Mahatma Trailanga Swami

Year of birth : 1607
Place of birth : Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh
Parents : Narashingha Rao, Vidyavati Devi
Teacher/Guru : Bhagirathananda Saraswati
Education :


“ Those who forget their own nature, their Godly essence, forget the power within themselves. Our real nature most often is mistaken by others. They prefer to believe in a miracle of the supernatural, rather than the inner strength of the powers that all of us possess.”

“ Attachment to the  evanescent world is "our chronic disease" and the medicine is detachment.”


Trailanga Swami was a Hindu yogi and mystic famed for his spiritual powers who lived in Varanasi, India. He is regarded as a legendary figure in Bengal, with many stories told about his yogic powers and longevity. Sri Ramakrishna referred to him as the "The walking Shiva of Varanasi".

His pre-monastic name was Shivarama and he was born in Kumili of Puspatirega Tehisil at Vizianagaram District in Andhra Pradesh.

His parents were Narashingha Rao and Vidyavati Devi, who were devotees of the god Shiva. After the death of his father in 1647, at the age of 40, he gave up wealth and family responsibilities to his half-brother Sridhar. Upon the initiation of a Kali mantra from his mother, Sivarama carried out Kali sadhana in the nearby Kali temple and Punya Kshetras, but was never far away from his mother. In 1669 his mother, Viya Devi, died.

After 20 years of spiritual practice (sadhana), he met his preceptor swami, Bhagirathananda Saraswati, in 1679 from the Punjab. Bhagirathananda initiated Shivaram into monastic vows and named him Swami Ganapati Saraswati in 1685. Ganapati reportedly led a life of severe austerities and went on a pilgrimage, reaching Prayag in 1733, before finally settling in Varanasi in 1737. A member of the Dashanami order, he became known as Trailanga Swami after he settled in Varanasi, living the monastic life.

His teachings are still extant and available in a biography by Umacharan Mukhopadhyay. He described bondage as "attachment to the world" and liberation as "renunciation of the world and absorption in God."

In Varanasi, till his death in 1887, he lived at different places including Asi Ghat, the Veda Vyas Ashram at Hanuman Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat. 

He died on Monday evening, December 26, 1887.