You are on page 1of 85

Lives of Saints

Compiled by Sanjeev Nayyar August 2001


By Swami Sivananda
I read a bit about the saints of India in a shool! "e were not taught in a manner whereby
one ould get omposite #nowledge about Indian saints$ the sole purpose was to mug
up and get through the e%ams! &ver sine I left shool$ in my subonsious mind$
there was a desire to find a boo# that told me about Indian saints! 'his desire was
fulfilled 2( years later when I found a boo# )*ives of Saints+ by Swami Sivananda!
"hat is happiness or #nowledge if not shared, So I am reproduing the boo# for you! -y
omments are in bra#ets! .ou are reading this essay due to the superlative efforts of my
assistant Ajay who has typed some eighty pages! 'his essay is dediated to all Indian
saints partiularly /eda /yasa$ San#ara$ Samartha 0amdas$ Namdev$ -irabai$ 1uru
1ovind Singh$ Swami 2ayananda Saraswati$ Narayan 1uru$ Sri Aurobindo$ Sri 0amana
-aharshi and all Bharityas who have sarified their lives for the protetion of Bharat!
Before you go ahead I must say that no ivili3ation$ ulture an survive if its people adopt
the path of non4violene read to mean not retaliating even when you are atta#ed!
5uoting Swami Sivananda )Who is a saint? 6e who lives in 1od or the &ternal$ who is
free from egoism$ li#es and disli#es$ selfishness$ vanity$ mine4ness$ lust$ greed and anger$
who is endowed with e7ual vision$ balaned mind$ mery$ tolerane$ righteousness and
osmi love$ and who has divine #nowledge is a saint!
Saints and sages only an beome real advisors to the #ings$ beause they are selfless and
possess the highest wisdom! 'hey only an improve the morality of the masses! 'hey
alone an show the way to eternal bliss and mortality! Shivaji had Swami 0amdas as
his adviser8 9ing 2asaratha had -aharshi /asishtha as his advisor+! I have
reprodued the hapters as they appear in the boo#!
1! Saints of Anient 'imes!
2! 'he :rophets!
(! 'he Aharyas!
;! 'he Saivite Aharyas of 'amil Nadu!
<! 'he Alwars or /aishnava -ystis of South India!
=! Saints of -aharashtra!
>! Saints of North India!
?! "omen Saints!
@! 'he :unjabi Sardar A Si#h 1urus!
10! Saints of 0eent 'imes!
At the beginning of eah hapter I give the list of saints as they appear in the boo#! In my
wisdom I have overed the lives of the more important saints where I have foused more
on their early life$ evolution$ teahings and less on mirales!
Saints of Ancient Times Chapter 1
'he saints of Anient 'imes were -aharshi /yasa$ Sage .ajnaval#ya$ .ogi Bhusanda$
2attatreya$ .ogi Baigisavya$ 'hirumula Nayanar!
MAHARSHI VYASA
In anient days$ our forefathers$ the 0ishis of Aryavartha$ went to the forest to do 'apasya
during the four months following /yasa :urnima C a partiular and important day in the
6indu alendar! Dn this memorable day$ /yasa$ an inarnation of the *ord 6imself$
began to write his Brahma Sutras! Dur anient 0ishis did this 'apasya in aves and
forests! But times have hanged and suh failities are not ommon nowadays although
1rihasthas and 0ajas are wanting who are able and willing to plae at the disposal of the
members of the fourth Ashrama suh help and failities as they an afford! 'he forests
and aves have given plae to the rooms of Sadhus in their own 1urudwaras and
-utts!Dne has of neessity to suit himself to time and plae8 and hange of plae and
situation should not be allowed to ma#e suh a different in our mental attitudes!
Chaturmas begins from the /yasa :urnima 2ay when$ aording to our Shastras$ we are
e%peted to worship /yasa and the Brahmavidya 1urus and begin the study of the
Brahma Sutras and other anient boo#s on EwisdomF!
Dur mythology spea#s of many /yasa8 and it is said that there had been twenty4eight
/yasas before the present Vyasa-rishna !vaipayana-too# his birth at the end of
2vapara .uga! 9rishna 2vaipayana was born of :arasara 0ishi through the
-atsya#anya4Satyavathi 2evi 4 under some peuliar and wonderful irumstanes!
:arasara was a great Bnani and one of the supreme authorities on astrology and his boo#
:arasara 6ora is still a te%tboo# on astrology! 6e has also written a Smriti #nown as
:arasara Smriti whih is held in suh high esteem that it is 7uoted by our present4day
writers on soiology and ethis! :arasara ame to #now that a hild$ oneived at a
partiular 1hati#a or moment of time$ would be born as the greatest man of the age$ nay
as an Amsa of *ord /ishnu 6imself! Dn that day$ :arasara was travelling in a boat and he
spo#e to the boatman about the nearing of that auspiious time! 'he boatman had a
daughter who was of age and awaiting marriage! 6e was impressed with the santity and
greatness of the 0ishi and offered his daughter in marriage to :arasara! Dur /yasa was
born of this union and his birth is said to be due to the blessing of *ord Siva 6imself who
blessed the union of a sage with a Bnani of the highest order! Although of a low aste!
At a very tender age /yasa gave out to his parents the seret of his life that he should go
to the forest and do A#handa 'apas! 6is mother at first did not agree$ but later gave
permission on one important ondition that he should appear before her whenever she
wished for his presene! 'his itself shows how far4sighted the parents and the son were!
:uranas say that /yasa too# initiation at the hands of his twenty4first 1uru$ sage
/asudeva! 6e studied the Shastras under sages Sana#a and Sanandana and others!
6e arranged the /edas for the good of man#ind and wrote the Brahma Sutras for the
7ui# and easy understanding of the Srutis8 he also wrote the -ahabharata to enable
women$ Sudras and other people of lesser intellet to understand the highest #nowledge
in the easiest way! /yasa wrote the eighteen :uranas and established the system of
teahing them through Gpa#hyanas or disourses! In this way$ he established the three
paths$ vi3!$ 9arma$ Gpasana and Bnana! 'o him is also attributed the fat that he
ontinued the line of his mother and that 2hritarashtra$ :andu and /idura were his
progeny! /yasaFs last wor# was the Bhagavata whih he undertoo# at the instigation of
2evarshi Narada who one ame to him and advised him to write it as$ without it$ his
goal in life would not be reahed!
/yasa is onsidered by all 6indus as a Chiranjivi$ one who is still living and roaming
throughout the world for the well4being of his devotees! It is said that he appears to the
true and the faithful and that Bagadguru San#araharya had his 2arshan in the house of
sage -andana -isra and that he appeared to many others as well! 'hus$ in short$ /yasa
lives for the welfare of the world! *et us pray for his blessings on us all and on the whole
world!
&verybody #nows that there are si% important systems of thought developed by our
anients #nown as the Shad 2arshanas or the si% orthodo% shools of philosophy$ vi3!$
San#hya$ .oga$ Nyaya$ /aiseshi#a$ :urva -imamsa and Gttara -imamsa or /edanta!
&ah system has a different shade of opinion! Later" these tho#$hts %ecame #n&ie'(y"
an( to re$#'ate them" the S#tras came into e)istence* 'reatises were written in short
aphorisms$ alled )Sutras+ in Sans#rit$ meaning lues for memory or aids to long
disussions on every topi! In the :adma :urana$ the definition of a Sutra is given! It says
that a Sutra should be onise and unambiguous8 but the brevity was arried to suh an
e%tent that the Sutra has beome unintelligible and partiularly so in the Brahma Sutras!
'oday we find the same Sutra being interpreted in a do3en ways! 'he Brahma Sutras
written by /yasa or Badarayana for that was the name whih he possessed in addition are
also #nown as /edanta Sutras as they deal with /edanta only! 'hey are divided into four
hapters$ eah hapter being subdivided again into four setions! It is interesting to note
that they begin and end with Sutras whih read together mean )the in7uiry into the real
nature of Brahman has no return )$ meaning that )going by that way one reahes
Immortality and no more returns to the world+F About the authorship of these Sutras$
tradition attributes it to /yasa! San#arahatya$ in his Bhashya$ refers to /yasa as the
author of the 1ita and the -ahabharata$ and to Badarayana as the author of the Brahma
Sutras! 6is followers4/ahaspathi$ Anandagiri and others identify the two as one the
same person$ while 0amanuja and others attribute the authorship of all three to /yasa
himself! 'he oldest ommentary on the Brahma Sutras is by San#araharya8 he was later
followed by 0amanuja$ /allabha$ Nimbar#a$ -adhva and others who established their
own shools of thought! All the five Aharyas mostly agree on two points$ vi3!$ HiI that
Brahman is the ause of this world and HiiI that #nowledge of Brahman leads to final
emanipation! But they differ amongst themselves on the nature of this Brahman$ the
relation between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul$ and the ondition of the soul
in the state of release! Aording to some$ Bha#ti and not Bnana$ as interpreted by
San#ara$ is the hief means of attaining liberation!
/yasaFs life is a uni7ue e%ample of one born for the dissemination of spiritual #nowledge!
6is writings inspire us and the whole world even to this day! -ay we all live in the spirit
of his writingsJ
HKor all those who believe that upper and lower aste had this Chinese wall between them
please note that /yasaFs mother was of low aste! /yasa would be remembered for
arranging the /edas and writing the 6oly 1eeta! "hen ever I am onfused or feeling low
I go the best friend ie the 1eeta! I go to any page$ after an hour reading I feel better with a
lear mind! A friend tells me that everytime she reads the 1eeta she learns something
new$ omes out with a different interpretationI!
SA+, YA-.AVALYA
'he name of .ajnaval#ya of -ithila stands distinguished both in the Srutis and in
the Smritis! .ajnaval#ya is espeially #nown for his unsurpassed spiritual wisdom and
power! 'he seer of a /eda Samhita from Bhagavan Surya$ the revealer of Brahma Bnana
to Bana#a$ -aitreyJ And other$ .ajnaval#ya hails supreme among sages of sared
memory! As to his obtaining the Shu#la .ajurveda Samhita from Bhagavan Surya$ there
is the following history!
.ajnaval#ya was the son of the sister of -ahamuni /aishampayana$ the
/edaharya of the 'aittiriya setion! 6e was studying the 'aittiriya Samhita from
/aishampayana who was also his 1uru! /aishampayana had many other disiples too and
they all were students of the 'aittiriya Sha#ha!
Dne all the 0ishis deided to form an assoiation near the -eru mountain and
made a rule that any 0ishi who absented himself at the appointed hour should inur the
sin of Brahmahatya Hthe sin of #illing a BrahminI for seven days! Dn that appointed day
fell the Sraddha eremony of /aishampayanaFs father! /aishampayana thought$
)Somehow I have to perform my fatherFs eremony! If the sin of Brahmahatya omes to
me$ my disiples will observe the e%piatory penane therefor+! So /aishampayana did not
attend the meeting of the 0ishis! And aordingly he inurred the sin of Brahmahatya!
'hen /aishampayana said to his disiples$ )Now I have to e%piate this great sin of
Brahmahatya! 'herefore$ you all will observe$ for my sa#e$ an e%piatory penane for
seven days+!
At one .ajnaval#ya stood up and said$ )D 1uruJ All these are poor4spirited
young students! 'hey will not be able to undergo suh a hard penane! So$ instead of all$ I
myself alone shall observe it in the manner in whih nobody else an+! /aishampayana
told .ajnaval#ya not to underta#e it alone! But .ajnaval#ya persisted! 'he preeptor was
offended at this audaious attitude of the disiple and said$ )D proud one$ you are very
oneited! .ou get away from me! &nough of you who is disposed to despise wise
Brahmins! 1ive ba# to me immediately whatever you have learnt from me+!
Gpon the order of the 1uru$ .ajnaval#ya$ the son of 2evarata$ vomited out the
olletion of the .ajus in the form of food! 'he other disiples ate that food ta#ing the
form of the 'ittiri birds$ beause they were very eager to reeive the same! 'hey then had
the diret revelation of those .ajurveda olletions! As the 'ittiri birds ate this /eda$ it is
theneforth alled the 'aittiriya .ajurveda! It is also #nown as 9rishna Hbla#I .ajurveda
on aount of its being vomited substane!
'hen .ajnaval#ya determined not to have any human 1uru thereafter! 'hus he
began to propitiate the Sun41od$ Surya! .ajnaval#ya worshipped and e%tolled the Sun$
the master of the /edas$ for the purpose of a7uiring the fresh /edi portions not #nown
to his preeptor$ /aishampayana!
.ajnaval#ya said$ ):rostration to the glorious Aditya$ who in the form of the
Atman$ abides in all beings! I bow to 6im who surrounds all li#e A#asa$ who is one and
not separated or distaned by limiting onditions! D 1reat 1od$ D Creator$ I ontemplate
upon that glowing sphere whih lights and warms the whole worldsJ D 1od who burns
all miseries wrought by unrighteous ativities$ who burns ignorane$ whih is the seed of
ativityJ D *ord$ I worship 'hy lotus4li#e feet praised and worshipped by the rules of the
three worlds! 1ive me those portions of the /eda whih are not #nown to others+!
'he Sun41od$ the glorious *ord 6ari$ pleased with .ajnaval#yaFs penane$
assumed the from of a house and taught the sage suh fresh portions of the .ajurveda as
were not #nown to any other! 'his portion of the .ajurveda goes by the name of Shu#la
.ajurveda! It is also #nown as /ajasaneya .ajurveda$ beause it was evolved in great
rapidity by Surya in the form of a horse through his manes! .ajnaval#ya divided this
/ajasaneya .ajurveda again into fifteen branhes$ eah branh omprising hundreds of
.ajus -antras! 9anva$ -adhyandina and others learnt those branhes!
.ajnaval#ya married two wives! Dne was -aitreyi and the other 9atyayani! Df
the two$ -aitreyi was a Brahmavadini! "hen .ajnaval#ya wished to divide his property
between the two wives before starting for the fourth Ashrama of his life$ -aitreyi as#ed
whether she ould beome immortal through wealth! .ajnaval#ya replied that there was
no hope of immortality through wealth and that she would only beome one among the
many who were well todo on earth! Dn hearing this$ -aitreyi re7uested .ajnaval#ya to
teah her what he onsidered as the best! 'hen .ajnaval#ya elaborately desribed to her
the sole greatness of the Absolute Self$ the nature of Its e%istene$ the way of attaining
infinite #nowledge and immortality et! This immorta' conversation %et&een
Ya/nava'0ya an( Maitreyi is recor(e( in the 1riha(aranya0a 2panisha(3 'he entral
theme of the disourse is thisL )All things are dear$ not for their sa#e$ but for the sa#e of
the Self! 'his Self alone e%ists everywhere! It annot be understood or #nown$ for It alone
is the Gnder stander and the 9nower! Its nature annot be said to be positively as suh! It
is reali3ed through endless denials as Enot this$ not thisF! 'he Self is self4luminous$
indestrutible$ unthin#able+!
'he other wife 9atyayani the daughter of Bharadhwaja$ was of ommon
intelligene$ and through her .ajnaval#ya had three sons Chandra#anta$ -ahamegha and
/ijaya!
.ajnaval#ya$ though a great Brahmajnani$ was a great 9arma#andi too! 6e aused
many .ajnas to be performed and himself beame the Aharya of those great .ajnas! 6e
was a elebrated Srotriya and a Brahma4nishtha 1uru! Dne 9ing Bana#a of /ideha
wanted to #now from whih real Brahmanishtha to reeive Brahma /idya! In order to
find out who was the real Brahma4nishtha$ Bana#a performed a huge Bahuda#shina
sarifie to whih all the 0ishis from far and wide were invited! And he offered one
thousand ows with their alves$ all their horns beings de#ed with enormous gold! 'hen
he prolaimed to the assembled ones$ )"hosoever is the best Brahmana amongst you
may drive these ows home+! None dared to get up and ta#e away the ows as they were
afraid of ensure by the others! But .ajnaval#ya stood up and as#ed his disiple
Samasravas to drive the owFs home!
'he other Brahmanas got angry and said to one another$ 6ow an he delare
himself to be the best among us, 'hereupon several 0ishis hallenged .ajnaval#ya with
many 7uestions on transendental matters to all of whih .ajnaval#ya gave prompt reply!
'here was a great debate in whih .ajnaval#ya won over all the others! Bana#a was
onvined that .ajnaval#ya was the best Brahma4nishtha and reeived Brahma /idya
from him thereafter!
'he third and the fourth hapters of the Brihadaranya#a Gpanishad abound with
the great philosophial teahings of .ajnaval#ya! .ajnaval#ya was also the author of the
famous .ajnaval#ya Smriti! 6is other wor#s are .ajnaval#ya Sha#ha$ :ratijna Sutra$
Satapatha Brahmana$ and .oga4.ajnaval#ya!
At the sarifie of Bana#a$ there was an e%hange of words between .ajnaval#ya
and /aishampayana! But on hearing that .ajnaval#ya had obtained a fresh /eda from the
Sun41od$ /aishampayana was muh pleased and he re7uested .ajnaval#ya to teah that
/eda to his own disiples also! .ajnaval#ya onsented and taught his /eda to the
disiples of /aishampayana! In the end$ .ajnaval#ya too# /idvat Sannyasa and retired to
the forest!
.ajnaval#ya was one of the greatest sages ever #nown! "e find him arguing with
and overoming even his teaher Gddala#a at the ourt of Bana#a! 6is preepts as
ontained in the Gpanishads stand foremost as the rest4jewel of the highest teahings on
Brahma /idya!
!ATTATR,YA
Anasuya is generally 7uoted as the model of hastity! She was the wife of Atri
-aharishi$ a great sage and one of the sapta 0ishis! She was well established in :ativrata
2harma! She served her husband with intense devotion! She did severe 'apas for a very
long time in order to beget sons e7ual to Brahma$ /ishnu and Siva!
Dne Narada too# a small ball of iron4the si3e of a gram4grain4to Sarasvati and
said to her$ )D Sarasvati 2eviJ :lease fry this iron ball! I will ta#e this iron4ball4gram
during my travel+! Sarasvati laughed and said$ )D 0ishi NaradaJ 6ow an this iron ball
be fried, 6ow an this be eaten,+ Narada afterwards went to -ahala#shmi and :arvati
and re7uested them to fry the iron ball! 'hey also laughed at Narada 0ishi 'hen Narada
said$ )D 2evisJ See$ I will get it fried by Anasuya$ wife of Atri -aharishi$ a great
:ativrata who lives in the earth4plane+!
'hen Narada ame to Anasuya and re7uested her to fry the iron4ball4gram!
Anasuya put the iron ball in the frying pan$ meditated on the form of her husband and put
a few drops of water whih were used in washing the feet of her husband on the iron ball!
'he iron ball was at one fried! Narada went to Sarasvati$ *a#shmi and :arvati$ ate before
them the fried iron ball4gram and gave them also a little of it! 6e greatly praised the glory
of Anasuya and her hastity! 'hen Narada resolved to fulfil the wish of Anasuya to beget
sons e7ual to Brahma$ /ishnu and Siva!
Narada said to Sarasvati$ *a#shmi and :arvatiL ).ou also ould have fried the iron
ball$ if you all had done servie to your husbands with faith$ sinerity and devotion! -a#e
a re7uest to your husbands to test AnasuyaFs :ativrata 2harma+!
'hen Sarasvati$ *a#shmi and :arvati re7uested their husbands to test the :ativrata
2harma of Anasuya$ wife of Atri -aharishi$ and as# her to give them Nirvana Bhi#sha$
that is$ to give them alms in a na#ed ondition!
'he 'ri4-urtis$ through Bnana42rishti$ ame to #now of the ation of Narada and
the 'apas and the wish of Anasuya! 'hey agreed! 'he 'ri4murtis put on the garb of
Sannyasins$ appeared before Anasuya and as#ed her to give them Nirvana Bhi#sha!
Anasuya was in a great dilemma! She ould not say ENoF to the Bhi#shus! She had to
maintain her :ativrata 2harma also! She meditated on the form of her husband$ too#
refuge in his feet and sprin#led over the three Sannyasins a few drops of water whih
were used for washing the feet of her husband! 'he 'ri4-urtis were onverted into three
hildren on aount of the glory of the Charanamrita! At the same time$ there was
aumulation of mil# in the breast of Anasuya! She thought that those hildren were her
own hildren and fed them with the mil# in a nude state and put them to the radle! She
was eagerly e%peting the arrival of her husband who had gone for ta#ing his bath!
As soon as Atri 0ishi ame ba# home$ Anasuya related to him all that had
happened during his absene$ plaed the three hildren at his feet and worshipped him!
But Atri #new all this already through his divine vision! 6e embraed all the three
hildren! 'he three hildren beame one hild with two feet$ one trun#$ three heads and
si% hands! Atri blessed his wife and informed her that the 'ri4-urtis themselves had
assumed the forms of the three hildren to gratify her wish!
Narada went to Brahma4*o#a$ /ai#untha and 9ailasa and informed Sarasvati$
*a##shmi and :arvati that their husbands had been turned into hildren through the
power of the :ativrata 2harma of Anasuya when they as#ed her Nirvana Bhi#sha and
they would not return unless the 2evis as#ed for Bhartri Bhi#sha HBhi#sha of husbandI
from Atri! Sarasvati$ *a#shmi and :arvati assumed the forms of ordinary women$
appeared before Atri and as#ed for :ati Bhi#shaL )D 0ishi$ #indly give us ba# our
husbands+! Atri 0ishi duly honoured the three ladies and with folded hands prayed to
them that his wish and the wish of Anasuya should be fulfilled! 'hen the 'ri4-urtis
appeared in their true forms before Atri and said$ )'his hild will be a great sage
aording to your word and will bear the name of 2attatreya+! 'hen they disappeared!
2attatreya attained manhood! As he had the rays of the 'ri4-urtis$ and as he was
a great Bnani$ all the 0ishis and asetis worshipped him! 6e was gentle$ peaeful and
amiable! 6e was always followed by a great multitude of people! 2attatreya tried to get
rid of them$ but his endeavors were all in vain! Dne when he was surrounded by many
people$ he entered a river for bathing and he did not ome out of it for three days! 6e
entered into Samadhi inside the water! Dn the third day$ he ame out and found that the
people were still sitting on the ban#s of the river awaiting his return! 6e did not sueed
in getting rid of the people by this method!
So 2attatreya adopted another plan! 6e reated a beautiful girl and a bottle of
wine out of his .ogi power! 6e ame out of the waters holding the girl in one hand and
the bottle of wine in the other! 'he people thought that 2attatreya had fallen from his
.oga and so they left him and went away!
2attatreya threw away all his personal possessions$ even the santy lothing he
had$ and beame an Avadhuta! 6e went out preahing and teahing the truths of /edanta!
2attatreya taught his 1ita$ named Avadhuta 1ita$ to *ord Subrahmanya! 'his is a most
valuable boo# that ontains the truths and serets of /edanta and the diret e%perienes of
Self4reali3ation!
Dne$ while 2attatreya was roaming in a forest happily$ he met #ing .adu$ who
on seeing 2attatreya so happy as#ed him the serets of his happiness and also the name
of his 1uru! 2attatreya said that the Atma alone was his 1uru and yet he had learned
wisdom from twenty4four individuals and that they were therefore his 1urus! 2attatreya
then mentioned the names of his twenty4four 1urus and spo#e of the wisdom that he had
learnt from eah! 2attatreya saidL )'he names of my twenty4four teahers areL4
1! &arth @! :ython 1>! 2aning girl :ingala
2! "ater 10! Dean 1?! 0aven
(! Air 11! -oth 1@! Child
;! Kire 12! 6oney4gatherer 20! -aiden
<! S#y 1(! Bee 21! Serpent
=! -oon 1;! &lephant 22! Arrow4ma#er
>! Sun 1<! 2eer 2(! Spider
?! :igeon 1=! Kish 2;! Beetle
1! I have learnt patiene and doing good to others from the earth$ for it endures
every injury that man ommits on its surfae and yet it does him good by
produing rops$ trees$ et!
2! Krom water I have learnt the 7uality of purity! Bust as the pure water leanses
other$ so also the sage$ who is pure and free from selfishness$ lust$ egoism$
anger$ greed$ et!$ purifies all those who ome in ontat with him!
(! 'he air is always moving through various objets$ but it never gets attahed to
anyone of them8 so I have learnt from the air to be without attahment$ though
I move with many people in this world!
;! Bust as five burns bright$ so also the sage should be glowing with the splendor
of his #nowledge and 'apas!
<! 'he air$ the stars$ the louds$ et!$ are all ontained in the s#y$ but the s#y does
not ome in ontat with any of them! I have learnt from the s#y that the Atma
is all pervading and yet it has no ontat with any objet!
=! 'he moon is in itself always omplete$ but appears to derease or inrease$ on
an aount of the varying shadow of the earth upon the moon! I have learnt
from this that the Atma is always perfet and hangeless and that it is only the
Gpadhis or limiting adjunts that ast shadows upon it!
>! Bust as the sun$ refleted in various pots of water$ appears as so many different
refletions$ so also$ Brahman appears different beause of the Gpadhis
HbodiesI aused by its refletion through the mind! 'his is the lesson I have
learnt
?! I one saw a pair of pigeons with their young birds! A fowler spread a net and
aught the young birds! 'he mother pigeon was very muh attahed to her
hildren! She did not are to live$ so she fell into the net and was aught! 'he
male :igeon was attahed to the female pigeon$ so he also fell into the net and
was aught! Krom this I learnt that attahment was the ause of bondage!
@! 'he python does not move about for its food! It remains ontented with
whatever it gets and lies in one plae! Krom this I have learnt to be unmindful
of food and to be ontented with whatever I get to eat HAjahara /rittiI!
10! Bust as the oean remains unmoved even though hundreds of rivers fall into it$
so also$ the wise man should remain unmoved among all sorts of temptations$
diffiulties and troubles! 'his is the lesson I have learnt from the oean!
11! Bust as the moth$ being enamoured of the brilliane of the fire$ falls into it and
is burnt up$ so also$ a passionate man who falls in love with a beautiful girl
omes to grief! 'o ontrol the sense of sight and to fi% the mind on the Self is
the lesson I have learnt from the moth!
12! Bust as bla# bee su#s the honey from different flowers and does not su# it
from only one flower$ so also I ta#e only a little food from one house and a
little from another house and thus appease my hunger H-adhu#ari Bhi#sha or
-adhu#ari /rittiI! I am not a burden on the householder!
1(! Bees ollet honey with great trouble$ but a hunter omes and ta#es the honey
easily! &ven so$ people hoard up wealth and other things with great diffiulty$
but they have to leave them all at one and depart when the *ord of 2eath
ta#es hold of them! Krom this I have learnt the lesson that it is useless to hoard
things!
1;! 'he male elephant$ blinded by lust$ falls into a pit overed over with grass$
even at the sight of a paper4made female elephant! It gets aught$ enhained
and tortured by the goad! &ven so$ passionate men fall in the traps of women
and ome to grief! 'herefore$ one should destroy lust! 'his is the lesson I have
learnt from the elephant!
1<! 'he deer is entied and trapped by the hunter through its love of musi! &ven
so$ a man is attrated by the musi of women of loose harater and brought to
destrution! Dne should never listen to lewd songs! 'his is the lesson I have
learnt from the deer!
1=! Bust as a fish that is ovetous of food falls an easy vitim to the bait$ so also$
the man who is greedy of food$ who allows his sense of taste to overpower
him$ loses his independene and easily gets ruined! 'he greed for food must
therefore be destroyed! It is the lesson that I have learnt from the fish!
1>! 'here was a daning girl named :ingala in the town of /ideha! She was tired
of loo#ing out for ustomers one night! She beame hopeless! 'hen she
deided to remain ontent with what she had and then she had sound sleep! I
have learnt from that fallen woman the lesson that the abandonment of hope
leads to ontentment!
1?! A raven pi#ed up a piee of flesh! It was pursued and beaten by other birds! It
dropped the piee of flesh and attained peae and rest! Krom this I have learnt
the lesson that a man in the world undergoes all sorts of troubles and miseries
when he runs after sensual pleasures and that he beomes as happy as the bird
when he abandons the sensual pleasures!
1@! 'he hild who su#s mil# is free from all ares$ worries and an%ieties$ and is
always heerful! I have learnt the virtue of heerfulness from the hild!
20! 'he parents of a young girl had gone in searh of a proper bridegroom for her!
'he girl was alone in the house! 2uring the absene of the parents$ a party of
people ame to the house to see her on a similar mission! She reeived the
party herself! She went inside to hus# the paddy! "hile she was hus#ing$ the
glass bangles on both hands made a tremendous jingling noise! 'he wise girl
refleted thusL )'he party will detet$ by the noise of the bangles$ that I an
hus#ing the paddy myself and that my family is too poor to engage others to
get the wor# done! *et me brea# all my bangles e%ept two on eah hand+!
Aordingly$ she bro#e all the bangles e%ept two on eah hand! &ven those
two bangles reated muh noise! She bro#e one more bangle in eah hand!
'here was no further noise though she ontinued hus#ing! I have learnt from
the girlEs e%periene the followingL *iving among many would reate disord$
disturbane$ dispute and 7uarrel! &ven among two persons$ there might be
unneessary words or strife! 'he aseti or the Sannyasin should remain alone
in solitude!
21! A serpent does not build its hole! It dwells in the holes dug out by others! &ven
so$ an aseti or a Sannyasin should not build a home for himself! 6e should
live in the aves and temples built by others! 'his is the lesson that I have
learnt from the sna#e!
22! 'he mind of an arrow4ma#er was one wholly engrossed in sharpening and
straightening an arrow! "hile he was thus engaged$ a #ing passed before his
shop with his whole retinue! After some time$ a man ame to the artisan and
as#ed him whether the #ing had passed by his shop! 'he artisan replied that he
had not notied anything! 'he fat was that the artisanFs mind had been so
solely absorbed in his wor# that he had not #nown the #ingFs passing before
his shop! I have learnt from the artisan the 7uality of intense onentration of
mind!
2(! 'he spider pours out of its mouth long threads and weaves them into obwebs!
It gets itself entangled in the net of its own ma#ing! &ven so$ man ma#es a net
of his own ideas and gets entangled in it! 'he wise man should therefore
abandon all worldly thoughts and thin# of Brahman only! 'his is the lesson I
have learnt from the spider!
2;! 'he Bhringi or the beetle athes hold of a worm$ puts it in its nest and gives
it a sting! 'he poor worm$ always fearing the return of the beetle and the sting$
and thin#ing onstantly of the beetle$ beomes a beetle itself! "hatever form a
main onstantly thin#s of$ he attains in ourse of time! As a man thin#s$ so he
beomes! I have learnt from the beetle and the worm to turn myself into Atma
by ontemplating onstantly on It and thus to give up all attahment to the
body and attain -o#sha or liberation+!
9ing .adu was highly impressed by the teahings of 2attatreya! 6e
abandoned the world and pratised onstant meditation on the Self! 2attatreya
was absolutely free from intolerane or prejudie of any #ind! 6e learnt
wisdom from whatever soure it ame! All see#ers after wisdom should follow
the e%ample of 2attatreya!
THIR2M2LA .AYA.AR
'hirumula Nayanar was a great .ogi in 9ailas! 6e had all the eight major Siddhis
through the grae of Nandi$ the /ahana of *ord Siva! 6e was a friend of Agastya -uni!
