The place Shenbakkam is located very close to Vellore in Tamil Nadu. When travelling from Chennai to Vellore, one will come across a railway bridge after getting down from the bridge, take the service lane and take a right turn. The road known as Pillaiyar Koil Street and at the third crossing one can see the sign board, the road will lead to the Navabrindavan.
This place is abetting the river Pallaru and on the banks of the river. The place was once called Swayambakkam since Lord Ganesha appeared hear as Swayambu and later became as Shenbakkam. It is also said that the original name of the village was Shenbagavanam as it was full of fragrant Shenbaga trees.
Sri Madhvacharya has visited this kshetra.
Sri Vyasaraja, the previous incarnation of Sri Raghavendra has installed a Mukyaprana diety here.
Sri Raghavendra, has stayed here and meditated for fourteen days.
But today Shenbakkam is known for the Swayambu Vinayakar Temple and Sri Raghavendra Mutt which is housed in Nava Brindhavan. Eight saints belonging to Dwitha philosophy found by Sri Madwacharya had chosen to take Jeevabrindhavan [last resting place] here. The ninth one is mirthika Brindhavan of Guru Sri Raghavendra Swamy. Thus in total nine brindavan are housed here and hence named ‘Nava Brindhavan”. Readers may kindly note this ‘Nav Brindhavan” is different from the one which is on the banks of Thungabhatra and is more popular. To distinguish these two places this place is called “Dhakshina Nava Brindhavan”.
The nine Brindavan of this place are of the following saints:
1. Sri Vidyapati Tritahru of Sri Uttrati matt
2. Sri Sathyadirajaru of Uttrati mutt
3. Sanyasi shisya Sri Kesava wodeyaru
4. Sanyasi shisya Sri Govinda Madhava wodeyaru
5. Sanyasi shisya Sri Boovaraha wodeyaru
6. Sanyasi shisya Sri Raghunatha wodeyaru
7. Sri Sripathi Tirtharu of Vyasaraja Mutt
8. Sri Kambaluru Ramachachandra Tirtha of Vyasaraja Mutt
9. Mrithika Brindhavan of Guru Sri Raghavendra Swamy.
Vellore Fort was built by Chinna Bommi Nayak and Thimma Reddy Nayak, subordinate Chieftains under Sadasiva Raya of the Vijayanagara Empire in the year of 1566 AD. Vellore Fort gained strategic prominence following the re-establishment of Vijayanagar rule with Chandragiri as their 4th capital after the Talikota battle.
He was second in line to Sri Raghotama Theertha whose Jeevabrindavana is in Tirukoilur. He was well versed with the Dwitha philosophy and known for his scholarly debates.
Mukti : Jeshta Bagula serva ekadesi.
Sri Sathyadirajaru was a powerful and great debater, orator and scholar. He defeated many opponents in polemical debates and offered all the gifts in the form of Gold, precious gems to his Guru.
It was the will of Sri Hari that he had to depart this mortal world and take his moola roopa, that's why he had the privilege of worshiping Sri Rama for ten days, before he could attain Hari-pada.
The saint who made the vellore fort a reality which was crumbling down by suggesting in a dream that brindavan like structures should be interspersed amidst the fort walls.*
The saint who had as his ashrama gurugalu Sri Vidyapathigalu and number of saint shishyas-four of them attained brindavan in the same complex as wodeyars.
Mukti: Ashata Suddha Navami
Holy men who take sanyasa and assist their guru as disciples without any kamyam are called ‘pidi sanyasi’ and are given the title ‘Wodeyars’. Four such saints jeevabrindavan is also found in this complex. Their names are:
1. Sanyasi shisya Sri Kesava wodeyaru
2. Sanyasi shisya Sri Govinda Madhava wodeyaru
3. Sanyasi shisya Sri Boovaraha wodeyaru
4. Sanyasi shisya Sri Raghunatha wodeyaru
He is sixteeth in lineage of Sri Vyasaraja Mutt, and his period is between 1598 and 1612. During his period these places were gifted to the mutt by the then rulers. He had observed chaturmasa vritha in this kshetra.
