Monday, March 2, 2015


                  Sri Siddharoodha Swami

Swami Siddharoodha (1837 - 1929 )
Swami Siddharoodha was a wandering advaita yogi. He considered all people equal, he disregarded the caste system that existed during those times

Siddharoodha is one of the least known among the most illumined souls. From Childhood he showed characters of spiritual maturity. He has been an inspiration to many spiritual seekers and guide to all those who saught his help. 

His remarkable stories offer great help to  spiritual seekers on conduct and right perspective. He was a true sage in a rather deceiving appearance. His supreme wisdom, simplicity and humility make him special.

Name: Siddha (at birth), later Siddharoodha swami or Siddharoodha Bharati
Birth: On the day of Ramanavami, 26th March, 1836
Death: 21st August 1929
Guru: Gajadanda Swami
Mother: Deva Mallamma
Father: Sri Guru Shantappa
Place of Birth: Chaalakaapura, BidariKote, Karnataka
Siblings: 2 brothers (names unknown)

Childhood Years :
Story Of Birth

One morning Guru Shantappa had a dream, in which Lord Shiva appeared to him in the form of an ascetic and merged into his heart. Guru Shantappa joyously shared his dream with his wife. Who in turn told her husband of her dream in which Godess Saraswati appeared and informed her of the birth of Lord Shiva in her womb.

After thirteen days of birth, the baby boy was named 'Siddha' which means an already perfected soul. 

Story of Sesame and Jaggery Incident

 One day when Siddha was five years old, he was playing outside the house with his friends. On the day of Sankranti he took his friends home along with him, he looked for the pot containing the mixture of sesame and jaggery and broket it with a stick when he found it hanging.

He gave it to all his friends who were there, and many more who came, when people saw kids carrying sesame and jaggery from little Siddha's house, they too went and brought back some sweet mixture.

Siddha's mother entered the kitchen and saw what was happening and expressed her surprise "how is it possible my son that you are  distributing so small amount of sweet to so many people".

Siddha silenced her saying "mother it is because of your greatness, you are the pure form of god and you have his powers and you are timeless, this is your greatness"

Siddha had such powers even when he was a child.

Story of  Buffalo

One day when Siddha was still a boy, when he was walking with his friends he found a buffalo and jumped on its back, "I am a king, this is my elephant" told he to his friends. They were all acting as if they were his servents. He commanded his elephant "Move forward my elephant". But it wouldn't budge.

"So you are too arrogant, then you die" said Siddha. The buffalo fell down and died. Other kids ran to Siddha's mother and told her what had happened. She came running to see her pregnant buffalo dead. She started crying for the death of her dear buffalo. Siddha moved his hand over the buffalo's back, life came and back and the buffalo stood up.

Finding his GURU :

Siddha's parents wouldn't let him go out of their house, he knew he had to find a capable guru, one day by his yogic power he created a serpent, it bit him, Siddha started cryling loud in pain, his parents came running to see their son having bitten by a snake. They started praying for the life of their son, a saint who was passing by heard them and assured them of saving their son only if they agree to let him go find his guru. His parents agreed, the saint started chanting mantras, in a short while the snake came and sucked the poison out of Siddha.

Siddha left his home to find his guru, after wandering for sometime he arrived at at the ashram of Gajadanda swami and identified him to be a true guru, he bowed down to him with respect and begged to take him as his disciple. 

Gajananda Swami took him as his disciple, at first Gajadanda swami gave him small chores and hard labor to test the truthfulness of his quest. Later his guru taught him higher practices like listening and contemplating to the higher knowledge.

Swami Gajananda swami understood the higher degree of Swami Siddha's consciousness and renamed him 'Parama Siddharoodha Bharati'. Parama because of his higher level of consciousness, Aroodha because of his spiritually ascended state. 

Knowing Siddharoodha was ready to travel the country and teach people about true Knowledge, his Guru told him to travel the lengths and breadths of country teaching Advaita. Siddharoodha swami wandered the country teaching whenever he saw somene capable to understand.

Last Years
Siddharoodha's disciples established a math at Hubli, Karnataka. There he taught many seekers, helped them ascned spiritually. He ended his life in the math in the month of August of 1929.
Now there are around 300 Maths in India and outside which are following his teachings

Siddharoodha's notable disciples

  • Sri Gurunatharudha Swamy
  • Kabirdas
  • Jayakrishna
  • Shyamananda of Gokak
  • Akkalakote Sharanappa
  • Nagabhushana Shivayogi
  • Ramaroodha
  • Shanmukharoodha
  • Channappa
  • Kalavati Devi
Source :

Saturday, December 27, 2014




Thursday, December 25, 2014


                         (Disciple of Shree Baba Maharaj)
Shree Digambaradas Maharaj
In keeping with the tradition of Swaroop Sampradaya [a sect, wherein the aspirant concentrates on viewing the 'Atman' - the soul]. Shree Sadguru Ramanand Beedkar Maharaj took birth to become the disciple of his disciple of Shree Sadguru Baba Maharaj and in this birth, he came to be known as:

                           "Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj"

On October 17, 1912, in a small village Pomendi (Budruk), which is in a coastal province of Konkan and 12 Kms. from the city of Ratnagiri of Maharashtra State in Western India, a son was born to a couple Shri.Ganesh Vishnu Joshi & Smt. Janakibai. The child was named Vitthal Ganesh Joshi and later came to be known as Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj alias Shree Sahajanand Saraswati alias Shree Maharaj.

Penance - Initiation

Since his childhood, he was completely detached from the worldly matters. At the tender age of 18 during 1929-30, he left his home in search of a Guru (preceptor). He came to Pune, Maharashtra State, Western India and stayed at the Muth (temple-shrine) established by Shree Sadguru Beedkar Maharaj and started rigorous tapasya [penance]. It was here that he was blessed with the graciousness by Shree Sadguru Baba Maharaj Sahasrabuddhe. Shree Baba Maharaj initiated him into the Swaroop Sampradaya and made him the apostle of the sect.

Later Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj worked for a shortwhile as a medical representative. Soon he left it, went back to Ratnagiri, and started his rigorous tapasya (penance).

Blessed with graciousness by Shree Baba Maharaj

On July 24, 1953, when he had gone to offer his obeisances to Shree Baba Maharaj, Shree Baba Maharaj removed from his finger a ring having the pattern of serpent's head and put it round the index finger of the right hand of Shree Maharaj and said "the ring from a preceptor's finger has been put back in the finger of the preceptor only. Vithoba (Shree Maharaj), right from this moment I have taken all the conceit (ego) of yours. Henceforth you will not do anything of yours. Rather, I will perform my role on your behalf." Then Shree Baba Maharaj ordered him to propagate the Swaroop Sampradaya amongst the discerning persons.

About a year later, on August 18, 1954, Shree Baba Maharaj took Mahasamadhi [the last conscious communion with God].

Erection of Temple-shrine of Shree Baba Maharaj

Last rites of Shree Baba Maharaj were performed at Plot No. 937-D, Chatashrungi Road, Shivaji Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra State, Western India - a place which Baba Maharaj had owned. Though his devotees decided to build His Samadhi [temple-shrine], no one was ready to shoulder the responsibility. Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj took upon himself the entire responsibility. At the site of the Samadhi [temple-shrine], a neat temple structure was erected. The atmosphere in the temple shrine was made very lively and full of devotion by various celebrations like the birthday, death anniversary of Baba Maharaj, Shree Datta Jayanti, Shree Swami Samarth Jayanti. etc. He attracted a lot of devotees of Shree Baba Maharaj and for their welfare he worked relentlessly organizing various programmes and functions to spread the holy messages of Hindu religion, morality and devotion.

Extraordinary Personality

His personality was extraordinarily pleasing, powerful and imposing. His discipline, his ever alertness, his very keen sense of observation and his meticulous planning etc were of such supreme standard that it would be almost impossible for anyone to emulate him. He was like an ocean of Mercy. The phrase "Harder than a stone yet more tender than a flower" could aptly describe Shree Maharaj's personality.

Master of 64 Arts

Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj had the knowledge of all the 64 Kalas (Arts). Some of these Kalas [Arts] are classical music, Astrology, Astronomy, Agriculture, Drama, Painting, Veterinary Science, Architecture etc. He had the command over many languages like Marathi, Gujarthi, Konkani, Kannada, Bengali etc. When he delivered spiritual discourses, the audience listened with rapt attention and would be soaked in devotion.

Preached Sanatan Arya Vedic Dharma

He always practiced and advocated the preachings of the Sanatan Arya Vedic Dharma (The original form of Hindu religion based purely on the Holiest Hindu scriptures - the four Vedas). These preachings advised simple living and detachment from the material world, sacrifice for the wellbeing of others and experience of God's existence in all the living beings etc.

Eternal principle of Righteousness

In the past, Bhagwan Vyasa Maharshi while commenting on YugaDharma [the eternal principle of righteousness or religion that uphold all creation] has clearly stated that the abode of Dharma Mandir [temple of righteousness or religion] is in the heart of human being and the foundation of this mandir is in one's stomach. We have forgotton this important maxim. The real meaning of Karma [actions] or selfless service has been shown to the world by Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj by practising it through the work he undertook atDervan, Pune & Mumbai.

Further Bhagwan Vyasa Maharshi states:

"Ashanam Vasanam Vaasah Yeshaam Chaivaavyavasthitam!
 Magdhen Samaa Kashi Gangaapyangaaravaahini!!"

