Learn Sri Raghavendra Gurustotra

( A Step by Step learning guide)




Gurustotra was composed by Bhikshaalaya Sri Appanacharya, extempore (AshuKavitva).This is called as "STOTRARAJA". Affection, devotion, grief, pratibha, gnyaana together combined forcefully and powerfully, thus it has become STOTRARAJA. Sri Appanacharyaru composed this when he was crossing the Tungabhadra from Bhikshaalaya to Mantralaya, and finally got the witness of Rayaru sitting in Navyendropala Neela Bhavyakara Sadbrindavana as  SAAKSHIHAYASTOTRAHI.

In Sri RaghavendraTantra Krishnavadhhotaru has paid his tribute and homage to Appanacharya and magnified the importance of Gurustotra, which is as real factor. Today we can find  almost in the crores and crores of devotees tongue, heart ,chanting this stotra. Gurustotra is the main base of Sri Raghavendra Tantra.

Bhikshalaya Appanacharyaís Sri Raghavendra Gurustotra and Mangalashtaka are really Sanjeevini to the devotees of the world and many have obtained Siddhi. Sondur Krishnavadhootaru has said in Sri Raghavendra Tantra :

"SriGurustotropyetatprabhratiVishwasan
GurustotraarthaMaevaahamPathan GurumPoojam"

By Gurustotra Pathana the devotees will get and gain confidence towards Rayaru. With Gurustotra Pathana we have to worship Rayaru and Gurustotra Pathana itself is GuruPooja, Worship of Rayaru.

Dear devotees the Mahima Miracle of Gurustotra cannot be described by mere words. Krishnavadhootaru is a great witness for the importance and the Miracle of GURUSTOTRA. So devotees I appeal to all to read and chant Gurustotra with devotion without fail and acquire all the needs and requirements and there by increase the Punya and enjoy the peace, tranquil and happiness of Mantralaya.

When we take the Name of Mantralaya Rayaru the Name of Bichali Sri Appanacharyaru automatically follows to the hearts of the Devotees. When Sri Gururaya thought of Mantralaya sent a message to Diwan Venkanna that he is scheduled to come to Adoni from Kumbhakonam.The Nawab of Adoni and Diwan Venkanna warmly welcomed with Great Devotion and Grandeur. After accepting the hospitality of the Nawab, Sri Raghavendrateertharu performed the Pooja of Sri Moola RamaDevaru in the house ofDiwan Venkanna. Large number of Devotees witnessed this Pooja of Sri Moola RamaDevaru by Rayaru. The gratitude of Venkanna cannot be described in words. Rayaru asked Manchale as he has decided to reside there and enter Sashareera Brindavan as per the Will and Wish of Sri Hari. The Nawab was reluctant to handover Manchale as it was a barren land not fertile, only rocky bed on the bank ofTungabhadra. Rayaru said I want only this village and nothing more. Rayaru knew the importance of that Siddhi place. Soafter a few days along withVenkannaRayaru while coming to Mantralaya from Adoni, the Aparoksha Gnyani Rayaru came to know that,about a mile from Tungabhdara Stn. (Now Mantralaya Road), there is Bichaliand a great Devotee, Scholar, HariBhakta, Pratibhapurna is resideningin Bichali. Also knew the Japadakatti greatness by Sri Sripadarajaru, SriJitamitraru, Sri Vyasarajaru and so on, owing to the Aparoksha Gnyana.

So came to Bichali. Bichali was previously called as Bhikshalaya. Appanacharya a great scholar, though well off with three hundred acres of rich fertile land, his Shishyas grew in large number. Students from all parts of the country came to Bichali to learn and gain Knowledge under the able teaching and guidance of Appanacharya. So his income plan exceeded to feed the students. So asked the Shishyas to take rounds of Bhiksha in the village to all the houses. As per the Upanayana Upadesha it was a noble thing to ask Bhiksha not for lively hood, but for Vidya. It was a Sacred scene to others that all the Housewives were eagerly waiting to offer Bhiksha tothe Students of Appanacharya before they were saying Om Bhavati Bhikshan Dehi. All the respectable families regarded the Students of Appanacharya.

