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Sri Santhananda Avadootha Swamigal Jeevasamadhi, Skandasramam Murugan Temple, Salem, Tamil Nadu

This is a Jeevasamadhi of Sri Swayamprakash Saraswathi Avadootha Swamigal. His jeevasamadhi is inside the Thathagiri Ashramam. He was a disciple of Judge Swamigal

There is a place of sit and mediate close to the Jeevasamadhi. You can go into meditative states here effortlessly.

How to get there

The jeevasamadhi is located 1.5 kms south of Senthamangalam.


About Shri Swayamprakash Avadootha Swamigal:

Swamigal was born in a village ‘kalpattu’ (a village at a distance of around 16 kms from Vilupuram and close Thirukovilur in Tamilnadu) on 28-11-1871. He was born with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. His parents were Sriramaswamy Sastrigal and Smt. Janaki Ammal. Swamigal’s purvashrama name was ‘Krishnamurthy’. During his childhood, his father moved from Kalpattu to a small village ‘Aduthurai’ on the banks of Cauvery in Tanjore district.

After resigning the job, Krishnamurthy reached Kashi and became a student of Sri Dakshinamurthy Swamigal. He learnt more about the vedhas for 3 years. During this time, Krishnamurthy’s health also deteriorated. The ashram informed his parents about the same and they rushed to Kashi and requested him to come back with them. Krishnamurthy informed and assured them that he will come back to their village on the 96th day from then. His parents’ heavy heartedly left Kashi without knowing what was in the store!

Though Krishnamurthy assured his parents that he will return on 96th day, his mind was restless and was thinking more about Sanyasam (sainthood). He requested his guru to give ‘Deeksha’ which is a ritual process to recognize a person as ‘Sanyasi’. In Hindu rituals, Sanyasam can be granted only by a ‘Guru’ and that too by following proper rituals.

His Guru smiled at him and told that he should get the blessings and permission from his parents to attain the Sanyasam which is mandatory. Krishnamurthy wrote a letter to his parents to grant him the required permission for becoming Sanyasi. But his parents asked him to come to his native first and hence Krishnamurthy decided to go to the village in person to get their permission.

Krishamurthy heard about a Mahan ‘Judge Swamigal’ who was staying in Madurai that time. Judge Swamigal got this name because of his earlier profession as a judge. He resigned his post and took up the Sanyasam following the ‘Avadootha school of Ashram’. He was well respected for his strict disciplines and his determinations.

Krishnamurthy reached Madurai and met Judge Swamigal and detailed about his thoughts and his preparedness to take up Sanyasam. He also requested Judge Swamigal to take him as a disciple and provide ‘Deeksha’ to take up the Sanyasam.

Being a Mahan, Judge Swamigal realized the fire inside Krishnamurthy. He also felt that this Krishnamurthy had the required potential to follow ‘Avadootham’ and Sanyasam. He enquired about Krishnamurthy’s family members and asked him to get the permission of his mother on the spot and can take up the Sanyasam before his mother only. He also gave the instructions that need to be followed before and after taking the Sanyasam.

Krishnamurthy walked 72 miles to reach his mother. At that time, he was wearing only a ‘loin cloth’. He did a ‘Prathakshanam’ (going around) around his mother for 3 times and fell flat (Namaskaram) before his mother. When he got up, the cloth fell down due to his guru’s blessings and he stood there as ‘Avadootha Swamigal’ and he became ‘Sri Swayam Prakasa Saraswath Avadootha Swamigal’ (henceforth referred here as ‘Swamigal’).

Swamigal as Avadootha Sanyasi
Avadootha Ashram is not an easy approach for Sanyasis’. It may be a way that was used to the public people living around Himalayas where several saints perform their penance without dress and people are used to it. But following such a practice in South India cannot be imagined at all. In a society where dresses play an important role and half naked itself is considered as a nuisance.

After taking up the Sanyasam, Swamigal planned to visit the temples around and first decided to visit Nerur Sadhasiva Brahmendra Saraswathi Swamigal ‘Adhishtanam’ (Adhishtanam is a place where a saint is usually buried). Swamigal used to walk very fast. Avadootha sect does not require its followers to take daily bath & perform pooja like other saints and hence Swamigal was perceived as a ‘lunatic’ by the public at many places as his body was covered with mud & dust. Some people at some places considered him as a person creating nuisance and hence threw stones at him. Swamigal did not have consciousness about his body & wounds and used to walk ignoring all oppressions and take food either by Bhiksha or with the fruits available on the way.

Swamigal visited Nerur and worshipped Sadashivar who is considered as Guru of Judge Swamigal. After this, he visited the temples in Tanjore, Kumbakonam, Virudhachalam, and Chidambaram and reached Thiruvannamalai. At Thiruvannamalai, he met ‘Ramana Maharishi’. Both of them performed penance together at the hilltop under a mango tree. Ramana Maharishi mentions about our Swamigal as a ‘Vairaghya Purushar’ (Deterministic & Dedicated saint) (Reference: from his table: Ramananda Swarnagiri).

