Sripada Srivallabha Charitamrutam English - Chapter - 1



Srirastu               Shubhamastu               Avighnamastu                                   


 The Stories of Shankar Bhatt, the writer of ‘Charitamrutham’ and Vyaghreswara Sharma Rendering my salutations to Sri Maha Ganadhipathi, Sri Maha Saraswathi, the lineage of my Gurus, Sri Krishna Bhagawan and all Gods and Goddesses, I have now decided to describe the glory of Sripada Srivallabha who is the latest manifestation of Sri Lord Datta, who is the Lord of Crores of Universes. Sri Dattatreya is the oldest and the eternal one. In this ‘Kaliyuga’, he is born with the name of Sripada Srivallabha in the village Sri Peethikapuram, which is in the Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh.

 It is impossible even for great scholars to describe His divine history and the glory of His divine plays. Not having any scholarship and with limited knowledge, I have taken the task of describing His history. I humbly submit to all, that it is all due to His decision, His direction and His divine blessings. I am Shankar Bhatt and I belong to Karnataka region. 

I am a ‘Smarta’ and worship both Lord Vishnu & Lord Shiva. I belong to Bharadwaja Gothra (lineage). I went to Udipi to have darshan of Sri Krishna Bhagawan. There, Balakrishna gave me darshan as a pretty boy with a tuft of peacock feathers on his head and ordered me to go to Kanyakumari to have darshan of Sri Kanyakaparameswari. I had darshan of Sri Kanyakaparameswari in Kanyakumari. I took bath in the holy confluence of three seas there.
udipi sri krishna
Udipi srikrishna
Also Read : Udipi krishana temple History click here


 On one Tuesday, I entered the temple for darshan of Sri Devi. The priest was doing worship to Devi with rapt attention. He took red coloured flowers from me and did worship. The Mother looked at me with graceful looks and said ‘Shankara! I am pleased with the innocent devotion present in your heart. You go to ‘Kuruvapuram’ and have darshan of Sripada Srivallabha and get your life fulfilled. 

With mere darshan of Sripada Srivallabha, you will have indefinable experiences in your mind, soul and all your senses. Having got the blessings of ‘Mother’,
kanya kumari temple

 I started from that holy place and reached a village named ‘Maruthwa Malai’, which was nearby. I learnt that while Sri Hanumantha was taking the ‘Sanjeevini Hill’ back to Himalayas, a piece fell from it at that place and so it was named ‘Maruthwa Malai’. 

That hill present in the Maruthwa Malai village was good looking. It had some caves in it. I learnt that it was the place where “Siddha Purusha’s” (illumined souls) did penance incognito. I was looking into the caves to find some Siddha Purusha if I was fortunate enough. I found a big tiger at the entrance of a cave. All my body parts started trembling and I was palpitating.

 Frightened, I once shouted loudly ‘Sripada! Srivallabha! Datta Prabhu!’ That tiger remained calm and immobile like a domestic animal. One old monk came out of that cave. Suddenly that place of Maruthwa Malai reverberated the name ‘Sripada Srivallabha’. That old monk said, “My dear! You are blessed. Only great siddha purushas, great yogis, Jnanis and Paramahamsas who remain in ‘Nirvikalpa Samadhi’ only know that Sri Datta Prabhu has manifested Himself as Sripada Srivallabha in this ‘Kali’ yugam. 

You could come here because of your luck. This is the place of penance (tapo bhumi) and also siddha bhumi. Your desire will be fulfilled. You will certainly have the fortune of having Srivallabha’s darshan. The tiger present at the entrance of the cave is a ‘Jnani’. You salute to this ‘Jnani’.” I gave my salutations to that Jnani in the form of tiger. Immediately that tiger uttered ‘Aum’. The whole of Maruthwa Malai reverberated to that sound. It also sang pleasingly ‘Sripada rajam Sharanam Prapadye’. I was looking at this strange sight. Then atoms in that form of tiger burst and a man with a divine glowing body appeared. 

After paying obeisance to that old monk, the divine person left into the sky with a glowing body. The old monk smiled. He invited me into the cave. I silently entered the cave. Grace was flowing from the eyes of the old monk. By mere wish, he created fire. He also materialized some items required to be offered into that divine fire, some sweet preparations and fruits. Chanting Vedic mantras, he offered all those materials into the fire. He said, In this world, the good deeds like Yajnas and Yagas are becoming scarce. 

The man who is benefited by the five elements (Pancha Bhutas), air, water, sky, fire and earth, is ignoring God who is the source of these elements. One has to perform sacrifices (yajnas) to please Gods. With that, Gods will be satisfied and by their grace, the nature (prakruthi) becomes favorable to man. Man cannot withstand, if any power of nature becomes violent. If these powers of nature are not pacified, calamities occur.

