Yenippadigalil Maanthargal - YPM

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YPM-PART-2 - Page - 1



By the grace of Sir I have been able to complete translation of YPM's most unique part, viz, Sir's illustrations from Papi to Gnani. I will now proceed with the translation of the rest of YPM not exactly in the order of the original, but in a free manner. It is my wish to translate fully at least the lives of saints so fascinatingly told by Sir in YPM, by way of illustrating Sir's classifications from Daiva  Sadhu to Gnani.


Janus is a Greek god antiquity. He founded a town, the Janiculum (one of the Seven Hills of Rome), on the Tiber. Janus is represented as a young man with two faces, as acquainted with the past and the future, and on some statues with four heads and sometimes with and sometimes without a beard. In religious ceremonies he was always the first invoked, because, through him alone prayers could reach the immortals; whence he often appears with a key in his right hand and a rod in his left; at times he is represented holding the number 300 in one hand and 65 in the other, as presiding over the year, of which the first month bears his name.  Janus was chiefly worshipped among Romans, who reared many temples to him.  The temples of Janus Quadrifrons (four-faced), were built with four equal sides, with a door and three windows on each side; the four doors were the emblems of the four seasons, and the three windows in each the three months in each season.  His temples were also built at the corners of the cross roads.


Purushothaman who was born by the blessings of Athmabodha who was the 58th Acharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt was dedicated to the Mutt itself by his parents notwithstanding the fact that he was their one and only child. Brought up as an adept in Vedas and scriptures, Purushothaman had in Gnanashekaran, a friend who was a peer too. Once Athmabodha set about for a pilgrimage to Kasi with a lean entourage and instructed both his disciples to follow him after a few days.

While the two friends were on their way to Kasi, Gnanashekaran who was an expert in astrology informed Purushothaman that his end is imminent and he is destined to die before they reached Kasi. On hearing this Purushothaman assured Gnanashekaran that in case his prophecy became true, he too will give up his life in a holy manner in Ganges.

Gnanashekaran died in a few days as predicted. Purushothaman who completed the journey informed his Guru about his holy resolve and got ready to enter the Ganges.

The foresighted Athmabodha  who was aware of the greatness of his disciple stopped him and addressed him with these words. " Hay Purushothama, if you die this way, you will be reborn. I ordain you to take up Sanyasa since scriptures affirm that Sanyasa means civil death and rebirth. " Purushothaman carried out the instructions of his Guru and put on the saffron robes.

Athmabodha conferred the title of Bodhendra Saraswathi on Purushothaman and asked him to go to Kanchi. He was also instructed to halt at Jaganatham on the way, meet a great scholar by name Lakshmi Sridharar, collect a scripture by name Bhagavan Nama Kowmudhi from him and compose one lakh Slokas based on it.

Bodhendra learnt about the death of Lakshmi Sridharar from his son Jagannatha Panditha on reaching Jaganatham and also met a south Indian couple there. When this couple was on their way to Kasi on a pilgrimage,the wife was kidnapped by a few Muslims. The heart broken husband completed the pilgrimage and was on his way back when he halted by the side of a river for an early morning bath. By chance a few Muslim ladies were having their bath there and one of them ran to him and said "Natha, let us escape from here "! Accordingly both of them rushed from there to a safe spot.

The husband could not accept the wife back without carrying out the due rites of penitence or Prayaschitha and hence both of them went to the house of Jagannatha Panditha and waited there. It was at this time Bodhendra too reached there. The Panditha consoled the couple and told them that the wife could get rid of the taint just by uttering the holy Rama Nama with heart and soul.

Bodhendra who was also present there asked Jagannatha Panditha the authority for his remedy, who showed him the relevant portion from Bhagavan Nama Kowmudhi authored by his father. Bodhendra read the portion carefully, understood the power of Rama Nama and set his heart on proving the same.  Accordingly he took everyone to the Pushkarani or temple tank.

Amidst the crowd which collected there, the lady took a dip in the Pushkarani uttering the holy Rama Nama and surfaced in traditional Hindu attire complete with kunkumam on her forehead. This miracle took place due to the holy merit of Bodhendra and he came to be known as Bhagavan Nama Bodhendra after this incident.

Prayaschitha has been laid down by Maharishis for various errors of omission and commission. By undergoing Prayaschitha those who are functioning at and above the level of  Vivekis are exempted from births in other species. A king functioning at the level of Siranda Viveki may give up his life as Prayaschitha to atone for a mistake committed by one of his subjects. Vivekis who take a dip in holy river or waters enjoy relief.

Let us now catch up with Bodhendra. He reached Kanchi taking with him Bhagavan Nama Kowmudhi as per the diktat of Athmabodha. Months rolled by. Swamigal visited Rameshwaram and was returning to Kanchi after a holy bath there. The village of Govindapuram which lay on the way fascinated him with its pristine natural beauty. Swamigal took up his residence there. He became the Peetathipathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt from the time his guru attained Samadhi in 1639. This meant that he was vested with the holy duty of performing daily worships to Chandra Moulishwara (Spatika Lingam) and Tripurasundari Ambal brought by Adishankara from Kailash.

Swamigal who was worshipping Sri Rama received his grace in course of time. Years rolled by. One day he went to the river bank, dug a pit there, sat inside it and told the boys playing there to cover him with sand. The boys were instructed to remove the sand after some time. The boys did as instructed by Swamigal. After a week Swamigal repeated the procedure but told the boys not to remove the sand this time. The boys fulfilled the wish of Swamigal and left the place. Upon this, the absence of Swamigal was noticed in the Ashram by customary devotees who became worried. However the truth came to light through the boys after some time and the devotees went to the spot and tried to remove the sand. But an incorporeal voice that emerged from the spot to the effect that he had attained Samadhi and they should not remove the sand made the devotees complete the other obligatory rites duly. The devotees also constructed a Tulasi Madam there and worshipped it. In course of time the place was flooded and the Tulasi Madam (Samadhi) vanished. Swamigal has composed a few Krithis on Sri Rama and other deities. Govindapuram lies seven miles to the east of Kumbakonam. Bodhendra attained Jiva Samadhi on Pournami Thithi in the month of Purattasi. (1692).

After many years hearing of his greatness,  a Daiva Sadhu by name Sadguru Swamigal visited Govindapuram to have darshan of the Samadhi of Bodhendra. But finding that it had vanished without a trace, he felt extremely bad about it. He enquired of the locals the approximate location of the holy spot. He then   meditated on Bodhendra and put his ears to ground, inch by inch, for two full days. On the third day, he heard the sound of holy Rama Nama emanating from the spot continuously.

Moreover an incorporeal voice was heard telling, "Hay, Bhaktha! You engaged yourself strenuously in this holy effort and hence let my Aradana be celebrated in today's Thithi itself". The villagers constructed a small Matam and a Tulasi Madam in the spot determined by Sadguru Swamigal. This holy event happened on Malayapaksha Dwadasi and hence the Aradana of Bhagavan Nama Bodhendra is celebrated every year on this day. Sadguru Swamigal who was a resident of Maruthanallur belonged to the early part of 19th century.  The system of 'Sampradaya Bhajanai' was established by him.