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The Chakravarti Family

Rajaji's real name was Chakravarti Rajagopalachari. People affectionately called him Rajaji.

How the family got the name of Chakravarti is an interesting story. In Sanskrit, 'Chakravarti' means the King of Kings. Once when an ancestor of Rajaji was bathing in the river near their village, he saw a dead body come floating down the river. Fearing that if left so to float, vultures would only eat up the body, he pulled it out of the river and cremated it. But later, it became known that the dead body was that of a Harijan, considered by Hindus as an outcast. Hence the Brahmins of the village expelled him. One day he had to perform an annual ceremony in memory of a dead ancestor. Such days are very sacred to Brahmins. But no Brahmins would agree to go to his house and partake of the ritualistic meal. Rajaji's ancestor was in great grief and anguish. Just then a person came along and said he was a Brahmin; he said he would perform the worship in that house and partake of the meal. As he was about to leave, he blessed the householder saying "Nallan Chakravarti" meaning a good Emperor. Then he vanished. The people who were they’re thought he was no ordinary mortal, but a super human being. From then on this family got the name of Chakravarti family. So goes the story.

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