Sri Rama Janma Bhumi of Ayodhya


Puranas mention seven most sacred Teertha Kshetras or places for pilgrimage, as a means of attaining Moksha. They are said to be: Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kashi, Avanitka, Puri and Dvaravati. Names of some of these places have undergone change. The sacred places are also the equivalents of seven Chakras (Nadis) in one’s body. In order to attain Moksha, one has to realize these Chakras in body, beginning at the Muladhar. The Chakras in the body are: Muladhar, Swadhishthan, Manipura, Anahata,Vishuddha, Ajna and Sahasrar.

Ayodhya, is the ancient Teertha Kshetra, representing the Manipura Chakra (also known as “City of jewels”). This Chakra can be realized behind the navel (Solar plexus) and associated with warmth. Ayodhya means, that which cannot be destroyed.

The ancient city of Ayodhya on the banks of sacred River Sarayu is in Uttar Pradesh state. Ayodhya is at about 135 km from Lucknow (Former name was Lakshmanpuri). Ayodhya was founded by Manu. Ikshvaku was the son of Manu and the predecessor of Ikshvaku dynasty to which Lord Rama belonged.

Rama Janma Bhumi, as it is recognized in the modern times, Ayodhya was host to a number of temples and only a handful have survived the test of time. One such temple is Nageshwarnath temple believed to have been built by Kush, son of Rama. Many interesting places dot the city that contain traces of elements from the times of Ramayana. With Sri Rama Navami around the corner, let’s take a SpiRitual Journey (Sanskrit: Yatra) to the ancient city of Ayodhya.

What to see in Ayodhya?

Ram Janma Bhumi Temple

Ram Janma Bhumi Temple in Ayodhya as the name indicates is the birth place of Lord Rama, one of the ten Avatars of Lord Vishnu on this earth. A grand temple is being planned at this temple with images of Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Bharat, Shatrughna and Hanuman being readied for consecration.

Kanak Bhavan

Kanak Bhavan was a palace gifted to Sita after her marriage to Lord Rama. King Vikramaditya is said to have constructed a temple in its place. It was rebuilt in the year 1891. You can see three pairs of images of Rama and Sita installed here. The architecture of the temple is sure to captivate you.



Hanumangarhi in Ayodhya is a very popular destination for devotees of Lord Rama. It is a custom here to visit this Hanuman temple before having a Darshan of Lord Ram. A huge temple complex dedicated to Lord Hanuman has been erected here. This temple is believed to be from 10th Century CE. Another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva belonging to a royal family is close by. This temple is opened only once a year in Shravanmaas (Occuring in July or August). An image of Anjanadevi holding Bal Hanuman in her lap has been installed and is beautiful.

The temple complex is a huge structure like a fort and each of its corners has circular bastions housing a temple of Hanuman. You can visit Hanumangarhi throughout the year. During Sri Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti in Chaitramaas (Occurs in Mar or April), the place lights up and comes truly alive.

Another temple of Hanuman by the same name is in Nainitaal. Hanuman is depicted tearing open his chest to reveal Ram and Sita.


Maniparvat is believed to be a small portion of the Sanjiviniparvat (Meaning: Life-Saving Medicine mountain) that fell off in the Ayodhya when Lord Hanuman was carrying it to Swarnalanka to treat Lakshman. It is a small hillock of about 65ft and the panoramic view from here is a good point for photographers. Shukla Truteeya of Shravanmaas (Locally called ‘Teej’) is celebrated with great pomp and glory here welcoming the Monsoons. There are other legends associated with this place.

Treta Ka Thakur:

Treta Ka Thakur is on the banks of River Sarayu. Lord Ram performed Ashvamedha Yaga with the golden image of Sita here. An ancient temple exists here commemorating this event. This is believed to have been built by king of Kulu during 18th Century CE. Renovation was carried out by Ahilyabai Holkar in the later part of the century. The sacred horse was stopped by Lava and Kusha, an incident that led to the reunion of Lord Rama and Sita. We can find this mentioned in Uttara Ramayana.  Chakravarti Mahraj Dashrath Mahal, known as Bada Asthan and Badi Jagah, is at Ramkot.

Guptar Ghat:

Guptar Gaht on the banks of River Sarayu is a very important and must see spot for devotees on the SpiRitual Journey. Lord Ram went back on his journey to Vaikunth here. Aarti performed here every-day is a cynosure.

Sita ki Rasoi:

This was the place of Royal Kitchen for Ram and Sita. You can recall the incident of Sita serving food to Hanuman from Ramayan, where she provided Hanuman with abundant food. Images of all the four couples Ram-Sita, Lakshman-Urmila, Bharat-Mandovi and Shatrughna-Srutakeerti have been installed.

Valmeeki Ramayan Bhavan:

Valmeeki Ramayan Bhavan is an initiative by State Government of Uttar Pradesh. The walls of Ramayan Bhavan have been adorned marble slabs displaying engraved verses from Valmeeki Ramayan.


If you want to celebrate Sri Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti in great style, this is the ultimate destination. This is the main place of worship in Ayodhya.


