Sri Raghavendra Swamy Matha, Mantralayam
Sri Raghavendra Swamy mutt Tirumala was established by Sri Madhvacharya who preached the Dvaita Vedanta philosophy in the 13th century CE. It was then known as Sri Matha. The first Guru of the Matha was Sri Padmanabha Tirtha, a chief disciple of Sri Madhvacharya. He was followed by a long line of saintly successors who not only preached Sri Madhavacharya’s teachings but also worked for the upliftment of society. In 1624 CE Sri Raghavendra Swamy became the head of the Matha. Since then the Matha came to be known as Sri Raghavendra Matha.
Sri Raghavendra Swamy and His previous Avatars
Sri Raghavendra Swamy mutt Tirumala is one of the most revered saints of the Dvaita Vedanta philosophy. He expounded and built upon the works of Sri Madhvacharya during his lifetime. Sri Raghavendra Swamy was born circa 1595 in Bhuvanagiri, Tamil Nadu in a Brahmin family of accomplished musicians and scholars. His great grandfather was a tutor to Krishnadevaraya, the Vijayanagara king.
Sri Raghavendra Swamy was divinely gifted from very early on in life but he never let it show. He knew he was Bhakta Prahlad in an earlier incarnation. He had also been born as Sri Vyasaraja, Head of Sri Matha in the 15th century.
He was married to Saraswati Devi who was a devout and an example of a perfect wife. Sri Raghavendra taught Vedas to children earning little remuneration. Hence, they were very poor and often had to go without meals among other difficulties. He then spent one year with Sri Sudheendra Tirtha, Head of Sri Matha which was then in Kumbakonam. Sri Sudheendra Tirtha recognized Raghavendra’s divine qualities and wanted to make him the head of Sri Matha as his own health was failing. Sri Raghavendra Swamy was initially reluctant to take on the responsibilities of the Matha but eventually agreed. This was the year 1624 CE. Sri Raghavendra Swamy was to remain the head of the Matha till 1671 CE when he took Samadhi. After that Sri Matha came to be known as Sri Raghavendra Matha.
Establishment of the Matha in Mantralayam
When Sri Raghavendra Swamy became head, the Matha was located in Kumbakonam. Sometime after Sri Raghavendra Swamy became the head of the Matha he went on a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram, Srirangam, Mathura, Kolhapur, Pandharpur, and Udupi among other places. On his return, Mantralaya Raghavendra Swamy received a grant from the Maharaja of Mysore. He then traveled to Mantralayam as this was his choice for the establishment of the Matha. Mantralayam was a part of the Adoni state ruled by the Nawab of Adoni. When Sri Raghavendra Swamy met him, the Nawab tried to test his spiritual powers. The Nawab offered Sri Raghavendra Swamy a plate of meat covered with a cloth. Sri Raghavendra Swamy accepted it and sprinkled holy water on the plate. When the cloth was removed, the plate had fresh fruits on it. The Nawab was deeply ashamed and offered Sri Raghavendra Swamy great wealth and fertile lands. Sri Raghavendra Swamy asked for land to establish a Matha in a barren and rocky area which is now Mantralayam. Asked to explain why he chose this land, Sri Raghavendra Swamy said this was the place where he himself had performed austerities when he was born as Bhakta Prahlad. Thus was established the Raghavendra Matha on land sanctified by Bhakta Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Jeeva Samadhi at the Matha and entry into Mool Brindavan
Brindavan Samadhi Mandir is the main temple in the large complex of the Raghavendra Swamy Matha. This is the place where Sri Raghavendra Swamy entered Samadhi in 1671 and united with Parabrahm. Twelve hundred Lakshmi Narayan Shaligrams had been brought from Gandaki river in Nepal. They were placed in a copper box and the Samadhi was sealed with stone slabs by devotees. Before entering Samadhi, Sri Raghavendra Swamy promised he would be at this place for seven hundred years. Devotees have full faith in his words and believe he is there to bless them.
There are three ornate chariots in the temple. At 8:00 PM every day the Murti of Sri Raghavendra is taken out in a procession around the Matha premises. One of the chariots is coated with sandalwood. The second is coated with silver and the third is coated with gold. The first two chariots are used regularly, while the golden chariot is used only on special occasions and festivals.
Raghavendra Swamy Temple Mantralayam Timings
4:30 Am–9 Pm
Raghavendra Swamy Mantra
दोषास्तॆ नाशमायांति राघवेंद्रप्रसादतः ।
ओं श्री राघवेंद्राय नमः इत्यष्टाक्षरमंत्रतः ।
जपिताद्भावितानित्यम् इष्टार्थास्स्युर्न्य संशयः
doshaaste naashamaayaanti raaghvendraprasaadataha |
“OM shri raaghavendraaya namaha” ityashtaaksharamantrataha |
japitaadbhaavitaanityam ishtaarthaahasyurna samshayaha |
Where to stay in Mantralayam
Devotees have the option of staying in rooms provided by the Matha or can choose from the several hotels and guest houses in Mantralayam.
How to reach Mantralayam
Mantralayam Road Railway Station is 15 km from the temple.
Hyderabad Airport is 235 km from the temple.
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Raghavendra Swamy Photos
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Distances from Mantralayam
Raichur – 43 km
Kurnool – 91 km
Mahbubnagar – 149 km
Srisailam – 270 km
Tirupati – 408 km
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