21 December 2007

Mottayan Swamiji (Mooku Podi Swami)

I wasn’t planning on posting this story, but the Manager of Hotel Deepam suggested that it was the right time to do so, and as Swamiji didn’t seem to object to having his photograph taken, maybe its okay. The photograph is of Mottayam Swamiji who is also known as Mookupodi Swamiji. It is believed he hails originally from Kumbakonam and moved to Tiruvannamalai some 40 years ago. Occasionally he disappears from this spot but after a short time returns. Although not famous outside this place, he is well known to traders and merchants near the Big Temple where it seems to be Swamiji’s custom to habituate a particular shop or restaurant for months at a time and then suddenly, for no apparent reason, leave his spot and take up residence at some other place.

Wherever he remains, it is always with the grateful support of the owner of whatever establishment Swamiji has selected. In this respect he moved to his current abode, the restaurant Hotel Deepam on Car Street (near Arunachaleswarar Temple) about 4 months back. He sits quietly in the same corner and rarely notices or looks at anybody. When he wishes to eat he will command whoever he chooses to ‘bring me food’. At night he sleeps on the restaurant floor. Sometimes he will get up and go for a wander about the town; about three times a week Swami will order an auto rickshaw driver to take him around the Hill – but always in an anti-clockwise direction. I have heard of several saints and sages who also have practiced going anti-clockwise around the Hill.

Mottayan Swamiji is sought by a number of devotees who will come and sit at a table near him hoping for a glance, blessing or some sort of signal or recognition. The owner of Hotel Deepam tells me that Swamiji is often offered expensive clothes and gifts, but he will never accept them, instead preferring to remain in his own well worn rags. He also will not receive offerings of food – at the times he wishes to eat he will select who it is that will feed him, and then give his orders.

Whatever may or may not be his spiritual state; I do know that recently at an important decision making juncture of my life, I was drawn to present myself at the Hotel where I sat at a table near Swamiji. Whatever the reason for the impulse that brought me to Swami, I left feeling satisfied that my question had been fully answered.

Some locals feel that Mottayam Swamiji is some kind of Avadhuta much in the same way as Shirdi Sai or Seshadri Swami. As to that I have no opinion, all I can say is that I’m grateful he is available and thankful to be able to spend time in his presence.


Divya said...

Intriguing! Sounds like a unique and innocent personality.

Arunachala Living said...

Ramana once said that there are at least 7 rishis (in disguise) living at Arunachala at any one time. And there is a famous story of Paramhamsa Ramakrishna once identifying a supposed madman in a Calcutta Temple as a great Saint. Definitely best to veer on the cautious side in such matters!

Kandy said...

I cannot express my joy in words after seeing appa's photo and a article on him.
Appa is how he is reffered by all his devotees/ children.
After my personal experience with appa I have unshakeable faith that only when you are in dire needin your life, lord arunachaleswara blesses you to meet appa.
We are not meeting appa actually.He will deicde to see us and it is only then that we can see him.

I would like to share my personal experience with appa.We met appa in may 2009 unforgettable month of my life.My husband had lost his job in Us due to recession.We were searching for jobs for 2 months now.Every interview will come till the Hr round and then for somereason the HR will not call at all. In the mean while I was havin very sudden and severe health problems related to my brain and fertility.All these put together we werre having the toughest time fo our life, not to mention that we were married for less than a year.
My husband is a devotee of lord arunachaleswara and so as is our habit we went to thiruvannamalai for swami's dharshan.

On the blessed day when we met appa, we were leaving thiruvanammalai to go back to our home in madurai.After having breakfast, I hired an auto.Of all the autos that were present there, god had to send me only that particular auto.In that auto, there were two photos.One was the photo of Uchimalai swamigal who was no longer present in thiruvannamalai. There was this other photo we did not recognise.
We asked the auto driver about it and it was he who told us about appa.
We wanted to meet him very bnadly and asked him to take us to appa.

The first time we met appa he was in a mariamman temple in the giri route. He was having a thiruodu in his hands.When he saw us, he walked to the nearby plants and started to pluck leaves from them.He then kept those leaves bunches in his head.
After being there for sometime, he decided to go for girivalam and signaled to a person standing near by.
He then started for girivalam in the anitclock direction.

We took off behind him.He went into hotel akash and asked for the senior owner.When he learnt that the owner was out of town, he broke his thiruvodu by sending it crashing on the floor.The owner imediately asked the gaurd to clear it and he explained to us, the spectators that appa had actually done dhrushti kalippu by breaking the thiruvodu.

Our girivalam continued and at one point only one leaf bunch flew from appa's head and fell on the road.Of the 4 -5 bunches only one flew.We took the leaf bunch as prasad. I am very happy that i took it. We had kept the leaf in a plastic cover. We were very surprised to see that the leaf was fresh and green as if in a plant for a month.

I dont think it is a concidence that the leaf was fresh till all our problems were solved. My husband got a job in singaproe,and all my health problems were resolved. Appa stayed with us in form of the leaf till our problems were solved.

If you got to thiruvannamalai try to have the divine experience with appa. He will not talk through his mouth.But if you ask him something(you should talk using your heart and not mouth)then he will shake is head as an aswer. If the answer si a yes then he will nod and if it is a no then he will indicate accordingly.

If you have been blessed to meet appa then i am sure, that appa could not bear seeign you in pain and so he chose to see you and free you of all the pain. I am also sure that from that moment on, your life will only improve and you will reach heights.

Even now, if i think of the whole experience adn the leaf bunch in particular, i cannot help but shedding happy tears of joy.

I pray to annamalaia that all those reading this blog also get the blessing to meet appa.

Appa's annadhana matam is situated in the girivala pathai.Anyone will be able to tell you. You can go there for any further details.

vinesh said...

Your blog is very nice... i like your blog ....

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manjunath km said...

Thank you very much.... Feel blessed

manjunath km said...

Thank you.... Met him yesterday... Feel blessed

manjunath km said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with Appa