Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sankara Nethralaya, Dr Badrinath and MSS!

M.S. performing for the Foundation. 

M.S. lighting the lamp to mark the inauguration of Sankara Nethralaya Women’s Auxillary (SWAN)  

Dr. Badrinath with his team at Sankara Nethralaya.

His humility humbles you. And his eye for detail amazes you. Pioneer of a movement that has made Sankara Nethralaya a household name across India, Dr. S.S. Badrinath, Chairman-Emeritus, continues to be the relentless crusader against blindness. He firmly believes that the little cost, best quality service concept can be replicated all over the world to serve the poor. He has returned from the U.S. after a concert tour to commemorate the centenary of M.S. Subbulakshmi. The proceeds went to fund 3,000 free cataract surgeries.

The Veteran shares details of the mammoth effort, which involved money, micro-level planning and high diplomatic skills, both of which Team Shankara Nethralaya (SN) that he leads has in abundance. An ardent devotee of the Kanchi Paramacharya, whose huge picture stands adjacent to his table, Dr. Badrinath captures the highlights of a journey, which united the Indian Diaspora across North America through music and philanthropy, a noble combination that M.S. stood for.

“M.S. and Sadasivam were always our ambassadors,” recalls Dr. Badrinath. Started in 1974 on the suggestion of HH Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal, the nascent charity organisation needed funds and the queen of music lent a munificent hand, performing five concerts in four cities in aid of Sankara Nethralaya besides facilitating aid from generous donors. She also gave away the purse that came with her Kalidas Samman.

“I know no Carnatic music, nor does my wife, Dr. Vasanthi,” declares Dr. Badrinath. “But we hear music and have always been ardent admirers of M.S.’s divine music and her personality,” he continues. M.S. is famous for her perfect diction. Dr. Badrinath recalls how the multi-national audience at the Afro-Asian ophthalmic congress held in Chennai in the 1970s was amazed by her impeccable rendition of short verses in Arabic, English, Hindi, Japanese, Sanskrit and Tamil. The couple considered it a great honour when M.S. chose to seek the assistance of Dr. Vasanthi to polish her Marathi pronunciation. A mellifluous performance of M.S. was followed by South Indian dinner served by B.H. Barwale and Mrs. Barwale. “Amma and Mama immensely enjoyed the traditional hospitality,” he says.

The bond strengthened over the years, their affinity to the Sage of Kanchi firming it up. “Amma's devotion to Paramacharya was unparalleled,” observes Dr. Badrinath, who vividly recalls M.S. and Sadasivam waiting with a prayer on their lips at the corner of the street while Mahaperiyava underwent cataract surgery. The U.S. tour had a Srimukham from Kanchi Srimatam.

Dr. Badrinath traces the genesis of this landmark U.S. venture to the party at his son’s home in the U.S. last year. “I wondered whether it wouldn't be great to organise Carnatic music concerts in America. The response from the small gathering was lukewarm, understandable because it is not easy to pull off something like that,”, he elaborates. But the idea kept coming back and took shape as a tribute to M.S. “Nanri Marappadu Nanranru, said Tiruvalluvar. I wanted to do something in her memory and what could be better than a series of concerts in her centenary year across the U.S.? And 2016 being the golden jubilee year of M.S. Amma's U.N. concert, why not recreate the experience for the Diaspora, I wondered.”

“To those who light candles, the sun never sets.” - a Yiddish proverb quoted by Prof. Jay M. Enoch on dedicating S.N.’s Elite School of Optometry would be apt for both the institution and the Muse, who has always been its source of inspiration.

An award instituted in 2013 in the name of the Nightingale has been given to persons, who have supported Sankara Nethralaya in its service initiatives. The recipients include S. Rajarathinam and K.S. Jayaraman, Directors, Autotech Industries, Manohar Devadoss, artist and philanthropist and Kausalya Appukutty, Founder Trustee, SWAN.

Sudha Ragunathan’s concert on October 2 at the U.N. was not a fund raiser. But she was kind enough to oblige with another concert that evening. “Two concerts the same day within a few hours would be rather difficult for a vocalist but Sudha sang the same evening at the Sri Maha Vallabh Ganapati temple in New York. A great gesture,” says Dr. Badrinath.

