Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"He signalled me to sit down!"

Over 20 years ago, I had a short stint in the tinsel world as a motorcycle stuntman and an actor. Just before the completion of the shooting of my first film in which I acted, I had a major road accident and suffered very serious injuries. It was Divine Grace that prevented my soul from departing my body at that time. I would not like to say much about my injuries because my description of them may tend to turn graphic and gory. Thanks to the blessings, love and support of my family and friends, I could stand up and move around a bit about 4 months after the accident. I completed the work and the film was released to become a hit. After the release of the film, which was my first one as an actor, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had fans and followers.

Among them was a young man from Kanchipuram. He was from the IT field but he was very closely connected to the Kanchi Mutt. After coming to know about my modest but spiritual family background, he asked me one day, if I would be interested in meeting the Sankaracharyas of Kanchi. He told me that if my destiny would support me, I would not only get to have the darshan of the Mahaperiyava, Nadu Periyava and Chinna Periyava, but also get to speak with Them. As I worked in the film industry, my friend was somehow a bit hesitant while he proposed his idea to me. This was because he was unsure of my own spiritual leanings. He was pleased when I immediately agreed and asked him when we could go to Kanchipuram. We lived in Madras then. He then quickly went into his room and made a few calls and told me that we could leave for Kanchi at 5 AM the following morning. That was unbelievable! I thanked my Karma.

The next day we reached the Mutt and my friend took me inside. He led me straight to the area where Chinna Periyava was seated. My friend introduced me to the young sage and briefed Him about me and my interesting profession. Chinna Periyava , my friend and I spoke about general topics. After having spent an hour there, we walked to another section of the Mutt and we saw Nadu Periyava there. My friend introduced me to Him too and I sought his blessings. Deep in my mind I was longing to see Mahaperiyava and I strongly believed that I would be seeing him that day. But I was not destined to see Him that day. My friend told me that due to various reasons, it would not be possible to meet Mahaperiyava and that we had to return to Madras without his darshan.

My friend told me, ‘varuthap padaadheengo Anna, dhyaanam pannungo, azhaippu kandippaaga varum’ and we returned to Madras. During the drive back, I visualised myself sitting at the feet of Mahaperiyava and him blessing me with both his hands.

A week after that, I started to notice unpleasant symptoms in my nasal area and palate. One of the injuries I had in the accident was a broken palate and jawbones. Little bone fragments that were dislodged had remained in the sinuses and nasal septum and they caused infection. My face was swollen and I could feel the infection. It was terrible. As I said, I will not describe beyond this. The specialist gave me a date for the surgery. I stood at a point from where I could even see the ladder of success in my new career in the film world. But I also knew that infection inside the face near such sensitive areas could be dangerous and it could destroy my face forever.

My friend from Kanchi suggested that we went to the Mutt at the earliest to seek the blessings of Mahaperiyava. My parents had made a vow to visit Tirupati after I was saved from the risk that I was suffering from. That night, I meditated upon Mahaperiyava and pleaded Him to bless me and save my life, which was about to be ruined right at the beginning of my career and my life as a youth.

My friend rang my doorbell early the following morning and we along with my parents and sister, left for Kanchi. We arrived at the Mutt and we walked in. That experience, that feeling of my heart racing, my longing to see Mahaperiyava, my devotion and my strong faith gave me a dream like feeling.

This time we could go straight to Mahaperiyava, while my parents and sister waited outside. I was taken deep inside the Mutt. There I saw Him for the first time in flesh and blood, he was about 97 years old. What a divine feeling I experienced around Him! I felt as if I was about to meet God. I felt very nervous. On one hand the fear caused by the infection that I was suffering from, and on the other, coming to terms with the reality that I was actually standing there in such proximity to the one and only living Sage, the Great Paramaacharya! He was getting ready to step out to see the hundreds of devotees who had gathered outside. But He signalled me to sit down. I sat down at His feet and it was almost exactly as I had visualised during my previous drive back to Madras! My friend whispered my problem to Nadu Periyava and he communicated it to Mahaaswamy.

