There have been over two hundred Haridasas who have written about Raghavendra Swamy and his life and times. Many of these have seen Rayaru sitting in the Brindavana and they have gone on to describe it.
There are today thousands of compositions on Rayaru and each one of them is unique. What is amazing is that almost all the Haridasas were Vaishnavas and several of them like Vijaya Dasa, Gopala Dasa, Jaganntha Dasa of Manvi, Guru Jagannatha Dasa of Kosigi, Prasanna Venkata Dasa have seen Rayaru in different forms and with several Gods and sages.
If some of the Haridasas have seen Rayaru with Rama Krishna, Narasimha and Lakshminarayana, others have seen him with Madhwacharya, Vyasa Raja or Vyasa Theertha and Hanuman. Still others have seen the Shanku Karna, Bahlika Raja, Prahalada and Vyasa Raja avatars of Rayaru.
Incidentally, though the credit for the first composition on Rayaru goes to Appanacharya, the first to write about the gods present in the Brindavana alongside Rayaru was Vijaya Dasa (1682-1755).
Poornabodha is first composition on Rayaru and this goes back to August 1761 when Rayaru enters Brindavana in Mantralaya which then was a small hamlet called Manchale.
So let me start this series on how and what Haridasas saw in Raghavendra Swamy with Appanacharya.
Appanacharya, a close disciple of Rayaru and a Zamindar of Bichale village, swims across the turbulent Tungabhadra even as he composes the Poornabhoda.
Appanacharya is highly grieved when he learns that the Guru he respected and loved so much will no more walk the earth in his physical form. When he nears the Brindavana, he is unable to complete the last three lines of the sloka and Rstops after saying,
“YoBhaktya Guru Raghavendra Charana Dwandam Smaran
Stotram Divyamidamsada Nahi BhavaettasyaAsukham Kinchan
Kimtvishtartha Samruddhireva Kamala Natha Prasadodayaat
Keerti Digvidita Vibhutiratula”
Rayaru himself completes it, saying, “Saakshi Hayastotrahi.”
During this time, Rayaru was meditating on Hayagreeva and he says Hayagreeva himself is a witness to Guru Stotra, another popular name for the Poornabodha. This is the first stotra that has Raghavendra Swamy’s seal of approval.
Let us know what Appanacharya sees in Rayaru in this composition. Here, Apppanacharya talks of the personality of Rayaru and the effect his words had. He says words come out from Rayaru just like Ganga came out from Bhagiratha.
Appanacharya then composes several other compositions on Rayaru and he sees Hari and other Gods all around Rayaru in the Brindavana.
Some of his other composition, include Sri Raghavendra Kavacha, Sri Raghavendra Ashtottara Shata Naamaavali, Sri Raghavendra Ashtakshara Japa Krama and Sri Raghavendra Mangalashtaka.
We should be forever grateful to Appanacharya for being the first to identify the divineness of Rayaru and also writing on him.
We owe to this great devotee the ever popular lines:
“Pujyaya Raghavendraya Sathya Dharma Rathaya Cha
Bhajatam Kalpavrikshaya Namatam Kamadhenave”
This stotra, in short, encapsulates all that Raghavendra Swamy stood for. It says Rayaru stood for truth and dharma and that anyone, irrespective of the colour, class, creed and religion will benefit from Rayaru’s grace if they worship him with devotion.
This stotra is seen in all the Rayara mathas and in several temples and lakhs of houses. It is perhaps among the most popular slokas of all times and it is on the lips of every one.
It is a part of the Guru Stotra or Poornabodha.
This is the English translation of the Poornabodha. I will append the Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada versions later.
|| SrI rAGavEMdra stOtram ||
SrI pUrNabOdha gurutIrtha payObdhipArA
kAmArimAkSha viShamAkSha SiraspRuSaMtI |
pUrvOttarA&mita taraMga charatsuhaMsA
dEvAli sEvita parAMGripayOjalagnA || 1 ||
jIvESa BEda guNapUrti jagatsusatva
nIchOcchaBAva muKanakra gaNaissamEtA |
vAgdEvatAsaridamuM vimalIkarOtu || 2 ||
SrI rAGavEMdrassakalapradAtA svapAdakaMjadvaya BaktimadByaH |
aGAdrisaMBEdana dRuShTivajraH kShamAsurEMdrO&vatu mAM sadAyaM || 3 ||
SrI rAGavEMdrO haripAdakaMja nIShEvaNAllabdha samasta saMpat |
dEvasvaBAvO divijadrumO&ya miShTapradOmE satataM sa BUyAt || 4 ||
BavyasvarUpO BavaduHKatUla saMGAgni charyaHssuKadhairyaSAlI |
samasta duShTagrahanigrahESO duratyayOpaplavasiMdhusEtuH || 5 ||
nirastadOShO niravadyavEShaH pratyarthimUkatva nidAnaBAShaH |
vidvatparij~jEya mahAviSEShaH vAgvaiKarI nirjita BavyaSEShaH || 6 ||
saMtAna saMpatpariSuddha Bakti vij~jAnavAgdE hasupATavAdIn |
datvASarIrO&ttha samastadOShAn hatvA sa nO&vyAdguru rAGavEMdraH || 7 ||
yatpAdOdakasaMchayaH suranadI muKyApagAsAdhitA&
saMKyAnuttama puNyasaMGa vilasatpraKyAta puNyAvahaH |
dustApatraya nASanOBuvi mahAvaMdyA suputrapradO
vyaMgasvaMga samRuddhidO grahamahApApApahastaMSrayE || 8 ||
yatpAdapadma madhupAyita mAnasA yE |
yatpAdapadma parikIrtana jIrNavAchaH
taddarSanaM duritakAnana dAvaBUtaM || 9 ||
sarvataMtra svataMtrOsou SrImadhvamatavardhanaH |
vijayIMdra karAbjOttha sudhIMdra varaputrakaH || 10 ||
SrI rAGavEMdrO yatirAT gururmE syAdBayApaH |
j~jAnaBakti suputrAyuryaSaH SrI puNyavardhanaH || 11 ||
prativAdi jayasvAMta BEdachihnAdarO guruH |
sarvavidyA pravINAnyO rAGavEMdrAnnavidyatE || 12 ||
aparOkShIkRuta SrISaH samupEkShitaBAvajaH |
apEkShita pradAtAnyO rAGavEMdrAnna vidyatE || 13 ||
dayAdAkShiNya vairAgya vAkpATava muKAMkitaH |
SApAnugrahaSaktO&nyO rAGavEMdrAnna vidyatE || 14 ||
aj~jAna vismRuti BrAMti saMSayApasmRutikShayAH |
taMdrAkaMpavachaH kouMThyamuKAyE chEMdriyOdBavAH |
dOShAStE nASamAyAMti rAGavEMdra prasAdataH || 15 ||
OM SrI rAGavEMdrAya namaH ityaShTAkShara maMtrataH |
japitAdBAvitAnityaM iShTArthAssyurnasaMSaH || 16 ||
haMtu naH kAyajAn dOShAn AtmAtmIya samudBavAn |
sarvAnapi pumarthAMScha dadAtu gururAtmavit || 17 ||
iti kAlatrayEnityaM prArthanAMyaH karOtisaH |
ihAmutrApta sarvEShTO mOdatE nAtra saMSayaH || 18 ||
agamya mahimAlOkE rAGavEMdrO mahAyaSAH |
SrI madhvamata dugdhAbdhi chaMdrOvatu sadA&naGaH || 19 ||
sarvayAtrA phalAvAptyai yathASakti pradakShiNaM |
karOmi tavasiddhasya vRuMdAvanagataM jalaM
SirasA dhArayAmyadya sarvatIrtha phalAptayE || 20 ||
sarvArBIShTArtha siddhyarthaM namaskAraM karOmyahaM |
tavasaMkIrtanaM vEdaSAstrArtha j~jAna siddhayE || 21 ||
saMsArE&kShayasAgarE prakRutitO&gAdhE sadAdustarE
sarvAvadya jalagrahairanupamaiH kAmAdiBaMgAkulE |
duHKOtkRuShTa viShEsamuddhara gurOmAmagnarUpaM sadA || 22 ||
rAGavEMdra gurustOtraM yaH paThEdBaktipUrvakaM |
tasya kuShTAdi rOgANAM nivRuttisvarayA BavEt || 23 ||
aMdhOpi divya dRuShTissyAdEDamUkOpi vAkpatiH |
pUrNAyuH pUrNasaMpattiH stOtrasyAsya japAdBavEt || 24 ||
yaHpibEjjalamEtEna stOtrENaivABimaMtritaM |
tasya kukShigatA dOShAH sarvEnaSyaMti tat kShaNAt || 25 ||
yadavRuMdAvana mAsAdya paMguH KaMjOpi vA janaH |
stOtrENAnEna yaH kuRyAt pradakShiNa namaskRutI
saM jaMGAlOBavEdEva gururAja prasAdataH || 26 ||
sOmasUryOparAgE cha puShyArkAdi samAgamE |
yOnuttama midaM stOtraM aShTOttara SataMjapEt
BUtaprEta piSAchAdi pIDA tasya na jAyatE || 27 ||
Etat stOtraM samucchArya gurOrbRuMdAvanAMtikE |
dIpasaMyOjanAt j~jAnaM putralABOBavEddhruvaM || 28 ||
paravAdijayOdivya j~jAnaBaktyAdivardhanaM |
sarvABIShTapravRuddhissyAnnAtrakAryA vichAraNA || 29 ||
rAjachOra mahAvyAGra sarpanakrAdipIDanaM |
na jAyatE&sya stOtrasya praBAvAnnAtra saMSayaH || 30 ||
yO BaktyA gururAGavEMdra charaNadvaMdvaM smaranyaH paThEt |
stOtraM divyamidaM sadA na hi BavEt tasyA&suKaM kiMchana || 31 ||
kiMtviShTArthasamRuddhirEva kamalAnAtha prasAdOdayAt |
kIrtirdigviditA viBUtiratulA sAkShIhayAsyO&trahi || 32 ||
iti SrI rAGavEMdrArya gururAja prasAdataH |
kRutaM stOtramidaM puNyaM SrImadBiRyappaNABidaiH || 33 ||
pUjyAya rAGavEMdrAya satyadharma ratAya cha |
BajatAM kalpavRukShAya namatAM kAmadhEnavE || 34 ||
|| iti SrI appaNAchARyakRuta SrI rAGavEMdra stOtraM saMpUrNaM ||