07. Sri. Varadarajar’s shedding his mortal frame

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

One evening, Sri Varadarajar said to his wife, “Because of Goddess Sri Kamakshi’s grace you became my better half. I am extremely pleased with your service to me. Our son Seshadri has already achieved worldly acclaim as a model for all. My brother Ramaswamy has no issues and wishes to adopt our son Narasimhan. Please give him in adoption.”

Seshadri is going to shine in this world. I have received Devi’s call. Either this evening or before tomorrow’s sunrise, I shall depart. You will be living with Seshadri under his aura, and come later. You will also be liberated spiritually.”

He then explained to Seshadri that athisaram enables one to retain his memory till the last moment, without any diminution. Even if one deserves, one does not necessarily get it. The type of death called “Athisaarathu Maranam yoginamabhi durlabham”.

He continued, that by the grace of God, without any expectations, he had attained that state. He said “I am focussing my mind on thathwa. There is nothing that I need to tell you. Nevertheless you should appreciate one thing. That is, that however learned you may be, experience is most essential. Wisdom out of experience is the best.”

After having said the above, Sri Varadarajar entered into Samadhi.

Seshadri trembled. This irreversible sorrow, together with his profound knowledge of the Sastras wiped out his worldly attachment and strengthened his sense of renunciation.

Sri Kamokoti Sastrigal pacified the bereaved. He took the stunned Maragatham and the children to Vazhur (enroute Kanchi to Vandavashi).

Seshadri was then, fourteen years old.

01. Avathar Seshadri Swamigal – childhood (Bala paruvam) 1870 – 1889 (Kanchipuram)

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Goddess Sri Kamakshi Devi was very pleased with the Kamakoti Sastrigal family.

Avathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal was born as the incarnation of Lord Shiva/Devi, in the early hours of a Saturday, on 22nd January, 1870, to the blessed divine couple, Maragatham and Varadarajar.

The baby was like a golden doll full of tejas (radiance), on his face.

He looked like the full moon.

Since the child was born on a Saturday, the baby was named “SESHADRI”, in obeisance to the Lord Srinivasa of Tirupati and which also happened to be the name of their ancestor.

Maragatham, on Seshadri:

– the Sakora birds of Bharat would drink the divine nectar flowing from the face of her baby Seshadri.

– the lotus eyes of her baby Seshadri would be alchemy to remove the sins of mankind.

– His lips and tongue are the lions on which Goddess Saraswathi would sit.

03. Mahaan Sri SeshaNatha’s Maha Samadhi

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Avathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal lived in Thiruvannamalai continuously for 40 years (1889 to 1929). Swami hinted to Subbhalakshmi Ammal about His approaching end. “I have completed my task. I am departing from this existence. Are you alright with it?”

She did not grasp the seriousness of his question, and she laughed it off with a “yes”…

After the above incident, Swamigal stopped going to her house. Swami took ill with cold and fever. He had not eaten anything in 40 days. It was on Friday the 4th January 1929 at 3.30 p.m., when Swami bade farewell to his devotees. He attained the state of Sath-chith-Ananda Nirathisaya Para Brahma Swarajya.

Karuna Sagaram Santham

Arunachala Vasinam

Sri Seshadri Gurum Vande

Brimmi Bhootham Thaponidhim

It was in the Tamil month (Nov15th to Dec15th) of Karthikai, (in the year 1928), with the festival of Karthikai Deepam being celebrated. Avathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal was 59 years old.

One day Swami walked up to Subbalakshmi Ammal’s house, (an ardent devotee of Avathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal) and asked her, Shall I build another house and do Yoga?” The lady, used to the Swami’s way of talking in obscure terms did not stop to think deeply about the words, “Go ahead and build another house,” she said callously.

If only Subbalakshmi Ammal had known the meaning behind the question or the purpose for which it was being asked she would never have replied, as she did.

For Swami, was at that time contemplating, leaving this world of mortals to unite with the Lord of Universe (Para-Brahma), the house HE wanted to change was this body. The words of Subbalakshmi Ammal were accepted by our Swami as instructions from Para-Sakthi, – the time to depart, had come.

Those were the days of great festivities in Thiruvannamalai. The place was ablaze with religious fervour as devotees worshipped the Goddess Unnamulai Amman and Annamalaiyar (Arunachaleshwara).

Swami, a living God to the people was also the object of much devotion. One day in a moment of heightened emotion, HIS devotees wanted to perform abishekam” for Swami. The Swami was against it saying that HE would get a fever. The enthusiastic devotees were however not to be stopped. After much pleading the Swami gave in, saying that they could pour water on HIS body, but only sprinkle a few drops on HIS head.

