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Vision of Sri Madhvacharya


Guru Raghavendra swami


Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran

1. About the Author
2. Preface
3. Introduction
4. Sri Madhvacharya - “Ananda Theertha”
5. Sri Raghavendra
6. Works of Sri Raghavendra
7. Miracles of Sri Raghvendra
8. Last speech of Sri Raghavendra
9. Haridasas and Bhakthi
10.Sri Vyasaraya
11.Sri Vadhirja Tirtha

About the Author

Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran is a freelance writer. He regularly

contributes articles on Management, Business, Ancient Temples and
Temple Architecture to many leading Dailies and Magazines.

His articles for the young is very popular in “The Young World
section” of THE HINDU.

He was associated in the production of two Documentary films on

Nava Tirupathi Temples and Tirukkurungudi Temple in the Tirunelveli
District of Tamilnadu.
His earlier books, The Path of Ramanuja, Guide to 108 Divya Desams,
and 275 Siva sthalams have been well received in the religious
circles. His other books Guide to Chennai, Guide to Kanchipuram and
Hinduism in a nut shell are popular with tourists.


There are a number of books authored on Sri Raghavendra, the great

scholar, philosopher, writer and saint in the “Dvaitha” tradition.

This book on the great saint is a tribute to him, and presented in a

simple form mainly focused for the younger generation to enable the
reader to understand the life and the teachings of Sri Raghavendra.

Since the life and teachings of Sri Madhvacharya is interlinked while

referring to Sri Raghavendra, I have also dealt in length of the great
Acharya, and his teachings.

My indebtedness is due to all the authors whose works I have

consulted and extensively quoted, to maintain the authenticity of the
presentation. I also express my gratitude to the Acharyas and
learned Scholars, Officials and Priests at Manthralaya, Office bearers
of “Kannada koota” who have guided me in compiling this book. As a
garland is made by gathering flowers from several plants, I have
compiled this book collecting information from several texts and
scholars. Since the text has been compiled from several historical
and archaeological evidences some of which are debatable, I humbly
state that I accept no responsibility for such references.
Since several authors have translated the original texts in Sanskrit
and Kannada, a certain degree of coincidence might have occurred in
my presentation with regard to the choice of words, quotations and
phrases, which is not intentional.
Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran


Every generation of Hindu society from its Vedic beginnings has

produced great souls who contributed richly through their writings
and speeches, and by the example of their own lives and activities
inspired millions of people to attain the path to Self Realization.
These are great souls, born with a purpose and still active in our
earth even after their passing away, through their thoughts,
memories and deeds, shaping the spiritual destiny of mankind. If
Hinduism is alive and vibrant today, it is mainly because of the
contributions made by these venerable souls, and we are greatly
indebted to them. Their presence has sustained our faith in our
religion from generation to generation.
Religion and culture are intertwined in Hinduism. This is evident from
the time-honoured institution of sainthood in India which has always
received acceptance and support from our society. Since the
beginning of the Vedic civilization, for ages, Saintly orders of many
hues and varieties have flourished in this country. Even in the
present age of science and technology, sainthood survives in our land
and the true saint continues to command respect in society.

Hinduism is the most ancient religion known to the world as

Sanatana Dharma. This is the only religion in the world which is also
a way of life for all to follow. Hinduism gets its guidance from the
Vedas, Upanishads, Sutras, Epics, Granthas and Prabhandhams.
Aagama Shastra is one of them. The Bhagavat Gita preached by Lord
Krishna to Arjuna, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra suggests various
paths to reach the ultimate aim, and that God is one.
The temple is the place where man learnt about himself, as well
learnt various arts like music, dance, and religion. The temple reveals
the various manifestations of the Supreme Being installed therein.
Hindu philosophy is essentially spiritual. "It is the intense spirituality
of India that has enabled it to resist the ravages of time and the
incursion into its motherland of alien philosophies. The founders of
philosophy strive for a socio-spiritual reformation of the country.
An important factor almost universally accepted is that faith in a
divine power shapes the destiny of mankind. Guru often traces their
lineage to God. Guru helps us to achieve self-realization, to become
what we really are. Spiritual liberation is the main provision that a
Guru makes to the disciples. In the Hindu Tradition, Guru in addition
to its common meaning of teacher also means "heavy" in Sanskrit.
The role of the guru is therefore weighty and an important factor for
a disciple.

For the majority of the people who are keen to approach God and do
not posses the wherewithal to go through the texts, saints have left
treasures in the form of hymns. Some of them are embedded with
"Mantras", which praise the qualities of the Almighty and project
how He comes to their help and protection. Daily rendering of these
Mantras and devotional songs will fetch relief from stress and enable
everyone to understand how God has provided various graded steps
to realise Him. There were instances of some of these saints
performing miracles mainly to convince some among the doubting
persons, than to display their own divine stature. In Hinduism, the
saints are the medium through whom God reveals himself. The
Avatar is born with a mission and to accomplish the goal.

Sanathana Dharma had famous Saints, like Madhvacharya and Sri

Raghavendra who had expounded their own specific philosophy.
An attempt is made, in this book, to give a brief note on the life and
teachings of these great saints.

Poojyaaya Raghavendraaya Satya Dharma Rathaaya Cha!

Bajathaam Kalpa Vrukshaaya Namataam Kaamadhenave!!

Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran

“Madhvacharya” - Sri Ananda Tiirtha

“Abhramam bhrangarahitam ajadam vimalam sadaa |
Anandatirtham atulam bhaje taapatrayapaham”

(English Translation)
Salutation to the Great Teacher:

“The always undeluded, unobstructed, free of sloth, and free of filth;

that Ananda Tîirtha, the incomparable, I salute, who is the remover
of all misery.”

Sri Madhvacharya, known as Ananda Tirtha, Vasudeva, and

Purnaprajna, is one of the greatest Hindu theologians. He is the
founder of “Dvaita philosophy”, and his doctrine asserts that this
world is real and that there is an eternal and immutable difference
between the individual soul and God. Madhvacharya is one of the
well versed commentators on the Upanisads, Bhagavad-gita and
Madhvacharya along with Sankara and Ramanuja, through their
expositions of Upanishadic philosophy have projected India's
spiritual greatness. Shankaracharya preached Advaita philosophy.
(Monism) Ramanujacharya preached Visishtadvaita. (A blend
of Monism and Dualism) Madhwacharya preached Dvaita philosophy

Narayana Pandit Achar captures Madhvacharaya's life in a beautiful

poetic verse in his “Sri MadhvaVijaya” which is in 32 Sarga
(chapters), an authentic work composed during his own time. For our
reference the personal life of Madhavacharya is being compiled from
the “Madhva-vijaya”.

Madhvacharya was born of Tulu speaking parents in a village in the

Karnataka region close to Udipi. The young boy Vasudeva, Madhva’s
boyhood name, expressed a desire to become an ascetic even at an
early age of 8, but could not fulfill his desire as his parents objected
to it. Madhva’s childhood, like most great saints in this world, is filled
with much of miracles and wondrous events. It is said that Madhva,
as a child, often found missing from home to be found discussing
philosophy with the priests and worshipping God in the nearby
temples. He was fond of wrestling and swimming and was found not
concentrating much on his studies. But young Madhva always scored
high marks much to the dismay of his teachers. His father
discovered that anything taught to him was immediately grasped. He
had to teach new things to his son everyday, without repeating
anything from the previous lessons. Vasudeva also astounded the
teacher in his gurukula with a flawless recital of Vedic hymns,
including portions that the teacher had not covered till then. He
developed a giant physical strength as well psychic powers.
He studied the philosophy of advaita in the beginning but very soon
was dissatisfied with the distance it keeps one from reality. He
started making his own interpretations of the scriptures. He always
used to declare that he remembered these ideas from his previous
birth. Though a student, his captivating powers of exposition, his
originality and his untaught learning resulted in his being named as
the head of the Monastery in which he was learning. His philosophy
is down-to-earth realism. He interprets the passage “tat-tvam-asi”
as saying essentially that everything is under the direction and
control of the Almighty, from whom we, the souls, are different.
At the age of 16 Vasudeva was able to leave home and become a
sanyaasi. From then on the young Vasudeva became known as
“Ananda Tirtha”, the name given to him by his sanyasa guru. Ananda
Tirtha later assumed the name “Madhva” by which he is most
commonly known today. Actually the words Ananda Tirtha and
Madhva are synonymous. Both mean ‘one who creates shastras that
bring happiness’. But the name Madhvacharya is more popular than
Ananda Tirtha.
In many of his writings Madhva openly identifies himself as the third
incarnation of Vayudeva, the Wind-God, and having descended into
this mortal world in three successive incarnations, as Hanuman, the
follower of Lord Rama, as Bhimasena, one of the Pandavas, and
finally in Kali-yuga in the guise of a sanyasi as Madhva. His followers
readily accepted and worshiped Madhva as the incarnation of
Vayudeva. Due to his display of vast learning Ananda Tirtha is also
popularly known as Purnaprajna.
During the days of Madhva, Sankaracarya’s advaita-vedanta
dominated Hindu education. And this produced a profound
dissatisfaction in the mind of the young Madhva, which often brought
him into conflict with his teachers. In fact Madhva’s objection to
advaita-vedanta became the most compelling force in his life and he
spent much of his adult life arguing against this view.
After studying in Udipi, Madhva travelled extensively to various
places in Tamil Nadu, where he continued to meet and debate with
advaita scholars. As a result, finally Madhvacarya became
determined to establish his own school of Vedic thought, free of what
he considered the blunder of Sankaracarya’s interpretation of the
Madhva soon returned to Udipi, but after a short time he again found
himself yearning for more travel. He desired to make a pilgrimage to
visit Veda Vyasa at Badri in the northern Himalayas. In those days it
was believed that Vyasa still resided on earth in a remote place in
these mountains. After arriving in Badri on a particular night it is
believed that Madhva mysteriously disappeared from the Ashram.
Many months passed and Madhva’s followers thought that he had
perished in the desolate mountains. One fine morning when Madhva
finally appeared before his disciples, they were resplendent and
joyful. It is told that he had ascended alone to the mythical abode of
Vyasa at Mahabadari and had received the blessings of Vyasa. Upon
his return to Udipi, Madhva began to write his famous Brahma-sutra

With the emergence of this important commentary, Madhva had

something positive to add to his otherwise destructive debates with
his opponents. With the zeal of Hanuman he began his missionary
work. Supported by this text Madhva used his physical stamina and
sonorous voice to travel and preach. Madhavacharya displayed rare
leadership abilities and spiritual excellence during his life time and
earned a distinguished place for himself in the religious history of
India. Madhva was so powerful and effective in his teachings which
convinced many of his former teachers as well many other learned
scholars to his new school of Vedic thought.

The Madhva-vijaya gives a graphic description of the effect Madhva

had on his audience, quoted as under:

"People came in large numbers to see Madhvacharya, attracted by

his gentle smile, lotus-eyes, golden complexion and words of
blessing. Indeed, those who made sacred images considered him the
model for their art, and attribute that he had the gait of a young lion,
feet and hands like sprouts, nails like rubies; thighs like the trunk of
an elephant, a broad chest and long muscular arms".

Soon Madhva started his own temple in Udipi by installing a beautiful

image of Bala Krishna, the child form of God. It is believed that he
obtained this image by rescuing a ship in distress near the coast of
Udipi. Madhvacarya signalled the ship to shore by waving lamps and
flags. Convinced that it was through the grace of Madhva that the
ship was saved, the ship’s captain offered him a gift. Madhva chose
the clay (gopi-candana) that was used for the ship’s ballast.
Upon washing the clay, Madhvacarya discovered a beautiful image of
Sri Krishna, which he personally carried to Udipi and began to
worship. This image of Krishna is still being worshipped in the
central temple of Udipi, one of the most important Krishna temples in
India. It is believed that the lamp burning till date beside the image
of Krishna in the temple was lit by Madhvacarya himself and has
never been extinguished.

The force of Madhva’s personality, the clarity of his thought and the
appeal of his vast learning brought many followers. As is natural
among humans, his sudden rising success also brought great
resistance and even hostile attacks from his opponents.
Madhvacharya had to face a lot of opposition due to his preaching
which were quite opposite to established norms of worship and
belief. His commentaries, on palm leaf books were stolen and
destroyed. His religious and social reforms in the Udipi region, to
avoid animal sacrifice and consumption of liquor during religious
ceremonies, were critisised by vested interests. But Madhva was
undeterred and continued his mission. There are references depicting
his fearlessness in crossing flooded rivers, facing armed robbers in
the forest. There is a story of his argument with a Muslim king who
had no sympathy towards Hindu monks. He spoke to the sultan in
Persian, convincing him that his Allah and his own Narayana are one
and the same. Madhva said to the sultan” We are all citizens of His
Kingdom.” This impressed the King who turned his follower.

Madhvacharya had remarkable yogic powers. He once became so

light that a small boy could easily carry him and make a tour of the
local temple.

