Sadasiva Brahmendra

Sadasiva Brahmendra was a great saint and composer of Carnatic music and an Advaita philosopher who lived near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu during the 18th century. He composed mainly in Sanskrit. Only a few of his compositions have survived but they are recognised as greatest compositions of Carnatic Music.

Early life

Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral was originally known as Sivaramakrishnan. From childhoold he was not attracted towards the materialism of life and became the disciple of Paramashivendra Sarasvati. He was so wise that he could win anyone in argument and debate. Few scholars who lost arguments with him turned against him. They went and complained to the Guru that Sivaramakrishnan has pride which is not good for a practicing student. His Guru asked him to be Silent. He took it as a command and remained as a silent saint for the rest of his life.

Saint and his miracles

On River banks of Cauvery in Mahadhanapuram he was asked by some children to be taken to Madurai (more than 100 Miles away) for an annual festival. The saint asked to close their eyes. A few seconds later they were asked to open their eyes and were in Madurai. After the festival they all came back to the banks of cauvery the same way.

He used to be in trance most of the time. Once he was found to be in the middle of the river meditating when suddenly a flood covered him. People thought that he would have been drowned. After many months when the flood subsided, they found the saint in the same posture meditating.

He was a brahma-jnani who sees nothing but brahman everywhere, he would not distinguish between the different human figures which cross his path nor would he be distracted by the sights or noises that his environment may present to him. It was in this state of trance that he was walking along and once walked into a Nawab’s harem. The news reached the nawab, he had his men cut off both his hands. He was walking along silently as if nothing had happened. The nawab got scared, picked up the hands that had been severed, ran to the Sage and offered them in total remorse. The sage stopped his walking, the severed hands were restored to their place and walked away. [ [ Sadasiva Brahmendra: Perhaps two of the greatest mystics of India belong to the Tamil region ] ]


At Nerur, Brahmendra resolved to shed his body. [ [ Nerur in Nerur India ] ] He gave directions as to how his Samadhi should be raised. On the appointed day, he sat in the pit in he yogic posture. It was filled with sacred ash, camphor, salt, turmeric powder and powdered brick and covered. As per Brahmendra's prediction, a bilva shoot sprouted on the ninth day and a Banalinga arrived from Banaras on the twelfth day. A linga, was installed twelve feet away from it. The bilva tree was left exposed to the sky. Brahmendra's aradhana coincides with Sankara Jayanti. [ [ Indian Saints | Sadasiva Brahmendra | Biography | Part II | Miracles | Life ] ]


He is the author of several Sanskrit works including "Advaita rasa manjari", "Brahma tattva prakaashikaa" and "Yoga sudhaakara". He also wrote several Carnatic compositions to spread the advaita philosophy among common people. His compositions are quite popular and can be heard frequently in Carnatic concerts. Some of these are "Bhaja Raghuviram" ("Mohanam"), "Bhajare Gopalam" ("Hindolam"), "Manasa Sancharare" ("Sama") and "Pibare Ramarasam" - ("Ahir bhairavi"). []



* M. V. Ramana, Pre-trinity composers of Tamilnadu - []
* [ The Hindu: Mystic who shed grace and compassion]

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