Pujya Swami Tapovan Maharaj was the very embodiment of the ideals of sannyāsa, endowed with supreme renunciation, deep wisdom, saintliness, austerity, and compassion, a true virakta mahātma. Swamiji was born in 1886, in the village of Mudappalur in Palghat district to Balamba and Achutan Nair. His parents named him Subramanyan, but they lovingly called him Chippu Kutty. After the untimely death of his father, Swamiji left his home at the age of 28 to heed the call of the divine, eventually taking up residence in a one-room thatched hut in Uttarkashi, which came to be known as Tapovan Kutir. It was here that Gurudev sat at the feet of the great master for a total of seven years absorbing Vedantic knowledge. Swamiji attained mahāsamādhi on the 16th of January 1957 on the full moon day; in the Brahma-muhūrta at 4:30 a.m. "He came from nowhere, existed everywhere, and ultimately went to be everywhere."