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.

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.

14. Swamigal vanishes from a locked room

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

The day of Swamigal’s father’s shraardham day arrived. His uncle told him that that he should leave the house the whole day till the shraardham was over and partake of food after ancestors have had theirs. Swamigal protested saying that a sanyasi should not be troubled, since there was no question of karma. He was put in a room and was locked from out side.

Swamigal’s brother Narasimhan performed the ceremony. The homam was completed and they were to do pradakshinam to receive the blessings of the ancestors. Swamigal’s uncle went to the room to bring him. It was about 2 p.m., and the neighbours filled with curiosity, came out. Without much fuss, the uncle unlocked the door. On looking inside, the room was vacant. Ramaswami Jyoshiar sat in stunned silence. The people who had come to watch the fun were astonished.

Within an hour, there was a furore in the whole town. Only then did his uncle and aunt realise that they had committed a terrible mistake in not recognising Seshadri’s spiritual strength. The entire town was searched but there was no trace of Swamigal.

13. Seshadri becomes a SANYASI

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Difficult is the Path leading to Beloved.

It is like the edge of the sword.

When you have started to woo him let not the

decoram of society stand in your way.”


After he left home, five months had elapsed. He continued his ascetic way of life. One fine morning Seshadri had gone to the temple. On the banks of the Sarva Theertham (holy water tank), Seshadri saw a Sanyasi. His eyes overflowed with grace. Four of his disciples escorted him. To Sesha, they appeared to be Guru Dakshinamurthi and his disciples (Four Sanakathi Disciples).

Seshadri was overwhelmed by emotions. Tears welled up in his eyes and with his hands raised in obeisance over his head, he chanted the Dakshinamuthi Ashtakam.

Observing the devotion of Yogi Seshadri, Sri Paramahamsa Balaji Swamigal, bestowed his visual-blessing saying, “Maa Suchah! Maa Suchah!” (don’t be sad), and with his hand symbolizing the removal of fear, said: “Upavisa” (sit down). Yogi Seshadri obeyed and sat down. This was Seshadri’s receiving Nayana Diksha” (visual grace).

I wandered in search of a lover, but I found none.

When lover meets lover, then,

the devotion to the teacher strengthened.”


The sage Paramahamsa Sri Balaji Swamigal was on his way on a pilgrimage from Haridwar to Ramashwaram. He discussed a number of matters relating to Sastras with Seshadri. Seshadri started serving his master as his fifth disciple. He brought milk and fruits for the master. He massaged his master’s legs, he stood by his side and fanned with the palm leaf fan. In fine, he served him day and night in wholehearted manner. A week passed.

Seeing the tremendous determination of Seshadri, he considered him fit for Sanyasa. He gave Seshadri sanyasa and pronounced appropriate instructions. The Paramahamsa Swamigal who was an incarnation of Lord of Universe, having accomplished his mission, vanished with his four disciples.

Seshadri became a Jeevanmuktha.

He became immersed in the immense bliss of Brahmananda.

The aspirants are like shells in the sea and the

True Teacher is the drop of rain,

Their thirst is satisfied with the single drop of sweet

Water, what shall they do with the saline waters of the ocean?”


12. Raaga Bilahari!

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

The saints are free souls come into the world to do those worldly acts, for which He has ordained them and are competent to emancipate even unadhikari souls. They are free to act in accordance with the impulse born of past lives.”

(-Hazrat Jalaluddin Rumi)

One day while Seshadri was massaging his uncle’s head, like a massager clapping his head while doing so, suddenly left him to look at the sky through the verandah roof opening. After watching the sky for a few minutes he came back and resumed the oil massage. His uncle asked him what he saw in the sky. Yogi Seshadri replied that he saw some Devatas singing and proceeding there; uncle asked sarcastically whether there were only Devatas, there must have been Gandharvas also. Yogi Seshadri replied to say that some Gandharvas were also going. His uncle asked whether he knew what ragas they were singing.

Yogi Seshadri replied that they were singing the “Raga Bilahari!’’

His uncle interjected that Seshadri had gone mad. He wanted to know why he could not see them. Yogi Seshadri stated that they would be visible only to those, released from karma and who reside in themselves.

11. The Young Yogi immersed in Japa

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Due to the compulsion of his aunt and uncle Seshadri would stay in their house some two or three days. Sometimes five or six persons joined together and questioned Seshadri as to what he was doing, he would reply that he was doing Japa to get rid of karma. People would accept his point as quite valid and go their way in silence.

Hazrat Bullah Shah- Lahore, a Sufi Mystic said:

Blessed are those eyes, who at a very tender age

Have gone a-seeking for His Vision,

Offering their life as the price.”

Because of the disturbance from the common folks and relatives, Seshadri, the young Yogi would head for the burial ground, near the banks of the river Vegawathi, in the evenings, to do meditation and continue throughout the night and return home in the mornings. He said, that the cremation ground was “Rudhra Bhoomi”, and that the mantra chanted only once there, would be as effective as repeating the same 1,000 times elsewhere!

Ever since, his uncle and aunt locked him inside the room in the house. Seshadri happily continued his meditation hours together without food and water. This frightened his uncle. Fearing that he may lose his life, they dragged him out of the room. On the contrary the Rudhra Japa increased proportionately and the time for his return home in the mornings also extended. His fasting also increased. His aura and handsome appearance got enhanced.

That is, if God play the Helmsman, fearlessly we should plough the turbulent waters of the world, for surely we shall reach Home. I do not care what the world says. My only concern is my Beloved.”

(- Bulla Shah)

One day Parasurama Sastrigal raised his objection to Seshadri’s performing japa in the cremation ground. (He was the counter part of Kamokoti Sastrigal. Both continued to debate in Sanskrit for several hours). Yogi Seshadri stated that he was a naistika brahmachari, an upasakar. Hence, there was no restriction of space and time. Parasurama Sastrigal admonished him that in that case he should not come from cremation ground into a household. Yogi Seshadri agreed and left. From then on, he felt free to spend his time at temples or under trees. He never returned home.

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