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Friday, July 23, 2010

SRI SAI NARAYANAN - A VERSATILE MUSICOLOGIST COMPOSER AND MEDICO ASTROLOGER



V SUNDARAM I.A.S.

INTRODUCTION

“Who is there that, in logical words, can express the effect music has on us? A kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the INFINITE, and lets us for moments gaze into that!”—Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)


Sai K Narayanan

Very recently I had the privilege of meeting an extraordinary human being called Sai K Narayanan at Anna Nagar in Chennai. He is a versatile Vedic Scholar and Medico-astrologer. Sai Narayanan’s father Dr V N Krishna Iyer (1901-1969) was a legendary Doctor in Trichur town in the old Cochin State.


DR.V.N.KRISHNA IYER (1901-1969) SMT.SARASWATHI KRISHNAN(1913-1944)

He was in the forefront of all cultural activities in Trichur. After his return from England after completing his higher studies in Medicine, he established a Polyclinic in Trichur in 1948 as a Private Limited Company. His sole aim was to establish a multi purpose medical centre with the latest infrastructure facilities to provide the best available medical care to the common man at affordable cost. Sai Narayanan’s mother Saraswathi hailed from a family of great Sanskrit Scholars and her grandfather’s younger brother was Sabdikatilaka Panditaraja Ayya Sastriyar who was one of the greatest Sanskrit and Vedic Scholars in South India, in the first half of the 20th century.

My friend, Sri Sai Narayanan, despite his cruel handicap of blindness, has been a creative genius. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was right when he said that towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions unexplored. The definition of genius is that it acts unconsciously and those who produce immortal works do so without knowing how or why. Genius is gifted with a vitality which is expended in the enrichment of life through the discovery of new worlds of feeling. In all these senses Sri Sai Narayanan is a remarkable genius. In 2008, I wrote two articles on his creative endeavors and achievements in the field of medicoastrology. Subsequently, I had the good fortune of reading his musical compositions in Tamil. In this monograph, I am going to touch upon the different facets of his genius as a composer, as a musicologist, as an astrologer, medicoastrologer and above all as a profound scholar.

There is a Chinese proverb to this effect: There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the really great man is the man who makes every man feel great. Sri Sai Narayanan is such a great man.

I would end this introduction by quoting the words of Will Durant (1885-1981): “Great men speak to us only so far as we have ears and souls to hear them; only so far as we have in us the roots, at least, of that which flowers out in them”.
Chapter 1


Sri Sai Narayanan in a Divine Laya Mood

In November 2008, I wrote two articles on Sri Sai K Narayanan, a versatile Vedic scholar and medico-astrologer, in an Eveninger from Chennai. Sai Narayanan’s father Dr V.N Krishna Iyer (1901-1969) was a legendary Doctor in Trichur town in the old Cochin State.


Sri Sai Narayanan is very well known as a great scholar and medico-astrologer. What is not so well known is that he is also an exceptionally brilliant and original musicologist and composer of music. As a linguist, he knows several languages like Tamil, English, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Hindi and German. THOUGH HE LOST HIS POWER OF SIGHT IN HIS EARLY 20’S, YET WITH GREAT FORTITUDE, TREMENDOUS SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT, ENERGY AND ENTHUSIASM, HE HAS DEDICATED HIMSELF TO THE SACRED CAUSE OF NAADA-BRAHMAN DURING THE LAST 5 DECADES.


Sri Sai Narayanan and Shrimathi Lakshmi Sai Narayanan


Sri Sai Narayanan has composed more than 12000 devotional songs—nearly 9000 of them in Tamil and the remaining 3000 in Malayalam and Sanskrit. In this extraordinary effort of the spirit over the flesh, of will power over physical infirmity, Sai Naryanan has been inspired and sustained by that noble woman, his devoted wife Lakshmi, whose high ideals have always marched with his own for a life time. To both of them, the world of enriched knowledge, culture and music owes a deep debt of thanksgiving and gratitude.

He has composed and published 2 ‘Villupattu’ books in Tamil titled ‘Sundara Kaandam’ and ‘Nei Abhishekha Mahimai’ which were released and rendered by Kalaimamani Sri Subbu Arumugam at Sri Ayyappa Seva Samajam,

SRI SAI NARAYANAN WITH VILLUPATTU MAESTRO SUBBU ARUMUGAM

























FRONT COVERS OF VILLU PATTU BOOKS AUTHORED
BY SRI SAI NARAYANAN

Sri Sai Narayanan has also published two volumes of his Kritis in Tamil set to Svara and Music under the title Manikanda Gaanam, Saidasan Krithigal’. Sangeetha Kalanidhi K V Narayanaswamy wrote a foreword to Volume – I of ‘Manikanda Gaanam’. In his perceptive foreword written in Tamil he observed as follows: “Sri Sai Narayanan started composing beautiful songs in Malayalam, Sanskrit and Tamil from the age of 14. Endowed with Divine Grace, he has composed 28 soul-stirring Kritis in Tamil dedicated to many Hindu Gods and Goddesses, the Nine Planets etc. as his personal offerings to them as an ardent devotee. These Kritis have been set to music in the appropriate aesthetic framework of Raaga, Swara and Taala which makes it easy for all the performing artists to sing the Kritis composed by him in a limpid and delightful manner”.

Front Cover of ‘Manikanda Gaanam,    Front Cover of ‘Manikanda Gaanam,

     Saidasan Krithigal’ (Volume I)              Saidasan Krithigal’ (Volume II)



SRI K.V.NARAYANASWAMY RELEASING SRI SAI NARAYANAN’S BOOK

In his very evocative introduction Sri Sai Narayanan has rightly stated that in the world of classical Sanskrit learning, Sangeeta and Sahitya are two sides of the same coin. It is interesting to note that right from his childhood days, he had the unique opportunity of listening to the live performances of the great masters of Carnatic music at his own residence in Trichur from 1947 to 1965. His father Dr V.N Krishna Iyer was a great connoisseur of Carnatic music and he used to invite legendary musicians like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, G. N Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, M.L Vasantha Kumari and other doyens of Carnatic music to his residence at Trichur for giving their scintillating performances year after year. It is not therefore surprising to see that the letter and spirit of Carnatic music were able to penetrate and permeate the soul of Sri Sai Narayanan with such verve and ecstasy as to get duly reflected in his Kritis.

Sri Sai Narayanan is an ardent devotee of Lord Aiyappa and he has sung several songs in praise of Lord Aiyappa. I have no doubt that Lord Aiyappa has conferred upon him his special Divine Grace without which he could never have composed such beautiful songs in classical Tamil. The relation of faith between subject and object is unique in every case. Hundreds may believe, but each has to believe by himself. Faith speaks when hope dissembles; faith lives when hope dies dead. Sri Sai Narayanan is a man of absolute and irrevocable faith in Lord Aiyappa. Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. It has been so with him for a lifetime. I am presenting below a song dedicated to Lord Aiyappa (Please see page 72 of Volume I of Manikanda Gananm)



In particular I have been moved by his songs on Ambaal (Please see page 88 of Volume I of Manikanda Gananm). I am presenting the text of this Kriti in Tamil below.
In Volume II of ‘Manikanda Gaanam, Saidasan Krithigal’, there are 52 Kritis in Tamil. Sri T.S Parthasarathy, the veteran musicologist and former Vice President of the Music Academy, Chennai, has written a brilliant foreword to Volume II. The senior and respected Carnatic musician Smt Prema Hariharan has written a Preface to this Volume II. She has also composed the music for these 52 Kritis in Volume II of this work. She has observed as follows: “Shri Sai Narayanan is endowed with Divine Grace, exceptional versatility in the field of Carnatic Music, and exquisite felicity of unique expression. It is not therefore surprising that he has been able to compose beautiful and sublime songs dedicated to several Hindu Gods and Goddesses with a spontaneous, natural and unique aplomb all his own. No one can fail to notice the fact that there is a naturally splendid and easy flow in the Sahitya of Shri Sai Narayanan. I would appeal to all the performing artistes to sing these songs in order to popularize them among the larger public.”

I have been greatly moved and touched by Sri Sai Narayanan’s composition dedicated to Lord Shiva. (Please see page 36 of Volume II of Manikanda Gananm). I am presenting below the text of this song.




Among the many exquisitely beautiful Kritis in Volume II of ‘Manikanda Gaanam, Saidasan Krithigal’, I have been especially captivated by the Kriti dedicated to Goddess Saraswati in Saraswati Raaga. When I went through the text of this Kriti, instantaneously summoning the underlying and inherent music of this Kriti to the recesses of my soul and inner being, I came under its spell. I found myself in a state of sudden spurt of joy and ecstasy, with an absolutely fresh new blood coursing through my veins. In this context, the following words of the great English poet, W.H Auden (1907-1973) rushed to my mind and heart: “A verbal art like poetry is reflective, it stops to think. Music is immediate; it goes on to BECOME.”

I am presenting below the text of this song dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi (Please see page 50 of Volume II of ‘Manikanda Ganam).



The beautiful Kritis flowing out of the majestic soul of Sri Sai Narayanan in interminable succession, in a grand, glorious, gleaming and glowing manner shining through the gloom of his sightless physical darkness, lifts us all to unimagined flights of joy, ecstasy, understanding and peace. In a poem dedicated to the great blind Greek poet Homer, John Keats (1795-1821) wrote as follows:


“There is a budding morrow in midnight

There is a triple sight in blindness keen.”


Perhaps Sophocles, the ancient Greek playwright (497 BC- 407 BC) had blind composers like Sri Sai Narayanan when he wrote as follows:


“As they say of the blind

Sounds are the things I see”.

