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Sri Raghavendra Tiirta started his services by teaching all the works of Srimadacharya to his disciples. He propagated right knowledge and vanquished several opponents. Apart from imparting knowledge and guiding his disciples,he composed works for the benefit of future generations
Soon after becoming the pIThAdipati, he began a series of piligrimages that took him to several places. After visiting Dyupuri and Paripurnadevanagara( Paripurnadevanagara in Sanskrit means "place where God, who is complete in every way, resides"). At Manishrunga, he taught works such as pramaaNa paddhati and realized that it would benefit the public, if sub-commentaries were written on these major works, to make it easier to understand them. So it was here, that Raghavendra Swami wrote glosses on pramANa paddhati, vaadaavaLi, pramaaNa lakshaNa and many other works, many of which are known as bhAva dIpas.
He visited Rameshvaram and Madurai. Madurai was the seat of learning in those days, and one of the experts there was Neelakanta Dikshit. After seeing the lucid yet powerful style with which Raghavendra Swami debated, he was convinced that Raghavendra Swami's master was really pUrNaprajna. When Neelakanta tried testing Raghavendra Swami on various sutras, Raghavendra Swami showed him the work he had just finished-Bhatta Sangraha. Neelakanta was so thrilled by the depth of this work and how well it propounded Sri Madhvacharya's philosophy, that he had it placed on an elephant and taken on a ceremonial procession.
At Srirangam, he gave extensive discourses on upanishads especially the Ishaavaasya upanishad. His disciples requested him to write a book, explaining the meanings of all the mantras, as well as their commentaries and glosses, of all the Upanishads. He wrote glosses on the Ishaavaasya, thalavakaara, kaataka, ShaTpraShNa, mundaka, maanDukya, taittarIya, bR^ihadAruNyaka, and chanDogya Upanishads. He was about to write one for the aitareya, as well, but he wanted to give the honor to his disciple, Smrutimuktavali Krishnacharya, who had already completed the work. Raghavendra Swami wanted to keep his oath of writing a gloss on all the Upanishads, so he wrote a gloss on only the mantra part of the Upanishad-aitareya mantraartha sangraha
He visited Vishnumangala,where Trivikrama Panditacharya had debated Madhvacharya for fifteen days,and finally had become an ardent worshipper of Madhvacharya. Sri Raghavendra,then visited Subramanya and then Udupi,where he started giving discourse on Sarvamula Granta. He wrote a gloss for the Vyasaraya Tattparya Chandrika, called Chandrika Prakasha. Seeing his students struggle to understand this tough text, he wrote the meanings of the Sutras, called Tantradipika and the meanings of adhikAranas, known as Nyayamukthavali. At Udupi, he sang his famous "Indu Enage Govinda" song upon seeing Udupi Sri Krishna.
At Bidarahalli he met Srinivasacharya who was a unique householder. The glosses that he had written were already well known. Sri Raghavendra examined his works and was filled with admiration for Srinivasacharya, who, though being a householder,dedicated himself completely to the spreading of knowledge and learning. Raghavendra Swami bestowed upon him the name Srinivasa Tirtha, as a mark of his high learning.
After leaving Bidarahalli, he went to Pandarapur, Kohlapur, & Bijapur defeating Mayavadins, spreading Tattvavada philosophy, and giving Taptamudhradaran, thus initiating them into Vaishnavism. While residing on the banks of river Krishna, he wrote a tippani for Tattva Prakashika called Bhavadipa. He wrote a direct commentary on Anubhashya, called Tattva Manjari
At Malkhed he celebrated the Suddha Mangala of his teachings and discourses. Malkhed is situated on the Kagini River and is the place of Sri Jayatirtha's Brindavan. Raghavendra Swami explained that, just the way Kagini River joins Bhima river, then Krishna River, and finally the ocean, Sri Jayathirtha's work explains Bhashya of Sri Madhvacharya, who in turn tells us of Lord Krishna, who is an ocean of auspicious qualities.
Raghavendra Swami undertook extensive tours, under so many odds, visiting Tirupati, Srisailam, Kumbakonam, and Kanchi. He neither stopped teaching his devotees nor did he stop writing books. He took a vow to write Tippanis for all the Tikas of Sri Jayathirtha. When he had completed tippanis for 17 of the 18 Tikas of Sri Jayatirtha, Lakshminarayanacharya, his son, shows him his work on Rig Bhashya, written along Raghavendra Swami's line of teaching. This great saint felt that his disciple's teaching should be shown to the rest of the world, so instead of writing a Tippani, he wrote a Rigartha Manjari, a vivritti, which gives the meaning of the first 40 suktas. He wrote Mantroddhara, which gives details of all mantras according to Tantrasara.. By understanding the mantras according to Tantrasara, it is possible to perform many impossible tasks, through the grace of Sri Hari, by leading an austere life.
During his pilgrimages, Raghavendra Swami not only covered a vast area geographically in the days when road conditions were poor and travel was arduous, but also wrote several works covering a vast area of the Tattvavada philosophy. He convincingly defeated many Advaitin pandits, through the grace of bhArati ramaNa mukhyaprANAntargata srIlaxmInArAyaNa.
Although Raghavendra Swami performed various miracles, the most significant miracle lies in the vast literature he left behind & his contribution to the philosophy of Sri Madhvacharya. He wrote extensive commentaries on the upanishads, bhagavad gIta, vedAs, as well as several granthas that Madhvacharya wrote.
The Tanjavore district was under a great drought at that time. Raghavendra Swami made the ruler perform appropriate rituals and ceremonies. Soon afterwards, rain once again fell upon the lands. The king, to show his gratitude offered Raghavendra Swami a priceless necklace, which Raghavendra Swami in turn put into the Yajna as an offering to Lord Vishnu, who had really brought the region out of the drought. The king grew angry at what he thought was an insult. Raghavendra Swami immediately brought back the necklace from the fire. The king, realizing that for one who renounced the world a necklace meant nothing, asked for Raghavendra Swami's forgiveness.
Raghavendra Swami visited Bijapur, where the scorching heat was unbearable. One brahmin was overcome by the heat and fell down, unable to get up. Raghavendra Swami recited a mantra, and water sprung up from the scorching sands, which saved the Brahmin's life. In another instance, a child was traveling with an entourage, through a desert. The heat was so unbearable that the child started to cry. Raghavendra Swami threw his upper cloth towards the child. Flying through the air, it gave shade to the child for the rest of the journey
At that time there was a Desai who had no faith in God or the Vedas. He would challenge scholars to make a twig sprout, using Vedic mantras. No one was able to do this. So then the people called Raghavendra Swami to prove to the Desai the power of the Vedas. He sprinkled some water on the twig while reciting a Vedic mantra. Right before the Desai's eyes, the twig began to sprout. This incident instilled deep faith in the hearts of many scholars who were present. They had heard that Raghavendra Swami, in his earlier days, had made the cool sandalwood paste burn, by reciting the Agni Sukta, then made it cool again by reciting Varuna Sukta. After witnessing the twig sprout with their own eyes, they believed that such miracles were possible through the grace of the Lord. The Desai, himself, who used to scoff the Vedas, became a true believer in God and upheld the Vedas, with Raghavendra Swami as his guiding light.
Raghavendra Swami, while performing miracles clearly stated that what he did was not magic or sorcery or witchcraft. It was not Patanjali's yoga, but the yoga of the Bhagavad Gita. The aim of his miracles was to remove the suffering of those who seek refuge in him and thus draw them towards God and religion.
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