Saturday, January 31, 2009

Story of Venkanna

The staff did not understand who this Venkanna was and how Gurugalu knew him. The Nawab invited Gurugalu to his court and Gurugalu accepted the invitation. The next day, after Sri Moola Rama puja, Gurugalu along with Venkanna reached the Nawab's court. Venkanna introduced Gurugalu to the Nawab. Then Venkanna narrated his story and his acquaintance with Gurugalu to courtiers and other people. 

Once Gurugalu were travelling across Kandanathi along with their staff. Venkanna was then an illiterate shepherd, good at heart. Probably he was lucky enough, Gurugalu performed Sri Moola Rama Swamy puja in front of Venkanna's hut. Gurugalu instructed Venkanna to chant their name in troubles and progressed. 

One day, as usual, Venkanna was rearing his cattle in the fields. Some soldiers approached him and took him along with them saying that the Nawab was calling him. Venkanna followed them innocently. Nawab to Venkanna - "Read this note clearly and explain us the matter." For this Venkanna replied back saying that he was an illiterate. But Nawab did not trust his words and ordered him to read the note with a tinge of anger. Venkanna perplexed by the orders of the Nawab, chanted Gurugalu's name in his heart and opened the note. Wonder ! He was able to read every single word of the note. He understood the matter and explained the same to the Nawab - "Sir, your army troops won the war at Rayachur and are returning back. This note is to inform you the progress, from the Army Chief." 

Nawab, on hearing this, overwhelmed with joy, presented Venkanna that village along with few other villages and offered him the post of a writer in his court. Venkanna was fortunate and soon became the Diwan. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

In Adoni

Adoni was a fort which played a key role in the administration of Vijaya Nagara Empire. Siddhi Masood Khan was the Nawab or the Governer of Adoni. He was under the Sultan of Bijapur. Though he worked under the Sultan, Masood Khan possessed sole rights and freedom over Adoni. 

Siddha Venkanna was the Diwan or the Chief Minister of the Nawab. He was orthodox and was once an illiterate shepherd. Suddenly he turned to a literate one day and that's a different story how he became a literate. He had built many temples in Adoni. His mansion was to the west of the fort. Nawab was affectionate to Venkanna and Venkanna too liked Nawab. It was Venkanna who safe-guarded the treasury of the Adoni for years. 

Venkanna received a note from the Peetam about the arrival of Gurugalu in Adoni. Venkanna was over-joyed. He felt that he was quite lucky to see his Guru again. He immediately arranged for thier stay and ran to receive Gurugalu along with few brahmins. He prostrated before Gurugalu with great reverence and with humbleness stood before for their orders. 

Gurugalu blessed Venkanna and entered Adoni along with their staff members. They were given a very warm welcome, amidst the sacred chanting of hymns, floral showers etc. Gurugalu bathed in a fresh water pond and performed daily puja. At night Gurugalu performed Sri Moola Rama Swamy puja and blessed everyone. Following which they took rest for that day.

Venkanna, with the permission of Gurugalu, ran to Nawab to inform the sudden arrival of Gurugalu in Adoni. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!   

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Fortunate !

Gurugalu reached Chitra Durgam. There was a temple in the mid of the village where Gurugalu and other staff lodged. At the time of Sri Moola Rama Swamy puja, a youngster from the staff, Venkanna, approached Gurugalu, paid his obeisance and stood silently. Gurugalu looked into his countenance and understood. They both alone understood the language. 

Venkanna seemed as if he was attaining salvation in a short time. Probably he must have had some deeds left behind in this birth to complete. But he wished to attain salvation as soon as possible, did not wish to lead this life anymore. He dedicated his life to Lord Sri Hari long ago. Now he wills to reach the Lord's feet. So he approached Gurugalu, revealing his wish silently. 

Gurugalu, amidst the staff and other people created a Yogaagni with their powers. Venkanna walked straight into the fires. Everyone present there could only see him entering but did not understand what happened next. But they saw something unusual in the sky, a flash of light for few seconds. Only some of them understood what was happening. Later Gurugalu performed Sri Moola Rama Swamy puja as usual and did not utter a word about what happened. 

After performing Sri Moola Rama puja for 2 days, they moved ahead to Hospet. In Hospet, they halted for a day and later set to Hampi. In Hampi, Gurugalu visited Sri Virupaaksha temple and performed puja to Lord Siva. They also offered prayers to Lord Vinayaka, Sri Nrusimha Swamy, Lord Hanuman and Sri Ranganatha Swamy. 

From there they moved to the banks of Tungabhadra river where Gurugalu offered their obeisance to their Guru, Sri Sudheendra Theertharu's Brindavana. They meditated some time there and moved forward towards Adoni. 

Gurugalu walked very fast while the crew was lagging behind as they were very tired for travelling continuously without rest. And moreover, Gurugalu were not silent, they discussed many spiritual matters with the staff and students. They almost reached Adoni. As Gurugalu were active, the crew to became active and started singing songs and hymns in praise of the Lord.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Forgiver !

A scholar started narrating a miracle that took place on the banks of Tamraparni river. This tale teaches lesson to the orthodox lot who are impractical.  

"Once Swamygalu halted at the bank of river Tamraparni. That village was called "Kallada Kuruchi". In the same village lived a wretched brahmin addicted to bad qualities. The entire village had boycott him for his behavior. Every one in the village abhorred him. Once, in a village meeting(Panchayati), he was excommunicated from the village. So the brahmin left the village and wandered all over. He suffered and struggled to make a living. Then he realised his mistake. And as a propitiation started reading holy and sacred books. He offered prayers to the Lord daily. Had started meditation too. But his earlier life and misdeeds tormented him. Sometimes he even cried for his deeds. After some days he came to know that Gurugalu was on a tour and halted in their village for Sri Moola Rama puja. 

