Monday 4 February 2013

The day Raghuttama Theertha entered Brindavana

He was just 39 year of age when he decided to near Brindavana alive. That would make him the only Madhwa saint to have entered Brindavana at such an early age.
Once he made up his mind to enter Brindavana, no amount of pleadings from either his disciples or others could make him change his mind.
He realised that he had completed the task entrusted to him by his beloved Rama and there was no point in living physically on the Earth anymore.
The Seer had set the Uttaradhi Matha on a firm footing and he had lived his life as per the dictates of his beloved Rama. He had also accomplished the task set out for him by Vedavyasa and Madhwacharya when he visited Badari. Both of them had instructed the seer to write the Bhavabodhas or commentaries on the works of Madhwacharya.
Raghuttama Theertha had already accomplished the task of penning the Bhavabodhas. These commentaries, he knew, had already received the approval of Prana Devaru at Srirangam.
The seer had seen no reason to continue with his physical presence and had chosen to enter Brindavana at the Vamana Kshetra. This seer was none other than Raghuttama Theertha, the pontiff of the Uttaradhi Matha.  
Raghuttama Theertha asked the Zamindar of  Tirucoilur in Tamil Nadu to construct the Brindavana at the place he had chosen. The place was beneath a tamarind tree in Manampoondi near Tirukoilur and adjacent to a Hanuman Temple.
There was also the temple of Trivikrama nearby and the place he chose was on the banks of the Pinakini. Once the preparations for the Brindavana Pravesha were completed by him, he called a meeting of his disciples and Matha officials and told then of his intention.
There was pin drop silence in the meeting. The disciples were stunned that their Guru was entering Brindavana at such short notice. The Matha officials, on their part, did not know how to react. Their only question was when the matha had been so enriched by the efforts of the seer and when he had established himself as the foremost Dwaitha saint of the age, where was the need for entering Brindavana.
Raghuttama Theertha bode no opposition and he told the audience that he would enter Brindavana exactly a month later. He also fixed the day as  Pushya shuddha Ekadashi.
The audience then burst into a spontaneous appeal, urging the seer to take back his words. “Be with us for more time. We need you”, they said. There is some more things that ought to be done, they said.  
The seer replied that none could go against the will of Hari. When Hari calls, can I say nom he asked his distraught disciples. He, however, promised them that he would continue living in the Brindavana for exactly a thousand years.
He then indicated that no roof should be constructed over his Brindvana and that it should also not be covered in any manner. He wanted the rays of the Sun to always fall on the Brindavana as he would be meditating.
He then named his favouite disciple, Vedavyasa Theertha, as his successor and set out to Tirucoilur from Mannur in Gulbarga where he had been camping.   
The seer then appeared in the dream of the Zamindar and informed him of the date of the Brindavan Pravesha.
He reached Tirucoilur and finally the place where he would enter Brindavana. He inspected the structure and expressed satisfaction.
The day of the Brindavana Pravesha dawned and it was January. On this day too, the seer did not forge his regular practice. He got up early in the morning during Brahma Muhuruta and performed his daily ablutions.
He then performed the pooje of Moola Rama  and other deities that had been handed over to the matha by Madhwacharya. He then called his sorrowing disciples and took classes in Shastras and Dwaitha philosophy.
Many of the disciples had tears in their eyes and they could barely hear the commanding voice of their Guru. However, there were others who reverentially listened to the discourse knowing fully well that they would never hear the voice again.
When all the days’ works was over, Raghuttama Theerha bid farewell to his disciples and began walking with then towards the Brindavana. Several people from nearby villages and even Mannur had come to witness the event.    
The Brindavan had been constructed in such a manner that the seer could easily sit in Padmasana. Amid vedic chants, Raghuttama Theertha walked to the Brindavan, got into it and sat down.
Before entering the Brindavana, the seer blessed each person present and gave a small but short speech. He then turned to Veda Vyasa Theertha and asked him to continue with the tradition of the Matha.
He then prayed to Vamana, the Sun and other deities and gave  final instructions to his disciples. He asked them to close the roof of the structure once they saw his Angavastra or upper clothe worn across the stomach fly into the air.
Soon, the saffron clothe flew out of the Brindavana and disappeared into the sky. The devotees and disciples reverentially chanted the name of the seer and closed the Brindavana. Later, they poured 7,000 saligramas which they had obtained from the Gandaki river in Nepal.  
To this day, there is no roof over the Brindavana of  Raghuttama Theertha. There is a tamarind tree nearby and when some of its branches grow and give a shade over the Brindavana, they soon bur and turn to ash.
The Brindavana for most part of the day remains uncovered. Only on the Aradhana of the saint, is it decked with clothes. At other times, the clothes are removed. Even flower are not put on the Brindavana.
Manampoondi is a small village between Tiruvanamalai and Tirukoilur. It  is 36 away from Tiruvannamalai and just 2 Kms from Tirukoilur.
Tirukoilur is 237 Kms from Bangalore. If you are going by road from Bangalore, continue on the Hosur road and touch Hosur. Then  take a left at Krishnagiri and proceed towards Tiruvannamalai. After Tiruvannamalai take the road to Tirukoilur. Keep left when the road divides and proceed till you come to a board saying the Brindavana of Raghuttama Theertha. Then take the left road at the intersection just before the River Pinakini bridge. The Brindavana is located to the immediate right.
KSRTC and Tamiul Nadu buses also operate  between Bangalore and Tirukoilur.
Whether you can go to Tirukoilur or not remember this sloka.

“Pranamadh Kamadenamcha Bhajadsurataroopamam
Sri Bhavabhoda Krit Paada Chintaamanimupaasmaye”

The sloka will always help you in your hour of need.

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