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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jewels of Triplicane ~ most erudite scholar Dr VV Ramanujam Swami

A photo taken during the recent Thiruther of Sri Varadhar at Thiruvallikkeni, and the seemingly ordinarily old man on the frame is no ordinary person !!

Thiruvallikkeni aka Triplicane is a famed land… yearsTriplicane was the seat of freedom struggle,  It is a place where religion, nationalistic fervour, patriotism, sports, education and the individual dignity have interspersed for the benefit of the State and the larger interests of the Nation.  The place acquired its name from the famed temple pond ‘Kairavini’ – the pond of lilies – thus becoming ‘Thiru Allik Keni’ – the pond consisting of lily flowers.  Our lives dwell around the Great Sri Parthasarathi Swami Thirukovil  which has existed for thousands of years.   There are also many famous people, many of  whom live a simple life – with even neighbours not (caring to) knowing much. 

At the famous divyadesam housing the Temple of Sri Parthasarathi, there are festivals throughout the year … in every purappadu, one can see large group of Thennacharya Srivaishnavaites rendering divyaprabandham, Vedas and doing service to Lord in many forms. Those who frequent Triplicane, for sure, could have seen this frail old man, who is 93+ - he walks measured steps, greets people and is so simple …… not many  of us know of his virtues, his wisdom and his achievements. 

In Feb 2005, I had posted one on him in Bliss – the newsletter of SYMA a brief on the ‘living legend’.   At SYMA, we deem it our responsibility to imbibe virtues in youth and inculcate in them good habits, thinking and action.  One easy way of doing this, is following footsteps of great people who have left indelible impressions.  Triplicane has got rich heritage and many great personalities have resided here.   I reminisce seeing him on a Jawa motorcycle in the 70s, days when Triplicane probably had  only a  dozen of motor bikes. This post would still  reveal only a very small portion of this reverred person-

Venkatapuram  Vurupattur  Srinivasachariar  Ramanuajan, better known as Dr VVR is 93+  now.  His steps are measured, comes to the temple regularly, cooks his own food, does all by himself,  talks little but has written so much.

He was born in the year 1920, had his school education at Hindu High School, did his graduation at Loyola and PG in Chemistry at Presidency College.  Those days, Post Graduates were few and far between .  His area of specialization was Inorganic Chemistry. He obtained Doctorate from the famous  Tulene University, Louisiana, New Orleans State in the year 1958 (probably only handful of Indians would have achieved this fame during that time). He has travelled widely, has visited England, Germany, France  besides USA.  He was honoured by the intellectual forum – Sigma Chi (USA)

He worked initially in Loyola college and then had a long and distinguished innings in the Chemistry Department of  Madras University. This scholar is equally at ease in Tamil, English, Sanskrit and Telegu.  He has written many books.  His name,  is probably  a household name to the  Research scholars of Chemistry  - his work “Inorganic Semi Micro Qualitative Analysis”, a lab manual  first published in 1965, is an unparalleled work in this field.  The no. of reprints  bear testimony to its usefulness to the research scholars churned out by the  Universities.

Besides his scholastic embellishments,  he has contributed lot to the Sri Vaishnava Sampradhayam.  He has been publishing the book “Yathiraja Pathuka” for over 3 decades  now.  “Yatheendra Pravana Prabhavam” a Purvacharya grantham was brought to print after a century of years, thanks to his unflinching efforts. He has been delivering discourses / Upanyasams on Granthas holding aloft the Thennacharya sampradhayam. His literary works include  : Commentary on Sri Vishnu Sahasramanam,Bhagavat Geetha Saram, commentary on Gadhyatrayam, Krishna Charithram   and many more.

His enthusiasm and the urge to impart his experience and learning to the next generation belies his age and one still wonders that we saw of him is only a tiny bit of his wonderful self.  SYMA takes special pride in the fact that this suave Professor was associated with us as noteworthy Judge  in some of the competitions  we conducted for the youth, in our nascent years. BLISS prays for his  long  and healthy life.

~ and Yours Truly takes pride and pleasure in knowing him …..

With very great regards to this kind gentleman whom rever most .. here are some photos taken by me on various occasions ..

S. Sampathkumar.

20th May 2014.

 Dr VVR at home
 Dr VVR waiting for goshti thodakkam
 Dr VVR speaking in the felicitation of 
Chevalier Navalpakkam Ramanuja Thathacharyar Swami
 Dr VVR & Advocate TSR -  U. Ve. Kovil Kandadai Chandamarutham Periyappangar Swami Sathabisheka Mahothsava Malar Release
Dr VVR felicitating Sri Sadajit -  Sri Elayavalli Sriraman Swami also seen.


  1. Awesome, this is so good to read and know. It felt great to know of his achievements starting way back in 1958. Thanks for the post.

  2. முனைவர் பட்டம் பெற்ற ,சர்வதேச புகழ் பெற்ற அறிவியலாளரான இந்த ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவ மஹானுபாவர் தள்ளாத வயதில் கோலூன்றி கண்ணாடி அணியாமல் அத்யாபக கோஷ்டியுடன் நின்று பெருமாளுக்கு சேவை செய்வதற்கு காத்து நிற்பதைப் பார்க்கும் போது திருமங்கையாழ்வார் 'தாயே ,தந்தையென்றும்'என திருவேங்கடவனுக்கருளிய பாசுரத்திற்கான வாழும் உதாரணமாகத் திகழ்கிறார் என எண்ணத்தோன்றும் .இம்மஹானுபவரின் திருவடித்தாமரைகளில் அடியேன் பஞ்சாங்க தெண்டன் சமர்ப்பிக்கிறேன் .

  3. Glad to note more about my wife's Grand Uncle...Thanks/Raghuraman