Friday, March 11, 2016

Annamalaiyar Temple –Seshadriswamigal Ashram

Annamalaiyar Temple –Seshadriswamigal Ashram
Seshadriswamigal Ashram is located at Thiruvannamalai, one of the most religious towns in Tamil Nadu. Sri Seshadri Swamigal is the religious master for many people living around the world. He worshipped Lords Arunachala, Ram and Goddess Kamakshi. He performed penance at Draupadi Amman Koil. He educated the people about the Arunachala kshetra’s uniqueness. Ramana Maharshi and Seshadri Swamigal lived at Annamalai during the same period.

People in the locality called Ramana Maharshi as Thambi (younger brother) and Seshadri Swamigal as Anna (elder brother). A series was produced by DD Podhigai based on the life of Sri Seshadri and is named as "Sri Seshadri Swamigal Mahathmiyam". Sri Seshadri Swamigal, also known as the "Saint with a golden hand”

Life Story of Seshadri Swamigal
In the 8th Century Sri Adi Sankara Acharya established Sri Vidya cult in Kanchipuram and he spread Sri Vidya cult across the globe. Thirty families from Central India were brought to Kanchipuram and they are known as Kamakoti Vamsa. The person belonging to that Vamsa lives like a rishi and spreads Sri Vidya cult. Kamakoti Sastri was one among them and he was born in 1790. He adopted a daughter from his brother even though he had a daughter during that time. When she grew young he married that girl to one of his students by name Varadarajar. The couple lived happily but remained childless for several years.

One day Goddess Sri Kamakshi appeared in the dream of Kamakoti Shastrigal and stated that the couple would get an heir. Likewise the couple gave birth to a male child and they name the kid Seshadri. During his childhood days Seshadri sang and performed poojas regularly. On seeing this everyone stated that he was god’s blessed child.

Seshadri Swamigal was born on January 22, 1870. As a child he had spontaneous trances. At age four Seshadri received his nickname, 'Golden Hand'. One day Seshadri and his mother stopped at a shop full of bronze castings of the Gods. While at the shop the young lad picked up a statue of Krishna and asked his mother to buy it so he could perform Krishna puja. The trader, thinking that the radiant child himself resembled the Lord Krishna, gave the idol and refused payment.

The next day the trader proclaimed the boy to be most lucky as the whole consignment of 1,000 statues (because of the young boy's touch), had been sold in one day. News of the incident spread quickly through the town and from that moment on the young boy was known as, 'The one with the golden hand'. This gave him the name "Thanga Kai" (golden hand).

Aged 14, his father Sri Varadarajar died unexpectedly. Kamakoti Shastrigal took the family to live at Vazhur. It was there that Swamiji completed his education. Aged 17 his mother died and Seshadri uncle took charge of Seshadri and the younger brother Narasimha Josiar.

In Thiruvannamalai:
At the age of 19, in the year 1889 AD, he reached Thiruvannamalai and never left its outskirts, till he dropped his mortal-coil on 4.1.1929 AD. 

His 40 years of spiritual life in Thiruvannamalai showed that Swamigal was God himself. Speaking and walking among People, he was Sanchara-Dakshinamurthi (God as man on the move). His biography vividly shows that he was a Jivan-Mukta (a realised soul while in body). He did not have body-consciousness and was in ever communion with his Atman (Soul). He saw atman in everything-animate and inanimate. He was seen going round and round a stone pillar and doing pranams (offering his worship) and saying that he was seeing God in it.

Similarly he used to worship animals-buffalo, donkeys-seeing God in them. Sometimes he would embrace people on the road including ladies and say that he saw para-Sakthi (mother aspect of Brahmam) in them. He did not have any fixed abode. He was always on the move. He will be seen at many places within a few minutes. He will be in rags and dirty clothes. He will enter any shop on the roads and pull out anything from them. The shopkeepers revered him and considered his visit and touch as a great blessing. If anyone gives him a new cloth, he will wear it for a while and give it to someone. Sometimes he will be seen going half-shaven.

He appeared without a bath and his hairs matted and hung pell-mell round his neck. There was always a heavenly-smile in his face. Eyes always remained half-closed and turned inward in eternal contemplation. When opened they looked beautiful and slightly orange-tinged like a full moon. If at all he sat, he was in Swastik Asana, with his ankles crossed and the rest of his body poised over and out of contact with the ground. There was a devotee by name Manikkam. He would beg in the streets and collect some food and offer it to Swamigal. If Swamigal does not eat, he too would not eat. The stale food would remain for days and Swamigal may some times take it not minding its foul smell. So was his detachment from the body and things of the world. All were alike to him; none is a known one or unknown one. He was a saint of advanced spirituality.

