Our Indian heritage is punctuated by many a rare sage. Jagaduru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal, the 36th Jagadguru of the glorious and sacred Sri Sringeri Sarada Peetham, is one of the rarest of such rare jewels, characterised by staunch adherence to Dharma, fiery dispassion, unlimited compassion, absolute mastery over the Sastras and very practical handling of a variety of issues, without compromising on scriptural injunctions and stipulations. His Holiness had an unique opportunity of serving and learning from the Great Jeevan Muktha Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal from His young are of fifteen.
This book, aptly titled ‘Inspiring Saint’, depicts the chronological metamorphosis of a divine child on His teachings, rendered in His inimitable style in the form of small modules, very much in tune with the present day needs.
We are extremely fortunate to submit the second edition of this book at the Lotus Feet of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal on the holy occasion of His Vardhanthi Celebration. Our Namaskaras at His Lotus Feet.
This new edition also contains verses blessed by His Holiness and about the charitable activities and other improvements that took place in the Mutt under His blessings since the publication of the first edition. This book includes rare photographs of His Holiness and His Guru, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal.
We are sure that the readers will find the new edition very useful and utilize the same to uplift their spiritual life. We are thankful to Sri K.Suresh Chandar, the author, for his untiring efforts in getting the edition ready. Our thanks are due to Sri K.N.Venkatasubramanian who helped us greatly in the production of this edition.
Our thanks are also due to Sri N.Subramanian of Sudarsan Graphics and his staff for the excellent job done in a short time frame.
Adorned with an irresistibly-infective passion for Dharma, amazing Guru Bhakti, unshakeable faith in God, unbounded compassion, admirable leadership qualities, unmatched scholarship and an awe-inspiring oratory, His Holiness Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal, the Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sri Sringeri Sarada Peetham performs the greatest of miracles - reformation of even the most debased human heart.
The celebrated Tamil poet, Thiruvalluvar has said: "One can even succeed in counting the number of births and deaths that have taken place ever since the world came into existence, but none can ever succeed in his attempt to portray the glories of great souls". Sri Vidyaranya too has expressed a similar view in His "Shankara Digvijaya”.
“There have been many who attempted to expound the glow of Sri Shankara but were forced to give up their attempts after having written only half a verse. Some could not proceed beyond oven a quarter of a verse. The subject is so deep and profound. While the fact remains so, do l not, in attempting to do the same lining, look like a daring but a silly person trying to catch the moon”?
I was reminded of such facts when I desired to portray the magnificence of His Holiness. Thoughts such as, "Where is His Holiness, the personification of greatness, and where am I, the most insignificant creature with little knowledge and talents unjustifiably ambitious of attempting something impossible I" ran in my mind. At this juncture, an utterance of the renowned Siva Bhakta, Sri Manikka Vasagar came to my rescue. He has said in His Thiruvasagam, "Even to prostrate at the lotus feet of Lord Siva, we must be the recipients of His grace. If anyone is desirous of glorifying the Lord of the three worlds, he can do so only by the Grace of the Lord. Similarly, what else, but the grace of His Holiness, can enable one to think, speak or write of His unparalleled greatness? So, with utmost reverence and humility, I submitted at the lotus feet of His Holiness my prayer for His permission and divine grace for me to pen an account of at least an infinitesimal fraction of His immeasurable glory. Ii is a truism that for His Holiness who is ever established in Supreme Bliss, portrayals and glorifications, however true they may be, signify nothing. In spite of this, because of His being an embodiment of compassion, His Holiness considered and granted the wish of even this insignificant devotee of His.
I am deeply indebted to Sri V.R.Gowrishankar, Administrator, Sri Sringeri Math and Its properties, for his kindness in perusing the contents of this book, rectifying some errors and giving very useful suggestions for improvement. He graciously acceded to my request to pen a foreword. I cannot thank him enough.
Whatever is proper in this book is solely due to the grace of His Holiness and whatever is improper here is solely on account of my ignorance.
I offer my prostrations at the worshipful lotus feet of His Holiness, only due to whose grace I could begin, continue and complete this noble task.
I pray that His Holiness accept this book as a flower of devotion offered with utmost reverence at His sacred lotus feet.
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