The suffering people are my gods

January 2017

By Pradeep Krishnan

Meet Avadhoota Nadananda, whose extraordinary life journey includes being the 48th pontiff of Gyanganj, that supposedly mythical place in Tibet where ascended masters live and manage the planet. An interview by Pradeep Krishnan


Avadhootas are unique saints, who wander from place to place immersed in bliss. According to spiritual guru Mohanji, founder of  Mohanji Foundation, “Almost everything that a modern man considers important has no value for an Avadhoota. Detachment is their garb. Society can only see their seemingly indifferent existence and they mark it as madness or even anti-social behaviour.”

Mohanji’s article in his blog on Avadootha Nadananda, a remarkable saint living in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, deeply impressed me, and stoked a desire to meet him. Coincidentally enough, around then I received a mail from the editor of this magazine asking me to interview Avadhoota. She later sent me a soft copy of his autobiography. The saint’s life simply amazed me; his travels to different parts of the Himalayas and other holy places, his encounters with saints and sages, the hardships he faced and his stay at Gyanganj also known as Shambala or Shangrilla, the abode of Siddhas. I read through the book in one sitting. As Mohanji said of the book, “It is a classic work of modern times, showing a road map into true spirituality as well as a mirror to the average seeker.”

My interview was fixed at Kurnool, where he has his ashram, Siddha Ganj, in October during Navratri. I was told that he was suffering from the last stage of cancer.

On reaching Kurnool, I was taken to Abhya Varada, the residence of Shri Maram Ramesh Babu, one of his closest disciples. The house was situated adjacent to Siddha Ganj, and also looked like an ashram with portraits of Swamiji and other gods adorning the walls of every room. The hospitality extended to me by the whole family was unmatched and their total dedication and surrender to Avadhoota Nadananda, their living god, was total and complete. It was Ramesh’s family that brought Swamiji to Kurnool or rather Swamiji chose to function from Kurnool through this exceptional family for the past 14 years.

He once told Mohanji, ‘When man becomes mad, he becomes a saint. When a saint becomes mad, he becomes an avadhoota. When an avadhoota becomes mad, he becomes Bhagavan (God).

Born to Shri Puvapalli Krishnan Namboodri and Smt. Gangadevi, in a traditional Namboothiri family
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