The Walking Shiva of Varanasi by
Dr.V.V.B. Rama Rao
Nowhere else in the world is renunciation held in such high esteem as
in India. It is but natural. We owe our allegiance to our ancestors who
were not Kings or barons but renouncing sages. This is our heritage. They
can be likened to the ‘gentle dew that falls unheard and unseen
at night, and brings into blossom the fairest of roses.’
The sage, seer, yogi or mahatma has to be approached with a degree of
reverence, not with a meddling intellect. His miracles belong to the realm
of ‘adbhut’ the wondrous and fabulous, extraordinary events
and acts. They strike people with wonder, which automatically produces
a joyous suspension of disbelief.
One such sage called Trailingaswami’s life and preaching have been
portrayed pictoriously in the book ‘The walking Shiva of Varanasi’
written by Dr.V.V.B. Rama Rao. He says in the first chapter, ‘It
is well nigh impossible to call Trailingaswami either a saint, a siddha,
a yogi, a saadhaka, a baba, a paramahamsa, an avadhoota or an avatar for
he is all and not merely one among these many, Swami Kritarthananda called
him, ‘The Living Shiva of Varanasi”.
Trilingaswami was born to Nrusimhadhar and Vidyavati in 1607. He was named
as Siva Rama and perhaps also as Trailingadhar, because he was born in
Trilinga Desa (It is a region between three great Shrines of Paramashiva.
Srisailam, Drakshaaraamam and Kaleswaram) The astrologers predicted that
he would grow to be a great person. He lived as a God Incarnate for the
longest period of 280 years, next only to the Methuselah of the Bible
who was supposed to have lived beyond nine hundred.
In due course of time he rose to be Trailinga Swami, Ganapatiswami, Ramananda
Saraswathi and Mouni Baba, performing various miracles all through. He
brought back to life many people, he saved a sinking ship, he helped many
suffering souls, fulfilled many desires, but all the time he longed to
be alone. He moved from place to place but lived in Varanasi alone for
one and a half centuries.
The swami was moving stark naked like any other avadhootaswami, who rise
above all dualities, blessed with an infinite tolerance and equanimity,
‘samabhaavana’. Once a Maharastrian woman was casting a look
of disapproval at his nudity, day after day. She also told him to his
face that going about nude would not take anyone nearer to God. During
that time she was praying to Lord Viswanath to cure her husband of ulcer.
But one night the Lord told her in her dream that only the naked Swami
could cure her sick husband. The woman repented and apologised to the
swami. He gave her bhasma and she took the dust of the swami’s feet.
When she applied the bhasma to her husband’s chest, he was cured
in no time.
On another occasion the Raja of Ujjain came to pay a visit to the Raja
of Benares. When he was sailing in a boat he saw a man shining gloriously
on the water. He heard that he was Mouni Baba and that he would walk on
water, would be under water for any length of time and would also appear
or disappear at will at any place. The Raja wished to talk to him and
the Swami, as if knowing his mind, got into the boat.
In the course of conversation, the Swami threw the sword of the king into
water. It had a precious stone on its hilt and it was gifted by a British.
The king was torn between anger and grief. He was ready to punish the
Swami. The swami put his hand in the water and picked up two identical
swords. The king could not identify his own. ‘When one cannot even
recognize what was one’s own, why should one bother about that trifle?'
This admonition done by Swami brought a sea change in the king.
The Swami’s preaching was in the form of dictation to his trusted
disciple Shri Umacharan Mukhopadhyay.
'As the sun is the doer, kartha, for the earth, for jeevi, the highest
and the most important, the master is aatma. Owing to the sun’s
rays alone, all living beings are able to carry on their activities. In
fact the sun does nothing. In the same way, aatma in the human body, like
the sun, shines as the karta. By its shining, by its radiance, the senses
go on performing their functions.'
This is just a glimpse into his teachings. He has dealt with topics like
Aatma bodha, Chitta - Shuddi, Dharma, Upaasana. Tanmayatwam etc in a lucid
Reviewed by: Smt. Madduri Rajyasri
Name of the book - The walking shiva of Varanasi
Written by - Dr.V.V.B.Rama Rao
Published by - Richa Prakashan
Website - www.richaprakashan.com
price - INR 150.00 USD 4.00
For copies - D-36 south extension part-one
New Delhi - 110049 (India).
Tel +91 -11 - 24640153.