SRI SAI NARAYANAN WITH SANGEETHA KALANIDHI DR.BALAMURALIKRISHNA

Despite the great disability caused by near total blindness from the late 1960’s, Sri Sai Narayanan has composed more than 12000 songs in Tamil, Malayalam and Sanskrit. His achievement in the field of music and song, brings to my mind the instance of John Milton (1608 –1674). He became blind in 1654 forcing him to dictate his verse and prose to amanuenses (helpers), one of whom was the poet Andrew Marvell. One of his best-known sonnets, On His Blindness, is presumed to date from this period. That sonnet is worth quoting:


“When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,

And that one talent which is death to hide

Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest he returning chide,

"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"

I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent

That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need

Either man's work or his own gifts: who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state

Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed

And post o'er land and ocean without rest:

They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Surdas (1479 - 1584) was also a blind Hindi poet who lived in Vraj around Mathura. He is an important poet in India’s Bhakti Movement. Whatever little knowledge we have of Surdas's life comes from Ain-e-Akbari and Munshiat-e-Abul-Fazl, both written during the time of Akbar. Surdas has been called the Sun in the sky of Hindi literature. He was best known for collection of his composition 'Sursagar'. This famous collection is originally said to contain 100,000 songs, though, only 8000 poems remain today. These songs present a vivid description of childhood Lilas of Lord Krishna. Sri Sai Narayanan also revels in beautiful and detailed descriptions of Hindu Gods and Goddesses like Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Parvati. He is able to visualize and describe these Gods and Goddesses because of his original creative genius. Recently I came across a Persian proverb that I feel was perhaps conceived only against the background of creative geniuses battling against their disabilities like Sri Sai Narayanan: “One may have good eyes and see nothing. A blind man who sees is better than a seeing man who is blind”.


We may certainly see God in all arts and in all sciences, but in music alone we see God free from all forms and thoughts. In every other art there is idolatry. Every thought, every word has its form. Sound alone is free from form. Every word of great poetry forms a picture in our mind. Sound alone does not make any object appear before us.


What do we see as the principal expression of life in the beauty visible before us? It is movement in line, in colour, in the changes of the seasons, in the rising and falling of the waves, in the wind and in the storm. In all the beauty of nature there is constant movement. It is this movement which has caused day and night and the changing seasons. This movement has given us the comprehension of what we call time. Otherwise there would be no time - for it is eternity. The divine music makes us all part and parcel of this eternity.



SRI T.V.GOPALAKRISHNAN RELEASING SRI SAI NARAYANAN’S CASSETTE

What makes the soul of a blind musician like Sri Sai Narayanan dance? What makes him compose and sing beau¬tiful songs? IT IS THE INSPIRATION THAT HE GETS EVERYDAY EVERY MOMENT FROM DIVINE FAITH AND DIVINE BEAUTY. What has been the wine of his life? The divine beauty of music: beauty in tonal form, line and colour, in imagination, in sentiment, in feeling, in passion. Beauty and sublimity are the two cardinal characteristics of the compositions of Sri Sai Narayanan.


The sheer beauty of his compositions in Tamil calms the conflicts of our rational mind. We are borne aloft by their simple melody, showering their mercy of grace and love across the face of a harsh, hard and loveless world. They are all shafts of egoless light; they seem to sparkle and dance, giving us radiant messages with words that shimmer and weep. I can say with conviction and certainty that their sublime beauty reveals, affirms, charms, delights, enlightens, enfranchises and emancipates us all.


The sublime quality of his compositions gives cubic content to the following beautiful words of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): "For the beautiful in nature we must seek a ground external to ourselves but for the sublime one merely in ourselves". Their ‘sublime’ aspect inspires in all of us an almost infinite desire, a yearning for completion which is always beyond our reach. This ecstatic mood or moment was described by Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) as ‘That sadness, that dissatisfaction, that underlined aspiration towards an undefined deal, that capacity for finding only in music the answer to all our vital problems --- we swim on the shore less sea of passionate scepticism looking for a harbour we never find’.


Sri Sai Narayanan’s daily prayer to the Goddess of Music seems to be:


'You are the life of my life

The heart of my heart

The peace of my mind

The joy of my heart

My creator and protector

And the pilot who takes me across

The stormy ocean of my life'

Sri Sai Narayanan’s love for music and creative genius for beautiful compositions have brought him in close touch with some of the leading musicians in the performing world of Carnatic music.

Sri Sai Narayanan greeting Sri K.J.Yesudas

Sri Sai Narayanan is a great fan of Shivaji Ganesan (1927- 2001). In his career spanning 6 decades, Shivaji Ganesan donned the roles of innumerable Characters--- Puranic, Historic, Political, Social, Cultural, Religious, and Spiritual-with extraordinary distinction. When Shivaji Ganesan received the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Award from the French Government, Sri Sai Narayanan composed a beautiful song in Tamil by a way of his tribute to the multi-faceted genius of Shivaji Ganesan as an actor. He not only composed this beautiful song but also went to the residence of Shivaji Ganesan and sang the song in person, sending that versatile actor and all the members of his family into raptures of joy and happiness.


Sri Sai Narayanan putting a ponnadai on Shivaji Ganesan

I am presenting below the text of that Tamil song. I have heard him sing this song at my residence. The lilting and majestic sweep of this song which leaves no detail of Sivaji Ganesan’s acting career untouched puts us all in a state of thrall. I am giving below the text of this beautiful Tamil song.



I would end this personal tribute by quoting the immortal lines of Khalil Gibran (1883-1931).

‘Oh Your Music!

In Your depths we deposit our heart And Soul

Thou has taught us to see with our Ears

And hear with our hearts’.



                                                            Chapter 2


SAI NARAYANAN - A SCHOLAR AND MEDICOASTROLOGER





SAI NARAYANAN


Born on 9 July 1942, Sai Narayanan has just completed 68 years. What is astounding about him is that when he was studying in Regional Engineering College in Calicut in early 60’s, he became suddenly blind and lost his power of sight in both his eyes for a life time. Not withstanding this great personal tragedy, he has pursued his chosen profession of astrology with rare commitment, irrepressible enthusiasm, unmatched dedication and boundless zeal for three decades and more.


When I met Sai Narayanan at his residence, he gave me two volumes of his English translation of an ancient treatise on AYURVEDA (with appropriate references to astrology) called VEERASIMHAAVALOKAHA. This great Sanskrit work on Medico-astrology was written in 1383 by the renowned Rajput King Veerasimha, a scion of the Tomar Dynasty of Rajputs in Gwalior. He was the son of Devavarmaraja and grandson of Kamalasimha. According to history and tradition, Veerasimha was quiet young when he wrote this treatise based on his thorough knowledge of the Vedas, Purusharthas, Astrology and Ayurveda. According to Dr Nedungadi V Haridas Rajput King Veerasimha was one of the worthy precursors of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal of Travancore (1813-1846) in the 19th century.





















Veerasimhaavalokaha VolumeI                    Veerasimhaavalokaha VolumeII

Sai Narayanan has stated in his introduction to his great work of English translation: ‘The intention of the author in writing this treatise, Veerasimhaavalokaha, was to help humanity, by providing information on planetary combinations indicative of specific diseases and the causes, symptoms and cures for such diseases. Such information is essential, to maintain bodily and mental health, enabling individuals to follow their Dharma, the most important PURUSHAARTHA....The author of this book has come across translations in Hindi and Malayalam. The intention of translating the Malayalam version, into English, is to make it available to a wider public, mainly students and practitioners of Ayurveda, who will find it a very valuable and useful book of reference. Further, Ayurveda, widely followed in India, has started attracting great global interest, as an alternative system of medicine. Those involved in research in this system of alternative medicine, will find this book, replete with information, of help in their research. Students and practitioners of Hindu Astrology will find in it, nuggets and data, linking this hoary science with diseases and their treatment. Of special interest of this group, will be the portions of the text, prescribing the measures to be taken, for propitiating ill placed planets-specific mantras to be chanted, homas to be performed, austerities to be observed, like the Krishchra Chaandraayana Vritha and the gifts to be made and to whom’.


In ancient times, Astrology was used to diagnose diseases much before those could happen and also to take remedial measures to ward off these diseases. Classical books like Brihat Prashar Hora Sastra, Sarvartha Chintamani, Jatak Parijat, Gadavali, Jatak Tatwa, Brihat Jatak, Saravali, Uttrakaalamrit, Jatak Alankar etc. have lot of combinations to diagnose a variety of diseases including tuberculosis, cancer and even Aids. Effective remedial measures adopted in time can be useful to ward off or combat these diseases to a great extent. The extraordinary insight medical astrology affords the Doctor into the nature of the whole of his patient has to be experienced to be believed. The quick insight he can obtain in differential diagnosis will save his time. For instance, Saturn in Libra afflicting Mercury, induces very obscure spasms in the blood vessels of the kidney which frequently is confirmed only after many tests of the blood samples simply because the condition goes on changing with the movements of the planets. Similarly, in respect of different kinds of appendicitis, thousands of horoscopes have been studied and the fundamental astrological ingredients of the disease have been defined. Rahu and Mars prominent in respect of the 6th House reveal one’s susceptibility to appendicitis and it will manifest under the directional influences of the afflicted planets. Endowed with this advanced knowledge, one should adopt a suitable plan of fine-tuned operation to counter act these influences. King Veersimha in his Veerasimhaavalokaha made an integrated attempt to collect the various astrological combinations given in the classical books and to show how they were relevant and applicable to the diagnoses and treatment of various diseases, which he dealt with in his medico-astrological treatise.


Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras studied astrology and Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said: ‘The man who is ignorant of the science of astrology, deserves to be called a fool, rather than a physician’.


