Yogiram Surat Kumar of Tiruvannamalai, a wonderous saint!
The Yogi in beggar's garb!
A mysterious Yogi in the form of a beggar!
Some of the readers might have heard about “Yogiramsuratkumar” who lived in Tiruvannamalai of South India for many years before he took Mahasamadhi. He is from North India. When he was a boy, an incident made him to dive deeper into the mystery of the world. One day while he was near a well, he saw a sparrow on the parapet of the well. Playfully he hurled a rope which fell on the sparrow and unable to bear the hit, the sparrow fell down. The boy tried to revive the bird with great sorrow. But the bird died in his palm. This agonizing experience made him to think about life and death and he became guilty for ending the life of the sparrow by his impulsive nature! From that time onwards, he became silent and he was ruminating about life and nature. Slowly his gaze turned inwards. While he was in his house, he has seen many wandering recluses and saints passing through the road. He used to run to them and tried to offer his little services to them. Pleased with the boy’s sincerity, they blessed him profusely. He was educated and after completion of education, he becomes a teacher in a school. His parents wanted him to get married and lead a householder life.
Somehow from the beginning, his gaze was not towards mundane life of earning, eating and sleeping. He was inwardly guided for a higher destiny. Many times he escaped from the binding attachments of family. After wandering here and there, he met many great men. By the time, he had children to support. Still he could not keep himself in the family atmosphere. Once, he travelled to South India and went to Kerala. There he met his preceptor at Kanjangad. The guru initially tested him much. He asked him to go away. Many times, he was driven away but Ramsuratkumar persisted with his preceptor and after many attempts, he was asked to chant, “Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare”. As per his guru’s instructions, he started repeating the chant incessantly day and night. Soon he realized the efficacy of the powerful chant. It changed his vision from the mundane to divine. Afterwards, he took permission from his guru and left the place wandering here and there. Once again, he went back to his home and stayed there for some time. Somehow, his destiny is not tied to family and children. Hence he came out one day and travelled to Tiruvannamalai, where he stayed for many years.
At first, people thought that he was a crazy beggar since he was loitering here and there absorbed in himself. He had a coconut shell in which he used to receive alms from certain householders. They realized his saintly nature. He had a Palmira hand fan for warding of heat. Hence he was called “visiri samiyar’ in tamil. Generally he was always chanting and remaining silent. But a few kind hearted individuals, rented a house near the temple car shed and requested him to stay there. From here, he started meeting many of his devotees. He blessed them but always he used to say, I am a beggar, my father will take care of you! Many brought him fruits and food. He used to smoke cigarettes. He was wearing a coat which was unwashed for many days. Still his presence was always soothing to the devotees who visited him there. He used to talk about chanting the names of god and other things related to spirituality. Everyone, who visited him started benefiting in one way or other. When some devotee revealed his problem, he will give solace to them by telling, “Father will take care”. Thus he could ward of many a troubled that pestered his devotees.
Soon many devotees realized his worth and power. People in groups started visiting him from far off places. There were congregational prayers, bhajan singing and other spiritual activities. He used to elucidate many spiritual doubts from the devotees. His ways are always mysterious. To mitigate the sufferings of his devotees he used to write something on the palmirah leaf. The devotees used to chant, “Yogiram Suratkumara, Jayaguru Jayaguru Raya”. This is the holy chant for many devotees who gathered there. Many articles were written about his miraculous grace to many devotees in various aspects of life like education, health, employment, marriage, children and house etc. He fulfilled their wishes mysteriously. He never wanted anything for himself. He was concerned about his devotees. All the while he was uttering the chant day and night.
Many devotees were concerned about a permanent abode for him. With his permission, they procured land and constructed a beautiful temple like structure where he used to give his dharsan to his devotees. Many spiritual activities were conducted there. He became ill one day and he was hospitalized. He passed away uttering the Lord’s name. His mortal remains were enshrined in the temple. Daily worship is being carried out there along with offer of food to the poor people and other service activities. Though he looked like a wandering beggar, he was a gem among the saints who lived in Tiruvannamalai.