This means that for one, who does not get adequate food, clothing and shelter, for one, sacred places like Kashi (Banaras) and Magadha are alike. Similarly, pure water of river Ganga would be like burning embers to one. In short, one would not be in a position to understand the spiritual teachings, human values etc. unless one's basic needs are satisfied. Providing the necessities of life is a must for spiritual, intellectual or material well being. With this aim Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj established two trusts viz. Shree Seetarambua Walawalkar Charitable Trust at Shree Kshetra Dervan, Taluka - Chiplun, District– Ratnagiri, Maharashtra State, Western India and Shree Vitthalrao Joshi Charities Trusts at Pune city, Pune District, Maharashtra State, Western India. Through these trusts, Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj carried out the numerous religious, educational and social activities for the upliftment of the masses.

Shree Swami Sivanand of Rishikesh, Shree Anandamaye Maa, Shree SaiBaba's disciple Shree Rambaba, Shree Gagangiri Maharaj, Shrimad Jagadguru Shankaracharya Bharateetirth of Shringeri Peeth (sect) and many others had often expressed their respect for Shree Digambardas Maharaj.

Retention of tradition of Vedic Learning

In 1982, with the express intention of retaining the rich past and tradition of Vedic [regarding Holiest Hindu scriptures] learning, he set up a school imparting the Vedas in Shree Sadguru Baba Maharaj Sahasrabuddhe temple Shrine in Pune. At present about thirty students are being taught the Vedas [Holiest Hindu scriptures] and sacrificial ceremonies, Shree Vitthalrao Joshi Charities Trust has shouldered the responsibility of providing the trainees with residence, food, clothes and medicines in the temple-shrine itself. The trust also makes provision for the honorarium to the teachers and scholarships to the pupils.

He performed various Yadnyas [religious rites as per the four Vedas] every year to ensure that the respect and gratitude towards the Vedas and Brahmins who protect them, be developed in the common man so that people perform their duties as laid down by the four Vedas.
Shiv Samarth Gad

Devotion to Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

His devotion to the Maratha King of the 17th Century, Shri Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj was total. No words would be adequately describing his sense of deep reverence and pride for the great king. Those who considered him like a deity would call Shri Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj as Shivprabhu. The thoughts that his country should witness the reincarnation of personalities of the stature of Shri Ramdas Swami and Shri Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj thereby rekindling and restoring the people's pride in Hindu faith, that the Hindu community which was in majority should get well-organized and united; that this community should solve its problem through its own ability and strength had taken deep roots in his mind. It was his earnest desire that again his country should assume the role of world-preceptor. It was this desire that prompted him to get built a fortress-like structure called Shiv Samarth Gad at Dervan.

To follow footprints left by King Shivaji to return the culture of Maharashtra

Signboards with instructions to the effect that while visiting Shree Kshetra Dervan as well as the temple-shrine at Pune, the women devotees must come in six yards or nine yards sarees, have been installed at three places of worship. This in fact is Shree Maharaj's command. Nine yards sarees have remained the traditional dress of women of Maharashtra. Yet, with changing times the six yards became the acceptable alternative. But any change beyond this limit, Shree Maharaj thought would prove detrimental to the Aryan-Vedic religious culture, which had a rich past. A woman should not transgress the limits of behavior and should always dress in a dignified way. Only chastity and fidelity to her husband would be a woman's protectors. If the society is to be protected from the dangers unleashed by loose morals, women should develop in themselves as sense of hatred for seducing dresses. Only through the inculcation of high morals coupled with the efforts in character building; that the next generation can be moulded the right way enabling itself to follow the footprints left by King Shivaji upon the sands of high morals of this nation. It would be this teaching of his that Shree Maharaj would put forth before the society.

During the various ceremonies and celebrations of various religious places run by the trusts, jobs like cutting fruits, Arati (to sing compositions praising the God), preparing Vidas (rolls of leaf of pepper-betel with areca-nut cloves, lime etc. enclosed in it) would be entrusted to those women only, who were ready to do this work wearing nine-yards sarees. He had made it almost obligatory for male volunteers to wear Dhotis (a garment of males worn around the waist passing under and tucked behind).


Shree Maharaj's patriotism would match with the intensity of his unflinching faith in his religion. During 1940-42, Shree Maharaj, besides participating in the freedom struggle had organized people through his wanderings that took him to many villages. Thus, he had contributed appreciably to the freedom movement. He had also some meetings with the great freedom fighter Shri Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar.

Shree Maharaj would shun publicity of every sort. He had tremendous contempt for injustice. He would not compromise with self-honour. His whole self symbolized fearlessness. Whatever work he would undertake, it would be accomplished perfectly. Indeed, he was a genius possessing the ability of discernment and to top it all, he has the rarest and most important quality of being a man of action very much down to earth.


Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj took Mahasamadhi [the last conscious communion with God] on May 21, 1989 in Pune.

Source :

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


                    SHREE SADGURU BABA MAHARAJ
               (Disciple of Shree Ramanand Beedkar Maharaj)
Shree Baba Maharaj
The Swaroop Sampradaya (a sect, wherein the aspirant concentrates on viewing the 'Atman' - the soul) has the principle by which the Preceptor takes birth to become the disciple of his own disciple in order to continue the tradition of apostles of the Swaroop Sampradaya.

In keeping with this tradition, Akkalkot Niwasi Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj took birth in the form of Shree Baba Maharaj who became the disciple of Shree Beedkar Maharaj and later the apostle of the Swaroop Sampradaya (a sect). Shree Baba Maharaj was also known as Shree Raosaheb Sahasrabuddhe alias Shree Vasudevanant Saraswati Maharaj

Birth and Education

He was born to the most devout and deeply religious couple Shri Narayanrao and Laxmibai of the family of the Sahasrabuddhe on November 14, 1883 at Hubli (Karnataka State) in Southern India and was named Ramchandra. He persued his studies in Engineering. He completed the Engineering (L.C.E.) in 1904. He joined Public Works Department in 1909. In 1906, Shree Beedkar Maharaj blessed him by placing his hand on his head and said "Raosaheb I have made you permanent". With words, Shree Beedkar Maharaj blessed him by bestowing on him the ultimate self-realization with the help of Shaktipat. Since then, Shree Baba Maharaj always remained in a Videhi state (in a state of trance, detached from the worldly matters).

Service - Government Department

He worked in Public Works Department (Govt. of India) as Assistant Engineer and was posted at various places like Ratnagiri, Pen, Mahad, Panvel, and Nagothane (All in Maharashtra State in Western India). In 1923, he was appointed as P. A. to the Chief Architect of Mumbai. During this service, his knowledge of Engineering Science and his general intelligence was well acknowledged by his British superiors.


Shree Baba Maharaj got married upon his Preceptor's insistence but it did not bring any change in his way of life. He used to be so much engrossed in meditation, that on one salary-day he dropped his paypacket in the hands of a beggar, standing outside his office and returned home penniless. Sometimes his wife could not cook food because she had no money to buy firewood.

Retirement from Service

Finally in 1928, he took invalid pension and retired. He came to Pune and stayed at Dhumal building in Narayan Peth Area in the vicinity of Muth (hermitage) established by his preceptor Shree Beedkar Maharaj.

Dedication to the service of the Preceptor

He used to attend the muth [temple-shrine] thrice during a day for Darshan (to pay his respects to his Preceptor). He made himself free even from traces of ego to such an extent that, he used to view the universe as manifestation of his Sadguru. He used to prostrate before everybody who even slightly reminded him of his revered Sadguru, may it be a kitten or else. His meditation would continue unperturbed in any condition of his health, let he be having fever as high as 1050 F. Once he performed the difficult and vigorous tapasya [penance] of meditating continuously for 21 days by staring at the Sun with naked eyes from sunrise to sunset.

After the death of his wife in 1945, he started getting his food from outside. Some of his devotees sometimes brought food and snacks for him and many a times that food remained untouched for several days. Then one day he would take a little from it for himself and distribute the rest to his devotees. It was a common experience that this stale food tasted like fresh food.

Supernatural Powers - Preachings

During this period, many people had the experience of the supernatural powers, which Shree Baba Maharaj possessed. By his inner vision Shree Baba Maharaj provided valuable spiritual guidance to many of his devotees and thus helped them in their spiritual pursuit.

Shree Baba Maharaj preached his devotees and his disciples thus "Look in the sky. Look at the stars. Meditate for half an hour before having your meals. See whatever appears. See as much as you can and see till the vision lasts".

Shree Baba Maharaj would always say, "I want to bring Satya Yuga now" (the rule based on religion and justice).

The great sages like Shree Shankar Maharaj, Shree Meherbaba, Yogi Aurobindababu's Guru Shree Lele Maharaj, Shree Shivaji Maharaj of Kolhapur (in Maharashtra State) had great respect for Shree Baba Maharaj.

Initiation of Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj

In 1953, Shree Baba Maharaj blessed Shree Vitthalrao Ganesh Joshi who later on came to be known as Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj, with his absolute favour and ordered him to propagate Swaroop Sampradaya


In 1954, he left his mortal coil and merged with the Nirguna Parabrahma [the Infinite Supreme Lord]. His last rites were performed on his own plot at Chatushrungi road in Pune, Maharashtra State, Western India. His disciple and apostle of Swaroop Sampradaya Shree Sadguru Digambardas Maharaj, later built the "Shree Sadguru Baba Maharaj Sahasrabuddhe Samadhi Mandir" (a temple-shrine) on that land.

Shree Baba Maharaj had promised his disciples and devotees that he would stay in the Samadhi Mandir for 1,000 years for the well being of his disciples and devotees. The devotees experience his divine presence in the premises of the Samadhi Mandir.

Source :


( Disciple of Akkalkot Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj)
Shree Ramanand Beedkar Maharaj

Akkalkot Niwasi Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj wished that the unique school of theosophy viz. Swaroop Sampradaya (a sect wherein the aspirant concentrates on viewing the 'Atman' - the soul) be propagated once again enthusiastically and hence designated his most ardent and able disciple, Shree Sadguru Ramanand Beedkar Maharaj to establish a hermitage in Pune City (Maharashtra State).


