Incarnation of Sree Raghavendra Guru
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Life of Sree Raghavendra Guru (Page 3)
 

Venkatanatha earned the esteem and affection of all people by teaching pupils who came to him for learning and by taking part in scholarly conference. After few days, the health of Sri Sudhindra received a set-back. So, he said to Venkatantha ,"You are great scholar endowed with much ebility ;give up the lure of family pleasures ,take up sanyasa and serve the world at large".

On hearing these words, Venkatabhattu said "O guru I bow to your decision, but I cannot leave the young wife and son to their fate .Iam not yet ready to take up sanyasa.Kindly forgive me".Sri Sudhindra considered his pupils word s as wise .As his health was declining ,he made another deciple accept sanyasam and gave him the name of "Yadavindra Tirtha".

Somedays later, SriSudhindra regained normal health .He attended to his daily duties of offering worship to Sri Mula Ramachandra and teaching his pupils religious doctrines .he retained with him the images of Sri Mula Ramachandra and certain others and sent Yadavindra Tirtha to tour the country.

Still later, once Sri Sudhindra once again felt ill .The worship of Sri Mula Ramachandra, the presiding deity of the Mutt,was hampered as he was pondering

Over this, one night Lord Sri Ramachandra appeared to him in a vision and said "Venkatabhattu is fit to carry on the worship he is ready to take up sanyasa now.

Send for him and make the necessary arrangements.Do not feel sad ".He instantly disappeared.Sri Sudheendra repeated these words many times and felt happy .

He decided to send Venkatabhattu.

Strangely enough, Venkatabhattu had a dream the same night when Sri Sudhindra had the vision of god.Sri Saradadevi(Goddess of learning) appeared before him and said "You are a great scholar of much competence. The world needs to be uplifted by you. The Madhwa philosophy has to be propagated still wider. Give up your family ties and take Sannyasa .Sri Mula Ramachandra is waiting to be worshipped by you. Wake up".So saying ,she disappeared.

Venkatabhattu awoke from sleep and was happy and surprised to think of what had happended .He immediately proceeded to the place of Sri Sudhindra and fell prostrate before him .The swami was overjoyed to see him. They related to each other events relating to their respective dreams.Venkatabhattu told his guru that he wished to perform the upanayanam of his son,Lakshminarayana and proceeded home after receiving monetary assistance for the purpose reaching his village,Bhuvanagiri,and collecting his relations and friends ,returned to swamiji's place.he performed his sons "upanayanam" in the presence of Sri Sudhindra and with his blessings,later he returned to Bhuvanagiri.

A few days later,he called his wife ,Saraswathi , and said to her ,"you are managing the family as an obedient wife and making me happy .You are an honest woman . But

Worldly life is like a drop of water on a lotus leaf .It is not everlasting .Do not love me any more .I intend to take up sannyasa in obedience to my guru's command . Do not feel grieved carry on your life with calmness of mind .She was pained to hear her husbands words .But Venkatabhattu consoled and comforted her by his sweet words.

Having determined to take up sannyasa ,Venkatabhattu went to Sri Sudheendhra .He accompanied his guru on his tour, from Kumbakonam to Tanjavur . The ruler Raghunatharao ,had arranged a grand reception for swami there.

Sri Sudhindra told Raghunatha Rao about his decision to intiate Venkatabhattu into sannyasa .The ruler made suitable arrangements for the occasion . In the year Rudhirodgari of salivahana era 1845.Sri Sudhindra gave sannyasa to Venkatabhattu

The appellation of "Sri Raghavendra Theertha".Many scholars ,poets ,devotees ,and common people were present on the great occasion .The programme was gone through with great pomp and glory.Raghunatha Rao showed his esteem for both the swamis and received their blessings.

The news of Sri Venkatanatha's initiation into sannyasa reached saraswathi 's ears through hearsay .She was filled with agony. What a pity that she could not look upon her husband's face any longer .she hated to live further without support of her husband. With these feelings gnawing at heart and abandoning wisdom, she ended her life by falling into a well. As a result of committing suicide, she became a ghost.

 
       
 

In that form she went to Sri Raghavendhra Thirtha and wept bitterly .Taking pity on her ,he repeated some sacred mantra and showered on her some drops of water .She was relieved of her ghost form and gained redemption from her life. Ever since, it became a family custom for the descendants of Venkatabhattu to perform "Saraswathi puja " at the commencement of auspicious functions in their houses.

