In Memoriam of Sri Swami Nirmalanandaji
H. H. Sri Swami Nirmalanandaji Maharaj Attains the Lord.
The curtain has come down upon the life of a senior Sannyasin of Sivananda Ashram, who was a long time disciple of Sri Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. The ever cheerful and smiling Swami Nirmalanandaji Maharaj attained to his eternal peacefully.
Swami Nirmalanandaji Maharaj was known as Mariappan Nadar and was born on 8th March 1916 in Virudhunagar in Tamilnadu. Mariappan was pious and religious in nature since his young age. He was spiritually influenced by South Indian Holy men. He was very much impressed and influenced by the famous Jyotiramalinga Swami of Vadalur. Mariappan was the head of the local branch of Vadular Jyotiramalinga Swami’s Samarasa Sanmarga Sangam. He came to know of Gurudev Swami Sivanandji’s teachings through reading Tamil translations of Gurudev’s teachings in the Tamil periodical “Gyana Guru”. He became filled with vairagya (dispassion). With the impulse and urge for renunciation and Sannyasa, he renounced secular life and came and joined Sivananda Ashram.
Gurudev told Mariappan, “Be with me, I want selfless workers like you. I will give you Sannyasa”. And Mariappan stayed. He was initiated in Sannyas in 1950 and was then given the name Swami Nirmalananda. He rendered active and untiring service in various departments of the Ashram like Annakshetra, Hospital, Publication League etc. In recognition of which Sri Gurudev awarded him the title of Viswa-Seva-Durandara-Karma-Yogi on 8th September, 1955. During these years he travelled widely throughout India rendering his services in the different spiritual institutions during their special functions for which he used to be invited by them all.
After his 75th year of age his health began to deteriorate gradually. His body became subject to various painful complaints. His vision started declining due to irritation and cataract in both the eyes. He journeyed to Madurai for his surgical operation at the very famous Aurobindo eye hospital there. He also developed very painful rheumatism with swelling of both his legs from knee-joint downwards. He had to move about with the help of a walking stick. But an extraordinary trait about Swami Nirmalannadaji was that he never spoke about his pain nor complained to anyone about it. He was always cheerful. To all the ashramites and visitors he was a familiar figure, sitting with his walking stick on the cement platform under a tree directly in front of the entrance way of the Annapurna Annakshetra kitchen and Dining Hall building. He smilingly greeted everyone and spoke a couple of friendly words to them.
Towards the last period of his life he became too ill to move about or sit and therefore that they had to shift him from his room and admitted him into the Hospital providing him with a special place in the indoor section. He bore his pain silently without a murmur. Two of his purvashram (the previous order of life, i.e. before renunciation) brothers came from Tamilnadu and spent 10 days to be by his side. On their way back they met our revered President Swamiji at Chennai. When the latter inquired about Swami Nirmalanandaji’s health, they said that he was quite cheerful. They spent several hours each day by the side of the hospital room and whenever inquired how he was feeling, his smiling reply was he was quite alright. He passed away at 12.30 on 4th of February, 2000.
We pray to Almighty Lord and Sadgurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaja that the departed one may be granted eternal peace and divine sadgati (deliverance).