Passing away of Sri Sarangachariar of Srimath Andavan Ashramam
Sreemathe RangaRamanuja Mahadesikaya Namaha
Sreemathe RangaRamanuja Mahadesikaya Namaha
With deep regrets, I am reproducing the following message received from Sri RR on the passing away of a devouted Ashramam sishya the one and only Sri Sri Sarangarajan, popularly called as Saarangaachariar, last night in a Chennai hospital.
A Great AchAryA Kainkarya Sri passes away
It is with deep regret that we report the passing away of Shriman VK Sarangarajan Swami popularly known as ‘Sarangachar’ to his countless friends & admirers at around 10 PM on Thursday the 29th November. He is survived by Smt Anasuya (his dharmapatni), sons Parthasarathy & Srinivasan and daughter Padmavathi Sudarsan & grandchildren. He was 84 years young. While all friends & admirers will feel a terrible vacuum, adiyen’s loss is personal; our two families go back 90+ years – the Swami’s father-in-law was the early mentor for adiyen’s grandfather when he started his legal practice in 1910’s.
The Swami was born on May 1928, served the Indian Railways mostly in the North Eastern India for nearly 30 years before taking VRS in 1977 & settled down in Madras (Chennai). Then followed a golden era of totally committed & unparalleled Kainkaryams by any Sishya over the next 34+ years to the Asramam & our AchAryAs. Pancha SamskArams & Saranagathi were performed under HH Srimad Thirukkudanthai Andavan in 1977 & 1982 (on Mahalaya Amavasyai) respectively.
Adiyen cannot appropriately describe the Swami’s total faith in & absolute commitment to his AchAryAs. Whenever HH Srimad Andavan camped at Chennai, the Swami will get up at 3.00-3.30 AM, complete his daily anushttanam (incl the Perumal/Paduka Aradhanams at his residence) by around 4.30-5.00 AM, off he will go to the Asramam, wake up (if necessary) the Kainkaryaparars, make them finish their morning anushttanam & get on with the job of Thaligai, Aradhanams or whatever!! Not a very popular job BUT one that got done without fail. He will stay on till the Perumal/Paduka Aradhanams are completed by HH Srimad Andavan, go home & will be back in the afternoons to do whatever minor or major Kainkaryam allotted to him by the AchAryAs.
When HH was on Vijaya Yatra also, the daily visit to the Asramam continued unless he was abroad visiting his children or was so unwell that he could not move out. Maasaanam Maargaseerisham will find him in the Asramam on all 30 mornings directing the operations, getting ready the Prasadams on time & enabling the Dhanur Maasa Aradhanams to proceed without any hitch (whether HH was in town or not).
No Kainkaryam was too small or undignified for him; he would clean tables/benches/lamps, fill them with oil, trim the wicks, cut the vegetables (if need be), step on a rickety table & garland the AchAryAs’ photos in the main hall, dust&clear the walls&ceilings to remove the cobwebs, stack the large loads of fruits in the shelves, checking the vouchers, bargaining with provision store for better rates etc., He was always (over)active like the proverbial bee in a beehive!! It was crystal clear to all Asramam Sishyas & Abhimanis that an unprecedented phenomenon was in motion. The respect & awe that such (amanushya) Kainkaryams created have to be seen to be believed. He was at his peak during the annual Thirunakshatrams (TN) – morning till evening!! The day after the TN will find the Swamin coming out with an item wise statement of expenses of Veda/ Grantha/ Prabandha Parayanam, Thadeearadhanam, Temple Honors, conveyance etc., show the clear excess/ deficit as the case maybe. The Swami’s reach was everywhere & all-encompassing that adiyen will – in jest – always call him as the Chairman!!
He was a true karma yogi (as much as one can be in this Kali Yuga) & adiyen recalls Slokha 47, Ch 2 of Srimath Bhagavath Geetha here:
“You have the right only to perform your prescribed duty or KarmAs; you have no rights over the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the KarmAs or the results thereof! Never be attached to or desire for inaction (of KarmAs!).”
Sarangachar Swami lived this concept – as much as anyone could or would - for the past 34+ years
Slokha 514 of Sri Paduka Sahasram:
Parigruhya sThiramamshukam manOjnyam jaradhamshukavath suKhEna dhEham
Kruthina: kEshavapAdhukE! Thyajanthi
Swamy Desikan states: the PaadhukAs present the Jeevathma with a novel & new garment, when the Jeevathma seek their refuge. He says: "Oh Kesava PaadhukE! You present a novel and radiant garment made out of the threads of rays emanating from Your gems to the approaching Jeevathma. After receiving this rare garment, the blessed Jeevathma abandon their earthly bodies effortlessly, as if they are getting rid of a worn-out garment.The Swamin’s Aathma has now shifted the Kainkaryam to SriVaikuntam where he can serve the Prathama AchAryAn – Krishnan VandE Jagath Gurum – with the new dress granted by the PaadhukAs!!
We are however left to wonder – whence will come such another!!
Srimath Andavan Thiruvadi – RR ( Eyetex R. Rajagopal)