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"DASOPADESAM" (The Ten Commandments)

by Paramacharya Maha Swamigal, JagadGuru Shri
Chandrasekarendra Saraswati

The Jayanti of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati was on June 2.
SRIDHAR-CHAAMA touch upon the Saint's philosophy and vision.

AN EMBODIMENT of simplicity, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati,
68th pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, adorned the Peetam for
87 years from February 1907, when he was just 13. He travelled
across the country mostly on foot, in keeping with the Math's
tradition, meeting people and showering his blessings. His erudition
and compassion endeared him to everyone, irrespective of class,
creed and nationality. His foremost vision was the preservation of the
Vedas, tradition and dharma.

Taking one meal a day and sleeping in makeshift rooms, cowsheds
and withered palanquins, he advocated simplicity and shunned
extravagance. His exposition of the Vedanta, our sastras, agamas,
puranas and epics appealed to scholars and laymen alike. They were
very simple in language but rich in appeal and content. He was a great
humanitarian, deep in his heart. He attained mahasamadhi in January
1994 at Kanchipuram.
The Acharya's ``Pidi Arisi Thittam" (handful of rice scheme) was
conceived with the poorest in mind. Every household was requested
to keep aside a handful of rice and a humble coin before starting the
day's cooking. Both the rice and the money were collected by a
volunteer agency. While the rice was to be cooked in temple
premises, offered as prasad to the deities first and then to the needy,
the money would serve a socio-religious cause.
The Paramacharya also listed 10 simple commandments
(Dasopadesam) and urged his followers to lead a purposeful and
wholesome life. This included going about doing one's duty with a
sense of social responsibility and god-consciousness, offering the
best of everything to God, unconditional love for everyone, practising
philanthropy, cultivating the ability to discriminate between good and
evil and looking upon assimilating wisdom not wealth as the goal of
life. Passion is the cause of birth and time is the cause of death. What
is created by passion is destroyed by time. If passion is strong, the
seed sprouts. If time comes, the tree dies. If there is no passion, there
is no production. If there is no time then there is no destruction, says
the Mahaswamigal. Therefore we have to conquer Kaala (Time) and
Kaama (passion). As his prayer to mankind, in an international
message in the form of a song, he urged that minds be won in a
friendly way. He wanted us to eschew war and jealousy. The
Mahaswamigal insisted that the cause of poverty and sorrow the
world over is want. Men of means should plan things in such a way
that their prosperity is shared willingly with the poor. In the absence
of desire, there is no sin and no misery.


Just a couple of incidents illustrate Paramacharya's greatness and
vision. Once communist leader P. Ramamurti's daughter, Dr. Ponni,
went to have a darshan of Mahaswamigal and he asked how she
charged her patients. She replied that she took money only from the
rich people and charged the poor for the medicine. The
Mahaswamigal suggested that she treated the poor absolutely free.
That stunned her, as even her father, a socialist, did not think on
those lines.
This happened in the Mahaswamigal's childhood. An old woman at
Tindivanam, selling snacks, approached Swaminathan and urged him
to buy some murukku. He wanted her to cut down the selling price
and she refused and left the scene, bitterly remarking, ``I don't mind if
you do not buy and certainly I don't welcome you with
poornakumbam to buy the my items."
``Mind your words patti," Mahaswamigal smilingly said. ``You are
going to receive me with poornakumbam some day." That day did
materialise after he became the head of the Kanchi Math and visited
The Mahaswamigal saw no threat to Hinduism so long as its
practitioners observed physical and mental discipline taught to them
by the scriptures. Hinduism has grown with devotion, meditation and
self-purification, not with propaganda, lure of money or threat of war.
"If we examine ourselves periodically with the aim of achieving
perfection, the world would follow us," he said.


Information provided by C.R. Kaushik, Texas, USA

1. One of our duties as human beings is to avail ourselves of
every opportunity to do good to others. The poor can serve
others by their loyal work to the country and the rich by their
wealth to help the poor. Those who are influential can use their
influence to better the condition of the lowly. That way we can
keep alive in our hearts a sense of social service.
2. Man by himself cannot create even a blade of grass. We will
be guilty of gross ingratitude if we do not offer first to God
what we eat or wear - only the best and choicest should be
offered to Him.
3. Life without love is a waste. Everyone should cultivate

"Prema" or love towards all human beings, bird and beast.
4. Wealth amassed by a person whose heart is closed to
charity, is generally dissipated by the inheritors: but the family
of philanthropists will always be blessed with happiness.
5. A person who has done a meritorious deed will lose the
resulting merit if he listens to the praise of others or himself
boasts of his deeds.
6. It will do no good to grieve over what has happened. If we
learn to discriminate between good and evil, that will guard us
from falling into the evil again.
7. We should utilize to good purpose, the days of our life-time.
We should engage ourselves in acts, which will contribute to
the welfare of others rather than to our selfish desires.
8. We should perform duties that have been prescribed for our
daily life and also be filled with devotion to God.
9. One attains one's goal by performance of one's duties.
10. Jnana is the only solvent of our troubles and sufferings.
Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara
H H. Shri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam

C.R. Kaushik a freelance writer belongs to a Sastriya family of
scholars and educationalists from Thanjavur District. The
author grew up in Chennai and had most of the early education
from the University of Madras and presently resides in Texas,
USA. Indian Art, Culture, Tradition, Hinduism, Temples,
Spirituality and Fine Arts are some of the authors favorite