|| Shri Raghuttama Teertha Gurubhyonamaha ||
|| Gurubhyoh namah||
Sri Raghothama Theertha Brindavana
I recently had a fortune to visit Tirukoilur where Moola brindhavana of one of the famous saints of Sri Madhwa parampara exists. He is none other than the most powerful “Sri Raghotamma theertharu”. Sri Raghoothama Theertha Swamyji’s Brindavan is at Tirukoilur (also called Manampoondi) which is situated along the sacred banks of River Pinakini, in Villupuram district in the state of present Tamilnadu. It is popular belief that Sri Raghuttama Theertha is a great healer. He was the 14th pontiff during the period of 1537-1596 AD. Thousands of devotees who throng to his Brindavana are standing proof of his divine power and a kind heart to bless his devotees. He has made a dumb speak, mad to be intelligent , childless to beget progeny and the list goes on…
Entrance of Sri Raghothama Theertha Brindavana
As it was the Independence Day long weekend, we decided to visit Tirukoilur with the family.The distance from Bangalore to Tirukoilur is 237kms. Manamppondi is 36 KM away from Tiruvannamalai and 2 KM before Tirukoilur, on Tiruvannamalai – Tirukoilur highway.We also planned to visit Kanipakam and Vellore, as these places were on the way to Tirukoilur. After visiting Sri Swayambu Varasidhi Vinayaka temple at kanipakam and Sripuram Golden Temple at Vellore in the afternoon we reached Tirukoilur in the evening around 7.30 pm and spent the night there itself. We had booked 2 rooms in the Mutt( Hindu religious and monastic institution) in advance. The rooms were in good condition with hot water geyser in washrooms.
Let me tell you how exactly the brinavana area looks. To the East there is Dhatri tree, to the south Pinakini River mattu Shri Trivikrama devara saannidhya, to the west Ashwatha Vruksha and to the north is the Tamarind tree which never allows shadows on the Vrundavana. South Side of Vrindavana has an image of the mother of Shri Guru Raja. There is Mukya Praana temple within the Brindavana complex. Shri Thiruvikrama swamy temple is also situated in Tirukoilur Town.
Early in the morning we visited the Thiruvikrama swamy temple and then came back near the brindavana for the seva(offerings to the idol) and watching the puja. It is observed that the brindavana is decorated everyday.However,Only on the aradhana day the vrundavana is decorated with various flowers while on normal days, Brindavana is first covered with wet Shati(cloth) and whole Puja is finished before the Shati (Ochre robe or cloth) gets dried . Once it dries,they remove the alankara(decoration) which proves that he gives less significance towards worldly exhibits.
There is a tradition of performing Seva at the Brindavan of Sri Raghuttam Tirtha. Anyone can accept this seva diksha without any discrimination of age, gender etc. The only requirement is deep devotion and strong will to serve Shri Raghuttama Tirtharu to get his blessings.
I would like to share the brief life history of Sri Raghoothama Theertha swamy which I found to be interesting. Once Shri Raghuvarya Teertharu of Uttaradhi mutt visited Swarnavata village in the Nizam State. The Zamindar of the village Shri Subba Bhatta and his wife Ganga Bai invited Shri Raghuvarya Teertharu for “Bhiksha” in their house but Swamiji refused their offer because they were childless. After repeated requests made by the couple, Shri Raguvarya Teertharu accepted to receive their Bhiksha provided their first born male child should be handed over to the Mutt. The blessed couple accepted to do so. Accordingly, Swamiji performed the pooja of Shri Moola Rama and Seetha and received the Bhiksha in their house and gave Phala Mantrakshate to the couple. Some time later, Smt. Ganga Bai, the wife of the Zamindar conceived and Shri Swamiji was informed accordingly. He returend to the village expecting the birth of the child. A big gold plate was sent to the Zamindar’s house from the Mutt with an instruction to receive the child directly in the golden plate without allowing the child to touch the earth. Accordingly the child was received in the golden plate and brought to the Mutt. He was named after Shri Ramachandra by his Holiness and brought up at the Mutt itself and was fed only with the Abhishekha milk of the Vyasa Kurma Saligram of the Mutt. When Shri Ramchandra became a boy of seven years he had his Upanayanam at the Mutt and the very next year he was ordained as a sanyasi and named as Shri Raghuttama Teertharu. Sri Raghuttama Teertha was on throne of Uttaradhi mutt for 39 years.
Shri Raghuttama Teertharu desired to enter the Brindavana at Manampundi(Thirkoilur). This place is also known as “Pancha Krishnaranya Kshetra”. Shri Swamiji ordered a Zamindar of Tiruvanamalai in the latter’s dream to construct his Brindavana at a specified place. Shri Raghuttama Teertharu entered Brindavana in 1595 AD on the day of Vaikunta Ekadashi. This place has become a holy seat of pilgrimage and a vast number of devotees belonging to all castes and creeds perform SEVA even today. Shri Raghuttama Teertharu is known to save all souls, all those devotees who had taken refuge in him. None of his devotees seem to have returned in disappointment.
SathyaPramodha Theertha-Moola Brindavana
I should not forget to mention that the great and the noble Jagadguru Shri 1008 Shri Satya Pramoda Tirthaaru attained ‘Hari Pada Sannidhi’ (Left for heavenly abode) at Tirikoilur on 3-11-1997 besides the Vrindavan Of Shri Raghottam Teertharu . As if he knew all the future events he ordained Sanyas Ashram to Sarvagnachar and named him as ‘Satyatma Tirtha’ on 24-4-1996 at Tirukoilur where the Vrindavan of Shri Raghottama Teertharu exists. It is very pertinent to mention here that among the 41 Gurus of Uttaradi Mutt, Raghottama Teertharu is the only Guru who took sanyas as brahmachari & rest of the Gurus were ‘Grahastashramis’ as per the traditions of the Mutt. After him Shri Satyatma Teertharu is the Guru, who had adorned the peetha of Uttaraddi Mutt after taking Sanyas as a brahmachari and thus started his reign from 3-11-1997. He is the 42nd Guru in the Uttaradi Mutt .
After Abhisheka and Aarti, Tirtha and naivedhya prasadha was served. The food there was very delicious. My journey to Tirukoilur was superb and would love to visit again.
Manoja Jithyam manasam hi pathya!
Ragoothamakhyam swagurum Namamy!!
(Meaning : I salute Raghoottamateertha who lives as a sage on the sanctified banks of river Pinakini.)