A brief life history of a Mahapurusha who lived for more than 300 years and challenged the laws of nature.
This is compilation of my articles about Shri KuzhandayanandaSwamigal written around 2001-2002. Due to various reasons I had to remove it from the website. As requested by few of our readers, Iam posting it here again.
If you are interested in knowing more, please give your feed back and I shall post more information and rare pictures.
Ishwaro Gururathmethi Moorthibethavibaagine
vyomavarthavyaapthehaya dakshinamurtheye namah:
The One who is manifested in the different forms as Isvara, Guru and the self;
who is all pervasive like space; the effulgent Sri Dakshinamurthi- unto him be this salutation!
Parents and Early life :
Lord Krishna said in the Gita "Oh Dhananjaya ! I take the form of Sanyasi in kali to guide the human race" Thus sadhus & saints are considered as Brahma Swaroopa-the divine incarnation. The great souls who originate from the Brahman are considered to be the Brahman himself.
One of such Avathara moorthi is Sri Kuzhandayananda Swamigal.
He was born in the year 1607 AD in Samayanallur near Madurai. The parents of this divine child were Thiripurasundari and Ramaswamy Iyer (or Annaswami Iyer according to some versions). Since for a long time they did not have any issues,they made a prayer that they would give their child to Goddess Meenakshi at Madurai. By the grace of the divine mother they had twins. The children were name Raman and Lakshmanan; Soon after the naming ceremony, the sincere couple took both the children to the temple and left both in front of the Godess. Raman, our Swami who had the shangu -chakra on His feet, casually crawled into the moolasthanam and caught hold of the idol of Meenakshi and smiled at His parents.The contented couple took the other child and peacefully.
The problem arose only when the Artha-jama pooja was over.What to do with the child was the question. Suddenly a voice ordered the priest to leave the child inside and lock the door.The priest obeyed the order and left the temple.
Days rolled on and the child grew in Goddess Meenakshi`s motherly care.The child was given the name "Rajagopalan" and “Meenakshi Maindhan” in the temple. The child was always laughing and hardly spoke a word to anybody. But everyday after the door is locked at night,voices of a female and the child were heard behind the locked door.
Once an officer of the temple visited the temple and was annoyed to see the child near the Goddess. He enquired about the child and when others told about this divine child he refused to believe it. Suddenly the child started running towards the potraamarai pond. To everyone`s surprise the child continued to run on the surface of the water as if He is running on the land. The person who doubted the child became speechless.
Journey with Guru
|Guru Ganapati Baba|
When the child was nine years, a great Avadootha Saint with a captivating personality, came to the temple. This saint, named Ganapaty Baba lived for more than 900 years and hence no concrete history of him could be known. According to one version, he was the son of a Bairaagi who after his wife’s death left him in the temple. Another story says, he is a prince and all of a sudden one day he had the vision of Devi and hence abandoned everything and stayed in a temple. Anyhow, the common point is, he left his parents at an early age and lived in the Mahabhaleshwar temple. Shiva and Shakti were his parents.
He always remained in the state of bliss and lost the thoughts about himself and the world. Though he was not aware of the outside world, his glory drew the people towards him and they started calling him “Ganapati Baba”. Once, mother Shakthi instructed him to go to Madurai.
When Baba came to Madurai, Goddess Meenakshi handed over her nine year old son to the Avadootha. The boy and the Guru visited various places of Bharath and finally reached the Himalayas. When the boy grew up, his appearance had a striking resemblance with his Guru. (this is the reason for many people to think that both Swamigal and Ganapati Baba are same persons)
Resurrection of the Prince
During His sanchara in the Himalayas, Swamigal once visited Nepal and as the King reqested Him, He stayed in the palace. During this time the king`s son who was already ill, passed away. The king pleaded Swami to give life to his son. Though he knew that life once lost is lost for ever, he had a strong faith on Swamigal. Swamigal went inside the room where the deadbody was kept and locked the room. Three days passed and everyone became restless. On the fourth day due to swamigal`s grace the prince came back to life. When the door was opened, the prince came outside the room along with Swamigal. Everyone understood swamigal`s glory and started praising Him and worshipping Him. The King was very much moved with Swamigal’s grace and hence honoured him in a very high esteem. Swamigal later told that the “Makara Kandigai” and “Gowri Shankara” rudraksham which he was wearing were given by the Nepal King.
