About Pithukuli Murugadas
Muruga during a bhajan
At an young age when kids were busy playing, then a boy Balasubramanian had a divine experience. After an year he understood that the experience he had was not to be brushed aside. He quit his school in his seventh grade and moved on in pursuit of the meaning of his divine experience.
He boarded a train at Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu, India) without a penny, and was thrown out of the coach at Erode. From then on, he would do odd jobs and earn a rupee. He gave twenty-five paisa in charity and lived on the rest of the money, and reached the next town. In that divine pursuit, he met many saints including Brahmananda Paradesiyar, Vallimalai Sachidananda Swamigal, Swami Gnanananda Giri, Swami Ramdas, Mata Krishna Bai, and many more.
'Pithukuli' in Tamil means insane or mad. Brahmananda Paradesiyar called him 'Pithukuli' and told him that he would one day become like him. Thus 'Pithukuli' became his new name and signature.
Vallimalai Sachidananda Swamigal took Muruga with him & taught him many of Arunagirinathar's poems primarily Kandhar Anubhuthi, Kandhar Alankaram, Vel Vaguppu, Velaikkaran Vaguppu, Seer Pada Vaguppu, and countless number of Thirupugazh poems.
Muruga also participated in the Salt Satyagraha during Indian freedom struggle and was imprisoned twice. As he moved to different places he learnt the languages of the region, and their devotional songs. His repertoire of songs include compositions of Purandara Dasa, Thyagaraja, Meera Bai, Thukaram, Kabir, Jayadevar (Ashtapadi), Thevaram, Thiruvasagam, Thiruppavai, Thiruvarutpa, Thirumandiram, Oothukadu Venkata Kavi, Bharathiyar, and of course Arunagirinathar.
He traveled to all parts of India on-foot twice, and was an honorary guest in Nepal's Royal Palace. He undertook a vow of not even touching money for many years and sang numerous concerts with the only condition of 'Annadanam' (free meals to all).
In his childhood, one of his eyes was injured during play, and got infected internally. Very much later it posed a problem and the infection in one eye started spreading to the other. Lord Muruga appeared in his dream and asked him to remove the infected eye. With that done, right eye was saved and his black glasses became part of his persona.
Muruga does not address himself in the first person, only in the third. With Devi's grace, the notes that flow from his tongue and his fingers on the harmonium are always in perfect sync and harmony. 'Thava Raja Rajeswari', 'Aaanaikaavil', 'Kalyani Raga Dwesha', 'Shanmugapriye' are some of his most popular compositions.
He has immersed and is immersing people all around the globe including US, UK, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and South Africa with his music completely soaked in bhakthi. He has also made them sing and enjoy the beauty and divinity of 'Nama Sankeerthanam'.
He had set up 'Pithukuli Murugadas Education Trust for South Africans' in South Africa. He had also set up the Deenebandhu Ashram in Wallajapet (near Chennai, India) donating all his wealth.
Muruga married Devi Saroja fondly called as 'Devi Amma' with the divine blessings of the Godess Kanyakumari in 1978. Devi Amma married Muruga with only motive of doing service to Muruga. Devi Amma led such an austere life with devotion serving Muruga, and reached the divine abode in 2011.
Muruga attained Lord's divine abode on the day of Kanda Shasti November 17, 2015 at "Sri Devi Nilayam" in Mylapore Chennai at 3.30 AM. He was 95.
Sri Devi Nilayam, 87 VM Street, Chennai- pithukulimurugadas(AT)gmail.com
(c) Pithukuli Murugadas, 2014
(c) Pithukuli Murugadas, 2014