Poojyasri Devinatha Gurudeva(1905-77)who was born at Polagam in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu in a family known for proficiency in Vedas, lost his parents at a very early age. He always excelled among his fellow students and friends for his astounding grasp of Vedas. After completing Yajur Veda adhyayanam at the patasala of Kaveripoompattinam, where he stood first in his class, he started teaching Vedas at Vaideeshwaran temple near Mayavaram. In his young age itself ,he felt that we are not leading our lives exactly as said in the vedas i.e following the path of Mahrishis who are our forefathers. He was very forthright in his views and always had his own ideas regarding various customs and rituals followed in those days, particularly in procedures followed for performing vedic rites and treatment of women. He insisted that every woman be given due respect and equal rights as men.
After marriage he settled down with his family at Vaideeswaran Temple and later at Tiruvarur . He was very much attached to Sri Choolikamba, who is the presiding deity at Tiruppugalur Agnipureswara temple in Nannilam district.which is near to his birth place.
Gurudeva was directly initiated into Sri Vidya path by Sri Matha and was deep into Sri Vidya upasana and was guided to higher levels by Sri Matha Herself. He had great experiences conveying his divine life . One day at Tiruvarur, he was in a high Samadhi state whrein he was seeing himself in everything and everything in Himself. In this high Samadhi state, he walked into the famous Tyagaraja temple at Thiruvarur. In this temple there is a small sanctum sanctorum kind of a pit, dug nearly 3ft under ground level beneath the Patala tree. He got into this sanctum and started His Tapas. No one could see Him from outside nor could He see and was in samadhi for 3 days from Akshaya Thritiya day when he had His full self-realization whereby he realized he was none but the lord Tyagaraja, the Kameswra.
In the place of Tiruvarur, Vanmeekanathar and Neelotpalambal are the presiding deities traditionally. Kamalamba and Tyagaraja and their other esoteric concepts are uniquely established here. Tyagaraja temple is famous for the Ajapa/hamsa natanam , a cosmic dance depicting the total bliss/ananda state . He shifted to Madras soon after, and after staying at few places like T.Nagar settled down at Adayar near the Theosophical society. With his proficiency in Vedas, Tantras, Agamas and allied subjects like Tarka, Nyaya and Mimamsa,Astrology etc. he undertook a research work and prepared a monumental work called “SRUSHTI SAHACHARAM PARAMESWARAM VEDA MARGAM” in the 1940s in which he wrote about what true Vedic/ Hindu religion is, and how we have deviated from the path of Vedas due to the influence of various philosophies and practices.
He also wrote the masterpiece“SRI VIDYA SUTRAM ”, which is a treasure to Srividya upasakas The sutram explains the concept of Creation and the Srividya sastram, evolving to the highest levels.
Many got initiated into Sri Vidya upasana from him and majority of them were Vedic pundits initially. Using their knowledge of Vedas and access to people, he wanted to create awareness among the people on our true Vedic religion. In 1943 he constructed a temple for Goddess Saraswathi in Avvai home at Adayar in Chennai. He also installed a Ganapathy Idol in the late 1930sagainst heavy odds in a temporary shed at T.Nagar, Chennai, in the now famous Siva Vishnu temple.
In 1952-53 he got a message from Srimatha asking him to go to the forest for penance and that She would join him there. Accordingly, Gurudeva started from Chennai for his forest life on the way he met Pujyasri Devi whom Gurudeva realized was Sri Matha Herself and they got married and proceeded to the thick forest near Injikuzhi above the Bhaana Theertam in the Agastya Koota hills (which is highly dense where human admission is not permitted even now) and started their penance. Heeding to the request of his sishyas he shifted to Kailasa Konai forest in Andhra Pradesh in June 1955.It is 100 kilometers from Chennai and 40 Kilometers from Tirupati. People from various parts of the country came here to become his sishyas and got their initiation into Sri Vidya upasana.
In 1969 he established the Balavinayaka Bala Subramanya swamy temple at Konai. ‘Siva Sakti Ashramam Trust’ is now maintaining this temple along with the Kowlesa temple and Gayathri temple constructed later.
He started The Bharateeya Institute in 1946 with the following objectives:
- To establish and maintain institutions for imparting training to the people in ancient Indian culture and promote study of Sanskrit language.
- To establish and maintain arogyashram for the treatment of various diseases by medical, spiritual and yogic methods.
- To establish and maintain places of worship [Gayathri] in all towns and villages to facilitate gathering of all people irrespective of caste or creed or sex.
- To publish his work "Srushti Sahacharam parameswaram Veda Margam" in various languages and spread it all over the country and create awareness among the people.
He wanted to see lot of changes/revolutions in the society for its betterment through the vedic way of life. After he left for forest the institute could not function and since 1988 Sri Devinatha Mission, which was started to carry out the above objectives is continuing the activities.
SRI DEVINATHA MISSION is also initiating people with Gayathri mantra to those who want to develop and move forward in life and attain realization which is the ultimate goal of any human creation in this universe.