Seshadri Swamigal

 also see Swamigal
Ashram website

Seshadri Swamigali

January 22, 1870
– April 1, 1929

Introduction – Life History –
Golden Hand – Early Life – Spiritual Life in

Sri Seshadri Swamigal was known for
his great spiritual eminence and for his yogic (spiritual
aspirant seeking union with God through mental and physical
disciplines) power through tapas(austerities). An elaborate
study of his life reveals that he was an ascetic of a very
high calibre who had thorough control of senses, both
physically and mentally. His self restraint is commendable.
He inculcated the habit of performing the tapas, mantras and
sadhanas (spiritual practice) from a very young age which
helped him in developing various siddhis(supernatural
attainments) or psychic powers of telling about the past and
the future, reading the minds of people with the same ease
as exploring the unknown and unseen. With this power, he
also fulfilled the desires of people by showing them the
visions they wanted to see, both in their dreams and while
being awake. His miraculous touch is said to have cured many
people suffering from diseases and ailments who came to him
with sincere faith and devotion.

Though ascetics are praise worthy,
people having worldly desires rarely admire them. The same
can be said in the case of Sri Seshadri Swamigal also, but
careful investigation shows us that the priceless gem that
made him outshine others was the attainment of

Sri Seshadri Swamigal believed in
the paths of karma (deeds) and jnana (knowledge) along with
bhakthi (devotion). One can see an intricate net connecting
all of them. He destroyed the darkness of ignorance and
illusion and brought the people into the eternal light of
Self-Realisation. He fulfilled the desires of the devotees
who sought material prosperity as well as spiritual

History :

Sri Seshadri Swamigal was born on
January 22nd 1870 in a small village near Kanchipuram in
South India in the renowned family of Kamakoti. He learnt
vedas(Hindu religious literature) at a very young age. An
incident in his childhood reveals the greatness of his power
when his mother took him to a temple fair and he touched an
idol from a seller who had all the idols sold out like
hotcakes, which were not getting sold out earlier. This gave
him the name “Thanga Kai”(golden hand). Since he did not
have any worldly attractions, he became a sanyasi (ascetic)
and came to Tiruvannamalai at the age of nineteen and
remained there till he attained Mahasamadhi(a subtle state
of divine bliss) in the year 1929.

Sri Seshadri Swamigal never stayed
in one place in the town of Tiruvannamalai where he resided
for around forty years. People who observed his routine
found him to be a sanyasi without any attachments or
attractions towards the illusory world. He neither had any
house to go to nor family relations or friends to adhere to.
He never followed a daily habit. When he was presented with
expensive clothes or food which he abstained from, he used
to give it away in charity and used to have gruel from some
poor man’s house and spend the night in some

He did not care to bathe or have a
shave for several days and would roam around without caring
for himself as he neglected his body. His actions lead
people viewing him from a worldly perspective to take him to
be a madman, but careful analysis indicates that every
action of his was deliberately done for the service to the
people to uplift them to the spiritual level. He wanted the
people to get rid of their past sins by repeating
“Kamokarshid mantra” which he himself repeated 150,000 times
to show the greatness of the mantra.

Blessing to Devotees :

There have been several instances
where the devotees have been blessed by Sri Seshadri

Few of them are:

A South Arcot judge, K.Sundaram
Chettiar visited Tiruvannamalai and prostrated before Sri
Seshadri Swamigal who accepted his offerings of clothes and
was promoted to the rank of High court judge due to the
Swami’s grace.

Sri Krishnaswamy Sastri’s wife was
suffering from swelling of the stomach,hands and legs and
vomiting of roundworm. Doctors gave up hope and they visited
the Swami in Tiruvannamalai as a last resort on a horse
carriage. Sri Seshadri Swamigal got into the carriage and
put his leg on her swollen body and rode the carriage into
the sadhu choultry and asked her to swallow some sand and
apply it on her body for three days. Miraculously, she was
cured of her disease completely.

Similarly, Sri Seshadri Swamigal
cured many other incurable diseases and ailments of his

Thirupugazh Swamigal was not a
literate, but due to his devotion towards Lord Muruga(Hindu
mythological God), he learnt Thirupugazh(verses in praise of
the Lord) quickly and when he sang, it used to touch
everyone’s soul. To get a Guru, he came to Tiruvannamalai.
As he prostrated before Sri Seshadri Swamigal, he was
blessed and was told to continue singing Thirupugazh as it
is a great mantra. He then went to Vallimalai(a place in
South India) and became the great Vallimalai

Natesa Mudaliar visited
Tiruvannamalai and had a darshan (sight of the holy image)
of Lord Shiva and Ambal(Hindu mythological Gods).He heard
about Sri Seshadri Swamigal and wanted to have the
upadesh(spiritual instruction) from him. Swamigal told him
“Wisdom and salvation are not understood properly.
Discriminate between reality and unreality. Realise your
self to the utmost “.