Madhvacharya had an ox that used to carry his precious books and

sit by his side listening to his speeches. One day he announced that
the ox would write commentaries on his works, since he knew that
the ox was really Lord Indra. When the ox was poisoned by some
misguided people Acharya revived it by sprinkling sanctified water
on it chanting the Dvaadasha stotra. The ox later reincarnated as Sri
Jayatirtha and wrote commentaries on all the major works of the

To test his powers of digestion, a Brahmin once offered Acharya 4000

banana fruits and 30 vessels full of milk. Acharya ate off the food
without a trace. The super human abilities of Acharya impressed the
King of that place. He tried to force Acharya to stay in his kingdom
and even had him locked up in the village temple. Acharya became
invisible to the king and his soldiers, and left the place with his

Using his powers Madhvacharya and his disciples appeared like

stones to thieves who had come to rob them. After the thieves left,
Acharya and disciples resumed their journey. The thieves looked
back and saw the group walking peacefully. They were stunned by
Acharya’s yogic power. They fell at his feet and asked for

Once when a band of robbers attacked Madhvacharya and his

disciples on the difficult track to the Himalayas, Acharya made his
pupil Upendra-tirtha silence them after a fierce fight.

When the Acharya was touring Kalsa in Karnataka he noticed that

people were struggling to lift a huge rock boulder. He effortlessly
lifted it with hand and placed it on the river. This rock, called
Bhimana Bande still exists to this day. It also carries an inscription
about this incident.

During his lifetime, after he mastered the 21 rival traditions,

Madhvacharya wrote many important commentaries on the
Upanisads, Bhagavad-gita, Brahma-sutras, Mahabharata and the
Bhagavata-purana. In addition, he wrote many original works that
dealt with important aspects of his new doctrine. In all, he wrote 37
works, and Madhvacharya’s powerful literary output besides helping
to establish his teachings during his own lifetime, has also inspired a
vast literary tradition that continues to the present day.
His “Maha-bharata-taatparya-nirnaya” (the fixing of the purport of
the Maahabhaarata), a poem of 32 chapters and superb presentation
of “Srimad-bhagavatam” chronologically, are some of the master

Madhvacharya’s Vaishnavism is called Sad-Vaishnavism in order to

distinguish it from the Sri-Vaishnavism of Ramanujacharya.
According to his philosophy, the Supreme Being is Vishnu or
Narayana. Sri Madhva has said —

• Vishnu is Supreme.

• He is known by the study of the Vedas.

• The Material world is real.

• The jivas are different from the Lord.

• The jivas are by nature subservient to the Lord.

• In both the conditioned and liberated condition, the jivas are
situated in higher and lower statuses.

• Liberation is the attainment of Lord Vishnu’s lotus-feet.

• Pure devotion grants liberation.

• Direct perception, logic and Vedic authority are the three

sources of actual knowledge.

Madhva’s philosophy has many points in common with those of

Ramanuja. Worship of Lord Krishna as taught in the Bhagavata
Purana is the centre of his religion.
The phenomenal world is real and eternal. The worship of Vishnu
consists in
(i) Ankana, marking the body with His symbols,
(ii) Namakarana, giving the names of the Lord to children
(iii) Bhajana, singing His glories.

Madhva laid much stress on constant practice of the remembrance of

God (Smarana). He says, "Form a strong habit of remembering God.
Then only it will be easy for you to remember Him at the moment of
Madhvacharya said that God is the continuing cause of all activities
of man. The purpose of creation by the Lord is to enable individual
souls to work out their salvation. He prescribed Bhakthi as the
supreme method to attain God. He pleaded to lead a life of purity to
enable us to meditate on the Supreme Being and that devotion and
duty is the import meaning in human life.
Renunciation, devotion and direct cognition of the Lord through
meditation lead to the attainment of salvation. According to Madhva
if the aspirant wants to have the vision of the Lord, he should equip
himself with the study of the Vedas, control of the senses, dispassion
and perfect self-surrender. These are some of the important
teachings of Madhvacharya, the renowned exponent of the dualistic
school of philosophy. This is the quintessence of Madhva’s teachings.
One can clearly grasp Sri Madhvacharya’s philosophy by studying his
commentary on the Brahma Sutras and Anu-Vyakhyana, his
commentaries on the Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita, and his
glosses on the Mahabharata (Bharata-tatparya-nirnaya) and on the
Bhagavata Purana.
The final years of Madhva were spent in teaching and worship. He
instructed his followers to reach the devotees and highlight the
intricacies of his teachings. His biographers reveal that Madhvacarya
disappeared one evening while reciting his favorite text, the Aitareya
Upanisad. It is believed that when Gandharvas and other heavenly
beings, who gathered in the sky showered flowers on Madhva, he
suddenly disappeared from underneath this mass of flowers.
Madhva-vijaya describes that he now resides, beyond ordinary
vision, with Veda Vyasa at the high mountain hermitage of Badri.

The Acharya had many disciples, eight of whom subsequently

became the Acharyas of the eight mutts of Udipi, and he gave
responsibility to eight of his senior disciples to conduct the worship
and administer the affairs for his Krishna Mutt. These eight disciples
gradually collected their own followers and established their own
mutts that later became known as the ashta-mathas (eight mutts) of
Udipi. These eight mutts are named after the surrounding villages
where they originally resided. They are:

Palimar Mutt
Admaru Mutt

Krisnapur Mutt
Puttinge (Puttige) Mutt

Shiruru Mutt
Sode Mutt

Kaniyuru Mutt
Pejawara Mutt

Originally Madhwa directed them to take care of the ritual, 'pujas'

and administration on a two monthly rotation basis. This was a very
practical way for him to set the pattern, and methodology for the
change of office and on going activities. In this way he personally
trained his disciples to carry the mission over the centauries.
However, over time it was proven that a longer period between
offices could allow for the 'Paraya Mutt' to achieve more.

Later additional mutts were established by the followers of the

Acharyas who ascended the peetam, viz.

Uttaradi Mutt , Sosale-Srila Vyasaraya Mutt, Kundapura Srila

Vyasaraya Mutt ,
Raghavendra Swami Mutt, Mulubagilu Mutt, Majjigehalli Mutt, Kudli
Mutt Balegaru (Banagara) Mutt, Subramanya Mutt, Bhandarkeri
Mutt , Bhimanakatte Mutt , Citrapura Mutt, Gokarno-Partagali
Jivottama Mutt, Kasi Mutt, Madhwa-Gaudiya Mutt as established by
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada and
very recently ISKCON., "The International Society for Krishna
Consciousness", in 1977.

Though there is some controversy over his year of birth, which is

debated as 1199 and 1238, Madhva is believed to have lived for 79

The Writings of Madhvacharya

The writings of Madhvacharya comprise thirty-seven works,

collectively called the sarva-mula. They are divided into four groups.
The first group includes his commentaries on the Upanisads,
Bhagavad-gita and Vedanta-sutra. In this group there are ten
Upanisad commentaries, two Gita commentaries and four Vedanta-
sutra commentaries. The second group includes ten short works
called the Dasa-prakaranas that outline the basic principles of
Madhva’s theology and demonstrates his refutation of key aspects of
advaita theology. The third group is Madhva’s commentaries on the
Bhagavata-purana, the Mahabharata and the Rg-veda. The fourth
group is his miscellaneous works that includes important poems,
writings on rituals, image worship and rules for the ascetic order.

Madhva’s writing style is straightforward, unembellished and terse.

Works by Srimad Ananda Tirtha
Commentaries on the Gita (2)
Gita Bhaashya
Gita Taatparya
Commentaries on the Brahma Sutra (4)
Brahma Sutra Bhaashya
Anu bhaashya,
Anu Vyaakhyana
Nyaaya Vivarana
Commentaries on the ten principal Upanishads (10)
Ishaavaasya Upanishad Bhaashya
Kena or Talavakaara Upanishad Bhaashya
Kathopanishad Bhaashya
Mundaka Upanishad Bhaashya
Satprashna Upanishad Bhaashya
Maanduukya Upanishad Bhaashya
Aitareya Upanishad Bhaashya
Taittiriya Upanishad Bhaashya
Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad Bhaashya
Chaandogya Upanishad Bhashya

Dasha Prakaranas: Ten philosophical works dealing with various

aspects of Tattvavaada
Pramaana Lakshana
Kathaa Lakshana
Upaadhi Khandana
Prapancha Mithyaatva-anumaana Khandana
Mayaavaada Khandana
Karma Nirnaya
Three commentaries on Bhaagavata Puraana, Mahaabhaarata, and
Rig Veda
Bhaagavata Taatparya
Mahaabhaarata Taatparya-nirnaya
Rg Veda Bhaashya
Eight miscellaneous works
Yamaka Bhaarata
Narasimha Nakha Stuti and its transliteration.
Dvaadasha Stotra and its description
Krishnaamruta Mahaa-arnava
Sadaachara Smriti
Tantra-saara Sangraha
Yati Pranava Kalpa
Krishna Jayanti Nirnaya

Madhva Navami is observed in his memory, as his birthday. The

temple town of Udipi bears Madhva’s memory at every step with
Eight Mutts and innumerable followers, who throng everyday
throughout the year.

Sri Raghavendra
Sri Raghavendra (1595 – 1671 A.D.) has a unique place in the
lineage of the Masters, because He is said to be still living in his
‘samadhi’ at Mantralayam on the banks of the Tunga-bhadra River, in
South India.

He voluntarily entered this samadhi in 1671 A.D. and his disciples, on

his orders built the structure of the samadhi over his seated posture
from which he left the mortal frame by his own will. He has declared
that he will ‘live’ in this samadhi’ for 700 years. It was God’s will it
seems, that Sanku-karna a close attendant-devotee of Lord Brahma,
the Creator Himself, should be born repeatedly in this earthly world
and be a great spiritual leader of humanity. Mantralaya was chosen
by the Master as the right spot because the great devotee Prahlada
had performed several ritual sacrifices here which makes the spot
very auspicious. Also it was the same spot where Lord Rama is
believed to have sat down once, while wanderings through the
Sri Raghavendra captured the imagination of millions through his
scholarship, devotion, spirituality, the divine qualities of infinite
grace and compassion through his mystical powers of perception and
action. From his Samadhi he is believed to be relieving his devotees
of their misery, and direct them to seek moksha from Lord Sri Rama.
That is why Sri Raghavendra is thought of as the wish-yielding
heavenly tree kalpa vruksha, or the divine Cow kama-dhenu, which
both can bestow anything one wants, just the moment it is wished.
This thought is inbuilt into the following classical prayer traditionally
addressed to Sri Raghavendra.
« Pujyaaya raghavendraaya satya-dharma-rataya cha /
bhajatam kalpavrkshaya namatam kamadhenave //”

(I worship as the Kalpa-vriksha, and salute as the kamadhenu the

esteemed Raghavendra who is always engrossed in the true dharma;
He is a brilliant sun who destroys the false arguer, and a moon that
casts a mellow light upon the Vishnu bhaktas; salutations to that
Guru Shri Raghavendra; salutations to the one of extremely kind
The words “satya-dharma-rataya cha” are significant here. Truth
(satya) and righteousness (dharma) are the two pillars on which the
entire Hindu philosophy and religion stand. And of the two, satya is
more fundamental and it is the foundation for everything.
The scriptures establish Sri Raghavendra as an incarnation of Bhakta
Prahlada, the great devotee of Sri Narasimha Avatara. We find that in
all Raghavendra temples, the utsava murti (festival deity) is not of
Raghavendra, but of Bhakta Prahlada. The main "deity" will be a
replica of his samadhi (called a Brindavan) with mud taken from the
original samadhi in Mantralaya. They treat the samadhi as the body
of Sri Raghavendra and bathe, dress, and apply twelve tilakams to it
just as we do to our body.

Timmanna Bhatta was a Vedic scholar and a student of the pontifical

head- Surendra Theertha, the learned man and a great Guru. Lord
Venkatachalapathi happened to be their family deity. In 1595 AD
Timmanna Bhatta’s wife Gopikamba gave birth to a divine son, who
was to become the future Guru Raghavendra. Timmanna Bhatta's joy
was of no bounds. He named the boy "Venkathanatha (Venkanna)" in
gratitude to Lord Venketeshwara by whose blessings; this brilliant
child had been born to him.
Thimmana Bhatta along with his wife and Venkathanatha accepted
the invitation of Sri Sudhendra Theertha to stay in the mutt itself for
some time. Sri Sudhendra Theertha was pleased with the sincere
devotion and cleverness of Venkathanatha. He said to himself that
Venkanna is going to be a great scholar and a saint.