Though Appanacharya was a Jahagirdar of twenty Eight Villages, with vast cultivation rich and fertile land in between Krishna and Tungabhadra, we can say Do AAB, never showed any greatness†† nor proudness, lived like an ordinary man. This Simplicity made him popular as a great Teacher. AGuru for all the Times. His Bichali Japadakatti on the Sacred bank of Tungabhadra under the Ashwath Vruksha the Gurukulaof Sri Appanacharya†† was nothing but an Open University amidst the abundant Mother Nature’s Gift. His Prayer, Mantra Siddhi, Kind Concern and the Thirst of Knowledge, Obedience, Pleasing DispositionmadeBichali Sri Appanacharya a Guru of the Japadakatti University. His modesty has further expanded in making Rice baked without the help of Fire. The washed rice in the Sacred Tungabhadra water will be tied in a big Cloth something like a jolige, and hangup to the branch of the Ashwath Vruksha, Start teaching under the Shadow for two to three hours, after that Appanacharya Praying Sri Annapurneshwari will do Prokshana . The rice was baked properly, ready for meals. As per our Sri Sri Madacharya’s Sadaachara Pooja, Naivedya, Vaishwadeva, Hastodaka and then used to take his lunch as well as Dinner along with his dear Students. Appanacharya’s Father Sri Ramasubbanacharya, a very noble pious man guided Appanacharya properly in the right way Sanmaarga.

When Rayaru came to Bichali and came to know the details and the Sanctity of Japadakatti, the Sacredness of the house of Appanacharya which was already Sixty years of old attracted Rayaru very much. The very first†† meeting of these two great Stalwarts attracted each other affectionately was nothing but the Boon of Sri Hari. Slowly their friendship grew thick and strong reached a point thatthey both cannot tolerate the separation of each other. The Obedience, loyal behaviour, honesty, Selfless Seva of Appanacharya was liked by Rayaru. Appanacharya himself was grinding Dal Chatni to Rayaru as Rayaru liked it very much. Rayaru performed the Pooja of Sri Moola RamaDevaru in the Central Hall of Appanacharya†† and used to sleep and take rest there only. The Japadakatti discourses between each other and the bank of Tungabhdra river’s lullaby they both liked much. When Rayaru was sitting on the Japadakatti Appanacharyasimply squatted at the Sacred feet of Rayaru and talking nicely. What an amount of subject matter they had to talk and discuss. In Sanskrit there is a Subhaashita : Vaade Vaade Jaayatae Tatvabodhaha. By debate they used to find out the real truth. Appanacharya gave his heart, mind and body to Rayaru. Surprised to see the works of Rayaru not one but Fortyeight Granthas are there. Simplified the Sudha ofMalkheda Sri Jaiteertharu by title Parimala. Pratyaksharam Pratipadam Aneka Kooti Garbhita Pratinbhaati Sudha Thaapi Granthalpatvaayanochyatae. Such are the works of Rayaru. Rayaru’s great creativity, Divinity, Siddhi were all understood by Appanacharya. The magnificent style of Praataha Sankalpa Gadya of Rayaru was nothing but the Boon of Sri Hari Appanacharya became too close, associate, close associate. Appanacharya was massaging the Sacredlegs of Rayaru. Rayaru also knew the Knowledge, Ashukavitva, Spontaneous creative Capacity of Appanacharya,above allhis Bhakti,obedience made Rayaru to love Appanacharya more. One day while Appanacharya was doing the Seva of Rayaru that is while massaging the legs of Rayaru,asked Appanacharya to give up the habit of chewing Tobacco,Appanacharya said that he had become a slave of it. Actually Rayaru thought that Appanacharya is the able person and he has to give Yati Ashrama. But hearing this from AppanacharyaRayaru dropped the idea. Appanacharya was two years elder to Rayaru. The Snake bill in the house of Appanacharya was very dear to Rayaru. SheshaDevaru daily used to come and drink the milk poured in the silver Harivaana by Rayaru. Appanacharya’s house was a Sanctum of Divnity. So Rayaru lived there for years together.Sri Raghavendrateertharupleased highly towards Appanacharya and gave twelve acres of land situated in Kallakuntla, twelve kilometers from Mantralaya. Appanacharya flatly refused,as already he was owning abundant land. But Rayaru forced Appanacharya to accept,So he accepted the land of Kallakuntla village. Bichali very near to Mantralaya. Though Mantralaya is in Andhra Pradesh, Bichali is in Karnataka.Raichur District , via Gunjalli.Only the river Tungabhadra is between Bichali and Manchali. Our Appanacharya though married Kamalabi they did did not have Santaana. Rayaru knowing this forced for the second marriage, thenAppanacharya married Ratnabai.The Noble Family continued by Subbanacharya,†††† Gundacharya, Narasimhacharya, Gundacharya and again Narasimhacharya Retired Profeesor of University now residing in Hyderabad, had four sons, all are well read, scholars and highly qualified. The second son ofSri Narasimhacharya is our SriRamacharya Badadha†† a post graduate degree holder in science faculty is the Archaka of Japadakatti staying in Bichali and leadingtoday the :

