Tailang Swami (1607-1887 C.E.) was a great Hindu Yogi with amazing divine powers who lived most of his life in Varanasi. It is believed that he was an incarnation of Lord Shiva and hence few disciples mentioned him as ‘The Walking Shiva of Varanasi’. It is believed that Tailang Swami lived a very long life of about 280 years. He was also known by the names Telang Swami and Trailanga Swami.
Tailang Swami was born in Holia at Vizianagaram in the state of Andhra Pradesh. His parents were devotees of Lord Shiva and named him Shivarama. When he was 40, his parents died and he renounced the society and observed spiritual practice for twenty years. Later he went on a pilgrimage and it is believed that he was at Prayag in 1733 and settled down at Varanasi in 1737.
His birth anniversary is celebrated on Ekadashi Tithi during Shukla Paksha in the month of Pausha, as per Hindu Lunar calendar. His birth anniversary day coincides with Pausha Putrada Ekadashi.
History and Importance of Tailang Swami Jayanti:
Tailang Swami was born at Kumbilapuram in the Vizian village of Andhra Pradesh. His former name was Shivarama. His parents Vidyavati Devi and Narashingha Rao were devotees of Lord Shiva. At the age of 40, he abandoned materialistic life, as well as his wealth and became a reclusion. On the direction of his mother, he played Kali Sadhana. His mother initiated him to the Kali mantra and performed deep meditation on a Kali temple. His mother died in 1669. Sivarama kept his ashes for meditation. He would meditate near a crematorium. After a severe and deep penance for 20 years, he met Bhagirathananda Saraswati. Sivarama then moved to Varanasi and led the life of a monk and was called Tailang Swami. He lay down in the water of the Ganges without drowning, then went under the water for a long time and left without breath. The legend of his yogic power spread and the devotees gathered to see him. Mystics and luminaries like Loknath Brahmachari and Ramakrishna came to meet him. His philosophy is found in the writings of his disciple Umacharan Mukhopadhyay. According to Tailang Swami, reaching the state without reserve is the nirvana that helps achieve salvation. He thought of the senses of men as his enemies and believed that the greatest pilgrimage was a pure spirit. In a rare occasion, Tailang Swami spoke of the law of Karma. He died on 26 December 1887.
Celebrations and Rituals of Tailang Swami Jayanti:
The birthday of Tailing Swami is observed at the Ekadashi day of the month Pausha. That day, his devotees and disciples gathered and read their teachings and literary work to better understand life. The devotees also make an offer on their behalf and worship their idol. They also practice charity sharing their wealth among the poor and the needy, while Tailang Swami had renounced his wealth in the pursuit of the moksha or salvation.