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Historical Accuracy of Sri Sripadarajaashtaka

In Madhva legacy, there are many ‘strotrams’ written by the disciples on their Gurus which eulogize the greatness of the Gurus. Usually, they are treated as ‘glorification’ of the Guru by the disciple out of his sheer respect and admiration towards the former. Due to this belief, most of the succeeding generations like us also feel that they are mere ‘stotrams’ that praise the Gurus and many of the incidents narrated in the stotra shall always carry an element of doubt.

Today I wish to present a proven historical accuracy of one such stotra i.e. Sri Sripadarajaashtaka with the help of an inscription found in Govindaraja Temple, Tirupati.

Sri Sripadaraja Brindavana at Mulbagal

It is said in Sri Sripadarajashtaka that:

श्रीमद्वीरनृसिंहराजन्यपतॆर्भूदॆवहत्या व्यथाम् । दूरीकृत्य तदर्पितॊज्वलमहासिंहासनॆ संस्थितः॥

श्रीमत्पूर्वकवाटनामकपुरॆ सर्वॆष्टसिद्धिप्रदः । श्रीश्रीपादयतींद्रशॆखरमणिर्भूयात्सनः श्रॆयसॆ॥

According to this shloka, Sri Sripadaraja has got the king Vira Narasimha relieved from Brahma Hatya (sin accrued by killing of Brahmans).

As per the legend, when Vira Narasimha was still at Chandragiri rajya there came a news that the temple priests of Tirumala are misbehaving with the devotees and are indulging in heinous sins like using the ornaments of the God for their children’s marriage etc. It is also reported to the king that the vehicles meant for utsavams of Venkateshwara are being used by the priests for their personal usage during functions. These news infuriated Vira Narasimha who sent a detachment of soldiers to warn the priests. Having somehow learnt that the army is on its way to Tirumala, the priests and family members have committed mass suicide by taking oath of becoming devils and causing nightmares to the king. As result of this, Vira Narasimha started suffering from ill health and lost appetite and sleep. By seeing the horrible condition of the king, the queen and well wishers sent a Save Our Soul message to Sri Sripadaraya of Mulabagal.

Sri Sripadaraya came and protected the king from the misery caused by the dead priests who turned in to devils. He gave a boon to the devils who are repenting their wrongdoings now that their devilish form shall be removed soon by his disciple who installs an idol of Hanuman in Hampi. This came true when Sri Vyasaraya installed Yantroddharaka Hanuman idol near Chakratirtha in Hampi.

People outside of Maadhva community may think that the story of Vira Narasimha and the suicide of Srivaishnavite priests of Tirumala as a hearsay or just a imaginative story concocted by Maadhvas.

But there are epigraphical evidences that support the legend to be as true as the shining Sun and Moon.

Following stone inscriptions of Krishnadevaraya are capable of giving vital clues that make the readers to find truthfulness of the story of Sripadaraya saving Vira Narasimha from Brahmahatya sin.

Krishnaraya's inscription in Govindaraja temple

(Inscription No: 157 - Inscriptions of Krishnaraya from 159-1529 AD by TTD)

The underlined text narrates an incident of theft of God’s jewels from Tirumala temple by a Srivaishnavite priest called Nambi Thirrappaiayan whose assets have been forfeited by Saluva Narasimharaya Maharaya and attached them to the temple.

From this we can easily find a pointer that leads us to the legend wherein the families of Tirumala temple priests have committed mass suicide fearing a backlash from Vira Narasimharaya on their sinful deeds. This inscription also confirms the subsequent event i.e. Vira Narasimharaya offering his jewel decked throne to Sri Sripadaraja as his reciprocation towards the grace shown by the great saint.

This inscription of Krishnadevaraya being issued in favour of Sri Vyasaraya is another testimony that confirms the accuracy of Sri Sripadarajashtaka. It is well known that Sri Vyasaraya is the disciple of Sri Sripadaraya and learned many Shashtras under the tutelage of Sri Sripadaraya.

There is a need for us to explore the historical accounts to understand the historical accuracy of our Guru stotrams. I feel that this is one of the humble services that we can offer to our great Gurus.

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Comments   

K.Ramachandran
+1 #7 K.Ramachandran 2015-06-02 05:11
Very interesting work.
Ramachandran K.
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K.Ramachandran
+1 #6 K.Ramachandran 2015-06-02 05:10
Yesterday 1.06.2015 Sri Padarajar Aradhana day. Thanks for your history covering Sri Padarajar glories. Wish you to be published more our paramparay yathikalu.
Regards
Ramachandran K.
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SUBBARAJAN
+2 #5 SUBBARAJAN 2015-04-05 06:03
Sir,

Really nice work. You are creating History again. Pl analyse on Koneri raya, the mangalore based horse (or cattle merchant) , who married two grand daughters of chola kinf during 16th AD and managed Srirangam for about 24 years. It is presumed that Sri Padarayaru and all other Madwa saints, were safely nurtured during his saga.
He is the first Brahmin, but, one who released first gold coin in Tamil verse
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Dr SANTHANA KRISHNAN
+1 #4 Dr SANTHANA KRISHNAN 2015-02-02 06:49
Very useful information!
Cleared many of the doubts.
There is another " Sripadarajastaka " done by Vadiraja.
( in aswadhati )
It is also Good & informative !
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C. Raghothama Rao
+1 #3 C. Raghothama Rao 2015-01-31 15:27
Quoting vaidyasrinivas:
hare srinivasa,very niceis it possible to have a photo of the ttd inscriptions


I will try to get the screen shot from TTD's book. Thanks for your response & suggestion.

Regards
Raghu
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vaidyasrinivas
+1 #2 vaidyasrinivas 2015-01-31 10:22
hare srinivasa,very niceis it possible to have a photo of the ttd inscriptions
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IVNS Raju
+1 #1 IVNS Raju 2015-01-30 08:43
Very good information Raghu garu. Unfortunately the history of great Gurus is not captured by their followers and resorted only to glorify them.

In my recent visit to Manthralayam I found a great scope to present to the visitors the significance of Guru Raghavendra in Kaliyuga. There is no attempt by the Math to share this with the visitors. The huge space that the Math has got can be used to build an auditorium to present a brief Story of Guru Raghavendra and the Dwaita Philosophy that he upheld. Unfortunately the Philosophical significance is forgotten and only the Mahima is extolled.
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