Smt Ananthalakshmi Natarajan
Gurupaadadhooli Smt Ananthalakshmi Natarajan, known in short as Anantham, and addressed affectionately as ‘maataa‘ (=mother), has been working untiringly for spreading the knowledge of Sanskrit and our shastras since several decades. Smt.Ananthalaksmi Natarajan has done her post graduation in mathematics and is a retired teacher of Stella Maris High School, Vyalikaval, Bangalore. She represents a rare combination of sanskrit, shastras, vedic knowledge, music, mathematics, literature and general knowledge.
She hails from a very cultured and intellectual family. Her father, an astute mathematician, and her mother, a great Sanskrit pandit, have laid foundation for her present day status. She learnt carnatic music from Sri.Balaganesha Iyer for 15 years from the age of seven.
Her mother’s teacher, Sri.Vaidyanatha Sastrigal, was later the teacher of Sringeri acharya srimad Abhinava Vidyatheertha mahaswamigal. This teacher, under the guidance of sri sri sri Chandrashekara Bharathi swamigal of the Sringeri matham, became a sanyasi by the name Bhashya-swamigal. Encouraged by the above said acharyas and teachers, smt.Ananthalakshmi has been giving upanyasams from the age of ten. She is an ardent devotee of the Sringeri acharyas.
She gives religious discourses, conducts dance dramas, sanskrit dramas and various other activities. All these activities are aimed at spreading the messages of Bhagavadgeetha, educating one and all on the values and purposes of life as enunciated in the Hindu scriptures, and creating awareness about the richness of the sanskrit language and Indian culture. Till date, she has given more than 300 dance dramas, 150 sanskrit dance dramas and hundreds of upanyasams in various cities through the length and breadth of the country. She is very eager to teach children wherever she goes. In most places where she gives upanyasams, she has trained local children and made them perform dance-dramas.
Her main themes are Geetha-Govindam of Sri Jayadeva Mahakavi, the Krishna-leela-tarangini of Narayanateertha, the Bhagavadgeetha, Tiruppavai, Srimad Valmikiramayanam, Srimad Bhaagavatham, Naarayaneeyam, Bhaktavijayam, Vivekachoodamani and the Stothras of Sri Shankara Bhagavatpadaacharya. Her nritya-roopaka on Geethagovindam has attracted lot of attention and she has been hailed for the effort. She has also composed and presented short, educative sanskrit dramas on subjects like Ramayana, Bhagavata, Shankara-digvijaya, and topics related to dharma.
Geetha Govinda Samskrita Sangha (GGSS) is a non-profit organisation established by Smt. Ananthalakshmi Natarajan in 1976, with the blessings of the Jagadguru of Sringeri, with an aim to nurture and preserve samskrita and samskriti. For the past 40 years, GGSS has been conducting shloka and sanskrit classes for students of all age groups.
For the past 40 years, she has been the secretary of Hindu Samaya Maadar Manram, a satsang for ladies established under the guidance and blessings of Kanchi Shankaracharya swamigal. This organization is spreading the message of bhakti through group prayers, service to the needy, Geetha jnana yagna, Rukmini Kalyanam, Radha Kalyanam etc.
Being an ardent devotee of sri Jagannatha of Puri, she, with the co-operation of the devotees conducts Rathayaatraa of Lord Jagannatha at Vyalikaval, coinciding with the date of Rathayaatraa at Puri.
Being a voracious reader of various epics, she writes regularly for periodicals like Sudharma (the Sanskrit daily) and Shankara Krupa (the Kannada monthly). She has authored several books like Geetha-amrutha-mahima, Nayanmar santaru, Pavanapurapatimahimaa and Shivaleelarnava in Kannada and English. Her book in Kannada, giving meanings for all namas of Lalitasahasranama has been approved and blessed by the Jagadguru of Sringeri. Shaanmatam and Prabhavavybhavam are books of prayers compiled by her.
She is a very dedicated teacher, and one who practices before she preaches. Her impeccable character, strict adherence to the principles of sanatana dharma, and unshakeable devotion to gurus have inspired generations of students. She is as ready to teach varnamala to a kid beginning sanskrit, as she is to describe the profound philosophy of Viveka Choodamani.
Being the founder and managing trustee of Shri P.N.Ramachandra Iyer Trust, she has built a community hall named “Nanda Kishore Bhavan” at Vidyaranyapuram, Bangalore. This bhavan is being utilised by people from all walks of life to promote bharathiya samskriti and to undertake activities of Sanathana Dharma.
Smt Ananthalakshmi Natarajan has been awarded various titles by various organizations. Few of them are listed below –
Sri Kamakshi Mandali, Kumbakonam – ‘Geetha-Govinda-amrutha-varshini’
Sri Andavan Swamigal, Andavan Ashramam, Srirangam – ‘Vidushi’
Sri AanthakrishnaswamyTrust, Nagercoil – ‘Vagvishaaradaa’
Sri Melakkaveri Panchapakesha Sastigal, Kumbokonam – ‘Abhinava-Meeraa’
Sri Rama Bhajana Sabha, Bangalore – ‘Bhaagavatha-Shiromani’
Janaseva Bharathi Trust, Bangalore – ‘Shaaradaa Award forUpanyasam’
Rotary Club, Bangalore – Best Teacher Award
Lions Club, Bangalore – Best Teacher Award