Beautiful sloka on Silver Plate to Silver Tongued Srinivasa Sastri (Post No.11,564)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 11,564

Date uploaded in London – 19 December 2022                   

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The Right Honourable Silver tongue V S Srinivasa Sastri (1869-1946) was a famous orator, teacher, legislator, politician, and freedom fighter. He was born just before Mahatma Gandhi in Valangaiman in Tamil Nadu and so Gandhi used to call him ‘My Elder Brother’. Though both had different political viewpoints on several issues, Gandhi always respected him and visited him in hospital just before Sastri’s death.

Srinivasa Sastri’s command over English language was praised by English scholars in Britain, and he was considered one of the five best English speakers in the world.

Sastri delivered thirty lectures on Valmiki Ramayana between April 1944 and November 1944 under the auspices of Samskrit Academy in the Madras Sanskrit college grounds. His weekly lectures attracted a huge crowd every Wednesday. Later his lectures were published in a book which has seen many editions until now. Those who were present in the discourses watched the occasional emotional broke down of the lecturer.

He himself said about it, “When I read the book, I read that book and nothing else; my whole mind is devoted to it. A hard hearted man like me, I read it, and, strange to say there is not a page which does not bring tears into my eyes! Any fine sentiment, any tender feeling,  any affection between brother and brother , any reunions of being that have been separated for a time, aye, any homage to friendship, to gratitude or any of those eternal abiding virtues of human character brings tears into my eyes! I stop; I cannot go on; I have to wait and wipe my eyes and then go on. Why do I do that? A hardened man of the world, Why do I do that? Why has it that effect on me? I suppose it is because deep down in my nature, going to strata which perhaps in my waking life I shall never touch,  there is a spirit of the utmost reverence and affection for those great characters”.

xxx

One would remember two great saints while reading this. Manikkavasagar, the great Saivite saint and Kulasekara Alvar, the great Vaishnavite saint. Manikkavasagar’s Tiruvasagam says that God can be reached by those who cry (for him). It is like a baby crying for its mother.

Kulasekhara was a king in Kerala. He was great Vishnu devotee. Every day he listened to Ramayana from a great orator. When Rama- Kara dushana fighting scene came in the Ramayana, the discourser was graphic in his description saying that Kara came with a big army, the Chera King, who was deeply into Ramayana, stood up and called his minister to order all his army to march forward to support Rama. He also was preparing to put on his army uniform. The wise minister called the speaker and asked him to say that Karan was defeated and got killed by Rama in a second. He also said so and then Kulasekhara ordered his army to come back.

From such stories and more from narrations in Periyapurana and Alvar Charitra (life history) we see great devotees and their emotional reactions.

Xxx

V S S Sastri’s speeches were appreciated by all the devotes of Rama. The organisers made special arrangements to take shorthand notes of his lectures and so we got them in a book form titled Lectures on The Ramayana by The Rt.Hon. V S Srinivasa Sastri (published by Madras Samskrit Academy ).

Silver Plate To Sastri

The concluding function was celebrated in traditional manner on 8-11-1944. The then President of Samskrit Academy Sri P S Sivaswami Aiyar who was in the chair, observed that by delivering these lectures on the national epic of India, the distinguished lecturer had added one more to the manifold and valuable services rendered by him to the country; the Academy and the enthusiastic audience presented the lecturer, in grateful admiration, with a shawl , an address and a silver plate inscribed with the verse:

संस्कार क्रम संपन्नाम् अद्भुताम् अविलम्बिताम् |
उच्चारयति कल्याणीम् वाचम् हृदय हर्षिणीम् || ४-३-३२

32. samskaara krama sampannaanaam = refinement, orderly, he has; adbhutam = remarkable; a vilambitam = un-delaying; uccaarayati kalyaaNiim vaacha = speaks, propitious, words; hrR^idaya harSiNiim = heart-pleasing ones.

“He has orderly refinement in speech that is remarkable and un-delaying, and he speaks propitious words that are heart-pleasing.[4-3-32]

What an appropriate verse !

This is said about Hanuman – Master of Words/language , by Sri Rama in Kishkinda Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana.

xxxx subham xxxx

Tags- Srinivasa sastri, Silver tongued, Silver plate, Ramayana lectures, Hanuman, Sloka

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