Raghavendra

Śrī Rāghavēndra Swamigalu (1595–1671 CE), born Venkanna Bhatta, was a renowned Hindu saint, philosopher and proponent of Dvaita philosophy proposed 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 avtar of Prahlada, who is famous as one of the best bhaktas of Lord Narayana.

Biography

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

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.

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.

Sri Venkatanatha is known to be a skilled musician and an expert in playing the instrument Veena

Then In 1614, he took sannyasa and adopted the name Raghavendra Theertha and In 1621, Raghavendratheertha 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 with them for the next seven hundred years, Raghavendra attained Samadhi at Mantralayam

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raghavendra_Swami

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