary to do the dIkShA (initiation) only during that upadesha-kAlam. The procedure whereby a guru does anugraham (favour for initiation) to the shiShya is called the dIkShA. This dIkShA is elaborated in granthas (texts) such as the Shiva Rahasyam. In that three kinds of dIkShAs are important. They are: smaraNa dIkShA, chAkShuSha dIkShA, sparsha dIkShA (initiation by mind, by sight, by touch).

When the shiShya is not in front, thinking with the mind about the disciple in dUra-deshaM (far off land) and initiating him with love is known as smaraNa dIkShA.

When the shiShya who has sought sharanAgati (asylum) to him comes in person, the guru with his karunA-kaTAkShaM (compassionate glance) initiating the disciple is known as chAkShuSha dIkShA. This is what our Sankara BhagavadpAdAL describes in ShivAnanda-Lahari (verse #29) as

वीक्षां मे दिश चाक्षुषीं सकरुणां दिव्यैश्चिरं प्रार्थिताम् ।

vIkShAM me disha chAkShuShIM sakaruNAM divyaishchiraM prArthitAm |

"To bless me with the merciful divine sight,"

The guru's asking the shiShya to come in front and touching his shiras (head) with the guru's right hand (hasta-mastaka-saMyogaM--conjuction of the hand and the head) is known as sparsha-dIkShA. This is what the author explains in the text Kaivalya navanItaM:

कमठ झषवयां सीवादरात् स्मृत्यु दीक्षा--
च्छदयुग पुटमध्य स्पर्शनैर् दीक्षित्वा ।

kamaTha jhaShavayAM sIvAdarAt smRutyu dIkShA--
chChadayuga puTamadhya sparshanair dIkShitvA |

It is thus explained with three dRuShTAntas (examples, instances). The turtle, although it is far away, rears its offsprings just by thinking about them. The fish rears its offsprings with its kind glances at them. The birds keep their offspring within their wings and nourish them by incubation. Is it not loka prasiddha (well known to the world) that these three animals nourish their offspring without any sthanya-pAnam (breast milk)? To our SrInivAsan, however, all these three kinds of dIkShAs were given in full on that day.

But then to this Lekaka the three dRuShTAntas mentioned above did not come to his recollection at that time. Only the history of NarasiMhamUrti giving abhaya-hastam (hand-press of protection) to PrahlAda came to his mind.

स्वपादमूले पतितं तमर्भकं विलोक्य देवः कृपया परिप्लुतः ।
उत्थाप्य तच्छीर्ष्णि अदधात् करांबुजम् कालाहि वित्रस्त धियां कृताभयम् ॥

svapAdamUle patitaM tamarbhakaM vilokya devaH kRupayA pariplutaH |
utthApya tachChIrShNi adadhAt karAMbujam kAlAhi vitrasta dhiyAM kRutAbhayam ||

स तत्कर स्पर्श धुताखिलाशुभः सपद्यभिव्यक्त परात्मदर्शनः ।
तत्पादपद्मं हृदि निर्वृतो दधौ हृष्यत्तनुः क्लिन्नहृदश्रुलोचनः ॥

sa tatkara sparsha dhutAkhilAshubhaH sapadyabhivyakta parAtmadarshanaH |
tatpAdapadmaM hRudi nirvRuto dadhau hRuShyattanuH klinnahRudashrulochanaH ||

only the history narrated thus in BhAgavataM (7.9.005/1, 7.9.005/2) did sphuraNaM (flash, glitter) in his mind. Anyone who looked at that time, at that small boy hugging the pAdAravindam (lotus feet) of the Guru, sobbing and shedding tears in paravashaM(self-obliterating happiness), hiccups and goosebumps, would certainly describe him as sAkShAt (before the eyes) that PrahlAda MUrti. The brahma-tejas (flame of Brahman) that was already there, dazzled, having been augmented abundantly by the Guru's karakamala-sparshaM (touch of the lotus hand).
pages 47-50

