(Sri Raghavendra Swamiji showing the real meaning of Chaturmasya)

Date : Aug 3, 2023


Dear Devotees : Namaskara.

| Sri MannMoolaRamastu Mannmathe Moolamahasamsthhaana Mantralaya Sri Rayaramathe||

Sri Raghavendra Swamiji showing the real meaning of Chaturmasya is described in Mantralaya(1049).


In the previous series, we were witness to the divine grace of Lord Narayana as he bestowed a boon upon Goddess Ratri Devi and fulfilled the heartfelt desire of Goddess Dharani Devi. By making Chaturmasya a cherished and auspicious time, Lord enabled the people in Kaliyuga to receive abundant blessings with ease and simplicity. This sacred period became a golden opportunity for all to engage in virtuous deeds and draw closer to the divine, guiding them on the path of righteousness and spiritual fulfillment.

Let's explore how Sri RaghavendraTeertharu exemplified the true essence of Chaturmasya.

Sri RaghavendraTeertharu's devotion and scholarly pursuits were truly remarkable. He completed two significant works, the Bhava Deepa on Tattva Prakasha and a commentary named Tattva Manjari on Acharya Madhva’s Anubhashya, both at the sacred location of Aluru, situated on the banks of the revered river Krishna. After these profound accomplishments, Sri Rayaru embarked on a journey to the east and chose Manavi (currently in Raichur district) as the place for observing Chaturmasya at the Hanuman Temple.

Indeed, during the sacred Chaturmasya period in Manavi, Sri Rayaru's presence was nothing short of divine. The atmosphere felt like the celestial abode of Lord Vishnu, Vaikunta itself. The entire surroundings were immersed in the enchanting sounds of Vedic chants, filling the air with a sense of transcendence and spirituality.The divine teachings of Sri RaghavendraTeertharu elevated the ambiance even further, enriching the hearts and minds of all who were fortunate to be present. His words carried profound spiritual wisdom and knowledge, guiding the devotees towards a deeper understanding of the path to divine realization.

On a serene morning, as the sun's golden rays gently caressed the temple spires, an old man with tattered clothes and a humble appearance found himself drawn to the temple's entrance. Inside the temple, Rayaru was engrossed in a captivating discourse on Lord Narayana's divine leelas. Sensing the presence of a visitor, he looked up and saw the old man standing with utmost reverence. Welcoming the old man with a warm smile, Rayaru invited him inside. Rayaru with a kind and compassionate smile inquired, "What brings you here?". The old man's eyes glimmered with sincerity as he replied "I have come as you instructed. I seek your divine guidance to elevate my life once again, just as you did for me before." Rayaru's eyes twinkled with fondness as Rayaru recalled their past encounter. "Ah, I remember," Rayaru chuckled warmly. "Bring an offering for Lord Moola Rama tomorrow, and then you may continue your journey." Overjoyed and filled with hope, the old man departed, leaving his heartfelt prayers with Rayaru

The onlookers were astonished and puzzled by the old man's presence and wondered why Raghavendra Swamiji had welcomed him into the temple in the first place. The unfolding events seemed mysterious and left them curious.

On the following day, as the sun began its ascent, the old man returned to the temple, carrying a small bag in his hands. Rayaru, with his usual warmth, inquired about the offering the old man had brought. With a hint of excitement in his voice, the old man replied, "I brought mustard, revered sage." Rayaru's face lit up with joy, and a knowing glint sparkled in his eyes. Without hesitation, he instructed the head cook to use the mustard for the day's sacred offering to Lord Rama. This was against the tradition of not using mustard during Chaturmasya. Indeed, Rayaru's decision to break the tradition of not using mustard during Chaturmasya was driven by a profound insight Rayaru gained from the old man's offering. The old man's innocent and unwavering devotion touched Rayaru's heart in a way that transcended mere rules and customs.In the old man's offering, Rayaru witnessed the essence of Bhakti, the supreme form of devotion that connects the soul with the divine

While some devotees hesitated due to the breach of tradition, those with unwavering devotion to Rayaru didn't think twice about it. Rayaru knew the thoughts of the people gathered there and sensed their confusion. Rayaru then asked them if they knew who the old man really was. To their astonishment, Rayaru revealed that he was none other than the greatest Haridasa, KanakaDasaru.In their previous birth, Vyasarajaru told Kanaka Dasaru, "We will meet again in the next birth. You will be reborn when I am born as Sri Raghavendra Teertharu.". Overjoyed to see his dear disciple once again, Rayaru felt a mix of joy and concern, knowing that Kanaka Dasaru was still destined to face hardships in this life. People were amazed at the profound power and grace that emanated from Sri Rayaru, as Rayaru displayed his boundless compassion, wisdom, and spiritual insight.