Sri Raghavendra Thirtha started on his religious tours.Where ever he went ,large number of devotees received his blessings in great joy. During his travels, he once visited a village , called "Kandenati" ,went to the house of a poor boy , named "Venkanna" and asked him to do "Bhiksha" for him (feed him) . The boy believed that swami had come to his house for "Bhiksha" in preference to the rich people's houses only to bless him. So, he went to the rich people, took their assistance and also invited them to worship the swami. He gave a grand reception to swami in this manner and earned his grace and blessings. While taking leave of the boy and starting for another village, the swami asked the boy to remember him in times of difficulties.

At that time, Siddi Masud Khan was Nawab of Adoni. Though illiterate, be became a ruler through good fortune. One day, when he rested under a tree after taking part in a vigorous hunt, a servant gave him a letter, saluted to him, and stood at a distance. The Nawab opened the letter, but being illiterate could not understand its contents. He looked about in the forest for anyone who could read it. Just then, he saw the poor boy Venkanna, gathering wood for fuel . Immediately he ordered the servant to bring the boy. In fact Venkanna also could not read it. He confessed to the Nawab " I am a poor Bhrahmin boy. I have not received any education and hence, I cannot read the letter ". The Nawab retorted,"Being a Bhrahmin, can't u read? I cannot believe your words. Will u read it or shall I server your head?" he threatened the boy in these words. Recalling Sri Raghavendra's advice, he said to himself ," O Sri Raghavendra ! protect from danger ". By Raghavendra's grace he was able to make out what was written in the letter. He said to the Nawab boldly, "O king, your army has won in the battle. This is the message of your victory ". There upon the Nawab took kindly to him, took him to the palace, Gave him money and said, "Get better education still, I shall give you job in my administration". The poor Venkanna agreed to do so.

In two or three years Venkanna received good education .He became a potty official in the Nawab's administration, discharged his duties well and soon won the good will and appreciation of the Nawab . In course of time, the Nawab recognising has intelligence and administrative ability, made him "Dewan " of his state. In this way, the poor boy, Venkanna , rose to a high position in life by the grace of Sri Raghvendra Swami.

Once, Sri Raghavendra Swami was touring in the Maharastra region. One of the servants of the Mutt came to him and said "O Swami I wish to get married, kindly give me a month's salary in advance. The Swami was then washing his hands and feet with earth. He said, " where is the money with me? I have only this loose earth in my hands. if u want take it ". The servant who knew the great powers of the Swami,said in great confidence, "O Swami !,even the dust that comes from your hands, will be ten thousand rupees for me . So, give me the dust alone ". The Swami gave him a handful of the earth, blessed him and sent him away.

As the servant went past some villages it fell dark. He went to one hamlet and laid himself down on a payal for the night's rest. The owner of the house was suffering from agony. Every time his wife gave birth to a child, a ghost would appear and destroy the child. The ghost had come then ready to kill the child to be born. But the earth in the servant's palm was shining with brilliance and did not allow the ghost to enter the house .The ghost awoke the servant and said to him, "Cast the shining stuff away, it does not allow me to enter the house. I shall give you whatever you wish for ". The servant was surprised at his words. He understood that the mysterious power of the earth in his hand did not allow the ghost to enter the house. At once, he said to the ghost "If u get me a vessel of full of rupees, I shall keep the earth at a distance and let you in". In a few seconds, the ghost brought to the servant a vessel full rupees. He took the vessel and out of pity for the ghost, thought of Guru and spilled a portion of the earth on the ghost. At once, the ghost was relieved of its ghost's form. The master of the house and the members of his family, who observed all this from inside, were filled with astonishment. They felt happy that the danger of the ghost, which afflicted them, was no more there. In mean while, the master 's wife was delivered of a male child and the child was safe and sound. Then the house -owner had a desire to give his brother's daughter in marriage to the guru's servant. He called the servant in, treated him with much respect and expressed his heart's desire to him. The servant gave his consent and the girl's marriage with him was celebrated immediately.

The guru's servant returned happily with his wife to the presence of the guru. He prostrated himself and told his master the entire story. He placed at his guru's feet the treasure he had secured and begged him to take it. But, the swami, without taking it, said to him, "why do I need this money? You yourself take it and be happy." He blessed the servant and sent him away.

Some time later on one occasion, the swami visited the Gadag region. A gentleman devoted to the guru, named Desai Raghunath, wished to play him the host and took him to his house to the accompaniment of the various forms of music. Being very rich, he had rich dishes of food prepared for swami. He collected a huge vessel full of mango juice.

 
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