Saturday 29 December 2012

The work from the Brindavana

He is perhaps the only saint in the Madhwa Parampare who composed a work even after he entered Brindavana. The work was dictated by the saint from within the Brindavana to a deaf mute over a period of several years.
When completed it came to be called  Swapna Brindavana Akhyaana. The author-Vadiraja Theertha who had entered Brindavana in 1600, several decades before the book came up.
This is the story of how the book came to be written.
Vadiraja Theertha was succeeded by Vedavedya Theertha. He was followed by Vidyanidhi Theertha and Vedanidhi Theertha.
Some thirty years after Vadiraja Theertha entered Brindavana, the deaf and dumb Brahmin who had served him faithfully started having extraordinary dreams.
Vadiraja Theertha appeared in his dream and recited shlokas that he urged the Brahmin to convey to Vedanidhi Theertha. The Brahmin recollected clearly the shlokas and recited them in front of  Vedanidhi Theertha, who arranged for them to be transcribed into a manuscript.
After reciting the shlokas, the Brahmin would lose his ability to speak and relapse back to his previous deaf mute state. This startling incident went on for 12 years from 1630 to 1642 before the work, called Swapna Brindavana Akhyana, was completed
This lengthy metrical work in characteristically alliterative style of Vadiraja was communicated every day to the deaf mute in two or three verses.
Not many people were able to go through let alone understand the work. The language was highly complex and the contents mystical. It was left to the deaf mute Brahmin to be reborn in 1776 to unravel the mystery of the Swapna Brindavana.
The Brahmin became the seer of the Sode Matha in 1788 called Vishvapriya Theertha (1776-1865). He once went to Sode and performed seva to the brindavana of Vadiraja Theertha for 48 days.
On the last day, when Visvapriya Theertha  prostrated himself before the Brindavana, consecrated rice fell on his head. In a flash he recollected all the details of his previous births and his role in the creation of the Swapna Brindavana Akhyana. He also understood the meaning of the Akhyana.
He called his disciples and taught them the Akhyana. He arranged for notes and commentaries to be written on the Akhyana. His sole aim was to propagate the work and he did it tirelessly. He this came to be known as Vrundavana Acharya. His Brindavana is in Udupi.
Visvapriya Theerha  commissioned one of his disciples Musna Acharya to write a Sanskrit commentary on the Brindavana Akhyana and another disciple, Raghupravira Theertha of the Bhimanakatte Matha, to write the Pramanyabodhini which substantiated the authenticity and validity of the Swapna Brindavana Akhyana. This book was first printed in 1925 from Belgaum.
The theme of the Swapna Brindavana Akhyana is the Mahima of   Vadiraja and his oneness with Latavya, the God. It is here that Vadiraja declares that he is the Ruju Guna and that he will succeed to the post of Mukya Prana in the next Brahmkalpa. He speaks about his holiness as God thus ands says he holds the Ruju Sthana (position)
“Om Am devam Vijanati Rujustham punyakrunnarah
Sayati nilayam punyam yadgatvaa na nivartate”
Vadiraja Theertha asks people not to judge the Swapna Brindavana Akhyana like any other work. He himself says it is a special work and studying this is equivalent to the study of the Purusha Sukta.
There are 22 Adhyayas or chapters in the book and the first four  are called Bhajana parvas. In these chapters, Vadiraja Theertha speaks about the service of  celestial beings to him and to Lord Hayagriva.
The first and fifth chapters and all the chapters from the fifth to eleventh are classified as Vaibhava parvas. All these chapters are on Vadiraja Theertha-his greatness and merit, scholastic ability and holiness.
The chapters from twelfth to twenty-second  are known as Nidarshana parvas and they are nothing but instructions by  Vadirajar Theertha  to devotees.
Another legend about the incident of the writing of the book is that the deaf mute later took birth as Vedanidhi Theertha of Sode Matha and he explained in detail the nuances of the book in his work called “Anu Brindavana Akhyaana”.
The Anu is a beautiful composition extolling the virtues of Vadiraja and his place in the galaxy of saints on earth and the gods above.
The Anu says devotees who consider Vadhiraja as a Riju Deva, and worship him in his Pancha Brindavana at Sode will attain merit. This is so because Vasudeva himself is ever present in the Brindavana in the five forms of  Vasudeva, Narayana, Pradhyumna, Anirudha and Sankarnshna. Besides, Mahavishnu,  Maha Lakshmi, Bramha, Vaayu and Rudra are also present in the Brindavana.
“Hayagrivam chidanamdavigraham sadanugraham
Dashagrivachvhidam shapaanmanigriva vimochanam
Svanamagrahanadeva nirastagraha vigraham
Vrumdavanagatam vamde brahmarudremdra Vamditam.”
The verse translates thus-I worship Hayagriva who has blessed me and he has a body like Rama, Krishna and Veda Vyasa. This is simpler translation. In actuality, the verse calls for a deeper understating of how Rama destroyed Ravana, Krishna helped  Nalakubara and Manigriva get moksha from their curse, Veda Vyasa releases from bondage by the mere utterance of his name,
and how the supreme God has entered into the five brindavans and is worshipped by Brahma, Rudra, Indra and other celestial beings.
Coming back to Visvapriya Theertha, he was an eminent scholar and he lead an austere life. He subsisted only on Laja and flour for several years.
Folklore has it that Bhootaraja, the legendary attendant of Vadiraja Theertha, served Visvapriya Theertha whenever the need arose.
He was instrumental in converting the then ruling family of Cochin to Dwaitha sect.

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