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In our historical Bharata’s southern parts, kingdoms like Kadambas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas, Cholas etc. were famous. Since they were followers of the Vedic faith, there was special recognition of Brahmins. They used to be invited into the royal courts and felicitated with high titles. The kings of Vijayanagar who had covered a vast part of the south were also respectful of the Brahmins. In those days 60 old Brahmin families of the Shasthik dynasty were in their courts. Our hero Sri Gururaja belonged to the Beegamudra dynasty of the Gautam scion.
One Krishnabhatta, who was an authority on Vedas- Vedanta and a great artist playing the instrument Veena, was patronised by Sri Krishnadevaraya. His son was Kanakachala Bhatta. Veenathimmanna Bhatta was Kanakachala’s son. In effect, the command over Veena was being handed down in this family for generations together.
But to our misfortune, in the mid 16th century, five Muslim kings who had gained popularity as the Bahamanis, together attacked SriKrishnadevaraya killing his son-in-law Ramaraya in the battle of Rakkastangadi and then crossed over the Krishna river to destroy the world-famous sculptures of Vijayanagar (today’s Hampi). The differences of those days between various sects also provided fuel for the destruction of mathas and temples. Time came when all Vedic families like Pundits, Artists etc. who were estranged from the patronisation of the King were forced to migrate from their villages. Veenathimmanna Bhatta who was also among thoge, came to faraway Kumbhakonam. Sri Surendratirtha, of the old Madhwa tradition, was the pillar of strength for Vedic dharma in the then Thanjavur king SriRangadevaraya’s court. After SriSurendra, Sri Vijayindra and SriSudhindra were the heads of the educational empire in Kumbhakonam. In those days,
Chevvappanayak had taken over the reins of the Thanjavur kingdom. He too had great respect for Sri Vijayindra and Sri Sudhindra.
To this King’s refuge came Thimmannabhatta, leading a happy life in the Brahmin’s settlement along with his wife Gopikamba. They had a son by name Gururaja and daughter called Venkatamba.
In spite of having one son, Thimmannabhatta, as if by divine inspiration, nurtured a desire to have another son who would be a great Vaishnavite, strong in penance; and therefore offered unparalleled faithful devoted prayers to Srinivasa, the pratyaksha paradevata of Kaliyuga.