“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” The quote by Herman Melville came true to me on my last visit to Bengaluru
Hari S Kartha
I had been to the garden city for delivering a discourse and the event organisers had arranged my accommodation in the home of an IT professional Shri Balraj. The hospitality rendered by him and his family is far beyond words. Though I had been to this city several times before, this visit became a very memorable one which I cherish. The reason is that during our leisure time, Balraj took me to and introduced a unique personality – Sadhu Rangarajan – who is the head of a
nearby Ashram. It has been a longtime since this elderly monastic took up his sainthood.
I was taken aback when I first saw this spartan in his Ashram. With his long beard and hair and a Kamandalu, he resembled Sri Guruji Golwalkar whom I had met during my student days. What was more surprising is that, during our conversation, he revealed that he was a long-time associate of Sri Guruji Golwalkar. He proclaimed that Guruji Golwalkar is his mentor and guide forever. Sadhu Rangarajan is also the founder and director of the research institution – ‘Guruji, Golwalkar Hindu Resource Centre located in Bengaluru.
During his youth, Sadhu Rangarajan was a journalist/media professional who worked with the Indian Express, Hindustan Samachar and other
journals. The turning point in his life was his meeting and association with Swami Chinmayananda and Sri Guruji, which inspired him to dedicate his life for the cause of serving Sanatana Dharma. The relentless journey which he started during the Emergency Period by mobilising the youth is still
continuing strongly even after four decades. He spearheaded in coordinating youth and inspiring them to action when many were reluctant to come out against the Emergency. This youth wing grew into Sister Nivedita Academy with the blessings of socialist leader Acharya Kripalani. Many books and articles on patriotism and Nationalism are
published by Nivedita Academy under the leadership of Sadhu Rangarajan.
Born in Kerala, Sadhu had his college education at Ernakulam. Swami Chinmayananda is his Siksha Guru and he received his initiation from Yogi Ramsuratkumar. He has travelled to many foreign countries to spread the essence of Hindu Dharma and he is a regular visitor to South Africa where he gives discourses almost every year. After listening to Sadhu Rangarajan during a foreign tour, Swami Chidananda, the President of Divine Life Society, said, “You all know, ‘Brahmaveita brahmaiva bhavat’ – ‘Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman’, and you also know: ‘As a man thinketh so he becometh’. If we constantly meditate upon a thought or a person, we eventually become that power or that person.” I was reminded of this while conversing with Sadhu Rangarajan. May be his constant
association with Sri Guruji Golwalkar resulted in this close resemblance of physical features too. The only difference I could point out in the facial features of Sadhu was the long Gopi mark on his forehead. He chose the name of his Ashram in Krishnarajapuram, Bengaluru as – Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram. A temple for Bharata Mata has also been set up by the side of the Ashram. Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji, Head of Udupi Pejawar Mutt, performed the consecration of the temple. The
temple has been opened for rites and
rituals for more than twelve years now. There is a Maha Meru Gopura with Panchaloha Kalasha constructed on top of the Sanctum Sanctorum of the
temple. Twenty five years ago, Sadhu commenced “World Movement for Ramanama” to spread the divinity of Ramanama chanting. A quarterly
magazine called Tattva Darsana is also being published by the Ashram
regularly. Sadhu Rangarajan has authored a comprehensive work –The Saga of Patriotism —comprising the biographies of great patriotic leaders like Subramania Bharati, Bhagini Nivedita, Veer Savarkar, Maharishi Aurobindo, Netaji Subash ChadraBose, Dr KB Hedgewar, and Rash Bihari Bose. An exhaustive library with rare and invaluable books is organised at the Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram. Convenient arrangements are made for those who reside and do research work staying in the Ashram. Keeping away from the hustle and bustle of the IT city, Sadhu Rangaraj and the serene Ashram environment provide a unique divine experience.
TN Kumaraswamy Foundation of Chennai, conferred on Sadhu Prof V Rangarajan, a “Life-time Achievement Award” and title of “Acharya” on the occasion of the 108th birthday celebrations of Sri TN Kumaraswami at Chennai on Sunday, February 28, 2016.
(Originally published in Kersari Malayalam Weekly. Translated by