The recent discovery of a corpus of articles believed to be written by Chattambi Swamikal and hitherto considered non-existent, was received with interest by the academia. Suresh Madhav, a researcher registered with the University of Kerala, had unearthed copies of Swami’s essays published in various vernacular magazines of his time. A new set of documents found by Madhav is expected to throw fresh light on Swami’s teachings.
The latest findings, according to Madhav, include a collection of treatment methods, a critique of Brahmananda Sivayogi’s ‘Mokshapradeepam’, as well as an appreciation of the same text, titled ‘Mokhsapradeepa Niroopana Vidaranam’.
Madhav says that he received several leads about the writings of Swami in light of the earlier discoveries. Two editions of the long-wound up magazines ‘Sadguru’ and ‘Pauran’, carrying four articles attributed to Chattambi Swami, and a paper that elucidates the importance of Tamil literature and culture in shaping Dravidian aesthetics were among the documents that he found last year.
Having read about the finding, V N K Menon, a descendant of the Thachudaya Kaimal family which traditionally holds the right to administer the Koodalmanikyam Temple in Irinjalakuda, gave information about the existence of the text ‘Apoorva Chikitsa’.
“It was obtained from the ancestral house of Kaimals in Irinjalakuda. The prescription was written for the personal possession of the Thachudaya Kaimal who was a contemporary of Swami. It contains treatments for mental illnesses, snake bite as well as several traditional medicines," he says.
Swami’s reputation as a Siddha physician had travelled far and wide during his lifetime. Thachudaya Kaimal is said to have benefited from his knowledge.
‘Mokshapradeepa Khandanam’, a critical study of the text by Brahmananda Sivayogi, was discovered among the from the collection of Swami’s disciple Pannisseri Nanu Pillai. Sivayogi, who founded the Ananda Maha Sabha and Anandamatham (religion of bliss), was an atheist and a contemporary of Swami. ‘Mokshapradeepam’ elucidates his philosophy.
“Swami’s text, along with the sequel ‘Mokshapradeepa Niroopana Vidaranam’ , is an exercise in dialectics. While one is a thorough criticism of the philosophy, the other shows great empathy with it,” says Suresh Madhav.
A sizable portion of the dictated notes and personal scribblings of Swami have been lost to poor upkeep and inadequate documentation.
The newly-discovered documents are expected to be published by the State Institute of Languages. The essays found last year were complied into three books which were brought out by the publication wing of Panamana Ashram in Kollam, the resting place of Swamikal.