Exalting Elucidations of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal

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Item Code: NAB814
Author: Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal
Publisher: Sri Vidyatheertha Foundation, Chennai
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 8190381555
Pages: 330
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 460 gm
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Book Description
Back of the Book

His Holiness Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal, the 35th pontiff of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetam, was a living testimony to the scriptural declarations regarding a Self-realised soul, a jivanmukta and, above all, an ideal Guru. He was a nonpareil yogin and had, above all, an ideal Guru. He was a nonpareil yogin and had been frequently abiding in nirvikalpa-samadhi, the pinnacle of yoga, ever since His teens.

Various classes of people came to Acharyal for guidance and succor. Acharyal graced them in myriad ways. His numerous benedictory addresses in multiple languages, parables conceived by Him on the spot, teachings and personal interactions with devotees were all characterized by lucidity, cogency, practicality, humour and accurate exposition of the intricacies of the Veda-s, Itihasa-s, Purana-s and other scriptural texts. His very life was a teaching for all. This book, “Exalting Elucidations” primarily features the dialogues between Acharyal and disciples. Incidents from Acharyal’s life, His discourses, His parables and experiences of devotees with Him have been included in the various chapters as supplements to the dialogues.

Publisher’s Note

We at Sri Vidyatheertha Foundation deem it a great privilege, blessing and good fortune to be able to publish, at regular intervals, books related to our revered Acharyas, the Jagadgurus of Dakshinamnaya Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetam. Recently, we brought out a book, “Yogamum Jnanamum Jivanmuktiyum", the Tamil version of "Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection" of His Holiness Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal. A fortnight ago, at a function in Sringeri commemorating the 30th year of Sishya Sweekara of H.H.Jagadguru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal, we had the joy of releasing the Tamil version of "illuminating interactions", a book containing dialogues of devotees with His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal.

The book featuring the dialogues with our revered Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal is currently out of print and there is a persistent demand from devotees for copies. Therefore, it is extremely gratifying to bring out the cherished dialogues of Acharyal with some revision in content and rectification of errors which had crept into the previous edition. In this book titled, "Exalting Elucidati0ns", incidents from Acharyal’s life, parables narrated by Him, His discourses and experiences of devotees culled from various sources feature as supplements to the dialogues, making it an unique publication.

We are grateful to the team of devotees who have been instrumental in bringing out this book in a short time of fifteen days. Sri N.Subramanian, Proprietor, Sudarsan Graphics, has printed this book neatly and at short notice, with his customary efficiency. Our thanks to him.

We are sure that devotees of our Jagadgurus will gladly welcome the release of this book, find it extremely enjoyable to read and benefit immensely from it.

A Note to the Readers About the Dialogues


The dialogues published here largely consist of the clarifications graced by Acharya! to the disciple who compiled them, The said disciple had the good fortune of witnessing almost all the other dialogues and of hearing the remaining few questions and answers from the persons who have spoken with Acharya]. He first made public a portion of what he has included here in 1977. In the first volume of Jagadguru of Sringeri’ and then presented almost all of the present material in 1981 in the Tamil book, ‘Jagadguru Bathilalikkirar. An English version of the Tamil book was included by him in 1984, in Volume II of ‘Crest Jewel of Yogis’. In this book, the disciple has added more of Acharyal’s replies and rectified a number of errors that had crept into the previous publication. Since the portions relating to the dialogues were prepared, computer-typed and also proof-corrected by him, the responsibility for any deficiencies here are just his. He had no role to play in the rest of the material included in this book.

Some points:

l. The dialogues have been grouped under 41 heads. Some of the chapters comprise the questions posed on different days and by different questioners. On the other hand, some, such as the one titled ‘Maya’ contain the record of what Acharyal taught a disciple in a single session.

2. At times, a portion of an answer in one chapter is similar to that found in another chapter. However, at no time, has any elucidation given by Acharyal been repeated. What appears similar pertains to Acharyal’s words on different occasions or to different persons. Notwithstanding the similarity. The contextual significances are different. Because of this and because the grouping of questions and answers is such that each chapter can be read independently. The slight overlap is quite in order.

3. Rarely, in a single chapter, there appear answers with some overlap. This is because of the difference in the questioners and because what is brought out by Acharyal not identical. For instance, in the chapter titled ‘Jnanin’, there are three references to an enlightened sage’s happiness and sorrow. However, in the first instance, Acharyal speaks of how they cannot lead to rebirth. In the second answer. He presents the reason for their presence. In the third, He talks of how the sage is not swayed by them. Thus, all the three are important.


A seeker in the path to Self-realisation is often confronted with myriad doubts at different stages of his spiritual discipline. By what process is he to get his doubts dispelled? Bhagavan advises, "Know that through prostration. Enquiry and service. The wise ones who have realised the Truth will impart Knowledge to you." Bhagavatpada expounds the qualification, "who have realised the Truth", as, "The considered view of the Lord is that Knowledge imparted by only those who have full enlightenment becomes effective, not any other." Therefore, it behooves a spiritual aspirant to seek solutions from a Self—realised Sadguru to progress in the path of liberation.

Our Acharyal, His Holiness Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal, the 35th pontiff of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetam, was a living testimony to the scriptural declarations regarding a Self-realised sage and a jivanmukta and, above all, an ideal Gum. He was a nonpareil yogi and had been frequently abiding in nirvikalpa-samadhi, the pinnacle of yoga, ever since His teens. His own perfection apart, His compassion, wisdom and complete freedom from egoism, made Him empathies with His disciples, guide them in sadhana and raise them to the sublime heights of spiritual greatness.