Shree Sadguru Ramanand Beedkar Maharaj was born on November 22, 1839 in a rich family of Shri Balavantrai and Gangutai and was named as Ramanand. His father was working as Chieftain under British rule.

Childhood - Pilgrimage

At the tender age of seven, he lost his father. The then British rulers offered a pension of two hundred rupees to his mother; who declined to accept it on the grounds of self-respect and her resolve not to subsist on the help of foreigners.

In his childhood, he went alone on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur (Holy place in Solapur District, Maharshtra State, Western India). Though there was the hustle and bustle of the crowd, it was no less than the Almighty Himself assuming the form of a Badava (a member of the establishment of the Brahmins entertained at the temple of Vithoba at Pandharpur for the service of idol) who guided him and put him straight at the feet of the idol of the deity in the Gabhara (innermost apartment in a temple where the idol of the deity is installed).

When he had gone to Goddess Saptashrungi at the Saptashrungi, Nasik District, Maharashtra State, Western India, the Veeda (a roll of leaf of pepper betel with arecanut, cloves, lime etc. enclosed in it) which was kept in the mouth of the idol of the Goddess as an offering, suddenly fell in his hands indicating great favour of that Goddess rarely experienced.

Disillusionment - Yearning for spiritual blessing

After his father passed away the family fortune started dwindling and hence immediately after his schooling, he started trading. He earned good reputation in diamond valuation as well as in the trade of gold, silver, precious stones and also scents and perfumes. To gather immense wealth, he traveled crazily in search of yogis [transcendentalists] who could teach him techniques to amass wealth. From one such person, he learnt the practices of the much-desired Art (Alchemy - Art of converting baser metals into gold) and thus became immensely wealthy. He relished the wealth and enjoyed every pleasure one can imagine. However, ultimately he was disillusioned with material comforts. He yearned for spiritual development and did Upasana[worship] with Hanuman as his Lord of the Heart. He was guided by Lord Hanuman to seek the blessings of Shree Swami Samarth of Akkalkot.

In the very first meeting, Shree Swami Samarth tested him by a show of his fiery temper. Shree Beedkar Maharaj became an ardent devotee of Shree Swami Samarth and took regular pilgrimages to Akkalkot. On his third visit, when he was massaging the feet of Shree Swami Samarth at night, a dark poisonous cobra emerged out of Shree Swami Samarth's knee and started hissing at Shree Beedkar Maharaj. However, Shree Beedkar Maharaj courageously continued his service. The next moment Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj got up and slapped Shree Beedkar Maharaj. With this slap, Shree Beedkar Maharaj instantly passed into trance and entered samadhi [superconscious experience] which, lasted for 12 hours. Since the very moment, he experienced himself totally detached from worldly matters. Shree Beedkar Maharaj thus attained Vairagya [non-attachment for worldly pleasures].

Narmada Parikrama

Shree Swami Samarth ordered him to undertake Narmada Parikrama, an arduous circular pilgrimage of the entire route of the river Narmada. With only two pieces of panchas (cloth) on his body, he took up this pilgrimage. During this pilgrimage he faced extremely tanning conditions in terms of severe cold, burning hot sun, continuous bare foot walk on the sand, no food or water for 45 days etc. But it helped him to destroy his body identification. Further, during this extensive travel he enlightened many devotees. Finally after 21/2 years of highly eventful pilgrimage, he returned back to Pune where he stayed for most of the part of his life.
Promoting the 'Swaroop Sampradaya'

In obedience to the order of Shree Swami Samarth, Shree Beedkar Maharaj set up a Muth (temple-shrine) in Pune and worked towards spreading of Swaroop Sampradaya. He enriched many seekers of self with spiritual experiences of a very high order. He spread the spiritual lore with the help of a few ardent disciples like Anna Maharaj Bahutale and Mukundrao Moghe. He blessed Shree Sadguru Baba Maharaj alias Shree Raosaheb Sahasrabuddhe with his grace by placing his hand on the latter’s head and entrusted to him the task of continuing the tradition of Swaroop Sampradaya.

Shree Beedkar Maharaj propagated spiritualism for the upliftment of his Devotees through simple teachings such as "alertness in day to day material life is the first step towards the goal of spiritualism".

Shree Swami Samarth had warned him thus, "Ramya (Ramanand) serving food to somebody unless he is hungry, will fail to serve any purpose. The food will be wasted". There upon Shree Beedkar Maharaj said, "Anybody can feed a hungry person". It was with such magnanimity that he distributed freely amongst his devotees the wealth of spiritualism. Never would he feel tired of preaching.

He used to say, "People shouldn't take to treachery or perfidy for the sake of material gains. Only by the truthfulness and following principles of the Hindu religion, can a person get earthly and heavenly gains."

"One can recover the material losses by putting in more efforts and doing more work but one can never recover the loss due to corruption of one's character, values and religious principles and when such loss occurs the downfall of the society as a whole, is imminent.

He used to assure his disciples "Just as the cow-dung fallen on the earth, bound to lift some earth with it; you too, who have taken my refuge, shall definitely achieve some spiritual development" (depending upon individual capacities).


In 1913, he attained Mahasamadhi [the last conscious communion with God] in Pune. Amongst his disciples the most noteworthy was Shree Baba Maharaj Sahasrabuddhe

source :

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Swami Santhananda with MAA BHUBANESWARI

H. H. Swami Santhananda Saraswati Avadhoota Swamigal (28 March 1921 - 27 May 2002) born as Subrahmanyam was a Hindu spiritual leader and teacher who established the worship of Devi Bhuvaneswari in Tamil Nadu. He was the founder of the Bhuvaneswari Peetam in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, India. The very embodiment of Prema, Sri Sri Swami Santhananda was the fountainhead of Hindu Dharma and Vedic principles. In his lifetime he had conducted several yagnas as elucidated in the Sasthras and challenged orthodoxy by bringing to light, guarded Moola Mantras that ensure common good, wealth and peace.

He was a disciple of H.H.Sri Swayamprakasha Bhremendra Saraswathi of Sendamangalam and came in the lineage of H.H.Sadasiva Bhremendra Saraswathi (Sri Sri Judge Swamigal) of Pudukkottai. He founded Skandhashramam in Salem and Om Sri Skandhashramam in Chennai.

Early life and education
Subrahmanyam was born as the tenth child to the devout Brahmin couple Sri.Ramaswami and his wife Yogambal in Azhagapuri village, Madurai. His parents were devotees of Madurai Meenakshi Amman. Kattikulam Sootukkol Sri Mayandi Swamigal - a famous ascetic of that time had predicted his birth and said he would be a man of action for the welfare of the world and a devotee of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari.

Subrahmanyam, as a child, studied at Naganathapuram Veda Patasala where he became well versed in the Vedas.

Independence Movement and Prison
Subrahmanyam was drawn towards the Gandhian movement for Independence of India. He concentrated his activities on village uplift and amelioration of the lot of the poor. He was imprisoned in Alipore Jail for his involvement in the independence struggle. In Alipore he studied the teachings of Sri Ramkrishna and Swami Vivekananda.

Mantra Deeksha
From Alipore he went to Madurai and met Mayandi Yogi who initiated him in the Bhuvaneswari Mantra. He was also advised to remain silent, to subsist on alms, and also not to stay at a place for long.

Search for a Guru
While travelling in the Girnar Hill, Gujarat, Subrahmanyam heard a voice commanding him to go to Sendamangalam, (Salem District, Tamil Nadu) where a Guru was waiting for him. He reached Sendamangalam and had the Darshan of Swami Swayamprakasha Bhremendra Saraswathi. At once he realized that the Avadhuta he saw in a vision at Tirunelveli was none other than Swamiji and requested that he be accepted as a disciple.

Swamiji gave his consent. He admitted Subrahmanyam to the Avadhuta order and gave him a new name Santhananda.

Pudukkottai Adhishtanam
On the advice of Swami Swayamprakasa, Santhananda undertook the renovation of the Samadhi of Judge Swamigal at Pudukkottai. This Samadhi was established by Swayamprakasa Swamigal in 1936. Santhananda renovated the Samadhi and a Kumbabhishekam was conducted in 1956. This is now known as Bhuvaneswari Vidya Peetam. The main deity here is BHUVANESWARI.

Skandhashramam at Salem

Asta Dasa Bhuja Mahalakshmi - Deity at Skandhashramam, Salem, India.
This was established by Swami Santhananda in 1968 on top of a small hill near Salem. The main Deities are ASHTA DASA BHUJA MAHALAKSHMI and SKANDA NATHA.

Chennai Om Sri Skandhashramam
This was established by Swami Santhananda in 1999 in Raja Kilpakkam near Chennai. This is a Temple dedicated to MAA UGRAPRATHYANGIRA DEVI and LORD SARABHESWARA. For the first time in India a temple has been dedicated to MAA UGRAPRATHYANGIRA DEVI.

