My mother’s aunt was a devotee of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. In my childhood she read out to me episodes from his life. I remember the book had pictures in colours. When I was in middle school ,my uncle joined the Ramakrushna order and interest shifted to Ramakrushna.
I went to Banaras for engineering studies. My Bengali friend there taught me Bengali .He said a person is not cultured unless he learnt Bengali and studied Bengali literature. I had an English version of Tagore’s Geethaanjali. I could now read it in original Bengali. And then I met a girl from my native place down south. She had come to Bengal as a child. All her education was in Bengali, her tastes were Bengali. She sang Bengali. I married her after I finished my studies five years later. Luckily I was posted in Calcutta. She taught me Bengali bhajans. Finally she put me deep in Chaitanya and Ramakrushna lore. She would read passages from lives of these two Avatara Purushas of Bengal. We shared our interest for 52 years. It is a blessing to read in original words of great saints in their original dialect.
On the 6th June, H.H.Srimad Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji of Sri Kashi Math Samasthan, camping in Bangalore, announced that the newly built Kashi Math branch of Sri Badrinath, would be inaugurated on 19th June. His Holiness extended an invitation to all to attend the function. I decided to attend this historical programme with a few of my friends. From Bangalore we went to Delhi and from there to Haridwar. We left Haridwar early morning on the 17th June by 4:30 AM on our way to Sri Badrinath. Our Swamiji was camping at Kali Kamblivala Ashram in Rudraprayag, which is 163 km away from Haridwar. We reached Rudraprayag at about 9:30 AM passing through picturesque hilly territories of Rishikesh,Deo Prayag and Srinagar. Rudra Prayag is at an altitude of 610 mtrs at the confluence of the river Mandakini flowing from Kedarnath and Alakananda from Badrinath.
Preparations are on to celebrate the silver jubilee function of Vedavyasa Mandir at Haridwar from 18th to 22nd March 2013. The Mandir and the complex was established by H.H.Srimad Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji, Mathadipathi of Samsthan Shri Kashi Math of Varanasi in 1988. This is an event to be celebrated not merely by the desciples of Shri Kashi Math, not even by all Gowda Saraswat Brahmins, but by the entire community of Sanathana Hindu Dharma in the country and elsewhere. Bhagavan Vedavyasa, an incarnation of the Supreme Lord is the author of Brahma Sutras, Puranas, Itihasa including the Mahabharatha (which incorporates the Bhagavad Gita) and other scriptures which are at the core of belief and faith held by our people. He is also one of the principal diety of daily worship at the Kashi Math. Vedavyasa is therefore another name for the scriptural treasure of our country.
A report of the event which took place on 18th November 2005.
Rameshwaram, the island at the southern tip of the country, hallowed by the installation of the Holy Lingam of Lord Sri Mahadeva by non other than Lord Rama, which is now the principle deity in the magnificent Ramanath Temple, is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage for all denominations of Hindus. It is one of the four holy Dhamas or spiritual pilgrimage centres, the other three being Badrinath in the North, Dwaraka in the West and Puri in the East. A branch of Sri Kashi Math had been established here when His Holiness Yadavendra Teertha Swamiji (H.H.Keshavendra Teertha Swamiji) was the Mathadipathi about 300 years ago. According to available records and legend, the math along with the Kodanda Rama shrine (inside the main Rameshwaram temple) was built through the efforts of one Kalinga Prabhu, a Gauda Sarawat Brahmin of Kochi who was serving as a naval officer with the Dutch, at that time. The math is located just outside the West Tower entrance of the main Ramanath temple on Nadu Theru Street. Due to ravages of time, both the Kodanda Rama shrine with the deities of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana , situated within the main temple complex, as well the Math situated ourside on Nadu Theru, became dilapidated. The shrine was renovated on 19 March 1937 by Srimad Sukrathindra Teertha Swamiji. The Math building outside however continued for much longer period in a dilapidated condition and it is only recently that a decision to pull down the old structure and build a new Math building on the same site was taken.