Sri Seshadri Swamigal used to roam
around and visit shops in Tiruvannamalai. During such
visits, he used to throw the articles from the shops. The
shops he entered used to do good business on that day and so
shopkeepers used to eagerly await his arrival. To this day,
the shops in Tiruvannamalai have his photos as a symbol of
good luck and prosperity.

Other miracles which he performed
are :

* Making rains come on the request
of his devotees .

* Giving a darshan of himself to
five or six devotees at different places at the same

* Showing devotees
swargalokam(heaven) and mumurthi devas (mythological Gods in
Hindu literature).

* Giving darshan as Parvathi
devi(Hindu Goddess) to many devotees.

Swami’s upadeshas :

* By the touch of the Swamigal, many
devotees have instantly realised their inner self. He
instilled many mantras particularly the Rama mantra to many

* He emphasized that every one
should kill Ravana and Rakshas within themselves; Ravana
signifying the desires of any object and Rakshas meaning
anger. He wanted people to get rid of lust, greed and

* He laid stress on realisation of
the true inner nature of the self as people were going about
their daily activities without thinking about

* He preached to many devotees to go
around the sacred mountain of Tiruvannamalai which is said
to be a form of Lord Shiva himself, especially on Tuesdays
and emphasized about giving annadanam(feeding the people
with rice).

Even today devotees of Sri Seshadri
Swamigal are being blessed with their worldly desires being
fulfilled and their spiritual quench satisfied by his

Seshadri Swamigal Ashram

Tiruvannamalai is about two hundred
kilometres from Madras, one of the metropolitan cities of
India. Seshadri Swamigal ashram is located about two
kilometres from the main Sri Arunachaleswarar temple and
next to Ramana ashram in Chengam road,

The ashram gives us a feeling of
being in a hermitage due to its surroundings, fountains,
flowering trees and peaceful and pristine pure atmosphere.
The serene atmosphere has made many devotees realise
themselves. Poojas (ceremonial worship) and abhisekhams
(sacred bath of milk, curd and water etc. given to the
deity) are conducted everyday. Group bhajans (singing
devotional songs in chorus) are conducted on Monday evenings
and on some auspicious days devotees go around the mountain.
Giving free meals is carried out everyday for hundreds of
people. Swamigal’s aradhana (day of attainment of
mahasamadhi) and jayanthi (birthday of the Lord or holy
person) are being celebrated in a grand manner every

Books of Swamigal’s life and
experiences, are available both in English and Tamil in the
ashramam bookshop. Other spiritual books are also

Many of the devotees are following
the preaching of Seshadri Swamigal by doing the

* Morning meditation from 3am to

* Going around the sacred mountain
of Tiruvannamalai.

* Giving annadanam.



Sri Seshadri swamigal was born in
Kancheepuram in the Kamakoti family.  The kamakoti
families, about 30 in number, were specially brought to
Kancheepuram by Adi Shankara, from Central India, to spread
the Sri Vidhya Cult.

Seshadri swamigal was born to the
couple Vardarajan and Margathammal, by the grace of goddess
Kamakshi, another name of Parvathi, consort of Lord

Seshadri as a boy of four, 
following his mother to the temple, took an idol of Sri
Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu) in his hand, from a shop,
saying he will do pooja to the idol.  The shop keeper,
appreciating the child’s interest, gave the idol free to
little Seshadri.

Next day, as Maragathammal and
Seshadri were going to the temple, the shop keeper
prostrated, placed child Seshadri’s hand on his eyes and
cried “golden hand! golden hand!”.  He explained that
the sale was extraordinarily  high after the child
touched the idols.  From that day onwards, till his
maha siddhi, he was popularly known as `Thangakkai
Saeshadri’ (Saeshadri of golden hand), for whatever he
touched turned into gold (flourished).

He renounced material life at the
age of 19, left Kancheepuram and came to
Thiruvannamalai.  Like Sri Ramana maharishi, he never
left Thiruvannamalai till his nirvana in 1929.  He was
a great upasaka (worshiper) of Shakthi.

He roamed the streets of
Thiruvannamalai like a mad man, entering a shop and
dumping  the cash from cash box on the floor or
throwing the flour kept for making dough into the water and
so on. However, his strange behavior was known to the town
people and they never minded.  On the contrary, they
eagerly awaited his visit, for his visit meant that their
business would flourish.

