Sri Raghavendra Swamy and King of Tanjavur story

Sri Raghavendra Swamy was a Hindu scholar, theologian and saint who lived in the 17th century. He was also known as Sudha Parimalacharya, meaning the one who has the fragrance of the nectar of Vedanta. He was a follower of the Dvaita school of philosophy founded by Sri Madhvacharya. He was also a great devotee of Lord Rama and Lord Narayana

One of the most remarkable incidents in his life was his interaction with the King of Tanjavur, Raghunatha Nayaka. The King was a patron of arts and literature and had invited many scholars and poets to his court. He was also curious about the spiritual teachings of Sri Raghavendra Swamy and wanted to meet him.

Sri Raghavendra Swamy had taken sanyasa (renunciation) at the Vadavaru River bank of Thanjavur in 1621, in the presence of the King. He then stayed in Thanjavur for 12 years, doing tapas (austerity) and relieving the poverty of the people. He also established a brindavana (a shrine) where he performed his daily worship and meditation.

The King was impressed by the saint’s wisdom and devotion and often visited him to seek his blessings and guidance. He also offered him many gifts and donations, but Sri Raghavendra Swamy accepted only what was necessary for his simple living. He advised the King to rule his kingdom with justice and compassion and to protect the dharma (righteousness) and the vedas (sacred scriptures).

One day, the King asked Sri Raghavendra Swamy to show him a miracle as a proof of his divine power. Sri Raghavendra Swamy smiled and said that miracles are not the goal of spirituality, but only a by-product of one’s faith and surrender to God. He said that the King should not seek miracles, but seek the grace of God.

Sri Raghavendra Swamy and King of Tanjavur story


However, the King insisted and said that he wanted to see something extraordinary that would increase his faith and devotion. Sri Raghavendra Swamy agreed and asked the King to bring a vessel filled with water. He then took a handful of sand from the ground and threw it into the water. To the astonishment of the King and his courtiers, the sand turned into gold. Sri Raghavendra Swamy then said that this was not a miracle, but a manifestation of the power of God. He said that everything in this world is made of the same substance, which is Brahman (the supreme reality). He said that by the grace of God, one can transform anything into anything else.

The King was amazed and humbled by this demonstration and fell at the feet of Sri Raghavendra Swamy. He realized that the saint was not an ordinary human being, but a divine incarnation. He praised him and thanked him for his kindness and generosity. He also requested him to stay in his kingdom and bless the people.

Sri Raghavendra Swamy accepted the King’s request and continued to live in Thanjavur for some more time. He also travelled to other places and spread the message of bhakti (devotion) and vedanta (knowledge). He performed many miracles and healed many people of their physical and mental ailments. He also composed many hymns and commentaries on the scriptures. He was revered by people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Sri Raghavendra Swamy finally entered into samadhi (a state of deep meditation) in 1671 at Mantralayam, where his brindavana is still worshipped by millions of devotees. He is believed to be still alive in his subtle body and to bless those who invoke him with sincerity and devotion. He is also known as Rayaru or Guru Raya by his followers. He is considered to be one of the greatest saints and teachers of India.