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Voice of God  (Volume-7)
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Introduction

Location: Kalavai, a small town in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India.
Date: February 13, 1907.
A young boy of thirteen is chosen to become the 68th Pitadhipathi of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam, in the illustrious parampara of Acharyas who adorned the Pitam established by Sri Adhi Sankara more than 2500 years ago.

That boy is none other then His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal. To millions of devotees he was simply ‘Periyava’- the revered one or Maha-Periyava. ‘Periyava’ in Tamil means a great person. That term however has acquired a special meaning because it has come to refer to His Holiness. It is a term that at once conveys endearment, reverence and devotion. It would never be mentioned in a casual manner. Mahaswami and Paramacharya are his other well-known appellations.

The Paramacharya was the Pitadhipathi of the Mutt for 87 long years. During this period, Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam acquired new strength as an institution that propogated Sri Adhi Sankara’s teachings. The devotion, fervour and intensity with which the Paramacharya practised what Adhi Sankara had preached, is unparalleled. He lived a Spartan life. Throughout his life, the main focus of his concern and activities was rejuvenating Vedha adhyayana, the Dharma Sasthras and the age old tradition which had suffered decline. ‘Vedha rakshanam’ was his very life breath and he referred to this in most of his public discourses and private conversations. His prodding regular support to Vedha Patasalas through the Vedhic scholars, holding regular sadhas which included discussions on arts and culture- these led to a renewed interest in Vedhic religion, Dharma sasthras and Sanskrit. His long tenure as Pitathipathi was the golden era of the Kanchi Camelot Pitam.

Paramacharya was a walking university. Scholars of all sects, not only from all over India but also from countries abroad came to him and deemed it a blessing and a privilege to go back enlightened after meeting him. His regular visitors ranged from the most ordinary village fold to the highest in the land. Presidents and Prime ordinary village folk to the highest in the land. Presidents and Prime Ministers, Kings and Queens, Highnesses and Excellencies came to spend a few moments with him and seek his blessings.

That the Paramacharya was an extraordinary phenomenon can be seen from this incident. When he was in his late eighties he left Kanchipuram and undertook a padha yathra through Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra. Before he returned to Kanchipuram he made all arrangements for the construction of an exquisite Nataraja temple at Satara (Uttara Chidambaram). The uniqueness about this temple is the fact that the states of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra came together to build the 5 doorways to the temple. The state of Kerala supplied the entire wood required for the temple. It was only his grace and moral influence that made this possible.

The Paramacharya’s catholicity of outlook was extraordinary. He was the Advaitha Acharaya. He was the authentic spokesman of Hindu religion and its Dharma Shastras and of Sanathana Dharma. He even believed that it was Vedhic religion that had prevailed all over the world in ancient times. But, just as he had high regard for the Acharyas of other philosophical doctrines like Ramanuja nnd Madhva and the Nayanmars of Saiva Siddhanta, he had great respect for Jesus and Mohamed Nabi, the prophet. He could be so considerate as to express the view that those who indulged in proselytisation did so out of their conviction that their religion alone could secure redemption.

February 13, 2006 marks the beginning of the 100th years of the Paramacharya’s Sanyasa Swikarana (entering the ascetic order) and Pitaarohana (becoming the head of the Sri Kanchi Kamokottipitam). Sri Kanchi Mahaswami Peetarohana Shatabdi Mahotsava Trust has been specially formed to celebrate this significant milestone in the spiritual history of India.

The main objective of the Trust is to spread the thoughts and the message of the Paramacharya across the world, not just to his devotees, but even to others who might never have had the opportunity to have his dharsan. With this objective in view the Trust has undertaken on priority the translation into English and other major Indian languages of his discourses in Tamil (upansayam). To begin with, we have chosen ‘Deivathin Kural’-Voice of God in Tamil. It is a collection of the Paramacharya’s discourses starting from 1932. These are seven volumes each of about 1000 pages. His talks cover a wide range of topics apart from all aspects of Vedhic dharma and Hindu religion which is the main focus. It is a veritable encyclopedia of Hindu religion and dharma to which people refer for authentic information on these aspects.

‘Deivathin Kural’ is a monumental work by Sri Ra Ganapathy and it occupies a special place among many books written about Paramacharya. Sri Ganapathy painstakingly collated all of Paramacharya’s talks, conversations, casual comments, answers to questions etc covering several aspects of our ancient religion, dharma and culture. Sri Ganapathy not only collected the material but also collated and organized under various subjects everything that the Paramacharya had spoken about a subject over many years at several places.

The purpose of the English translation is two fold. One is to reach Paramacharya’s thoughts and message to a wider audience. The second is to use the English translation as the basic text for translation into other Indian languages. The original in Tamil portrays in large measure the simplicity and clarity of thoughts and expressions and the unique story telling style of the Paramacharya. It has been our attempt to capture it in English. As readers will know this is not an easy task. In one of his talks, while explaining the need to protect the Vedhas in their original form, the Paramacharya himself has, in his characteristic style, referred to the limitations of any translation.

