Sri Satchidandandendra Saraswati Swamiji (An Advent of Adi Sankaracharya in Our Own Times)
|Publisher:||Adhyatma Prakashan Karyalaya, Bangalore|
|Other Details||8.5 inch X 5.5 inch|
Sri Swmiji was verily an incarnation of Adi .añkara, whom we were all blessed to see in flesh and blood in these days of ever-increasing materialistic and atheistic tendencies and trends. At a time when eternal or human values are vanishing into thin air, so to speak, in the face of the ruthless onslaught of modernistic attitudes tempered by scientific analysis among the intelligentsia, this ‘modern colossus’ of the spiritual science of Vednta dawned on the philosophical firmament as a resplendent sun to drive away the mental darkness in the form of misconceptions and ignorance. He gave solace and succour to those who took refuge in Adi .Sañkara ‘s immaculate and irrefutable Advaita Philosophy by writing more than 200 books, many of which have become beacon lights for people groping in the gloom of Avidyi (Samsra).
The idea of publishing a booklet on the life history of Sri Satchidnandendra Saraswati Swmiji, of revered memory, was convinced by us on the august occasion of Sri Swmeeji’s ‘Arãdhana Day’ on 11-8-96, but for reasons beyond our control it could not be done. However, on our request at short notice Sri D.B. Gangolli, an ardent follower of Sri Swãmji, had written and kept the manuscript of the text ready. There was hardly a fortnight left for printing the booklet, which was almost impossible. Now we are bringing it out today, Jan 5th 1997, on the occasion of Sri Swamiji birthday function.
As the title itself suggests Sri Swm1ji was verily an inclination of Adi aft Kara, whom we were all blessed to see in flesh and blood in these days of ever-increasing materialistic and atheistic tendencies and trends. At a time when eternal or human values are vanishing into thin air, so to speak, in the face of the ruthless onslaught of modernistic attitudes tempered by scientific analysis among the intelligentsia, this ‘modern colossus’ of the spiritual science of Vedãnta dawned on the philosophical firmament as a resplendent sun to drive away the mental darkness in the form of misconceptions and ignorance. He gave solace and succour to those who took refuge in Adi añkara’s immaculate and irrefutable Advaita Philosophy by writing more than 200 books, many of which have become beacon lights for people groping in the gloom of Avidy (Samra).
We hope that Sri Swãmlji’s life-spanning 96 meaningful and eventful years - will inspire and induce at least a few people to take to a true Vedantic way of life and adopt a path shown by this great Master. We pray to the Almighty to bestow His blessings and Grace on all the genuine seekers.
The concept of Avatar (Incarnation) is quite na- tive to Indian ethos and is an acknowledged doctrine of Hindu mythology which bristles with legends built around divine incarnations like Rama, Krishna etc. in every era of creation. However, after the advent of science, especially the quantum (nuclear) science - what with its mind-boggling theories and technologies, highly prompted by Intuitive thinking - this belief in human incarnations has been steadily decried and discredited in highly modernized and sophisticated circles of our society. Any mention or reference to that term is treated merely as a misconception and a hallmark of blind faith.
But yet even in these times of 'scientific temper and trends' religious beliefs hold their own and such esoteric concepts are being entertained and exhibited even by the intelligentsia and theological scholars. Hence, in the fitness of things we, the ardent followers and devotees of Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswati Swami- ji, of Holenarsipur (1880-1975), of revered memory, look upon him verily as an Avatar of Adi Sankara, in whose footsteps he trekked all through his illustrious long life and was responsible for cleansing Advaita Vedanta of all the vast amount of dross (distortions) that had accumu- lated during a millenium of the post-Sankara period. His monumental research work, which was purely a labour of love and selfless dedication, is sure to bring about a 'change of heart' among those genuine seekers who are holding fast to many a deep-seated misconception, as also it is bound to help get conviction and Intuition, the summum bonum of all spiritual pursuit.
The late Sri Chaadrashekharendra Saraswati Swamiji of the Kanchi Kamakoti Pitha, who had invited this venerable octagenarian Sannyasin in 1961 to Karaikudi in Tamilnadu, had described his guest as a living example of a sage who had lived all h,is life steeped in contem- plation on the Paramarthe (the Ultimate, Absolute Reality or Entity). Later on in 1979 the Kamakoti Pithadhisha had persuaded and prompted the close devotees of Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswati Swamiji to celebrate his Centenary the next year i.e. 1980. The Kamakoti Pithadhisha had even referred to him as a contemporary of Shri Ramana Maharshi and as a 'Stotriye' (an adept well-versed in the traditional method of teaching as per the Srutis or Upanishads) and a 'Brahmanishthe' (one who is rooted in Brahman, the Absolute Transcendental Reality i.e. a Realized Soul) in the true sense of the two epithets of a Brahmajniani as stipulated in Mundakopanishad, Born and brought up in a poor Brahmin family, he was denied higher university education than Intermediate (present P.U.C.) grade and he had to live the meagre, lack-lustre life of a school teacher. Despite all such mun- dane hurdles and hardships, he thrived in adversity, so to speak, to rise to the stature of a spiritual colossus and to re-illumine the Vedantic world which had lost much of its glory and glamour, having been influenced by dog- matic theories predominantly based on dialectics or meth- odologies alien to the scriptures. Though born with a fragile physique, he lived a totally industrious, meaning- ful long life of 96 years to carry out in-depth research into the vast Advaitic literature that was in vogue and his relentless but rigorous efforts put paid in that he unearthed, so to say, the genuine pristine pure traditional methodology - expounded by gigantic personalities like Veda Vyasa (Badarayana), Dravidacharya, Brahmanandin, Gaudapada, Sankara and Sureshwara - which had fallen into oblivion and had been distorted out of proportion in matter and method. Thus it will not be an exaggeration if it is said that he came as a 'Messiah' on the Vedantic firmament to revive, nay resurrect, pristine pure Advaita Vedanta. Having been a voracious reader and writer and endowed with a gargantuan appetite for research into the unfathomable treasure trove of Vedantic lore, his relent- less pursuit paid rich dividends so as to enable him to unearth many a priceless jewel as also to unravel edifying and enlightening tenets opening out numerous vistas be- fore the seeker - each one akin to a wonderful kaleido- scopically symmetric system.
No wonder then that this 'Abhinava Sankara' wrote more than 200 books - some of which were published posthumously in recent years - in three languages viz. Kannada (nearly 160), English (about 20) and Sanskrit (about 20). Some more hand-written manuscripts of this modern sage are found among his belongings, but unfor- tunately they have remained incomplete ; his close dis- ciples are caught in a dilemma - whether to discard them or to undertake the onerous task of completing them in the same style and standard of writing.
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