The miracle of the Mrithike

There are innumerable instances of the miracles performed by Raghavendra Swamy or Rayaru as he is more popularly known. He has been performing miracles from the Brindavana too.
This is an article about the miracle that Raghavendra Swamy did when he was to touring Bijapur district. I do not know the place where this miracle took place. All I have read about it is that it took place in Bijapur district where a river was flowing nearby.
This miracle is narrated by a cook who used to accompany Raghavendra Swamy everywhere during his sanchara.
Needless to say, the cook was a Brahmin and he was an eye witness to this incident.
The cook was one day conversing with his neighbours in Kumbakonam and during the course of the conversation he mentioned how Guru Raghavendra managed to get one of his devotees married without even bringing the bride and groom face to face.
This is how the incident occurred.
During one of his visits to north Karnataka,  Rayaru halted at a place near Bijapur. Rayaru decided to take bath in the river and then offer pooje to the idol of Moola Rama Devaru.
The rest of the followers too decided to take a dip in the river. Among them was a simpleton called Venkanna. The followers came across Venkanna’s father and asked him why Venkanna was still not married.
Venkanna’s father replied that his son was mentally unsound and that nobody would gave their daughter in marriage to such a person. Some of the followers found that Venkanna was not in his right senses and that he was prone to talking nonsense incessantly.    
That day, Venkanna got an idea that he should marry. He then began broaching the topic of his marriage with the rest of the group. Several members on the group made fun of Venkanna while some humiliated him.
When Venkanna was told that there was nobody to give their daughter in marriage to him, he approached the Brahmin cook and sought his help.
The cook told his listeners that he too made fun of Venkanna. “When you  do not have any money to survive, who ill give you a bride?, he asked.
Venkanna did not know what to do and he innocently asked the cook to tell him the next course of action. The cook really did not have any answer and tried to wriggle out of the problem by asking Venkanna to approach Guru Raghavendra for help.
“Go to Guru Raghavendra and pose your problem to him”, the cook told Venkanna. The answer did not fully satisfy Venkanna and he once again asked the cook what to do if Guru Raghavendra too cannot help him.  The cook was irritated by the question and asked Venkanna to approach Rayaru himself.
Venkanna was so simple and pure at heart that he straightaway walked to the river where Rayaru was taking bath. He stood looking at Rayaru and then made up his mind to seek help from Rayaru.
Venkanna then walked upto Rayaru and said he wanted to tell Rayaru something. Rayaru smiled and told him to go ahead. Venjanna then revealed his wish, Rayaru smiled.
Venkanna appeared dissatisfied with the reaction and once again broached the topic of  his marriage. Rayaru then blessed Venkanna.
Venkanna still stood his ground. Rayaru understood his predicament and spoke to him. “I am a sanyasi. I have given up all worldly things. What can I give you”, he asked. Venkanna summoned courage and exclaimed, “Give me whatever you have.”
Rayaru then gave Venkanna the Mrithike he was holding in his hand when he had come out of the river. Venkanna was overcome with joy and reverentially put the Mrithike in a clothe and held on to it tightly.
Venkanna thought that the Mrithike was very powerful and that it would help him get married. He told everybody about the Mrithike and left the group to search for a women whom he could marry. Venkanna said he would return to the group only after he married.
He began walking and after some time he grew tired. He saw a house of a Brahmin and decided to sleep there itself. He saw that the house had a small balcony and he decided to make a bed for himself there.
He made his bed and was about to sleep when he heard sounds coming from within the house,  He could only sleep fitfully. During the dead of night, Venkanna woke up to find a huge figure standing before him.
Venkanna looked at the figure with sleep in his eyes. He ignored the presence of the figure and decided to go back to sleep. The figure shouted and woke up Venkanna again. It asked him to throw away the clothe as it had some fire in it,  The figure said it was not able to gain access to the house as the clothe was coming in the way. “Throw it away so that I can enter the house”, it said.
Venkanna then opened the bag and found that it contained the  Mrithike Rayaru had given him. As if in a trance, he took a little Mrithike in his hands and put it on the door step. The huge figure asked to be let in. “I am a demon and I have come here to eat the child that was born today”, it tells Venkanna.
The demon tells Venkanna that it will give him anything if he removes the Mrithike. Venkanna asks for gold and the demon brings it.
Venkanna then sprinkles Mrithike on the demon. The demon is freed of the Rakshasha dosha and obtains salvation.
Venkanna then goes to sleep. The next day, when the Brahmin comes out, he sees Venkanna who tells him everything that happened .
The Brahmin realizes that Venkanna has saved his child, He says his children used to die soon after his wife gave birth. Priests had informed him  that some evil spirits were talking away all his new born children.
Venkanna then narrated the reason for his halt. The Brahmin realised that his brother had a daughter Radhamma who was of marriageable age . He immediately decided to get Radhamma married to Venkanna.
Venkanna was overjoyed and he came back to the group and informed them of the events.  The cook then informed Venkanna’s father.
When Rayaru was informed, he merely smiled. He once again turned to Venkanna and smiled at him. This smile and the  Mrithike transformed Venkanna into a normal human being who got married and lived a normal life.
This is the power of Rayaru’s Mrithike. If you believe in it, it will always be there to help you.   