As Trailinga Swamigal at Kashi
After several years of sanchara in North India,Swamigal attained His first jeeva samadhi at kashi in the year 1767. During this time He was known as "TRILINGA SWAMI" as He had 3 Linga structure on His back. It is said that even Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda had met Swami and conversed with Him.Even today we can see the devotees of Trilinga Swami in Bengal and Benaras.
There are four references to Trailinga Swami in Gospel of Ramakrishna. When Ramakrishna Came to Kasi, he paid his visit to Trailinga Swami and later to his devotees, decraled that Swamigal is a real Paramahamsa and “a veritable image of Shiva”. Ramakrishna also described about Swamigal and suggested all the disciples to have his darshan. Swami Vivekananda also recalls an incident of Swamigal’s miracle at Calcutta and declares him as “Person whom I cannot forget”. Paramahamsa’s another disciple, Mahendranath Guptha (the famous “M”, the author of “Ramakrishna Kathamrutha) had also met Swamigal. He recollects how playful Swamigal was and “snatched the basket of sweets from the hands of M and like a child, hid it behind his back”
Paramahamsa Yoganandha, in his book autobiography of a Yogi, tributes Swamigal :
|Swamigal's Samadhi at Panchalinga Ghat|
“Trailanga's fame is so widespread that few Hindus would deny the possibility of truth in any story of his astounding miracles. If Christ returned to earth and walked the streets of New York, displaying his divine powers, it would cause the same excitement that was created by Trailanga decades ago as he passed through the crowded lanes of Benares.
On many occasions the swami was seen to drink, with no ill effect, the most deadly poisons. Thousands of people, including a few who are still living, have seen Trailanga floating on the Ganges. For days together he would sit on top of the water, or remain hidden for very long periods under the waves. A common sight at the Benares bathing ghats was the swami's motionless body on the blistering stone slabs, wholly exposed to the merciless Indian sun. By these feats Trailanga sought to teach men that a yogi's life does not depend upon oxygen or ordinary conditions and precautions. Whether he were above water or under it, and whether or not his body lay exposed to the fierce solar rays, the master proved that he lived by divine consciousness: death could not touch him.”
Trailinga Swamigal great not only spiritually, but also physically; His spiritual and physical appearance – both were great; He hardly ate anything, but his weight exceeded 300 pounds. This beloved son of Meenakshi attained many jeeva samadhis in various parts of India. He may be placed inside a Samadhi pit and even a temple may be constructed above it, but He will manifest elsewere and continue his leelas. Miracles were commonplace in the life of Sri Swamigal.
The first Samadhi of Sriswamigal is located at Panchalinga Ghat in Kashi. It is also said that Swamigal has another Samadhi within the campus of Lord Pashupatinath temple at Nepal. When he returned from this Samadhi His physical appearance changed a little, he appeared as a Gigantic person with more than 6 feet of height.
At Tiruvannamalai and Tenkasi
Soon Swamigal visited various places like Vidharpa, Vijayanagara and blessed the devotees. In all these places He was worshipped and praised by the Kings. His Guru, seeing his sishya`s glory blessed him with the title “Raja Pujitha” which means "one who is worshipped by the Kings". Then Swamigal spent some days at Kanchipuram and then came to Thiruvannamalai and spent 13 years there. At the end of the thirteenth year He mingled with the Arunachala Jothi and attained His next samadhi. At His return He transformed Himself from His gigantic figure to a short and stout figure. After this He visited places like Kanchi and Srirangam and finally He came back to Madurai from where He started along with His Guru 250 years ago. People who came to get the blessings of Swamigal started calling Him “SRI KUZHANDHAYANANDHA SWAMIGAL” not only due to His short figure but also as He was the child of Goddess Meenakshi.
The stout body disappeared but the big belly remained the same. His speech and activities also resembled a child – Kuzhandai. This appearance of Sri Swamigal remained the same till his Maha Samadhi.
Everything was a mere illusion for at any moment he may reveal his divinity. Though he assumed a child like form, his magnitude was beyond imagination.
The Samadhis of Swamigal are numbered to four to twelve according to various sources.
So far we are able to trace out four samadhis; But many of the devotees say that Swamigal has declared that he is having his samadhis in the following places :
· Himachal Pradesh
Samadhi at Thenkasi :
After several years, when Swamigal visited Thenkasi, he hurriedly went inside a house and at once sat on a Samadhi Shrine that is being worshipped there. The people of the house became irritated and felt angry on this behaviour of Swamigal; They were only aware of the fact that they had a samadhi of a great saint inside their house and they have been worshipping it for a long time. They were afraid that the Samadhi shrine is insulted by Swamigal; Swamigal explained them that it is His own Samadhi and clarified the details.