In the BhAgavata shlokaM given above, VyAsa has shown the three (kinds of) dIkShAs in sUchana (indication). In that verse, he has pointed to the chAkShuSha dIkShA by the padam (word) vilokya (to be looked at); smaraNa dIkShA as he says kRupayA pariplutaH (visited by); and sparsha-dIkShA (hasta-mastaka-saMyogaM--conjuction of the hand and the head) as he says tanmUrdhani (tachChIrShNi) adadhAt karAMbujam (placed his lotus hands on (PrahlAda's) head). If we look at it with sUkShma (keenness) we may know how these three dIkShAs are involved in our Guru's lifting up and sraightening SrInivAsan and doing anugragam by giving the boy his abhaya-hastaM (hand of protection). But then there is a visheShaM (distinction) between the PrahlAda anugraham and SrInivAsa anugraham. When NarasiMha MUrti was in great engulfing rage, as he looked at PrahlAda, who was sent by the BrahmAdi (BrahmA and other) Devas to do samanam (lessen, pacify) the God's rage, his rage was gone, vAtsalyaM (affection) swelled up and he placed his abhaya-hastaM on the boy's head. Whereas in the case of our SrInivAsan, our GurunAthAL gave him abhaya-hastaM without any rage, remaining in shAntam (peace). This man was also NarasiMha in his pUrvAshrama, but then angerless NarasiMha, that was the distinction. That was ugra (fierce) NarasiMha, and this, shAnta (peaceful) NarasiMha.

However, just as NarasiMha MUrti lifted up, straightened and placed his hand on the head of PrahlAda who fell at his feet, our GurunAthAL made our SrInivAsan a kRutArtha (successful) as the boy fell at his feet, by lifting up, straightening and placing his abhaya-hastaM on the boy's shiras (head)--there is no difference in this respect. The moment he witnessed this sparsha-dIkShA happening on the ekAdashi puNya dinaM (sacred day of EkAdashi) in the Abhijita MuhUrtaM (the eighth 'muhUrta'--period of 48 minutes of the day from sunrise) in an ekAnta sthalaM (solitary place) where no one else was present, this Lekaka had decided as to who was the next eligible man for the paTTam (title of pontiff in succession). He had also thought of conveying this santoSha samAchAraM (happy news) to everyone and make them happy. But then, SannidhAnam who somehow knew about it, ordered that this was not to be known to anyone else. So only after the shiShya parigraham happened in bahirangam (explicitly) could this Lekaka do prastAvanA (broach the subject) to his Aptas (intimate friends). But no one believed it in pUrNam (completely). It also transpired well, their not believing it. Because is not SannidhAnam one who hates all these prasAra (spreading of information)? That is why he did vijayam (visit) at a time when there was no one nearby. He had also dispatched the sevaka (attendant) who accompanied him, to the banks of Tunga, asking him to wash out his vastra (clothes). The other boys too had gone to the river bank on some errand. So to only SrInivAsan, this Lekaka and our GurunAthAL--only to these three people was this news known. Since it was prohibited to convey this news, this Lekaka did not open his mouth.

From the kShaNam (moment) this happened, SrInivAsan had changed completely. He did not talk humourously or socially to anyone as he did before. He would be saying something, forgetful of himself. He would weep, telling only to this Lekaka, when they were both alone, about the bhAgyam he had in receiving GurunAthAL's abhaya-hastaM. Since he was a small bAlaka (boy) he did not realize the mahima (greatness) of that abhaya-hastaM in pUrNaM (full). He was only surprised about that bhayaMkara jvaraM (terrific fever) subsiding immediately thereafter. He had not known about its mahima that could do nivRutta (cure) of the samsAra jvaram (fever of worldly life) itself. But then he did not think that the sage would do shiShya parigraham of him. GurunAthAL too conducted himself accordingly. He was acting as if he had more vishvAsaM (confidence) in some other boy and was 'doing udAsInaM of' (being indifferent to) SrInivAsan. Everyone talked that the paTTAbhiShekaM (consecration) was going to be performed only to the boy from NanjankUdu. The readers would have known that the gaMbhIra guNaM (majestic trait) of keeping in control his abhiprAyaM (opinion) without expressing it was set naturally in our GurunAthAL.