Paramacharya asked me, ‘Un peyar enna?’ I told Him my name and He asked me for my father’s name. ‘Engappa peyar Venkatakrishnan’, I said. My friend explained to him again the seriousness of the infection that I had. His Holiness closed His eyes for few seconds, put His hand into a cloth bag beside Him and took an apple out of it. He raised both his hands and blessed me as I prostrated before Him. He dropped the apple into my cupped hands that I held out. I was choked with emotion. Paramaacharya said to me ‘Deergaayushmaan bhava, kavalai padaadhey’, and He left to give his darshan to his devotees waiting outside.

We returned to Madras thrilled and excited. I went for the surgery in a few days that followed and the bone fragments were removed by the surgeon. It’s now been 23 years since then and I live a healthy life!

The friend who actually took me to the Ashram lost contact with me over the years. I guess it was his Karma to lead me (as per my Karma) to the feet of the Great Sage of Kanchi. I must have collected some amazing positive Karma during my previous lifetime.

Mahaperiyava is always there for his devotees. Contemplating upon him with total concentration for about 15 minutes is enough to mentally connect a true devotee to Sage of Kanchi.

I am still looking for my friend. Shankaranarayanan is his name.

Om Namah Shivaya.


Sarveshwara. What Bhakhi to have realized even in those days itself, that Swamigal was a

Living God! How beautifully narrated and what infinite blessings. Unfathomable, really!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"I was shocked when He immediately recognized me!"

Raja told me that once my brother (Shri L Vaidyanathan) took him to Mookambika. My

brother used to go there regularly. My brother told him, 'Even though you do not believe in 

God, you just accompany me once!'.

Raja told me once he stepped in, something happened to him and he felt some vibrations. 

Even though he was already a composer by that time, post his visit, there was a big change 

and transition in his compositions. From then on, everything he composed clicked with the 

public and his life changed. Raja then also went to Tiruvannamalai and he told me that after 

going there, whatever questions he had, got answered. Raja became completely spiritual 

and used to go to these two places from that time onwards. Raja has been one of my 

closest friends.

Once he came to my concert and told me:

'Tomorrow, I am going to meet all three Shankaracharyas. Would you like to come?'

I went with him and that is the first time I met all three of Them together. I had once played 

for the senior Shankaracharya many years back and I was shocked when He looked at me 

and immediately recognised me!

Raja and me sat with Him in the dark with just a little candle for a lot of time and Raja also 

contributed to the building of His Gopuram (top part of the Srirangam temple).


Source: Times of India

Narrated by eminent violinist Shri L Subramanian. 'Raja' is legendary music composer Shri 

Ilayaraja! The occasion was, when for the first time in the history of the Sri Kanchi Matam, 

the three Acharyas performed Vyasa puja at Kurnool in the year 1983.

Shri L Subramanian was honoured with the title 'Tantri Nada Mani' by Kanchi Kamakoti 

Peetham, Kanchipuram in 2009

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Anusham Nakshatram dates for 2015!

As we all know, Anusham is the birth star of Kanchi Mahaswamigal. Please find below Anuradha Nakshatram (Star) dates for the year 2015. Also known as Anusham or Anizham Birth Star in South India, is the 17th Nakshatra among the 27 Nakshatras. The astrological prediction of the birth star Anusham as per Moon Sign is that of Vrischika Rasi. Mars or Mangal is the lord of Vrischika. The color of Anuradha is Red Brown.

The times mentioned are as per IST.

