Sri Vidyadhiraja Chattambi Swami Jayanthi

via HK published on September 3, 2015

Sri.Vidyadhiraja Chattambi Swami Thiruvadikal was one of the most worshipped spiritual leaders of our country.  Chattambi Swamikal was born on Chingam 11, 1029 Malayalam era on Bharani star (August 25, 1853) near Kollur Mutt in Kannanmoola, Thiruvananthapuram. Today Nation observes 161st Jayanthi of this great sage and social reformer

His father was Vasudeva Sharma, a Namboothiri, from Mavelikkara and mother Nangamma a lady from Kollur. He was formally named Ayyappan. Knowing his thirst for learning his uncle took him to the traditional school conducted by Pettayil Raman Pillai Asan, a renowned scholar and writer who taught him without any fee. It was there that he earned the name “Chattampi “on account of his assignment as the monitor of the class.

Swami was the pioneer of renaissance and reformation in Kerala.His thoughts and work influenced the launching of many social, religious, literary and political organizations and movements in Kerala and for the first time gave voice to those who were marginalized.

Chattampi Swamikal denounced the orthodox interpretation of Hindu texts citing sources from the Vedas. Swamikal along with his contemporary, Narayana Guru, strived to reform the heavily ritualistic and caste-ridden Hindu society of the late 19th century Kerala. Swamikal also worked for the emancipation of women and encouraged them to come to the forefront of society.

Swamikal promoted vegetarianism and professed non-violence. Swamikal believed that the different religions are different paths leading to the same place. He strongly opposed the conversion activities of the Christian missionaries but was not against Christianity. Chattampi Swamikal throughout his intellectually and spiritually enriched life maintained a large number of friends from different regions of Kerala. He authored several books on spirituality, history, and language staying with these friends.

The compositions of Swami have come out in various forms of single stanzas, muktakas, bhajan songs, essays, critical works, translations, commentaries, short notes, and letters.

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