Gurugalu and other staff had their stay on the banks of the river. This brahmin walked in there. He stood far off and offered his obeisance to Gurugalu by prostrating. The place was crowded by people. Suddenly he ran to Gurugalu, fell on their feet and revealed his past and present life. His heart relieved. Gurugalu told him to bathe in the river and then sit along with them for puja. He followed it. When he sat nearby Gurugalu, all the people present there started gossipping. Gurugalu offered him the theertha first. And also made him to sit along with them for the feast. 

After the feast there was a spiritual discourse where Gurugalu explained about sins and confessions. "One who doesn't hear to good advices but just follow their heart and commit sins, realise later. When they realise, their conscience punishes their heart. This is the retribution. After this, the conscience pacifies and this clears all the committed sins. This brahmin had gone through all these phases and now this soul is as pristine as a new born. He confessed in front of us and bathed in the sacred Tamraparni river. And more importantly, his sins were washed off by his consuming the sacred waters that touched the feet of Sri Moola Rama Swamy." 

Then Gurugalu beckoned one of their students, said them to take a white piece of cloth and stain it. Then Gurugalu sprinkled the sacred waters that touched the feet of Lord on that stained cloth. Surprise ! The stain vanished ! The cloth became as white as it was before. The gathering were astonished at this sight. They understood the power of the Lord and Gurugalu and more importantly realised their mistake." 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Adieu to Kumbhakonam

Gurugalu, in their conversation, many times spoke about the beauty of the banks of Tungabhadra river, the pleasant atmosphere in the surroundings etc. Especially they praised the spiritual aura that covered the banks of Tungabhadra river. 

Gurugalu made a lot of modifications in the administration. The lands and properties that existed in far off places were handed over to the peetams nearby. Also the responsibility of Sri Vijayeendra Theertharu's Brindavana in the garden was handed over to a well-versed brahmin. Gurugalu lessened their responsibilities and this lead to a confusion among many of the staff members. 

Apart from responsibilities, Gurugalu stopped attending concerts that took place in the Mutt. They spent more time in meditation. Once, while in a spiritual discourse, Gurugalu happened to reveal that they were leaving Kumbhakonam very soon. The students and other staff were shocked at this statement. Tears rolled down the cheeks of few students. Some remembered their mistakes. But Gurugalu confirmed that none had committed any mistake that lead to take this decision. 

Gurugalu said that they were in search of a pleasant and peaceful place where they could spend the rest of their life in meditation. For a week, every one in Kumbhakonam seemed dull, learning the fact that no more could they see their Kalpavriksha in their town. And the last day was not too far. Gurugalu performed Sri Moola Rama Swamy puja for the last time in Kumbhakonam and the entire town came to view it for the last time. 

The next morning Gurugalu, along with the staff and students, set in the North direction from Kumbhakonam. They were travelling towards Mysore. This time there were very few halts for a short period of time. Most of the time Gurugalu travelled silently. The staff and students spent time in narrating stories and miracles.  But daily Sri Moola Rama Swamy puja was performed briefly either on the banks of a river or in some forest. 

Gurugalu were travelling to Chitradurga from Mysore, crossing Sri Rangapatnam and Belur. Many of them who accompanied Gurugalu turned back frustrated, unable to travel more. And few were sent back by Gurugalu themselves. Very few were left who accompanied Gurugalu. As usual Gurugalu were travelling silently. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!! 



Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lesson to Atheists !

Gurugalu along with their crew started towards Gadag from Hubli. As they were crossing the borders of the village, they observed a group of youngsters carrying a corpse. They approached Gurugalu and said - "Swamy, he is our friend, Veerabhadra. He died of a snake-bite. We heard of your miracle and with that hope have brought Veerabhadra to your presence. Please save him !" The crew members stood silently and were eager to see yet another miracle by Gurugalu. 

Gurugalu - "My dear, Shahajaada's case is different. Veerabhadra's case is different. Shahajaada was in his last stages of life, was fighting against death. But Veerabhadra is already dead, I cannot save him. My remedies wont work on dead." Saying so Gurugalu moved ahead. The crew stood astounded. They pitied the youngsters. But were even more shocked to see what followed next. 

The youngters, instead of crying, started laughing loudly. Laughing sarcastically, they said "Veerabhadra, get up ! This Swamy cannot save you ! Get up !" But Veerabhadra did not get up ! Alas ! He was dead ! This was a shocker to those youngsters who wanted to test the greatness of Gurugalu. They were atheists. They planned to test Gurugalu after learning about Shahajaada's incident. But their plan flopped. The most pitiable was Veerabhadra, who lost his life foolishly in the hands of these atheists. 

The crew ran to Gurugalu to inform the fact. Gurugalu replied back saying - "We are not responsible for the birth and death of both the persons, Shahajaada and Veerabhadra. Shahajaada has more life-span in this world while Veerabhadra's life span ended. We can change neither the fate of people nor the decrees of the Nature. That's how Shahajaada, though buried, was still alive. While Veerabhadra who was playing happily, died suddenly. This might be a lesson by the Almighty to all the atheists." Saying thus, Gurugalu set to Gadag and the youngsters howled for their friend's sudden demise.  

