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Brethren, our beloved W.Bro.Ganesa Iyer Subramaniam, affectionately called by
one and all as G.S is no more physically with us. In obedience to the mandate of
the Most High, whose goodness and power have no bounds and who of His unbounded
and infinite goodness was pleased to summon G.S, he after laying down his tools
had ascended the Celestial Lodge Above, entering without dread or apprehension,
on his onward journey alone, to that distant land, from where, no traveler can
return, leaving us behind, to moan his departure and creating a void, which is
irremediable. The name G.S conveys so
many things to so many people. A good, well behaved brilliant student, deeply
pious and religious person, intellectual, social worker, an erudite and
hardworking learned senior lawyer, Past Lions Governor, a devoted husband, a
dutiful father, a genuine friend and a sincere Freemason are some of the
attributes of that great name.
He left the mortal part for which he had no use, but the
good he had done during his life time, the reputation he had built up, the
services he had rendered to the poor, the needy and to the friends and brethren
and the amount of prayers and pious acts completed by him will always be
remembered, until time with us shall be no more and the same had earned him
sufficient merit (punyam) that will protect numerous generations of his
W.Bro.G.S was born on 16-2-1933, as the third child of the
illustrious Late Shri Ganesa Iyer, the then Leader of the Thanjavur Bar, an
advocate of great legal learning and erudition, who had attained the perfection
of persuasive advocacy and was an example of fairness and straightforwardness.
He was a giant in legal profession held in very high estimation by one and all.
Besides Law, he was also well learned in the sacred texts and most of the
religious literature. It is a rare phenomenon, that all those qualities were
deeply ingrained in all his sons. W.Bro. G.S besides imbibing all the learning
and noble qualities of his father had emulated him so well that in due time, he
himself became an acknowledged leader of the bar in Thanjavur, a rare privilege
acquired by very few.
It has to be mentioned at this stage, that W.Bro. G.S , so
are his brothers the Late lamented R.W.Bro.G.Ramaswami and W.Bro. G.Rajagopalan
are all the third generation lawyers, having become leaders of the bar and
Senior Counsel. Their grand father Late Shri. G.R.Kalyanasundaram Iyer was
practicing in Kumbakonam for a few years and later shifted to Thanjavur, wherein
he became the leader of the Bar.
W.Bro. G.S had his schooling in Veeraraghava High School
and Kalyanasundaram High School in Thanjavur and he graduated with B.Com
degree from St. Josephs’s College, Tiruchirappalli and later took his B.L
degree from the Madras Law College in 1955. He was enrolled as an advocate and
called to the Bar in 1956
He set up practice in Thanjavur and worked in the Office
of his father. His practice on the Civil side picked up in due course and he was
also appearing in numerous Civil Cases, Land Tenure and Estate and Inams
Abolition. Cases. He and W.Bro.V.Rajappa, an authority in Estate and Inams
Abolition had saved the lands of numerous brethren from being taken over by the
Government, some of whom were later elevated to the High Court. W.Bro. G.S after
attaining the status of the leader of the bar in Thanjavur, later shifted his
practice in 1978 to the High Court in Chennai, as well as in the Supreme Court,
wherein also, he built a lucrative practice. His clientele included many
political leaders, many industrial undertakings and banks, but consisted largely
of common men. He treated all of them on the Level and took as much care in
preparing the case of a poor man as he would do to the case of a multi
millionaire. In fact he gave out his best talents and legal acumen to the common
man and tenaciously fought their causes till the end. His legal acumen was
recognized by the High Court by nominating his as a Senior Counsel in 1985. He
was always surrounded by junior lawyers, to whom he gave considerable
encouragement and guidance. His legal learning was so vast and perfect, that
within few seconds, he was able to quote the relevant case law almost on any
branch of law. In fact, he was admired for his legal knowledge and acumen, that
he was characterized as the walking encyclopedia in law. Apart from law, he had
acquired immense knowledge on any matter that arose in the cases handled by him.
Whether it was Medicine, Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology or Civil or
Mechanical or Nautical Engineering or the Practices and Procedures of religious
institutions or on any topic under the sun required for the cases handled by
him, he acquired an expert’s knowledge within a short time. All that was
possible by sincere and hard work and application and he was encouraging all the
junior lawyers also to follow suit. His capacity for hard work and the hard work
turned out by him was phenomenal. In fact, he was a Karmayogi, who had
dedicated himself to his profession and never shirked from his responsibility of
discharging his duties, he owed to God, his neighbour, his clients, the State
and to himself.
As an individual, he was well learned in all the Sacred
Texts and never deviated from the prescriptions contained therein. The Sacred
Volumes, he had mastered and followed the teachings in them in his life. He was
the most law abiding citizen and his allegiance to our country was exemplary.
