Sri Raghavendra Swami in Tanjore Paintings

It is said that painting is the way an artist communicates with the divine. Also, the use of right colours and lines puts the viewer high on a meditative state and brings him/her closer to the divine. Paintings of the great Hindu saint and philosopher, Sri Raghavendra Swami is soaring in popularity as he is revered by millions of devotees all over the world. It is widely believed that Sri Raghavendra Swami is an embodiment of Dharma (Righteousness) and Sathya (Truth) and can fulfill one’s vows like Kamadhenu, the Celestial Cow and Kalpavruksha, the Celestial Tree. The Hindus believe that by chanting his hymns, a person is relieved of his/her ills and difficulties in life, especially in an age where stress and tension looms large. Further, chanting “Sri Raghavendraya Namaha" bestows one innumerable favors upon his devotees.

Born as ‘Venkatanatha’ to Kannada-speaking Madhwa Brahmin parents in the small town of Bhuvanagiri, Tamil Nadu in 1595 (according to most reliable sources), Raghavendra Swami was the head of the Sri Mutt in Kumbakonam from 1624 to 1636. A staunch ideologue of the Dvaita philosophy, he wrote the “Sudha Parimala”, an adaptation of the famous commentary on “Jayatirthas’ Nyaya Sudha”. His Samadhi or shrine in Mantralayam in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh is a major pilgrimage centre. He is believed to have performed numerous miracles during his lifetime and therefore, is given god-like status by his faithful believers.

Sri Raghavendra Swami completed his initial education under the tutelage of his brother-in-law Lakshminarasimhachar. It was when he joined the well-known Sri Mutt in Kumbakonam that he observed sanyasa and adopted the name of “Raghavendra Theertha”.

Later Raghavendra became the head of the Sri Mutt after the samadhi of his spiritual guru Sudheendra Theertha. He then travelled South India extensively to propagate the Dvaita philosophy of Saint Madhvacharya. In 1671, during one of his sermons with the disciples, he said that he will be in spirit with them for the next 800 years after which he became Samadhi at Mantralayam.

Looking for some of the best Tanjore paintings of Sri Raghavendra Swami? Look no further than Sandiv Art Gallery with free shipping in South India as well as international shipping options.