YOGASWAMI - The Sage from Tamil Eelam

The Hindu Scriptures have recorded with penetrating insight, the significance role of the Spiritual preceptors, who have from age to age contributed to the undying renoun of the Guru Paramparai and who have built up a continual tradition of Guru Tattvam. The young Nachiketas learn the nature of Truth from Yama. Maitreyi from Sage Yagnavakkya Bhrigu from Varuna, Narada from Sanat Kuamar and the four aged Rishis of old sat at the feet of the Adi Guru Dhakshanamurthi.

The spiritual knowledge was handed from Guru to disciple in succession in the unbroken tradition of the Sanatana Dharma. The advent of Siva Yogaswami of in Tamil Eelam marks one such phenomenon. His Spiritual advent had a subtle impact on the people in their progress in Spiritual, mental and physical planes of living. In Eelam, Triad KadaiSwami, Chellappa Swami and Yogaswami lived and moved from middle of the nineteenth century and the middle of the twentieth century. Nallur Chellappa, the mad man of Nallur Theradi imparted the Yogamirtham, the nectarine wisdom of the ancient seers to Siva Yogaswami of Columbuthurai, whose Natchinthanai reflections embodied the priceless legacy of the Ilankai Yoga Guru Paramparai. In Natchinthanai reflections, there are many moving compositions and references to his initiation by Sat Guru Chellappa Swami. We quote some of the cantos which according to many devotees Yogaswami used to sing frequently in his Ashram and whose magnetic impact was exhilarating and elevating.

When I saw my Guru for the first time,

Seated on the steps leading to the chariot of Murugan,

"Who are You?" He shouted.

"Deliberate within", said he in jovial mirth.

"Give up attachments", was his refrain.

His very name to mean wisdom, mystery, spiritual power and knowledge of the timeless, formless, spaceless Self within, Parasiva. He was one of those rare souls, like the rishis of yore, living in the infinity of Truth within all things, which he called Siva. He found his Guru amid a festival crowd outside Nallur Temple in 1905. As he walked by Sage Chellappa, shook the bars from within the chariot shed, shouting at the passing brahmachari, "Hey! Who are you?". And in that moment Yogaswami was transfixed. "There is not one wrong thing!", "It is as it is! Who knows?" the Gnani roared, and suddenly everything vanished in a sea of light. The world was renounced in that instant.

After Chellappa's mahasamadhi in 1915, Yogaswami undertook five years of intense sadhana, moving about Jaffna and the entire island on foot. Later people of all walks of life, all nations and paths came for his darshan. Yogaswami lived from 1872 to 1964, revered equally by Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. Yogaswami articulated his teachings in hundreds of poems and songs, called Natchinthanai or Mahavakyam…Sarvam Sivam Seyal, Sarvam Sivamayam and Summa Iru…..

The utterance of Swami Yoganathan

The path of perfection will reveal.

It will nourish you with nectar

For all the days of your life

And crown you with self-realization


Written by:

M.Thanabal, Sydney

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