Thursday, July 16, 2009

B.V Narsimha Swami Ji -Chapter 4.

Share Author: Manisha.Rautela.Bisht on 8:00 AM
Dear all ,
Happy Thursday and Happy Baba's day to all

In continuation with biography of Pujya Shri B.V Narsimha Swamiji ,today I am uploading the 4th chapter which gives detail about his career and public life days .Readers who have missed earlier parts of biography can read by clicking on the links which are given below here at the end of post .Jai Sai Ram .


Narasimha Iyer straightaway joined the Bar and began to practice at Salem from 1895. The rare legal acumen and persuasive eloquence he showed in conducting his cases brought Narasimha Iyer phenomenal success at the bar, large clientele, pincely income and powerful influence. Very soon he became one of the leaders of the Bar.

As an advocate, Narasimha Iyer was very calm while presenting his case and arguments in court. But he would not hesitate to needle and irritate the lawyer on the other side to make him lose his trend of thought.

By nature and temperament, he was always sympathetic to the masses. Considering the high cost of litigation and the ruin it brought in the end to both the parties, Narasimha Iyer used to conduct a ‘Panchayat court’ in his house, allowed the lawyers to put up the respective cases of the parties and dealt out justice cheaply and agreeably to both the parties.

At the bar, Narasimha Iyer had a good company. Among his prominent contemporaries as members of the Bar at Salem were, Sri C. Rajagopalachari, who later on became the last Governor General of India, Sri Sundaram Chetty, who later on became a Judge of the Madras High court, Sri Vijayaraghavachari, who later on presided over the All- India Congress session at Nagpur in 1920 and Sri Muthukrishna Iyer, a Bar-at-Law and a freedom fighter.

(Pujya Shri B.V Narsimha Swamiji with Baba's photo in his hand.)

Not content with acquiring fame and amassing wealth as a lawyer, Narasimha Iyer interested himself in all the public activities and movements of the day. As elsewhere, so in politics, his involvement brought him to a position of importance and leadership seemed to come to him naturally. In 1902, he was elected as a member of the Salem Municipal Council. He was also elected as a Director of the Salem Co-operative Bank.

Salem wanted an efficient administrator. The integrity, unassuming simplicity and helpful nature of Narasimha Iyer won for him the esteem and regard of the public. In 1904 he was called upon to serve the Salem Municipality as its Chairman. He held this position for a record seventeen years and earned immense popularity. Concurrently he was also elected as the Chairman of the Salem Co-Operative Bank.

Narasimha Iyer became an active member of the Literary Society where he used to play tennis and billiards. However, on the stroke of six every evening, he would stop playing and go home saying, “the honest man’s hour has come, I must go”. Friends, who were intrigued at this, later found out that the ‘honest man’ went home at that hours regularly to perform his evening pooja and offer prayers.

In politics he was an admirer and follower of the firebrand leader, Sri Bala Gangadhar Tilak, and was considered an extremist. This made him very popular and in 1914, he was elected to represent the districts-Salem, Coimbatore and Nilgiris in the Madras Legislative Council. He was also elected to the new Council established under the Montague-Chemsford reforms. He continued to be a member of the Legislative council till 1920 and, as a member of the Indian National Congress, he vigorously presented the national view point on all issues that came up for consideration before the Council.

In the days before the Montague-Chemsford reforms, the Governor of Madras would preside over the Council. On one occasion, Narasimha Iyer addressed the council in Tamil and this perplexed the Governor and other members.

It was Narasimha Iyer who started the much-talked-of mass contact. As a rule, in the olden days, those who entered the Legislature did not submit to democratic control. However Narasimha Iyer, after every session of the Council, would inform his constituents of all that took place in the Council and his own part therein. Others follow this example now.

He used to visit Madras for attending the Legislature sessions and he became a prominent figure in the public life of Madras also. He was frequently invited to deliver lectures on current problems and invariably they drew large attendance. He was well known for presenting his points briefly and clearly in a pleasing style and the quotations from English literature and Sanskrit words.

Narasimha Iyer had an extraordinary knowledge of men and things. In fact, for a long time after he set up law practice, he was an examiner for the Madras University in Roman History and Greek History. It was rare that one combined in oneself so much knowledge and saintly traits.

As he gained his popularity in public life, his family had also grown. Narasimha Iyer and Seethalakshmi had five children-eldest son Venkataraman followed by daughters Rajalakshmi and Saradambal, second son Jayaraman and the youngest daughter Savithri. By 1916, Venkataraman, Rajalakshmi and Saradambal were married and only the younger two- Jayaraman and Savithri were with the parents.