Authentic evidence shows that Chinese Emperors were chosen according to their skill in astronomy. Many of them were great Astrologists as well. The noted Egyptian Ptolemy (about 150 AD) blended astrology with his great work on astronomy and from this time onwards, books on astrology based mainly on the beliefs of Babylonians and Egyptians began to multiply and spread from the Mediterranean to Europe. The Romans swore by Astrology. Spurinna was the name of the Astrologer who warned Julius Caesar to beware of the Ides of March for, on that day, he would be in danger, but if he took care, all would be well. Gjamas was a renowned Astrologer in the Court of the King of Persia and foretold the advent of the Messiah and the Birth of the Prophet Mohammed. J Ross Tyler, an American Astrologer has testified: ‘In the early years of the 20th century, astrologer Sepharial predicted the outbreak of great I World War in 1914 and advised his clients to clear out of government securities and invest in colonial stocks’.


The world famous Palmist Cheiro, in his book ‘World Predictions’, wrote in 1927 anticipating the future events, about India’s Independence: ‘England will be attacked in all her Mohammedan possessions, she will rend that country from end to end, until it becomes equally divided between the Mohammedans and the followers of Buddha and Brahma’.


Let me now come back to the medico-astrological treatise in Sanskrit written by Rajput King Veerasimha in the last quarter of the 14th century. Veerasimhaavalokaha is an outstanding treatise on Medico-astrology. This work clearly defines the principles and procedures for the Astrological Diagnosis and Treatment of different types of diseases like Fever, Diarrhoea, Sprue, Indigestion, Worm Infections, Anaemia Spectrum, Bleeding Disorders, Tuberculosis, Cough and Asthma, Throat Infections, Unconsciousness, Alcoholism, Insanity, Epilepsy, Rheumatism, Gout and Tumour etc.


English translation of a Medico-astrological treatise in Sanskrit like Veerasimhaavalokaha is indeed a very complex, complicated and difficult task. Despite his great physical handicap, Sri Trichur Sai K Narayanan has succeeded in translating this ancient work in a thorough and meticulous manner, which is an index of his vast learning in the field of Vedic Heritage as well as Astrology. Thus, through his assiduous and marvellous English translation, he has rendered a great service to humanity, not only in intellectual but also in the spiritual sense in which the great Russian Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko described it: ‘Mankind is essentially a single organism, a single body, a single soul. But can we imagine a body surviving if it were hacked into little pieces (even if in these little pieces artificial dams were to be constructed, for normal blood circulation)? Would anybody withstand such bestial torture? Yet mankind endures, somehow; even hacked to pieces it somehow exists, and its separate little pieces pulsate, breathe, hope, strive to coalesce. Clearly mankind is a special kind of organism, a special kind of body and soul, possessing supernatural powers of survival. The translation of various literatures from language to language is a mysteriously powerful mutual transfusion of blood between the sliced-up pieces of the single body of mankind. Were this not so, mankind would not survive’.


Chapter 3



SAI NARAYANAN - A SCHOLAR AND MEDICOASTROLOGER

SRI SAI NARAYANAN


Astrology or Jyothisha Sastra, as developed by the Maharishis of ancient India, makes a precise study of the position and inter-relation of the stars and planets. It perceives by intuition certain facts which western science can barely demonstrate.


That is why B V Raman rightly says that Astrology may be considered as a science of sciences in as much as it tends to give objective form to man’s desire for a better knowledge of the future. As Dr Castigilini observes in his great work: ‘Adventures of the mind’- ‘Modern research in radiations emitted by the spectrum, the hypotheses that have been recently advanced concerning the relations between solar spots and extraordinary historical events, the publications by Swaboda and Fliess on the laws of septennial periods, all these lead us to think that the intuitive and profoundly human conception, deriving directly from man’s immediate sensitivity to the action of the stars may have a vaster and deeper foundation of truth than was realised when this primitive idea of inter-cosmic solidarity seemed to be forgotten’.


These thoughts rushed through my mind like a cyclone when I read the two volumes of Sai Narayanan’s brilliant English translation of the medico-astrological treatise in Sanskrit called VEERASIMHAAVALOKAHA written by Rajput King Veerasimha of Gwalior belonging to the Tomara Dynasty in 1383. In completing this arduous and exacting work of English translation, Sai Narayanan has been assisted in a magnificent manner by Sri K Ramachandran IA & AS, formerly Finance Director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL). Sai Narayanan told me during the course of my interview ‘Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was fortunate in finding a James Boswell (1740-1795) to write his famous biography. I have been fortunate in getting the blessing of Sri K Ramachandran’s enlightened assistance based upon his sympathetic and focussed understanding of my total visual disability arising from my blindness’.



VEERASIMHAAVALOKAHA VOLUME I       VEERASIMHAAVALOKAHA VOLUME II

There is no doubt that King Veerasimha’s treatise is an integral part of the origin, history, theory and practice of medicine and astrology dating back to our Vedic heritage and more particularly the Atharvaveda.
The longevity of man’s life upto 100 years has been referred to in the Yajurveda:


And how that span of life can be attained, is given in the Ayurveda, the science of life, with all its therapeutical hints and prescriptions given in the Atharvaveda (in a nucleus form). The extent and object of introducing medical knowledge, therefore, in the Atharvaveda is abundantly clear.


The sage Dhanvantri tells Sushruta that this science of medicine should be studied for the sake of affording relief from suffering to humanity in its pursuit of happiness, for the sake of prolonging our lives and for the sake of the general good of the people.
What are the three causes responsible for all diseases? According to Atharvaveda Samhita, they are:

1.Excretionary matter that could not be ejected out of the body becomes poison and results in the diseases. It is essential that the Doctor should be able to diagnose what the poison is, where it is located and what the treatment is.

2.Microorganism is a cause for diseases. The organism that enters the human body through food material causes the diseases.

3.The TriDoshas—vata, pitta and kapha— are the third cause for the ill health. Several statements in Ayurveda stand as proof confirming the theory of TriDoshas.

We can find all the above ideas suitably analysed and incorporated methodically into the medico-astrological framework of astrological finding, symptomatic finding and diagnosis, and treatment with medicines and/or with sacred rituals furnished by King Veerasimha in his Veerasimhaavalokaha.

The whole text can be sub-divided in the following pattern, in respect of each disease analysed in this Sanskrit treatise:

A.REASON: Sanchitha (past karma)
Just physical—in which there is disorder of vata/pitta/kapha are their combinations.

B.FINDING: Astrological planetary positions
Symptomatic by Dharshana/Sparshana/Prashna method.

C.TREATING: Japam/Homam/Daanam
Preparation of medicines and method of treatment.

King Veerasimha has clearly defined the attributes/qualities of a good Doctor. He has said categorically that more important than naming a disease is diagnosing the exact problem and treating the system correctly. I am giving below the relevant verses from Veerasimhaavalokaha with the relevant English translation done by Sai Narayanan:


The Duty of the Doctor is to relieve the patient’s discomfort and pain whatever be the methodology he adopts.

The above verses of King Veerasimha relating to the professional attributes of a good Doctor can be compared with the following observations of Doctor McDonald Critchley on Sir William Gowers at National Hospital, London: ‘Once again he would go over the points in the history, elucidating, elaborating. His own examination would follow—full, detailed, but without the tedious slowness of some other neurologists. A clinical point, or any unusual symptom or sign would attract his attention…. There was nothing flashy or meretricious therefore in his bedside technique. Hence it was that his diagnostic accuracy proved uncanny’. Can anyone doubt that King Veersimha, more than 800 years ago, was the real precursor of Sir William Gowers?

King Veerasimha, after explaining the Saptha Dhatus, TriDoshas, and Panchaboothas, goes on to explain different types of Fever, according to different etiology and symptoms. Step by step, he goes to other diseases like dysentery, indigestion, worm infestation including jaundice and anemia, tuberculosis, asthma, skin diseases, loss of consciousness, insanity and epilepsy, paraplegia etc.

VEERASIMHAAVALOKAHA VOLUME II

In the second volume of Veerasimhaavalokaha translated in English by Sai Narayanan, he has dealt with the tougher aspects of the work relating to the following.

a.Finding the disease from the astrological position of the planet as per the horoscope

b.Finding the disease from the position of the stars at that particular time when the person approaches the Doctor/Astrologer.

c.How to propitiate or nullify the effect of Sanchita Karma (Poorva Janma Kritam Papam Vyadhi Roopena Jayate).

d.The etiological and other reasons for a particular disease (the present karma)

e.The diagnosis (mentioning the disturbance of humoral principles) of the disease.

f. The treatment methods.

Dr Nedungadi V Haridass has paid this legitimate tribute to Sai Narayanan in these words: ‘Sri Sai Narayanan has applied his mind and soul, to completing the work of translating the tougher section of the book in record time—A TAPASYA INDEED! It is really creditable, that he has been as meticulous as ‘Perunthachan’, the best carpenter the world has ever seen, known for his carved designs in wood’.

Sai Narayanan has made it clear that though Veerasimhaavalokaha is a well-known text for ‘Astro Diagnosis of Diseases’, yet it is not meant for Astrologers but for Vaidhyas (Doctors). But the translation can definitely be used by Astrologers also, in diagnosing the diseases with the planetary positions and thereby prescribe the Prayaaschitta Karmas and then refer to a Doctor for treatment. The names Sai Narayanan uses in the text, for the diseases and medicine, are Malayalam, but Appendices are given at the end, with Botanical names and widely used English words. Hence the book is very user-friendly.

Sri Sai Narayanan’s known expertise in the field of medico-astrology has brought him into close touch with very eminent persons from all walks of life. I am presenting below the photographs of two eminent personalities interacting with Sri Sai Narayanan.