6e ame down from 9ailas and stayed in 9ashi! 'hen he went to Chidambaram and
'hiruvavaduthurai and other plaes near -adras! 6e worshipped *ord Siva in the temple
at 'hiruvavaduthurai and stayed there for some time!
Dne 'hirumula Nayanar went to a garden on the ban#s of the river Cauvery!
'here he saw the dead body of a areta#er of a herd of ows! 6e notied that all the ows
surrounded the dead body of the owherd and were rying bitterly! 'his touhed the heart
of 'hirumular! 6e pitied the ows very muh! 6e left his body in a ertain plae and
entered the dead body of the owherd! 6e loo#ed after the ows throughout the day and
sent them ba# to their respetive houses! 'he wife of the owherd! "ho was not aware
of the death of her husband$ invited 'hirumular who was wearing the physial body of
her husband! 'hirumular refused! 6e wanted to enter his own body! "hen he searhed for
his body$ it was not found in its plae 'hen he thought it was all the grae of *ord Siva!
"ith the body of the owherd! 6e went to Aduthuraj and sat underneath an Asvattha tree
on the western side of the temple and wrote a valuable boo# alled 'hirumantiram in
'amil! It is a boo# of three hundred verses whih ontain the essene of the vedas!
The 4rophets Chapter 5
'he saints under this hapter are :arsvanatha$ Buddha$ -ahavir$ 1uru Nana#! I have
overed :arsvanatha$ -ahavir and 1uru Nana#!
4ARSVA.ATHA
:arsva is regarded as an inarnation of Indra! 6e was the son of #ing /isvasena of
9ashi$ a desendant of the I#shva#u family$ and 7ueen Bama 2evi$ daughter of 9ing
-ahipala! 6e was the twenty4third 'irthan#ara! 6e was born on the eleventh day of the
dar# fortnight in the month of :ousha in the year ?>2 B!C! :arsvanatha began to pratie
the twelve vows of a householder when he was only eight years old!
:rine :arsva was now si%teen years old! 6e was sitting on the throne! 6is father
/isvasena said$ )-y son$ in order to ontinue our elebrated royal dynasty$ you must
marry now! At the desire of Nabhi 0aja$ 0ishabha had to marry+!
:arsvanatha was very muh frightened when he heard the words of his father! 6e
said$ )-y life4period will not be so e%tensive as that of 0ishabha! I am to live only a few
sore years! I have already wasted si%teen years in boyish sports! I must enter the order in
my thirtieth year! Should I then have a married life for so short a period in the hope of
getting pleasures whih are$ after all$ only imperfet$ transient and illusory,F
:arsvanathaFs heart was filled with a spirit of renuniation! 6e refleted within
himselfL )Kor long years I enjoyed the status of Indra and yet the lust for pleasures did not
derease! &njoyment of pleasures only inreases the lust for pleasures$ just as the addition
of fuel only inreases the virulene of fire! :leasures at the time of enjoyment are
pleasant$ but their onse7uenes are surely disastrous!
)'he soul e%perienes from beginning less time the sufferings of birth$ old age$
et!$ on aount of its attahment to the objets of this world! 'o satisfy the ravings of
his senses$ man wanders in the realm of pain! So that he may have sensual gratifiation$
he does not heed the moral injuntions and he ommits the worst vies! 6e #ills living
animals to enjoy the pleasures of the senses! *ust is at the roof of theft$ greed$ adultery
and all vies and rimes!
)As a onse7uene of sinful ats$ the soul is fored to migrate from birth to birth
in the #ingdom of the lower animals et!$ and to suffer the torments of hell! 'his lust for
pleasures must be shunned ruthlessly! So long I have wasted my life! I am not going to
spend any more time in the vain pursuit of pleasures! I shall be serious and pratie right
ondut!+
:rine :arsva had the twelve Anupre#shas or meditations! 6e resolved to abandon
the world! 6e too# leave of his parents and them left his house! 6e retired into the forest!
6e beame absolutely na#ed! 6e turned towards the north and bowed to the great
&manipated Siddhas! 6e plu#ed five tufts of hair from his head and beame a mon#!
:arsva pratised fasting! 6e observed with srupulous are the twenty4eight
primary and the ninety4four seondary rules of the order of mon#s! 6e was found lost in
meditation! 6e attained the pure omnisiene! 6e attained the final liberation in the
Sammeda 6ill$ whih is #nown today as the :arsvanatha 6ill! :arsvanatha preahed in
9ashi$ 9osi$ 9osala$ :anhala$ -aharashtra$ -agadha$ Avanti$ -alava$ Anga and /anga!
-any joined the Bain faith! :arsvanatha spent seventy years in preahing!
-ahavira modified and enlarged what had already been taught by :arsvanatha!
6e did not preah anything that was absolutely new! :arsvanatha lived for one hundred
years! 6e abandoned his home when he was thirty years old! 6e left home in ?;2 B!C!
and attained Nirvana in >>2 B!C! 1lory to :arsvanatha$ the twenty4third 'irthan#araJ
12!!HA
In the si%th entury before the Christian era$ religion was forgotten in India! 'he lofty
teahings of the /edas were thrown into the ba#ground! 'here was muh priest raft
everywhere! 'he insinere priests traded on religion! 'hey duped the people in a variety
of ways and amassed wealth for themselves! 'hey were 7uite irreligious! In the name of
religion$ people followed in the footsteps of the ruel priests and performed meaningless
rituals! 'hey #illed innoent dumb animals and did various sarifies! 'he ountry was in
dire need of a reformer of BuddhaFs type! At suh a ritial period$ when there were
ruelty$ degeneration and unrighteousness everywhere$ reformer Buddha was born to put
down priest raft and animal sarifies$ to save the people and disseminate the message
of e7uality$ unity and osmi love everywhere!
1irth
BuddhaFs father was Suddhodana$ #ing of the Sa#hyas! BuddhaFs mother was named
-aya! Buddha was born in B!C! <=0 and died at the age of eighty in B!C! ;?0! 'he plae
of his birth was a grove #nown as *umbini$ near the ity of 9apilavastu$ at the foot of
-ount :alpa in the 6imalayan ranges within Nepal! 'his small ity 9apilavastu stood on
the ban# of the little river 0ohini$ some hundred miles northeast of the ity of /aranasi!
As the time drew night for Buddha to enter the world$ the gods themselves prepared the
way before him with elestial portents and signs! Klowers bloomed and gentle rains fell$
although out of season8 heavenly musi was heard$ deliious sents filled the air! 'he
body of the hild bore at birth the thirty4two auspiious mar#s H-ahavyanjanaI that
indiated his future greatness$ besides seondary mar#s HAnuvyanjanaI in large numbers!
Astro'o$er6s pre(iction
Dn the birth of the hild$ Siddhartha$ the astrologers predited to its father SuddhodanaL
)'he hild$ on attaining manhood$ would beome either a universal monarh
HCha#ravartiI or abandoning house and home$ would assume the robe of a mon# and
beome a Buddha$ a perfetly enlightened soul$ for the salvation of man#ind+! 'hen the
#ing saidL )"hat shall my son see to ma#e him retire from the world,+ 'he astrologers
repliedL )Kour signs+! )"hat four,+ as#ed the #ing )A derepit old man$ a diseased man$
a dead man and a mon#4these four will ma#e the prine retire from the world+ replied the
astrologers!
Ren#nciation
1autama left his home forever$ wealth$ dominion$ power$ father$ wife and the only hild!
6e shaved his head and put on yellow robes! 6e marhed towards 0ajgriha$ the apital of
the #ingdom of -agadha! 'here were many aves in the neighboring hills! -any hermits
lived in those aves! Siddhartha too# Alamo 9alamo$ a hermit$ as his first teaher! 6e
was not satisfied with his instrutions! 6e left him and sought the help of another reluse
named Gdda#o 0amputto for spiritual instrutions! At last he determined to underta#e
.ogi praties he retired into the forest of Gruvila$ the modern Buddha 1aya! 6e
pratied severe 'apas and :ranayama for si% years! 6e was determined to attain the
supreme peae by pratiing self4mortifiation! 6e abstained almost entirely from ta#ing
food! 6e did not find muh progress by adopting this method! 6e was redued to a
s#eleton! 6e beame e%eedingly wea#!
,n'i$htenment
Buddha gave out the e%perienes of his SamadhiL )I thus behold my mind released from
the defilement of earthly e%istene$ released from the defilement of sensual pleasures$
released from the defilement of heresy$ released from the defilement of ignorane+!
In the emanipated state arose the #nowledgeL )I am emanipated$ rebirth is e%tint$ the
religious wal# is aomplished$ what had to be done is done$ and there is no need for the
present e%istene!
)I have overome all foes8 I am all4wise8 I am free from stains in every way8 I have left
everything and have obtained emanipation by the destrution of desire! -yself having
gained #nowledge$ whom should I all my -aster, I have no teaher8 no one is e7ual to
me! I am the holy one in this world8 I am the highest teaher! I alone am the absolute
omnisient one HSambuddhoI! I have gained oolness by the e%tintion of all passion and
have obtained Nirvana! 'o found the #ingdom of the law H2harmoI I go to the ity of
/aranasi! I will beat the drum of immortality in the dar#ness of this world+!
*ord Buddha then wal#ed on to /aranasi 6e entered the deer4par#F one evening! 6e gave
his disourses there and preahed his dotrine! 6e preahed to all without e%eption$ men
and women$ the high and the low$ the ignorant and the learned4all ali#e! All his first
disiples were laymen and two of the very first were women! 'he first onvert was a rih
young man named .asa! 'he ne%t were .asaFs father mother and wife! 'hose were his lay
disiples!
Buddha argued and debated with his old disiples who had deserted him when he was in
the Gruvila forest! 6e brought them round by his powerful arguments and persuasive
powers! 9ondanno$ an aged hermit$ was onverted first! 'he others also soon aepted
the dotrine of *ord Buddha! Buddha made si%ty disiples and sent them in different
diretions to preah his dotrine!
Buddha told his disiples not to en7uire into origin of the world$ into the e%istene and
nature of 1od! 6e said to them that suh investigations were pratially useless and li#ely
to distrat their minds!
&very Buddhist mon# ta#es a vow$ when he puts on the yellow robe$ to abstain from
#illing any living being! 'herefore$ a stay in one plae during the rainy season beomes
neessary! &ven now the :aramahamsa Sannyasins of San#araFs order stays in one plae
for four months without #illing ountless small insets$ whih ome into e%istene during
this period!
1#((ha6s teachin$s
*ord Buddha preahedL )"e will have to find out the ause of sorrow and the way to
esape from it! 'he desire for sensual enjoyment and linging to earthly life is the ause
of sorrow! If we an eradiate desire$ all sorrows and pains will ome to an end! "e will
enjoy Nirvana or eternal peae 'hose who follow the Noble &ightfold :ath stritly$ vi3!$
right opinion$ right resolve$ right speeh$ right ondut$ right employment$ right e%ertion$
right thought and right self4onentration will be free from pain and sorrow! 'his indeed$
D mendiants$ is that middle ourse whih the 'athagata has thoroughly omprehended$
whih produe insight$ whih produes #nowledge$ whih leads to almness or serenity$
to supernatural #nowledge$ to perfet Buddhahood$ to Nirvana!
)'his again$ indeed$ D mendiants are the noble truth of suffering! Birth is painful$ old
age is painful$ si#ness is painful$ death is painful$ assoiation with unloved objets is
painful$ separation from loved objets is painful$ the desire whih one does not obtain$
this is too painful4in short$ the five elements of attahment to e%istene are painful! 'he
five elements of attahment to earthly e%istene are form$ sensation$ pereption$
omponents and onsiousness!
)'his again$ indeed$ D mendiants$ is the truth of the ause of suffering! It is that thirst
whih leads to renewed e%istene$ onneted with joy and passion$ finding joy here and
three$ namely$ thirst for sensual pleasure$ and the instintive thirst for e%istene! 'his
again$ indeed$ D mendiants$ is the noble truth essation of suffering whih is the
essation and total absene of desire for that very thirst its abandonment$ surrender$
release from it and non4attahment to it! 'his again$ indeed$ D mendiants$ is the noble
truth of the ourse whih leads to the essation of suffering! 'his is verily the Noble
&ightfold :ath$ vi3!$ right opinion$ et!+
MAHAVIRA
-ahavira was born in <@@ B!C! 6e lived for >2 years! 6e abandoned home in <=@
B!C! 6e attained omnisiene in <<> B!C! and entered into Nirvana in <2> B!C! 6e was
the last 'irthan#ara!
-ahavira lived a life of absolute truthfulness$ a life of perfet honesty and a life
of absolute hastity! 6e lived without possessing any property at all! -ahavira was born
of Sidhatha$ 0aja of 9undalpura$ and 5ueen 'risala$ who was #nown by the name :riya
9arni! E-ahaF means great and E/iraF means a hero! E'irthaF literally means a ford$ a
means of rossing over! -etaphorially$ it denotes a spiritual guide or philosophy$ whih
enables one to ross over the oean of reurring births in this world! E9araF means one
who ma#es! 'he whole word 'irthan#ara means a Bain holy teaher!
Mahavira is not the fo#n(er of -ainism3 He revise( the -ain (octrines3 6e was
more a reformer than the founder of the faith! In Bain metaphysis$ )'ime+ is divided into
yles! It is laimed that in eah half4yle$ twenty4four 'irthan#aras$ at long intervals$
preah anew the dotrines! -ahavira was the twenty4fourth$ and li#e the others$ is
laimed to have been omnisient! -ahavira was also #nown by the names /ardhamana
Hi!e!$ ever advaningI and Sanmati! At the age of eight he observed the twelve vows of
Ahimsa$ et! 6e was obedient to his parents and served them with great faith and
devotion! 6e was an able statesman! 6e did not marry!
-ahavira was immersed in Self4ontemplation! 6e #new that the pleasures of this
world were transitory and that they strengthened the fetters of 9arma! 6e #new that
renuniation would lead to the attainment of eternal bliss! :eople were 7uite astonished at
the virtuous nature of -ahavira at suh a tender age! 6e was very muh interested in
meditation! 6e ultivated the arts of musi and literature! 'hirty years of :rine
/ardhamanaFs life passed off in this way!
/ardhamana saw$ through his lairvoyant vision$ that he had been passing through
innumerable births! 6e thought$ )6ow many births have gone by fruitlesslyJ I c'ear'y see
that the So#' is essentia''y separate from the arma matter3 HSimilar to what the
1eeta saysI! I have still wasted away thirty years of my life! I have not pratied any
penane! I have not renouned the world in order to attain pure 9nowledge! 'he
infatuation whih is at the roof of all evils is not yet destroyed+!
:rine /ardhamana beame e%tremely penitent! 6e resolved to give up everything
worldly! 6e gave up attahment to his parents$ friends and relatives! 6e thought over the
twelve Anupre#shas or matters of deep thin#ing aording to the Bain sripturesL
1! All worldly things are temporary!
2! 'he Soul alone is the sole resort!
(! 'his world is beginning less and roo#ed!
;! 'here is nothing to help the Soul$ but the Soul itself!
<! Body$ mind$ et!$ are essentially separate from the Soul!
=! 'he Soul is essentially pure and the body$ et!$ are essentially impure!
73 The So#'6s %on(a$e is (#e to the inf'o& of arma in it3
?! &very being ought to stop this inflow!
@! &manipation is attained when 9arma is absolutely got rid of!
10! 'he emanipated Souls remain at the foremost top of the filled spaes!
11! In this world$ to have the birth of a human being and to meditate on the nature
of the Soul are the greatest blessings!
12! 'o have the three jewels as desribed by the Dmnisient is the only morality!
-ahavira thought over these twelve things and deided finally that he must abandon
home!
-ahaviraFs mother said$ )-y beloved son$ you will not be able to bear the
severity of the austerities! 'hereis time yet for it! .ou must help your father in governing
the #ingdom! .ou an beome a mon# after some years+!
-ahavira said$ )Adorable motherJ All the objets of the world are evanesent li#e
water bubbles! "here an one get happiness in this world$ whih is the abode of disease$
sorrow$ pain and death, I must leave this world+!
-ahavira distributed all his wealth to the poor with his own hands! 6e went to the
forest! 6e too# off even the piee of loth$ whih he was wearing and beame absolutely
nude! 6e turned to the north and said$ )Salutation to the SiddhasJ+ 6e rooted out with his
own hands five tufts of hair from his head and beame a mon#!
-ahavira pratised rigorous austerities! 6e fasted for many days! 6e meditated on
the pure nature of the Soul!
-ahavira was tested by the elestials! A group of handsome women surrounded
him! But -ahavira remained unmoved and unperturbed! 6e attained omnisiene! 6e
preahed his message of peae for thirty years after the attainment of omnisiene! 6e
wandered in -agadha$ -ithila$ et -any #ings beame his disiples!
+2R2 .A.A
1irth
"henever there is a big atastrophe in the land$ whenever there is deline of
righteousness$ whenever there are oppression and haos in the land$ whenever the faith of
the people in 1od wanes$ great men or saints appear$ from time to time$ to enrih sared
literature$ to protet 2harma$ to destroy unrighteousness and reawa#en the love of 1od in
the minds of the people! India was in a bad plight! Babar invaded India! 6is armies
assaulted and sa#ed several ities! 'he aseti aptives were fored to do rigorous wor#!
'here was wholesale massare everywhere! 'he #ings were bloodthirsty$ ruel and
tyrannial! 'here was no real religion! 'here was religious perseution! 'he real spirit of
religion was rushed by ritualism! 'he hearts of the people were filled with falsehood$
unningness$ selfishness and greed! At suh a time 1uru Nana# ame to the world with a
message of peae$ unity$ love and devotion to 1od! 6e ame at a time when there was
fight between the 6indus and the -ohammedans when real religion was replaed by
mere rituals and forms 6e ame to preah the gospel of peae$ brotherhood or the unity
of humanity$ love and sarifie!
Nana#$ the 9hatri mysti and poet and founder of the Si#h religion$ was born in
1;=@ A!2! in the village of 'alwandi on the 0avi$ in the *ahore distrit of :unjab! Dn one
side of the house in whih 1uru Nana# was born$ there stands now the famous shrine
alled ENan#ana SahibF! Nana# has been alled the E:rophet of the :unjab and SindF!
Nana#Fs father was -ehta 9alu Chand$ #nown popularly as 9alu! 6e was the aountant
of the village! 6e was an agriulturist also! Nana#Fs mother was 'ripta! &ven in his
hildhood$ Nana# had a mysti disposition and he used to tal# about 1od with Sadhus!
6e had a ontemplative mind and a pious nature! 6e began to spend his time in
meditation and spiritual praties! 6e was$ by habit$ reserved in nature! 6e would eat but
little!
'oday the &nglish media and large setions of Si#hs believe that Si#hism is a different
religion! 'his is what Sardar 9hushwant Singh had to say in the Dutloo# )'he roots of
Si#hism lie deep in the Bha#ti form of 6induism and /edanta! "hile the Adi41ranth is
essentially a distillation of /edanta in :unjabi$ the last 2asam C tenth is a ompilation of
tales of the valor of 6indu goddesses! Dut of the 1<$02? names of 1ods that appear in the
Adi 1ranth$ 6ari ours over ?$000 times$ 0am 2$<((( times followed by :rabhu$ 1opal$
1ovind and other 6indu names for the divine! 'he popular Si#h oinage "ah 1uru
appears only 1= times+!
+#r# .ana06s Wan(erin$s
Nana# lived in this world for a period of seventy years! 6e wandered from plae
to plae! 6e went to Sayyidpur in the distrit of 1ujranwala! 6e then proeeded to
9uru#shetra$ 6ardwar$ Brindavan$ /aranasi$ Agra$ 9anpur$ Ayodhya$ :rayag$ :atna$
0ajgir$ 1aya and :uri! 6e traveled throughout India! 6e made four e%tensive tours! 6e
went to Sri *an#a$ -yanmar$ -ea and -edina also! 6e traveled to Bengal$ the 2ean$
Sri *an#a$ 'ur#ey$ Arabia$ Baghdad$ 9abul$ 9andahar and Siam! 6e held ontroversies
with :undits and -ohammedan priests! 6e debated with the :andas of 1aya$ 6ardwar
and other plaes of pilgrimage! 6e dispelled the louds of ignorane and doubts of many
people! 6e enjoined on all people to live righteously and with brotherly love and
hospitality! 6e preahed and taughtL )2o Nama Smarana! *ove 1od! Be devoted to one
1od! Serve your fellow beings! 1od is all4in4all! :ray! :raise 6im always! Attain the bliss
of union with 6im+! Nana# sueeded remar#ably in hanging the minds of men and
winning their love and onfidene and in direting them along the path of righteousness
and devotion!
1uru Nana# proeeded to -ultan! 6e halted by the side of a river! -ultan was a
plae filled with Ka#irs always! :rahlad was born at -ultan! Shams 'abrie3 and -ansoor
also lived there! 'he :irs ame to #now that 1uru Nana# had ome to -ultan! 'hey sent
him mil# in a up$ filled to the very brim! Nana# put inside the up some Batashas C
small hollow lumps of sugar4and a flower above them and returned mil#! -ardana told
his master that a thing li#e mil# should not be returned and should be drun# by him! 1uru
Nana# replied$ )*oo# here$ -ardana! .ou are a simpleton!
'he :irs have played a small tri#! 'hey have not sent this mil# for my use! 'here is deep
philosophy at the ba# of it! 'here is profound signifiane! 'he meaning is that -ultan
is already full of :irs and Ka#irs$ just li#e the up that is filled with mil# to the very brim$
and that there is no room for another religious teaher! I have also paid them in the same
oin! -y answer is that I will mi% with them li#e the Batashah and would predominate
over them li#e the flower plaed in the up of mil#+! 'he :irs and the Ka#irs then ame to
see 1uru Nana#! Nana# sang a song! 'he proud and arrogant :irs ame to their senses
now! 'hey beame very humble! 'hey said to 1uru Nana#L ):ardon us$ D revered 1uruJ
"e were surely self4oneited! 9indly give us spiritual instrutions and bless us+! 1uru
Nana# blessed them and gave them instrutions!
T&o Mirac'es
'here is a remar#able inident in onnetion with Nana#Fs visit to -ea! At
-ea$ Nana# was found sleeping with his feet towards the 9aaba$ before whih the
-ohammedans prostrated themselves when performing their prayer! 9a3i 0u#an4ud4din$
who observed this$ angrily remar#edL )InfidelJ 6ow dare you dishonor 1odFs plae by
turning your feet towards 6im,+ 6e also #i#ed Nana#! Nana# silently replied$ )I am
tired! 'urn my feet in any diretion where the plae of 1od is not+! 9a3i 0u#an4ud4din
too# hold of Nana#Fs feet angrily and moved them towards the opposite diretion! 'he
mos7ue also began to move! 'he 9a3i was stru# with wonder! 6e then reognised the
glory of 1uru Nana#! Hseems a bit far4fethed though but see the truth behind the
thoughtsI!
1uru Nana# visited 6assan Abdul in the Atto# distrit in the North "estern
Krontier in 1<20 A!2! 6e sat under a :eepul tree at the foot of a hillo#! Dn top of the
hill$ there lived a -ohammedan saint named /ali 5uandhari! 'here was then a spring of
water on top of the hill! -ardana used to get water from the spring! 1uru Nana# beame
very popular in a short time! 'he -ohammedan saint beame jealous! 6e forbade
-ardana from ta#ing water out of the spring! -ardana informed 1uru Nana# of the
ondut of the -ohammedan saint! 1uru Nana# said to -ardana$ )D -ardanaJ 2o not be
afraid! 1od will send water down to us soon+! 'he spring that was on the top of the hill
dried up immediately! 'here arose a spring at the foot of the hill where 1uru Nana#
halted! 'he saint was very muh enraged! 6e hurled a big ro# from the top of the hill
down to the spot where Nana# was sitting! 1uru Nana# stopped the ro# by his open
hand! 'he impression of his hand on the ro# e%ists even now! 'hen the saint ame to the
1uru$ prostrated at his feet and as#ed for pardon! 1uru Nana# smiled and pardoned the
arrogant saint! 'here now stands a beautiful shrine by the side of the spring whih is
alled ):unja Sahib+!
Teachin$ of +#r# .ana0
1uru Nana# felt that it would be improper to postpone Nama Smarana or
remembering the Name of the *ord$ even by a single breath$ beause no one ould tell
whether the breath that had gone in would ome out or not! Nana# says$ )"e are men of
one breath! I #now not a longer time4limit+! 1uru Nana# alls him alone a true saint who
remembers the Name of the *ord with every inoming and outgoing breath! 'he ideal is
pratial and within the reah of every man! 6e tells the people not to lose any time but
to begin at one! 6e also says that there are no barriers of rae$ lass$ aste$ reed or
olor$ whih he# the progress of any in reahing the goal! 6e reali3ed the great truth of
the brotherhood of religions! 6e preahed the universal brotherhood of man and the
fatherhood of 1od to all people!
+#r# .ana0 &as a reformer3 6e atta#ed the orruptions in soiety! 6e strongly
protested against formalism and ritualism! 6e arried the message of peae and of love
for everybody! 6e was very liberal in his views! 6e did not observe the rules of aste! 6e
tried his level best to remove the superstitions of the people! 6e preahed purity$ justie$
goodness and the love of 1od! 6e endeavored to remove the moral putrefation that was
prevalent amongst the people and to infuse real spirit in the worship of 1od and true faith
in religion and 1od! 6e introdued the singing of 1odFs praise along with musi$ as a
means of lin#ing the soul of man with 1od! "herever he moved$ he too# -ardana with
him to play on the rebe# while he sang! 6e said$ )Serve 1od! Serve humanity! Dnly
servie to humanity shall seure for us a plae in heaven+! 1uru Nana# had great
reverene for women! 6e allowed them to join all religious gatherings and onferenes
and to sing the praises of 1od! 6e gave them their full share in religious funtions!
1uru Nana# learly saysL )'he road to the abode of 1od is long and arduous!
'here are no short uts for rih people! &veryone must undergo the same disipline!
&veryone must purify his mind through servie of humanity and Nama Smarana!
&veryone must live aording to the will of the *ord without grumbling or murmuring!
6ow to find 6im, 'here is one way! -a#e 6is will your own! Be in true with the Infinite!
'here is no other way+! 'he first stage in ma#ing the divine will oneFs own is attained
through prayer for divine grae or favour4Ardas for 1uru :rasad! 1uru Nana# attahes
very great importane to prayer! 6e says that nothing an be ahieved by man without
divine favor! 6e saysL )Approah 1od with perfet humility! 'hrow yourself on 6is
mery! 1ive up pride$ show and egoism! Beg for his #indness and favor! 2o not thin# of
your own merits$ abilities$ faulties and apaities! Be prepared to die in the pursuit of
6is love and union with 6im! *ove 1od as a woman loves her husband! -a#e absolute
unreserved self4surrender! .ou an get divine favor and love+!
'he beautiful omposition of mysti poems uttered by Nana# is ontained in
EBapjiF! It is sung by every Si#h at daybrea#! 'he ESohilaF! Contains the evening prayers!
In EBapjiF! 1uru Nana# has given a vivid and onise desription of the stages through
whih man must pass in order to eah the final resting plae or abode of eternal bliss!
'here are live stages or 9handas! 'he first is alled 2harm 9hand or )'he 0ealm of
2uty+! &veryone must do this duty properly! &veryone must tread the path of
righteousness! &veryone will be judged aording to his ations!
'he ne%t stage is 1yan 9hand or )'he 0ealm of #nowledge+ where the spirit of
divine #nowledge reigns! 'he aspirant does his duty with intense faith and sinerity! 6e
has the #nowledge now$ that only by doing his duty in a perfet manner$ he an reah the
abode of bliss or the goal of life!
'he third stage is Sharam 9hand! 'his is )'he 0ealm of &stasy+! 'here is the
spiritual rapture here! 'here is beauty! 'he 2harma has beome a part of oneFs own
nature! It has beome an ingrained habit! It is no more a mere matter of duty or
#nowledge!
'he fourth stage is 9aram 9hand or E'he 0ealm of :ower+! 'he 1od of power
rules over this realm! 'he aspirant a7uires power! 6e beomes a mighty hero! 6e
beomes invinible! 'he fear of death vanishes!
'he fifth or the final stage is Sah 9hand or )'he 0ealm of 'ruth+! 'he formless
Dne reigns here! 6ere the aspirants beomes one with 1od! 6e has attained 1odhead! 6e
has transmuted himself into 2ivinity! 6e has attained the goal of his life! 6e has found
out his permanent resting plae! Now ends the arduous journey of the soul!
1uru Nana# again and again insists thusL )0ealise your unity with all! *ove 1od!
*ove 1od in man! Sing the love of 1od! 0epeat 1odFs Name Sing 6is glory! *ove 1od
as the lotus loves water$ as the bird Chata# loves rain$ as the wife loves her husband!
-a#e divine love thy pen and thy heart the writer! If you repeat the Name$ you live8 if
you forget it$ you die! Dpen your heart to 6im! &nter into ommunion with 6im! Sin#
into arms and feel the divine embrae+!
Nana# has given a beautiful summary of his teahings in one of his hymns as
followsL 4
*ove the saints of every faithL
:ut away thy pride!
0emember the essene of religion
Is mee#ness and sympathy$
Not fine lothes$
Not the .ogiFs garb and ashes$
Not the blowing of the horns$
Not the shaven head$
Not long prayers$
Not reitations and torturing$
Not the aseti way$
But a life of goodness and purity$
Amid the worldFs temptations!
)/ahe 1uru+ is the 1uru -antra for the followers of 1uru Nana#! 'he other
important -antra for repetition isL )&# Dm#ar Satnam 9arta :ur#h Nirbhav Nirvair$
A#almurat Ajuni Savai Bhang 1ur :arsad41od is but one$ 6is Name is true$ 6e is the
Creator$ 6e pervades the whole universe$ 6e is without fear$ 6e is without enmity$ 6e is
immortal$ 6e is birth less$ 6e is self4born and self4e%istent$ 6e is the remover of the
dar#ness Hof ignoraneI and 6e is meriful+! 'he *ord is eternal! 6e has no beginning
and no end!
The +ranth Sahi%
1uru Nana# invented the 1urumu#hi haraters by simplifying the Sans#rit
haraters! 'he holy 1ranth of the Si#hs is in 1urumu#hi! It is worshipped by the Si#hs
and the Sindhis! &very 1urudwara has a 1ranth Sahib! 'he holy 1ranth$ popularly
#nown as Adi 1ranth$ ontains the hymns of the first five 1urus! 'hey were all olleted$
arranged and formed into one volume alled 1uru 1ranth Sahib by the fifth 1uru! It
ontains a few seletions from the hymns of 9abir and other ontemporary /aishnavite
saints! *ater on$ the hymns of the ninth 1uru were inorporated in the 6oly 1ranth by the
tenth 1uru! 'he ompositions of 1uru Nana# are very e%tensive!
'he 1ranth Sahib begins with the followingL )'here is but one 1od whose name
is true4the Creator+! It ontains a ode of high morals! :urity of life$ obediene to 1uru$
mery$ harity$ temperane$ justie$ straightforwardness$ truthfulness$ sarifie$ servie$
love and abstinene from animal food are among the virtues on whih great emphasis is
laid8 "hile lust$ anger$ pride$ hatred$ egoism$ greed$ selfishness$ ruelty$ ba#4biting and
falsehood are vehemently ondemned!