The Paramacharya’s observations are a warning to us and we are deeply conscious of our responsibility. Effort has been made to address the average reader through this work in simple language. Since the English version is to be the base from which translation into other Indian languages will be done, suitable diacritical markings have been used for Sanskrit and Tamil words. Wherever necessary the actual Sanskrit words and Slockas have been given with diacritical markings and the meanings are also given along with the words. This should make it more convenient for the reader than a separate glossary at the end.

It is usual to share one’s good and memorable experiences with others. When two devotees of the Paramacharya meet, it turns out to be an occasion for sharing of experiences. Entire train journeys could be spent talking only about him and his various qualities. He has indeed created a huge family, truly a Vasudaiva Kutumbhakam. It is the hope and wish of Sri Kanchi Mahaswami Peetarohana Shatabdi Mahotsaa Trust that readers will experience the Paramacharya through these pages, which in itself would be an elevating experience.

His talks do more than providing insight into Vedhic Dharma and Hindu religion. There is indeed hope that inspite of the declining moral values all around, dharma will prevail. It should also be clear that mere wishful thinking will not make that happen. All of us have a duty and responsibility towards making it happen. The many schemes which the Paramacharya introduced are simple and effective. If any thing, we have to revive many of his practical ideas and implement them.

The blessings of H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal and H.H. Sri Sanara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the 69th and 70th Acharyas of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam have provided encouragement to this Trust to embark on a project of this magnitude. It is their Sankalpa that the Paramacharya’s message should reach every Indian wherever he may be. We are overwhelmed by the responsibility they have placed on us.

Millions of the Paramacharya’s devotees sincerely believe that He is alive even today and He is guiding us on the path of dharma. It is his spirit that acts as the beacon in these troubled times. It is through his grace that this work is being published.

 

Contents

 

