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Life Story Of Saraswati – Wife Of Raghavendra Swamy

Raghavendra Swamy in his purva ashrama was known as Venkatanatha. He had married Saraswathi Bai in 1614 CE and they had a son in the same year named Lakshmana Acharya. The life story of Saraswati Bai is very interesting and is part of the miracle performed by Raghavendra Swamy.

Venkatanatha’s fame as a debater par excellence spread all over the region. His professional life as a teacher reached its pinnacle. At this time a call for taking up sanyasa came from his Guru Sri Sudheendra Theertha, who was heading the Vidya Mutt at that time. He summoned Venkatanatha and expressed his wish to appoint him as his successor and urged him to embrace sannyasa and head the mutt.

Venkatanatha was not mentally ready for the life of sanyasa with the responsibility of caring for wife Saraswathi and son Lakshminarayana. He politely refused to accept the responsibility and told Sri Sudheendra Theertha that “my wife is still very young and I too am not old enough to think of sanyasa. I am yet to perform the upanayana ceremony of my son; how can I go into sanyasa.

Although Venkatanatha knew that the responsibility of bringing up of his son would be taken care of by the mutt, he was worried about the future of his wife, who had stood by him in difficult times like a rock and supported his endeavors.

He did not reveal to his wife what had transpired between him and Sri Sudheendra Theertha as it would shock her.

However, he could not ignore the request made by the seer to take up sanyasa and head the mutt as it was the wish of Bhagavan. The sage spent sleepless nights waiting for Bhagavan to show him the way. After few days, when he was meditating at night a message came to him from the almighty directing him to take responsibility of the Vidya Mutt.

The same was conveyed to his wife, who accepted the decision of her husband with teary eyes

On the day of Sri Venkatanatha's ascension into Sanyasa Ashrama, his wife, Saraswathi was seized by a sudden desire to see her husband's face for the last time. She ran towards the Mutt throwing caution to the winds and was turned back. Since she couldn't see her husband any longer, she committed suicide by drowning in an old and unused well on the way.

It is said that she became a ghost trapped mid-way between heaven and earth due to her untimely death. Since her last wish of seeing her husband was not fulfilled, her ghost went to the mutt to witness the ordaining function. However, by the time she arrived, her husband had become a Sannyasi Sri Raghavendra Theertha.

However, Guru Raghavendra could immediately sense his wife's presence with his spiritual powers. He sprinkled some holy water from his kamandalu on her as a means of granting her last wish. She saw her husband for one last time and this action granted her moksha or liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.