The Acharyas Chapter 8
'his hapter inluded San#ara$ 0amanuja$ -adhva$ /allbha$ Nimbar#a$ 0amananda$
1auranga$ Saint Arunagiri! I have overed San#ara$ 0amanuja$ -adhva$ /allabha and
0amananda!
SA.ARA
Chaos pervaded all through India in the matter of religion and philosophy! Set
after set$ suh as Charva#as$ *o#ayathi#as$ 9apali#as$ San#hyas$ Buddhas and
-adhyami#as sprang up! 'he number of religions rose as high as seventy4two 'here was
fight amongst sets! 'here was no peae anywhere! Chaos and onfusion reigned
supreme! 'here was superstition and bigotry! 2ar#ness prevailed over the one happy
land of 0ishis$ sages and .ogins! 'he one glorious land of the Aryans was in a miserable
state! Suh was the state of the ountry at the time that just preeded the Avatara of
San#araharya!
'he e%istene of /edi 2harma in India today is due to San#ara! 'he fores
opposed to /edi religion were more numerous and powerful at the time of San#ara than
they are today! Still$ single4handed$ within a very short time$ Hhe lived all of (2 yearsI
San#ara overpowered them all and restored the /edi 2harma and Advaita /edanta to its
pristine purity in the land! 'he weapon he used was pure #nowledge and spirituality! 'he
previous avataras$ li#e 0ama and 9rishna$ used physial fores beause the obstales to
2harma in those days arose from the physial obstrutions and molestations of the
Asuras! 'he menae to 2harma in the 9ali age arose from obstales that were more
internal than e%ternal$ more mental than physial! 'he seeds of Adharma were then
wor#ing in the minds of almost everyone! 6ene the evil had to be ombated purely by
the weapon of #nowledge and self4purifiation! It was in order to forge this weapon and
wield it with effiay that San#ara too# birth in the brahmin /arna and entered the
Sannyasa order early in life! 'he previous Avataras li#e 0ama and 9rishna too# birth in
the 9shatriya /arma$ beause in their days they had to wield military weapons in the
restoration of 2harma!
1irth
San#ara was born in a very poor family in the year >?? A!2! in a village named
9aladi$ si% miles to the east of Alwaye! 9aladi is a railway station on the 9ohi4Shoranur
rail lin#! San#ara was a Nambudiri Brahmin! 0ajase#hara$ a Mamindar$ built a Siva
temple in 9aladi and formed anAgrahara for Brahmins who were in the servie of the
temple! /idyadhiraja was doing :uja in the temple! 6e had only a son named Sivaguru!
Sivaguru studied the Shastras and married at the proper age! 6e had no hild! 6e and his
wife Aryamba prayed to *ord Siva to bless them with a son! A son was born to them in
the /asanta 0itu or the spring season at noon$ in the auspiious Abhijit -uhurta and
under the onstellation Ardhra! 'his son was San#ara!
San0ara6s !i$vi/aya
San#araFs philosophial on7uests are uni7ue in the world! 6e had his triumphant
tour all over India! 6e met the leaders of different shools of thought! 6e onvined them
by arguments and established the supremay and truth of the religion that he e%pounded
in his ommentaries! 6e went to all the elebrated seats of learning! 6e hallenged the
learned men to disussion$ argued with them and onverted them to his opinions and
views! 6e defeated Bhatta Bhas#ara and ondemned his Bhashya on the /edanta Sutras!
6e then met 2andi and -ayura and taught them his philosophy! 6e then defeated in
argument 6arsha$ author of 9handana 9handa 9adya$ Abhinavagupta$ -urari -isra$
Gdayanaharya$ 2harmagupta$ 9umarila and :rabha#ara!
San#ara then proeeded to -ahishmati! -andana -israwas the hief :undit of
the ourt of -ahishmati! -andana was brought up in the 9arma -imamsa faith and so
he had intense hatred for the Sannyasins! 6e was performing Sraaddha eremony when
San#ara somehow dropped down there! Immediately -andana -isra beame very
furious! An ugly onversation was started when the Brahmins$ who were present there for
dinner$ interposed and paified -andana -isra!
'hen San#ara hallenged -andana to a religious ontroversy! -andana agreed! Bharati
who was the wife of -andana -isra and who possessed sholarly erudition was
appointed as the umpire! It was agreed beforehand that San#ara$ if defeated$ would
beome a householder and marry8 and that -andana$ if defeated$ would beome a
Sannyasin and reeive the robe of a Sannyasin from the hands of his own wife! 'he
ontroversy began in right earnest and ontinued for days without any interruption!
Bharati did not sit and listen to their ontroversy! She threw two garlands$ one eah over
the shoulders of eah of the disputants$ and saidL )6e whose garland begins to fade first
should onsider himself defeated+! She left the plae and began attending to her
household duties! 'he ontroversy went on for seventeen days! 'he garland of -andana
-isra began to fade first! -andana -isra aepted his defeat and offered to beome a
Sannyasin and follow San#ara!
Bharati was an Avatara of Sarasvati8 the 1oddess of *earning Dne the sage
2urvasa hanted the /edas before Brahma and his wife in a big assembly! 2urvasa
ommitted a small mista#e! Sarasvati laughed at it! 2urvasa beame enraged and gave a
urse that she would ta#e birth in the world! 6ene Sarasvati had to ta#e birth as Bharati!
Bharati now interposed and said to San#araL )I am the other half of -andana! .ou
have defeated only one half of -andana! *et us have a ontroversy+! San#ara objeted to
have ontroversy with a woman! Bharati 7uoted instanes wherein there had been
ontroversies with women! San#ara then agreed and this ontroversy also went on
uninterruptedly for seventeen days! Bharati passed from one Shastra to another! At last
she found out that she ould not defeat San#ara! She deided to defeat him by means of
the siene of 9ama Shastra!
San#ara as#ed Bharati to give him an interval of one month for his preparation to
hold ontroversy with her in the siene of 9ama Shastra! She agreed! San#ara went to
9ashi! 6e separated his astral body from his physial body by means of his .ogi powers
and left his physial body in the hole of a big tree and as#ed his disiples to ta#e are of
that physial body! 6e then entered into the dead body of 0aja Amaru#a whih was about
to be remated! 'he 0aja rose up and all the people rejoied at the astounding inident!
'he ministers and 7ueens soon found out that the revived 0aja was a different
person$ with different 7ualities and thought! 'hey reali3ed that the soul of a great
-ahatma had entered the body of their 0aja! 'herefore$ messengers were sent out to
searh for a human body hidden somewhere in lonely forests and aves and to burn it
when found! 'hey thought that if they did so$ the new 0aja might remain with them for a
long time!
San#ara was a7uiring all the e%periene of love with his 7ueens! -aya is very
powerful! In the midst of those 7ueens$ San#ara entirely forgot all about his promises to
his disiples about his going ba# to them! 'he disiples began to searh for him! 'hey
heard about the miraulous resurretion of 0aja Amaru#a! 'hey immediately proeeded
to the ity and had an interview with the 0aja! 'hey sang a few philosophial songs
whih at a one revived the memory of San#ara!
'he disiples immediately repaired to the plae where the physial body of San#ara was
#ept hidden! By that time the messengers of the 7ueen had found out the physial body
and had just begun to set fire to it! 'he soul of San#ara just then entered his own body!
San#ara prayed to *ord 6ari to help him! 'here was a shower of rain immediately and
that e%tinguished the flames!
'hen San#ara returned to the residene of -andana -isra! 6e resumed the old
ontroversy and answered all the 7uestions raised by Bharati satisfatorily! -andana
-isra gave all his property as a gift to Sri San#ara and -andana was made to distribute it
to the poor and the deserving! 6e then beame a disiple of San#ara! San#ara initiated
him into the holy order of Sannyasa and gave him the name of ESureswara AharyaF!
Sureswara Aharya was the first Sannyasin who too# harge of the Sringeri -utt! Bharati
also aompanied San#ara to Sringeri and there she is worshipped even today!
San#ara asended the seat of omnisiene after inviting /edi sholars from all
parts of India and answering their numerous 7uestions! San#ara$ by van7uishing all the
religious opponents of his day4and they belonged to no less than seventy4two different
shools4and establishing the superiority of the /edi 2harma$ had beome the Bagadguru
of all! San#araFs suess over the other religious sets was so omplete that none of them
have sine been able to raise their head in the land! -ost of them have disappeared
altogether! After San#araFs time$ although a few Aharyas have appeared$ none of them
have been able to van7uish those who differed from them as San#ara did and establish
un7uestioned supremay!
San0ara6s ,n(
San#ara proeeded to 9amarup4the present 1uwahati in Assan and held a
ontroversy with Abhinava 1upta$ the Sha#ta ommentator$ and won vitory over him!
Abhinava felt his defeat very #eenly! 6e made San#ara suffer from a severe form of piles
through bla# magi! :admapada removed the evil effets of the bla# magi! San#ara
beame 7uite alright! 6e went to the 6imalayas$ built a -utt at Boshi and a temple at
Badri! 6e then proeeded to 9edarnath higher up in the 6imalayas! 6e beame one with
the *inga in ?20 A!2! in his thirty4seond year!
Srin$eri M#tt
In the northwest of the State of -ysore$ nestling in the beautiful foothills of the
"estern 1hats$ surrounded by virgin forests$ lies the village of Sringeri and here San#ara
established his first -utt! 'he river 'unga4a branh of the river 'ungabhadra4runs
through the valley losely touhing the walls of the temple8 and its pure and limpid
waters are as famous for drin#ing purposes as the waters of the 1anges are for bath
H 1anga Snanam$ 'unga :anam I! Sringeri is a plae of great santity and its beauty has
to be seen to be appreiated! 'he -utt is Estill going strongF as the phrase goes! 'he
homage paid to the -utt by ountless aspirants and devotees is as muh due to the
greatness of illustrious men li#e /idyaranya who have been at its head ever sine its
foundation as to the renown of the founder himself!
It may not be out of plae to mention here that it too# thirty years for the well4
#nown Sans#rit professor -a% -uller to translate the ommentary on the 0ig /eda$
written by /idyaranya$ also #nown as Sayana! 'he learned professor$ in his prefae$ says
that not a single day passed in the thirty years without his devoting at least ten minutes on
the translation! 'here is also a little interesting inident that when the manusript was
found to be illegible in some plaes$ he got an authori3ed transription from the first
original still preserved in the Sringeri -utt$ through the influene of the then -aharaja of
-ysore!
'he famous holy shrine of Sri Sarada is an e7ual soure of attration to the
devotees! -any are the -utts and monasteries in India where holy men or their
suessors sit$ and where 6indus from all parts of India gather$ but none so great or so
famous as Sringeri$ the original seat of Adi San#araharya! 'he Sringeri :eetha is one of
the oldest monasteries of the world flourishing for over twelve enturies now! It is the
first of the four seats of learning established by San#araharya$ the other three being :uri$
2wara#a and Boshimutt near Badrinath in Gttaranhal$ eah one of them representing one
of the four /edas of the 6indus!
San#ara plaed his four eminent disiples HSureswara Aharya$ :admapada$
6astamala#a and 'rota#aharyaI in harge of the Sringeri -utt$ Bagannath -utt$
2wara#a -utt and Boshi -utt respetively! 'he most famous Sannyasin in the suession
of gurus of the Sringeri -utt was$ of ourse$ Vi(yaranya" the $reat commentator on
the Ve(as an( the father of the (ynasty of Vi/ayana$ar3 6e was the 2ewan of
/ijayanagaram! 6e beame a Sannyasin about 1((1 A!2!
'he eleven Sannyasins before /idyaranya were San#araharya$ /iswarupa$
Nityabodhaghana$ Bnanaghana$ Bnanottama$ Bnana 1iri$ Simha 1irisvara$ Isvara 'irtha$
Narasimha 'irtha$ /idya San#ara 'irtha and Bharati 9rishna 'irtha!
'he histori and sared pontifial throne of the Sringeri -utt is #nown as
/ya#hyana Simhasana or seat of learning! 'radition has it that this seat was given to the
great San#ara by Sarasvati$ the 1oddess of *earning$ in appreiation of the philosopherFs
vast sholarly erudition! 'hirty4five Aharyas had sat on the pontifial throne before his
present holiness in regular and uninterrupted suession!
!asanami Sannyasins
San#ara organi3ed ten definite orders of Sannyasins under the name E2asanamisF
who add$ at the end of their names$ any one of the following ten suffi%esL Sarasvati$
Bharati$ :uri HSringeri -uttI8 'irtha$ Asrama H2wara#a -uttI8 1iri$ parvata and Sagar
HBoshi -uttI8 /ana and Aranya H1ovardhana -uttI!
'he :aramahamsa represents the highest of these grades! It is possible to beome
a :aramahamsa by a long ourse of /edanti study$ meditation and Self4realisation! 'he
Ativarnashramis are beyond aste and order of life! 'hey dine found all over India!
Some anec(otes
San#ara was going along the street one day with his pupils to ta#e bath in the
1anges when he met a Chandala who was also passing along the street with his dogs by
his side! 'he disiples of San#ara shouted and as#ed the Chandala to lear off the road!
'he Chandala as#ed San#araL )D venerable 1uruJ .ou are a preaher of Advaita /edanta
and yet you ma#e a great differene between man and man! 6ow an this be onsistent
with your teahing of Advaitism, Is Advaita only a theory,+ San#ara was very muh
stru# by the intelligent 7uery of the Chandala! 6e thought within himself$ )*ord Siva
has assumed this just to teah me a lesson+! 6e omposed then and there five Slo#as
alled the E-anisha panha#aF! &very Slo#a ends thusL )6e who has learnt to loo# on the
phenomena in the light of Advaita is my true 1uru$ be he a Chandala or be he a
Brahmin+! 'here are other anedotes too whih I have ignored to ma#e write up shorter!
San0ara6s phi'osophy
San#ara &rote 1hashyas or ommentaries on the Brahma Sutras$ the Gpanishads
and the 1ita! 'he Bhashya on the Brahma Sutras is alled Sareeri# Bhashya! San#ara
wrote ommentaries on Sanat Sujatiya and Sahasranama Adhyaya! It is usually said$ )Kor
learning logi and metaphysis$ go to San#araFs ommentaries8 for gaining pratial
#nowledge$ whih unfolds and strengthens devotion$ go to his wor#s suh as /ive#a
Chudamani$ Atma Bodha$ Aparo#sha Anubhuti$ Ananda *ahari$ Atma4Anatma /ive#a$
2ri#42rishya /ive#a and Gpadesa Sahasri+! San#ara wrote innumerable original wor#s in
verses that are mathless in sweetness$ melody and thought!
San0ara6s s#preme 1rahman is Nirguna Hwithout the 1unasI$ Nira#ara
HformlessI$ Nirvisesha Hwithout attributesI and A#arta Hnon4agentI! 6e is above all needs
and desires! San#ara says$ )'his Atman is self4evident! 'his Atman or Self is not
established by proofs of the e%istene of the Self! It is not possible to deny this Atman$
for it is the very essene of he who denies it! 'he Atman is the basis of all #inds of
#nowledge! 'he Self is within$ the Self is without$ the Self is before and the Self is
behind! 'he Self is on the right hand$ the Self and the Self is behind! 'he Self is on the
right hand$ the Self is on the left$ the Self is above and the Self is below+!
Satyam4Bnanam4Anantam4Anandam are not separate attributes! 'hey form the
very essene of Brahman! Brahman annot be desribed$ beause desription implies
distintion! Brahman annot be distinguished from any other than 6e!
'he objetive world4the world of names and forms4has no independent e%istene!
'he Atman aloe has real e%istene! 'he world is only /yavahari#a or phenomenal!
San#ara was the e%ponent of the 9evala Advaita philosophy! 6is teahings an be
summed up in the following wordsL
Brahma Satyam Bagat -ithya$
Beevo Brahmaiva Na Aparah
Brahman alone is real$ this world is unreal8 the Biva is idential with Brahman!
San#ara preahed /ivarta /ada! Bust as the sna#e is superimposed on the rope$
this world and this body are super imposed on Brahman or the Supreme Self! If you gain
#nowledge of the rope$ the illusion of the sna#e will vanish! &ven so$ if you gain
#nowledge of Brahman$ the illusion of the body and the world will vanish!
San#ara is the foremost among the masterminds and the giant soul that -other
India has produed! 6e was the e%pounder of the Advaita philosophy! San#ara was a
giant metaphysiian$ a pratial philosopher$ an infallible logiian$ a dynami personality
and a stupendous moral and spiritual fore! 6is grasping and eluidating powers #new no
bounds! 6e was a fully developed .ogi$ Bnani and Bha#ta! 6e was a 9arma .ogin of no
mean order! 6e was a powerful magnet!
'here is not one branh of #nowledge whih San#ara has left une%plored and
whih has not reeived the touh$ polish and finish of his superhuman intellet! Kor
San#ara and his wor#s$ we have a very high reverene! 'he loftiness$ almness and
firmness of his mind$ the impartiality with whih he deals with various 7uestions$ his
learness of e%pression4all these ma#e us revere the philosopher more and more! 6is
teahings will ontinue to live as long as the sun shines!
San#araFa sholarly erudition and his masterly way of e%position of intriate
philosophial problems have won the admiration of all the philosophial shools of the
world at the present moment! San#ara was an intelletual genius$ a profound philosopher$
an able propagandist$ a mathless preaher$ a gifted poet and a great religious reformer!
:erhaps$ never in the history of any literature$ a stupendous writer li#e him has been
found! &ven the "estern sholars of the present day pay their homage and respets to
him! Df all the anient systems$ that of San#araharya will be found to be the most
ongenial and easy of aeptane to the modern mind!
RAMA.2-A
In the year 101> A!2!$ 0amanuja was born in the village of :erumbudur$ about
twenty4five miles west of -adras! 6is father was 9esava Somayaji and his mother was
9antimathi$ a very pious and virtuous lady! 0amanujaFs 'amil name was Ilaya :erumal!
5uite early in life$ 0amanuja lost his father! 'hen he ame to 9anheepuram to pursue
his study of the /edas under one .adavapra#asha$ a teaher of Advaita philosophy!
0amanuja traveled throughout the length and breadth of India to disseminate the
path of devotion! 6e visited all the sared plaes throughout India inluding 9ashi$
9ashmir and Badrinath! Dn his way ba# he visited the 'irupathi hills! 'here he found
the Saivites and the /aishnavites 7uarrelling with one another$ one party ontending that
the image of the *ord in the 'irupathi hills was a Saivite one and the other party saying
that it was a /aishnavite one! 0amanuja proposed that they should leave it to the *ord
6imself to deide the dispute! So they left the emblems of both Siva and /ishnu at the
feet of the *ord$ and after lo#ing the door of the temple$ both parties stayed outside on
guard! In the morning$ when they opened the doors$ it was found that the image of the
*ord was wearing the emblems of /ishnu$ while the emblems of Siva were lying at its
feet as left there the evening before! 'his deided that the temple was a /aishnavite one
and it has remained so ever sine!
0amanuja then visited all the /aishnavite shrines in South India and finally
reahed Srirangam! 6ere he settled himself permanently and ontinued his labors of
preahing the /isishtadvaita philosophy and writing boo#s! 'housands of people flo#ed
to him everyday to hear his letures! 6e leansed the temples$ settled the rituals to be
observed in them$ and retified many soial evils$ whih had rept into the ommunity!
6e had a ongregation of >00 Sannyasins$ >; dignitaries who held speial offies of
ministers and thousands of holy men and women$ who revered him as 1od! 6e onverted
la#hs of people to the path of Bha#ti! 6e gave initiation even to washermen! 6e was now
seventy years old$ but was destined to live many more years$ establish more -utts$
onstrut more temples and onvert many more thousands of people!
0amanuja was the e%ponent of the /isishtadvaita philosophy or 7ualified non4
dualism! 0amanujaFs Brahman is sa4visesha Brahman$ i!e!$ Brahman with attributes!
Aording to 0amanujaFs teahings$ *ord Narayana or Bhagavan is the Supreme Being8
the individual soul is Chit8 matter is Ahit! 0amanuja regards the attributes as real and
permanent$ but subjet to the ontrol of Brahman! 'he attributes are alled :ra#aras or
modes! *ord Narayan is the 0uler and *ord of the universe! 'he Biva is 6is servant and
worshipper! 'he Biva should ompletely surrender himself to the *ord! 'he oneness of
1od is 7uite onsistent with the e%istene of attributes$ as the attributes of Sha#tis depend
upon 1od for their e%istene!
MA!HVA
-adhvaharya was a great religious reformer and an orthodo% ommentator on
the brahma Sutras and the ten Gpanishads! 6e was born in 11@@ A!2! at /elali$ a few
miles from Gdipi in the distrit of South 9anara in South India! 6e was a 'ulu Brahmin
by birth! 6e was born of -adhya 1eha and /edavati! /edavati was a virtuous woman!
-adhva is regarded as an inarnation of /ayu$ the "ind41od! 'he father gave him the
name /asudeva!
-adhva distinguished himself in physial e%erises and field games! 6e had a
wonderful physi7ue! 6e ould wrestle$ run$ jump and swim! So people gave him the
ni#name Bhima! -adhva too# to the study of the /edas and the /edangas and beame
wellversed in them! 6e too# Sannyasa in his twenty4fifth year! Ahyutapra#ashaharya
initiated him! -adhva was now #nown by the name :urna :rajna!
Ahyutapra#ashaharya found that -adhva was a brilliant Sannyasin with effiient
#nowledge in /edanta and other sriptures! 6e put -adhva as head of the -utt in his
plae! -adhva reeived the name of Ananda 'irtha now! 6e went on an e%tensive tour in
Southern and Northern India to preah his gospel of Bha#ti! 6e made several onverts!
6e went to Badrinarayan$ and soon after his return$ he wrote his ommentary on the
Bhagavad 1ita and the /edanta Sutras! 6e built several temples at Gdipi$ the prinipal
entre of the -adhva set! -ost of the orthodo% -adhvas try to go to Gdipi at least one
in their life!
-adhvaharya is the great e%ponent of the 2vaita Shool of philosophy! 6is
/aishnavism is alled Sad4/aishnavism in order to distinguish it from the Sri4
/aishnavism of 0amanujaharya! Aording to his philosophy$ the Supreme Being is
/ishnu or Narayana! &very follower of the -adhva shool should have a firm belief in
the :anha4bheda4five real and eternal distintions4vi3$ the distintion between the
Supreme Being and the individual soul$ between spirit and matter$ between one Biva and!
another Biva between the Biva and matter$ between a one plae of matter and another! 'he
phenomenal world is real and eternal! 'he worship of /ishnu onsists in HII An#ana$
mar#ing the body with 6is symbols$ HiiI Nama#arana$ giving the names of the *ord to
hildren and HiiiI Bhajana$ singing 6is glories! -adhva laid muh stress on onstant
pratie of the remembrane of 1od HSmaranaI!
6e says$ )Korm a strong habit of remembering god! 'hen only it will be easy for you to
remember 6im at the moment of death+! -adhva pointed out that when the *ord
inarnated$ no :ra#rita 2eha or material body was put on by 6im! 6e presribed a
rigorous #ind of fasting to his followers!
0enuniation$ devotion and diret ognition of the *ord through meditation lead
to the attainment of salvation! 'he aspirant should e7uip himself with the study of the
/edas$ ontrol of the senses$ dispassion and perfet self4surrender$ if he wants to have the
vision of the *ord! 'hese are some of the important teahings of -adhvaharya$ the
renowned e%ponent of the dualisti shool of philosophy!
VALLA1HA
/allabhaharya$ the founder of the /aishnavite ult of 0ajasthan and 1ujarat$ was
born of *a#shmana Bhatta and Illamma in 1;>@ A!2! at Champaranya$ 0aipur$ in
-adhya :radesh! 6e was a 'elugu Brahmin and a ontemporary of Sri Chaitanya
-ahaprabhu! 6e is regarded as an Avatara of Agni!
/allabha lost his father when he was eleven years of age! 6e ompleted$ in his
twelfth year$ his study of the /edas$ the si% 2arshanas and the eighteen :uranas at
/aranasi! Krom /aranasi he went to Brindavan! 'hen he visited all the sared plaes in
India!
'he important wor#s of /allabha are /yasa Sutra Bhashya$ Baimini Sutra Bhasya$
Bhagavata 'i#a Subodhini$ :ushi :ravala -aryada and Siddhanta 0ahasya! All these
boo#s are in Sans#rit! /allabha has written many boo#s in Brij Bhasha also!
/allabhaFs followers have built a temple on the spot of his birth at Champaranya!
'his temple is very popular and is muh visited by them as a plae of pilgrimage!
/allabhaharya was the e%ponent of pure -onism or the Shuddhadvaita shool of
philosophy! Sri 9rishna is the highest Brahman! 6is body onsists of Sathidananda! 6e
is alled :urushottama! /allabhaFs followers worship Bala 9rishna H/atsalya BhavaI!
/allabha laid great stress on :ushti HgraeI and Bha#ti HdevotionI! -aha :ushti is the
highest grae or Anugraha that helps the aspirant to attain 1odhead! 'hings ome out of
the A#shara HSathidanandaI li#e spar#s from fire! 'hese are his salient teahings!
RAMA.A.!A
Sri 0amananda$ a great pioneer of the Bha#ti movement in 6industan$ was fifth in
apostoli suession to Sri 0amanuja$ a disiple of .amuna -uni and an e%ponent of the
/isishtadvaita philosophy or 7ualified monism! 0amananda was born in :rayag$ the
modern Allahabad$ in 12@@ A!2! 6e was born of :unyasadan$ a 9anya#ubja Brahmin and
Sushila! 6e attained -ahasamadhi in 1;10 A!2!
Sri 0amananda was a great /aishnava Aharya and a devotee! 6is followers
worship *ord 0ama! 'hey are #nown as 0amanandis or 0amavats! 'he mendiant
members of the set are #nown as /airagis!
0amananda admitted all$ high and low ali#e$ into his Satsang! Among his twelve
disiples$ there were Brahmins$ a -ussalman$ a weaver$ a 0ajput$ a Bat$ a barber$ a
obbler and two women! 'he twelve disiples wereL 9abir$ the weaver8 0aidas$ the
obbler8 :ipa$ the 0ajput #ing8 2hanna$ the Bat8 Sena$ the barber8 Narhariyananda$
Sursurananda$ Su#hananda$ Bhavananda and Anantananda8 and :admavati and Surasari$
two lady disiples!
0amanandaFs disiples laid great emphasis on two basi priniples$ vi3!$ that
perfet devotion onsists of perfet love towards 1od and that all servants of 1od are
brothers! Among the twelve disiples of 0amananda$ 9abir$ Sena and 0aidas founded
branh4sets of their own!
0amananda imbibed the /aishnavite philosophy of Sri 0amanuja$ but he
disseminated Bha#ti towards 0ama and Sita whih appealed more to the masses!
'he initiatory -antras of the set are Sri ram and Dm 0am 0amaya Namah! 'he
0amanandisF mar#s on the forehead are the same as those of the followers of 0amanuja$
e%ept that the red perpendiular line on the forehead is varied in shape and e%tent$ and is
generally narrower!
'he followers of 0amananda are numerous in 1angeti lindia! 'hey enompass
the whole of the ountry along the ban#s of the 1anga and the .amuna!
The Saivite Acharyas of Tami' .a(# Chapter 9
'he hapter inluded Appar$ Sundaramurti$ 'hiru Bnana Sambandhar$ -ani#avasagar! I
have overed Appar$ Sundaramurti and -ani#avasagar!
A44AR :R THIR2.AV2ARASAR
Appar is one of the four Samaya Aharyas! 6e was a ontemporary of
Sambandhar! 6e was a /ellala of 'hiru Amur in the distrit of Cuddalore in 'amil Nadu!
6e was born of :uga3hanar and -aathiniar! 'he parents gave the name )-arulnee##iar+
Hdispeller of dar#ness or ignoraneI to appar! Appar means EfatherF! Sambandhar gave
-arulnee##iar this name! 'he name Appar was first used by Sambandhar in addressing
him in one of several meetings between them! ApparFs soul4stirring and sublime odes
earned him the title )'hirunavu##arasar+ or )the *ord of Speeh+! Appar was a 1od4
inspired soul! 6e sang devotional odes or :adigams during his pilgrimage to various
shrines! 6e flourished in the middle of the seventh entury A!2! 6e was a mysti and a
poet! Appar beame a Bain and read all its sriptures till one day under the influene of his
sister he beame a devotee of *ord Shiva!
The Teachin$s of Appar
By means of his poems$ Appar laid the foundation of the Saiva Si((hanta Schoo'
of philosophy ApparFs poems are full of imagination$ spiritual insight$ religious emotion
and high spiritual reali3ation!
Appar was more learned than Sambandhar! 6e had a very powerful personality!
6e led an e%emplary life as a Siva bha#ta! 6e put an end to the influene of Bainism! 6e
always praises the five letters or panha#shara! 6e says$ )'he rare jewel of the Brahmins
is the /eda with its si% Angas! 'he rare jewel for the Saivites is the :anha#shara+!
ApparFs e%emplary life$ mellifluous poetry$ vast erudition and profound religious fervor
attrated ountless people! 6e had ountless admirers and disiples! 6e had great
influene! ApparFs wor#s onsist of three hundred poems that form three boo#s out of
twelve in the 'amil olletion of Saivite poetry #nown as 'hirumurat!
Appar saysL )&verything is the manifestation of *ord Siva! Siva is Narayana$
Brahma$ and the four /edas$ the holiest$ the oldest$ perfet! 'hough Siva is all these$ 6e
is none of these! 6e is without name$ without birth$ death or disease! 6e is at one the
transendent and the immanent!
)*ove of lord Siva must be felt and manifested! :ray! "orship! "eep! 2ane!
*ord Siva is the musi or melody in the song$ the sweetness in the fruit$ the thought in the
mind$ the luster in the eyes! 6e is neither male nor female! 6e is without dimensions!
)Subdue the senses! :ratie regular meditation! :ratie Sariyai$ 9iriyai$ .ogam
and Bnanam! 2evelop dispassion! 'ransend the three bodies! Gnite the individual soul
with the Supreme Soul or lord Siva! .ou will attain eternal bliss and immortality! .ou an
behold *ord Siva if you loo# for him with the light of wisdom issuing forth from the
wi# of life$ fed with the 1hee of meditation in the lamp of mind$ within the house of
your body!
):lough with truth! :lant the seed of desire for #nowledge! "eed out falsehood!
Irrigate the mind with the water of patiene! Supervise your wor# by loo#ing within or
introspetion or self4analysis! Build the fene of .ama4Niyama or right ondut or right
rules! .ou will soon attain Sivanandam or the eternal bliss of Siva!
0egard your body as the temple of lord Siva$ your mind as the worshipper$ 'ruth
as purity that is neessary for worship$ the jewel of the mind as the *inga$ love as 1hee
and mil#! :erform :uja to *ord Siva thus! *ord Siva annot be obtained without
meditation on the :anha#shara and without ma#ing the mind one4pointed!+
-ay you all follow the preepts and teahings of Appar and attain the Siva4:ada$
the immortal abode of eternal blissJ
S2.!ARAM2RTI
'here was a Brahmin by name Sadayanar in Navalur in 'amil Nadu! 6e was very
pious and devoted to *ord Siva! 6e had a pious son named Nambiyarurar or Alala
Sundarar! Alala Sundarar attained manhood! 6e was #nown by the name Sundaramurti
Nayanar also!
