Visit to Siddhar JeevaSamadhis in Pondicherry on 8th & 9th September 2018
“It is by God’s grace that you think of God.”Ramana Maharishi
Ït was the last hour to register for the Siddhar Samadhi Spiritual Journey. Not only I wanted to participate in this journey, I wanted our 7yr old daughter to join me as well. My husband looked at me in utter disbelief while I was still contemplating on my decision to take her along. Although my inner voice was telling me that I should take her on this journey, I had my doubts on how she will cope with visiting temples for two whole days. I contacted Priya and Divya (our beloved SWP group admins) for guidance. They encouraged me to bring along my daughter, and mentioned that there are couple of kids joining the trip. Since my husband had project delivery deadlines during that travel weekend, I had initially registered only for myself and my daughter. Later on, my husband agreed to join us. Hurray, its the divine calling!
Our Spiritual Journey Whatsapp group was buzzing with activity- for coordinating the travel arrangements, list of things to pack/bring from personal items to pooja items, room booking updates, and through instructions from Velu anna for must do procedures prior to taking this spiritual journey.
We travelled from Bangalore to Pondicherry by overnight train. 4-5 families travelled by this train, there was a 30 mins delay to reach Pondicherry station on the 8th morning. We were already running behind schedule. We checked-in our rooms and hustled to get ready. Velu anna and team had arranged for breakfast to be served in the hotel. We were the last bunch to arrive at the breakfast table. I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely delighted to see Poongar Idli, Millet Sweet Pongal, Vada, Sambar and Chutney dished out on my plate. YUM, YUM, YUM! I was thrilled to know that it was all homemade. Reusable steel plates, cutlery, and bio enzymes to clean the plates were used throughout this journey.
Post breakfast, all of us assembled together to begin our Journey. It was a beautiful feeling to witness 60 aspirants gathered here from different locations within and outside India, ready to board the Bus and a Minivan. We had around 20 kids, incredible:)!
Under the guidance of Velu ji, we started our Spiritual Journey Part-2.
Day-1 : Saturday, 8th September 2018
- At 11.05AM- Bade Saibu Siddhar JeevaSamadhi in Chinnababusamudram, Villupuram
Brief Introduction on Bade Saibu Siddhar by Velu Anna:
Bade Saibu was originally an Islamic follower. He comes under Agasthiyar lineage. He sits under a Mahilam (Bakula) tree and heals people of their incurable illnesses by checking their nadis. This great healer had mastered the art of healing people by playing the Veena instrument to identify the blockages in the nadis. Apparently there are 24 divisions in Veena which equates to 24 divisions in human back bone/spine. As he plays his veena to heal people, the blockages in the nadis are released and the diseases are remarkably cured.
Paramahansa Yogananda said “Hindu Music is a subjective, spiritual, and individualistic art, aiming not at symphonic brilliance but at personal harmony with the Over-Soul”.
Today is Ashlesha (Aayilyam) nakshatra day, which is all the more special to visit this Siddhar. Special mantra for praying to Sri Bade Sahib Siddha was shared to all the aspirants prior to visiting this temple- “Om Sri Jagat Purushaaya Vidhmahey, Bhoomi Roga Nivarthyaaya Dheemahi, Thanno Vaidya Linga Prachodhayaath.”
Also, Velu anna demonstrated to us the right way to kneel down to god to open our Astral cord in order to receive the Divine blessings. He also mentioned that when we visit temples, first we should offer money to the needy and poor, then kneel down to god, before we begin our prayer or offerings to God. Velu anna had arranged for a bag full of Vilvam/Bael leaves, which were kept ready to distribute to all the 60 aspirants to offer in all Siddhar Samadhi Temples. Vilvam, the sacred herb has been part of religious rituals and used in Folk remedies, Siddha and Ayurveda medicines from time immemorial. Offering Vilvam in Siddhar Samadhis is considered very auspicious, hence Velu anna had ensured that we follow this simple yet effective ritual. The Mahilam Tree which Bade Saibu had sat under is inside the temple premises. His soul is in the tree, and the jeeva samadhi is inside the temple. This particular temple has to be revolved in the opposite direction- anti-clockwise, and not the usual clockwise direction. After the brief introduction we offered our prayers and offerings to Bade Saibu Siddhar and meditated near the Mahilam Tree.
