24 December 2016

Mookupodi Swami Current Location

I’ve recently received many requests about how to connect with Mookupodi Swami. In this respect a few days back I received a comment from SOURI KB on a very interesting and informative posting relating to Mookupodi Swami (at this link here) about the current whereabouts of the Saint. 

“Hello every one, if you want to have the darshan of MPS. Please visit the Hanuman Temple near the High School on the girivalam path. Nowadays he is staying there. Recently I had his darshan. Every day after the breakfast swami will do girivalam in an auto in anti-clockwise (opposite to how we do) between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and rest at the Hanuman Temple. Happy darshan.” 

I have made a number of postings on Mookupodi Swami on two of my blogs; Arunachala Grace and Arunachala Mystic. But to those unfamiliar with this Saint, am below posting a short narrative about some of my own experiences with Mookupodi Swami.

Mookupodi Swami at Deepam Hotel in 2007

Swami at Hotel 2007
Mookupodi Swami at High School, Girivalam Roadway, 2009

I first met Mottayan Swamiji (now more commonly known as Mookupodi Swami) in 2007. He moved to Tiruvannamalai some 40 years ago and although he occasionally disappears—after a short time returns. He has been known in Tiruvannamalai for many years by traders, merchants and devotees. It used 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 the spot and take up residence at some other place. Wherever he remains, its always with the grateful thanks of the owner of whatever establishment Swamiji has selected. In much the same way Sri Seshadri Swamigal’s nomenclature was “golden hand” because he imbued everything he touched with auspiciousness, Mottayan Swami is also believed to bring good fortune to those he moves with. 

When I met him in 2007 his abode was the restaurant Hotel Deepam on Car Street (near Arunachaleswarar Temple). He would sit quietly in the same corner and rarely notice or look at anyone. And yet he was sought by many. Devotees and visitors would come, sit at a table nearby hoping for a glance, blessing or some sort of signal or recognition. He would not receive offerings of food instead when he wished to eat he would command whoever he choose to ‘bring me food’. At night he slept on the restaurant floor. Sometimes he would get up and wander about the town. About three times a week Swami ordered an auto rickshaw driver to take him around the Hill—but always in an anti-clockwise direction. I’ve heard of several saints and sages who also habitually travel anti-clockwise around the Hill. 

For many years Swamiji has been offered expensive clothes and gifts, but rarely accepts anything, preferring instead to remain in his own well worn rags. The Hotel manager told me a story of a rich devotee who offered Swamiji a fabulously expensive embroidered shawl. Swami accepted the shawl and proceeded to drop it onto the filthy street, stomp on it and only after ingraining it with dirt, put the shawl around his shoulders. 

Many locals believe Mottayan Swamiji is some kind of Avadhuta much in the same way as Shirdi Sai or Seshadri Swami. He was born in East Rajapalayam, near Salem with the name of Mottayan Gaunder, and hailed from a farming community. In his youth Mottayan Gaunder spent most of his time at the Veerapathiran Temple performing pujas and making garlands for the God statues. He was 25 years old when his family arranged his marriage to a girl named Chadachi. The couple had a son Periyarswamy but shortly after the birth of the child, Mottayyan Gaunder left his birth village, only to return twelve years later a few days before the death of his wife. 

Swami is now commonly known as Mookupodi Swami (Siddhar) because of his habit of using snuff. Over the last years he has spent most of his time in spots around the Hill; including Rajarajeshwari Temple, Adiannamalai Temple, Hanuman Shrine and more recently the Navagraha Shrine close to the Ner Temple off the girivalam roadway. 

In much the same way the actions of Seshadri Swamigal were believed to always be in the devotees best interest—so too, Mookupodi Swami’s actions of shouting at devotees, sometimes threatening or beating them with a stick, are also attributed to his teachings and blessings. His actions are ever random and unpredictable. He may command a visitor to give him money which he proceeds to put inside a towel and then wrap the towel around his head or some other part of his body. After some time he might give the money to a different person nearby. In such incidences both the giver and receiver feel blessed—the giver believes Mookupodi Swami (by taking the money) has taken off bad karma, and the receiver feels the gift from the saint will bring auspiciousness and good fortune into their life. In many of my earlier postings on Mookupodi Swami, people have replied with comments telling of their own extraordinary experiences with him.  


Anonymous said...

Nice to learn so many new things about Tiruvannamalai.

Anonymous said...

I want to add that the Hanuman Temple in Tiruvannamalai is amazing. One time when I went, I found the priest emptying huge vessels full of hot rice on the parapet outside for the hungry crows. One crow couldn't wait for the rice to cool outside and cheekily went inside the temple and helped himself to a mouthful from what was offered to the devas near the flagpole. The crow had such a "So, I am stealing, catch me if you can" look in his eyes.

I don't know why they feed the crows so much rice... maybe Meenakshi would know.

If you give a small donation, the temple will give you the orange wax they put on hanuman for us to take home. I ran out of mine. So on my second visit I got lots of the small boxes but they dried in the cold winters we have in North America. I cant wait for my next visit to get more. and the black myee that they give at the main temple.

I am crying as I am writing this. I miss Arunachala and Tiruvannamalai so much

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Most people in India are very superstitious about crows. The crow is the vahana for Lord Shani. And you definitely want to keep Shani happy. Its customary for housewives to put food out each morning for birds and particularly for crows ... the reason being is to placate Lord Shani so that he keeps away evil and misfortune. I will write about Shani and his vahana the crow on my Arunachala Mystic blog in the next few days.

Sorry you are missing Arunachala so much. Am sure you will be back very soon.

Best Wishes Meenakshi

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Have to also agree with you about the "orange wax" distributed at Hanuman Temple. Its so identifiable. See someone with the orange on their forehead . . . know immediately . . . you've just come from the Hanuman Temple.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am only now seeing your reply. In the interim my Hindu friends took me to see a local Vedic astrologer. He said: Once Hanuman did a huge favour to Shani. So Shani promised him that he would not trouble Hanuman devotees as much anymore.

My friend asked the astrologer, "How much"

Our astrologer replied, "If you have an annoying, very interfering mother-in-law and you worship Hanuman, Shani will see to it that she lives far away and will need a visa to visit you."

We all laughed.

My friend said she will take that. So from now on our little group will sing the Hanuman Chalisa in a local temple every Saturday. We are planning to do 11 times at each sitting. Not sure what the number is. :-)

Anonymous said...

Correction: Eight (8) times on Saturdays NOT 11.

Our astrologer also said people who eat meat, fish or eggs should NOT worship Hanuman or any of the Hindu Gods. Hanuman being an animal will not take kindly to another animal being killed for our meal. He will create huge problems in our lives till we learn the lesson.

No eggs because we are stopping a soul from taking birth. Just thought I should clarify. I have 19 pages of notes I took and will share although I am sure Meenakshi will write a very informative post on Shani as she has promised. She always does.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

I won't forget. Will make a NICE posting on Shani after Pongal.