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Friday, December 19, 2014


                              SHRI JUDGE SWAMIGAL
          Śrī Sadguru Sadasiva Brahmendra Saraswatyavadhuta Swamigal (Judge Swamigal) 


Sri Sadashiva Brahmendra Sarasvathyavadhuta Swamigal, also popularly referred to as Judge Swamigal was a great godman hailing from the proud lineage of the avadhuta saints who can be traced back to Lord Dattatreya. He was born in Vishakapatnam to parents who were orthodox Brahmins steeped in the vedic tradition. His father Sri Vedamoorthy Sastrigal was an adept in the Vedas and Shastras. From his tender years Sri Judge Swamigal showed a great inclination towards spirituality even though he was a received a formal academic education and received a degree in law. His moral uprightness and sense of Justice and Righteousness, elevated him to the position of a Judge very soon. But he was disillusioned with the practice of meting out Justice merely on the basis of witness and circumstances. He immediately decided to renounce worldly life and sought a Guru who would help free him from the fetters of mundane existence. He found in Sri Ramakrishna Swamiji of Kalahasti, such a worthy preceptor who initiated him into the spiritual life. The recipients of Sri Judge Swamigal’s benevolence and grace are many. His disciples were many, prominent among them being Sri Swayampakasa Swamigal. It is noteworthy to mention here that Sri Judge Swamigal’s adhishtanam has been built by Sathguru Sri Shanthananda Swamigal (whose Paramaguru is Sri Judge Swamigal) at Pudukkottai which stands to this day as a perennial source of Divine Grace.

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                                Shri SwayamPrakash Swamigal & his Guru Judge Swamigal
                                                   Shri Swayamprakash Avadootha Swamigal

Avadhoota school of Ashram

Hinduism defines various forms of Sainthood. In certain sects, even it allows people to live full family life and take sainthood. But of all, it is considered that Avadhootham form of Sainthood is the highest.

Avadhootam means ‘Nirvana’. It does not only denote the physical nirvana but also a mental determination not to have any interest over the worldly things, affairs that includes the dress.

One may find that many Saints still exist today in the Himalayas braving bitter cold. But only a few existed down South of Vindhyas like Sadashiva Brahmendrar, Judge Swamigal, Swayamprakasham Swamigal. Of these the era of Sadashiva Brahmendrar dates to several centuries back, but Judge Swamigal and Swayam Prakasham are those who have lived in our times within the last 100 years.

Here I am taking a small step to describe about Sadashiva Brahmendrar’s disciple Swayam Prakasham – Life History and his gracious life.

Birth and Childhood

Swamigal was born in a village ‘kalpattu’ (a village at a distance of around 16 kms from Vilupuram and close Thirukovilur in Tamilnadu) on 28-11-1871. He was born with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. His parents were Sriramaswamy Sastrigal and Smt. Janaki Ammal. Swamigal’s purvashrama name was ‘Krishnamurthy’. During his childhood, his father moved from Kalpattu to a small village ‘Aduthurai’ on the banks of Cauvery in Tanjore district.

During those days, there was a craze for English education among the people as it was easy to get government jobs in British India with English knowledge. Hence his father educated ‘Krishnamurthy’ in an English medium school at a place called ‘Thiruvidaimaruthur’ & ‘Kumbakonam’. Though Krishnamurthy was getting educated through English medium, he also showed equal interest to learn Sanskrit to read the Vedas & Puranas that were available in Sanskrit. He completed his matriculation education at Trivandrum. While attending the school education, he also attended separate classes to understand the Upanishads, Sanskrit Verses, Puranas, Ithihasas etc.

Job & his wish

Ironically, the essence of Vedas, Puranas & Upanishads greatly influenced Krishnamurthy to develop his inner desire for sainthood rather than any Government job. Unaware of this, his parents were praying for a good Government job for his son ‘Krishnamurthy’ and also a girl to get him married.

However, Swamigal got a job in ‘Settlement Department’ of the Government and was posted at a place called ‘Salem’. Though Krishnamurthy was workaholic and hardworking, often he got into deep meditation whenever possible and followed it as a practice. In the meanwhile, he also got bonus & increments for his hard work.

It is the duty of the parents to find a matching bride for their son after they get proper education & a decent job. Hence, his parents started searching alliance for their youngest son Krishnamurthy. But Krishnamurthy turned down all the requests and conveyed his wish to become a saint. This angered his parents and brothers and they told him to pay back the Rs. 3000/- that they had spent for his education and later he can go as per his wish. They imposed such condition because in those days, Rs.3000 was a very big amount and it will take years to save such a big amount. They also thought that it will be a long period to make Krishnamurthy incline towards the marriage.
Krishnamurthy accepted their condition to their surprise but in turn also proposed one condition from his side that they should not prompt him for marriage till he repays the money. After this, Krishnamurthy determined to repay the money to his brothers at the earliest so that he can leave for taking up the Sanyasam (saint). He started to save money in the bank for repayment and Sanyasam. He also got transfer to Chennai (Madras) at this time.

A small beginning towards Sanyasam

At this time, a very good marriage alliance was proposed to Krishnamurthy’s parents and they sent their eldest son to talk to Krishnamurthy about the alliance. When his brother came and informed him about the alliance,
Krishnamurthy didn’t talk to him for 4 days and made him to wait without any interactions and interfaces. Irked by Krishnamurthy’s behavior, his brother was about to pour a pot of cold water on Krishnamurthy’s head. At this time, Krishnamurthy told his brother to chant ‘Purusha Suktam’ mantra and pour which angered his brother further.
Krishnamurthy smiled and told that he need not pay him any more money as the condition laid by him was breached by them. However, he signed and gave the passbook to his brother which had an accumulation of around Rs.500/-. Krishnamurthy took this incident as a symptom for his Sanyasam and resigned his job to start a pilgrimage to a holy place in North India ‘Kashi’.

Struggles at Kasi

After resigning the job, Krishnamurthy reached Kashi and became a student of Sri Dakshinamurthy Swamigal. He learnt more about the vedhas for 3 years. During this time, Krishnamurthy’s health also deteriorated. The ashram informed his parents about the same and they rushed to Kashi and requested him to come back with them. Krishnamurthy informed and assured them that he will come back to their village on the 96th day from then. His parents’ heavy heartedly left Kashi without knowing what was in the store!

Though Krishnamurthy assured his parents that he will return on 96th day, his mind was restless and was thinking more about Sanyasam (sainthood). He requested his guru to give ‘Deeksha’ which is a ritual process to recognize a person as ‘Sanyasi’. In Hindu rituals, Sanyasam can be granted only by a ‘Guru’ and that too by following proper rituals.

His Guru smiled at him and told that he should get the blessings and permission from his parents to attain the Sanyasam which is mandatory. Krishnamurthy wrote a letter to his parents to grant him the required permission for becoming Sanyasi. But his parents asked him to come to his native first and hence Krishnamurthy decided to go to the village in person to get their permission.

The 96th Day incident

When Krishnamurthy reached ‘Aduthurai’, it was exactly the 96th day (the day promised by him to his parents at Kashi that he will return back to the village to see his parents). But it was so sad that Krishnamurthy could not even go to his house straight as he heard that his father was dead on that day morning and hence he rushed to the burial ground.

Though Krishnamurthy reached the burial ground, he refused to participate in the last rites. He told the people around that he has a detached mind and cannot take up any activity that will exhibit his attachments towards relationships. People were surprised to see the determination of Krishnamurthy.

Struggles to get Sanyasam.

On the 13th day death ritual of his father, Krishnamurthy requested his mother and brothers to grant him permission to take up the Sanyasam. But they were trying to console him on various factors. At this time, his brothers ‘Narasimha Ganapadigal’ and ‘Guruswamy Ganapadigal’ got jobs as teachers at a place called ‘Ganapettai’ that fell under the then ‘Pudukottai Maharaja Kingdom’ as veda teachers. Krishnamurthy’s family migrated to the new place and Krishamurthy who had already perceived himself as Sanyasi didn’t even take any vehicle but reached the new place only by walk. (This is mainly because, in those days, a Sanyasi was not supposed to go by any palanquin or any vehicle but is supposed to go only by walk).

After reaching the Ganapettai, Krishnamurthy started following the rituals mandated for Sanyasis like ‘Bhiksha’ wherein a Sanyasi is not supposed to earn or work for getting his food but he is supposed to beg with others to get food and is also supposed to take only a small quantity of staple food without even salt.

People at Ganapettai noticed the determination of Krishnamurthy and started giving respect like a Sanyasi only. His mother and brothers started realizing that Krishnamurthy had high determination to become a Sanyasi. But Krishnamurthy was also determined to obey the words of his guru to get the permission. Hence he was roaming in the ‘Ganapettai’ village like a lion roaming inside a cage with rage.

One year passed by, Krishnamurthy’s mother and brothers realized that it was not so easy to divert him from taking Sanyasam and hence they accepted his request but asked him to find a suitable guru first, who can grant him Sanyasam (as Kashi will be a distant place for which they were not ready to send him for getting Sanyasam).
Krishnamurthy was so happy to hear this and started the search for a guru who could grant him the ‘Deeksha’ for Sanyasam.

Judge Swamigal & ‘Sanyasam’

Krishamurthy heard about a Mahan ‘Judge Swamigal’ who was staying in Madurai that time. Judge Swamigal got this name because of his earlier profession as a judge. He resigned his post and took up the Sanyasam following the ‘Avadootha school of Ashram’. He was well respected for his strict disciplines and his determinations.

Krishnamurthy reached Madurai and met Judge Swamigal and detailed about his thoughts and his preparedness to take up Sanyasam. He also requested Judge Swamigal to take him as a disciple and provide ‘Deeksha’ to take up the Sanyasam.

Being a Mahan, Judge Swamigal realized the fire inside Krishnamurthy. He also felt that this Krishnamurthy had the required potential to follow ‘Avadootham’ and Sanyasam. He enquired about Krishnamurthy’s family members and asked him to get the permission of his mother on the spot and can take up the Sanyasam before his mother only. He also gave the instructions that need to be followed before and after taking the Sanyasam.

Krishnamurthy walked 72 miles to reach his mother. At that time, he was wearing only a ‘loin cloth’. He did a ‘Prathakshanam’ (going around) around his mother for 3 times and fell flat (Namaskaram) before his mother. When he got up, the cloth fell down due to his guru’s blessings and he stood there as ‘Avadootha Swamigal’ and he became ‘Sri Swayam Prakasa Saraswath Avadootha Swamigal’ (henceforth referred here as ‘Swamigal’).

