Bhagawan Sri Golagamudi Venkaiah Swamy

The second of two presiding deities is Avadhuta Bhagavan Sri Sri Sri of Golagamudi. Venkaiah Swamy was an Indian spiritual leader who was and is regarded by his devotees as a saint, Avadhuta, and Sadguru.

Bhagawan Sri Golagamudi Venkaiah Swamy was born in Nagula Vellaturu, a small village in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh to a pious couple Smt Sompalli Pitchamma and Sri Penchalaiah as their eldest son. He had two brothers and a sister. The exact birth date of Swamy is unknown; however, Swamy should be born around 1880-90 as he was about 100 years old at the time of his Maha Samadhi on August 24th, 1982 in Golagamudi.

Golagamudi, The Shirdi of South

Just like Baba chose Shirdi, a remote village in Maharashtra as his abode, Sri Bhagavan Venkaiah Swamy chose Golagamudi, a remote village as his abode for his Maha Samadhi. Golagamudi is located in Venkatachalam Mandal of Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh (About 7 km from the Nellore town). Swamy once told his disciples to note down that only 5 acres of land in Kashi is sacred; whereas, 11 acres of land in Golagamudi was equally sacred. The Mahasamadhi temple and the Dhuni (Gundam) is now located in these 11 acres. In addition to what Swamy had said to his disciples, there has been another significance to Golagamudi according to the puranas. It is believed that while Garukmanth was bringing the 7 holy hills to Tirumala from Vaikunta in Kruta Yuga; a piece of the hills fell in Golagamudi. This was probably the reason for Swamy choosing Golagamudi as his final resting place. Today, lakhs of devotees visit his Samadhi in Golagamudi, the Shirdi of South.

A Datta Incarnation

Lord Sri Dattatreya Swamy assured that he will be present in the form of Avadhutas in the Kaliyuga. Bhagavan Sri Golagamudi Venkaiah Swamy is one such Avadhuta of Sri Datta lineage. The Saint from Golagamudi, Sri Venkaiah Swamy, was the embodiment of dharma and practiced dharma throughout his life. Sadguru Venkaiah Swamy incarnated to lift his devotees from the clutches of disease and poverty and to satiate those who are spiritually starving. Swamy protected everyone who came to his abode and even does the same today, after his Mahasamadhi. Sri Swamy aptly follows the words as he says, "Ask something in the name of Venkaiah sincerely, you would get three times of it."

Preface to Venkaiah Swamy’s Incarnation

Sripada SriVallabha is considered the first incarnation of Lord Dattatreya in Kaliyuga (1320 A.D-1350 A.D). Around that time, somewhere in Andhra region, there used to be a pious Brahmin family very much devoted to Lord Dattatreya. One day, on occasion of thread ceremony of their only son Ananda Sharma (7 years old), an Avadhuta visited their house and explained many divine secrets relating to the chanting of Gayatri mantra, and directed the father of Ananda Sharma to visit Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Penchalakona (Nallamala forest area, near Nellore). As directed by Avadhuta, the father, along with his young son Ananda Sharma visited Penchalakona. While at the temple of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, the boy’s father fell into a deep Samadhi unexpectedly. That meditation went for several hours and Ananda Sharma was all alone, scared and hungry. A stranger visited him, offered him food and took him to the great Kanva Maharshi who was served by his 101 disciples. That old sage told the boy that he was in fact Kanva Maharshi and that the area was his land of penance. His disciples even though appeared young, were thousands of years old. He added that on account of the great Punya earned by seeing Lord Dattatreya in Avadhuta form, he could visit his Tapobhoomi (land of penance). Ananda Sharma was astonished and delighted to have the Darshan of Maharshi. After Kanva Maharshi blessed Ananda Sharma, he was instantly transported to his father at the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple. Ananda Sharma did not disclose his experience with Sage Kanva, or the fact that the new incarnation of Lord Datta was in Pitikapuram (Pitapuram, AP)

