Introduction“Sri Swamiji was a Siddhapurusha (Perfect Spiritual Master) and if He performed miracles, it was with a view to inspire devotion in his devotees and to induce in them an increasing faith in God. Prophets of God and great religious reformers before him have performed miracles. Did not Jesus Christ, Basaveswara and a host of others perform miracles? The Super natural events associated with them made the devotees God loving and religious minded.”
Early DaysSri Yerriswamy was a great soul, an Avathara Purusha. The District of Bellary (A.P), celebrated in many ways, was sanctified by His presence.
One report is that Sri Yerrithatha was from Tumkur (Karnataka) and that he was a Magistrate and that while in service, he used to go into a trance. After a point of time, he left his job. He would climb to the top of a coconut tree and sit there in yogic contemplation. He had understood the tenets of Veerashaivism and the worship of Linga and became a “Siddhapurusha” (SathPurusha).
It is also said that Sri Yerrithatha’s original name was Nanjundappa and that he came from Linganahalli and that he was given to simple living and that he learnt much from Nagappa, a Lingayat scholar of Linganahalli. When Nagappa realised that Sri Yerrithatha was greater than him, he told him that there was nothing to learn from him and that he would do well to approach Ganganarya of Doddaballapur.
Sri Thatha proceeded to Doddaballapur to meet Sri Ganganarya and waited for two or three days to seek his “Darshan” and blessings.
Sri Ganganarya commanded him to go round the town thrice in a naked state. Sri Yerrithatha obeyed the Guru and received the benediction.
Thereafter the Swamiji did not go back to Linganahalli but stayed in the service of his Guru. Sri Ganganarya named this Nanjundappa as “Niranjana.”
ProphesySri Mariswami Shivayogi, and his great disciple, Sakkari Kaadeppa, lived in Bellary and by their Super-human deeds, attracted a large following.
We may mention several in this connection, – Lakshamma of Adoni, Jedappa Thatha of Yammiganur, Gadilingappa of Gulya, Lingappa of Kokkarachedu, Mariswami of Balaganoor, Guddada Gavisiddheswara, and Chidanand avadhootha of Ayodhya, Shivarama avadhootha of Hemakoota and Venkavadhootha. They were all sages.
Sri Mariswami of Balaganoor, used to prophesy that to the village of Chellagurgi would be coming one day the great Yerriswamy. Before He came, it is said that Sri Mariswamy visited the village frequently and built a toy-like hut where the present Mutt is built. He used to answer, “This is a Mutt. Here would be arriving a great soul, a ‘Shiva yogi’. For Him I am building this Mutt. This place will become a famous centre of pilgrimage in future.”
True to this prophesy with in a short time, the great Yerriswamy arrived. It is learnt that he came to the place in the year 1897.
MiraclesStaying in Mallamma’s House
Sri Yerrithatha used to go to about the bazaar. He would be either found at the Basaveswara temple or at the Kanyakaparameswari temple. Sometimes He used to be in the house of Guramu Sanjeevamma or in that of Hebbavasathi Jeevamma alias Mallamma. The latter was very poor, and by her devoted service became prosperous. Being a devotional lady, she extended her utmost hospitality to the saints and sages who visited her. Once a saint Allaswamy said to Jeejamma that a Swami greater than himself would be coming to her house and asked her to serve him and became prosperous. So saying he left. It was left to Jeejamma to serve the Swamiji when He came to her.
To those mothers who asked Him for a remedy for their children’s fever, he would ask for a piece of jaggery to stop it. When that was done, the fever would abate. When some others asked Him, he used to utter, ” Jaya Namah Parvatipathe Hara Hara Mahadev.” If He uttered these words, it meant that those children had no chance of survival.
Her family had ostracized Yamunamma, as she was infected with leprosy. She sought the protection of Swamiji at the premises of the Mutt. She remained outside the main entrance of the Mutt by sweeping the veranda. As a consequence of her unassuming devotion, she became free from the fell disease. His mercy is truly infinite.
Sri Yerrithatha used to stay at the same time in three or four places and would talk with the people. At Uruvakonda, two women had gone to invite him. The Swamiji dived into a well and brought out two snakes. To the utter surprise of the women, he said to them, ” You can take the snakes.” One woman ran away in fright and the other taking courage in both her hands agreed to take it. It is the lady that became rich soon after.
Once, Sri Yerrithatha approached a house and asked the old lady of the house to bring Him some curds. It so happened that a calf was dead in the house and we can understand the feelings of the woman who was asked for curds when the calf was dead. The Swamiji sensed the pangs of the old woman and gently kicked the dead calf commanding it to wake up. The dead calf at once came to life and went near its mother.
Sri Yerithatha used to dive in the tank and swim at will in the wells. He would eat only when somebody offered Him. But again He would go down the water come out whenever it pleased Him. It once happened that a man jumped right on Sri Yerithatha when He was in water. As a result, the Swamiji went deep down the water. The nervous man began a frantic search for the Swamiji in the well but unable to find Him, was tracing his steps back into the town when he was perplexed beyond measure to find Him worshipping Basavanna at the local Basaveswara temple.
ContemporariesMany used to go to the Swamiji seeking his blessings. Many used to frequent the Mutt seeking his presence. Sri Yerrithatha used to speak but rarely. What exactly he was saying to the devotees and what exactly they made out of his words is not known. Even when he broke his silence, it was difficult to make out anything from his utterances. Expressions were often symbolic. Swamiji would often talk to himself. Sometimes the very words, which he was uttering to himself, became the answers to the devotees who prayed for his blessings.
He was often silent and to this silent saint, came people from all parts to have his ‘Darshan.’ Among them were the well-known saints, Sri Siddarudha of Hubli and Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi.
Sri Rudhramuniswamy of Halvi charanagiri Mutt, a great yogi himself, took ‘darshan’ of Sri Yerrithatha on his way to Uruvakonda.
Sri Padagacheri Ramalinga Swamy, a great saint of South India (Kumbakonam-Tamil Nadu) was one such person who became a devotee of Sri Yerrithatha. Sri Ramalinga Swamy, used to say that Chellaguriki would become the ” Kadir Kamam of North.” (Kadir Kamam-Sri Lanka-famous Murugan (Karthik swamy) Temple)
His last daysThe Swamiji shuffled His mortal coil at 10′clock in the morning on the fourth day of the month of Jyesta Suddha in the year of Dundhubhi corresponding to 1922 AD at Chellagurki, Bellary
1(Chellagurki is a village on the Bellary – Anantapur Road. 40 kms from Anantapur by road. Andhra Pradesh. Anantapur (Mumbai- Bangalore railway route)