Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!
Sri Seshadri Swamigal was born to Sri Varadarajar and Maragatham Ammal, a pious couple lived in Kanchipuram. Maragatham Ammal was the adopted daughter of Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal who was a righteous scholar and well-versed in Veda Sastras, also a zealous devotee of Goddess Sri Kamakshi. She was the youngest in the family, blessed with all virtuous. She has wide knowledge in varied subjects of music, art and cultures. She had a divine looks, she was married to young charming Varadarajar who hails from an illustrious family brought by Sri Adi Sankara to carry out the worship of Goddess Sri Kamakshi at Kanchipuram. The marriage of this ideal couple Varadarajar and Maragatham Ammal were performed according to the Vedic principles. The blissful couple settled in Kanchipuram and led a harmonious life full of love, respect and devoted to each other.
As the years passed by the couple realized the absence of a progeny. Gradually, the yearning for a child became uncontrollable. They underwent severe austerities and visited Rameshwaram. Maragatham Ammal undertook extreme methods of Vrathas praying for an offspring. Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal, foster father of Maragatham Ammal was deeply concerned about the physical as well emotional sufferings of his lovely daughter. Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal earnestly prayed to Goddess Sri Kamakshi to curtail the mental agonies of this pious couple. Several days Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal immersed in the state of extreme devotion, begged and cried to Goddess Sri Kamakshi for a virtuous child in the life of his daughter. Finally, one night Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal had a dream in that Goddess Sri Kamakshi instructed to provide Navaneetham/buttermilk as offering which would yield the wishes of his dearest daughter. As per the divine instruction Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal offered Navaneetham to Goddess Sri Kamakshi, later it was partaken by Maragatham Ammal.
In due course of time, Maragatham Ammal was conceived with a child. Once again the peace and happiness doubled in the family. It was on 22nd January 1870 in the Tamil month Thai Maragatham Ammal gave birth to a stunning boy child. It was on a Krishna Paksha Shashti/Saturday with the birth star Uthram a potential Yogi was born to Sri Varadarajan & Sri Maragatham Ammal. The child was named after the family deity Lord Seshadri. The little Seshadri was a bundle of joy; he had a divine appearance brought endless happiness in the whole family. Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal was in a state of ecstasy.
Little Seshadri was brought up with utmost love and affection, he was desired by everyone. As any other child, this divine child of Goddess Sri Kamakshi was engaged in the pursuit of childhood pranks. He was the center of attraction in his village of Kanchipuram. The proud parents watched over their little child grew.
Once, Young Seshadri with his mother visited Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple at Kanchipuram on a day of festivities. There he was attracted to lot of fanfare and vendors crowded on both the sides of the street. Suddenly, Young Seshadri rushed to a vendor and took hold of an idol of Little Krishna. It was a small beautiful idol of Lord Krishna carrying butter dripping down from his lovely little fingers. He insisted his mother to have the possession of the idol for worship. Seeing the divinity and the dedication of the child the shop keeper benevolently asked the young Seshadri to keep the idol with him for free. It multiplied the happiness of the little soul. On the very next day Maragatham Ammal with young Seshadri arrived this temple, the vendor rushed on his feet and prostrated before Maragatham Ammal with tears of joy. He was in search for words and mumbled to her ‘Your child is not an ordinary child….he is a child of Goddess Sri Kamakshi…He has got golden hands’ after completing this words he affectionately took the hands of young Seshadri and kissed to his heart’s content. He sincerely explained that usually he will have sale of 100 to 200 idols throughout the festival seasons, yesterday his sale has gone up to 1000 idol of little Krishna. In a single day he made a huge profit and he thoroughly believed that the sale has gone its peak because of Seshadri brought good luck to him. This incident was doubled the admiration towards the divine child Seshadri.
At the age of 5 his parents performed Brahmopadhesham/Upanayanam for Little Seshadri, immediately after this he was sent for Veda Adyayanam. He was a studious child, in no time Seshadri gained highest of the spiritual knowledge. He was highly devoted and engaged in the worship of Lord along with his parents. He was capable to chant Veda and mantras in perfection, he meditated hours and hours and immersed in the world of oneness. Gradually, the spirituality developed an extraordinary calmness within him, a heart of an old soul.
Young Seshadri brought abundance of peace and happiness not only to his parents but also the people surrounded by him. Sri Varadarajan, father of Seshadri realized his death coming nearer. Seshadri’s younger brother Narasimhan was adopted by his uncle. One day his father called out for Seshadri and cried his heart out looking at the innocent child. He narrated that his time to leave this material world and unite with the Almighty has come closer. On a pradosham day Sri Varadarajan visited Sri Ekambareswarar Temple, he was too exhausted due to starvation. He went back home after witnessing the usual proceedings at the temple. He drank water, slowly drifted to a peaceful sleep and departed from this world.
At the tender of age 14 Seshadri lost his father. He was left with mother who was emotionally beaten by the trauma of the separation of her husband. Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal once again rushed to save his lovely daughter Maragatham Ammal. He caringly brought young Seshadri and his mother to his native village Vazhur. The three souls were lived a life of utter grief, mourning at the death of Varadarajar. Seshadri resumed his Veda Adyayanam under the supervision of his grandfather. Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal was an eminent scholar and an orator. Once he was invited to conduct lectures on Srimad Bhagavatham and Srimad Ramayanam at Vandavasi. Due to failing health Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal assigned the task to young Seshadri. Once again, the divine child proved his excellence to public.
Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal had frequently fallen ill due to old age. At one point, he decided to cut off the worldly bondages and accepted Sanyasa at Kanchipuram. He spent the remaining days in a state of renunciation in a small hut (Sri Chakkrathalwar shrine) in the Sri Varadaraja Swamy Temple. Seshadri and his mother were left isolated with mounted grief, they often pays visit to him. Shortly, Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal attained the Abode of Lord leaving behind the loving soul Maragatham Ammal and Seshadri. This agonizing incident created a strong sense of insecurity both the mother and son.
In the meantime, Seshadri’s aunt paid a visit to Maragatham Ammal and discussed about performing marriage for Seshadri. They decided to consult an astrologer regarding the future of bride and bride-groom. It was predicted that there was no possibility of a married life for Seshadri; he was destined to be a Yogi. This shocking news was unbearable for Maragatham Ammal, she was not in a position to take it anymore. She was sunk into depth of grief and solitude.
On an Ekadashi day Maragatham Ammal asked Seshadri to be with her singing Bajans composed by her foster father Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal. Young Seshadri sincerely recited the glorious verses of Baja Govindam to her. Once again Maragatham Ammal felt utter peace in her, she repeated the glorious name of Lord Arunachala thrice and breathed for last.
The sudden demise of Margatham Ammal created a blaze of renunciation in young Seshadri. He was totally under the rapture of Arunachala, the final pronounce of his mother. Later, he was looked after by his uncle. Seshadri has followed strict routines and rigorous practices. Sometimes, he makes his way to the place where Sri Kamakoti Sastrigal lived in solitude. He remained in meditation for hours and hours, he totally neglected his appearance and physical needs. The Food was consumed rarely, mostly shared with animals and ignored the people around him. He was elevated to the state of a true Yogi, his thoughts and actions were difficult to understand for the ordinary people. He wandered aimlessly without sleep, mumbling to himself. Many a times he neglected to be at home and lived a life of nomad. His relatives were often irritated at the behavior of Seshadri and locked him for days. During these days, Seshadri completely refrain from consumption of food or water. It added big concern to his relatives and they set him free. This practice was repeated several times, but nothing has changed in the life of Seshadri. He was raised to the state of oneness to Lord, his preaching was difficult to follow or observe for the ordinary people. He was often mistaken as lunatic. He spent several days and nights on severe penance in the burial ground and never felt the need of roof above him. During these periods, he met Sri Balaji Swami from Haridhwar who was on his way to Rameshwaram. He stopped at Kanchipuram to worship Goddess Sri Kamakshi. Seshadri envisioned him as Lord Dakshinamurthi, he often go on trance looking to the eyes of this great saint. He understood the need for a spiritual master. He selflessly served Sri Balaji Swami and sincerely followed his teachings. They spent blissful hours in the discussion of scriptures. Once again Seshadri returned to his original self, realized the service of Guru is equivalent to the service to Lord. The association with Sri Balaji Swami brought a new life full of enthusiasm and immense pleasure to Seshadri. The moment of truth has come, Seshadri was initiated to Sanyasasrama by Sri Balaji Swami and he proceeded to Rameshwaram.
Seshadri found immense solace in the path of Sanyasa, his severe austerities continued and raised him into an unapproachable state of Jeevan Muktha. A state of Brahmam, through the self-realization and God realization he turned out a liberated soul. His relatives were forcefully tried to bring him back to perform his father’s annual death ceremony. But he was not willing to perform the same as he was felt no need of worldly attachments anymore. He was once again put under lock with tight security of the people, but he was disappeared like a wind with his yogic powers. This was the moment they truly realized the divine powers of Seshadri.
Seshadri Swamigal was on his way to Tiruvannamalai visited his uncle at Cauverypakkam. He visited the temple of Lord Panchamukeswara along with his cousin. While circumambulating they found a venomous snake on their way, his cousin was frightened to death. Seshadri Swamigal signaled the snake to come closer to him. The deadly snake followed the instruction of the Swamigal gracefully; it encircled the neck of him thrice, stretched its hood on top his head and stood elegantly. A huge crowd was gathered to witness this miracle. They envisioned Lord Panchamukeswara in place of Seshadri Swamigal. Swamigal proceeded to Thiruvannamalai, on his way he met with his relatives, their desire to bring him back home went unsuccessful. Gradually, he lost interest in conversing with the people and adopted the method of simple gestures. Swamigal occupied a chamber in a temple at Dindivanam and asked the authorities to keep him locked for few days. Four days were passed; the authorities were worried about the state of health of Swamigal and opened the door. They were shocked to see him in deep meditation. Later, they requested Swamigal to continue his penance out of the temple premise. Swamigal set out his journey to Thiruvannamalai and reached Thiruppathur, he stayed in the Brahmapureeswarar Temple for few days and immersed in the solitude and tranquility of this place. Likewise, he wandered through many places on his way to Thiruvannamalai and spent his life in the shrines located. At last, Swamigal arrived at Thiruvannamalai, his final destination and the sacred place on Earth for salvation.
As soon as he reached Thiruvannamalai he rushed on his feet to the temple of Lord Arunachaleswara & Goddess Sri Unnamalai. It was truly a home coming for Swamigal, a long awaited moment in his life. Once again his mother’s voice pierced through his ears’ Arunachala, Arunachala, Arunachala’. He had forgotten all the hardships; the mere vision of Lord Arunachaleswara with his consort transported him to the world of eternal bliss, a joy of liberation. He left Kanchi in the year 1889; it was a strenuous journey throughout a year to reach the sacred temple of Lord Arunachaleswara. He remained in this holy land for forty years, till he breathed for last.
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!
Jai Sriman Narayana !!