Mahan Seshadri swamigal, as
mentioned earlier,  was a worshiper of Shakthi. 
Recital of sacred syllables (mantra japa) was his
path.  He was a contemporary of Sri Ramana
maharishi.  In fact, it was Saeshadri swamigal, who
rescued young Ramana,  when the later was immersed in
penance, in the underground cell in Arunachaleshwarar temple
and ants and moths were eating away young Ramana’s

Their paths were different. There
used to be friendly arguments between them.  Sri
Seshadri swamigal possessed many siddhis and performed many
miracles like curing chronic diseases etc., openly. 
However, Sri Ramana Maharishi, though he performed miracles
some times, he never acknowledged them or attached
importance. He always advised seekers to focus on the
ultimate goal of Self Realisation and not to be distracted
by minor achievements like siddhis or miraculous

Saeshadri swamigal ashram is next to
Sri Ramanashramam.  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 sells Mahan’s photographs and books.

Accommodation is available and food
is served by a canteen inside the ashram.

For further information

Sri Seshadri swamigal ashramam,
Thiruvannamalai- 606 603, South India.


At Kanchipuram, in the illustrious
Kamakoti family, there lived one Sri Kamakoti Sastri. He was
an adept in Sri Vidhya Upasana and had mastered in boyhood
itself vedas, puranas, smritis, tharkam, vyakarana and
mimamsa. Besides these he had another valuable talent- music
(gandharva veda). His brother’s daughter was Maragatham. She
was born beautiful and had learnt epics, darma, alankara and
music from Sri Kamakoti Sastri. She earned the title
“Sahitya Sangeetha Kalavathi” when she was 12 years old. She
was given in marriage to Sri Varadharaja Joshyar of
Kanchipuram who was also a Sri Vidhya Upasaka besides
mastering vedas and astrology. To them – Varadharajar and
Margatham- Sri Seshadri Swamigal was born as elder of the
two sons. He was born on 22.1.1870 in Hastha Nakshatra
(Star) at Kanchipuram.

When he was four years of age he
would sing devotional songs and stotras, taught by his
mother, in melodious voice and everyone regarded the boy as
a Divine-child. An incident at this age of four, gave him
the epithet of Hiranya-bahu–one with the golden touch. The
occasion was a festival time at Sri Varadaraja Perumal
Temple at Little Kanchipuram. Among many, one merchant has
brought moulded replicas of Sri Krishna idol. The boy in the
lap of his mother noticing it wanted one and at the instance
of merchant, the boy picked up one of his choice. On the
following day, when the mother and boy were passing through
the shop, the merchant came running to them and prostrated
before the child and took the two hands of the child and
worshipfully pressed them to his eyes, and exclaimed that
they are “Golden Hands”. He narrated that all the idols were
sold away on the previous day when the child picked up one
and the normal experience was that only a few will be sold.
This was a forerunner to high-light His Grace to devotees,
even today.

When he was 5 years of age, he was
sent to school in the traditional and orthadox manner. At
the age of 7, Upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony) was
performed. When he was 14, his father died. By 16 years of
age, he completed his education. He had mastered various
texts in Sanskrit and Tamil — the whole Vedanta with three
primary texts – Gita, Upanishads and Brahma Sutras, besides
Vedas, Nyaya and Vyakarana. He had also mastered music and
astrology. When he was 17, his people tried to marry him
off, but astrologers predicting his horoscope that he will
become a Sanyasin (Recluse) and Jivan-mukta (realised soul),
dropped the idea.

When his mother was to breath her
last, she chanted two slokas keeping her hand on the chest
of Seshadri — one of Sri Adi Sankara — (Sat Sangatve – in
Baja Govindam) which meant that the company of the good led
one in time to solitude and thence to emancipation and the
other sloka indicated the sacredness of Arunachala — how
merely by thinking of it, one attained ultimate Bliss.
Repeating the word “Arunachala” in her tongue, she breathed
her last on the lap of Seshadri. He took these two slokas
from her mother for guidance in his life. Arunachala stands
for Lord Shiva in Agni (fire) form at Thiruvannamalai. He
drew a picture of Arunachala by instinct. His personal Gods
were Goddess Kamakshi of Kanchipuram and Sri Rama – the
divine avatar (God in the form of a person) depicted in
Ramayanam (a great literary work of Bharath written by
Valmiki Maharishi and adopted by several others in other
languages). With the pictures of Arunachala, Rama and
Kamakshi his worship was going strong. He had no sleep and
no appetite. He will be seen in Chakrath-Azhwar and Kamakshi
temples for several hours chanting mantras, slokas, etc. His
rigorous and exacting religious practices were viewed with
concern by his foster-parents who were taking care of him.
He got immersed in Sri Kamakshi’s divine form and regarded
himself as Goddess Parvathi (Sakthi aspect of Brahmam). He
began doing his meditations in Rudrabhoomi (cremation
ground) which was resented and questioned by his people. He
was wandering in the streets of Kanchipuram, when he met a
Gouda Sanyasi, Sri Balaji Paramahamsa, who finding him
worthy and fit, gave him sanyasa (the fourth stage of asrama
in one’s life). On the due date, Seshadri’s father’s annual
ceremony was performed. To give him his father’s blessings,
he was brought home forcibly and kept locked in a room. At a
stage, when the room was opened his relatives noticed that
Seshadri had disappeared from the locked room and then only
realised his greatness and attainment. He was 19 years of
age then. After sometime he was noticed in the temple
precincts of Sri Mukteswara at Kaveripakkam, 20 miles away
from Kanchipuram.

One day, in the temple, a big
serpent came out; Seshadri beckoned it and it came and
coiled over his body and held its hood over his head. Those
who witnessed were awe-struck. Seshadri now “Seshadri Swami”
was unperturbed. His act showed that all creations of
Almighty are alike and is all pervasive. When pleaded, he
refused to go back home and was heading for Thiruvannamalai
– keeping his mother’s direction and guidance – and passed
through various towns, villages, hills; 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 Holy-body was interred in a Samadhi, witnessed by
Sri Ramana Maharishi and several devotees, at
Thiruvannamalai – Tamil Nadu (South India) and is worshipped


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 will 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 werealike 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

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 that there was a great soul in Sri Ramana. 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’s body was interred and Sri Ramana’s personal
reading and approval of script of Seshadri’s 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 Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi,
Maha Periyaval of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam was reported to
have said once “will I become like Seshadri Swamigal”. Such
was the greatness of Sri Seshadri Swamigal.


On hearing the greatness of the
saint, one feels that he should get contact with him. Even
though he left his body in 1929, he was gracious enough to
Bless the devotees through a Medium. How was it and what it
is, are the next questions.

A saintly Lady-Sri Kaveri Ammal
(1877–1962) was living with her husband and children at
Erode. Even from her childhood, she was deeply engrossed in
worship of God, her personal God being Lord Subramanya. She
had heard of Sri Swamigal and was deeply devoted to him at
heart. On an occasion, when she visited Thiruvannamalai to
her relative’s house, and when she was in her pooja
(prayers), Swamigal appeared before her and asked her to
give something saying that he was hungry. She gave him one
of the plantain fruits meant for the pooja. Swamigal put
half of it in his mouth and thrusted the other half in the
mouth of Sivaramakrishnan, 5 year old son of the lady who
came there at that moment. This was the hastha-deeksha
(ordination by touch) of Swamigal, by virtue of which this
boy later became the Medium for the saintly

By ardent, devoted, sincere prayers
Poojyashree Kaveriammal succeeded in bringing back Sri
Seshadri Swamigal (Jeevan Muktha) and similar Great Saints
through the medium for the uplift of devotees, to attain
one’s life goal through Upadesams, Yyagams etc. and as
requested by her Sri Seshadri Swamigal chose Sri
Sivaramakrishnan as his medium.

Another Saint Sri Kuzhandaiananda
Swamigal of Madurai also started speaking, answering the
prayers of Poojyashree Kaveriammal. Sri Kuzhandaianada
Swamigal gives his blessings also through Smt. Saradambal,
grand daughter of Sri Kaveriammal.

Sri Sivaramakrishnan the Medium
would reply what the Swamigal had willed. Vedanta topics,
rare lectures and musical discourses were coming forth, put
into the mind of the Medium by Swamigal and expressed by
him. Though he talked in Tamil language, the matter was
drawn from Sanskrit works on Religion and Philosophy.
Through this Medium, devotees had the contact with Swamigal
and sought his Blessings in various areas -Spiritual, mental
and Physical. Swamigal has come out in this manner, out of
sheer kindness. Swamigal -Guru (Preceptor), by his upadesa
(teachings) reforms us and guides us to salvation. The first
medium -Sri Sivaramakrishna Iyer passed away on

Swamigal’s grace did not stop with
him. Even two years before this, Swamigal had initiated the
next medium, Sri Sesha Sankaran, the only son of Sri
Sivaramakrishna Iyer. Uninterruptedly, we are having
Swamigal through this second medium and through him HIS
BLESSINGS. When Swamigal speaks through medium the medium
does not know, what is spoken to.

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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect
among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no
difference between us”
Chap XX,





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