 If man deviates from the righteous path problems come from the powers of nature. I did this sacrifice for the welfare of the world. The meaning of ‘Yaajan’ is ‘Union’. You could see this yajna because of your good fortune. As the fruit of this yajna, you will have the darshan of Sripada Srivallabha, who is the embodiment of Lord Datta. This is a rare achievement. Such achievements occur when the merit acquired in many previous births start giving results at a time
I saluted to that great person and requested him, ‘Oh! Greatest among Siddhas! I am not a scholar, not a ‘Yogi’, not even a ‘Sadhaka’ (practitioner of spiritual discipline). I know very little. Please keep complete grace on me and dispel my doubts’. The old monk agreed. Then I prayed, ‘Oh! Greatest among Siddhas! When I had darshan of Mother Kanyaka Parameswari, she told me to go to Kuruvapuram for the darshan of Sripada Srivallabha. 

Here I had your darshan and the darshan of the mahatma in the form of tiger. Who is that mahatma in the tiger form? Who is Sripada Srivallabha?` That old monk started telling like this, ‘My Dear! In Godavari area in Andhra Desam, there is a village named Atreyapuram which is famous as the ‘Tapo Bhumi’ of Atri Maharshi. There, one Brahmin was born in Kasyapa gotra (known for Vedic pundits). He was named Vyaghreswara Sharma by his parents.
Though the father was a great pundit, the son became dull headed. Though he had education, he could not even do ‘sandhya vandanam’. He used to say only “Vyaghreswara Sharma Aham Bho Abhivadaye”. He was disturbed by the ridicule of his colleagues. Parents also neglected him. He heard that there would be great ‘tapasvis’ in Himalayas and one could get ‘Atma Jnana’ by their grace.

 He was called only to take donation of gingilli seeds and in ceremonies of departed souls, when others were not available. So he developed an inferiority complex. One early morning in Brahmi Muhurtham, he had a dream. In that dream he saw a divine baby having divine light around him. That baby was coming from the sky above on to the earth. When His Sri Charanas (feet) touched earth, the ‘Bhumandalam’ was filled with divine light. That baby came to Vyaghreswara Sharma with slow steps and said “why do you fear when I am with you? I owe much to this village. Without debt, even a dog cannot come to us. You go to Badarikaranyam in Himalayas. It will be auspicious to you.” Then the baby disappeared. Vyaghreswara Sharma reached Badarikaranyam.
Badri nath

 On the way he was getting food without any effort. From the time he started, one dog accompanied him. He was roaming in Badarikaranyam along with the dog. In his journey, he took sacred bath in Urvasi Kundam. Along with him, the dog also took sacred bath. At the same time, one mahatma came to that area along with his disciples to take sacred bath in Urvasi Kundam. Vyaghreswara paid obeisance to that mahatma’s lotus feet and prayed him to take him as his disciple.

 That mahatma kindly agreed. Immediately after he was accepted as a disciple of that mahatma, the dog disappeared. The mahatma said, ‘Vyaghreswara! The dog which came along with you is the merit acquired in your previous births. You could come here directed by ‘kaala’ (time) and take bath in Urvasi Kundam. You are attracted to the ‘tapo bhoomi’ of Nara and Narayana.

 All this is indeed Sripada Srivallabha’s grace!’ Vyaghreswara Sharma humbly questioned, “Gurudev! Who is Sripada Srivallabha? How did he develop affection on me?” The mahatma said, ‘My Dear! Sripada Srivallabha is none other than ‘Sri Datta Prabhu’. In Tretha Yuga, Maharshi Bharadwaj conducted a great ‘yajna’ 
called ‘Savitrukathaka Chayanam’ in Sri Peetikapuram. For that, he invited Lord Shiva and Parvathi. According to the boon granted to Bharadwaja, many Mahatmas, Sidda Purushas, Jnanis and Yogis took birth in Bharadwaja Gothra. This fact as well as the fact that Savitrukathaka Chayanam was performed in Sri Peetikapuram was mentioned in ‘Pyngya Brahmanam’. 

Though they are not seen in other parts of the country, the ‘Pyngya Brahmanam’ and ‘Sandra Sindhu Vedam’ are carefully protected in the village ‘Shambala’ which will be the place of birth of ‘Kalki’ Avatar. When Kali Yugam ends and the Satya Yugam enters, Sripada Srivallabha who is the avathar of Lord Datta, will come to Sri Peethikapuram in physical form. One develops devotion on Lord Datta, only when the sins committed in many previous births are annihilated and the merit starts giving the fruits.

