Sri Ranganatha Yatheendra Maha Desikan, 46th pontiff of Sri Ahobila Mutt, who had accompanied senior pontiff, the 45th Jeeyar, Sri Narayana Yatheendra Maha Desikan to a visit to Tirupullani recently.
Both the Jeeyars took bath in Sethukarai Sea along with hundreds of devotees before leaving Tirupullani.
The Junior Jeeyar, who was gracious to spend time with The Hindu Correspondent recently, laid stress on everyone doing their duty and strongly felt that a sense of give and take and discipline were necessary for social harmony.
He touched on a range of subjects from caste conflict to the Ayodhya temple. The math was trying to instil Hindu dharma in everyone, he said. “Follow dharma and there won’t be conflicts, he said.
What is his take on untouchability that prevails in some parts of the country that includes the South?
“It is unacceptable,” states the jeer categorically. “Only those who do not perform their duties with sincerity and commitment are untouchables. Caste has no role here,” he adds.
Where is the country heading at the moment, what with scandals and scams hitting the headlines?
This is Kaliyuga. My views may not have takers. Not only the politicians, but most of the people are committing mistakes. But there is hope if there is repentance.
There are disturbances in Ramanathapuram. There is tension among communities. What is the jeer’s opinion?
There should not be religious and caste conflicts at all. Ego is the cause of all these problems. Adherence to dharma and performing one’s duties will bring about the change. In 1970, when I was 20 years old, we visited the Parliament house in New Delhi. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister. The proceedings began with a quote from the Vedas which went like this: ‘We will all be together. Go together. Let our thoughts be one and the same for the good of others.’ This, in a nutshell, is the answer to the situation.
His message for the youth?
Respect our culture and preserve it. While people in the West come here for peace, we are losing our equanimity by blindly aping them. Our country’s growth and prosperity are in the hands of the youth. They must be shaped through moral teachings at least on Sundays, to ensure religious harmony. Discipline is essential for the development of tolerance, a vital ingredient for harmony.
What is the swamiji’s stand on the demand for Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“A ticklish issue, yes. Several centuries ago, hundreds of temples were desecrated and demolished. One such was the Ram temple in Ayodhya. There are records, dating back to the Colonial period, to prove the fact. The British came to that opinion after a detailed scrutiny of history. A Ram temple must be constructed in Ayodhya, but, simultaneously, the mosque must also be constructed by its side. No harm. Both communities must take a decision on this. We’ll pray for that.
What would the jeeyars like to convey to the Ramanathapuram people”
“I visited Ramanathapuram when I was 10. I have come to Ramanathapuram and Paramakudi several times after that. I saw co-operation and fraternity among all Hindus along with Christians and Muslims. But of late, the atmosphere has been contaminated by ego and pre-conceived notions. You can achieve anything with kindness and love. On the other hand, enmity begets enmity. If you need friendship and fraternity, you have to tolerate, adjust and unite. The policy of give-and-take is a must for the peaceful life of the people of Ramanathapuram.”