Karnataka Seer Siddheshwar Swamiji: The Exemplary Siddhayogi Who Lived In Eternity
Can you imagine twenty-thirty thousand people assembling to listen to a talk regularly at 6am every day for a stretch for months, in the heart of a buzzing city?
And further, can you imagine pin-drop silence in such an august gathering? And can you imagine how the huge crowds assemble all by themselves, with no marketing no promotions ever…?
The platform, simple, with a modest chair and table, and just one flower placed upon the table entertains no welcome address or vote of thanks, no compering or introduction of the speaker, no flowers, fruits mementoes or bouquets offered. No VIPs moving up and down the dais.
Eminent scholars, scientists, doctors, engineers or simple commoners with no academic profiles, highly ambitious rich astute politicians and businessmen or spiritual aspirants and sannyasins, householders, youth, children… all sit alike in rapture to listen to this most simple speaker!
Not a single talk exceeds the time limits. The talk revolves around spirituality… But boredom is seldom seen! On the contrary, none even realises how time flies! Such is the profoundness of his talk.
One may say, “Such an assembly is too utopian an idea, to materialise in the modern world.” But when and wherever Sri Siddheshwara Swamiji spoke, such an assembly actually personified. Not that he insisted, advised or trained anyone to conduct themselves thus.
But the intensity of his purity, calmness, simplicity, wisdom and detachment was such that even worldly crowds would effortlessly behave thus in his majestic presence!
The words of Sri Siddheshwara were verily floods of peace and tranquillity. He was genuinely friendly with everyone, yet never attached to anything or anybody. No one dared cross the natural borders of nirlipti he always maintained. He was the nucleus of the Jnanayogashrama at Vijayapura.
But the grandeur of the position, the protocol, crowds and endless activities… nothing seemed to seep into him. In his magnanimous presence, everyone consciously pursued their duties as karmayoga, without ever being told to. A perfect example of transformational leadership!
The saint was a voracious reader, but never ‘owned’ a single book. All he had was a pair of pocketless kurtas and dhoti, spectacles and simple footwear. He was most comfortable even in torn footwear. If someone offered flowers, fruits or sweets, he would distribute them then and there with a beautiful smile.
Never had he even a bank account to his name or even meagre money at hand. Never did he find the need to maintain contact numbers of persons to ‘keep connected’ to, nor did he keep a phone of his own.
Never did this saint announce even the most painful illnesses he suffered. He avoided medication hospitalisation of all kinds even when terminally ill.
The karmayogi performed his personal chores all by himself and was involved in relentless jnana-daasoha (dissipation of knowledge) all his life. But never did he ever cherish the sense of ‘doing’ anything.
Be it the prime minister or just a commoner, a revered seer or an ordinary volunteer, standing at one corner of the corridor, he would attend to them all with an identical simple smile and pleasantries. The approach was the same towards all, never more, never less than what it always was.
Never did a single abuse or rebuke or hateful word emerge from him. Countless foreign tours and interactions with VVIPs- anything was simply another ‘passing experience’ to him to smile and forget, then and there!
He was well initiated into the long shastraparamparaa and sampradayas, but nevertheless, he still emerged absolutely as a self-made man, with his own genuine insights and lofty experience.
His clear instruction before death was to burn his mortal remains and drown the ash in river waters and never built a monument or temple in his name! Both in life and death, he proved to be a siddha-yogi, truly sublimating into the infinite expanse of immortal existence, never to be bound into the limited identities of cult, name, form or symbol.
Truly, his life was a demonstration of the nishkarmya-yoga preached by Bhagavan Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.
We read about the elevated lives of sages Vasista and Dadeechi in the Vedic times, Dattatreya, Vrshabhadeva and Buddha in ancient times, Allama and Abhinavagupta in medieval times, Ramana and Ramakrishna in recent history… But we would probably proclaim, “It is impossible for people to actually live thus in modern times”.
But the life of Sri Siddheshwara disproves that notion. He was a living proof to establish that the legacy of rishis continues in Bharatavarsha to this day.
We are blessed to be the contemporaries of Sri Siddheshwara Swamiji. In the coming centuries, people would perhaps find it difficult even to believe that such a personality did exist in flesh and blood.
Not surprising that the lofty heights of Sri Siddheswara’s life and thoughts amaze the moha-struck people whose minds and intellects are stuck into the frames of objects, people's incidents, and their joyous and painful memories and anxious future speculations.
Mother Bharatamata is blessed indeed to have given birth to such a mahatma! Swami Vivekananda aptly said, “There is always a brahmajnani treading the soil of my Bharat. This is the greatness of the soil. Bharat is truly a pilgrim centre”.
The exemplary life and message of Sri Siddheshwara Swamiji proves that the rishi-parampara did not end with Vedic times but continues to flow on dynamically to this day. Realisation of the loftiest truth generates such great visionaries time and again.
The sanatana-sanskriti never suffocates within the limits of a person, book, rule, region, time or set of conducts. It is rather an eternal unbroken flow of spiritual experience that continues to generate jeevanmuktas brimming with wisdom and experience.
This verbal offering thus to the great Sri Siddheshwara Swamiji, makes me feel that all this could be a big ‘chaos of words’. Such was the absolute simplicity and unassumingness the saint carried. In fact, he never lived like just a ‘personality’. He verily floated around as an astitva, a presence, sublimated into the expanse of infinity.
I offer my verbal pranams quoting the words of the saint Akka Mahadevi- Pranamas to the guru who elevated the mortal to immortal!
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