Days rolled on, Venkathanatha grew up and went to live with Guru
Sudheendra theertha at Kumbakonam. Venkathanatha had finished
the study of Amara Kosha. Venkathanatha daily gave himself to
constant meditation of God. His behavior had also changed. He also
wished to perform the worship of God with all the paraphernalia as
the swami did in the mutt and he was devoted to Mula Rama

(The Moola Rama and Sita idols were believed to be the incarnation
of Lakshmi and Vishnu due to meditation of Bramha. These idols
were later worshipped by many sages as well by Hanuman,
Bhimasena and Madhava). He came to know the story of Madhava
and believed in the uncommon efficacy of the idol.
Venkathanatha was married to Saraswathi Bai. For some time,
Venkathanatha was happy living in the village with his wife, but
found himself in a financial strain as he was not able to earn much.
Venkathanatha after his marriage had two-fold anxiety. He was to
pull on and also take care of his beloved wife. He had an ambition to
become an extraordinary learned man quite well versed in Vedas and
was eager to popularize the teachings of Madhava. Though he was
keen to meditate himself on God, he was engrossed with worries of
the life of poverty. Days and months rolled on.
Saraswathi Bai was a beloved wife of Venkatanatha and was totally
devoted to him and knew his likes and dislikes. She thanked God for
giving her such a wonderful husband and she had all eyes to see the
needs of her husband and cater to them. Both of them were highly
sensitive. During this time Saraswathi soon conceived and gave birth
to a child named Lakshminarayana. The family struggled for survival,
and was literally starving.
Saraswathi got an idea. She told Venkathanatha to meet his Guru and
take his refuge. They went to Kumbakonam. Venkathanatha and his
family were welcomed in the mutt at Kumbakonam. Venkathanatha
mastered all lessons at the Mutt. Swamiji took him to the debates
against Advaita School of philosophy at various King's courts.
Venkathanatha began to write commentary on all the Vedas
following Acharya's Rig Bhasaya, which was his ambition. But
circumstances did not favour his fulfillment. Shri Sudheendra Swami
set his eyes on Venkathanatha and wanted him to take over the
mutt. One day, Shri Sudheendra Swami dreamt, when Shri Mula
Rama ordered that Venkathanatha alone could fit to rule the Mutt. He
called Venkathanatha and after preliminary discussions of worldly
interest, began to reveal his intentions. Swamiji started telling
Venkathanatha that God was pleased with him and he deserves a
post as the head of the Mutt. Venkathanatha could not understand,
and requested Swamiji to be clear of his intentions. When he
explained clearly, Venkathanatha expressed his inability of
renunciation, since detachment was essential. Venkathanatha
explained about his wife, son and expressed his apprehensions of
shouldering the responsibility and administration of the mutt. One
day Venkathanatha had the blessing of Sharada Devi, the goddess of
learning which led him to realize of himself. He narrated his
experience of Sharada Devi to Swamiji and decided to do Upanayana
to his son and accept sanyasa. When he took sanyasa his Guru
named him Guru Raghavendra Theertha. Saraswathi was shocked of
the sudden decision of her husband, and out of frustration fell into
the well. She turned a ghost and appeared in front of Guru
Raghavendra. As he sprinkled the holy water on the ghost it attained
Moksha by purification.
One day, Sri Raghavendra was sitting outside under a tree, teaching
Dvaita philosophy to his disciples. He suddenly stood up, looked up at
the sky and folded his hands in reverence. His disciples were
surprised by this, but they also stood up and did exactly as he was

Within a moment, a fragrant Tulasi garland fell around Sri

Raghavendra’s neck. When his disciples pressed him for an
explanation, he told them “I just saw Krishna Dvaipayana going in a
heavenly chariot to vaikunta. When I asked him when my turn would
come, he held up his index and middle finger three times. He finally
blessed me by throwing this maala on me”. The disciples were
greatly intrigued by this and wanted to know the significance of this
two-two-two. Sri Raghavendra smiled and told them “It means that I
have 2 years, 2 months and 2 days left before entering the
brindavana.” The disciples calculated the date and concluded that it
would be Virodhikruth Samvatsara, Shravana Krishna paksha dwitiya
(second day in the dark half of the moon, in the Hindu year
Immediately his followers summoned three famous astrologers,
known for their ability to predict the future with unerring accuracy,
and requested them to cast the horoscope of Sri Raghavendra. They
did it separately and came with 3 totally startlingly different
numbers – 100, 300 and 700. Each was positive about his calculation,
but could not explain the difference. When Sri Raghavendra heard
about this, he laughed and said “They are predicting 3 different
entities. One is predicting the lifespan of my body, the other tenure
in the brindavana and the third the influence of my granthaas
(literary works).”

Sri Raghavendra summoned his closest disciples and announced his

choice of Manchale village as the spot for his Brindavan in
Mantralaya. He explained the spiritual significance of Manchale as
Prahlaada had performed his yaga at that spot. He took his followers
to a remote spot and showed a black rock. He wanted his Brindaavan
to be built using the rock, on which Sri Rama rested for a while,
while in search of Sita and he now prefer the rock since it has been
sanctified by Sri Rama’s touch.

Before entering the Brindaavana in Manchale, Sri Raghavendra

decided to seek the permission of Manchalamma, the presiding deity
of Manchale. Accordingly, he went to her temple and prayed to her.
She immediately appeared before him in person and encouraged him
to ask her for a boon. Sri Raghavendra stated his desire. The Devi
replied “Once your Brindavana is established here, millions will visit
Manchale to seek your blessings. I will be totally forgotten and
nobody will associate this place with me. My temple will fall destitute
without anybody to care for it”. Sri Raghavendra replied “I will not
let this happen. Here is my promise. If my devotees visit my
Brindavan directly, without going to your temple first, then I will not
help them. So, if they need my grace, they have to visit your temple
first”. When Manchalamma heard this, she was pleased and
immediately granted him permission to enter the Brindavan in
On the day chosen (Virodhikruth Samvatsara Shravana krishna
paksha dwitiya - 1671 A.D.), thousands of people had congregated in
Manchale to see this rare event of a person entering a Brindavana
As usual, Sri Raghavendra got up before dawn, meditating on Shri
Hari and finished his bath during the early hours itself. After his japa
and dhyana he gave a discourse on Shri Madvacharya’s works to his
disciples for the last time. His disciples were grief stricken at the
thought that this was going to be their master's last discourse. The
master was filled with an overwhelming desire to teach as much as
possible and the disciples were anxious and eager to absorb
everything. The subject matter was as usual Shri Madvacharya's
Bhashya and Shri Jayatratha's commentary for it. That day's
discourse was the culmination of his life's mission. For the thousands
that had gathered there the realisation that they would not see such
a treasure house of knowledge hereafter filled them with pain and
agony. The discourse came to an end.
After bathing once again he started the puja of Sri Rama and other
idols in the mutt. After going through all the details of the puja he
blessed the entire gathering with tirtha, Prasad. As the appointed
time was nearing he went to the spot that was already chosen and
sat in padmaasana. He had his japa mala in his right hand and in
front of him were all the moola granthas, sarva moola, tikas and
tippanis on the vyasa peetha.
Sri Raghavendra then took up his veena and started to sing in
Bhairavi raaga the famous song,"Indu Enege Govinda" where he
extols the Lord as His only Saviour and that he should be pardoned
for having led an irreligious life without singing his glories. He ends
the song with His mudrika "Dheera Venugopaala Bhaara Kaaniso
Hariye". He rendered his last speech and after this Sri Raghavendra
began reciting the pranava mantra. In a very short time he was lost
in meditation, and soon reached the highest point. His face was
serene. He was shining with a rare brilliance.
At one stage the japamala in the master's hand became still. His
disciples who understood this sign started arranging the slabs
around him. They arranged the slabs upto his head and then as per
his earlier instructions placed a copper box containing one thousand
two hundred Lakshmi Narayana shaligramas that had been specially
brought from Gandaki River. Then they placed the covering slab over
it and filled it with earth. They poured twelve thousand varahas
(abhisheka) over the Brindavan. A grand feast was hosted to
commemorate this glorious event.
Appanacharya was Sri Raghavendra’s beloved disciple. Most of the
Sanskrit hymns that we chant today in honor of Sri Raghavendra –
Sri Raghavendra stotra, Mangalashtaka, Dandaka – are his
compositions. Appanacharya was very close to Raghavendra Swami.
At the time when Raghavendra Swami entered Brindavan, he was on
the other side of the river Tungabhadra. Appanacharya wanted to be
with his revered guru, but the river was flooding. He jumped into the
river, singing Sri Poornabhodha stotra, realizing that if Raghavendra
Swami could lead him across the ocean of samsara, a mere river
could not hold him back. And he did cross the river safely, only to see
that Raghavendra Swami had already entered the Brindavan.
Appanacharya was in such a profound state of grief, that he could
not finish the stotra he started to compose - it was missing 7
aksharas.The stotra had reached its final stanza “ kirtir divijita
vibhutiratula ..” but he could not continue further. Suddenly, a voice
rang out from the Brindavan "sakshi haya syotra hi" (meaning that
Lord Hayagriva is the witness to the statements made by
Appanacharya in his stotra, and that He would make them all come
true). Even today, it is believed that anybody reciting this stotra, at
the Brindavan with full faith and devotion gets all the grace of Sri
Raghavendra. Not only did this show that Appanacharya's “Sri
Poornabhodha” had Raghavendra Swami's approval, but it also
showed that Raghavendra Swami was still with them. This was the
first miracle he showed after entering Brindavan, and even today
miracles happen to people who go to Mantralaya Brindavan to seek
his blessings.
Works by Sri Raghavendra Tirtha

 Dasha prakarana-s (6): Commentaries on six of the

ten Prakarana-granthas of Sri Madhvacharya
 Suutra-Prasthaana -- works on the Brahma-sutra
 Nyayamuktavali (Brief exposition of the
adhikaranashariras of the Brahma-Sutra)
 Tantradiipikaa (A vrutti on the Sutras)
 Bhaavadiipa (Exposition upon the commentary of
Sri Jayatiirtha upon the Vishnu-tattva-vinirnaya)
 PrakaaSha (Commentary on the taatparya
chandrikaa of Vyaasa Tirtha)
 Tattvamanjari (Exposition of the anubhaashya)
 Nyaayasudhaa-parimala (Commentary on
nyaayasudhaa of Jayatiirtha)
 Rig and Upanishad prasthaana
 Mantraarthamanjari (Commentary on the first three
adhyaayas of the Rig Veda (the same portion as
touched upon by Sri Madhvacharya)
 Khandaartha-s (lucid expositions) on nine out of
the ten Upanishads commented upon by
 Gita prasthaana
 Prameyadiipika (Commentary on Madhva's Gita
 Nyaayadiipika (Commentary on Madhva's Gita
 Gitaarthasangraha or Gita-VivRitti
 Gitaarthamanjari
Other works
 Commentary on pramaana paddhati of Jayatiirtha
 Bhaavadiipa (Commentary on vaadaavali of
 Nyaayadiipa (Commentary on tarkataandava of
Vyasa Tirtha)
 Bhaatasangraha (Commentary on the entire
miimamsa sutra-s of Jaimini)
 Shri Ramacaritramanjari
 Shr Krishnacaritramanjari
Pratah sankalpa gadya
Tarkatandava tippani
Guddhabhavaprakashika (vyakhyana to
Miscellaneous works
 Detailed commentary on Rig Veda
 Commentary on Yajur veda
 Commentary on Saama Veda
 Short gloss on Purusha-sookta
 Short gloss on Aambhranii-sookta
 Short gloss on Gharma
 Short gloss on Balittha -sookta
 Short gloss on Hiranyagarbha-sookta

Last sloka of RaghavendraVijayam.

“ Santam shriramana priyam yativaram vyasasya bhavebrishan
Durvaramitamayi bhikshutimire paryasya chandram bhuvi/
Satsandasthutamishta dakshitiruham vandaruvi prashrayam
Tam Natva sakalo duruhasudrasham samyati vidyadikam//”
Those people who bow to Shri Raghavendra, the beloved of the Lord
of Lakshmi,
who is a venerable yati (saint), who meticulously follows the words
of Veda Vyasa.
who dispels the unbearable, boundless darkness of ignorance caused
by illusionist sanyasis just as the moon dispels the darkness,
who is always praised by the noble people, who is verily the wishing
tree which satiates all our wishes and
who is always with devout Brahmins will their material wants
satisfied be endowed with spiritual wisdom, and ultimately get
aparoksha Jnana. (Supreme Knowledge)

Miracles of Sri Raghavendra

Raghavendra Swami performed various miracles, but the most
significant miracle lies in the vast literature he left behind and his
contribution to the philosophy of Sri Madhvacharya. He wrote
extensive commentaries on the Upanishads, Bhagavad gita, Vedas,
as well as several granthas that Madhvacharya wrote.
Raghavendra Swami, while performing miracles, clearly stated that
what he did was not magic or sorcery or witchcraft. It was not
Patanjali's yoga, but the yoga of the Bhagavad Gita. The aim of his
miracles was to remove the suffering of those who seek refuge in
him and thus draw them towards God and religion.

The then ruler of Tanjavur district was depressed as there was a

great drought at that time. Raghavendra Swami made the ruler
perform appropriate rituals and ceremonies, which resulted in heavy
downpour, and turning the land fertile. Expressing his gratitude, the
King offered Raghavendra Swami a priceless necklace, which
Raghavendra Swami in turn put into the Yajna as an offering to Lord
Vishnu. The king took this act as an insult and grew angry. By
offering prayers to Agni – the fire God - Raghavendra Swami
immediately brought back the necklace from the sacrificial fire and
handed over to the king. . The king realized his folly and understood
that a necklace meant nothing for one who renounced the world, and
he sought the forgiveness of Raghavendra Swami.

