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Homage to a religious scholar

THE 120TH Thirunakshatram (birthday) of a distinguished Vaishnavite religious leader, Sri Kozhialam Swami, which falls on April 2, 2002, will be celebrated at Srirangam, Kanchipuram and Chennai, by disciples who follow his tradition.

The philosophy of Visishtadwaita propagated by Sri Ramanuja has seen different traditions, subsequent to his passing away, one of them being the ``Munithraya Sampradayam.'' Many illustrious Sanyasis and spiritual leaders, have followed this tradition, , distinguished themselves by their ceremonial purity, rigorous discipline, contribution of literary works and commentaries, all to substantiate the arguments of their forbears. One of these saints, Sri Vazhuthoor Swami, founded three schools and one of his disciples became preceptor for several students, chief among them being Sri Kethandapatti Swami under whom five Sanyasis and innumerable exponents derived benefit. Of the five Sanyasis who received training, one was Tirupati Swami. His direct disciple was Sri Kozhialam Swami whose second Sashtiabdapoorthi is being celebrated.

Sri Kozhialam Swami mastered vedic knowledge, logic, grammar and other tough allied subjects and finally served at the feet of Sri Tirupati Swami. At the age of 38, he took to ascetic order and was engaged in popularising Visishtadwaita and twice on foot toured pilgrim centres from Tirumalai to Sethu. Known for his detachment and total indifference to worldly activities, he authored 32 major philosophic works (some are yet to see the print). The Swami trained several luminaries, the chief among them being Sri Uthamur Veeraraghavachariar Swami who had written nearly 300 works connected with Ramanuja Darsanam. For nearly 40 years, Sri Kozhialam Swami strove to expound Ramanuja's system, trained numerous disciples and administered the ``oath of Religious secrecy'' (Pancha Samskaram) to thousands. As an exemplar of the Sanyasa Dharma, Sri Kozhialam Swami was never concerned about money or fame. He attained the Lord's feet in 1961 (Karthigai Ekadasi).

The 120th birthday celebrations have been specially arranged on this occasion by Sri Ananthanarasimhachariar at the Poundarikapuram Andavan Asramam in Srirangam, at Kethandapatti Swami Asramam in Kanchipuram and at ``Siddhasramam'' in Nadamuni Street, T. Nagar.

V. SRIVATSANKACHARIAR

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