Chennai: OCTOBER 2-14, 2012
Guruvandanam by Sri Vidyateertha Foundation
On the evening of 3rd October 2012, a Guruvandana programme was organized by Sri Vidyatheertha Foundation, Chennai to honour the Jagadguru.
Prior to arriving for this evening function, the Jagadguru individually blessed and gave prasadam to a large gathering of physically challenged women and men who were given Tailoring Machines and Wheelchairs.
At around 6 PM, the event began with the Sama Veda chanting by Vedabrahmasri Chandramoulishwara Shrouthi and his disciples. Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Aksharamala Stotram composed by the Jagadguru on His Guru, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji was then sung by Kum. Amrita Murali and Kum. Bharati Ramasubban.
After the entire gathering offered Pranams to the Jagadguru by way of chanting of the Sringeri Jagadguru Birudavali, welcome addresses were read in Sanskrit and Tamil by Sri Narayanan and Sri R Krishnan of Sri Vidyatheertha Foundation. Sri Krishnan mentioned that the foundation that had small beginnings after its foundings in 1992 was now engaged in a number of activities: celebrations of the Jagadguru’s Vardhanti and Jayanti of Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji; publishing books and DVDs containing lives and teachings of Sringeri Jagadgurus, conducting competitions to create opportunities to help youngsters imbibe our culture and tradition, honouring Vedic and Shastric scholars and assisting orphans in getting education.
Sri Krishnan recalled the words of the Jagadguru spoken in a function organized at Sringeri on November 9, 2004 on the occasion of the completion of 30 years of His Sannyasa. The Jagadguru then had given an Anugraha Bhashanam speaking at length about His Guru and had blessed that Sri Vidyatheertha foundation function as an important Dharmic institution in Chennai. Eight years since, the foundation had indeed become such an institution merely due to the blessings of the Jagadguru. Sri Krishnan also recalled the happy occasion when the student competition had been held in Chennai in 1995 and the Jagadguru had blessed the students during His Vijaya Yatra then. Once again, the competitions were held during the Chaturmasya of the Jagadguru this year and the students were rewarded as part of a function during the Chaturmasya.
On behalf of the foundation, Chairman of the Chennai Vijaya Yatra Committee, Sri A Krishnamoorthy honoured Brahmasri Chandramoulishwara Shrouthi and presented a cheque of 1 lakh for his Pathashala.
Dr. V R Gowrishankar released the DVD, “Krishna – The Lord Almighty” containing the Puja performed by the Jagadguru on Krishna Janmashtami day during the Chaturmasya at Chennai and the Anugraha Bhashanam given on the eve of Krishna Janmashtami. A special supplement brought out by Makkal Kural was also released.
A number of dignitaries including Swami Vimurtananda (Editor, Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam, Chennai), Hon. Justice Sri V. Ramasubramanian (Judge, Madras High Court), Hon. Justice Sri R S Ramanathan (Judge, Madras High Court), Brahmasri Dr. R. Mani Dravid (Shastraic scholar, Madras Sanskrit College), Brahmasri B. Sundarakumar (well-known Harikatha exponent), Sri T S Krishnamurthy (former Chief Election Commissioner of India), Sri N. Gopalaswami (former Chief Election Commissioner of India), Sri E Mariappan (Director – News, Doordarshan Kendra, Chennai), Sri M S Gopalakrishnan (Renowned Musician), Dr. S S Badrinath (President, Medical Research Foundation, Chennai), Dr. Padma Subramanian (Vice-president, Dharma Rakshana Samithi), Dr. Nalli Kuppuswami Chetty (Renowned Philanthropist), Sri K. Srikkanth (Former International Cricket Player), Trichur Sri V Ramachandran (Sangeetha Kalanidhi Designate), Kavignar Sri Subbu Arumugan (Renowned poet), Dr. S Revathy (Professor of Sanskrit, Madras University), Sri G. Ramkumar (Film Producer, Chennai), Sri R. Ganesh (Renowned Violinist), Sri V.B. Chandrasekar (Former International Cricket Player) and Sri R. Ambreesh (Assistant Editor, Dinamalar, Chennai) as well as the Chief Editor of Makkal Kural attended the function.
Dr. Revathy recited a Sanskrit sextet in praise of the Jagadguru. Vidwan Mani Dravid spoke about how although each branch of Shastra is as vast and deep as an ocean, the Jagadguru had complete mastery in every Shastra and the Vedas. The Vidwan also deeply respected and admired how the Jagadguru lucidly explained various Adhikaranas (topics from the Brahma Sutras) in simple and lucid style during the series of Vedanta discourses during the Chaturmasya. Brahmasri B R Sundarakumar expressed wonder on many aspects of the Jagadguru be it command over language, poetry, the Anushtanams, the concentration of the Jagadguru during the Pujas and Vratas, Vairagya and adherence to Sannyasa Dharma, Bhagavad Bhakti and Guru Bhakti, and hailed the Jagadguru as a Jnana Svaroopa. Film producer, Sri G Ramkumar, High Court Judge Sri V Ramasubramanian and Swami Vimurtananda, Ramakrishna Mission, Chennai also spoke on the occasion.
