One day, sometime during 1905-06, at about 10 in the morning, my grandfather’s brother was sitting at the veranda of our house, chatting with someone. At that time, a man came there, stood at a distance, and spoke in Telugu in a soft voice, “Right now, if I requested you for some food, would it be inconvenient?”
Ananda Coomaraswamy is one of the little-known figures of India. Which is baffling because a vague estimate of his works runs into more than 15,000 pages. It is all the more baffling because his range of subjects is almost beyond belief and his grasp of their intricate nuances is staggering.
The scriptures declare "धर्मो विश्वस्य जगतः प्रतिष्ठा" (तैत्तिरीय-आरण्यकम् – IX-63). Dharma indeed is the foundation of the universe. Sri Vidyaranya saw that dharma, once firmly established, engenders establishment of all that is good. While dharma refers to cosmic order in the highest sense of the term, it is seen manifold in reality as conduct, practice, punishment and penance(अाचार,व्यवहार,दण्ड,प्रायश्चित्त). This should not be construed as a duplicity or flaw in dharma.
In 1906 or 1907 Swami Abhedananda honored Bangalore by his visit. He was one of the direct disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. During his visit to the Unites States, Swami Vivekananda lit the lamp of Hinduism’s glory. He brought immense respect to our country in all corners of the Western world. Then he returned to India. It was Swami Abhedananda who continued Vivekananda’s work in the US and by his persistence succeeded in taking the mission forward. Was it surprising that people regarded the visit of such a great personality as a huge blessing?
As we have seen so far, Sri Vidyaranya’s contributions towards nation building, politics, jurisprudence, agriculture and commerce were in no small measure. However, what people remember to this day are his monumental and lasting contributions in the cultural arena.