Sadasiva Brahmendra

on Sunday, October 21, 2012



The Adhisthaanam (holy resting place) of Shri Sadashiva Brahmendra, an enlightened saint who lived about 350 years ago and composed many scholarly treatises on philosophy and also devotional songs on Rama, Krishna etc.

Sadasiva Brahmendra was a great saint and composer of Carnatic music and an Advaita philosopher who lived near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu during the 18th century. He composed mainly in Sanskrit. Only a few of his compositions have survived but they are recognised as great compositions of Carnatic Music.

Early life

Sadasiva 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.


Right from his birth, he proved himself different from other people. 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 persuations, 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. The human beings who could not satiate his hunger, how will they quench his thirst for knowledge? That decided his fate. The next minute he shot out of the house like an arrow. His relatives couldn’t trace him. How can they when he is in search of the infinite knowledge?. Sadasiva Brahmendra, from childhood, was not attracted towards the materialism of life and became the disciple of Paramashivendra Sarasvati. He was so wise that he could win anyone in argument and debate. A few scholars who lost arguments with him turned against him. They went and complained to the Guru that he has pride which is not good for a practising student. His Guru asked him to be silent. He took it as a command and remained as a silent saint for the rest of his life.

Saint and his miracles

On River banks of Cauvery in Mahadhanapuram he was asked by some children to be taken to Madurai (more than 100 Miles away) for an annual festival. The saint asked to close their eyes. A few seconds later they were asked to open their eyes and were in Madurai. After the festival they all came back to the banks of cauvery the same way.

He used to be in trance most of the time. Once he was found to be in the middle of the river meditating when suddenly a flood covered him. People thought that he would have been drowned. After many months when the flood subsided, they found the saint in the same posture meditating.

He was a brahma-jnani who sees nothing but brahman everywhere, he would not distinguish between the different human figures which cross his path nor would he be distracted by the sights or noises that his environment may present to him.

 It was in this state of trance that he was walking along and once walked into a Nawab’s harem. The news reached the nawab, he had his men cut off both his hands. He was walking along silently as if nothing had happened. The nawab got scared, picked up the hands that had been severed, ran to the Sage and offered them in total remorse. The sage stopped his walking, the severed hands were restored to their place. The nawab begged the saint for guidance and he wrote on the sand " Dont do what you want to and then you may do what you want". The nawab rightly understood this to be a guide to mastery of the ego and is said to have evolved highly.

Samadhi


At Nerur, Brahmendra resolved to shed his body. He gave directions as to how his Samadhi should be raised. On the appointed day, he sat in the pit in the yogic posture. It was filled with sacred ash, camphor, salt, turmeric powder and powdered brick and covered. As per Brahmendra's prediction, a bilva shoot sprouted on the ninth day and a Banalinga arrived from Banaras on the twelfth day. A linga, was installed twelve feet away from it. The bilva tree was left exposed to the sky. Brahmendra's aradhana coincides with Sankara Jayanti. A second samadhi exists behind the sanctum of the Anandavalli Somanathesvara temple in Manamadurai. A third samadhi was said to exist in Karachi, now Pakistan, and was located in the twentieth century before partition.

Songs

He is the author of several Sanskrit works including Advaita rasa manjari, Brahma tattva prakaashikaa and Yoga sudhaakara. He also wrote several Carnatic compositions to spread the advaita philosophy among common people. His compositions are quite popular and can be heard frequently in Carnatic concerts. Some of these are Bhaja Raghuviram (raga Mohanam), Bhajare Gopalam (Hindolam), Manasa Sancharare (Sama) and Pibare Ramarasam (Ahir bhairav)


Sources : Wikipedia

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