Sri.Sai Narayanan and Smt.Lakshmi Sai Narayanan with Tamil Nadu Governor Dr.P.C.Alexander


Sri Sai Narayanan and Smt Lakshmi Sai Narayanan with Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar

Despite his great physical handicap arising from total blindness, Sai Narayanan seems to give us all this meaningful and inspiring message through his personal example and life of unremitting toil: ‘To manage others successfully, a man must first manage himself. Personal efficiency is creative self-management. It is not getting ahead of others, but getting ahead of yourself. It is having the drive to get started on the task at hand. Life leaps like a geyser for those who drill through the rock of inertia. It is experimenting to find the best, easiest and quickest ways of getting things done. It is putting first things first, doing one thing at a time and developing the art of concentration. It is not being a slave to a system, but making system a slave to you. It is seeking the counsel of wise men in person and through their writings and using their wisdom and experience to help you to live efficiently. It is guiding your life instead of drifting. It is organising your personal life for efficient living in all the important areas—work, play, love and worship. It is making TIME live for you by making the most of every minute’.

About one week ago I had requested Sri Sai Narayanan to record his Testament Of Faith and to send it to me. He has responded magnificently as only he can with such tremendous verve, passion and emotion. I view it as a privilege to publish the full text of his



Sri Sai Narayanan’s Testament Of Faith

“ ‘Master of my fate and captain of my destiny’ is my philosophy of life. Do not mistake me. I am not a nonbeliever. I sincerely believe in God. But that God resides inside me, as he does inside every being. Every being is an abode of God. So are temples. If the atmosphere in a temple, sanctified for millennia, by poojas and prayers, chantings and offerings, gives you peace of mind, please do go to Tirupathi or Sabarimala or wherever, with your luggage of entreaties. In many cases, the boons sought for by you are granted, as these ancient sites, have been chosen by sages, for the easy passage of boons, from the dimension in which we live and the dimension, from which grace emanates. If going to a temple, chanting mantras, doing poojas is what you believe are essential for a a happy life, please continue. I do not believe in dictation or even in gentle persuasion, in this area of an individual’s relationship with the divine. I believe that this area is sacred, individual, private and personal.


I have read that alpha waves, emanating from our brains are responsible for bad karmas. If we can stop them, our lives will become purer. You are at peace with yourself and the world. Is that not what all of us are aiming at? Talking of beliefs, I also believe in doing good. I believe it will come back, manifold, from sources not necessarily including the persons whom you benefited.


The fact that I move around my house without any help, have a speaking watch that tells me the time, am able to answer and use the cellphone with felicity and take part in all social interactions and am able to carry out my flourishing profession as an astrologer, with minimal help from my ever-supportive wife, Lakshmi, goes to show the level of adjustment I have achieved. The translation of books that I have done and the devotional music I have composed, (two books and a CD full), are further proof of my living a normal life. Thanks goes to the strength given to me, by my philosophy, my personal world view and the God residing in me. All this, without the slightest thought of my being deprived of sight, left behind and long forgotten.


There are any number of persons, deprived of limbs or faculties, who have achieved international fame - lame persons, whom the doctors predicted will never walk, having won international prizes in cycling, deaf persons composing music of world fame, handless persons who paint with their legs. One thing common to all of them is that they all had the will and tenacity of purpose to live and succeed You may call it will. I call it the divine spark residing inside us who holds your hand and leads you to your goal, provided you have the commitment.


I also believe that, everyone gets the same allotment of the invaluable asset, time. What is important, is what you make of it. The claim, that one had no time to accomplish a particular thing, is an idle excuse, that often is a cloak for lack of sincerity.


I also believe, that everyone should reinvent himself or herself by reviewing the day’s events and happenings, before going to bed, taking care to see that one does not become judgmental in the process. If one becomes judgmental, there is always the danger of developing feelings of guilt or riding high. Both are to be avoided, by being objective during the process.


I recognise that I am no Helen Keller or a world mover or shaker. I have, however, the satisfaction of living a normal life, though disabled by blindness. I shall be the happiest person, if my life, inspires other differently abled persons, to do good and live life to the full. ”


Faith always implies the disbelief of a lesser fact in favour of a greater. Faith can also be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurance of the improbable. A little mind often sees the unbelief, without seeing the belief of a large one. Faith of great and noble souls like Sri Sai Narayanan is a living fountain, an unshakable belief in the Grace of God.


Sri Sai Narayanan’s Testament of Faith reminds me of the beautiful poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)


“Faith – is the Pierless Bridge
Supporting what we see
Up to the scene
That we do not.”

Surveying the life and work of Sri Sai Narayanan, I am only inspired to quote what that great American jurist and shaper of American Law, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935), had to say about ‘The Secret Isolated Joy Of The Thinker’: ‘No man has earned the right to intellectual ambition until he has learned to lay his course by a star which he has never seen—to dig by the divining rod for springs which he may never reach. In saying this, I point to that which will make your study heroic. For I say unto you in all sadness of conviction, that to think great thoughts you must be heroes as well as idealists. Only when you have worked alone—when you have felt around you a black gulf of solitude more isolating than that which surrounds the dying man, and in hope and in despair have trusted to your own unshaken will,—then only can you gain the secret isolated joy of the thinker, who knows that, a hundred years after he is dead and forgotten, men who had never heard of him will be moving to the measure of his thought,—the subtle rapture of a postponed power, which the world knows not because it has no external trappings, but which to his prophetic vision is more real than that which commands an army. And if this joy should not be yours, still it is only thus that you can know that you have done what lay in you to do,—can say that you have lived and be ready for the end.’


Friday, July 2, 2010

PARAMOUNT PUBLIC CRY FOR PRESERVATION OF INDIA’S CULTURAL HERITAGE



 V SUNDARAM I.A.S.
The beautiful Rajagopuram                   The cracks on the Rajagopuram
                                                                    two days prior to the collapse


There is a paramount public cry today for the preservation of India’s ancient cultural heritage. The Rajagopuram (is the mighty tower in front of the gateway to the temple) of Sri Kalahasti Temple at Kalahasti Town in ANDHRA PRADESH collapsed at 8:30 PM on May 26, 2010. This glorious tower is more than 500 years old and measures 135 meters in height. The main temple structure dedicated to Hindu God Shiva, has not been affected by the sudden collapse of the entrance tower (Rajagopuram). Fortunately there were no human casualties this time.


The debris of the collapsed portions of the Rajagopuram


The collapse of the Rajagopuram created panic among pilgrims, who blamed the negligence of officials and temple board members for the mishap. While the cracks became prominent in the past four days, it is learnt that narrow crevices had started appearing almost a month ago. According to sources, vibrations from bore-well digging in the temple vicinity directly contributed to the collapse. An eminent observer has said: “The digging has been going on in a relentless manner (with the full knowledge of an anti-Hindu and truly evangelical Government like that of YSR!) up to a depth of 500-600 ft”.

The Rajagopuram had been in trouble for over a decade with stones and clay falling off from the structure from time to time. A few years ago, a tourist was killed when a stone fell on him. Though civil society groups had complained to the temple authorities during the last few years about the front tower’s deteriorating condition, the latter did nothing other than carrying out some minor repairs sporadically from moment to moment.

The Rajagopuram, with seven storeys, was built in 1516 by the great Emperor Krishnadeva Raya who ruled from 1509 to 1529. This Raja Gopuram stood to the right side of the main temple and was a living testimony to the grandeur of the Vijayanagara Empire.


The Commemorative statue of Krishnadeva Raya


2009 saw the 500th anniversary of the accession of the great monarch Krishnadeva Raya to the throne of the Vijayanagar Empire in 1509. To mark this great historic occasion, the Andhra Pradesh Government had raised a commemorative statue in front of the Rajagopuram in Sri Kalahasti temple in 2009. I have presented above a photograph of this statue. Behind the statue we can clearly see the debris of the collapsed Rajagopuram.

Contextually and historically it will be very relevant to refer to the recent discovery of an exquisitely beautiful small metal Portrait sculpture of Krishnadeva Raya found at Varadaraja Swami Temple at Kancheepuram. I am presenting below a photograph of this statue of Krishnadeva Raya.

 
The statue of Krishnadeva Raya on the extreme left.


This exquisite metal sculpture of Krishnadeva Raya, a few inches tall, is found on a step leading to the Goddess Perundevi shrine. It was noticed by R. Nagaswamy, former Director of the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department. Next to Krishnadeva Raya is a metal portrait of one of his two queens.


T.S.Subramaniam has described the statue thus: “The Krishnadeva Raya portrait shows him standing with folded hands, a sword tucked behind his left hand; he has a dagger too. He is wearing a tall, conical crown studded with diamonds and rubies.”


According to Dr. Nagaswamy these beautiful sculptures are a witness to the achievements in metal art during Krishnadeva Raya’s time.

K.A. Nilakanta Sastri has rightly observed: “Pre-eminent as a warrior, Krishnadeva Raya was equally great as a statesman, administrator and patron of arts. The grandeur of his court excited the warm admiration of many foreign visitors, and their description of the great wealth of Vijayanagar, its festivals, its military strength and its heroic king make eloquent reading.”


Sri Kalahasti is one among the Pancha Bhootha Shiva Temples –-- Shivalingams of Five Natural Elements. Shiva is worshipped in the form of Vayu Linga which represents the element of air or wind at Sri Kalahasti. This temple is famous for its Vayu Deva temple, which is the only shrine for the God of Wind in India. It was constructed in the 12th century by the Chola king, Rajendra Chola (reign: 1012 C.E. – 1044), Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and worshipped as Kalahasteeswara.

 
Shri.Kalahasteeswara and Gnanaprasunambika

This temple is considered as the Kailash of the South or Dakshin Kailash. Saivaite saints of ancient Tamil Nadu from the first century onwards have sung devotional songs about this Shiva temple. The chief architectural beauty of this temple lies in the fact that the entire shrine has been carved out of the side of a huge stone hill. All in all, this temple is one of the most impressive Siva temples in the whole of India.


Multi-pillared Magnificence of the prakaram of Kalahasti Temple

This temple is said to be the holy spot where a forest-dwelling tribal hunter by the name of Kannappa, one of the 63 Saivite Nayanars, came forward with supreme devotion to offer both his eyes to cover the holes from which the blood was flowing from the Siva linga. Lord Siva showered his Grace upon Kannappa by appearing before him in person and stopped him from pulling out his own eyes. Lord Shiva then granted Kannappa mukti or salvation.