Vijaya Dashami in Ayodhya:

Vijaya Dashami is celebrated on the tenth day during Navaratri (Dusshera is the word commonly used in North India). This is a great occasion to celebrate in Ayodhya. Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravan on this day in Swarnalanka. Another reason for celebration during Vijayadashamee is due to the king Raghu of Ikshvaku dynasty. When Kautsa, a disciple of Sage Varatantu requested king Raghu to pay 140 million golden coins as Guru Dakshina to his teacher, he sought help from Lord Indra. Indra in turn ordered Kuber the guardian of treasure to rain gold coins on the city of Ayodhya. Kautsa repaid his debt of knowledge to his teacher and distribute the rest among the dwellers of Ayodhya.

What is the best time to visit Ayodhya?

You can visit Ayodhya throughout the year. Care must be taken in the months of May and June as the temperature soars to a very high level. Months of Monsoon from July to September can provide a different experience. Navaratri of Chaitramaas occurring in the months of March or April, Navaratri of Ashvayujamaas occurring in the months of September or October and Deepavali in Karthikmaas in October or November can be an unforgettable and divine experience for the devotees visiting Ayodhya.

Rama Leela” is the epic based play performed by artists. This is organised around Dusshera and the best season for experiencing drama mixed with devotion, colors, light and sound.


Dandayudhapani Temple – Palani

Aruppadai Veedu is something that is sacred and very close to the hearts of devotees and followers of Murugan (Lord Subrahmanya). You can click here to know more about the Arruppadaiveedu Yatra presented by Pureprayer.

Aruppadai Veedu are the places where Murugan conducted campaign against a demon king “Surapadman” and defeated him. This is popular as Surasamhara. In honor of Murugan’s victory, temples of Murugan have been built in these six places. The six sacred places are Palani, Swamimalai, Thiruttani, Thiruchendur and Palamudircholai and Thirupparamkundram. Let’s continue our Yatra (journey) with Palani Sri Dandayudhapani temple and learn about this Kshetra during the occasion of ‘Thaipoosam’, an important celebration here.

Palani (Pronounced as-Pazhlani) Sri Dandayudhapani temple is another important Kshetra among Arrupadaai Veedu, the six temples dedicated to Murugan. Palani temple is located in Dindugal district about 485 km from Chennai the capital city of Tamil Nadu state and about 120 km from Madurai city. This temple represents Lord Murugan as a boy contemplating on knowledge and renunciation. Palani is also popular as “Thiru AvinanKudi”. ‘Thiru’ implies Goddess Lakshmi; ‘Avu’ or simply ‘A’ implies the holy cow Kamadhenu; ‘Inan’ implies Lord Surya; ‘Ku’ implies Goddess Earth; ‘Di’ implies Lord Agni. ThiruAvinankudi means the place worshipped by Lakshmi, Kamadhenu, Surya, Earth and Agni.

What is the importance of Palani Dhandayudhapani Temple?

A legend brings out how the Palani came to be a Murugan’s Kshetra. Once, Sage Narada visited Kailash and presented Lord Shiva with a fruit of knowledge. Lord Shiva announced that, whoever completes going round the world three times shall get the fruit of knowledge. Upon hearing this challenge, Kumara Swamy (Murugan) flew off on his vehicle peacock. However, Ganapati just went round Lord Shiva and Parvati three times and stated that his parents are his universe. Happy with his statement, Lord Shiva presented the fruit to Ganapati. Kumara Swamy became unhappy with his failure to understand this simple fact, sadly went to the region now called Palani and sat there. Lord Shiva and Parvati pacified him saying, he was indeed the fruit of knowledge (Tamil-Phazhlam nee). Arunagirinathar mentions about this temple.

Info on the temple:

Palani Murugan temple is situated on a hill called Shivagiri about 450 feet high. 704 steps have been carved into the rock, so that even elephants can climb effortlessly. A funicular railway system has been functioning to help devotees. Devotees also take a sandy route to reach the temple. Devotees first visit the ThiruAvinkudi temple and Sri Pada Vinayakar at the base of the hill before beginning the ascent with Kavadi. There are several lakes on the hills Shivagiri and Shaktigiri that contribute to the river ‘Shanmukha’. On the top, on can see the temple with ornately carved pillars.

A legend associated with the ritual practice of carrying ‘Kavadi’ is as follows:

Sage Agastya was asked by Lord Shiva to move southwards in order to balance the weight of earth during Shiva’s marriage. The great sage agreed and started his journey. He asked his disciple, a giant named ‘Idumban’ to carry two mountain peaks from Kailash to the south. The giant carried the peaks on his shoulders like a ‘Kavadi’. By the time he reached the region of Palani, the giant was exhausted and wanted to rest. He sat aside the mountain peaks and slept. Waking up, he tried to lift the mountain peaks and was shocked to discover they would not budge. He got angered by seeing a small boy preventing the lift. A fight ensued and Murugan, the small boy defeated the giant.

