Dr. Padma Subramanyam writes: “One may justifiably wonder as to what guidance a sanyasi can give with regard to the art of dance”. The counter query is: “ What subject has not received the attention in the omniscient mind of His Holiness.
There was a Sthapathi the master carpenter called Somasundaram Achari in Tamil Nadu. He could not read, write or make any formal speech. But he knew everthing about building chariots or rathas.

He had made a name for himself as a master craftsman by building chariots for about 25 temples, but he could not talk about the craft. He was invited to the Agama Shilpa Conference held in Tamilnadu in 1962. The conference in-charge was Sa Ganeshan. He had some knowledge of chariot making. With a view to obtain the benefit of the Achari’s tremendous knowledge about chariot building, the Paramacharya suggested to Sa.Ganeshan “You have a general idea of chariot-making. Based on your knowledge, keep questioning the Sthapathi on his work. He will be able to pass on all his knowledge about chariot building”.

As decided, Ganeshan kept asking very intelligent questions to the Sthapathi and the achari kept giving excellent answers. Indeed, during the session the subject so developed as to suggest the shape of a chariot. People who had come for the conference learnt a lot on this subject by just listening to Ganeshan-Achari’s Pariprasna. The conference agreed to present the Achari with a gold necklace and further, he was awarded the title “ratha chakravarthi”.

Narrated by : Shri B.M.N. MURTHY, Banglore.

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