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Faith moves mountain is a well known saying. A friend had told me more than forty five years ago about Raghavendra Swami of Mantralam. A familiar story of British greed in India during the imperialist rule was narrated by him and I found it in the website given below. I have told many people about it but I could not visit this great place. The occasion to write this piece will be explained later. First
read this piece.

It once happened

The British were in India and held great sway through the East India Company. One of their rewarding financial `arrangements' was to arrange for monies being paid to temples for their maintenance to instead be paid as a tax to them.
The Indian system is that endowments are often left by rich devotee patrons so that the Deity of the temple can be worshiped in perpetuity. And often the endowment was the entire village wherein the temple stood, along with all its fields, many of its rented houses and tithes. In the world-view of the Europeans this did not make sense. Why should taxes be paid to a sacred `image' in a temple and not to the ruling monarch or the empowered officers?

Sir Thomas Munroe, one of the East India Company officers in south India in the
early part of the 19th century, was asked to `resume' one such endowment village: the small community of Mantralaya.

On the appointed day he met with the elders of the temple who told him that he could pay his respects at the Samadhi (tomb) of the great Madhva saint who had established the temple - Sri Raghavendra Tirtha Swami. Sir Thomas slipped off his shoes and entered the tomb. The onlookers then heard him talking with someone within. However, they could only hear Sir Thomas's voice and not the person he was talking to.

Several minutes later he emerged from the tomb with some yellow-colored dry rice in his hand. He told the onlookers that he had just spoken to `the swami' who had convinced him of the irrevocability of the endowment and given him some Prasad, and was astonished when the elders told him who had given it to him!

Sir Thomas ordered the rice - Mantrakshate Prasad - to be cooked along with
his evening meal and gave up any thought of `resuming' the taxes of the village to the British. (This episode is found in a British newspaper of the time, The Madras Gazetteer, which can still be viewed at the Collectorate in Anantapura)

I told about this to many in Delhi. In January 2008, some of us had gone to
Bangalore where after speaking in a workshop, I could not move easily as I was suffering badly and had become very weak. But six others who had gone with me left for Mantrayalam and Srisailam, talked of their beautiful experiences and talk about it even now.

The priests in Mantralayam were very happy with this group and gave them special facilities inside the temple to do Vishnusahastranam twice during their visit.

Then from the first day of the New Year while our nine day recitation was going on came Mr.”S” from Madras. He had taken a prediction from me some years ago.

Subject: RE: Horoscope 1
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 07:50:47 +0000
I came in person and thanked you. yr prediction was perfect. you ve predicted that in civil eng business i ll do well and i ll start many other venture /related business and latter into other activities. Already connected ventures like interior/ infra started. I strongly believe yr prediction I enclosed my horoscope for yr reference as cast by you. yr ref no P45 new 1997..”

So he was contacting me eleven years later and now wanted a prediction about his son. He came on an appointed day during his Delhi visit and while the reading was going on, he told me a family story about Raghavendra Swami of Mantralayam.

To: knrao <>
Subject: RE: Mantralayam
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:25:08 IST
Dear shri mr. rao,
ref: p/58 part 1/2008 born ...... @... in
thanjavur wednesday
name:U S

I married ...... While she was young when she came back from school she could not walk as her left leg is paralyzed. Being a girl child and became paralyzed everybody home were crying. She was brought to Chennai from her native place Thanjavur for treatment. Doctors, orthopedition, neuro physicians were clueless and helpless except prescribing some medicines for nearly six months. on advice of some local person she was taken to Shri.Krishnaswamy Rao lived in Thambu Chetty Street in Chennai as he used to talk to LORD RAGAVENDRA DIRECTLy AND GOT MESSAGES DIRECT. He got the message that someone from the family should do 48 days pradakshina namaskarams and every day 48 times of Ragavendra Swami photo in the house with real devotion ; during those days one should follow satwic food sleep on the floor etc. Her grandfather did pradakshina as

this girl could not do.

On 13/04/1970 ie 48 th day night an old man came in the dream of the girl and told her that there is nothing wrong in her leg and put her hand on her leg (in dream) and smoothen it. She was afraid and fallen down from the cot and woke up. on her own she stood up , a miracle nobody home can think off.

We are Smarthas belonging to Kanchi mutt and never knew Ragavendra before this 48 days and there on HE is main deity home. We go mantralayam there after.Any problem she always pray to RAGAVENDRA.

I also request you to go thro her ......

Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 03:19:30 +0000
Subject: Mantralayam
8 April 2008
I told our Vishnusahastraam group today about the Raghavendra Swami story of your family. They felt happy and inspired because some of them had visited Mantralayam in January this year when we had gone to Bangalore. I had gone there to conduct a workshop in astrology but could not go to Mantralayam because of my illness. I was confined to my bed there after the workshop and back to Delhi I rested for one month.

The small group that went to Mantralayam did Vishnusahastranam there and the priests were so happy with them that they welcomed them and took them inside the temple inspite of the crowd and gave them the facility to do group recitation which impressed the priests.

I will wait for your family story and will show it to the group. I always collect first hand account from the families concerned in first person and do not garble the account.

Please send your narration as soon as you can.


I have a collection of some first hand narrations from people who benefited from
saints and pilgrimages as here. I will , God willing, bring out a book of this collection consisting of first hand, first person narrations of people.

(10 April 2008)

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