author:....... Raa. Ganapathi
publisher:.... Divya Vidya Padhippaham (Jun. 2005 Edition)
type:......... book, Tamil
(An essay published in the Kalki Deepavali Malar, 1992).
All though for Sri Kanchi Maha PeriyavargaL a hundred years of age will be completed a year and a
half from now, that is, in the Vaisaka (Vaikasi) Anusham day coming in 1994, we matched sRuti
for his shatAbdi festivities right from the time when he became ninety-nine.
On this occasion, let us become double puNyashAlis by remembering in anjali, another
mahA periyavargaL who in vAstavam completed a hundred years on the holy day when the
ekAdashI tithi and the magha nakShatra came together in the Ashvina (aippasi)
month, four days before the current Deepavali.
It is a surprising similarity that the tuRavaRa tirunAmam (holy name of asceticism) of that
Maha PeriyavargaL was also 'Chandrasekhara'. Sri Chandrasekhara Bharathi SwamigaL was that Maha
Periyavar who performed the same divya paNi (divine work) for forty-two years in the Sringeri
Sri Sankara MaTham, during the same time when in Kanchi Sri Sankara MaTham, PeriyavargaL Sri
Chandrasekarendra Sarasvati SwamigaL's rule of jnAnam was exercised.
Changing the proverb 'as Surya Chandra' and becoming 'eka kAla dvi chandras', both of them
remained as adhipatis of two great Guru PiThams for the forty-two years from 1912 to 1954,
and spread jnAnam, bhakti, and shAstra dharmas by giving wonderful upadesha of them.
Since that upadesha with both of them was a lively example of their own life and living
besides being their vAimozhi (word of mouth), that vAimozhi remained as one that had
mantra shakti. And both of them received the adoration as Maha Purushas, Deiva Purushas.
Committing pApam and getting shApam that resulted in his waning and waxing, Chandra
bowed to Paramesha, seeking pardon. The Aiyan in his limitless compassion took him in his hands and
wore him on his mudi (hair) and became Chandrasekhara. That tiruppeyar (holy name)
also became the name for the two Acharya Murtis who took on their head the responsibility of showing
guidance towards goodness for the world that was getting more and more immersed in pApam and
seeking no pardon for that!
Among the names of the Guru Parampara in the two PiThams, the Chandrasekhara nAmam was the
only common name for both. Maha PeriyavAL is the seventh among the Chandrasekharas of the Kanchi
PiTham. That another Maha Periyavar was the third--or fourth--among the Chandrasekharas of the
Sringeri PiTham. Since in Kanchi for the pIThAdhipatis from the 61st to the 67th, the names
'Mahadeva' and 'Chandrasekhara' alternated, there was no visheSham in Maha PeriyavAL as the
68th pIThAdhipati becoming Chandrasekhara. The visheSham was that, after his ascension
to the PiTham, the sage who ascended to the Sringeri PiTham five years later obtained for himself
the Chandrasekhara tirunAmam that was earlier taken by the pIThAdhipati seventeen
generations before and four hundred and fifty years ago!
Another similarity too! Of the ten titles for ascetics called dasha nAma in the Sankara
tradition, the sages of Kanchi PiTham hold the title (Indra) Sarasvati. In Sringeri they hold many
titles that include Bharati, Tirtha and Aranya. Among these, the title Bharati held by that another
Maha Periyavar remained as a name for Sarasvati! Chandrasekhara Bharati in what is known as Sharada
PiTham in Sringeri, and Chandrasekara Sarasvati in what is known as Sharada MaTham in Kanchi had
both risen in their blessing stances.
Like the Chandra that showers as cool and pleasing moonlight changing the heat and eye-scorching
light of Surya, these two Chandras showered for the world making the jnAna advaita jvAla
pleasing to the people! It was their tapo kAnti (radiance of penance) that changed it all to
the Chandrika that gives tApa shAnti (peace from afflictions), and comforted, consoled and
saved the Adiyars (devotees) from danger.
Both can be termed as 'matchless'. By that very saying doesn't it became that they are parasparam
oppAnavar (mutually comparable for similarities)? Both of them realized in anubhavam the
advaita jnAnam; possessed sharpness of knowledge that made the pundits wonder; at the same
time capable of simplifying the parama tattvas and giving upadesha to the
pAmara (grass roots) in a way that attracted them; were niRai kudams (full vessels)
that never made noise but remained calm; exercised inner love for the entire uyirkkulam
(family of beings); dhIras who relentlessly followed the rigours of dharma shastras and
swimmed against the tide of kAlam (the time) that took an alankolam (a show of
indiscipline); satya sannyAsa shIlas who endured the jAjvalyam (splendour, radiance)
of jagadgurutvam (the status of being Jagadgurus) as necessary traps, never letting it dim
their own light--thus in many aMsas both of them matched eath other--as anyonya
sadRukSha as they say. Subtle humour, in the saulabhyaM (ease) of conversing with anyone
with open heart, subtly making fun of the other and at the same time making fun of the self
too--even in these things both of them have remained similar!
A kind of similarity even in how if Kannadam was the mother tongue of the Kanchi MaTha Thalaivar in
Tamilnadu, Telegu was the mother tongue of the Sringeri MaTha Thalaivar in Kannada Nadu!