Idumban got to know who the small boy was and prayed him and was granted two wishes. Devotess who carry a Kavadi, the way he carried mountain peaks shall be blessed by Lord Subrahmanya and they should offer obeisance to the image of Idumban before climbing the steps of Palani. Devotees have been performing Kavadi at Palani for ages. Devotees take the vow to have their head tonsured (shaving off the hair). They carry the kavadi and reach the top of the hill and undergo tonsuring followed by bath. They receive the sandalwood paste applied to the deity. This is applied on the shaved head.

Siddhar Bhogar (or Bogar) is another name that finds mention with Palani. Sage Bhogar is said to have created the image of Murugan in Palani using nine types of materials. This technique is called Navapashanam technique. Sage Bhogar is said to be the author of “Saptakanda”, a treatise on alchemy, medicine and many others. A shrine has been created to Bhogar in Palani recognizing his effort.

Temple Architecture:

The image of Dandhayudhapani is said to have been consecrated again during Chera kingdom in 9th Century CE. The corridor around the temple has the hallmark of Pandyan architecture style. Sanctum sanctorum walls of the temple carry extensive inscriptions in Tamil. The Gopuram (tower) above the sanctum is clad with gold sheets. Many sculptures of gods and goddesses can be seen in the corridor and gopuram. It is interesting to note that a Deepastambham has been installed in the front of the temple.

Presiding deity:

Dhandayudhapani, the presiding deity in Palani Murugan temple is in a standing pose with just a lonscloth around his waist. Panchamrita Abhishekam to the image of Murugan is a Puja in great demand in this Kshetra.

What is the best time to visit Palani Dhandayudhapani temple?

Months of December, January and February are the months, with relatively low temperature. However, festival months of AadiMas (Ashadhamas), Kartheekmas, Pangunimas (Phalgunmas), Thaipoosam are chosen by devotees as they are considered very revered.


What is nearby Palani temple?

Palamudircholai is another Arrupadaiveedu Kshetra of importance and about 125 km from Palani. Madurai Meenakshi temple, Palani hills wildlife sanctuary and National Park, Kodaikanal are some of the places of interest.

To be continued


Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple


Aruppadai Veedu is something that is sacred and very close to the hearts of devotees and followers of Murugan (Lord Subrahmanya). You can click here to know more about the Arruppadaiveedu Yatra presented by Pureprayer. Aruppadai Veedu are the places where Murugan conducted campaign against a demon king “Surapadman” and defeated him. This is popular as Surasamhara. In honor of Murugan’s victory, temples of Murugan have been built in these six places. The six sacred places are Palani, Swamimalai, Thiruttani, Thiruchendur and Palamudircholai and Thirupparamkundram.

Let’s continue our Yatra (journey) with Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple and learn about this Kshetra.

Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple among the Aaruppadaiveedu is close to the hearts of followers of Murugan, as this is the place where Avvaiyyar had a darshan of Murugan and learnt a lesson from him. Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple is located about 20km from Maduari district. Pazhlam(Fruit) Udir (dropped) Cholai or Sholai (forest) was a dense wooded forest. Another name for this place was known as Solaimalai or Sholaimalai.

What is the importance of Pazhlamudircholai Murugan Temple?

Pazhlamudircholai was the place where, Lord Murugan is said to have given Darshan to Avvaiyyar. The following instance sheds some light on this. Pazhlam(Fruit) Udir (dropped) Cholai or Sholai (forest) was a dense wooded forest, Avvaiyyar was passing through. She was tired and thirsty. That was when she chanced upon a small adorable boy on a Jambu tree. She requested him for a few fruits, to quench her thirst. He laughed and asked, if she wanted a hot one (Suttru Pazhlam in Tamil) or a raw one (Sudattha Pazhlam). Avvaiyyar was nonplussed with this from a shepherd or a forest dude and did not answer. The boy went ahead and pluck some fruits and threw them at her. She was able to catch some and others fell on the ground. Avvaiyyar picked and blew over them to remove any dirt. Then the boy laughed again and asked, if the fruits were hot.

Avvaiyyar then decided that, the boy was none other than Murugan himself, who had come to test her and teach a lesson. She surrendered to Murugan and composed many poems on Lord Subrahmanya praising him. Another name for this place was known as Solaimalai.

Info on the temple:

Pazhalamudircholai Murugan temple is situated on a hill about 1100 feeet high from the sea level and is called Vrishabhadri, Idabadri or Solaimalai. The lush greenery surrounding the temple welcomes you. River Silambar flowing near the temple adds to the charm and sanctity. A gopuram has been built in Dravidian style. A specialty of the temple is, Lord Murugan is standing with Srivalli and Deivanai (Also called-Devasena) on either side. He is fondly referred to as, ‘Kurinji Nilakkizhavan’ by devotees. Murugan is referred as Jnana Shakti, Srivalli as Icchaa Shakti and Devasena as Kriyaa Shakti. Records state that, only a ‘Vel’ (Murugan’s weapon) carved in stone had been installed here before the temple was built. This is known as ‘Aadivel’. He is holding a Vel in the hand.

