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Sadashiva Brahmendra


It is apt that a blog titled with Sadashiva Brahmendra’s epic composition should start with a post about the great sage. This blog will contain my ramblings from time to time about various metaphysical and vedanta topics. I am very much a learner and hope to grow through the process of sharing my views and learning through the views of others.

Without further ado…

Carnatic Trinity ( Muthuswami Diskhitar, Syama Sastri , Thyagaraja)

Carnatic music fans known Sadashiva through his compositions  ” Bhaja Raghuviram ”  “Pibare Ramarasam” , “Manasa Sancharare ” etc . Also the great sage has some of the best enlightening vedantic works to his credit . Atma Vidya Vilasam ,Yoga Sudhakara .  Each one of the songs and works carry a speciality that in very little words they manage to convey a deep wisdom.  Brahmendra was a collossus among spiritual giants though often his works do not get the attention they deserve.It is said the Paramacharya of Kanchi used to love to recite Atma Vidya Vilasam often.

Life and Birth of the Saint

( Source Hindu Newspaper

OVER 300 years ago, Somanath Avadhani and his wife Parvati Devi migrated from Andhra Pradesh and settled down in Madurai. Somanath was known as Yogi on account of his austere life. Though he married Parvati Devi in deference to his parental wish, his mind and heart were totally absorbed in yogic discipline. Parvati for her part did not want married life to be a distraction to his yogic way of life. At the same time, she expressed her desire to have a son. Yielding to her entreaty, Somanath initiated her into Rama Japa and advised her to repeat it to the tune of crores so that every cell in her body would be charged with divinity and she would be purified in body, mind and spirit. A child born of her then would be an extraordinary child and grow up to be a saviour of the world. Parvati accordingly threw herself heart and soul in the repetition of the sacred name. They went to Rameswaram where in a dream they were assured of an ideal son — a satputra — who would fill them with pride. The dream came true. They named the child Sivaramakrishnan in memory of their visit to Rameswaram where Sri Rama worshipped Lord Siva.


Even at an early age, Sivaramakrishnan mastered the scriptures. He was sent to Tiruvisanallur to study at the feet of Sridhara Venkatesa Aiyaval. As per the then prevailing custom, Sivaramakrishnan, a boy of twelve, married a girl of five. But he was not allured by wealth and the pleasures of married life. His phenomenal capacity for intuitive absorption of spiritual knowledge and wisdom astounded his Guru. Paramasivendral of Yogendra, a scholar and a man of wisdom was quick to recognise Sivaramakrishnan’s depth of knowledge and spiritual experience.

The Maharaja of Mysore invited Sivaramakrishnan to be the asthana vidwan. Scholars visited the court to display their knowledge and receive gifts. They were examined and worsted by Sivaramakrishnan in his argument.


The payment stipulated by him was paid to the scholars who lost in the argument. Invariably it fell short of what they expected and this left them embittered. One of them told Paramasivendral that Sivaramakrishnan suffered from a touch of intellectual pride and superiority. He had to be cured of it to promote his further evolution. Paramasivendral sent for him and admonished him. “You know how to silence others. But you have not learnt to hold your tongue under control.” This was the turning point in his life. He considered his Guru’s admonishment itself as `upadesa’ and resolved to observe the vow of silence from that very moment. His Guru initiated him into sanyasa and gave him the deeksha name Sadasiva.


A new phase in his life started. We know from Srimad Bhagavatham that mystics like Suka Brahmam and Jata Bharata moved about without body consciousness. Palace or cottage, food or no food, cushioned bed or sand or stone made no difference to them. They transcended all human limitations and abided in the Self, enjoying eternal bliss. Sadasiva was cast in the same mould. He went from place to place and reached Nerur near the Cauvery and found it congenial for his yoga practice. Sadasiva used to sit on a rock in the middle of the Cauvery for meditation. On one occasion, the waters of the river swept him away when he was in deep trance. He got buried under the sand. After six months, when cart men dug the soil, their axe struck against Sadasiva’s head, drawing out blood. It was brought to the notice of the village headman. Fruit juice and gruel were rubbed over his body. Sadasiva woke up from sleep and walked away. Since then he was called Sadasiva Brahmam.

