Sri Sriramji from Houston beautifully elucidated the greatness of Adhistanams as below…
It is something very phenomenal but not talked about very often. We have all been to a Samadhi of a Mahatma or at least heard about it. Adhistanams are the Samadhi of God-realized souls. When a Mahatma sheds his mortal coil, the mortal remains are buried in a place and that place is called as an Adhistanam. The actual meaning of an Adhistanam is truth [‘sathyam’]- “Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma”. The Brahmam is Satyam. Anything that can be disintegrated or changed or perishes with time is untruth. The name of Lord Rama existed even before the incarnation of Lord Rama and continues to exist even today and is a classic example of permanence. Adhistanam also connotes truth and something that is eternal because the truth is undying which verily is the Lord.
Normal mortals are born alike through the process of reproduction. Even Mahan is born the same way but they have different ways while departing from the mortal coils. Bhakta Meera and Sridhara Ayyaval merged with the Lord in the form of a Jyothi. Andal became one with Lord Ranganatha in a similar manner. Jayadeva unified with the Lord of Puri Jagannatha. Sri Vallabha and Sri Chandrasekharendra Bharathi Swamigal attained Jala Samadhi. Even contemporary Mahans like Ramana Maharishi merged with the Lord in the form of a jyothi which left his mortal coil. Other Mahans like Raghavendra, Sri Bodendra Swamigal and Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra attained Jeeva Samadhi. They are all still alive. It is said that in the divine sanctorum of Bodendra Swamigal, he still continues to live and the chanting of Divine Name of Lord Rama is still heard even today. It is believed that in the Adhistanam of Atma Bodendral in Vadambalam, people hear the chanting of the Upanishads. These illustrations show the greatness of Adhistanams and it is not a farce. It is a fact that in Sri Raghavendra Swamigal’s Brindavan, the sound of his sandals is still heard even today. Sabari and her Guru Mathanga maharishi sat inside an Agni Kundam and left for the Lord’s abode from there. Vittobha was taken away in a divine chariot. Swamy Vivekananda and Vasudeva Thatha predicted the day when they would shed their mortal coil. Mahaperiva and Yogi Ramsurtkumar left their mortal coils like normal people.
It is a proven fact that when one visits the Adhistanams of a Mahan, their prayers are being answered. Moksha is said to be attained when one’s good and bad merits are exhausted. If they are not exhausted, then one takes births after births. This has been said to be true for humans since they possess latent expressions. But in the case of Mahans, they accrue good merits in due course of life. But they don’t have to take another birth to exhaust their good merits since they possess Boga vasanas. The good merits remains along with them in their Adhistanams. When people go and seek blessings, they give away all their goodness. This goes to say why Adhistanams are a repository of goodness.
It is verily a form of blessing and Mahans due to their infinite compassion bestow goodness to whoever come to their Adhistanam seeking blessings. The Mahans show their presence in this way.
One very striking incident happened in the life of four Mahatmas namely Vikramaditya, Adi Shankara, Arunagirinathar and Thirumoolar. They left their mortal coil to enter the body of another being. Mahans undergo this to show a precept. Adi Shankara entered the body of a king in order to defend Mandana Mishra in a debate. Aruna Girinathar entered into a parrot’s body and Thirumoolar into a cow’s body. There was an incident from the life of Pinnavasal Periyava. He entered into the mortal coils of a Madhushri. It is believed that a curse was casted on him and hence he was born as a woman. However, there is a story behind it.
