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CHATTAMBI SWAMIKAL


Sri.Vidyadhiraja Chattambi Swami Thiruvadikal was one of the most worshipped spiritual leaders of our country.  Chattambi Swamikal was born on Chingam 11, 1029 (ME) (August 25, 1853) in a nair family known as Ulloorcode, near Kollur Mutt in Kannanmool, Thiruvananthapuram.  Vasudeva Sharma (Anandasharma) was his father and Thirunanga mother.  Parents called him by name Ayyappan, but he was known by per name ‘Kunjan’.  He could not join a school for his studies due to the poor condition of his family.  He overheard teaching of the ‘Asan’ from the Kollur Athiyar Mutt and knowing this he was

Athiyar Mutt and knowing this he was permitted to sit inside the classroom.  He studied Malayalam, Sanskrit and Tamil languages from this ‘Asan School’. He supervised the class and therefore, he came to be known as ‘Chattambi’, which means ‘monitor’. After his education, he practiced document writing as a job.  He was also served as an Accountant in the Government Secretariat.He learnt the art of ‘Hat yoga’ from Thaikkattu Ayyavu, a Tamil Pandit and hat-yogi. He also learnt Tamil vedic works from Pandit Swaminatha Desika.  He became a disciple of the famous pandit and scholar Subha Jatapathikal.  He traveled thoughout South India and attained knowledge in different languages and religions.  On return, he obtained expert training in the art of yoga from Admananda Swamikal.

Sri Narayana Guru,Chattambi swamikal &Swami Neelakanta Theerthapaadar

“Here I met a remarkable man”, wrote Swami Vivekananda when he met Chattambi Swamikal at Ernakulam.  He made this remark on hearing the clarifications on ‘Chinmudra’ from Chattambi Swamikal.

Pracheena Malayalam, Vedadhikara Niroopanam, Sree chakkra Poojakalpam, Khristumatha Niroopanam, Jeevakarunya Niroopanam, Adibhasha etc. were the main works of Swamikal.

Pracheena Malayalam is a precious research thesis as far as the Nair community is concerned. Swamikal refutes the fabricated story that Kerala was a gifted land of Brahmins by Parasurama.  He strongly refutes this story through valid and authoritative documents and through realistic vision.  This book is the authoritative history of Kerala and that of the Nair community.  He established that Nairs were the leaders of the people.  Kerala was not a gifted land of Brahmins but Brahmins migrated to Kerala and took possession of the land and property of Nairs and gradually made them their dependents.  The book also reveals that Nairs were the early inhabitants and rulers of Kerala and they excelled themselves in warfare, physical strengthy, weaponry and cleanliness.  The foreign travelers in early times who visited Kerala made made special mention about the lorships and war tactics of Nairs.  The seventh chapter of Pracheena Malayalam contains quotations of this type of versions. 

The Vedadhikara Niroopanam proves that Vedas are not the monopoly of Brahmins, but all Hindus alike can verse it.  He established that even Sudras had the right to learn Vedas as knowledge is essential to all people like food and water and that no body has the right to deny them. 

These two writings contributed for the social progress of Kerala by breaking the supremacy of Brahmins and by doing away with the superstitious beliefs and customs in society. It also contributed much for the social reforms of Sree Narayana Guru.


Samadhi Smarakam at Panmana Ashram

Photograph of Shri Chattambi Swamikal taken just 40 days before his Samadhi

Sree Vidhyadhiraja Theerthapada Paramabhattrakasram was established by Chattambi Swamikal in 1089 (ME) (1914 AD).

Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai remarked that Sri.Vidhyadhiraja Chattambi Swamikal was a multi-faced personality.  He was a saint ithout the saffron, a saint who attained divine knowledge without performing Thapass (lonely prayer in jungle), a friend of the world who loved all creations alike, great philosopher who pioneered the social relations without being a part of it, a famous scholar who had no higher education, an expert who built up his knowledge out of his experience, a social reformer who succeeded in establishing cordial relations between different communities and a learned intellectual genius of our times. 

“Ascetic and holy man who tried to break the Brahmin hold on the performance of religious ceremonies.  Attacked caste and associated with Izhavas.  Said to have taught yoga to Sri.Narayana Guru” – thus wrote Robin Jeffri.

 

 
 
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