Once, a big Portrait of Sri Seshadri Swamigal (hereinafter sri swamigal) was placed before Mahaperiyava of Kanchi by writer Sri Bharanidharan. In the said photo, Sri swamigal posed with legs folded in a style ( as seen in the photo at First Page) and his left hand holding his chin. On seeing the photo, Mahaperiyava also folded his legs like Seshadri Swamigal, kept his left hand holding his chin and told Sri Bharanidharan, a writer in Anandha Vikatan as follows: "You know that Sri Seshadri Swamigal was a great saint. By his thapas he had converged himself with goddesses Kamakshi. Can I attain that level?". In Tamil language "Andha Nilai Enakku Varuma?".
As known to everyone, Sri Ramana Maharishi did his Tapas in the Patalalingam gugai, an underground vault in the Arunachaleswarer temple complex. He remained there in deep meditation, for days together, oblivious to the ants, vermin, and mosquitoes who were feasting on him. At the last juncture of Sri Ramana’s body deteriorating by insects, it is believed that Sri swamigal along with some devotees brought Sri Ramana out of the cave, introduced him to the world and thereafter it is a new chapter in Indian Spiritual history.
It is a small and beautiful village situated near Vandavasi Town in Thiruvannamalai District.
A divine child was born for Srimathi Maragatham at the Agragaram in this village ( Now called Vazhur Agaram) on
22nd January, 1870 in Haastha Natshatra. Sri swamigal hails from Kamakoti Vamsam, who were brought to South
India from Narmadha River basin by Adi Sankaracharya for Sri Vidhya Upasagam.
The village has a perumal temple near the ancestral housing site of swamigal and a Sivan Temple with Lord
Brammapurieswarer and Kamarasavalli. This is a very old temple with ancient inscriptions and the Lord Muruga at
this temple was sung by saint Arunagirinathar. There is a beautiful temple tank and one side of the steps (padithurai) is
named as Kamakoti Padithurai, which is located very near to the ancestral housing site.
Sri swamigal's mother Smt Maragathammal hails from this village and married to Sri Varadharajar, who was residing
at Kancheepuram. The couples had no issues for long time. Goddes Kamakshi appeared in the dream of Sri Kamakoti
Sastrigal, the grand-father of Sri swamigal and advised him to give “ Navaneetham” ( Butter) to Smt Maragatham.
Soon after she was conceived and gave birth to a male child and they named the baby as "Seshadri". After the child
birth, mother and child moved to father's place at Kancheepuram. As child, swamigal grew up at Kancheepuram and
at Vazhur by visiting the grandfather’s place very often.
To the sorrow, child seshadri lost his father at his very young age. Due to the demise of her husband, Smt Maragatham was
very much upset and Kamakoti Sastrigal took Smt Maragatham and child Seshadri along with his brother narasimhan
with him to his native village "Vazhur" for change of place.
Child Seshadri was living with his grandfather Kamakoti sastrigal in this village between the ages of 14 to 17. At his
small age, he did pravachanam at Vandhavasi Town when his grandfather was not well and it was appreciated very
much by all the learned scholars at that point of time. Due to his old age and deteriorating health of Smt Maragatham,
Kamakoti Sastrigal moved back the family to Kancheepuram at the age of 17 of Seshadri.
When the child was four years old, his mother took him to the 10 day annual festival started at Sri Varadharaja Swamy
temple at china kancheepuram. A shop keeper, who sells dolls, opened his big bag for displaying them for sale. On
seeing this, the child wanted to buy a statue from him. But his Mother did not take it seriously, however the shop owner
on seeing the lovely wish of the child asked the child to take a statue on his own. Child seshadri took a "balakrishna
statue" happily and when mother wanted to pay for it, the shop owner refused to take it. Thereafter, Child seshadri went
to the temple for swami dharshan.
To the surprise of the shopkeeper, all his stocks of dolls were sold within the same day, unlike the earlier years where
his stocks were continuously sold for the whole of the 10 days festival. On seeing the child next day during their visit,
the shopkeeper went to the child and took his hands to his head and praised that it is "golden hand" and narrated to
Smt Maragatham and others that all his dolls were sold in a day after the child picked the first doll yesterday. Everyone
including the mother was surprised to note this event. After this event, everyone called him as "thanga kai seshadri"
Soon after the family moved back to Kancheepuram, Smt Maragatham ammal passed away and after his mother’s
death, swamigal spent most of his time in poojas, thapas and he did even midnight japam at Mayanam (cemetery), much against the wish of his uncle and other learned scholars. But swamigal did not listen to anyone and continued his japam at various places of his choice. Swamigal drew a picture of arunachala hill and used to worship the same regularly.
During these days, he met one Sri Balaji Swamigal, who had come from north and camping at "sarvatheerthakarai"
(name of the temple tank at Kancheepuram) and took sanyasam from him without informing to family members,
namely his uncle Sri ramaswamy josier. As swamigals activities are not similar to the children of his age clubbed with
erratic conducts, everyone thought that he is mentally ill.
On the day of his father's thithi, his uncle called him and requested to stay at home for the rituals and accept the
prasadams. However, Swamigal informed his uncle that he had already took sanyasa and hence performing rituals for
his father was not possible. On hearing this, his uncle got angry and locked seshadri in a room in the house until the
completion of rituals. When uncle opened the door around noon, noticed to his wonder that Seshadri had disappeared
from the locked room.
Only after the said incident, all of them including his family members came to know about the saintlinees of sri Swamigal.
After his disappearance, he was found at the sivan temple at Kaveripakkam, a village situated in the National Highway
between Kancheepuram to Bangalore. Thereafter, swamigal had gone to Tindivanam sivam temple, then to Iyankulam,
a village near Tindivanam and then to Doosi Maamandoor village, Tirupattur (North Arcot dist), sanyasi paarai village
and finally entered Thiruvannamalai at the age of 19 in 1889 and lived there till his Demise. 7 years later, Sri Ramana
Maharishi entered Thiruvannamalai at the age of 16. They were contemporaries at that point of time.
In the early days, no one at Thiruvannamalai knew that Swamigal was a great saint as he lived like a beggar by his attire
and a mad person by his behavior and conducts. One day, by looking at the sky Swamigal shouted "Vitoba poran"
"Vitoba poran" in Tamil. [ meaning 'vitoba is leaving' 'vitoba is leaving]. People at the streets were wondering why
Swamigal was shouting like this.
After some time, the news of the demise of [siddhi] Sri Vitoba Swamigal, who was again a saint living at Bolur near
Thirivannamalai reached Thiruvannamalai. Then only the people of Thiruvannamalai came to know about the greatness
Sri Swamigal did lots of miracles for many persons and if we list it, this article will be transformed into an exhaustive
book and hence the same is not elaborated here. However few of the incidents are briefed hereunder:
On his request, he had given darshan at Vallimalai in the form of squirrel. To know further in details about his life and miracles, you can read a book about Swamigal written by Kuzhumani Narayana Sastrigal, titled as "Seshadri Swamigal Saritham". This book has a preface given by Sri Ramana Maharishi himself. Sri Swamigal attained immortality during the month of Margazhi on Bahula Navami day, English date on 4-1-1929.