Trailanga Swami

Shivarama whose monastic name was Swami Ganapati Saraswati was a Hindu yogi and mystic whom born in Kumbilapuram (now known as Kumili of Puspatirega at Vijayanagaram district in Andhra Pradesh. He was given birth by couple’s name Narashingha Rao and Vidyavati Devi who are devotees of Shiva. He gave over his money and family obligations to his half-brother Sridhar after his father died in 1647 at the age of 40. His mother then told him that her father had expressed a desire to be born to her and continue his Kali sadhana for the sake of mankind at the time of his death. She told Shivarama that she thought he was reincarnated as her father (his own grandfather) and that he should practise Kali sadhana. Shivarama performed Kali sadhana in the neighbouring Kali temple and Punya Kshetras after receiving a Kali mantra from his mother, yet he was never far from his mother. After his mother’s death in 1669, he saved her ashes (chita bhasma). He would wear her ashes and continue his Kali sadhana day and night (teevra sadhana). After 20 years of spiritual practice, he met his preceptor swami, Bhagirathananda Saraswati, in 1679 from the Punjab. Bhagirathananda initiated Shivarama into monastic vows (sanyasa) and named him Swami Ganapati Saraswati in 1685. He finally settling in Varanasi in 1737. In Varanasi, until his death was in 1887, he lived at different places including Assi Ghat, the Veda-Vyasashrama, Dashashwamedh Ghat. At the 19 century Mystic saint Sri Ramakrishna referred to him as. The walking Shiva of Varanasi”. He was often found roaming the streets or the ghats, stark naked and “carefree as a child it seems. Once he had walked by a castle and all the worker over there together the kind invited him to take rest in the castle. King offered him cloths, Swami accepts the offer but when it when suddenly stolen by other on the way he back, he still carefree as he said to the King, I own nothing. Let them have the cloths calmly. According to another story, Trailanga often walked around without any clothes, much like the naga (or “sky-clad”, naked) sadhus. The Varanasi police were scandalized by his behaviour, and had him locked in a jail cell. He was soon seen on the prison roof, in all his “sky-clad” glory. The police put him back into his locked cell, only to see him appear again on the jail roof. They soon gave up, and let him again walk the streets of Varanasi beheld the universal Lord Himself utilizing his body as a vehicle for manifestation,” Ramakrishna claimed after witnessing Trailanga. He was at the pinnacle of his knowledge. He was completely unconcerned about his appearance. Man’s senses, according to Trailanga, are his enemy, while his regulated senses are his buddy. His definition of a poor person was “extremely greedy,” and he saw someone who was always content as wealthy. He claims that the most important pilgrimage site is “Our own pure mind,” and he advises people to follow the “Vedantic truth from the Guru.” A sadhu, he said, is someone who is devoid of attachment and delusion. Trailanga died on Monday evening, 26 December 1887. His body was given salilasamadhi in the Ganges

By Durgashini d/o Battikrishnan

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