As an institution imbibing the word and spirit of its hallowed mentor Kanchi Mahaperiyava, in every action and deed, the Sankara Nethralaya family observed the 21st Aradhana of the Jagadguru with great piety, at the Sri.V.D.Swami Auditorium at its main campus on the 30th of December 2014, joined reverentially by a host of “Bhakthas” of Maha Swamigal.
Following the mellifluous rendition by Dr.S.R Bharathi Devi, Post Doctoral Fellow, and Dr. Sri Vidhya, Research Associate, R.S Mehta Jain Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Meenakshi S, Director, Academics, welcomed the gathering and the Chief Guest of the evening, Brahmasri K.V. Seshadrinatha Sastrigal, an erudite Vedic scholar par excellence, Ayurvedic Practitioner of great repute and illustrious former Principal of the Madras Sanskrit College. Dr Meenakshi observed that Sri Seshadrinatha Sastrigal, was a multifaceted personality, commanding authority over Astrology, Mimasa, Tarka Sastra, Vedas, Upanishads and Ayurveda. During his tenure as a teacher, he taught Sahitya, Vyakarana and Sanskrit Philology for Post graduate students and authored numerous research papers and editorials. He held several posts including the Chairmanship at the Board of Ayurveda, Presidentship, Veda Samrakshananyas, Chennai and was recipient of many prestigious awards including the Dhanvantri Award, Dharmasreshta Award.
The revered guru began his presidential address with salutations and invocations to the benign blessings of the Divine Mother,
सन्दीप्तकुङ्कुमवलित्रयभंगि रम्यम् ।
सन्दर्भगर्भमगजे! तव कण्ठनालम्
हे चण्डि! हैमवति! देवि! नमो नमस्ते
for universal peace and welfare. Speaking on ‘Periyava Mahimai’ the humble sishya hailed Paramacharya as the Avatharapurusha and Mahapurusha, who radiated wisdom unto others, a versatile scholar in Vedas, Vedangas and Sastras, who through his eloquent discourses delivered the subtle messages in a lucid style to the common man, in a manner that it could be practised effortlessly. Such was the prowess His Holiness commanded he exclaimed.
Sri Seshadrinatha Sastrigal described ‘Deivathin Kural’, a compendium of lectures covering the gamut of Dharma Sastras as an incredible and phenomenal work of the living Saint that stood as an “Encyclopaedia” of conduct and character for one and all, in their daily lives. “His Tapas (Penance) was difficult to understand for the layman, yet it delivered profound values” he observed adding that Adi Sankara’s Advaita Siddhanta is a floral bouquet on Hindu Philosophy and teaches one on how to lead a life of higher ideals, fulfilling obligations in the materialistic world. He explained that Shatha Bhusani, a monumental work by Mahamahopadyaya Noorni Ananthakrishna Shastri, in response to Shatha Dhusani, a compilation of criticism on Advaita philosophy by Visishtadvaiti Swami Desikan, received global acclaim with Paramacharya’s blessings. Post Independence, when society was at cross roads having lost Siddhanta Values due to other proliferation, Paramacharya advocated practice of Veda Adhyayana by establishing several institutions including the Kumbakonam Veda Dharma Paripalana Sabha and Ilayanthangudi Vidwat Kala Sadas to restore tradition and culture. Many of his ardent devotees included Sri Rajaji, Smt M.S.Subbalakshmi who strived for nation’s independence, be it politics or devotional rendition, remarked Sri. Sastrigal.
The eminent speaker emphasized that Paramacharya’s disciples included eminent foreign scholars like Max Muller, Paul Dukes, Paul Brunton, Eughina Borghini, Milton Singer, Robert Walser who came all the way to India to meet His Holiness and receive His blessings and learn Puranas and Ithihasas from the Master. Sri Sastrigal in his concluding remarks observed that Paramacharya was compassion personified, who ceaselessly worked for the have-nots be it in terms of Samasti Upanayanam or performance of marriages for the under privileged organised by the Mutt.
After the torrential lecture by Sri. Sastrigal, the day witnessed humble offerings by way of donation by a well wisher and staff of Sankara Nethralaya to Dr SS Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, followed by Arati darshan and floral offerings at the Lotus feet of His Holiness. The day concluded with a vote of thanks by Sri. Sivasankaran, Senior Research Fellow from the RS Jain Mehta Department of Bio Chemistry.