Monday, December 18, 2006

Incidents from the Life of Kanchi Paramacharya - 02

Hare Krishna Friends,

The following exhilarating incidents were mentioned by one of the disciples of Sri Madhuramurali Swami (visit to know more about Sri Madhuramurali Swami). She spoke about the following incidents from Kanchi Mahasvami’s life on her visit to Sydney.
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The intensity and depth of Paramacharya’s memory is legendary. Paramacharya was camping in MIT campus in Chennai and one day after his lecture, he was offering prasadam including kumkum (vermilion) to the students coming in a line.

One of the students was summoned back by the Acharya after he received the prasadam. The Mahasvami asked him in Kannada language whether was he from Dharwad – a place north of Bangalore in Karnataka. The student replied in affirmative. He then asked the student per chance was his name Chandrasekhar or Chandramouli. The student with an exclamation said it was indeed Chandramouli. He also confirmed his age as 22 when he was posed with that question by Mahasvami. Then Paramacharya enquired about the welfare of his parents and blessed him again. The entire dialogue was in Kannada.
Chandramouli hesitatingly informed Paramacharya that this was the first occasion he was seeing him and how come Mahasvami knew so much about him. Paramacharya told him that when he was camping in Dharwad about 23 years ago, a couple came to him and sought his blessings for a baby. Paramacharya blessed them. When he gave the prasadam to the couple, the husband applied the kumkum in the forehead and then a small bit of it on his right shoulder in a fast moving action. Mahasvami told Chandramouli that he did the same kind of action after receiving prasadam from him and Paramacharya was immediately reminded of his father's similar action. Also remembering their pleas, He just added the bits and derived his age too.

See even that small insignificant motion of hand has been captured in his mental framework and recalled effortlessly after so many years.
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Paramacharya also possessed a great sense of humor. He once lamented to one of the devotees, Sri Vedagiri that Adi Sankara was fortunate to have an unquestioning disciple Sri Totaka and it is not easy to get such disciples. Vedagiri in his earnest told Paramacharya that he will do whatever Acharya says but the Mahasvami told him that it will not be that easy. However Vedagiri was insistent. Paramacharya then to pointed out to Vedagiri an old Brahmin widow in the crowd of devotees assembled outside. True to the then prevailing tradition, the old lady was dressed in a white sari with a shaven head and shining vibhuthi in the forehead. Paramacharya told Vedagiri to go to that lady and enquire whether she was "Sumnagali" (Neengal Sumangaliya – in Tamil). Vedagiri was very hesitant and reluctant to do so, as was naturally to be expected.

Paramacharya reminded him that it was not easy to be a Totaka. Not to disown his own words in such a short time, Vedagiri summoned all his courage and came before that old lady. She was with a few of her family members who seemed able bodied too. Praying all the Gods he could remember, Vedagiri feebly asked the lady "Neengal Sumangaliya?" expecting a barrage of blows physically or verbally.

The lady's face brightened up immediately and she said with a glee "Yes" and also wondered how Paramacharya knew about it. Confused of the tilt, Vedagiri came back to Mahasvami and narrated him the entire thing. Yet he could not figure out what had happened and how the lady could agree with Paramacharya's poser. Paramacharya solved the mystery by explaining that Sumangali is a village in Tanjore district and the lady hailed from there (Tamil knowing friends, you can now read that question again and appreciate the appropriateness).
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With this, we will stop on the series of emails pertaining to Kanchi Paramacharya. A lot of information is available on the website about Paramacharya, his discourses, the experiences of Devotees etc. It would be undoubtedly beneficial to each of us if we can take some time off everyday and read from the book “Hindu Dharma”. There are a lot of books available in Tamil, English and other languages as well. Each book is filled with a wealth of information. Most of the books are available in Giri Traders, Chennai and in the local Kanchi Mutt branches.
From the next mail, we will try to get a glimpse of another Jivanmukta, the renowned “Yoga Rathnam” Sri Abhinava Vidyateertha Mahasvami of Sringeri.



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