Story of Kannappa Nayanar

Until about three decades ago, it was the practice of devotees to pass through the Rajagopuram after taking the bath in Swarnamukhi River. Alas! On account of the callous neglect of the temple authorities, this great noble structure has collapsed.

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah has announced that the ‘Rajagopuram’ of the temple that has collapsed recently will be rebuilt with the assistance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). He has said: “We will approach the Archaeological Survey of India to rebuild the Rajagopuram in a scientific manner”. Expressing his grief over the collapse of the Rajagopuram at Sri Kalahasti, he has said: “An inquiry has already been ordered. It is a matter which has to be looked into. I don't have any ready made answers.” He gave this reply when he was asked by the press as to whether the negligence by the State's Endowments Department had led to the collapse of the Rajagopuram.

The Andhra Pradesh Government has formed a Committee of Experts to probe the reasons for the collapse of the ancient Rajagopuram tower. As thousands of pilgrims from all parts of India come to this temple for worship every day, the Kalahasti Temple earns an annual revenue of nearly US $ 22.50 Million and yet the temple authorities have not taken necessary steps to maintain this ancient and sacred tower.
This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the Five Panchabhootha stalams (shrines or temples) celebrating Lord Shiva as the embodiment of the five primary elements, Wind being the element at the Sri Kalahasti Temple at Kalahasti; the other elements being Water at Thiruvanaikaval Temple near Tiruchirappalli, Fire at Annamalaiyar Temple at Thiruvannamalai, Earth at Ekambareswarar Temple at Kanchipuram and Space at the Chidambaram Temple.

As I have already explained in some detail above, the collapse of the ancient Rajagopuram Tower at Kalahasti has been caused by the criminal neglect of maintenance and upkeep of this temple by the Religious Endowments Department of Andhra Pradesh Government.

The Government in India after independence has shown nothing but indivisible contempt for India’s cultural heritage in the field of art, architecture, painting and sculpture. The Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) during the last ten years has degenerated into what I call The Archaeological Scourge of India (ASI). I am giving below some striking examples to show the nature and extent of organized depredations carried out by the Archaeological Scourge of India (ASI) in the name of preservation and conservation of ancient monuments.

Starting from the latter half of 2007, the Archaeological Scourge of India (ASI) undertook the task of renovation and restoration of the famous World Heritage Brihadeeswara Temple built by the great Chola Emperor Rajaraja CholaI between 985 AD and 1009 AD in the10th-11th centuries. Rajaraja Chola I ruled from 985 AD to 1014 AD. I am presenting below a photograph of this temple under ‘restoration’ which in my view led to different kinds of intended and unintended destruction of different aspects of this beautiful temple.

BRIHADEESWARA TEMPLE UNDER ASI DESTRUCTION IN August 2008


WANTON DESTRUCTION OF PRECIOUS ARTEFACTS OF BRIHADEESWARA TEMPLE BY THE ASI

In the name of conservation many valuble inscriptions, pillars, manadapam, shrines and specimens of invaluable original art have been destroyed beyond repair and rendered beyond recovery leading to irreparable loss to the great Hindu heritage. The temple was apparently built like a jig saw puzzle. Each stone was weighed and balanced precisely vis-a-vis the whole complex structure; selected strictly according to agamas and shilapasastra and assembled like a mammoth jig saw puzzle. One has to know high level geometry and complex trignometry, material sciences and ancient temple architecture to understand the underlying principles of architecture governing the construction of this complex temple.

It is a fact of history that the entire gopuram was covered by Rajaraja Chola I by Gold leaf coating known as Veli. When Malik Kafur, the general of Emperor Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316) invaded South India in 1312-13, he not only destroyed two tiers on the ardha mandapam of Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur, but also vandalised many parts of the temple. This temple remained under disuse for centuries and was rebuilt by the later day kings in the 16th and 17th centuries. The British and French had used the huge ramparts of the temple as their garrison in the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decade of the 19th century.


Over the years from 1970 to 1994 I have visited this temple several times. I was shocked to see this temple in a state of siege by the ASI in 2008. In 2008 when the ASI dismantled many portions of the huge complex using the services of many untrained commercial contractors, who were totally unfamiliar and ignorant about the ancient methods of construction technology adopted by the Chola Emperor Rajaraja Chola I in the construction of this Temple. Consequently, while they were able to mindlessly dismantle many structures without any difficulty, yet they just did not know how to put them back together so that they could again become harmoniously beautiful parts of several patterns of the original whole as conceived by Rajaraja Chola I. This explains as to why there are piles and piles of wreckage and debris lying scattered all round the temple complex in the two photographs given above.


When I visited Thanjavur in August 2008, the Brihadeeswara Temple Complex it resembled a war torn zone as in Iraq or Afghanistan. The whole area around the temple had been reduced to piles of broken pillars and beams. This ancient temple, which withstood the test of time, and the ravages caused by many floods, rains and earthquakes for centuries, was getting destroyed every day by the Archaeological Scourge of India (ASI).

I am deliberately using the word Archaeological Scourge of India (ASI) because informal instructions seem to have been issued by Sonia Gandhi and her Catholic cohorts in the UPA Government II for the planned and deliberate destruction of India’s Hindu cultural heritage and total obliteration of the racial memories of the Hindus dating back to the days of the Vedas and the Upanishads.I was very shocked to note the marks of granite cutters that had been used to remove the blocks of stone called "kumudappadai", the exquisitely beautiful lotus motifs that adorn the outside walls of the huge temple. These lotus motifs have been destroyed forever by the ASI. The following photograph graphically depicts the nature and extent of the savage destruction of the lotus motifs wrought by the Archaeological Scourge of India (ASI) through the use of stone cutters.






Obliteration of the lotus motifs by the ASI
Rajarajeswaram, more popularly known as the Big Temple at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India, was built a millennium ago by the Chola Emperor Rajaraja I. The Big Temple is the living monument testifying eloquently to the multi-faceted glory and grandeur of the Chola Empire. It is a treasure-house of art, architecture, sculpture, painting, music and dance and several other aspects of the mosaic and tapestry of culture of ancient Tamil Nadu. The UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage monument. It is completely under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

What the Muslim General Malik Kafur could not achieve in the field of destruction in the 14th century, the ASI has been able to achieve in a record time! IF THIS IS THE FATE OF ONE OF THE MOST ANCIENT AND BEAUTIFUL MONUMENTS IN INDIA WHICH HAS BEEN DECLARED AS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE BY UNESCO, THEN ONE CAN IMAGINE WHAT WILL BE THE FATE OF THOUSANDS OF MONUMENTS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE ASI IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF INDIA!

During the last few years systematic vandalism has been let loose by the ASI within the sacred premises of this great shrine in the name of conservation. Millennium- old inscriptions on the temple walls, irreplaceable sources of authentic information relating to the Chola Period, are getting shattered into smithereens. Portions of the Northern circumambulatory mandapam (the circular hall), the upapeetam and the athishtanam of the Maha Mantapam (great hall or pavilion) as also the inner part of the Sri Vimana are being systematically destroyed in the name of restoration.


The circumambulatory mandapam was built by the Chola Emperor Rajaraja Chola I’s General known as Krishnan Raman alias Mummudi Chola Brahamaraya. The inscriptions on the walls of this Big Temple bear eloquent testimony to the oral orders issued by the Great Emperor. A good many inscriptions were etched on the pillars, walls and basement of this temple. Among these structures, only one pillar was slightly damaged during the invasion of the French and the British armies in the 18th century. However, fortunately, the later Maharatta Rulers, with great care and devotion, restored the pillar. Despite the ravages of time, the other pillars and also the roof-area of the Mandapam remained almost intact till the direct intervention of the ASI in 2007-2008. Alas, the pillars carrying these precious inscriptions, the cross-beams of the roof and also the ceiling stones have been broken to bits and thrown away by the ASI in the name of conservation and restoration!

The ancient and beautiful mural paintings on the temple walls of Tamil Nadu are getting either effaced or defaced by the callous and clumsy approach of either the concerned temple authorities or the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or the State Departments of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE). I am giving below some instances of the ongoing process of destruction and vandalism of the ancient Hindu cultural heritage in this part of India.


In the first instance I would like to refer to the defacement of mural paintings in the Mannar Kovil Temple at Ambasudram, Tirunelveli District. This is considered to be one of the most important Temples in that district with its cultural and religious traditions dating back to earlier than 11th Century AD. The Mannarkovil Temple was built by Chera King Rajasimha in the 11th century A.D. for the Chola Emperor Rajendra (Ruler from 1012 AD to 1044 AD). It has an independent sub-shrine, belonging to the 13th century, devoted to the Vaishnavite saint Kulasekara Alwar, who spent his last days in Mannarkovil. It has inscriptions of the Chola and the later Pandya kings. It has three sanctum sanctorums.


Mannar Kovil Temple in Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu State



Effacement of the Murals in the name of Conservation
The above photograph depicts the vanishing legacy of mural paintings at the Mannarkovil Temple. We can see some surviving mural paintings juxtaposed with the whitewashed wall on the right where a ceiling-high painting of Lord Narasimha once existed. Shown below is a photograph of the since-effaced Narasimha painting, taken three years ago.


Mural painting of Lord Narasimha effaced and defaced

According to K.T. Gandhirajan, a specialist in art history, wonderful murals in the temples at Mannarkovil, Tirupudaimarudur, Idaikal and Kalakkadu, in Tirunelveli District have the rare characteristics of “the confluence of Tamil Nadu and Kerala schools of painting.” It is not therefore surprising that in all these temples what is special is that all of them have always had paintings on both walls and wood. Regardless of the surface, these murals have been destroyed by whitewashing.

