Sinthaiyai Thirutthi Naalum Thiruvarul Thantha Deva
Vanthu Enakku Paatham Athai Ulam Pathiya Vaitthai
Enthaiye Ini Naan Unai Indara Piditthen Appa
Vithaiyai Varanggal Thanthu Vinai Thavir Chitra Muthe
SatGuru Chitra Muthu Adigalar was an incomparable Thavaraja Yogi of the 20th Century.
In a world filled by false Sanyaasis who, though dressed in Saffron are obsessed with money, Swami stood a part, being one who strictly observed His vow of not touching money. As a Siddhar, Swami was beyond compare while he lived. Though I am ill qualified to write about our SatGuru, lam undertaking this effort with his Grace and Blessing. This blogspot is based on the events enummerated by Swami Himself in His "Aruloli".
Also included are some verses about His Greatness and Grace sung by Swami's Devotees in Malaysia so that the rest of us may also sing them.
In order to enable Swami's Devotees to conducted their Guru Pooja, I have also included Swami's Ashtothra Naamavali. It is my humble prayer that Swami's Devottes in Malaysia will find this issue useful
This Blog is Dedicated to the Lotus Feet of SatGuru Chitra Muthu Swamigal.
Shivasri A.P. Muthu Kumara Sivaachariar
Rudra Devi SAMAJ
Life and Times of Thavathiru Chitra Muthu Adigalar
To ensure that all the people of the World enjoyed peace and lived in love and brotherhood, the Benevolent Lord Shiva, Who as Lord Dakshina Moorthy meditates silently under the Kallaala Tree in Kailasam decided to incarnate Himself on Mother Earth. In order to be a Living God, an Acarya who gives Divine Discourses, a Loving Mother and a Doting Father, He manifested Himself as SatGuru Chitra Muthu Swami.
SatGuru Chitra Muthu Swami was born in the month of Chitrai (April) in the year 1900 in a village called Mannaargudi in the Ramanad District in the south of Tamilnadu. He was the second child of Sree Dhanuskodi and Sreemati Karuppai Amma.
As soon as He was born, the house He was born in was consumed by fire. A divine power wanted Him to move away.
It was also an early indication that Swami Who trasended births and deaths, represented the basic element Fire.
Swami's mother sought refuge in the home of a relative before moving with her infant child to her home village of Marikovil. When they reached that village, the homes of the sanitary workers there were mysteriously burnt to ashes. His father's goats too were destroyed by wild animals. Seeing these 'inauspicious' signs, the people began calling Swami Chitrai Sool(h)iyan.
However, Swami's mother who considered her son to be a gem bom to rid the world of Ignorance and lay the foundation for the Salvation of Mankind decreed that her son should be called Muthu (pearl). Henceforth Swami was known as Muthu.
Having discharged her sacred duty of mothering Him, Swami's mother breathed her last when Swami was just eight months old. His earthly bonds were being destroyed.
Thus at a very tender age, Swami lost His Mother's Love and was placed under the care of His aged grandmother named Kumaraiamma. Miraculously, His grandmother who was then sixty years old was able to breastfeed Him. Swami enjoyed this privilege until He was five years old.
In addition to food for His Body, His grandmother also built His Spirits by reciting to Him heroic stories about the Motherland. Often she would dress Him up and enjoy herself watching Him dance while reciting Veera Ganapathi Namoh Namah. As He stood with His left Leg raised, Swami reminded her of Lord Thillai Nadaraja Himself. Thus Swami was imbued with positive and sacred thoughts from His childhood. The word SUCCESS (vetri) facinated Him from youth. It became His Mantra. Swami knew not defeat.
When about five years old, Swami developed a rash in his Leg. As part of His treatment, Swami's grandmother put Him on a sugar-free diet. When His pleadings for sugar fell on deaf ears, Swami, in order to convince her of His earnestness, called after her and as she watched He plunged a thin wooden splinter into His rash. Such was His courage. It was beyond His years.
