Picture1 – Sri Raghavendra Swamy
Pujyaya Raghavendraya |
Satyadharma Ratayacha |
Bhajatam Kalpavrikshaya |
Namathaam Kamadhenave ||
O divine Sri Raghavendra Swamy I salute you – the one who is the follower of true dharma and I chant the name of Kalpavriksha (the tree, which grants boons) and bow to Kamadhenu / Cow.
Sri Raghavendra Swamy lived in the 16th century (1595-1671). He is one of the most popular of all Hindu saints who is eulogized as the most compassionate saint who fulfills all wishes like the Kalpavriksha and Cow Kamadhenu . He was an ardent follower of dvaita principle promoted by Madhwacharya. He is believed to be the reincarnation of Prahalada. Prahalada was a great devotee of Vishnu who was saved by Lord Narasimha / incarnation of Vishnu from his notorious father Hiranyakashapu. Sri Raghavendra Swamy was a devotee of Sri Rama and Sri Panchamukha Mukhya Prana Devaru / five faced Hanuman. Affectionately people mention Sri Raghavendra Swamy as Guru Rajaru or Rayaru and the mutta is known as Rayara Mutta.
Picture2 – Brindavana at Jayanagar, Bangalore
The day he entered samadhi at Mantralaya in Andhra Pradesh is celebrated in the Mathas all over the world as Sri Raghavendra Swamy Aradhane. The Brindavana / sacred tomb is preserved in Mantralaya. Aradhane is celebrated for three days and it falls during the Hindu month of Shravana, July – August according to Gregorian calendar. This year (2016) it is on 20th August, which is Poorva Aradhana; 22nd August, which is Madya Aradhana and 23rd August Utthara Aradhana. Sri Raghavendra Swamy’s last speech before he entered the Brindavana is remembered on this day.
Picture3 – Rayara Prasada
On this day special pooja like Rathothsava / procession in a car; Kanakabhishekha / showering of gold coins on the idol are performed and delectable Madhwa dishes like Anna, Kootu, Uppinakayi, Saaru, Gojju, Palya, Tovve, Kosambari, Chitranna, Payasa, Hayagreeva, Boondi Laadu, Khara Boondi, Ambode and sometimes Mysore Pak and Annada Kesaribhath are offered as Naivedya / blessed food. All the devotees are served this mathada oota / meals served in the matha. Special alankara / decorations are done on this day. People throng the matha on this day to receive blessings from Rayaru. On this day Shri Raghavendra Ashtotra (108) Shathanamavali is chanted and many more vedas and shlokas are recited. In the evening discourses will be arranged on puranas / tales of gods and goddesses and sometimes music programs will be organized.