Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Saint Arunagirinathar

Prior to the advent of Ramana Maharishi, Tiruvannamalai's most famous saint was probably Arunagirinathar, a Murugan bhakta who lived at the foot of Arunachala in the fourteenth century. Reliable information about him is hard to come by for the earliest account of his life was not published until the nineteenth century, about 500 years after he died. Arunagirinathar was born in Tiruvannamalai and spent the greater part of his life there. He was reputed to be the son of a courtesan called Muttammai. As he grew up he found the company of courtesans so attractive, he spent most of his time in their houses. When his mother died, all the properties he inherited from her were squandered to pay for his lust. Arunagirinathar had a sister, Adi, who was very fond of him.Taking advantage of her affection, Arunagirinathar persuaded her to part with her jewels and all her other possessions so that he couldc ontinue to indulge his appetite for the local courtesans. He continued with this way of life for many years. As he became older,his body became diseased and the better class of courtesan began to jeer at him and avoid his company.The major turning point in his life occurred when he had spent all his sister's money. Not knowing that she was destitute, he approached her again in the hope of getting another hand-out. His sister, who had nothing left except the clothes she was wearing ,told him that her funds were exhausted. Since she still loved her brother, and since she still wanted to be of assistance to him she offered him her own body, saying, 'If your lust is so insatiable,you can use my body for your sexual satisfaction'. These words deeply affected and shamed Arunagirinathar. He mentally reviewed the wasted years of his life and came to the conclusion that he had been committing crimes against God. As his sense of shame deepened, he decided to commit suicide by jumping off one of the gopurams in the Arunachaleswara Temple.

Read more at: http://davidgodman.org/asaints/agirinatha1.shtml


Blogger TJ said...

I relish Tirupugazh the most! You will appreciate them if you know his biography.
In this tirupugazh, he says, 'Karudha Aruli Enadhu Thanimai kazhiya arivu tharavenum'.
Idle mind is devil's workshop, so gimme the wisdoom to clear my idle mind.
This seems to be connected to the reasons for the earlier part of his biography.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Very good post. The Arunachala temple is full of history about the Great Saint.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Ganesh said...


1:03 PM  
Blogger kavitha said...

excellent post. just makes me feel very inadequate about the history of tamil literature.

am quite clueless about it :)

9:31 PM  
Blogger mysorean said...


Very good post!

It is nice to know about St. Arunagirinathar! :)

Keep posting.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

thanks all of u :)..

I shall be posting the works of St Arunagirinathar and u will be more astonishe by Him :)

Thanks once again for ur comments :)

4:11 AM  
Blogger krishna said...

lookin for more from u about these wonderful saints..

4:03 PM  

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