During the last sixty-three years after our independence, thousands of mural masterpieces have been whitewashed out of existence for ever at the following temples:
a. Meenakshi temple in Madurai City.
b. Arunachaleswarar temple at Tiruvannamalai.
c. Vishnu temple at Tiruvellarai near Tiruchirappalli.
d. Siva temple at Patteeswaram near Kumbakonam.
e. Siva temple at Tiruppulivanam near Kancheepuram.
f. Siva temple at Vedaranyam.
g. Lakshmi Narasimhar temple at Sevilimedu near Kancheepuram
h. Sanjeeva Rayar temple at Iyengarkulam near Kancheepuram


All the above temples are administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Many mural paintings belonging to the period from 1600 AD to 1800 AD have been wiped out of existence in the name of renovation!!!


I have given just two examples of effaced mural paintings above. The fact of the matter is thousands of mural paintings in ancient Temples have been whitewashed out of existence in all the States of South India --- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.




The Original Bamiyan statue The Taliban Destruction in progress The Taliban Decimation completed


In 2001, the Talibans in Afghanistan gave a death sentence to the ancient gigantic Buddha relics of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in these words: ‘All we are breaking are stones. These infidel statues are insulting to Islam and should be destroyed so that the infidels could never worship them again. These shrines of infidels should be destroyed forthwith and torn down’. Thus these Buddhist relics which had withstood the onslaught of centuries and ravages of nature for more than 2000 years were destroyed forever by the Talibans in just one day. The then UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL ENVOY, Pierre LaFrance, in Kandahar pleaded for the continued existence of these exquisitely carved, beautiful and gigantic Buddhist statues of Bamiyan. The Taliban rulers treated this request with utmost contempt and unconcealed hatred by ordering the destruction of those gigantic Buddhist statues forever.The Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) is behaving no differently from the savage TALIBANS in Afghanistan.


We don’t have to go to Kabul or Karachi or Islamabad to see the State-sponsored destruction of non-Muslim heritage structures or objects or places of worship. What happened at Bamiyan in Afghanistan is happening in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu today. Cultural and religious Hindu relics are getting destroyed everyday as part of high State Policy. Some months ago, human hands have brought down the massive and beautiful mandapa (granite stone pavilion) situated in the historically famous Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, which has with stood the onslaught of five centuries. This ancient temple was built by the Cholas in 1053 and it is one of the 108 divyadesams or the holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. It is located in that part of Kanchipuram which is traditionally known as Vishnu Kanchi. Vishnu Kanchi has been the home for a lot of famous Vishnu temples, including the Varadharaja Perumal Temple. The great Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya is believed to have resided in this temple.



Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Kancheepuram

Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple is a huge temple spread over a 23 acre complex. The earliest reference to this temple is in a Pasuram of Boothathazhwar, a Vaishnavite Saint, dating back to 600 AD. The temple began to gain prominence in the 11th century, during the period of the Chola Dynasty. Kulothunga Chola-I encased the rock and built a structural temple around the standing Vishnu in A.D. 1100. Later by stages, spread over a few centuries, this temple expanded with the construction of several shrines, prakaras (corridors) and gopurams (towers). According to Dr. Nagaswamy, Vijayanagar Emperor Krishnadevaraya (Ruled from 1509-1530) built the present sanctum sanctorum of Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple, the Vimana above it and covered it with gold sheet around A.D. 1525. Krishna-Devaraya’s successor Achyuthadevaraya (Ruled from 1529-1542) built the Kalyana Mandapa on the left side beyond the western entrance to the temple in 1535 AD. This Mandapa is known for its several hundred pillars with intricate carvings of horse-riders, dancers, musicians, and Gods and Goddesses. It is known as Nootru-Kaal Mandapam.


NOOTRU KAL MANDAPAM OR 100 PILLAR HALL


EXQUISITE SCULPTURES ON THE PILLARS OF NOOTRU KAL MANDAPAM

Nootru Kaal Mandapam built by Vijayanagar Emperor Achyuthadevaraya in Varadharaja Perumal Temple (God only knows when this will receive the sentence of sudden death!)

Apart from constructing the exquisitely beautiful Nootru Kaal Mandapam, Vijayanagar Emperor Achyutha Devaraya also built another Mandapa with a few hundred pillars, all hewn out of granite. This was used for conducting temple festivals in the past. Later, it was used as a Goshala, or cow shed. IT IS THIS MANDAPA THAT HAS BEEN PULLED DOWN NOW UNDER THE PRETEXT OF ‘RENOVATION’. This Mandapa was not touched in any manner even during the days of colonial English Rule. I am presenting below two pictures relating to the destruction of this Mandapa in Varadaraja Perumal Temple at Kancheepuram.
The Mandapa of the Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple being demolished.


When this Mandapam at Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram was getting destroyed, Dr. R.Nagaswamy, former Director of the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department rightly said: ‘What is happening now is total destruction. They are not dismantling it. They are smashing it with a crane’. I fully endorse his view that it is ‘a thoughtless act of destruction and renovation. The Mandapa could have been cleaned easily, conserved and preserved. The entire Mandapa is in good condition…. The walls are in perfect alignment. It has survived for 500 years without tilting or developing cracks. Except that it has not been cleaned, it is in good shape’.

The Sri Varadharaja Perumal temple was earlier subjected to a bout of cultural vandalism (Dravidian Talibanism!) when the murals of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi and other Gods in the Hindu pantheon were deliberately whitewashed over by the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE). The surviving paintings have faded or peeled away. They have not been preserved. Thus, the atheist communist moles in the state government are working in a planned manner for the total obliteration and extinction of the Tamilian temple heritage and ethos.

The main aim of such deliberate destruction of the Hindu Temple murals seems to be that the white-washed empty temple walls after the planned destruction of the murals can be used to paint Christian motifs like the Last Supper, Nativity, Jesus and Mary on the Temple Walls.

This sad story of State-sponsored destruction of the ancient Hindu temple heritage in Tamil Nadu will be incomplete if I don’t make a reference to the destruction of the 975-year-old beautiful Chola period paintings and sculptures at the 1200-year-old Siva temple of the Pallava period at Tiruppulivanam village in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu. Shri T.S Subramanian reported on this destruction done by the HR&CE Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu on Saturday, Nov 08, 2008. It is a matter of ironical shame that at a seminar organized on the very same temple premises on August 27, 2007, archaeologists, epigraphists and artists had decided on measures to preserve the paintings and inscriptions in the temple.

Two 16-pillared mantapas are among the temple’s treasures that have been destroyed. One of the mantapas, which was commonly called ‘madapalli’ or kitchen, had Tamil inscriptions dating back to Kulotunga Chola III (1215 A.D.), the Telugu Chola Vijayakanda Gopaladeva, Rajanarayana Sambuvaraya and others. The other mantapa, called Alankara Mantapa, belonged to the 16th century Vijayanagara period.


EFFACED LEGACY: (Clockwise from top left): The prakara wall of the Vyagrapurisvara temple at Tiruppulivanam sans its frescoes that were sandblasted recently; one of the Chola frescoes as it existed, in a file image provided by the Archaeological Survey of India; pillars with sculptures at the temple, also sandblasted and disfigured.

This destruction has taken place during “renovation” that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department officials are undertaking. As part of this exercise, they plan to pull down a 100-pillared mantapa just outside the temple and “rebuild it.”

The Vyagrapurisvara Temple at Tiruppulivanam, near Uttraramerur, 95 km from Chennai, was one of the three temples in Tamil Nadu where Chola paintings existed. The others where they still exist are the Brihadeesvara temple in Thanjavur and the Vijayalaya Cholisvara temple near Pudukottai. (We don’t know when the Tamil Nadu Government sponsored anti-Hindu Dravidan Vandals will get to them)

When Shri T.S Subramanian and a photographer visited the temple on November 2, 2008 an earthmover was piling up the dismembered granite slabs of the Alankara Mantapa. The officials of the HR&CE Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu are behaving like the Talibans of Afghanistan.

In the main temple itself, sandblasting had been done on the southern, northern and western walls of the prakara, on the sculptures on pillars and on the ancient Tamil inscriptions — in violation of a State government directive against sandblasting for renovating temples. The inscriptions on the outer wall of the sanctum sanctorum and the sculptures stand disfigured.

The temple existed during the reign of the Pallava king Nandivarman II in the 8th century A.D. The Rashtrakuta king Krishna III, the Chola kings Parantaka I, Rajendra I and Kulotunga I, the Sambuvaraya chieftain Rajanarayana and the Vijayanagara rulers added structures to it.

What stood out were the Chola frescoes, painted perhaps during the rule of Rajendra I, on the northern prakara wall. Dr. A. Padmavathy, retired Senior Epigraphist, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department, said the paintings were of Siva as Tripurantaka (riding a chariot and armed with a bow and arrows to kill the demons of the three worlds) and Nataraja, and of Dakshinamurti, Narasimha, and Vishnu in “ananthasayana” posture. There were murals of Raja Raja Chola’s teacher Karuvur Thevar and of princes, princesses, dancing girls, ponds with lily and lotus flowers and wild animals. THESE FRESCOES DO NOT EXIST TODAY. THE MANTAPAS, ONE WITH ANCIENT INSCRIPTIONS, ARE GONE.

When contacted, the Temple’s Executive Officer, S. Senthil Kumar, of the Talibani HR & CE Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu, claimed that “no paintings ever existed in the temple” and “no structure called Alankara Mantapa ever existed” and that “no sandblasting was ever done” and that only “water-wash and air-wash” were done. He added that the ‘madapalli’ mantapa was demolished long before he took charge of the temple eight months ago. However, informed sources asserted that the frescoes were sandblasted four months ago, the ‘madapalli’ mantapa demolished about six months ago and the Alankara Mantapa brought down a year ago.