Sri Thirtha Kshetra Japadakatti Bichali Appanacharya Ashtottara Shata Seva Welfare Trust. Abundant Devotees are benefitted by Ashtottara at the Sanctum of Bichali Japadakatti, from where Appanacharya started Gurstotra while crossing the Tungabhadra. Appanacharya’s Devotion, Faith, Firmnessmade Tungamma to pave the way.

When the time of Brindavana Pravesha Rayaru came to know, first Rayaru dismantled the snakebill which was in the house of Appanna. After him people will afraid of Snake. This snake wasnone but SheshaDevaru. Prayed a lot before dismantling the snake bill Hearing the Prayer Shesha became a Shila Roopa. Rayaru did the Pratishthaapana of SheshaDevaru atthe back yard where the snakebill was there. Devotees we can see today.Dismantling of the snake bill made Appanacharya to suspicion, why Rayaru is Dismantling. After that one day Rayaru asked Appanacharya to go for Madhwa Sanchara owing to the Chaturmaasa. When so many are there! Why Rayaru is asking me to go he could not understand. But Obeyed the verdict of Rayaru and went. After his going Rayaru called Venkanna and announced the day ofBrindavana Pravesha on Shraavana Krishna Paksha Dwiteeya. In the presence of Appanacharya the Brindavana Pravesha was highly difficult Rayaru knew. He cannot see and tolerate. He knew the Ability of Rayaru and had that much of affection and liberty that he should have simply brought him outside holding his hand. So Rayaru Purposely sent Appanacharya away from Mantralaya.

But the News of Brindavana Spread like a wild fire, Hearing this shocking news rushed to Bichali and started crossing Tungabhadra from Japadakatti to reach Mantralaya, as he was on the other side of the river. Remembering his Guru, Crying and weeping Went on saying Gurustotra by Ashukavitva, as Appanacharya Knew Rayaru Completely.But by the time Appanacharya reached Mantralaya the last slab was placed and he cannot see his Dear Rayaru. After this he cannot pronounce any thing more.

 

YoBhaktya Guru Raghavendra Charana Dwandam Smaran

YahaPathet Stotram Divya Midam Sada Nahibhavetassya

Asukham Kinchana

KimtvishtarthaSamruddhirevaKamalaNathaPrasadodayaat

KeertiDigviditaVibhutiratula

 

Rayaru Completed Saying SAAKSHIHAYASTOTRAHI . Sitting in the Brindavana only. Such a great Personlaity is our Bichali Appanacharyaru.

Amidst the tens and thousands of names of Devotees that crowd the list ofDevotees the name of Bichali Appanacharya will always shine like the Dhruva Nakshatra. A Stotra and Mangalashtaka, Dandaka, Kavacha are the valuable contributions of Bichali Appanacharyaru. We are highly grateful to Bichali Appanacharyaru.

 

- Raghvendra Patwari.

August 30th.2007

Thursday.