Acharyal always accorded prime importance to spiritual aspirants. Here is an example. On one occasion, three brahmacari’s from North India arrived in Sringeri seeking clarifications from Acharyal on spiritual issues. It was very late in the evening, just minutes before Acharya! Would normally have proceeded for His evening bath. After giving them a patient hearing, Acharyal began His reply in earnest. The question and answer session progressed and it was over two hours before Acharya! finally clarified the celibates’ doubts. Even as the discussion was in progress, Aehr11y/z1/ remarked to one of His close disciples, who was a witness to the discussion, "How sincere they are! They are leaving shortly and so, I do not mind My evening bath getting late. Their requirements deserve top priority."

Acharyal’s elucidations to devotees consistently bore the stamp of His direct experience of the Truth, His complete mastery of yoga, His unparalleled erudition in the sastra-s and His thorough understanding of the requirements of the aspirants. A collection of such replies in the form of dialogues between the disciples and Acharyal forms the main chapters of this book. More details about the dialogues can be had from the "Note to the Readers about the Dialogues” page.

During the 35 years that He adorned the Sringeri Sharada Peetam, from 1954 to 1989, Acharyal graced devotees with hundreds of speeches in various languages. Each one is a treasure trove of knowledge. Extremely fortunate are those who have heard the nectar-like words of Acharyal on at least one occasion. Select excerpts from the published benedictory addresses of the Jagadguru have been incorporated in the various chapters of this book. They, invariably, shed more light on the topics discussed in the dialogues.

Acharyal’s very life is a teaching to all of us. Disciples, who had the invaluable privilege of personal contact, or even a short acquaintance with our Acharyal, could readily comprehend His easy accessibility, childlike simplicity, universal love. intense devotion and deep erudition. Without exception, all devotees experienced His unfailing blessings. The supplications and submissions made to Acharyal by devotees seeking benefits, be they spiritual or material, have borne fruits by His sagacious advices, blessings or even His mere physical presence. An attempt to publish a host of such incidents recorded so far would, by itself warrant a voluminous publication. Hence, a few select instances of devotees’ experiences with Acharyal have been included in the appropriate chapters of this book.

Acharyal had the innate ability to effortlessly render even highly complex scriptural topics easily and thoroughly intelligible by means of stories conceived by Him or based on the Vedas and other works. Several of His edifying parables have been appended to the dialogues.

To sum up’ each chapter in the book features the dialogues as its principal component. The supplements falling under the classification viz., `Discourses of Acharyal`, “Incidents from Acharyal’s life’. `Parables of Acharyal’ and `Experiences of Devotees` follow this. Readers are sure to observe differences in writing styles in the supplements. Especially in the portion concerning the experiences of devotees. The variation in style is natural since the narrators’ written accounts have been retained, with minimal editing.

I received tremendous co-operation from the team that comprised Sri E.R. Ravikumar, Kum Rathna Kamakshi, Sri V.Subrahmanian and Dr.V.Jayashankar in the selection, editing and proof-reading of the portions that supplement the main dialogues. My thanking them for their sincere and tireless efforts would only be tantamount to insulting their unflinching devotion to our Acharyal. I have to also acknowledge the assistance rendered by Kum. M.Srividya and Sri Gopalakrishanan in typing the portions of the book in digital form. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Sri A.Ramaswamy, I.A.S., Sri K.Srinivasan, Sri K.Suresh Chandar, Kum. Meenakshi Lakshmanan and a few other devotees whose sincere compilation, over the years, of experiences of devotees with Acharyal has been extensively used in this book. All of us have witnessed the rapturous joy, which suffused disciples when recollecting and narrating their treasured personal experiences with Acharyal.

The idea of supplementing the dialogues with Acharyal teachings and several of devotees’ experiences was conceived of by me just some ten days ago. I would like to believe that it was divine grace that was responsible for such a proposition suddenly dawning on me. Once again, solely by divine grace, the task taken has been completed in such a short span of time. The treasure of valuable data available with us on our Acharyal is so huge that, at each stage of the book, I was thoroughly discontented with myself for indiscriminately cutting down information.

Not satiated with the amount of information already packed in the book, each one of our team members came up suggesting more and more data to be included, as everything appeared highly pertinent. Ultimately, my decision was by default — I bowed down to time and space!

I own up complete responsibility for the deficiencies in the selection and editing of supplements to the main chapters, the printing and every possible error in this publication. I may sound humble, though I really am not.

I pray that, in His infinite compassion, Acharyal accepts this book that contains several flaws, as a garland of assorted flowers. fresh and faded, offered by one who is bereft of true devotion.


A Note to the Readers About the Dialogues 1
Citatory Abbreviations 3
Diacritical Marks 4
Introduction 5
1. Guru 9
2. Isvara 33
3. Worship of Isvara with form 39
4. Marriage 51
5. Ganga 59
6. Social and Civil Regulations 63
7. Conversion of Religion 65
8. Guidelines for Performing actions 71
9. Rebirth 75
10. Modifying the Sastra-s 81
11. Scriptural Injunctions 85
12. Upanayana 91
13. Fate and Free Will 95
14. Dharma 105
15. Ahimsa 117
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