Sree Raghavendra Swamy’s Visit to Bijapur

Yet another article by my Brother Ramesh. Enjoy.

Millions of people across the globe are familiar with Guru Raghavendra or Rayaru as he is more popularly called, his life history, teachings, slokas and granthas and also his final resting place-Mantralaya. The life of Guru Raghavendra is an open book and almost all his years-birth, youth, Grihastaahrama- have been well documented. However, what is not very well known is that Rayaru did spend a lot of time in Karnataka before finally settling down at Bicchale and subsequently entering brindavana in 1671 at Manchale or Mantralaya.

After Rayauru was given Sanyasa by Sudhindra Theertharu in 1624, he embarked on a pilgrimage visiting scores of places in South India, including Tirupathi, Trivandrum ()known today as Tiruvananthapuram, Kanyakumari, Kanchi, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Srirangam and other places. In my article, I have decided to concentrate only on Rayaru’s  footsteps in Karnataka as it would be a herculean task to write about all the places he visited.

Some of the places where Rayaru set foot were Adoni or Advani which in those days ws under the control of Adil Shahis of Bijapur,  Manvi in Raichur taluk, Hampi. Nava Brindavana in Bellary district, Bijapur, Kolhapur and Pandrapur bordering Bijapur district and also a part of the Adil Shahi kingdom, (Shivaji was just then establishing the Maratha empire and he was in continuous conflict with the Adil Shahis and Mughals.) Bijapur , Kittur in Belgaum , Udupi and Kukke Subramanya in Kanara district, Nanjangud   and Srirangapatna both near Mysore , , Chitradurga, Gadag and  Hubbali.

Rayaru visited Srirangapatna, which was then under the control of Wodeyars, and had darshana of Lord Ranganathaswamy.  He also visited Bidarahalli where he met and interacted with  Srinivasacharya, a well-known scholar. Rayaru was so impressed by Srinivasacharya’s writings that he named him Srinivasa Theertha. Rayaru then decided to have darshan of Vittala in Pandrapur and of Mahalakshmi in Kolhapur.  He came to Bijapur  which was then under the control of Adil Shahis.  During his halt at the Krishna river he wrote Bhavadipa and a  commentary on Anu bhashya, called Tattva Manjari.  He came to Malkhed in Gulbarga district and visited the shrine of Jayatheertha (Teekachar) and his Guru Akshobya Theertha (who was one of the four direct disciples of Madhwacharya-the other three being Padmanabha Theertha, Narahari Theertha and Madhwa Theertha in that order).

When in Bijapur, the reigning Adil Shahi emperor, met Rayaru and presented a golden necklace studded with gems..Rayaru graciously accepted the gift and placed it in the Yagna Kunda as an offering to God. The Adil Shah took offence and expressed his displeasure over this act. “I have given you such an invaluable present and you have consigned it to flames”, he asked angrily. Rayaru then put his hand in the fire and out came the necklace.. He then handed over the necklace to the dumbfounded Adil Shah,

Bijapur, even in those days, was known for its extreme climate. The summers can be really torrid. When Rayaru was in Bijapur, summer had already set in and the scorching heat was sapping the energy of many. A Brahmin, overcome by heat stroke, swooned and he was asking for water. Rayaru, who saw him, recited a sloka and Rayaru’s followers and onlookers were stunned to see water spring up from the earth and quench the Brahmin’s thirst.

Once, Rayaru was on his way to Bijapur with a large group of people after visiting Pandrapur-the home of Vittala. One of the members of the group was Dasappa. Dasappa was accompanied by his pregnant wife. The scorching sun made Dasappa’s wife miserable. There was no water available and no shelter for her to take rest. Dasappa’s wife developed labor pains. When Rayaru was apprised of the situation, he threw a Shelya (clothe worn by men to cover their chest) in the air. The clothe shaded Dasappa’s wife from the hot sun and also gave her shelter and privacy. Rayaru then threw a twig near the tent and water came gushing out. Dasappa’s wife gave birth to a boy who was named Ramappa.

Rayaur also visited Vishnumangala, where Trivikrama Panditacharya, an erstwhile Advaitha scholar, had debated with Madhvacharya for fifteen days, before accepting defeat and becoming his disciple. Rayaru then vissted the temples at Subrahmanya and Udupi. On seeing the idol  of Krihsna in Udupi, he sang Indu yenage Govinda. Udupi is also the place where Rayaru  gave discourses on Sarvamula Grantha and wrote Chandrika Prakasha, a gloss for Tattparya Chandrika written by Vyasa Theertha. He is also believed to have written in Udupi Tantradipika, a book on Sutras, and Nyayamukthavali for the benefit of students.

During his Bijapur visit, Rayaru cured Venkanna, a mentally ill person, and also got him married.

