Hindu Saint Gnanananda and Planet Mars! (Post No.4822)


Written by London Swaminathan 



Date: 16 MARCH 2018



Time uploaded in London – 13-35


Post No. 4822

Pictures shown here are taken by London swaminathan





It is a strange link indeed! Swami Gnanananda was born in Mangalore and became the Head of Jyotir Mutt, one the Mutts established by Adi Shankara. After some time, he relinquished that post and did penance in the Himalayas. He travelled from Tibet and Nepal to Sri Lanka in the south. He established his own Ashrams in various places in Tamil Nadu, but settled in Thiukkoilur, where he established a temple and Tapovanam (Forest of penance). It is said that he lived for 150 years and he was a contemporary of Vadalur Vallalar- Sri Ramalinga Swamikal. Gnanananda attained Samadhi in 1974. No one knew the exact year of his birth.


My connection with Thirukkoilur

Tirukkovilur or Kovalur is on the banks of Pennai River, located about 30 kilometres from Viluppuram or Tiruvannamalai.

My brother Prof Suryanarayanan is talking with the priest.

When I was a school boy, my father took us (the family) to Tirukkovilur after performing Punul (sacred thread) ceremony to my older brothers. I don’t remember much now. But we had a picture of Swami Gnanananda at home in Madurai and we worshipped him along with other saints’ pictures. His disciple Haridas came to Madurai and spread his message through Bhajans. He himself wrote about the greatness of Swamiji.


When Swami Gnanananda came to Madurai, Pazakkadai/Fruitshop Thangavelu invited us to have his darshan. It was arranged on the top floor of the fruit shop itself. My father had a chat with him and all other members of the family were just observers. When Swamiji attained Siddhi, I was working as a Senior Sub Editor in Madurai Dinamani newspaper. I wanted to visit the Tapovanam for very long. When I went to attend the Fifth World Saiva Siddhanta Conference in Chennai in March 2018, I targeted three new places and successfully finished them: Madurantakam Rama Temple, Vadalur Vallalar  Ashram and Tirukkovilur Tapovanam.

It is situated in a quiet place and anyone can feel the divine vibrations. It is closed at 10-30 am in the morning after Puja and opens in the evening. Fortunately, I and my brother reached the place at 10 am ad had the darshan of the Samadhi.


I bought two books so that the money would benefit the ashram. One of the books is a souvenir published in 1999. It has very good articles. Though I did not go for any miracles or anecdotes about miracles, one of the articles had a strange information of Swamiji speaking about the Saints of  Mars zone. But it came through the writing of another hand. So I did not know how far the information is correct and what he meant by that (see the version in Tamil posted here):

A rough translation of the last paragraph of the article written by A R P N Raja Manikkam is as follows:

“To make our country stand first in spiritual and mundane things, I go to Mumbai to bring the Jnanis/saints from Mars zone to Tapovanam; then swamijis 1008 conch shells will sound; Ramarajyam will begin; the world will be a prosperous place. It will be a great wonder to everyone. This is Swamiji’s resolve/ conclusion.”


Since Swamiji is no more, we don’t know what he meant by saints in planet Mars.


But the visit to the ashram will be a great experience. And this holy town has two more famous temples of Shiva and Vishnu. Viluppuram district has many more temples in the surroundings. It is worth visiting the town; better stay for a whole day or stay overnight.


Swamiji’s teachings are very simple and universal; anyone can follow them irrespective of one’s faith.


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1 Comment

  1. nparamasivam1951

     /  March 18, 2018

    I had heard about Swami Gnanandha and his Thapovanam. People visiting Tiruvannamalai, used to Thapovanam also. But for Chennites, the disciple Shri Hari Das Guruji is more famous. I had attended his electrifying bhajans. It is an experience to attend his Bhajans.

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