 During Raghavendra Swami’s visit to Bijapur, the scorching

heat was unbearable. He found a Brahmin fainting by the heat
and unable to get up. When Raghavendra Swami recited a
mantra, water sprung up from the scorching sands, which
saved the Brahmin's life. In another instance, a child was
traveling with an entourage, through a desert. The heat was so
unbearable that the child started to cry. Raghavendra Swami
threw his upper cloth towards the child. Flying through the air,
it gave shade to the child for the rest of the journey.
 At that time there was one Desai who had no faith in God or the
Vedas. He would challenge scholars to make a dry twig sprout,
using Vedic mantras. No one was able to do this. They called on
Raghavendra Swami to prove to Desai the power of the Vedas.
When Raghavendra sprinkled some water on the twig while
reciting a Vedic mantra, right before Desai's eyes, the twig
began to sprout. This incident instilled deep faith in the hearts
of many scholars who were present. After witnessing the twig
sprout with their own eyes, they believed that such miracles
were possible through the grace of the Lord. Desai, himself,
who used to scoff the Vedas, became a true believer in God and
upheld the Vedas, with Raghavendra Swami as his guiding
 Once when Raghavendra visited a mutt, a group of pundits who
were hotty in their attitude, thought that Raghavendra has
come to seek alms. They asked him to grind sandal paste
before joining for lunch. Realising the attitude of the pundits,
Raghavendra Swami, made the sandalwood paste chanting
Agni Sukta When the Pundits applied it, they found their skin
burning. Noticing their plight Raghavendra made it cool again
by reciting Varuna Sukta. Realising the greatness of the
swamiji they sought his apologies.
 On a hot summer day, Raghavendra swami was on his way
home from a pilgrimage. He decided to rest in the shade of a
tree at Krishnapuram (near Hubli). While there, he saw the
Nawab (Muslim king) of the area walking towards him, with a
sad demeanor. The Nawab had heard of his miracles and had
come to him as a last resort. He stated that his young son died
of a poisonous snakebite and has been buried in a tomb close
by. After hearing this, Raghavendra swami contemplated
silently for a few moments and then asked the king to take the
body out of the tomb. When the puzzled Nawab did as he was
asked, Raghavendra swami sprinkled holy water from his
kamandala and prayed to his Aaradhya Murthy (favorite form of
the Lord). Lo behold, the young boy woke up as though

he was getting up from sleep. The Nawab was moved of the

greatness of Raghavendra swami.
(There are some very important points to be noted in this episode.
Our shastras talk about the concept of "Ayushya", defined as the
total amount of time that a person is allowed to live on earth, in a
particular body. Any death that happens before this time is untimely
and is called "apamrutyu". Our shastras say that once "Ayushya" is
over death cannot be prevented, since that is Divine Will. However,
"apamrutyu" is a different aspect altogether. Life-histories of our
saints and other great souls are replete with instances where they
warded off untimely death in deserving cases. In this case, since the
child had suffered apamrutyu, Raghavendra swami used his divine
powers to revive it.)
 He did a similar thing in another instance. He was visiting the
house of a village Chieftain. A large number of people had
assembled for the occasion. As part of the food served to the
guests, seekarane (a thick form of mango juice) was being
prepared in a huge vessel. Unfortunately, when nobody was
watching him, the Chieftain’s son fell into this vessel and
drowned. When the Chief and his wife came to know about it,
they were totally devastated. However, they wanted to hide
the news because they did not want to inconvenience
everybody who had assembled there. Being a gyani, Sri
Raghavendra sensed the tragedy and asked the grief stricken
couple to bring the dead boy before him. When this was done,
he sprinkled water from his kamandala and revived the boy.
The joy of the ecstatic parents knew no bounds.
 There were some evil people who were jealous of the
greatness of Raghavendra swami and were always looking for
opportunities to humiliate him. When some of them heard of
the above incidents, they conspired to come up with a plan to
humble Raghavendra swami. They chose a location that was
very close to Raghavendra swami’s place that day and asked a
person to pretend to be dead. They covered his face and sat by
his side wailing as if he was really dead. When Raghavendra
swami passed by, some of them approached him and entreated
him to revive this “dead” man. Raghavendra swami looked at
the body and said “I cannot revive him since his Ayushya is
over”. This was what the evil persons wanted to hear. They
immediately started condemning him and trumpeted to the
world at large “Look at this pseudo sanyasi. He does not know
the difference between a living and a dead person. Our friend
is pretending to be dead. He is now going to get up and
denounce this fraud”. Nothing happened. Then they tried to
wake him up, thinking that he was asleep. None of their efforts
were successful as the person was truly dead!

They realized their mistake and begged Raghavendra swami to

revive the person, but he pleaded his helplessness since the
person’s Ayushya was really over. The men who came to humble
Raghavendra swami were themselves humbled and his greatness
became even more enhanced.
A point to note is that Raghavendra swami did not curse the man to
die or punish the evildoers. It was again Divine will that the
conspirators chose a person whose Ayushya was really over and the
timing was perfect to humiliate them. The Lord well and truly
protects His beloved devotees.

 Once a few scholars came to meet Raghavendra swami. One

the way they got lost and wanted to ask for directions. They
noticed a washerman walking with his load on his head, but
before asking him a question, they debated amongst
themselves in Sanskrit if it was worthwhile asking somebody
who looked like an illiterate. Imagine their surprise, when the
washerman interrupted their discussion by saying
in chaste sanskrit “If all that you want to know is directions to
meet Raghavendra swami then I should be able to help you”.
He then gave directions in chaste sanskrit to the embarrassed
scholars, and proceeded on his way. The scholars rested for a
while and then proceeded to the river for their afternoon
sandhya. They saw the washerman sitting on the bank. They
politely asked him in sanskrit if it was okay to perform
sandhyavandana there. He gave them a blank look and told
them rather crudely in the local language “Look, if you want to
speak with me, use a local language I can understand”. Even
from his tone and grammar it was obvious that he was an
illiterate with little or no command over any language. The
scholars were surprised since he had spoken to them in
Sanskrit a few moments ago! They dismissed him as a madman
and proceeded with their task. The washerman left with his
load and started walking back slowly. After a while, the
scholars passed him again on the road. This time, he politely
asked them in chaste sanskrit if they had had any difficulty in
locating the road and if they needed any help. The scholars
were totally baffled and practically ran away from there. When
they reached the mutt, they spoke to a knowledgeable person
and explained the curious phenomenon they had observed. The
person laughed and said “Did the washerman have his load on
his head when he spoke to you?” When the scholars nodded in
reply, he continued “It was not the washerman talking to you.
It was the clothes. He was carrying the clothes that our
Raghavendra swami had discarded. As long as he had the load
on his head, he was a totally a different person. Once the load
was discarded he became his normal self”. Such was the power
of Raghavendra swami’s personality that even the clothes that
he had discarded carried mystical powers.
 Venkanna was a Brahmin boy in a small village under the
sovereignty of the Nawab of Adoni. Due to family problems, he
was not tutored or taught any useful skills. He was assigned to
the task of tending the family’s herd of cows, and thus used to
spend his entire days in the countryside watching over the
cows. He had heard of the greatness of Raghavendra swami
and was eager to meet him and seek his blessings. His prayers
were heard because one day the retinue of Sri
Raghavendraswami passed close by. He immediately ran to the
palanquin that Raghavendra swami was travelling in and
prostrated before it. Raghavendra swami looked at him and
inquired about his antecedents. Venkanna explained his plight
and stood with outstretched palms. Raghavendra swami took
pity on the boy and gave him some (mantrakshas) -
consecrated rice and told him “When you are in real distress
and need my help, put this on your head and think of me”. The
palanquin moved on. Venkanna tied the precious rice into a
bundle and always carried it with him.

One day, Venkanna was relaxing under the shade of a tree

when he saw a noble man get down from a horse and rest
under the shade of another tree close by. Curious, he watched
him closely and immediately realized that the noble man was
none other than the Nawab himself. Even as this realization
dawned on him, he saw another man on horseback approaching
the Nawab. The new person got down from the horse,
prostrated in front of the Nawab and handed him a written
scroll. Now, both the Nawab and the rider were illiterate and
needed somebody to help them. When the Nawab looked
around, he saw Venkanna. He also saw Venkanna’s tuft and his
sacred thread and concluded that this was a Brahmin. Since
Brahmins are usually literate, he felt that his problem was
solved. He beckoned Venkanna and handing him the scroll,
commanded him to read. Poor Venkanna was in a dilemma
since he was also illiterate. He could not refuse a direct order
of the Nawab since that would mean immediate death, nor
could he tell the truth that he was illiterate because the Nawab
would not believe him and would think that Venkanna was
trying fool him. Caught in this deadly trap, he suddenly
remembered the kind guru who had promised to help him in his
hour of need. He took the consecrated rice and put it on his
head. With this mind full of devotion towards Raghavendra
swami and his lips secretly muttering “Raghavendra,
Raghavendra”, he boldly opened the scroll. Lo behold, the
characters on the scroll began to make sense and he could

It was actually a piece of good news, informing the Nawab that

his wife had delivered a baby boy, thus making him a father,
something that he was passionately yearning for. When he
heard the news, he was overjoyed and immediately took out a
pearl necklace from his neck and gave it to Venkanna.
However, Raghavendra swami sitting in Venkanna’s mind did
not allow him to be satisfied with this. He boldly prostrated
before the Nawab and told him “If your Highness is really
happy with me, then please give me a good job in your
administration. I will serve you faithfully and honestly to the
best of my ability”. The Nawab was pleased with this answer
and accordingly gave him a good job. Through hard work and
diligence, Venkanna worked his way up the ranks and in a
short time became the Nawab’s trusted divan. Thus a chance
encounter with Raghavendra swami transformed Venkanna’s
entire life into a bed of roses!
 Once Raghavendra swami visited Adoni and accepted
Venkanna’s invitation to stay with him. Venkanna conveyed
about Raghavendra swami’s prowess to his Nawab and forced
him to visit to pay his respects. Now the Nawab was skeptical
about Raghavendra swami and did not accept any authority
other than Allah and his devotees. He wanted to expose
Raghavendra swami and score a point on Venkanna. He
secretly ordered for three silver plates, full of meat, but totally
covered with silken cloth to be prepared. He took this with him
and accompanied Venkanna to the mutt. Along with the
offering brought by Venkanna, he also offered his covered
plates as naivedya for Mula Rama. Raghavendra swami saw
through his guile and sprinkled water from his kamandala on
the plates. Later, he ordered the clothes to be removed. The
Nawab was waiting for this moment with bated breath. He was
licking his lips in anticipation of unmasking this Brahmin
When the clothes were removed, they revealed 3 plates full of
fresh fruits and flowers! The Nawab was astounded and
instantly realized the greatness of Raghavendra swami, and the
great sin he had committed by testing this man of god. He
immediately prostrated before Raghavendra swami and with
tears in his eyes begged his forgiveness. The kind and ever
merciful Raghavendra swami forgave him gladly. However, the
Nawab was not satisfied, he begged Raghavendra swami to
accept some offering from him. Raghavendra swami initially
refused saying that he was a sanyasi who had no desire for
worldly things, but the Nawab kept on begging him, so finally
he had to agree. He asked for the Nawab to give him the village
of Manchale on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. The Nawab
was surprised since that was a barren land, yielding no crops
or revenue. He tried to talk to Raghavendra swami to accept a
fertile land, but Raghavendra swami would not accept anything
other than Manchale. The Nawab immediately gifted that
village to Raghavendra swami.

 Raghavendra swami had a devoted disciple who was studying

the shstras under his tutelage. The education was over and
time had come for the disciple to return home and marry. As
the head of the mutt, Raghavendra swami was expected to
bless this disciple and give him some money so that he could
start life as a householder. In this case, it was even more
imperative since the disciple came from a very poor family.
However, he chose to bid farewell when Raghavendra swami
was on the way to the river for his bath and did not have
anything to give him. When Raghavendra swami expressed
this, the disciple immediately replied “Even a handful of mud
from you is even more precious than a hand full of gold”.
Raghavendra swami was pleased with his devotion and
accordingly scooped up a handful of mud from the ground and
gave it to the disciple. The disciple received this with total
reverence and tied it into a bundle. He then placed the bundle
on his head and started back home.