  Srimukham i
  Gurusthuthi v
  Introduction ix
  Acknowledgements xiv
  Guidance to Pronounciation xvii
1. Mangalarambam 1
  Vinayaka and Tamil 3
  Vigneswara’s great help to Tamil Nadu 3
  Important Vaishnava temples and Vigneswara’s sport 4
  Three deities which face the south: Amity between saivam and Vaishnavam 7
  The truth and appropriateness of Vinayaka’s lila 8
  The exclusive feature of bharat 10
  Worship according to prescribed procedure and devotional worship 11
  Growth of culture only due to Ganesa 14
  One who has the maximum number of temples 14
  Vinayaka and Tamil 15
  The grace that gives good mind and speech from Dharma and Upto Moksha 15
  Sanskrit and Tamil 16
2 Guru 19
  The relationship between the Guru and the Sishya 21
  ‘Ra’ Which destroys sin 23
  ‘Wo’ Is the form of Maha Vishnu 24
  Vishnu, Vasudeva- The Terms explained 25
  What the Sishya gains from guru’s qualities 26
  Adhvaitham and the aspect of Anugraham (grace) 27
  Maha Vishnu as the Guru 29
  Father-Guru 29
  Guru too has the qualities of the father 30
  Father-Guru in other religions 32
  Paternal lineage being the lineage of Guru 34
  Names of Rishis in maternal lineage glory of mother as expounded by Acharya 35
  Women and Brahma Vidhya 36
  Scholarship of women: Difference between the olden times and these days 38
  The high status accorded to women by Acharya 40
  Mother too as Guru: Acharya’s approval 41
  Sathyakama Japalar 43
  Guru who is above the mother and father 44
  Development of the brain and the heart 45
  The present fallen state 47
  Secular education 47
  Guru: Acharya 49
  Adhyakshaka: Adhyapak 50
  Characteristics of the Guru will be imbibed by the Sishya also 50
  Greatness of the word ‘Acharya’ 51
  Upadhyaya 52
  Desikar Who shows the way 53
  In Upanishad- Guru who shows the way 54
  Even great men have had several Gurus 55
  Pathivratham and Guruvratham 57
  The Guru who shows the way, as seen in Vedhas 64
  Guru as Kshethrajna 66
  Guru: For the final goal and Intermediate stages 69
  The entire knowledge of the Guru is for Sishya 70
  The duty of Acharya as laid down by our Acharya 71
  Sadhguru and Sadhsishya 72
  The entire ‘Wealth’ of the Guru is for the Sishya 72
  More lessons about Guru-Sishya 74
  Explanation of Sishya 75
  Guru’s Humility 76
  Not just being humble but telling the Whole truth 78
  Guru’s Upadesam cannot be compensated for 78
  Upadesam that comes as a tradition 79
  One who Violates tradition Is ‘Stupid’- Acharya. 80
  Acharya’s Bhakthi to Guru Parampara 81
  One who never says a thing he does not know 82
  Making sure of the Guru’s qualification and doing surrender 84
  The noble culture of the Guru himself becoming a Sishya: 85
  Half-baked knowledge is pride perfect knowledge is humility 87
  Purohithar 90
  Culture undermined in free-India 91
  Vidhya Guru and Diksha Guru 92
  Guru’s great responsibility 92
  Purohitha and Guru 93
  Sishya’s effort and the Guru’s grace 95
  The next line 97
  Guru who raises the sishya to his own level 98
  The qualifications of a Sishya and the compassion of the Guru 100
  The spurious pundits exposed by the Upanishads and Sankara 101
  The authority of Vedhas; Other religions 104
  Sraddha (faith) in Vedhas and the Guru 106
  Surrender (Saranagathi) 106
  Vedhas- Sasthras to be learnt only through a Guru Ambal’s strange plan 107
  Common simple way of worship and prayers through sthothras 108
  The community of people: Even if an exclusive Guru is not there, A common Guru is necessary 113
  Humility and Sraddha 115
  The greatness of Sraddha as shown by Acharya 116
  Saranagathi flows from Sraddha 117
  Two kinds of surrender and Guru-Sishya relationship 118
3 The State 121
  The State and Religion 123
  Dharma Chakram- Indication of Lord’s grace 123
  True secularism 123
  Responsibilities of the state in elevating the peoples mind 124
  Limitations of the role of the state in matters of religion 125
  Independent body of representatives of all religions 126
  What the government gains by nurturing religion 127
  Government support: Hindu religion and other religions 128
  Institutions of Hindu religion: Lacking in man power and financial support 129
  Religions nurtured by kings and people 130
  What the freedom movement failed to do: How Hindu religion was affected 130
  People of all religions to live as brothers 132
  The strange position of the minorities and the majority in India 132
  Aspects of religion which need state support 133
  People’s support is the asset in matters of religion 133
  Freedom of religion and religious conversion 134
  Propaganda- The right and wrong way 135
  Ban on and punishment for wrong methods 135
  Hindu religion and conversion; Re-conversion to set right original conversion 140
  Use of methods unrelated to religion to meet with severe punishment: 141
  So long as conversion prevails, return to parent religion should be permitted 145
  Religion and spirituality: The high point of India 145
  Decline of religious feeling in India: What the history of a thousand years shows 146
  The cunning ways of foreigners and the ‘Two revolutions’ 147
  The big question mark before us 148
  Atmosphere of disbelief; The result of Gandhism not being adopted 149
  State religion 150
  Changes in educational scheme: Giving importance to teaching of religion 151
  People have to fight for spiritual freedom just as for political freedom 151
  The real reason for the Dharma Chakra having found a place in the national flag 153
  Vedhic saying as the nation’s motto 154
  Is it Dharma chakra or a factory wheel? 155
  Gita’s Dharma Chakram 155
  The path of Dharma Chakra- Sacrifice is it essence 156
  Prayers and blessings for the freedom of the individual and the country 158
4 Society 161
  For the Youngsters 163
  For the Youngsters- 2: Bathe your mind 164
  Clean mind 165
  Uttering lies and fear 166
  Jealousy 166