Sundaramurti Nayanar is one of the four Saiva Aharyas! 6e was a great devotee
of *ord Siva! *ord Siva of 'hiruvennainallur appeared before Sundaramurti in the form
of an aged Brahmin on the eve of his marriage! 'he *ord said that Sundarar was his bond
slave and so ought to wor# for 6im in his house! 'he name of the *ord was
'aduttat#onda :iran or the *ord who obstruted and saved Sundarar from Samsara!
Sundaramurti visited several temples! 6e went to adigai virattanam! *ord Siva
appeared before Sundaramurti and plaed his sared feet on his head! Sundarar then went
to 'hiruvarur! *ord Siva made Sundarar 6is friend!
Sunaramurti sang the glories of Siva in different sared plaes! 'hey are olleted
in boo# form! It is alled Thevaram3 All devotees sing 'hevaram even today! 'he hymns
sung by Sundaramurti$ Appar or 'hirunavu##arasar and 'hiru Bnana Sambandhar are
alled 'hevaram! 'he hymns sung by -ani#avasagar are alled 'hiruvaha#am!
Sundaramurti had the Sa#hya Bhav towards *ord Siva! 'herefore he was 7uite
friendly with the *ord$ too# any #ind of liberth with 6im and as#ed gold$ pearl garland$
mus#$ a garland of preious stones$ spetales$ lothes$ fragrane$ jewels$ house whih
an go with the swiftness of wind$ golden flowers! :alan7uins N one third of the rihes of
'hiruvarur! 6e did not as# for these things on aount of any desire for enjoyment! 6e
had no selfish desires! 6e did not #eep the things! 6e utili3ed them for those who
depended on him!
Sundaramurti showed to the world the path of Sa#hya -arga or Sa#hya Bhav in
Bha#ti!
MA.ICAVASA+AR
-ani#avasagar was a Brahmin by birth! 6e too# his birth in 'iruvadavur$ seven
miles from -adurai on the ban#s of the /aigai 0iver! 6e must have lived between =<0
A!2! and =@2 A!2! Some say that he flourished in the tenth or the eleventh entury! 6e
seured the friendship of the 9ing of -adurai$ Arimardana :andyan$ and beame his
Chief -inister 6e was also #nown by the name /adavurar!
'he :andyan #ing sent -ani#avasagar with a lot of wealth to purhase horses
for the State! -ani#avasagar started on his journey! Dn his way he heard the 9irtan of
Sivain a garden in 'hiruperundurai! *ord Siva assumed the form of a Siva .ogi and
seated himself underneath a tree with his Siva41anas as disiples! 6e ame there to
initiate -ani#avasagar in Siva4Bnana!
'hereupon -ani#avasagar met *ord Siva! 'he *ord ordered him to visit all the
plaes of pilgrimage and then ago to Chidambaram! -ani#avasagar visited
'iruvannamalai$ 9anheepuram and other plaes$ sang his 'hiruvaha#am$ and lastly
went to Chidambaram! 'hiru#oovali was written by him in Chidambaram!
'hen -ani#avasagar entered into disussion with a Buddhist teaher and
defeated him! Sarasvati made the Buddhist teaher and his disiples dumb! 'hen the
Buddhist #ing approahed -ani#avasagar and said$ ).ou made my teaher and all his
disiples dumb! If you an ma#e my dumb daughter spea#$ I and my subjets will
embrae Saivism+ -ani#avasagar then put some 7uestions to the dumb daughter of the
#ing! She began to spea#! 'hen the Buddhist #ing and all his subjets beame Saivites!
-ani#avasagar then made the Buddhist teaher and his disiples spea# one again!
'hen *ord Siva approahed -ani#avasagar in the form of a Brahmin!
-ani#avasagar repeated the whole Thir#vacha0am to the Brahmin! 'he Brahmin
wrote down everything on palmyrah leaves and wrote in the end$ )-ani#avasagar
repeated this$ 'hiruhittambala Gdayar wrote this+! 'hen the Brahmin #ept everything on
the :anha#shara Step of the Chitsabai! 'he Brahmins of Chidambaram showed this to
-ani#avasagar and re7uested him to tell the meaning of the verses! -ani#avasagar
said$ )'his 'hillai Nataraja is the purport of these stan3as+! 6e at one merged himself in
the feet of Nataraja at the age of thirty4two!
'he poems of -ani#avasagar are fifty4two in number! 'hey are all olleted
together under the title 'hiruvaha#am! 'hey are most beautiful$ sublime and inspiring!
'hey ontain ornamental poetry! South Indians sing 'hiruvaha#am daily! 'he hearts of
those who hear these hymns melt at one!
2ear readersJ .ou an understand from the life of -ani#avasagar that *ord Siva
beomes the slave of 6is devotees!
The A'&ars or Vaishnava Mystics of So#th In(ia Chapter ;
'his hapter inluded the three Anient Alwars$ :eriyalwar$ Nammalwar$ 9ulase#hara
Alwar$ 'hondaradippodi Alwar$ 'hiruppan Alwar$ 'hirumangai Alwar$ 'hiruma3hisai
Alwar$ Andal and Saint Alavandar! I have overed three Anient Alwars$ :eriyalwar$
Nammalwar$ 9ulase#hara Alwar$ 'hondaradippodi Alwar$ 'hiruppan Alwar$
'hirumangai Alwar and 'hiruma3hisai Alwar!
"henever there is a deay of righteousness$ people beome irreligious great saints ta#e
birth for the spiritual upliftment of the people! 'he Alwars inarnated in South India to
save the people from suh a risis$ re#indled the flame of Bha#ti in South India! 'hey
sang the glory of *ord 6ari! 'he Alwars ame from all astes! Kour of them were
orthodo% Brahmins! 'wo of them were non4Brahmins! Dne belonged to the depressed
lass! Dne was a woman! Kour were Ayonijas$ i!e! not born out of a womb! Dne was
9shatriya! 'he /aishnav saints were twelve in number!
'hey were #nown as Alwars beause they immersed in 1od4love! 'he hyms of the Alwar
saints are #nown as Nalayira 2ivya :rabhandam$ a boo# of four thousand verses! 'hese
hyms were olleted by the great sholar Nada -uni! 'he 2ivya :rabhandam is a sared
treasure of divine #nowledge that ontains the 7uintessene of the /edas$ Itihasas and the
:uranas in an attrative form!
TH, THR,, A.CI,.T ALWARS
:oygai Alwar HSaroyogiI! Bhudattalwar and :eyalwar are the three most anient
Alwars! 'hey were born4saints! 'hey are alled the E:ioneers of the AlwarsF! :oygai
Alwar was born at 9anheepuram in the ?=2$ @=2
nd
year of the 2vapara .uga$ i!e!$ nearly
<$<00 years ago! Bhudattalwar was born the ne%t day in 'iru#adarmallai$ the present4day
-ahabalipuram! :eyalwar was born the ne%t day at -amayilai$ now alled -ylapore!
:oygai Alwar is regarded as the inarnation of :anhajanya or the onh of lord
6ari! Bhudattalwar is regarded as the inarnation of 6is 1adha or mae! :eyalwar is
regarded as the inarnation of Nanda#a$ the sword of lord 6ari!
:oygai Alwar laid great stress on Bnana! Bhudattalwar laid great stress on Bha#ti
and :eyalwar on renuniation! 'hey reali3ed and uttered the same essential truths! 'hey
never felt or uttered any depreiation of lord Siva! 'hey reali3ed and sang the essential
unity of *ord Siva and *ord /ishnu! 'hey were far superior to the bigoted ommentators
of later days!
'he verse of these three anient Alwars are olletively #nown as Anta(is3 In an
Antadi$ the last word of eah were forms the first word of the sueeding one!
'he anient Alwars showed perfet tolerane towards Saivism! :oygai Alwar says
that there is but one 1od who is variously alled Siva and 6ari$ that 6is vehile is either
1aruda or a Bull$ and that 6is ation is either destrution or preservation! 6e says also
that the Supreme *ord is one and the same$ though 6e appears in two forms as 6ara and
Narayana! :eyalwar also states that he saw the *ord at /en#ata 6ill as Siva with 6is
matted lo#s and a%e$ and as 6ari with 6is disus and rown!
'he message of these anient Alwars isL )Control the senses! 0emain in the holy
ompany of devotees! 2o total surrender to lord Narayana! 0epeat 6is Name always!
"orship 6im! -editate on 6im! Sing 6is glory! 6e is the *ord of the three worlds! 6e is
your prop and refuge! Dbtain 6is grae! .ou will attain bliss and immortality! 6is grae
alone an save you! 6e abides in your heart+!
4,RIYALWAR
:eriyalwar means E1reat Alwar!F :eriyalwar was #nown by the name /ishnuhitta
also as his mind was ever absorbed in *ord /ishnu! 6e was the foster4father of Andal!
All the Alwars or /aishnavite mystis of South India form the body and limbs of
Nammalwar! :eriyalwar forms the head! 'he other Alwars prayed to the *ord for
wisdom and liberation$ but :eriyalwar$ out of /atsalya Bhav towards the *ord$ ared
muh for 6is well4being and blessed 6imL )6is holy feet may remain in undiminished
effulgene for millions and millions of years to ome4:allandu+! 6ene$ a prominent
position is given to :eriyalwar!
A pious Brahmin named -u#undahary lived with his haste and devoted wife
:adma in Srivilliputhur in the 'irunelveli distrit! 6e was daily praying to the *ord for
the gift of a hild! 6is prayer was granted! :eriyalwar or /ishnuhitta was born! 6e is
regarded as the inarnation of 1aruda$ the vehile of *ord 6ari!
'he :arliament of 0eligions was held in -adurai! :rofessors of every faith in the
ountry attended the onferene! /aishnavites$ Saivites$ Sa#tas$ Bains$ Buddhists and
:asupadas were all present on this uni7ue oasion! 6eated disussions went on! No one
satisfied the #ing!
*ord 6ari appeared in the dream of /ishnuhitta or periyalwar and said$ )Awa#e
/ishnuhitta$ start at one for -adurai! A big religious onferene is being held there
under the patronage of the #ing! 'a#e part in the onferene! I assure you of full suess!
1ive to the #ing and the people the message of devotion to *ord 6ari+!
/ishnuhitta attended the onferene and too# a prominent part in it! 'he #ing
welomed him and paid him due respets! /ishnuhitta answered all the 7uestions put to
him by the sholars! 6e said$ )*ord 6ari is the Supreme 2eity! 6e is the highest 'ruth!
6e is the :rotetor! 'a#e refuge in 6im alone! 2o total$ unreserved$ ungrudging self4
surrender! 0epeat 6is -antra Dm Namo Narayanaya! Dbtain 6is grae! 6e will liberate
you! 6e will ma#e you immortal! 6e will give you supreme peae and eternal bliss!
'hrough 6is grae only you an on7uer -aya! 6e abides in the heart of all beings! 6e is
all4pervading! 6e is all meriful! 6e is infinite! Sing 6is glory! 2o Bapa of his Name!
"orship 6im! Be ever attahed to 6is lotus feet+!
A mirale happened now! 'he moneybag$ whih was fi%ed in a high plae$ bro#e
loose and fell at the feet of /ishnuhitta by itself! 'he #ing was 7uite onvined! 6e was
highly satisfied!
:eriyalwar has given us two poems! 'he first is the :allandu in twelve verses! 'he
other is a olletion #nown as :eriyalwar 'hirumo3hi in four hundred and si%ty4one
harming verses of fine melody! :allandu is given the foremost plae in the olletion of
wor#s of all the Alwars! "hat :ranava is to the /edas$ so is :allandu to the wor#s of the
Alwars!
:eriyalwar 'hirumo3hi treats of the *ilas of *ord 9rishna! It ontains the essene
of the Bhagavatam! 6e passed away at the age of eighty five!
.AMMALWAR
Nammalwar is the first great mysti and poet! 6e is the greatest among the
Alwars! ENammalwarF means EDur AlwarF! 6e is also #nown by the names Sata#opar and
/a#ulabharanar! Nammalwar is the popular name!
'radition says that Nammalwar was born in 'hiru##uruhur$ now alled as
)A3hwar 'hirunagari+$ in the 'irunelveli distrit$ on the ban#s of the 'ambraparani$ ona
Kriday$ whih was a Kull -oon day in /ygasi$ :ramadhi$ in the ;(
rd
year after the birth of
the 9ali Age!
Nammalwar was born of 9ariar or 9arimaran and Gdaiya Nangaiyar! 9ariar was
a /ellala :illai! 6is anestors were all devoted worshippers of *ord 6ari! 9ariar was
married$ while young$ to Gdaiya Nangaiyar$ daughter of the /aishnava Sthani# of the
village of 'hiruvanparisaran$ lying on the other side of the "estern 1hats! Gdaiya
Nangaiyar was a haste woman! Nammalwar was #nown by the names of -aran and
Senamsa!
-adhura#avi a learned Brahmin from the Chola ountry who was well versed in
the /edas ame to -aranFs village and as#ed him an abstruse philosophial 7uestion! )If
within a dead thing a small thing were to ta#e birth$ what will the latter eat and where
will it sleep, 'he meaning isL If within the inanimate matter or body$ the subtle soul or
Biva were to ta#e birth$ what would it feed on and where would it rest, -aran replied
)'he small thing will feed on it and rest therein! It means 'he subtle soul enashed in
matter of pra#irti will feed on it! 'he :ra#irti will enjoy pleasure and pain the body and
rest in it! Dr it will enjoy 1od and rest in 1od+!
-adhura#avi was stru# with admiration at the subtle and wise answer! 6e
beame -aranFs disiple! 6e determined to remain by the side of his 1uru and learn
wisdom at his feet! -aran sang soul4stirring hymns suh as 'hiruvirutham$
'hiruvasiriam$ :eria 'hiruvantadi and 'hiruvaimo3hi! -adhura#avi arefully wrote
down the song4as they were sung4on palm leaves and published them after the death of
Nammalwar!
'he popular view is that 'hiruvirutham ontains the essene of the 0ig /eda$ that
'hiruvasiriam ontains the essene of the .ajur /eda$ that :eria 'hiruvantadi ontains the
Atharva /eda and that 'hiruvaimo3hi ontains the essene of the Sama /eda! 'his is not
orret! 'here is no semblane between NammalwarFs wor#s and the /edas! 'he only
thing that is ommon to both NammalwarFs wor#s and the /edas is that both ontain
desriptions about 1od and the means of attaining 1od4reali3ation!
Nammalwar ever lived in divine onsiousness! 6e had osmi onsiousness! 6e
e%periened )Sarvam /ishnumayam Bagat! 'he whole world is full of /ishnu+! 6e would
embraea tree or a alf or a pillar sayL 'his is my *ord 6ari+! 6e would point out to the
blue s#y and sayL )6ere is my blue4olored 9rishna+! 6e shed profuse tears! 6e sang$
wept and daned! 6e passed away at the age of (<!
2LAS,HARA ALWAR
9ulase#hara was a pious #ing of the 9erala or Chera dynasty of South India! 6e
was a #ing at Caliut and was the son of 9ing 2ritavratha! 6e was born at
'iruvanji##ulam in the 2?
th
year of the 9ali &ra$ in :rabhava$ -asi$ Su#la :a#sha$
2vadasi$ 'hursday$ when the star :unarvasu was in asendany!
9ulase#hara was an ardent devotee of Sri 0ama! 6e found happiness in
worshipping *ord 0ama and in the servie of 6is devotees! 6e was learned$ wise and
devoted$ 6e had #nowledge of Sans#rit and 'amil! 6e was profiient in the /edas! 6e
was hivalrous! 6e attained vitories over the then prines of South India! 6e had titles
suh as 9oodanaya#a and 9ongar#one! 6e ruled his dominion justly and wisely!
His Wor0s
As 9ulase#hara was an ardent devotee of *ord 0ama$ alled in 'amil E:erumalF
and as he identified himself with the *ord$ he was alled 9ulase#hara :erumal and his
'amil them was alled E:erumal 'hirumo3hiF$ a olletion of 10< verses! It is inluded in
the first part of the 2ivya :rabhandam! 6alf of the olletion glorifies the temples that he
had visited! 'he twenty verses on *ord 9rishna are pregnant with -adhurya Bhav! 'he
ten verses that pertain to Chitra#ut give a desription of the hief inidents in the life of
*ord 0ama! It is the strong belief of the /aishnavas that a repetition of these ten verses
would bestow on one as muh merit as a reading of the whole 0amayana!
9ulase#hara stayed at Srirangam for several years! 6e sang -u#unda -ala in
Sans#rit! It onsists of forty stan3as! 'his is a very reputed wor# of 9ulase#hara!
9ulase#hara has sung many hymns on the *ilas of Sri 9rishna and Sri 0ama$ on
the love of the 1opis and the glory of 9rishna$ and on the glory of 0ama and 6is
hivalrous deeds!
TH:.!ARA!I44:!I ALWAR
'hondaradippodi Alwar was born in a Choliya Brahmin family in
'hirumandangudi! 'he traditional date of his birth is 'uesday$ 9rishna :a#sha$
Chaturdasi$ -arga3hi$ :rabhava$ in the 2?
th
year of the 9ali &ra! 6e was named
/ipranarayana! 6e was devoted to 1od 0anganatha of Sriangam! 6e is regarded as the
inarnation of the 'ulasi garland of *ord 6ari! 6e had a flower garden in Srirangam and
offered garlands daily to the *ord!
'hondaradippodi Alwar was well versed in the /edi lore! 6e had intense
/airagya! 6a lived in a hut in his garden and lived upon the :rasad of *ord 0anganatha!
6e sang the glory of the *ord!
'hondaradippodi Alwar lived for 10< years at Srirangam and then attained the
abode of *ord 6ari! 6is beautiful hymns are 'hirumalai and 'hiruppallie3huhi!
'hondaradippodi Alwar and 'hirumangai Alwar ware ontemporaries8 and hene$
thondararippodi Alwar also seems to have belonged to the =
th
entury A!2!
THIR244A. ALWAR
'hiruppan Alwar was born in "oraiyur$ near 'iruhirapalli! 6is traditional date of
birth is 2urmathi$ 9arthigai$ 9rishna :a#sha 2vitiya$ "ednesday$ in the (;2
nd
year of the
9ali &ra! 6e was #nown by the name -univahana as he was arried to the temple on the
shoulders of Saranga -uni! 6e is regarded as the inarnation of Srivatsa$ a mar# on Sri
/ishnuFs hest!
THIR2MA.+AI ALWAR
'hirumangai Alwar was born in 'hiru#uraiyalur in the hola 2esa! 6is traditional
date of birth is Nala$ 9arthi#a$ Kull -oon$ 'hursday$ in the (@?
th
year of the 9ali &ra!
'hirumangai Alwar was #nown by the names :ara#ala and Nila! 6e is regarded as the
inarnation of the bow Saranga of *ord 6ari! 6e was a petty hieftain! 6e was a brave
warrior and a dauntless hero! 6e was the ommander of the army of the Chola #ing!
Nila wanted to marry 9umudavalli$ a pious virgin who lived in 'hiruvali! She was
a great devotee of lord 6ari! She refused to marry one who was not a Sri/aishnava! 'hen
Nila got himself initiated into /aishnavism! 'hen 9umudavalli said$ )'his outward
onversion is nothing! .ou must daily feed 100? Bha#tas for one year and bring their
:rasad to me every day+! Nila onsented! 6e fed 100? /aishnavas daily for a year
9umudavalli then married Nila and they lived happily!
Nila omposed the sared hymns #nown as :eria 'hirumo3hi$
'hiru#uruthandagam$ 'hirunedunthandagam$ 'hiruve3hu#ooriru##ai$ Siria 'hirumadal
and :eria 'hirumadal! 6e said with tears of repentane$ )I have wasted my life in lust!
'he lord has saved me! I ommitted atroious rimes! I plundered even the *ord! I was
very wi#ed! 'he Name of the *ord has saved me! 6ail$ 6ariJ 6ail$ /ishnu+!
A voie was heard from aboveL )Kear not$ 'hirumangai AlwarJ .ou have not
offended -e! 1o to Srirangam! Complete the onstrution of the temple! 2isseminate
Bha#ti far and wide! "orship -e with the garlands of your beautiful hymns and then
ome to -e+!
'hirumangai Alwar went from temple to temple and omposed hymns in respet
of eighty4si% temples! 6e met the great Sivaharya 'hiru Bnana Sambandhar at Sirga3hi
and was honored by him! 'hus he seems to have belonged to the =
th
entury A!2!
'hirumangai Alwar brought away a golden image of the Buddha from
Nagapattinam and used the gold in it to build the temple walls of Srirangam! 6e reahed
the abode of eternal bliss$ /ai#untha$ in his 10<
th
year!
Nammalwar ame to Srirangam from A3hwar 'hirunagari! 'hirumangai Alwar
gave him a grand reeption and listened with intense devotion to his inspiring hymns!
'hirumangai AlwarFs message isL )0epeat onstantly the names of lord /ishnu!
0emember 6im always! 2o total self4surrender unto the lord and obtain 6is grae! Be
attahed to 6is lotus feet! *ord Narayana is our savior and redeemer! 6e is the oean of
ompassion! Serve the Bha#tas! A Bha#ta and the *ord are one! Sing 6is glory! 2ane in
divine estasy! *ive in *ord 6ari! 0epeat 6is thousand names! Study
/ishnusahasranama+!
THIR2MA<HISAI ALWAR
'hiruma3hisai Alwar was also #nown by the name Bha#tisara! 6e was alled after
his birthplae as 'hiruma3hisai Alwar! 6e was the son of sage Bhrigu$ one of the Brahma
0ishis$ and an Apsara or heavenly nymph named 9ana#angi or 9ana#avati! 6is
birthplae was -ahisara or -ahisarapuram$ orrupted into -a3hisai or 'hiruma3hisai$ a
village near -adras!
'hiruhandavriruttam is a poem that onsists of a hundred and twenty stan3as!
Nanmu#han 'hiruvantadi is a poem onsisting of ninety4si% verses! Both of them have
been inluded in the 2ivya :rabhandam$ a olletion of the 'amil wor#s of all the
Alwars! As 'hiruma3hisai Alwar was a onvert from Saivism to vaishnavism$ we see in
his wor#s traes of bigoted devotion!
'he Alwar made 9umba#onam his permanent plae of residene! 6e died there at
a very advaned age! 'radition says that he lived for four thousand and seven hundred
years through his .ogi powers!
'his AlwarFs message isL )Narayana is the Supreme *ord! 6e is the sole refuge!
'here is great power in the names of the *ord! .ama$ the *ord of 2eath$ whispers into
the ears of his messengers that they should not approah the devotees of *ord 6ari! Keel
6is presene everywhere! 6e dwells in your heart! 6e is your protetor at all times and
stages! *ove the *ord! 2o self4surrender and obtain 6is grae! .ou will attain eternal
bliss and immortality+!
Saints of Maharashtra Chapter =
'he saints inluded are Samartha 0amdas$ Namdev$ &#anath$ 'u#aram$ 2amaji$
Cho#amela$ A#al#ot Swami$ 1ora#umbar and Bnanadev! I have overed Samartha
0amdas$ Namdev$ &#anath$ 'u#aram and Bnanadev!
SAMARTHA RAM!AS
0amdas was one of the greatest saints of the world! 6e was the inspirer of Shivaji!
6e was born of Suryaji :anth and 0enu#a Bai in Bamb$ E-aharashtra$ in 1=0? A!2! 6is
original name was NarainF!
0amdas was a ontemporary of Sant 'u#aram! 6e was a great devotee of
6anuman and *ord 0ama! 6e had 2arshan of *ord 0ama even when he was a boy! *ord
0ama 6imself initiated him!
0amdas did :urasharana of the 0ama -antra of thirteen letters Sri 0am Baya
0am Baya Baya 0am thirteen la#hs of times at 'afali$ near Nasi#$ on the ban#s of the
1odavari! After the :urasharana was over$ one again 0amdas had 2arshan of *ord
0ama! It is said that 0amahandra ordered 0amdas to visit holy plaes suh as Nasi#$
6aridwar$ 9asi$ et!
0amdas sprin#led over a dead body holy water uttering the names of 0ama and
the dead body was restored to life! 0amdas had to do this$ beause he had blessed a
woman who had just lost her husband!
0amdas was an Advaitin and a Bha#ta in one! 6e had this very noble 7uality that
he never hated any religion or nation! 6is main objet was to spread the 6indu religion
throughout India!
0amdas had not visited :andharpur$ as he had not #nown the e%istene of this
holy plae! Dne day$ the tradition says$ *ord :anduranga /ittal$ in the form of a Brahmin$
with a bath of three hundred pilgrims$ appeared before 0amdas and as#ed him whether
he had any objetion to see *ord 9rishna! 0amdas replied in the negative! :anduranga
then too# 0amdas to :andharpur$ and when the Bha#tas approahed the temple$ the
Brahmin disappeared! 0amdas then #new that it was none other than the lord that had
brought him to that holy plae! 6e entered the temple$ and to his great surprise$ found Sri
0ama standing alone on a bri#!
It is said that Sri 0ama ordered 0amdas to go to the ban#s of the 9rishna and help
the ause of Shivaji$ the inarnation of Siva and founder of the 9ingdom of -aharashtra!
0amdas ame to the 9rishna and went about preahing from -ahabaleshwar to
9olhapur! 6e established eleven prinipal seats of -aruti that emphasi3ed the importane
of physial development! 6e installed the shrines of Sri 0amahandra at Champavati and
introdued Sri 0ama Navami -ahotsava and the proession of Sri 0amaFs hariot! It &as
at the p'ace ca''e( Sin$anva(i that Shiva/i %ecame the (iscip'e of Ram(as3
Shivaji plaed the sandals of his 1uru on the throne and ated as regent of the
#ingdom under the order and guidane of his 1uru and adopted as ensign the flag of
orange olour 'here is a beautiful and romanti inident urrent in the -aharashtra
ountry about ShivajiFs adoption of the 1erua flag and his ruling the #ingdom in the
name of Saint 0amdas! 0amdas as#ed Shivaji to rule the #ingdom in his H0amdasFsI
name$ to ta#e the 1erua Chaddar for his banner and defend its honour with his life$ and to
thin# that the #ingdom did not belong to himself but treat it as trust to be ruled justly and
well before 1od! And thus had ome the 1erua banner to Shivaji!
His 4reachin$s an( Life
0amdasFs ways were very peuliar! 6e appeared to the outside world as a mad
man! 6e had a small bow! 6e used to have$ by his side$ a large number of stones with
whih he pelted every objet he saw! 'o men really interested in his teahings$ he gave
the -antra Sri 0am Baya 0am Baya Baya 0am!
0amdas had eleven hundred disiples$ of whom three hundred were women! 'he
women disiples were also e%pert preahers and were virtuous! 0amdas sent his disiples
to all parts of India to spread the 6indu religion! His (iscip'es an( M#tts in the .orth
(irect'y or in(irect'y he'pe( Shiva/i an( his &or03 0amdasFs organi3ation in the South$
round about 'hanjavur$ helped ShivajiFs son 0ajaram to go to Binji and arry on the
'wenty .earsF "ar with Aurabga3eb! "hen 0amdas visited 'hanjavur$ /en#oji$ who was
the step4brother of Shivaji$ beame his disiple! 0amdas appointed Bhimaswami$ his
diret disiple$ as the -ahant of the 'hanjavur -utt!
HDne wonders would Shivaji -aharaj been the same person if it were not for 0amdas!
Not only did the Swami motivate$ enourage Shivaji to protet his motherland and as#
him to rule justly but he also used his disiples to help Shivaji as referred to in the above
para! As human beings we need to reali3e the importane of a good advisor! "hile I am
all for using oneFs intellet one annot #now all$ we must always try and benefit from the
#nowledge A e%periene of the more learned! If you were to ompare the 7uality of
ShivajiFs 1uruA advisor with the ones that Nehru$ Indira 1andhi and /ajpayee have$ you
an guess why India as a nation has not lived up to its potentialI!
Last !ay
0amdas generally preferred to live in the forest$ where he would say$ he had better
meditation! In his last days$ 0amdasdevoted his time partly to literary ativities and partly
to the systemati building up of his disiples and mutts$ both in the north and in the
South! 'he literary wor#s of 0amdas suh as 2asabodh$ -anahe Shlo# Hverse addressed
to the mindI$ 9arunashta#as Hhymns to 1odI and 0amayana Hdesribing only the
on7uest of *an#a by Sri 0ama and the van7uishing of 0avanaI are very popular! It was
as a tribute to 0amdasFs e%traordinary patiene and determination in rehabilitating the
6indu religion in India that people named him Samartha 0amdas$ a name that he rihly
deserved! 'his great 1uru of -aharashtra breathed his last in 1=?2 at Sajjangad$ near
Satara$ a fortress that was given to him by Shivaji for his residene!
0amdas repeated the 0ama -antra with his last breath! At the time of his
departure from the world$ a da33ling light emanated from his body and ramdas was
absorbed in the image of *ord 0ama!
'he last instrutions of 0amdas to his disiples wereL )2o not thin# muh of your
bodily wants! 6ave Satsang with devotees! 9eep the image of *ord 0ama in your heart!
0epeat the name of *ord 0ama always! Annihilate lust$ greed$ anger$ hatred and egoism!
See *ord 0ama in all reatures! *ove all! Keel 6is presene everywhere! *ive for 6im
alone! Serve 6im in all beings! -a#e total and unreserved surrender unto 6im! .ou will
always live in 6im alone! .ou will attain immortality and eternal bliss+!
.AM!,V
Namdev of -aharashtra was a saint of mediaeval India! 6e was not a servant of
*ord 9rishna$ but 6is ompanion! Namdev was an Amsa of *ord 9rishna!
Namdev was a ontemporary of Bnanadev$ the famous saint of -aharashtra$ being
his senior in age by about five years! 6e was born in 12=@ A!2! 6e ame from a family of
tailors who were sinere devotees of /ittala of :andharpur! 'he family members were
observing the "ari of :andharpur$ i!e!$ going on pilgrimage twie a year on the first
eleventh day of the Ashadh and 9arti# months! 'he family originated from a village
alled Narsibamani on the ban# of the river 9rishna near 9arad$ in distrit Satara! Being
a great devotee of /ittala and wishing to improve his material prospets$ 2ama Setti$ the
father of Namdev$ had moved to :andharpur a year or two before his sonFs birth!
Dne day$ as NamdevFs mother was busy$ she as#ed Namdev to ta#e the plae of
offerings to /ithoba! Namdev went to the temple$ plaed the plate of eatables before
/ithoba and as#ed 6im to aept the offering! 6owever$ when Namdev did not find any
evidene of aeptane by /ithoba$ he ried so bitterly that /ithoba atually assumed a
human form and aepted the offerings gratefully! NamdevFs mother was surprised when
her son ome ba# in great joy with an empty plate and e%plained to her that /ithoba had
aepted the offerings by atually onsuming the eatables presented in the plate! So the
ne%t day$ she herself aompanied Namdev Hbut without his #nowledgeI to see and verify
for herself the orretness of NamdevEs e%planation! 'he same performane was repeated
and the mother had the satisfation of seeing the lord atually aepting their offerings!
6er joy and pride in Namdev was unbounded! She felt grateful to the lord that she was
the mother of suh a great devotee!
Lor( Vitho%a his on'y interest 4 In other respets$ however$ Namdev was the despair of
his parents$ and later$ of his wife and other relatives! Krom the beginning he had no
interest in worldly affairs8 he negleted studies in shool8 he would not ta#e interest in his
fatherFs profession as a tailor$ or in any other trade! 6is sole interest was to spend day
night in devotion to /ithoba! 6is parents were getting old8 the family prosperity was
waning! 'herefore$ their dearest wish was that Namdev$ while devoting a reasonable
spare time to his devotions$ should help in maintaining the family in omfort!
