Remembering the guru: Chattampi Swami’s walking stick, drum and mala on display next to his statue at his samadhi shrine in Panmana. Chattampi Swami () was the harbinger of renaissance and reformation in Kerala. His thoughts and work influenced the launching of many social. Sri Chattampi Swamikal (–) was a Hindu sage and social reformer. His thoughts and work influenced the launching of many social.

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Chattampi Swamikal 25 August — 5 May was a Hindu sage and social reformer.


His thoughts and work influenced the launching of many social, religious, literary and political organisations and movements in Kerala and for the first time gave voice to those who were marginalised. Chattampi Swamikal denounced the orthodox interpretation of Hindu texts citing sources from the Vedas.

Swamikal along with his contemporary, Narayana Gurustrived to reform the heavily ritualistic and caste-ridden Hindu society of the late 19th century Kerala. Swamikal also worked for the emancipation of women and encouraged them to come to the forefront of society. Swamikal promoted vegetarianism and professed non-violence Ahimsa. Swamikal believed that the different religions are different chattsmpi leading to the same place.

Chattampi Swamikal throughout his swamk and spiritually enriched life maintained a large number of friends from different regions of Kerala.

He authored swamo books on spirituality, history, and language staying with these friends. Chattampi Swami was chatttampi on 25 August at Kollur in southern Travancore. He was formally named Ayyappan but was called by the pet name of Kunjan — meaning “small male baby” — by all. As his parents were not able to provide him formal education, he learned letters and words from children of his neighbourhood who attended schools.

Also he learned Sanskrit by overhearing the classes at a Brahmin house nearby. Knowing his thirst for learning an uncle took him to the traditional school conducted by Pettayil Raman Pillai Asan, a renowned scholar and writer who taught him without any fee. It was there that he earned the name Chattampi on account swmai his assignment as the monitor of chsttampi class. In the s Raman Pillai started a scholarly group named ‘Jnanaprajagaram’ with experts on different subjects with progressive attitude.

It served as a meeting place for many scholars of that time and facilitated Kunjan to acquaint himself with many great men.

Chattampi Swami: An Intellectual Biography – R. Raman Nair, L. Sulochana Devi – Google Books

He also chattapi learn Tamil from Swaminatha Desikar and philosophy from Professor Manonmaniyam Sundaram Pillai during his participation in ‘Jnanaprajagaram’. Kunjan Pillai was introduced into the science of yoga by the Thycaud Ayyavu Swamikal [2] a scholar and yogi who used to give lectures at ‘Jnanaprajagaram’.

While so a wandering sadhu who came to his village temple initiated him into spiritual world by giving the Balasubramanya Mantra. Mastering this mantra gave him a new vigour and zeal and he assumed the name Shanmukhadasa due to his deep devotion of Subramanya.

As the burden of supporting the family fell on him, Kunjan Pillai took to many manual works. For many days he served as a labourer carrying building materials for the chattampii of Government Secretariat building in Trivandrum.

For some time he worked as a document writer and also as an advocate’s clerk. But he left the service after a short while as it curtailed his freedom and prevented his wanderings for spiritual exploitations and research.


He spent many years learning under Subba Jatapadikal. There he acquired deep and extensive mastery of all sastras in Tamil and Sanskrit. He also learned Siddha medicine, music, and martial arts.

During this period he was greatly influenced by the works of Kodakanallur Sundara Swamikal a great Advaitin. He later translated his work Nijananda Vilasam containing the cream of Vedanta into simple Malayalam to guide spiritual aspirants. After completing his studies under Subba Jatapadikal he spent long periods of learning under a Christian priest. In a secluded church in Southern Tamil Nadu assisting the priest he learned Christian meditation and learned Christian Religion and philosophy.

Later he lived with an old Muslim well versed in Qur’an and Sufi mysticism who taught him the main tenet of Islam. Kunjan acquired proficiency reading Qur’an in the traditional way.

Leaving him he wandered for months with many avadutas in Southern Tamil Nadu and also travelled all over India. These days revealed to him that the basic concepts of all religions are the same. At the end of his wanderings and quest Kunjan Pillai was led to self-realisation by an avaduta whom he met at a wayside in Vadaveeswaram a village in Tamil Nadu with whom he lived for many months in the forests without any contact with the outside world.

He returned to Kerala as a great scholar and saint. Asan was three years younger than Swamikal and in search of spiritual guidance. By then Swamikal was well-versed in yoga and spiritual matters and their meeting proved to be the start of a profound and cherished companionship, although the two were of different temperaments [9] In those days Nanu Asan was a soft-spoken introvert and Swamikal was an outspoken extrovert.