He also took an oath that; henceforth
(The exact date he took his Sanyasam was Tamil year ‘Vihari’, month ‘ Aani’ and it was a full moon day. He was only 28 years old then).


At this point of time, the readers should not forget the struggle our Swamigal had undergone to take up the Sanyasam. There are great Mahans & Sanyasis who got their Deeksha by joining a ‘mutt’ and succeeding their guru to take up as Peedathipathi. Though we cannot underestimate the sanctity of Mahans & Mutts, it is the tradition to keep up the Mutts to fulfill its objectives and each mutt and its Mahan have different sets of challenges which requires lot of patience, determination etc. But to live among the common family life and managing the fire with long standing determination to become a Sanyasi and that too under the Avadootha sect requires a lot of determination.

I am trying to compare the scenario from a common walk of life of us. For example, men may not find it embarrassing to enter the temples in kerala without shirt (bare body above waist) as it is mandatory and one can see all men entering temple without shirts & vests. There are temples, where a common man is allowed to enter without any pre-requisite condition (unlike a few temples mentioned above in Kerala) and everyone worships with full clothe. At this point of time, when we think of removing the shirt and entering the temple as a mark of respect to god/as a custom that doesn’t exist, it is overly embarrassing for men also. A sort of shyness spreads in your body, and to do such an act, itself requires a determination. Now you can imagine, for an Avadootha Saint, the determination to take up the Avadootha Ashram wherein throughout the life, the Sanyasi does not wear anything on his body except holy ash and going to cover the places by walking and also not to live in the forest but amongst the people and not restricted to one place but various places. THIS REQUIRES A STRONG DETERMINATION AND WILL!! Our Swamigal took such a decision and also struggled for a long time.

Swamigal as Avadootha Sanyasi

Avadootha Ashram is not an easy approach for Sanyasis’. It may be a way that was used to the public people living around Himalayas where several saints perform their penance without dress and people are used to it. But following such a practice in South India cannot be imagined at all. In a society where dresses play an important role and half naked itself is considered as a nuisance.

After taking up the Sanyasam, Swamigal planned to visit the temples around and first decided to visit Nerur Sadhasiva Brahmendra Saraswathi Swamigal ‘Adhishtanam’ (Adhishtanam is a place where a saint is usually buried). Swamigal used to walk very fast. Avadootha sect does not require its followers to take daily bath & perform pooja like other saints and hence Swamigal was perceived as a ‘lunatic’ by the public at many places as his body was covered with mud & dust. Some people at some places considered him as a person creating nuisance and hence threw stones at him. Swamigal did not have consciousness about his body & wounds and used to walk ignoring all oppressions and take food either by Bhiksha or with the fruits available on the way.

Swamigal visited Nerur and worshipped Sadashivar who is considered as Guru of Judge Swamigal. After this, he visited the temples in Tanjore, Kumbakonam, Virudhachalam, and Chidambaram and reached Thiruvannamalai. At Thiruvannamalai, he met ‘Ramana Maharishi’. Both of them performed penance together at the hilltop under a mango tree. Ramana Maharishi mentions about our Swamigal as a ‘Vairaghya Purushar’ (Deterministic & Dedicated saint) (Reference: from his table: Ramananda Swarnagiri).

Swamigal liked the ambience of Thiruvannamalai as it is like a citadel of saints in South India. At this time, his relatives learnt about his presence in Thiruvannamalai and started visiting him (like the same experience of Ramana Maharishi). Our Swamigal could not bear the visitors influences in Thiruvannamalai and hence decided to move to Kolli hills in Salem district of Tamilnadu. Kolli hills are considered to be mysterious hills equivalent to the ‘Chathuraigiri’ in south Tamilnadu.

Our Swamigal began his walk towards Kolli hills and was arrested by the police at Salem for creating nuisance and an advocate who happened to be his devotee appeared for him and relieved him from the clutches of the arrest by detailing the court about the sanctity attached with the Avadootha Ashram. After this, Swamigal stayed in Salem for few days and proceeded to Kolli hills.

At Kolli hills, Swamigal noticed various Sanyasis in deep meditation across the hilly areas and reached a place called ‘Senthamangalam’ located at the foothills of Kolli hills.

Swamigal at Senthamangalam

Senthamangalam was a big village wherein Hindus & Muslims formed the majority of the population. Swamigal faced hardships when he was walking in the streets of Muslims and they pelted stones at him. One of the stone hit the throat of Swamigal very badly. He never bothered about the wounds but the set of people who threw stones at him died within a short period due to their internal rivalries and by getting wounds in their throats. This surprised many in the village and they realized that a big Mahan is among them. The news spread like a wildfire and thousands of devotees thronged to get his blessings.

Though Swamigal wished to perform meditation and get into a deep penance, the devotees’ crowd grew larger day by day and hence he moved from Senthamangalam to deep forests inside Kolli hills to get his loneliness and privacy. At that time, a lady was found murdered in Kolli hills and some people created rumors that Swamigal was the reason behind the same. This frustrated our Swamigal and he decided to end his life through ‘Nirvikalpa Samadhi’.

But true devotees got him back to Senthamangalam and made him to stay at a place called ‘Sanyasi Karadu’ – a small hillock near Senthamangalam.

Swamigal at Sanyasikaradu

This small hillock is 1 km away from Senthamangalam. It also had a small cave in it. Devotees created a small tent around the cave for the devotees to sit there and get a glimpse of the Swamigal. Swamigal used to get into deep penance for several days inside the cave without food & water.

The then collector heard about the incident happening at Sanyasikaradu that a man was doing penance inside a cave without having food or water for several days and he felt that it may a case against humanitarian laws and hence ordered the cops to break the cave door and pull him out to provide the food & water. When the cops broke the door, they found that our Swamigal was in a sleeping posture but remained like a dead body. They pulled him out and thought that he was dead. But our Swamigal got up as though he was woken up from deep sleep. Surprised by this, the Cops & the Collector fell at his feet to pardon them and bless.

A Small Dossier of Miracles

A lot of miracles were said to have happened during this period that even the older people around Senthamangalam had witnessed (they used to be young in those period). A few samples are provided below.

Once Swamigal was captive inside a Muslim’s house, though he was locked inside, the Muslim house owner saw Swamigal in the streets when he went to the market. Shocked by this, when he rushed back to the house, he found Swamigal inside the room smiling at him. The Muslim fainted and later requested Swamigal to pardon him.

Once a person tried to give meat to him the same got converted to flowers.

Some people intentionally sent some prostitutes to seduce him, but when they reached near Swamigal , they could not bear the ‘Tejas’ of Swamigal’s face and surrendered before him by falling at his feet (their Kama desires were burnt at the glimpse of Swamigal).

Once Swamigal went to Nerur but the boatman refused him to enter into the boat as he was without clothes and started to sail. Soon the boat was into deep troubles and they found our Swamigal rescuing them by standing on the water. After rescuing the boat, he crossed the river by walking over the water. Many people in the boat who opposed to Swamigal fainted on seeing this.

A snake used to pose before him while he was in meditation. But this panicked the devotees. Swamigal learnt about this and looked at the eyes of the snake and to the surprise of many, the snake left very calmly and never to be seen there after.

Swamigal used to visit various places and once in ‘Thiruvaiyaru’, a Brahmin deliberately invited him for lunch and then insulted him saying that he should live only in the burial ground. Immediately Swamigal left the house without eating anything but the roof of the house got into the fire.

Swamigal chose to live near to the society to preach the people and make them live happily. Many could not realize this and some realized only later.

After spending close to 2 years in Senthamangalam, Swamigal started his pilgrimage around India. He went to various places alone and stayed under the trees and ate the food whatever was offered to him. At some places, people hit him as he was naked. Swamigal accepted all the good & bad experiences as one. He went to Kashi, Haridwar, Brahmakamalam, Badarikachram, Prayag, Ayodhi, Himalayaas, Dattatreyar’s place – Kairnar etc. Swamigal did lot many wonders like flying, walking over water, disappearing at one place and appearing at another.

When he was in meditation in Badrinaryanam, Lord Dattatreyar’s appeared in his dream and asked him to build a temple for him in Southern India which was not there at any place down south. At the same time, Lord Dattatreya also ordered ‘ Nanananda Yogiraj’ who used to live in that place to accompany Swamigal and reach Senthamangalam and help to build the temple and later attain Mukti in Kolli hills itself.

Lord Dattatreya is considered as ‘Guru of all Gurus’, an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All the gods in the world have got inheritance within Lord Dattatreya e.g. if one wants to worship Goddess Lakshmi, she is in the heart of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu is again a part of Lord Dattatreya. Similarly if one wants to worship Goddess Parvathi Devi, she is part of Lord Shiva and Shiva is part of Lord Dattatreya. Hence by praying Lord Dattatreya, one prays to all gods’ and all gurus’ of the entire world.

When (such a great) Lord Dattatreya ordered a yogi & a Swamigal in Himalayas, both realized the importance of the temple and both came to Senthamangalam to start the work for the temple.

As it is the wish of the Lord himself to establish a temple in down south to remove the differences between Shaivites and Vaishanavites, work started by itself and moved by default.

One devotee got the idol. The specialty of this idol is that in all other places, the centre face of Lord Dattatreya will be Vishnu. But here it is Shiva. Around the temple, a small dedicated place for Swamigal was also built so that Swamigal decided to get into ‘Jeeva Samadhi’ in that place. The first Kumbabhishekam (dedication or commissioning of temple for worship) happened on 29.5.1931 and hence the name of the hillock was called as ‘Dattagiri’. Several disciples helped Swamigal in getting this done.