In the meantime$ Namdev married 0adha Bai! 0adha Bai was a worldly4minded
woman! In response to NamdevFs invitation$ /ittal attended the naming eremony of
NamdevFs hild in the guise of a human being$ named the hild )Narayana+ and gave
good gifts on the oasion!
'here was e%treme poverty in the house of Namdev! Namdev negleted his
worldly duties! NamdevFs mother and wife abused *ord 9rishna! Gnder the guise of
2harma Setti of vai#unthapuram and the pretene of past friendship with Namdev$ the
*ord visited NamdevFs house$ gave magnifient gifts to 0adha Bai and disappeared!
A(optin$ a +#r# 4 1reatly mortified$ Namdev repaired to /ithoba and omplained to
6im of his humiliation! 6e said that he saw no neessity for him to have a 1uru as he had
intimate relationship with *ord 9rishna 6imself! *ord 9rishna said that Namdev did not
really #now 6im! Namdev denied this! *ord 9rishna hallenged Namdev and as#ed him
to find out 6is identity that day! Namdev agreed! *ord 9rishna too# the form of a :athan
horseman and passed before Namdev! Namdev ould not reogni3e the *ord! Namdev
agreed to go to a 1uru *ord! /ithoba then advised him to adopt /isoba 9hehar as his
1uru!
)If you want to be absolutely happy$ fill this world with Bhajan and the sared Name of
the *ord! 'he *ord is the world itself! 1ive up all ambitions or desires! *et them ta#e
are of themselves! Be ontent only with the name of /ittal! .ou need not undergo any
hardship or penane in order to go to heaven! /ai#untha will ome to you of itself! 2o not
be an%ious of this life or of your friends or relatives! 'hey are li#e the illusions of a
mirage! Dne has to spend a short spae of time here li#e the potterFs well that goes on
rotating even after the potter has left! -a#e the best of it by #eeping the name of /ittal
ever in your mind and on your lips and by reogni3ing 6im everywhere and in everyone!
'his is my e%periene of life!
6e too# his Samadhi at :andharpur at the age of twenty4si% in 12@< A!2! Namdev
was not an author of any big treatise8 but he left behind him a large number of Abhangas
or short poems$ full with the netar of Bha#ti and love towards 1od! 'hese are
e%eedingly sweet! -ost of these are lost$ but there are e%tant about four thousand
Abhangas$ whih to this day are a great soure of inspiration to all who would read them!
Some of the Abhangas are found in the Si#h Adi 1ranth!
'he essene of NamdevFs message isL )Always reite the Name of the *ord!
Constantly remember 6im! 6ear 6is glory! -editate on the *ord in your heart! Serve the
*ord with your hands! :lae your head at 6is lotus feet! 2o 9irtan! .ou will forget your
hunger and thirst! 'he *ord will be near you! .ou will attain immortality and eternal
bliss+!
,A.ATH
&#anath is a well4#nown saint of -aharashtra! 6e was born of Suryanarayana and
0u#mini in the year 1<(( A!2! at :aithan in -aharashtra! 'he fire of devotion was
#indled in his heart even when he was a boy of ten years! 'his was all due to his previous
Sams#aras! 'he 1ita saysL )'here he regains the understanding a7uired in his former
body and strives still further for perfetion+! HCh! /I4;(I
Dne &#anath heard an A#asa /ani$ a voie from the s#y$ whih saidL )See
Banardana :anth at 2evagiri! 6e will put you in the proper spiritual path and guide you+!
&#anath immediately proeeded to 2evagiri$ met Banardana :anth and prostrated
at his feet! Banardana aepted &#anath as his disiple! Banardana was the 2ewan of the
provine of 2evagiri! &#anath lived with his 1uru for eight years and served him with
heart and soul!
&#anath had great love for the untouhables 6e had e7ual vision! 6e saw *ord
9rishna in all reatures! Dne$ some -ahars$ who were passing by the house of &#anath$
stopped in front of his house as they were attrated by the sweet smell of palatable dishes
that were being prepared for the death anniversary of &#anathFs father! &#anath at one
invited them and fed them sumptuously! 6e got food prepared again and invited the
Brahmins 'he Brahmins were offended! 'hey said$ )D &#anath$ you fed the -ahars first!
"e will not ta#e food at your home+! &#anath then invo#ed his forefathers diretly
through his power of devotion and fed them in person!
&#anath was a great devotee! *ord 9rishna 6imself assumed the form of a poor
Brahmin boy$ and under the name of 9andia$ lived as a water4arrier in the house of
&#anath for a period of twelve years rendering suh servie as bringing water for the
:uja$ ma#ing sandal4paste for worship$ removing the leaves after dinner$ et! After this
period$ 9andia disappeared miraulously!
&#anath wrote the Bhagavat$ whih holds the same plae of respet in
-aharashtra as 'ulsidasF 0amayan holds in Northern India! It is popularly #nown as
,0anath 1ha$avatam an( is fo#n( in every ho#se in Maharashtra3
At the age of si%ty4si%$ in the year 1<@@ A!2!$ &#anath passed away! A staunh
Bha#ta$ a great Bhagavata$ an ideal householder and a great saint$ he still shines as a
model for all people!
T2ARAM
'u#aram was born in 1=0? A!2! at a village alled 2ehu in :une distrit! It is
about seven miles from Alandi4the plae honoured by the Samadhi of Bnaneshwar4and
about three miles from the railway station at Shelarwadi on the railway line running from
Bombay to :une! 'u#aram ame of a well4to4do Sudra family belonging to the tradesman
lass alled -oray! 'he family had established itself at 2ehu for a long time! 'hey had
aepted /ithoba of :andharpur for worship and they had also onstruted a temple of
their own dediated to /ithoba! 'he family members$ sine many generations$ had also
aepted the E"ariF of :andharpur$ i!e!$ the annual pilgrimages to :andharpur on the
eleventh day of the month of Ashadh HBune4BulyI and again on the eleventh day of the
month of 9arti# HDtober4NovemberI! 'he hildhood of 'u#aram was almost uneventful!
As a onse7uene of the many misfortunes$ 'u#aram was so muh disgusted with
life that he left his house and village and disappeared into the Bhamnath forest nearby!
Kor fifteen days he stayed there onentrating on the Almighty without food$ water or
sleep! After the fifteenth day$ he realised his Supreme self and /ithoba visited him in 6is
true form!
'u#aram now began to spend his life more and more in devotional praties$
study of the poems and wor#s of Bnanadev$ Namdev and &#anath$ gita$ Bhagavata$ et!$
with the result that slowly$ but unonsiously$ he began to ma#e poems! 'hen one day$ he
had a dream in whih Namdev appeared with :andurang$ wo#e him and advised him to
ma#e devotional songs! 'hey would not hear of any e%uses! :andurang gave him the
neessary inspiration and Namdev told him to omplete the one hundred rores of poems
whih he had intended to ma#e and of whih he had ompleted ninety4four rores and
forty la#hs$ leaving a balane of five rores and si%ty la#hs for 'u#aram! The (ivine art
of ma0in$ poems came nat#ra''y to T#0aram an( as they &ere of the nat#re of
1ha0ti" the peop'e %e$an to %e more an( more attracte( to T#0aram4more so as he
did not see# anything materially for himself or for his own worldly welfare!
"henever 'u#aram began to perform bhajan or 9irtan$ people began to flo# to
the plae$ and with very few e%eptions$ people of all lasses began to onsider him as a
saint and treat him with respet! 'his was of ourse resented by a small number of people
and they tried their best to disredit him8 and having failed in this$ they sent a report
against 'u#aram to 0ameshwar Shastri who was regarded as a learned Brahmin of the
time!
'u#aram tried to onvine the Shastri that he was a very innoent person! But
0ameshwar was adamant and would not listen to any argument! 6e told 'u#aram finally
that he saw$ in the poems of 'u#aram$ a deliberate attempt to e%plain the priniples of the
Srutis whih 'u#aram$ as a Sudra by aste$ had no right to do8 he must therefore stop
ma#ing poems of that sort in future$ and as for the poems he had already made$ they
should be drowned in the Indrayani river!
'u#aram held all Brahmins in great reverene$ and therefore$ he immediately brought out
of his home all the poems$ bound them together$ tied a big syone round the bundle$ and
threw it into the river! 'u#aramFs traduers$ who were jealous of him$ were greatly
pleased! 'u#aram did not mind their taunts$ but he was worried! 6ere he was$ merely
singing the praise of 1od in his poems$ and that was not the monopoly only of the /edas
and the Srutis! -oreover$ he had been ommanded by :anduranga 6imself to spread
Bha#ti among the people through the poems!
'u#aram then sat on the ban# of the river Indrayani in onstant prayer to
:andurang to show him the orret path! Kor thirteen days he thus sat unmoved$ without
water$ food or sleep! Dn the last day$ one of 'u#aramFs followers$ in a dream$ saw
:andurang oming to him and telling him$ )1o to the river8 there you will find the poems
of 'u#aram floating on the surfae intat+! At one the man went to the river and brought
to the ban# the bundle of poems! 'u#aram was moved by the mery of god and delivered
five poems blaming himself for doubting the world of 1od and for putting 6im to so
muh trouble of having to preserve the poems in water for thirteen days! 'his$ however$
was not suffiient for 'u#aram who always held the word of a Brahmin as worthly of
respet as that of the 6oly Sriptures and he had the orders of 0ameshwar Shastri not to
ma#e poems any more!
Soon after this event$ 0ameshwar one day passed through the village of /agholi
and ame to a village where a -uslim Ka#ir by name Anagadshah was staying! In
AnagadshahFs ompound$ there was a big fountain throwing ool water all round!
0ameashwar$ seeing that fountain$ was tempted to ta#e a bath in the waters! Anagadshah
was annoyed to see a stranger trespassing into his ompound and ursed him that all his
body should feel a burning sensation inwardly! Immediately 0ameshwar began to suffer
from the effets of the urse! All his efforts to ma#e his body ool failed$ and in despair$
unable to bear the pangs$ he went to Alandi and sat before the Samadhi of Bnaneshwar
and prayed to him to relieve him of the burning sensation in his body! At night he saw
Bnaneshwar in a dream! Bnaneshwar addressed himL ).ou entertain hatred in your mind
towards 'u#aram$ who is the greatest devotee of /ithoba! 1o and surrender to 'u#aram8
all your bodily pains will vanish+! 0ameshwar$ however$ was afraid to go in person to
'u#aram! 6e #new by that time all that had ta#en plae at 2ehu and he had ome to
reogni3e the greatness of 'u#aram and therefore was afraid that 'u#aram might urse
him! So he sent a letter to 'u#aram apologi3ing and as#ing for forgiveness! 'u#aram had
nothing but supreme love towards everybody$ towards even his perseutors! Dn reeiving
the letter$ he sent a reply to 0ameshwar in the following verseL
)If the mind is pure$ even your enemies beome your friends8 you have no danger
from ruel animals li#e tigers or serpents! &ven poison beomes as benefiial to you as
the netar of heaven! All unhappiness will be onverted into happiness and even suffering
due to the burning of the body will vanish! .ou will ome to love all reatures as you love
yourself8 you will entertain e7ual towards all! 'u#a says$ ENarayan has showered 6is
mery on me! 'hat is why I feel li#e this towards all beingsF!+
As 0ameshwar read the reply and ame to the words$ )and even suffering due to
the burning of the body will vanish+$ his body beame free of all suffering and thus it was
firmly impressed on him that he had done great injustie to 'u#aram! Krom that time
0ameshwar beame a great admirer and an ardent follower of 'u#aram!
By this inident$ 'u#aramFs name and fame spread far and wide8 but he himself
remained poor! 6e was always doing bhajan and 9irtan and he earned nothing! 'he
burden of maintaining the family onsisting of himself$ wife and hildren fell on his poor
wife! 'u#aram was so absorbed in his Bhajan that generally he forgot about his dinner!
6is wife had to ta#e his food$ searh for him and serve him wherever he was to be found!
-ostly he was found on the Bhamgiri hill! 'u#aramFs wife had to undergo many
diffiulties in maintaining the family8 but she was a good though she was apt to lose her
temper sometimes! Before his death$ 'u#aram himself a#nowledged her devotion and
purity!
Shiva/i &as a $reat a(mirer of T#0ram and sent him a large number of ostly
presents and also invited him to his ourt! 'u#aram refused both the presents and the
invitation$ saying that he had nothing to do with earthly #ings! 'hen Shivaji himself ame
to 'u#aram and stayed with him for several days and pressed him to aept some presents
whih 'u#aram steadily refused! Dne day$ Shivaji was so muh impressed and moved by
the praises$ songs and bhajan of 'u#aram that he$ for the moment$ wanted to give up his
#ingdom and ta#e to Bhajan and follow 'u#aram! But 'u#aram dissuaded him from
doing so! 6e reminded Shivaji of his duty to his subjets$ to 6indu religion and to
2harma and finally advised him thusL )In order to realise 1od$ it is not neessary to give
up food or water and go to a forest! If the worldly pleasures ome to you of themselves$
enjoy them by all means$ but only in the name of god who dwells in all of us! 2o not
desire anything and do not give up anything! 'his is my simple and only advie to you+!
Shivaji returned to his ourt a happier and a more ontented man!
6e prayed to the *ord that he might be ta#en away soon to 6is lotus feet where he
ould remain worshipping 6im ontinuously forever and anon! "hen 'u#aramFs end was
near$ he told his friends that he would be going away in a few days! 'he night before his
departure$ 'u#aram performed a 9irtan whih was memorable in many respets! 'he
subjet was 6ari#atha! 'u#aram said$ )6ari#atha is li#e the union of three holy rivers4
1od$ the devotee and 6is Name! By listening to it$ all oneFs sins are burnt off and one is
purified! &ven the pebbleslying around beome holy and fit to be worshipped! 'hose
among you who wish to be fit for heaven should ta#e the holy :rasad! 'his is the easiest
way to attain heaven+! 'he ne%t morning 'u#aram said to his wife$ ).ou will soon get a
son alled ENarayanF and he will ma#e you happy!
)'hough you all bear the responsibilities or family life$ never forget :andurang
never forget to worship 6im and sing his praises! :andharpur is very near you! It is the
/ai#untha on this earth! 1o and worship the *ord there! It is my e%periene that the
Name of the *ord alone will save you at the time of death! All of you have proteted and
maintained me in your midst for suh a long time!
I an never repay you and I am very grateful to you! I shall ever pray to /ithoba to bless
you all and ta#e you all to heaven after this life! 'his is my goodbye to you all and this is
my advie to you! I prostrate before you and beseeh you with tears never to forget the
Name of the *ord! Always do 9irtan and Bhajan of *ord Narayana! 2o not be an%ious
about your material welfare! 'he lord will loo# to it! 'his is all ephemeral! 'he *ordFs
Name is eternal! 2epend on it only! &ver sing the praises of the lord! 2o Bapa of
0ama#rishna 6ari and 6e will always save you, 'his is my last re7uest and advie+!
'hus passed away one of the great saints of -aharashtra with 1odFs Name on his
lips$ singing praises of 6im! 'u#aram left this world in the year 1=;@ when he was forty4
one years old! It is believed that *ord /ishnu sent 6is own hariot and servants to ta#e
'u#aram to 6is abode!
-.A.A!,V
'he name of Saint Bnaneshwar is on the lips of everyone in -aharashtra! 6e was
a born Siddha! 6e was a .ogi of high attainments! 6e had ontrol over the elements! 6is
wor# -nanesh&ari is the rest4jewel of -arathi literature! 'he simple style$ the beautiful
illustrations and the apt similes have rendered the boo# attrative$ harming and
e%tremely useful! Baneshwari is to -aharashtrians what the 0amayan of 'ulsidas is to the
6indi4spea#ing people! Bnanadev lived for a few years$ but he did wonders! 6e was a
genius$ a .ogi of deep spiritual e%perienes and a sage of supreme order! 6e boldly
ritii3ed his predeessors! 6e was a great soial and religious reformer! He 'ai( the
fo#n(ation of the $reat 1ha0ti movement in Maharashtra3 6e was a fine poet to boot!
'he life history$ origin and other partiulars of great saints$ prophets and world
teahers are all very strange and mysterious! Bnanadev was born of a Sannyasin! 9abir
was the son of a weaver! 6e was found in a la#e! San#ara was a poor hild of 9aladi!
Bnanadev$ or Bnaneshwar H*ord of Bnana or #nowledgeI as he is sometimes alled$
was one of the anient saints of -aharashtra! 6e$ and -u#und 0ai who lived about a
hundred years earlier to him$ are the founders of the Bha#ti :anth in -aharashtra!
In the thirteenth cent#ry$ there lived in Apegaon a village aountant alled
1ovindapanth! 6e had only one son named /ittalpanth! /ittalpanth was the father of
Bnanadev! /ittalpanth was pious and dispassionate even from his boyhood! 6e was fond
of pilgrimage to holy plaes! 6e was a profound sholar in Sans#rit! 6is heart yearned for
Self4reali3ation! 6e had a great li#ing for ta#ing Sannyasa!
/ittalpanth married 0u#mabai$ daughter of Sridharpanth of Alandi$ whih is
twelve miles from :une and whih ontains the Samadhi of Bnanadev!
/ittalpanth was disgusted with worldly life! 6e went out on a pilgrimage and
returned ba# to Alandi! 6e wanted to ta#e Sannyasa! 6is wife and father4in4law were not
in favor of his ta#ing Sannyasa!
/ittalpanth went to /aranasi and too# Sannyasa from sripad .ati H0amananda
SwamiI! 0u#mabai ame to #now that her husband had entered the fourth Ashrama of
life! 'his was a great sho# to her! She prayed to 1od fervently for reunion with her
husband!
Sripad .ati$ the 1uru of /ittalpanth$ happened to ome to Alandi on his way to
0ameswaram! 0u#mabai approahed him and prostrated before him! 'he .ati blessed
herL ).ou will be the mother of eight sons+! 0u#mabai wept bitterly! 'he .ati said$ )D
blessed ladyJ "hat is the ause of your sorrow,+ 'hen 0u#mabai e%plained everything to
the .ati!
'he yati thought that the young man who too# Sannyasa from him must be the
husband of this lady! At one he gave up his idea of going to 0ameswaram! 6e returned
to /aranasi$ rebu#ed his disiple and said$ )1o ba# to 1rihastha Ashrama and ma#e your
wife happy! She wants to serve you! -y blessings are with you+!
'hen /ittalpanth arried out the orders of his 1uru and ame ba# to Alandi and
lived with 0u#mabai! 'he orthodo% Brahmins of Alandi outasted him and his wife! 'hey
said$ )It is against sriptures to ta#e to married life again after ta#ing Sannyasa+! But
/ittalpanth thought that he was doing the right thing as he was following the instrutions
of his 1uru!
In ourse of time$ four hildren were born to /ittalpanth and 0u#mabai4Nivritti in
12>( A!2!$ Hthree sons and a daughterI! Nivritti is regarded as an inarnation of Siva$
Bnanadev as an inarnation of 6ari$ Sopan of brahma and -u#tabai of Sarasvati!
Dn one oasion$ /ittalpanth went with his hildren to 'ryamba#eshwar$ near
Nasi#$ situated in the viinity of the soure of the river 1odavari! As they were going
round the Brahmagiri -ountain$ they met a tiger! /ittalpanth hurried away with his
hildren$ but missed Nivrittinath! Nivrittinath entered the ave of Bnaninath! Bnaninath
initiated Nivritti into the mysteries of .oga and gave him all his spiritual wealth! Some
day later$ Nivritti joined his father and younger brothers!
Nivritti beame a disiple of Bnaninath$ who himself was a disiple of
1ora#hnath! 1ora#hnath was a disiple of matsyendranath who reeived spiritual
instrutions from lord Siva 6imself! Nivritti and Bnanadev studied /edas under their
father! 'hey now made great progress in the study of spiritual boo#s!
/ittalpanth$ on his return to Alandi$ was treated as an outaste by the Brahmins!
6e and his family members were put to a great deal of hardship and humiliation! Dther
hildren of the village would not mi% with their hildren in play!
'he sons attained boyhood! 'he parents wanted to perform their holy4thread
eremony! 'he Brahmins delined to perform it! 'hey said$ )A Sannyasin should not lead
the married life! 'he sriptures do not allow the performane of the thread eremony of a
SannyasinFs hildren! Sons born of a Sannyasin annot have the right of wearing the
thread! 'hey annot be onsidered as Brahmins! .ou and your wife have violated the
sared laws of the sriptures! 'here is only one :rayashitta for you both! .ou both
should give up your lives in the 'riveni of :rayag+!
/ittalpanth and 0u#mabai left Alandi and sarified their lives at the onfluene
of the 1anga and the .amuna at :rayag! 'hey thought that the Brahmins would ta#e pity
on their sons at least then and perform the thread eremony! Nivritti was then about ten
years$ Bnanadev about eight and the youngest about five years!
Bnanadev was very #een on wearing the holy thread in order to fulfill the desire of
his parents who had sarified their lives even for that purpose! 6e purpose! 6e again
approahed the Brahmins of Alandi! 'he Brahmins now were moved to pity when they
saw the helpless ondition of those boys! 'hey said to them$ )Bring a letter of
authori3ation from the learned Brahmins of :aithan! "e will then perform the thread
eremony for you+ 'he boys went to :aithan and saw the learned Brahmins! 'hey reited
the /edas! 'he Brahmins said$ ).ou are not entitled to reite the /edas! Stop the
reitation now! .ou are the sons of a Sannyasin who ame ba# again to his 1rihastha
Ashrama+! Bnanadev replied$ )Anybody may reite the /edas! &ven this buffalo may
reite+! 6e plaed his hand on the ba# of the buffalo and immediately the buffalo reited
the /edas for one hour$ from the point where Bnanadev had left$ with orret rhythm and
intonation! 'he Brahmins were stru# with wonder and awe! 'hey said$ )'hese are not
ordinary boys! 'hey are the very inarnations of Shan#ar$ /ishnu and Brahma+! 0eally
the boys were born Siddhas! &ven then the Brahmins refused to perform the thread
eremony$ though they admitted the greatness of the boys! 'he buffalo of :aithan died at
Ale in the distrit of :une! 'here is a Samadhi for this buffalo! 'his Samadhi e%ists even
now!
'he boys stayed at :aithan and taught the 1ita to the people! Bnanadev performed
many mirales! A Brahim had to perform the anniversary of his father! 'he Brahmins did
not turn up! Bnanadev brought the :itris themselves to earth from the heaven! 6e brought
to life a dead man! 'he manFs name was Sahidananda :ava!
-nana(ev &rote -nanesh&ari" his &on(erf#' commentary on the +ita" at the
a$e of thirteen3 'he boo# was ompleted in 1212 at Nevasa$ a town on the ban#s of the
:ravara river in the distrit of Ahmednagar! 'he atual writer was Sahidananda :ava!
BnanadevFs ommentary on the 1ita is onsidered as one of the best! In a big assembly of
Sans#rit :undits in /aranasi$ Bnanadev was eleted as the president!
Nivritti$ Bnanadev$ Sopan and -u#tabai went on a pilgrimage and visited
:andharpur$ :rabhasa$ 2wara#a$ Ayodhya$ -athura$ 6ardwar$ /aranasi$ 9anhi$ Gjjain$
'irupathi$ 0ameswaram$ -adurai$ 1o#aran and other plaes! Namdev aompanied
them!
Bnanadev lived for about si% years after he had ompleted Bnaneshwari 1ita!
Bnanadev met Chang 2ev! Chang 2ev was a famous saint who had managed to
defy death by his .ogi powers for a thousand and four hundred years! 6e used to live at
/ateshwar! 6e was very proud of his attainments in .oga! 6e had Bhuta Siddhi or
omplete ontrol over all living beings! 6e used to travel on a tiger with a serpent as
whip! Chang 2ev had a uriosity to see Bnanadev! 6e started with a large number of
disiples$ riding on a tiger with a serpent as whip! Bnanadev and his brothers saw Chang
2ev oming in all pomp! Bnanadev as#ed the wall on whih he was seated to move
forward to welome Chang 2ev!
Chang 2ev witnessed this great mirale performed by Bnanadev! 6e was
humiliated! 6e 7uietly got down from the tiger! -ade prostrations to Bnanadev and
aepted him as his 1uru!
-u#ta$ a mere girl of fourteen$ gave instrutions to hang 2ev$ an old man of a
thousand and four hundred years! She said$ )D Chang 2evJ *isten! If yo# &ant to attain
sa'vation" the first step is sincere (evotion3 2evotion will bring /airagya! /airagya will
lead to Bnana! 'herefore your aim should be Bnana and your first foot must be on
devotion+!
Bnanadev had full ontrol over the elements! "hen there was no vessel to prepare
food$ his sister prepared bread on his ba#! Bnanadev is regarded as an Avatara of *ord
9rishna!
Nivritti was really the 1uru of Bnanadev! Nivritti as#ed Bnanadev to write an
independent boo# embodying all his e%perienes in Bnana! Bnanadev wrote
Amritan#%hava that ontains the highest e%perienes of Bnanadev in ?00 ouplets!
Bnanadev made it #nown to his friends and brothers that it was his desire to enter
into Sanjivani Samadhi or Samadhi while alive! 'his he did at Alandi on the 1(
th
day of
the dar# half of the 9arti# month$ about the end of Dtober 15>=" in his t&enty-secon(
year! 6e drew up all the :rana to the Brahmarandra and gave up the physial body! If
anybody reads the 1ita written by him by the side of his Samadhi$ all his doubts will be
leared!
All the other brothers and the sister also left the world within a short spae of less
than eight months! Sopan entered into Samadhi on the ban#s of the river 9arha at
Saswad$ whih is at the bottom of the hill :urandhar$ near :une! Chang 2ev attained
Samadhi in a village alled punatamba! -u#tabai dissolved herself in the five elements at
the age of eighteen$ when there was a big storm! Nivritti entered into Samadhi at
'ryamba# that is at the soure of the 1odavari!
'hus passed the four great souls! "hen a period of twenty4five years$ they bro#e
down the bigotry of the Brahmins of the period$ raised them from the dar#ness of
ignorane$ firmly established the path of Bha#ti and Bnana$ made people realise that all
were e7ual and it was the ations whih ounted for the glory and e%ellene of a man
and not the aident of birth or the mere study of the /edas and /edanta! Among
BnanadevFs followers were Namdev$ a tailor8 NamdevFs maid4servant Bani8 Narahari$ a
goldsmith8 Cho#amela$ a -ahar8 Sena$ a barber8 1ora$ a potter8 Savanta$ a gardener8 and
Bhagu$ a -aharin$ who were all respeted as great devotees of 9rishna!
Bnanadev was the founder of an institution alled "ar#ari Sampradaya$ whih is
still alive in all its glory in -aharashtra! It is alled )"ari to :andharpur+ All who have
aepted this wari underta#e to go to :andharpur on Ashadh &#adasi HBune4BulyI and
9arti# &#adasi HDtober4NovemberI days every year! 'hey must visit :andharpur at least
one annually$ if not on both these days! It is onsidered so very sared that e%ept in the
event of physial illness$ they ontinue to go to pandharpur year after year through the
whole life and from generation to generation!
-ay you all draw inspiration from the life of BnanadevJ -ay you all soar high in
the realms of #nowledge by studying arefully Bnaneshwari and AmritanubhavaJ -ay the
blessings of Bnanadev$ a rare Siddha .ogi$ be upon you allJ -ay you all visit his plae of
Samadhi in Alandi during his anniversary day and reeive the blessings of the saint who
still feeds$ in serey$ his devotees with the netar of immortalityJJ
Saints of .orth In(ia Chapter 7
'he saints inluded in this hapter are 'ulsidas$ 9abir$ 'he Saintly 9ing :i 'ulsidas$
9abir$ 'he Saintly 9ing :ipa$ Narsi -ehta$ 2adu$ A#ha$ -ilarepa of 'ibet$ 1ora#hnath
and Saint 6aridas! I have overed 'ulsidas$ 9abir and Narsi -ehta!
+:SWAMI T2LSI!AS
'ulsidas was born in 0ajpur$ in the distrit of Banda in Gttar :radesh$ in Samvat
1<?@ or 1<(2 A!2! 6e was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth and is regarded as an
inarnation of /almi#i$ the author of 0amayana written in Sans#rit! 6is fatherFs name
was Atmaram Shu#la 2ube and his motherFs name 6ulsi! 'ulsidas did not ry at the time
of his birth! 6e was born with all the thirty4two teeth intat! In hildhood his name was
'ulsiram or 0am Bola!
'ulsidasFs wifeFs name was Buddhimati H0atnavaliI! 'ulsidasFs sonFs name was
'ara#! 'ulsidas was passionately attahed to his wife! 6e ould not bear even a dayFs
separation from her! Dne day his wife went to her fatherFs house without informing her
husband! 'ulsidas stealthily went to see her at night at his father4in4lawFs house! 'his
produed a sense of shame in Buddhimati! She said to 'ulsidas$ )-y body is but a
networ# of flesh and bones! If you would develop for lord 0ama even half the love that
you have for my filthy body you would ertainly ross the oean of Samsara and attain
immortality and eternal bliss+! 'hese words piered the heart of 'ulsidas li#e an arrow!
6e did not stay there even for a moment! 6e abandoned home and beame an aseti! 6e
spent fourteen years in visiting the various sared plaes of pilgrimage!
"hile returning from answering the all of nature$ 'ulsidas used to throw the
water that was left in his water4pot at the roots of a tree whih a spirit was oupying!
'he spirit was very muh pleased with 'ulsidas! 'he spirit said$ )D manJ 1et a boon
from me+! 'ulsidas replied$ )*et me have 2arshan of lord 0ama+! 'he spirit said$ )1o to
the 6anuman temple! 'here 6anuman omes in the guise of a leper to hear the 0amayan
as the first hearer and leaves the plae last of all! 1et hold of him! 6e will help you+!
Aordingly$ 'ulsidas met 6anuman$ and through 6is grae$ had 2arshan or vision of
*ord 0ama!
'ulsidas wrote twelve boo#s! 'he most famous boo# is his Ramayan-
Ram?charit-manas-in Hin(i! 6e wrote this boo# under the diretions of 6anuman! 'his
0amayan is read and worshipped with great reverene in every 6indu home in Northern
India! It is an inspiring boo#! It ontains sweet ouplets in beautiful rhyme! /inaya
:atri#a is another important boo# written by 'usidas!
Some thieves ame to 'ulsidasFs Ashram to ta#e away his goods! 'hey saw a
blue4omple%ioned guard$ with bow and arrow in his hands$ #eeping wath at the gate!
"herever they moved$ the guard followed them! 'hey were frightened! In the morning
they as#ed 'ulsidas$ )D venerable saintJ "e saw a young guard with bow and arrow in
his hands at the gate of your residene! "ho is this man+, 'ulsidas remained silent and
wept! 6e ame to #now that *ord 0ama 6imself had been ta#ing the trouble to protet
his goods! 6e at one distributed all his wealth among the poor!
