Great Saints of South India

R.Sreeramulu (Original telugu)
Smt. Sonthi Anasuyamma garu

Sai Ram. "Great Saints of South India" is a very good collection of short biographies of many great saints of South India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu). It was originally written in telugu by Sri Ravinuthala Srreramulu and has received a lot of acclaim. It has been translated into good english by Smt. Sonthi Anasuyamma garu, who has to her credit many other religious and spiritual translations including "Arunachala Mahatyam" written by Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi, of whom both the original author and the translator of the present book are disicples. Bhagawan's grace enabled them to do a good job of bringing out the biographies of great saints including Sri Tyagaraja, Sri Ramadasu, Sri Kanakadasa, Sri Purandaradasa, Sri Eknath, Sant Jnanadev, Namadev, Samartha Ramadas etc. Many Saivite and Vaishnava Saints are also covered.

Thus it gives a good heritage of the southern india over many centuries. It is worth noting that God is beyond caste and creed, and you can read about the great saints of all castes in this slim volume. Biograhies of a few women are also given, indicating that devotion and jnana are not the exclusive preserve of men.

The book is generally well produced but could have been better edited. A few stories are somewhat disjointed. One example is that of Karaikal Amma where the beginning of her life story is apparently in Kailasa but later it is portrayed again as if she went to Kailas in that birth and thus it is not clear who related this story to whom.

Except for such editorial slips, the book is well written and will be a good addition to the spiritual library of every sadhaka.

Sai Ram.

India has produced many more saints and the book may hopefully be expanded in future editions to include some more great saints.

Title: Great Saints of South India
Author: R.Sreeramulu (Original telugu)
Translated by: Smt. Sonthi Anasuyamma garu
Publisher: Richa Prakashan (
ISBN: 81-87062-75-4
Genre: Biography/Religion and Spirituality