Books on Paramacharya belong to a unique genre. The subject is enough to kindle interest and ardent devotees, who devour anything written on him, preserve it as sacred literature. ‘Sankara Kaviyam’ is thus a follower’s delight.

The volume is a collection of episodes from Paramacharya’s life. Nothing new about it. The novelty lies in the fact that it is in the form of drama, incidents conveyed through dialogue.

According to the author, Dalmiapuram Ganesan, the book got the shape with the possibility of a television serial in the background. Young Swaminathan is a five-year old school student when the story begins. The pages fly swiftly as the boy is anointed as the 68th head of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, envelops followers in an embrace of compassion and discipline. He identifies his successor and eventually sheds his mortal coil.

In between are anecdotes that showcase the Paramacharya as a guru, who guides those that approach him in times of joy, sorrow and despair. Celebrities await his darshan and he obliges with remarkable simplicity. His subtle sense of humour runs as a silver thread.

His scholarship, multi-lingual skills and vision are showcased. The conversation with Paul Brandon and Periyava’s Independence Day message are noteworthy. Subjects close to his heart such as saving cows, burial for unclaimed bodies, renovating ancient temples, donating a handful of rice and so on find detailed treatment in Paramacharya’s own words.

A highlight of the book, priced at Rs. 250, are rare pictures. Sankara Kaviyam has been published by Agasthiar Publications, Clives Building, Nandhi Koil Street, Teppakulam, Tiruchi – 620002. Post Box: 334. Phone: 0431-2700061.