  The Lord’s love and rules of Dharma 169
  Pray to become good Children 169
  For the young- 3: One who is mother and father of the world 170
  Mother and father- The first God we know of 170
  For the mind and intellect to become clear 171
  Being of help to others 172
  In order that bad qualities do not affect 173
  Arohara 173
  For adult students 174
  Bhakthi is essential 174
  For the development of good conduct 175
  Politics- Never 175
  Service without hindrance to studies 177
  Cinema, Drugs, Newspapers, Narcotics 178
  Educational institutions of olden times 179
  Discipline is Needed 180
  Self control is itself a great achievement 181
  A new type of students union 181
  Develop the good and curtail the bad 182
  Go Samrakshanam (cow protection) 183
  Gomatha and Bhumatha 184
  Srimatha and Gomatha 185
  Glory- Both in practical terms and spiritually 186
  Cow’s milk: Wholesome food, Improves sathva guna 186
  Where there is universal love 187
  Even the cow’s dung is pure 188
  The example of Bhopal 189
  Panchagavyam 190
  In medical treatment and in musical instruments 191
  Cruelty to the cow is like killing the mother 191
  The cow’s horn is something special 192
  Abhishekam with ghee 193
  Vibhuthi 193
  The dust rising from the cow’s hoof 194
  No Yajna without the cow 195
  Protecting the cow is protecting the world 196
  Gomatha and Lakshmi 197
  Unpardonable crime 199
  The duty of the state and the people 199
  Easy way to feed a cow 200
  Protective shelters 201
  People to come together as a family in the service of the cow 202
  Nurturing the cow is punya, neglecting it is sin 202
  Cow protection in olden times 203
  National wealth 204
  Milk not to be wasted on coffee 204
  Ghee lamp 205
  Law to protect cow slaughter 206
5 Culture 209
  The Art of Drama- Then and Now 211
  Drama and Emotion 212
  The Hero 214
  Happy end 214
  Navarasas- Peace (Santham) 216
  Arts must help in reaching the state of peace (Santham0 218
  Today’s fallen state 220
  Adhvaitham and Kanchi Sri Matam figuring in a Swayamvaram 222
  Sacrifice by mothers 225
  Adhvaitham in Swayamvaram 227
  Saraswatjo’s skill 230
  How literature speaks of Dharma 231
  The deity of Kanchi mutt in the story of Nala 231
  The great Chola king one who had on his head the holy feet of the Lord (Sivapadhasekaran) 233
  Nothing can be a bar to knowledge 236
  Kesidhwajar 238
  Adhwaitha Jnanis and the phenomenal world 238
  Kandikyar 240
  The story takes shape 240
  Prayaschitham: Lord’s name and vaidhika karma 242
  Asking the enemy for Prayaschitham 242
  Indian culture 245
  Guru Dakshina 245
  Sworn enemies become Guru-Sishya 248
  The lessons of the story 250
  Where the Gita, The Bible, The Kural speak alike 250
6 Matters Divine 253
  Athma as Witness (Sakshi) 255
  Sakshi- In practice 257
  Sri Rama and ‘Agni Sakshi’ 261
  When the Gods become witness 264
  Sakshi Ganapathi 264
  Sakshi Gopal 269
  Sakshina Yakeswarar 275
  Sakshina Theswarar 277
  Dipavali- Holi bath in Ganga and Kaveri 282
  Plea to Krishna 283
  Narakasura’s death; Sathyabhama’s role 284
  Bhumadevi’s Prayers 287
  Gita: Dipavali’s younger brother 290
  Why ‘Ganga Snanam’? 292
  A blemish even for the lord (Dhosham) 293
  Prayaschittha prescribed by Iswara 294
  Kaveri-Thula Ghat 296
  Kaveri Snanam on Dipavali day 297
7 Sadhasivam 299
  Adhi Guru 301
  The eight names (Ashtanama): Mahadeva 302
  Mahalingam- Maheswaran 303
  The five functions 304
  Only Siva has the adjective ‘Sadha’ 305
  Sadhasiva in Rig Vedha 306
  He is what is Good and the bad too 307
  ‘Race theory’ Is wrong 308
  One who is always ‘Ugra’ and always ‘Sowmya’ 308
  Rudra too is Siva inside 310
  Sadhasivom- What the Vedha declares 311
  Siva and Sivam 312
  The bliss of ‘Sath’ and ‘Chith’ combining in Subrahmanyam 315
  Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram 316
8 Principles Underlying Namaskaram 319
  Namonamah 321
  The Mahaswami’s grievance 321
  Acharya’s rule for a Sanyasi 321
  Acharya and Narayana Nama 321
  All Namaskaras are for Narayana only 327
  True Smaranam 328
  True Sanyasi and Namaskaram 328
  Sanyasi who is Matadipathi and Namaskaram 330
  The power of ‘Asirvadham’ (Blessing) 331
  Narayana is the basis for the power of Asirvadham 332
  Lifting the hand as a sign of ‘Asirvadham’ 332
  His prayers and the faith of the devotees 333
  High status 334
  One who does Namaskaram is fortunate 337
  Namaskaram by Sanyasi: 337
  The principle underlying ‘Dhandam’ 338
  ‘Dhandam’ carried by a Sanyasi 339
  Whe humility attains fullness 340
  The living great command more respect 341
  His misfortune 342
  For humility to grow 343
  The internal and external rise and fall of man 344
  Bowing the heat to reduce ego 345
  Why fall flat with face down? 345
  Sashtanga Namaskaram 346
  Panchanga Namaskaram- Greatness of motherhood 349
  Vanakkam 350
  Men also can do Panchanga Namaskaram 350
  Love for the country and Parochialism 351
  Archana in Tamil 352
  Valour and obeisance 357
  Obedience; Susrusha 360
  Prampatham (Pranamam) 360
  Abhivadhanam 362
  Before and after the name of God: 369
  No Abhivadhanam to a Sanyasi 370
  Doing Anjali; Shaking Hands 371
  When hooding hands becomes holy 374
  Holding the hand and ‘Dhandam’ 376
  Culture that distinguishes between men and women 377
  Types of Anjali 378
  Pradhakshinam 379
  The Mahaswami continues 380
  Movement of the planets and our Pradhakshinam 382
  Namaskaram which follows Pradhakshinam 385
  Rules of Sasthras which transcend rationality 386
  The greatness of humility 387
  Those entitled to Namaskaram: Age limit 387
  Single ‘Namah’- Not uttered 388
  What gives even final release 389
  Namaskaram is useful by itself 393
  Manakaram 393
  Economic prosperity- Not an end itself 393
  Exceptions 395
  Namaskaram which removes darkness 395
9 Mangalaraththi 397
  Hanuman the Jnani and his Jnana Guru 399

