Monday, February 19, 2007

Sri Raghavendra Thirtha - My Visit to Mantralaya

My visit to Mantralaya on Feb 17th & 18th 2007, after a gap of 26 long years was a divine calling and an emotional experience.
My husband, daughter and our friends (Chitra, Akhil, Raghu, Mr & Mrs. Reddy) travelled by the APTDC Bus,boarding it at 9.00 am on Feb 17th. The journey was tedious, but bearable as we were in the company of friends. We went via Alampur, Kurnool District which is famous for the SHRI JOGULAMBA DEVI Temple, one of the 18 Shakti Peethas in India which has been recently reconstructed after 615 years.

We reached Mantralaya located in Kurnool District, in western Andhra Pradesh at 7.15 pm. We were provided accommodation at the APTDC Punnami Guest house which was clean and had hot water facility. We had a quick bath, got dressed and rushed to the Mutt for darshan of our GURU, Shri Raghavendra Swami.

I was very excited, as I remembered my childhood visits to the Mutt, very frequently with my parents and brothers. We then lived in Hutti Gold Mines,Raichur District, Karnataka, which presently is the only Gold producing mine in India. My parents were ardent devotees of Sri Raghavendra Swami (Rayaru) and followers of his philosophy. After my father's ( Shri. H. Ramamurthy) untimely demise in 1984, I and my mother somehow could not visit Mantralaya. Even after my wedding, eight years ago, despite many plans and attempts by my husband and me; for reasons uncomprehending, the visit did not materialize.

I call this visit a divine calling because, my mother who is suffering from breast cancer has immense faith in Rayaru and his blessings. And when my friend Chitra suggested that we visit Mantralaya that weekend, being a holiday for our kids; Phani and I were quick to say yes and Mr & Mrs Reddy were more than happy to join us.

Shri Raghavendra Swami, lived in the 17th century (1601-1671) and was one of the greatest proponents of Madhva Philosophy(Dvaita Philosophy). He was considered to be the reincarnation (avatara) of Prahalada. He was an ardent devotee of Moola Rama and Anjaneya.

Shri Raghavendra Swami is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and his devotees like my mother, believe that he continues to bless them and miracles do happen even now. Shri Raghavendra Swami entered the Brindavan live, which is located at Mantralaya. Guru Raghavendra is not visible to us now but was visible to Sir Thomas Munroe, the collector of India about 150 years ago when British Ruled India. He is believed to be present in the Brindavan alive (in athma form) at Mantralaya to this 336 year of entry ( as on 15th August 2007) into his Brindavan .

It is a common phenomenon in Kannada Madhva households, such as ours, to teach children from a very young age to recite this Raghavendra Stotra in the morning, after bathing.

pUjyAya rAghavendrAya satyadharmaratAya chabhajatAM kalpavR^ixAya namatAM kAmadhenavedurvAdidhvAntaravaye vaishhNavIndIvarIndaveshrI rAghavendragurave namo.atyantadayALuve

(I worship as the Kalpa-vrksha, 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 disposition.)

For our return journey on Feb 18th, after the morning Darshan, we boarded the bus at 9.30 am. The one thing that disappointed me was the sight of the nearly dry River Thungabhadra. On the way back we visited PILLALAMARRI, a huge banyan tree( India's National Tree) spread over an acre of land at Mahabubnagar. I learned that this is the second biggest and widest banyan tree in India, the first being in Howrah, Kolkata, India. Adithi and her friend Akhil had a good time climbing the tree and posed for a few snaps. We reached Hyderabad at 8.00 pm, tired but contented, with the pilgrimage.



Manjula said...

Chitra said :
Dear Manju,
Write up on Mantralaya visit is excellent.As the title suggests it seems to have really come out straight from your heart. Anyone who reads it will get inspired to invoke Sri Raghavendra Swamis blessings thru sincere prayers.May Sri Raghavendra Swami fulfull all your heartfelt desires, This is my prayer from DIL SE to Sri Raghavendra Swami.

With luv, Chitra

Thanks Chitra for being a good friend

Pankaj Chandratreya said...


Our prayers are with your mom. Mother (Aai) used to always speak about your mom. Aai passed away peacefully, early this month.

My wishes to you, Ravi & Raju & all your family members & kids.

Pankaj (Thane)

Manjula said...

Hello Pankaj,

Our heartfelt condolences to you, Parag and Upendra. And thank you for your kind wishes. My mom lives in Kolkata along with Ravi and his wife.