 When the devotion becomes wholesome, Sripada Srivallabha gives the person the fortune of His darshan, touch and talk. The merit in your previous births is strong now. For that reason, Sripada Srivallabha’s grace had fallen on you. I am going for darshan of my Gurudev, Mahavatar Babaji. I will come back after one year. You all go to your respective caves and practice ‘Kriya Yoga’ and try to acquire ‘Atma Jnana’ (self realization). Thus he instructed his disciples and went to Drona Giri which was in the area of ‘Sanjeevini’ Hill. 
sanjivini Hill
sanjivini hill

Vyaghreswara Sharma sat in the cave marked for him. He did not understand the ways of practicing Kriya Yoga or the words spoken by Gurudev teaching ‘Atma Jnana’. He thought like this; “Gurudev used to call me lovingly ‘Oh! Vyaghrama (Tiger)!’ All my co-disciples are doing dhyana sitting on tiger skins. If the skin of a tiger is so sacred and is very much beneficial to a yogi, then the tiger itself must be very great. Moreover, Guruji told us to try for ‘Atma Jnana’. Atma means self. What have I to do with others? My name is Vyaghreswara. So my ‘atma’ must be ‘Vyaghram’ (tiger). I have to do dhyana on tiger only. My atma is that only. If I get the form of a tiger, it would be getting ‘Atma Jnana’ only”. One year passed quickly. 

Gurudev came to each cave and observed the progress made by his disciples. In the cave of Vyaghreswara, the person was not there. Instead, he saw a tiger there. Gurudev observed with his ‘yogic’ vision that Vyaghreswara got the tiger form because he did ‘dhyana’ intensely on tiger form. He was pleased for his unblemished heart and for the purity of his ‘atma’. 

He blessed him and taught him how to pronounce ‘Aum’. He also gave him the mantra ‘Sripada rajam Sharanam Prapadye’ and asked him to repeat it. Vyaghreswara reached near Kuruvapuram in the tiger form only. To reach Kuruvapuram, he had to go across the waters of Krishna River. Sripada Srivallabha, who was with His devotees in Kuruvapuram told them, ‘My devotee is calling me. I will come back soon’. Saying so, He walked on water with his glowing body. 

While walking on water, whenever His foot touched water, a lotus was appearing under it. He reached the other bank of river and saw Vyaghreswara who was relentlessly chanting ‘Sripada rajam Sharanam Prapadye’. Vyaghreswara paid obeisance to the divine feet of
Sripada Srivallabha. Srivallabha sat on the tiger and reached Kuruvapuram moving on water. Everybody was looking surprised. According to Datta Purana, Sri Dattatreya himself manifested as ‘Dharma Sasta’, who was the son of Hari and Hara. Dharma Sasta manifested as Ayyappa Swamy later. At that time Devendra took the form of a tiger and Ayyappa Swamy came to the capital town riding on that tiger. So, some thought that Srivallabha was Dharma Sasta Himself. 

The Mother ‘Amba’ had lion as well as tiger as Her carriers. So, some thought that Sripada Srivallabha and universal Mother were not different. When Srivallabha reached Kuruvapuram and got down from the tiger, the tiger died. From that tiger one great person with a divine glow came out. He prayed to Srivallabha to use the skin of the tiger as ‘aasana’ (seat). Sri Charana agreed for that. With affection flowing, Srivallabha said ‘My Dear! Vyaghreswara! In one of your births, you were a hefty strong wrestler. 
sripada srivallabha at kurvapuram
Sripada srivallabha

Then you used to fight with tigers and torture them cruelly. You used to tie them and keep them hungry and give ‘shows’ to people for your beastly enjoyment. Because you cruelly tortured tigers, inspite of being born as a human being, you should have taken many births as animal according to the principle of action, cause and effect. But because of my grace, I cancelled your cruel deed by giving you the tiger form in one birth only. I am giving a boon to you that you can have the tiger form whenever you want it. You will receive the ‘darshan’ and blessings of many ‘siddha purushas’ who are doing tapas for me for some hundreds of years in Himalayas. 

You will shine reaching the highest state in the yogic path.” He thus blessed him. It was the same Vyaghreswara whom you saw. He stays in Himalayas. The great yogis do not like to meet general public. Vyaghreswara would guard them in tiger form so that they were not inconvenienced by the common people. The great yogis can communicate with each other by merely transmitting the thought by their yogic powers and they do not need any messengers. 

But they would send messages to each other through Vyaghreswara for fun. This was all the play of Sri Lord Datta. My Dear Shankar Bhatt! Before the creation, there was the first couple (first wife and husband). When wife becomes pregnant, she will have some desires. It is the duty of the husband to fulfill her desires. When Sharvani became pregnant Parameswara told Her to ask if She had any desire. Then Sharvani said ‘Lord! I experienced all pleasures having the body of a female; I do not know how the experience would be when having a male body.

 Hence, please oblige me’. Shankara said ‘let it be so’. Immediately Sharvani took the form of a male. That was the form of Maha Vishnu. There was no way for the baby inside Her to come out. Then, a lotus sprouted from the umbilicus of Maha Vishnu. From that lotus, Brahma Deva was born and started creation. Sri Maha Vishnu created the form of Sharvani again from His body. The secrets of Gods and Their plays are unthinkable. In this way, Sri Maha Vishnu and Parvathi Devi became brother and sister

On the full moon day in the month of Sravan, Parvathi Devi tied rakhee (raksha bandhan) to Sri Mahavishnu and said ‘Brother! Sri Bhola Shankar gives boons to everyone without thinking about propriety and feasibility. Every such time, you are manifesting in ‘avathars’ with your Vishnu maya to kill demons thus saving my ‘mangalyam’. Brother! Let this practice of tying rakhee remain forever as a symbol of love between brother and sister.

 Sri Maha Vishnu said ‘thathasthu’ (let it be so). In accordance with this pledge only, when there was a trouble from Bhasmasura, Sri Vishnu took the form of ‘Mohini’ and annihilated him. Vishnu Maya is unthinkable. It is difficult to guess that it would be like this or that. Dharma Sasta was born to Mohini and Shankara. After Dharma Sasta was born, Mohini disappeared. He only took the ‘avatar’ of Ayyappa Swamy in ‘Kali Yugam’. 
swamy Ayyappa
Swamy Ayyappa

There is a divine secret in this. Dharma Sasta is none other than Sri Maha Vishnu. In that form, Brahma and Rudra also merged and so we can say that it is the Dattatreyam with those three forms merging. When Parameswari manifested as the daughter of Pandya Bhoopala with the name of ‘Meenakshi’, Parameswar manifested Himself as Sundareswar.

 Sri Maha Vishnu performed the marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswar. But when Parameswari manifested Herself as Sri Kanyaka Parameswari, marriage did not take place. But Sripada Srivallabha manifestation was beyond place and time. Srivallabha manifested Himself in Peethikapuram in Kali Yugam. But that same form of Srivallabha was there from the very beginning of creation in divine luminous worlds. 
madura meenakshi
Madura meenakshi 

The divine plays (leelas) of Sripada for 30 years from 1320 AD when He was born in Peethikapuram till 1350 AD when He disappeared in Kuruvapuram, can not be comprehended even by the 7 rishis. How can we understand?” I questioned, “Swamy! Now 1336 AD is running. That means Srivallabha will remain on earth for the next fourteen years only? Will He end His avatar so early?” Sadguru Dev said ‘My Dear! If Srivallabha is born, then there will be retreat. His play has no birth or death. He is not affected by time and place.


 King Agrasena, who was contemporary of Sri Krishna Paramatma, was ruling a kingdom in the ‘Aryavartam (north India). He was a vysya. Some of the descendents of that king used to do business in the south. Some were staying with the families of king’s relatives in Brihat Sila Nagaram (Penugonda) in Andhra region.

 One relative of Agrasena Maharaj by name Kusuma Shresti was ruling that region in accordance with dharma with Brihat Sila Nagaram as his capital. The Kusuma Shresti couple were righteous people with good conduct. They were doing many good deeds like yajnas and yagas. Bhaskaracharya was the Guru of the king and very close to Kusuma Shresti. Jaganmatha was born in their house as Sri Kanyaka Parameswari. Sripada Srivallabha took out one part of Him and made it to be born in their house. He was named Virupaksha. Ravana pleased Kailasavasa (Sri Shankara) to obtain ‘Atma Lingam’. He then asked for a mean boon. Jaganmatha accompanied him in Bhadrakali form. In Gokarna Kshetra the atma lingam fell on the 

ground and got established there. My Dear! The glory of Gokarna Kshetram is great. There is a divine secret relationship among vysya caste, Gokarnas (the ears of cows) and Gokarna Kshetram. Even though Ravana was killed, one part of him took birth in Kali Yugam as a king who was blinded by lust. Amba expressed Her Bhadrakali form in another way in Kali Yugam.

 Along with Her, some relatives of the king’s family jumped into the ‘agni’ (fire) and expressed their self respect according to the tradition of Aryavarta Bhoomi. Sri Kanyaka Parameswari reached her Lord Nagareswar. Before ‘Amba’ was born, Kusuma Shresti couple did many sacrifices (yajnas). Kusuma Shresti used to take milk and gold from only one family in their relatives. They had the house name ‘Pynda’. When you go to Peethikapuram, you will meet a mahatma, a descendent from that family. Now you go to Kuruvapuram and have darshan of Srivallabha.” He blessed and disappeared with a luminous body. 

    ******Victory to Sripada Srivallabha ******

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Sripada Srivallabha Charitamrutam English - Chapter - 1
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