( 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 :
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 of† Diwan 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 of† Tungabhadra. Rayaru said I want only this village and nothing more. Rayaru knew the importance of that Siddhi place. So† after a few days along with† Venkanna† Rayaru 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 Bichali† and a great Devotee, Scholar, HariBhakta, Pratibhapurna is residening† in 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 to† the Students of Appanacharya before they were saying Om Bhavati Bhikshan Dehi. All the respectable families regarded the Students of Appanacharya.
was a Jahagirdar of twenty Eight Villages, with vast
cultivation rich and fertile land in between
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 that† they 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 Appanacharya† simply 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
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 Sacred†
legs of Rayaru. Rayaru
also knew the Knowledge, Ashukavitva, Spontaneous
creative Capacity of Appanacharya,above
all† his 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 Appanacharya† Rayaru
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 Raghavendrateertharu† pleased 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
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, Firmness† made 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 was† none but SheshaDevaru. Prayed a lot before dismantling the snake bill Hearing the Prayer Shesha became a Shila Roopa. Rayaru did the Pratishthaapana of SheshaDevaru at† the 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 of† Brindavana 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
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 of† Devotees 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.