Let us endeavour to go to His Adhistanam in Kanchi Matam on these days and pray for His 


January 17, 2015
Time is from 8:48 AM on January 16 to 8:36 AM on January 17

February 13, 2015
Time is from 5:26 PM on February 12 to 5:57 PM on February 13

March 12, 2015
Time is from 12:04 AM on March 12 to 1:09 AM on March 13

April 8 and April 9, 2015
Time is from 5:42 AM on April 8 to 6:51 AM on April 9

May 6, 2015
Time is from 11:50 AM on May 5 to 12:40 PM on May 6, 2015

June 2, 2015
Time is from 7:20 PM on June 1 to 7:51 PM on June 2

June 29, 2015
Time is from 4:02 AM on June 29 to 4:31 AM on June 30

July 27, 2015
Time is from 1:01 PM on July 26 to 1:51 PM on July 27, 2015

August 23, 2015
Time is from 9:11 PM on August 22 to 10:36 PM on August 23

September 19, 2015
Time is from 3:57 AM on September 19 to 5:50 AM on September 20, 2015

October 17, 2015
Time is from 9:43 AM on October 16 to 11:42 AM on October 17

November 13, 2015
Time is from 3:42 PM on November 12 to 5:26 PM on November 13

December 10, 2015
Time is from 10:56 PM on December 9 to 12:24 AM on December 11



Monday, December 8, 2014

"Mother Veda will protect you, do not worry!"

Veda Patashalas needing our help!

Here is a list of Veda Patashalas which are in need of financial assistance. Please do call 

the Srowthigals at the numbers mentioned to get more details. My acquaintance has 

reached out to me to help spread the word. Please do your might to help out.

1) Sama Vedha patasalai

Saraboji Agraharam,


Adhyapakar: Sri Sundara Srowthigal,

Mobile No. +91 9489825418

email address: 

This Veda Patashala was earlier located in Pazhaya Gudalur, near Kuttalam, Mayuram and 

recently shifted to Thiruvenkadu. Has about 10 vidhyarthis.

Spoke to Shri Sundara Srowthigal just a few minutes back. He said he was blessed in the 

sense that his Vedas test was administered by Swamigal Himself in the year 1981 when He 

was camping in Gulbarga, Karnataka in His Satara Vijaya Yatra. Swamigal had given him 

some reward on that occasion! Sri Sundara Srowthigal's online transfer details:

Bank account name .--- city union bank. 

Bank account number 500101010210689. 

Bank address. no.137/87 k.s.building.pattamangala street.mayiladuthurai. nagapattinam 


Ifsc code.CIUB 0000005. 

Bank Account Name: S.SUNDARA SASTRIGAL.. 

His home address in mentioned above. The pincode is Tiruvengadu 609114

Those wishing to write checks can write them in the name of S.SUNDARA SASTRIGAL.

2) Sri Sankara Gurukulam Acharya Vidhya Vidhya Peetam,

79, North Street, Melattur - 614 301

Tanjore District.

Adhyapakar: Sri Thiagaraja Sharma

Mobile: +91 9003428845

About 20 vidhyarthis are studying here. Both Sama and Yajur vedams are taught here. It 

seems that a donor who was taking care of the grocery needs of the Patashala to the tune 

of Rs.14,000/- a month, has suddenly stopped contributing.

I spoke to Shri Thygaraja Sharma just a few minutes back. He said after he completed his 

Veda Adhyayanam at the age of 15, his guru took him to Kanchi Swamigal and told Him 

proudly, "Only this boy in my class has agreed to teach Vedas!"

To which Swamigal replied, " I am very proud of you! Mother Veda will take care of you, 

you do not worry! You have my complete blessings!"

And he started to teach Vedas at the age of 17 to a first batch of 3 boys!

He told me that checks can be drawn in the name of ' Sri Sankara Gurukulam Acharya 

Vidhya Peetam'.

Here are the online transfer details for this Patashala:

A/c.No. 05370100004395
Bank : Bank of Baroda
IFSC: BARB0MELATT (Please note that it is a zero and not the letter O)

3) Thogur Veda Patashala

I just spoke to Shri Makarabhushanam Mama #2 in the list. He told me that Mahaswamigal blessed him to go to his guru's place and start the Veda Patashala, without seeking out money. And that he will be in 'Parama Kshemam'! He has been doing it from 1978.

Please send a check addressed to Shri Makarabhushanam and mail it to

Shri N. Makarabhushanam
Jemineeya Sama Veda Patashala,
Tanjore District,
Tamil Nadu --- 613102

Here are the online transfer details for Shri N. Makarabhushanam Thogur Veda Patashala:

IFSC code CIUB 0000081
a/c 08100 10003 07655
Kumbakonam City Union Bank 
Thogur branch 613102

4) Chidambaram Veda Patashala

Spoke to Shri Sabapathi Dikshidar. He mentioned that they started the Patashala in June 2012 and have 9 students now. He said when he went to Mahaswamigal to get His blessings for his Upanayanam, Swamigal showered His grace by giving him a Poorrnaphalam Matta Thengai and told him, "do your Adhyayanam properly and you will be blessed!".

Please write a check addressed to his father, Shri KM Ganeshamurthi and mail it to

6/52 Raghevendra Flats
F2 First floor,
North Car Street,
Chidambaram 608001
Tamil Nadu

Here are the online transfer details for Shri Sabapathi Deekshitar in Chidambaram

A/C holder name --- KM Ganeshamurthi (his father)
Bank a/c number --- 11040290790
Bank --- State Bank of India SBI

South Car Street, Chidambaram.

IFS Code --- SBIN 0000823

"Had a short conversation with Shri Makarabhushanam mama of Thogur. Some useful details: He has at present six resident vedic students as per our Gurukula system. Each adhyaayi spends an average of 9 years in the Gurukulam to master the Sukthas, Brahmanas and Grihyasutras.

He maintains 11 cows - 7 of which are milk-yielding, in a traditional Goshaala. He uses the milk, dung etc. obtained from the cows tended in the Goshaala only, for all the Gurukulam's needs and doesn't procure them from outside. The cost of feeding these cows averages Rs. 12k per month."

5) Sirugumani Veda Patashala

Bank Details: Central Bank Of India, Pettavaithalai Branch,Trichy-639112.
SB A.C No: 1960427760

IFSC Code: CBIN 0280902

Cheque shall be drawn on Shri Parasuraman P.

Mailing Address: Bru.Sri. Parasuramachar P, Somayaji, Adhyapakar,
Rigveda Gurukula Patasala,
97, Agraharam,
Sirugamani Post, Trichy- 639115.
Phone No: +91 9994304832

Thanks a ton!

In the picture Swamigal is seen listening in rapt attention to children reciting the Vedas!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"I wish you had praised the other Shankara peethams also"!

I had looked forward to the day when I could have the privilege of a brief glimpse of the 
Paramacharya of Kanchi at least from a distance. At last that day came in 1963. I was at 
Madurai on a holiday.

It so happened that the Paramacharya had been camping at Narayanapuram outside the 
city. One July morning I decided to take a chance at the Math. I wrote my local address on 
the visiting card and gave it to one of the aides who immediately sent it in for the 
Mahaswami's attention. No reaction. I sat in a corner resignedly prepared for a long wait!

After a couple of hours Paramacharya came out to perform `Go puja'. Though I was within 
His sight, He did not take notice of me. Since it was time for His other rituals, He 
disappeared into the solitude of His private retreat.

Hours passed. No response from Him. 7 p.m. I was told not to wait any longer, because it 
was time for Mahaswami's evening puja after which He would retire for the day.

This went on for five long frustrating days! But I would not give up. The longer I had to wait, 
the stronger my resolve to have an audience with Him. At last on the sixth day, at about 1 
p.m. I received word from the Math that Periyava would like to see me!

I rushed to the Math without a minute's delay. But no, it was not that easy. I was told to wait. 

After four hours, Paramacharya agreed to see me.

The moment of ecstasy had arrived: I was face to face with Divinity itself in flesh and blood. 
I was immediately reminded of what Arthur Koestler, a tough, intellectually arrogant atheist 
and iconoclast, said about Paramacharya. After an audience with Him, the controversial 
author of the irreverent book on India and Japan, "The Lotus and the Robot'', said in effect 
that, "If God exists, here He is!"

