Chenchi Tirumalai Nallan Chakravarthi Koothapakam Desikachariar swami
A fortnight back Sri V.S.Sundararajan and adiyen Vyjayanthi Sundararajan went to Koothapakam swami on North Utthira Street Srirangam requesting him to give a talk on daily anushtanams to be done and how to spend time usefully. Swami is ninety two years old and even two years back we have seen him do sashtang namaskarams during NamPerumal purappadu and Swami Desikan’s sravana purappadu on Utthira veedhis. Swami does not use his age to find short-cuts to anushtanams and does his trikala sandhya and Bhaghavadh Aradhana daily. He sleeps little and spends time in reading. Though his voice falters he eagerly recites the Vedas with interest.
This is a gist of what swami talked: Getting up early is the way to start a day well. Our first glance should fall on our open palms as Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Parvathi reside in our palms. Sighting elders, cows or gopurams is an auspicious way to start the day. Brushing of the teeth used to be done with twigs of the banyan tree or neem or mango tree along with a prayer for good health and long life and for a will to live in the path of dharma. The same twig was used as a tongue cleaner and gargling with clean water was done 16 times. Bath was usually done at Kaveri after due sankalpam or in well-water. After freshly washed and dried clothes were worn and dwadasa Tirumankaapu were worn Prartha Sandhya was done. Three arghyams are offered when sandhya vandanam is done before sunrise. Pradakshinam of a temple or a cow is done. After this Brahma yagyam is done while reciting the Purusha suktham. Listen to swami chant the purusha suktham, Narayana suktham and Vishnu suktham.
On our second visit to swami’s tirumaaligai we came to know about swami’s family details through swami and his daughter-in-law with added inputs from swami’s little grandson. Swami hails from the srigramam Koothapaakam which is near Chenchi. Swami’s maternal grandfather and maternal uncle belonged to Navalpaakam. After his upanayanam at the age of 13 swami started his studies at Tirupathi. After 9 years of studies in Tirupathi swami studied at Mannargudi patasala. At that time Paravakkotai swami was also a vidhyarthi there. Swami did kalakshepam under Ayya Devanatha Thathachariar. Swami studied Hindi and was appointed as a Hindi teacher in Anbil. After this he worked in a High school in Kulithalai. When the anti-Hindi agitation took place in Tamil-nadu Hindi teachers went jobless and swami was posted as a librarian in Tirumeyyam.
In 1984 swami served as an aradakar in the SriRama temple of Mudal Tirumaaligai Thathachariars sannidhi for SriRama inside the Srirangam temple. This sannidhi is behind Sesharayar mandapam. Swami lived in ashramam for sometime before moving to Mela Chitra veedhi opposite the vella gopuram . From here the family shifted to Sankara nagar.Swami has been residing in this Tirumaaligai in North Uthira street for the past 11 years. Listen to swami’s introduction to the achidra parayanam and his chanting of the same.
Videos of Day 1 & 2
Day : 2
Write up & Video : Vyjayanthi & Sundararajan