Swamigal’s gratitude for his Guru.

During this period, Judge Swamigal (the guru of our Swamigal who gave Deeksha to our Swamigal) attained Samadhi at a place called ‘Narthamalai’ in Pudukottai district in Tamilnadu (around 130 kms from Senthamangalam). Some devotees brought his body to Pudukottai to build his Adhishtanam with the help of the contributions from the king of Pudukottai and rich people of the kingdom. In due course, people slowly forgot about the place and also stopped pooja. Our Swamigal learnt about this through his supernatural power and went there one night to find the place of his guru. He also created the instinct among many good people in Pudukottai about this. Hence suddenly many people started talking about this and tried to find out the place of Adhishtanam (buried place) of judge Swamigal as it got submerged under various plants & bushes.

Some people came to our Swamigal in Senthamangalam to help them to show them the place. Swamigal pointed them in a map about the place. Soon, the activities picked up to renovate judge Swamigal temple and the Kumbabhishekam happened on 31-05-1936. He also sent hone his prime disciple – Sri Santhananda Swamigal to Pudukottai to take charge of the Adhishtanam. Shri Santanandar went to Pudukottai and undertook ‘Mouna Vratham’ (oath of silence) for 1 year and ate only the neem leaves and did a penance. Goddess Bhuvaneswari appeared in his dream and asked him to build a temple in that place and now people of Pudukottai witness the famous ‘Bhuvaneswari Ashram’ in Pudukottai with Judge Swamigal Adhishtanam.


Swamigal thus left no stone unturned to spread the good messages. He repaid his debt to this guru and also gave Dikshas to numerous disciples. He created a good institution without any inclination for fame, name, power or money – a rarest of rare quality

(Author note: I am blessed to write this blog in English through the sources of various materials and the intention of this blog is also not to create an overnight fame for Swamigal as he knows when to create, what to create, who will notice this blog, when he will call the reader to his place and all. This is my experience. For example, normally I write very fast, but I took nearly 4 months to complete the manuscript and typing of this happened in a single night and that too suddenly)

Swamigal also used to be great Ayurvedic Expert; he used to prepare herbal oils for the use of poor.
Our Swamigal realized during late 1940s’ that it is time for him to leave the body. Great saints know about this before hand itself e.g. Lord Ragavendra is said to be living for more than 700 years though he left his body some 3 centuries back itself. That is the power of great saints. They treated body only as a mean and not the end for achieving the Yoga & Mukthi

It was 1948; Swamigal got a paralytic stroke and also a high fever. He had an unbearable pain & his body used to shiver. Devotees called the specialist to check up his body and when they diagnosed, the body would be normal and immediately after the doctors’ leave the place, the pains continued. He told his devotees about this and said that he wished to shed off all his sins of the body by undergoing bodily pains and he did not want to carry the pains due to doctor treatments.

It was exactly December 29, 1948 (29-12-1948). Swamigal’s breath started going inwards slowly and got immersed in his body only. This is the highest form of Samadhi and Swamigal did that. Before that, he created a Sannidhi (place) before the Dattatreya statue for burying his body as Jeeva Samadhi.

On 30-12-1948, his body was buried, on 8-1-1949- Mahapuja was performed and on very next day Aradhana was performed. Even now, every year, the Aradhana is performed in a notable manner. Even today, people believe that they can feel Swamigal’s presence in this place through the smell of vibudhi (holy ash). Shri Santhananda Swamigal built various Sannidhi and installed the idol of Lord Muruga in this hillock and performed Kumbabhishekam in 20-1-1983. People may recollect that Sri Santhananda Swamigal also built the popular ‘Kandagiri’ near Salem. Recently, the temple was again renovated and Kumbabhishekam was performed on 14-7-2008.

Other Disciples of Swamigal

Shri Sankarananda
He used to be with Swamigal all the time. He was the disciple who took care of swamigal’s requirements as Swamigal never had any requirements for even food & water. He went to various places to collect donations for building the temple.

Shri Duriyanandar
He moved out of the house and married life at the age of 20 and took Vratham in palani hills for 48 days to know about our Swamigal. It is said that (Bogar Siddhar guided him to reach our Swamigal). There was an anecdote which the local people fondly remember

When the temple was under the construction, several times, it was very difficult to collect the required money. Duriyanandar thought of making some quick money for the temple. He installed a pole and powered the pole through his powers such that the people touching the pole will get rid of their problems instantly and they should offer money equivalent to the severity of the problems.

Suddenly money started flowing in and when Swayam Prakasa Swamigal learnt about this, he got angry and called Duriyanandar and told that he can’t play for the money and donations should be collected through volunteering actions. He also showed some stones and touched it. Immediately, the stones turned into gold, he told that he can do much more wonders to collect money. But he advised Duriyanandar not to indulge in any such activities. He also penalized Duriyanandar to go to Kashi to get rid of the sin due to this. Swami Duriyanandar went to Kashi and spent some time and returned back to Swamigal. Both Sankarananda and Duriyanandar Adhishtanam are at the foot hill of the ‘Datta Giri’.

Krishnananda Swamigal
Krishnananda Swamigal got to know about Swayam Prakasa Swamigal through ‘Seshadri Swamigal’ of Thiruvannamalai. Seshadri Swamigal had told him to go to Senthamangalam to get Deeksha from Swayam Prakasa Swamigal. His Adhishtanam is also located inside a small ashram built by the devotees of Krishnananda Swamigal located at the foothill of the hillock. There are also few more Adhishtanam around this hillock. These will give a feel to the devotees that they are in a small Thiruvannamalai.

Shanthananda: He was also the prime disciple and he established Kandashramam in Salem later. Other disciples who got Deeksha from Swamigal are Sri Nijanandar, Sri Duriyasivam, Sri Niranjanandar (Coimbatore), Sri Venkitaramaiyar, Sri Suganandhar (Tiruchengode), Sri Abayanandhar (Mohanur), Sri Sivanandar.

Even now, several saints visit Senthamangalam and take Sanyasam before Swamigal’s idol.

Many celebrities visited this place, great musicians, judges, politicians, and bureaucrats’ visits to get the blessings of Swamigal when he was there. Now the waves are really felt by the devotees visiting this place. Several miracles that are yet to be documented stand as the witness for the greatness, simplicity, dedication and determination of Shri Swamigal.

How to reach?
By Air : Nearest Airport : Tiruchirapalli ( 90 Km)
Nearest Railway Station: Salem Junction (Enroute from Chennai to Coimbatore).
Nearest Bus Terminus: Senthamangalam (Buses are available from Salem, Namakkal & Rasipuram to reach Senthamangalam – Bus stop is Dattagiri).
Temple – open on all days.

Other tips:
One can combine this temple visit to visit Kolli hills to enjoy the scenic hill beauty, water falls. One can also visit Namakkal (District head quarters which is 16 kms from Dattagiri) to see Lord Narasimha swamy cave temple of Mahendravarma Pallava period, Anjaneya temple wherein the idol is second largest in Tamilnadu and Tippu Sultan Fort).

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Main entrance to temple
                               HADIDAS MAHAPURUSA


Born : 1772 AD
Mahasamadhi : 1830

Mahapurusa Hadi Das, a great saint of Orissa, was born at Champapur just one km  from Chhatia in the state of Odisha in 1772 A.D. to the parents Chemei Ojha and Devaki of a blacksmith family.  Hadi Das grew up in abject poverty throughout his infancy. He was really poor in money but rich in spiritualism and devotion. His parent had lost all the children before Hadi Das was born. For this reason his parent out of love and affection named their child as "Hadi" (a low caste) Actually his real name was Hadi Das (the servant of vishnu). His spiritual teacher was Mastaram Das, a saint from western India residing at Puri at that time. Hadi Das came in contact with him and was inspired and initiated by him for his spiritual and divine power and admited him as his guru.

Hadi Das chose for his ancestral occupation a place at Chhatia called / Kalagiri / surrounded by trees and bushes. Later on he got this piece of land from Guljar Hussain, the Zamindar of Darpanigarh. The Bata or the tree under which he was working is said to be still preserved as a symbol. The temple there carry the name of the place ' Chhatia" and the name of Bata as well. Hadi Das took his mahasamadhi under a cave inside the Bata.

Despite poverty, backward caste, public humiliation, and torments meted out to him from the conservative Brahmins, separation from his own wife Padmavati, the nobility, Saintlihood , divinity, social service, love of God, spiritual knowledge, miracles for the good of the society, tolerance, kind-heartedness, broad-mindedness, universal brotherhood did not die down. He struggled and walked on the thorns of life and digested all shorts of scoldings and ill treatments as a true stoic but never deviated from his spiritual values and exceptional ideology. His blacksmiths occupation continued wonderfully. His theological preachings were meant to bring spiritual reformation in society. He had a number of disciples. He was a saint within and mad without. He was never showy and spontaneous flow of his religious doctrines were written down by his disciples on the palmleaf and brass leaf at that time. Niladri Nanda of Chhatia, Duryodhana Mallik of Paikarapura, and Mandaradhar Das of Adambaru were his perfect disciples. He had enemies for which he displayed his spiritual miracle to put-down his enemies. He underwent hardships and sufferings at the hands of intolerant and jealous upper class but gradually his divinity unfolded itself and he came to be recognized as a great saint.

The future prophecies, the past and the present activity of the people, the truth of spiritual doctrines are displayed through his countless Bhajanas, Malika and other spiritual texts like "Sankhanavi" "Ananta Gupta Gita", "Anantagoi", "Bhabananabara", "Hanumanta Gita", "Nila Madhava Gita" etc. His contibutions and literary achievements have been appreciated in a thesis "Hadi Das Rachanabali" by a local educationist Prof. R. Sahu.

