18 April 2007

Sri Tinnai Swami

While visiting Yogi Ramsuratkumar ashram I had to pass Sadhu Om colony, a small Brahmin compound on the southside of Arunachala. At this compound there are two samadhis, the first, Sadhu Om and the second, Tinnai Swami. I took the opportunity of being near the compound to visit the house where Tinnai Swami lived during the later part of his life. A little known jnani, who had chosen to live a self-effacing and almost invisible life here at Tiruvannamalai.

Photograph of Sri Tinnai Swami
reclining on his masonry bench

Swami attained samadhi on 7th December, 2003 (at the age of 91 years) on the morning of Deepam Day culminating a period of 54 years spent in the supreme state of atma-jnana. In 1948 Tinnai Swami had approached Bhagavan for permission to leave and take up a new position at Pondicherry, whereupon Ramana replied, 'Iru'. 'Iru' is a Tamil word that means 'Be', but in such a context would normally be taken to mean 'Stay' or 'Wait'. From that moment Tinnai Swami never left Tiruvannamalai and also remained fixed in the state of Self-abidance.

Eventually a house was built by a family of devotees of the late C.P. Nathan, and Tinnai Swami, lived on and seldom moved away from the tinnai (masonry bench) on the verandah of that house.

This is the masonry (concrete) platform
that he lived during his later years.

While he was alive, although his presence was shielded from the barest minimum of public attention, some of us were fortunately able to sit in the silence of his being and I personally experienced great help and inspiration by spending some short time with him.

The writer Michael James has said of the life of Tinnai Swami:

"In the eyes of the world, which attaches importance only to doing, overlooking the true importance of mere being, there may appear to be little greatness in the extraordinary life of Sri Tinnai Swami. He did not speak, write or teach anything, nor did he perform any other "useful" function. But whether we are able to recognise it or not, his mere being was a great blessing bestowed upon the whole world by Sri Bhagavan, the effect of which cannot be known or measured by our finite intellects."

The life of Sri Tinnai Swami is recorded in more detail at this link.


Balasubramanian, Delhi said...

Great indeed and inspiring.wish more is known about these souls inspired by Ramana Bhagavan.Also not much is known about Jadish Swami whom I have seen in Ramana Ashram in mid '80. Another great soul of course is Sri Sadhu om.

Remain greatful for publishing these postings.


Arunachala Living said...

Hopefully the lives of many of these contemporary saints will be eventually posted on our website www.arunachalasamudra.org

Currently in our section of Modern Day Saints, we have very excellent biographies on Sri Ramana, Sri Seshadri Swamigal and Yogi Ramsuratkumar.

Information is available on both Sadhu Om and Sri Tinnai, which we will eventually compile, but need to find out more about your own suggestion Jadish Swami.

Anuradha Vijayakumar said...

Thank you so much for creating and maintaining this website with information about the great saints of Arunachala.
I am very eager to learn more about Sri Tinnai Swamy, whose own grand-daughter I am. It seems very small of me to talk about personal relationship with such a great soul, during whose lifetime I have never seen any worldly attachments.

Thank you again.
Anuradha Vijayakumar.

அவனடிமை said...

Dear Smt. Anuradha Vijayakumar - If you haven't found already, there are some more information about Sri. Thinnai Swamigal directly as well as via Sri. Michael James. If you are interested, please contact me directly at manof678@yahoo.com.
Warm regards
- avanadimai

Raja B Moorthy said...

After I digged out in google and surprised and happy to see about Thinnai swami. I was residing in that house where Thinnai swami used to be there. From when I was a school kid and till 10years back when he attained Samadhi it was a great moment for me to live along with swami. There were so many events that proved he is a yogi and I got lot of info about him from his wife..
I will put all these info.. in sometime..

with Blessings of Bhagvan,
Raja Bairava Moorthy

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Hi Raja Moorthy:

Would be nice to learn of some your experiences with Thinnai Swami. I was also lucky enough to be able to spend time in his room when the Sadhu Om Compound was very quiet and secret. Look forward to hearing more.