TRACING OUR TRADITION OF MASTERS
Bhagwan Shri Vishweshwaraiah Guruji Bhagwan Shri Vishweshwaraiah was the last son among many children of their parents. Both mother and father were great yogis. Father took upon himself the death of his eldest son from T.B. and offered his remaining life to him as Pranadana. Mother taught the last son, Vishwa, the secrets of yoga to cure himself of near total blindness when He was about ten years of age. Vishwa did not prove himself to be a scholar like his brothers. He started spending his time meditating in cremation grounds, at the same time performing his duties as a textile inspector. With time, he engaged himself in teaching music, yoga and vedanta. He became devoted to Sri Chidambar Swamiji of Gubbi. Vishwa’s mere blessings were enough to change people’s lives. Thousands came to take solace and inspiration from His life. Just being with the Master was a feast and a great meditation. Many sanyasis would come to His home which was open to everybody. He ate at home only when saints came home. Otherwise He would go for bhiksha in the afternoon to some devotee’s home. Every day He took alms. When He was working in the Sri Jayachamarajendra Technological Institute at Bangalore, devotees brought Him the afternoon food. He lived on whatever was offered in love. Whatever He earned, He gave to His wife, who resented Him giving away all He had to others. Whoever was with Him, felt totally taken care of as if by a father. He answered people's questions through narration of stories. The stories had deep teachings which each person understood at his own level. He did not tell anybody what to do - but simply told them a story. He would bless everyone telling them "I will send your wishes as my prayers to God. May God bless you." People felt that Bhagwan's blessings are enough to succeed in their endeavours. He would take people’s diseases. When asked, ‘‘Why are you taking it?’’ He would laughingly say "I am rich in prana, I can loan some of it to others who are suffering." He gave every breath of His life to seekers and devotees. He hardly slept. Everyday he would sleep around 11 P.M. or 1 A.M. and religiously got up at 2.30 A.M. for bath, japa, yogasanas, pooja and music lessons. Bhagwan was a Nada yogi. Musicians would come to do seva and get His blessings. He has composed many many kirtans and bhajans. These kirtans are very dear to His devotees. Bhagwan left the body on 7th March 1988 at the age of 66. Thousands came to have His last darshan. He had become an important part of the state of Karnataka.
Editor's Note : Shri Raghavendra Swamiji of Malladihalli also inspired and guided Bhagwan. He trained Bhagwan in Surya namaskara and Pranayama. Bhagwan often mentions the name of Sarvagna, who was Bhagwan's Guru in His previous life - time.
Shri Chidambar Swamiji of Gubbi This Swamiji was born in 1889 at Chikkanayakanahalli near Tumkur in Karnataka. He was a retired post master. He set up a gurukula at Gubbi in 1934 and an ashram for women at Chandrabhavi. He was a majestic figure. After touring the Himalayas for a Guru, He met his Sadguru Shri Narayana Bhagwan at Anandavana Ashrama near Agadi in Haveri Taluka of Karnataka. By the mere darshan of His Guru, He was awakened to Advaitha siddhi. A story as follows about him was told by Bhagwan Shri Vishweshwaraiah. Chidambara Swamiji was a postal worker near Sagar in the dense forest area. To the village came Narayan Bhagwan. A woman who had constant headache approached the Swami for help. On being cured of the same, villagers began to serve and listen to the Swami’s pravachanas. The post master, Chidambara Swami, thought that He understood Advaitha. While on a delivery errand in the forest, He heard a big snake hissing. Looking back he saw a five headed black cobra after Him. He ran for His life and soon the snake disappeared. In the evening, Narayan Bhagwan asked Chidambar Swamiji “Didn’t you see Narayana in the snake that followed you?” Then Narayan Bhagwan showed Him that He was the snake that followed Chidambar Swamiji! Sri Narayana Bhagwan and Sri Sheshachala Sadguru Sri Narayan Bhagwan was born in Agadi and lived just behind His would - be Guru’s home. He was born into a family of Dwaitha Siddhanta of Madhavacharya. He was very intelligent and strong in physique. He was an excellent teacher in a school. The inspector of schools came to test the boys. The students gave the right answer to a question in Mathematics. The inspector disagreed. Narayan Bhagwan proved that the answer was correct, yet the inspector persisted. Immediately, He resigned His job and went to serve a worthy Guru. At that time Sheshachala Sadguru was renowned for his greatness. Shri Narayan Bhagwan served the master diligently and became as much known as the Guru. The entire Anandvan Ashram was built with his toil. His monthly publication "Sadbodha Chandrike" had a circulation of 40,000 during those days ! Shri Sheshachala Sadguru was a great power in spreading dharma. He set up the Anandvana outside Agadi. He could undertake great tasks and yet did not project Himself in the lime light. Anandvan became an important education centre. Thousands used to come and benefit from Anandvan. On Chaitra Bahula Shasti every year, even to this day, more than fifty thousand people participate in the Chidambara Jayanthi celebrations. His children and grand children have maintained the tradition. His main disciples were Sri Shankar Bhagwan, Sri Linga Bhagwan and Shri Narayana Bhagwan. These disciples spread the teachings and greatness of their Guru.
A temple by the name of Sheshachaleshwara has been built on the Samadhi of Sri Seshachala Sadguru at Anandvana. Sri Sheshachala Sadguruâ€™s Guru was Sri Shiva Chidambara Mahaprabhu. Sri Shiva Chidambara Mahaprabhu Sri Shiva Chidambara Mahaprabhu was born around 1769 to Sri Marthanda Dixitar in Murgoad in Belgaum district. The child was born after several years of tapasya. He was an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He had mastered the Vedas by four years of age. His father was a purohit and used to conduct various vratas. A person approached Marthand Dixitar for performing Gaja Gowrivrata at his home. Father having known the powers of his son sent him to do the vrata. The man accepted the young boy as purohit out of reverence to his father. While performing the puja He did pranapratishtapana to the two mud elephants. Having finished the pooja he went home. At night, the two elephants started moving round the house. The man came to Dixitar and anxiously narrated the incident. Then Shiva Chidambara was sent to do the visarjana and end the vrata. He spent His whole life doing yeomen service to mankind. He was very active in Belgaum district in the villages of Murgoad, Sogale, Gonnagara, Babulgara, Savadatti and Chidambara Nagar. He was a great devotee of Panduranga. hindus and Muslims participate even to this day in the 8-days Kartika celebrations at Chidambara Nagar. This tradition of teachers emanating from him is very deep and vast and ever present. Jai Gurudev Rishi Prabhakar