Shri Sahajananda Swami Avadhuta
Shri Sahajananda Swami Avadhuta (formerly Narayana Hegde) was one of the prominent sanyasi disciples of Shrimat PP Sadguru Bhagwan Shri Shridhara Swamiji. Narayan Hegde was born as the second among the eight children of Bhagirathi and Keshav Hegde of Jaganalli in the Sirsi Taluk of Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Keshav and Bhagirathi Hegde were very religious couple, always engaged in prayers, poojas, listening to puranas, Yakshagana etc. Thus the children grew up in this pious environment with a very good upbringing. As they grew, they worked along with their father in the fields and their family was a role model for the village. Even though Narayan Hegde used to work in the fields, his mind was working in its own field of ‘Adhyatma’. Father Keshav Hegde observed this and decided to get him married. Narayan Hegde was married to Lakshmi of Aalmane. Saraswati, Lakshmi’s mother bought a farm land for the new couple at Tattikai village and they started to live there working on the farm. Narayana Hegde had inherited all the spiritual qualities from his father and in his new house he started all spiritual activities such as religious practices, listening to the puranas, satsangas and treating guests. Thus Narayana and Lakshmi achieved greatness in their farming and in their spiritual activities. In 1930, they had their first son, whom they named as Ramachandra. Even as a baby, Ramachandra used to listen to his dad reading the puranas and other religious texts. They then had a second son who they named as Kamalakar. In 1935, during the onslaught of chicken pox in the area Keshav Hegde was inflicted with the disease and succumbed. Narayan Hegde who had gone to take care of his father returned home but had already contracted the disease. The two sons also got infected with the disease. Soon the younger son Kamalakar died of the disease. Wife Lakshmi who was treating them contracted the disease as well. Soon Lakshmi also breathed her last and due to the fear of contracting the disease no one came to even cremate the body of Lakshmi for two days. Then Bhagirathi, Narayan Hegde’s mother came over as the life saver to cremate Lakshmi’s body and to take care of Narayan Hegde and Ramachandra. They finally recovered but Narayan Hegde lost his right eye to the disease. Narayan Hegde continued the reading of the Puranas and the Satsangas. People who used to come to listen to this from far and wide used to call him “Gurunath” and Ramachandra who by this time also had developed intense inclination towards spirituality was called “Ramanath”. Then Narayan Hegde went to Shigehalli. He became well-known figure in many small villages around Shigehalli. It was around this time that he met Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. After serving Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji for a few days, he developed ‘teevra vairagya’ or acute dispassion. On seeing this, Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji gave him “Mantranugraha” and sent him to do penance at Devimani temple at Nelemavu (1944). Shri Purushottam Nrasimha Bharati Swamiji, who headed this Math was also a disciple of Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. Narayan Hegde drastically made progress on the spiritual path doing vedanta studies and thoughts. One day he broke off his ‘Yajnopavita’ or the sacred thread around his torso and jumped into the stream and came out in “Digambar” state and went to Gokarna. After spending a few years there, he again met Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. Seeing his advanced spiritual stage, Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji draped around him His own ‘chhati’ or shawl and named him ‘Shri Swami Sahajananda Avadhuta’. This was sort of informal Sannyasa or ‘Diksha’. He also got the formal ‘Diksha’ from Shri Purushottam Nrasimha Bharati Swamiji of Nelemavu Math. Then he went about the pilgrimage and did Tapasya at holy places such as Ramatirtha, Mangalore and Kashi. In Kashi he lived in the cremation grounds doing his Tapasya. Just like in Gokarna, even in Kashi, he came to be known as “Mouni Baba” or the ”Silent Saint”. He then went to Nepal on foot going through the impassable mountains and dense forests. He did the Darshan of Sri Pashupateshwarnath of Nepal and met with many saints there. Then he went to Hrishikesh, Ayodhya etc. and finally came back to Sirsi. Then he met Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji at Tatguni. Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji ordered him not to travel for the reasons of poor health. After two months of recovery Shri Sahajananda Swami Avadhuta went on a pilgrimage along with Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Thus he spent 5 years along with Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. Then on the instructions of Sadguru Shri Shridhar Swamiji, he came to Kolagibees in the Sirsi Taluk of Karnataka. There within a span of eight months, a temple and Ashram was built. There he expanded the Ashram and the temple and lived there for many years blessing the devotees around the area and became well known as the Avadhuta of Kolagibees. Shri Sahajananda Swamiji built a huge throne called “Shesh Simhasan” at the Kolagibees ashram. This throne has a three-headed Shesh Naag at the backrest and a lion head on each armrest of the throne. Shri Sahajananda Swamiji had done pooja of Shri Shridhara Swamiji after seating him on this throne. This throne is still present at the Kolagibees ashram. His son Ramachandra also took Sanyasa and Dhiksha and became P.P. Shri Ramananda Swami Avadhuta. Thus without any bounds, Shri Sahajananda Swami Avadhuta mesmerized the devotees through his uniqueness in his Tapasya, in his generosity, in his compassion to the disciples, his way of facing the hardships, his way of going around the country so fast, his illuminating personality, and simplicity. Finally he attained Moksha at the Kolagibees Ashram.
Jai Jai Raghuveer Samarth!!!