Three years passed by. On one fine day around 1325 A.D, few relatives of Ananda Sharma's family visited them and requested them to join in the pilgrimage to Pitikapuram. After visiting the Kukkuteshwara temple in Pitikapuram, Ananda Sharma's family decided to visit the much revered Bapanarya, a great scholar and maternal grandfather of Sripada SriVallabha; the first incarnation of Dattatreya. The Ananda Sharma family and relatives were welcomed with much respect. It was at this auspicious occasion, Ananda Sharma met Sripada SriVallabha, the Lord Dattatreya incarnation. Ananda Sharma worshipped Sripada with great devotion and to Ananda Sharma’s surprise Sripada SriVallabha blessed him as follows “My grace will be on you in this and all your succeeding births. In your final birth; you will become an Avadhuta with the name Bhagavan Sri Venkaiah Swamy. May you shine well by constantly keeping holy fire (Dhuni); be capable of invoking rains during drought; be capable of saving the worldly difficulties and diseases of your devotees''. This boon given by Sripada SriVallabha to Ananda Sharma in 1325 A.D manifested in around 1880-90 A.D; when Bhagavan Sri Venkaiah Swamy was born to pious couple of Smt Sompalli Pitchamma and Sri Penchalaiah in Nagulavellatur, Nellore.

Resemblance to Shirdi Sai Baba

There are several similarities between Bhagavan Sri Golagamudi Venkaiah Swamy and Sri Shirdi Sai Baba. Both spoke to themselves in cryptic language, they both used strange ways to cure their devotees' ailments and their teachings were alike. Once Sri Swamy told that he has an elder brother in North India, who worshiped sacred fire (Dhuni) like him. Swamy also conducted Gundam (Dhuni) throughout his life like Shirdi Sai, and the Gundam is burning without stopping even to this date. Like Shirdi Sai Baba, Sri Swamy also predicted their date of Mahasamadhi well in advance and ordered to construct a temple before he ended his avatar. Today, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Swamy’s Samadhi Mandir in Golagamudi like in Shirdi to seek his blessings. There are several experiences of his devotees, which confirms Sri Venkaiah Swamy's lineage to Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi.

Sri Venkaiah Swamy (temple) Samadhi Mandir is very similar to Shirdi Samadhi Mandir, which was built after Swamy Samadhi on 24th of August 1982. Sri Swamy Mandir also serves cotton thread as Prasadam; to be worn as a wrist band signifies the link between Swamy and devotees, which works as means to save them from all calamities. Like Sri Sai Baba, Venkaiah Swamy used to negate devotees' bad karma through Dakshina and mitigate their pains. The true Dakshina that Swamy expects from us is to practice Dharma, which he preached and practiced all through his life. The experiences of the devotees confirm beyond doubt that they both used similar ways to save their devotees.

Yogic Sadhana:

After leaving his native village of Nagulavellatur, it is told that Swamy visited the great ‘Kanva Maharshi’ in the Penchalakona mountains of the Nellore district. There he attained divinity over time. While people considered him as Lunatic and ignored him, Sri Swamy used to do yogic Sadhana in lonely places. He used to perform penance by hanging to the branches of trees projected from the walls of large wells with his head downwards. He would also walk on the river Penna and sit on the water during midnights when none of his disciples were awake. Strange were the ways he used to meditate.

Day to day life of Swamy

At first glance Swamy, with dust-laden clothes, with a bundle of rope bits on his head, a munta (a small earthen pot) in one hand and a rope on fire on the other hand, ordinary people considered him lunatic. For many years, he wandered on the banks of river Penna. He used to get his food as Biksha from a house chosen by himself. Eventually, moved into a small hut made of palm leaves on a hillock called Ankalammabotu near Rajupalem, Nellore. He always kept an oil lamp burning beside him and played tambura (a stringed musical instrument) all through the night chanting ‘Om Narayana Adi Narayana’. Swamy then moved to the temple premises of Lord Shiva and Kamakshi in Koti Theertham, Nellore across the Penna River. While in Koti Theertham, he used to be deeply absorbed in the divine chant of his Maha mantra ‘Om Narayana Adi Narayana’.

After a few years in Koti Theertham, he traveled village to village on his mission of saving the poor and downtrodden. He never stayed at any devotee’s house. He always resorted to deserted houses, temples, and animal shelters. Finally, he moved to Golagamudi, Nellore, where he stayed in his ashram till his Maha Samadhi.


Sri Swamy maintained a sacred fire called ‘Gundam’ (Dhuni) throughout his life. It is still being maintained after his Maha Samadhi. Irrespective of the season and his stay, he used to have the burning fire next to him. In Hindu traditions fire symbolizes piousness. It burns away all our sins and purifies us. Swamy used to redirect the sins of the devotees to the burning fire and therefore purify them. He resembled Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi who maintained sacred fire throughout his life in Dwarakamayi.


Bhiksha is the food (offerings) that devotees give when someone asks for it. Lord Datta used to take Biksha from his devotees and whoever offers him Biksha will be relieved from their troubles or diseases. Sri Venkaiah Swamy being in Avadhuta tradition followed the same indicating that he is an avatar of Lord Datta.

He was always dependent on Bhiksha (food offered by earnest devotees). Even though devotees organized grand feasts in presence of Sri Swamy, he still insisted his servants get Biksha from the nearby houses in Golagamudi. He used to say, "Ayya! if we do not go to Biksha today, villagers will not give us Biksha tomorrow". Even today, before serving Maha Prasadam (Annadanam) at his temple in Golagamudi, volunteers collect Biksha from the neighborhood and mix it with Maha Prasadam before serving the devotees, thus, continuing the tradition to this date.


Padukas of Swamy at Guru Sthanam. Swamy hugged them and held them close to his chest for hours and asked all his devotees to worship these holy Padukas.

Blessing Methods

Sri Swamy used to bless his devotees in very strange ways. At times, Swamy used to ask them to write their problems on a piece of paper and give it to him. He would bless the paper by touching his forehead. Other times, he used to give his fingerprints on paper and bless his devotees for their prosperity. He also used to give sacred threads (Raksha - to be tied around the wrist) to give protection from the evil and often used to write a note on paper and give it as blessings (promissory note). In whichever, he blessed, the blessings to come true every single time.

One of the thousands of Promissory notes dictated by Swamy when devotees visited him with problems.


Two months before Mahasamadhi Sri Swamy was very weak. One day he told his disciples that he was going away. Following that, he was unconscious for a few hours. His disciples thought that Sri Swamy was going to take Mahasamadhi and were in great grief. After a few hours, he woke up and said "Ayya! the Gods did not agree and asked me to be here for some more time". Similarly, Shirdi Sai also got back to his senses after seventy-two hours as mentioned in the life history of Sai.

Following this incident, a few days before Mahasamadhi, Sri Swamy was continuously shouting that sunset is nearby. Figuratively he meant that his mission on earth was coming to an end. Finally, Sri Swamy left his physical body on 24th August 1982 in Golagamudi. Today Sri Swamy Samadhi at Golagamudi, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh became a pilgrimage center where lakhs of devotees visit Swamy and seek his blessings to mitigate their problems and fulfill their desires with his divine grace. Sri Swamy referred his Samadhi Mandir as masjid just like Shirdi Sai. His words came true today as people from all the religions worship Swamy and get solace from their problems. These days, Swamy Samadhi has become the Shirdi of the South.

Sri Swamy beloved sayings
  1. Feed the hungry but not the burping.
  2. Whatever you desire will be fulfilled; if asked in full faith.
  3. For granted, Venkaiah Swamy is in all creatures.
  4. Even if you leave me, I will not leave you.
  5. What is it that you gain from having Darshan of the Maharaja of Mysore? You reap what you sow.
  6. I will be blessing my devotees as per one’s faith.
  7. I will pick up my lamb even though it is in the herd of thousands.
  8. Equality and love for all will enable you to realize God.
  9. I am responsible for the welfare of the people who donate a mouthful of food in my name.
  10. There is no mantra or tantra, watch and learn from the good around you.
  11. It is nothing great if a sadhu sticks to dharma. It is great if a householder sticks to dharma.
  12. We must stick to dharma even while lending money for interest.
  13. We must achieve nobility, simplicity, and serve Sadguru.
  14. You will incur a loss of ten rupees for stealing a quarter of a rupee.
  15. If we crave for a share in the profit; we would also share the sin.
  16. We should leave a place, rather than asking others to leave.
  17. If we give up greed, we give up all the sorrows.
  18. If you are careful that the thread is not severed (connection to him), I will be ever with you.

Sarve Janaah Sukhino Bhavanthu, Sai Ram!

       Om Sai Sri Sai Jaya Jaya Sai            Om Narayana Adi Narayana