'ulsidas lived in Ayodhya for some time! 'hen he shifted to /aranasi! Dne day a
murderer ame and ried$ )Kor the love of 0ama give me alms! I am a murderer+! 'ulsi
alled him to his house gave him sared food$ whih had been offered to the lord and
delared that the murderer was purified! 'he Brahmins of /aranasi reproahed 'ulsidas
and said$ )6ow an the sin of a murderer be absolved, 6ow ould you eat with him, If
the sared bull of Siva4Nandi4would eat from the hands of the murderer$ then only we
would aept that he had been purified+! 'hen the murderer was ta#en to the temple and
the bull ate from his hands! 'he Brahmins were put to shame!
'ulsidas one went to Brindavan! 6e visited a temple! 6e saw the image of lord
9rishna! 6e said$ )6ow shall I desribe 'he beauty$ D *ordJ But 'ulsi will bow his head
only when .ou ta#e up bow and arrow in .our hands+! 'he *ord revealed 6imself before
'ulsidas in the form of *ord 0ama with bow and arrows!
'ulsidasFs blessings brought the dead husband of a poor woman ba# to life! 'he
Mo$h#' emperor at 2elhi ame to #now of the great mirale done by 'ulsidas! 6e sent
for 'ulsidas! 'ulsidas ame to the emperorFs ourt! The emperor as0e( the saint to
perform some mirac'e3 T#'si(as rep'ie(" @I have no s#perh#man po&er3 I 0no& on'y
the name of RamaA3 The emperor p#t T#'si in prison an( sai(" @I &i'' re'ease yo#
on'y if yo# sho& me a mirac'eA3 'ulsi then prayed to 6anuman! Countless bands of
powerful mon#eys entered the royal ourt! 'he emperor got frightened and said$ )D saint$
forgive me! I #now your greatness now+! 6e at one released 'ulsi from prison!
'ulsi left his mortal oil and entered the Abode of Immortality and &ternal Bliss
in 1=2( A!2! at the age of ninety one at Asighat in /aranasi!
A1IR
9abir was born in 1;;0 A!2! 'he probable date of his death is 1<1@ A!2! as
mentioned in 9abir 9a Santi! 9abir died at -aghar near 1ora#hpur! 6e was found lying
as a hild in the ta#e alled *ahar 'alao near 9ashi on a leaf of lotus! 6ere he was found
by niru$ a hildless -ohammedan weaver who was going with his wife Nima to attend a
funtion in a neighboring village! 'hey too# ompassion on the forsa#en baby! 'hey too#
him to their home and there they brought him up as their own hild! A 9a3i was alled in
to give the hild a name! 'he 9a3i told Niru that the hild was a demon and should be
#illed immediately! A mirale happened! 'he #nife was plunged into the heart of the
hild! No drop of blood ame out! 9abir uttered a verse$ whih made them understand
that he was not ordinary flesh and blood! 'hen the name E9abirF was given to the hild!
'he word E9abirF means EgreatF in the Arabi language!
9abir seems to have been of 6indu parentage$ though adopted and brought up as
a -ohammedan! It is said that he was born of a Brahmin girl4widow$ who$ to hide her
shame$ left the hild in the la#e! But in a stan3a$ 9abir denies his own oneption in a
womb! 6e says that he was not born nor did he dwell in a womb Hvide page 122$ /ol! /I$
of -aauliffFs Si#h 0eligionI! 9abir grew up without food! 6is adopted parents beame
very an%ious about him! 'hen he began to drin# the mil# of a alf that yielded mil# daily
in a miraulous manner!
'he life of 9abir is shrouded in mystery! "e #now nothing of his early training
and areer! "hat has been disovered in the way of his biographial details is very little
Beyond the fats that he was a weaver$ born of poverty4stri#en parents$ that he lived at
9ashi during the reign of Si#ander *odi$ that he was a disiple of the great religious
reformer 0amananda$ and that he himself was the 1uru of a number of distinguished
disiples$ we #now positively nothing about 9abir!
Krom his early boyhood$ 9abir was very muh religiously inlined! 6e was of a
refletive disposition! 6e had very often his mysti moods! &ven in his hildhood he
engaged himself in disussions about god with Sadhus! 6e reeived and served Sadhus
and Sannyasins with intense devotion and faith! 'hough his foster4father got him married$
9abir was not attahed to home and family! 6e used to roam about the holy ity of 9ashi!
6e earned his livelihood from the loom!
6e was loved by 6indus and -uslims ali#e! 6e was not of one religion or of one
nation! 6e was the prophet of universal brotherhood! 6e did not observe the rules of
aste! 6e reogni3ed the higher harmony of 6induism and Islam! 6e reali3ed the truth
that religion$ spirituality$ love$ devotion$ faith and divine life were the monopoly of no
one religion$ but were ommon to all religions! 9abirFs religion was a religion of
simpliity! 6is motto was love! 6is means of salvation was devotion to 1od and 1od
alone! 9abirFs home was the universe$ his brother was man#ind and his great father was
the Kather in 6eaven! 9abir did not renoune the world in order to devote himself to the
pratie of severe austerities and meditation! 6e was a dynami .ogi! 6e wor#ed at the
loom$ and at the same time$ his mind was ever fi%ed on 1od!
9abir was an e%ponent of Nirguna Bha#ti! 6e had supreme love for all! 6e was
e%eedingly #ind and ompassionate! 6e was fearless! 6e never as#ed anybody to follow
him! 6e roamed about the ountry singing his songs! 6e ondemned all formalities and
ritualism! 6e made a vehement ritiism of onventions! 6e was a soial revolutionary!
6e also endeavored strenuously for the soial$ moral and spiritual uplift of the people!
'hat is the reason why he still lives in the heart of all people!
9abir was a great propagandist in his own way! 6e tried his level best to bring
about onord and harmony among the diversity e%isting around him! 6is poetry was full
of ritiism of the -ullahs and the priests! 9abir not only preahed$ but lived the life of
unity of men and reeds! 6e used his songs as weapons against the -ullahs and the
priests! 6e did not spare words in the wars he waged against -uslim and 6indu
orthodo%y! 9abir was a powerful saint with Self4reali3ation that lent him the authority to
live and preah the 'ruth without fear or restraint!
9abir$ the poet4saint of 9ashi$ is one of the most interesting personalities in the
history of Indian mystiism! 6e was an illustrious philosopher4poet! 6e was a s#illed
musiian and a poet as well! 6e was a prophet! 6is songs are wonderful! 'hey are the
spontaneous e%pressions of his spiritual e%periene and his love! 9abir used homely
metaphors in his songs! 6e sang his religion in popular verse! 6is verses are repeated$
even today$ in almost every household in Gttar pradesh and :unjab! 9abirFs dotrines are
soul stirring and magnanimous! Some of 9abirFs poems are very mysti!
9abirFs wor#s are mostly olletions of songs omposed in the various meters of
old 6indi! 'here are seventy4two wor#s! 'he most important and famous wor#s areL the
9abirBija#$ the Su#nidhan$ Sabdas$ Sa#his$ 0e#htas$ -angal$ /asant and holi Agams 'he
9abir Bija# is the great authority on all religious matters and dotrines of the 9abir4
panthis!
9abirFs language is very simple! 6is style is beautiful 6is e%pression of ideas is
very bold! 6is poeti omposition is most natural! &ah ouplet is pregnant with deep
signifiane! 'he similies and metaphors are most appropriate! Dther harateristi
features are depth of feeling and diretness of speeh! 'he e%pressions have emanated
straight from 9abirFs heart! 9abirFs s#ill in ompressing a world of sense in a simple
ouplet is marvelous and unrivalled! 6is sayings are unparalleled! 6is poems are soul4
stirring and inspiring! 'here is depth of thought and penetrative insight!
Sayin$ of a%ir Be)cerptsC
1! If you have no devotion to 1od$ you will not gain anything by pilgrimage! .ou may
roam over the ountry and yet your heart will be impure! 'he man who has gone to
/aranasi to see *ord /iswanath$ but has not destroyed hyporisy$ lust and greed and
has no devotion$ will gain nothing!
2! 'he diamond appraiser only an #now the value of the diamond 9abir saysL only he
who has developed devotion an attain god!
(! 6ave no faith in this perishable body! 0emember the *ord by all your breaths8 that is
the only way to salvation!
;! E/irtueF abides where there is ompassion$ EvieF where there is greed8 EdeathF where
there is wrath$ and the lord 6imself where there is forgiveness!
<! 6ave patiene8 everything omes out in time! 'he gardener waters the plant daily$ but
it bears fruit only in season!
=! 'here is no greater evil than a bad word8 it burns everything into ashes! A #ind word
is$ on the ontrary$ li#e rain that falls in netar4li#e torrents!
>! Never put off till tomorrow what you an do today$ nor till the evening what you an
do this very moment8 for you #now not when death may overta#e you$ upsetting all
your plans!
?! 6e alone is the hero who has all the five senses at his ommand! 6e who has no suh
ontrol never approahes the *ord!
@! Bust as sugar toys are made of sugar and sugar e%ists in all of them$ even so$ the
whole universe e%ists in Brahman and Brahman in it!
.ARSI M,HTA
Narsi -ehta belonged to a vadanagar Nagar4Brahmin family of Bunagarh in
9athiawar$ 1ujarat! 6e was born of a very poor family! Krom his very boyhood he had
great devotion to *ord 9rishna! 6e lived with his brother! All the time he #ept singing
songs on 9rishna and 1opi *ila and daning in estasy! As he did not are a bit for any of
the household matters and as he did not earn anything$ his brotherFs wife taunted and till4
treated him! Narsi -ehta never entertained any idea of earning his livelihood! 6e had the
firm onvition that *ord 9rishna would provide him with all his wants! 'his was due to
his previous Sams#aras! 6e was of a happy4go4lu#y nature! 6e did 'apasya at 1opinath$
situated on the seaside! 6e had the 2arshan of *ord 9rishna through the grae of *ord
Siva! 6e ame ba# to his house and got married! 6e had a son by name Shyamaldass
and a daughter by name 9unwarbai!
Narsi -ehta was a ontemporary of -ira Bai! 6e had Sa#hya Bhav! 6e would
address *ord 9rishna in terms of e7uality! 6e was a simple4minded$ fran# Bha#ta! 6e
saw *ord 9rishna everywhere and in everything! 6e had :ara Bha#ti and osmi
onsiousness! 6e omposed a poem E6ari -alaF it is said that his daughterFs marriage
was onduted by *ord 9rishna 6imself with great pomp and elat! 'hough Narsi -ehta
was very poor$ rih marriage4presents given to 9unwarbaiFs mother4in4law greatly
astonished all!
After the death of his wife and son$ Narsi beame free! 6e began devoting all his
time to worship and singing of Bhajans! 6e beame an Ativarnashrami! 6e bro#e down
all aste rules and observanes! 6e held 9irtan everywhere$ even in the house of
sweepers and men of inferior aste! 'he other Nagar4Brahmins hated Narsi and also
outasted him! 'hey refused to admit him in one of their feasts! Another mirale
happened now! A 2om or a man of inferior aste was found by the side of eah Brahmin!
'he haughty Nagar4Brahmins were owed down! 'hey began to show respet to Narsi!
'hey openly admitted and delared that Narsi -ehta was a great Bha#ta!
'he world has not produed a Bha#ta greater than Narsi in this .uga! NarsiFs
devotion was of a uni7ue nature! 6e has pointed out to the world the true path of
devotion! 'hat is the reason why he still lives in our hearts$ why his inspiring song
)/aishnava Banatho 'hene 9ahiye+ that gives a fine desription of a true /aishnava$ is
sung even today by all the Bha#tas!
1lory to NarsiJ 1lory to 6ariJ 1lory to 6is NameJ
Saints of So#th In(ia Chapter D
'he saints inluded in this hapter are 'hiruvalluvar$ 9ana# 2as$ Nila#antha 2i#hitar$
:urandara 2as$ 'hayumanavar$ .ogi -u#und 0ai$ :aramahamsa 'ailang Swami$
:attinathu :illayar$ 'yagaraja$ Nandanar$ Bhadrahalam 0amdas$ /ilwamangal$ .ogi
/emana$ Baya 2eva$ /idayanya$ Appayya 2i#shitar$ Sadasiva Brahman$ Appayyaharya$
:otana! I have overed 'hiruvalluvar$ 'yagaraja and Nandanar!
THIR2VALL2VAR
About two thousand years ago there flourished in -ylapore$ -adras$ a born
Siddha and a born poet by name /alluvar or$ as he more ommonly #nown$
E'hiruvalluvarF$ whih only means$ Ethe devotee of the /alluva asteF /alluvas are
:ariahs Hnow alled 6arijansI and their voation was prolaiming the orders of the #ing
by beat of drum! 'here is a tradition that 'hiruvalluvar was the son of one Bhagavan$ a
Brahmin$ and Adi$ a :ariah woman he had married!
'hiruvalluvar was born at -adurai$ the apital of the :andyas! 6e is regarded as
an Avatara of Brahma! 6is wife /asu#i was a haste and devoted lady$ an ideal wife$ who
never disobeyed the orders of her husband$ but always arried them out impliitly!
'hiruvalluvar showed people that a person ould lead the life of a 1rihastha or
householder$ and at the same time$ lead a divine life or a life of purity and santity! 6e
showed people that there was no neessity to leave the family and beome a Sannyasin to
lead a divine life of purity and santity! All his wife sayings and teahings are now in
boo# form and #nown as E'hiru##uralF in a ouplet form! 6ere are some of themL
Bust as the alphabet EAF is the beginning of all letters$ so also$ 1od is the beginning
for this universe!
*earn the Shastras ompletely and then at aording to their injuntions!
'he Aniha flower will fade by smelling$ but guests are more sensitive if the hosts
turn their faes a bit!
2eath is li#e sleeping in the burial ground8
Birth is li#e wa#ing in the morning!
'hese ouplets are 1$((0 in number! 'hey ontain the essene of the /edas$ the
Gpanishads and the si% 2arshanas! Thir#00#ra' is regarded as a universal Bible! It is
another 1ita 9oran or Mend Avesta!
Some aspirants repaired to 'hiruvalluvar and en7uiredL )D sage$ whih Ashrama
of life is better41rihastha or Sannyasa, 'hiruvalluvar did not give any answer! 6e simply
#ept 7uiet! 6e wanted to teah them the glory of 1rihastha Ashrama by e%ample!
'hiruvalluvar was ta#ing old rie in the morning! 6e said to his wifeL )/asu#i$
the rie is very hot! Bring a fan to ool it+! 'hiruvalluvarFs wife was drawing water from
the well when 'hiruvalluvar alled her! She at one left the rope and ran to him with a fan
to ool the rie! She did not say to her husbandL )6ow an the old rie be hot, "hy do
you want a fan now,+ She simply obeyed his ommands! 'he vessel that ontained water
was hanging half4way in the well unsupported on aount of her :ativrata 2harma
Sha#ti! 'he aspirants notied this phenomenon and the noble ondut of /asu#i and were
simply stru# with ama3ement!
About midday$ on another oasion$ /alluvar alled his wife and said$ )Bring a
lamp immediately$ D /asu#iJ I am stithing the loth! I annot see the eye of the needle! I
annot pass the thread properly+! /asu#i did not say to her husbandL )It is broad daylight
now! "hy do you want a lamp, .ou an see the eye of the needle learly+! But she
impliitly obeyed his word! 'he aspirants were muh inspired by the ideal life of sage
'hiruvalluvar and the e%alted ondut of /asu#i! 'hey did not spea# a word to the saint!
'hey too# leave of the saint and 7uietly left the plae with profound satisfation! 'hey
were deeply impressed by the pratial and e%emplary life led by 'hiruvalluvar and
/asu#i! 'hey learnt the lesson that of life of an ideal householder was in no way inferior
to that of an ideal Sannyasin who was treading the path of Nivritti and austerity in the
6imalayan aves and that eah was great in its own plae$ time and irumstanes!
2ear readersJ Suh ladies sit enthroned in the hearts of their husbands! No doubt
they are hard to find$ beause suh women never advertise themselves8 but there must be
many in our land of 0ishis and sages8 and unless we maintain suh a high level of moral
purity$ we will all be going down in these days of modern ivili3ation and sientifi
advanement! If the husbands of the present day behave li#e 'hiruvalluvar$ the wives will
say$ O-y)husband has beome senseless! 6e wants to fan the rie when it is so oldJ 6e
wants a light when there is broad sunlight+! 'he wives will rebu#e their husbands and
fight with them!
'hat house wherein the wife serves the husband with sinere devotion and
observes :ativrata 2harma is heaven on earth! 'hey house wherein the wife fights with
the husband and disobeys his orders is a veritable hell on earth! *adies who pratie
:ativrata 2harma need not go to temples! 'hey need not pratie any /rata or penane!
Servie to the husband beomes worship! 'hey an realise 1od through servie to their
husbands! 6usbands also should be ideal persons with noble 7ualities! 6usbands are the
1urus for their wives! 'he wives need not get any initiation from any Aharya! 1lory to
suh e%alted ladies who pratie :ativrata 2harmaJ
TYA+ARA-A
'yagaraja Swami was a South Indian 'elugu Brahmin! 6e was the son of 0ama
Brahman! :anhapa#esan and 0amanathan were his brothers! 'yagaraja had only a
daughter$ named Seethala#shmi$ who had a son 'yagaraja$ named after the grandfather!
'yagaraja Swami was a great musiian4saint of South India! 6e was the father of
South Indian musi! 6e was a devotee of *ord 0ama! -ost of his devotional songs are in
praise of *ord 0ama! 'hey are highly inspiring and soul elevating!
'yagaraja Swami is said to have omposed twenty4four thousand 9irtans or songs
in praise of *ord 0ama! -ost of his songs are in 'elugu and a few are in Sans#rit! Dnly
about five hundred of his songs are sung by the songsters of the present day! "hen
devotional songs are sung with piety and devotion$ they at one elevate the soul to
magnanimous spiritual heights and melt the mind in the *ord and lead to ommunion and
Bhava Samadhi!
'yagaraja used to sing in the temple of Ambal at 'hiruvaiyaru and worship the
2evi before he proeeded for his daily Bhi#sha! 6e adopted the Gnha /ritti profession
and lived on Bhi#sha$ though he was well #nown throughout South India and many
-aharajas were willing to have him as the 2urbar singer!
'yagaraja Swami was a superman! 6e had diret 2arshan of *ord 0ama on
several oasions! 'he /igrahams or the idols that he worshipped were thrown into the
river! 'yagaraja reeived diretions in the dream from *ord 0ama and loated the e%at
spot in the river where the /igrahams lay buried underneath the sand$ after one year!
'he then 0aja of :udu##ottai one tested the merits of the songsters in a strange
way! 6e plaed an unlit lamp amongst them! 6e hallenged the e%perts to light the lamp
with a song only without using a math or any other means! 'yagaraja Swami meditated
upon Narada for a while$ sang the 0aga Byotisvarupini$ and the lamp lighted of itself! All
were stru# with wonder!
'yagaraja Swami restored to life a person who was aidentally drowned in a
temple well while returning from a pilgrimage to 'irupathi! 6e had the #nowledge of the
orret day and hour of the passing away of his soul form the physial body! 2ivine 0ishi
Narada gave him the boo# named Swararnavam for propagating high4lass musi!
'yagaraja never ared for wealth or position in soiety! 6e was humble! 6e
ourted poverty! Dne$ #ing Saraboji$ the 0aja of 'hanjavur$ sent a message to 'yagaraja!
'he messenger said$ )9indly ompose a song or two in praise of the 0aja and he will
give you ten ares of land and a bag full of gold+! 'yagaraja replied$ )"hy should I use
my musi for flattering 0ajas who lead a viious life, Kie upon that ursed gold whih
goads people to indulge in vies and run after sensual enjoyments+! 6e sang a song in
9alyani$ )Nidhi Chala Su#hama+! 'he meaning of the song isL )"hih gives greater
happiness4gold or worship of lord 0ama, D soulJ Spea# the truth! "hih is sweeter and
more deliious4mil#$ butter and urd or the essene of the metar of meditation and
Bhajana of 0ama, "hih is more onduive to health 4 a dip in the 1anga of serenity of
mind or in the muddy well of orruption, "hih of the two is better4praise of a rih man
who is puffed up with vanity or a song in praise of the all4meriful$ omnipotent *ord,+
'he messenger did not spea# a word! 6e left the plae silently!
'he then -aharaja of sent a messenger to feth 'yagaraja at any ost! 'he
messenger tempted 'yagaraja that the -aharaja would give him muh wealth and a good
position! 'yagaraja replied$ )I regard wealth as an obstale to manFs progress! It does not
ontribute any happiness to man! Dn the ontrary$ it brings all sorts of miseries! Dnly
fools run after money+! 6e then e%plained to the messenger the meaning of his song
):adavi Ni Sadbha#ti+ in Sa#alabhairavi 0agaL )'hat state of mind whih plaes impliit
faith in 0ama is the real position in life! 'here are many who an repeat all the /edas$
Shastras and Gpanishads li#e a parrot$ but who do not live in the spirit of their teahings!
Can suh persons be regarded as having attained the real position, 'here are many
persons who possess a mountain of wealth$ a number of wives and hildren$ and who
enjoy the friendship of -aharajas! Can they be onsidered to have attained the real
position, Can a person who holds a so4alled good status in soiety$ but who leads a life
of evil passions and dire ignorane$ be regarded as having attained the real position, No$
no! Dnly that man who has impliit faith in 0ama$ who meditates on the *ord$ and who
has obtained 6is grae has attained the real position+! 'he messenger went away 7uietly!
"hat a magnanimous soul was 'yagarajaJ 6e spurned rihes and position! 'he
wealth of the three worlds is mere straw for a man who enjoys the wealth and bliss of
1od4reali3ation! 'he state of suh e%alted souls is beyond desription!
'yagaraja SwamiFs Samadhi is at 'hiruvaiyaru on the ban#s of the Cauvery$ about
seven miles from the town of 'hanjavur! All the songsters of South India assemble there
and elebrate his anniversary with great joy every year in the month of Banuary! In 1@;2
Banuary$ his @<
th
anniversary was elebrated!
1lory to 'yagaraja Swami whose songs instill devotion$ joy and happiness in the
heart of the hearers!
.A.!A.AR
Nandanar belonged to the depressed lass of South India! 6e was a :ariah saint!
6e was an embodiment of humility$ patiene and sinerity! 6e was a great devotee of
*ord Nataraja of Chidabaram! Chidambaram is #nown as the Southern 9ashi! It has a big
temple! ENatarajaF is another name for *ord Siva who is worshipped in this temple! If you
remain in Chidambaram for some time$ your sins will be destroyed! 'his is a popular
belief!
Nandanar was serving a Brahmin in the ultivation of lands! "hen Nandanar
as#ed his master for permission to go to Chidambaram for 2arshan of lord Siva$ the
arrogant Brahmin landlord abused him and said$ ).ou low4aste :ariahJ .ou want to
worship the 2eity of the BrahminsJ 1o and worship the ghosts$ the Bhutas4 your family
deities+! Nandanar was a great devotee of *ord Nataraja! 6e was always praying with
devotion! Dn the inessant re7uest of Nandanar$ the Brahmin landlord told himL )yes you
an go to Chidambaram$ if you finish planting paddy in 2<0 ares of the farm in time+!
Nandanar was in great despair! 6e wanted to attend the yearly festival at Chidambaram!
6e had to finish the wor# within two days! 6e ursed himself and prayed the whole night
for *ord NatarajaFs grae and guidane! *ord Nataraja did a mirale to help 6is Bha#ta!
'he ne%t morning$ the entire plot of land of 2<0 ares was green with paddy plants$ with
ears just shooting up! 'he Brahmin was 7uite astonished! 6e thought that Nandanar must
be a great devotee! 6e immediately allowed him to go to Chidambaram!
Nandanar was thus able to go to Chidambaram! 6ere he had to fae another
trouble! 'he Brahmin temple priests$ the 2i#shitars$ would not allow Nandanar to enter
the temple as he was of low birth! *ord Nataraja appeared to them in their dream and
said$ )D priests$ perform all the neessary purifiatory eremonies for Nandanar! 6e is
-y great devotee! Allow him to worship -e inside the temple+!
'he Brahmins performed the eremonies aordingly and allowed Nandanar to
enter the inner shrine! Nandanar went into the inner shrine and worshipped Nataraja and
was in the height of divine estasy! A da33ling$ effulgent light was seen Nandanar
disappeared! 6e was nowhere to be seen! 6e beame one with *ord Nataraja!
1od ma#es no differene between a high4aste Brahmin and a low4aste :ariah!
"hat 6e wants is sinere devotion! Nandanar was more dear to 6im than the Brahmin
temple4priests! In the realm of Bha#ti$ there is no distintion of aste$ reed or olour! 6e
who has devotion is dear to the *ord!
Women Saints Chapter >
'he women saints inluded in this hapter are -adalasa$ -ira Bai$ Sa#ubai$ -u#tabai$
0abia and Avadaya##al! I have overed -ira Bai$ Sa#ubai and Avadaya##al!
MIRA 1AI
-ira is regarded as an inarnation of 0adha! She was born in Samvat 1<<> or
1;@@ A!2! in the village 9ur#hi$ near -erta$ a small state in -arwar$ 0ajasthan! -ira
was the daughter of 0atan Singh 0anthor and the granddaughter of 2udaji of -erta! 'he
0anthors of -erta were great devotees of /ishnu! -ira Bai was brought up amidst
/aishnava influene$ whih molded her life in the path of devotion towards *ord 9rishna!
She learnt to worship Sri 9rishna from her hildhood! "hen she was four years of age$
she manifested religious tendenies! Dne there was a marriage proession in front of her
residene! 'he bridegroom was niely dressed! -ira who was only a hild$ saw the
bridegroom and said to her mother innoently$ )2ear mother$ who is my bridegroom,+
-iraFs mother smiled$ and half in jest and half in earnest$ pointed towards the image of
Sri 9rishna and said$ )-y dear -ira$ *ord 9rishna4this beautiful image4is your
bridegroom+!
Child -ira began to love the idol of 9rishna very muh! She spent muh of her
time in bathing and dressing the image! She worshipped the image! She slept with the
image! She daned about the image in estasy! She sang beautiful songs in front of the
image! She used to tal# to the idol!
-iraFs father arranged for the marriage with 0ana 9umbha of Chitore$ in -ewar!
-ira was a very dutiful wife! She obeyed her husbandFs ommands impliitly! After her
household duties were over$ she would go to the temple of lord 9rishna$ worship$ sing
and dane before the image daily! 'he little image would get up! &mbrae -ira$ play on
the flute and tal# to her! 0anaFs mother and other ladies of the house did not li#e the ways
of -ira$ as they were worldly4minded and jealous! 'hey were all annoyed with her!
-iraFs mother4in4law fored her to worship 2urga and admonished her often! But -ira
stood adamant! She said$ )I have already given up my life to my beloved *ord 9rishna+!
-iraFs sister4in4law Gdabai formed a onspiray and began to defame the innoent -ira!
She informed 0ana 9umbha that -ira was in seret love with others$ that she with her
own eyes had witnessed -ira in the temple with her lovers$ and that she would show him
the persons if he would aompany her one night! She further added that -ira$ by her
ondut$ had brought a great slur on the reputation of the 0ana family of Chitore! 0ana
9umbha was very muh enraged! 6e straightaway ran with sword in hand towards the
inner apartments of -ira! Kortunately$ -ira was not in her room! A #ind relative of the
0ana he#ed him and said$ )*oo# here 0anaJ 2o not be in haste! .ou will repent later
on! Consider well! &n7uire into the matter very arefully! Kind out the truth! -ira is a
great devotional lady! "hat you have heard now may be a wild rumor only! Dut of sheer
jealousy some ladies might have onoted a o#4and4bull story against mira to ruin her!
Be ool now+! 0ana 9umbha agreed to the wise ounsel of his relative! 'he 0anaFs sister
too# him to the temple at dead of night! 0ana 9umbha bro#e open the door$ rushed inside
and found mira alone in her estati mood tal#ing to the idol!
'he 0anasaid to -ira$ )-ira$ with whom are you tal#ing now, Show me this
lover of yours+! -ira replied E'here sits 6e4my *ord4the Nanihora who has stolen my
heart+! She fainted! 'here was a wild rumor that -ira was mi%ing very freely with
Sadhus! She$ no doubt$ had great regard for Sadhus and mi%ed freely with them! -ira
never ared a bit for the meaningless sandals! She stood unruffled!
-ira was perseuted in various ways by the 0ana and his relatives! She got the
same treatment whih :rahlad got from his father 6iranya#asipu! 6ari shielded :rahlad!
6ere$ Sri 9rishna always stood by the side of -ira! Dne the 0ana sent a obra in a
bas#et to -ira with the message that it ontained a garland of flowers! -ira too# her bath
and sat for worship! After finishing her meditation$ she opened the bas#et and found
inside a lovely idol of Sri 9rishna and a garland of flowers! 'hen the 0ana sent her a up
of poison with the message that it was netar! -ira offered it to *ord 9rishna and too# it
as 6is :rasad! It was real netar to her! 'hen the 0ana sent a bed nails for -ira to sleep
on! -ira finished her worship and slept on the bed of nails! *oJ 'he bed of nails was
transformed into a bed of roses!
"hen -ira was thus tortured by her husbandFs relatives$ she sent a letter to
'ulsidasji and as#ed the advie of the saint! She wrote thusL )All my relatives trouble me$
beause I move amongst Sadhus! I annot arry on my devotional praties in the house!
I have made 1iridhar 1opal my friends from my very hildhood! I am strongly attahed
to 6im! I annot brea# that attahment now+!
'ulsidasji sent a replyL )Abandon those who do not worship 0ama and Sita as if
they are your enemies$ even though they are your dearest relatives! :rahlad abandoned
his father8 /ibhishana left his brother 0avana8 Bharata deserted his mother8 Bali forsoo#
even his guru8 the 1opis$ the women of /raja$ disowned their husbands in order to attain
the *ord! 'heir lives were all the happier for having done so! 'he opinion of holy saints is
that the relation with 1od and love of 1od alone is true and eternal8 all other relationships
are unreal and temporary+!
Dne A#bar and his ourt musiian 'ansen ame in disguise to Chitore to hear
-iraFs devotional and inspiring songs! Both entered the temple and listened to -iraFs
soul4stirring songs to their heartFs ontent! A#bar was really moved before he departed$
he touhed the holy feet of -ira and plaed a ne#lae of emeralds in front of the idol as
a present Somehow the news reahed the 0ana that A#bar had entered the temple in
disguise$ touhed the feet of -ira and even presented her a ne#lae! 'he 0ana beame
furious! 6e told -ira$ )2rown yourself in the river and never show your fae to the world
in future! .ou have brought great disgrae on my family+!
-ira obeyed the words of her husband! She proeeded to the river to drown
herself! 'he names of the *ord )1ovind$ 1iridhari$ 1opal+ were always on her lips! She
sang and daned in estasy on her way to the river! "hen she raised her feet from the
ground$ a hand from behind grasped her! She turned behind and saw her beloved 9rishna!
She fainted! After a few minutes she opened her eyes!
*ord 9rishna smiled and spo#e to her these wordsL )-y dear -ira$ your life with this
mortal husband is over now! .ou are absolutely free! Be heerful! .ou are -ine!
Immediately proeed to the bowers of /raja and the avenues of Brindavan! See# -e
there$ my hild Be 7ui#+! 6e then disappeared!