At the foot of the Vrishabhadri hill, you find another important temple popular as Azhlagar Kovil dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This is one of the 108 Divyadesam temples visited by devotees. Noopuragangai is a waterfall in Pazhlamudircholai. It is believed to have originated from the anklet of Lord Vishnu. Devotees take a dip in the stream and visit the nearby guardian deity, Rakkayi Amman. Poets Arunagirnathar and Nakkirar have written poems praising the Karikeyan and mentioned about Pazhlamudircholai. ‘Parippadal’, a Sangam or Changam period work mentions this temple.

Solaimalai is a dense forest rich in biodiversity. This is known for rare trees and also valuable medicinal plants and herbs. The hill also has numerous streams and rivulets.

Presiding deity:

What is the best time to visit Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple?

Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple can be visited throughout the year.  However, the weather is said to be pleasant during the months of November through February being the winter. Also the auspicious days of Kruttikai (Kruttika star), days of Shashthi (sixth day of Tamil calendar) and Vishakha star are some of the days preferred by the devotees.

Aadimaas (month of Ashadha in the Hindu calendar), Kartikamaas are special to the devotees of Lord Murugan (Subramanya).

 What is nearby Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple?

The temple-town of Madurai is about 30km from Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple. Madurai Meenakshi temple, Sri Hayagrivar temple, Koodal Azhlagar temple and Thirupparankundram Murugan temple are some of the landmark temples. Thiruchirappalli, the hub of Hindu temples is about 90km from Pazhlamudircholai Murugan temple. Sri Jambukeswarar temple, Sri Gneelivaneswarar temple and the temple complex of Sri Rangam are notable among the many marvels here. These represent a cluster of important temples in Tamil Nadu.

To be continued



Aaruppadai Veedu – Thiruthani Murugan temple

Aaruppadai Veedu – Thiruthani Murugan temple

Aruppadai Veedu is something that is sacred and very close to the hearts of devotees and followers of Murugan (Lord Subrahmanya). Aruppadai Veedu are the places where Murugan conducted campaign against a demon king “Surapadman” and defeated him. This is popular as Surasamhara. In honor of Murugan’s victory, temples of Murugan have been built in these six places. The six sacred places are Palani, Swamimalai, Thiruttani, Thiruchendur and Palamudircholai and Thirupparamkundram. You can click here to know more about the Arruppadaiveedu Yatra presented by Pureprayer.

Kartikeya, Saravana, Shanmuga, Skanda, Kumaraswamy, Subramanya, Velayudhan are some of the names, Murugan is popularly known. The antiquity of the celebrations of Surasamhara performed, can be understood from the fact that they are mentioned in such old texts like Shilappadikaram.

Skanda Purana provides the detailed account of birth of Murugan, the defeat of Surapadma and many other related events. Surapadma, Simhamukha and Tarakasura were the sons of the Sage Kashyapa and Surasa. Surapadma was defeated by Murugan, but seeking forgiveness for his sins of troubling the dwellers of different Lokas (worlds), Surapadman was granted the honor of becoming his carrier, a peacock.

Surapadman did a very long penance to Lord Shiva. He sought a boon that no one except Shiva’s offspring, born without shiva’s union with Parvati, in any nature, could either kill or defeat him. Kartikeya was born from the third eye on the forehead and became the commander of the army that fought with the demons that led to the removal of demons. Surasamharam (or Soorasamharam) has been a part of Sangam literature. Poet Nakkeerar has witten ‘Thiru Murugarrupadai’ that mentions these sacred six abodes.

Let’s begin our Yatra with Thiruthani Murugan temple.

Thiruthani Murugan temple is about 457 km from Madurai city and about 87 km from Chennai City in Tamil Nadu State. Thiruttani is among the six sacred places famous for Murugan temples and called ‘Aaruppadai Veedu’, where Lord Subrahmanya (Murugan) conducted campaign against a demon king called “Surapadman” and defeated him.

Krittikai (Krittika) star dates are the most celebrated in this temple.

What is the importance of Thiruthani Murugan Temple?

Thiruthani (known earlier as Thiruttanigai in Tamil) Murugan temple is one of the many temples whose origins are buried in antiquity. Lord Subrahmanya shed his fury and anger in this region and went on to marry Devasena (also called as Deivanai) and Sri Valli. This temple has been mentioned in the Sangam period work of ‘Tirumurugaarruppadai’ composed by Nakkeerar. Another saint from 15th Century CE, Arunagirinathar mentions about this temple. Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar, who lived in 1800s had his inspiration in Tiruttani and composed a song on Murugan.

Info on the temple:

Thiruttani Murugan temple is situated on a small hill 700ft above sea level, with a flight of 365 steps. The construction is typical of Dravidian architecture with a five-tiered Gopuram (Tower). It has four prakarams and a series of towers. The inscriptions found in the temple complex indicate that, Palavas built these temple. It was patronized by many kingdoms and empires like Cholas, Vijayanagar and Madurai Poligers (chieftains).