It may be mentioned in passing, that while living in Salem in the midst of his busy professional and public engagements, Narasimha Iyer found time to perform ‘Sandhya’ three times a day, Tulsi pooja regularly, daily recitation of Sahasranamas, Go-Pooja on Fridays and also to visit periodically Sorakkai Swamiji, a mystic who lived near Kalahasthi and the Jagadguru Sankarachary of Sringeri. He also used to lead bhajan singers on every Saturday evenings at Sri Lakshminarayan temple near his residence by singing the Brindavan kirtanas composed by him.

By 1915 he had reached the peak of his power, popularity and wealth.
He had built a big bungalow in Sivaswamipuram ext., of Salem. His bungalow was one of the very few in Salem, which had electricity. With all facilities like car, bungalow, servants etc. Narasimha Iyer led a princely life. Right through he pursued a policy of service and sacrifice. To him politics did not mean the gateway to a career or profession. Others who worked with him blossomed in free India as Ministers, Governors, Ambassadors or Chairman of Commissions carrying perquisites and profits.

By 1915, Dr. Annie Besant had organized the Home Rule League to agitate for the freedom of India from the British administration. Narasimha Iyer worked with her going round the Madras Presidency on lecture tours. Madras presidency was then far bigger in size than the present Tamil Nadu. Narasimha Iyer was our first national leader to conceive the idea of mass contact and visit the rural areas and create mass political awakening. The Congress Working Committee to cover the entire nation later on adopted this.

Meanwhile, the First World War was going on. E.S. Montague was the secretary of State for India and Lord Chemsford wa the Viceroy of India. These two persons had worked out the famous Montague Chemsford reforms for India to be implemented after the war was over. The war-torn public of England were preparing for an election in 1917 to get a Government that would bring the war to a close. Our national leaders hoped to persuade the Liberals who were contesting the General Elections in England to make granting of political independence to India as an election issue of their party. It was felt that only those who had wisdom and experience in our national work could by their eloquent pleading, create a favourable impression among the Liberals, on our behalf. In our order to work out their plan in England, a delegation of three members comprising Narasimha Iyer, George Joseph and Manjeri Rama Iyer was constituted. This delegation sailed by the Cape route to avoid observation at the Suez Canal. The British was cabinet got scent of their move and, being aware if their capacity to influence British Public opinion, had them arrested at Gibraltar and deported them back to India after fifteen days detention.

In 1920, Narasimha Iyer was re-elected to the Legislative Council, but resigned in pursuance of the Non-Co-operation Movement started by Mahatma Gandhi.

With all these political activites, Narasimha Iyer was also engaged in carrying out extensive repairs to the Laskhminarayan Temple at Salem and building an extension to the temple.

An epidemic of plague struck the world in 1917 and over forty lakh people died. Narasimha Iyer’s mother was the firs casualty to this epidemic of Plague at Salem. Deeply struck by the mother’s death, within a few months, Narasimha Iyer had to face another bereavement. In the early 1918, his father Venkatagiri Iyer breathes his last due to and attack of Cholera.

Narasimha Iyer took theses bereavements in his stride and continued to engage himself fully in his political, social and religious activities. To be Continued......

Chapters Posted:
  1. Introduction.
  2. Early Life.
  3. Childhood in Salem.
To read in Tamil click here.

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~श्री सच्चिदानंद सदगुरू श्री साईनाथ महाराज की जय~ श्री साई बाबा के ग्यारह वचन : १.जो शिरडी आएगा ,आपद दूर भगाएगा,२.चढ़े समाधी की सीढी पर ,पैर तले दुःख की पीढ़ी पर,३.त्याग शरीर चला जाऊंगा ,भक्त हेतु दौडा आऊंगा,४.मन में रखना द्रढ विश्वास, करे समाधी पुरी आस५.मुझे सदा ही जीवत जानो ,अनुभव करो सत्य पहचानो,,६.मेरी शरण आ खाली जाए, हो कोई तो मुझे बताये ७.जैसा भाव रहे जिस मनका, वैसा रूप हुआ मेरे मनका,,८.भार तुम्हारा मुझ पर होगा ,वचन न मेरा झूठा होगा ९ आ सहायता लो भरपूर, जो माँगा वो नही है दूर ,१०.मुझ में लीन वचन मन काया ,उसका ऋण न कभी चुकाया,११ .धन्य -धन्य व भक्त अनन्य ,मेरी शरण तज जिसे न अन्य~श्री सच्चिदानंद सदगुरू श्री साईनाथ महाराज की जय~
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Amidst all the worldly rituals I am performing,I do not dare to loose sight of my Sainath. He is the sole driving force, the guide and the Supreme master.

The strings of my life are in his hand,I am just a puppet at His Holy Feet.
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