I was once asked about who was my inspiration to keep writing to my blog. I had no answer then except the name of Lord Shiva that echoed in my head. The thought remained in my mind for a while, about those who I would like to follow blindly as examples of perfection in my life.
Two names struck me at a shot, both of whom were a perfectionist when it came to self expression of their love to the Lord and towards their Guru. A Guru that even I admire and respect deeply within my heart but I am not really sure whether I made it to His list of favorite children. A simple man, who commanded respect as well as kept alive this fantastic faith that is slowly dying its natural death thanks to the “modern” questions we pose to try and understand something quite out of reach through reason and beyond probably even metaphysics. The then Mahaperivar of Kanchipuram was an epitome of divinity and peace, a human nature we have somewhere quite given up to even try and attain.
I have come to admiring two of his favorite children and yes, they have set me an example of at least hoping to make it to His list. To be a favorite child of Kanchi Mahaperivar Chandrashekhar Swamigal mean pure devotion, complete surrender, love and adoration for the Lord and maybe orthodoxy too. I have not made it too well in any of these areas, but the Mahaperivar is always there deep down to guide me when I lose my way. He has been the fire to perform for both His favorite children.
One of His children did it through her music. She is probably the only person who brought soul into Carnatic music and gave it the additional touch of devotion that overpowered technique, for when one listens to her song, there is so much life and humility that you can almost hear the Lord wake up to her notes. And what is music without soul? What is music without devotion? M. S. Subhalakshmi makes the heart melt to the Lord when she dives into her ocean of music and takes our souls with her.
Another of Mahaperivar’s favorite children is a unique man. A person I would call India’s unknown Michaelangelo. I had the opportunity to visit his house and come across his works of perfection. And perfection simply seems to be an understatement. What lay around me was not raw talent or patience of practice of expression. What lay in front of my eyes was just one original picture that made my heart skip a beat, and transform my world to feel miserable and small in front of such a great man. Artist Shilpi as he is known was an illustrator for the Ananda Vighatan(Tamil magazine), who gave up his illustrative career to be blessed by the Mahaperivar of Kanchipuram, Sri Chandrasekhar Swamigal, to begin painting deities within temples across the country. I do not have words to express the beauty he has captured in every deity of the North and South of India.
There is something more that is common to these two people, and that is purity in their minds and detachment to the world and complete surrender to the Lord when they performed. We need to realize that music is found everywhere but that with devotion which can melt your heart and make you emotionally breakdown in front of the Lord are few. The same with visual art, talent is plenty but that which religiously follows one goal and is perseverant to bring the Lord to your home are few to find. And of course that additional something, that makes the heart look within itself, searching furiously for the promised Lord hiding within ourselves. These people are inspirations, to the material world of people that we are missing something far more fundamental in our lives and that is a spiritual high that is rare to find but needs to be patiently worked upon.
Having said this, here is a league of people, who have walked the same earth we have, during our times and are definitely not mythological and have no tales to make us believe they were supernatural. They all lived next door, around us, and lived a life that was once celebrated on Indian soils. I can only hope Mahaperivar blesses me as I seek inspiration from His favorite children, that the very Incarnate of Lord Shiva teaches me as I move on. I am indeed blessed to have set eyes on this divine incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Sharanam Prabhadyey