The temple is surrounded by several waterbodies. Brahmasonai is the pond believed to have been where Lord Brahma washed himself of all his sins. Kalhara Teertham is another pond, believed to have been created by Lord Indra. The enchanting Saravana Poigai is renowned for its sacred water with healing effect. Saptarshi teertham consists of seven springs dedicated to the seven sages.

Thiruttani is also the birthplace of India’s first vice-president and second president, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.

Lord Subrahmanya (Murugan) conducted campaign against a demon king called “Surapadman” and defeated him at six places. He shed his fury and anger when he came to the region of Thiruttani. Hence, the region also attained the name Shantipuri. According to the legend, when combating the demon Tarakasura, the discus thrown by Tarakasura hit him in the chest. A depression can be seen on the chest of Murugan’s image representing this impact.

This is also the place he wed Sri Valli and Devasena. He received the Airavat (Indra’s vehicle) as a gift.


Temple Architecture:

Thiruttani Murugan temple is situated on a small hill with a flight of 365 steps. The construction is typical of Dravidian architecture with a five-tiered Gopuram (Tower). It has four prakarams and a series of towers. The temple is surrounded by a number of waterbodies. A small shrine is dedicated to Lord Ganesha here called “Aapat Sahaaya Vinayakar”, who is said to have come to the aid of Skanda in winning Sri Valli’s hand in marriage.

Lord Murugan is not holding the Velayudha (a weapon) which is closely associated with Him and with ‘Vajra Hastam’ in his right hand. His left hand is on the hip representing wisdom. When combating the demon Tarakasura, the discus thrown by Tarakasura hit him in the chest. A depression can be seen on the chest of Murugan’s image representing this impact.

Kalyana Mahotsav with Srivalli and Devasena is performed with all pomp during the Chaitramaas of Tamil Calendar. Marriage celebrations take place on two days, with wedding of Srivalli on the first day and of Devasena on the next day. The generally followed festival of Sura Samharam, celebrated during “Margazhi Shashthi” (Tamil Calendar Month of Margshisrha) occurring in November-December period is not followed here. Murugan felt very peaceful after reaching here.

The celebrations take place with using a lot of flowers to please the Lord. Elephant is Skanda’s vehicle here and not the peacock. Also, the elephant faces away from the temple looking heavenwards. A legend says that, after gifting the Airavat during the marriage of Devasena, Indra’s wealth started reducing. However, he would not take back the gift from Lord Murugan. Hence, they both agreed to the idea of making the elephant face the sky eastwards in order the wealth of Lord Indra not reduce.

The sandal paste given by the temple as Prasadam is said to have a lot of medicinal value.

An image of Bala Subrahmanya can be found in the wall of Sanctum sanctorum holding Kamandala (water pot) and Akshamala (beaded chain) in the hands representing a stage, before his wedding with Valli. Abhishekam is performed with hot water during the month of Marghazhi (December-January), lest Murugan catch cold.

Lord Murugan, wishing to marry Sri Valli, growing with Nambirajan belonging to the Kurava community came in the guise of a hunter and tried to persuade her. However, Valli tried to avoid the unknown hunter. An elephant appeared out of nowhere and started in her direction.  Scared of a charging elephant, she embraced the hunter. All her illusions vanished because of this. She agreed to wed Lord Murugan. This is celebrated as Valli Kalyanam.


Bhairavar installed here with four dogs representing the four Vedas, is prayed seeking academic excellence. Many devotees offer worship to Bhairavar seeking his benevolence.

What is the best time to visit Thiruthani Murugan temple?

Thiruttani Murugan temple can be visited throughout the year.  However, the weather is said to be pleasant during the months of November through February being the winter. Also the auspicious days of Kruttikai (Kruttika star), days of Shashthi (sixth day of Tamil calendar),

Bhramotsavam in the Maghamaas (month of Maasi) that occurs in February and March, is another great occasion to visit. Celebrations take place for ten days and includes the Kalyanotsav event taking place on two days. Aadimaas (month of Ashadha in the Hindu calendar), Kartikamaas are special to the devotees of Lord Murugan (Subramanya).

To be continued


Sri Raghavendra Teerthara Vardanthi Utsava

Sri Raghavendra Swamy’s name before Sanyasa was Venkatanatha.

Thimmanna Bhatta, the father of Venkatanatha, was a great scholar, proficient in Vedas and an exponent of Veena. Sri Krishna Bhatta, grandfather of Sri Thimmanna Bhatta, was a revered scholar at the court of Sri Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanagar Empire. Although Thimmanna Bhatta and his wife Gopamba had a son (Guru Raja) and a daughter, Thimmanna Bhatta wanted to have another son. Therefore, the couple went to Tirupati and offered prayer to Lord Venkataramana. The Lord told Sri Thimmanna in a dream that he would soon beget an extraordinary son.

The couple was living a place called Tundila Mandial State or Kancheepuram, according to some sources. However, some sources indicate that Venkata Natha was born at Bhuvanagiri, a small village in Kancheepuram province in Tamil Nadu.  Gopamba gave birth to a son on Phalguna Shukla Saptami tithi (c. 1600 A.D.), who was named after Lord Venkateshwara as Venkata Natha. However, Sri Thimmanna took ill and breathed his last within a very short time. It was up to Guru Raja, the eldest son, to educate Venkata Natha.

