Thiru Subramanai Swami
Thiru Subramania Swamy was the cheif disciple of Poondi Mahan. He served Poondi Mahan for more than 20 years. After Swamy’s Samadhi he was doing poojas to Swamy’s Samadhi and managed poondi asharam.
Poondi swami was seen wandering in the early years in and around Kalasapakkam village at that time I was working as a tailor along with my regular textile business. I know Sri Swami in the early days of his wandering. Swami never demanded food or water from anyone. If anyone gave him food or water, he readily accepted the offer. Some people even took him to their houses and tried to feed him.
Once Kalasapakkam River was flooded after a heavy downpour of rains. Usually the swami sat on the river sand for hours together without any movement like a mad man in dirty and torn clothes. When the floods receded, the villagers came to the river ride to see whether the mad monk was taken away by the flood waters, surprisingly they saw a tuft of hair projecting out in the sandy water. The swami was fully immersed in the sand heap. The villagers tried to clean the sand around him when they dug him out, the swami walked out as if awakened from sleep. Thereafter, the villagers understood his greatness and worshipped him as a great sadhu whose original name was not known to anyone.
Once a lady from Chennai came to kalasapakkam to have darshan and his blessings on the way to Kalasapakkam village, some thieves robbed her of all her jewellery. She came to the Swami who was sitting in the river bed and narrated her sad plight. Then the swami, out of pity, consoled her and asked her to go to Manika nayinar’s house and get a piece of iron material. She brought an iron rod thereby. The Swami graciously looked at the rod which turned into gold immediately. He said,“Take this gold and live peacefully”.
Manika nayinar stealthily noticed, Swami transforming the iron rod into gold. He greedily took some pieces of iron and compelled Swami to do the same thing for them also. Swami denied, then they started beat him up severely causing blood injuries all over his body. Swami’s arms started bleeding, then Swami took his way to Poondi village. I saw him walking towards my village, with bleeding arms, I took him to a safer place cleaned his wounds. After this incident Swami never visited Kalasapakkam Village. Many devotees tried to take him to Kalasapakkam but they never succeeded in their attempts. The miscreants and their families perished losing all their properties. Swami came to Poondi in 1959 and started sitting in the courtyard of a house. For the next 19 years till his mahasamadhi, he never moved out of the courtyard physically.
After a few days of his stay in the courtyard, I approached him on a pongal festival with new clothes. I was standing before him pleading for his grace and blessings. He asked me, “What do you want?” I did not give any reply. Again he repeated the same question but I kept mum, after the third time I started pleading him “Swami what I want from you is your presence here only. Please don’t leave us! Please let me be with you always!”
Sri Swamigal with a smile, graciously allowed me the boon of serving him tell his Mahasamadhi.From that time onwards, I started cleaning the place, washing his body, feeding him and doing all other regular activities for him with great devotion and love.
I had many divine experiences in his presence. Every minute of his presence gave me a fresh experience. One day from my village some devotees went to Tirupathi on pilgrimage. I said to the Swami in a sad tone, “Swami every year I pay my regular visit to Tirupathi with my relatives this year my relatives are going to Tirupati, but I am unable to go.” Hearing my appeal, Swami said” You need not go, stay here” I was quite sad that I could not go. That night I slept there just below the courtyard. Swami appeared to me in a vision and said,” There in Tirupathi Venkatesa you can find me and here also you find the same. All are the same.” I got the insight that the Poondi Swami appeared in different forms.
During the temple festival at Thiruvannamalai, the temple deities are taken out in procession at night. Many people from our area went to Thiruvannamalai that year as usual to see the festival. I was also very eager to go there. So I approached Swami for getting his permission to see the festival, but swami denied and said, “If you want to go there, who will remain here? You need not go. Stay here and take rest near the courtyard”.
That night, I had the rare experience of seeing the festival at Thiruvannamalai by sitting on the shoulders of the swami. Many of my relatives also saw me being carried on the shoulders of the Swami. I was also taken inside the temple to have the darshan of the main deities. It was a miracle specially performed by the swami on my behalf.
On another occasion, I was sleeping near the courtyard where the Swami was taking his shelter. Suddenly I roused from the sleep and saw the Swami’s body cut into different pieces. I was shocked to see the body of the swami cut into several parts swami assembled all parts to avoid my embarrassment. It was “Kandayoga” performed by the Swami.
When the devotees brought new clothes and shirts as offerings, he readily put on the clothes without removing the old clothes. All the dresses, one on another, began sticking with each other tightly. I requested the swami to give me permission to cut the dresses to remove them using scissors. ‘Wait for two more days’ was the usual reply from him. After a few days of our persistence, he gave me permission to cut the clothes in order to remove them from his body, using the scissors carefully I tried to cut the clothes slowly but the skin was peeled out. His bones were visible. On seeing the bones gleaming out, I felt unconscious and fell down. When I came to my normal senses, I could notice nothing unusual. It took four days for me to remove the shirts and other dresses from his body.
When Swami was sitting in the courtyard, he put his arm steadily without any movement on the pail for a long period of time, the skin on the palm stuck firmly on the pail and we found it is very hard to take the arm out of it without any damage to the arm. With full force we tried to take the arm out. But the palm skin stick to the pail and peeled out. There was injury on his arm but it became alright in short time.
At night, Swami was left on the courtyard and I slept below if nearby. When Swami wanted to go out in some form, he lay another physical from in his place. Once noticed him in the form of a tiger. It was a surprise for me to see a tiger in his place. Suddenly I said, “Why do you test me like this?” immediately he changed into his original form, then I performed pooja as usual. Once he gave me darshan in the form of Lord Shiva.
Near the courtyard of the house, there was a tea shop. The shop owner used to give first cup of tea as an offering to Swami before he starting his regular business. Everyday he brought his cup of tea and he used to call Swami outside the courtyard in order to wake him up. After getting permission from the swami, he went inside to offer tea.
class="style5">One day, without his permission, he went in removing the screen. He was shocked to see a python lying on Swami’s seat. He dropped the tea glass on the floor and ran out of the courtyard. I work up to see what had happened. The tea shop owner becomes sick and afflicted with fever for a few days. He was bedridden also. When the swami knew about this he warned him not to enter his dwelling without his permission. After some time Tea shop owner become all right.
Sri Poondi swami was also surrounded by his devotees coming from far and near places. Everyone was treated equally, poor devotees, sometimes, offered him coins he kept the coins in his palm tightly. Sometimes, when some rich devotees offered him a 100 rupee note, he threw the note behind the screen inside. Later such offerings found there beside him were removed from that store room and a hole was dug on the earth to bury them.
Mr. Viswanathan, another devotee from Chennai, had a dangerous bulging on his fore head causing him great pain and trouble. He went to U. S for medical treatment. Doctors advised him not to go for surgery which might cause him death also. Mr.S.V. Subbiah, a cinema actor, took him to Poondi for the Sami’s darshan. Viswanathan, who was working in the revenue department, prostrated before the swami and requested him to shower his grace to heal the malady disease. Swami told him not to worry about his problem. Swami gave him vibuthi Prasad (Holy ash) to be applied on his forehead. Viswanathan got completely cured. He wanted to do something for the Swami as an offering. At his request, the nearly revenue land was registered in Swami’s name and ‘pata’ was given to the swami.
A villager was bitten by a poisonous snake. All medical treatment given to him was of no use, his relatives came to Swami to know whether the patient could survive, Swami did not give any positive reply. He said, “It was cut into pieces and an axe fell on it to cut it”, later the patient died.
A lady devotee called Markamma came to Poondi regularly for the Swami’s darshan. Once she gave birth to a female child. After three days of its birth, child was bitten by a scorpion. People thought that the child was dead. Markamma’s elder daughter took the baby to the swami and lay it on his laps saying that the child was dead. But the swami said, “Leave here and go. Let it be here.”
At midnight, the Swami turned his gracious look towards the child. The child then, started crying. Swami said, “You may take the child now. The baby is alive. No more fear.” They took the child alive thanking him heartily.
Some Narikuravas stayed in a nearby village in tents. Once woman among them was pregnant and the time for delivery was nearing. She was unable to bear the pain. Her husband was unable to get money even as a loan to take her to the hospital, hopelessly he was returning to the tents. On his way back, he saw Swami sitting in the courtyard. He pleaded him for grace. The swami asked him to come nearer and gave him vibuthi to be applied on the belly of the pregnant lady. Swami said, “Go and apply the vibuthi. Everything become all right.” Before reaching the tents, a healthy child was delivered without any trouble. The man came back to thank the Swami.
Once, a thief came to our village and drove away six cows from our village. One cow, belonged to my family was also stolen. I went to Swami to inform him about the theft. Swami said, “Nothing happened. The cows are safe in Pennathur. Go and see the cows there.” We all went to Pennathur village as per his instruction. The cows were found there. The thief was caught and beaten up. We got back our cows safely.
In another village, a person called Venu Naidu narrated another incident he had witnessed near the Swayampu Subramanian Swami temple. At the wandering state, Swami was once trying to cross the flooded river, the river suddenly gave way to the Swami to reach the other bank.
In my village, some villagers formed a committee in Poondi Mahan’s name; they filed a case in the court against me. They also instigated some money lenders to file a complaint against me for non payment of loan in time. Three times I attended the court to obey the court summons. On the day of the judgment I approached Swami and stood before him, Swami said “Don’t worry. Just go. Nothing will happen, How the judge can come?” I did not attend the court on the day of the judgment. On the same day someone from the court entering Swami’s place for darshan, the case was dismissed.
Once Swami said, “Number 9 lock, Number 11 key and everything was given to me. I have seen everything but I could not do anything, I returned everything to them.” I could not understand these words. I asked him again for my clear understanding. He said that he had worked as a Manager in Thiruporur Mutt near Chennai. He did not like the job and left the place.
Some devotees tried to verify the records of the Thiruporur Mutt, but they did not get any valuable proof for the statement.
Swami narrated a few more incidents which happened in his earlier births. At the time of construction of Arunachaleswarer temple in Thiruvannamalai, the place was surrounded by thick forest and temple was small. Swami said that he had carried construction stones for the construction of inner sanctum sanctorum. His Grandfather rewarded him with a “Ana” coin. He brought some groundnuts and peanuts with the coin.
Mr.Arumugam, strong devotee of Swami used to visit the Shrine of Poondi Swamigal before leaving for Parvada Hills. Once he gave me a Wedding invitation and requested me to send Swami to attend the marriage and he gave offered his prayers and went away. On the marriage day Poondi sway attended the marriage in the form of a mad man. They noticed his presence and offered him marriage dinner. When swami came out of the dinner hall, he disappeared from the scene. The marriage party tried to locate him but he was not found there. This incident happened some fours ago.