The Life of Trailanga Swami of Benares


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Manikarnika Ghat in 1865

Swami Trailanga, who was reputed to be nearly three hundred years old when he died, is so renown in India on such a widespread basis, that few Hindus would deny the possibility of truth in any story related to his astounding miracles. If Jesus returned to earth and walked the streets of New York, displaying his divine powers, it would cause the same awe among the people that Trailanga created decades ago as he passed through the crowded lanes of Benares. He was one of the siddhas (perfected beings) that have cemented India against the erosions of time.

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On many occasions the Swami was seen to drink, with no ill effect, the most deadly poisons. Thousands of people, many still alive today, observed Trailanga floating on the Ganges for days on end, sitting ON TOP of the water or remaining hidden for long periods under the waves. A common sight at Manikarnika Ghat was the Swami”s motionless body on the blistering stone slabs, wholly exposed to the merciless Indian sun.

Whether the great master was above water or under it, and whether or not his body challenged the fierce solar rays, Trailanga sought to teach men that human life need not depend on oxygen or on certain conditions and precautions.

The yogi was great not only spiritually, but physically. His weight exceeded three hundred pounds : a pound for each year of his life. As he ate very seldom, his mystery increased. A master, however, easily ignores all usual rules of health when he desires to do so for some special reason, often a subtle one known only to himself.

Great saints that have Awakened from the cosmic mayic dream and realized this world as an idea in the Divine Mind, can do as they wish with the body, knowing it to be only a manipulatable form of condensed or frozen energy. Though physical scientists now understand that matter is nothing but congealed energy, illumined masters have passed victoriously from theory to practice in the field of matter control.

Trailanga always remained completely nude. The harassed police of Benares came to regard him as a baffling problem child. The natural Swami, like the early Adam in the garden of Eden, was unconscious of his nakedness. The police were quite conscious of it, however, and unceremoniously committed him to jail. General embarrassment ensued ; the enormous body of Trailanga was soon seen, in its usual entirety, on the prison roof. His cell, still securely locked, offered no clue to his mode of escape.

The discouraged officers of the law once more performed their duty. This time a guard was posted before the Swami”s cell. Might again retired before Right : the great master was soon observed in his nonchalant stroll over the roof.

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The Goddess of Justice wears a blindfold; in the case of Trailanga the outwitted police decided to follow her example.

The great yogi preserved a habitual silence. In spite of his round face and huge, barrel-like stomach, Trailanga ate only occasionally. After weeks without food, he would break his fast with potfuls of clabbered milk offered to him by devotees. A skeptic once determined to expose Trailanga as a charlatan. A large bucket of calcium-lime mixture, used in whitewashing walls, was placed before the swami.

“Master,” the materialist said, in mock reverence, “I have brought you some clabbered milk. Please drink it.”

Trailanga unhesitatingly drank, to the last drop, the quarts of burning lime. In a few minutes the evildoer fell to the ground in agony.

“Help, swami, help !” he cried. “I am on fire ! Forgive my wicked test !”

The great yogi broke his habitual silence. “Scoffer,” he said, “you did not realize when you offered me poison that my life is one with your own. Except for my knowledge that God is present in my stomach, as in every atom of creation, the lime would have killed me. Now that you know the divine meaning of boomerang never again play tricks on anyone.”

The sinner, healed by Trailanga”s words, slunk feebly away.

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Manikarnika Ghat Today

The reversal of pain was not a result of the master”s will but of the operation of the law of justice that upholds creation”s farthest swinging orb. The functioning of the divine law is instantaneous for men of God-realization like Trailanga ; they have banished forever all thwarting crosscurrents of ego.

On one known occasion in Benares, Trailanga forsook his usual silence in order to pay public honor to Lahiri Mahasaya. One of Trailanga”s disciples objected.

“Sir”, he said, “why do you, a Swami and a renunciant, show such respect to a householder ?”.

Trailanga replied, “My son, Lahiri Mahasaya is like a divine kitten, remaining wherever the Cosmic Mother has placed him. While dutifully playing the part of a worldly man, he has received that perfect Self-realization which I have sought by renouncing everything – even my loincloth!”

14 comments on "The Life of Trailanga Swami of Benares"

  1. Vijay Bisnauthsing says:

    India has been blessed to have such person roaming its streets and mingling with the people. We need such saints nowadays in order to help dispel all the ills our society are facing.
    Thank you for publishing this article. I never heard of or about him though I go to Varanasi yearly in pilgrimage – Varanasi, Kasi, Banares is SHIVA CITADEL. At the end of the world, SHIVA picks Varanasi up and place it on the tip of his TRISHUL and after PRALAYE (dooms day), he replace VARANASI down in its place. Vijay

  2. Sampoorna says:

    Trailinga Swami is a grate Saint. He got his name being a Telugu speaking. Nobody knows his real name . His tapasya steal still any one can visit behind Harishchandra Ghat, Varanasi.I had a very good opportunities to visit many grate saints places due to Grace of my Guru. Many say that Trailanga Swami left his body on his own on the surface of Ganga river and few witnessed only floating flowers later! That is the grate ness of Sidda Purusha.

  3. Raksha says:

    Thanks for writing on RARE SIDHAS like HIM, My Atmavandana to HIS LOTUS FEET.
    HE reminded me of my BHAGWAN NITYANANDJI MAHARJ a RARE SIDHAS of Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra.

  4. Dr. Sipra Banerji says:

    Yes his pre sannyas name was Hitalal Misra . He was from south India , in Benaras popularly known as Chalaman Shiva . Guru Bhagavan Das Ganguly kept two of his disciples when they were 90 yrs old under His tutelage in Baranasi before He left for His heavenly abode . These three sanyasi so then roamed around Makka ,Madina ,Europe, North Pole ,South pole…..spent years together ……met Abdul Goffur in Makka from where They learnt Koran & about Muslim religion . The two other sanyasi so we’re Loknath Bramhachari & Swami Madhabananda Giri …….I was fortunate enough to be enunciated by Madhavananda Giri Maharaj (mouni baba) …..He was our guru of four generations . People talk about prarabdha ie you carry with you depending on your karmas . It can be positive or negative like credit & debit balance in a bank account . I am hundred percent sure that some where in my past life due to some positive karma effect I was blessed by Him . He was over 250+ Left for His heavenly abode on early morning of 26 th Jan 1974 ……..the saddest day of my life .

    Yes I have read when Lahiri mahasaya visited Him in Benaras people asked why He gave so much importance to this gentleman…….His reply was this gentleman got the supreme power staying at home with His family & to receive the same I had to give up my Koupin too…..ie Lahiri Mahasaya ,a disciple of Babaji Maharaj was capable of doing His divine work with equal competence while staying at home with His family …..which is an extremely tough job . Glad to come across this website ,courtesy of my daughter ……..jai Guru

  5. R. Varadarajan says:

    An interesting article on great holy men of the country. Really this country is spiritually the greatest and aptly called as punya bhoomi.

    R. Varadarajan

  6. binay says:

    Yes, His ashram is located at Pancha ganga ghat, in a muslim dominated area. It is still vibrant with His spiritulity.
    I had an opportunity to receive His blessings on Sharad purnima day.U can approach ashram frm Dasaswamedh ghat by boat. Must see for people who are eager to get His blessings.

  7. GANESAN R says:

    Wonderful article on a great Siddha purusha.
    Gathered Sri.Trilinga swamiji had connection with Shirdi Sia Baba and had initiated and guided Him.

  8. NITIN says:

    Grate man in the world

  9. s k panda says:

    Dear Sir/ Madam, Undoubtedly, Indiadivine.org is one of the Best Site with regard to spectrum of knowledge & information it is sharing regularly. Indeed India is a place for so many Great Sadhus, Saints etc. Unique to this land. Trailinga Swami has been a great Saint. Though I never had the opportunity to read much about him, I had heard about him & Lahiri Mahasaya. This site should publish more articles on the Biography of sadhus & Saints which would enlighten our mind & soul. Thanks & Regards, SK Panda

  10. sharad malaviya says:

    very grateful for article on Trailingaswamy It is very necessary to propagate knowledge about such saints. Otherwise people read only about Radhe Ma , Nitynand and others like them and think that no saints exist or existed.

  11. L.Sreedhar says:

    Respected Sir,
    The article on Trillinga swamy was ‘divine’,
    I would like to mention the following for interested readers: Sanatana Dharma Charitable Trust, Visakhapatnam has published a translated book (217pages) in Telugu, on the eve of 75th Birthday ‘Amritotsava’ celebrations of Sadguru Sri Kandukuri Sivananda Murthy garu. The original book was by Sri Umacharan Mukhopadyaya in Bengali,Hindi version by Dr.Vasudeva Chatarji, and above mentioned Telugu version was translated by Prof.HariSivakumar and Prof. Regulapati Madhava Rao.

  12. Radhakrishnan says:

    Pranams to the great Sidhapurushas of Bharath. Proud to be born in this punya bhumi. I had read about Swamiji a few years back in a book by Sri Ramakrishna Mutt and remember that Swamiji arranged a feast on the day He decided to abandon His body. After the feast, in front of sanyasins and devotees, he jumped in to the Holy Ganges for the selected jal-samadhi. Thanks for the time you gave to remember a great Saint again. Jai Hind

  13. Manjunath says:

    India,since ancient times considered great by many philosophers of Western lands. Blessed.Gradually fallen down from its glory because of its greedy citizens. And politicians. So many great saints and seers taught us to be free from all these evils to realize owns own self.

  14. Swami Baba Nataraja Giri says:

    “SALUTATIONS AND PRANAMS TO HOLY MATA
    BHARAT/HOLY MOTHER INDIA, GREATEST/HIGHEST CIVILIZATION/CULTURE EVER EXISTED SINCE BEGINNING OF WORLD.” –Swami Baba Nataraja Giri. Aum Aum Aum.

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