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January - March 2023

Obituary – N. Ramachandran (14 Aug 1931 – 26 Dec 2022)

Periyava and Ramachandran

Shri N. Ramachandran was a magnetic, genial and extremely friendly personality, very close to the three Jagadgurus of Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam – Shri Mahaperiyaval, Shri Pudu Periyaval and Shri Bala Periyaval. He had a knack of making friends and helping people. He was known for being focused, humble and keen to serve. His enormous energy and networking helped him make many friends in many places. He was undaunted by setbacks or things that did not go right. Seniority or big titles never daunted him. He wore his achievements lightly. His demise leaves a void, which cannot be filled.

Shri Ramachandran did his schooling at Board High School, Tiruvarur and graduated in Maths Honors from St Joseph’s college, Tiruchi. He completed his engineering from MIT in Chennai in electronics. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was his junior by a year in MIT and they both would take active roles in theatre and both have featured in a few college plays. He participated in India’s freedom struggle very actively during the 1942 Quit India Movement and had met Mahatma Gandhi as well.

He served Overseas Communication Service (OCS – now known as VSNL) and worked on many prestigious assignments including traveling with Prime Minister on international tours. He retired as director in charge. Around late 1980 , Shri Ramachandran and Shri Krishnamurthy of Railways formed Sri Kamakshi Seva Samithi.

It was designed to render service for Shrimatham as directed by Sri Maha Periayaval. The first activity was Pidi Arisi Thittam. They would visit homes and collect Pidi Arisi (handful of rice) for distribution to Vaidikas It was very meticulously done; there was an enrollment form and card which would be updated monthly. When Shri Maha Periyaval stayed in Maharashtra, the responsibility of taking care of the Jagadguru and his retinue was given to Shri Kamakshi Seva Samithi. Every week-end Shri Ramachandran would travel to the place of camp of Maha Periyaval. The team would carry all the requirements needed for the camp by train. He would walk along with Shri Maha Periyaval during his camp and he always mentioned how difficult it was to keep pace with Shri Mahaperiyaval. The only way to stop was by reciting Totakashtakam. He used to narrate many such experiences with Maha Periyaval.

Shri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal conferred on him the title Dharma Raksha Mani in 2017. True to his style, he accepted the great honour with utter humility; only the family and his close friends knew about this.

After the demise of Shri Raghavan who started Dilip Magazine, Shri Ramachandran took the responsibility of being the Managing Editor and worked closely with the family of Shri Raghavan to ensure continuity of the magazine.

Shri Ramachandran was keeping indifferent health for the last few years. He is survived by a son, daughter and grand children. We pray for his attaining Sadgati. Om Shanti.