This was how some of the devotees narrated the miracles of Gurugalu to their friends and neighbors. Back in Tanjore, sacred sacrifices and pujas were performed by Gurugalu for 12 long years. The Chola dynasty regained it's past glory. There were good rains and good crop yield. People were happy. 

Gurugalu came back to Kumbhakonam and the daily routine of Sri Moola Rama puja went on as usual. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Saviour

On the way to Pandiripuram from Udipi, the Peetam once halted in Hubli. It was under the Dharwad province. The Nawab of Dharwad had a garden in Hubli. Gurugalu were entering the garden along with the Peetam. The gatekeepers fell at the feet of Gurugalu for blessings. And ran to their Nawab to inform about the Gurugalu's arrival. Nawab, along with his Begum and other staff came running and paid obeisance by saluting to Gurugalu. 

Nawab, then crying said - "Swamy, my only son, Shahajaada, died yesterday due to snake-bite. He was declared dead by our physicians, so we buried him. What's my future now? Is God angry with me? What mistake did I commit?" saying so he wept bitterly ! Begum's condition was even more pathetic. She was inconsolable. 

Gurugalu with a smile, spoke thus to Nawab - "Forgive your physician's mistake ! Your son is still alive ! Take Shahajaada out of the tomb quickly ! " Soon, Shahajaada was taken out of the tomb and was taken to the presence of Gurugalu. But his countenance had no signs of life. 

Gurugalu asked them to anoint the theertha on Shahajaada's chest. And Mantrakshite were smeared on the spot where the snake had bitten. Ah ! The spot where the snake had bitten, started oozing blood ! Shahajaada might had felt it painful, he groaned. Gurugalu then asked them to apply sandal paste where blood was oozing and to tie a bandage. Then Gurugalu sprinkled some theertha on the face of Shahajaada. Slowly Shahajaada opened his eyes and called for his parents. 

There was no bounds to the happiness of Nawab and Begum, seeing their son alive. Nawab, with happiness and tears in his eyes cried "Yah Allah !" He prostrated  and saluted Gurugalu. Begum too saluted Gurugalu. 

Nawab then offered few villages to Gurugalu as a present. Gurugalu offered those lands to the brahmins in Hubli. Nawab also offered many precious necklaces to Sri Moola Rama devaru with reverance. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Friend in Need !

Once Gurugalu, as a part of the tour, were travelling to Bijapur via Pandaripuram. Daasappa and his wife were also travelling along with Gurugalu. Daasappa's wife was then carrying and she was almost about to deliver a baby. The route they were travelling was a desert. And moreover it was mid-summer. It was difficult for women to travel and one can imagine the plight of Daasappa's wife. 

The crew that accompanied Gurugalu pitied her situation and scolded Daasappa for troubling her. He was totally confused. They did not find water or trees for miles together. Suddenly labor pains commenced for Daasappa's wife. All the women folk tried helping her but there was no shelter or privacy. And no water too ! Daasappa started weeping and ran to Gurugalu, explaining his wife's sitaution. Gurugalu turned back and threw their upper cloth draped over their shoulder(Kanduva). That cloth swayed in the air and formed a tent without any support ! Every one there, stood astonished viewing this miracle. 

The other women helping Daasappa's wife, took her under the tent. Gurugalu took a small stick and threw that stick at a particular place in the desert. And water sprang ! Daasappa'a wife gave birth to a baby boy and both of them were healthy. The boy was named Raamappa and Daasappa took the blessings of Gurugalu with great reverence. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!! 

Sunday, January 18, 2009


In Tanjore, Vijaya Raghava Raya ascended the throne. Just like his father, he too took the advice of Gurugalu in ruling the country. Along with his family he often visited Gurugalu to take blessings. 

Once, he came along with his ministers to meet Gurugalu. After Sri Moola Rama puja, he took the blessings of the Lord and Gurugalu. Later, he expressed his grief about the drought, the Chola dynasty was facing to Gurugalu: "The Chola dynasty had been well off till now, without any problems. Farmers were happy as the crop yield was good. But now, my dynasty is facing the worst ever droughts. My people are migrating to other places to survive. I have become helpless, unable to tackle this drought condition. Please tell me as to how should I handle this tough condition. I'm ready to do anything for my country."

Saying thus, Vijaya Raghava Raya stood with head bent before Gurugalu. Gurugalu understood the grief of the King. Gurugalu said - "This is a test for you as you have ascended the throne recently. So we'll start to Tanjore tomorrow and perform Sri Moola Rama puja in your dynasty." Hearing this King was happy, took the blessings of Gurugalu and left to Tanjore. 

The very next day Gurugalu, along with their students and other crew members, set to Tanjore. They were received cordially. The very same day, Gurugalu performed Sri Moola Rama puja. Amidst all the glitter, Sri Moola Rama puja went off very well. As soon as the puja completed, there were showers all over Kingdom. King, Vijaya Raghava Raya, overwhelmed with joy, praised Lord Sri Rama for showering blessings on his Kingdom. This way, Sri Moola Rama puja was performed thrice a day.  

There was a very good rainfall and the people in the Kingdom dashed to their fields to sow seeds. The prices of basic amenities reduced. People were happy. Their happiness was clearly seen in the face of the King. 

Gurugalu arranged for a Sundarshana Homa and a huge feast for the poor. King Vijaya Raghava Raya presented a precious necklace on this occasion to Gurugalu. He wished his name and fame would last long in the Peetam by this gesture. But Gurugalu had put that necklace in the sacred fires as a sign of offering to the Lord. Seeing this the King stood disappointed and thought it to be an insult. He hesitantly asked Gurugalu about the same. Gurugalu, with their power(Thapa Shakthi), took back the necklace from the fires and returned it to the King. Every one were astonished by this act, including the King. Vijaya Raghava Raya understood his ignorance and his foolish behavior. His pride shattered within minutes. He stood abashed with head down in front of Gurugalu. He regretted for his behavior. 

Gurugalu pacified him saying that such things tend to happen and one should learn lessons from such incidents. He was admonished by Gurugalu that, a King should never think narrow- mindedly. The King prostrated before Gurugalu and apologised for his mistake.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!! 


Friday, January 16, 2009

Common People

River Kaveri was flowing pleasantly and at the banks were a few washermen busy washing the clothes. Among them was one Ramanna who narrated the following to his fellow washermen. 

"Once three brahmins came to visit the Mutt. They were food enthusiasts. They wanted to test the powers of Gurugalu. So they thought, if Swamygalu had powers, then the menu for lunch that day will include their favorite items. Thinking thus they came to take bath in this river. 

Meanwhile, one of the assisstants of Gurugalu had also come to the river to wash the clothes of Gurugalu and have bath. While washing the clothes of Gurugalu he happened to see these three brahmins taking bath. He approached them and said  - ' The lunch today is all ready with your favorite dishes, please do come as soon as possible and enjoy the feast.' 

Then the assisstant placed the clothes of Gurugalu on the banks and walked towards the waters to take bath. The three brahmins approached him and asked - ' How did you come to know about our desire? ' The person stood up from the waters and replied back - ' Who are you people and what's your desire? I don't know what you are talking about...  ' 

Then he came out of the river, took the clothes of Gurugalu and started marching towards the Mutt. He suddenly turned back again and said - ' Your dishes are ready, you may join the feast...' These three brahmins got confused by his talks. After much thinking they understood that it was the power of the clothes of Gurugalu that made the person to talk so. First time when he spoke, he was washing those clothes and the second time too he was holding them. 

If the clothes itself has so much power to know the intentions and desires of people, then is it possible for us to imagine the power of Sri Gurugalu? Thinking so the three went to the Mutt to have lunch. And indeed they found their favorite dishes being served. They enjoyed the feast and later approached Swamygalu to take blessings. 

Gurugalu, with a smile, spoke thus - "For years together you will enjoy your favorite dishes by serving my Brindavana as preists." 

Even now the preists serving the Brindavana in Mantralayam belong to the clan of these three brahmins.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!  


Thursday, January 15, 2009


Once, during the Chaturmaasya period, a great scholar from Uttaradi Mutt, Sri Bidurahalli Srinivasa Charyaru visited Gurugalu, to show his literary works and take Gurugalu's blessings. Gurugalu usually spent most of their time in deep meditation, but they read most of the works of Srinivasa Charyaru with a lot of patience and appreciated his work. Srinivasa Charyaru was conferred with the title "Theertha" by Gurugalu for his works.  

Moreover, Srinivasa Charyaru was made to sit along with Gurugalu for the feast. In the feast, rasam with mustard seeds was served. Gurugalu consumed normally. Srinivasa Charyaru who was orthodox, thought sillily that the usage of mustard seeds to be violating the customs. But he never raised his voice against and asked the same to Gurugalu. Without consuming the rasam he finished his lunch. He took the blessings of Gurugalu and Mantraakshite(grains of rice mixed with turmeric used for blessings and salutations in ceremonies) and went back to Uttaradi Mutt. 

In Uttaradi Mutt, Srinivasa Charyaru told to Sri Yaadavendra Theertharu all that he had witnessed in the Gurugalu's Mutt with a tinge of sarcasm. "Swamy, what is this unorthodox practice? Using mustard seeds during Chaturmaasya? I haven't consumed it..." 

As he was uttering these words, his stomach started to pain severely. "Swamy, my stomach is paining, I'm unable to bear this pain..." saying so, he saw the Mantraakshite in his hands. He was astonished to see them black in color. He did not understand the consequence. 

Then Sri Yaadavendra Theertharu - "Gurugalu blessed you and your work with so much affection, but were you not able to adjust with them for a day by putting aside your orthodoxy? Because you have humiliated Gurugalu, your conscience is punishing you through stomach pain and by turning the Mantraakshite to black. Go and ask for an apology, atleast your conscience satisfies. Go...!" 

Srinivasa Charyaru again returned to Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt and fell at the feet of Gurugalu asking to forgive his mistake. He confessed his mistake in front of all the others present there. He again had the lunch, especially the rasam with mustard seeds. Till then his stomach pain had not lessened. Now the Mantraakshite also turned red. Srinivasa Charyaru felt relieved. He took the blessings of Gurugalu and returned back to Uttaradi Mutt. 

The crew of the monstery and the people of Kumbhakonam discussed many such incidents.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Krishna Swamy was a busineesman. He was a good devotee. One day he took a break in his business and narrated the following to his neighbors. This is one of the best incidents to prove about previous births. 

"Sri Vyasa Raya Theertharu were very close to devotees and in fact spent their life as a devotee, singing songs along with others. Kanaka Dasu was by birth a Harijan. He was such a great devotee that Lord Sri Krishna of Udipi itself appeared before him for his devotion. Once Sri Vyasa Raya Theertharu called for Sri Vadi Raja Theertharu, Sri Purandara Dasa and Sri Kanaka Dasa to meet together...."

People listening to this incident from Krishna Swamy, did not understand why he was narrating all this instead of Gurugalu's miracles. 

"All the four were the one to have seen Lord Sri Hari with their naked eyes. And were great devotees too. The Aashrama glowed with all these great devotees of Sri Hari. After discussing about Vedas, Sri Vyasa Raya Theertharu said - ' Sri Vadi Raja Theertharu will live for years together on this Earth. This Purandara Dasa has still 6 more births to go. Kanaka Dasa, we shall meet in our next birth ! ' "

"Once Sri Gurugalu(Sri Raghavendra Theertharu) had their stay alnog with their disciples near the banks of Tungabhadra river. We were in search of Gurugalu and we could find them there ultimately. The entire crew were staying in a temple of Lord Hanuman. After bathing, Gurugalu were set to perform Sri Moola Rama puja. The temple was outside the village and it was quite peaceful. A Harijan stood outside the temple and was watching the puja from far. We thought that the followers of Gurugalu would push him out. 

Meanwhile Gurugalu saw him and said - 'What Kanaka Dasu, how are  you?' I(Krishna Swamy) din't knew the story of Kanaka Dasa at that time. Everyone thought that his name was actually Kanaka Dasa. Then Kanaka Dasa - 'I'm like this Swamy. We met again. I don't want to live here any more. I should leave now.' replied as if he knew Gurugalu already. Gurugalu asked - 'Then what will you offer to the Lord?' He said that he would get something and went away. 

After sometime he came and gave a packet containing mustard seeds. Gurugalu told the crew to use those mustard seeds for cooking. The crew stood stunned for sometime, but later followed without uttering a word. Till then mustard seeds were banned in cooking during the Chaturmaasya Vratha period(a four month period from October to Jan). But from then on, mustard seeds are used in cooking till date. 

After offering mustard seeds, that person sat at a corner watching Sri Moola Rama puja. Later he sang a song praising Lord Sri Rama and then suddenly fell down. He passed away."

Gurugalu said - 'Attained salvation in this birth! ' with a smiling face. 

Then some devotees in the monastery confirmed that Gurugalu were none other than Sri Vyasa Raya Theertharu and that person to be Kanaka Dasa. They prostrated in front of them for blessings. Gurugalu then assigned few tasks to them and continued with their work. Even now I feel that incident to be a dream. I'm very lucky to have seen Sri Kanaka Dasa and so are you people for seeing Sri Vyasa Raya Theertharu...." said Krishna Swamy.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!! 


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Women folk

In this way, the poeple of Kunmbhakonam were talking of the miracles that happened during the tour. Meenakshi Ammal, a married woman, who lived in the street of Kumbhakonam, started narrating her experience to her neighboring womenfolk.

"Gurugalu was travelling to Pandaripuram, Kolhapuram from Udipi via Gadag. My brother lives in Gadag and learning that Gurugalu halted in Gadag, we went to our brother's house. There lived Gurunatha Rao Desai, a wealthy brahmin in Kiritagiri, which was adjacent to Gadag. Once he arranged for Bhiksha(a form of feast) in their house for Gurugalu. So Gurugalu and the entire peetam had their stay in Desai's house. Gurugalu after taking bath, performed Sri Moola Rama puja grandly. Desai's wife, Indiramma, sang a song with great devotion. After Sri Moola Rama puja, devotees stood in long queue to take the theertha and prasada from the hands of Gurugalu. I was next to a woman who was supposed to take the theertha and prasada next from Gurugalu. As Gurugalu put the spoon in the bowl which consisted the theertha, a fly fell in it and was fighting for life.

Immediately Gurugalu called Desai and said that some unfavorable scene took place in the house and asked him to find out what it was. Desai went to find what the scene was like in the house. Alas ! He found his 3 year old son dead in a huge basin that contained Mango juice. He was shocked to see his son dead. His wife, Indiramma din't knew how to react. She had to control her tears as the house was packed with relatives. How unlucky? Desai and his wife stood crying in dilemma whether to reveal this news to Gurugalu or not. 

But somehow, Gurugalu came to know about this from their students. Gurugalu asked Desai to bring the child to their presence. And when the child was brought to their presence, Gurugalu ordered their students to wash the face of the child with the Abhiseka waters. Students did the same. Then Gurugalu meditated and sprinkled the waters on the child. Then asked one of them to rub the child's eyes with the theertha. Miraculous !!! There was some movement in the body of the child. The child tried to call his mother and slowly opened his eyes. 

In the next ten minutes, the child was all fine and started playing again. What a miracle?Gurugalu my dear, our Gururajulu, a Great soul !!! After that there was a feast as usual followed by a spiritual discourse. And everything was normal again. But giving life to a dead child, ah....!! "

This way Meenakshi Ammal was narrating her experience to the womenfolk.  

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Layman

In Kumbhakonam, there lived a brahmin cook who accompanied Gurugalu in the tour. Once he started narrating about the experiences of the tour with his neighbors:

"Once Gurugalu halted in Bijapur as there was a river flowing by, to take bath. There was Venkanna who had also accompanied us in the tour along with his father. Venkanna was still a bachelor. As Gurugalu went to have bath in the river, we all approached his father and inquired about Venkanna's marriage. He said that no one in this world was ready to give their daughter to his son Venkanna as he was not mentally sound. That's true, Venkanna was not an intelligent person. He used to keep blabbering all the time. 

