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Disciples, Followers of Madurai Aadheenam

Disciples, Followers of Madurai Aadheenam

Madurai Aadheenam with its roots firmly grounded on the highest vedic tenets, and its unequaled glory has been meriting name and fame from the recorded history of 6th century onwards. Being an epoch-making center for the authentic growth of Saiva Siddhanta in Madurai, it has been also been anchoring the growth of Tamil language and also preserving, and transmitting the golden gems of literatures from the Tamil Sangam period.

Madurai Aadheenam has had its own disciples, devotees, and admirers synthesizing from all cultures, social backgrounds, and geographies, spreading across from foreign soils to its mother land of Tamilnadu; from Thiruthani to Kanyakumari in South India to America and Europe. This is the true testimony to its all-encompassing vedic principles that are universally honored, and adopted.

Some of the Disciples of Madurai Aadheenam are

  1. Vadalur Vallalal Ramalinga Adigal
  2. Ramanathapuram King Baskara Sethupathy
  3. Pandiya King Nindra Seer Nedumaaran and
  4. his wife, Queen Mangairkkarasi, a highly evolved saint
  5. Madurai Tamil Sangam establisher Pandi Durai Thevar
  6. Pasum Pon Muthu Ramalinga Thevar
  7. Nayaka King Viswanatha Ventham
  8. Chief Minister AriyaNayaka Mudalai
  9. Chennai Pachiappa College founder Pachiappa Mudalai
  10. Chief Minister Kulkachiraiyaar
  11. R.S.Naidu, bar-at-law
  12. Thuraiyur Veera Maarthaanda King
  13. Governor Generals who ruled India “Adli, Dauberin“
  14. Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai


King and Noble Disciples of Aadheenam

To name a few, holy people like Arul Prakasa Ramalinga Adigal, prosperous people like Pachiayappa Vallal and many others, irrespective of being poor or rich, being high or low in status were found and accepted as the blessed disciples of Aadheenam.

Aadheenam’s supreme power of truth, and the spiritual strength (tapas) of its pontiffs, the Sannidhanams brought greatness and reverence for its people even amongst the Britishers, during India’s pre-independence time.

There were several provinces around Madurai. One province among them was under the ruling of Sethupathy Samasthanam in Ramanathapuram. The descendents or royal family members of this king were found to be with great devotion towards Aadheenam Sannidhanams (pontiffs). In the history of Ramanathapura Sethupathy Samasthanam, Baskara Sethupathy was the 24th king. His period was 1873-1903. The pontiff at this period was Srila Sri Swaminatha Sri Jnana Sambandha Desika Paramacharya Swamigal. Baskara Sethupathy was initiated by His Highness, Guru Maha Sannidhanam. The Sethupathy king built a palatial portion at the upstairs of this Mutt for Guru Maha Sannidhanam’s resting. The king was initiated with mantras (vedic chants).

Some of the letters written by him to Guru Maha Sannidhanam reveal the mindset of the kings in those days and the faith they had on the dictatorship of the Britishers. A letter-dated 04.04.1887 written by King Sethupathy also beautifully discloses the close and sacred relationship between his kingdom and Madurai Aadheenam. A part of this letter also reveals clearly their attraction towards the English language. It is also an affirming evidence that political issues have also been discussed by small kings with Aadheenam Sannidhanams, and their counsel was much sought after not only in religious, spiritual matters, but also in economic, political decisions, and likewise other key areas of life. Such is the sacred relationship between the Master and disciple.

Inspiration for the 4th Tamil Sangam, the Madurai Tamil Sangam

During the reign of the mighty Pandiya empire, Madurai witnessed the great golden era of its time endowed with superfluous prosperity and awakening of literary genius of Tamil scholars and saints, called the Tamil Sangam period. Madurai without a doubt, being the energy center of the first ever original community establishment, is the original seat of the Tamil Sangam.

Madurai Aadheenam has been a pillar for the Tamil Sangam. The 4th Tamil Sangam period also directly sources its inspiration and strength from Aadheenam. Paandi Thurai Thevar, the founder of the 4th Tamil Sangam in the 19th century established and executed it with planning.  Through the Aadheenam’s disciplic succession, Thurai Thevar was a disciple of Guru Maha Sannidhanam’s direct disciple. There were close relationships between these two.

