Sunday, January 4, 2009

Theerthayatra !

Sri Raghavendra Theertharu started with teertha yatra, a country-wide journey of visiting temples and shrines, along with His students. The journey started with Lord Sri Hari's temple in Dyupuri and Sri Maha Lakshmi's shrine in Devanagari. On the way to temples, the students were given religious discourses on various scriptures. From Devanagari, they visited Rameshwaram. There they worshipped the Siva Linga that was worshipped by Lord Sri Rama before waging a war on Ravana. There, Gurugalu spent a lot of time meditating Lord Sri Rama Chandra. 

From Rameshwaram, they moved on to the Thoyadri mountains, where Lord Sri Maha Vishnu could be seen resting on the Adi Sesha. Here Lord Vishnu is referred as "Sundaravara". From here they moved to Anantha Sayanam(now Thirvananthapuram, Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple) and worshipped Sri Padmanabha Swamy. Next they visited the temple of Sri Janardhana in Tamraparni and praised the 9 deities. Then it was Madhura Nagaram on the banks of Kruthamaala, a temple of Lord Sri Hari. From here they travelled to Sri Rangam, the abode of Sri Ranganayaka Swamy. Here it is said that Gurugalu got an indication from Sri Ranganayaka Swamy to move in North direction. So they travelled in North direction. The following temples were visited in this order:
Nammakkal, Namagiri - Sri Nrusimha Swamy Temple
Vishnu Mangalam - Sri Maha Vishnu
Panduru - Kumara Swamy Temple
Udipi - Sri Krishna Temple

In Udipi, Lord Sri Krishna is seen as a small boy. The idol here was installed by Sri Madhva Charyaru. Lord Sri Krishna gave darshana to Sri Purandara Dasa and Sri Kanaka Dasa, the devotees of Sri Krishna. He also gave darshana to Sri Vyasa Raya Theertha. People living in the vicinity of Udipi were the followers of Dvaitha Philosophy and there were around 8 Dvaitha Monasteries in and around Udipi. All the heads along with their pupils of the 8 monateries welcomed Gurugalu with utmost reverence and arranged for their stay. 
Sri Kanaka Dasa Sri Purandara Dasa

The daily routine of Sri Gurugalu was to perform Sri Moola Rama puja in Anantheshwara Swamy temple that was exactly opppsite to the main temple of Lord Sri Krishna, give spiritual discourses, dedicate songs in praise of the Lord through playing Veena. As a part of religious discourses, Sri Vyasa Raya Theertha's "Chandrika" was discussed. And many of the devotees raised many doubts and were unclear about the scripture. So Sri Raghavendra Theertharu composed a glossary called "Thaatparya Chandrika". And at the same time another literary work was penned, called "Nyaya Muktavali-Thantra Deepam". One day, Gurugalu displayed two books to his pupils and said that they were in store for Sri Sumatheendra Theertharu who would be his successor in future. And as He said, Sri Sumatheendra Theertharu was Gurugalu's third successor ! The people of Udipi enjoyed Gurugalu's presence and Sri Moola Rama puja for one long year. When it was time to move from Udipi, the devotees couldn't control themselves from weeping. And thousands of people thronged to give send-off to their God. 
Udipi Sri Krishna Sri Madhva Charya worshipping Sri Krishna  

The next destination of Gurugalu was Pandaripuram in Maharashtra. On their way, Gurugalu came across people from different backgrounds, knew about their well-being and consoled the wretched. Sri Moola Rama puja was performed where ever an ideal place was found and the Lord was served with various fruits and flowers. And during the Chaturamasya(a four month period from October to January), special pujas were performed. 

They reached Pandaripuram and worshipped Lord Vittala. From there they moved to Kolhapuram - Sri Maha Lakshmi temple. Gurugalu preached Dvaitha Philosophy to many and moved on to Vijayapuri crossing Bijapur and Ramnathapur. Here Gurugalu composed a glossary for Sri Jaya Theertha's "Tatvarta Prakasika" and wrote "Tatva Manjari" which was a glossary for Sri Madhva Charya's "Anu Bhashyani". 
Pandaripuram Vittala Tirupathi Venkanna

Now they again started travelling towards the South. They visited many temples across the banks of Tungabhadra river. Gurugalu discovered that the place was very peaceful. This was once a forest called the Dandakaaranya. This could be the reason for the peacefulness and pleasant atmosphere. In the village of Kandanathi, Gurugalu advised a poor brahmin, Venkanna, with a Mantra. Later they moved in the North direction again, they visited Sri Sailam, the temple of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy(Lord Siva). They spent a day there and moved to the abode of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy, Tirupathi. Worshipped Lord Sri Venkatachalapathi by singing songs and hymns. Next place visited was Kanchipuram. Worshipped Sri Varada Raja Swamy in Vishnu Kanchi and Sri Ekambareshwara Swamy in Siva Kanchi. 

Then they visited and worshipped Sri Arunachaleshwara Swamy in Arunachalam, Lord Rudra in Vrudhachalam and Sri Varaha Swamy in Sri Mushnam. And finally came back to Kumbhakonam after a very long and successful journey. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!


  1. Hi Swapna Gouriji,

    Thanks for the wonderful compilation on Sri Raghavendraswamiji, the narration and the pictures are really great.

    Thanks and Regards,

  2. All Rayar's blessings!!! Anyways, thank you !

  3. Veeramani, thiruvananthapuram writes
    Dear Mr. Guruji,

    Thanks for the very best thoughtful and real compilation of Guru Sri Sri Raghavendra. The pictures are also very illustrative.


  4. It is so nice to hear that sri Raghavendra bhagawan went to both siva and vishnu temples.

  5. Hi, Thanks for the details.

    Is there any scriptural details which talks about Sri Raghavendra is a incarnation of Prahalad Maharaj?