From: Sivasubramanian Perinkulam <[email protected]>
Subject: [Iyer123] Some thoughts on Kanchi mutt swamigals and other chamiyars
To: “Iyer123” <[email protected]>
Date: Tuesday, 15 March, 2011, 7:14 PM
We do not know what went wrong between the Poojya swamy and his chosen successor for the Peetam which resulted in the latter’s leaving the Mutt. Difference of opinion is bound to occur between two thinking human beings and both the senior and junior Swamies, were not exception to this natural behavior, despite their donning the saffron clothes. I do not venture to question the Mahaperiyava’s wisdom in recalling the junior, whom he had selected and developed to succeed him as the head of the Mutt. He acted as an affectionate family-head and a responsible institutional-head. It is my reading that had he been alive, the Mahaperiyava would not have regretted his action of recall. You may not agree . Let us agree to disagree like two thinking human beings.
I was associated with the mutt from my childhood, when I was blessed by the saint for reciting Soundaryalahari and the relationship continued for a long time. I am aware of the good work done by Sri. Jayendra Saraswathy not only in the south but in other parts of the country as well. Two years back, I was taken to Ayodhya by a representative of the Mutt, related to me and was highly impressed by the social activities created and nourished by the Mutt which provides self-employments to several poor women and the educational opportunities for all irrespective of the caste or creed. The vedapatasala is working well . While in the Kanchi mutt, I have witnessed the contributions it has made for the new temples, schools, and clinics in remote villages. Though i did not approve of Acharya’s donation of a golden crown to the Lord of Tirupathy, who is overburdened by golden crowns , I have great respect for the social and cultural activities he is undertaking .The present Acharya is highly respected in North and west; I know as I was there during several receptions for Jayendra Saraswathy. The Mutt has sponsored several educational institutions, hospitals and other services and dedicated, competent professionals are running them. Healthy body and healthy mind are the prime necessities for spiritual development and the Acharya is doing his best in that direction.
And let us support the good activities from wherever they originate- samiyars or mamiyars. A samiyar whom we decried as a magician has provided drinking water to hundreds of house holds and free super-medical facility to thousands of sick human beings .( can you and me provide more than one bucket of water for a family for more than a few weeks?). A Mamiyar, born as a fisher woman. is standing as a beacon of spiritual guidance on the shore of Kerala, guiding several boats. And how many yoga centers in west have sprung up now spreading the message of the good name of our country and good health programs in the name of saffron or snow-white clad sanyasies ? I frequently visit some of them and am impressed by the good work they carry out . And Oh, man ! The Balavihar Sunday classes here ! ask any Hindu, returned from US about their activities- The inspiration and support for these religious vidyalayam are provided by an institution run in the name of a samiyar, from kerala
And in our own state, who can forget the services of Naryanaguru, an Eazhuva by cast and Chattampi swamigal?
And Sirs, without Hinduthvam where will be your Brhamanthwam ?.
I am not follower of any Matom or saamiyar and I do not even follow my Mamiyar . But I use my common sense and it tells me not to criticize good works from wherever it comes and I am confident that some of the samiyars are doing good work and of course Mamiyars too. Let them live long so that Ramaiyer’s and Krishana Iyer’s children and grand children have something good to talk about their past. As long as my children and their grand children have that privilege I am least bothered whether they perform my shraddam or not. And the fact is that my eldest son, an American citizen by virtue of his long stay here is performing shradam to his mother more religiously than I do for my parents.
Be good brahmins. Perform shradham and Sandhya as prescribed in the books or as advised by the elders who are knowledgeable . But that is not the end. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open. Don’t tuck the cloth between your thighs and stand apart to keep ‘madi’, to keep away from the world. My maternal grand mother did that – and poor thing she died at a very young age leaving four kids to be looked after by her aged mother in law. Superstition killed her. *
Remember, pressing the cloth in between the thighs and standing aloof isolated our community, starved our ancestors .That was not a lesson from the Vedas.
‘Keep the doors and windows wide open!’ That was their order – we did not follow it.
Eakshathe yoga yukthathma
Yo mam pasyathi sarvatra
Sarvamcha mayi pasyathi
Thasyaham na pranasyami
Sachame na pranasyathi ‘
Those words of unique wisdom from the mouth of the Yogadhyaksha, Guroonam Guru, did not reach our ears. That was why we held our cloth pressed between the thighs and perished, as my maternal grand mother did.
* See my ‘Pitchumani’ story .
Love and regards,
Sivasubramanian’s point of may be correct, I am not fit to point out any statement which is wrong. But the public activity of Jeyandrar swamigal has done only wrong to him and his madam. It has not only afftected him but also bala periyava. Had he followed Mahapriyava in every walk of life he would not landed in jail and suffering. All the good deeds he has done has gone to waste and earned him bad name and so the other followers. Even though my family is well connected with madam for more than 4 genaration, it is my duty to point out the mistake if it happens in the society. By keeping quite we cannot correct ourself and our society.
To [email protected], Iyer123
Dear Sri Ramani and other friends,
Having associated with the Mutt for over four generations, how much pain Ramani might be undergoing to see the current condition of it ! I do not have such a past relationship with the Mutt but still I feel really bad seeing the diminishing glory of it.
But let us not compare a hill with Mahameru, what the Mahaperiava , an epitome of scholarship, compassion and humility was . He was such a great Jnani, still so humble that he directed a scholar who came to get some doubts clarified, to Bagavan Ramanamahrishi, with his usual benign smile and poetic words, “Nan oru ezhai sanyasi; antha mirasdar kitte poi kelungo”
There is no doubt that the pro-activity of Jayendra Saraswathy is a matter for debate . Many feel that like Mahaperiava he should have restricted his activities strictly within the circle of religion and it was unnecessary to wander into the thorny land or marshy waters of politics. But we had in history ancient Rishies as Rajagurus who had a say in the governance and even recently Shivaj, Krishnadevaraya and other great Hindu kings had sought the help of Gurus for guiding them in the administration. Remember, there was a rumor that Jayendra almost reached the finals with a formula to solve the Ayodhya issue acceptable to the major players . Anyway, he did not succeed and the wind blew against and carried away everything including his reputation..That is another matter.
And about his landing in the Jail, the popular talk in the state was that it was nothing but an act of revenge by a politician for refusing to part with a vast land belonging to the Mutt. Whatever it be, let us criticize him as it is our right but let us not abandon the Mutt , as it still has a lot of use for the society . Jayendra Swamy is a plus seventy man, not in good health, having no need to save for himself or others. So whatever good comes out of him let us appreciate and accept and if possible try to encourage him if we are satisfied that he is not working for himself or against the interests of the society. This is what I have to say about other Chamiyars also. Abandon them if they indulge in unsocial activities or exploit our goodness but encourage them if their service is beneficial to the society. Don’t condemn them going by their caste, language they speak or the way they grow their hairs on the head or below their nose.
Despite being a vocal critic of some of the activities of the Mutt, including the head of the Mutt always seen surrounded by only one group of people , whereas as a Jagad guru, he belongs to the whole Universe, I do feel that we should support the good activities of the Mutt. Let our consciousness be our guide and not the big Business houses or powerful politicians..
Love and regards,
I fully endorse the contents of the mail of Perinkulam Iyer. Let us not go into rishimoolam of everyone and everything. Let us weigh by the deeds of an individual. Today our children in US learns some substance of vedas because of the Mallu vidyalayas on Sunday. Kanchi Jayendra swamigal also contributed to alleviate the suffering of the masses. He has once remarked that “I am a Leader for the Hindu Religion and not a leader for a caste”.
Good writing Perinkulam Iyer ! keep it up.