He traveled till night and reached a village, and decided to halt

there that night. He approached the chieftain and requested
him to give him a place to sleep for the night. The chieftain said
“You may sleep on the jugali of my house (a space just
outside) but I have a problem. My wife is pregnant and is likely
to deliver tonight. We have had extremely bad luck in the past
because all our children have died immediately after birth. I am
hoping that it is different this time”. The disciple agreed and
slept immediately outside the main entrance to the house with
his precious bundle as a pillow. At night, a dark and ferocious
ghost approached the house. This was the one that was killing
all the children immediately after birth. This time, it had to
cross the disciple to enter the house, but could not do so since
the bundle under his head appeared like a wall of fire to it. It
tried several times in vain and finally woke up the disciple. It
told him “Your bundle contains a divine fire that is impossible
for me to transgress. Why don’t you throw the bundle away? I
will give you heaps of money, gold and precious jewels. The
disciple pretended to agree, but quickly withdrew some
consecrated mud from the bundle, and threw it on the ghost.
The effect of this action was spectacular. The ghost screamed
loudly and was immediately burnt to ashes. The noise woke up
everybody in the house came outside the house. The disciple
explained everything to them; at the same time the midwife
came out of the house with the good news that the chieftain’s
wife had delivered a healthy boy! The chieftain was ecstatic
and hugged the disciple with joy. He attributed his good
fortune to the advent of the disciple and thanked him
profusely. The next day, he requested the disciple to stay back
in the village and even offered his sister’s hand in marriage,
along with lot of money. The disciple gladly accepted this
generous offer and lived happily. Thus, a handful of mud from
Raghavendra swami brought the disciple wealth a good wife,
powerful connections and life-long happiness

 The other miracle, which happened at Mantralayam itself,

following the jeeva samadhi of the saint, involves the Collector
of Bellary Thomas Monroe. As per the Endowments Act, during
the British rule, the mutt at Mantralayam was to lapse to the
British as the then Pontiff was stationed at Nanjangud.
However, the people of Mantralaya represented to the Collector
that Mantralayam was a gift given by Masood Khan to the saint
and hence was inviolable. To resolve the issue, as it involved
religious faith, the Collector paid a visit to the holy site.
As Thomas Monroe entered the Brindavanam, people could see
him conversing in English with someone inside but could not
see that person. Then the Collector is said to have asked of the
people, "Is this the saint you have so extolled?" On reaching
Bellary, Monroe recommended to the Governor of Madras
Presidency that the status quo on the Mantralayam issue be
maintained, as he was convinced that it was the legal property
of the Mantralaya Peetha. Thomas Monroe was directed to
assume charge as Governor as the then Governor left for
England due to personal reasons. The first thing the new
Governor, Thomas Monroe, did was to endorse his approval on
the note made by himself on Mantralaya. The Superintendent of
Madras Printing Press recorded this in the Gazette in the year
1861. The priest at the Mutt was pained to know that Sir
Thomas Monroe got the divine vision of Shri Raghavendra
Swami, but he could not. He could not fathom the reason for
this discrepancy. That night, Shri Raghavendra Swami,
appeared in his dream and explained him that he (Swamiji) and
Monroe were friends during his Prahlada incarnation and it was
destined that Monroe did a noble deed for the former.
Therefore, this special privilege was granted to Monroe.
Extract From the then Madras Gazette:
Sri Raghavendra is considered to be magnanimous and benevolent;
countless devotees of his testify to the miracles he has performed.
The sacred sand of the Moola Brindavana (Moola Mrithika) has very
special significance, to cure diseases and throw away evil forces.

Last speech of Raghavendra Swami

The speech that Sri Raghavendra Swami gave prior to entering
Brindavan is a concise summary of the philosophy of Sri
Madhvacharya. In this materialistic world, such values and morals
that Sri Raghavendra Swami, and many other great souls propagated
will lead us to true happiness. We are fortunate to have such people
to guide us on the path of right knowledge and keep us away from
the path of incorrect knowledge.
The following is taken from "Raghavendra Darshanaa - Glimpse of Sri
Raghavendra Tirtha Saint of Mantralaya", by Prof. Vyasanakere

When the day that Raghavendra Swami had chosen to enter

Brindavan (Virodhikruth Samvatsara, Shravana Masa, krishna
paksha, Dvitiya : 1671 A.D.) had come, thousands of people had
congregated there. The crowd contained devotees as well as non-
believers. Some people had come just to make fun of what was going
on. The devotees were filled with anxiety; they didn't want their
revered Guru to leave them. There were also people who were
merely curious, just to see what would happen-although Sri Vadiraja
Tirtha had entered the Brindavan in the same manner, alive, in the
year 1600 A.D, and there were a few among the crowd who had
witnessed on that occasion Those who had only heard about it were
greatly curious to see such a miracle with their own eyes.
For a while he was lost inmeditation; then Sri Raghavendra started
his soul-stirring speech.
"Hereafter I will disappear from your sight. The Lord who sent
me to you has Himself ordered me to return to Him today. I
have completed His task. Everyone has to obey His orders -
coming to this world and returning when He calls us back. You
need not feel sad that I am leaving you. The moola granthas,
sarva moola and their commentaries will be your guiding light.
Never give up their study under a worthy master. The Lord has
blessed us with this priceless life just to study them. The
shastras have an answer for all our mundane problems. Follow
the shastras and listen to the words of the enlightened. Put into
practice as much as you can whatever you learn. The shastric
way of life is the royal road to peace, prosperity and happiness.
The search for knowledge is never easy. As the Upanishads say
it is like walking on the razor's edge. But for those who have
strong faith and if they put in sustained effort and have the
blessings of Sri Hari and Sri Madhvacharya, this is not difficult.
Always keep away from people who merely perform miracles
without following the shastras and yet call themselves God or
guru. I have performed miracles, and so have great persons like
Sri Madvacharya. These are based on yoga siddhi and the
shastras. There is no fraud or trickery at all. These miracles
were performed only to show the greatness of God and the
wonderful powers that one can attain with His grace. Right
knowledge (jnana) is greater than any miracle. Without this no
real miracle can take place. Any miracle performed without this
right knowledge is only witchcraft. No good will come to those
who perform such miracles and also those who believe in them.
The Lord is full of auspicious qualities and absolutely faultless.
There is no virtue that does not exist in Him. He is Lord Rama,
Brahma and all other Devathas at all times and in all ways. His
form is beyond prakrithi (nature). His body is made up of jnana
and ananda. He is omnipresent and omniscient. All the jivas are
subservient to Him. Mahalaksmi who is ever liberated is His
consort. All jivas (souls) are not equal. There is gradation
amongst them and they are of three types. Whatever state they
attain finally is in keeping with their intrinsic nature. The
saatvik souls attain moksha which is a state of eternal bliss. The
tamasic souls attain eternal hell where there is all pervading
darkness. This is a state of eternal sorrow. The rajasic souls
keep rotating in samsara always, experiencing both happiness
and sorrow. The shastras declare such a three fold classification
and gradation of souls. It can be seen everywhere in this world.
There are several schools of philosophy which go against these
tenets and declare that there is no God, no dharma, this world is
false; there is nothing but void; the jivas and Brahma are the
same; there is no three fold classification or gradation, all the
jivas are equal to Brahma, the Vedas are not true, Brahman is
nirguna (attribute less), nirakara (formless). None of these
philosophies are correct. The world that we see is real; this
world has a master; he is neither nirguna nor nirakara. The
shastras declare Him to be nirguna and nirakara because He is
devoid of the three qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas (unlike
us). For the suffering soul His grace is the only means to attain
salvation which is eternal bliss. Those who forsake Him will
never be truly happy.
Without right living, right thinking will never come. Right living
is performing one's ordained duties according to one's state in
life without hankering after the fruits of the actions and on the
other hand offering all of our activities to the Lord. This is real
sadachara (right living). This is real karma yoga. Another facet
of right living is performing right rituals and observing fasts.
Fasting on Ekadashi and krishnashtami is compulsory for
everyone. Both men and women belonging to all walks of life
have to observe this. Those who give up this will always have
the doors of the Lord's home closed. This is what the shastras
declare. Observance of chaturmasya vrata is another
compulsory mode of worship. Along with this, vishnupanchaka
and other Vaishnava vratas can be performed according to one's
capacity. The main goal of all such vratas is to earn His grace
and love.
One should always be careful never to harm or hurt another.
Philosophical thought is very necessary for the soul's growth.
Without philosophical thought we can not arrive at the right
conclusions. But let there be no personal enmity. Social work
done for the good of worthy people should also be considered as
the Lord's worship. In short our life itself is worship. Every
action is a puja. This life is precious. Every second of our life is
precious. Not even a second that has gone will come back.
Listening to the right shastras and always remembering Him is
the highest duty. Without this life becomes meaningless. Have
devotion to the Lord. This devotion should never be blind faith.
Accepting the Lord's supremacy wholeheartedly is true
devotion. Blind faith is not devotion. It is only stupidity. We
should have devotion, not only for the Lord, but also for all
other deities and preceptors in keeping with their status. In
short having devotion to those above us, goodwill amongst
those who are our equals and having affection for those who are
below us are the excellent values of life. Anybody who
approaches you should not go heavy at heart or empty handed.
Spirituality can never exist without social grace. And social life
without spirituality is no life at all. Spirituality never denies any
virtue. But always remember that the Lord is the home of all
values. The world does not exist for our sole pleasure and
enjoyment. The thought that we are here for the good of the
world is real spirituality. While incorporating right thinking and
right values in our life we should also make it a habit to give up
wrong values and wrong thinking. If we do not fight against
them it amounts to approving them. But such disapproval
should never turn to cruelty. It should be within the limits of
justice. The outstanding feature of this should be love for truth
and not personal hatred.
This is our philosophy. This is Sri Madhvacharya's philosophy.
This is the philosophy all the shastras proclaim. This is the
philosophy that kings and sages like Janaka and Sanaka
believed and followed. The Lord's devotees like Dhruva and
Prahlada incorporated this philosophy in their lives. Those who
believe and live by this philosophy will never face any harm and
has the assurance of the Lord. Being God's devotees you should
honour and respect His devotees. Help as much as you can
those who seek your aid. But always remember your duties.
Offer all your actions to the Lord and never hanker after
temporal gains. All actions performed with a selfish motive are
like milk turned sour. There can be no higher motive than the
motive to please God and the motive of earning jnana (right
knowledge). But giving up all actions and following unworthy
methods is like taking poison which will destroy us completely.
It was Sri Madvacharya who preached this wonderful
philosophy. The same Vayu who manifested as Hanumantha to
serve Lord Sri Rama and as Bhimasena to serve Lord Sri Krishna
also manifested as Sri Madhvacharya and preached this
philosophy. This was his service to Lord Sri Veda Vyasa. His life,
like his works was philosophy itself.
Now I take leave of you. Though I will not be with you in person
my presence will be in my works and in my Brindavan. You can
serve me best by propagating, studying, preserving and
listening to my works. My blessings to you."
The message of the master gave new light to all the people gathered
there. He had revealed to them the secret of his philosophy which he
believed in, the philosophy which he preached and the philosophy by
which he lived all his life. But the pain of separation made them
forget the happiness that his message gave them. As they were
hearing his sermon, they realized that he was a true jnani, a yogi, a
scholar and a radiant monk possessing a soft and compassionate
heart. Fear of displeasing him was the only reason why they held
back their tears. After this Sri Raghavendra began reciting the
pranava mantra. In a very short time he was lost in meditation. He
reached the highest point in mediation. His face was serene. He was
shining with a rare brilliance. All the learned people who had
gathered there were reminded of the sloka from the Bhagavad Gait:
“Omityekaksharam brahma vyaaharanah
Yaha prayaathi tyajanah deham sa yaathi paramaam
At one stage the japamala in the master's hand became still.
Venkanna and other disciples who understood this sign started
arranging the slabs around him. They arranged the slabs up to his
head and then, as per his earlier instructions, they placed a copper
box containing 1200 Lakshminarayana saligramas that had been
specially brought from Gandaki River. Then they placed the covering
slab over it and filled it with earth. They poured twelve thousand
varahas (abhisheka) over the Brindavan that they had built.


Sri Raghavendra Swami desired a Brindavanam to be made for him,

and Diwan Venkanna got one made. But the Swamiji ordered it to be
reserved for a future pontiff that would come to the pontificate. He
asked Diwan Venkanna to build another one aftresh using the stone
at Madhwaram fields as the stone had been hallowed by a touch of
Sri Rama who sat on it searching Sri Sita., This we see even to day as
Moola Brindavanam at Mantralaya. Adjacent to the Moola Brindavan
we see another Brindavan the Brindavanam of Sri Vadeentheertharu,
a great grand son of Sri Raghavendra and the, fifth descendant after
Sri Raghavendraswami in the Pontificate.
Great leaders of the Vaishnava Bhakthi movement in Karnata like
Purandara dasa and Kanaka Dasa were part of the Dvaita traditions.
Also saint Sri Raghavendra Swami a leading figure in the Dvaita
tradition, established that Varnaasrama was related to one’s nature
than his birth and caste was due to the karma in their previous birth.
He believed that if one belonged to a lower caste it doesn’t mean
they are not eligible for mukti – release from the bondage from birth
and death cycle. Classical example is of Kanaka Dasa who was born
of a low caste and is stillrevered by all Madhva followers.
Kanaka Das's spiritual master was Shri Vyasaraya. Shri Vyasaraya
took birth as Shri Raghavendra Swami. Similarly, in spite of his
unalloyed devotion to Shri Krishna, Kanaka Das also took birth again
during the times of Shri Raghavendra swami as a shudra due to some
left over Karma. Due to his intense devotion, it was his last birth. He
was born as a poor man, who was devoted to Shri Hari from the very
beginning. Once when Shri Raghavendra swami was on his tour, this
old man came trembling to meet him. However, the disciples did not
allow him to meet Shri Swamiji. But Shri Swamiji asked the disciples
to let the old man come to him. The old man offered a small pinch of
mustard seeds as the only offering. The disciples got very wild with
anger and wanted to throw the offering as well as the old man. At
that point of time, Shri Swamiji, gave all the disciples special vision,
so that they could see that the old man was none other than the
famous Kanaka Das. All were stunned to see Kanaka Das in the form
of a very old man. After making the offering of mustard seeds, the
old man fell on the feet of Shri Swamiji and instantly attained


Sri Vijaya Dasaru is another great devotee of Sri Hari, who appeared
in our religious history much later. Born in poverty, bread in poverty,
he was personified as Poverty.
Jagannatha Dasaru, is another celebrated Hari Dasaru who has
spread the name and fame of Sri Raghavendra swami.

