Suddhananda 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.
Article in Indian Express, 14 April 1990
Article in Tamil Heritage Foundation (Tamil)
17 responses to “Suddhananda Bharati”
He is my gurudev.personally I
met him at odisha in1977
he has given me blessings
in a small paper through a poem. email@example.com
You are blessed indeed!
I just want to know whether you have the book “Bharata shakti”.please reply me to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pranams Krishna, no I have not read this book but I have heard of it.
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!
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
Thank you for the correction, it is much appreciated. I have duly corrected my article.
Thank you for making the appropriate correction.
I came to know about yogi from your web only
You are welcome! Thanks for the comment.
Kindly help me to get lyrics of AANANDA TANDAVAM PURIVAYE written by Sudhananda Bharati swamigal.I will be thankful for the gesture.
I’m sorry, I don’t have the lyrics. Your best source would be Mr.Lakshman who is an expert on lyrics. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Wonderful article Madam. Thank you. Jayasankar Menon may refer to http://www.karnatik.com/co1046.shtml. 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
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
Oh God! English to Tamil just does not work, does it!
Madam, While transliterator from Indian language to English is fairly good, the reverse process does not seem to work well. I had requested and got the telugu original lyrics from Smt.Sacvithri ( a naytive telugu speaker for two kruthis one by Thyagaraja and the other by Patnam Subramanya Iyer, both beginning with the words entha nerchina. To ascertain which is which, I used a telegu to english transliterator on-line software. It works fine. Kindly see the page
in ( towards the end of the page)
If there is any softeare to accept the thus obtained English and reconvert to telugu, it will be fantastic! Same for Thamizh, Sanskrit etc. Kindly let me know if you come across any such gift.
Excuse me. Wrong link given above( but do read it when you find time. It is really good. The link should be https://sites.google.com/site/ncvasanthakokilam/home/entha-nerchina-saveri-patnamsubramanya-iyer