Miracles do happen and yes, I say this with great pride as I was fortunate to experience the divine presense of Sri Vadirajaru right in front of his Brindhavana @ Sode mutt in Sonda - Sirsi District of North Karnataka.
Let me first brief about what and where is Sode Mutt and who is Sri Vadirajaru.
About Sode Mutt:
The Vaishnavite saint Shri Madhwacharya in the 13th century founded the Dvaita school of Vedanta. Shri Madhwacharya installed Sri Krishna idol @ Udupi and it is headed and governed by Ashta Matha (Mutt) or Eight Monastries to date. Each of the Ashta Mathas perform temple management activities for two years in a cyclical order. They are collectively known as the Ashta Mathagalu in Kannada language. Sode Mutt is one of the Ashta Mahtas, dedicated for the worship of Sri Udipi Krishna. Sri Vadiraja Thirtha was the head of the Sode mutt in the 15th and 16th Century .
Sri Vadiraja thirtha occupies a very eminent place in Madhwa philosophy. He can be ranked next to the founder. His contribution to the Dvaita Vedanta , Kannada sahithya and Sanskrit literature is of a very rare and high order. Lord Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva was the Ishta devatha for Sri Vadirajaru. In the year 1600, the great Vadirajaru who lived 120 years, terminated his divine mission and entered the Brindhavan with life and body . He was taken in a golden car to heaven. His spirit is still in the Brindhavan. Sri Bhootharajaru also has a place next to His Brindhavana.
Thousands of devotees visit Sri Vadirajaru's Moola Brindhavan @ Sode mutt in Sonda - Sirsi District to get His blessings.
My visit to Sode Mutt:
From when I heard stories of Sri Vadirajaru and Sri Bhootharajaru, I have been wanting to visit this place. For some reason, the visit never happened for a long time.
Sri Vadirajaru has written a kannada hymn 'Lakshmi Shobane'. The hymn Lakshmi Shobana is highly meritorious which is believed to enhance the marriage prospects for the unmarried and bestow upon the unmarried girls the fortune of a good husband with long and happy married life. It is also believed to bring in peace, prosperity and auspiciousness at the home/place where it is recited and listened. From my college days, I used to recite Lakshmi Shobane and pledged that I will recite this in Sode Mutt in front of Sri Vadirajaru Moola Brindhavana one day.
That one day finally happened in May 2016. Me, along with my husband Srinivas were fortunate to visit this place. In the morning hours, I found a comfortable place to sit right in front of Sri Vadirajaru's moola brindhavana and started to fulfil my desire to read Lakshmi Shobana. There were tens of people worshipping Sri Vadirajaru and I found a corner spot where I could recite with no disturbance. Lakshmi Shobane is quite a lengthy hymn, that, if read in full speed, it will take me at least 25 minutes from start to finish. Seva office opened and Srinivas went there to see what seva we can do for that day.
I did not want to hurry up reading the hymn as one of the main purpose of the visit was to read it there, plus the whole morning hours until Theertha prasada, there was nothing much to do in that Mutt. The later part of the day was planned to visit Thapovana, Sahasralinga and Vyasarajaru's Brindhavana etc. So, I had all the world's time to read it slowly and consciously with all devotion. I did notice that the number of people in front of the Brindhava increased.
When I was finished almost half of the hymn, I saw all the people gathering in front of the Brindhavana and I could hear the sounds of Jaangata. I was sure that they were taking Aarthi to Sri Vadirajaru Brindhavana. I was the only one seated since I was reading Lakshmi Shobane. I was fulfilling my long term desire to read without any break in between. I was confused whether to stop reading and see the Aarthi that was being performed or continue to read. My reading slowed down. I was not able to concentrate on the verses. I paused a bit and said sorry to Sri Vadirajaru that I could not see the aarthi because I was reading Lakshmi Shobane. Then, I continued reading.
The Aarathi went on for another 5 minutes and then the sounds from Jaangatai stopped. The place was crowded and I could hear one of the priests shouting 'dhaari dhaari' - which in kannada means 'give way'. The sound was more audible now and I raised by head to see the priest right in front of me holding the Aarathi thattai (plate). Amidst all the people standing there, the priest directly came to me first. I didn't expect that I will get the Aarathi blessings of Sri Vadirajaru, as I was sitting in some corner reading the hymns. With all reverence, I cupped my down-turned hand over the flame and raised my palm to my eyes. The priest then moved on to other people in the crowd. I was shocked. I was taken aback. I was literally shivering. It took me sometime to reason what had actually happened. I was all goosebumps. Tears filled my eyes and I could hardly see the letters of the hymn in the book. With all devotion, I closed my eyes and thanked Sri Vadirajaru, who knew, I was sitting there reading Lakshmi Shobane and feeling guilty of not witnessing the Aarthi, and yet blessed me with the Aarathi. I still wonder how the priest came to me first among all other devotees who crowded to take the Aarathi blessings. Its indeed a miracle. Slowly I finished the hymn. When Srinivas returned, I explained what had just happened. I don't know if have put in words, how much I really felt and still feel about this incident.
One thing was very clear. In my own experience, I understood that, miracles do happen when bhakthi is pure. Whenever I recall this incident, I become emotional and tears fill my eyes. I am truly a blessed soul. Blessings of Sri Vadirajaru and Sri Bhootharajaru are always with me. This is one of the most unforgettable incidents that I have experienced so far and it will be etched in my memory forever. Certain experiences have to be felt and it cannot be described in words. :Hari Sarvothama, Vaayu Jeevothama: