This is an illustrative anecdote about His Holiness Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal, the 34th Pontiff of Sringeri Sharada Peetham
“On one occasion a disciple entered a room where His Holiness was seated alone. His Holiness signed him to sit down and remained silent for about 20 minutes. The disciple enjoyed an indescribable peace and exaltation during that time. The disciple then thought he saw His Holiness smile and looked up. Immediately, His Holiness asked, “Shall I tell you (why I smiled)?” The disciple naturally replied: “If Your Holiness is so pleased”. Then His Holiness said: “I was in perfect peace when a thought disturbed it. I realized that you were sitting near me and perhaps expected me to speak. This led me to the further thought that if I had to meet your expectations I must speak. I recollected that “to speak” was a transitive verb requiring an object. I thought therefore that I must find an object, as otherwise there could be no speech. Then I recollected that all the objects in the universe come under either of two categories, the true and the false. The true is Brahman and the false is the world of form. Either of these two things must therefore be spoken of. But the Vedanta has declared in unmistakable terms that Brahman, the True, is beyond all speech and even all thought. So Brahman as an object of speech was out of the question. There was thus only the world to be talked about. But regarding the world, the Vedanta was equally emphatic, that it was anirvachanIya or incapable of being explained in words. So the world also
seemed to be out of the question as a fit object of speech. There was no third entity available.”
“There was, therefore, no object fit to be the object of speech. For want of an object there could be no speech. When I came to this conclusion, I realized that I had come back only to wherefrom I started and that I need not have allowed these thoughts to disturb me.”
“The example of a cart-man who drove his cart during the night by by-paths to avoid the toll-gate, but found himself at break of dawn, just in front of it, suggested itself to Me. Evidently I smiled at Myself for all this waste of time of thought and you looked up.” After saying this His Holiness relapsed into silence.
Today, the 14th October, 2009, EkAdashi, is observed as the Jayanti of the Mahaswamigal. He was a Jivanmukta, a great scholar in Tarka and Vedanta. He wrote a commentary to Shankaracharya’s Vivekachudamani. A number of hymns on various deities of the Sanatana Dharma have been composed by Him. Innumerable people came under His divine grace and were benefitted variously by His compassionate guidance. Even to this day His benevolence is sought and received by devotees and seekers.
Humble Pranams at His Holy Feet.
Listen to a talk ‘The Value of Silence’ delivered by Pujya Swami Paramarthananda ji on the New Year’s Day 2010: