When a Maharaja bowed before a Rayaru devotee

An earlier post had carried details of Ibharampura Appa, the devotee of Raghavendra Swamy, and his miracles. This post is about his visit to MysoreCity and his meeting with the then Maharaja of Mysore.

Appa once came to Mysore. He had walked all the way from Manchale or Mantralaya to the royal city. He stayed in the house of a devotee which was near the main palace of the Wodeyars or the Maharaja of Mysore.

The sage of Ibharampura had come to Mysore on the request of scores of devotees of Mysore who wanted to see him in person and seek his blessings.

Appa, by his divine hindsight, realised that the devotee was facing multiple problems. Appa staved of all the dangers that had stalked the devotee and his family. He also resolved immediate problems that the family of the devotee was facing.

Soon this news spread all over Mysore and people began flocking to the devotee’s house. People came to the house just to see Appa and take his blessings. The people knew Appa as a dedicated and committed devotee of Rayaru and they took deep pleasure and satisfaction from seeing him.

The news of Appa and people flocking at all times of the day to see him reached the Mysore palace. The then Maharaja, Mumadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, too got to know about it. He had already learnt abut Appa and the close relationship that existed between Rayaru and Apppa.

The Maharaja had been fascinated by tales of  devotion between Appa and his Guru, Raghavendra Swamy. He, however, initially did not make any attempt to meet him. The Maharaja though Appa was just a devotee of Rayaru.  On night, Appa came in the dram of the Maharaja and invited him to come to the devotee’s house and see him.

The Maharaja then made up his mind to see Appa for himself. However, he did not want to go to Appa with all his royal attendants. He disguised himself as a commoner and made his way to the house of the devotee.

When the Maharaja reached the house of the devotee in the morning, he was told that Appa was meditating and that he would have to wait. The Maharaja waited outside alongside many devotees, many of whom recognised him as their King.

Appa completed his meditation and called the Maharaja inside. He spoke in an warm and affectionate manner to the Maharaja who then sought his blessings. Appa and the Maharaja then spoke about several subjects, including meditation, religion, philosophy and even state craft.

Appa spoke to the Maharaja about Rayaru and his works and life. The Maharaja listened with rapt attention, realising that he had come across the greatest living devotee of Rayaru.    

The Maharaja was overwhelmed by the depth of knowledge of Appaand his complete devotion to Rayaru. He wanted the holy man to visit the palace and sanctify the place with his presence. He requested Appa to visit the palace and the holy man immediately accepted the invitation.

However, Appa had a condition. He wanted the Maharaja to give him an article that he had in his possession. You should give me that object, Appa told the Maharaja, who readily agreed.

The Maharaja humbly told Appa that whatever he had was at the disposal of Appa and through him to Rayaru.   
The Maharaja then sent a palanquin along with horses, elephants and a band of soldiers to escort Appa ceremoniously to the palace. However, Appa declined the honor and instead placed the pooja box of pettige on the palanquin and walked alongside it to the palace.

Meanwhile, the Maharaja had graciously decorated the palace with flowers and lit hundreds of agarbathis and liberally used sandal paste for welcoming Appa.

However, the natural fragrance that Appa’s body emitted was much more divine in nature and smell than all the sandal agarbatthis put together.

The Maharaja could only marvel at the greatness of this devotee of Rayaru and he bowed to the holy man with devotion and in all sincerity. He then performed Pada Pooje to Appa and once again offered him whatever he wanted.

Appa then asked the Maharaja to instruct his palace employees to dig at a particular spot in the north east side of the palace. When they had dug about six feet into the ground, they saw an idol of Panchamukhi Pranadevaru.

Appa sought the idol and the Maharaja gladly gifted him the idol which once belonged to the Pandavas. Appa carried this idol with him always and worshipped it regularly.  

This is the same idol that can be seen in Ibharampura today and it is being worshipped by the descendents of Appa.

Even today, the palace records of Mysore contains details of the visit of Appa.  Indiresha Dasa, in his “Krishnarya Kathamrutasaara”, has also given a beautiful account of  Appavaru and his Mysore visit. 

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