Sadhashiva Brahmendra


parama śivendra karāmbuja sambhūtāya praṇamṛ varadāya | padadhūta paṅkajāya praṇatiṃ kurmaḥ sadāśivendrāya || 

  1. khelati mama hrdaye – Athana 
  2. Sarvam Brahma Mayam
  3. Pibare RamaRasam – Yamuna Kalyaani
  4. Prativaaram vaaram – Tilang
  5. Nee PAda Darsanamu

Namavali – Sambo Gangadhara, Gowri Manohara
Gowri Manohara, Gangajata Dhara
GangaJata Dhara, Chandrakala Dhara
Chandrakala Dhara, Saamba Sadashiva

Shri Sadashiva Brahmendral was a saint, composer of Carnatic music and Advaita philosopher who lived near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, during the 18th century. Two events changed the very contours and course of Sadashiva Brahmendra’s life completely: the first transformed him from a brahmachari on the threshold of gri­hasthaashram dharma into a sanyasi and the second from a sanyasi into a mauna­muni (silent sage), an epitome of the Dakshinamoorthy-Swaroopa.

 In his celebrated Atma Vidya Vilasa (Living in the Knowledge of the Atma/Self), which Shri Ramana Maharshi considered a masterpiece on Advaita, Sadashiva Brah­mendra describes in the space of 62 verses what and how it “feels” to live soaked in the bliss of atmanananda (The joy of self-realisation). It is truly a description of the blissful state he has attained.

 It is generally agreed that he was a contemporary of two other prominent Hindu saints of the time: Shri Shridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval and Shri Bodhendra Saraswati. This would place him in and around the 18th century. The three were, in fact, Veda pathashala classmates. Sadashiva was born to the couple Moksha Somasundara Avadhaani and Parvati and was named Shivaramakrishna. It was later that he came to be known as Sadashiva, for he was for ever in an exalted state, merged and com­pletely soaked as it were in Shivatattva. Shivaramakrishna was invested with the poonal (sacred thread) when he was five and enrolled into a Veda pathashala where he was the brightest star, precocious and gifted but with an argumentative streak bordering on stubbornness and a strong determination to win every argument.

 As soon as he finished his study of the Vedas, his parents got him married. However on the day of his embarking on married life his vairagya emerged and he walked out of his home for good. For a few years, Sadashiva was a parivrajaka, a wandering monk before he met Shri Paramashivendra Saraswathi Yati and became his disciple. It was during his time here that he composed three of his great works on Advaita, namely, Bramhasutra Vritti, Yogasuthra Vritti, Siddhantha Kalpavalli.

 Another transformation happened here. On the advice of his Guru the usually argu­mentative fierce debater became a Mouna Muni (the silent saint) and never opened his mouth again. He never uttered a word for well over eighty years of his life. Shiva that day became Sadashiva, the mauna muni. He also walked out of the ashram much like he had walked out of his home. He became an Avadhuta, the sky-clad sage with not a care for the body or social etiquette. Several miracles were wit­nessed during his wanderings.


Many families had their wishes fulfilled just by the proximity of Sadashiva in his wanderings. Once the Muslim King seeing him wandering naked near his harem and mistaking him for a drunk ordered his hand to be cut off but Sadashiva, un­aware of the fallen arm, the bloody stump, or the flowing blood, kept walking. The King realised his mistake and ran after Sadashiva with the severed hand. Sadashiva gesticulated to him to place the severed hand in its appropriate spot. To the amaze­ment of the King, the severed hand fixed itself without any problem whatsoever, and Sadashiva walked on! For Sadashiva, none of this mattered. He remained until the end a wandering Avadhuta. He attained jeeva samadhi in Nerur (Karur district of Tamil Nadu) in the year 1755. There are reports of people having seen him enter into jeeva samadhi simultaneously at 5 places, symbolising the dissipation of the physical body into the panchabhutas — the other four being Manamadurai, Puri, Kashi and Karachi. Of these, it is only the Nerur Adhishtanam that remains popular and worshipped today apart from the small Shiva temple at Manamadurai.


His Keertanas are very popular and used in Bhajans include: Maanasa Sanchara Re (Sama), Sarvam Brahmamayam ( Chenchurutti), Khelati Brahmande ( Jhonpuri), Khelati Mama Hridaye (Atthana), Smara Vaaram (Sindhubhairavi), Bhaja Re Go­palam (Pantuvaraali),  Piba Re Ramarasam  ( Akhir Bhairav) etc.  


His major works include:

1.      Bahmasūtravṛtti / Brahmatattvaprakāśikā

2.      Yogasudhākara, a commentary on  Patañjali Yoga Sūtras

3.      Siddhānta-kalpa-valli

4.      Advaita-rasa-mañjari

5.      Ātmānusandhānam

6.      Ātmavidyā-Vilāsa

7.      Shiva-Mānasa-Pūjā

8.      Dakshinamurtty Dhyanam

9.      Swapnoditam

10.  Navamanimala


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