Haridasas and Bhakti

Music was practiced by the Rishis, Gandharvas, and other inspired

mortals and it was considered sacred, because it softened and
refined the mind and elevated the devotees to the Creator of the

Haridasas were mostly followers of Acharya Madhva, the founder of

the Dvaita School of philosophy. They drew their inspiration from
scriptures interpreted by Acharya Madhva. Consequently, all the
compositions of Haridasas were based on the Dvaita philosophy.

Innumerable Haridasas have descended upon Earth in the Madhva

tradition such as Purandara dasa, Vijaya dasa, and Gopala dasa with
certain basic tenets of the system like the doctrines of Hari
sarvottama – the Lord Hari is the Supreme amongst all gods

The initial inspiration of the Dasas was derived from Madhva himself,
who has given devotional lyrics in Sanskrit such as Dvadasa-stotra,
Sumadhva Vijaya (XV 84) composed by him though we have no trace
of any compositions in Kannada or Tulu by Madhva. The name of the
Haridasa sect is a contraction of the compound word formed by two
words Hari and Dasa meaning “servants of God or Hari.”

Dasas are many and Dasa literature is voluminous and their

representative compositions are outstandingly effective in appeal
and touched many aspects of life.

Though initial inspiration of the Dasas was derived from Madhva

himself who has given stirring devotional lyrics in sanskrit works as
dvadasa-stotra, Sri Narahari Tiirtha (1300 AD) the direct disciple of
Madhvacharya may be regarded as the founder of the Haridasa
movement, though very few songs are available of him in Kannada.
Sri Padaraja Tiirtha is well-known as the grandfather of Haridasas
(Haridasa Pitamaha). He made a bold attempt to compose songs in
simple kannada, expounding the difficult and highly philosophical
teachings of Madhva in simple and clear language. Sri Padaraja's
disciple Sri Vyasaraja gave great impetus to the Haridasa movement
and made it very popular by his disciples who are chief among
Haridasas - Sri Purandaradasa and Sri Kanakadasa. The center of
activity of the Haridasas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was
Vijaynagar (Hampi) and near by places, and Sri Purandara Dasa and
Sri Kanaka Dasa were the chief architects.

Sri Vyasaraya
Sri Vyasaraya is one of the most reputed among the propagators of
the Dvaita philosophy. He was born of pious parents called
Seethamma and Ramacharya. He had his early education from Sri
Sripadaraya. Later he adorned the pontific seat of the Dvaita School
of Philosophy, a repository of the teachings of knowledge, devotion
and detachment. In appreciation of his deep devotion, Lord Krishna
would converse with him and even dance before him. As his teacher,
Sri Sripadaraya had seen this with his own eyes, his affection for Sri
Vyasaraya swelled all the more. Sri Vyasaraya wrote celebrated
works such as "Tatparyachandrika" “Tarakatandavamu” and
Once while Sri Vyasaraya was at the shrine of Tirumala, the worship
of Sri Venkateswara was hampered. He was asked by King Salva
Narasimha Raja to offer worship on his behalf (to Sri Venkateswara).
In pursuance of this expressed desire, Sri Vyasaraya conducted
worship of Sri Venkateswara for twelve years according to the
traditions and rites sanctioned by the Vedas and the sastras and
earned the grace of the Lord.
During the reign of Sri Krishna Deva Raya, once the ruler was
afflicted with a disease named "Kuhu" and he was restless with
suffering. He consulted some astrologers who examined his
horoscope and suggested that he would be rid of it if he forsook his
Sri Krishna Deva Raya decided to relinquish his throne and was in
search of a proper person to take his place to rule. He sent out his
state elephant with a garland in its trunk and offered to appoint as
king whomsoever the elephant garlanded. The elephant left the city
reached the forest and trumpcated before a cave where Sri Vyasaray
was performing penance. When he came out of the cave the elephant
garlanded Sri Vyasaraya.
The royal servants who accompanied the elephant informed Sri
Vyasaraya of the king’s order. Considering the elephant's action as a
divine command, Sri Vyasaraya agreed to ascend the throne. With
great exultation, Sri Krishna Deva Raya offered the throne as a gift to
Sri Vyasaraya Swami.
Some time after Sri Vyasaraya had commenced his reign; there were
impending signs of the king being slowly recovering from the
disease. Sri Vyasaraya descended from the throne and leaving his
upper garment on it, stood at a distance. At once, the cloth caught
fire and was soon reduced to ashes. The courtiers were astonishes.
They praised the greatness of the Swami. The danger of the "Kuhu"
disease was averted and Sri Krishna Deva Raya's life was saved. Sri
Vyasaraya told the king that he was freed from the dangerous effects
of the disease and asked him to re-ascend the throne and rule the
people according to Dharma.
Sri Krishna Deva Raya obeyed the Swami's command and began to
rule over his empire.
Sri Vyasaraya who had performed great penance won the grace of
the Lord and has written various works of philosophy and founded
many shrines of Sri Anjaneya
Devotees very well know that the Yanthroddhara Pranadeva's image
was consecrated by Sri Vyasaraya at Hampi which shrine is called
'The giver of all boons to devotees'.
Sri Vyasaraya preached to the world for many years that "Lord Hari
is the greatest God" and "Vayu is the greatest Jeeva" and, after
winning universal fame, being worshipped by his devotees and
adorning the supreme seat of the Dvaita philosophy for ninety years,
attained the Brindavan on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, near
Anegondi on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight in the month of
phalguna of the year Hevilambi. At this place besides him eight
pontific heads of the Dvaita School have entered Samadhi. So this
place is called "Nava Brindavan".

Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha

Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha is the second highest saint in the Madhva

hierarchy, being next only to Srimad Ananda Tirtha himself, in the
taratamya. He is widely regarded as being the incarnation of Latavya,
a rju-tatvika-yogi and the successor to Mukhya Praana. Therefore,
even though he nominally had Sri Vyaasa Tirtha as a guru, he
acknowledges only Srimad Ananda Tirtha himself, as his preceptor.
He is an outstanding poet, a very pugnacious opponent, and a most
ardent devotee

Pilgrims visiting the famous temple in Tirumala (Tirupati) often

yearn, on some pretext or the other, whether the duration of their
stay in front of the idol cannot be prolonged. They come out of the
sanctum-sanctorum with a desire as to when they will get another
opportunity to obtain a glimpse of the Lord, in spite of the several
difficulties they have to undergo to visit this famous religious centre.
It is to satisfy them that God and one of His dear and ardent servants
worked out a scheme whereby the pilgrims can get a ``darshan''
again. For this, the saint arranged to carve out a replica of the Lord's
idol on one of the tiers of the canopy (Vimanam), though smaller in
version. When Sri Vadhiraja went to worship at the main temple the
priests made him to wait, not knowing who he was. Responding to
his prayers the Lord made His first ``appearance'' to Vadhiraja
as``Vimana Venkatesa''. Even today pilgrims have their second
darsan of the Lord on the Vimana. The saint's status as Sri
Madhvacharya's subsequent representative in later years has been
confirmed by the Lord enabling him to reach Badrinath (in the
Himalayas) and submit one of his monumental works. This rare
audience reveals that he was the only one, other than Sri Madhwa, to
receive Lord's direct grace and that he will succeed the former after
a cycle. Sri Vadhiraja's ``Brindavanam'' at Sode in North Kanara is
somewhat unique in its constructional features.

Two of the saint's exquisite poems, one a travel guide composed

after visiting various pilgrim centers all over India, and another, an
epitome of Srimad Bhagavatam, show his genius. The second is a
veritable literary garden, every verse sending out an aroma of
devotion. A brief advice of his can be the religion of our times.
``Remember Krishna, worship Hari, bow to Vishnu, take refuge in
Achyuta, overcome greed, give up avarice, conquer lust, listen to the
Lord's stories, smell the Tulasi petals placed at His feet and eat the
food offered to Him.''

The disciples of Srimad Ananda Tiritha originally stayed together in

Sri Krishna Mutt. They shared the daily worship amongst themselves.
As time went by, the daily worship was divided up so that each of the
disciples performed the worship for a period of two months. This
inevitably created friction because when certain festivals, etc., came
around, it could possibly be years before they each had a chance to
personally conduct these ceremonies.

Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha established the system of worship for a period of

two years. . He was responsible for creating the paryaya system of
rotation, according to which each of the eight Udupi ashhta-Mathas
has a two-year spell "in office" at the Krishna temple in Udupi, with
each getting a turn sometime during a sixteen-year cycle. In this
way, each of the Swamijis could perform all the festivals, etc., and
the worship of Sri Krishna could have continuity for a reasonable
length of time, unimpeded by the constant changes of administration
which occurred under the old system.

It was around this time that the eight mutts known as "Udupi ashhta
Mathas" were established in the vicinity of Krishna Mutt.
This two year system also allows each of the swamijis to conduct the
important daily duties concerning the welfare of their disciples and
the worship in their own Mutts. It also allows them the time
necessary to accumulate the enormous amount of money needed to
perform the worship in the Krishna Mutt.

Sri Hayagriva was the form of the Lord Vishnu that Sri Vadiraaja
Tirtha worshipped, and the Lord Himself used to appear in the form
of a white horse to please His devotee. He offered food to God during
his worship. God as ``Hayagriva'' approached him only from behind
and accepted it. It so happened that a goldsmith was trying to make
a gold statue of Ganapati. To his surprise, the idol kept taking the
shape of Lord Hayavadana. The goldsmith tried many times, and each
time the cast was taking the shape of Lord Hayavadana. The
goldsmith got tired and frustrated, and started hitting the idol with a
hammer. To his surprise, however hard he hit, no damage happened
to the statue. Then, one day the goldsmith had a dream. In the
dream, he saw the Sri Hayavadana Himself telling him to give the
statue to the saint who would be approaching him the next day. Sri
Vadiraaja Tirtha then went to the goldsmith, as directed by Sri
Hayagriva, and asked for the promised icon. The goldsmith
prostrated at the feet of Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha and offered the icon of
Lord Hayavadana, which the saint then consecrated and used for

On another instance, when Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha was in Pandharapura

serving Lord Vitthala, there was a corn field near the temple and the
owner of the corn field used to see a white horse coming to his field
and graze the corn. The white horse used to eat the Dall (lentils)
grown in the field, and used to get back to the mutt where Sri
Vadiraaja Tirtha used to reside. The owner got angry, and
approached Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha with a complaint that a horse
belonging to the latter was coming to his field and eating his crop.
Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha assured him that he did not own such a horse,
and that in fact, there was no horse of any description in the mutt.
The complainant however was not satisfied, since he was positive
seeing the horse enter the Mutt; he did a full search of its premises,
but could not locate the horse. Meanwhile, Sri Vadiraaja Tîrtha,
knowing that the horse was the Lord Hayavadana Himself, told the
landowner that he was very lucky, and asked him to see the places in
his field where the horse ate. To his great surprise, the farmer saw
golden corn at all the places where the Lord ate. He surrendered at
the feet of Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha, and offered his land to the Mutt.

Every day, Sri Vadiraaja Tirtha would offer a sweet dish called
Hayagriva (a preparation consisting of jaggery, almonds, ghee and
kadale (lentil) and keep it in a tray and hold it on his head while
seated and meditate Lord Hayagriva. Lord Hayavadana taking a form
of a white horse, would put his feet on the shoulders of Sri Vadiraaja
Tirtha, and eat the sweet, then play for some time like a horse, and
disappear into the Hayavadana icon. It is said that Sri Vadiraja Tirtha
would sing the 'Dashavataara-stuti', set to an 'ashvaghati' (literally,
a horse's trot) beat, to please the Lord, and the latter Himself would
appear and dance when His devotee sang to Him.

