Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Madhwa jeweller who was always guarded by Rama and Lakshmana

He was born in Munnoli and he had a flourishing jewellery business. A devout Madhwa, he always set out on foot to conduct his business. Whenever he went out of his house, he did so only after offering a prayer to his favourite deities of Rama and Lakshmana.
He always chanted
“Agratho Narasimhascha
prushtatho Gopinandhana
ubhayo parshyoschaiva
shasharau Rama Lakshmana”
The skola means that Narasimha, Krishna  Rama ad Lakshmana will always protect me.
Every day of his life, the Brahmin jeweler recited the sloka with devotion and only then set out of his house. The jeweler was so full of faith and devotion that it never crossed his mind to have guards to escort him from one place to another.
The jeweler went from one village to another and from one town to another buying and selling jewels. He soon became well-known and his fame as a honest jeweler spread far and wide. Very soon, several robbers and thieves came to know of the jeweller. What made their mouth salivate was that the jeweler was moving about without any armed guards.
One day, a gang of thieves called the Rohillas decided to waylay the jeweler and rob him of all the valuables. The Rohillas were known for their cruel and inhuman behavior and brutal manner in which they pounced on innocent people and robbed them.
They then began following the pious jeweler wherever he went. The Rohillas realised that the Brahmin had no fear of anything and that he travelled even in the dead of night. They also saw that the jeweller was being guarded by two handsome youths with bows and arrows.
The two youths were always on horseback and they appeared to be very alert. What astonished the Rohillas more was that the horsemen seem to know where the jeweler was heading to and they moved along with him without either receiving a command. Nor did the Rohillas see the jeweller talking to the two armed horsemen.     
The Rohillas came to know that the jeweler neither had horses nor any armed escorts. This left them wonderstruck and they came to the jeweler in disguise and asked him who were the two armed horsemen with him.
The jewellr calmly replie that he had never hired any horsemen nor did he have any horse. “I travel alone with my Rama and Lakshmana”, he said.                
The Rohillas then revealed who they were and told the jeweler that they could not rob him as he was always being escorted by two horsemen. The jeweller said he was sorry that the Rohillas had taken so much trouble to get at his jewels. “I will myself give up these jewels to you”, he said.
The jeweler still insisted that he had neither hired nor employed the horsemen. He said he had not even seen them. The Rohillas told him that the horsemen appeared whenever he left his house and disappeared when he reentered his house.
The jeweler reiterated that all he did before leaving house was to chant a sloka. When he chanted the sloka before the Rohillas, they  realised that it was Rama and Lakshmana they had seen guarding the jeweller.
The Rohillas fell at the feet of the jeweler and sought his pardon. They also promised never to kill and rob. The jeweller was both happy and sad-happy that a formidable gang of robbers had given up their wayward ways and sad that Rama and Lakshmana had not given darshana to him but somebody else.      
The jeweller then decided to give up his trade and became an ascetic. He was 40 years of age then. He went to Kashi where Vedesha Theertha of Utaradhi Matha was staying. He took sanysasa and became a well-known Madhwa saint.
He is none other than Yaddappa or Yadavarya (1580-1632), a great Tippanigara.
A great Tippanigararu and a disciple of  Vedhesha Theertha, he holds the highest place among Grihastha Tippanigaararu.
As Yadavarya, he learnt Shastras under Vedesha Theertha and soon went on to became a renowned scholar.  
He wrote commentaries to the works of  Teekacharya or Jaya Theertha of  Malkhed. His commentaries on the Bhagavath Geeta and Nyaya Sudha are even today considered  classics of Madhwa literature. He has also written commentaries on Yamaka Bharata,  Tatwa Sankhyana and Sadhachara Smrithi. He has also written three stotras-Vishnu Stotra, Vedavyasa Gadhya and Karavalambhaba stotra.
His commentaries on the granthas are called Yadupatya Vyakyana.
In all, he has written nine works and all of them speak of his deep understanding of  Dwaitha philosophy. His interpretations are clear and lucid and they were even appreciated by Raghavendra Swamy of Mantralaya, who was his contemporary. He was also a contemporary of Raghuttama Theertha of  Uttaradhi Matha.
Rama and Lakshmana gave him darshana at the banks of the Godavari.
What many do not know is that Yadavaryaru was the brother of Vedeesha Theertha. He is also the uncle of Bidarahalli Srinivasacharya.
Yadavaryaru’s youngest brother, Srinivasa who died young, was the father of Bidarahalli Srinivasacharya. Yadavaryaru took upon himself the task of educating his nephew and several others like Ummaji Tirumalcharya.
He lived for 105 years and was engaged in spreading the tenets of Madhwa for 65 years. He was considered among the foremost experts on Bhagavath Geetha and hundreds of people used to flock to his discourse on the Geetha.
He gathered about him a large number of devotees and disciples from Maharashtra and Karnataka.  
The Brindavana of  Yadavarayaru is in Malkhed. When his mortal remains were interred at the Brinavana here, people heard chants of  Bhagavath Geetha coming out of the Brindavana.

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