Early Life

Sri Adi Sankaracharya brought 30 families with Him from the banks of Narmada to Kanchipuram to ensure that the methods of worship of Goddess Kamakshi Devi were followed. They were called as Kaamakotiyaar because they worship Goddess Kamakshi Devi as their family deity. They were mainly responsible for spreading Sri Vidya Upasana.

In the tradition of Kaamakotiyaar, a great person was born called Kaamakoti Sastrigal. He practiced Sri Vidya Upasana method of worship and was a scholar in all shastras at a very young age. People came to him to seek guidance due to his deep knowledge.

Sri Kaamakoti Sastrigal had a daughter named Seshammal and his elder brother Sri Chidambaram Sastrigal had two sons and two daughters. The youngest child of Sri Chidambaram Sastrigal named Maragatham was beautiful and intelligent with a good character. Sri Kaamakoti Sastrigal chose his disciple named Varadharajan to marry Maragatham when she was of marriageable age. Varadharajan and Maragatham married with Lord Agni as witness on the occasion.

After the marriage, for a long time, Varadharajan and Maragatham did not have a male child. They prayed to Goddess Devi with tears to have a male child so that their lineage will prosper and continue. Goddess Kamakshi appeared in Sri Kaamakoti Sastrigal’s dream and instructed “Offer butter to the couple, a child of wisdom will be born”. Maragatham conceived by the grace of Goddess Kamakshi.

Days passed. Maragatham gave birth to a male child on 22 January 1870 under the auspices of Hastham star and Dhanur Lagna in Vazhur Agraharam near Vandavasi (now in Thiruvannamalai District). He was named as Seshadri.

Being the gift of Goddess Kamakshi, little child Seshadri exhibited the divinity when he was four. He used to go to temples with his mother and immersed himself in devotion. His mother taught him devotional chants such as Krishnashtakam, Ramashtakam, Mookapanchasathi, Gurusthuthi etc. Even while learning to walk as toddler, Seshadri would be murmuring slokas.

When Seshadri was of four years old, his mother took him to Sri Varadharaja Swami temple. As it was festive season, a merchant had brought a sack of idols of Balakrishna (Baby Krishna) to sell in the market. On seeing the beautiful idol, little Seshadri begged his mother to buy one for him but his mother paid no heed to his cries. The merchant’s heart melted on seeing the cries of the child and said, “Amma, your child resembles Lord Krishna. He is desirous of this toy and wants it, let him take it” and called Seshadri nearby and asked him to take one with his own hands.

Thrilled at the prospect, the child dipped its cute tender hands into the sack and picked up one toy and ran away with unbounded joy. Maragatham tried to pay for the toy but the shopkeeper refused to accept it.

What a wonder! By that evening all the bronze toys he had brought were sold out.

The next day, on seeing child Seshadri with Maragatham, the shopkeeper, overcome with ecstasy, with tears of joy brimming in his eyes, came running and fell at her feet and worshipped her. Maragatham was clueless.

The shopkeeper was sobbing uncontrollably and crying. “Amma, your child is not an ordinary child. This is a lucky child. The moment he touched my bag of dolls, all of them I brought yesterday were sold out. I have been to many functions, and I would never be able to sell even 100 toys. Yesterday every toy got sold. This is a “golden hand” “golden hand” said he, filled with emotion and held the child’s hands to his eyes reverentially and kissed them.

Thus Mahaan Sri Seshadri, at the age of four, had shown his divine munificence and greatness to the world.