Moksha: Ashada suddha Dwadesi sthira varam.
He is the second disciple in succession to the famous Sri Lakshmikantha Tirtha of Penukonda (who was the second and reputed to have been a student of the great Vyasaraja himself) and the fifth after Sri Vyasaraja. He succeeded Sri 108 Sripathi tirtha in 1612 AD and his reign was for the period of 20 years till 1632 AD.
He has been a great and accepted pundit in Dwitha philosophy and was respected by one and all of his time for his scholarliness. Some miracles had happened in his life showing that he has the blessings of Sri Hari. Once, he had gone to Tirupati for darshan of Lord Srinivasa. Due to huge crowd as well as the visit of some privileged persons, he was unable to have his darshan even after waiting for long time and had to return disappointed. He composed a sloka “Aishwarya madamatthosi idaaneem maam upekshyase, vadeenaam kalahe praapthe ahameva gathisthava” and wrote it on the route being taken by the Uthsava Murthy. The sloka means that “Oh, Srinivasa, You are now conceited due to your wealth and hence ignore me. But when you become the subject of discussion amongst disputants, only I have to defend you.” The Lord immediately instructed the Mahanth to allow his special devotee in and gave him darshan. Such was his staunch faith in Sri Hari.
Once during his travels, some people opposed to him and unable to defeat him in debate had arranged to kill him by dropping a big stone on his head as his entourage passed by. Though they made the attempt as planned, Sri Kambaluru Ramachandra tirtha, who realised the attempt, ordered the stone: “Antharaale Thista” – Stay, where you are, in mid-air - The stone did not fall and hurt the great ascetic. Subsequently, he ordered the disciples to carry the stone with him and finally ordered that it should be placed on his Brindavana. Even today one can see the stone placed on his Brindhavan at Shenbakkam. This incident showed that in addition to his great qualities as a learned scholar, he was also an Aparoksha Jnani and had the different siddhis attained by Yogic practices and Meditation on the Supreme Being.
Mukti: Markazissha Sukla Trithigai
*this miracle is attributed to both Sri Sathyadirajaru of Uttrati Mutt and also Sri Kambaluru Ramachachandra Tirtha of Vyasaraja Mutt [Sosale], which is a matter of debate.
Kindly see our Hanumath Devotee section for brief biography of Guru Sri Raghavendra Swamy. Mirthika Brindhavan of Sri Guru Raghavendra was installed here by “Sri Guru Raghavendra Brindhavana Sewa Samiti, Vellore”. Today with the help and generous contribution from people of Vellore the Brindhavan of great saints of Dwitha philosophy are maintained in this kshetra. It was at divine direction of Sri Guru Raghavendra this kshetra is getting back to its old glory.
Just adjacent to this complex the Sri Mukhyaprana deity [Sri Hanuman] installed by Sri Vayasaraja Swami is present in a separate sannadhi. Sri Anjaneya deity is about three to four feet in height in this kshetra. The east facing Sri Anjaneya is giving dharshan to the devotees through His direct ‘kataksham’, which is a rare phenomenon of Sri Vyasaraja pradeshta. He is seen holding ‘sowgandhika’ flower in His left hand. With the raised right hand in ‘abhya’ mudra He is initiating fearlessness on the devotee. His sika tide neatly is seen hanging on the right side just through the right shoulder.
Sri Madhvacharya the founder of Dwitha pholosphy has visited this kshetra. Sri Vyasaraja, the previous incarnation of Sri Raghavendra has installed a Mukhyaprana deity in this kshetra. Pujya Guru Sri Raghavendra Swamy had stayed in this kshetra for fourteen days. It is belived Sri Kambaluru Ramachandra tirtha could have met Guru Sri Raghavendra at this kshetra.
Sri Vyasaraja pradeshta Sri Mukhyaprana of this kshetra is sure to give us peace thereby confidence and successes in our life.
Ed [December 2014]
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.