INDIA, May 24, 2023 (The Commune Mag): The date was June 3, 1947. Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, proposed a plan which had been finalized and India was to be reborn as a sovereign independent nation on August 15, 1947. History was being created and it needed to be symbolized by a historic event. So, Lord Mountbatten asked Jawaharlal Nehru what plans he had to mark the occasion. Nehru immediately turned to his trusted aide C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), a doyen of knowledge, to seek advice. Rajaji shared with him the ancient Tamil tradition of transfer of power. During the Chola era, the transfer of power was done by the Rajaguru (court high priest) who handed over the Sengol scepter symbolizing power and justice, from the old king to the new king. The Cholas held the Sengol and took an oath to uphold justice by swearing in the name of Lord Siva. Rajaji shared about this tradition to Nehru and suggested that a Sengol be made which the British would hand it over to the new Prime Minister through one of the Hindu priests. Nehru agreed and tasked Rajaji with the job of executing it.

Rajaji was an ardent follower of Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam, one of the oldest Hindu Saivite Mutts (monasteries), founded in the 16th century. It is situated in Mayiladuthurai, 51 miles away from Thanjavur the erstwhile capital of the Cholas. Rajaji immediately reached out to the 20th pontiff of the Mutt, Gurumahasannidanam Srilasri Ambalavana Desikar Swamigal. Swamigal graciously accepted the responsibility and the making of the Sengol was entrusted to Chennai-based Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers. The Sengol was crafted to be approximately 5 feet in length with intricate details and rich symbolism. The Nandi (bull) was positioned on top of the Sengol representing the concept of Nyaya, which signifies justice and fairness. Fifteen minutes before the clock struck midnight on August 15, 1947, the Sengol was sanctified with holy water and verses from Kolaru Padhigam of the Thirumurais (compilation of verses hailing Hindu God Siva) were chanted. As the last line, meaning those who chant this padhigam will rule the heavens was recited, the Swamigal gave the scepter to Pandit Nehru, completing the transfer of power.

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Here is is reported that Desika Swamigal, the head priest of Madhurai Aadheenam, will present the staff to the Prime Minister: