Astrologer, 95, "example to all greedy men"
Life Begins at 80 salutes an Indian astrologer and philanthropist, Sri
S A P Varadhan, who at 95 still lives a busy and varied life. One of his
admirers calls him "a good example to all greedy men of the world."
We first read about him in the Chennai Citizen which began: "S A P
Vardan is a 95-year-old young person. He has helped many people in his long
life. This great young man keeps only 25 per cent of his income for himself, and
donates the rest of it for noble causes. Vardan is an astrologer, and even in
this age he works without retirement."
The story drew this response from Samuel Selvakumar, to the Chennai online
website: "The Almighty Living God of the Universe shall definitely provide Mr. S
A P Varadhan a very very long life to be a double centurian. Let him be a good
example to all greedy men of the world. He is a Human Angel. I hope to get
Blessings from him."
Intrigued, we searched the Internet to find out more about this good man who
is little known outside his home country. The task was somewhat complicated, as
his name has various English spellings.
The earliest account of his activities we could find was in an unsigned
article on the website of Hindu Vivek Kendra:
This astrologer of Chennai, Tamilnadu, Bharat ...
has this unique practice: as soon as he reads a news item in the daily paper
about anyone who is honest, he sends a cheque for Rs.5,000 as gift to that
Two recent instances:
- A bank employee lost a bag containing cash of
Rs. one lakh in Tirupur. Shri. R. Murugesan, 30, driver and Shri.
K.Velan, 24, conductor of a mini bus, found the bag lying on Tirupur
Kumaran Road, when they drove that way on regular duty. They handed over
the bag intact to the police. The bank employee got back the cash bag
the next day from the police. Varadhan promptly gave Rs. 5,000 each to
Murugesan and Velan as gift when he read a report in DINAMANI, Tamil
daily, about their honest act. This was in October 2003.
- Shri. Nagarajan, a conservancy worker with the
Coimbatore Municipal Corporation, says he will be able to pay the fees
for his daughter Valarmathi's last semester out of the gift of Rs. 5,001
that he received from astrologer Varadhan in appreciation of his act of
honesty. While on duty, Nagarajan found a bundle containing ornaments
worth Rs. 60,000 in the dust bin. He duly handed it over to the
authorities. This was reported in DINAMANI in August 2003. Valarmathi is
doing her III B.Sc. Computer Science. Nagarajan has to work as a casual
labourer during off duty hours to earn more so that he could meet the
educational expenses of his daughter.
Next, we found this report in the online edition of The Hindu (India's
Award for RPF constable
CHENNAI: The Railway Board awarded a cash prize of
Rs. 4,000 on Thursday to a Railway Protection Force constable, B. Dhesi,
attached to the Central Railway Station.
A letter from the Board Chairman said the cash
prize was being given for exhibiting exemplary bravery in the rescue work at
Devanampattinam in Cuddalore on the day tsunami hit the east coast.
Mr. Dhesi went on leave to Cuddalore during
Christmas. He was at the beach, when the tragedy struck. He was able to save
a couple of people and took them to safety. Recognising his contribution,
the Cuddalore Collector, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, sent a letter of appreciation
to the then Chief Security Commissioner, RPF.
The nonagenarian astrologer, S.A.P. Varadhan, on
hearing about the act of Mr. Dhesi, rewarded him with a cash prize of Rs.
11,000 in February. — Staff Reporter
Finally, we found a photo showing Sri Varadhan presenting a cheque for one lakh rupees to the principal of a girls' high
school. [One lakh (100,000) rupees = $Aust3042, $US2296. The word Sri (sometimes
written as Shree or Shri) is a Sanskrit term of respect used as a title, like
mister in English.]
- Chennai was called Madras until 1996, and is still widely known by its
old name. With a population of six million, it's India's fourth largest city
and one of the 35 largest metropolitan areas in the world.