Author Topic: Veerasubbaiah Swami - V.V. Raghav - M.P. Jan. - Mar. 2009  (Read 920 times)

Subramanian.R

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Veerasubbaiah Swami - V.V. Raghav - M.P. Jan. - Mar. 2009
« on: May 23, 2013, 02:47:49 PM »


As the head of all the Vedantins of Kovilur Math and endowed with a strong faith and will,  Veerasubbaiah Swami *  had the
requisite influence and force of character to found numerous Veda Patasalas  and choultries, and to renovate numerous temples
in South India.  This was back in the days when Sri Bhagavan was up on the Hill.  The Swami had first came to see Bhagavan,
with a number of Math heads when Sri Bhagavan was still staying in Virupaksha Cave.

(*  This Kovilur Math is in Chettinad, (Karaikudi and Sivaganga areas) Tamizh Nadu.

**  Bhagavan later praised him, saying, 'Veerasubbaiah Swami is a great scholar.  He has translated Hindi Atmapurana in Tamizh.
He has written a commentary on Jnana Vasishtam.  Veerasubbaiah Swami had first encountered Sri Bhagavan's teaching in
Ulladu Narpadu.  'What a profound meaning and rich experience are embedded in these writings!' he said.  -- From Kunju Swami's
Reminiscences.  )

Later, he organizer for the Matrubhuteswara Kumbabhishekam in 1949, Thoppayya Mudaliar told an amazing story about
Veerasubbaiah Swami.  Some ten or years after that, the same story was narrated by His Holiness Jagadguru Sri
Sankaracharya of Kanchi at a conference held in Madras.  (1961, Talks of Kanchi Swami).           

The story begins with a preoccupation Veerasubbaiah Swami had concerning what he saw as a character defect.  Evidently,
among his many virtues, he had a distinct weakness.  He was prone to losing his temper.  He was known on occasion to lose
complete control of himself, even cursing and shouting at his closest associates and colleagues.

The Swami agonized over this tendency and sought ways to overcome it.  He consulted others, including his close companion
Subbaraya Iyer, who regularly read out to him from the Puranas, Nyaya Sastra and other works.    He asked his friend if there
might be some text in the Puranas or in the Sthala Puranas (temple legends) that offered advice for overcoming paroxysms of
irritability and vexation.  The friend did in fact know of a story associated with a temple near Tiruturaipundi where there was
a figure of Sage Durvasa facing the temple deity.  The figure, still extant, is said to radiate peace and bestow great blessings.
Moreover, it seems that Durvasa had visited and worshipped Siva at this temple specifically to overcome his own irascibility
and habit of pronouncing curses.

continued.

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Veerasubbaiah Swami - V.V. Raghav - M.P. Jan. - Mar. 2009
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2013, 10:32:17 AM »

continues.....

Veerasubbaiah Swami lost no time in finding his way to the sacred site.  His first step was to do what he had done
so many times before when discovering a holy temple in disrepair.  He set about renovating it and restoring its tirtham
(temple tank).

The local people were inspired by the work and houses began springing up around the temple, among them, a hut for
Veerasubbaiah Swmi.  It was soon decided that the temple had no 'ther' or chariot, Veerasubbaiah Swami would do what
he could to see that a new chariot was constructed.

In due course, the work was concluded and preparations were made for the inaugural ceremonies.  Just prior to the opening
ceremonies, the craftsman who had designed and constructed the temple chariot came to the Swami and requested a goat
or cock be offered as a sacrifice, in order to ensure that he new vehicle rolled smoothly, and without interruption on its first
circuit around the temple.  (Temple chariots are extremely heavy and are hauled around by devotees and rely solely on people
power.  It often happens that a procession's progress is interrupted for long hours by stones or irregularities in the road surface.
In such instances, it is believed that dislodging he chariot depends on divine intervention. ).  But Veerasubbaiah Swami was
resolutely opposed to any such kind of sacrifice and the subject was dropped.

On the appointed day, the deity was placed inside the decorated chariot and the devotees stood ready with tow lines in           
hand.  But after moving a short distance, however, the chariot suddenly came to a halt. and complete standstill.  No effort
was spared in getting it to move, but it would not simply budge.  The devotees again approached the Swami with their request
for a blood sacrifice so that all obstacles might be removed.  He desisted but they were dogged and continued to press him for
animal sacrifice.  In former times, this might have been an occasion for Swami to fly off the handle and shout out his refusal.
But this time he sat quietly and listened to them before calmly offering the following response.

'If a lamb or fowl is killed, its mother will weep for it.  When you take away a life, you grief to another.  Let us rather go to the
temple and sincerely pray for Siva's help in getting the chariot to move;  if it sill does not mover and if there is no other remedy,
then, as I have no relatives to shed tears for me, I will lay beneath the chariot wheels and offer myself as sacrifice.'

The devotees were taken aback by such a statement.  They could see him utter the words in all sincerity. But could he really
be serious about offering himself as a sacrifice, they wondered?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Veerasubbaiah Swami - V.V. Raghav - M.P. Jan. - Mar. 2009
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 11:15:31 AM »

continues.....

Little did they know then that they would soon have a definitive answer.  This is what happened:

Everyone went to the temple and prayed to the Lord to let the chariot go forward.  A great deal of fervor and enthusiasm
was generated and he crowd became animated as morale rose.  To the great relief of all, when the ropes were pulled once
more, the chariot began to move again and continued to move uninterruptedly.

When it arrived on the north side of the temple, just opposite the Swami's hut,  Veerasubbiah Swami was overwhelmed with
emotion.  He simply stood before the Lord and wept, praising His solicitude for the devotees there.  That same moment,
camphor was lit and arti was performed before the deity.  The crowd was fired with excitement and expressed their delight
with resounding shouts of the Lord's name.  At the height of this emotional fervor, Veerasubbiah Swami, braced in the arms
of his friend Subbarya Iyer, shed tears of joy while praising the glory of God.   At this very instant, before the eyes of all
those assembled, he departed from this earth for ever, having been auspiciously granted final samadhi..

****

Later, commenting on this remarkable moment, Paramachaya of Kanchi had to say this of the Swami's life, his witness and
the auspicious manner of his passing:

'This instance of divine grace and mercy is within the personal knowledge of many people.  Even those who treat Puranic
stories as imagination and fiction cannot deny this incident. (...) Veerasubbaiah Swami conquered his only weakness,
(anger), and divine grace fell upon him and he (was) freed from future births and deaths.*

(* Acharya's Call: H.H. Jagadguru's Madras Discourses (1957-1960). Part II; complied by V. Ramakrishna Iyer, Pub:
Sri Kamakoti Peetam, 1968.)

****

Arunachala Siva.