He possessed supernal powers and Godly possession. There was total abdication. Sthitha-pragna state spoken in chapter II of Bhagavad-Gita and Mano-Nasam (control of mind) mentioned in various scriptures including Bruhadarinya Upanishad are the "states" the Swamigal attained. He did not get entangled in siddies (Spiritual powers) attained by him. Sri Swamigal was one of the greatest saints of our land and whose holiness has few parallels. One Vitoba Swamigal was at Polur, 10 miles away from Thiruvannamalai. When he passed away, Sri Seshadri Swamigal was running in the streets of Thiruvannamalai shouting that Vitoba was ascending to Heaven. His power of clairvoyance was astonishing. The news from Polur reached Thiruvannamalai much later.

When Sri Ramana Maharishi was in his younger days doing meditation in Pathala Linga cave of Arunachala Temple, it was Sri Seshadri Swamigal who gave him protection from urchins and brought him to the notice of the world. Ramana, younger in age used to be called Chinna-Seshadri (Little Seshadri). Sri Seshadri was called Mother Parvathi and Sri Ramana as Skanda (Lord Subramanya). There were instances when devotees have experienced that Seshadri was Ramana and Ramana was Seshadri. They were contemporaries and each knew the greatness of the other. Sri Ramana's presence, when Sri Seshadri body was interred and Sri Ramana's personal reading and approval of script of Seshadri Biography showed Ramana's reverence for this great Mahan. Many were his beneficiaries. Sri Vallimalai Swamigal, Kavyakanta Ganapathi Muni and Bhanu Kavi are to cite a few. Even men of ordinary walk of life had their several ills-mental and physical cured. Several had initiation in mantras according to their eligibility.

Sri Seshadri Swami had deep devotion to God, especially in the form of the Goddess Kamakshi, Lord Ram and Arunachala. Sri Seshadri was a great worshipper of Shakti. In the practice of concentration he sat steeped in Samadhi, oblivious of his body.
Sri Seshadri died on January 4, 1929. His body was not cremated but buried, as is the custom in the case of a saint. His Holy-body was interred in a Samadhi, witnessed by Sri Ramana Maharishi and several devotees, at Thiruvannamalai - Tamil Nadu (South India). There is a beautiful temple and ashram there and He is worshipped daily.
Ashram & Temple
The Seshadri Swamigal Ashram is located in Thiruvannamalai, very close to Ramanasramam. The consecration of the Sundaravadana Perumal temple in Vazhur, associated with Seshadri Swamigal’s birth, happened on 12 February 2012.
Seshadri Swamigal ashram is next to Sri Ramanasramam between the second and third Lingam on the circumambulation route. Regular pujas are performed at the Samadhi of Sri Seshadri Swamigal. There are a few platforms for meditation in the open, in a beautiful garden, under the cool shade of trees. One can do meditation facing the holy hill Arunachala, from this garden. A book stall in the ashram sells photographs and books. Accommodation (with or without air-conditioning) is available and there is a restaurant inside the ashram.
Television Series
Based on His Life DD Podhigai used to telecast a Serial Named as "Sri Seshadri Swamigal Mahathmiyam" every Thursday at 7.02 P.M
Seshadri Swamigal Ashram is located on the Girivalam route very near to Agni Lingam and Sri Ramanashram. The Annamalai Mountain lies to the north of this Ashram.
Seshadri Swamigal Ashram at Thiruvannamalai is located at 12°13'24.1"N 79°03'26.8"E or 12.223362, 79.057450.
Special Festivals
·        Daily three times Pooja.
·   Monday evening Namavali Bhajans is conducted for the goodness and welfare of the world.
·        Special Pooja to Guru Dakshinamoorthy in every Thursday
·        Rahukala pooja to Mother Durga on every Friday
·     Special Abishegam, Pooja and food offering in Hastha star days, monthly (The birth and mukti star of Mahan is Hastham),
·        Monthly special prayer in full moon day
·        Monthly special Aradhara to the holy mother in Maham star day.
·        Monthly Jayanthi pooja to the holy mother in Ayilya star day.
·        Special monthly pooja to reddish Vinayaga in sankadahara sathurthi Thithi
·        For the removal of evil of Aginistar, period in summer season Tara Vessel Abishekam with Rose Water and curd rice dedication to the Mahan and Holy mother’s in every year.
·    Special Pooja to Lord Annamalai and Goddess Unnamalai when they go around the holy hill in Thai and Karthigai months yearly
·   Special adornment pooja and prasadham in nine days of Navarathri in every year
·    Six times special pooja and special food offering in Masi Sivarathri day, yearly.
·        Cooked Rice Abishegam in Mahan’s shrine in Iyppasi full moon day; yearly
·      In each year, Jayanthi celebrations are conducted to Mahan, Holy Mother and all other saints merged here.
·        Process of Mahan’s graceful statue in Aradhana day in each and every year
·        Every year Kuthu Vilakku Pooja is performed, particularly by ladies, on the Friday following the Mahan‘s Jayanthi festival.
·        Special breakfast for the sadhus in Diwali and Pongal days, yearly
Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram 
Thiruvannamalai - 606 603, India 
Phone: +91 (4175) 236 999 

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