The practice of all the Masonic Virtues like Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude,
Justice, Universal Benevolence, Charity and Brotherhood made him an out standing
Freemason and a rare jewel of the Fraternity, in which he was initiated on
9-8-1969 in Lodge Cauvery (No.3848 E.C) and he was raised to the sublime degree
of M.M in the same Lodge on 21-2-1970. He joined Sri Brahadeeswara Lodge
(No.150) on 22-8-1970. He occupied all the active offices one after another and
was installed as the W.M of this Lodge in 1979. As there was enforcement of
Prohibition Law, in Tamilnadu State, he arranged the Installation Meeting at
Karaikkal, so that the brethren would not even innocently violate law. True to
the Masonic teachings, which he followed and observed even in his day to day
life, he was exemplary in conduct, courteous in manners, easy of address, but he
was always steady and firm in principles and never violated any of the Masonic
tenets. The most noteworthy about him was he always carved a niche in the hearts
of brethren and fellows following the tenet that “to reign sovereign in the
hearts and affections of people is far more gratifying to a generous and
benevolent mind than to rule over their lives and fortunes”. That pre eminence
was acquired and enjoyed him by the subjugation of all passions and prejudices.
In fact, it is common knowledge that the name G.S indicated that he was one to
whom the burdened heart could pour forth its sorrow, from whom the distressed
may seek relief and his heart was expanded by benevolence. His hand was always
guided by justice and the straight and undeviating line of conduct laid down for
our pursuit in the sacred Volumes.
The distinguishing characteristic of a Freemasons heart is
Charity and the same was abundantly followed by him and he channelised his
activities in this regard through Lionism of which he was elected as the
Governor of District 324-A, which post he filled with dignity and honour and
earned the appreciation and respect of all the Lions in this and neighbouring
Districts. He practiced, whatever he preached, which is rather rare nowadays. He
arranged for his wife to donate her eyes and in spite of protests of some of the
relatives, as soon as the doctor proclaimed her dead, he rang up the eye bank
and completed the donation, thereby restoring vision to an unfortunate person,
who had lost the eye sight. He had also donated his eyes, but due to some health
complications, the eye bank did not accept the donation.
As regards his social activities, he was always present,
wherever he was invited. He radiated happiness by his witty conversation. His
presence exuded mirth and happiness and that again is a Masonic requirement of
being happy and communicating happiness.
The Brotherly Love, he exhibited towards all the brethren
was proverbial and the relief he extended to distressed brethren and fellows was
appreciable. He had never hesitated to rush to the assistance and help of the
brethren in distress and problems, which earned him reciprocal brotherly love.
His was a virtuous and well regulated life, the like of which is difficult to
lead.. I am reminded of the Elegy to Ben Johnson. The relevant portion, which
applies to G.S is as follows.
‘tis your Virtue now I raise
virtue, like allay so gone
Throughout your form as, though
draw and conquer all men’s love….”
His numerous sterling qualities had endeared
him to one and all. In fact all his good qualities are so interwoven that it is
difficult now to serialize them according to precedence. I can not better depict
them all, but to borrow from Shakespeare.
“His life was
gentle and the elements
So mix’d in him
that Nature might stand up
And say to all the
world ‘This was a man”
Death had no terrors for him than the stain of falsehood
and dishonour. The amount of prayers and the study of the Sacred Volumes had
conditioned his mind and had helped him to think that death was only a
transition and as taught in Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita. He fully
understood the following enunciated in the Sacred Volume.
“ The embodied soul is eternal in existence indestructible
and infinite and that the material body alone is factually perishable” and
“Just as a man gives up old and worn out garments and
accepts new apparel,
in the same way the embodied soul gives up old and worn
out bodies and
verily accepts new bodies”.
“Him, the weapons cleave not; Him, the fire burns not; Him,
the waters wet not; Him, the wind dries not”.
His studies of the Sacred Texts had illumined his mind on
that most interesting of all human studies namely “Knowledge of yourself” and
he had a perfect understanding of that portion of the charge, wherein we are
told that “ even in this perishable frame, resides a vital and immortal
In fact, several times he had expressed his wish to leave
this world and consoling us that his soul would live and if the G.A.O.T.U grants
him the boon of stopping further births, he could be beneath the shadow of His
throne along with the saints and other blessed souls and none should sorrow over
his death. That reminds us of the teaching in the Holy Book
“ Knowing Him ( the Self) to be unmanifest, inconceivable
and unmodifiable, it is improper to mourn for Him”
The following poem also impresses the same teaching.
“ Do not stand at my grave and
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there. I did not die.”
Brethren, W.Bro. G.S had thus completed his earthly
existence fulfilling his obligations of Morality, Piety and Duty. He has become
a “ Living Stone” in that great edifice, a spiritual building, a great Temple
not built with human hands-eternal in Heaven and he will for ever live in our
Let us in unison pray to the Most High to grant him
everlasting Peace and Bliss.