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Voice of God (Volume-7)

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Introduction

Location: Kalavai, a small town in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India.
Date: February 13, 1907.
A young boy of thirteen is chosen to become the 68th Pitadhipathi of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam, in the illustrious parampara of Acharyas who adorned the Pitam established by Sri Adhi Sankara more than 2500 years ago.

That boy is none other then His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal. To millions of devotees he was simply ‘Periyava’- the revered one or Maha-Periyava. ‘Periyava’ in Tamil means a great person. That term however has acquired a special meaning because it has come to refer to His Holiness. It is a term that at once conveys endearment, reverence and devotion. It would never be mentioned in a casual manner. Mahaswami and Paramacharya are his other well-known appellations.

The Paramacharya was the Pitadhipathi of the Mutt for 87 long years. During this period, Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam acquired new strength as an institution that propogated Sri Adhi Sankara’s teachings. The devotion, fervour and intensity with which the Paramacharya practised what Adhi Sankara had preached, is unparalleled. He lived a Spartan life. Throughout his life, the main focus of his concern and activities was rejuvenating Vedha adhyayana, the Dharma Sasthras and the age old tradition which had suffered decline. ‘Vedha rakshanam’ was his very life breath and he referred to this in most of his public discourses and private conversations. His prodding regular support to Vedha Patasalas through the Vedhic scholars, holding regular sadhas which included discussions on arts and culture- these led to a renewed interest in Vedhic religion, Dharma sasthras and Sanskrit. His long tenure as Pitathipathi was the golden era of the Kanchi Camelot Pitam.

Paramacharya was a walking university. Scholars of all sects, not only from all over India but also from countries abroad came to him and deemed it a blessing and a privilege to go back enlightened after meeting him. His regular visitors ranged from the most ordinary village fold to the highest in the land. Presidents and Prime ordinary village folk to the highest in the land. Presidents and Prime Ministers, Kings and Queens, Highnesses and Excellencies came to spend a few moments with him and seek his blessings.

That the Paramacharya was an extraordinary phenomenon can be seen from this incident. When he was in his late eighties he left Kanchipuram and undertook a padha yathra through Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra. Before he returned to Kanchipuram he made all arrangements for the construction of an exquisite Nataraja temple at Satara (Uttara Chidambaram). The uniqueness about this temple is the fact that the states of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra came together to build the 5 doorways to the temple. The state of Kerala supplied the entire wood required for the temple. It was only his grace and moral influence that made this possible.

The Paramacharya’s catholicity of outlook was extraordinary. He was the Advaitha Acharaya. He was the authentic spokesman of Hindu religion and its Dharma Shastras and of Sanathana Dharma. He even believed that it was Vedhic religion that had prevailed all over the world in ancient times. But, just as he had high regard for the Acharyas of other philosophical doctrines like Ramanuja nnd Madhva and the Nayanmars of Saiva Siddhanta, he had great respect for Jesus and Mohamed Nabi, the prophet. He could be so considerate as to express the view that those who indulged in proselytisation did so out of their conviction that their religion alone could secure redemption.

February 13, 2006 marks the beginning of the 100th years of the Paramacharya’s Sanyasa Swikarana (entering the ascetic order) and Pitaarohana (becoming the head of the Sri Kanchi Kamokottipitam). Sri Kanchi Mahaswami Peetarohana Shatabdi Mahotsava Trust has been specially formed to celebrate this significant milestone in the spiritual history of India.

The main objective of the Trust is to spread the thoughts and the message of the Paramacharya across the world, not just to his devotees, but even to others who might never have had the opportunity to have his dharsan. With this objective in view the Trust has undertaken on priority the translation into English and other major Indian languages of his discourses in Tamil (upansayam). To begin with, we have chosen ‘Deivathin Kural’-Voice of God in Tamil. It is a collection of the Paramacharya’s discourses starting from 1932. These are seven volumes each of about 1000 pages. His talks cover a wide range of topics apart from all aspects of Vedhic dharma and Hindu religion which is the main focus. It is a veritable encyclopedia of Hindu religion and dharma to which people refer for authentic information on these aspects.

‘Deivathin Kural’ is a monumental work by Sri Ra Ganapathy and it occupies a special place among many books written about Paramacharya. Sri Ganapathy painstakingly collated all of Paramacharya’s talks, conversations, casual comments, answers to questions etc covering several aspects of our ancient religion, dharma and culture. Sri Ganapathy not only collected the material but also collated and organized under various subjects everything that the Paramacharya had spoken about a subject over many years at several places.

The purpose of the English translation is two fold. One is to reach Paramacharya’s thoughts and message to a wider audience. The second is to use the English translation as the basic text for translation into other Indian languages. The original in Tamil portrays in large measure the simplicity and clarity of thoughts and expressions and the unique story telling style of the Paramacharya. It has been our attempt to capture it in English. As readers will know this is not an easy task. In one of his talks, while explaining the need to protect the Vedhas in their original form, the Paramacharya himself has, in his characteristic style, referred to the limitations of any translation.

