Chattampi Swamikal (1853-1924)

  • Sree Vidyadhiraja Parama Bhattaraka Chattampi Swamikal was a Hindu sage and social reformer.
  • Chattampi Swamikal was born on 25 August 1853 at Kollur, a suburban village of Thiruvananthapuram in Southern Travancore.
  • His father was Vasudeva Sharma, a Namboothiri, from Mavelikkara and mother Nangamma a woman from Kollur.
  • His childhood name was Ayyappan. But he was called by his pet name Kunjan by all and so was later known as Kunjan Pillai.
  • While learning at the ‘Patasala’ of Pettayil Raman Pillai asan, he was deputed as the ‘Chattampi’ (monitor) of the class. So later he came to be known as ‘Chattambi Swamikal’.
  • He denounced the orthodox interpretation of Hindu texts citing sources from the Vedas.
  • Swamikal believed that the different religions are different paths leading to the same place.
  • He promoted vegetarianism and professed non-violence (Ahimsa).
  • The place where Chattambi Swamikal acquired self realization Vadaveeswaram a village in in Tamil Nadu.
  • At Aniyoor Temple near Vamanapuram Chattampi Swami met another young man Nanu Asan who was in search of spiritual guidance.
  • By then Swami was well versed in yoga and spiritual matters and their meeting proved to be the start of a profound and cherished companionship, although the two were of different temperaments.
  • They lived and travelled for many months together. Later Swamikal took Nanu Asan, to his guru Thykkattu Ayyavu.
  • It was with Chattampi Swamikal that Narayana Guru made his first trip to Aruvippuram, which was chosen as Narayana Guru’s abode for meditation and spiritual activities.
  • Later Swami met Neelakanta Theerthapada a great Sanskri Scholar and Theerthapada Pramahamsa who established an ashram and also Theerthapada System for the line of snayasins following Swami’s teachings and methods.
  • Bodheswaran, Perunnelli Krishnan Vaidhyan, Velutheri Kesavan Vaidhyan, Kumbalath Sanku Pillai etc were grihastha disciples of Chattambi Swamikal.
  • He attained mahasamadhi on 5th August 1924 at Panmana in Kollam district.
  • Mortal remains of Chattampi Swamikal were enshrined at his Samadhistanam at Panmana. This site is today called Panmana Ashramam (Kollam district).
  • Vedadhikara Niroopanam, Prachina Malayalam,Adwaitha Chintha Paddhathi, Moksha Pradeepa Khandanam etc. are famous works of Chattambi Swamikal.

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