Swami Trailinga, when he died was reputed to be nearly 300 years old. If Jesus returned to earth and walked the streets of New York, displaying his divine powers, it would cause the same awe among the people that Trailanga Swami created decades ago as he passed through the crowded lanes of Varanasi. He was one of the great Siddhas (perfected Mystic).
His Everyday Life was a Miracle
Thousands of people, observed Trailanga Swami floating on the Ganges for days, sitting ON TOP of the water or remaining hidden for long periods under the waves of Ganges river. A common sight at Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi, was the Swami’s motionless body lying for hours on the burning hot stone slabs, wholly exposed to the scorching rays of summer Sun, with out deter.
Great saints that have awakened from the cosmic dream and realized this world to be an idea in the Divine Mind, can do as they wish with this body, knowing that the body is only a manipulatable form of condensed or frozen energy. Though physicist now understand that matter is nothing but congealed (solidified) energy, illumined masters have victoriously practiced in the field of matter control.
Huge Body But Hardly Ate Anything
In spite of his round face and huge barrel-like stomach, Trailanga Swami ate only occasionally. The yogi was great not only spiritually, but physically. His weight exceeded 300 pounds (about 140 Kg). After weeks without food, he would break his fast with pot full of clabbered milk, offered to him by devotees. A jealous skeptic once determined to expose Trailanga as a charlatan. A large earthen pot filled with lime mixture (used in whitewashing walls), was placed before the swami by him. “Master,” the materialist said, in mock reverence, “I have brought you some clabbered milk. Please drink it.”
Trailanga unhesitatingly drank, to the last drop, the quarts of burning lime mixture. In a few minutes the evil-doer fell to the ground in agony.
“Help, swami, help!” he cried. “I am on fire! Forgive my wicked test!”
The great yogi broke his habitual silence. “Scoffer,” Swami said, “You did not realize when you offered me this poisonous lime mixture that my life is one with your own. Except for my knowledge that God is present in my stomach, as in every atom of creation, the lime would have killed me. Now that you know the divine meaning of boomerang never ever again play tricks on anyone.”
The sinner healed by Trailanga’s words and he feebly moved quietly away with gliding steps.
Even Great Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Admired Him
It is said that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was greatly attracted towards Trailanga Swami. There are at least four references to the Trailang Swami in The ‘Gospel of Ramakrishna‘. The story goes that when Ramkrishna Paramhansa came to Benaras, he met Swamiji, to whom he mentioned his desire to visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple. But as time was running out, he concluded that it would perhaps not be possible. As he said this and turned around to leave, there stood, instead of Swamiji, Lord Vishwanath himself! After seeing Telang Swami, Ramakrishna said, “I saw that the universal Lord Himself was using his body as a vehicle for manifestation. He was in an exalted state of knowledge. There was no body-consciousness in him.”
Once Shri Ramakrishna moved out to take darshan of Trailanga Swami and reached the burning ghat on the way. It is believed that those whose bodies are burnt on the Mani Karnika Ghat, get salvation at the hands of Shri Kashi Vishwanath. On reaching the Ghats Shri Rama Krishna got into Samadhi and saw the divine couple Shri Shiva and Parvati standing before him—Parvati giving a bowl of nectar to Shiva in his conch and Shiva pouring that nectar in the ears of the burning bodies and giving them salvation. This account is recorded by his biographer, his disciple Shri Sharadanand Swami. Here is a brief account of the dialogue that took place between these two realized souls.
Ramkrishna, “God is one or two ?”
Trailanga Swami in reply showed his fore finger.
Ramkrishna, “What is Dharma?”
Trailanga Swami, “Nothing but truth.”
Ramkrishna, “What is the duty of a living soul ?”
Trailanga Swami, “To see in his own soul the divine soul or universal soul and serve him.”
Ramkrishna, “What is love?”
Trailanga Swami, “To worship your own deity by all the modes (nine in number-Navadha bhakti) of Bhakti and to get into ecstasy until tears start flowing from your eyes.”
In another story, young Ramakrishna (later Paramhamsa) went to Benaras only to see the great Trailanga Swami in 1869. Trailanga Swami took his urine and sprinkled it on the idol of Goddess whom Ramakrishna worshipped and said that there was no difference between his urine and the Ganges water. Trailanga Swami had reached that great state in which there was nothing non-sacred. Ramakrishna Paramhamsa said about Trailanga Swami “I saw that Universal Lord Himself was using his body as a vehicle for His manifestation. He was in an exalted state of knowledge.
A great Kriya Yogi
Trailanga Swami, the Greatest of the Known Kriyayogis (1607-1887), a very good reference has been made in the Autobiography of a Yogi. The greatest Kriyayogi about whom many events have been verified historically is the great Trailanga Swami. Briefly it is the word Trailanga, used mostly in Varanasi, is derived from the word Trailanga, referring to the area where Telugu language is spoken.
Birth & Later Renunciation
It is the modern Andhra Pradesh, where Trailanga Swami was born in a village near Vizianagaram in a Brahmin family. His father, Narasimha Rao, was a landlord and his mother Vidyavati was a great worshipper of Lord Shiva. The name chosen for him was Shivaram who once crept into the room in which she was worshipping. She saw a great illumination emanating from the Shivalinga that entered his son’s body. The puzzled mother had to be convinced by her husband that their son was a great divine person in human form.
