Friday Review » History & Culture

Updated: August 3, 2012 16:46 IST

Journey of a seer

Geeta Venkatramanan
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The Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri
The Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri

This album is as much a document on the life of Sri Bharati Tirtha as a statement on the value of Sanatana Dharma he upholds. With Adi Sankara as the fulcrum, the 82-minute film takes the viewer through the long legacy of the Sri Sringeri Sarada Pitam, underlining the philosophy of Advaita.

The film opens with an introduction by none other than Sri Dayananda Saraswati, who outlines the essence of Sanatana Dharma, the role of the Guru and the contribution of Sri Bharati Tirtha in that context. The narration returns to Swami Dayananda to stress an aspect here and explain a concept there. Swami Paramarthananda adds value through his comments.

Born in Machilipatnam of Andhra Pradesh, young Sitarama reaches Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha at whose feet he learns scriptures, sastra and so on. The boy’s excellence in Sanskrit, especially pronunciation, delights the guru and grooming begins quietly. The disciple prefers solitude and spends much of his time in meditation and reading so much so that the Guru extends his quarters to provide him much needed privacy. The mantle shifts and the student is now not only a spiritual leader but the head of an order that is over 12 centuries old.

Sri Bharati Tirtha’s scholarship undoubtedly stands out but speakers, including celebrities such as Anil Kumble and Mandolin Shrinivas, intellectuals such as the head of the department of philosophy, King’s College, London, (“Any doubts that I had about divine power were swept away,” he says) reveal glimpses of the seer’s various dimensions – as a teacher who makes complex concepts comprehensible, a guide who shows the way when at a crossroads, the Seer who contemplates on the welfare of the humanity and so on.

The film, produced by Sri Shankara Advaita Research Centre and released to commemorate the 61 vardanti of Sri Bharati Tirtha in April 2011, is technically superb, the clear diction of the narrator and melodious music (Mandolin Shrinivas) making it a pleasure.

The Life & Teachings of An Inspiring Saint; DVD; Price not mentioned.

Sri Shankara Advaita Research Centre. Ph: 044-32568717, email:

After Maha Periyaval Paramacarya, some of the greatest scholars of Vedanta are extolled in this piece. Arguably the greatest living guru today, that teacher in Pujya Swami Sri Dayananda Saraswati is nicely accorded such a respect with a simple, 'none other than.' His erudite scholar-shishya in Swami Paramarthananda is ever the teacher who uses the simplest of language to unfold the most complex subject matter of atma jnana. It is only fitting that such jnanis speak of the scholarship of the well-acclaimed Pithatipati in Sringeri Swamigal. We sure appreciate the opportunity to being taught by such gurus, and in general such sampradaya. Om.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 19:49 IST
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