Some devotees decided to take photographs of Swami after doing abishekam and alankaram. At first they arranged to shave HIM. Swami’s instructions were brushed aside by the devotees. They rained on HIM rose water and followed it up with pots of fresh water drawn from well in Chinna Gurukkal’s (Temple priest) house. When the residents of the town saw this, they did not want to miss the opportunity of participating in HIS abishekam. Thinking that it would fetch divine blessings, they all lined up with a pot of water on their heads. Everybody poured huge quantities of water on Swami’s head.

The Sivaganga Tank in the temple was practically emptied! Finally the abhishekham got over. Then HIS alankaram was done by applying sacred ash and fresh clothing. He was bedecked with flower garlands and Rudraksham. Swami’s photograph also was taken. Swami took ill with cold and fever that very evening.

This was the appropriate beginning of the process of Videha Kaivalyam. Fever or no fever, Swami never showed it and HE was HIS usual self. It was like the Shiva Lingam. Swami looked like Gangadhara Murthi. By then it was forty days since the commencement of HIS fever. There remained eight more days to complete a mandalam. However the fever took its toll and Swami was reduced to a thin form.

On the 41stday Swami yielded and laid HIMSELF down in the front verandah of Chinna Gurukkal’s house. Chinna Gurukkal offered Swami a mattress and pillow. He also attended on Swamigal.

The news of Swamigal’s weakness and poor physical health spread like wild fire. Throngs of devotees from far and wide converged there. The number of people gathered there were several fold more than the number usually gathering for the lighting of the Karthikai Deepam festival in the Tamil month of karthikai (Nov15th – Dec 15th). Heaps of offerings of milk, fruit, candy, sweets etc., were piling up. There was not a single doctor of medicine left who was not present, to treat Swami. Through all this commotion, Swami neither took food, nor did HE touch any medicine.

It was the genteel and kind B.V.Narasimha Swamy, who finally sent a message to Sri Kuzhumani Narayana Sastrigal at Salem. The message was: “Our Swami has been bedridden since the past week. His face has shrivelled. HIS condition is such as to cause much anxiety. He has not taken any food for the past 40 days. Swami has not taken even a drop of water and if anyone offered anything, He declined. Because of your extreme devotion, perhaps if you offer, He might take some food. Please treat this as a telegram and come here immediately.”

On reading the above message, Narayana Sastrigal swooned. He recovered and started his journey towards Thiruvannamalai. Sastrigal was overwhelmed at the sight of the very much reduced physical form of Swami. Tears welled up in his eyes Till then Swami had not opened HIS eyes and just then, He cast HIS glance for a minute at Sastrigal.

The assembled devotees then raised the cry HARA HARA MAHADEVA!”

Swami took one of the oranges brought by the Sastrigal from Salem, put it on the floor, crushed it, then smelt it and threw it in the street. Chinna Gurukkal said in kind words to Swami, “As it is cold and rainy, please accept the shawl brought by Sastrigal from Salem” and spread it on HIM. Swami gracefully accepted the shawl. The next day at 4 p.m. Swami with all HIS weakness, got up and walked into the temple. Sastrigal and Manickam supporting Swami walked along with HIM.

Near the Sivaganga Prakaaram between two trees there was a depression containing knee deep water. Swami went down in and laid HIMSELF in it. The wind was piercing cold. Devotees braved the rain to watch HIM. By night fall it was 8 p.m. when all departed. Even Manickam left at 11 p.m. Sastrigal however continued to stay.

About 3 a.m. Swami got up from there. Swami came to Chinna Gurukkal’s house dripping with water and laid HIMSELF down. The next morning Narasimha Swamy urged Sastrigal to read the Sundarakandam. Till the end he did not achieve his object.

In the meantime, another incident happened. Subbhalakshmi Ammal arrived and wept bitterly on seeing the condition of Swami. At that time Swami opened HIS eyes and asked her, “So, you see?” She said, “I never meant this yoga practice nor such a new house” and rolling on the floor, continued to weep. That sight moved everyone witnessing it.

It was Tamil year Vibhava, 21st day of Margazhi month (Dec15 –Jan 15), a Friday on 04.01.1929 (3.30 p.m.) The celestial beings came in the sky. Lord Annamalai (Arunachaleshwar) and Mother Unnamulai Amman (Apeethakujambal) reached HIS body to receive their favourite son.