In the last couple of decades, many valuable inscriptions in temples and other ancient monuments have been lost. At a time when preservation of historic monuments has become a hot topic, an expert voice is stressing the imperative public need to adopt a professional approach towards the task of preservation of ancient monuments. Some time back, Dr R. Nagaswamy, former director of the Archaeological Department, Government of Tamil Nadu explained very eloquently as to how invaluable and unique ancient monuments have been defaced in Tamil Nadu on account of the careless attitude of the authorities. Dr Nagaswamy had warned: “The murals, frescos, sculptures and other structures were made by highly sensitive artistes. In the name of conservation, they cannot be touched by crude workmanship.”

Dr Nagaswamy has also invited the attention of the Government to the problem of destruction of inscriptions in temples and public monuments. He has said: “In the last couple of decades, many valuable inscriptions have been lost, sculptures have been damaged and removed. There has been sand-blasting and reconstruction with cement in place of the ancient stone structures.” In this context Dr Nagaswamy has made the following three suggestions:

a. According to Dr Nagaswamy, we have to make available detailed documents, measured drawings, photographic data collections and other relevant materials to those who want to know the details of restoration and conservation work being done by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Such methods are being followed in developed countries such as the United Kingdom and France. They have science laboratories dealing exclusively with brick structures, murals, frescos, woodworks and paper arts.

b. Dr Nagaswamy says the government should publish the details of the conservation work proposed to be done in a temple or structure of ancient monument. This information has to be furnished to the press in an open and transparent manner. The government can invite suggestions from appropriate quarters. These valuable suggestions could be incorporated in the preservation methods. There should be no scope for unilateral decisions on conservation methods for ancient monuments.

c. Dr. Nagaswamy, who was instrumental in preserving the murals in Chidambaram temple, argues that one of the most important aspects of preservation relates to the fixing of responsibility. He says: “The officer in-charge of the work should be held responsible if destruction is caused to the historical monuments. Disciplinary action should be initiated against him. Otherwise cultural destruction will continue.”

Against all this background, I would like to invite the attention of Tamil Nadu Government to the four-pronged destruction of temple heritage taking place in Tamil Nadu with the full connivance and active participation of the Department of Religious and Charitable Endowments:

A. Mindless Destruction of Temple Pillars, Mandapams, Prakarams etc. taking place all over Tamil Nadu in the name of ‘Renovation’.

B. Destruction of Temple Walls and Pillars bearing ancient, precious and irreplaceable inscriptions of Pallava, Chola, Vijayanagar and Nayak Dynasties.

C. Paintings of Vijayanagar and Nayaka periods getting vandalized in temples under the cover of ‘white washing’ and such other routine maintenance works. Dr. David Shulman, an Indologist who has studied the mural paintings of Tamil Nadu has observed, ‘The problem is very urgent. If action is not taken immediately these treasures of Tamil Nadu, which are part of the national heritage will disappear forever’.

D. Many Tamil Brahmi inscriptions have already been destroyed by a mindless approach to the public issue of stone quarrying throughout Tamil Nadu.

I have given some examples relating to destruction of temples and monuments in Tamil Nadu. Let me now give one striking example relating to the destruction of an ancient Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh that is being caused by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Hemis Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (gompa) of the Drukpa Lineage, located in Hemis, Ladakh (within the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir). Situated 45 km from Leh, the monastery was re-established in 1672 after a lapse of nearly six centuries by the Ladakhi King Sengge Namgyal. The annual Hemis festival honoring Padmasambhava is held here in early June every year.

Hemis Monastery in Ladakh



The courtyard of Hemis monastery



Mural painting in the Hemis monastery
                  A MURAL OF VIRUPAKSHA FROM HEMIS MONASTERY





According to Ladakhi Buddhist tradition, Hemis Monastery existed even before the 11th century. NAROPA, the pupil of the famous yogi Tilopa, is connected with this monastery. A translation of Naropa's biography was discovered in 1911 in Hemis monastery. It was translated by A. Grünwedel in 1916. (Nӑro und Tilo,: Festschrift Ernst Kuhn, München 1916). Naropa is considered as the founding father of the KAGYU-lineage of the Himalayan esoteric Buddhism. Hence Hemis is the main seat of the Kagyu lineage of Buddhism.

Like all schools of Tibetan Buddhism the KAGYU consider their practices and teachings to be inclusive of the full range of Buddha's teachings (or three yāna) since they follow the fundamental teachings and vows of individual liberation and monastic discipline (Pratimoksha) which accord with the Mulasarvastivada tradition of the Śrāvakayāna (sometimes called Nikāya Buddhism or "Hīnayāna Buddhism" ); the Bodhisattva teachings, vows of universal liberation and philosophy of the Mahāyāna Buddhism; and the profound means and samaya pledges of the Secret Mantra Vajrayāna.

What distinguishes the KAGYU from the other schools of Himalayan Buddhism are primarily the particular esoteric instructions and tantras they emphasize and the lineages of transmission which they follow.

The Hemis monastery is the richest and most famous Buddhist monastery in Ladakh for centuries and continues to be so even today. On paper this is supposed to be one of the ancient monuments under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which is responsible for its preservation and conservation. Thanks to the mindless and callous attitude of the Archaeological Survey of India-- may I say Archaeological Scourge of India—the once grand Dukhang or the main prayer hall of this monastery is in shambles. Two floors of this ancient monastery have been demolished, and the priceless statues and 'thangkas' are kept in cold storage. It is a public tragedy that the outside world knows almost nothing about the fate of the beautiful old Buddhist murals that used to adorn the inside walls of this famous heritage structure. The fact that this destruction has taken place happened in a monument protected by the ASI, right under its nose, and calls into question its very approach to the noble and gigantic task of preservation and conservation of ancient cultural and religious heritage in Ladakh.

According to Mr.Saleem Beg, Convenor, INTACH's JandK chapter,this is all the result of the ASI's casual attitude towards monasteries in Ladakh. It was Mr.Beg who was the first to discover the sad and shocking fact of demolition of Hemis Monastery. To quote the appropriate words of Mr.Beg: "The ASI has lost the confidence of the Buddhist monks with its shoddy, and ad-hoc repair work. In Hemis, and other monasteries too, there is much animosity between the ASI and the Buddhist clergy, leading to wanton destruction of traditional Ladakhi architecture and paintings."

RAVAGED HEMIS MONASTERY



What Mr. Beg pointed out in his anguished letter to the Director General of the ASI is worth quoting "When I reached there with a conservation architect, I found to my horror some 30 labourers demolishing the upper floor of the monastery. This was being done under the supervision of a village mason."

Tsewang Rigzin, a senior Buddhist Monk at Hemis and Secretary of its Managing Committee, has spoken in despair: "Repair and renovation of our monasteries is an ongoing process since we live and pray in them. Whenever we request the ASI to do it for us, we find it never goes to the root of the problem. It does nothing to preserve the murals either.”

This complaint seems to be well founded as will be clear from the following photograph relating to the restored murals at Hemis Monastery
Jarring brightness: A mural at the Thiksey monastery, the right side of which has been 'restored' like a cheap roadside commercial poster!!

What is happening in the whole of India is a total Government assault on India’s Religious and Cultural Heritage in a wanton, uninhibited and unabashed manner. Even in the colonial days of British Raj, there was no such organised State assault on Hindu Temples and places of worship. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was established by Lord Canning, the British Viceroy in 1861. He appointed Sir Alexander Cunningham KCIE CSI, (1814-1893) as the first Archaeological Surveyor of Northern India. I am presenting below a copy of the Gazette Notification appointing Sir Alexander Cunningham to this post in 1861.
What led to the appointment of Sir Alexander Cunningham as an Archaeological Surveyor was a Scheme drawn up by him and given to the Viceroy Lord Canning for launching a detailed survey of the ancient monuments and other cultural artifacts in Northern India. Sir Alexander Cunningham defined the scope of the survey work in these words: “an accurate description, illustrated by plans, measurements, drawings or photographs and by copies of inscriptions of such remains as deserve notice, with the history of them so far as it may be traceable, and a record of the traditions that are retained regarding them”.

After his appointment as the first Archaeological Surveyor in December 1861, General Cunningham surveyed areas stretching from Gaya in the East to the Indus in the North-West, and from Kasi in the North to the Narmada in the South, between 1861 and 1865.

Unfortunately, his endeavours came to a sudden halt due to the abolition of the Archaeological Survey in 1866 by the new Viceroy Lord Lawrence. However, The Duke of Argyll, the new Secretary of State for India, made a strong recommendation to the Government of India in 1871 to establish a Central Department to tackle the archaeological problems of the whole country.

The Duke of Argyll also stressed on the need for conservation of monuments stating that it was the bounden duty of the Government ‘to prevent its own servants from wantonly accelerating the decay of monuments’. On his recommendation, the Government of India revived the Archaeological Survey of India by creating a distinct Department of the Government and appointed Sir Alexander Cunningham as the first Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). He assumed his charge as Director General of the ASI in February 1871. The Department was entrusted with the task of doing ‘a complete search over the whole country, and a systematic record and description of all architectural and other remains that are either remarkable for their antiquity, or their beauty or their historical interest’.
Sir.Alexander Cunningham (1814-1893)
Director General of ASI (1871 to 1885)



Sir. Alexander Cunningham was given two assistants J.D. Beglar and A.C. Carlyle who were later joined by H.B.W. Garrik. Sir. Alexander Cunningham resumed surveys in Delhi and Agra in 1871; in 1872 he surveyed Rajputana, Bundelkhand, Mathura, Bodh Gaya and Gaur; in 1873, Panjab; between 1873 and 1877, Central Province , Bundelkhand and Malwa. To initiate the survey in a systematic way Sir Alexander Cunningham chose to record the Buddhist finds and monuments by plotting them on a map so as to understand the ancient trade routes.