“Rahman's magnetic pull was in evidence with 800 people enjoying the music that ranged from Sufi to light classical,” says Dr. Badrinath. “After the performance here, the Sunshine Orchestra children should be called 'privileged' not under-privileged,” declared Rahman.

The State of Illinois, the City of Houston, the City of Pearland and the City of Sugarland issued proclamations in honour of M.S.

The staff at Sankara Nethralaya fondly recall the celebrity couple as unassuming and down-to-earth, who would wait for their turn to consult a doctor or undergo tests. It is informed that Dr. Prema Padmanabhan, Medical Director, was the surgeon who performed the cataract surgery on both M.S. and Sadasivam. Interestingly, Dr. Prema also accompanied M.S. in a concert, a unique distinction indeed.

It is team spirit that has taken Sankara Nethralaya to great heights. In recognition of their contribution, six staff members participated in the U.S. tour. “Ten of us were chosen but four didn't get the visa,” explains Malathi G.G., Deputy Manager, Events. “It was a wonderful experience,” she says, referring to the concerts, the U.N. aura and the places they visited. With a stint of 33 years she has literally grown with the organisation.


Source: The Hindu

The last picture shows Mahaswamigal after His cataract operation was performed by Dr Badrinath.

Let our Lives be meaningful by serving and helping Noble Organizations like Sankara Nethralaya and Selfless and Humble Souls like Dr Badrinath! This way, everyday will be a New Year Day for us!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Awards given to 4 eminent people!

Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis and ISRO Chairman Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar and two others were conferred the prestigious SIES-Kanchi Seer awards in different fields at a function here on Sunday night, an official said here on Monday. They were selected for the awards in Public Leadership and Science & Technology respectively.
The other two recipients were eminent UK-based Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu scholar-cum-musician John Ralston Marr and Hari Katha exponent from Tamil Nadu Kamala Murthy. The SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Awards carry a cash reward of Rs 250,000 each, a citation, a shawl and an ornamental lamp.

In his acceptance speech, Fadnavis said the award would be a constant reminder to him to do more good work for society. Requesting the organizers to donate the award money to the CM Relief Fund, he said that the pain of the recent demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currencies would be 'momentary'.
"We want to create a corruption-free state and graft-free society. Citizens' cooperation is important to achieving this goal", he urged.
Fadnavis said the award money would go towards implementing water conservation projects and pointed out that since his assumption to power, Maharashtra had risen to number three in education indicators.

"There are 17,000 schools where the learning ability is 100 per cent, we have made 4,000 villages drought-free and plan to make a total of 20,000 villages free of drought in five years," Fadnavis added.

Instituted in 1998 in memory of the late Kanchi Seer Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati who passed away in 1994 aged 100, the awards were given away by SIES President V. Shankar before a distinguished gathering.



The Maharashtra Chief Minister is seen receiving the award in the first picture. ISRO Chairman in the second, Sanskrit Scholar in the third and the Harikatha exponent in the last picture.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Kanchi Mahaswamigal Aradhana at New Delhi on December 25th, 2016!

Kanchi Mahaswamigal Aradhana function is scheduled to held at Sri Devi Kamakshi Mandir on 25th December in New Delhi. Please see flyer for more details.

Those nearby please plan to attend and be blessed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Shivalingam installed by Pudhu Periyava shifted elsewhere for personal motives!

