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Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham, Source of all Religions

“Veda Neri” – Vedic Tradition – is the philosophy of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham

Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham belongs to the Vedic tradition, which is the source mother of all traditions. Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham is the only organization referred in any literature earlier than 1,000 years. It is mentioned in literature that is at least 2000 years old. “Vedic tradition” (the tradition followed by the earliest civilization – the Vedic civilization that existed on the planet) is the philosophy of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham.

Any religion, thought system, or science that evolve after a source tradition, inevitably, directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly, is inspired, influenced by the mother tradition, the source. Likewise, Vedanta and Saiva Siddhanta, the two main spiritual traditions that have shaped the established religious heritage of India from 8th century onwards, evolved only following the sacred footings of source of all sources  – the Vedic tradition, the tradition of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham.

The glorious Vedic Tradition being the mother to all religions is infinite and encompasses all ideologies, all philosophical bases, holding the highest knowledge and deepest secrets of life. All religions on this planet can source their origins from Vedic Tradition. So it cannot be narrowed down to one school of thought, or one system of living.

The reviver of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetha, Tiru Jnanasambandar very clearly refers to the philosophy of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham as “Veda Neri Thazhai Thonga”, Vedic tradition is the philosophy of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham.

Feeling Connection with the Divine” is the the Center Philosophy of the Vedic Tradition

The Vedic Tradition postulates many paths, practices for enlightenment, each uniquely and independently taking you to the ultimate fulfillment. These have formed the basis for different spiritual traditions such as Yoga, for growth of the body; Dhyana (meditation) for the growth of the mind; Jnana (profound Truths), for the growth of spiritual knowledge, Bhakti (devotion) for the growth of the emotional component and the feeling of connection with the Divine, Deeksha (spiritual initiation from the Guru) for the growth of the Consciousness, Shaktis (extraordinary spiritual powers) and ultimately, Enlightenment itself.

Out of all of the above, the bhakti component, the “Sacred Sentiments” – the ability to feel connected, the ability to melt and merge with the Divine, the ability to radiate humbleness is the most important. The complete conscious growth can happen only when emotions also evolve. When the ability to ‘Feeling Connected’ is missed, even meditation and the extraordinary powers and experiences one receives only make one more egoistic, arrogant.

The Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham’s unique contribution to all the spiritual traditions is the flowering of Divine emotions, the “sacred sentiments”, that emotionally evolve you. In the Vedic tradition, Devi, the Cosmic Mother is the personification of these “sacred sentiments” with her ecstatic, causeless, and selfless divine love for her consort, Paramasiva. The lotus she holds in her hand symbolizes the flowering of “feeling connection”, the complete surrender to Existence.

When Tiru Jnanasambandar experienced His enlightenment at the tender age of 3 upon drinking the enlightening breast milk of Devi herself, in the gratitude and ecstasy, the extraordinary sacred sentiments started expressing from him, and he spontaneously sang the glory of Lord Paramasiva and Devi.

Tiru Jnanasambandar is the embodiment of pure Divine love of God. His whole life exemplifies and inspires us to live the radiant path of surrender. The sublime bliss he poured into his heart-stirring poetry, and his extraordinary miracles declare the power of “Feeling Connection”.

“Feeling Connection”, experiencing and spontaneously expressing the sacred sentiments forms the main essence, the lifeline of  the Vedic Tradition, of Shyamala Peetham. Devotion and gratitude is the center philosophy. There is no intellectual philosophy in Jnanasambandar’s writing. It is all just expression of sacred sentiments out of gratitude. A careful word-by-word research and analysis into Jnanasambandar’s original available writings proves that nowhere did he ever mention any such words as Vedanta or Siddhanta philosophy, because these words did not exist at that time. He speaks only of His love for Lord Paramasiva and Devi and of his desire to revive, grow and perpetuate the Vedic tradition. He wishes to stand for, represent the Vedic Tradition, “Veda Neri.”

Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham enthrones the Divine love in its heart and beats with a prayerful mood. When you become so prayerful, everyone becomes God to you. This is the essence of all spirituality, of the Vedic Tradition.

So both Shankara mutts (propitiating Vedanta) and all other Siddhanta mutts (propitiating Shaiva Siddhanta) are followers of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham. Vedanta, Saiva Siddhanta, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and modern day Hinduism, all the traditions belong to Vedic Tradition, which is the philosophy of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham.

Vedanta

Adi Shankaracharya created the Shankara movement, establishing the Shankara Mutts (monasteries bearing his name) in the 8th century propitiating the Vedanta tradition, the science of experiencing Enlightenment or Self-realization by understanding the nature of the Self (Brahman) by the authority of the ‘Upanishads’ (sacred Hindu scriptures) which are the revelations on the essence of the Vedic scriptures, and the direct experience of the Truth by inquiring into the scriptural evidences.

