Birth

Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy was born as Sri Venkanna Bhatta (Venkata Ramana), the second son of Sri Thimanna Bhatta and Smt. Gopikamba on Thursday, Sukla Navami of Phalguna month in 1595, when the moon was in Mrigashīrsha Nakshatra, at Bhuvanagiri, near present-day Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.

Sri Thimmanna Bhatta was the son of Sri Kanakachala Bhatta and the grandson of Sri Krishna bhatta, a Veena scholar in the court of King Krishnadevaraya. Sri. Thimanna Bhatta and his wife, Smt. Gopikamba had a son, Gururajacharya and a daughter, Venkatamba.
Sri Venkanna Bhatta was also called Venkatanatha or Venkatacharya in honor of Sri Venkateshwara at Tirupati, with whose blessings he was considered to have been born, to his parents for their devotion and diligence towards the deity.[1]

Early Life

Sri Venkatanatha proved to be a very brilliant scholar from a very young age who learnt to play the Veena very proficiently thanks to his father and grandfather.

After his father's demise, young Venkatanatha was brought up by his brother Sri Gururaja Bhatta and completed the initial portion of his education under his brother-in-law Lakshminarasimhacharya's guidance in Madurai.[1]

Marriage

After his return from Madurai in 1614, Sri Venkatanatha married Smt. Saraswathi Bai in the same year and had a son Sri Lakshminarayanacharya.

After his marriage, Sri Venkatanatha and his family went to Kumbakonam where he studied the Dwaita vedantha, grammar and literary works under his guru, Sri Sudheendra Theertha.

Sri Venkatanatha was already very well versed in bhashyas and consistently prevailed over renowned and reputed scholars, irrespective of the complexity of the debates. He was an ardent devotee of Sri Moola Rama and Sri Panchamukha MukhyaPranaDevaru (the five-faced form of Hanuman - Pancha meaning five, mukha meaning faces). He spent a large part of his Poorvashrama life teaching Sanskrit and the ancient Vedic texts to children. He never demanded any money for his services and endured a life of poverty along with his wife and son.

They went without food several times a week. On occasion, his wife did not have change of clothes. This forced her daily change of wear to be dependent on when the clothes dried. She would wear 1/2 the saree, wait for the other 1/2 to dry and wrap it around her. But he was so devoted in his quest for a higher spiritual plane that these obstacles never deterred his faith in the Lord[1]

Poorvashrama Miracles

Once while he was touring Kumbakonam along with his wife, Sri Venkatanatha and his family was invited to attend a function. Unfortunately, the hosts did not treat him well and wanted him to earn his food by running a chore. So they asked him to make some sandalwood paste for all the invitees. Sri Venkatanatha per his habit, was chanting stotras and mantras while preparing sandalwood for Tilaka.

When the guests applied this paste, it induced a burning sensation all over their bodies. Surprised by this, the hosts sought a clarification from Venkatanatha. He replied that the burning sensation was due to the Agni Suktam (hymn for the worship as defined in the Esoteric Vedas) that he was chanting while preparing sandalwood and thus eternal power of Vedic Mantras revealed itself. This happens only when chanted with absolute dedication and devotion. The power is enhanced since it was chanted by someone as virtuous and devoted to Bhagwaan Hari as himself.

Upon realizing his devotion and power, the host apologized profusely to Sri Venkatanatha and sought his forgiveness. Sri Venkatanatha then prepared the paste again but chanted the Vedic Mantra to Varuna (Vedic rain gods) this time. It has been recorded that when the guests applied this paste, they were awash with a sense of being drenched in rainwater, reaffirming Sri Venkatanatha's power of devotion.[1]

Ordination into Sanyasa as Guru Raghavendra

Thus while his life was spent in the worship of God and service of humanity, his spiritual guru, Sri Sudheendra Theertharu, was looking for a successor to his math. He had a dream where the Lord indicated that Sri Venkatanatha would be the right person to succeed him as the pontiff.