-ira obeyed the divine all immediately! She wal#ed barefoot on the hot sandy
beds of 0ajasthan! Dn her way$ she was reeived by many ladies$ hildren and devotees
with great hospitality! She reahed Brindavan! She found out her Klute4bearer there! She
went about Brindavan begging for her food and worshipped in the 1ovinda -andir that
has sine beome famous and is now a plae of pilgrimage! 6er devotees of Chitore ame
to Brindavan to see -ira! 0ana 9umbha ame to -ira in the disguise of a mendiant$
revealed himself and repented for his previous wrongs and ruel deeds! -ira at one
prostrated before her husband!
Biva 1osain was the head of the /aishnavites in Brindavan! -ira wanted to have
2arshan of Biva 1osain! 6e delined to see her! 6e sent word to -ira that he would not
allow any woman in his presene! -ira Bai retortedL )&verybody in Brindavan is a
woman! Dnly 1iridhar 1opal is :urusha! 'oday only I have ome to #now that there is
another :urusha besides 9rishna in Brindavan+! Biva 1osain was put to shame! 6e
thought that -ira was a great devotional lady! 6e at one went to see -ira and paid her
due respets!
-iraFs fame spread far and wide! So many prinesses and 7ueens have ome and
gone! So many 0anis$ 9umaris and -aharahis have appeared on the stage of this world
and vanished! 6ow is it that the 7ueen of Chitore alone is still remembered, Is this on
aount of her beauty, Is this on aount of her poeti s#ill, No! It is on aount of her
renuniation$ one4pointed devotion to *ord 9rishna and 1od4reali3ation! She ame fae
to fae with 9rishna! She onversed with 9rishna! She ate with 9rishna4her Beloved! She
dran# the 9rishna4prema4rasa! She has sung from the ore of her heart the musi of her
soul$ the musi of her Beloved$ her uni7ue spiritual e%perienes! And she has sung songs
of surrender and :rem!
-ira had the beautiful osmi vision! She saw 9rishna in the tree$ in the stone$ in the
reeper$ in the flower$ in the bird$ in all beings4in everything! As long as there is the name
of 9rishna$ there will be the name of -ira also!
It is e%tremely diffiult to find a parallel to this wonderful personality4-ira4a
saint$ a philosopher$ a poet and a sage! She was a versatile genius and a magnanimous
soul! 6er life has a singular harm$ with e%traordinary beauty and marvel! She was a
priness$ but she abandoned the pleasures and lu%uries inident to her high station$ and
hose instead$ a life of poverty$ austerity$ 'yaga$ 'iti#sha and /airagya! 'hough she was a
deliate young lady$ she entered the perilous journey on the spiritual path amidst various
diffiulties! She underwent various ordeals with undaunted ourage and intrepidity! She
stood adamant in her resolve! She had a giganti will!
-iraFs songs infuse faith$ ourage$ devotion and love of 1od in the minds of the
readers! 'hey inspire the aspirants to ta#e to the path of devotion and they produe in
them a marvelous thrill and a melting of the heart!
-iraFs earthly life was full of troubles and diffiulties! She was perseuted! She
was tormented and yet she #ept up an undaunted spirit and a balaned mind all through$
by the strength of her devotion and the grae of her beloved 9rishna 'hough she was a
priness$ she begged alms and lived sometimes on water alone! She led a life of perfet
renuniation and self4surrender!
-ira had 0aganuga or 0agatmi#a Bha#ti! She never ared for publi ritiism and
the injuntions of the Shastras! She daned in the streets! She did not ritualisti worship!
She had spontaneous love for *ord 9rishna! She did not pratie Sadhana4bha#ti! Krom
her very hildhood she poured frth her love on *ord 9rishna! 9rishna was her husband$
father$ mother$ friends$ relative and 1uru! 9rishna was her :rananath! -ira had finished
the preliminary modes of worship in her previous birth!
-ira was fearless in her nature$ simple in her habits$ joyous in her disposition$
amiable in her deportment$ graeful in her behavior and elegant in her demeanor! She
immersed herself in the love of 1iridhar 1opal! 'he name of 1iridhar 1opal was always
on her lips! &ven in her dreams$ she lived and had her being in Sri 9rishna!
In her divine into%iation$ -ira daned in publi plaes! She had no se%4idea! 6er
e%alted state ould not be ade7uately desribed in words! She was sun# in the oean of
:rem! She had no onsiousness of her body and surroundings! "ho ould gauge the
depth of her devotion, "ho ould understand her internal :remamaya state of -aha4
bhava, "ho ould measure the apaity of her large heart,
-ira wafted the fragrane of devotion far and wide! 'hose who ame in ontat
with her were affeted by her strong urrent of :rem! -ira was li#e *ord 1auranga! She
was an embodiment of love and innoene! 6er heart was the temple of devotion! 6er
fae was the lotus4flower of :re! 'here was #indness in her loo#$ love in her tal#$ joy in
her disourses$ and power in her speeh and fervor in her songs! "hat a marvelous ladyJ
"hat a wonderful personalityJ "hat a harming figureJ
-iraFs mysti songs at as a soothing balm to the wounded hearts and tired nerves
of those who toil in this world with the heavy burden of life! 'he sweet musi of her
songs e%erts a benign influene on the hearers$ removes disord and disharmony$ and
lulls them to sleep! -iraFs language of love is so powerful that even a downright atheist
will be moved by her devotional songs!
Krom Brindavan$ -ira proeeded to 2wara#a! 'here she was absorbed in the
image of lord 9rishna at the temple of 0anhod!
S221AI
9rar is village on the ban#s of the 9rishna in -aharashtra! 'here lived in the
village a Brahmin with his wife$ son and daughter4in4law! 'he name of the daughter4in4
law was Sa#ubai!
Sa#ubai was a great devotee of *ord 9rishna of :andharpur! 'he Name of the
*ord was always on her lips! She was obedient$ humble$ simple$ and virtuous 6er
mother4in4law was ruel$ egoisti and stonehearted! 'he Brahmin and his son were
entirely in the hands of that woman! 'hey treated Sa#ubai very harshly!
Sa#ubai disharged her household duties well! She wor#ed very hard and yet the
mother4in4law abused and #i#ed her! She never gave Sa#ubai a full meal! Sa#ubai had to
eat stale things! She bore everything very patiently! She never opened her lips! She ould
not open her heart to her husband as he was under the ontrol of his mother! Sa#ubai was
always heerful! She refleted within herself thusL )I am highly grateful to the lord$
beause if I had been plaed in prosperous onditions$ I would have forgotten 6im+!
A woman in the neighboring house one day said to Sa#ubai$ )-y dear sister$ I
pity you! 6ave you not got your parents, 6ow is it that none of them ever turns up to see
you, Sa#ubai smiled and said$ )-y parents live in :andharpur! *ord 9rishna is my
father! 0u#mini is my mother! 'hey have ountless hildren! So they have forgotten me!
But I am sure they will ome to one day and remove my diffiulties+!
:andharpur is a sared plae of pilgrimage! A big fair is held there on the eleventh
day of the moon in Ashada! :eople from various plaes assemble there to get 2arshan of
*ord /ittala! 2evotees of the *ord$ with small flags in their hands$ proeed to :andharpur
through the village 9rar! 'hey hant the *ordFs Name play on their ymbals and guitars
and dane!
Sa#ubai saw a party of devotees! She had a strong desire to visit :andharpur along
with that party! It was not possible for her to get permission from her people$ but she
joined the party!
A woman of the neighboring house who saw Sa#ubai joining the party at one
reported to her mother4in4law! 'he mother4in4law as#ed her son to bring Sa#ubai ba# to
the house! 'he son aught hold of Sa#ubaiFs hair and dragged her to the house! 6e abused
her and #i#ed her several times on the way!
'he Brahmin$ his wife and his son tied Sa#ubai to a pillar with a strong rope!
Sa#ubai prayed to the *ordL )D /ittala of :andharpur$ I wanted to tie myself to 'hy lotus
feet$ but I am tied here with a rope! -y body is tied up here$ but my mind is ever free!
-y mind is ever fi%ed at 'hy lotus feet! I am afraid neither of death nor of bodily
tortures! I wish to have 'hy 2arshan at any ost! 'hou art my Kather$ -other$ 1uru$
:rotetor my All! D -eriful *ord$ will .ou not grant my humble prayer,+
If the prayer omes from the ore of the heart$ it is heard by the *ord! 6e
responds to the prayer immediately! 'he prayer of Sa#ubai piered the heart of *ord
9rishna! 6e was moved at one! 6e too# the form of a woman$ appeared immediately
before Sa#ubai and said$ )Beloved sister$ I am going to :andharpur$ will you go there,+
Sa#ubai said$ )6ow an I go when I am tied to the pillar, Certainly I have a strong desire
to go there+!
'he woman said$ )2ear sister$ I am your friends! I will get myself tied up here in
your plae! .ou an go now to :andharpur+! She removed the rope$ let Sa#ubai free and
tied herself up in Sa#ubaiFs plae! Sa#ubai was at :andharpur in a moment through the
grae of the *ord! 6er joy #new no bounds! She thought within herself$ )I am truly
blessed by the *ord! I am freed not only from the bond of the rope$ but also from the
bonds of life! 6ow happy I amJ+
'he *ord assumed the form of Sa#ubai and beame a slave of 6is devotee! 'he
*ord of the three worlds$ the hanting of whose Name loosens all the bonds of -aya$ was
6imself that day in bondage$ beause of the love of a devotee 6ow meriful 6e isJ 'he
Brahmin$ his wife and his son abused the new Sa#ubai$ but the *ord rejoied!
Kifteen days passed! 'he new Sa#ubai was not given even a morsel of food! 'he
husband began to feel a little! 6e thought within himselfL )If she dies$ all the people will
abuse me! I annot get another wife$ beause all #now that my parents are ruel+! 6e too#
pity on her and repented very muh for his ruel ation! 6e untied her and said$ )2ear
Sa#u$ I have treated you ruelly! -y parents too have given you lots of trouble! Now$
please forgive us$ ta#e bath and ta#e your meals+! 'he new Sa#ubai Hthe *ordI put her
head down and heard all this li#e a devoted wife! 'he *ord thought that if he disappeared
earlier$ those people would treat the real Sa#ubai on her return in a worse manner! So 6e
deided to stay and serve the family li#e Sa#ubai!
Sa#ubai too# her bath and prepared deliious food! All the three too# their meals!
Sa#u too# her food in the end! 'hey all admired Sa#uFs great s#ill in oo#ing! It was the
first time that Sa#u too# the same food as was ta#en by them Sa#u massaged the feet of
the mother4in4law and disharged the other duties very satisfatorily! Now the Brahmin$
his wife and the son were highly pleased with Sa#u!
'he real Sa#ubai reahed :andharpur$ too# bath in the Chandrabhaga and had
2arshan of /ittala or *ord 9rishna! She too# the vow of never going away from
:andharpur! She was immersed in divine bliss! She lost all onsiousness$ dropped down
and was dead!
A Brahmin of village 9iwal$ whih was near to the village 9rar$ was present in
the temple! 6e reogni3ed Sa#ubai$ too# her dead body with help of his friends and
remated it!
0u#mini$ the onsort of *ord 9rishna$ was in a great dilemma! 6er *ord was at
9rar! 6e was ating the part of Sa#ubai$ who was dead and whose body was already
remated! 0u#mini thought within herselfL )6ow an I get my lord ba# from 9rar,+ She
reated a new Sa#ubai through her .ogi power!
'he new Sa#ubai had a dream! 0u#mini said to Sa#ubai in her dream$ )2ear
Sa#u$ you too# a vow not to leave :andharpur! "ell$ the body in whih you too# the vow
has already been remated! I have given you a new body! 1o ba# to your village! 'he
*ord has blest you+!
Sa#ubai returned to her village! She met her sister on the riverban# and said to
her$ )2ear sister$ I had 2arshan of the *ord through your help only! I am grateful to you!
6ow an I repay you for all that you have done for me,+
'he *ord handed over the pither to Sa#u$ told her to arry water to her house and
went away! Sa#u returned to her house with the pither of water and began to do the
household wor# as usual! She was very muh astonished to find a great hange in the
attitude of her mother4in4law$ her father4in4law and her husband towards her!
'he ne%t day$ the Brahmin of 9iwal vilage ame to 9rar to announe the news of
the death of Sa#ubai! 6e found that Sa#ubai was doing her household duties! 6e was
stru# with wonder! 6e said to Sa#ubaiFs father4in4law$ ).our daughter4in4law died at
:andharpur! -y friends and I remated her body I thin# that her ghost is moving about in
your house+!
'he father4in4law and the husband of Sa#ubai said$ )Sa#u has been here all the
time! She never went to :andharpur! .ou might have remated the body of some other
woman+!
'he Brahmin of 9iwal village said$ )Now all your daughter4in4law and en7uire
from her whether she had gone to :andharpur or not+!
'he Brahmin said$ )D dear Sa#u$ tell me the truth! 2o not be afraid! 2id you go to
:andharpur, 'ell me what all happened+!
Sa#u replied$ )I had a strong desire to go to :andharpur! "hen I was tied to the
pillar$ a woman$ who resembled me very muh$ ame to me$ untied me$ put herself in my
plae and as#ed me to go to pandharpur! I did go to :andharpur! I lost my onsiousness
before the image of *ord /ittala! In my dream 0u#mini said$ E.our body was remated! I
have given you a new body and a new life! 1o to your native plaeF! I ame ba# and met
the woman at the riverside! She gave me the pither to arry home and went away! I am
7uite sure that the woman was *ord 9rishna 6imself4*ord :anduranga! .ou people are
all blessed$ as you had 2arshan of the *ord+!
'he Brahmin$ his wife and their son thought that the woman must have been
assuredly the *ord of :andharpur! 'hey grieved very muh for their wrong ations done
to the lord! All the three were purified by their ontat with the *ord! 'heir heart was
hanged! 'hey began to worship the lord with great devotion! 'hey said$ )D *ord$ forgive
us! "e had treated brutally 'hy devotee Sa#ubai! "e had ill4treated 'hee also! D *ord of
CompassionJ :ardon us! "e prostrate at 'hy lotus feet! Save us! :rotet us+!
'hey began to worship Sa#ubai also!
AVA!AYAAL
'he general belief among the devotees of the *ord is that *ord Siva 6imself
inarnated in this world as Sri Bagadguru Adi San#araharya of 9aladi8 and that -other
:arvati inarnated 6erself as Sri Avadaya##al of Shen#ottai$ apparently to prove that
women$ too$ ould attain Self4reali3ation even in this 9ali .uga!
Avadaya##al was born of a pious Saiva /adama ouple of Shen#ottai in South
India! &ven as a hild she showed signs of a high mental state! She would do nothing
voluntarily! Kor everything she had to be prompted! She would eat what was given8 she
would put on whatever dress was given! She would go where she was as#ed to go8 and do
whatever she was told to do! She was married to a Brahmin boy even when she was a
girl!
"hen Adadai ame of age$ the parents fi%ed a date for her nuptials! Avadai was
dressed niely for the oasion and led into the bridal hamber by her relatives$ who shut
the door and ame away! 6er husband was sitting on the bed and wathing her! She
would not move from the spot where she was left by her relatives! 'he boy pi#ed up a
garland of flowers that was lying on the bed and smelt it! 'here was a venomous obra in
the garland and it bit him at one to unonsiousness! Before long$ the husband was dead!
'he ne%t morning$ in aordane with the prevailing ustom$ the ladies of the
house ame to the bridal hamber and opened the door! 'o their astonishment$ the girl
Avadai stood there rooted to the same spot where she had been left! 'hey as#ed her why
she merely stood there! She repliedL )"hyJ .ou had as#ed me to stand hereJ+ 'hey
loo#ed at the husband8 they grew suspiious! "hen they went near the bed$ they found
the husband dead! 'hey attributed this to the girlFs evil stars and too# the girl and
husbandFs orpse out of the
'he obse7uies were duly performed and the girlFs head was shaven$ ornaments
removed and white loth given! But Avadai did not have any feelings at all about the loss
of the young husband! 'he world delared her a widow$ an embodiment of
inauspiiousness$ forbidding her to ome out of her room or to attend any festivities!
Avadai would get up very early in the morning and go to the river for bath8 for she had to
return to the house before the other people were upJ
Dne morning Avadai went to the river to ta#e her bath Before bathing$ she pi#ed
up a mango leaf from the bed of the river to lean her teeth! 'he moment she applied that
mango leaf to the teeth$ she had a strange transendental e%periene!
It so happened that just that morning the sage Ayyaval Ha 1urubhai of the world4
renowned sage Sadasiva BrahmanI was there$ meditating underneath a :eepul tree! 6e
had leansed his teeth on the ban#s of the same river and thrown away the mango leaf
used by him on the bed of the river! Avadai had used that leaf8 and the moment the sageFs
Ghishta or sared remnant was swallowed by her$ the little dirt that overed the Atma
Byoti in her was washed away! She at one reali3ed the atman within! Instintively she
wal#ed to the feet of the sage under the :eepul tree!
Avadai prostrated to Ayyaval! :laing his hand H6asthadi#shaI on her head$ the
sage pronounedL )Brahma Satyam AvadaiFs heart was illumined! She entered into
Samadhi or that indesribable super onsious state! A little while later Ayyaval gave her
a *inga for worship and went away!
'hat very moment Sarasvati had ta#en her abode on AvadaiFs tongue8 and
AvadaiFs transendental e%periene flowed through her tongue in the shape of divine$
inspiring songs! She astounded one and all in the town by her e%tra4ordinary wisdom!
"hatever she said$ whatever she sang portrayed her inner illumination! :eople however
onsidered that Avadai had gone mad and merely onfined her to her roomJ
In the meantime$ AvadaiFs parents died! 'his gave Avadai a great independene of
movement! She at one opened the door of her room and went out into the wide world4
her own homeJ She went alone from plae to plae4a young woman$ singing wisdom$
radiating wisdom$ and transmitting wisdom to one and all that ame near her!
Avadai reahed 'iruvananthapuram! As usual she had her bath in a tan# and
wanted to do *inga :uja! 'he #ing$ who had heard of her and of her regular worship of
the *inga with Bael leaves$ had sent her a bas#etful of golden Bael leaves for her
worship! Avadai bathed in the tan# and set about on the ban# to perform the worship with
the golden Bael leaves! As soon as the :uja was over$ Avadai olleted the Bael leaves
and threw them into the tan# as nirmalya Hoffered flowersI$ as is the ustom! 'he #ing
was astonished to hear this! 6e under stood the great renuniation of Avadai and her :ara
/airagya! 'o Avadai$ gold and leaf were the same!
Krom 'iruvanathapuram Avadai went to a onferene of the heads of religious
sets! She thrilled the audiene with her supreme wisdom and established the unity of all
sets! 'hey spo#e derisively of her at first$ referring to her shaven head and alling her$
).ou -ottaiJ+! Avadai 7ui#ly retortedL )"ho is -ottai, Is it my body, Is it my mind, Is
it my :rana, Is it my Biva, Dr$ is it my Atma, "ho am I, 6ow an EIF be -ottai,+ In the
end they all eulogi3ed her greatly for her divine wisdom and prostrated to her!
Dn another oasion$ the #ing of a State alled Avadai to his 2urbar and offered
to marry herL .ou$ so young and beautiful$ should not wander about li#e this! Beome my
wife and remain in the palae as my 7ueen with all powers!+ Avadai feigned to agree to
this proposal provided the #ing answered some 7uestions she would put him! And the
7uestions were so grand and sublime that the #ing felt ashamed of himself and got
initiated into Bnana by herJ
Avadai again met her 1urudev$ Sri Ayyaval$ and joined his group of disiples! She
was the only woman member of the group! 'he other disiples of the sage greatly ill4
treated her! She was treated more as a dog to be loo#ed after with the remnants of the
Ashram food than as an inmate! Sri Ayyaval wanted to teah them all a lesson!
Dne day$ all the disiples of Sri Ayyaval rowed to a sand4mound in the middle of
the river Cauvery! 'hey all meditated there! Ayyaval was on the ban#s of the river!
Suddenly the disiples felt the water4level rising! 'hey 7ui#ly pereived the danger and
wanted to return! Avadai$ however$ was deep in Samadhi! 'hey wanted to test her and so
left her there and ame away! "ater was rising at great speed! Soon it loo#ed as though
Avadai would be drowned! She had got up from Samadhi and found that the others had
gone away! She loo#ed towards her 1urudev! 6e merely held up his arm to signal to herL
)Stand there itself )! Avadai obeyedJJ And what a great miraleJ Avadai stood there three
days and the rising flood left just that muh of the sand4mound where her feet restedJ She
returned when the flood went down after three days!
By this and other similar inidents$ every one in the Ashram reali3ed the greatness
of this lady4saint! *ater$ Sri Ayyaval too made no seret of her glory! :eople began to
flo# to her for her blessings! She sang and sang8 and through her songs runs the urrent
of the divine wisdom of the Gpanishads!
The 4#n/a%i Sar(ar E Si0h +#r#s Chapter 1F
:lease refer to the essay 6induism and Si#h separate religions$ AA6 6AJ
Saints of Recent Times Chapter 11
'he hapter inludes 0aghavendra Swami$ 0amalinga Swami$ Swami 2ayananda
Saraswati$ Sundaresa Swami$ narayan 1uru$ 0ama#rishna :aramahamsa$ Sri Aurobindo$
Swami Swayampra#asa Brahmendra Saraswati$ Swami 0ama 'irtha$ Sri 0amana
-aharshi and Saint 1udidi Baba! I have overed Narayan 1uru$ Swami 2ayananda
Saraswati$ 0ama#rishna :aramahamsa$ Sri Aurobindo$ Swami Swayampra#asa
Brahmendra Saraswati$ Swami 0ama 'irtha and Sri 0amana -aharshi!
.ARAYA.A +2R2
Sri Narayana 1uru$ the famous saint$ soial reformer and spiritual leader of
9erala$ was born in -alabar in 1?<;! 6e was a great sholar in Sans#rit$ -alayalam and
'amil! 6e wandered far and wide in his spiritual searh for an answer to the problem of
life! /ery little is #nown of his early years! Sri Narayana 1uru first attrated attention as a
wandering Sannyasin some thirty years later near the village of Neyyattan#ara in South
'ravanore! 'he villagers served him with faith and devotion!
&arly in youth$ the injustie of shutting out 6arijans from the 6indu temples
aroused in Sri Narayana 1uru an intense sympathy for them! 6e opened a temple for
6arijans H'hiyasI! 'his was his first publi wor#! 6e on7uered all opposition through
his will fore and wisdom! 6undreds of institutions embodying his priniples sprang up
throughout 9erala! Shools and dispensaries and Ashrams built in his name are
flourishing now! In every one of them the message of unity prevails!
Sri Narayana 1uru bro#e through the thi# rudst of ustom$ removed the mud of
orruption and the veil of ignorane and released the netar of freedom!
Sri Narayana 1uru was serene$ #ind and humorous! 6e possessed #een
intelligene and an indomitable will! 6e was the essene of /edanta personified! 'hrough
dediated ation he won the hearts of thousands of outaste followers of his in 9erala!
Sri Narayana 1uru enouraged students and the middle lass people to study
Sans#rit and the "estern sienes! 6is purpose was to lay the foundations of a
ooperative brotherhood$ whih through spontaneous publi servie$ would truly reflet
the unity at the heart of things that is longed for by all men!
In his later years$ Sri Narayana 1uru beame #nown throughout India! -any
famous people paid homage to him and his main entre of ativity in 9erala! Sri
0abindranath 'agore and -ahatma 1andhi visited his Ashram! Sri Narayana 1uru
traveled annually throughout South India and Ceylon!
Sri Narayana 1uruFs anniversary is elebrated throughout South India and
Ceylon$ about the beginning of September! 'he oasion is mar#ed by the pomp and
splendor of proessions and meetings$ attended with fitting reverene! Sri Narayana
1uruFs life and thought were universal! 6is teahings and his brilliant e%ample were for
all man#ind!
Sri Narayana 1uru was a mysti$ a pratial .ogi! 6e had studied minutely the
sared boo#s of India! 6e was very dynami! 6e showed that the priniples of /edanta
ould be applied in daily life! 6is entire lifeFs wor# was an e%ample of how it ould be
done!
'o Sri Narayana 1uru$ the embodiment of Advaita$ 9erala$ India and the whole
world owe an immense debt of gratitude that an best be repaid by following his
priniples and teahings and glorious e%ample!
S&ami !ayanan(a Saras&ati C go the essay 6istory of Arya Samaj in history setion!
RAMARISH.A 4ARAMAHAMSA
'he nineteenth entury saw India fae a great risis! "ith the British on7uest of
India ame the invasion of "estern ivili3ation upon the ountry! Awed by the material
power of the on7uering nation$ Indians hailed everything "estern as a thing to be
welomed! In the meantime$ Christianity one of the greatest proselyti3ing religions of the
world4began to wor# silently for a through ultural on7uest of the land!
At this psyhologial moment appeared Sri 0ama#rishna$ an embodiment of the
spirit of IndiaFs ulture and religion! 6e opened the eyes of the Indians to the beauty$
grandeur and strength of 6induism at a time when their faith in them greatly sla#ened!
0ama#rishna was born on Kebruary 1?$ 1?(= in the village of 9amarpu#ur in the
distrit of 6ooghly in Bengal$ of a pious Brahmin family! 6is parents named him
1adadhar! Krom his very birth$ 1adadhar ast a spell not only over his parents and
relatives$ but also over his neighbors! 6e began to show wonderful intelligene and
memory even at the early age of five! 'he preoious boy learnt by heart the names of his
anestors$ hymns to various gods and goddesses$ and tales from the great national epis!
6is father sent him to the village shool where he made fair progress and direted all his
attention to the study of the study of the life and harater of spiritual heroes! A onstant
study of these subjets often made him forgetful of the world and threw him into deep
meditation! As 1adadhar grew older$ he began to have tranes whenever his religious
felings were roused! Dn aount of family irumstanes$ he ame to Calutta where he
was entrusted with the duties of a priest! At that time there was living in Calutta a rih
widow of great piety named 0ani 0asmani! She built a 9ali temple at 2a#shineswar
where 1adadhar felt 7uite at home and found greater opportunities to pursue his spiritual
praties! 1adadhar was married at a young age to a girl4wife$ Sarada 2evi$ who later
beame #nown as the E6oly -otherF to the devotees of Sri 0ama#rishna!
0ama#rishna had a atholi spirit from the very beginning! 6e made no
distintion between one form of 1od and another! 'he reali3ation of one aspet of the
0eality inspired him to ta#e up another and to follow it with unflinhing devotion till that
aspet of 'ruth revealed itself! 0eferring to this period of his life Sri 0ama#rishna often
said afterwards$ )No sooner was one state transended than another too# its plae! Before
that whirlwind$ the sared thread was blown away$ and even the wearing loth hardly
remained PP! 'he idea of aste lost all meaning for me PP+!
0ama#rishna entered into -ahasamadhi and departed from the world on August
1=
th
$ 1??=! Some sayings of Sri 0ama#rishna :aramahamsa
1! 1od is formless and 1od is with form too$ and 6e is 'hat whih transends both form
and formlessness! 6e alone an say what else 6e is!
2! It is ignorane and folly to attempt to irumsribe god! 6e is both attribute less and
with attributes at one and the same time! 6e is also beyond both! 'a#e the instane of
ie$ water and vapor!
(! 1od with form is visible$ nay we an touh 6im$ as one does his dearest friend!
;! As long as the sound of a bell is audible$ it e%ists in the region of form8 but when it is
no longer heard$ it is form less! Similarly$ 1od is both formless and with form!
<! 'he sunlights up the earth$ but a small loud hides it from our view! Similarly$ the
insignifiant and all4witnessing Sathidananda!
=! "hen shall I be free, "hen EIF vanishes! EIF and E-ineF is ignorane8 E'houF and
E'hineF is #nowledge!
>! By a7uiring the onvition that all is done by the will of 1od$ one beomes only a
tool in 6is hands! 'hen one is free$ even in this life!
?! If you want in right earnest to be good and pure$ 1od will send you the right teaher!
&arnestness is the one thing neessary!
@! As a boy holding a post whirls about it with headlong speed without fear of falling$ so
perform your worldly duties$ fi%ing your hold firmly upon 1od$ and you shall be free
from danger!
10! A person living in soiety$ espeially as a householder$ should ma#e a show of the
spirit of resisting will for purposes of self4defene$ but at the same time$ try to avoid
paying ba# evil for evil!
11! 6e born to no purpose who$ having the rate privilege of being born a man$ is unable
to reali3e 1od in this life!
12! .ou annot get butter by rying yourself hoarse$ )there is butter in the mil#+! If you
wish to ma#e butter$ you must turn the mil# into urds$ and hurn it well! 'hen alone
you an get butter! So if you long to see 1od$ pratise spiritual e%erises!
1(! .ou will see 1od if your love for 6im is as strong as that of the attahment of the
worldly4minded person for things of the world!
1;! 'he dar#ness of enturies is dispersed as soon as a single light is brought into the
room! 'he aumulated ignorane and misdoings of innumerable births vanish at one
glane of the graious eyes of 1od!
1<! :ray to 6im in any way you will! 6e is sure to hear you$ for 6e hears even the
footfall of an ant!
SRI A2R:1I.!: +H:SH
1irth an( parenta$e
Dn 'hursday$ the 1<
th
August$ 1?>1$ at about < a!m!$ Sri Aurobindo was born of
Sri 9rishnadhan and Swarnalata$ at Calutta$ in Bengal$ in a reputed 1hosh family of
9onnagar! Sri 9rishnadhan went to &ngland and returned an -!2!$ full of honors!
0aj Narayan Bose$ an a#nowledged leader in Bengali literature$ a writer in the
)-odern 0eview+ and the grandfather of Indian nationalism was Sri AurobindoFs
maternal grandfather! Aurobindo owes not only his rih spiritual nature but even his very
superior literary apaity$ to his motherFs line!
An accomp'ishe( scho'ar
Aurobindo was sent to the *oretto Convent Shool at 2arjeeling when he was
four years old! As a boy$ Aurobindo reeived his early eduation in a publi shool in
&ngland! 'he old headmaster of the shool observed$ )Df all the boys who passed
through my hands during the last 2< or (0 years$ Aurobindo was by far the most rihly
endowed with intelletual apaity+!
Krom shool Aurobindo went to 9ingFs College$ Cambridge$ where he
distinguished himself as a student of &uropean lassis! 6e passed the Indian Civil
Servie &%amination with great redit in 1?@0! Kailing$ however$ to stand the re7uired
test in horsemanship$ he was not allowed to enter the Covenantal Servie of the Indian
1overnment! But returning to India$ he beame the /ie4prinipal of the State ollege in
Baroda! 6e was held in great respet by the -aharaja of Baroda!
AurobindoFs sholarship soon attrated the notie of all! 6e was loved by the
eduated lasses in Baroda State! 6e was e%eedingly popular with the general publi! Sri
9!-! -unshi was one of his students! -unshi admired and loved Aurobindo! 'o the
younger generation$ Aurobindo beame a veritable god and by them he was alled as
)Aru 2a+$ meaning )elder brother Aurobindo+! Aurobindo married -rinalini 2evi!
Aurobindo was an aomplished sholar in 1ree#! 6e got high distintion in
*atin! 6e learnt Krenh very well and pi#ed up a little of 1erman and Italian to study
1oethe and 2ante in the original! 6e was steeped in the lore of our anient /edi
sriptures!
Sri Aurobindo was a genius in history and poetry$ a sholar in &nglish and *atin!
6e was in &ngland for fourteen years! "hen he was only seven years of age$ 2r! 9!2!