Shaiva Siddhanta

Shaiva Siddhanta Aadheenams, the spiritual organizations that were founded in 13th century are centered on Truth of Siddanta – the established conclusion that Paramasiva is ALL, the cause of all. It teaches the ultimate goal in life, the cause of pain and pleasure and the ultimate relationship with God by the direct experience of ‘Paramasiva’, the causeless auspicious energy.

The philosophy of Saiva Siddhanta evolved after Tiru Jnanasambandar’s advent and took shape in the 13th century nearly 800 years after the revival, not even during the revival of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham. Saiva Siddhanta directly acknowledges the young son-incarnation, Tiru Jnanasambandar as the first and foremost apostle of the Shaiva philosophy. The 14 books called “Padinangu Satirangal”, of Saiva Siddhanta were written only in 13th century.

So, all the philosophies whether it is Vedanta or Siddhanta, evolved from Tiru Jnanasambandar, the enlightened child Poet Saint, also an incarnation of Paramasiva. The Vedanta philosophy originated from Adi Shankaracharya (incarnation of Paramasiva and reviver of Hinduism) in the 8th century, who was highly inspired by Tiru Jnanasambandar, the reviver of the timeless Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham during his times. Adi Shankara is at least 300 years younger to Tiru Jnanasambandar.

Adi Shankara himself belongs to the Jnanasambandar Sampradaya – the sacred lineage of Jnanasambandar, who did not even create Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham, but revived it back to its original majestic empire. Such is the unmatched richness of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham, mother of all lineages.

Adi Shankaracharya’s reference to Tiru Jnanasambandar

Adi Shankara sings Soundarya Lahari as “Shiva”

Adi Shankara, the incarnation of Paramasiva, and founder of Vedanta, himself puts an end to all future speculations about His inspirational source. He directly records His deep inspiration from Jnana Sambandar in His heart-melting rendition, ‘Soundarya Lahari’ (lit. the waves of beauty), the sacred devotional hymns sung in the praise and glory of Devi, the Cosmic Mother.

When describing Devi from Her feet to Her crown, what is referred to as “Paadadi Kesa” (paadadi – from the feet; kesa – crown), Shankara beautifully glorifies the Mother’s breasts, singing the following mellifluous lyrical verses… 

tava stanyam manyE tuhinagirikanyE hrdayata:

paya:pArAvAra: parivahati sAraswatamiva I

dayAvatyA dattAm dravidasisurAsvAdya tava yat

kavInAm praud’AnAm ajani kamanIya: kava yithA II

The meaning of the above verse is as follows: The Milk of your Breasts, O daughter of the Mountain (Parvati is the daughter of the Himalayan Mountain), I think is as if from heart there flowed an ocean of the milk of poesy, when the Dravida child (Tiru Jnanasambandar) tasted this as you gave it to him in compassion, He became the poet laureate of the master poets.

He very clearly talks about Jnanasambandar in Soundarya Lahari as explained above.

Devi feeding her breast milk to Tiru Jnanasambandar when he was three years of age

The Unique Greatness of Soundarya Lahari

There is one more profound greatness associated with these verses. Soundarya Lahari was sung when Shankara was in the bhava of Paramasiva, i.e. the mood and space of Paramasiva Himself, as Devi’s beloved Consort. Shankara sings the whole beauty of Devi soaked in supreme love that only a beloved feels.

To understand the greatness of Adi Shankara’s verses that glorify Tiru Jnanasambandar, the sacred emotions of Lord Shankara, and the context of these divine hymns need to be understood.

The Vedic tradition, the philosophy of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham contributes to the ultimate science of ‘feeling connected’ to the Divine, that allows our ordinary emotions to evolve to the divine heights of ‘evolved emotions’, purifying our common lower emotions of lust, greed, jealously, worry, fear and selfishness etc. to higher sacred emotions of ‘supreme love’ which is causeless and devoid of anything selfish. The devotee withdraws the energies wasted in such emotions, and turns them upon the higher object of his supreme devotion. When the Divine is present before the devotee or the follower of Truth in a form he can see, touch and relate to, the transmutation becomes an easy and joyful process, taking him closer to himself, his very innate divinity.

The Vedic Tradition thus, presents infinite ways to feel connected, relate, and live with the Divine through the ‘deities’, the embodiment of Super Consciousness. It is a common mistake to think that Hindus worship idols. In the Vedic tradition, there is no idol worship, but only worship through idols called ‘Deities’. We do not pray to the stone idol, but pray to the divine through the Deity, through the sacred divine name, and through glorification of the Divine through hymns of love called ‘Stotra’, that spontaneously pour out when the ultimate relationship flowers and melts us, soaking us completely into that experience.

Each individual has the freedom to create his or her ‘personal divine relationship with the Divine”. The different ways to relate with the divine are called  ‘bhava’, the ‘sacred sentiments’ are primarily five as explained below:

–  the Vatsalya Bhava, the mood of a mother towards a child, where one experiences the Divine as one’s own child.

– the Matru Bhava or Sat-putra Marga (path of God’s son), which is the mood of a child towards the mother or father, this is also the sacred sentiment of Tiru Jnanasambandar, who played the role of a child incarnation in His life. Here one experiences the Divine as a Mother. 

– The third is the Sakha Bhava, the mood of a friend, where one experiences the Divine as his friend

– Next, is the attitude of a servant, a servitor of the Lord, called the Dasa Bhava. Many of the 63 Nayanmars, the great Saiva saints fully surrendered to Lord Paramasiva connected with Him in this mood.

– And the ultimate consummation, the peak of all sacred sentiments is the Madhura Bhava, the mood of relating with the Divine as your very beloved! This is considered the ultimate bhava for it is colored with all other bhavas of Divine love, and total surrender.

There is no literature to Devi, the Cosmic Mother, in the ultimate sweet emotion of a beloved, what is called the ‘Madhura bhava’. All the male deities such as Lord Paramasiva and Lord Krishna enjoy the Madhura Bhava when devotees connect with them as their beloved. There is not a single female deity or a stotra (sacred hymns) where the devotee connects to the Mother in ‘Madhura Bhava’.

But Adi Shankara, the great Saint and incarnation, extols the glory of Devi in this ultimate bhava of all bhavas, emotion of all evolved emotions – the Madhura Bhava. It means that He has become one with Paramasiva, because only the ultimate mature space of Paramasiva can experience Devi as His beloved. So Paramasiva himself is singing through Adi Shankara!

In this great hymn, Soundarya Lahari, Shankara clearly beautifully praises Tiru Jnanasambandar, the great Saint, enlightened being, an incarnation of Shiva himself. So, ‘Soundarya Lahari’ is a diamond of all sacred hymns that emanated from Paramasiva Himself.

“Dravida Sisu” Tiru Jnanasambandar drinks Enlightening Milk from Devi

Adi Shankara does not speak about any master in any of his verses other than Jnana Sambandar. He does not praise anybody especially when he is praising and singing the glory of Mother in Soundarya Lahari.

This wonderful act of Adi Shankara extolling Tiru Jnanasambandar is His way to declare to the world about His own sacred lineage, and establish that Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham is the source of all religions.

The Siddha Tradition

Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham directly being the one eternal source of all traditions is also the straight source of the Siddha Tradition. The Siddha tradition is the science of making extraordinary possibilities into reality. Adi Shakti, the Cosmic Mother Meenakshi Parashakti who is herself the Purna Avatar meaning the complete incarnation – of Devi, manifested extraordinary Shaktis (divine powers), expressing her power of enlightenment for the benefit of humanity.

The grand Siddha tradition took birth from Devi Meenakshi Parashakti. Siddha (or Siddhar) is an enlightened mystic who doesn’t have a perishable identity, and because of it has eternal identity. His identity is made out of the material which is imperishable.

Being the forebearer of this life-giving lineage, Devi Meenakshi Parashakti is a great Siddha, the Siddha of Siddhas. And so, She is the Istadevata – the sacred cherished divinity – called ‘vaalai’ (girl) for all the 18 Siddhars, such as Sri Patanjali Siddhar and Sri Agasthya Siddhar, to name a few.

The official deity of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham is Devi Meenakshi Parashakti alongwith the 18 Siddhars.

(Video talk of His Divine Holiness on the Philosophy of Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham: http://youtu.be/lAwf6dsawwU)

ENLIGHTENED BEINGS IN MADURAI

Sathuragiri Hills (Tamil: சதுரகிரி) or Sathuragiri, otherwise known as ‘Sundara Mahalingam ‘ is situated around 10 Kms from Srivilliputhur in the Madurai district in the South Indian State of Tamilnadu. The name Sathuragiri came from Chathur (4) Veda (Vedas) Giri (Hill), where all the four Vedas (sacred Hindu Source scriptures that are worshipped as deities) met and formed the hill. Another meaning is that the whole mountain is square (Chathuram) in shape so the name Sathuragiri. This is also called “Siddhargal boomi”, meaning “Land of the Siddhars”. 18 Siddhars (enlightened mystics who radiate the spiritual powers of Paramasiva) lived here and continue to live here. This is a mysterious hill where Siddhars still worship Paramasiva. Madurai was once upon a time “Kailaasa” – land of enlightened beings. A few of the enlightened beings from Madurai are detailed below. His Divine Holiness is on a mission to revive and re-establish the enlightenment ecosystem here in Madurai, making it a land of enlightened beings once again. 

Sundarananda Siddhar

Sundaranandar Siddhar is one of the celebrated Siddhars among the 18 Siddhas of Sathuragiri Hills. He is the one behind the popularity of Sathuragiri Hills. He disciplined under Siddhar Agathiyar and received a Shiva linga from him, which he installed in the Sathuragiri hill as “Sundara Mahalingam” and worshiped it for long. He was born to Navaganda Rishi. Sattaimuni Siddhar is also his preceptor and he learnt Siddha medicine, Siddha yoga, Siddha jnana and astrology from him. He along with his Guru Sri Sattaimuni Siddhar lived in Sathuragiri hills for some time and compiled his works on Siddha medicine and astrology. He gave predictions to people on the day of birth, day of attaining physical maturity, auspicious days for cultivating mango, coconut, banana, sugarcane, lentils etc. for the maximum yield and so on. Manaiyadi Shashtiram, the Tamil scriptural work put forward by him gives appropriate ways to construct a house to lead a hale and hearty life. His works on poison treatment and preparation of universal salt muppu (muppu means medicine) are invaluable to the Siddha medicine system. Siddhar Bogar in his work “Bogar 7000” says, Siddhar Sundaranandar is an expert in space travel and deep meditation i.e… Samadhi Yoga. Sri Sundaranandar had two disciples Sri Paramanandar and Vaalai Siddhar. He attained Samadhi (final resting of mortal body) in Madurai.

(Ref.: http://www.tknsiddha.com/medicine/sundaranandar-siddhar/)

Sundaranandar Siddhar Works/Books on Siddha Medicine:

  1. Sundaranandar Kaaviyam
  2. Sundaranandar Visha Nivaarani
  3. Sundaranandar Vaakiya Soothiram
  4. Sundaranandar Vaithiya Thirattu
  5. Sundaranandar Kesari
  6. Sundaranandar Siddha Jnanam
  7. Sundaranandar Deeksha Vidhi
  8. Sundaranandar Pooja Vidhi
  9. Sundaranandar Athisaya Kaaranam
  10. Sundaranandar Sivayoga Jnanam
  11. Sundaranandar Muppu
  12. Sundaranandar Thandagam

 

Sri Ramadevar Siddhar –  Azhagar malai Siddhar

 

Madurai Azhagar Kovil is a sacred place atop a hill in Madurai. Many Siddhars are living there even now. It is said that even if we visit this hill of natural herbs we will be relieved of our diseases. Ramadevar Siddhar, who is one among the eighteen Siddhars, lived in this wonderful Azhagar malai. In the manuscript (“Pulithevar Puranam”) of Sankaran Koil in Tirunelveli near Madurai, it is mentioned that Sri Ramadevar Siddhar was in penance in this hill, thousands of years ago. Opposite to Sathuragiri Irattai Mahalingam Sannidhi (Shrine), a cave in which Ramadevar Siddhar was in penance, is being worshiped even today.

History of Ramadevar:

Ramadevar Siddhar was born during the occurrence of the ‘Pooram’ star in the Tamil month of Masi (Mar-Apr) in Nagapattinam in the South Indian State of Tamilnadu. He met many Siddhars in the Himalayan forests and with their help he researched the desert herbs of Arabia and learnt the ancient medicinal systems. On the advice of Bhogar Siddhar, who made the deity for Lord Muruga in the world-renowned Pazhani temple out of the powerful mystical substance called nava pashana, he went to Sathuragiri and entered into the state of Samadhi and he researched on desert herbs for ten years. After he went into Samadhi for ten years, his disciples decided that he cannot live for ten years in Samadhi and they left the place. Only one disciple was waiting outside the cave for his Master. Ramadevar was continuing his research on herbs in the state of Samadhi. Even when he was in Samadhi he went to many places without being visible to others.

When he was in Samadhi, he met Kalanginathar Siddhar who shared his experiences of spiritual powers with him. After ten years, he came out of Samadhi and informed his disciple that he will be continuing his research on herbs for another 30 years and so saying, returned to the state of Samadhi. The disciple waited with patience for the Siddhar. After 30 years, the Siddhar came out of Samadhi and in appreciation of his disciple’s patience, shared his knowledge with him. Other disciples who did not have faith in their Master lost their eyesight. They requested for his pardon and regained their eyesight by his sheer grace.

Ramadevar wanted human beings to be healthy when they live their life. So, whoever worships him will have healthy life. He returned to Azhagar malai from Sathuragiri and entered into Jeeva Samadhi  (final resting for the mortal body) and continues blessing his devotees from there.

On top of the Azhagar Kovil hills where his Jeeva Samadhi is located, every Saturday, at 12 noon, worship of a Shivalinga happens. Between two rocks there is a small cave with a small Shivalinga. It is a difficult path to reach there. Because it is a rough terrain with wild animals, people visit it in groups.