Administrator & CEO, Sri V R Gowrishankar had words of praise for the foundation that had brought together various dignitaries from various diverse fields as the judiciary, sports, administration, arts, religion and people of impeccable name. He felicitated the dignitaries in the Jagadguru’s divine presence.
In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru conveyed the blessings to all for their devotion and coordination in conducting the Chaturmasya Vrata. Men are habituated to satisfy their Svartha (self interests). I shall act upon something only if I get something out of it. This Svartha is present in everyone. We say that everyone is selfish. But Bhagavatpada says that it is good to have Svartha – provided you know what Svartha actually is. That which is beneficial to you is Svartha. Acquiring wealth, name and fame do not actually constitute Svartha. For all of these are transitory. Exert yourself to attain that which is permanent. Then you can be truly said to have Svartha. He who does not realize this having attained the rare human birth is indeed pitiable.
इतः कोऽन्वस्ति मूढात्मा यस्तु स्वार्थे प्रमाद्यति ।
दुर्लभं मानुषं देहं प्राप्य तत्रापि पौरुषम् ॥
The Jagadguru then gave four teachings that apply to everyone. First: donate liberally to a Satpatra – the worthy and the needy. Second: try and understand the the essence of Vedanta. The primary step towards this is to reduce one’s desires. Greater your desires, greater will be your attachment. For this, you need to cultivate the sense of satisfaction. Third: make your devotion to God steadfast. Fourth: do not harbour hatred towards anyone.
The Jagadguru expressed joy over the activities of Sri Vidyatheertha Foundation, had special words of praise and blessings for the people behind the activities, and ended the Anugraha Bhashanam, blessing one and all.
Jagadguru Graces Bharathi Vidyalaya at Perumbakkam
Bharathi Vidyalaya fills a much needed void for good education on the outskirts of Chennai and places a strong emphasis on Indian culture and traditions.
On the morning of 4th October 2012, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji started from Sudharma and arrived at the Bharathi Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School at Perumbakkam near Tambaram. The Jagadguru was presented the Poornakumbha by the administrative and teaching staff of the school. The Jagadguru inaugurated the Guru Bhavanam building in the school premises, had Darshan of Lord Mahaganapati and then graced the public function. Chairman Sri R Krishnaswamy gave the welcome speech paying obeisance to the Jagadguru
The founder of the Vidyalaya, Smt. K. Alamelu, spoke about how due to the sole grace of the Jagadguru, the school which began about two decades ago with merely 36 students was now educating 1300 students with a strong emphasis on Indian culture and tradition.
Administrator & CEO of the Peetham, Sri V R Gowrishankar explained that the core principle of the Peetham has always been the dissemination of knowledge – through Veda Pathashalas, Shastra Pathashalas, Research Centres, and education centres such as this school. He remembered that about 25 years ago, when a school was being started by the Peetham in Bangalore. Devotees wished to name the school after Mahasannidhanam. However Sri Mahasannidhanam had stated that the school was being started with the principle of the Peetham in mind – dissemination of knowledge – and hence named the school “Jnanodaya”. He also expressed his pride to be part of the institution that was providing quality education at a place far from the city centre in Chennai. Sri Gowrishankar ended His address mentioning that it was his fortune that while he was just about to leave the city, it was at the direction of the Jagadguru that he stayed back and was able to come to the school.
Following this, children from the school rendered Shlokas, Bhagavad Gita, Purusha Suktam and Bhajans in the divine presence of the Jagadguru.
In His Anugraha Bhashanam the Jagadguru expressed great joy at being in the school that was established by the Grace of Goddess Sharada. It is a matter of pride that the school which had humble beginnings was educating more than a thousand students.
The Jagadguru pointed out that it is natural for obstacles to crop up whenever we attempt any task. One must be determined to complete the task overcoming them all.
विघ्नैः पुन: पुनरपि प्रतिहन्यमानाः ।
प्रारब्धमुत्तमगुणाः न परित्यजन्ति ॥
The Jagadguru mentioned this as late Sri Ganapati and his wife K. Alamelu had faced one obstacle after another in setting up of the school and its functioning. They however had the great belief that as long as we have faith in Goddess Sharada and the blessings of the Guru, the obstacles could be overcome. The school has seen this day due to their faith and efforts. Whenever there was a need, Goddess gave inspiration to one person or the other to fulfill them. The Jagadguru mentioned that the Smt. K. Alamelu would come to Sringeri and place her obstacles to Him and would return only after the Jagadguru assured her that the Grace of Goddess Sharada. Upon reaching Chennai, she would immediately convey that the obstacle no longer existed!
