Inauguration of Adi Sankara Nilayam - a report by Tapovan Prasad
Eighteenth February 1990 will indeed be an auspicious and memorable day in the annals of the history of the Chinmaya Movement, for on this sacred day in the holy presence of our Pujya Gurudev the formal inauguration of ADI SANKARA NILAYAM took place.
The hallowed surroundings of Melpazhur Mana were made holier by the wafting clouds of sacred smoke emanating from the Homa Kunda (sacrificial pit where Agni is propitiated before the start of an auspicious event) where Surya Kalady Namboodiri had performed Ganapathy Homam, early that morning. The mystic sounds of Vedic chanting by Pundits and students of the Tantra Vidyapeeth added to the sacredness of this great day.
At the auspicious hour of 11.30 a.m in the benign presence of Pujya Gurudev, Swami Bodhananda, Swami Vedananda and distinguished guests and other invitees milling around the decorated pandal. As Shri. M.P.Veerendra Kumar, Managing Director of Mathrubhoomi, lit the traditional lamp, the Chinmaya International Foundation took birth in the holy aura of Melpazhur Mana, where Sri Adi Shankara is believed to have taken birth some 1200 years ago. Pujya Gurudev has now named this holy place as ADI SANKARA NILAYAM.
Earlier that morning three Jyothis (lit lamps), one from Coyalmannam representing our Param Poojya Swami Tapovan Maharaj, another from Kalady representing Bhagavan Adi Sankara and the third from Alwaye representing Sri Narayana Guru had accompanied Pujya Gurudev to Melpazhur Mana. At the Mana, Pujya Gurudev lit a fourth Jyothi from the lamps that had witnessed the Ganapathy Homam. From the sangam of these four jyothis, a single Jyothi was lit and it was with this sacred lamp that Shri Veerendra Kumar inaugurated the Foundation.
Shri K.M.Mathew, Managing Editor of Malayala Manorama, who presided over the inauguration, spoke about the glorious work of the Chinmaya Movement. Shri Veerendra Kumar, Shri P. Parameswaran, Director, Bharathiya Vichara Kendra and Shri Manian, Editor, Gnanabhoomi of Madras, lauded the work done by Pujya Gurudev and expressed the fond hope that as heirs to the spiritual heritage of the Jagadguru, the Chinmaya International Foundation would soon prove to be the beacon of light to humanity.
Pujya Gurudev in his address remarked that man used his mind and intellect to make great strides in material development but in his ignorance relied on them alone to achieve peace and happiness. But peace and happiness turned out to be an ever-eluding mirage. Swamiji reminded that man will not be happy or at peace so long as he remained at his mental and intellectual level. To save him from misery and pain he should be guided and helped to rise to a higher state of consciousness. He said that this is the main objective with which this International Foundation had been established. It is no doubt an expensive and challenging venture and for its success, the co-operation and support of everyone would be needed. At the spiritual level humanity is singular and in the Advaitic philosophy of Sri Sankara, there is no room for distinction of any kind among human beings. The benefits of the activities of this Foundation, Gurudev said, would reach all alike, and, therefore, it seeks the assistance from all, irrespective of caste, creed, denomination or religion.