Receiving me with the sort of smile one saw only on the bronze icons of deities, the sort of 
smile about which Koestler said: "If ever Jesus smiled, he must have smiled like this great 
Hindu saint'', the Paramacharya began comfortingly:

"Did you have to wait too long? I was only testing the strength of your faith. Now relax. 
Before you ask about me, I must ask about you!"

His questions reflecting his transparent, fatherly concern focussed on my family 
background, early life, my main interests, details of my professional career, my health 
problems, if any, my life in Bombay, and the like. He was now in a communicative mood 
which prompted me to share my ten-page questionnaire with him.

After a casual glance at the questionnaire, he returned it to me saying: "Read out the 
questions first, before I react to them. After you have finished, I'll try to answer the questions 
one by one. No hurry, we can go through the exercise at leisure".

"The real reason for my making you wait for nearly six days was my own selfish desire to 
spend a sufficiently long time with you for a meaningful, mutually beneficial discussion. Now 
you ask and I answer. Let us settle for a long, unhurried tete-a-tete as the French might 

<What blessings for the author>

Our two-day long discussions, covering a wide range of areas as divergent as Aristotle and 
Adi Sankara at one extreme and astrophysics and Atharvaveda at the other, were spread 
over nearly ten hours, five hours each day. The venue was a most unlikely one: The store 
room with rats, spiders, cockroaches and lizards all over the place.


Paramcharya sitting on the bare floor rested against a rice sack. As we were talking, the 
stream of bhaktas from different parts of the world and India continued and every one of 
them received His attention.

They spoke to Him in their respective languages in which He also seemed to feel 
thoroughly comfortable, handling each of these with the ease and grace of his own mother 
tongue, Kannada. To my astonishment, His aides told me that he had a mastery of 17 

Three weeks later. The first instalment of my two-part article had just appeared in my 
paper. I went to the math with the issue. The Paramacharya's aides had already shown 
Him a copy.

Greeting me with an embarrassed smile, He said gently:
"After reading your article I feel taller by a few inches. I wish you had not praised me so 

I said: It's nothing, Your Holiness, compared with what the Western intellectuals keep 
saying about You.''

To which He replied: "I wish you had praised the other Sankara peethams also. You see, 
we have no protocol problems. We are all engaged in the same task of continuing 
Bhagavatpada's mission. You could have avoided that unfavourable reference to another 
Math, an equally great institution set up by one of Adi Sankara's senior disciples. I hope 
you will not run into rough weather because of your over enthusiasm for the Kanchi Math!''

Placing my copy of the Weekly before him, I requested Him to autograph it.
Politely refusing, he said: "Sanyasis don't sign. Narayana!''

Paramacharya made every devotee feel specially favoured. What endeavoured Him to His 
devotees was, not His stunning scholarship which sat lightly on His frail shoulders, but His 
intensely humane concern and compassion beyond words and His charmingly disarming 
humility and transparency. He shared His erudition and wisdom with everyone around.

He could explain J. M. Keynes' General Theory of Employment or Einstein's Theory of 
Relativity as lucidly and gracefully as He would narrate a fairy tale to a tiny toddler.


What a beautiful one! A lovely reminder that God indeed tests our faith; let us simply go 
about our duties always having blind rock solid faith in Him, come what may!

Narrated so well by Shri A.S. Raman, the incident he shared with Swamigal way back in 
1963. He is seen speaking to Swamigal in the picture. I am told that Shri Raman was 
the first Indian editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India.

Source: The Hindu

Thanks a ton to Shri Venkatesan Ramadurai  for reproducing the complete, unabridged
interview from the erstwhile Illustrated Weekly of India. Here is the link to that interview:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Panchavadi Goshala

Panchavadi Gosala feels strong divine presence, vibration, and blessings of many yogis & mahans of our times; Puyja Sri Yogi Ram Surat Kumar, Pujya Sri HH Kanchi Maha Periyava & present Aacharyas, Pujya Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Pujya Sri Krishna Premi Anna. 