Mahapurushas shed their grace in mysterious ways. Once while wandering in the forest in Tiruvarankulam in the former Pudukottai state, Sadasiva Brahmendra fell between two bundles of straw. Not noticing it, farmers piled more and more bundles. When after nearly a year, the bundles were cleared, Brahmendra got up and moved on as if nothing had happened.

Maharaja Vijaya Ragunatha Thondaiman, the then ruler (1730-68) hearing about this, rushed to bring Brahmendra to the palace to be honoured. Brahmendra did not break his silence.

The ruler pitched a camp in Tiruvarankulam and served the sage. Brahmendra answered his prayer by writing Sri Dakshinamoorthi Mantra on sand. Ragunatha Thondaiman gathered the sand in his angavastram and took it to his palace. Worship to the sanctified sand is offered to this day at Pudukottai.

A Muslim king, seeing Brahmendra without clothes, mistook him for a mad man and chopped off one of his hands. Brahmendra was unconcerned. The king repented and sought forgiveness. Brahmendra placed the severed hand near the shoulder and it was back in its position. The Muslim king underwent a transformation, and giving up his kingdom, went on a pilgrimage. Many such instances of Brahmendra’s miracles, compassion and grace have come down.

Returning to Nerur, Brahmendra resolved to shed his body. By his yogic power, he communicated his decision to the rulers of Mysore, Thanjavur and Pudukottai. On their arrival, he gave directions as to how his Samadhi should be raised.

On the appointed day, he sat in the pit in he 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.

The linga, instead of being placed on the samadhi, was installed twelve feet away from it. The bilva tree was left exposed to the sky. It is said that, at the same time, two devotees, one a Muslim, and the other a Brahmin, saw Brahmendra entering the Samadhi in Karachi and Manamadurai respectively. Brahmendra’s aradhana coincides with Sankara Jayanti.

For some more pictures and detailed biography head this way

To follow ….Manasa Sancharare

4 Comments leave one →
  1. prahalad permalink
    12/02/2011 2:06 AM

    does any reader have the english translation of yogasudhakara.
    it was translated into english under the title “the science of mind control”,
    Author: Sadāśivendra Sarasvatī.; Patañjali.; Ramaswami Muthukrishna Umesh
    Publisher: Sringeri : Sri Sharada Trust, [1984]

    • Arun permalink
      10/18/2012 12:31 AM

      Email me at, and i will send you a scanned copy of the book. It is also available in the Arsha Vidya Kendra library in Sringeri.

      • prahalad permalink
        12/15/2012 10:23 AM

        dear arun
        this is in response to your reply to my query regarding the english translation of the book yogasudhakara
        yogasudhakara. it was translated into english under the title “the science of mind control”, Author: Sadāśivendra Sarasvatī.; Patañjali.; Ramaswami Muthukrishna Umesh Publisher: Sringeri : Sri Sharada Trust, [1984
        i tried every where but was not able to get it…i contacted even sringeri mutt…but they keep telling me that it is going to be reprinted soo…but from past 2 yrs ,,,they have been telling this,
        i would be really greatfull,if u could send me the scanned copy of the english translation of the above said book(i have the sanskrit version).
        i stay at bangalore.
        once again ,kindly send me a copy at the earlieast


  2. 12/24/2012 6:13 PM

    Dear Arunji,

    I sent a e mail to you requesting for a copy of Yoga suthakaram ofSri sadsiva brahmenderar Eng Translation.

    Your Postings was like nectar to a scorching Throat.

    Kindly spare a copy.

    Dr.P.Umesh Chander pal

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