Swami bade farewell to the deities of the senses. In the state of Supreme Bliss, HE retained the smile on HIS face. The entire town of Thiruvannamalai was engulfed in the darkness of sorrow.

There was a virtual upsurge of the sea of sorrowing people. Some people wept and rolled on the ground. Some people burst into uncontrollable spasm of tears. Some sang devotional songs. Then Swami’s body was bathed in milk, honey, sandalwood paste, pancha-amritham, the waters of Ganga, and rose water.. Thereafter His mortal frame was decorated.

Then the procession started. The entire stock of camphor in the shops of Thiruvannamalai was exhausted. The whole town burnt out all the camphor, and was brightly lit..

Avathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal’s holy mortal remains were brought to Agni Theertham. At that point Ramana Maharshi appeared on the scene. Puja was done and HIS body was entombed appropriately at the site where HIS ashram stands today (Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram).

02. Avathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal (Thiruvannamalai, 1889-1929)

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae



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ஸ்ரீ சேஷா ஹரே, சேஷநாதா ஹரே!
காருண்ய வாசனே, கைத்தொழுவோம்!
வையகம் வாழ்த்தும்,வைர நெஞ்ச்மே, கைத்தொழுவோம்!
கொடுத்து கை சிவந்து கொடையாளியே! கைத்தொழுவோம்!
கவலையை கலைத்திடும் கான நாதனே! கைத்தொழுவோம்!
பெருமை சேர்த்திடும் பேரொளியே! கைத்தொழுவோம்!
ஸ்ரீ சேஷா!…


Mahadevi, Mahashakthim, Sri Sesha…”

Let your temptations be to tempt me with your love, in order to receive my grace.”

– Avathar and Mahaan Sri Seshadri Swamigal

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ஓம் ஸத்குரு ஸ்ரீ சேஷாத்ரி ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிக்கே

மதுசூதனா, ஸ்ரீ சேஷா

“சிற்றஞ் சிறு காலே வந்துன்னைச் சேவித்து உன்
பொற்றாமறை அடியே போற்றும் பொருள் கேளாய்
பெற்றம் மேய்த்துண்ணும் குலத்தில் பிறந்து நீ
குற்றேவல் எங்களை கொள்ளாமல் போகாது
இற்றைப் பறை கொள்வான் அன்று காண் கோவிந்தா!
எற்றைக்கும் ஏழ் ஏழ் பிறவிக்கும் உந்தன்னோடு
உற்றோமே ஆவோம் உனக்கே நாம் ஆட்ச்செய்வோம்
மற்றை நம் காமங்கள் மாற்றேலோர் எம்பாவாய்

ஆண்டாள், பாசுரம் 29

18. Swamigal reaches Thiruvannamalai

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Sesha Arunachala!


O, Lord! I cannot live away in separation from thee any longer,
I survive only by reciting and singing of thy exploits.
Ye knows the thirst of my soul, the ache of my heart
Therefore come and save me!

From Athwambadi, Swamigal reached Thiruvannamalai and fulfilled his mother’s last wish. One has to remember what Swami’s mother declared before her death: She called Swami close to her and sat up and patting him on his chest repeated thrice the following slokas:

Sathsangathve Nissangathvam,

Nissangathve Nirmohathwam,

Nirmohathve Nicchala thathwam,

Nicchala thathve Jeevan Mukthi”

Darsanath Aprasathace,

Jananaath Kamalalaye,

Kasiyanthu Maranam,

Mukthi Smaranaath Arunachale.”

Swami was thrilled to arrive at the Holy place. Swami was 19 years old then. He left Kanchipuram in the year 1889 and reached Thiruvannamalai (Kanchipuram-Thiruvannamalai 120kms) in the same year. For 40 years till he attained Maha Samadhi in the year 1929, Swami did not leave Thiruvannamalai.


Swami did not have any place of his own to stay, at Thiruvannamalai. He never slept the nights. The residents of the town held him in great respect. Watching his ways, his habits, many realized He was a great saint. The awe and respect for him increased. Scholars, illiterates, the young and the old, men, women and children, and people from all walks of life, regarded Swamigal as a divine incarnation.

Many consider that there are two Lingas in Thiruvannamalai:

One was Lord Arunachala, and the other Avathar Shri Seshadri Swamigal.

Swamigal was an Avathara Purusha with immense powers.

17. The Holy Arunachala

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


“Lalaade thraipundree nidilakrutha kasthuri thilaah

Spuran maaladharah spuridhagadi kaupeena Vasanah

Thathaano dusthaaram sirasipaniraajam sasikalaam

Pradeepassarveshaam Arunagiri yogi Vijayathe”

(– Shri Vyasa, Skandapuranam)

This Yogiswara, – Thiruvannamalai, stands as the source of illumination to all the different worlds…”

Shri Vyasa muni (Sage Vyasa) composed the above verse as an auspicious start to the Skandapurana. The sages consider that one can attain liberation (Mukthi) by repeating the above mantra!

After witnessing the illumination on the Holy Hill, in the Tamil month of Karthikai (Nov15th to Dec15th – on the day when moon is in the constellation of the star, Bharani), Uma (Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva), prays to Iswara:

“Varunaathisurarchyaya karunathithya varchase!

Arunachalanathaya Karunamurthaye Namah!

Uttering this mantra while witnessing Karthikai Deepam, we may also attain Moksha.

“Arunagiri Yogi Vijayathe” means:

I have seen a new thing. There is a magnetic mountain, which attracts all beings. The moment one thinks of it, it controls (decimates) the actions of all beings who think of it and attracts them towards itself. Not only does it attract one to itself but makes them motionless. How wondrous is the power of this magnetic mountain, which takes many sacrifices!”

Oh Jeevas!

Attain liberation by realising the nature of ARUNAGIRI!

( Shri Ramana Maharshi, as he describes in his “Arunachala Purana”)

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16. Swamigal proceeds to Thiruvannamalai

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Proceeding to Holy Arunachala

Three months later, Swamigal was in the big Agraharam at Tindivanam, (a town, 55kms from Thiruvannamalai). Sri T.Kannaiyer and Sri Appavu Mudaliar, had been patronizing Swamigal. Swamigal came to be known as ‘the silent Swamigal’ (Mauna Swami). A few days later, Swami expressed a desire for a place where he could carry on his meditation without being disturbed.

Thereupon Sri T.K. Kannaiyer requested the temple priest at the Thrindineeshwar Shiva Temple, to vacate a storeroom to enable Swamigal to stay there. Swami asked that he should not be disturbed till about a month, after which they could open the room. The temple priest Sri Kuppuswamy Iyer got worried as Swamigal went without food for nearly a week. He feared that if anything untoward were to happen, he would be held responsible. He therefore opened the door.

Swami who was in a state of Samadhi was disturbed. Swamigal soon left the place, saying he would proceed to Thiruvannamalai.

For a while, He was in tapas at the Pancha Pandava cave in the Thoosi Maamundur, (8kms away from Kanchipuram). Then Swami reached Thiruppathur, via Walaja, Vellore, Ambur and Vaniambadi. There he appears to have spent a few days in the Brahmeshwarar Temple, and the Kumaraswamy Temple. After leaving Thiruppathur, Swami passed by the Javvathu Mountain and crossing several small forests, big and small villages reached Padaivedu.

Swami spent two days in the sanctum of Goddess Renuka Devi in the special care of the chief priest and Vedantic Dharmalinga Gurukkal and his brother Sri Subramania Gurukkal. On the third day Swami reached Athwambadi and then, to a Samadhi of a saint known as ‘Sannyasi’s Rock.’

15. Swamigal at the Muktheeshwara temple, Kaveripakkam

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

A few days later Avathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal was found in Kaveripakkam (30kms from Kanchipuram). There was a Lord Mukteeshwara, Shiva temple Our Swamigal found his abode there!

One-morning young boy Sesha (cousin of Swamigal) was perambulating with our Swami at 6 a.m. in the inner compound (Prakaram). At that time from a ‘Punna’ tree bottom near the northern wall, a big snake emerged. Sesha cautioned our Swami about the snake. Swami looked at the snake and invited it. It immediately responded, and crept up his hand, curled itself thrice around his neck and spread its hood over his head like an umbrella. Sesha mistook it and ran into the street; crying that his brother had been bitten by a snake. A few seconds later, the snake left Swami and vanished. The people were surprised and deemed it to be a manifestation of Lord Mukteeswara.

Swami’s uncle and aunt arrived from Kanchi to Kaveripakkam. At that moment, Swami was in a state of Samadhi. They, along with several others witnessed the absolutely motionless state of Swamigal, with the belief that Lord Mukteeswara Himself had assumed this human form! With devotion, they shed tears, and prostrated before him spontaneously. The crowd also raised the prayer:

Namah Parvathi Pathaye! Hara Hara Mahadev!”

Our Swamigal awoke. Having blessed the gathering, Swamigal left.

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