Both the fore mentioned noblemen, King Baskara Sethupathy and Paandi Thurai Thevar were initiated by the 289th Guru Maha Sannidhanam ‘Rao Bahadur’ Srila Sri Swaminatha Sri Jnana Sambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal. Both these disciples of the Madurai Aadheenam maintained a close relationship with their Master and the Mutt. They have also done great service to Tamil literature and offered their spiritual services to the Saiva tradition. King Baskara Sethupathy has built a big bungalow upstairs of Aadheenam building for Maha Sannidhanam to take rest.

His Holiness the 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam Loka Guru Srila Sri Arunagirinatha Jnana Sambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal has donated Rs. 25,000 and has ordered to add it to the fixed deposit so that every year the much needed help from these funds can be offered to the poor students.

Pasumpon Muthu Ramalinga Thevar

There was a long, good and close relationship between P.Pon Muthu Ramalinga Thevar and Madurai Adheenam. Thevar cherished a great devotion and sacred bond towards the child incarnation, the first pontiff, Thiru Jnana Sambandar Peruman and all the Maha Sannidhanams.

From the year 1940 to the final years of his life i.e. till 1963 this deep relationship continued beautifully. Throughout these 23 years Devar had frequently made his visits to Aadheenam and as an offering of his devotion, he was a pillar of great support to Maha Sannidhanams.

The 291st Guru Maha Sannidhanam had honoured Devar by giving him the “Sanmaarga Sanda Maarutham”.

Taking into consideration all these, our 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam has established a charitable trust in Kamarajar University and every year in the name of Guru Maha Sannidhanam many seminars are being conducted.

Chetti Nattarasar Sir Annamalai Chettiyar’s Visit and Miracles

From Kanadu Katha Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiyar visited Adheenam’s  289th Guru Maha Sannidanam ‘Rao Bahadur’ Srila Sri Swaminatha Sri Jnana Sambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal. First Chettiyar put ‘Sadara’ (costly Ponnadai) on MahaSannidanam and tried to get his blessings, but Maha Sannidanam took one ‘Sadara’ in his hand and put it on Chettiyar, it happened at the same time and both felt happy for each other. On seeing this blissful scene devotees in Darbar Mandapam clapped their hands expressing their happiness.

289th Guru Maha Sannidanam ‘Rao Bahadur’ Srila Sri Swaminatha Sri Jnana Sambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal

289th Guru Maha Sannidhanam expressed his words saying, “there is a lot of understanding between us putting Sadara at the same time on each of us, do you know it?”

Raja Sir replied, “Sannidhanam, please explain”.

Then Sannidhanam said, “you and me, both are given awards by the British, you as ‘Raja Sir’ and me as ‘Rao Bahadur’. This is the first match. Do you know the second one? You are the King of Chettinad and I am the King of Saiva tradition. So we both are Kings.”

Before Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiyar nobody had the prestigious word “Chettinattarasor”.  Similarly, except the founder of Madurai Aadheenam, Thiru Jnanasambandar nobody was called “Saiva Samaya Arasar”.

Maha Sannidhanam told only these two matches in Chettinad King’s life.

Both the Kings were talking for some time and participated in Maheshwara Pooja. Later Chettinad King told Sannidhanam, “Adiyen what work I have to do for Aadheenam, please order me, waiting for the Sannidhanam’s order. Now I have small Pathakanikkai, Sannidhanam accept it and bless me.”

What Kannikkai was given? They were 100 sovereign gold coins in a heavy silver plate in a velvet silk bag, Thiruneeru Madalgal in another velvet bag, silver Sengoal in another one, and Spatika Lingam in another one.

Maha Sannidhanam on seeing felt happy and asked Raja Sir, “When did he prepare it?”. Annamalai Sir replied humbly, “I decided to have your darshan one month before. I brought people from Karaikudi and made these silver items. You only told us to follow Saiva tradition when we come to the Aadheenam.

Next day afternoon Raja Sir did another thing that surprised and made others happy. Without informing Sannidhanam he brought two of his assistants 200 rice bags, 2 bags of Moong Dala, two bags of coconuts, in a big cloth bag, the covers which were made of foreign papers containing cashew nuts and asked them to get Sannidhanam’s blessings.

What a culture? What compassion? What a devotion?

What do you know from these happenings? Chettinad Kings and Madurai Aadheenam had strong and deep relationships.