The 126th Jayanti of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati History & Culture

Mahaswami wielded his 3D power with telling effect

“Icha Sakti, Gnana Sakti, Kriya Sakti Swaroopini...”

Mother Goddess is hailed thus in ‘Sri Lalitha Sahasranama.’ She is the desire, which is the cause of an action, also the intellect, which gives it shape and finally the energy, which is essential to execute it. One without the other two attributes would amount to nothing. Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, 68th head of Sri Kamakoti Pitam, referred to with affection and reverence as Mahaswami, was an epitome of Trisakti. From the mundane to the Herculean, he not only conceived the ideas but supplied the blueprint and was fulcrum in their execution.

From the day he assumed the mantle as Pitadipati of Moolamnaya Sarvagna Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam, established by Sri Adi Sankara, Mahaswami’s heart, intellect and action synchronised towards a single goal — boost Sanatana Dharma, spread hope among its practitioners and nurture Advaita, much as Adi Sankara himself had done millennia before him. “The name came later, given by the invaders, but the faith had remained here for centuries,” he said regarding Hinduism.

Mahaswami exuded the three powers — to think, give shape and execute — which propelled him from one milestone to another. His mission started when he turned 20. He did not wait for a day longer than necessary to take charge of the Math and its administration. Indirectly, he had taken charge of the lives of millions — denizens of Bharat, for whom Dharma was a way of life. He stepped out of the secure ambience of the Math to reach out to them, instil courage and cheer. Until his last days, his slogan was the welfare of mankind — health and wealth earned the right way and utilised for fellow beings — human and other species. The century that he spent on this earth was to din these basic principles, which governed one’s life.

Mahaswami did not merely preach. He was a living model himself — adhering to the code, laid down by sastras. Austerity and self-denial added fuel to the fire of his Thapas, which was his strength. The long distances that he walked, the astonishing fasting regimen, minimal rest, elaborate pujas, ceaseless interaction with throngs of devotees, issuing guidelines for the countless projects he had initiated — the steely resolve with which he performed all these activities simply did not match the frail figure or the morsels he took as food. The initiatives he launched were sparked by the flame of mission burning within. Thought took shape and flowed into action with effortless ease. Such was his Trisakti, not only have they all survived but are flourishing.

From the Pidi Arisi Thittam to taking care of village temples, he chartered a course for each — simple and effective. He was not an IIM alumnus but knew the key aspects of management. He chose the right people to hand over the task and gave them the roadmap. There was no room for doubts. What was daunting in the beginning was accomplished, of course with his blessings and grace. When he wished to promote the singing of Tiruppavai-Tiruvembavai during the month of Margazhi, he organised conferences. But at a lower level, he roped in young children by arranging competitions. In one stroke, he had given a boost to Tamil bhakti movement. To propagate Rama Nama Likita Japa, he awarded silver coins to those who turned in notebooks filled with the deity’s name. The writing of Sriramajayam or Rama is firmly entrenched in many households.

His Gurubhakti

Mahaswami’s Gurubhakti was unsurpassed. He made Sankara Jayanti celebration a grand affair, creating an awareness among the followers. If Adi Sankara established Advaita Pitams to place the philosophy on a high pedestal, this Sankara installed marble statues of Bhagavadpadal and his primary disciples across the country. But for his uncanny perception, the Adishtanam of the 58th Acharya, Atma Bodendra Saraswati, would not have come to light. The Aradhana of predecessors is important in the Math calendar, thanks to the impeccable way in which Mahaswami conducted them.

When land was donated by a devotee at Satara, his dream of a granite temple for Nataraja on the lines of Chidambaram was fulfilled. Those involved in the construction of the Sankara Stupi — an engineering marvel — at the Prayag confluence would vouch for the power of his mind, which dictated their actions.

He was one of the earliest environmentalists, co-existence being his mantra. Poortha dharmam that he initiated found followers marching with tools to dig ponds and wells. “Preserve and create water bodies not only for us but for cattle and other animals because the planet also belongs to them,” he advised. His simplicity and shunning of comforts stemmed from his respect for Nature.

Gosamrakshanam and Veda-rakshanam were the two arms of Sanatana Dharma, whose heartbeat was in the Village. Here life revolved round the temple and its activities. Farming, Vedic learning and worship went hand in hand with the entire population participating. Each supported the other and the community thrived. In his long span of life, the Sage had witnessed a sea-change in the milieu. Migration to the City and beyond the shores was already causing damage to the precious fabric. Mahaswami did not fail to take that into account, his reach aiming at the semi-urban and urban populations, repeatedly urging them not to forget the roots, which was the Vedas. Apart from the numerous patasalas, schemes were started, to take care of retired Vaidikas on the one hand and encourage students and teachers on the other.

His Trisakti worked like a laser beam accomplishing tasks with precision and perfection, the executors, mere tools. It continues to do so long after he removed himself from the earth. It will empower all those, who meditate on him and try to follow his principles.

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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 12:38:44 pm |