Being a Divine Incarnation, Swami obtained the Grace of the Divine Aruloli Maatha early in His life. At night as He slept He used to hear the sound of bells. Often He would sense a Divine Light envelop and transport Him through the air as He slept. Whenever He experienced such Divine Visitations Swami used to get up with a start often falling off His bed. After several years these experiences stopped.
One day while on the way to the town with His grandmother, Swami passed a Muslim girl playing in the sand. Swami held out His Hand towards her and playfully asked for some sugar. In response the girl offered Swami some sand. When the sand reached Swami's Hand, it had indeed become sugar. Eating the sugar Swami continued His journey.
Even as a child, Swami could trasend Maya. Whenever, He looked towards the Anggaladevi Amman Temple fron His grandmother's house, all He would see was a Divine Flame. For hours He used to sit enjoying the Divine Flame with great joy.
At an age when He could not even control His senses, Swami used to become oblivious to His environment and would often fall to the ground unconscious. While friends and relatives watched anxiously Swami would soon get up and go about His business as if nothing had transpired.
Once Swami jumped over a sixteen-foot fence to join His family for a meal, surprising everybody. These events were mere samples of Swami's divine Nature.
But careless childhood was not to last. When Swami was six years old, His grandmother who was more of a mother to Him died. Once again Swami was alone.
With the demise of His grandmother, Swami moved in with His paternal aunt called Seeniyaayi Ammal. However as the result of His aunt's poverty and His father's neglect Swami was sent to His elder sister, Ramaiammal. Here He earned His keep by grazing goats.
One day while grazing goats at a coastal village called Sinnavalanggapuri Swami was engrossed in the glory of the setting sun. The occassion inspired Swami to compose His first verse. Swami's first song was:
Maraiyavark Ethire Nindru Seithathor Paavatdosam
Sirappudan Sollinirkka Appothu Sitthar Elian Arumaiyaai
Eduthu Uraitthar Paaivathu Pallithane
Padukail Paambuthane Kooruvathe Ipothu
Kul(h)anthai Nee Deivanthane
Since then this song was always in Swami's mind.
Poverty is Cruel
Crueller still is Poverty in Youth
so sang Saint Aviyaar. It was such cruel poverty that Swami had to endure at a tender age of seven years.
Because His sister too lived in abject poverty, often Swami suffered from hunger. One day unable to contain His hunger Swami asked His brother-in-law who was eating for some porridge. Incensed with the request, His brother-in-law not only beat up Swami but he also threw Him out of his house. Swami's sister watched helplessly.
Our SatGuru, Who would establish the Thaaiveedu and offer refuge to all who came, later in life was now a destitude with no one to care for Him. Homeless, He walked five miles to the nearest village of Thillaigundu. There Swami, not yet an adult, lived by Himself for sometime working in a plantation.
It was during this time that Swami's father decided to leave for Malaya, like many other Indians then, to make his fortune. Before leaving he enrolled his young son in a village school in Mudiveeran Pattinam.
After Swami's mother died, His father remarried. Swami now had a stepsister called Muthunaatchi. Before leaving for Malaya Swami's father placed Him under the care of His step-mother. His step-mother not only ill treated Swami but also put an end to Swami's education. Swami's education thus ended almost as soon as it began. In order to earn His keep she sent Swami to work in a toddy shop in a village called Atthiyutthu.
Being physically weak, from lack of proper food and rest, Swami often dropped the heavy toddy pots and suffered the consequences at the hands of His employers. Swami's trials and tribulations at the hands of His step-mother and His employers became the talk of the village.
Our SatGuru, Who ensured that no one who visited Thaaiveedu left hungry, often stole from His step-mother's kitchen to satisfy His hunger.
Swami's father extended his stay in Malaya for several years. When Swami was about twelve years old, His step-mother made Him work as a toddy tapper. However this was not to last, One day while climbing a tall tree to collect toddy, Swami fell and broke His left knee. He was laid off of almost a year as He recovered fron His injuries.
