Sri Rama in four different alankarams, on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami at the Eri Kaatha Ramar Temple, Madurantakam, was the highlight of the festival.

In 94 Gadyams of delightful prose that is to be rendered in a fast paced style, Vedanta Desikar has captured the essence of entire Ramayana specifically describing Lord Rama’s valour at different points of his life. It is believed that reciting this Gadyam is equivalent to an entire Ramayana Parayanam.

Starting with the ease with which Rama broke the bow, as directed by Sage Vishwamitra, to marry Sita, Desikar takes one through the different phases of Rama’s life where he, to uphold Dharma, displayed his valour to protect people from evil forces.

He describes the way Rama killed the asuras - Karan and Dooshana. Highlighting Rama’s ‘Veera’ qualities, Desikar describes killing of asuras at the Dhandaka forest creating for the rishis a path that seemed so full of Parijatha flowers. Having killed 14,000 asuras, there was nothing Rama could not achieve, praises Desikar. He says that one could almost see on his shoulders the arrow marks of the strikes made by the asuras.

In one Gadyam, Desikar refers to Rama as being a witness to Sabari Moksham.

Towards the end, Desikar praises Rama saying that even a slight tweaking of the string of his bow sent shock waves across Lanka. He describes the effortless ease with which he defeated the almost invincible Lankan king Ravana.

Desikar says that even in the Tretha Yuga, when dharma had slightly weakened, Raghava Simha (Rama) ruled Ayodhya with the same high Dharmic principles that was so symbolic of the previous period - the Kretha Yuga.

Desikar ends ‘Mahaveera Vaibhavam’ (another name for Raghuveera Gadyam) directing everyone to recite this as a perfect medicine for relief from any fears of Samsaric life.

Seven-decade old Ahobila Mutt Oriental High School and Veda patasala

Opposite the Eri Kaatha Ramar temple is the 72-year-old Sanskrit Maha Vidyalaya and Oriental High School, one of the oldest Vedic schools in Tamil Nadu. Started in 1942 by Ahobila Mutt with 25 students, over 500 students have thus far graduated from the school. Students from this institution have held prominent positions of reputed organisations. The 45th Jeer Swamy of Ahobila Mutt also had his initial education here at the Patasala. Several of the students have also been recipients of the President’s award that is presented to Vedic pandits.

On offer here are Oriental High School education from class 6 to 10, seven-year Siromani Vedic education and an exclusive four-year Prabandham course. Over 20 teachers/lecturers provide selfless service to over 110 students who are currently undergoing education here. Those who finishes the Siromani course are awarded ‘MA-Sanskrit’ degree by the University of Madras. These students also learn English and Computer Science as part of their course.

The students here undergo rigorous training in a very traditional way waking up every morning at 4.30 a.m. and follow a meticulous process through the day before going to bed at 9.30 p.m. every evening. The Vedic students undertake a stringent test annually conducted by the Sankara Mutt.

The students are provided boarding and lodging free of cost and also a stipend every month.

S. Varada Gopalakrishnan, principal of the school, has been here at this institution teaching the students for almost the last 25years. Interestingly, the faculty also comprises an IT Professional who quit a high paying job in a Tier I company to offer his service here in an endeavour to promote Vedic Education and to encourage young students to pursue a traditional way of life. This is especially significant at a time when the trend is moving away from taking up Vedic Education.

The current priest at the Eri Kaatha Ramar temple, Seshadri Bhattar rendered service here at the Vedic Institution for 27 years.

Those interested in pursuing any of the aforesaid courses can contact: 044-2755 3070/99943 24775/ 99400 86253.