( Beginning & Concluding part of Kanchi Kamakoti Paramacharya's talk)
The complete text is in the linked file: Namo Namah
of you think of me as a saint and perform namaskara to me. I have also a great
yearning to perform namaskara to persons who are known to be real saints. But my
position as Jagatguru and Peetadhipathi, and the title of Bhagavatpada, which
have come and stuck to me at a young age, without any merit on my part for
deserving them, have deprived me from that young age itself, of the good fortune
of doing namaskara to saints, the great ones, moving about before our very eyes.
My receiving all your namaskaras, without my performing namaskaras to any
person, makes me think of my janma as empty and in vain."
Our Acharya (Adi Sankara) has done a great good in this regard. What is that? He has reminded that: "Sannyasis, like us, to whom you perform namaskaras, regarding them as saints, should never think that the namaskara belongs to us. It belongs only to the one Paramatma and Parasakthi which conducts and controls all the affairs of the jagat".
Concluding: "I have dwelt at length on the greatness and importance of Namaskara (Namaskara Mahatmyam). You may wonder why I chose this topic to talk on. One respectable person was referring with sadness to the steady decline among people in general in the qualities of humility and reverence, in vinaya bhava. I started thinking about it and possible antidote for it. I thought of placing before you the outcome of that contemplation. It seems that ever since loud voices have started being made about equality, freedom, self-respect and so on, decline in the wealth called vinaya started, leading us to ways of indiscipline and violence. Talking about "rights" and "rights", we are led into "fights". Viewed in the economic and social context, it is not as if that these new perceptions are without justification. I accept that without any objection. But everything must operate within limits. If the new approaches are actualised in practice within properly defined limits, things will be in their places, the present day condition of calls and other social conflicts will ease and conditions for peace, brotherhood and unity will be created. How to regulate, how to set limits in these matters? The only way is to increase the wealth of "vinaya" in the whole of society. Will economic wealth alone give fullness to life? Certainly not. We have to seek spiritual wealth and with the help of that, regulate the pursuit for economic wealth. Vinaya is the only route to spiritual wealth. How do you get vinaya? Impelled with the basic desire to seek vinaya, seeking the saints and doing namaskara to them is the only way. This kriya will help raise, from what is already "basic" (latent, dormant, underlying) in us, a visible edifice. The timeless and enduring living tradition of this country has the power to convert and soften the most stubborn conceit and self-arrogation. If a little effort is forthcoming, in course of time, desirable changes in mentality will be felt.
Spiritual advancement had been the main goal of life in this country. Stricken by the disease of "ahankara", material advancement has come to be considered all that matters. I have talked about the only remedy that I know of. I considered it proper to place before you the remedy and the reasons why I think it is a remedy. That is why I elaborated on the subject. It seemed to me that, more than anybody else saying it, my saying it will have a deeper impact. When I say so, does it mean that I am trapped in my "ahankara"? No, that is not my meaning. It is because of people pursuing "seats of power" mindlessly that loud slogans are raised in the name of equality, freedom, self respect and the like, and this din has led to wars. In such a context, I thought that a person like me, whom fate (providence) has catapulted into a "seat above which there is no seat and to which there is no equal" and "who does not find fulfillment in the situation that he does not have to bow before anyone" letting it be known to the world of his acute sense of a lack due to denial of the opportunity or occasion to show (and therefore experience what it is to feel) respect and reverence, and therefore pining, "what a janma", may cause people to realise in their inner being the necessity and importance of "vinaya". That is why I said all this.
You have the namaskara bhagya, which I did not and cannot get. I pray to Narayana, saying "Namo Namah", that all of you may make full use of the namaskara bhagya, and receive the highest blessings in life. And I do namaskara to HIM. "