Saint of Swadi

Literally meaning ‘servants of the Lord’, the Haridasas have contributed greatly to the spiritual corpus of the land through their vast body of works. In simple and chaste Kannada, embodying lofty philosophical principles and using examples from everyday life, these great saints who dedicated their entire lives to not only their own spiritual achievements but also to the moral and spiritual upliftment of society have left behind compositions that are not only aids in man’s spiritual progress, but are also pointers to the pitfalls that all too often confront the seeker of enlightenment.   

A luminous orb in this galaxy of noble souls is that of Saint Vadiraja.  Born to a simple and pious couple Ramacharya and Saraswati Bai in the hamlet of Hoovinakere in the now Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, the circumstances of his birth is in itself proof of divine will at work.

The childless couple had been to pay their respects to Saint Vageesha Teertha when, the Saint, grasping their unuttered longing, said that Lord Bhuvarahaswamy had already decreed that a son, who was destined to light the lives of thousands would be born to them, but with the condition that he would have to take to the holy orders at a young age.  As a consolation to the couple , the Saint said that if the child was born inside the house, the couple could have him for themselves, but if he was born outside, the ochre robes of the ascetic awaited him.

Divine will taking its course, the child did take birth in the adjoining field when the mother went out to chase away a cow that had strayed in.

Named Bhuvaraha after the Lord who had decided the course of his life, the child was indeed a spark of the divine right from birth. With his brilliant intellect, the child mastered all that was taught to him by the age of eight. The preceptor Vageesha Teertha now formally inducted him into the holy orders as ‘Vadiraja Teertha’.

The life of this young ascetic was a remarkable saga of renunciation, meditation, deep introspection, intense study of the scriptures and profound devotion.

This scholar renunciate now embarked on a travel to various pilgrim centres and on the way, through precept and practice inculcated in people the importance of righteousness and devotion.

Many are the miracles attributed to Vadirajaswami, the ardent devotee of Lord Hayagreeva.

Through his devotional songs under the name of ‘Hayavadana’ Vadirajaswami continues to inspire countless devotees.

Like all divine souls, Vadirajaswami too chose to voluntarily end his sojourn on earth by having himself enclosed in a stone mausoleum at the sacred place Swadi, near Sirsi in Karnataka, which even today is a venerated place for the devout.

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