“YAM UNNIDI MEESHADHI THAM SADHU KARMA KARAYADHI” says the Upanishad. It means ‘ When God decides to bestow a comfortable life on a person , it is he who will be involved by God in carrying out Dharmic activities’. Rightly Sri.K.Subramania Iyer alias KS a resident of West Mambalam, Chennai, India was one such chosen few, when in 1954 thoughts of celebrating Sri Rama Navami in a fitting manner blossomed in him. Brahmasri Somadeva Sarma (father of Srivatsa Jayarama Sarma-noted religious orator) gave the organisation its name as it stands today "SRI RAM SAMAJ". It became a Registered Society in 1958.
Sri Srinivasa Rao, A Reporter of The Hindu and neighbour of KS who had kindled the thought of Sri Rama Navami celebration in KS joined him in planning for the Sri Rama Navami celebrations. Joined by Sri Rao they approached noted Congress man Veppathur Sri Venkatrama Iyer who came forward with a munificent donation of Rs.25/- for the function.
He also helped them collect funds from the neighbourhood Sri.K.Subramanian, Sri Srinivasa Rao and Sri Sharma. The amount of Rs.242/- mustered by them was enough to celebrate the first Sri Rama Navami in a make shift thatched shed in one of the many vacant lands in Bhakthavatsalam Street (perpendicularly opposite to Ayodhya Aswamaedha Maha Mandapam).
With Sri Rama Navami on the anvil, it was difficult to get a Upanyasagar for all the nine days for the Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam Upanyasam. Can you believe it? As all the orators were engaged elsewhere, it was nine orators for nine days. They came forward to present the discourse each day and then rush to the venue where they were originally scheduled to perform. By Divine will it was Sukhabrahmam Brahmasri Ramaswamy Sastrigal who gave the first ever Srimad Valmiki Ramayana Upanyasam. It was in 1957 the Thanjavur painting which is housed in the mandapam was purchased.
When God decides he finds ways and means to achieve it and destines people to carry out the decision. KS and others felt the need for purchasing a large space for celebrating Sri Rama Navami and through the good offices of Sri Srinivasa Iyer , a real estate business man, living in Srinivasa Iyer Street a four ground plot was identified in Arya Gowder Road. However it had encumbrances and pre conditions. All these were solved with the help of Veppathur Sri V.S Venkatrama Iyer. The cost of the land at Rs.5400/- was made available by Sri K.Sundaresa Iyer youngers brother of KS as a loan which was repaid over three years.
Maha Periyaval who was on a visit to Public Health Centre came to this location and walked through the length and breadth of the land and finally sat for some time at the place where the deities are housed today. He Blessed and said ” buy this piece of land, it will augur well for your Society”. Again it was Brahamasri Somadeva Sarma who gave the name Aydohya Aswamedha Maha Mandapam to the place. The first ever Upanyasam at this spot was by Brahmasri Sengalipuram Narayana Dikshitar ( younger brother of Brahmasri Sengalipuram Anantharama Dikshitar). Thus came into being the grand celebration of Sri Rama Navami year after year spreading over the Tamil months of Masi-Panguni ( Feb-March-April) .
Later when a vacant plot was purchased in Murthy Street, It was decided to build a Community Centre. Maha Periyaval visited this site and sat on meditation for about an hour. Funds that were not available started flowing after this incident. Today Mithilapuri Kalyana Mandapam is catering to the needs of the larger society for celebrating domestic functions including Weddings, Seemandham, Ayushyahomam, Sashtiabdapoorthi and Sadabhsishekam, etc.,
Once again it was under the instructions of Maha Periyaval, who felt the need for a place to perform the obsequies for the departed souls prevalent in The Hindu customs. Three grounds of land was purchased at T.Nagar behind Police lines from Sarada Vidyalaya. . That was the year 1977. Additional 1.5 grounds was purchased to facilitate construction activity and thus came into being “Gnanavapi” in 1983 when it was opened by Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
The land purchased at Ramakrishnapuram I Street was then utilised to construct a school. The building was completed in 1987. Sri Sitaram Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School today is serving the Society as a whole by offering quality education and creating worthy citizens of tomorrow.
Sri Ram Samaj with a humble beginning in 1954 has now grown into a large tree with its branches Mithilapuri Kalayana Mandapam, Sri Sita Ram Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School and Gnanavapi thanks to the vision of Sri K Subramania Iyer and many other like minded God fearing men who had helped him in his endeavour.