After Swami recovered, He went back to grazing cattle and goats. Lack of food soon had its effect on Swami. He began suffering from stomach ulcers. As a penance towards Lord Naaganaatha, Swami decided to let His hair grow. It was during this time that Swami befriended an aged astrologer. Swami used to supply him dry palm fronds to be used as fuel in exchange for food. One day as Swami was stealthily removing some dry palm fronds from His sister's stock a serpent leapt on to His matted hair and began dancing with its hood open.
When Swami's sister saw the serpent she began screaming and the snake quickly disappeared into the thick pile of dry palm fronds.
When Swami came of age, it was decided to get Him married. However, His maternal uncle, who had a marriageable daughter, rejected His proposal. He did not want Swami as his son-in-law. Disappointed, Swami decided to follow His father's footsteps and leave for Malaya to seek His fortune.
With the help of another uncle, Swami left for Malaya in 1922. On arrival Swami settled in Kuala Kangsar, Perak and began working as a toddy tapper. After working for about six years Swami returned home to His sister's house in 1928.
The following year Swami entered the holy order of matrimony when He married Mother Sivagami Ammai, the younger daughter of a Sree Kaalaiyappa Nadar of Al(h)agankulam Village.
Wedded bliss did not last long and soon Swami and His young wife had to face the harsh realities of life. Financial resources were always in short supply. Then as today happiness depended to a great extent on money.
Not with standing their problems, the following year, Mother Sivagami became a proud mother of a bouncing boy. Their joy was, however, short lived. The child lived for only three short days. Having no money Swami had to borrow Rs 100 from a Aiyavu Chettiar to send His wife to her mother's home. Having no prospects in India, Swami decided to return to Malaya a second time.
This time Swami settled in Taiping, also in Perak. Again, He worked as a toddy tapper. During this time Swami gained the acquaintance of an astrologer called Sree Irusappa Mudaliy ar who was the principal pupil of Tenkasi Rangoon Sadagopal Acari. Sree Irusappa introduced Swami to the mysteries of astrology. Swami was a good student and soon mastered astrology. Astrology helped Swami to understand His true nature.
It was during this time that Swami, by the Grace of Almighty God, learnt of Sree Jaganatha Swami, a Siddhar who lived in Tapah. After serving Him for sometime Swami was initiated by Sree Jaganatha Swami. Thus Sree Jaganatha Swami became the Guru of SatGuru Chitra Muthu Swami. It was Sree Jaganatha Swami who changed Swami's name to Chitra Muthu.
JagatGuru Sree Jaganatha Swami helped His pupil realise His true Self, His full potential and His Mission in Life. Swami learnt Yoga and the secrets of life from His Guru.
Through His knowledge of astrology Swami learnt that He was in for a difficult period. He, therfore, decided to returne to His native land and to face His problems there with His loved ones. With His Guru's Blessings Swami returned to India.
In due course Mother Sivagami gave birth to a son whom Swami named Jaganathan, after His Guru. Soon after Swami renounced domestic life and began preparing for His Mission.
Like many saints and sages before Him Swami too was going to be tested. The world had to know His true nature.
First Swami lost sight in both His eyes. In His time of difficulty Swami looked towards His family and friends for comfort and support. Unfortunately, His family and friends had no time or need for a blind man.
Blind, abandoned and hungry Swami suffered both physically and mentally. After some thought Swami decided to end it all. Death appeared to be the better alternative to life. While He was thus contemplating, one night, Swami had a vision of an old man approaching Him. With a smile the old man handed Swami a lime before leaving in a notherly direction. Something in Swami clicked and erased all thoughts of sucide in His Mind.
Swami now resolved to face both His physical and mental pain brought about by the callous attitude of His family and friends. He decided to seek treatment at the Government Hospital at Ramanathapuran. Borrowing Rs 2 from a relative called Ulagayammal Swami left for Ramanathapuran by the night train.
On arriving at the Ramanathapuram Swami decided to spend the night at the railway station. Being blind He began feeling around for an empty place to rest. When He accidently laid hands on a lady who was asleep, she mistook Swami to be a thief and began calling for help.
Soon a crowd gathered, ready to cause Swami bodily harm. However, before anybody could lay a hand on Swami a voice rang out. " Bring him here unharmed. " Soon Swami found Himself before Sree Suppiah Pillai, who after listening to Him realised the truth and decided to take Him to his home.
