Raghavendra Swami

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Rāghavēndra/ ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ
Born Venkanna Bhatta
1595 or 1598 or 1601 CE
Bhuvanagiri, Gingee Nayak kingdom
Titles/honours Parimalacharya, Jagadguru
Guru Sudheendra Theertha
Philosophy Dvaita

Śrī Rāghavēndra Swami (1595–1671 CE), born Venkanna Bhatta, was a renowned Madhwa saint, philosopher and proponent of Dvaita philosophy established by Sri Madhvacharya. He served as the head of the matha in Kumbakonam from 1621 to 1671. His Brindavan in Mantralayam in the present-day Andhra Pradesh is an important place of pilgrimage. The numerous miracles he performed have led to him being worshipped even today as a Guru and he is believed to be the saviour for those who placed faith in him. He is the avatar of Prahlada, who is famous as one of the best bhaktas of Lord Narayana.


Sri Raghavendratheertha was born as Venkatanatha [1][2] in the town of Bhuvanagiri in Tamil Nadu to Kannadiga Brahmin parents, Thimanna Bhatta and Gopikamba, in 1595. He was also known as Venkanna Bhatta or Venkatacharya in honor of Venkateswara.[3]

After his initial education under his brother-in-law Lakshminarasimhachar in Madurai, Venkatanatha was admitted to the Sri Mutt in Kumbakonam, after he returned from Madurai, Venkanna Bhatta married Sarasvati Bai. Their son, Lakshminarayanacharya, was born in the same year, after which the family moved to Kumbakonam.[3]

In the Sri Mutt, Venkatanatha studied under Sudheendra Theertha. He quickly emerged as a talented scholar and consistently won debates over scholars older than him. He was also known as a teacher of Sanskrit and the ancient Vedic texts.[3]

Sri Venkatanatha was known to be a skilled musician and an expert in playing the instrument Veena (Veena Venkata Bhatta)[4]

Then in 1614, he took sannyasa and adopted the name Raghavendra Theertha and in 1621, Raghavendra Theertha succeeded his guru Sudheendra Theertha as the head of the Sri Mutt and served from 1621 to 1671. He travelled all over South India expounding Madhvacharya's Dvaita philosophy and is attributed with a number of miracles.

In 1671, after assuring his disciples in a speech that he will be in spirit (in TEJOROOPA) with them for the next seven hundred years, Raghavendra attained Samadhi at Mantralayam.

Śrī Rāghavēndra Swami and Sir Thomas Munro

An incident concerning Śrī Rāghavēndra Swami and Sir Thomas Munro has been recorded in the Madras Districts Gazetteer.[5][6] In 1801, while serving as the Collector of Bellary, Sir Thomas Munro, who later served as the Governor of Madras is believed to have come across an apparition of Sri Raghavendra Swami. Sir Thomas Munro recorded as having spoken with Sri Raghavendra Swami in English over an endowment proposal which he ultimately quashed as per the Swami's advice.

Works and compositions [7]

He wrote a commentary Sudha Parimala on the SrimanNyaya Sudha, an exposition of Dvaita philosophy

Guru Raghavendraru wrote many spiritual compositions and one devotional song that was dedicated to Krishna ("Show me your feet today, oh Lord Krishna").[8]

List of some of his works:

  • Dasha Prakarana (6): Commentaries on six of the ten PrakaraNa-granthas of Madhva
  • Sutra Prasthaana: works on the brahma-sUtra
  • Rig and Upanishad prasthaana
  • Gita Prasthaana
  • Other famous works
  • Shri Ramacaritramanjari
  • Shri Krishnacaritramanjari
  • Pratah Sankalpa Gadya
  • Sarvasamarpana Gadya

Literature on Sri Raghavendra Swami

Sri Raghavendra Vijaya

There are many literatures on the life history of Sri Raghavendra Swami but the most authentic of them all is the his biography called Sri Raghavendra Vijaya penned by his nephew and ardent devotee Sri Narayanacharya. His work was endorsed by Sri Raghavendra Swami himself.[9]

Sri Raghavendra Stotra

A 32-stanza hymn, sung as a prayer by Sri Appannacharya an ardent devotee of Sri Raghavendra Swami to his beloved Swamiji.[10]

One of the more recent publications is an 8-volume anthology titled "Sri Raghavendra Mahatmyam". Originally brought out in Kannada, it has also been translated into English. It covers devotee experiences, etc.


  1. "Shri Raghavendra Swamigalu : A Great Devotee of Shri Vishnu". hindujagruti.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Life Story of Guru Raghavendra Swamy". gururaghavendra.in.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "History of Sri Raghavendra Guru". www.SriRagavendra.com. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://meerasubbarao.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/shri-raghavendra-ashtotra-108-shathanamavali-jaya-jaya-veeve-raghavendra-lyrics/
  5. Proceedings - Indian History Congress. 1945. p. 331.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Giriraj Shah (1999). Saints, gurus and mystics of India, Volume 2. Cosmo Publications. p. 473. ISBN 8170208564, ISBN 978-81-7020-856-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. http://www.dvaita.org/scholars/raghavendra/raghav5.htm#5
  8. "Indu yenage Govinda". Song Indu yenage Govinda from Kannada film 'Raghavendra Mahime'. Retrieved 17 March 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. http://www.raghavendramutt.org/articles/raghavendra-vijaya-part-1
  10. http://sriraghavendraswami.blogspot.com/p/history-of-sri-raghavendra-swamy.html

External links