Devotees have been seeking solace and support of Brahmalingeswara Swami for over a millennium. The temple is on the banks of a 1,200-acre freshwater lake on the Vijayawada-Nuzvid Road.
Several devotees and picnic-goers are attracted to the shrine and the lake for its serenity. A hill is visible a few kilometres ahead, at the base of which is the famous Agiripalli Vyaghra Narashima Swami temple.
Unfortunately for the devotees of Brahmalingeswara Swami, there is no Sivalingam in the temple. A couple of weeks ago, the Sivalingam, said to be the biggest in South India, was unceremoniously lifted by a crane and put in a shed atop a hill about 4 km away. Rumours of hidden treasure seem to be behind the shifting of the idol.
Inline image 1
People who moved the Sivalingam had converted the top of the hill into a perfect picnic spot with space to park over 100 cars. The view of the lake, which literally surrounds it, is breathtaking. Once developed, it will be one of the biggest attractions in Krishna district.
Brahmalingeswara Swami Temple donor Kothagiri Prasada Rao said this was not the first time that the ancient Sivalingam had been shifted. There are reasons to believe that treasure was found in the 800-year-old temple from where the 1,100 Sivalinga was removed, he said.
According to legend, the Sivalingam self manifested (swayambhu) over a millennium ago. Nearly 150 years after it manifested, a king, Naga Devaraju, built a little temple on the edge of the lake and the foot of the Kota Gunta hill. He later built a fort on top of the Kota Gutta. Over centuries, the fort collapsed and was reduced to rubble.
The temple built by Naga Devaraju remained, but very few devotees worshipped the deity because it was on the inaccessible side of the lake.
About 20 years ago, it was proposed that the Sivalingam should be shifted to the other side of the lake, closer to the highway.
The villagers were divided over building a bigger temple at the current location or shifting closer to the road. It was collectively decided to shift the sivalingam.
A bigger temple was built and the Sivalingam was installed in it by none other than the Kanchi Seer Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal.
A few days after the shifting of the Sivalingam, a big pit was found dug up near the temple built by Naga Devaraju, said Mr. Prasada Rao. “The people who argued for the shifting of the Sivalingam became rich out of nowhere. Today, they own over 200 acres,” he said. This gave credence to the hidden treasure theory.
Then treasure hunters began digging in the fort at various places. About a year ago, the hill was leased for quarrying. Now the fort area is being systematically searched with excavators and bulldozers for hidden treasure. All the excavators are fitted with video cameras, Mr. Prasada Rao said.
Andhra Pradesh Mahila Congress president Sunkara Padmasree, who belongs to the area, said the two groups who were fighting to gain control over the area which is supposed to have hidden treasures were behind the unceremonious shifting of the Sivalingam.
The silence of the officials and the local MLA seems to confirm the allegations of Mr. Prasada Rao and other villagers.

In the above picture, an ancient Nandi kept outside the shed in which the 1,100 year old Sivalingam has been kept locked atop the Kota Gutta near Brahmalingam Cheruvu in Gannavaram.


Source: The Hindu

Thanks to Shri Hariharan for the lovely black and white picture of Pudhu Periyava.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mahaperiyava Aradhana in Perth, Australia on December 25th, 2016!


Pujyasri Kanchi Mahaswami’s (Mahaperiyava) 23rd ArAdhanA is celebrated on 25/12/2016 at 35 Ballycastle Loop, Canning Vale from 06:30AM to 11:30AM.

Please see attached the PathrikA for the ArAdhanA and kindly check the programme for the day. The Aradhana is falling on holiday time this year and it is requested that everyone be taking part with your family in this a celestial celebrations of Saakshaath Pamaeshwara, Shankara Avataaram Sri Sri Sri Mahaperiyava.

Kindly RSVP for the Aradhana for Prasaadam purposes. Namaste!

Hara Hara Shankara Jaya Jaya Shankara.

कुण्डलि कुमारी कुटिले चण्डि चराचरसवित्रि चामुण्डे |
गुणिनि गुहारिणि गुह्ये गुरुमूर्ते त्वां नमामि कामाक्षि ||

தென்னாடுடைய பெரியவா போற்றி
எந்நாட்டவர்க்கும் இறைவா போற்றி
சர்வக்ஞா சர்வவ்யாபி பெரியவா சரணம்
மாயப்பிறப்பறுக்கும் மஹா பெரியவா அடி போற்றி!


Shared by Sriram Krishnan.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Mahaperiyava Aradhana at Hyderabad and San Jose!

1) Aradhana at Hyderabad, India

Mahaperiyava Aradhana function at Kondapur Rama temple in Hyderabad on December 25th, Sunday. Please see above flyer for more details.

Kondapur Rama Temple ---- Please read how this Temple came about by the Grace of Mahaswamigal! Click on the below link:

2) Aradhana at San Jose, USA
23rd Aradhana of H.H. Pujyashri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Maha Swamigal with the support of Chinmaya Mission on 
Saturday, January  7th, 2017 at 5PM - 7PM.

Guru Vandanam, Sri Maha Ganapathi Pooja,
Sri Paduka Pooja, Ashtotrams
Mangala Arti Prasad Distribution

Chinmaya Mission, Sandeepany, 
10160 Clayton Road, San Jose, CA 95127

Please join us with family and friends and bring Fruits, Flowers, and Prasadams


Shared by Umesh Sadasivam (Hyderabad) and Shri V. Lakshminarayanan (San Jose)

Friday, December 16, 2016

"Rulers are interfering in Religious Matters!" --- Puri Shankaracharya.

"The revolutionaries sacrificed everything to fight for independence of this country. If we see the condition from independence till now, is this India as envisioned by them ? If every citizen thinks about dreams of revolutionaries, there will be clarity on changes required to be made in this country", said Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nishchalanand Saraswati while answering queries of ‘jidnyasus’ in a program held at Harsiddhi Mandir hall on 12th December at Ujjain. Swami Nirvikalpanand Maharaj and Mahant ‘Pujya’ Shekharanandji Maharaj from Ujjain were present.

Swami Shankaracharya said further, “Rulers, who are interfering in religious matters, are killing ‘Raj-Dharma’. Temples and education, these fields come under Dharma; but rulers have control even over these fields, which is extreme anarchy.”

Regarding Uniform Civil Code, he said, “What is the meaning and base of this law ? Under the law of ‘Uniform Civil Code’ who are going to be treated uniformly ? All will come behind Hindus or Hindus will be taken behind others ? It will victimize only Hindus.”

Regarding problems faced by Hindus, he said, “Hindus have no competitors; but they have several foes. Nobody can challenge Hindus on science and behavior. It is an ancient tradition and cannot be eliminated in a jiffy. Today, the world is ready to adopt Hindu Dharma; but India’s rulers and people are not ready to accept it which is unfortunate.”

Regarding reservation, Shankaracharya said, “We are staunch followers of reservation as prescribed in Hindu Dharma. Our Dharma had designed style of living of every individual under ‘Varnashrama’. There are no jobs still the Government is talking about reservation and oppressing people. Nobody is using the knowledge available in India; therefore, people from other countries are using this knowledge. The whole world is ready to adopt Hindu Dharma; however, our rulers and people are not ready to adopt Hindu Dharma. Even then, our Dharma is the absolute Truth and Truth will find its way.”

Shri. Yogesh Vhanmare presented flowers and fruits on behalf of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and sought blessings of Shankaracharya. He was also given a copy of ‘Sanatan Prabhat’s issue.



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"You have Ambal's anugraham, an Alliance will happen within a month!"

Mami's Pooja room

My daughter's marriage was getting unduly delayed. Suitable proposals were not materializing for one reason or the other and it was getting quite worrisome for me. I was praying to Periyava that He should show the way. My husband and I decided to have His darshan and went to Kanchipuram on Oct 31st, 1985.
It being a Sani Pradosham day there was a big crowd at the Matam waiting to have His Darshan. Smt Padma Subramanyam and Smt Shyamala Balakrishnan were singing in His presence. When my turn came before Him, He asked me, "What do you need?"

I replied, "I need Your Blessings so that my daughter's marriage can happen at the earliest. If You can please touch her horoscope with both Your Hands and put some kungumam on it...!"
I placed the horoscope on the top of a fruit basket and kept it near Him. He does not touch the horoscope physically, but blesses it from a small distance, and says:
"You have Ambal's anugraham. An alliance will happen within a month!"
I took the prasadams and rest under the tree which was there in the place where His Adhistanam is now and start to recite Sivananda Lahari. I am sitting approximately 30 feet away from Him. Others are having His darshan and the big line of people is moving along slowly.
I must have completed chanting some 30 verses with my eyes closed, when my prayers are interrupted by a Sastrigal who comes to me and says, "Periyava wants to see you!"
I tell him, "I just received His prasadams!"
The Sastrigal says, "Periyava asked me to bring the lady who is reciting Sivananda Lahari!"
Needless to say, I am shocked at this and rush to Him. Swamigal asks me again:
"Who are you? where are you coming from? where is your husband?"
I tell him I am from Besant Nagar and I was immediately on the frantic lookout for my husband. I find him and we both come to His vicinity and do a namaskaram. He blesses us and tells me, "Ambal's anugraham will always be there for you! Her blessings will take care of you!"
And we take the prasdams and leave.
As the days passed my son told me, "What Amma, He said something will fructify within a month, but nothing seems to be happening!" I tell him confidently, "Periyava will take care!"
We had His darshan in the month of Aipasi and the next Tamil month Margazhi was due to start from Dec 16th.
Should I mention at all that my daughter's marriage was fixed on Dec 14th, 1985 in Karthigai month itself!!!
Narrated by the blessed Saraswathi Thyagarajan Mami.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bala Periyava AP Yatra --- More Pictures and Notes.

