Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,
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But just a few steps in the direction of South Chitra Street, I saw a building already awake and bustling with activity. A vague vision of some children climbing up and down the stairs in the building caught my attention. I went close to get a better picture. In my view, they were children not less than 7 and not more than 12. They were clad in veshti and left the torso bare. I could easily identify them as children of some Gurukulam. The gates were locked and standing outside I called out to one small boy who was enthusiastically carrying a “Sombu” in his hand.
He was fresh from bathing and was planning to ascend the stairs just when my cooing arrested his attention. He was not more than 8 and looked very cute in the black tufts of hair that decorated his head. Innocence tenanted his face. He was rather small for his age. His eyes threw questioning glances at me asking what I wanted. I asked who they were and what they were doing. This question seemed so silly that the boy gave a pre-recorded answer. He said it was Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam and they were students. He quickly shot up four steps in le
aps. I again cooed him to attention and asked what they were learning. He looked back at me, came down those four steps and told “Sampradayam”. Before he could spring those four steps again, I immediately asked him which Sampradayam. He looked at me and his eyes acknowledged that I would not let him go without quenching my curiosity.
Brushing away the failure of his plan to ascend the stairs and do what he had planned to, he heaved heavily and opened the gate. He stepped out and indicated the black slab elevated above the ground meant for the purpose of sitting. I obeyed him and sat at its corner, while he took a handful of water from the sombu and sprinkled them on the slab, just a few yards from wetting my trousers. He slid onto the slab and relaxed. I again went on with my questioning spree and asked which sampradayam. His answers were, as I guessed, monosyllabic. He said “Ramanujar” and commenced to examine my bag that was demurely standing between us.
The wheels and the metal strap attached to the bag that is used to pull it attracted him and he began feeling them with his small and soft palms. I continued. “What do you learn here then…” I asked. He had forgotten my presence by now and was exploring the heap of zips that were randomly sprinkled over the bag, each opening to a secret chamber. He was pulling one after the other to verify if they worked properly. I again blurted out the question, now in a slightly higher tone to catch his attention. His eyes darted back to me and quickly identifying me to be the owner of the bag he was fondly handling, replied “ aagamaam…..” and just as he was ready to answer further, a loud summon from the inside of the building for the morning divya prabandha class made him forsake me. He looked back at me with a little apology and disappeared into the building, this time climbing those four steps and further.
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MEETING OF MINDS:
SriSrivilliputtur Jeeyar Swamy made a visit to our Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam recently. He came along with the children of a Gurukulam in Tirunarayanapuram (Melkote). At such an old age, the Swamy is running that Gurukulam with 15 children.It was a very pleasant gathering of the children of our Gurukulam and the children of the other Gurukulam and the Jeeyar Swamy among them. Swamy made a simple yet effective speech. He got down to the level of the young children and stressed the importance of learning. He compared “Vidya” to a “Pomegranate fruit”. One is never aware of the number of red pearls within a fruit. Likewise, knowledge cannot be measured. Pearls of wisdom abound in the sampradaya treasure-trove.One should always endeavour to acquire more and more.
After his speech, a brainstorming session was held between the children of both the Gurukulams. Each child had to learn about the other Gurukulam children and their system of education. Like the confluence of two pristine rivers, the two groups mingled with enviable amiability. After the session, each child came up with the good features of the other Gurukulam and wished to adopt them into theirs.
Unlike meetings where everyone sits together and agrees to disagree, the two Gurukulam children agreed to embrace one another’s good. Let us take cue from them…
The Photos of the event are here :