Rayaru spent the last few years of his life at Bicchale, which is just 20 kms from Mantralaya. Rayaru and one of his closest disciple Appanacharya, spent years debating shastras in Bicchale.

Rayaru stayed at the house of Appanacharya and that house exists even today. (It was rebuilt after being destroyed some years ago by the flood waters of Tungabhadra).


13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by BRUNDA SHIVU on October 3, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Thank U Ramesh sir please visit NavaMantralya mandira on bull temple road next to bms engineering college kanditha nimma andhukonda kelsa sadhya vaguthe 100% sure.NAMBI KETTAVARAILLAVO E RAYARA


  2. Posted by Neelu on October 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    This is a beautiful article. The people mentioned, who were in the direct presence of Rayaru at that time must’ve have done infinite good in their previous lives! 🙂


  3. Posted by Sandhya on October 4, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Felt great to read this post today ie Thursday. Namma Rayaru iddade evaaglu ollede aagutte. Blessed are those who experience His divine presence. Pujaya Raghavendraya Sathya Dharma Rathayacha Bhajataam Kalpavrikshaya Namatam Kamadhenave.


  4. Posted by BRUNDA SHIVU on October 4, 2012 at 7:36 am

    madam nanu 1 shloka kalsthaidhini pls who ever has any problem or their work to be done please read this 11 times for 48 days and light the ghee lamp r thuppadha deepa the work is done r problem will be solved.



  5. Hare Shreenivasa.

    Thanks for good information. Since U have put the heading “Sree Raghavendra Swamy’s Visit to Bijapur”, May I put some more information. Rayaru visted one village on right bank of Krishna River.The name of the village is “Alur” then in Bijapur District.(Now in Bagalkot District). It is abt 65 km from Bijapur.Shree Raghavendra Teertharu wrote “Bhavadeepa” commentary on Anu Bhashya here. None can visit this place now as it is submerged under Krishna waters under Upper Krishna Project at Almatti.
    Alur village is now relocated at Rampur a village.However Anjaneya Temple that was worshiped by Rayaru is reinstalled in New Alur Village.

    Vadiraj K Kulkarni


    • Posted by Padmanabha RAo. on March 16, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      For your kind information, Bhavadipa of RAyaru is a vast Commentary on Tatva Prakashika of Jayateertharu.


  6. Posted by Ramya Nagaraja on October 8, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Thanks a ton for this article. I have read miracles performed by Shri Raghavendra Swamy in few articles. But somehow, was not aware of the miracle where Rayaru gives shelter and quenches thirst. Today morning, I played a random song on Guru Raghavendra and that song spoke about few miracles of HIM and this was one of it. I knew all others except for this one, and wished i knew the details. And then later in the day today, I was searching for some other details on Raghavendra Swamy and i ran into this page, and had a very brief glance at it and i thought, this is not what I am looking for, but soemthing made me read it. I was so happy when i read about that miracle at the end. Guru made me read it and confirmed again – HE is with us.

    P.S – Please remove if this comment is inappropriate under this heading/section.


  7. Any writings particularly on History should accompany with documentary evidence. For example Rayaru was greeted by Adilshahi and presented gold necklace and throwing in yagnakunda etc…. any documentary evidence is there ? First of all only saying Adilshahi itself is nonsense Adilshahis ruled from 1489 to 1686 AD and there were 8 Badashahs ruled during that time. Further Shri Rayaru time 1623 to 1671 in which period most of the time Mohmed Adilshah was ruling who is famous for his fanaticism and even attacked Vithala of Pandharapura and Bhavani of Tulajapura [refer Jadunath Sarkars books and number of Persian manuscripts]] further after his death kingdom was in chaos gradually declining finally annexed to moguls in 1686 AD. Under the circumstances respect from Adilshahis was not possible . However as per Shri Raghavendra Vijaya written by His hoilines Rayaru’s purvashrama sister’s son Narayan pandit mentions in his Shri Raghavendra vijay that while coming from Godavari [Nasik ?] he did visited Vijayapura { mostly bijapur ?] and was there for one day blessed his desciples and proceeded further etc………..Hence I think while writing on such most respectable persons we should be careful. Shri Rayaru need not be great by getting respect from Adilshahi. He was and is and will be great for ever.


  8. I am really impressed by this blog which purely depicts your devotion towards Raayaru…hats off..:) I am also a devotee of the lord…but Raayaru has never appeared in my dream….sometimes I feel very sad because of this…pls give ur opinion


  9. Posted by Padmanabha RAo. on March 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    He came to Malkhed in Gulbarga district and visited the shrine of Jayatheertha (Teekachar) and his Guru Akshobya Theertha (who was one of the four direct disciples of Madhwacharya-the other three being Padmanabha Theertha, Narahari Theertha and Madh(A) wa Theertha in that order).
    Can you please tell me from where did you collect this information. I have original TExt of Raghavendra VIjaya, where I find no such references. Can you enlighten me on this?


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