After Hadi Das breathed his last in the late 1830 he was regarded as a great saint of Orissa like Panchasakha. He was popularly known as twelfth incarnation of Mahapurusa  Achutananda  Das a great saint of Nemalabata. He was a torch bearer for morally degraded society, an embodiment of spiritual potency and a spiritual soul.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


Life Story of Saint Arunagirinathar

by Siva Paramasivam

Great saints have hailed the glory of Muruga, Adi Sankara (Subrahmanya Bhujangam), Kachiappa Sivachariyar (Kanda Puranam), Nakkeerar (Tiru Murugatru Padai), Kalidasa (Kumara Sambhavam) and the list goes on like Pamban Swamigal, Vannacharapam Dandapani Swamigal, Chidambara Swamigal etc.

Tiruppugazh, composed by saint poet Arunagirinathar, is unique because it brings before us the image of Lord Muruga in full splendour and glory and bestows us the abounding grace of Muruga. Among many saints who guided humanity to the path of perfection, Arunagirinathar occupies a unique position. His songs not only sparks the flame of devotion in the minds of people but also the light of knowledge in the intellect. He showed the way to the life of virtue and righteousness. He showed the way to the Lotus Feet of Muruga.

All devotional works hail the glory (pugazh) of the Lord and come under the category of Tiru Pugazh, but only Arunagirinathar's works got that title because he alone described, in his own beautiful poetic style, the glory of the Lord truly, completely and magnificently. No other works portrayed the glory of the Lord so elegantly and elaborately as done by Arunagiri and therefore only Arunagirinathar's works have acquired the name, quite appropriately, as "Tiruppugazh". His works therefore rightly deserved the name "Tiru Pugazh".

Born in 15th century at Tiruvannamalai and he spent the greater part of his life there. The particulars of his parents are unknown; some say he was a son of a courtesan (dāsi) by the name of Muttu (Muttamma). As his father expired soon after his birth, Muthamma and sister, Adhi, brought him up. They aspired to bring him up in the rich cultural and religious tradition. Arunagiri showed a receptive mind and even studied the scriptures but gradually his interests turned elsewhere. It is said that Arunagiri grew up to manhood and found the company of courtesans more to his attachment than the company of God. He was mostly seen in their houses than in temples.

He used to get money from his sister each time to go to devadasi's. His sister always give whatever she earned to make his brother happy. Taking advantage of his sister's affection, he utilised all her jewels and possessions for the dāsi's. His body began rapidly lost its energetic youth and became diseased. One day he demanded money from his sister, but unfortunately she had no money. She was very sad and said, "Oh brother, I am sorry that there is no money to give you today." Arunagirinathar shouted how its possible and he wanted money now to have pleasure. His sister then said "Brother, if you need to have pleasure then please sell me to someone and that money can be used somehow".

Hearing that, Arunagirinathar felt how self centered and selfish he was. Arunagiri was well versed in Tamil literature, such as Tevaram, Tirumantiram etc. He gradually developed his sense of devotion to Lord Muruga. He composed poems for getting money from the rich people, the hard earned money also was spent to the courtesans. At last he learnt a lesson from hs sister and his mind went back in a few minutes over the wasted years of his life. On realisation of the ‘crimes' he committed against the religious and righteous path, he decided to end his life, went to the temple hit his head in all the pillars and steps, begging for forgiveness. He climbed up the Vallala Gopuram of the Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar temple and was about to jump down and dash himself to death on the granite stones beneath.

Arunagiri worships Lord Murugan who had rescued
him from certain death by suicide. Painting from
Tiru Avinankudi Tirukkovil, Palani.
But rather than falling to the ground, he found himself in the hands of a Saviour. "You are not born to die. You are born to save lives. You are not born to fall but make others rise. You are born to fulfill a divine mission. You are the chosen one to sing the glory of Lord Muruga." said the saviour, who was none other than Lord Muruga Himself. Arunagiri, who has been rescued from the darkness of death, now found himself before a power that radiated brilliant rays of brightness. He now got the vision of Lord Muruga.

He was however miraculously saved from the death by Lord Muruga who also transformed him to a holy saint instantaneously".′Arunagiri could not believe his eyes and ears. Lord Muruga was standing before him majestically, holding the sparkling Vel (lance), His Mayil (peacock) nearby and radiating an aura of charm and splendour. It was as if all the power, beauty and knowledge of the universe had personified and descended on earth. Overwhelmed with emotion and wondering how he became worthy of such an enormous grace, Arunagiri folded his hands and bowed in reverence. Words failed him. The Lord, full of mercy, blessed him, conferred him the saintly advice (Upadesa) and set out the sacred tasks before him. Arunagiri was delighted at being initiated to saint-hood directly by Lord Murugan.

Arunagirinathar had the fortune of belonging to the "Blessed Three" who received the saintly advice (Upadesa) direct from Muruga, the other two being Lord Shiva and Saint Agasthiyar. Lord Muruga helped Arunagirinathar with the beginning of his inspired poesy in his praise with "Muthai Tharu patthittirunagai..."; He showered His grace on Arunagirinathar by directing to proceed on the divine path. He wrote on his tongue, Sadatcharam (Aareluthu) using His Vel.

Deeply immensed with the spiritual raptures, Arunagirinathar began to do penance at Illayanar Koil of the temple gopuram at Arunachaleswarar's shrine. Lord Shiva appeared before him and blessed him with Tiruneer (holy ash) removing his fear. Goddess Unnamulai blessed him with encouraging words "Nin Pirappu Oliga" (There will be an end to your birth). Goddess Valliammai also showered Her grace on him by divine touch, "Sparisa deekchai".
Having received the gracious enlightment, Arunagirinathar continued to sing Tiruppugazh in praise of Lord Muruga. The variety of the rhymic pattern of hymns has no comparison and it is vast in the field of bhakti literature. He went out singing the praises of Lord Muruga all over Tamil Nadu. It is said that he had travelled to many shrines of Lord Muruga especially the celebrated Six Abodes (Aaru padai veedu) for worshipping the God by devotional songs. His dedication to his ‘Ishta Deivam' (Muruga) did not make him a narrow minded sectarian. He worshipped with devotion whichever be the diety in the temples he visited and he sang about them.

In his religious tour Arunagirinathar went to Tiruvennainallur. He enjoyed the darshan of Lord Muruga in a dancing pose there. He then went and stayed at Chidambaram, singing in praise of Lord Subramanya inside the shrines near temple gopurams. He went to Sirghali, the sacred birth place of Tirunganasambanthar, he woshipped the saint as an embodiment of Lord Muruga. Then he visited Kaverippoompattinam, Karivananagar and Tirumannippathikkarai.

He was directed by God to reach ‘Melai Vayalur' near Tiruchirappalli. He went and stayed there for some time. Then he visited Tiruvarur, Tirumaraikādu, Tiruchendur, Palani, Kumbakonam, Tiruchengodu, Pāndikkodumudi and returned to Tiruccirappalli. He left for Viralimalai, Kodumpaloor and Kadampanthurai. When he stayed in Palani, he had the friendship of Kalisaichevagan also known as Kaverichevagan, a philanthropic chieftain. He went to Tiruchendur again through Madurai. Lord Subramanya of Tiruchencur appeared before him in the form of a beautiful child and showered grace on him.

Arunagiri then proceeded to Vayalur and prayed before Lord Muruga. It is believed that the Lord again appeared before him in the form of a person and ordained him: "Sing about Me, about My Vel (lance), about peacock (Mayil) about Ceval (rooster) about Vayalur and about my various other abodes". "It is indeed a rare honour to be able to sing Thy glory", Arunagiri said and prostrated before Vayalur Muruga in total submission and surrender. After worshiping the shrine of Poyya Ganapathy nearby, he set out his historic journey; the journey that took him many holy places and gave him an illuminating experience.

Arunagirinathar had to face the challenges made by Villiputhurar. He was a poet going about the Tamil Nadu, challenging every learned scholars to contest with him on matters of ‘Pandityam (scholarly skills); the condition was the loser should have his ears cut off in the challenge. When Villiputhurar failed to explain the meaning of the verse 54 of Kandar Anthathi, but he was graciously permitted by the saint to keep his ears intact.

Arunagirinathar went to Kanchipuram and praised 32 charities performed by Goddess Kamakshi there in hs Tiruppugazh. Then he visited Tiruvamathur, Chiruvai, Vallimalai and Tirutthan and worshipped the God with his poems. It is also mentioned that Arunagirinathar went on pilgrimage to some sacred places in the north such as Haridwar. On his return to south, he visited Jegannatham Visagapattinam ect. During this period of Visagappattinam the region of Tiruvannamalai was under the rule of Prabuda Devaraya a strong beliver of Hindu and a friend of a Sambanthāndan, who was both arrogant and boastful about his learning and spiritual attainments.

Arunagirinathar visited over 300 temples of Shiva, Muruga, Vishnu and other deities. Every temple had a unique history of its own. Impressed by the sanctity, the power and importance of the temple, Arunagirinathar composed songs on the Lord, bringing forth all the unique characteristics. While referring to the history of a temple, we often find special mention being made about Arunagiri's visit there, as if his mere visit has brought sanctity and sacredness to the temple. After an extensive of visit of temples, Arunagiri returned to Tiruvannamalai to lead a quiet life of devotion. The King Prabhuda Devaraja honoured him and granted him the privileged status of a 'Poet of the Royal Court'.

Sambanthāndan wanted to please his friend Prabuda Devaraya; persuaded him to invite Arunagirinathar to a contest in which he and Arunagirinathar should each undertake to manifest their ‘Ishta Deivam' before him. It was stressed that he who failed in the attempt should leave his domain.