They lived and travelled for many months together. Swami introduced Asan to all arts and sciences he had mastered and also gave him the Balasubrahmanya mantra. These were the formative years of Asan, who later became a social reformer. Later Swamikal took Asan to his guru, Ayyavu Swamikal.

Narayana Guru practised austere Jnana and Yoga under Swamikal during this period. It was after this that he was known as Narayana Guru.

Chattampi Swamikal – Wikipedia

Swamikal did not stay there for long, although the two maintained a lifelong contact, respect and regard for each other. In Swamikal met his second disciple, Theerthapada, a Sanskrit scholar and an expert in treating snakebites. Inspired by Swamikal, he prepared many works interpreting Advaita for the common man. He also reformed the social and religious rituals and rules and prepared manuals for them.

He died in and Swami installed a Sivalinga above his Samadhi Peeta, which is the only temple, consecrated by him. InTheerthapada Paramahamsa became Swami’s disciple.

He, too, worked for the removal of caste-related injustices in Kerala society. He established many ashrams and also Theerthapada System for the line of sanyasins following Swami’s teachings and methods. Swami Chinmayananda, [17] Swami Abedananda, [18] and many other saints ascribes to Swami the responsibility for their turning to spiritual life.

Swamikal settled down at Panmana, a village in Kollam district, towards the end of his life. He died on 5 May after a short illness during which he objected to taking any medicine [19] He was buried at his Samadhistanam at Panmana.

Life and work of Sri Chattampi Swamikal

Swamikal’s writings comprise various forms, such as cahttampi stanzas, muktakas, bhajan songs, essays, critical works, translations, commentaries, short notes, and letters. Most of the works were only partially recovered and published. There were no later attempts to collect and conserve them, which led to the gradual loss of chattapmi of them. A few works were discovered and published eight decades after his death and inspired serious discussion, such swaim Adhibhasha and Pracheena Malayalam Part -II.


Important works available in print are: The following works are not available, except through excerpts published in various journals and books by contemporaries. Vedadikara Nirupanam [23] is considered as one of his greatest works. It refuted the baseless customs and rules that existed in Kerala. For the first time in the region’s history the work questioned the monopolisation of Vedas, sciences and education by chzttampi minority. Swami wrote many guides and commentaries on Vedanta for the common man.

Notable among them is Advaita Chinthapaddhathian introductory manual on practical Advaita. The book describes the trigunas, trimurthees, jivatmas, panchabutas, sukshma, sthula, sarirotpatti, dasagunas, prapancholpatti, Tatvamasi, and related Vedic vhattampi. The Christumatha Saram is his summary of what Christianity is, in accordance with the classical Indian Purva paksha tradition.

In Christumatha Chedanamhe criticises various tenets of Christianity which goes against the teachings of Christ. Relying on the Bible itself swxmi disapproves the arguments supporting conversion presented by the missionaries.

Pracheena Malayalam also aimed at awakening the mind of the people sswami the region divided by various complexes to a collective sense of ‘We’. Convictions of common origin and belief in a common ancestry were indispensable for the development of a collective mindset. Swami explored the roots of Kerala society and original inhabitants, and sociologically and genealogically connected most of the present groups in Kerala including the priestly class to common ancestors who were the original inhabitants known as the Nakas.

Hrdaya Kumari says that Pracheena Malayalam is not only a good example of Swamikal’s logical arguments but is the earliest example of application of hypothesis and fixed methodology for historical studies. He stated that ancient religion and law in India gave equal status to women and that their role is very important in family and society.

Media related to Chattampi Swamikal at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Brahmasree Thycaud Ayyavu Swami. Ernakulam, Kerala History Association.

Advaita Philosophy of Chattampi Swamikal. Kanyakumari, Ayya Vaikunta Nathar Siddhalayam. Word of the Guru. Kottayam, Sahithya Prvarthaka Sahakarana Sangham. Bhaskaran Swwami Guru. Sree Narayana Guruvinte Sampoorna Krithikal: Gopinatha Pillai Chattam;i Sadguruvum.

Sree Theerthapada Paramahamsa Swamikal. The Journey of a Master: The Man, the Path, the Teaching. Parama Bhattara Chattampi Swami Tiruvatikal. Chila Keraleeya Navodhana Pravanathakal. Prapanchathil Stree Purushanmarkulla Sthanam The position of women vhattampi men in the universe. Quilon, Sadabdha Smaraka Grantham. Retrieved from ” https: EngvarB from August Use dmy dates from December Articles with hCards Articles having same image on Wikidata and Wikipedia All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from October Articles with unsourced statements from May Commons category link swqmi Wikidata.

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