Swamigal liked the ambience of Thiruvannamalai as it is like a citadel of saints in South India. At this time, his relatives learnt about his presence in Thiruvannamalai and started visiting him (like the same experience of Ramana Maharishi). Our Swamigal could not bear the visitors influences in Thiruvannamalai and hence decided to move to Kolli hills in Salem district of Tamilnadu. Kolli hills are considered to be mysterious hills equivalent to the ‘Chathuraigiri’ in south Tamilnadu.

Our Swamigal began his walk towards Kolli hills and was arrested by the police at Salem for creating nuisance and an advocate who happened to be his devotee appeared for him and relieved him from the clutches of the arrest by detailing the court about the sanctity attached with the Avadootha Ashram. After this, Swamigal stayed in Salem for few days and proceeded to Kolli hills.

At Kolli hills, Swamigal noticed various Sanyasis in deep meditation across the hilly areas and reached a place called ‘Senthamangalam’ located at the foothills of Kolli hills.

Swamigal at Senthamangalam
Senthamangalam was a big village wherein Hindus & Muslims formed the majority of the population. Swamigal faced hardships when he was walking in the streets of Muslims and they pelted stones at him. One of the stone hit the throat of Swamigal very badly. He never bothered about the wounds but the set of people who threw stones at him died within a short period due to their internal rivalries and by getting wounds in their throats. This surprised many in the village and they realized that a big Mahan is among them. The news spread like a wildfire and thousands of devotees thronged to get his blessings.

Though Swamigal wished to perform meditation and get into a deep penance, the devotees’ crowd grew larger day by day and hence he moved from Senthamangalam to deep forests inside Kolli hills to get his loneliness and privacy. At that time, a lady was found murdered in Kolli hills and some people created rumors that Swamigal was the reason behind the same. This frustrated our Swamigal and he decided to end his life through ‘Nirvikalpa Samadhi’.

But true devotees got him back to Senthamangalam and made him to stay at a place called ‘Sanyasi Karadu’ – a small hillock near Senthamangalam.

Swamigal’s gratitude for his Guru.
During this period, Judge Swamigal (the guru of our Swamigal who gave Deeksha to our Swamigal) attained Samadhi at a place called ‘Narthamalai’ in Pudukottai district in Tamilnadu (around 130 kms from Senthamangalam). Some devotees brought his body to Pudukottai to build his Adhishtanam with the help of the contributions from the king of Pudukottai and rich people of the kingdom. In due course, people slowly forgot about the place and also stopped pooja. Our Swamigal learnt about this through his supernatural power and went there one night to find the place of his guru. He also created the instinct among many good people in Pudukottai about this. Hence suddenly many people started talking about this and tried to find out the place of Adhishtanam (buried place) of judge Swamigal as it got submerged under various plants & bushes.

Some people came to our Swamigal in Senthamangalam to help them to show them the place. Swamigal pointed them in a map about the place. Soon, the activities picked up to renovate judge Swamigal temple and the Kumbabhishekam happened on 31-05-1936. He also sent hone his prime disciple – Sri Santhananda Swamigal to Pudukottai to take charge of the Adhishtanam. Shri Santanandar went to Pudukottai and undertook ‘Mouna Vratham’ (oath of silence) for 1 year and ate only the neem leaves and did a penance. Goddess Bhuvaneswari appeared in his dream and asked him to build a temple in that place and now people of Pudukottai witness the famous ‘Bhuvaneswari Ashram’ in Pudukottai with Judge Swamigal Adhishtanam.

It was exactly December 29, 1948 (29-12-1948). Swamigal’s breath started going inwards slowly and got immersed in his body only. This is the highest form of Samadhi and Swamigal did that. Before that, he created a Sannidhi (place) before the Dattatreya statue for burying his body as Jeeva Samadhi.



This is a Jeevasamadhi of Sri Santhananda Saraswathi Avadootha Swamigal. His jeevasamadhi is inside the Skandasramam Murugan Temple in Salem. He was a disciple of Shri Swayamprakash Avadootha Swamigal.

There is a place of sit and mediate close to the Jeevasamadhi. You can go into meditative states here effortlessly.

How to get there

The jeevasamadhi is located 12 kms East of Salem.


About Shri Santhananda Avadootha Swamigal
In a small village near Madurai there lived an orthodox Brahmin family. The couple were great devotees of Meenakshi. They had nine children. A famous ascetic of the time. Mayandi Yogi, visited them one day. He predicted that they would have one more child, their tenth. “A son would be born. He would be a votary of the Vedas, a supporter of yagnas, a repository of knowledge, an ideal disciple, a man of action for the welfare of the world and a devotee of goddess Bhuvaneswari. Call him Subrahmanya. He will be yours only during his formative years. Then the world gets the monopoly over him. Like Adi Sankara who left his house and village when he was barely eight, your would-be son also would leave you behind. As you would be instrumental in causing his birth, you would get salvation automatically. Therefore from now onward you should cultivate detachment towards your would-be son so that you would not obstruct him when the time came for him to renounce worldly life”.

Mayandi Yogi had the gift for looking into the seeds of time and saying which grain will grow and which will not. Hit prophecy was fulfilled. Sixty years ago a son was born to the pious couple. They called him Subrahmanayam. It was an apt name. Lord Subrahmanya dares to teach even Lord Siva, his father. He is the God of spiritual knowledge, the deity of yagnas and the supreme commander of the divine army. He appears in the form of iridescent flame. He blesses His devotees with youth, beauty and knowledge.

At the appropriate age the boy was admitted in a school. He had phenomenal memory. Whatever he learnt at school he was able to retain it. Whenever he had leisure he spent his time in the Meenakshi Temple. One can say that he had learnt everything in his previous birth his message-not to learn, but to teach; not to be ministered unto, but to minister.

Mayandi Yogi made another visit to the boy’s house. He was thrilled to see the boy. He suggested that the boy be admitted in a Sanskrit school to learn the Vedas and be sent to him after his studies were over. Accordingly the boy was admitted in the Naganatapuram Veda Patasala, Karaikudi. In course of time, Subrahmanyam became well versed in the Vedas.

Then he approached Mayandi Yogi, who was extremely happy that notwithstanding an eventful

life, Subrahmanyam did not fail to turn up when the hour arrived. He taught the youth the art of meditation and explained the monosyllabic mantra of Goddess Bhuvaneswari. He asked him to chant it unceasingly so that he could have mastery over the sense. He further advised him to remain silent and to subsist on alms and also not to stay at a place for long.

Brahmachari Subrahmanyam began his wanderings. He visited many places — Agastya Hill, Courtalam, Tiruchendur, Tirupati, Tirunelveli, Palani, to name a few — and did penance there. Sometimes he was mistaken for a child lifter and beaten or handed over to the police. As he kept the vow of silence, he was kept in custody for some days before he was found innocent and released.

Subrahmaniyam traveled everywhere on foot and survived on alms. He did penance at many sacred places. Then he commenced his pilgrimage to North India. He visited Badrinath, Kedarnath, Nepal and Rishikish. He stayed for some time in Rishikesh and served Swami Sivananda.

Here was an ideal disciple whom many preceptors longed to adopt. But Subrahmanyam was searching for some other type of Guru. He searched everywhere — in forests and mountains, on river banks and in temples.

Once in the Nellaiappar Temple, Tirunelveli, When he went on dashing his head against the floor, as a part of his penance, he had the vision of an avadhuta commanding him to follow. As soon as he got up, the vision disappeared. But he often heard the echo of the command. He was Searching for only that particular avadhuta so as to become his disciple.

On the Girnar Hill, Gujarat, there is a holy place known as Śrī Datta Paduka Peetham. It is a favorite haunt of ascetics. Tradition is that only after initiation, avadhutas used to visit here. Subrahmanyam reached there even before his initiation.

It is an arduous task to climb the hill and reach its top. The place was surrounded by dense forests and was the habitat of wild animals. One had to climb hundreds of steps to reach the top. Subrahmanyam was indisposed and weak.

An unknown sadhu appeared and said. Why do you hesitate? Datta Guru is always with you. You swallow this pill and ascend the hill’. He vanished. Who was he, whence he came, and why? Nobody knew.

Subrahmanyam swallowed the pill. He felt rejuvenated and light. His mind became alert and his body strong. He climbed the hill and had the darshan of Datta paduka. He heard a voice commanding him to go to Sendamangalam (Salem district) where a Guru was waiting.

One day he reached Sendamangalam and had the darshan of Swami Swayamprakasaji. At once he realized that the avadhuta he saw in a vision at Tirunelveli was none other that Swamiji and requested that he be accepted as a disciple.

On the Girnar Hill, Gujarat, there is a holy place known as Śrī Datta Paduka Peetham. It is a favorite haunt of ascetics. Tradition is that only after initiation, avadhutas used to visit here. Subrahmanyam reached there even before his initiation.

It is an arduous task to climb the hill and reach its top. The place was surrounded by dense forests and was the habitat of wild animals. One had to climb hundreds of steps to reach the top. Subrahmanyam was indisposed and weak.

Santanandaji arrived at Pudukkottai. The Adhishtanam was in the midst of a grove of neem trees. There was a small tower above the tomb. Santanandaji scrupulously followed his Guru’s command. He did not talk to anybody. He stayed near the Adhishtanam day and night. Whenever hungry, he simply ate the neem leaves. In sun and rain he took shelter under a tree.

Devotes started to trickle in. They were impressed by the austerity of the young Swami. They not only gave him food but also built a small room close to the Adhishtanam.

A year was over. The vow of silence too was fulfilled. Swamiji explained to the devotees the reason for his arrival and stay. Advocate Sri. P. Balasubrahmanya Sastri, the owner of the land, made deed of gift and relinquished his right over the land where the crypt existed. Then Swamiji arranged for a huge painting of Bhuvaneswari and continued his meditation in its presence.




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There is a place to sit and meditate. You can go into meditative states here effortlessly.

Read More

How To Get There

The jeevasamadhi is located 12 kms East of Salem.