Swami Jaganatha was born in Puri, India, two years after the American War of 1812-a time when the British were establishing a mercantile beachhead in India. He died 145 years later, in 1959, in the emerald jungles of Tapah, Malaysia-his physical home a small, rude hut far from civilization, his spiritual home the infinite realms of Siva consciousness.
He lived in Tapah some 78 years, originally migrating out of India to Burma when he was 18, performing body-numbing tapas (austerities to accelerate soul unfoldment) and finally crossing into Malaysia in his late 60's. Swami Jaganatha was a siddha par excellence of the Natha Sampradaya (tradition of the Siva masters). He left a legacy of pinnacle spiritual achievement for all Malaysia Hindus and a posthumous prophecy of international scope that bore true. Few knew him personally. He mainly strode the corridors of our dream-world, the realities of the Devaloka surrounding this planet.
Finding him was difficult enough even if he inwardly wanted to see you. And the jungle and Japanese soldiers in occupation kept the fainthearted away. But some came. And if they could stand the tests of their own mind they followed Jaganatha as Sat Guru. One such earnest seeker was K.S. Gurusamy Pillai.
Gurusamy Pillai recounts his first meeting: "Some people commented, 'Why do you want to meet the madman who goes about dressed only in a loin cloth and always mumbling to himself!' The hut was almost completely grown over with vines and creepers. The swami asked me to first thank the man who had called him a madman. I sat on a low table. Then swami locked the door. Soon after, the swami disappeared and a cobra descended from the ceiling hissing loudly and, strangely, the hissing sounded like Aum. I was in great fear. Then the swami appeared, and the snake coiled back up to the roof and out of sight."
Three months later Gurusamy Pillai revisited Jaganatha. The swami asked Pillai to write to a close disciple in Sri Lanka telling him to go see Yogaswami (a renowned Sat Guru of the Natha Sampradaya who died in 1964). Then Jaganatha predicted another "soul" from America called Subramuniya would come. "He would reside in Hawaii. Subramuniya will travel around the world and everyone will receive his darshan. Then I, too, will join him," the swami declared. And indeed Sivaya Subramuniya, born in America, look Yogaswami as his guru, founded Saiva Siddhanta Church (headquarters in Hawaii) and travels annually from the West to the East.