On reaching his home Sree Suppiah Pillai bade Swami wait for him at the verendah while he went in. When Suppiah Pillai did not return in a long while, Swami began to feel hungry. When He could no longer control His hunger Swami began begging food from the passers-by. However, all His pleas fell on deaf ears. Finally, a lady offered Him some food but strictly instructed Him to find another place to spend the night.
Alone and abandoned Swami went in search of alternative accommodation. As He was struggling along a man led Him by the hand to a mutton stall and told Him that He could spend the night there. Grateful to have a roof over His Head, Swami tried to sleep. But He was attacked by swarns of insects. Swami spent the rest of the night avoiding the insects.
As the saying goes There is a Limit to Everything. Swami's sufferings too were to end soon. Swami's deliverance came in the shape of a local officer - the village Municip. The official took Swami to a native physician and instructed him to attend to Swami's eyes.
The physician immediately went to work. First he applied some herbs on the Swami's Eyes. Then, he prepared some herbs for Swami to consume. Having thus treated Swami he instructed Swami to return home.
Swami now faced the dilema. He didn't know where to go. He had no wish to return to His family and friends who had abandoned Him in His hour of need. After some deliberation Swami decided to go to Al(h)agan Kulam. He was still blind.
One day, about two years later, Swami regained sight in both His Eyes at about midnight. Swami not only regained His sight. He also became a new man. Gone was the feeling of gloom and remorse.
However, Swami's financial problems continued. Swami then decided to return to Malaya. This time Swami was a changed man. He now enjoyed the Grace of His Aruloli Maatha.
Thus in 1940 Swami returned to Malaya, not as a toddy tapper but as a Missionary. He now wore saffron robes befitting His status as one who had renounced the world.
In order to reinforce His decision to renounce the material world Swami swore on Mother Bharata Maatha that henceforth He would not touch money. This vow Swami kept till the end.
1940 was the time when the Independence Movement in India was at its peak. While in Malaya Swami joined the Indian National Army (INA) organised by that great Indian nationalist Subas Chandra Bose and played His role in the Independence Movement.
After the war ended, Swami left for India in 1947, leaving behind thousands of followers who had taken Him as their Guru. Back in India, Swami plunged into missionary work. He first converted His wife and son and opened His home, now known as Aruloli Madam to all. There He gave daily Discourses.
Starting from His base in Ramanad District Swami would travel to surrounding villages spreading His Message of Love and Ahimsa. Through His Teachings and conduct Swami convinced the people to discontinue the practice of animal sacrifice in many temples including the Vinaitheerthan Temple. This was no mean feat since animal sacrifice had be practised in that temple for many years.
Swami' s teachings embarassed several false sanyaasis and politicians. These individuals then embarked on a scheme to discredit Swami's Teachings. They tried to influence the local printers not to print Swami's teachings called GURUMATHI MAALAI that contained references to false sanyaasis.
But Swami was undeterred. His was a Divine Mission. He placed His Teachings under the scrutiny of His religious peers in Madurai. He convinced all His detractors about the validity of His Philosophy and published the GURUMATHI MAALAI with their blessings and support. Swami subsequently published His THIRUPUGAL(H) THIRAVIYAM, PERINBA RURAL, MOUNAANTHA MANI MOL(H)IGAL, MARANA SINTHANAI, NYAANA PANDITHAN, NERAI NERI MOL(H)IGAL, SEERTHIRUNTHUMANITHA!, KARUNAI KANNEER, KIRUBAI PIRAGAASA POKKISHAM, ARULOLI MALAR and GANDHIYIN THIRUVARUT PULAMBAL.
The above mentioned volumes were all published separately initially. Finally in 1954 all these Teachings of SatGuru Naathar were combined into a single volume called the ARULOLI. This publication now forms the basic text for the followers of SatGuru Naathar all over the world.
