Dr. Y. Mahadeva Iyer
Founder of Sri Sarada Ayurvedic Hospital
A visionary ayurvedic physician
Dr. Y. Mahadeva iyer was born in a vedic and religious family in 1901
His father Sri Yagnanarayana Sastrigal was a vedic scholar and a teacher too. Many students studied the vedas in the traditional style under him. Yagnanarayana Sastrigal had three sons and three daughters. The eldest and the third son joined government service. Mahadeva Iyer was highly intelligent even during his school years. Mahadeva Iyer and his brothers could not continue their studies in the college due to financial constraints. Therefore he along with his brothers and other students took lessons in veda under his illustrious father and helped his father in his vedic duties.
The situation prevailing in the family compelled him to go for some employment, so he joined the postal department as a mail runner (in those days mail bags used to be carried from the post office to the nearest bus stop and loaded in the bus). But Mahadeva Iyer always had a temperament to be independent and so he left the job and went to Kerala to study vedic philosophy under his relative Sri Harihara Sastrigal, who was the principal of the Sanskrit School of the Royalty
Then he went to northern Kerala and studied Ayurveda under the famous vaidyas of that place. From there he went to Nelluvaya, in Trichur district of kerala where there is a famous temple for Lord Dhanwantari, the God of medicine. There he remained for some time and did penance. There he got a vision to practice Ayurveda in the traditional way. He got the guidance from his maternal uncle Sri Lakshmana Iyer, the palace physician of Travancore.
Later he came back to his village, Derisanamcope in Kanyakumari district, and started the clinic in the year 1924 and assiduously practiced the science. Dr. Y. Mahadeva Iyer's Sri Sarada Ayurvedic Hospital has been providing health services since then. He slowly earned reputation as a foremost Ayurvedic practitioner in this remote part of India, which is a proof for his faith in the science and the ethics he strictly observed in this profession. He was so much attached to his profession that he had no time for anything else. Dr. Mahadeva Iyer created facilities for preparation of medicines, mechanised herbs processing and treatment of in-patients. He did not believe in commercialization of selling medicines as well as explicit advertising. By the power of word of mouth and the dramatic recovery of chronic patients, the hospital came to be known as a specialty centre for the treatment of nurological problems like paralysis and other chronic musculo-skeletal ailments.
In 1965 the senior pontiff of Sringeri Sri Sarada Peetam visited Mahadeva Iyer’s house and blessed him. Mahadeva Iyer was an ardent follower of Sringeri Peetam and the pontiff found him highly knowledgeable and informed not only in Ayurveda but also in Vedas and Vedic philosophy and honoured him. It was a rare co-incidence that the same pontiff visited Mahadeva Iyer’s house during 1980 and blessed him in his sick bed.
Mahadeva Iyer’s name was known throughout the southern states. Not only the patients came from all places within India but also the students from abroad came to study under his guidance.
Mahadeva Iyer was helped in his practice by his sons, Mr. Lakshmana Sarma, Mr. Venkatasubramani, Mr. Hari, his nephew Dr. S. Ramakrishnan and grandson Dr. K. Chidambaram (daughter’s son) who graduated from the Government Ayurvedic college, Kerala. Dr. L. Mahadevan, grandson (Mr. Lakshmanan's son) joined the institution in 1996. He graduated from Madras university in Ayurveda with a rank and completed his Post-graduation in the Government Ayurvedic College, Trivandrum in 1996.
Dr. Mahadeva Iyer passed away in 1980. However, the institution he established has been growing and serving the people through affordable ayurvedic treatment and dissemination of information about the sastras. The facilities at the hospital were enhanced in 1999 by the inclusion of a Panchakarma In-patient Unit. His Holiness Sri Dhayananda Saraswathi (founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti, near Coimbatore) opened the new Panchakarma block on 7th February 1999.