The Paramacharya’s observations are a warning to us and we are deeply conscious of our responsibility. Effort has been made to address the average reader through this work in simple language. Since the English version is to be the base from which translation into other Indian languages will be done, suitable diacritical markings have been used for Sanskrit and Tamil words. Wherever necessary the actual Sanskrit words and Slockas have been given with diacritical markings and the meanings are also given along with the words. This should make it more convenient for the reader than a separate glossary at the end.

It is usual to share one’s good and memorable experiences with others. When two devotees of the Paramacharya meet, it turns out to be an occasion for sharing of experiences. Entire train journeys could be spent talking only about him and his various qualities. He has indeed created a huge family, truly a Vasudaiva Kutumbhakam. It is the hope and wish of Sri Kanchi Mahaswami Peetarohana Shatabdi Mahotsaa Trust that readers will experience the Paramacharya through these pages, which in itself would be an elevating experience.

His talks do more than providing insight into Vedhic Dharma and Hindu religion. There is indeed hope that inspite of the declining moral values all around, dharma will prevail. It should also be clear that mere wishful thinking will not make that happen. All of us have a duty and responsibility towards making it happen. The many schemes which the Paramacharya introduced are simple and effective. If any thing, we have to revive many of his practical ideas and implement them.

The blessings of H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal and H.H. Sri Sanara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the 69th and 70th Acharyas of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam have provided encouragement to this Trust to embark on a project of this magnitude. It is their Sankalpa that the Paramacharya’s message should reach every Indian wherever he may be. We are overwhelmed by the responsibility they have placed on us.

Millions of the Paramacharya’s devotees sincerely believe that He is alive even today and He is guiding us on the path of dharma. It is his spirit that acts as the beacon in these troubled times. It is through his grace that this work is being published.

 

Contents

 

