Suddhananda Bharati

Suddhananda BharatiSuddhananda Bharati was a poet, thinker, writer, yogi and nationalist. He was born on 11th May 1897 to an educated, devout and affluent Telugu Brahmin family who lived in Tamil Nadu. His father Jatadhara Iyer and his mother Kamakshi also came from a well-to-do and well-educated family. His parents named him Venkata Subrahmaniam. He had two elder brothers and an elder sister. One of his elder brothers was a lawyer and a supporter of the freedom struggle.

Suddhananda was drawn to spirituality and devotion from an early age. His maternal great-uncle Purnananda taught him yoga. It is said that his gift for poetry and words was a blessing he received when he was eight years old. After meditation at the Chidambaram temple, he is said to have spontaneously burst in song. That song was ‘Eppadi Padinaro’. This was a start of a long literary career.

He lost his father when he was still young and went to stay with his mother at his maternal uncle’s home. His uncle was also a lawyer and hoped that his nephew would follow in his footsteps. But the young man was drawn towards religion rather than law. Though it caused conflict at home, slowly his family came to accept his path. But he did continue his formal education and after that, he became a school teacher and then an editor. He also supported and contributed to the nationalistic cause as well as various social causes.

But it was to spirituality that he was mainly drawn. He continued his studies of the different religions including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism. He already excelled in Tamil; to add to that, he studied different European languages like English, Latin and French. Suddhananda Bharati had the privilege of meeting and working with many great spiritual and nationalistic leaders of those times including Gandhi, Subrahmania Bharati, VVS Iyer, Srinivasa Iyengar, Aurobindo, Tilak, Kalki, Shirdi Baba, Ramana Maharishi and many others. A prolific writer, he wrote both prose and poetry in Tamil, English and French. He also translated works from various languages to Tamil. His most important work was Bharata Shakti Mahakavyam. He spent 20 years in Aurobindo’s ashram in a vow of silence during which time his ouput was prolific.

In 1947 he finally brought an end to his vow of silence. After that he travelled widely within and outside India giving discourses. He propagated what he called Sama Yoga – the yoga of equality. He believed that it is the synthesis of Yoga and Science which will take mankind forward. He established yoga centres and a school at Sholapuram where he lived the last years of his life. He passed away on 7th March 1990.

References :

Article in Indian Express, 14 April 1990

Article in Tamil Heritage Foundation (Tamil)

Article in Bharathi Payilagam (Tamil)

17 responses to “Suddhananda Bharati

  1. manoj sahu,malkangiri,odisha,india

    He is my gurudev.personally I
    met him at odisha in1977
    he has given me blessings
    in a small paper through a poem.

    • You are blessed indeed!

      • krishna

        I just want to know whether you have the book “Bharata shakti”.please reply me to

      • Pranams Krishna, no I have not read this book but I have heard of it.
        Cheers. Suja

      • jay rammohan

        Hi Suja, I just came across your site today. I have the book here with me in Sydney. My dad had it and it is so precious, so I brought with me. I love to read it, he is such a noble soul. He was into education as well and they started a school (U.V Swaminatha Iyer and him) and educated the kids academics as well as sports, such as “Gusti” etc to improve their health and physique, more like today’s gym. My mother used to sing his songs like DKP (at home) and eppadi padinaro is my favourite and DKP’s rendition is the best for this song. Cheers !

      • Hello and welcome to my site! Oh aren’t you lucky to have a copy of this book! If you have the time and inclination, it would be a wonderful gift to those interested if you could scan it one day and post the pdf. Phone scans can be done without laying the book flat and risk damaging the spine, I think. I did a post on Eppadi Padinaro years ago and yes, of course I selected DKPs version to feature!
        PS: Sydney? I’m from Melbourne!

  2. V. Vemkatachalapathy

    There are few factual errors in this article on Kaviyogi Maharshi Shuddhananda Bharathiar. The writer has stated that Kaviyogi’s father was a lawyer. No. Kaviyogi’s eldest brother J. Venkatarama Iyer was a lawyer who also an active volunteer of the Indian National Congress during the freedom struggle.
    V. Venkatachalapathy, Secretary,Shuddhananda Yoga Samaj (Regd.) and Shuddhananda Bharati Desiya Vidyalayam High School, Sholapuram,Sivagangai

  3. R.Ganesan

    I came to know about yogi from your web only
    Thanks lot.

  4. Jayashankar Menon

    Kindly help me to get lyrics of AANANDA TANDAVAM PURIVAYE written by Sudhananda Bharati swamigal.I will be thankful for the gesture.

  5. RSR

    Wonderful article Madam. Thank you. Jayasankar Menon may refer to Suddhanandha Barathy wrote nearly 1100 poems! The site gives attempted English transliteration for all the songs. Reverse transliteration from english to tamil by tools may not give dependable or neat tamil lyrics, however. If one is reasonably good in literary thamizh and has the ethos of those times in mind, we can perhaps reconstruct the thamizh original. Not otherwise
    sample with the well known song mentioned in the article.
    eppaDi pADinarO tiruvadiyAr appaDi pADa nAn Ashai koNDEn shivanE
    apparum sundararum ALuDai piLLaiyum aruL maNi vAcakarum poruLuNarnDu unnaiyE
    gurumaNi shankararum arumai tAyumAnArum aruNagirinAtharum arutjyOti vaLLalum
    karuNaikkaDal perugi kAdalinAl urugi kanittamizh sollinAl inidunai anudinam
    (eppaDi) .
    google english to tamil transliterator
    எப்பா பாடினார் திருவதிஆர் appaDi pada nAn ஆசை koNDEn சிவன்


    ஆடையர் சுந்தர்ரம் அலுடாய் பைல லாயு அரூ மாயி வெய்காகரம் போர்டுலூநார்டு அன்னேனி


    குரூமாநான் சங்கராரு அருமுய் த்யூமுஆஆஆஆர் நாகிரின்அத்ரம் அவுட்டிக் ஓடி வால்லலம்
    karuNaikkaDal perugi kAdalinAlugi kanittamizh sollinAl inidunai anudinam

    Eppā pāṭiṉār tiruvati’ār appaDi pada nAn ācai koNDEn civaṉ

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