Reminiscences by Sri Kunjuswami – Swami of Vallimalai

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Tirupugazh Sachidananda – Swami of Vallimalai

Sri Bhagavan generally emphasised the path ofjnana but he used to give different instructions to different people depending on the seeker’s maturity level. Sachidananda Swami, known earlier as Ardhanari, worked as a cook in the palace of the Maharaj a of Mysore. At that time, he suffered from acute stomach pain. The pain remained despite treatment by eminent doctors. In 1908, at the age of 38, at the instance of a devotee by name Nalla Kothan, he went to Palani and drank the abhishekam milk and was cured of the stomach ailment. He became deeply devoted to Lord Subrahmanya. He devoted himself to the service of Sri Subrahmanya at Palani from 1908 to 1912. In Palani he was called ‘Mysoreswami’.

During his pilgrimage, he came to Tiruvannamalai on 21.12.1912, on Tiruvadirai day, to have the darshan of Sri Bhagavan. He himself has narrated his experience in the following words: “I joined the crowd waiting to see Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan came out of the ashram a few minutes later. I saw him with a loin cloth and a walking stick. He saw me and I saw him. Suddenly he appeared to me as the Lord of Palani. My hairs stood on end. I shed tears of joy. I was speechless. I quietly sat down.”

One day Sri Bhagavan said to him, “Go down,” and he went to the foot of the hill from Skandasram. He was upset that Sri Bhagavan had asked him to move down. As he was coming down with this feeling, Seshadriswami, who was at the foot of the hill, ran to him and hugged him. He recited the fourth sloka of Adi Sankara’s Sivamanasa Panchakam and asked him whether there was anything similar to that in Tiruppugazh. Sachidanandaswami quoted a verse which had the same sense. (Grant me the Heart that will not feel itself separate but will see itself in everything.) Immediately Seshadriswami said, Tirupugazh is a great mantra; everything is in it. Please spread Tirupugazh. Go to Vallimalai and I will also come. So saying, Seshadriswami left. Then he realised why Sri Bhagavan had asked him to go down the hill. His mind was filled with joy.

Sachidanandaswami went to Vallimalai and established an ashram and spread Tirupugazh. He founded a number of Tirupugazh sabhas in Madras. He travelled throughout the country spreading Tirupugazh. On the night of 14th April 1950, Swamiji started with his disciples for Tiruvannamalai. At 8.45 when they were crossing a railway track, Swamiji stood stunned. He was about to be knocked down by a railway coach that had got itself detached. Swamiji was pulled Backby his disciples. Swamiji intuitively knew of the merging of Sri Bhagavan in Arunachala that night at 8.47. He immediately rushed to Sri Ramanasram. When the samadhi rites took place, he sang Tirupugazh with great feeling. One of his devotees, S. V. Subramaniam, said, “Swami! You promised to show us Sri Bhagavan. Now we see only his body!” Swamiji said, “You fool! Where has he gone? He is here. He has given up his body, but he is in everybody now.”

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