Guru Raja performed the thread ceremony of Venkata Natha at the age of eight and then left the boy with his brother-in-law Lakshminarasihmacharya, who was residing at Kumbhakonam, for education. Lakshminarasihmacharya was impressed with the grasping power, reciprocation and quick learning skills of Venkata Natha. Within a very short period, Venkata Natha achieved mastery over four Vedas, Six Shastras and all the eighteen Puranas.

At sixteen, Venkata Natha married Saraswati and begot a son named Lakshminarayana. He became a disciple of Sudheendra Tirtha, the then pontiff of Sri Kaveendra Mutt, which later came to be known as Sri Rayara Mutt. Sri Raghavendra wanted to study Sri Sudha under Sri Sudheendra Tirtha. Sri Sudheendra Tirtha gleefully accepted Venkanna (as was Venkata Natha being called by his family members) as his disciple and even provided the latter with boarding and shelter facilities.

Sri Sudheendra Tirtha was highly impressed by the dedication, conviction, commitment, concentration and devotion of Venkanna for learning. Sri Sudheendra Tirtha conferred the title “Parimalacharya” on Venkanna after the latter wrote an exemplary commentary on Sri Sudha. When Venkanna defeated a renowned exponent of Sanskrit Grammar called Vaiyyakarani, Sri Sudheendra Tirtha conferred the title “Mahabhashyacharya” on Venkanna.

Later, at the behest of RaghunathaNayaka, the then ruler of Tanjavur, and Sri Sudheendra Tirtha, Venkanna defeated Sri Yajnanarayana Dikshita in an 18-day-long debate on comparative merits and demerits of Dwaitha and Advaitha. On this victory, Sri Sudheendra Tirtha conferred the title “Bhattacharya” on Sri Venkanna. Venkanna was instructed by Goddess Sharada, the deity of knowledge, to embrace sainthood and propagate Dwaita philosophy propounded by Sri Madhwacharya.

According to some sources, the goddess appeared in person in front of Venkanna and instructed him to become a saint. According to some other sources, the instruction came to him through a dream. Similarly, Sri Sudheendra Tirtha was instructed by Sri Mula Ramchandra, the presiding deity of Sri Mutt, in a dream to persuade Venkanna to get ordained into sainthood. Accordingly, Venkanna was ordained into sainthood by Sri Sudheendra Tirtha at Kumbhakonam at the age of twenty-one.

At the time of initiation into sainthood, Venkanna was named as Sri Raghavendra Tirtha by Sri Sudheendra Tirtha, which happened during Shalivahana Shaka Rudhirodgari nama samvatsara. Raghunatha Nayaka, the king of Thanjavur, at the behest of Sri Sudheendra Tirtha, had made all the arrangements for the initiation of Venkanna into sainthood. The Pattabhisheka of Sri Raghavendra Tirtha was performed on Phalguna Masa Shukla Bidige at his age of 26.

Seven-day special celebrations, worship and seva are arranged to mark the Pattabhisheka and Vardhanti of Sri Rayaru at most of the branches of Sri Najanagud Raghavendra Swamy Mutt. Needless to mention that offer of worship and prayer to Sri Rayaru on the auspicious occasions of his Pattabhisheka and Vardhanti attract not only the blessings of Sri Rayaru but also Sri Mula Ramadevaru to the devotees.

ಶ್ರೀರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರಾಯ ನಮಃ

ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥ ಎಂಬುದು ಶ್ರೀರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರಸ್ವಾಮಿಗಳ ಪೂರ್ವಾಶ್ರಮದ, ಮುಂಚಿನ ಹೆಸರು. ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನ ತಂದೆಯವರಾದ ತಿಮ್ಮಣ್ಣಭಟ್ಟರು ಅತಿ ದೊಡ್ಡ ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸರೂ, ವೀಣಾವಾದಕರೂ ಆಗಿದ್ದರು. ತಿಮ್ಮಣ್ಣಭಟ್ಟರ ತಾತ, ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣಭಟ್ಟರು, ವಿಜಯನಗರ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಟ್ ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯರ ಆಸ್ಥಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸರಾಗಿದ್ದರು. ತಿಮ್ಮಣ್ಣಭಟ್ಟ ಮತ್ತು ಗೋಪಾಂಬೆ ದಂಪತಿಗಳಿಗೆ, ಓರ್ವ ಮಗ(ಗುರುರಾಜ) ಹಾಗೂ ಮಗಳಿದ್ದರೂ ಸಹ, ಮತ್ತೊಬ್ಬ ಪುತ್ರನ ಆಕಾಂಕ್ಷಿಗಳಾಗಿದ್ದರು. ಅಂತೆಯೇ, ತಿರುಪತಿಯ ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ ದೇವರನ್ನು ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸಲಾಗಿ, ಶ್ರೀ ವೆಂಕಟರಮಣನು, ತಿಮ್ಮಣ್ಣಭಟ್ಟರ ಸ್ವಪ್ನದಲ್ಲಿ ಪುತ್ರಪ್ರಾಪ್ತಿಯಾಗುವುದೆಂದು ಅರುಹಿದನು.

