Born in 1848, Kumara Guru Dasa Swamigal or Pamban Swami, a devotee of Lord Murugan, started writing poems at the tender age of 13. Since Pamban Swami was interested in the holy life from his early days, however his parents and guru Seddu Madhava Iyer, felt it was important for him to experience the state of matrimony and life as a husband and a father and he was he was married to Kalimuthami in the year 1878.

Even after marriage, Pamban Swami lived like a saint, mostly doing pujas and prayers. After his father's death, he took over the family business and won many legal cases related to his family business. He believed he won the cases by the grace of Lord Murugan. Somehow evidences and witnesses seem to fall in place, at these challenging and demanding cases, allowing him to win once case after another.

His life was full of miracles; one such incident was when his daughter was ill and was crying constantly. His wife requested Pamban Swami to apply vibhuti (holy ash) to the crying child but, he refused to do so and telling her to pray to Lord Murugan instead, he started his meditation. She did as she was told and after some time Pamban Swami saw the child was fast asleep.

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His wife told him that after her prayer to Lord Murugan, a saintly figure came inside the house and applied vibhuti on the child and went away. From that moment, the child was cured. Pamban Swami knew it was Lord Murugan himself who came.

Like many Murugan devotees, Pamban Swami always wanted to go to Palani, the sacred hill temple. One day he learned that his friend was embarking on a pilgrimage to Palani. Excited, he too wanted to join his friend on the pilgrimage. When his friend asked if he had permission from his God, Pamban Swami said ‘Yes’ and lied to his friend.

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On the same day, Lord Murugan appeared before him with a smiling face and said” If I want your presence at the hill I could have done it easily. There is no reason for you to lie. I will call you when the time comes. You may remain there without any attachments.” Then he asked Pamban Swami to promise that he would not go to Palani without his permission. Pamban Swami never went to Palani and kept his promise till his last days.

He dedicated the remainder of his days to writing poetry in praise of Lord Murugan. He composed around 6700 poems and 32 viyasams. The most well-known of his compositions is Shanmuga Kavacam, a hymn that is known to cure diseases, and offer protection from wild beasts and demons.

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He is also well known for his composition of the Panchamirtha Vannam. Composed in 1891, the poem glorifying the feats of Lord Murugan is an abhishegam (sacred bathing) to the Lord in the form of poetry. Lord Murugan himself is believed to have told an old lady in Tiruchendur, "I will be present physically wherever the song is sung on a pleasant note."

If anyone recites this poem, it is considered equal to performing abhishegam and puja for Lord Murugan.

Source:, Wikipedia.
Photo Credit: Great Gurus of India, Pamban Swamigal