Raghavendra Swamy, fondly known as Rayaru is one of the most revered Gurus of Dwaita Philosophy. He attained sainthood and changed his name as Raghavendra Theertha in 1614. He attained Samadhi in Mantralayam in the present day Kurnool of Andhra Pradesh.
Samadhi is a state where a person goes to a mental trance through meditation (his mind becomes still). Rayaru is said to have assured his disciples that he will be with them in spirit for 700 years. Today, people from around the country believe in the miracles of Raghavendra Swamy. Especially, people from South India (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) greatly believe in the powers of Rayaru.
Rayaru is worshipped in the form of Brindavana (samadhi). Many people believe in the miracles of guru and several mutts (mathas) can be found across India.
Let us remember our beloved Guru and make a virtual tour around the three unique Rayara Mathas of South India!
Underground Temple - Rayara Matha in Bijapur
Amidst the Adil Shahi's historical city, an underground temple of Rayaru was built in Bijapur. A Madhwa Saint from Kudli Akshoba Theertha Mutt (Matha) named Raghupreema Theertha was the main reason for its construction. It is said the Raghupreema Theertha himself wanted to enter Samadhi at this place but a dream changed it all.
At the same time, two residents of Bijapur Dr.Govind Rao and Gundu Rao went to Raghupreema Theertha in the hope finding solutions to their problems. So, Raghupreema Theetha who saw Raghavendra Swamy in his dreams ordered them to build a Brindavana (temple) in Bijapur.
This underground temple (Brindavana) was constructed in 1930. In fact, Raghupreema Theertha is said to have designed this temple according to Madhwacharya's Tantrasara Sangraha Grantha (a book on temple architecture). The underground temple has to be reached through 23 steps and there is also a small well behind the Brindavana.
Underground Temple - Rayara Mutt (Matha) is located in Jorapur Peth at Bableshwar Road in Bijapur.
Idol of Raghavendra Swamy
Photo Courtesy: Mohan Krishnan
The tales of Dwitheeya Mantrayala are very interesting. Legends say that Guru Raghavendra Swamy himself came here to install the Brindavana. The town Honnali on the banks of Tungabhadra River in Davanagere is known as Dwitheeya Mantralaya.
As per the legend, the devotees who wanted to construct a Rayara Mutt (Matha) were bringing the soil from the original Brindavana. While they came near this site, an old man (a saint in the orange robes) entered inside the matha and never came out. Later, they realise that it is Raghavendra Swamy himself who came here. Even to this day a plate, Hanuman idol and other items brought by Rayaru is said to be preserved in this matha.
Interestingly, Raghavendra Matha in Honnali is also located on the banks of Tungabhadra similar to Mantralayam in Andhra Pradesh.
The holy town of Papparapatti in Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu) is famous as Dakshina Mantrayala. The town is known for the Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt (Matha). Some decades ago, there was a couple who lost all their children one after another . They were so grieved by all the incidents but finally they were blessed with a baby boy.
As fate had it, even this boy had serious ailments. Drowned in grief, the couple decided to go to Mantrayalam to seek the blessings of Raghavendra Swamy. While they were in Mantralayam, the man's brother back in Papparapatti dreams in which Rayaru appear and say that he is coming.
Simultaneously, the lady also gets a dream indicating to a blessing for the child. Interestingly, the boy's ailments get cured and they return back. The man and his brother builds a Brindavana (Rayara Mutt) in Papparapatti which is now known as Dakshina Mantralaya.
Papparapatti is around 20km from Dharmapuri and is located on the National Highway 7. It is not wrong to say that Dakshina Mantrayala is one of the unique Rayara Mathas in South India.
People greatly believe in the miracles of Rayaru and many devotees come here to seek the blessings from the guru.