- At 12.20 pm- Thavashree Guruswami Ammaiyar Jeevasamadhi, Kandamangalam, Villupuram.
Brief Introduction by Velu anna:
The locals say that a little girl was praying to lord Shiva since the age of 5yrs. Shivam is visioned by the soul in 3 forms- with form, formlessness, with and without form. Through the grace of Shivam she had been meditating in a nearby forest for 80 yrs without food. A localite found her meditating amongst the bushes and the village people offered her a place to stay, which is now the Jeeva Samadhi Temple. The siddhi of this siddhar is Rasavadham- the art of conversion of base elements into gold with mercury. She healed everyone who visited her, and also donated food and money to the needy. Every Full Moon day she would apply paste made of chillies all over her body before bathing. She did this to help her devotees to be free from pain and disease. This ritual still continues now, there are ammis (hand grinder made of stone) inside the temple premises where men and women may come to grind chilli paste and offer it to the Jeeva Samadhi during Full Moon Days, to get their prayers answered.
We meditated for sometime here. The Lemons that we carried on behalf of other SWP members, and our individual ones, were offered here to light the lamps in the Samadhi. All of us received Vibhuti (sacred ash) and few red chillies to tie near the entrance of our homes. The money donated in this temple is used for feeding the school children.
- At 1.50 pm- Sri Dhakshinamurthy Swamigal Jeevasamadhi, Pallithennal, Villupuram.
Brief Introduction by Velu anna:
Siddhars enter into samadhi at their own will in other words they know the day and time when their soul attains jeeva samadhi to merge with the Divine. This siddhar was alive during the construction of his samadhi. Next to him a large Yantra was erected, which had ancient scripts (possibly about healing). The elements of the siddhar- thiruvodu with vibhuti, stick/staff, where also placed in the samadhi. The locals say that he had lived for 200 hundred years and attained Jeeva samadhi on 09/07/1909. The location of this temple was previously a burial ground.
After spending some time in the temple, we headed to a nearby farm just few yards away for Lunch break. We were served delicious home made food- Tamarind rice, millet curd rice, millet rasam rice, papad, ginger thokku. All of us settled down under large canopy of trees and greenery all around, a much need break from the scorching sun, and the healthy home cooked food filled our hearts, yes. After a much need break, we headed off to our next destination.
While travelling to our next destination, my daughter is busy playing with other kids or engrossed in drawing and colouring. She loves free hand drawing, and draws random things that interests her. She showed me her latest creation, I was amazed to see that she drew Bade Saibu Siddhar. And the next page had another drawing which I didn’t understand, when asked for, she explained to me that it was Velu anna delivering his speech to us all. Oh my!
My daughter’s freehand drawing-
Image on top left is Bade Saibu Siddhar,
Image on top Middle is Velu anna (wearing black kurta with white dhoti) delivering his speech on Siddhar Samadhi to us aspirants,
Image on right is her imagination on kids playing in the beach (our beach trip happened the following day).
- At 4.45 pm- Sri Azhagar Jeeva Samadhi
Brief Introduction by Velu anna:
There are multiple types of Samadhis- Bhoo Samadhi, Jala Samadhi, Fire Samadhi (followed by Buddhist Monks), The body left to be consumed by birds or wild beasts (followed by Parsis), Mummifying (As in the Egyptian pyramids), The body is subjected to Deep Pain (Jesus). Sri Azhagar(beautiful) Siddhar was known to be very handsome with glowing skin. He went inside the well and attained Jala Samadhi (sitting inside water). The locals saw a bright light emanating out of the well. When we entered the temple premises, we were astonished to see hundreds of statues in all sizes, placed in and around the temple premises depicting various events in people’s lives like- wedding, childbirth, statues of different occupations, animals, prosessions, and many more. The superstitious belief is that when a person erects a statue, its like him/her is praying and witnessing the siddhar near his Samadhi. The legend is that the Samadhi is always wet to touch due to the Siddhar in Jala Samadhi. And also the top portion of the temple structure housing the Samadhi has a small opening, which is always open to sun or rain due to the power emitting from the Siddhar Samadhi. In spite of the local people’s efforts to close the opening, the roof structure splits open the following day. The strange phenomenon is that the rain water never falls on the samadhi through this opening.
Post our darshan of the Siddhar Samadhi, while children were engaged in fun and frolic, we formed human-energy circles around the trees in the temple premises and did grounding meditation, to release and balance out our excess energies which were gained by visiting many Siddhar Samadhis throughout the day. It was an exhilarating experience to sense the energy from the huge Banyan tree and the energy of the human-chain…so peaceful!
- At 6.50 pm- RamaParadesi Jeeva Samadhi, Villianur
Brief Introduction by Velu anna:
Ramaparadehi swamigal was a Vaishnavite. Most often Siddhars are Shaivites. If a Vaishanvite had attained Siddhi through Kriya or Kundalini Shakti then the samadhi is placed below the ground; if attained through Bhakthi, the samadhi is placed above the ground. RamaParadesi Siddhar attained JeevaSamadhi in 1868 and is placed above the ground. He is known by the locals as a happy person. He sees God in everything. He is always in a blissful state. The legend has it that his meal is Snake poison. When hungry he would stick out his tongue and a snake would come by to deposit its venom on the Siddhar’s tongue.
- 7.20 pm- Thengai Swamigal Siddhar Jeeva Samadhi, Villianur
Brief Introduction by Velu anna:
The Siddhi of Thengai (coconut) Swamigal is that he can predict the future of the devotee by reading the contours in the flesh of the broken coconut. Devotees bring the coconut to this Siddhar to solve problems in their life.
Day 1 Spiritual journey concluded here. Our plans to visit the Pondicherry Beach had to be stalled because it was past 8.00pm, and all of us were tired, hungry and ready to hit the bed after a long day of travel. Despite the fact that children seemed to have all the energy on earth to visit the beach, us adults opted to go to hotel. Tonight’s home cooked dinner arrived at the hotel. Dinner was served- Steaming Millet Upma, Roti, Dhal, Chutney, and a sweet dish made out of the left over Poongar idlis (from the breakfast), ohhhhhh it was scrumptious. I felt my physical exhaustion slipping away with every bite of this dainty food.
As I was lying down in my hotel bed, my daughter and my husband fast asleep, I couldn’t help but reflect on the events of the day, I felt Bliss!
Day-2 on Sunday, 9th September 2018
Sundays are special days to visit Siddhar Samadhis, and also today is New Moon Day so all the more auspicious, which is one of the deciding factors for Velu anna to choose this weekend for the Spiritual Journey.
Today, we were hoping to start our journey early, nevertheless, we got delayed, managing such big group is definitely a challenging task. We relished our home cooked breakfast, and our lunch was already packed and stacked in our vehicles.
- At 9.00am- Mother Mirra Samadhi, Pondicherry
Mirra Alfassa, later known as The Mother developed the Integral Yoga and was the driving force behind manifestation of Auroville.
When I was around 14yrs, a close friend of mine offered a picture of Mother Mira and said “Pray to her to get good marks in exams.” From then on I prayed to her whenever I needed something or the other. When I entered my adult phase, I never needed anything, so I quit praying to Mother, God, or anybody. I believed I was an atheist, for some years. Nevertheless, God had better plans for me. Just 2 years ago, when I was in depths of despair, only the Divine light pulled me out of it. I am truly thankful for all the experiences which helped me grow.
- At 9.45am- Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Pondicherry
In Tamil ‘Manal’ means sand and ‘Kulam’ means pond near the sea, hence people called as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar [means God near the pond of sand]. Later it is named as MANAKULA VINAYAGAR. This temple is grand and is more than 500 yrs old. Many forms of Vinayager is in this temple. My favourite is the Nardhana (dancing) Vinayagar and the Vinayagar with his concerts Suddhi and Buddhi.
A siddha named Thollaikathu (ear lobes with big hole) Siddhar attained samadhi in this temple.
← Piping hot Sweet Pongal Prasadam served in the Temple to all its devotees. Sooo delicious!