  Srimukham i
  Gurusthuthi v
  Introduction ix
  Acknowledgements xiv
  Guidance to Pronounciation xvii
1. Mangalarambam 1
  Vinayaka and Tamil 3
  Vigneswara’s great help to Tamil Nadu 3
  Important Vaishnava temples and Vigneswara’s sport 4
  Three deities which face the south: Amity between saivam and Vaishnavam 7
  The truth and appropriateness of Vinayaka’s lila 8
  The exclusive feature of bharat 10
  Worship according to prescribed procedure and devotional worship 11
  Growth of culture only due to Ganesa 14
  One who has the maximum number of temples 14
  Vinayaka and Tamil 15
  The grace that gives good mind and speech from Dharma and Upto Moksha 15
  Sanskrit and Tamil 16
2 Guru 19
  The relationship between the Guru and the Sishya 21
  ‘Ra’ Which destroys sin 23
  ‘Wo’ Is the form of Maha Vishnu 24
  Vishnu, Vasudeva- The Terms explained 25
  What the Sishya gains from guru’s qualities 26
  Adhvaitham and the aspect of Anugraham (grace) 27
  Maha Vishnu as the Guru 29
  Father-Guru 29
  Guru too has the qualities of the father 30
  Father-Guru in other religions 32
  Paternal lineage being the lineage of Guru 34
  Names of Rishis in maternal lineage glory of mother as expounded by Acharya 35
  Women and Brahma Vidhya 36
  Scholarship of women: Difference between the olden times and these days 38
  The high status accorded to women by Acharya 40
  Mother too as Guru: Acharya’s approval 41
  Sathyakama Japalar 43
  Guru who is above the mother and father 44
  Development of the brain and the heart 45
  The present fallen state 47
  Secular education 47
  Guru: Acharya 49
  Adhyakshaka: Adhyapak 50
  Characteristics of the Guru will be imbibed by the Sishya also 50
  Greatness of the word ‘Acharya’ 51
  Upadhyaya 52
  Desikar Who shows the way 53
  In Upanishad- Guru who shows the way 54
  Even great men have had several Gurus 55
  Pathivratham and Guruvratham 57
  The Guru who shows the way, as seen in Vedhas 64
  Guru as Kshethrajna 66
  Guru: For the final goal and Intermediate stages 69
  The entire knowledge of the Guru is for Sishya 70
  The duty of Acharya as laid down by our Acharya 71
  Sadhguru and Sadhsishya 72
  The entire ‘Wealth’ of the Guru is for the Sishya 72
  More lessons about Guru-Sishya 74
  Explanation of Sishya 75
  Guru’s Humility 76
  Not just being humble but telling the Whole truth 78
  Guru’s Upadesam cannot be compensated for 78
  Upadesam that comes as a tradition 79
  One who Violates tradition Is ‘Stupid’- Acharya. 80
  Acharya’s Bhakthi to Guru Parampara 81
  One who never says a thing he does not know 82
  Making sure of the Guru’s qualification and doing surrender 84
  The noble culture of the Guru himself becoming a Sishya: 85
  Half-baked knowledge is pride perfect knowledge is humility 87
  Purohithar 90
  Culture undermined in free-India 91
  Vidhya Guru and Diksha Guru 92
  Guru’s great responsibility 92
  Purohitha and Guru 93
  Sishya’s effort and the Guru’s grace 95
  The next line 97
  Guru who raises the sishya to his own level 98
  The qualifications of a Sishya and the compassion of the Guru 100
  The spurious pundits exposed by the Upanishads and Sankara 101
  The authority of Vedhas; Other religions 104
  Sraddha (faith) in Vedhas and the Guru 106
  Surrender (Saranagathi) 106
  Vedhas- Sasthras to be learnt only through a Guru Ambal’s strange plan 107
  Common simple way of worship and prayers through sthothras 108
  The community of people: Even if an exclusive Guru is not there, A common Guru is necessary 113
  Humility and Sraddha 115
  The greatness of Sraddha as shown by Acharya 116
  Saranagathi flows from Sraddha 117
  Two kinds of surrender and Guru-Sishya relationship 118
3 The State 121
  The State and Religion 123
  Dharma Chakram- Indication of Lord’s grace 123
  True secularism 123
  Responsibilities of the state in elevating the peoples mind 124
  Limitations of the role of the state in matters of religion 125
  Independent body of representatives of all religions 126
  What the government gains by nurturing religion 127
  Government support: Hindu religion and other religions 128
  Institutions of Hindu religion: Lacking in man power and financial support 129
  Religions nurtured by kings and people 130
  What the freedom movement failed to do: How Hindu religion was affected 130
  People of all religions to live as brothers 132
  The strange position of the minorities and the majority in India 132
  Aspects of religion which need state support 133
  People’s support is the asset in matters of religion 133
  Freedom of religion and religious conversion 134
  Propaganda- The right and wrong way 135
  Ban on and punishment for wrong methods 135
  Hindu religion and conversion; Re-conversion to set right original conversion 140
  Use of methods unrelated to religion to meet with severe punishment: 141
  So long as conversion prevails, return to parent religion should be permitted 145
  Religion and spirituality: The high point of India 145
  Decline of religious feeling in India: What the history of a thousand years shows 146
  The cunning ways of foreigners and the ‘Two revolutions’ 147
  The big question mark before us 148
  Atmosphere of disbelief; The result of Gandhism not being adopted 149
  State religion 150
  Changes in educational scheme: Giving importance to teaching of religion 151
  People have to fight for spiritual freedom just as for political freedom 151
  The real reason for the Dharma Chakra having found a place in the national flag 153
  Vedhic saying as the nation’s motto 154
  Is it Dharma chakra or a factory wheel? 155
  Gita’s Dharma Chakram 155
  The path of Dharma Chakra- Sacrifice is it essence 156
  Prayers and blessings for the freedom of the individual and the country 158
4 Society 161
  For the Youngsters 163
  For the Youngsters- 2: Bathe your mind 164
  Clean mind 165
  Uttering lies and fear 166
  Jealousy 166
  The Lord’s love and rules of Dharma 169