Within a month this happened, arrangements were made for the kAryas for shiShya parigraham to be conducted in nirvighnaM (without any interruption). We would narrate only some important incidents that happened in that one month. From the day he gave abhaya-hastaM to SrInivAsan, our GuruCharaNAL at the end of his puja performances, in the midst of several prArthanAs (prayers) had added the following shloka:

सर्वज्ञं श्रीनिवासं कुरु शिवदयिते सत्वरं मद्विनम्रम्

sarvaj~jaM shrInivAsaM kuru shivadayite satvaraM madvinamram

"Make SrInivAsan omniscient, (O Mother who is) the Shiva-cherished One!"

Just as our ParamaGurunAthAL Sri SachchidAnanda ShivAbhinava Narasimha BhArathI SvAmigaL for his disciple NarasiMhan prayed

सर्वज्ञं श्रीनृसिंहं कुरु शिवदयिते सत्वरं मद्विनम्रम्

sarvaj~jaM shrInRusiMhaM kuru shivadayite satvaraM madvinamram

since our GurunAthAL was praying to AmbAL, changing only the name NrusiMhan to SrInivAsan, that SrInivAsan today gives darshan to us as a SarvajnaMUrti in the form of VidyAtIrtha.

*** *** ***
pages 50-52

One evening as usual this Lekaka went along with the vidyArthins to the KAla Bhairava temple. The AsthAna vidvAns (official pundits) Kalyam Sundara ShAstrigaL and Mallikkarai SubrahmaNya ShAstrigaL were also with us on that day. When the recital of the antAdi shlokas was going on, a stranger came there after obtaining permission from the officials and bowed to SannidhAnam. He had an M.A. degree, and also had pANdityaM (erudition) in Sanskrit. But then he had no shikhA (traditional tuft of hair), and had come in the laukika veShaM (worldly dress). Since SannidhAnam was one who would do hitopadeshaM (friendly advice) to everyone, he inquired kushala-prasnam (health and welfare) of the man and asked him to sit down. That man, without remaining silent, described how he had come in the Appaiya Dikshita's vaMshaM (lineage), and that he had drawn a chitraM (sketch) showing how that lineage was spread out, and showed the vaMshAvali chitraM in the form of a vRukShaM (tree) to SannidhAnam. SannidhAnam too looked at it and expressed happiness.

By this time that Laukika had spoken four times, about his fortune and honour of having been born in the Appaiya Dikshita. After listening to all that with shAntaM, SannidhAnam at length asked, looking at the MaTham VidvAns, "You people state your gotraM." They answered something like VAsiShTha Gotra, BhAratvAja Gotra, Atreya Gotra. The sage asked them, "Let it be. Don't you know how was VasiShtha? How was BhAratvAja? What karmAnuShTanas were they doing?" The VidvAns replied, "We know them. But then agnihotrAdikarmANi sAmAyAni kalau yuge (it is difficult to perform karma such as the Agnihotra in the Kali Yuga)." "Alright, you don't do Agnihotra and SomayAgam. Can't you perform at least the smArtha karmas?", the SannidhAnam asked, and the VidvAns said, "Even for them, the sAdhanas (means) such as umi, vaRaLi, muTTAn (paddy husk, flattened cowdung cakes, cowdung balls) are not readily available?" To that SannidhAnam said, "You don't have to worry about this. We will make arrangements to prepare these sAdhanas from the cattle shed in the MaTham and send them to you. At least with that would you people perform your karmas?" With no other go, the VidvAns agreed saying, "We will do aupAsanaM (domestic fire worship)." Looking at everyone, SannidhAnam said at length:

"Except that we brag about our honour of being born in the vaMshaM of VasiShtha and such other maharishis, do we have anuShTAnaM (religious practices) of their karmas (practices), at least to some extent? Even after being born in this uttama vaMshaM, if we don't perform the karmas related to it, would it be a dUShaNam (dishonour) or bhUShaNam (decoration) for that vaMshaM? Think about it."