The surveys of Sir. Alexander Cunningham Cunningham led to several discoveries such as monolithic capitols and other remains of Asoka, specimens of architecture of Gupta and post-Gupta period; great stupa of Bharhut; identification of ancient cities namely: Sankisa, Sravasti and Kausambi. He also brought to prominence the Gupta temples at Tigawa, Bilsar, Bhitargaon, Kuthra, Deogarh and Gupta inscriptions at Eran, Udayagiri and other places.

Starting his work as Archaeological Surveyor in 1861 and then serving in the position of Director General of ASI for nearly 14 years from 1861, Sir Alexander Cunningham retired in 1885. Between 1862 and 1884, General Cunningham brought out 23 volumes containing his personal descriptions and reports of Archaeological tools and investigations undertaken by him in different parts of Northern and Central India.

Each Volume embodied the results of a single complete tour, lavishly illustrated. In their entirety, these 23 Volumes of General Cunningham may be said to bring together the results of Survey of the Central and Northern parts of India, in which Sir. Alexander Cunningham had his assistants worked for nearly a quarter of a century. Western and Southern India were left quite outside his programme of Archaeological Surveys.
Nearly 14 years after Sir. Alexander Cunningham left India, Lord Curzon came as Viceroy of India in 1899 and functioned in that capacity till 1905. He was a great champion of India’s Cultural Heritage. It was he who was responsible for the passing of Ancient Monuments Preservation Act of 1904. It was a landmark legislation in the cultural history of India.

 
Lord Curzon (1859-1924)
Viceroy of India from 1899 to1905

Lord Curzon told the Secretary of State for India in London: “India is covered with the visible records of vanished dynasties, of forgotten monarchs, of persecuted and sometimes dishonoured creeds. These monuments are, for the most part, though there are notable exceptions, in British Territory, and on soil belonging to Government. Many of them are in out-of-the-way places, and are liable to the combined ravages of a tropical climate, an exuberant flora, and very often a local and ignorant population, who see only in an ancient building the means of inexpensively raising a modern one for their own convenience. All these circumstances explain the peculiar responsibility that rests upon Government of India. We are doing splendid work in restoration and conservation of ancient monuments now throughout India. And I really think that almost the most lasting external effect of my term of Office will be the condition in which I shall leave the priceless treasures of architecture and art in this country”. Lord Curzon’s work in this field was inspired by his love of beauty, a pious reverence for all that bore witness to the creative genius of perished peoples and forgotten Empires and that delight in breathing the breath of life into the dry bones of bygone days.

Upon the recommendation of Lord Curzon, the then moribund Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was again reorganized in 1902 with Sir. John Marshall as Director-General of Archaeology. He was just 26 years old at that time and he was to hold the Post of for the next 26 years. The crowning event of Sir.John Marashall’s tenure of Office as Director-General of Archaeology was the excavation of the Pre-Historic sites of Harappa in the PUNJAB and Mohenjo-daro in SIND between 1921 and 1928 which led to the discovery of INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION.

I would conclude this story with the truly sublime words of Lord Curzon which will continue to mock at Time, remaining forever valid and relevant—and imperishable:‘‘Art and beauty, and the reverence that is owing to all that has evoked human genius or has inspired human faith, are independent of creeds, and, in so far as they touch the sphere of religion, are embraced by the common religion of all mankind. Viewed from this standpoint, the rock temple of the Brahmins stands on precisely the same footing as the Buddhist Vihara, and the Mohammedan Masijid as the Christian Cathedral. There is no principle of artistic discrimination between the Mausoleum of the Islamic Despot and the Sepulchre of the Christian saint. Whatever is beautiful, whatever is historic and whatever that tears the mask off the face of the past and helps mankind read its riddles – these and not the dogmas of a combative theology should be the criteria by which a responsible Government must be guided in its approach to preservation of monuments. I regard the Stately or beautiful or historical fabrics of bygone age as a priceless heirloom, to be tenderly and almost religiously guarded by succeeding generations; and during my administration of the Government of India, no one shall find me niggardly or grudging in the practical realization of this aim’.

The innumerable temples in our country symbolise our cultural heritage and religious tradition. They stand tall and big as a symbolic representation of the timeless civilization of this great land and they also signify the generosity and boundless public spirit of those great kings and emperors who have built them. Each and very temple, small or big, has been standing for ages as a true testimony for the great history of this nation. Note: Anti-Hindu Evangelical pro-Islamic Sonia Gandhis and her grisly minions like Dr.Manmohan Singhs, Ambika Sonis and the like cannot be expected to have the grand vision of a Lord Curzon today in the field of preservation of India’s cultural and artistic heritage going back to the dawn of history!! The petty mercenaries, the defiantly arrogant but servile domestic political orderlies of Sonia Gandhi are solely committed to the preservation of the Italian Firangi Memsaheb and her dynastic rule and exploitative commercial interests and nothing else to boot!! In 2007, under the supreme dictatorship of Sonia Gandhi, these vermin conspired and plotted to destroy Ram Setu forever and failed in their dastardly attempt, thanks mainly to the timely and vigorous intervention of the vibrant Hindu activists like Dr Subramanian Swamy, Dr S. Kalyanaraman, D. Kuppuramu and others.


To conclude in the clinching words of the indefatigable soldier for Hindutva and Hindu people, Shri B.R Haran: “Even while waging war with each other, Hindu Kings following the code of conduct enjoined by the Dharma Shastras, took care not to destroy temples, rob cattle, rape women and kill civilians and that is why even today, we are able to know our ‘true’ history, culture & civilization. Probably that could also be the reason as to why the foreign invaders, particularly the Islamic marauders and Portuguese Conquistadors, often focused more on destroying our temples and monuments, distorting our history, so that, this nation could be de-Hinduised and their alien Semitic desert religions could be established in this ancient land. The evil legacy of the foreign invaders has been faithfully followed by the local marauders, the atheistic Dravidian parties, who connive with the alien religious forces using Government power to destroy our temples and to de-Hinduise the state. Dravidian racists like Barathidasan, E.V Ramasamy and Annadurai have always said, ‘THAT DAY WE BLAST SRI RANGANAATHAN (BHAGWAN RANGANATHA OF SRIRANGAM) AND THILLAI NATARAJAN (BHAGWAN NATARAJA OF CHIDAMBARAM) WITH A CANON (ARMY TANK), WILL BE A GREAT DAY FOR US’. Now, DMK-Congress (Karuna-Sonia) combine is continuing this evil legacy. Unfortunately, an institution like ASI, which is supposed to protect the temples and its structures, is also being misused by the governments to destroy the splendor of our temples.”


The main political aim of the evangelical anti-Hindu Sonia Congress UPA II Government in New Delhi today is to make the Hindus of India completely forget their cultural and religious past. Everything is being done in underground subterranean manner to use the might of the Government of India to completely marginalize the Hindus of India in every sphere. Sonia Gandhi’s closest ally in this field is the rank atheist anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin, Dravidian crypto-Christian M. Karunanidhi.


George Orwell (1903-1950) in his famous novel titled ‘1984’ envisaged a totalitarian world of 1984 (very much like the Sonia-led UPA Government in New Delhi and the Karunanidhi-led DMK Government in Tamil Nadu). He described how a morally corrupt government will maintain absolute power by systematically depriving its subjects of their identities and by denying them any hope of cultural legacy. Writing in the late 1940’s with the horrific examples of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin fresh in his mind, George Orwell clearly envisioned a dark society in which a people’s touchstones with the past could get pulverized in a systematic manner as a matter of high state policy. Like the Archaeological Scourge of India (ASI) in New Delhi and the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) in Chennai, George Orwell predicted that there would be a ‘Ministry of Truth’ where the official record of past events would be constantly tailored to suit immediate political needs. To use the exact words of George Orwell in this context: “All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and re -inscribed exactly as often as was necessary.” George Orwell said that tyrants and dictators of the future would be guided by this policy in their political approach to a nation’s history: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” It is this philosophy which lies at the root of the planned destruction of all Hindu temples of India today. Two anti-Hindu political gangsters Sonia Gandhi and Karunanidhi have come together as Comrades-in-Arms for the total obliteration and decimation of India’s cultural heritage rooted in Sanatana Dharma.


Probably Walt Whitman (1819-1892), the poet of American democracy, had the correct total understanding of the crooked political vision of these political mercenaries-in-arms of post-Independent India in mind when he wrote trenchantly as follows: “While the members who composed it [any Democratic Party National Convention prior to the Civil War] were, seven-eighths of them, the meanest kind of bawling and blowing officeholders, office-seekers, pimps, malignants, conspirators, murderers, fancy-men', custom-house clerks, contractors, kept-editors, spaniels well-trained to carry and fetch, jobbers, infidels, disunionists, terrorists, mail catchers, pushers of slavery, creatures of the President, creatures of would-be Presidents, spies, bribers, compromisers, lobbyers, sponges, ruined sports, expelled gamblers, policy-backers, monte-dealers, duellists, carriers of concealed weapons, deaf men, pimpled men, scarred with vile disease, gaudy outside with gold chains made from the people's money and harlots' money twisted together; crawling, serpentine men, the lousy combinings and born freedom-sellers of the earth.”

Note: Anti-Hindu Evangelical pro-Islamic Sonia Gandhis and her grisly minions like Dr Manmohan Singhs, Ambika Sonis and the like cannot be expected to have the grand vision of a Lord Curzon today in the field of preservation of India’s cultural and artistic heritage going back to the dawn of history!! The petty mercenaries, the defiantly arrogant but servile domestic political orderlies of Sonia Gandhi are solely committed to the preservation of only Sonia Gandhi and her family and nothing else to boot!! In 2007, under the supreme dictatorship of Sonia Gandhi, these vermin conspired and plotted to destroy Ram Setu forever and failed in their dastardly attempt, thanks mainly to the timely and vigorous intervention of the vibrant Hindu activists like Dr Subramanian Swamy, Dr S. Kalyanaraman, D. Kuppuramu and others.