The first guru of Shivaram was his own mother that initiated him to Shiva-mantra. The young child was exceedingly attached to his mother; to such an extent that her death changed the whole course of his life. When she died and was cremated on the out-skirts of the town, Shivram(40 at that time) did not return from the cremation ground. He lived in the ‘Smashan’ itself for some 12 years. His elder brother had got a small hut constructed in the ‘Smashan’ for his younger brother to live there. He besmeared his whole body with ashes and kept only a torn cloth on his body. After 12 years he moved out on an all India pilgrimage. He went to, Pushkar (near Ajmer), where he met a yogi, Bhagiratananda Saraswati with whom he stayed as his guest. This yogi initiated him into kriya yoga.
Travelled Across India, Finally settled in Varanasi
He had travelled all over India visiting the various places of pilgrimages in due course. He stayed in Nepal in the courtyard of Pashupatinath temple and there he used to pass into Samadhi. Even in the Himalayan heights, he visited Mana Sarovar. He had gone to Tibet also.From over there he came back to the Narmada Bank and stayed there for some time and then returned to Prayag ; he came back to Vindhya mountain and finally settled in Varanasi. During his travels he performed several miracles. Pie cured incurable diseases, and made dead bodies alive again. He used to meet Chiranjeevis like Shri Dattatraya, Parashuram, Vyas and Ashwathama.
Once he pilgrimaged the corner of the Narmada river, where at a certain Teerth he received ‘anugraha’ from a highly realized person by name Bhagiratha Swami. He then settled in Kashi. His ‘math’ was in the vicinity of old Bindu Madhav Temple. In the center of this math, which even today is in good condition, one can see a huge Shiv Linga. This huge boulder is known to have been brought by Shri Trailanga Swami from the bed of Ganga river, carrying it in his arm-pit. This temple is since then reputed as Trailangeshwar.
The king of Nepal and his courtiers were once hunting a tiger, which entered the cave where Trailanga Swami was in meditation and sat by his side like a cat. The king and his courtiers entered the cave but seeing a yogi hesitated to open fire. Opening his eyes Trailanga Swami asked the king to come near him assuring that the tiger would not even growl at them. The king then requested Trailanga Swami to be his guest at his palace but he went and stayed at the Pashupatinath temple. Once again, when crowds started collecting around him, day and night, he ran away, never to return to Nepal again.
No one knows when he reached Varanasi, the place of Lord Shiva.
British Police tried to Arrest Him
In Varanasi he laid totally naked on the roads. The harassed police of Varanasi (the then Benares) considered him as a baffling problem. The Swami, like the early Adam in the garden of Eden, was unconscious of his nakedness. The police were quite conscious of it, however, and unceremoniously put him in jail but soon the enormous body of Trailanga Swami was seen, in its usual entirety, on the prison roof. His cell still was securely locked, offered no clue to his mode of escape from the locked cell. The discouraged officers of the law once more performed their duty and this time a guard was posted before the Swami’s cell, but the great master was soon observed in his nonchalant stroll over the roof of the cell again. They soon gave up and set him free to let him walk the streets of Benares, naked.
Yet once again a mischievous British magistrate collected feces and asked him to eat it in his court, since Trailanga Swami always said that everywhere he saw only God since he had reached the highest stage of yogic development possible in human form. He asked everyone to eat it but they refused. He put his hand on the plate containing feces and it turned into sweet smelling sweetmeats and he ate it. The English rulers did not trouble him after that event and Trailanga Swami came to be known as Sachal Vishwanath, (moving Lord Vishwanath or Shiva).
The Maharaja of Benaras took Trailanga Swami once on a boat. The Raja (king) was attired splendidly with a silver sheath containing his golden sword, studded with diamonds, tied round his waist. What it was, asked Trailanga Swami and when told that it was priceless family heirloom (valuable armor belonged to kingly family for several generations), he took it in his hand and threw it in the river. The Raja was depressed. Then Trailanga Swami put his hand in the flowing water and brought out more than four or five similar swords and, asked the Raja to recognize his. The pride of the Raja was reduced to dust and he learnt a lesson in detachment.
Death and subsequent Disappearance of his remains
Trailanga Swami died on Monday December 26, 1887 and his body was given “salilasamadhi” Or “Jalsamadhi” in the Ganges river, according to the funeral customs of the monks of the Dashanami sect, in the presence of a multitude of mourning devotees standing on the ghats.
The great Avadhoot had predicted the day of his demise. Before that he assembled a meeting of learned pandits; had discussion with them and then gave instructions for a wooden box to be brought. He told his disciples as to how he was to be given a ‘Jala samadhi’. In the box, then, he sat in ‘Padmasan’ and got it closed by placing a huge boulder over it. The box with its cover was then taken into the Ganga river, where it is said that it did not sink but floated over water and after some time a huge glow of divine light started coming out from the inside of the box and proceeded in upward direction. Thousands of people who had gathered there saw this huge beam of divine light in the sky. This was in the year 1881. The stories of Shri Trailanga Swami are quite well known in Uttar Pradesh and reference can be had to old editions of Benares District Gazeteer. European civilians had several experiences about his miracles.
Out of these 280 years of his worldly existence Trailanga Swami spent 150 years in Varanasi, where for days and months he floated on the river Ganga without ever eating. There is no instance of such a great Kriyayogi as Trailanga Swami, which was ever got historically verified.
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