Culture, Religion, Spirituality

THE GURU IN HINDU DHARMA – KANCHI PARMACHARYA (1)

The 68th Paramacharya of Kanchi – Jagadguru Sri Chadrashkarendra Saraswati Mahaswamigal was in the eyes of many Sri Dakshinamurthy himself incarnate. The Paramacharya’s speeches and discourses were compiled by Ra. Ganapati who worked for the Kalki magazine and also assisted Rajaji in editing the journal Swarajya. His greatest work though is his magnum opus – “Deivathin Kural” (The Voice of God), running into 7 volumes and almost 8,000 pages which contain the compiled speeches of the Acharya.

It won’t be wrong to say that the Paramacharya was a modern day Veda Vyasa – his knowledge of the Vedas and Vedanta was probably second only to Vyasa himself. Interestingly just as Lord Ganapthy was Vyasa’s scribe, the Paramacharya’s scribe was Ra (R) Ganapti.

In the Vivekachudamani, Adi Sankara Bhagavadpada defines “Who a Guru is” {Verse-33}

श्रोत्रियोऽवृजिनोऽकामहतो यो ब्रह्मवित्तमः । 
ब्रह्मण्युपरतः शान्तो निरिन्धन इवानलः
अहेतुकदयासिन्धुर्बन्धुरानमतां सताम् ॥ ३३

“The Guru is one who symbolizes the spirit of the scriptures. He is sinless, and unmoved by desire, and among the knowers of the Brahman, the best (Brahma-uttama). He is one who has found his peace in the realization of the Brahman and is soaked in it. He is calm like that fire that has consumed itself (retaining its warmth). A boundless, limitless ocean of mercy and compassion, he is the friend of all good people who prostrate before him in humility”

The Paramacharya fitted this definition of a Guru to the T.

Paul Brunton in his book “A search in secret India” dedicates an entire chapter to the Paramacharya and begins with a short description of the Acharya’s countenance –

I look at him in silence. This short man is clad in the ochre coloured robe of a monk and leans his weight on a friar’s staff. I have been told that he is on the right side of forty, hence I am surprised to find his hair quite grey. His noble face, pictured in grey and brown, takes an honoured place in the long portrait gallery of my memory. That elusive element which the French aptly term spirituel is present in this face. His expression is modest and mild, the large dark eyes being extraordinarily tranquil and beautiful. The nose is short, straight and classically regular. There is a rugged little beard on his chin, and the gravity of his mouth is most noticeable… with the added quality of intellectuality.”

In the photos below all of what he describes and more can be experienced…”

The Paramacharya’s answer to Paul Brunton’s request that he take him as his disciple is another gem. He couldn’t do it himself as he was a Mathadhipathi.

“…His Holiness does not reply till after an interval of protracted silence.
“Yes. I know of only two masters in India who could give you what you wish. One of them lives in Benares, hidden away in a large house, which is itself hidden among spacious grounds. Few people are permitted to obtain access to him; certainly, no European has yet been able to intrude upon his seclusion. I could send you to him, but I fear that he may refuse to admit a European.”
“And the other ?” My interest is strangely stirred.
“The other man lives in the interior, farther south. I visited him once and know him to be a high master. I recommend that you go to him.”
“Who is he ?”
“He is called the Maharishee. I know him to be a high master”

It was the Paramacharya who guided Paul Brunton to Ramana Maharishi and Brunton became one of the greatest disciples of the Maharishi

kanchi-parmacharyaSri+Sri+Sri+Maha+Periyava

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