Raghavendra Swamy’s Avadhoota

Who has not heard of Appanacharya, the favourite devotee of Raghavendra Swamy and the tale of their everlasting friendship. Realms of  paper have been written about the devoted manner in which Appanacharya took care of Rayaru and Bichale today still has many exhibits such as a pestle and a grinding stone connected with Rayaru.

However, what many do not know is that apart from Appanacharya, there are several other devotees whose life Raghavendra transformed from the mundane to the sublimal. These devotees were householders and they rarely if ever excelled in religion or philosophy. It was by the grace of Rayaru that their lives came to be transformed and today they are cited as the best examples of devotion to God.

One such person is Krishna Avadoota, who is today ranked along side Appanacharya as a great devotee of Raghavendra Swamy. And the man who helped transform Krishna Avadoota from a worldly person to an ardent devotee of God is none other than Appanacharya.

If Appanacharya has immortalized his native Bichale, so also has Krishna Avadoota immortalized his native Sondur. Bichale is in Raichur district and Sondur in Bellary district and both are on the banks of Tungabhadra. The similarities do not end here. If Appanacharaya wrote Raghavendra Guru Stotra, Krishna Avadoota penned the Raghavendra Tantra. Both are eminently hummable and can be classified as a pure outpouring of faith and devotion.

The Raghavendra tantra was inspired by Raghavendra himself and Krishna avadoota acknowledges this. It was also at Raghavendra’s command that the Tantra came to be written.  

Since, this post already has exhaustive details on Bichale, this article would be mainly confined to Krishna Avadoota.   

Krishna, as he was called in his youth, was born in Devanakere near Harapanahalli in 1835 to Venkataramanachar and Triveni. Today, this village is lost as it has been inundated by the backwaters of the Tungabhadra dam.

Since his parents lived in extreme poverty and they could not take care of their child, they handed over three-month-old Krishna to

Halekoti Bheemasenacharya and Venkamma for adoption. The adopted parents did not change the name of the child and he continue to be called Krishna or Muddukrishna.

Venkamma died when Krishna was eleven years old and Bheemasenachar followed his wife four years later.  

Bheemasenacharya was a scholar and he was working with the  of  Ghorpades of Sondur. In due course of time, Muddukrishna became a scholar and he was married when he was young.

However, Muddukrishna left his house, due to some domestic dispute and began a life of  travel. This was when he was 32 years of age. Whevere he went, he came to be honored for his scholastic ability and his knowledge of the Shastras.

He was felicitated in Trivandrum when he composed one hundred Sanskrit slokas within 24 minutes. However, he married a second time and his second wife was Rukmini. Soon, Muddukrishna was attracted to worldly life and also began learning the art of  Vamacharya or black magic and Vasheekarana or the art of acquiring an object through enticement and hypnotism.   

Even as Muddukrishna immersed himself in his materialistic world, Appanacharaya came in his dream and reminded him that he had attained knowledge due to the blessings of Raghavendra swamy. Muddukrishna disregarded the dream and went about enjoying his materialistic world. 

He returned to Sondur where the Ghorpade made him his astana Vidwan. It is here that he wrote Panduranga Vilasa Champu in Sanskrit. 

Appanacharya once again came in the dream of Muddukrishna and asked him to sing the Raghavendra Gurustotra composed by him. He also inspired Muddukrishna to  worship Raghavendra. This dream led Muddukrishna on the path of devotion and Bhakti of Rayaru.

The second dream completely transformed Muddukrishna and he once again went back to Vedic religion and philosophy and gave up Vamacharya and other baser arts which he was practicing for several decades.

Muddukrishna became an ardent devotee of Rayaru. He performed Seve at Mantralaya and composed more than fifty works on the seer of Mantralaya. Many of the compositions are lost but some like the Raghavendra Tantra and Akshara Male-which is a composition of more than fifty verses in praise of Raghavendra still exists.

Krishna Avadoota opened a Sanskrit school at Adoni and settled down there, teaching students. He wanted to become a Sanyasi but Rayaru ordered him to remain an avadoota. Hence, he remained Krishna Avadootaru.

Today, Krishna Avadootaru is ranked alongside Appanacharya as a devotee of Raghavendra Swamy. 

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