Visit to Sarpavaram Temple

His Holiness Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal visited Sri Bhavanarayana Swamy Temple at Sarpavaram on December 3rd, 2016, located on the near outskirts of Kakinada town. The temple is an ancient Kshetram. Lord Vishnu blessed Sri Narada Maharshi at Sarpavaram where he attained Shapa Vimochanam . On Narada Maharshi's request Shri Maha Vishnu continued to resided in the place and bless devotees. An ancient water pond where Narada performed Snana is located in front of the temple complex.
A Patala Narayana Swamy shrine behind the main shrine is a unique aspect of the temple.
His Holiness also visited the Goshala run by the temple.

Community Hall Inaugurated at Olapalli

At Olapalli village His Holiness Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal blessed the inauguration of a community hall on December 2nd, 2016. Shri Shankaram Dampatulu, the main donors of the centre, performed Pada Puja and sought blessings of His Holiness.

Visit to Ancient Shiva Temple at Olapalli
His Holiness Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal visited Olapalli village in the early hours of December 2nd, 2016. It is an old Agrahara with an ancient Shiva temple. The village is about 20kms from Kakinada. His Holiness visited the Shiva Temple and performed Harathi at the sanctum sanctorum.

Purohita Sangham meet held

A meet of the Purohita Sangham of Kakinada town was held on December 1st 2016 with the benign presence of His Holiness Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal. His Holiness blessed the gathering with Anugraha Bhashanam. Their services in the cause of religion & Sanatana dharma were noted. About 60 families of Purohits attended the meet. His Holiness blessed the distribution of books to the participants including Chatur Veda Sara Samgraham.

His Holiness visits Goshala
His Holiness Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal visited Goshala at Kakinada on December 1st 2016. The Goshala has been set up set up by Shri Chaganti Koteeshwar Rao in a serene atmosphere with use of modern & traditional practices for Go-Seva. Also Pradakshina Marga & Graasa Pradaana (giving grass) facilities has been enabled for the benefit of devotees. A Puja Mandap for Kanchi Paramacharya & a dhyana mandiram form part of the Goshala. Also a Prasutika Gruha for delivering calves forms a unique part of the Goshala. His Holiness fed the cows with green grass.
His Holiness went around the premises and blessed the devotees with Anugraha Bhashanam. His Holiness appreciated the efforts of Shri Chaganti Koteeshwar Rao and said that Go-Samrakshanam in this novel way is a real tribute to Kanchi Acharya who always stressed for the need for cow-protection.
His Holiness blesses Doctors' Meet

His Holiness Pujya Shri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal graced a special doctors' meeting in Kakinada in the third floor of a Children's hospital  on December 1st 2016. During Anugraha Bhashanam of about 40 mins, His Holiness observed the need for Arogya Bharat and stressed that best health care facilities must be available to all the citizens of the country. 

Visit to Vinayak Temple
His Holiness Pujyashri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal graced Sri Vinayak Mandir near Srimatam camp in Kakinada  on November 30th 2016. The temple was consecrated several years back with the divine blessings of His Holiness Pujya Shri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal.


Source: Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam

Monday, December 12, 2016

Free Homam classes from December 17th, 2016!

Lord Hanuman appearing in the Homam!

Vedic Wisdom Group conducts free homam classes every Saturday and Sunday. The eighth batch will start from December 17. The duration of the course is 18 hours with each session for two hours.

The course is open to all and no prior knowledge of Sanskrit or proficiency is required. Interested people can call Srini at 9283111113.

Venue: P4, B-block, Tulip Gardens Apartments, Krishna Nagar 2nd Street, Rajakilapakkam Tambaram, near Sri Kanchi Mahaswami Vidya Mandir in Madras.


Source: The Hindu.

Please do avail of this golden opportunity and be blessed.