Long ago, once Swamigal visited Tenkasi and went to the house of His devotee named Kadirvel. His house was under construction that time. Swamigal knew the true devotion of Kadirvel and had grace for him. He decided to have His next samadhi there. He chose a room in the house and ordered the devotees to dig a pit. When the pit was ready He ordered them to close the pit immediately after he enters it. But while entering, Swamigal pulled devotee Kadirvel along with Him. The devotees built a Samadhi there (inside the house). Thus He is worshipped at this samadhi at Tenkasi.
Swamigal explained them this incident and instantly disappeared into the Samadhi and reappeared after few minutes.
This is popularly known as “KADIRVELAPPAR SAMADHI” and is still worshipped by Swamigal`s devotees.
After establishing His divinity in that place, Swamigal soon took back His form and came back to Madurai.
He stayed in and around Madurai and blessed the needy with His divine grace.It is said that during this time Swamigal once again visited places in northern India.
At Madurai :
After his return, Swamigal spent almost 20 years in places in and around Madurai (like Vattalagundu, Samayanallur, Dinigul, Pazhani etc). He blessed vast number of devotees during this period. Everyone who bowed him were benefited. Some came in search of Him and for a chosen few, He himself went to them and blessed them. His devotees formed a very large assembly irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
Swamigal continued to perform unbelievable miracles, cured diseases, granted astounding visions and fulfilled the prayers of the devotees – everything just by HIS SANKALPA. For instance, a young boy – son of a post master, died of sunstroke. Swamigal locked his body inside a room for three days. On the third day – he ordered the boy to come out, and he obeyed – came back alive.
Swamigal had no specific abode or ashram etc; He went to a place according to his wish and continued to live there – till he moves to the next place.
His knowledge on Devi Upasana was something extraordinary; Only a very few fortunate devotees had the opportunity to know the of vaibhava of devi upasana from him.
He Himself was the very embodiment of Mother Shakthi; He would just thro a handful of kunkumam inside a bowl of water and the kunkumam will form the design of a Srichakram – on the surface of the water; This dearmost son of Meenakshi created a Golden Sri Chakram of very large size and with very high potential. Swamigal himself attributed that this Chakram’s power is boundless and infinite. Swamigal conducted a very massive Shrichakra Puja and Chandi homam at Dindigul. During this time, innumerable miracles were witnessed. Each and every prayer was answered there. During the poornahuti, a kid saw Mother Shakthi in the form of a small Girl, inside the fire.
Samadhi at Madhurai:
After several years of Leelanugraha in Madurai, Swamigal who lived for nearly 3¼ centuries decided to have His maha Samadhi(ie Maha Samadhi to our limited knowledge). In the year 1932 during the end of the Navarathri festival in the VijayaDasami day, he shed his human body and attained Mahasamadhi at Madurai. After various discussions, all the devotees decided to consecrate this samadhi at a place called Arasaradi in Madurai.
His Srichakram is also installed just beside the Samadhi of Swamigal; Even today Swamigal is showering his blessings to everyone through the Srichakra which was created by Swamigal Himself. Though His body disappeared from this world, He is always present in the minds of true devotees.
He cannot be compared to the Chintamani jewel (the Philosopher's stone which satisfies desires), the Kalpataru (the Celestial Tree which fulfills our desires) or the the Kamadhenu (the Celestial Cow which yields what we desire), for they give us only what we desire; but the Sadguru gives us the most precious thing that is inconceivable and inscrutable (The reality).
Let us salute His lotus feet and praise His glory.
The Life History of Kuzhandaiyanandha Swamigal is written based on the following sources
· 1) Shri Meenakshi Maindhan Raja Pujitha Mahan by KSV Ramani
· 2) Raja Poojitha Sri Kuzhandhaiyanandha Swamigal Charithram by Seshadri Swamigal Adhishtaanam Assn, Oonjaloor
· 3)Booklet Titled “Sri Kuzhandhaiyanandha Swamigal Upadesha Mozhigal” by Dinamalar
Articles Titled :
· Sri Kuzhandhaiyanandha Swamigal by Sri. BM. Sivasubramanya Iyer
· Sri Kuzhandhaiyanandha Swamigal Charithram by Sri. N. Parasurama Iyer
My personal interaction and direct Interviews with
· Few devotees who had met Swamigal and their family descendants
· Few descendants of the Sri Swamigal's family