(75) THE GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS
9th September, 1946
In yesterday’s letter, I wrote to you in general about the Golden Jubilee festivities. I am writing to you in this letter a summary of all that was done on that day from 7 a.m. to 7-15 p.m.
The morning programme began at 7-15 a.m. with Uma and other punyasthrees (married ladies) bringing a milk pot, singing bhajans and placing the pot at the feet of Bhagavan.
After that, several devotees read essays, songs and verses written by them in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kanarese, English and Urdu. This stotra (praise of the Lord) continued with short intervals till about 2 p.m. There were musical concerts by Budalur Krishnamurthy Sastry from 8-30 to 9-30 a.m., rest from 9-45 to 10-00, puja and arati in Mathrubhuteswara Temple from 10-15. At 11 o’clock inmates of the Ashram brought prasadam from Arunachala Temple and placed it before Bhagavan with great devotion. Then there was rest from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
Devotees requested Bhagavan to take rest as usual till 2 p.m., but would he agree? No sooner had he taken his food, he sat on his sofa as usual. As a number of people had come long distances for his darshan and it was possible they might go away disappointed for want of time, he did not mind his bodily discomfort and out of his abundant love and grace he began giving them darshan without taking his usual rest.
Many people went home thinking that there would not be Bhagavan’s darshan till 2 p.m. When after food I came there, Bhagavan was already sitting on the sofa in the shed, in his resplendent glory, surrounded by all the devotees.
The stotras were being recited one after another. You cannot compare this great Sage with any emperor or god.
That is so because if you go for the darshan of an emperor there will be many impediments, and recommendations are required from many people. As for darshan of the gods, if you go to Vaikuntam, Jaya and Vijaya will be there at the gate and will say that it is not the proper time and ask you to go away. If you go to Kailasa the same thing is done by the pramathaganas (the servants of Siva). Here it is different; there is only one rule. No one should be obstructed from having darshan at any time --- even animals and birds. Who is there equal to this great personification of kindness! He alone is equal to Himself.
In the afternoon from 2 o’clock onwards, people assembled there occupying every inch of space. The volunteers were silently arranging to seat them all comfortably. The Jubilee Hall presented the appearance of the durbar hall of an emperor. At 2 o’clock the Jubilee Souvenir was presented, and after that the brahmin pandits came there with Purna Kumbha (a vessel full of water) reciting Vedas, and thereafter there was the reading of an essay from the Hindi Prachar Sabha. The loud speaker was then installed and addresses were presented in Telugu on behalf of the Arya Vysya Samajam and in Tamil on behalf of Muniswamy Chetty Brothers. After that the lectures began.
The Chairman of the meeting was Sri C. S. Kuppuswami Iyer, a Judge of the Madras High Court. After his opening address in English an essay written by Sir S. Radhakrishnan was read out by Sri T. K. Doraiswamy Iyer. That essay was received just then by post.
After that Swami Rajeswarananda and Dr. T.M.P.Mahadevan spoke in English, Justice Chandrasekhara Iyer spoke in Telugu, M. S. Chellam and Omandur Ramaswami Reddiar, (subsequently he became the Chief Minister of Madras State) in Tamil and K. K. Iravatham Iyer in Malayalam, R. S. Venkatarama Sastry read some prayer slokas and lectured in Sanskrit. Kunjuswami sang some songs. The purport of all those speeches is worth recording but how do I know all those languages to record them? By the time the concluding remarks of the Chairman were made, it was 4-45 p.m. During the period, the Indian Information Bureau representatives took a number of photos with a view to prepare a film of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. And then there was a quarter of an hour’s rest. At 5 p.m. there was a lecture of thanksgiving on behalf of the residents of Tiruvannamalai by Annamalai Pillai, after that a musical concert by Musiri Subrahmania Iyer, then Veda Parayana.
The proceedings came to a close by 7-15 p.m. Before that, at about 6 p.m., the mahout brought the temple elephant fully decorated and made it prostrate before Bhagavan. That elephant is usually kept at the Thousand Pillars Mandapam and it was within that Mandapam in an underground cave that Bhagavan resided during the early days in Arunachaleswara Temple. It was therefore quite appropriate that the elephant staying in that Mandapam should make obeisance to the emperor of that Mandapam.
You may ask what sandesam (message) Bhagavan gave to all those people who came and prostrated before him and prayed for his help and guidance. I wrote a verse in Telugu on that occasion meaning: “He is there as an observer, seeing everything but unaffected, without any gunas (attributes) and as the embodiment of pranava.” In the same manner, he was there without any movement, absorbed in his own Self, seeing and hearing everything but silent all through. That is the great and invaluable message he gave us. The grace and the kindness that shine from those eyes pierce through the hearts of all living beings and protect them by giving them the bliss of shanti (peace). The brilliant tejas (light) of the Mouna Bhaskara (Silent Sun) spreads on all sides, destroys the darkness of ignorance, but that Mouna which is beyond mind and speech --- how could that be broadcast?