- At 10.50am- Sri Sakthivel Brahmanandha Swamigal
Brief Introduction by Velu anna:
Sri Sakthivel Brahmananda Swamigal saw god in every object. He shared his insights about the future to his disciples.Intuition is the 7th Sense and is the gut feeling, whereas Insights are the 8th sense and arises in Shiva Varmam which is located at the back of the head.
- At 11.30am- Sri Guru Siddhanantha Swamigal
Shiva Lingam is placed on top of the samadhi of Guru Siddhanantha.
Near the entrance of the temple there is huge tree, it is actually two divine trees intermingled together, a rare occurrence.
← The Intertwined Peepal and Neem tree- The Union of Shiva and Sakthi.
- At 1.20pm- Sri Kambaliswamigal Samadhi, Thattanjavadi
Sri Kambaliswamigal Samadhi is located in a 5 acre property. Near the entrance of this property is a unique statue, unlike any other, it is a statue of Shiva-Shakthi Thandava The cosmic dance.
Sri Kambaliswamigal is an ancient Master of Ashtanga Yoga. He attained Jal Samadhi on a New Moon day in 1873. The Samadhis of eight Gurus of the lineage are also located on within this property.
- Srila Sri Kambliswamy Swamigal
- Srila Sri Ambalavana Swamigal
- Srila Sri Manikka Swamigal
- Srila Sri Shanmuga Swamigal
- Srila Sri Velu Swamigal
- Srila Sri Subramanya Swamigal
- Srila Sri Shankara Giri Swamigal
- Srila Sri Gitananda Giri Swamigal
Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani popularly known as Ammaji was present in the temple during our visit, all aspirants took blessings from her.
Lunch Break: We took a short Lunch Break in the temple premises.
We had come to the very end of our Spiritual Journey-2 in Pondicherry. Velu anna mentioned that he received help from many of his near and dear ones, including his family, friends, SWP team, Greenhands Team, to make this Journey a big success. Room booking for 60 aspirants, travel arrangements, Siddhar Samadhis information on routes and temple timings, and most exceptional attempt is the preparation of Home Cooked food.
We were overwhelmed to learn that the food was prepared by Velu anna’s friend’s wife with the help of their neighbours. Preparing traditional food for such a huge group is an olympian task. Our sincere gratitude to all the kind souls for their time and effort. God is Great!
AT 4.00 pm- The Surprise Element
Velu anna had arranged for an unforgettable surprise element. An hour of Group Laughter Therapy session by Mukesh Ji.
Mukesh Ji is a professional Laughter Therapist and an Yoga instructor who has a clinic in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. He travels widely to deliver many such Laughter therapy sessions.
Laughter Therapy / Therapeutic Laughter aims at reducing stress, anxiety, depression, induces good feeling and overall well-being, and is also effective in pain management. Mukesh Ji took us on serious of carefully orchestrated techniques to keep us all engaged bursting with laughter for the entire hour: Warm ups, breathing exercises, awareness exercises, loud repetition of soul kindling thoughts, jokes, jumping with joy, the essence of life, breaking our inhibitions, joyful dancing and many more. Mukesh Ji brought with him his friend- A 60yr old young women, who taught us how to heal through simply letting go and through voluntary laughter. As the saying goes “Laughter is the best medicine”; Liberated Laughter releases the feel good hormones in our body called endorphins, which is an immunity booster, and a stress buster. Thank you very much Mukesh Ji for taking us through this exhilarating experience.
Our sincere gratitude to Velu Anna and SWP team for giving us an opportunity to learn and grow. The Spiritual journey has been truly an awakening experience, looking forward to many more under Velu anna’s guidance. We would like to thank each and every one who were part of this journey for the experience and the energy.
I am sure many of you are wondering…What is the outcome or benefit of this Siddha Samadhi Spiritual Journey?
A quote by Mother Mirra helps us to introspect… “When you open to the Spirit within you it brings you a first foretaste of that higher life which alone is worth living, then comes the will to rise to that, the hope of reaching it, the certitude that this is possible, and finally the strength to make the necessary effort and the resolution to go to the very end. For one must wake up, then one can conquer.”