The idol that Rayaru consecrated

It is a very small village in Andhra Pradesh but it has an important link to Raghavendra Swamy. It is here that Raghavendra Swamy sat for Chaturmasa and it is also in this place that he consecrated one of the two Anjeneya temples.
This is also the village where Teekachar, the great Madhwa scholar and an amsha of Arjuna, and Raghavendra Swamy himself appeared on the idol of Hanuman.  
This village is almost exactly between Chippargi and Alur in Andhra Pradesh. Its claim to fame is because of the small but beautiful temple of Anjaneya or Mukyaprana. This is Hattibelagall.
Hattibelagall is just a short distance from Guntakal and if one wants to visit this village it can be clubbed with a visit to Chippargi which is also near Guntakal and which houses the Samadhi of Vijaya Dasa.
This idol is very unique as it has images of Lakshminarasimha, Teekachar or Jayatheertha and Raghavendra Swamy on its upper side. If you look closely at the Hanuman idol, you can also make out the images of Bilpatrachar, a disciple Aralikatte Narasimhachar and Vadamudidare.
The temple is also known as Dewan Venkanna Panta Anjaneya Swamy temple. Dewan Venkanna constructed the large tank which is located adjacent to this temple.
The temple is generally open in the morning and towards evening. The temple priest stays in a house near by and you can approach him for details about pooje, seve and even Theertha Prasada.
This village is also known for Aralikatti Narasimacharya who is considered to be an amsha-sambhuta of Surya. This saint performed tapas here with his disciples and he was known as an ardent devotee of Raghavendra Swamy.
Aralikatti Narasimhacharya was a staunch devotee of Vayu  and he had immense faith in Teekacharya. He read Nyaya Sudha several times and was extremely fond of it. Teekacharya appreciated Narasimhachar’s devotion and appeared near the shoulder of  Hanuman idol here.
Lakshmi Narasimha has appeared near the forehead of  Hanuman. Villagers recollect a story of how an aged saint went into the temple never to come back. When this was brought to the notice of Narasimhachar, he said the saint was none other than Raghavendra Swamy.
Raghavendra Swamy has identified himself on the idol of Hanuman near the tail.
Narasimhachar is also the Adhyatma guru of Raghuprema Teertha of Akshoba Matha.  There is a small Brindavana here indicating the place where Aralikatte Narasimhacharya and his favourite disciple Bilvapathrachar left the mortal body.
Hattibelagall is approachable either by road or train. You can come to the village either through Bellary or via Alur and Guntakal. There is a train upto Guntakal from where you can hire an auto or a mini bus to the village.
It is on the Adoni-Bellary road. If you are motoring in your own transport, come upto Adoni and take the road to Alur. Once you reach Alur, take a left and Hattibelagall is just 4 kms away.
You can go to Chippargi after completing pooje at Hattibelagall. If you have time take in Kasapuram where there is a Vyasa Prathistha Hanuman temple.  

By the way, Raghupreme Theertha was the inspiration for the construction of the underground Rayara Matha in Bijapur