Pinnavasal, a city twenty-eight miles away from Trichy and is located in the proximity of a town called Lalgudi. There was a Siddha Purusha known as Ramakrishnananda. His hometown was Kallidaikurichi. He spent number of years in Avudaiyar temple. The beauty of this temple is there is no Linga[moorthy] and only contains the base, which is the actual meaning of Avudai. This shows the formless aspect of absolute truth of Brahman. Ramakrishnanda in his early years got married much against to his wishes. He earnestly desired to align himself in the spiritual world and hence he ignored his wife and set out to pursue his quest for god. For many years he performed intense tapas and his guru was Sadasiva Brahmendra. Initially Swami Sivananda was his guru and once when he requested his guru to bestow the path of Sanyasa, Sivananda declined it. Later Sadasiva Brahmendra who was not his contemporary became his Manasika Guru. He bestowed him the Navasakshari Mantra and he attained a lot of spiritual powers with this mantra. Sadasiva Brahmendra once appeared in his dreams and confided in him that he had to take another birth as a woman due to curse which was cast by his wife. On one hand, she being a pathivratha , her curse was bound to happen and on the other hand, Ramakrishnananda did not desire for any births. So Sadasiva Brahmendra advised him to make a hole in his Samadhi and assured him that he would help him get into the body of a woman at the appropriate time and saying so he disappeared from his dream. Ramakrishnananda continued to lead his life and when he shed his mortal coil his devotees made a hole in his Samadhi.
In Chennai, there was a lady who was known as Maragadavalli. She was born in a very pious family and was an ardent devotee of Lord Muruga. She had composed a lot of kirtans and even the Lord would appear in front of her and demand kirtans from her. She led the life of a house-holder but her mind was completely contemplating on Lord Muruga. In 1949, Maragadavalli was admitted in a hospital and it was declared that she succumbed to heart attack. Sadasiva Brahmendra appeared at the Samadhi of Ramakrishnananda and requested him to enter into the mortal coils of Maragadavalli who has led a pure and pristine life and Lord Muruga himself has resided in that divine body for many years. Upon the request of his Guru, Ramakrishnananda entered into the divine body of Maragadavlli in the month of Vaikasi and in Vishakha Nakshatra. Everyone at the hospital was now shell-shocked to see Maragadavalli being brought back to life. She opened her eyes and this completely baffled the doctors. Years passed by and Ramakrishnanda in the body of Maragadavalli continued to compose a lot of kirtans and she was known as “Andavan Pitchai”. Mahatmas entering into the mortal coils of another human being, has happened only four times.
It is said that Mahans can perceive the Devas, This has been depicted in the life-history of Seshadri Swamigal. It is believed that the Devas flew in the sky singing the in the Bilahari Raaga. Ramana Manarishi recognized that the Devas circumambulated the Arunachala Mountain in Tamil Nadu. Many Mahans have perceived Devas offering flower garlands and this is delineated beautifully in kirtans. In the life of Andavan Pitchai, Lord Muruga came in her dreams and requested her to sing kirtans –
“Vaadada pumalaiyaana pamalaiyaa en mel paadu” – Garland me with an ever fresh garland of kirtans.
Andavan Pitchai composed lot of kirtans on Lord Muruga, and once he plucked the feathers of the peacock and started scattering them all over the room. The word “pitchi” in tamil connotes the act of plucking. When Lord Muruga disappeared all the feathers were strewed all over the room. She was later conferred with the title “Pitchai”. The Lord performs such acts to instill some faith in us.
She composed a lot of Kirtans and we have learnt the wonderful truth that singing the divine glories of the Lord is very much acknowledged by the Lord.
Kalau Kalau bhavishyanti Narayana parayanah—in the age of kali, Mahans incarnate to propagate the path of Nama Sankirtan. It is seen that all Mahans have sung kirtans extolling the greatness of chanting the Divine Names of the Lord.
It is a fact that a normal man uses his intellect to compose kirtans whereas Mahans compose kirtans in a language of silence. It is a Samadhi Bhaasha. When they go in deep thought of the Lord [bhaava], they come out with a kirtan which is nothing but the words of the Lord himself. Our Guru Maharaj preaches all his devotees to sing kirtans which are composed by the great Mahatmas. It is a true fact that the Lord relates to the devotee who extols and renders the kirtans which are composed by great Mahans.
In the songs composed by Andavan Pitchai, she never left a stamp is her kirtans. This is to show the beautiful point that the Lord himself has composed all her kirtans.
After this beautiful discourse, the satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan