Leela of Vedanta & Tantra
Isakki Mahā Munivar and Mātā Vibhutānanda Puri
Isakki Swami, My Guru’s Guru – Kuppammal’s Guru is a great Yogi and Siddha who almost lived without food all his life. Avadhūtās means no food, no water, no clothes… He was an avadhoota.
There was a time in late 70s and beginning of 80s, when in the whole district, all hospitals where shut down. Everyone would go to him! He would just take mud from Arunācala, put it in their nose, mouth and ears and tell them to go around the Hill twice. The disease would disappear! The local villagers said that for full 3 years, day in and day out, he made a nara māla – garland made out of human beings for Arunācala! Whole day he would heal and send them around the Hill.
He stayed in samādhi all the time. He was a Mahān, a great being. He was a great tapasvi and a great enlightened being. He had done angapradakshiṇa (circumambulation of a sacred spot or a deity using the whole body, done by rolling around it clockwise) of the Arunācala mountain several times.
Isakki Swamigal had only one initiated disciple – Mātā Vibhutānanda Puri (also called Mataji Kuppammal), just as he was the only initiated disciple of his own guru. This lineage is called the Arunācala Sampradaya, starting with the Ādiguru (first ever Guru), Arunācala-Paramashiva Himself, and it is unique for passing down the sacred teachings from one Guru to one chosen disciple. Isakki Swamigal was pivotal for the childhood of The Avatār.
I had the good fortune of living around him for six years. I have never seen him eating, or drinking, or sleeping; no regular activities! I have never seen him having regular sleep. He never used even clothes. He was continuously overflowing, bubbling with joy. He doesn’t need anything from the outer world. He is just completely fulfilled. We call it in Sanskrit, ātmorahitaha, completely fulfilled in himself. He was radiating, giving so much to the outer world, but never took anything from the outer world.
For Isakki Swamigal, the chosen disciple was Mātā Vibhutānanda Puri (also called Vibhutānanda Puri). Mātā Vibhutānanda Puri was a tremendously powerful enlightened being. She too was born in Tiruvannamalai and lived an extraordinary life. She was The Avatār’s paternal grandmother Anusuya ammal’s friend. At a young age itself, she found Isakki Swamigal as her guru and learned from him. Though she was forced into marriage by her family, she remained chaste to the truths that she held. She explored Vedānta and Tantra with The Avatār.
My Vedānta and Tantra Guru
The Mystery of Vibhutānanda Puri’s Birth
I had a deep relationship with Vibhutānanda Puri; that relationship that was a big turning point in My life. She is the one who caused a huge impact on My life.
Her birth itself is a beautiful story. There was a Seshadri Swamigal in Tiruvannamalai. He was a very great Paramahaṃsa. Vibhutānanda Puri’s mother was without children. Even the one or two kids who were born to her died. She went and fell at the feet of Seshadri Swamigal and cried. He immediately took some mud that was next to him and gave it to her. She had so much devotion, she simply ate it! The moment she ate it, she conceived! The child that was born from the conception was Vibhutānanda Puri.
Such a Yoginī she was!
Vibhutānanda Puri did not speak till the age of eight. Till she was twenty-one, physical maturity did not happen, due to the power of her Prāṇāyāma, the power of her tapas. The science was available. So much physical and mental suffering can be avoided. Such a Yoginī she was!
She had the direct darśan of Devi Rajarajeshwari. She used to do pūjā and meditation every day. Please understand: Vibhutānanda Puri lived till her nineties. She passed away when I was fifteen, I think. And I have seen how she lived. She literally lived like a goddess on earth!
Vibhutānanda Puri materialized the Upanishad for me!
My relationship with Vibhutānanda Puri was so deep that it made me read the Shiva Sūtras. My relationship with her was the way to keep the inspiration alive continuously!
Once, she said that she will teach me some Upanishads, and told me to go and get the Upanishad book from the market. I went and searched everywhere, all over. I was not able to get it. She said “Don’t bother. What is the meaning of ‘Upanishad’?” I said, “Upanishad means sitting with the Master.”
She said, “Just sit.”
The funny thing is, after I sat down, she just put her hand on my hand – and I saw the Upanishad book there! Very powerful; so casually it materialized!
Even language was taught only by them
Fortunately, even language was taught to me only by my Gurus. I did not go to school so regularly as to learn something from school! I went to school whenever there were no festivals in the temple, when I was free – which was less than sixty days in a year! Please understand: Tiruvannamalai Temple has at least three hundred days of festivals in a year. And in those sixty days, sometimes it would be summer holidays in school, and some were weekends!
I imbibed the Vedas when in My mother’s womb
The extraordinary intelligence I showed in the knowledge of the Vedas, Purāṇas, scriptures and the memory I exhibited before the age of ten even without any formal study – the whole village was proof of the extraordinary way I exhibited it! Then later on, we found out that when my mother was carrying me, she had listened to the Purāṇas again and again.
Abirami Andhadhi – is a description of Devi and her beautiful form – 102 verses on Devi. After I was born she didn’t listen to them, nor have I listened to them with these physical ears. But by the age of three, I started narrating the whole thing, because I heard it from my mother’s womb.