Reg.No.BK lV 36/10-11

SREEPADA SREEVALLABHA SWAMY

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The deficiency regarding availability of a complete history of Sreepada Sreevallabha – the first avatar of Dattatreya is no more. An elaborate and well-narrated history of Sreepada, with all the miracles he performed in his childhood, with so many mystical sayings, disclosing the essential nature of Datta as well as Sreepada, was written during 14 th century by Sankarabhatt of Karnataka when Sreepada still held his body, but was hitherto unknown. The original was written in Sanskrit, later as per the instruction of Sreepada it reached the house of his maternal grandparents – the ‘Malladi' clan and was later translated into Telugu and finally reached its destination – ‘Sripada Srivallabha Maha Sansthan' of Pithapuram recently. The book titled ‘Sripada Srivallabha Charitamritam' is considered to be the result of prolonged tapas of so many devotees of Datta Marga. One may go through the book for further details, but here mention is made about some important facts.

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The grandparents of Sreepada Sreevallabha actually belonged to the Malayadri village of Guntur District in the Palnadu area. Gradually the name Malayari in the colloquial usage became Malladi. In that village there are two clans with the surname of Malladi. One belongs to Malladi Bapanna Avadhanulu of Harithasa gothra who was a great scholar. The second one was the Malladi Sridhara Avadhanulu of Kousikasa gothra who was also a great scholar. Bapanna Avadhanulu married Rajamamba the sister of Sridhara Avadhanulu, thus they were related matrimonially. Once the two scholars went to ‘Ainavilli' a remote area in Godavari mandal, and there they conducted a yagna where they actually made Lord Ganapati appear during the time of Poornahuti, which was witnessed by all the people who attended the ‘yagna'. Lord Ganapati had received the Poornahuti with his trunk and to the astonishment of all the people, disclosed that he will take birth as Sripada Srivallabha on Ganesh Chatudhi i.e. Vinayaka Chavithi, with the sixteen fold divine splendor.

Later Bapannavudhanulu who was renowned as Satyarusheeswara and Sridhara Panditulu went to Kaanipuram for a consecration ceremony of a Vinayaka temple. During the Pratishta Mahotsava, the Varasiddhi Vinayaka spoke to them, ‘Time has come O Sridhara, for the incarnation of Sreepada Sreevallabha. Sridhara! I am changing your surname as Sreepada. The people in your clan will now onwards flourish with the surname of Sreepada” saying this Lord Ganapathi blessed him. After some time both of them migrated to Pithapuram and lived there.

Bapannavadhanulu had a son by name Venkavadhanulu and a daughter Sumathi. The horoscope of Sumati had all the good signs and there was an air of royalty around her. Her walking style and her dignity resembled that of a queen, hence he named her Sumathi Maharani. Days passed by.

One day, a Brahmin boy – Ghandikota Appala Laxminarasimha Raja Sarma belonging to Bharadwaja gotra and Apasthambha stura and to the branch of Velnati Vaidikas, attracted by the name and fame of the great scholar Bapanarya came to him at Pithapuram with the aim of studying sastras under his able guidance. Appalaraju Sarma had an idol of Dattatreya in the form of ‘Kalagni Samana', which was worshipped from the times of his great grandparents. Through he lost his parents in childhood, Appala Raju Sarma also worshipped Dattatreya and during his worship, Lord Datta used to converse with him and also instructed him about various things. One day while he was praying, Datta clearly ordered Appala Raju Sarma to go to Pithapuram and study under the able guidance of Bapannavadhanulu. According to the instructions of Lord Datta he came to Bapannavadhanulu for Vedic education. Time passed by.

One day Bapannavadhanulu went to the Kukkuteswara temple and while he was performing abhishekha to the Sivalinga, a sober voice was heard from the Sivalinga. “Bapannavadhanulu! My son! Get your daughter married to Appala Raju Sarma. It is for the welfare of all. It is the decision made by Lord Datta”. As ordained by Datta, Bapannavadhunulu performed the marriage of his daughter with Appala Raju Sarma. After some time the couple had sons, but one of them was blind and another lame. Lamenting their misfortune the parents consoled themselves that everything was the blessing of Datta.

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Sri Gurucharana Seva Samithi,
Sreepada Vallabha Maha Samstan Trust, Srikshetra Ganugapur, Afzalpur Tq, Gulbarga Dt - 585212, Karnataka, India
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