Sri Venkatanatha initially refused due to his responsibility towards his young wife and son but was soon blessed by the Goddess of Learning, where she in a dream indicated that he was to seek salvation as a Sanyasi.

Sri Venkatanatha treated this as an omen and changed his mind. The sanyasa ordination took place in 1621 on the Phalguni Sukla Dwitiya at Tanjore.[1]

Incarnation - Part 1

Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy was born as Sri Venkanna Bhatta (Venkata Ramana), the second son of Sri Thimanna Bhatta and Smt. Gopikamba on Thursday, Sukla Navami of Phalguna month in 1595, when the moon was in Mrigashīrsha Nakshatra, at Bhuvanagiri, near present-day Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.

Sri Thimmanna Bhatta was the son of Sri Kanakachala Bhatta and the grandson of Sri Krishna bhatta, a Veena scholar in the court of King Krishnadevaraya. Sri. Thimanna Bhatta and his wife, Smt. Gopikamba had a son, Gururajacharya and a daughter, Venkatamba.
Sri Venkanna Bhatta was also called Venkatanatha or Venkatacharya in honor of Sri Venkateshwara at Tirupati, with whose blessings he was considered to have been born, to his parents for their devotion and diligence towards the deity.[1]

Incarnation - Part 2

Under Construction

Overview

Shree Raghavendra Seva Samithi Melbourne Inc (SRSS Melbourne) was established in 2010, in Melbourne, Australia to promote Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy's teachings and philosophy and further to enhance Madhwa siddhantha.
SRSS is an association incorporated in Victoria, Australia and the Australian Business Number (ABN) is 29 679 842 465.
One of the goals of SRSS is to establish the consecrated Sri Raghavendra Swamy Brindavan (i.e, the holy shrine) in Melbourne, Australia.

Vision, Mission and Objectives

VISION
Representing Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy, SRSS strongly believes in rediscovering our vedic heritage and enhancing our culture & tradition through a social and community-based spiritual development and participation. Incorporating this type of culture is certain to bear us fruits of happiness, prosperity, and sustainable development.

MISSION
SRSS mission is to promote Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy's teachings and philosophy and further to enhance Madhwa siddhantha.

OBJECTIVES
To establish the consecrated Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy Brindavan (i.e, the holy shrine) in Melbourne, Australia, as a centre and main place for the devotees of Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy to gather.
To facilitate festivities such as Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy Aradhanai
To promote the understanding of Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy's philosophy, through his teachings and chanting from his scriptures.
To provide a venue and opportunity for the SRSS members, to gather for cultural and religious purposes and to the community at large for a variety of activities.

Business Plan

START UP
As part of working towards its mission, SRSS is now set up to organise and run the following:
1 Monthly Bhajans
2 Monthly SRSS Management Committee Meetings
3 Annual functions, i.e., Shree Guru Raghavendra Swamy Aradhanai

BUSINESS PLAN
Currently SRSS Management Committee is putting together a detailed business plan outlining the key milestones and deliverables and the strategy to complete the deliverables.

Key Milestones

In accordance with the business plan (work-in-progress), the following milestones are under consideration:

FY 2010-11, Q3 (Jan-Mar)...recently completed
. Draft Business Plan
. Review Land Procurement Options for the Shrine
. Initiate Fund Raising Plan

FY 2010-11, Q4 (Apr-Jun)
. Shree Raghavendra Swamy Aradhanai - Planning and preparation for the event

FY 2011-12, Q1 (Jul-Sep)
. Review Business Plan
. Review Fund Raising Plan
. Statutory Approvals - Hold discussions with statutory authorities

FY 2011-12, Q2 (Oct-Dec)
TBA

Office Bearers

The office bearer's of the SRSS Management Committee are:
1 President
2 Vice President
3 Treasurer
4 Public Officer
5 Advisors
6 Committee Members.