Suddenly one day Venkanna said that he wished to marry. Everyone in the group humiliated him saying that no one was ready to give him the bride. Then he approached me and asked the same. I said "You don't have money to survive itself, so who will give you a bride?" Then he innocently asked me back "Then what should I do now?" I suggested him to approach Swamygalu and reveal his wish. Then he asked me again "What if Swamygalu also denies?" With a tinge of anger I told him to ask Swamygalu. 

Then he straight away walked to the banks of the river and stood silent. After sometime he approached Gurugalu and revealed his wish. Gurugalu accepted with a smile. He again asked the same question. Gurugalu blessed him. But still he stood silently. Then Gurugalu beckoned him and spoke thus: "I have renounced everything in this world, what will I have, to offer you?" Venkanna innocently - "Give me what ever you have." Gurugalu with a smile offered him the Mrittika with which they were having bath. Venkanna was overjoyed. He took it, safely packed it in a small piece of cloth and held it tightly in his hands. This is called belief and trust. Venkanna thought the Mrittika to be an immense power that makes this world to move forward and to be God himself. He packed his luggage, informed eveyrone that he would return only after getting married and started his journey. 

After walking for a long time, he approached a brahmins' house. He thought of resting in their balcony as it became dark. He arranged his bed and slept. But soon he realised that some woman was suffering labor pains inside the house. So he couldn't sleep well. Suddenly he saw a weird figure standing in front of him. It was a demon. But Venkanna din't knew what exactly it was. He ignored and slept as usual. The demon suddenly cried "Throw that bag(it contained the Mrittika offered by Gurugalu), it has some fire in it. I'm not able to step into the house because of that bag." Then Venkanna opened the bag, took some Mrittika into his hands and sprinkled at the doorstep of the house. The demon shrieked " What have you done? Clear the path, I should eat the child who will take birth now in this house. I'll grant you a boon if you clear the path." Then he asked for gold which the demon had brought him from some where. He then took some Mrittika and sprinkled on that demon. The demon was freed from this birth of a demon and attained salvation. Venkanna there after did not see her any more. He then slept happily. This happened truly.

Early in the morning, the owner of the house asked the where abouts of Venkanna. Venkanna told everything about him and also that had happened the previous night. The owner of the house pounced with joy and informed this to his wife. Whenever his wife gave birth, the child used to die the very next day. The scholars in that village said that it was an act of some evil force. So the owner of the house thanked Venkanna profusely. 

Then suddenly he remembered his brother's daughter Radhamma. He immediately decided to get Radhamma married to Venkanna. He informed all of us and we informed Venkanna's father about his marriage. We also informed Gurugalu about the same and Swamygalu blessed Venkanna with a smile. Venkanna said that it was the power of Mrittika and the blessings of Gurugalu that lead to his marriage."

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Miracles !

Everywhere in Kumbhakonam, viz.., at fruit shops, flower shops, jewellery stores, temples etc, people discussed about Sri Moola Rama puja, meetings that take place daily in the monastery, Gurugalu's miracles and their spititual tours. 

Sometimes the King Raghu Natha Raya along with his family and friends travelled Kumbhakonam, visited Gurugalu and took their blessings. 

As time was running Gurugalu grew older. And also attained infinite power through meditations and prayers. This could be clearly seen in Gurugalu's countenance which glowed with sheen. 

Spiritual power is something that controls the heart, soul and the entire body from senses. This spiritual power could only be attained through meditations and by dedicating the life to the Lord. When One reaches this state through meditations, it's almost equivalent to attaining salvation. They can foresee what happens in the future. Whatever they do, turns out to be miracle. There are numerous such miracles by Gurugalu, experienced by common people. 

Following are a few to mention....

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!! 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Prayers at Dusk !

At dusk, as the Sun set, Gurugalu took bath, wore yet another fresh pair of saffron clothes and applied the Narayana Mudra with Gopi Chandana. Then Gurugalu set for the evening prayers to Sri Moola Rama devaru. Meditated for sometime, then decorated Sri Moola Rama devaru with beautiful flower garlands and performed archane with variety of flowers. Fruits were offered to the Lord followed by aarthi(lighted camphor). 

Gurugalu prostrated before the Lord and as a sign of devotion wore few flowers on the head. And Gurugalu praised Sri Moola Rama Devaru several times. Then all the devotees were offered the aarthi and prasada. 

Then as students and devotees accompanied, Gurugalu moved to the Mani Peetam to rest. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!   

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sri Moola Rama Archana !

One of the astrologers of the court approached Gurugalu and informed that it was time for Sri Moola Rama Archana. So Gurugalu took bath in the nearby pond, wore a fresh set of saffron clothes and set to begin the puja. 

Prior to Sri Moola Rama puja, Gurugalu worhipped the Kalasa(water pot - Kalasaaradhana) with fresh lotuses. Then abishekam was done to Sri Moola Rama devaru with Saaligraama containing the waters of river Kaveri. After which, the idols were worshipped with fresh flowers and precious stones. And then Shodasa Upachara puja was performed with various holy waters. 

HH 108 Sri Sushameendra Theerthagalu(right) performing Sri Moola Rama Puja 

Gurugalu took the waters, which were used for abhishekam, in a conch, sprinkled some on their head and consumed some. These waters are very sacred and holy as they were used in the abhishekam of Lord Sri Rama. Sprinkling this holy water on one's head yeilds a result that's equivalent to the fruits of performing an Ashwa Medha Yaga(One of the greatest sacrifices). And consuming these waters is equivalent to the fruits of performing a Raja Suya Yaga. 

Gurugalu prostrated before the Lord with utmost devotion. The devotees were offered the sacred waters and Mantraakshata. Then Guruagalu had their lunch and took rest for sometime. Mean while the devotees and students too had their lunch. Post lunch, usually Gurugalu would be involved in meetings with devotees who came from far off places. They would discuss about scriptures and books compiled by the predecessors. Sometimes Gurugalu spent their time on Music too though most of the time was spent on meditaion.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!      

(Picture courtesy -

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spiritual Meetings

After entering the monastery, Gurugalu sat for a discussion with students. All the students gathered around to start the debate. Some students were for Dvaitha philosophy while some were for Advaitha philosophy. So the debate had started and the topic was about "Jeevatma and Paramaatma". 

A hot debate was going on and Gurugalu was listening silently as to how the students were arguing. Dvaita students argued that one cannot attain salvation or reach Paramaatma by doing good deads or reading scriptures but only can goto heaven. While the Advaitha students argued that Paramaatma can be achieved by doing good deeds. So this went on for quite a long time after which Gurugalu interfered and said - 

"Paramaatma exists in the Jeevaatma but Paramaatma and Jeevaatma are different. He is Omnipresent and Omnipotent ! Paramaatma is the Supreme being and the one who understands the difference between Jeevaatma and Paramaatma will attain salvation." 

On hearing this, the students understood their level of knowledge. They stood dumbfounded. Had nothing more to ask as their doubts got cleared in minutes. That's the reason why a Guru is essential, to make us walk in the right path. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!    

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

At Dawn !

Kumbhakonam regained its past glory on the return of Gurugalu. Poeple of Kumbhakonam were blessed and fortunate to have witnessed the Kamadhenu. They praised Gurugalu, proclaimed that Gurugalu was yet another Vyasa Raya Theertha and Srimad Aananda Theertha(Sri Madhva Charya). 

The Eastern horizon was set to give birth to the Sun. The sky was pleasant with shades of saffron and yellow. The birds chirped, flowers bloomed, grass was covered with the dew, the river abated its roar and clouds floated silently indicating the dawn. 

Brahmins uttered sacred hymns to awake Gurugalu. Gurugalu took their blessings and went towards the sacred Tulasi plant to have a darshana of Sri Maha Lakshmi. Then Gurugalu walked towards the Vayuputra Hanuman temple to offer early morning prayers. And progressed towards the river in a palanquin to have bath.

Gurugalu first offered salutations to the river Kaveri, stepped into the waters, washed face and legs and then brushed their teeth. Then took bath with the Mrittika(called as Mrittika Snana). On every dip Gurugalu uttered the sacred Astaakshari, Dwaadasakshari and Shadakshari Mantras. And offered waters to the Lord by meditating in the heart. Then Gurugalu came out of the waters, wore clean saffron clothes and applied the Narayana Mudra with Gopi Chandana on the forehead. 

It was time for Sandhyavandane. Gurugalu sat in for the same and recited the Gayatri Mantra in the heart. The trees swayed down to offer their salutations to the Lord who was in deep meditation and the river flowed silently. 

After Sandhyavandane, Gurugalu marched towards a garden where there was an idol of Sri Veda Vyasa that was worshipped by Sri Madhva Charyaru. They offered their salutations and then attended a discourse by the brahmins on the Bhagavatha. There was a Brindavana of Sri Vijayeendra Theertharu in the same garden where Gurugalu offered prayers and walked towards the monastery. On the way to the monastery Gurugalu visited the temple of Sri Kumbheshwara Swamy(Lord Siva) and offered prayers. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Kumbhakonam !

After a very long time, the people of Kumbhakonam were delighted to see their Kalpavriksha, Sri Raghavendra Guru Sarva Bhoumulu, back in their town. As Gurugalu, who turned lean and feeble due to the long tours and meditations, entered the town along with the idols of Sri Moola Rama devaru, it seemed as if Bharata, debilitated for spending 14 long years in meditation, was entering Ayodhya to see his brother, Sri Rama ascend the throne. 

On the main street of Kumbhakonam, there was a temple of Lord Hanuman, the idol being installed by Sri Vyasa Raya Theertharu. Gurugalu visited the temple first and worshipped before entering the monastery. 

The streets were all decorated and people of all castes and creed stood on the streets to welcome their Lord. Conches blown, musical instruments played, flowers showered to welcome Sri Parimala Charya ! The happiness of the people knew no bounds ! 

Grand old ladies(husbands still alive, aka Muttaiduvu) offered lighted camphor(Haarati) and amidst sacred hymns(Veda Mantra Ghosha) and auspicious music, Gurugalu entered the Mata(Monastery). 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!   

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 !!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Assuming Sanyasa !

The event of assuming sanyasam was planned in Tanjore which was the capital of the Chola dynasty. Knowing that Sri Sudheendra Theertharu arrived along with his pupils in Tanjore, the King Raghunatha Raya recieved them with reverence. He arranged grandly for the function as per the order of Theertharu. 

Many great scholars had arrived at Tanjore to witness this function. As Sri Yadavendra Theertharu was on a country-wide tour, he was not able to make up for the function. But he had sent his blessings and good-wishes to Venkatanatha. King Raghunatha Raya attended the function. 

Guru Raja Charya and Nrusimha Charya took Saraswathi and Lakshmi Narayana from Kumbhakonam to their place. But Saraswathi committed suicide by jumping into a well as she was unable live without her husband. However, she was blessed by Venkatanatha(Sri Raghavendra Swamy) to attain salvation. 

While at Tanjore, Venkatantha dedicated his heart and soul completely to the Almighty. When the auspicious time had come, Venkatanatha was advised with Mantra(Brahma Upadesham) by Sri Sudheendra Theertharu. And now it was time to name Venkatanatha(Aashrama Nama). As Lord Sri Rama had suggested Sri Sudheendra Theertharu in his dream, Venkatanatha was named "Sri Raghavendra Theertharu". Amidst of the court hall, Sri Raghavendra Theertharu was blessed and presented idols of Sri Moola Rama and Sri Veda Vyasa along with various scriptures, a white umbrella and a golden plate by Sri Sudheendra Theertharu. The function ended grandly.

After Sri Sudheendra Theertharu handed over his responsibility of the Peetam and its welfare to Sri Raghavendra Theertharu, he moved over to the banks of Tungabhadra river near Hampi. He spent the rest of his life meditating. He attained salvation through meditation and a Brindavana was built which still exists at the banks of Tungabhadra. 

Sri Raghavendra Theertharu was always engaged in either Sri Moola Rama puja or meditation. And with His presence the Sarvagna Peetam illuminated again. 

Sri Yaadavendra Theertharu came back from his tour to witness the Peetam's progress and was happy to see it in a spendid state under Sri Raghavendra Theertharu. He blessed all the pupils present there and modestly took the blessings of Sri Gurugalu. Then he again continued with his tour and on his way visited the Brindavana of Sri Sudheendra Theertharu at Hampi. 

At the same time, Sri Raghavendra Theertharu involved in writing the "Parimala", a write-up based on Nyaya Sudha, along with glossary for Sri Vyasa Raya's "Chandrika", etc. His pen knew no halts and it went on and on, elucidating the Dvaitha Philosophy. 

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Directive from Vidya Lakshmi

Some how Saraswathi over heard about the incident. She started pondering over her fate and future. She cried and cried and cried. She thought that her husband had already left her. She remembered her marriage and the sweet memories post marriage. What if she asks about the same to her husband? No, she kept silent. 

Days kept rolling and still the situation was the same. Both kept silent and never spoke to each other. They din't understand whether to be happy for their financial status was getting better or to worry about this new circumstance of assuming Sanyasa. Lakshmi Narayana was playing innocently, ignorant of all these happenings.Venkatanatha was assessing himself while his silence tortured Saraswathi. 

One night both slept silently. Venkatanatha  fell asleep late night as he kept thinking. Around four in the morning, he witnessed a dream where in he saw his room illuminated with light all over. Beside his bed he saw a beautiful, young, glowing lady, sitting pleasantly with dazzling ornaments. She had a Veena in one hand and books clasped in the other. She spoke thus:

"I was created by Sri Veda Vyasa to protect the scholars. I was brought up by Sri Aananda Theertha and Sri Jaya Theertha. Sri Vyasa Raya had given me strength and I enjoyed the company of Sri Vijayeendra Theertha. Sri Sudheendra Theertha had crowned me as Jaya Lakshmi and gave me the throne. I'm the Goddess of education, Sri Saraswathi Devi !!!"

I have my home built in Veda Vyasa's "Brahma Sutra", Vyasa Raya's "Taatparya Chandrika" and "Swaya Mitra". Sri Vijayeendra Theertha draped me with a silk saree, "Madhvaadva Khantodharam". I hold his "Tatva Manikya Peti" in my hands and wore his "Nyaya Muktha Mala" around my neck! I have made Sri Vyasa Raya's "Tarka Thandavam" as my throne! All these scriptures exist as long as the Moon and Sun exist. Atleast for this Tarka Thandavam alone, I shall exist in this world till the end of this Kalpa(4.32 billion years)."

And suddenly her face became pale....

"But I haven't sensed "Nyaya Sudha" and "Tarka Chandrika" yet. You are the one to unveil their beauty to me ! You are born for a cause in this world and that cause is to save humanity ! This is your duty ! I'm supposed to stay with the one who performs Sri Moola Rama Puja daily, this was an order by Sri Veda Vyasa ! I will stay with your Guru Sri Sudheendra Theertharu for some more time. If you assume Sanyasa and perform the puja daily, then I'll never leave you !"

"If you will not assume Sanyasa, then analysing of scriptures will come to a halt. The Vaishnavaite culture and all the scriptures will perish. Even if the scriptures exist, there will not be a single soul to understand them. All the Matas(monastery) will get shattered. One will not hear classes and debates of scholars around that place. They will turn out to be a home for owls. Atrocious !!!"

"Horrid ! This should never happen. You will definitely assume Sanyasa and I will stay with you forever ! This is the truth and this will happen !"

Thus said, the Goddess advised him a mantra and disappeared. It was a long dream and Venkatanatha woke up. 

As days passed by, Venkatanatha's heart diverted towards renunciation. More over he had a lecture on this from his Guru daily. Saraswathi wanted to talk about this to her husband but couldn't. One day Venkatanatha decided firmly to assume Sanyasa. But he pitied the condition of Saraswathi and Lakshmi Narayana. He thought of performing his duties and in this regards he planned for the thread ceremony (Upanayanam) of Lakshmi Narayana. He informed his Guru and others in the Mata. Everything was arranged in the Mata for Upanayana and the function was held grandly. 

Saraswathi was not able to bear it anymore. She asked Venkatanatha direclty. Venkatanatha said about his decision. She kept silent. He thought her silence as an indication of acceptance and walked towards the Mata. 

Sri Sudheendra Theertharu called Nrusimha Charya and Guru Raja Charya to safeguard Saraswathi from taking violent steps.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!