  Pray to become good Children 169
  For the young- 3: One who is mother and father of the world 170
  Mother and father- The first God we know of 170
  For the mind and intellect to become clear 171
  Being of help to others 172
  In order that bad qualities do not affect 173
  Arohara 173
  For adult students 174
  Bhakthi is essential 174
  For the development of good conduct 175
  Politics- Never 175
  Service without hindrance to studies 177
  Cinema, Drugs, Newspapers, Narcotics 178
  Educational institutions of olden times 179
  Discipline is Needed 180
  Self control is itself a great achievement 181
  A new type of students union 181
  Develop the good and curtail the bad 182
  Go Samrakshanam (cow protection) 183
  Gomatha and Bhumatha 184
  Srimatha and Gomatha 185
  Glory- Both in practical terms and spiritually 186
  Cow’s milk: Wholesome food, Improves sathva guna 186
  Where there is universal love 187
  Even the cow’s dung is pure 188
  The example of Bhopal 189
  Panchagavyam 190
  In medical treatment and in musical instruments 191
  Cruelty to the cow is like killing the mother 191
  The cow’s horn is something special 192
  Abhishekam with ghee 193
  Vibhuthi 193
  The dust rising from the cow’s hoof 194
  No Yajna without the cow 195
  Protecting the cow is protecting the world 196
  Gomatha and Lakshmi 197
  Unpardonable crime 199
  The duty of the state and the people 199
  Easy way to feed a cow 200
  Protective shelters 201
  People to come together as a family in the service of the cow 202
  Nurturing the cow is punya, neglecting it is sin 202
  Cow protection in olden times 203
  National wealth 204
  Milk not to be wasted on coffee 204
  Ghee lamp 205
  Law to protect cow slaughter 206
5 Culture 209
  The Art of Drama- Then and Now 211
  Drama and Emotion 212
  The Hero 214
  Happy end 214
  Navarasas- Peace (Santham) 216
  Arts must help in reaching the state of peace (Santham0 218
  Today’s fallen state 220
  Adhvaitham and Kanchi Sri Matam figuring in a Swayamvaram 222
  Sacrifice by mothers 225
  Adhvaitham in Swayamvaram 227
  Saraswatjo’s skill 230
  How literature speaks of Dharma 231
  The deity of Kanchi mutt in the story of Nala 231
  The great Chola king one who had on his head the holy feet of the Lord (Sivapadhasekaran) 233
  Nothing can be a bar to knowledge 236
  Kesidhwajar 238
  Adhwaitha Jnanis and the phenomenal world 238
  Kandikyar 240
  The story takes shape 240
  Prayaschitham: Lord’s name and vaidhika karma 242
  Asking the enemy for Prayaschitham 242
  Indian culture 245
  Guru Dakshina 245
  Sworn enemies become Guru-Sishya 248
  The lessons of the story 250
  Where the Gita, The Bible, The Kural speak alike 250
6 Matters Divine 253
  Athma as Witness (Sakshi) 255
  Sakshi- In practice 257
  Sri Rama and ‘Agni Sakshi’ 261
  When the Gods become witness 264
  Sakshi Ganapathi 264
  Sakshi Gopal 269
  Sakshina Yakeswarar 275
  Sakshina Theswarar 277
  Dipavali- Holi bath in Ganga and Kaveri 282
  Plea to Krishna 283
  Narakasura’s death; Sathyabhama’s role 284
  Bhumadevi’s Prayers 287
  Gita: Dipavali’s younger brother 290
  Why ‘Ganga Snanam’? 292
  A blemish even for the lord (Dhosham) 293
  Prayaschittha prescribed by Iswara 294
  Kaveri-Thula Ghat 296
  Kaveri Snanam on Dipavali day 297
7 Sadhasivam 299
  Adhi Guru 301
  The eight names (Ashtanama): Mahadeva 302
  Mahalingam- Maheswaran 303
  The five functions 304
  Only Siva has the adjective ‘Sadha’ 305
  Sadhasiva in Rig Vedha 306
  He is what is Good and the bad too 307
  ‘Race theory’ Is wrong 308
  One who is always ‘Ugra’ and always ‘Sowmya’ 308
  Rudra too is Siva inside 310
  Sadhasivom- What the Vedha declares 311
  Siva and Sivam 312
  The bliss of ‘Sath’ and ‘Chith’ combining in Subrahmanyam 315
  Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram 316
8 Principles Underlying Namaskaram 319
  Namonamah 321
  The Mahaswami’s grievance 321
  Acharya’s rule for a Sanyasi 321
  Acharya and Narayana Nama 321
  All Namaskaras are for Narayana only 327
  True Smaranam 328
  True Sanyasi and Namaskaram 328
  Sanyasi who is Matadipathi and Namaskaram 330
  The power of ‘Asirvadham’ (Blessing) 331
  Narayana is the basis for the power of Asirvadham 332
  Lifting the hand as a sign of ‘Asirvadham’ 332
  His prayers and the faith of the devotees 333
  High status 334
  One who does Namaskaram is fortunate 337
  Namaskaram by Sanyasi: 337
  The principle underlying ‘Dhandam’ 338
  ‘Dhandam’ carried by a Sanyasi 339
  Whe humility attains fullness 340
  The living great command more respect 341
  His misfortune 342
  For humility to grow 343
  The internal and external rise and fall of man 344
  Bowing the heat to reduce ego 345
  Why fall flat with face down? 345
  Sashtanga Namaskaram 346
  Panchanga Namaskaram- Greatness of motherhood 349
  Vanakkam 350
  Men also can do Panchanga Namaskaram 350
  Love for the country and Parochialism 351
  Archana in Tamil 352
  Valour and obeisance 357
  Obedience; Susrusha 360
  Prampatham (Pranamam) 360
  Abhivadhanam 362
  Before and after the name of God: 369
  No Abhivadhanam to a Sanyasi 370
  Doing Anjali; Shaking Hands 371
  When hooding hands becomes holy 374
  Holding the hand and ‘Dhandam’ 376
  Culture that distinguishes between men and women 377
  Types of Anjali 378
  Pradhakshinam 379
  The Mahaswami continues 380
  Movement of the planets and our Pradhakshinam 382
  Namaskaram which follows Pradhakshinam 385
  Rules of Sasthras which transcend rationality 386
  The greatness of humility 387
  Those entitled to Namaskaram: Age limit 387
  Single ‘Namah’- Not uttered 388
  What gives even final release 389
  Namaskaram is useful by itself 393
  Manakaram 393
  Economic prosperity- Not an end itself 393
  Exceptions 395
  Namaskaram which removes darkness 395
9 Mangalaraththi 397
  Hanuman the Jnani and his Jnana Guru 399

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