Gopalopayanam is given by Ubhaya Vedantha Acharya Peetam every year commemorating the thirunakshathram of U.Ve. Sriman Gopalacharya Swamy. An award of Rs. One lakh cash along with a citation is given to a scholar in Sanskrit or Dravida Vedantham. This year it is given to Sri U.Ve. Sriman Sathaluri Gopalakrishnamacharya Swamy in Bhimavaram. He hails from Simhachalam. Satuluri Swamy is popularly known for his pravachans that instill devotion on Krushna and Acharyas. He speaks on Bhagavatham, Ramayana, Dravida Prabandhams and a variety of subjects though he is famous for Srimad Bhagavatha Sapthahams. So far he finished 108 Sapthahams and yet, continuing the same at different places.
For today’s Gopalopayanam, HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, HH Devanattha Jeeyar Swamiji, U. Ve.Kidambi Venkatacharya Swami, U. Ve Nepal Krishnamacharya Swami, Dr. Ranga Ramanuja Swami, Sri Gokaraju Gangaraju and many other pundits came for the felicitation of Sriman U. Ve Sathuluri Swami.
Ubhaya Vedantha Acharya Peetham, chaired by Sri U. Ve Sriman Ranga Ramanuja Swami, coordinated the whole program. Giving a brief on the significance of the award, he applauded Sriman Bhatt and his family for sponsoring some amount towards the citation. After lighting of the lamp, and chanting the Vedic manthras, Sriman Sathuluri Swami was honored.
Speaking on this occasion, Sathaluri Gopala Krishnamacharya Swamy expressed happiness on receiving the honor from the great acharya Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji. He expressed that Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji is no ordinary person but Lord Narayana Himself and to receive award from Swamiji was the greatest achievement. He said that the credit goes to acharyas who sculpted him thus and made him what he is today.
Kidambi Venkatacharya Swami spoke briefly giving his well wishes to Sathuluri Swami, and said that Bhimavaram has done a great fortune to have such a program conducted here.
Nepal Krishnamacharya Swami speaking eloquently expressed the need to preserve the history of such great acharya. He said “Gopalacharya swami left this world 19 years ago, and it’s high time to treasure his life history for educating the young about the greatness of Gopalacharya Swami. Gopalacharya Swami had his education under 3 gurus, the highly regarded scholar Mandasa Ramanujacharya Swami, Tuni Swami, and Simhagiri Swami. He spread the knowledge he accumulated thus educating all from all corners of the country and is revered highly by all great scholars.
Kasi Rangacharya in North, Varanasi, was highly respected and one of the most feared scholars. He too, became a disciple of Gopalacharya Swami and learned Bhagavad Vishayam. No doubt, he is the avathara of Lord Hayagriva himself, for his works show his proficiency and brilliant exposition on all the scriptures.
He used to sit for hours together, and teach disciples of all ages, unmindful of his frail health. His main purpose was to take the essence of our sampradaya to all. For that he taught and molded scholars who would take it to a common man’s reach.
After writing a book, he would show his manuscript to ordinary people, to ensure that they understood it, and then used to send the script for publication. Many learnt under his tutelage and Sathuluri Swami was one among them too who learnt Githa Bhashyam in a period of one month as he had to report back to Simhachalam Devasttanam. We are fortunate to assemble here and pay our obeisance to such great acharya ”
Devanatha Jeeyar Swami, speaking on this occasion, explained the importance of time and nature in a man’s life, which brings the grace of Lord through such learned scholars.
HH Chinna Jeeyar Swami succinctly spoke about the great qualities of Gopalacharya Swami, which should be emulated by one and all. Here is the summary of HH message—-
“Born in 1903, in the Jyestha star of the Pushya Month, Gopalacharya Swamy became a very close associate of HH Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji who was younger by 6 years. Their friendship was very unique, surprising and astounding. It is impossible not mention about one while talking about the other. They both are like two sides of one coin.
They both took up the cause of spreading the fragrance of Ramanuja Sampradaya all over at an early age of 21/27 years. While Gopalacharya Swamy was an expert in creating a piece, HH Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji was an expert in making sure it reached everyone. Their bondage and collective effort helped in achieving their goal which amazed even the greatest scholar of those times – Sriman P.B.Anangaracharya Swamy.
His life mission was to stand guard for Vedic Philosophy by way of teaching and preparing scholars in Vedantha, Prabandhas, Upanishads etc. He taught Vedantha to 8 Tridandi Jeeyars and many more scholars in Bharath. He got disciples in North, South and also from Nepal.
Sriman Gopalacharya’s wish was to constantly recollect the qualities of God and he lived his whole life studying scriptures, teaching students continuously and writing innumerable books for the benefit of truth seekers.
Sastras say that man has to face successes and difficulties equally. But It’s very tough to practise. However Gopalacharya Swamy was a perfect example on how to face both good and bad times equally. He was constantly suffering from asthama, piles, migraine, sarpi etc but they never stopped him from teaching students.
Gopalacharya Swamy’s Positive Thinking is another facet which we need to learn. He was a “Jna:na gani” “a mine of knowledge” who spent all his life from his 16th year to 93 years sharing his knowledge with one and all.
It is the effort of Gopalacharya Swamy and Pedda Jeeyar Swamy that women are able to chant Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, Ramayana , Bhagavad Githa and many other scriptures. Strengthening the principle of Bhagavad Ramanujacharya that “ALL ARE EQUAL BEFORE GOD”, Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji started a social revolution by building the first colony for Harijans in India in 1930s, conducting samuhika Lakshmi pujas by women etc., and Gopalacharya Swamy opened the door for learning scriptures to women. To implement it, he taught his 8 year old girl the whole Bhagavad Githa with meanings and purport and displayed the effort in front of many great learned pundits in one of the Vedic Sabhas in 1940s.
It was Gopalacharya Swamy and Sri Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji who showed to the world that social service and sampradaya are not different but go hand in hand. In fact, one needs to do service on the foundations of sampradaya which is now followed by Vikasa Tarangini.
Time – is the greatest wealth which lost can never be retained. Swamy never wasted even a single second. He always preached his students. He was very good in English. He used to say “Don’t waste time. Catch time with the forelocks”. Thus his life became a living example for many to learn and follow.
“Upa:yanam” means gift. Gopalopa:yanam first started with U.Ve. Sri Raghunatthacharya Swamy’s contribution 19 years ago. It is our duty to glorify our acharyas. Ramanuja Sahasrabdi, in 2017 is fast approaching. Let us join hands and tell the world about the greatness of Ramanujacharya. Let’s convey the information to one and all and invite them to join in this humble offering to our acharya.”
Sri Gangaraju revealed about the upcoming project in Vijayawada and expressed how in no time people enthusiastically came forward and owned the project. The organizers Sriman Raghu and his associates felicitated the vedic scholars who attended the program. The program concluded with Santhi Patanam by HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji.