Archive | February 13, 2014

A worthy successor to Rayaru

He had the great fortune of  learning under Raghavendra Swamy (1595-1671). He also had the  fortune of succeeding Raghavendra Swamy t the Sri Matha which subsequently came to be known as Raghavendra Swamy Matha or Mantralaya Matha.

He was also among the privileged people who saw Raghavendra or Rayaru as he is affectionately called entering Brindavana in Manchale or Mantralaya in August 1671. It was this man who reverentially held the hand of Raghavendra Swamy and led him to the Brindavana.

It was also this man who supervised all the rituals and rites connected with the worship of the Brindavana of Raghavendra Swamy. He was also a close relative of  Raghavendra Swamy  and he saw Rayaru at close distance for several decades.

He also has the distinction of personally supervising the first aradhane celebrations of Raghavendra Swamy.

The Aradhane of this saint was held recently at Srirangam in Tamil Nadu where his Brindavana is located. This holy person is none other Yogendra or Yogeendra Theertha.

Yogendra Theertha was the son of Raghavendra Swamy;s poorvashrama brother, Gururaja. A favourite of Raghavendra Swamy he learnt under him and spent years under his guidance. When the tome came for Rayaru to enter Brindavana, he choose Yogendra Theertha as his successor and gave him his last upadesha and patha (teaching religious texts).

Yogendra Theertha was on the peetha of Sri Matha from 1671 to 1688. He was followed by Soorendra Theertha his brother.

Before taking sanyasa, he was known as Venkannacharya. It was Raghavendra Swamy who bestowed on him the nomenclature  of Yogeendra Theertha.

His other brothers, Vasudevacharya and Mudduvenkatakrishnacharya, also succeded hi to the Sri Matha. Yogeendra was considered to be a brilliant scholar and intellect. It was during his time that Venkanna pant or Dewan Venkanna re-conveyed the village Manchale or Mantralaya to him.

After Rayaru entered Brindavana, Yogeendra stayed back for some time before embarking on sanchara. He defeated Kala Shastri and others at Bhagyanagar in debates  and upheld Dwaitha siddantha.

He then retraced the steps of Rayaru and visited Kumbakonam. Here, he had the darshana of Vijendra Theertha before coming to Srirangam which was then being administered by the Nayakas of Madurai.

Muddalagadri Nayaka of Madurai, gifted Arambhanna village on the banks of Tamraparni and also the Kalla Mutt located the west of Chitra street in Srirangam on Akshaya Thritheeya in Siddharthi Samvatsara (1679) to Yogendra Theertha. .

Rayaru then came in a dream to Yogendra Theertha and asked him to settle down at Srirangam itself.  He also entered Brindavana on the tenth day of Magha Shuddha in Vibhava Samvatsara.

Subsequently, his two brothers, Vasudevacharya  and Muddhukrishnacharya, also became pontiffs of the Sri Matha after him and entered Brindavana at Srirangam itself.

Even today, we can see the Brindavana of the three brothers at the Raghavendra Swamy Matha in Srirangam.