Since 1952 Swami has travelled to major towns in Malaya and in addition to propagating His Sitthantham, He has meditated in the major temples there for the welfare of all Malaysians. Among the temples that Swami has visited are the Sree Thandayuthbani Temple in Penang, the AruloliMurugan Temple in Penang Hill, the Maha Marimman Temple in Ipoh, the Court Hill Pillaiyaar Temple in Pudu, the Scott Road Kandaswami Temple in Brickfields, the Aathieeswaran Temple in Sentul, the Sree Maha Marimman Temple in Jalan Bandar, the Shivan Temple in Jalan Sungei Besi Kuala Lumpur and the Marimman Temple in Singapore.
Swami was a great nationalist. Whilst as an Indian He was loyal to India, He urged all Malaysians to be loyal to their country of adoption.
Our SatGuru realised the importance of religion in nation building in a multiracial, multi-lingual countries like India and Malaysia. Thus in 1958 He established the Aathma ShantiNilayam in the village of Al(h)agan Kulam in Ramanad District. Swami's service towards Hinduism since then is legendary.
Recognising Swami's ability to lead people, the Malaysian Government of the day donated the piece of land on which the Ipoh Aruloli Mandram now stands.
The Aruloli Movement in Malaysia began in the year 1960 and the Mandram Building was built by the Grace of SatGuru, the co-operation of members and the public and patronage of Tun V. T Sambanthan, the then Minister for National Unity. It was declared open by the then Mentri Besar of Perak Datuk Sri Haji Kamaruddin bin Haji Isa on 11 Feb 1973. Thus the Mandram in Ipoh is the first organisation established in Malaysia to propagate SatGuru's Teachings.
Aruloli Mandrams have now been established in Madurai, Thrichy, Kambalikarang Kuppam (all in India) in Sri Lanka, Pulau Pinang, Singapore, Australia and London. These organisations are performing yeoman service to the people residing in their respective areas.
The Aathma Shanti Nilayam in India too saw rapid development. Several buildings were added to accommodate the ever increasing number of devotees who vist Swami regularly. The provision of Annadhanam to all who came, regardless of class or creed remains an important Thondu there. In time the Aathma Shanti Nilayam has become the Thaaiveedu - the Refuge for All.
The Deepa Dharishanam Thiruvil(h)a has been celebrated annually at Thaai Veedu for the past 46 years on the 7th day in the month of Chitrai, to commemorate the birth of our SatGuru.
In 1987, for the welfare of the world Gurunaathar observed strict Thavan for 48 days. When Swami came out of His Thavam He revealed the following secret:
lllaamal Irukkum Iraivan Iruppidatthai
Sollaal Unartthuvathu Sulabamilla - Ellam
Sooniyamaai Sookkumamaai Sudaroliyaai Sul(h)alkira
Vaaniraivil Nee Nilaiyai Nil
Many years ago Swami completed His Samathi Mandabam and in the year 1991 personally supervised the performance of the Kumbha Abishegam of the Shivaraja Kopuram by Shivasri Muthu Kumara Shivachariar.
Our SatGuru, Who saw all His followers as His own children was the personification of love. No one who had the privilege of visiting Thaaiveedu would think otherwise. All men were welcomed with a loving Vaa Magane! while all ladies can still hear Swami inviting them with an equally loving Vaa Magale!.
All births, even those of Divine Manifestations like our SatGuru, must end. That is the Universal Law. Thus on Sunday May 5th 1995 Swami's mortal presence on Mother Earth ended. Mother Aruloli Maatha has claimed back Her Child. Our SatGuru has now merged into the elements transending time and space. He has become one with Nature.
As per His instructions Swami was interred in the Samadhi Mandapam in Thaaiveedu the following day. Since that day Mandala Prathanai Poojas lasting 48 days have been conducted by Swami's devotees all over the world.
We humbly submit ourselves to the Lotus Feet of our SatGuru Who continues to live in the Hearts and Minds of all His Devotees, showering His Blessings upon All Who approach Him with Love and Devotion.
Panaikulatthil Sudarvitta Aathmajothi
Paarenggum Niraintha Antha Paranjothi
Vadivaana Chitra Muthu Nyaanajothi
Vaareer Jagatheere Paripoorana Aananthajothi