Arunagirinathar was prepared for the proposal saying that Lord Muruga would yeild to his prayer and he would bless Devaraya by His darshan. Sambanthāndan first undertook to manifest his personal diety Kali and his proceedings were with great pomp and ceremony. Kali did not choose to present. Arunagirinathar started singing Tiruppugazh appealling to Lord Muruga with complete devotion, pleading to provide darshan and fulfill his prayer. Lord Muruga appeared with His peacock through one of the pillars of the Mandapam to bless Arunagirinathar. The brilliance of the manifestation of Lord Muruga was so bright as equal to hundreds of suns and the people were unable to see this with their ordinary eyes. Due to this everybody lost their eyes including the king and ministers.

Under the pressure given by Sambanthāndan, he requested Arunagirinathar to bring the parijatha flower in order to cure the eye sights. Arunagirinathar is said to have entered the body of a parrot in order to fetch the parijatha flower. While Arunagirinathar transformed himself as a parrot, left his body secretly in the temple tower. His enemy Sambanthāndan found and burnt his body.

On his return with the parijatha flower, Arunagirinathar couldn't find his original body. Thinking it is a grace of God for a purpose, he sang the great Kandar Anuboothi and settled himself on the temple tower in the form of the parrot. There is a form of a parrot in one of the sthubis (Kili Gopuram), testifying to this story. Kandar Anuboothi, a short poem of 51 short quatrains as an essence of his mystical experiences though Kandar Anuboothi and Kandar Alankaram are smaller poems in simple language they are as popular as Tiruppugazh itself.

Aiming at God realization, many saints followed the path of knowledge (jñāna). They went through the hard path of struggle and sacrifice. They denied themselves the basic necessities for the achievement of their aim. But the case of Arunagirinathar was different. He did not undergo any penance or meditation. He did not undergo any path of struggle. Yet, for some strange reasons, he qualified himself to the grace of the Lord. While other saints, having led a life of virtue, realized God at the end, Arunagiri, having pursued the path of pleasure, realized God at the very beginning. Strange indeed are the ways of God. There was something in him, beyond all his weaknesses that made Lord to choose Arunagiri as His ideal disciple. Perhaps, it was the devotional bend of mind that remained dormant in Arunagiri's heart. Perhaps, it was his genuine sense of guilt or eagerness to atone for his sin. Perhaps, it was his inherent strength to rise up to the high task expected of him.

Whatever that be, Arunagiri proved himself worthy of Lord's finest Messenger. Arunagiri rose up to the occasion, came out of his world of illusion, lived up to the high demands of his new role and admirably fulfilled the divine task expected of him.

Many saints derived inspiration from temples like Saint Śrī Ramadas from Bhadrachalam, Śrī Ramana Maharshi from Tiruvannamalai and Bhattathiri from Guruvayoor. Arunagirinathar received enlightenment from Tiruvannamalai and Vayalur. While Tiruvannamalai transformed Arunagirinathar into an enlightened sage, Vayalur made him a scholar. Arunagiriathar composed number of songs on Muruga in his unique style. What provided speciality for his songs was his 'temple experience'. It was an enlightening experience for him to visit the six abodes of Muruga,Tiruchendur, Tirupparamkundram, Tiru Avinangudi, Swami Malai, Tiruttani and Pazhamudhir Colai, where Lord Muruga performed various acts of bravery, marriage, renunciation, enlightenment and redemption.

It is believed that Arunagirinathar composed over 16,000 songs but only 1365 songs have been traced. Having had the vision of Muruga and the experience of realizing Him, Arunagiri emphasized the various divine qualities of the Lord, His benevolence, His knowledge, His bravery and courage, His exquisite beauty and brought all His magnificence into full focus in his Tiruppugazh. In the song: "Thandayani Vendayum, Kinkini Sadhangayum" he likened the beautiful face of Muruga to that of beautiful energetic moon.

He did not differentiate between Shaivite and Vaishnavite thoughts and ended his song addressing Muruga as "Perumale", the term normally used by Vaishnavites to address Lord Maha Vishnu. He referred Muruga as "Malon Marugane" (Son-in-law of Maha Vishnu - Tirumal), as, according to legend, Muruga's consorts, Valli and Deivayanai were daughters of Tirumal in their previous births. Arunagirinathar conveyed messages of truth and Dharma by citing instances from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Kandar Alangaram, an ornament of verses Arunagirinathar made for adoring Muruga portrays the splendour of the Lord from His sacred head to His Lotus feet. It is believed that just as Tiruvachagam would please Lord Shiva, Kandhar Alamgaram would please Lord Muruga. Kandar Anuboothi, containing 51 stanzas, depicts Arunagirinathar's experience of having received the saintly advice (Upadesa) and having experienced the presence of Lord Muruga. It is said that Anuboothi which means divine experience is the ultimate of all Arunagiri's works. All these songs are ideal for daily prayer and one who renders them with devotion is sure to overcome the storm and sail through the ocean of life smoothly.

Arunagirinathar says, so long one has the grace of Lord Muruga, the mighty Lord of Death, Yama Raja, cannot come near. There is a general impression that death is something untoward, something ‘unfortunate', and something to fear about. One who has the actual knowledge of death fears not. Death is not an end in itself. Death occurs only to the body and not to the soul. Death means transition of the soul from a temporal world to an immortal world, from material to spiritual and from Maya (illusion) to real. This view is expressed in the dialogue between God of Death (Yamaraja) and Naciketas, the nine year old inquisitive boy as revealed in Kathopanishad and one finds almost similar views in Arunagirinathar's works.

Arunagiri had not received any formal learning. He had no opportunity to study scriptures in depth. In fact, he spent time seeking pleasure. It defies reason how such a person could compose a great masterpiece like Tiruppugazh that equals the knowledge of the Vedas? Arunagirinathar himself answers this question: "This knowledge, this talent, and this skill do not belong to me. They are the gift of Lord Muruga" (Yam Odhiya Kalviyum Em Arivum). It was the enormous grace of Muruga that helped him to compose a work of such magnitude and find answers to various human problems.

Arunagirinathar used the pleasing medium of music and the sweet language of Tamil to communicate with God. He composed Tiruppugazh in the Chandam style which means setting the verses in conforming to beats or rhythm. Going through his songs, it would seem that Tamil has rarely been handled so beautifully in poetic verses before. According to Tamil scholars, the poetic expression of Arunagiri, his language and style, the metaphors and similes he used, all went into making his works an outstanding literary masterpiece. "Villukku Vijayan, Vakkukku Arunagiri" so goes a Tamil saying. "If Arjuna is known for his archery power, Arunagiri is known for his vocabulary power".
As Arunagirinathar composed Tiruppugazh after receiving the enlightened upadesa from the Lord, his songs acquired an inherent strength and power and those who render these prayers would find fulfillment in life.

The seventh and ninth centuries C.E. witnessed a phenomenal rise in Shiva worship. The 63 Nayanmars hailed the glory of Lord Shiva in magnificent verses. They brought a new revolution to Bhakthi movement. It gave a new era of Shaiva Siddhanta. Arunagirinathar gave another direction and brought Muruga at the centre stage of worship. Though Muruga worship existed even from the period of Tolkappiyam, it was Shaiva Sidhantam that prevailed all over. Though Arunagirinathar himself worshipped at Shiva temples and drew inspiration from saints like Jnanasambhandar, he highlighted the glory of Muruga, as never before. The songs of Arunagiri have brought the glory of Muruga to an all time high. Muruga, already known as Tamizh Kadavul, became the Lord most loved, adored admired and worshiped.
With every word selectively chosen like a flower, the song that Arunagiri composed brightened up as a colourful garland. While saints appreciated the depth, range, and message, scholars appreciated the diction, poetic excellence and the literary richness. Devotees found in Tiruppugazh a novel, easy and pleasant form of worship. Never before, there was a poet of such distinction. Never before, literature and devotion blended so harmoniously.

It is difficult to judge who is greater, the poet Arunagirinathar who composed the verses with remarkable skill or the saint Arunagirinathar, who propounded the doctrine of devotion (bhakti) in a convincing manner. Needless to say, it is his devotion towards Muruga that helped the poet in Arunagiri to bloom in full colours. The immortal works of Arunagirinathar would continue to inspire the spiritual seekers for many more years to come.Śrī Sachidananda Swamigal dedicated his entire life to highlight the glory of Tiruppugazh. Seshadri Swamigal described Tiruppugazh as the Maha Mantra that would transform the life of devotees Thayumanavar said: "Oh Arunagiri! Who else can compose a word of truth as beautifully like you" (‘Ayya Arunagiri').

Chidambara Swamigal said: "Oh Tiru Porur Kumara, as your enchanting body is adorned with garlands composed by Arunagiri and Nakkeerar, I feel the fabulous fragrance from you.". Many saints hailed the glory of Arunagiri in the form of Pillai Thamizh and Sannidhi Murai. There were many saints like Pamban Swamigal, Vaidyanatha Desikar, Poet Veera Raghava Mudaliar, Poet Sahaya Devar, Chidambara Munivar, Kandappa Desikar, Kirupananda Variyar, Sengalvaraya Pillai, Calcutta Tiruppugazh Mani Iyer, T.M. Krishnaswamy Iyer, Pithukuli Murugadas, et al., who took the glory of Tiruppagazh to great height.

Matchless in its appeal to the intellect and heart, Tiruppugazh stresses the importance of knowledge and devotion. Tiruppugazh penetrates into the self, awakens the inner consciousness and enlightens the soul. It synthesizes the different concepts explained by saints and aims at reaching the Lotus Feet of Muruga. The songs not only delight the heart, they enlighten the intellect, heal the disease, console the mind, ensure happiness and take the devotees to the right destination in life.

Courtesy: Siva Paramasivam

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