The great Sri Vadiraja Tiirtha the contemporary of Sri Vyaasa Tiirtha
and also his disciple is considered to be another pillar of Dasa
movement. He is renowned as a great leader of both the Vyasakuta
and Dasakuta. Sri Padaraja, Sri Vyaasaraja and Sri Vadiraja are
called 'yathi trayaru' three great saints in Dasa movement. Sri
Padaraja is the beginner and grandfather of Dasa's, Sri Vadiraja
promoter of dasa sahitya by his scholarly contribution and Sri
Vyaasaraja has made dasa movement more popular by his esteemed

The songs try to rouse the spirit of man from a life of worldly
attachment and turn it to God. They deal with all aspects of spiritual
discipline taught by the scriptures and take us along the path of self-
realization. Their philosophical system is just the same, as that
presented by the great writers of the Dvaita Vedanta in their original
works in Sanskrit.

The most luminous of the composers and originators of Karnataka

style of music was Pundarika Vittala. According to some writers his
period synchronizes with that of Krishna Deva Raya and he is reputed
to have founded Mela Prastara Ragas.

The Haridasas were the first saints in the world to whom Bhakti
through music was the only mode of attaining salvation. All these,
inclusive of Sripadaraja, Vyasaraja, Purandara, Vadiraja and Kanaka
and others accept the religion of Madhva and his dualistic
philosophy. Purandara was a devout follower of Madhva philosophy.
His system Bhajana as described in the Vedas is called
Taratamyapaddati. Sri Purandara and Sri Kanaka Dasa made Dvaita
philosophy to spread all over through the common language,

Sri Purandara is the founder of Karnataka Music and his songs range
from the most homely to the most philosphical. In fact the learners
of Karnataka music will start his compositions first.

The Dasas of Karnataka were the first to develop the cult of devotion
to Vitthala and make it a living faith and a powerful instrument of
mass uplift through the aid of their soul-stirring music and bhajana
in the language of their province. Their example was subsequently
taken up and carried further by the saints of the neighboring
province of Maharashtra like Ramadasa, Tukarama and others. The
Haridasas of Karnataka were preachers of devotion to God and made
distinctive contribution to the religious life of Karnataka. They
conveyed great and sacred truths in Kannada in a very simple and
clear style so as to be understood by common people. Haridasas
moved from place to place and toured the whole towns and villages
singing and dancing with single- stringed “tambura” instrument, foot
bells- kalgejje - and castanets – chatike - being their only musical
accompaniments. Although it is very rare to see such devoted and
noble Haridasas in the present century, we still find a few of them
during temple festivals


Udupi, about 60 Kms from Mangalore, is one of the sacred places of

pilgrimages to Hindus. Thousands of pious devotees throng the
Krishna temple all round the year to catch a glimpse of the Lord.

In ancient times, Udupi was known as Sivalli and

Rajathapeetapuram. Legend has it that Chandra, the Moon God, did
penance here in a forest, propitiating Lord Shiva to redeem Him from
a curse by Daksha Prajaapati. In Sanskrit, Udu means `star’ and Pa
means `leader’. Chandra being the head of the stars, the place came
to be known as `Udupi’. Some others opine that it has its origin in
the Sanskrit 'udupam' - a boat - in which Krishna came from

It has been a tradition and the unique feature of this temple, that the
Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes, called the
Navagraha Kitiki, which is exquisitely carved and silver plated. It is
also called 'Kanakana Kindi' - through which Krishna is believed to
have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa. In front of
the window there is a small 'gopuram'. The main entrance to the
temple is on the southern side. As on enters, on the right side is a
tank called Madhwa Pushkarani. This tank has stone steps all round
and a mantapam in the center.

The advent of Lord Krishna to this divine temple is dramatic. It is

believed that the idol of Sri Krishna, installed in Udupi by Sri
Madhvacharya, was got made by Sri Krishna himself by Viswakarma
out of Saligrama stone. Towards the end of Dwaparayuga, Devaki felt
a keen desire to see once again Krishna's bala leelas. These leelas
which were enacted by Krishna for the benefit of his mother were
also witnessed incognito by his wife Rukmini, who falling in love with
this balaroopa requested him to get her a similar image for her daily
worship. Thereupon Sri Krishna asked Viswakarma to make such an
idol of Balakrishna with a churn in its right hand and a cord in the
other. This idol was daily worshipped by Rukmini. After Sri Krishna's
disappearance from this world, the idol fell into the hands of Arjuna,
who hid it in Rukmini's garden. By lapse of time the idol got
completely covered by gopichandanam. A sailor from Dwaraka loaded
this heavy lump in his boat as ballast, in one of his trips along the
west coast.

Sri Madhvacharya, sensing this by his 'Aparoksha' or divine gnana,

awaited the arrival of this precious ballast at Vadabhandeswar, a
seashore spot near Udupi. When the boat was nearing the shore, it
was caught by severe storm and was about to sink.

Sri Madhvacharya waved his upper cloth and quieted the storm.
Seeing a holy man on the sea shorewho entreated him and save him
from disaster, the grateful captain offered all the riches in his boat to
the Acharaya but Madhvacharya from out of the lot accepted only the
lump of 'gopichandana' which was used as ballast. On breaking this,
Sri Acharya found the beautiful and perfect idol of Sri Krishna. He
carried the idol to Udupi, a distance of four miles, singing the praise
of Lord Narayana in ecstasy. These hymns under twelve chapters are
called "Dwadasa Stotra". He washed the idol of Sri Krishna in
Madhwa Sarovara and installed it in the temple nearby and started
worshipping it. These poojas have been going on since then till this
day in an unbroken continuity.

He is the source of happiness and salvation of all good people.

Madhva installed this image of Krishna with the avowed purpose of
removing all obstacles and relieving the pains, which beset His
devotees on their way to salvation.

Since Sri Madhvacharya's time, these poojas are being conducted by

his disciples who are all 'balasanayasis'. Till this date, as ordained by
Sri Madhva, the right of touching and worshipping this idol rests with
the pontiffs of eight mutts known as Ashta Mathas of Udupi.

The Lord in the Udipi temple is worshipped fourteen times in a day,

beginning 4.00 a.m. in the morning. The first puja, nirmaalya
visarjana puja, is performed early in the morning. And by noon, ten
different pujas are conducted –
Usha kaala puja, akshya patra go puja, panchamirta abhisheka
puja, udvartana puja, kalasha puja, tIrtha puja, alankara puja,
avasara sanakadi puja and maha puja.

The other four pujas - chamara sevaa puja, raatri puja,

mantapa puja and shayanotsava puja - are offered in the
evening till night.

Nrmaalya visarjana pooja

At 4:00 A.M. the door of the shrine is opened. The Swamiji in charge
of the two-year paryaaya takes his bath in the Madhva Sarovara, and
after his meditation and tarpana in the room adjacent to the garbha
gudi, he enters the shrine. While the priests chant the Vedas and the
bells ring, the Swamiji removes the flowers, sacred tulasi leaves,
sandalwood paste, etc., from the icon.

He then removes the ornaments used for dressing the icon on the
previous day. The bare icon of Krishna holding a churning rod, which
was originally revealed to Sri Madhva, can now be seen. This view of
the unadorned Lord is known as vishvaruupa darshana.

After the nirmaalya is removed, there is a five-fold service offered to

Sri Krishna. Tulasi leaves and sandalwood paste are offered and
morning breakfast is offered. Arati is offered on a round plate.

The dishes offered at this service are flat rice and curd, groundnuts,
ginger, jaggery, coconut, betel leaves and nuts.

Ushakaala pooja

After removing the previous day's decorations and flowers, the

Swamiji pours water on the icon from two silver pots. After the icon
is completely washed, the ushakaala pooja is performed. Sandalwood
paste and tulasi leaves are offered, and naivedya of rice, milk, curd,
tender coconut water, banana, coconut, and betel leaves and nuts is
then offered. Eight aarati-s are waved around the icon after

Akshaya paatra pooja- gopooja

Then the Swamiji performs puja to the akshaya paatra and the cows.
The akshaya paatra and ladle were presented to Krishna Mutt by Sri
Madhva himself, with the blessing that the annadaana, or mass
feeding of devotees, would continue in this holy place forever. This is
the reason behind the worship of these items to this day.
Cows have free access and freedom of movement in the precincts of
Sri Krishna Mutt. This is to commemorate the sport of Krishna who,
in the form of a young boy, used to graze cows while sporting with
the gopa youth and maidens in Vrindavan. The cows which come out
of the cow-shed in the morning move about inside the shrine. A cow
specially selected for the worship stands at the doors of the sanctum
sanctorum and the Swamiji worships her.

Fried rice, laddus of country sugar, banana, etc, are offered to Sri
Krishna and then aarati is performed. The same lamp used for
offering aarati to Krishna is then waved around the akshaya paatra
and the cow. The dishes are offered to the cows.

This can be an exciting time for the devotee. There is nothing like
having your reverie broken when a very pushy cow brushes past you
on her way to receive the remnants of the dishes offered to Sri
Krishna. These cows have the uncanny ability to stand still for what
seems like forever, while having their necks and throats rubbed and
scratched by the Lord's devotees.

Panchaamrtaabhisheka pooja

This ritual is to be performed by the paryaaya Swamiji himself. While

the priests chant the Vedic hymns in the hall known as suurya
shaale, the sandalwood paste and flowers are removed and the icon
of Sri Krishna is thoroughly washed. The Swamiji then pours coins of
gold over it. Next, after worshipping the conch, the panchaamrta is
poured on the icon. The abhisheka begins when a conch full of ghee
is poured on the head of the icon and it flows down to the feet. Then
milk, curd, honey and sugar are poured in that order. Tender coconut
water is then poured on the icon for final cleaning. Water from thirty-
two tender coconuts is used for the abhisheka.

After this abhisheka to Sri Krishna, sandalwood paste, flowers and

tulasi leaves are offered. Rice, coconut, and betel leaves and nuts are
offered as naivedya and eight aaratis are performed. The materials of
abhisheka are then taken and poured on the icon of Hanuman. After
this they are distributed to the devotees as sanctified water.

Udvartana pooja

Sri Krishna is then cleansed of oil and ghee, etc, and this fifth ritual is
known as udvartana pooja Sri Krishna is rubbed with the powder of
green gram to remove the grease, and then warm water is poured.
Sandalwood paste, flowers and tulasi are offered and then hot rice,
milk, butter, and tender coconut are offered. Arati is then waved on a
round plate.
Kalasa pooja

The sixth poojais when Sri Krishna is bathed in pure water. Before
this ritual begins, two golden pots are filled with clean water and the
presiding deities of kalasa are invoked. This is known as kalasa pooja
the golden pots are decorated with tulasi and sandalwood paste and
the Swamiji sanctifies this water with the chanting of
pranavamantra, moolamantra and the Krishna-mantra.

Pitha poojais then performed, naivedya is offered, and aarati is

waved. The rice offered at this time is later offered to the icon of

Up until the tirtha pooja one can have the vishvaruupa darshana of

Tirtha pooja

Now the ritual of abhisheka takes place. While the priests chant the
Purushha suukta, the Swamiji pours holy water on Sri Krishna from
the golden pots. After collecting the poured water in the tirtha pot,
the icon is gently wiped with a silken cloth.

Sandalwood paste and flowers are offered and then naivedya of pan
cake, butter, jaggery, pudding, coconut, banana, and betel leaves
and nuts is offered. Eight aaratis are then waved.

Alankaara pooja

The next ritual is the decoration of Sri Krishna with various kinds of
ornaments, armours, and halo-like arches. Rice, pudding, laddus, flat
rice, curds, kosumbari, etc., are offered and sixteen aaratis are
waved. During alankaara (decoration), the navagraha window is
closed to devotees.

Once the alankaara puja is completed, devotees can have darshana

with Sri Krishna wearing His new ornaments and costumes. The icon
of Sri Krishna is decorated differently each day to present a new
image to the devotees. The only part of the icon not covered is the
face. If Krishna wears a golden halo one day, He is dressed in an
armor of diamonds the next, and so on. The icon is presented as the
incarnation of Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), and Parasuraama or
Rama on different occasions.

Every Friday the icon is decorated with female costumes, as a

goddess During the Navaratri festival, the icon is decked as a
different goddess on each of the nine days.
Avasara sanakaadi pooja

The alankaara pooja need not be performed by the paryaaya Swamiji

himself. But the next two rituals, namely avasara sanakaadi pooja
and the mahaa pooja, are to be performed by the paryaaya Swamiji
only; none else is authorized to perform these two rituals. The ninth
ritual, namely the avasara sanakaadi pooja is a peculiar ritual
performed only to Sri Krishna in Udupi.

The reason for this ritual is that Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and
Sanatkumara are the originators of the lineage of Srimad Ananda
Tiirtha. It is known as the Sanaka lineage. Starting from these four
divine beings, the lineage continues through Duurvaasa, Paratiirtha,
Satya Prajna, Prajnatirtha and other saints. Saint Achyuta Prajna
also belongs to this tradition. Then comes Sri Madhva. The lineage
continues through the eight Swamijis of the Udupi ashhTa-maTha-s
and also through Padmanabha Tiirtha. Thus Sanaka and others are at
the head of the Maadhva guru-paramparaa.