ಕಾಲಾನುಕ್ರಮದಲ್ಲಿ, ಜನಿಸಿದ ಗಂಡುಮಗುವಿಗೆ, ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನೆಂದು ನಾಮಕರಣ ಮಾಡಲಾಯಿತು. ಬಾಲಕ ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನ ಎಂಟನೆಯ ವಯಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಉಪನಯನವನ್ನು ಮಾಡಲಾಯಿತು. ಆದರೆ, ತಿಮ್ಮಣ್ಣಭಟ್ಟರು ದೈವಾಧೀನರಾಗಿ ಆವರ ಹಿರಿಯ ಪುತ್ರ ಗುರುರಾಜನ ಮೇಲೆ, ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನ ವಿದ್ಯಾಭ್ಯಾಸದ ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿಯು ಬಿದ್ದಿತು. ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಬಡತನದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ, ಗುರುರಾಜನು, ತನ್ನ ಮೈದುನ ಕುಂಭಕೋಣಂವಾಸಿ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀನಾರಾಯಣಾಚಾರ್ಯರಲ್ಲಿ, ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನನ್ನು ವಿದ್ಯಾಬ್ಯಾಸಕ್ಕೆಂದು ಬಿಟ್ಟನು.

ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನ ಜಾಣ್ಮೆ, ಗ್ರಹಣ ಹಾಗೂ ನೆನಪಿನ ಶಕ್ತಿಗಳು ಪ್ರಶಂಸನೀಯವಾಗಿದ್ದುವು. ಆಗ್ಗೆ, ಶ್ರೀ ಕವೀಂದ್ರಮಠದ ಪೀಠಾಧಿಪತಿಗಳಾಗಿದ್ದ ಶ್ರೀ ಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರಲ್ಲಿ ಶ್ರೀ ಸುಧಾಗ್ರಂಥವನ್ನು ಅಭ್ಯಸಿಸಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನ ಮಹತ್ವಾಕಾಂಕ್ಷೆಯಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಶ್ರೀ ಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರು ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನ ಶ್ರದ್ಧೆ, ವಾಂಙ್ಮಯತೆ, ಮತ್ತು ಅಚಿಂತ್ಯಾದ್ಭುತ ಬುದ್ಧಿಕೌಶಲ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಕಂಡು ಬೆರಗಾದರು. ಶ್ರೀಸುಧಾ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥರು ರಚಿಸಿದ ಪರಿಮಳ ವ್ಯಾಖ್ಯಾನವನ್ನು ಓದಿ, ಶ್ರೀ ಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರು ವಿಸ್ಮಯಗೊಂಡರು. ಕೂಡಲೆ ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನಿಗೆ ಪರಿಮಳಾಚಾರ್ಯನೆಂಬ ಬಿರುದನ್ನು ಕರುಣಿಸಿದರು.

ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನು, ತನ್ನ ಹದಿನಾರನೆ ವಯಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಸರಸ್ವತಿ ಎಂಬ ಕನ್ಯೆಯನ್ನು ವಿವಾಹವಾಗಿ, ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀನಾರಾಯಣನೆಂಬ ಪುತ್ರನನ್ನು ಪಡೆದನು. ಶ್ರೀ ಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರ ಅಚ್ಚುಮೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಶಿಷ್ಯನಾಗಿದ್ದ ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನು, ಮೊದಲು, ಸನ್ನ್ಯಾಸ ಸ್ವೀಕಾರ ಮಾಡಲು ಒಪ್ಪಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಅವರ ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತೊಂದನೆಯ ವಯಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ, ಶ್ರೀ ಸರಸ್ವತೀದೇವಿಯು ಸ್ವಪ್ನದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದು, ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನಿಗೆ, ಸನ್ನ್ಯಾಸ ಸ್ವೀಕರಿಸಬೇಕೆಂದು, ಶ್ರೀಮನ್‌ಮದ್ಧ್ವಾಚಾರ್ಯರ ದ್ವೈತಸಿದ್ದಾಂತವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಚಾರಮಾಡಬೇಕೆಂದು ಅನುಜ್ಞೆ ನೀಡುತ್ತಾಳೆ. ಕೆಲವು ಮೂಲಗಳ ಪ್ರಕಾರ, ದೇವಿಯು ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನಿಗೆ ಪ್ರತ್ಯಕ್ಷ ದರ್ಶನ ನೀಡಿದ್ದಳು.

ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನಿಗೆ ಸ್ವಪ್ನವಾದ ದಿನದಂದೇ, ಶ್ರೀಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರಿಗೂ ಅವರ ಸಂಸ್ಥಾನ ದೈವವಾದ ಶ್ರೀಮೂಲರಾಮನು ಸ್ವಪ್ನದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದು ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನಿಗೆ ಸನ್ನ್ಯಾಸ ನೀಡಬೇಕೆಂಬ ಆಜ್ಞೆಯನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿದನು. ಆದ ಕಾರಣ, ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನು ತನ್ನ ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತೊಂದನೆಯ ವಯಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ, ಸನ್ನ್ಯಾಸ ಸ್ವೀಕರಿಸಿ ಶ್ರೀಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರಿಂದ “ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥ” ಎಂಬ ನಾಮಧೇಯವನ್ನು ಪಡೆದರು. ಈ ಎಲ್ಲ ಘಟನೆಗಳು, ಕುಂಭಕೋಣಂನಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದವು.

ಮುಂದೆ, ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರು ವೇದಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ, ಸಾಮ್ರಾಟರಾಗಿ ಮೆರೆದರು. ಶ್ರೀಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರ ಆರೋಗ್ಯವು ಕುಂದುತ್ತಿರಲಾಗಿ, ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರು ಕುಂಭಕೋಣಂನ ಶ್ರೀಕವೀಂದ್ರಮಠದ ಪೀಠವನ್ನು ತಮ್ಮ ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತಾರನೆಯ ವಯಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಅಲಂಕರಿಸಿದರು. ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರ ಪೀಠಾರೋಹಣ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು, ಅಂದಿನ ತಂಜಾವೂರಿನ ದೊರೆಯಾಗಿದ್ದ ರಘುನಾಥನಾಯಕನು ವೈಭವೋಪೇತವಾಗಿ ನಡೆಸಿಕೊಟ್ಟನು. ನಂತರ, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ವ್ಯಾಕರಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಹೆಸರುವಾಸಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದ ವೈಯ್ಯಾಕರಣಿಯನ್ನು ವಾದದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೋಲಿಸಿದ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರಿಗೆ, ಶ್ರೀಸುಧೀಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರು “ಮಹಾಭಾಷ್ಯಾಚಾರ್ಯ” ಎಂಬ ಬಿರುದನ್ನು ಕೊಟ್ಟು ಅಭಿನಂದಿಸಿದರು. ನಂತರ, ಯಜ್ಞನಾರಾಯಣದೀಕ್ಷಿತ ಎಂಬ ಅದ್ವೈತ ಶಿರೋಮಣಿಯನ್ನು, ೧೮ ದಿನಗಳ ಕಾಲ ನಡೆದ ವಾಗ್ವಾದದಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಗ್ರಹಿಸಿ, ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರು, “ಭಟ್ಟಾಚಾರ್ಯ” ಎಂಬ ಬಿರುದನ್ನು ಸಂಪಾದಿಸಿದರು.

ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರ ಸನ್ನ್ಯಾಸ ಸ್ವೀಕಾರವು, ಶಾಲೀವಾಹನ ಶಕ ರುಧಿರೋದ್ಗಾರಿ ಸಂವತ್ಸರದಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಯಿತೆಂದು ತಿಳಿದುಬರುತ್ತದೆ. ಅವರ ಜನನವು, 1600ನೇ ಇಸವಿಯ ಆಸುಪಾಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಫಾಲ್ಗುಣ ಶುದ್ಧ ಸಪ್ತಮಿಯಂದು ತುಂಡಿಲಮಂಡಿಲದೇಶವೆಂಬ (ಇಂದಿನ ಕಾಂಚೀಪುರಂ) ಪುಟ್ಟ ಗ್ರಾಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಯಿತೆಂದು ತಿಳಿದು ಬರುತ್ತದೆ. ಕೆಲವು ಮೂಲಗಳು, ಅವರ ಜನ್ಮಸ್ಥಳ ಭುವನಗಿರಿಯಾಗಿತ್ತು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತವೆ. ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಯರ ಪಟ್ಟಾಭೀಷೇಕವು ಫಾಲ್ಗುಣ ಶುಕ್ಲ ಬಿದಿಗೆಯಂದು ನಡೆಯಿತು.

ಈ ಪವಿತ್ರದಿನಗಳನ್ನು, 7 ದಿನಗಳ ಪರ್ಯಂತ ವಿಜೃಂಭಣೆಯಿಂದ, ಶ್ರೀ ನಂಜನಗೂಡು ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ. ಸ್ವಾಮಿಗಳ ಮಠದ, ಹಲವು ಶಾಖೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಆಚರಿಸಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಈ ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ, ರಾಯರನ್ನು ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸಿ ಪೂಜಿಸುವುದರಿಂದ, ಅವರ ಕರುಣೆಗೆ ಪಾತ್ರರಾಗುವುದಲ್ಲದೆ, ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಯರ ಆರಾಧ್ಯದೈವ, ಶ್ರೀಮೂಲರಾಮರ ಕೃಪೆಗೆ ಪಾತ್ರರಾಗಬಹುದು.