The old man, now revealed to be KanakaDasaru, cried out, "Vyasappa, Raghappa, please grant me Mukti now!" Rayaru closed his eyes in deep concentration and began praising Lord Narayana. In a mesmerizing spectacle, KanakaDasaru, in the form of the old man, collapsed there. Suddenly, a shower of flowers cascaded from the heavens, and KanakaDasaru's soul ascended gracefully, carried away by celestial beings known as Narayana Dutaru. The divine sight was reminiscent of the moment when the waterman, Venkanna, had attained liberation.
The witnesses stood in awe, witnessing the divine grace bestowed upon the great Haridasa, KanakaDasaru, as he attained eternal liberation. The profound connection between Sri RaghavendraTeertharu and KanakaDasaru showcased the power of devotion and the divine blessings that can elevate a soul to ultimate freedom.

During Rayaru’s Chaturmasya in Manavi, Sri RaghavendraTeertharu had an encounter with Sri Shreenivas Acharya, a devoted follower of Uttaradi Mutt from Bidarahalli. Shreenivas Acharya humbly presented his works to Sri Rayaru, seeking Rayaru’s guidance and blessings.With his compassionate heart, Rayaru appreciated the hard work and dedication Shreenivas Acharya had put into his literary pursuits. Rayaru blessed him, acknowledging that despite being a householder, Shreenivas Acharya had worked with the commitment and dedication of a sanyasi (renunciate) in service of AnandaTeertharu (Madhvacharya). Such was the potency of Rayaru's blessings that from that moment onwards, Sri Shreenivas Acharya came to be known as Bidarahalli SreenivasaTeerthru.

Although SreenivasaTeerthru was a scholar, he hadn't fully grasped the deeper meaning of Bhakti (devotion) and was entangled in rituals. During lunch that day, when he noticed that the food served to him contained mustard, which was against the rules of Chaturmasya in his Mutt, he hesitated to accept it.Rayaru, ever observant and compassionate, noticed his hesitation and immediately ordered a separate dish to be prepared for SreenivasaTeerthru. At the end of the day, as SreenivasaTeerthru bid farewell, Rayaru offered him  mantrakshate (red rice). However, when SreenivasaTeerthru came home, examined the mantrakshate later, he was taken aback to see the red rice turn black, resembling mustard. His face lost its glow as he realized he had committed a grave mistake by going against Rayaru's wishes.
Deeply troubled by his actions, SreenivasaTeerthru understood that any dharma that hurt the feelings of the Lord's devotees becomes adharma of the highest order. Filled with remorse, he rushed back to Rayaru, seeking his forgiveness. Rayaru, with his kind heart, readily forgave him and invited him to share lunch once again. This time, the scholar accepted the food without any protest, having learned a valuable lesson in humility, devotion, and the significance of adhering to the desires of the divine.

Indeed, Rayaru's encounter with KanakaDasaru and SreenivasaTeerthru taught us valuable lessons. Firstly, Rayaru reminded us never to judge others based on their appearance, for the true nature of a soul lies beyond the physical exterior. Just as KanakaDasaru's divine presence was hidden behind the old man's humble facade, we must learn to see the inner essence and potential in every being, regardless of their external appearance.

Secondly, Rayaru emphasized the true purpose of rituals. While rituals are an integral part of our spiritual journey, they should not be followed blindly or turn into rigid practices that breed arrogance or disdain for others. Instead, rituals should lead us towards a path of purification, devotion, and connection with Sri Hari (Lord Vishnu). SreenivasaTeerthru's realization and rectification of his mistake demonstrate the importance of humility and openness in our spiritual practices.

In essence, Rayaru's teachings inspire us to cultivate a compassionate and understanding heart, embracing the diversity and uniqueness of each individual's spiritual journey. By doing so, we can walk the path of Bhakti with sincerity, love, and respect for others, ultimately drawing closer to the divine.

To emphasize the principle that devotion transcends rituals, Sri Rayara Mutt continues the tradition of using mustard during Chaturmasya to this day. The profound qualities exhibited by Sri RaghavendraTeertharu have become a guiding light for all the subsequent Swamijis of Mantralaya.

Today, the current Pithadipati, Sri SubhudendraTeertharu, extends a warm welcome to all devotees of Sri Rayaru, regardless of their caste, creed, gender, or nationality. The Rayara Mutt stands as a beacon of unity, where everyone is embraced as part of the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam  - the divine family of Lord Vishnu. Through this inclusive approach, the teachings and love of Sri Rayaru continue to inspire countless souls, fostering a harmonious and loving environment within the spiritual community.

The devotion towards Sri Raghavendrateertharu is the ultimate truth and is the most simple and effective way to reach to Sri Hari  - "NAMBI KETTAVARILLAVO EE GURUGALA"!