1hosh sent him to &ngland to be steeped in "estern eduation! 'hat early age was
hosen deliberately in order that Aurobindo might forget the native touh and learn to
adopt the "estern forms instead!
Apost'e of In(ian nationa'ism
It was in 1?@( that Aurobindo ame ba# to India! 6e drew a salary of 0s!><0A4 in
the Baroda &duational Servie! Krom 1?@( to 1@0= he dran# deep from the fountains of
Sans#rit and Bengali literature$ philosophy and politial siene! 6e then resigned his job
and joined the Bengal National College on a salary of 0s!1<0A4 6e plunged head long
time into the revolutionary movement! 6e was a great figure in the nationalist movements
of the time!
Aurobindo edited the &nglish dally Bande -ataram and wrote fearless and
pointed editorials! 2uring the ne%t few months$ he started the &nglish wee#ly 2harma!
6e spread his messageL )Dur ideal of Swaraj is absolute autonomy$ absolute self4rule$
free from foreign ontrol+! In those days$ Aurobindo openly advoated the boyott of
British goods$ British ourts and everything British! 6e always as#ed the people to
prepare themselves for passive resistane!
Sri Aurobindo$ the prophet of Indian nationalism$ was one of the pioneers of
politial awa#ening in India! 6e was the leader of the revolutionary movement! 6e
played a great part in the ountryFs national struggle from 1@0?! 6e was in the forefront
of the national struggle during the days of the partition of Bengal!
A&a0ene( to the !ivine Mission
'he famous Alipore Bomb Case was the turning point in Sri AurobindoFs life! Kor
a year Aurobindo was an undertrial prisoner in solitary onfinement in the Alipore
Central Bail! It was in a dingy ell of the Alipore Bail that he dreamt the dream of his
future life$ the divine mission ordained for him by 1od!
Aurobindo bore the rigours of the imprisonment$ the bad food$ the inade7uate
lothes$ the la# of light and free air$ the strain of boredom and the reeping solitariness
of the gloomy ell! 6e utili3ed this period of inareration for an intense study and
pratie of the teahings of the Bhagavad 1ita! Chittaranjan 2as defended Sri Aurobindo$
who was a7uitted after a memorable trial!
His practice of Yo$a
Sri Aurobindo began his .oga in 1@0;! 6e had no helper or 1uru in .oga till he
met *ele$ a -aharashtrian .ogi in Baroda8 and that was only for a short time! -editating
only for three days with *ele$ Aurobindo followed the .ogiFs instrutions for silening
the mind and freeing it from the onstant pressure of thought!
Sri Aurobindo himself one wrote in a letter about his pratie of .ogaL )I began
my .oga in 1@0; without a 1uru! In 1@0? I reeived important help from a -ahratti .ogi
and disovered the foundations of my SadhanaO+ 6e started .oga by himself$ getting the
rule from a friends$ a disiple of Brahmananda of 1anga -utt! It was onfined at first to
assiduous pratie of :ranayama$ for si% or more hours a day! Aurobindo pratied and
meditated on the teahings of the 1ita and the Gpanishads!
Ashram at 4on(icherry
Sri Aurobindo migrated from Calutta to Chandranagar and later reahed
:ondiherry on April ;$ 1@10! At :ondiherry$ he stayed at a friendFs plae! At first$ he
lived there with four or five ompanions! 1radually the number of members inreased!
An Ashram grew up around him! Now there are hundreds of inmates in the Ashram
aommodated in more than a hundred houses! 'he Ashramites are engaged in various
ativites onneted with the Ashram4some in the dairy$ some in the vegetable garden$ yet
others in the laundry and the small ba#ery! -ost of the young girls wor# in the AshramFsF
own printing press! 'o the Ashram inmates$ all ativities form a part of their Sadhana!
6ere life is an undivided whole$ not onsisting of watertight ompartments!
'he Ashram has a shool of its own! 6ere stress is laid on physial ulture!
/oational eduation is imparted to pupils between the ages of 1; to 1?!
In 1@20$ -ira$ a Krenh lady4wife of one :aul 0ihard4who was imbued with the
same ideal$ joined the Sri Aurobindo irle! She beame the -other and presided over the
Ashram! &very morning she gave 2arshan to the eager devotees from the balony
adjoining her room! She supervised every little of the organi3ation of the Ashram!
'he Ashramites in Sri Aurobindo Ashram are not Sannyasins! Aurobindo himself
was not a Sannyasin$ but a 0ishi! 'he Ashram is a osmopolitan one! 'here are Christians
Moroastrians$ -uslims and members of other reeds! Aurobindo gave 2arshan to his
devotees on four days a year! All the ativities of the Ashram are managed by the
Sadha#s!
'he Ashram started the )Arya+$ an &nglish spiritual journal under the
management of the -other and :aul 0ihard! 'he most signifiant wor#s of Aurobindo
appeared serially in the maga3ine! 'he Arya stopped publiation after si% and a half
years!
Sri 0abindranath 'agore one visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and said to
AurobindoL ).ou have the word and we are waiting to aept it from you! India will
spea# through your voie to the world+!
Sri A#ro%in(o6s phi'osophy
Sri AurobindoFs philosophy is in a sense pratial! It is based on fats$ e%periene
and personal reali3ations and on having the vision of a seer or 0ishi! AurobindoFs
spirituality is inseparably united with reason!
'he goal aimed at by Sri Aurobindo is not merely the liberation of the individual
from the hain that fetters him$ but )to wor# out the will of the 2ivine in the world$ to
effet a spiritual transformation and to bring down the divine nature and a divine life into
the mental$ vital and physial nature and life of humanity+!
)A fi%ed and unfailing aspiration that alls from below and a Supreme 1rae that
answers from above are two powers whih in their onjuntion an effet this! If the
transformation is to be integral$ integral should be the rejetion of all that withstands it+
says the -aster Sri Aurobindo!
)'he all upon us+ says Sri Aurobindo$ )is to grow into the image of 1od$ to
dwell in 6im and with 6im and be a hannel of 6is joy and might and an instrument of
6is wor#s! :urified from all that is Asubha H&vilI$ we have to at in the world as
dynamos of that 2ivine &letriity and send it thrilling and radiating through man#ind$ so
that wherever one of us stands$ hundreds around may beome full of 6is light and fore$
full of 1od and full of Ananda! Churhes$ theologies$ philosophies have failed to save
man#ind beause they have busied themselves with intelletual reeds and institutionsP
as if these ould save man#ind$ and have negleted the one thing needful$ the power and
purifiation of the soul+!
AurobindoFs *ife 2ivine is$ and will always remain$ a fore guiding the thoughts
of men all over the world! 6is other publiations are &ssays on 1ita$ Ideal and :rogress$
IsaGpanishad$ 'he Superman$ &volution$ 6eralitus$ 'he Ideal of the 9armayogin$ 'he
Brain of India$ the 0enaissane in India$ Bases of .oga$ 9alidasa$ /i#ramorvasi or 'he
6ero and the Nymph$ :oems$ 'he 0iddle of 'his "orlds$ et!
The sa$e6s Mahasama(hi
Sri Aurobindo passed away at 1!(0 a!m! on <
th
2eember$ 1@<0 at :ondiherry! 6e
was >? years old! 6e was suffering from #idney trouble for a fortnight and was attended
upon by 2r! :rabha#ar Sen!
Dne more glorious hild! Df -other India thus laid himself to rest in 6er bosom!
Dne more lamp that had shed its light of divine wisdom throughout the world thus
disappeared in its own luster$ even as amphor dissolves into the fire! Sri Aurobindo thus
attained union with Sri Aravind4the lotus4eyed *ord of the Gniverse!
Sri Aurobindo was a poet$ politiian and philosopher! 6is writings4philosophi
and poeti4are Indian inspirit and "estern in rhythm and olor! 6e was the greatest
intelletual of our age and a major fore for the life of the spirit! India will not forget his
servies to politis and philosophy! 'he world will remember with gratitude his
invaluable wor#s in the realms of philosophy and religion!
Aurobindo was one of the greatest of world figures! 6e was an inspiration to the
nationalists of India! *oo#ed at as a religious teaher$ his writings will live as long as the
world survives!
'he rest jewel of renasent India! 'he bravest among the patriots$ the sharpest
among the intelletuals$ and the subtlest among the seers$ Sri Aurobindo fulfilled the
glorious purpose of demonstrating to the world that real India$ the India of the /edi
seers$ ould survive and absorb into herself all alien ultures$ and that at the hands of one
who #new the proper synthesis$ &astern and "estern ultures ould find their happy
blend$ without neessarily having to antagoni3e one another! Sri AurobindoFs *ife
2ivine4the divine life that he lived and preahed4will live for ever$ inspiring man#ind!
:osterity will hail him as a member of the gala%y of /edi seers! -ay his *ight ever
shine!
SWAMI AWAYAM4RAASA 1RAHM,.!RA SARASWATI
9rishnamoorthy was the previous name of Swami Swayampra#asa Brahmendraji!
6e was born of 0amaswami Sastrigal$ a pious /edi sholar and a poor but respetable
Brahmin$ and Bana#i$ a woman of high4souled purity$ in the village of 9alpattu in the
distrit of South Arot$ 'amil Nadu$ on 'uesday$ the 2?
th
of November 1?>1!
Swami brahmendraji was eduated in three plaesL 'hiruvidaimardur$
9umba#onam and 'hiruvananthapuram! 6e passed the -atriulation &%amination and
too# to the study of Sans#rit in right earnest! 6e studied under Bala Saraswati Bhatta Sri
Narayana Sastrigal$ an erudite sholar! Afterwards he studied 'amil poetry! Swamiji had a
wonderful retentive memory! 6e 7uoted long passages with proper onte%ts and
omments with perfet ease!
9rishnamoorthy wor#ed as a Shool -aster in a neighbouring village for some
time! 'hereupon he joined the Settlement 2epartment as a ler# on a monthly salary of
0s! <0A4!
9rishnamoorthy was urged by his brother to marry$ but he refused with
determination! 6e gave up his job and turned his steps towards the North in searh of a
1uru! At 9ashi he met Swami 2a#shinamoorthy and stayed with him as his disiple for
three years! 6e studied /edanta thoroughly under the Swami! 6e served a silent -uni in
9ashi for si% months!
'here from 9rishnamoorthy went to a ave above the Bana 'irtha near
:apanasam$ 'irunelveli 2istrit$ where he saw a radiant Sannyasin$ the Avadhuta Sadguru
Brahmendra Saraswati$ ommonly #nown as the Budge Swamigal!
In order to test 9rishnamoorthy$ the Avadhuta Swami threw stones at him!
9rishnamoorthy bore everything with patiene! 6e even supplied syones to the Swamigal
for throwing! 'he Swami found out that 9rishnamoorthy was 7uite ripe for initiation!
Aording to the diretions of the Swami$ 9rishnamoorthy went to his own house
at 9anappettai$ on the Kull -oon 2ay in the month of Bune 1?@1! 6e stayed with his
mother for three hours! 6is lothes fell down of their own aord! 6e too#
Avadhutashram at one!
Swami Swayampra#asa Brahmendra Saraswati roamed about here and there! 6e
ate what he ould get when he was hungry and too# rest when he was tired! 6e visited
Nerur in the distrit of 'iruhirapalli$ where there is the Samadhi of Sadasiva Brahman!
6e wandered through the various villages in the distrit of 'hanjavur! 6e remained in a
ave at 'iruvannamalai for some months! 6e made a tour all over India! 6e went to
Badrinath also!
As Swami Brahmendra was nude$ the polie people lo#ed him up$ but he was
released by 9rishnaswami$ a prominent advoate!
Swami Brahmendra was poisoned! 6is hair and beard were burnt! 6e was tempted
by women of ill repute brought by wi#ed men! 6e was dragged along the streets in the
hot sun$ with a rope tied around his waist! Kinally$ the Swami proeeded to the village of
Sendamangalam in Salem 2istrit and wandered in the 9olli hills! 6e hose a small
hillo# in Sendamangalam for his abode and performane of penane! Sri 9! Sundaram
Chettiar$ a retired 6igh Court Budge$ served the Swami with faith and devotion!
Swami Brahmendra was a living e%ample of spiritual eminene! 6e pratised the
severe austerities of the Avadhuta Ashrama! -any were his physial sufferings on
aount of his nudity and phenomenal was his patiene at the gibes and sneers of
worldly4minded$ ignorant youth! &arly in life he abandoned the pleasures and omforts of
the world! 6e braved the ra3or path of Nivritti -arga with a burning desire for Self4
reali3ation! 6e pursued the ourse under the blessings of his Sadguru with unabated
vigor! 6e was a spiritual guide to a large number of disiples! -en$ women and hildren
have been the reipients of his benedition!
In order to infuse devotion and piety into the hearts of people$ the Swamiji wanted
to install an idol of Sri 2attatreya in his Ashram! "hile the Swamiji was living$ his
devoted disiple Swami San#arananda$ in his e%essive love and reverene for the
Swamiji$ too# immense paints to build a temple over the hillo#$ in the Ashram$ for
installing the idol of 2attatreya and also the marble statue of the Swamiji!
'he marble statue of the Swamigal and the idol of lord 2attatreya in that two4storeyed
temple reveal the marvelous ingenuity of the artist who made them! 'his attrative temple
on the hillo#$ with its alm and inspiring surroundings$ and the improved Ashram owe
their e%istene and present harming appearane to the strenuous$ indefatigable efforts
and remar#able patiene and ability of Swami San#arananda!
'he 1uhalaya there is built on the Sannyasi#aradu or Sannyasi#undu! 'he hillo#
is alled as 2attagiri now! 'he 2attatreya temple and the 1uhalaya of Sendamangalam
will flourish as lasting monuments$ reminding the people of the glory and greatness of the
holy sage who entered into -ahasamadhi in the month of 2eember 1@;?!
SWAMI RAMA TIRTHA
Swami 0ama 'irtha$ a diret desendant of 1osain 'ulsi 2as$ the immortal author
of the widely read 6indi 0amayan$ was born in1?>($ at -uraliwala$ in the distrit of
1ujranwala$ :unjab!
0ama 'irtha was a very bright student$ a genius possessing unusual intelligene$
ontemplative nature and an intrinsi love of mathematis and solitude! 6e topped the list
in B!A! and too# his -!A! degree in -athematis$ a subjet in whih he was
e%eptionally bright!
Kor two years$ 0ama 'irtha was a :rofessor of -athematis in the *ahore
Koreman Christian College$ and he ated as a 0eader for a short time in the *ahore
Driental College!
In the year 1@00$ 0ama 'irtha went to the forest and soon beame a Sannyasin!
6e went to Ameria and Bapan and thrilled the Amerians and the Bapanese with his
inspiring and soul4elevating speehes! In &gypt he was aorded a hearty welome by the
-ohammedans$ to whom he delivered a leture in :ersian in their mos7ue! 0ama 'irtha
was ever heerful and brilliant with eyes beaming with divine lustre and joy! 6e was
perfetly at home in :ersian$ &nglish$ 6indi$ Grdu and Sans#rit literature!
0ama 'irtha was a great aseti and an enlightened mysti! 6e pratised .oga on
the ban#s of the river 0avi *ater he lived in the forests of Brahmapuri$ on the ban#s of
the river 1anges$ five miles away from 0ishi#esh and attained Self4reali3ation!
'oday 0ama 'irtha is not present amongst us in his mortal oil$ but he is truly
ever alive$ eternal and imperishable$ ever shining as a beaon4star in the spiritual
firmament of the world! 6e had the highest reali3ation of the Sathidananda as the all4
inlusive Bliss4supreme! 'he anient sages and modern saints have proved this ineffable
nature of the Supreme$ not by logial proofs of pereption and #nowledge$ but by atual
e%periene of it whih annot be ommuniated to others for want of means! And Swami
0ama 'irtha was one among suh &%perieners of the Gltimate Bliss!
Gnder the holy guidane of Sri 0!S! Narayana Swami$ a diret disiple of Swami
0ama 'irtha$ the 0amatirtha :ubliation *eague was established at *u#now! &very
lover and admirer of Sri 0ama 'irthaFs soul4inspiring teahings owes a deep debt of
gratitude to Sri Narayana Swamiji and the *eague for ta#ing immense paints in ma#ing
0ama 'irthaFs wor#s available to the world!
Sri Swami 0ama 'irtha is one of the brightest jewels of IndiaFs genius! 0ama
belongs to that propheti group of inspired seers who rang up the urtain of Indian
0enaissane and ushered in the era of a strongly positive$ aggressive and all4on7uering
spirituality! 6is advent into Bharatavarsha was potent with a great signifiane to man in
modern times!
Krom 0ama India has inherited the dual gems of /edanti boldness and spiritual
patriotism! 'he spiritual patriotism of 0ama is something uni7ue and grand! &very son of
India should absorb it and ma#e it his own! Swami 0ama emphatially delared that if
you must have intense and real patriotism$ then you must deify the -otherland$ behold
Bharatavarsha as the living 1oddess! )If you must reali3e unity with 1od$ reali3e your
unity with the "hole Nation! *et this intense feeling of identity with every reature
within this land be throbbing in every fiber of your frameF said 0ama$ )*et every son of
India stand for the "hole$ seeing that the "hole of India is embodied in every son! "hen
streams$ stones and trees are personified and sarified to in India$ why not santify$ deify
the great -other that radles you and nourishes you, 'hrough :rana4pratishtha you
vitali3e an idol of stone or an effigy of lay! 6ow muh more worthwhile would it be to
all forth the inherent glory and evo#e fire and life in the 2eity that is -other India,+!
'hus$ to 0ama$ the national 2harma of love to the motherland was a spiritual 2harma of
/irat :rem! *et every Indian today fervently ta#e this legay into his heart! By this at
show your real appreiation of the great seer8 show your gratitude to the great seer! 'hus
an you glorify his life and his teahings!
'he highest reali3ation of patriotism$ 0ama believed$ lay in fully identifying
yourself with the land of your birth! 0emember his wordsL )'une yourself in love with
your ountry and people+! Be a spiritual soldier! *ay down your life in the interest of your
land abnegating the little ego$ and having thus loved the ountry$ feel anything and the
ountry follow! 'his$ indeed$ is pratial /edanta!
0ama 'irtha infused in the minds of people a new joy$ a happy onvition that it
was not for nothing that we lived in a miserable earth$ and that we did not$ after along
struggle in the sea of life$ reah a waterless desert where our sorrows would be repeated!
6e lived pratial philosophy$ and through that showed to the world that it was possible
to rejoie in the bliss of the Self even in this very life$ and that everyone ould parta#e of
this bliss if one sinerely strived for it!
Swami 0ama was an e%emplary figure in the field of /edanti life! 6e was a
pratial$ bold /edantin! 6e lived a dynami life in the spirit of the Self! /ery high were
his ideals$ sublime were his views$ and perennial and spontaneous was his love! 6e was
2ivinity personified and love4inarnate! 6e is ever alive as a dynami soul4fore$ ever
shedding the spiritual effulgene in the heart of every see#er after 'ruth! 6is teahings
are inspiring$ elevating and illuminating4a fountain of his intuitive e%perienes!
'he teahings of 0ama 'irtha are peuliarly diret and foreful! 'hey are uni7ue!
0ama 'irtha did not teah any partiular .oga or Sadhana or propound any abstrat
philosophial theory! 6e taught the atual living of /edanta of yoga and Sadhana! 'his he
taught by his own personal e%ample! In himself he embodied an e%position of illumined
living! 'hus 0ama 'irthFs very personality itself preahed and taught as muh as any of
the innumerable disourses and letures he delivered to rowded audienes from
platforms that ranged from 'o#yo to 'oronto!
'o the "est$ Swami 0ama appeared not merely as a wise man of the &ast but as
the "isdom of the &ast ome in tangible from! 0ama 'irtha was a blissful being
inebriated with the estasy of Spiritual Consiousness! And his bliss was infetious! 6is
glane flashed forth /edanta! 6is smile radiated the joy of the Spirit! /edanta streamed
forth in his inspired utterane and in his whole life8 every ation$ gesture and movement
vibrated with the thrill of /edanti Consiousness!
0ama 'irtha demonstrated how /edanta might be lived! 6is life was an
e%pression of the supreme art of living life in all its rihness of vision and fullness of joy!
0ama 'irtha presented /edanta not so muh as a #nowing and a realising$ as a beoming
and a being! It was Swami 0ama 'irthaFs uni7ue distintion that he e%pounded /edanta as
a supreme yet simple art of living! 6e did not try to ta#e people to /edanta$ but he too#
/edanta to the ommon man! Swami 0ama 'irtha too# /edanta into the 7uiet homes$ into
the busy offies$ into the rowed streets and into the noisy mar#ets of the western world!
Both to the &ast and to the "est$ there fore$ Swami 0amaFs life has been a boon
and a blessing! Kor India$ he vivified /edanta with the vitality of his own inspired life and
shining e%ample! 6e shoo# India out of fantasy$ superstition and misoneption8 he
sho#ed Ameria to wa#efulness and an awareness of the intrinsi worth of the
pratiality of Atmi living! 6e revealed how the entral seret of all lofty ativity lay in
attunement with the 2ivine *aw of oneness$ harmony and bliss!
'o rise above the petty self and at impersonally this was the #ey to divine living!
6is all to his ountrymen wasL E-ay you wa#e up to your oneness with *ife$ *ight and
*ove HSat4Chit4AnandaI and immediately the Central Bliss will ommene springing
forth from you in the shape of happy heroi wor# and both wisdom and virtue! 'his is
inspired life$ this is your birthrightO!
'o the Amerians 0ama taught the way of perfet morality and total abstinene!
9eeping the body in ative struggle and the mind in rest and loving abstinene means
salvation from sin and sorrow$ right here in his very life! Ative reali3ation of at4one4
ment with the All allows us a life of balaned re#lessness! 'his sums up 0amaFs
message to the land of the 2ollar!
In short$ Swami 0amaFs thrilling life is a flashing e%ample of rare :rem and a
divine spontaneity! *istenJ 6ere 0amaFs voie whispersL ).ou have simply to shine as the
Soul of All$ as Soure of *ight$ as the Spring of 2elight$ D Blessed DneJ And energy$ life
ativity will naturally begin to radiate from joy! 'he flower blooms$ and loJ Kragrane
begins to emanate of itselfF! Awa#e IndiaJ 0espond to this all of 0ama! 0ealise the Bliss
that is .ourself! Come now$ live the life in the Atman! Krom this moment let 0ama enter
into your heart and animate your ations and inspire your ations and inspire your very
lifeJ -ay his 2ivine Spirit vivify and raise India to her pristine glory and /edanti
grandeurJ *ive in DmJ
SRI RAMA.A MAHARSHI
Sri 0amana -aharshi was born on (0th 2eember$ 1?>@! 6e was #nown as
/en#ataraman! Born in a pious middle lass Brahmin family$ he went to a mission shool
and learnt a little &nglish!
G'i$ht from home
Dn the 2@
th
of August 1?@=$ /en#ataraman left his home in the distrit of -adurai
in searh of his Kather$ *ord Arunahala$ to whom he reported himself on the 1
st
of
September 1?@=$ thusL
D *ord$ obedient to 'hy all
6ere have I ome$ deserting all$
No boon I as#$ no loss bemoan$
'a#e me in and ma#e me 'hine own!
Krom that day till end of his earthly sojourn$ /er#ataraman made Arunahala
H'iruvannamalaiI his abode$ transmitting through -ouna$ the golden language of his ego4
less state$ the -essage of &ternal 'ruth$ to the four orners of the globe!
/en#ataraman left a note behind to his rebu#ing brotherL )I have$ in searh of my
Kather$ aording to 6is ommand$ started from this plae! Dn a virtuous enterprise$
indeed$ I have this day embar#ed! 'herefore$ for this ation none need grieve or trae this
one! No money need be spent for searhing me+!
The +reat ,n'i$htenment
)It was about si% wee#s before I left -adurai for good$ in the middle of the year
1?@=$ that the great hange in my life too# plae+ said Sri 0amana -aharshi$ when as#ed
by devotees as to now he was transformed$ )It was so sudden! Dne day I sat up alone on
the first floor of my unleQs house! I was in my usual good health! But a sudden and
unmista#able fear of death sei3ed me! I left I was going to die and at one set about
thin#ing as to what I should do! I did not are to onsult anyone$ he a dotor$ elder or
friends! I left I had to solve the problem myself then and there! 'he sho# of the fear of
death made me at one introspetive or EintrovertedF! I said to myself mentally$ ENow that
deathis ome$ what does it mean, "ho is it that is dying, 'his body diesF I at one
dramati3ed the situation! I e%tended my limbs and held them rigid as though rigor mortis
had set in! I imitated a orpse to lend an air of reality to my further investigation! I held
my breath and #ept my mouth losed$ pressing the lips tightly together$ so that no sound
ould esape! E"ell thenF I said to myself$ Ethis body is dead! It will be arried to the
rematory and there burnt and redued to ashes! But with the death of my body$ am I
dead, Is the body I, 'his body is silent and inert! But I am still aware of the full fore of
my personality and even of the sound of I within myself as apart from the body! 'he
material body dies$ but the Spirit transending it annot be touhed by death! I am
therefore the deathless SpiritF! All this was not a feat of intelletual gymnastis$ but ame
as a flash before me vividly as living 'ruth$ whih I pereived immediately$ without any
argument almost! I was something very real8 the only real thing in that state$ and all the
onsious ativity that was onneted with my body was entered on that! 'he I or myself
was holding the fous of attention with a powerful fasination! Kear of death vanished at
one and for ever! 'he absorption in the Self has ontinued from that moment right up to
now+!
Tapas of Maharshi
0amana pratied 'apas in the thousand4pillared -andapam$ near the :atala
*inga$ in SubrahmanyaFs shrine$ in the -ango garden$ the Sadguru Swami ave and Cora
hills! Krom 1@0@ to he lived in the /irupa#shi Cave!
2uring his days of 'apas$ mishievous boys pelted him with stones and hurled
tiles at him8 and yet 0amana was ever peaeful and alm through the strength of
meditation and penane!
0amana -aharshi was #nown as Brahmana Swami in 'iruvannamalai! 9avya
9anta 1anapathy Sastri$ the great Sans#rit sholar$ ame to ramanaFs Ashram in 1@0? and
stayed with -aharshi and wrote the 0amana 1ita! 'he life of the -aharshi was one
ontinued meditation$ Ananda Anubhavam! -aharshi established peae within! 6e lived
in the *ight of the *ord of the *ord within! 6e enouraged others to do the same thing!
'o him the world was one! -aharshi seldom tal#ed$ and whenever he did spea#$ he did so
only beause it was absolutely neessary!
His (ivine messa$e
0amana was a living e%ample of the teahing of the Gpanishads! 6is life was at
one the message and the philosophy of his teahings! 6e spo#e to the hearts of them!
'he great -aharshi found 6imself within himself and then gave out to the world
the grand but simple message of his great life$ )9now 'hyself+!
)9now 'hyself! All else will be #nown to these of its own aord! 2isriminate
between the undying$ unhanging$ all pervading$ infinite Atma and the ever4hanging$
phenomenal and perishable universe and body! &n7uire$ E"ho am I,F! -a#e the mind
alm! Kree yourself from all thoughts other than the simple thought of the Self or Atma!
2ive deep into the hambers of your heart! Kind out the real$ infinite EIF! 0est there
peaefully for ever and beome idential with the Supreme Self!+ 'his is the gist of the
philosophy and teahings of Sri 0amana -aharshi!
Sri 0amana says$ )'he world is so unhappy beause it is ignorant of the true Self!
-anFs real nature is happiness! 6appiness is inborn in the true Self! -anFs searh for
happiness is an unonsious searh for his true Self! 'he true Self is imperishable8
therefore$ when a man finds it$ he finds a happiness that does not ome to an end!
)In the interior avity of the heart$ the Dne Supreme Being is ever glowing with
the Self4onsious emanation IP!IP! 'o reali3e 6im$ enter into the heart with an one4
pointed mind4by 7uest within or diving deep or ontrol of breath and abide with the Self
of self+!
Sri 0amanaFs "ho am I, Gpadesa Saram and Gllathu Narpathu are pearls of
diret wisdom$ e%pressed in a aphoristi terseness!
Sri B!/! Narasimha Swami$ the late :resident of the All India Sai Samaj$ has
published a thrilling life of 0amana entitled$ )Self4reali3ation+! .ogi Suddhananda
Bharati has written the life of Sri 0amana in 'amil!
Bhagavan 0amana -aharshi has set at naught the prattle of materialists that Self4
reali3ation and Samadhi are things of the remote past$ and that in the present age$ they are
impossible of ahievement to man! 6e has shown by his lifelong Samadhi that it is still
possible to reali3e the Supreme and live in that reali3ation!
Beloved aspirantJ 'a#e heart! 1ird up your loins Apply yourself intensely to .oga
Sadhana! .ou will soon attain /ideha 9aivalya and shine forever as an illumined sage!
The Li$ht shines %ri$hter than ever
*ieut4Col! :!/! 9aramhandani$ I!-!S!$ 2!-!D!$ North Arot 2istrit$ attended on
Sri 0amana when the latter suffered from a #ind of malignant tumor in his upper left arm
above the elbow! 'he -aharshi was operated four times!
A meteor hit the s#y at ?4;> p!m! on the 1;
th
April$ 1@<0$ when Sri 0amana
-aharshi left his mortal oil and entered -ahasamadhi!
'he all4pervading *ight whih shone through the embodiment of that *ight in
-aharshi 0amana had one again resolved itself into its original state! A lifelong proof of
the Gpanishads was what we alled -aharshi 0amana! 'hat proof will forever e%ist$
reassuring us of the Gltimate 0eality!
'he saint is no more in his mortal frame! But the *ight of his soul is now merged
in every reeptive individual soul! -aharshi 0amana lives in our heart! 6is passing away
should not be grieved for! Kor he had fulfilled the mission of his life! 6e had ahieved the
highest goal$ Self4reali3ation! So there is nothing to grieve for! 'he death of only those
that are not able to ahieve the goal of life or do their duty has any reason to be mourned!
'he *ight of the -aharshiFs soul shines today brighter than ever!
In the heart of humanity the saint shall live forever$ guiding$ enouraging$ goading
and inspiring$ so that millions and millions might see# and find the 1reat 'ruth that
0amana reali3ed!
'oo well did Sri 0amana e%pound the /edanta philosophy$ not through boo#ish
#nowledge$ but by pratial e%periene, 6is teahings imparted through all4absorbing
ESileneF embodied the highest ideals and the ultimate reahes in divine reali3ation! 'o
ever assert oneFs latent divinity$ to ever strive to live in the onsiousness of the immortal
Self and to remain as an unaffeted witness of the transitory phases of life immersed in
that Supreme Silene4was the larion all of the -aharshi! 2ogmas and religious
prejudies he ared not forJ Kor he was far above those mundane limitations! "ith him
lived orthodo% Brahmin priests$ -oslems Christians and the so4alled Indian
untouhables! 'hey were all ali#e to him!
As an arhitet4supreme of 'ruth4transendental$ 0amana -aharshi led$ and now
leads on$ the weary travelers on earth towards the 1oal through his unfathomable Silene!
'o pay the most befitting homage to that saintly personality is to follow his
teahings and to grow up in that ideal model!
-ay peae be unto allJ

Dh Bhagwan hope to have done justie to these great men of Bharat!
&mail feedba# to esams#ritiRsuryaonsulting!net