From that day on, all the VidvAns started doing aupAsanaM. That Laukika VidvAn hung his head in shame as he listened to the words of advice of SannidhAnam. The very next day, he gave up his laukika veShaM, had shikhA-dhAraNaM (wore a tuft of hair), came to SannidhAnam and bowed to him. Without saying anything to him, SannidhAnam looked at the VidvAns and asked, "हरे कोलावतारेण किटीनां का वरेण्यता--hare kolAvatAreNa kiTInAM kA vareNyatA--(Just because VishNu took avatar as a hog, do the ordinary swine have any eminence?)" Everyone stood dumbfounded.

By the upadesham SannidhAnam did to them, the VidvAns started doing their karmAnuShTAna. That Laukika too, because of the VidvAns' vyAjaM (deceptive appearance), knew that the advice was for him too and changed himself. The vidyArthins (students) too received a stimulus towards the kAryas (tasks) such as the aupAsanaM. In this way, by just one piece of advice, many people had the desired fruits. Without any scope for grievance for anyone, our GurunAthAL had accomplished this task. Such was the dharma prasAraM he was doing all around.

*** *** ***
pages 53-56

On another day when we were reciting the antAdi shlokas in the KAla Bhairava temple, a notable came over and did vandanam--bow, to SannidhAnam. He had brought with him a collection of different kinds of fruits as guru-kANikkai--offering to guru. When SannidhAnam was distributing those fruits to the vidyArthins--students, as a vAnaram--monkey, came that side, he threw a bunch of black grapes at it. The monkey took the bunch, went a distance and examined each fruit but only to throw it away after squeezing it with its fingers. Since the fruit was not familiar to it and was black, it did not eat them. SannidhAnam was surprised: "such tasty fruits, and the monkey only threw them away without eating them happily." "It is like a garland given in the hands of a monkey", said this lekaka--writer. SrInivAsan corrected it with the words, "like the garland of pearl that was got by AnjaneyaSvAmi." No one could understand the meaning of the words. As SannidhAnam asked looking at SrInivAsan, "what is the sambandham--connection, between Anjaneya and the garland of pearls? It's as if you are giving us a riddle", SrInivAsan replied with vinayam--humility, "It is not a riddle, only an event that happened during the RAmAyaNa times", our surprise became greater. "Sari--alright, let us have that story"--as GurunAthan commanded him, SrInivAsan started narrating it:

"It was the time of ShrI RAmachandramUtri's paTTAbhiShekam--coronoation ceremony, right? At that time ShrI RAmachandramUrti himself distributed several gifts to the pramukhas--foremost, such as SugrIva, VibhiShaNa, and Anggata. But then seeing that he did not give anything to AnjaneyaSvAmi who was the vital jIvanADi--life line, to the story of RAmAyaNa, SItAdevi asked RAmachandramUrti the reason therefor. ShrIRAma replied, "We don't have any object that could be given as a gift to Anjaneya!" When he said those words he had in mind the incident of his doing Alingganam--embracing, of AnjaneyaSvAmi and saying, "This is the gift I give you. This Alingganam was not obtained by anyone except my SItA." Still SItA's mind was not in samAdhAnam--reconciled state. At a time when there was apAyam--danger, to her life, for this uttama--noble person, who did ujjIvanam--restoration of life, of her with the RAmAnAma amRuta varSham--nectarean shower of RAmA's name, some sort of gift must be given at this utsava--festive, time, she thought, and only after removing an invaluable garland of pearl from her neck and giving it as gift to Anjaneya, was SItA's mind at peace.

