SADA SIVA BRAHMENDRA SWAMI – A SANNYASI FOREVER FOR THE WELFARE OF THE HUMANITY
Compiled by Sri Ramakrishna Prasad Chennai
Vivekananda said, ‘I challenge anybody to show one single period of her national life when India was lacking in spiritual giants.’ One such saint is Sada Siva Brahmendra, on the banks of Kaveri river in a village called Nerur, in Karur district in Tamil Nadu. There is a siva temple and ‘Bilva Vruksham’ on the banks of Kaveri river. In the temple lies the samadhi of the great saint. Pilgrims flock together to have his darshan.
This Sada Siva Brahmendra was born to a great pandit named Moksha Somasundara Avadhani. He prayed to Rama and Krishna while his wife Parvathi prayed to Shiva. As a result their son was named Siva Rama Krishna.He proved himself different from birth. He had vairagya which reached its zenith in his youth but as typical parents, his parents assumed that he would behave perfectly normal after he was united in wedlock. He tried to oppose, but he had to yield ultimately to their persuasions, being a dutiful son. He was married at the age of seventeen. Siva Rama Krishna could not change after his marriage as his parents assumed. The vairagya and a quest for knowledge continued to be deep rooted in him. In the mean while his wife matured and their first night was arranged on a grand scale in his in-law’s house. Siva Rama Krishna was very hungry. He stood at the door step of kitchen and pleaded. ‘I am hungry. Will you serve me food ?’ He was asked to wait for some time. He insisted I am terribly hungry. I don’t require delicious meal. Serve me a simple meal. That’s enough!’ ‘Oh! just wait. You don’t have to wait too long. Don’t step in, stand there.’ These words were spoken by his own mother-in-law.
A turning point in life comes in a split second and quite unexpectedly. ‘Don’t step in, stand there, ‘The innocent casual words of mother-in-law conveyed a deeper message.’ Don’t step, into Gruhastasram. Stand outside and seek knowledge was the implied message. That decided his fate. The next minute he shot out of the house like an arrow. His relatives couldn’t trace him. He lived a nomadic life near forest and river beds, begging alms whenever he was hungry. When he had no place to live, where will he provide a place to God? So he placed God within his heart and prayed to him. He described this ‘manasika pooja’ in his keerthana ‘Sivamanasika Pooja’. Lord Siva was touched by the sincere prayer of Siva Rama Krishna. The God provided him a Guru in the form of Parama Sivendra Saraswathi Swami of Kamakoti Pitam. The Guru was impressed by the Chaitanya in him and addressed him ‘Sada Siva’! This Sada Siva served ardently the guru and composed many kirtanas, displayed his knowledge before many pandits and wrote a commentary on Brahma Sutras and Patanjali Yoga Sutras. He dedicated all his verses to his Guru.
Great pandits too could not withstand his immense knowledge. One pandit who was defeated in a vedantic debate was unable to bear the insult and complained against ‘Sada Siva’. The guru asked him When will you become silent?’ Sadasiva took it as an order and said ‘Guruji! I have been waiting for a sign from you. I will remain silent from this very moment.’ He did remain silent and composed many kirtanas describing his feelings. He left the guru, left the formalities of the material life and started moving around stark naked. He was enjoying the bliss of Atma Jnana. He has composed many Kirtanas mainly in Sanskrit. Only a few of his compositions have survived but they are recognised as great compositions of Carnatic Music, which are still sung by the Carnatic musicians.
There were many instances which speak of his miraculous powers. When he was a human being, he walked like a stick and helped the humanity. When he left the physical body, he remained as a tree to help the humanity. That’s the greatness of great people. Dead or alive they are forever for the welfare of humanity.
Historian, Scholar, Journalist, Activist –Sri Suravaram Pratap Reddy
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