Sunday 30 December 2012

The Pancha Brindavanas

All the Madhwa saints have only one Brindavana where they are entombed. Be it Sripadaraja Theertha, Vyasaraja, Raghuttama Theertha or even Raghavendra Swamy, they all are in one Brindavana.
However it is only at Sode in Sirsi taluk that we see five Brindavanas in honour of Vadiraja Theertha. Though the central Brindavana belongs to Vadiraja Theertha it is flanked by four other Brindavanas. The four brindavanas are arranged in the form of a rectangle with the Brindavana of Vadiraja Theertha in the middle.
Thus, only one brindavana belongs to Vadiraja. But, then what about the other brindavanas,. Do whom do they belong.  
Vadiraja Theertha himself has explained the reason behind the four brindavanas in his book Swapna Brindavana Akhyana.
The entire Akhyana was recited by Vadiraja Theertha from within the Brindavana between 1630 and 1642 to a deaf mute. This work mainly deals with the Mahime of Vadiraja Theertha, his place in the pantheon of Gods, the nature and holiness of the Brindavana and its importance.
Vadiraja Theertha asks people who read the book not to disbelieve it. He declares himself as a Rujuguna -A god who will take the place of Mukhya Prana. He is the Bhavi Sameera and he talks about the importance of the Brindavana.
The seer says that the Brindavana at Sode (his brindavana) is much different from the Brindavana of other saints. He seems anxious to mark the difference between the pancha brindavanas of Sode and similar brindavanas elsewhere. He cautions readers again and again about the need for suspension of disbelief while reading his Akhyana.
Vadiraja Theertha pays his respects to Hayagriva and he says this God resides in the brindavana along with other gods and celestial beings. He then goes on to himself identity the gods who are present in the brindavana in the  first two verses of the Akhyana as Brahma, Rudra and Indra.  
“Hayagrivam Chidanamdavigraham Sadanugraham
Dashagrivach Chidamshapaanma Nigriva Vimochanam
Svanamagraha Nadeva Nirastagraha Vigraham
Vrumdavanagatam Vamde Brahmarudremdra Vamditam”
Vadiraja says Hanuman is at the south of the Brindavana, worshipping Rama and Bheema is in the west, worshipping  Krishna, while Madhwacharya himself is at the north worshipping Narayana or  Veda Vyasa. Vadiraja says he himself is in the east worshipping his Hayagriva.
It is in this book-Akhyana-that Vadiraja reveals himself to be a  Latavya, who will take over from Vayu. He says the Brinadavana is blessed five times over as it has the five forms of  Vishnu-Vasudeva, Narayana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and  Sankarshana.
All the details about the five brindavanas, their holiness, names and numbers of gods who reside in the brindavanas, the way to perform pooje, the most sacred time (five times starting from the Pratha Kala) to perform poojes are all contained in the Akhyana.
The book is a masterpiece which brings out the personality of Vadiraja Theertha and the respect he is given by gods and other celestial beings.
Sode is in Sirsi taluk and it is well connceted by roads.
The Sode matha is one of the most holy places. Apart from the brindavana of Vadiraja Theertha, there is the temple of Trivikrama, the deity of Bhootaraja, the Dhavala Ganga-the tank where Ganga is supposed to reside and many small temples consevrated by Vadiraja Theertha. There are direct buses to Sode from Bangalore. Accommodation is available at the matha itself.  

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