"But then without wearing that garland of pearl around his neck, AnjaneyaSvAmi went and sat in a corner of that durbar, removed each pearl from the garland and looked it over. Since no visheSham--distinction, was seen in the pearl, he bit at each pearl and checked if it had in its core the thing he wanted in it. Finding nothing, he threw the pearl away. Devi who was looking at it all in a subtle manner got angry and ordered, "Bring that Anjanaye here!" When the sevakas--servants, dragged him to her, she asked him sternly, "aDE--hey! You bit away the pearls and wasted the garland that I have been preserving till now as even dearer than my life! You exhibited your vAnara svabhAvam--monkey trait, in this act, is it nyAnam--justified?"

"AnjaneyaSvAmi replied with respect: "MAtA--mother! I just checked if the garland of pearl you gave me with love contained the thing my mind was after. It was not found. So I bit at the pearls to check if that thing was found hidden inside them, but that vastu--object, was not found even inside the pearls. I did not know what to do with the garland that did not have the thing my mind was after, so I threw it away."

"SItAdevi was angered at this and asked him, "Hey fool! What was the thing that you wanted? What was the thing you looked inside those pearls?" Anjaneya simply pointed his hand at the form of ShrIRAmachandramUrti.

"SItAdevi understood it and asked him, "sari--alright, but then that vastu is not found inside your sharIram--body, too? Would you leave your body for this reason?"

"That uttama rAmabhakta, AnjaneyaSvAmi did something that surprised everyone in that sabhA--assembly, and the SiTA-LakShmaNAdi--SItA, LakShmaNa and company. That is, he parted the muscles of his chest with his two hands and displayed its core. Everyone was in spiritual ecstasy to find RAmA, SItA and all the other members of the parivAr--family, sitting inside in the paTTAbhiSheka kolam--coronation poses.

"ShrI RAmachandramUrti said, "appA Anjaneya! There is no bhakta like you in the world. You are the paramabhakta--supreme devotee", and caressed his devotee's chest with his amRuta hastam--nectarean hand. Anjaneya instantly became svastam--healed, and danced in bliss.

"With her head down in shame, SItAdevi said, "appA Anjaneya! You surpassed us all in bhakti--devotion. I appreciate your bhakti. You are indeed the 'rAmAyaNa-mahAmAlA-ratnam'--the precisous stone of the great garland of RAmAyaNa." She blessed him with this bhRtu--title, and added, "When you are shining as an alaMkAra ratnam--decorative precious stone, for the RAmAyaNa, it was my mistake to have thought to adorn that ratnam further with pearls. May this bhakti remain shAsvatam--permanent, in you; and may you too ramain a chirajIvin--deathless!""--Thus SrInivAsan ended his narration.

Although appreciative of this small boy's narrative skills, SannidhAnam did not express it and asked him, "sari, why did you tell that story now?" The boy replied with a prankish smile, "I slightly changed what ShAstrigaL said--like a garland got by the hands of a monkey. That vAnaram has wasted these black grape berries without knowing their taste and value! Just as Anjaneya did--only as an example I narrated this story." All of us including SannidhAnam were in paramAnandam--supreme bliss. The notable who had brought the black grapes said, "I consider it a great bhAgyam--fortune, to have brought these fruits and offered them at your lotus feet. It was vAstavam--true, that I had a thought that you did not have even a single fruit from the collection but gave them all to your disciples. But then I let go the thought after listening to is apUrva--rare, story from this small boy. This one is not a mere boy. There is no doubt that a yogi is hidden inside his frame. Therefore, I don't consider him as a small boy at all..." As he started praising the boy, SannidhAnam silenced him with a gesture and asked SrInivAsan, "Let it be. Who told you this story?" The boy replied that it was his mother who told it when he was a child. We were all further surprised. SannidhAnam tried to control our feeling of wonder saying, "This story is found in the Ananda RAmAyanam. There is nothing special about it", but then we could not help appreciate the narrative skills of the boy.

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