The Jagadguru remembered that Prahlada overcame all the obstacles because his faith and devotion in God was unshakeable. The great personalities mentioned in our Puranas and Itihasas exemplify this quality. We must have the faith that the Lord, who graced Prahlada will also grace us if we are sincere in our prayers.
If the children are able to excel academically, the credit goes to the teachers, to the administrative staff of the school as well as to the efforts of the children. The Jagadguru mentioned that it was fitting that Lord Mahaganapati had been consecrated inside the school. The Jagadguru commended the courage and will-power with which Smt. Alamelu was running the school. The Jagadguru ended the Anugraha Bhashanam blessing that Lord shower Shreyas on the children, teachers and staff of the school.
The Jagadguru spent two hours interacting with the children and staff and then blessed the students of every class of the school. The Jagadguru also individually gave Darshan to all the teachers and parents.
Jagadguru Graces Madipakkam & Adambakkam
While returning from Bharathi Vidyalaya in the evening, the Jagadguru graced the Tamil Nadu Brahmin’s Association at Madipakkam and blessed the members with an Anugraha Bhashanam. The Jagadguru highlighted the importance of Sandhya Vandanam in the Bhashanam. Brushing aside all the usual excuses stated, the Jagadguru emphasized the need to perform Trikala Sandhya Vandanam for attaining Shreyas. The Jagadguru then visited Adambakkam and gave an Anugraha Bhashanam to the thousands of devotees assembled at the Karpaga Vinayakar – Pandurangan temple. The Jagadguru then returned to Sudharma and performed the Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja.
Jagadguru Graces RA Puram Sringeri Math & Shankara Gurukulam
On the evening of October 5th 2012, the Jagadguru visited the Sringeri Shankara Math at RA Puram where a golden chariot was dedicated to the Goddess. The Jagadguru also graced Shankara Gurukulam at Abhiramapuram. The Gurukulam was started by late Sri Thethiyur Subrahmanya Shastrigal and continues to be fostered by his children and grandchildren. For many decades, this has been a centre where scholars have expounded the many commentaries of Sri Adi Shankaracharya to spiritual aspirants. The Jagadguru gave a stirring Anugraha Bhashanam at the Gurukulam and encouraged seekers to engage in intense Sadhana and imbibe the Acharya’s teachings with great resolve.
Visit to Shankara Nethralaya & Mandaveli
On 9th October, the Jagadguru graced Sankara Nethralaya in Nungambakkam, and was received with Poornakumbha by the doctors and staff of the institution led by Dr. SS Badrinath. The Jagadguru visited the various areas of the hospital and blessed their new ventures in eye care and treatment. In his speech, Dr. Badrinath offered his reverential pranams to the Jagadguru and mentioned that the Padukas of Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji are worshipped at the Nethralaya everyday. The Jagadguru in His Anugraha Bhashanam appreciated the efforts of Sankara Nethralaya and blessed the doctors. The Jagadguru pointed out that only a few people are wealthy enough to make large contributions for social work. However, Shankara Nethralaya is an example of how if everyone comes together as a group and makes individual contributions of service, it can make a big impact on our society.
The Jagadguru then graced the Kalyan Nagar Association in Mandaveli and blessed the devotees with an Anugraha Bhashanam.
The Jagadguru Graces Nanganallur
On the evening of 10th October, the Jagadguru graced Nanganallur and was welcomed by large gatherings of eager devotees. The Jagadguru visited Sri Ardhanardhishwara temple, Sri Ayyappa temple and blessed the members of Sri Siddhi Vinayaka Bhakta Samajam, Sri Guruavayoorappan Bhakta Samajam and Sri Maruthi Bhakta Samajam Trust. The Jagadguru then proceeded to the famous temple of the massive structure of Adivyadhihara Sri Anjaneya Swamy, and had Darshan and blessed the devotees assembled. The Jagadguru then gave an Anugraha Bhashanam.
The Jagadguru Graces Nanganallur and Tambaram
On 12th October, the Jagadguru visited the Sringeri Shankara Math at
Nanganallur and had Darshan of Sri Abhinava Ganapathi. The Jagadguru
then went to Gowriwakkam in Tambaram and laid the foundation stone for
a hospital to be commissioned by the Peetham.
The Jagadguru Graces Astika Samajam
On Oct 13th, the Jagadguru graced Astika Samajam at Venus Colony in Mylapore and blessed the residents with an Anugraha Bhashanam. The Jagadguru said that only when a good deed or a great deed is done can a life be termed purposeful. What is the use of merely filling one’s stomach and sleeping? Then, what would be the difference between you and an animal? So what constitutes a great deed? Each one feels that what he is doing is great. From his or her own angle, his or her deeds may seem great. However only those deeds are great that constitute to the betterment of the society. The Jagadguru then said that the establishment and functioning of the Astika Samajam was one such deed, and blessed all the devotees.