Sri Appannacharya

On the banks of river Tunga-Bhadra is a village by name Bichhale. Earlier it was famous as Bhikshalaya. SriGururaja’s favourite disciple Appannacharya used to live there conducting classes and discourses. He heard the news that SriSwami would be entering vrindavana. He started for Mantralaya with an intention to see Swami one last time. But the Tunga-Bhadra river was in spate; water was at full level. He got delayed in crossing the river and coming over. As he was making the effort to crossover, he began recollecting the virtues of the Guru and composing them in Sanskrit couplet set to metre. Just as he crossed over, the last of the stones being fixed on to the vrindavana was put in place. In the stotra that he had composed, the last shloka had remained incomplete requiring seven letters in the fourth charan. Realising that he had missed the last darshana of his Guru, Appannacharya’s throat was choked with sorrow. Yet SriSwami from inside the vrindavana, completed the shloka saying, ‘sakshi hayasyotra hi’. The words came loud and clear from the vrindavana. The meaning of these words is, ‘Hayagrivadeva, whose name I am chanting, is witness to this stotra that you have composed with total devotion’. Appannacharya was astounded to hear those words. Since the stotra was completed with the blessings of SriSwami, its ashtottara parayana leads to fulfilment of all desires.
“I bow to pujya SriRaghavendra who is like the Kalpavruksha (wish-tree) to those who sing bhajans with devotion, who is like a Kamadhenu (wish-cow) to those who offer salutations with devotion; who always keeps SriHari in his heart and who is always engaged in the true dharma”. This is the meaning of the last shloka of the GurUstotra:
This shloka has become the mahamantra for all to chant. This shloka which describes SriSwami who is showing the eternal truth to the noble ones, who is the closest devotee of the Supreme in the form of truth for infinite time to come, has truly become the boon-giver to ail. Later SriAppannacharya composed a Mangala- shtaka describing SriGurusarvabhouma and dedicated it to him. Those who devotedly sing this Mangalashtaka and go around the Guru’s vrindavana and offer their salutations, certainly become eligible for his benevolent .grace. We notice even today how devotees sing the ashtottara parayana of this Mangalashtaka and perform pradakshina-namaskar in Mantralaya as well as in other places where there are SriSwami’s mrittika-vrindavanas and reap the benefits of their service.

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