SADGURU APPAIAH SWAMI – A SPIRITUAL TEACHER AND INSTITUTION BUILDER
By P.T. Bopanna
Sadguru Appaiah Swami (Palanganda), founder of Kaveri Ashrama in Virajpet, Kodagu district, inspired a generation of Kodavas (Coorgs) with his spiritual discourses. Appaiah Swami (in picture) had committed followers, both Kodava men and women, who were involved in running hostels at Virajpet, where thousands of Kodava children stayed as boarders over the years.
Kaveri Ashrama was in the news recently when the present head of the Ashrama, Vivekananda Sharana Swami, the son of Sadguru Appaiah Swami celebrated his birth centenary. The junior swami, won the hearts of people with his simple living and spiritual talks.
I used to call on the junior swami whenever I visited Virajpet town and handed over my books. Our conversations used to be amiable, though we held different points of view – Swami was a Vedic scholar, whereas I was a rationalist.
The Ashrama is an iconic institution of Kodavas with a record of service to the community. There have been speculation on the future of the Ashrama, its assets and the school being run by the organisation, in the wake of the aging swami not in a position to shoulder the responsibility.
Well-meaning Kodavas should take up the initiative to restore the Ashrama activities to benefit the community.