When Sri Madhva installed the icon of Sri Krishna which came from
Dwaarakaa, the Sanaka-s also wanted to worship the icon which had
been worshipped by Rukmini herself. Sri Madhva permitted the
Sanaka-s to offer services to Krishna in privacy before he himself
performed the main puujaa Thus the tradition of worship by Sanaka
and others has continued daily for the past seven centuries.

Before the worship begins, the navagraha window is closed. The

Swamiji also comes out of the shrine and waits in the adjacent room.
Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara come inside the
sanctum sanctorum in solitude, and offer their services to Sri
Krishna. The shrine is reserved for these invisible divine beings for
some time. Then the Swamiji enters the shrine, offers naivedya and
waves eight aaratis.

Maha pooja

After the saints Sanaka and others complete their services to the
Lord, it is believed that Sri Madhva himself performs the main pooja
through the agency of the paryaaya Swamiji. The mahaa pooja is the
last service in the forenoon.

Before performing the mahaa pooja, the paryaaya Swamiji once

again goes to the Madhva-sarovara to have a bath in the tank.

The drum known as nagaari is beaten to announce the

commencement of the ritual. When the Swamiji begins his rituals,
the priests begin to chant the Vishnu-sahasra-naama and Vedic
The sound of the beating drum conveys the message to the whole
town that the Swamiji is going to take a bath prior to this worship.
Those who desire to witness the mahaa pooja now begin to make
their way towards Sri Krishna Mutt.

At the end of the archana, different dishes are offered as naivedya.

This offering consists of rice, sweet pudding, paramaanna, huggii,
appa, vade chakkuli, gullorige, holige, atirasa, laddu, laddige,
panchakajjaaya, milk, curds, fruits, coconut, betel leaves and nuts,
etc. At the same time, rice cake and rice gruel, in remembrance of
Kanaka Dasa, are offered in a silver bowl.

The Swamiji places tulasi leaves onto the dishes and then comes out
of the shrine for some time. It is believed that Sri Madhva himself
comes into the shrine now to offer the dishes to Krishna.

During this ritual of samarpana, musicians chant the”dvaadasha


After this offering of naivedya, aaratis are waved by the Swamiji and
the assembled devotees ring bells and play different kinds of musical
instruments such as shankha and taala. This mahaa pooja is a feast
to the eyes and ears of the devotees assembled in the shrine.

The Swamiji then makes his way to the shrine of Mukhya Praana and
offers worship. The naivedya which was offered to Sri Krishna is now
offered to Mukhya Praana. The Swamiji performs aarati both to
Hanuman and Garuda.

The Swamiji then offers pooja to the icon of Sri Madhva at the
entrance to the main shrine. He stands at the steps and performs
panchopachaara and waves aarati.

Proceeding to the room known as simhaasana, the Swamiji performs

pooja to the deities of his Mutt which are located here throughout the
time of paryaaya. He then circumambulates the shrine and prostrates
himself before the icon of Sri Krishna.

From the main shrine, the Swamiji now goes to the tank and offers
oblation to the preceptors and saints and worships the icon of
Bhaagirathi (the river Ganga). Then the naivedya is thrown into the
tank for the benefit of the fishes.

From here the Swamiji proceeds towards the Subramanya shrine

located by the side of the Vasanta Mahal. After worshipping
Subramanya he visits the Vrindavana and pays homage and offers
holy water to his preceptors. He also goes round the pipal tree there
and finally returns to the shrine of Krishna.
Back in the shrine, while sitting in the simhaasana, he distributes
holy water to the devotees and greets those special visitors who
have come to Udupi on pilgrimage. From the simhaasana he makes
his way to the cauki and takes his food in the company of scholars
and pilgrims. These are the activities of the Mahaa pooja.

After lunch the Swamiji sits for a while in his simhaasana, offers
mantraakshatam to devotees and then returns to his room. He
engages himself there in teaching and scholarly discussions with
students and professors and also grants interviews to devotees.

At 4:00 P.M., the drum announces the commencement of the evening

rituals. Around 4:30 P.M., the scholars begin their discourses in the
candrashaalaa while the Swamiji listens. They continue till around
6:00 P.M. when the sacred books are worshipped. The Swamiji
himself attends this pooja and offers prasaada to the assembled
devotees. After this the singers assemble in the chandrashaalaa and
start singing devotional songs and the Swamiji goes to the tank for
another bath.

Chaamara sevaa pooja

While the Swamiji is engaged in his japa (meditation) after his bath,
the utsava-muurti is brought to the mantapa. A basket filled with
fried rice is placed on each side of the icon. Milk, fruit, coconuts,
betel leaves and nuts, and laddus are placed in front of the icon.

On both sides of the mantapa the rows of oil lamps brighten the area.
The Swamiji completes his evening meditation and arrives at the
passage in between the mantapa and candrashaalaa. Two chowrii-s
(hand-held fans used in worship) made of yak's tail set in golden
handles are kept there. The Swamiji picks them up and waves them
in front of the icon in an intricate manner. This is the first of two
rituals performed in service of Krishna outside the garbha gudi. The
second is the mantapa pooja which takes place after the raatri pooja.

For about five minutes the Swamiji serves the Lord by fanning Him
with the chowriis. The Swamiji then hands over the chowries to his
disciples who continue to wave the chowries in an artistic manner.

The Swamiji himself now performs panchopachaara pooja by

offering the fried rice and jaggery kept in the baskets. Through the
navagraha window he waves aarati to Sri Krishna inside the sanctum
sanctorum, and then to the small icon on the mantapa. He then
waves aarati to the icons of Hanuman and Garuda in the
chandrashaalaa. From here the Swamiji goes to his simhaasana and
worships the icons of his own Mutt.
Raatri pooja

From the simhaasana, the Swamiji enters the garbha gudi for the
raatri pooja. After chanting the hundred and eight names of Vishnu,
he offers naivedya consisting of tamarind rice, pancake, tender
coconut, coconut, panchakajjaaya, and betel leaf and nut. He then
waves aarati-s of different kinds.

Coming out of the sanctum sanctorum the Swamiji offers worship to

the icon of Sri Madhva at the entrance.

Musicians known as bhaagavatas sing devotional songs along with

their disciples and dance according to the rhythm. Their service to
the Lord is a veritable feast for the eyes.

Rows of oil lamps are lit on both sides of the passage in between the
shrines of Mukhya Praana and Garuda. The panchakajjaaya offered to
Sri Krishna's icon is now spread out on the plantain leaf laid on the
floor between the rows of lamps. The Swamiji offers this dish to the
icon of Mukhya Prana and waves aarati. This is a special service
offered to the intimate devotee of the Lord. The famous prasaada of
Udupi is this very panchakajjaaya dish that has been offered to
Krishna and Hanuman.

Mantapa pooja

The festival icon of Sri Krishna is brought out in a palanquin and

placed in cradle in the mantapa. The Swamiji then rocks the cradle
and musicians play their instruments. The Swamiji offers fried rice
and performs aarati. The mantapa pooja is a feast for the eyes as
well as for the ears.

This is also known as vaalaga mantapa pooja. In 1971, Sri

Vidyaamaanya Tiirtha Swamiji of Sri Palimar Mutt offered to Sri
Krishna the golden cradle used in this ritual.

During the month of vaishaakha this service is held in the Vasanta

Mahal. Formerly during the special festivals of the year, it was held in
the open place by the side of the Shirur Mutt in front of the room in
which the silver chariot is now housed.

When the Swamiji steps down from the mantapa, he goes and sits in
the chandrashaalaa and listens to the eight kinds of sevaa (service)
offered to Krishna. These services are in the form of Rg Veda seva,
Yajur Veda seva, Saama Veda seva, Atharva Veda seva, Vedanta
seva, Itihaasa seva, Puraana seva, and sangita (music) seva.
If a devotee has offered a special service that day he is given the
privilege of honouring the Swamiji by offering sandalwood paste and
waving aarati.

The icon of Krishna is now placed in the palanquin and taken around
the garbha gudi to the melodious accompaniment of the flute.

Eaanta seva -- shayanotsava puujaa

After the palanquin has gone around the shrine, it stops at the
entrance and Swamiji takes the icon of Sri Krishna into the first
room, where it is placed in a golden cradle. This cradle is situated
behind the entrance guarded by Sri Chenna Keshava. From now until
the dawn Krishna is supposed to sleep here. Only the Swamiji and his
immediate associates participate in this service and for this reason it
is known as ekaanta sevaa, worship in seclusion.

While the Swamiji rocks Sri Krishna in the golden cradle, the
musicians sing lullabies. The Swamiji offers milk, sandalwood paste,
sandalwood oil, holy leaves, nutmeg, cloves, perfume, etc., and
waves aarati.

This is the termination of the fourteen services offered each day to

Lord Krishna. The Swamiji now sits on the simhaasana and
distributes prasaada to devotees and pilgrims. By around 11:00 P.M.
all the daily rituals in Sri Krishna Mutt have been completed and the
shrine is locked for the night, to reopen at 4:00 A.M. the next
morning for yet another day in the service of Krishna.

Note: Pooja timings are subject to change.

(This section is collected from a book published, by Bannanje

Govindacharya, U.P. Upadhyaya, and Muralidhar Upadhyaya)

It is referred to that eight of Madhvacharya’s disciples stayed at

Udupi to take up the responsibility of worshipping the idol of Lord
Krishna as well as the propagation of the tenets of Madhva’s
philosophy. In the beginning all these eight pontiffs used to stay
together in Sri Krishna Mutt. They used to share the priestly duties
according to their convenience by mutual consent. Later the tradition
of each Matathipathi taking charge of the temple for two months was
established. This system continued up to the period of Sri Vadiraja
who changed it to a two-year term.

The eight mutts Kaniyoor Mutt, Sode Mutt, Puttige Mutt, Admar Mutt,
Pejavur Mutt, Palimar Mutt Krishna Mutt, Shirur Mutt, were later
constructed around the temple.

Since Shiva was worshipped by Chandra, the Lord is known as

Chandramouleeshwara. This Shiva shrine is situated opposite to Sri
Krishna temple. The Swayambu Linga is found to change colours
thrice during the day -- black in the morning, blue at noon and white
at night. The temple tank is known as Chandra Pushkarini or Madhwa

There is another shrine for Lord Ananteshwara. When Sage

Parasurama redeemed the land from sea, he crowned his devotee
Ramabhoja as the king of this land. He performed Ashwamedha Yaga
on this holy soil. While ploughing the land prior to the yaga, he
accidentally killed a snake. To redeem himself from Sarpa dosha (sin
of killing a snake), he made a silver peetam (Rajatha Peetam) with
images of snake carved on it. Hence the place acquired the name
Sivalli or Siva-belli. The king installed a Linga Ananteshwara. Lord
Parasurama is worshipped in Linga swarupa in this shrine. There is a
40-foot-high Deepa sthamba outside the shrine

Udipi is connected by road and buses ply to Mysore (265 km),

Bangalore via Hassan (365 km), Kollur (120 km), Sringeri (130 km),
Karwar (215 km) Belur (155 km) and several other places.

There are choultries with basic facilities in Udipi, and food is served
free to the pilgrims in the temple. For convenience with modern
facilities one can stay in Mangalore and can drive down to Udipi.

Though there are Brindavanams located in several parts of the

country, the original Brindavan dedicated to Sri Raghavendra Swami
is located in Mantralaya, which is in the district of Kurnool in Andhra
Pradesh. The colloquial name for the place is Maanchale, which has
been sanskritized into Mantralaya. Under the grace of Sri
Raghavendra, Mantralaya has turned a pilgrimage center, where
devotees flock to view a glimpse of the Brindavan of this great saint.
Many South Indian cities, - Bangalore, Tirupati, Mangalore, Madras,
Hyderabad, Bellary and Mysore, - are connected to Mantralaya by
road, and for the convenience of pilgrim Tourist buses ply from
almost these centers. Bangalore is the closest city.
The nearest Railway station is Mantralayam Road, on Chennai –
Mumbai section, and is about 12km from Mantralaya.Town. Almost
all trains halt at this station. APSRTC buses or rental van/auto
rikshas can be hired from the Railwy station to Mantralaya which
takes 45 minutes drive. Approximate cost of travel per person is
Rs.50 for private transport and Rs.4 for Public Bus.

The Mutt provides comfortable accommodation, at a nominal price.

Private hotels with modern facilities are also available in the town.
The Mutt also serves free meals to pilgrims within the Mutt between
11 AM to 3 PM on all days except Ekadasi day.

Generally, the temple is open between 06:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to

21:00. In the evenings the Golden, Silver and wooden Chariots are
taken round inside the temple.

Regular poojas and special sevas are conducted as under:






*The Above Endowment Sevas will be performed on the specific date

or thithi intended by the party, out of the interest from the fixed
deposit amount remitted by the pilgrims,.
For Accommodation and conducting Sevas – Contact:

The Manager, Shri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt,

Mantralayam, Kurnool District,
Andhra Pradesh - 518345.
Phone- (91)-(8512)-279429, 279459