Venkata in Madurai

In the Gurukula of Madurai, Lakshminarasimhaacharya became Venkata’s teacher. Venkata was not very keen on playing games, he believed that there is something beyond. He immersed himself into shlokas, poetry, grammar, logic and other fields of Vedic sciences. Amidst all these, he practiced his Veena everyday.

Only for the Goddess

One day, Venkata was playing Veena alone in the divine premises of Madurai Meenakshi temple and it so happened that at the exact time, the King of Madurai had come to pay a visit to the Goddess.
Elated by Venkata’s musical prowess the King said, "I have never heard anybody rendering a song as good as you do, will you grace the royal court?"?
To which Venkata humbly says, "I'm not a singer who deserves to sing in the royal court, all I want to do is sing for the God."
The King himself bows to Venkata.

Sakalakalavallabha - Master of all arts

During the festival of Deepavali, Madurai was filled with competitions and exams. Various scholars from across the country used to grace Madurai to participate in a variety of exams.
Venkatachaarya was exemplary in all the fields and earned the title 'Sakalakalavallabha - The grandmaster of all the arts' .
Then, the modest Venkata requested not to be honoured, "My achievements are very small and I have absolutely no qualities in me to get this title". Hearing this, Guru Sri Sudheendrateertha blessed him, "You have all the qualities Venkata, Your name will be remembered for milleniums."

Family life

After completion of his studies in Madurai, the charming young Venkata returned home and as per the wishes of elders, started preparing for his wedding. He got married to an honourable girl Saraswati who was the daughter of a scholar named Sri Vasudevacharya.
Following the advice of holy gurus Sri Vijayeendra Teertha and Sri Sudheendra Teertha, the couple started to Kaveripattana to begin a Sanskrit Vedic School (Vidyapeetha), Venkata assumed the role of a Guru. The couple also had a son named Lakshminarayana.

The Power of Mantras

Venkata happened to spend a night at a hamlet, the Lord of the hamlet had invited Venkata over to his home. A man there considering Venkata to be an ordinary man gave him a simple job of grinding sandalwood paste but, Venkata saw God in anything he did.

Chanting the holy Agni Sukta, he ground the Sandalwood paste. After a while, there were noises all around the house, all the people who applied the sandalwood paste had burning blisters on their bodies. On enquiring what happened, the Lord of the hamlet found out that this happened because Venkata’s mantras.
The whole gathering requested Venkata to cool them down and Venkata chanted the holy Varuna Sukta, their bodies got cooled down and everybody hailed Venkata as Venkata in turn praised the lord of the lords Mahavishnu.

Troubled times and Saraswati's dream

Daridrya Lakshmi had invaded the lives of Venkata and Saraswati. The Vidyapeetha was short of grains and resources. Venkata even pretended to have had his food so that poverty does not affect his students. After a while, the students too left for their homes and Venkata had to give away all the ornaments of Saraswati.
Tattered clothes and empty stomachs did not deter them, their child Lakshminarayana also would skip meals. Amidst these troubled days, a thief broke in and took away even the old vessels and rugged clothes. None of these shattered Venkata’s hope on the almighty.

Message from the Guru

One night, Saraswati got a message in her dream that Venkata was taken to the Gurumatha. She revealed the dream to Venkata. The elated Venkata said, "This signals the end of all our suffering... " and immediately started to Kumbhakonam.

A message for the Guru

Kumbhakonam's Guru Sri Sudheendrateertha offered shelter to Venkata's family.Venkata practiced scriptures with the Guru and one night, Lord Sri Moolarama appeared in the dream of Sudheendrateertha and commanded that, " Venkata is born for you and dharma. Hand over the leadership of the Mutt to him.", hearing this, the Guru was moved and asked Venkata if he would like to take the path of an ascetic (sanyasi).
Surprised by Guru’s words, Venkata said, "I have a little baby, a beloved wife. With these responsibilities, I do not think I have the eligibility to head the mutt".

Guru Venkata and Goddess Vaagdevi

The words of the Guru lingered on in Venkata's head. He thought about love towards all his attachments and realized that a human's love towards God was the purest, the thought enthralled him. That's when Goddess of Speech, Vagdevi appeared and said, "I, Goddess of wisdom will reside in you from now on.You are born to enrich the world as an ascetic".
The enlightened Venkata signaled the beginning of a new life with the approval from his family.

Birth of a divine Sage

In the Sri Shalivahana Shaka 1853 (CE 1583) of Durmati Samvatsara’s Phalguna Shuddha paadya, a huge crowd gathered at the Gurumatha of Tanjavur in the august presence of Guru Sri Sudheendratheertha. Venkata was seated next to the Guru. Heads of various Mutts also had arrived at Tanjavur to witness the initiation of Venkata into the divine life of an ascetic. Venkata was given the holy rice (Phalamantraakshate) by the Guru as he humbly bowed down in acceptance.