Pujya Sri Muralidhara Swamigal is the spiritual guide and philosopher for Smt. Mataji. Listed below are Seva options on how we can support Panchavadi Gosala. Apart from these Seva options, whatever contribution one makes (even minuscule) to support these Gho Mathas will be blessed by these Mahans.

1. Gho Dhanam – 

                        According to our Sastras, no other deed is considered more meritorious (noble) than doing Gho Dhanam. The donor can bring a cow and leave her in Panchavadi Gosala bearing her maintenance expenses of Rs. 1500 per month. They can also at was rescued; contributing to the cost of the cow (depends on various factors like when it was secured, age, weight, etc.), and its monthly maintenance expenses. Gho Matha gets adopted in the name of donor’s choice and Panchavadi Gosala takes care of her throughout her life. A certificate is issued in donor’s name and gets published in Panchavadi Gosala's web site.   This is done for transparency and as a token of appreciation. 

2. Gho Samrakshanam -

 Without adopting, contribute Rs. 1500 for the monthly maintenance of a Gho Matha. A certificate will be issued as a token of appreciation & recognition.

Contribute Rs. 1 a day or Rs. 365 per year. Goes a long way in sharing the burden off  Panchavadi Gosala in many ways.

Help sponsor Gho Matha Medicines/Vaccination on need basis. 

3. Gho Bhojan -

Sponsor for Gho Matha's food for a day/week/month/year. The cost depends on how many Gho Mathas we want to feed and for how many days.  This can be done on auspicious days, Pithru Divasam/Shraddham days, festivals, birthdays, etc. Per our Sastras, Gho Samrakshanam clears Deva, Rishi, and Pithru Doshams. 

Arrange with vegetable vendors/markets for supply of vegetable waste to Gho Matha’s on a frequent basis.

Perform Amavasya & Pournami Puja at Panchavadi Gosala. Providing the Puja offerings to Gho Matha is considered an extremely noble deed as per Sastras.

4. Gho Seva -

Provide physical support by visiting Panchavadi Gosala and performing service frequently. Panchavadi Gosala is pretty flexible on timings of your support, week days/week ends.

5. Ghosala -

Help mobilize funds for construction of a shelter home for additional cows that will come in after being rescued from slaughter market. Even small contributions will help Panchavadi Gosala move towards the goal of building this shelter home shortly.  It also encourages Panchavadi Gosala to freely approach open market to rescue cows deemed for slaughter. The cost for shelter home construction costs around Rs. 72,000. This includes building food, and water tanks for Gho Matha including power supply. Kindly remember, construction of a shelter home to protect Gho Matha’s is equivalent to building a temple, a very rare opportunity for all of us to participate.

Last but not the least; help create Gho Matha Samrakshanam awareness to your family and friends by visiting our websites listed below. Only when a person realizes the current status of Gho Matha’s in our country they will realize the huge impact, will be able to appreciate and whole heartedly contribute for this divine seva.

Panchavadi Gosala Trust (Regd.), South Mada Street,  Kolathur, Vandalur-Kelambakkam Main 

Road, Near Mambakkam,  Chennai - 600 127. Cell - 9445423445 / 9789914875/ 044-27479389, 

Gho Matha Samrakshanam Awareness - , 

Contribution Info.

1) Cheques/DD Payable To:


Attn: Smt. V. Raja Lakshmi,

39/1, K. MalayappaNaicken Street,


Chennai - 600 028.

2) Online transfer details for those living in India

Account Number: 30158581140

State Bank Of India Santhome Branch

IFS Code: SBIN0005797

Jai Gomatha!!

3) Online Transfer details for those living abroad.

Bank Name: Bank of America, Last Name: Srinivasan, A/C #: 325039447568,  Routing  #: 

121000358 (Paper & Electronic), 0260009593 (Wires),  Zip Code – 95116.

In the Memo section, please mention “Gho Samrakshanam”.  Kindly send a note to after transfer. We will transfer the money to Panchavadi Gosala and will get you a certificate/receipt.


One of my friends in the US, Shri Sai Srinivasan reached out to me to help spread the 

word. So let us all do our might, for nothing will please Swamigal more!