Sri Potaluri Veera Brahmam is regarded as a prophet, the Indian equivalent of Nostradamus. He was a saint, whose Samadhi is in Brahmamgari Mattam, in Kandimallayapalli, about 6okm from Cuddapah, on the Cuddapah-Porumamilla route via Mydukuru. Kandimallayapalli is a small village, with the mattam as its focal point.
At the entrance of the Mattam is an arch. The Samadhi is inside the sanctum. Over it are the idols of Sri Brahmamagaru and his wife. In a silver casket is the original manuscript of Kalagnanam, a compilation of events in the Kali Yuga. Outside the sanctum are the tombs of his wife, son and daughter-in-law. Nearby is a shrine for Easwaramma, Sri Veerabrahmam’s granddaughter from his daughter’s side.
Sri Veera Brahmam was born in 1608 to Paripurnacharyulu and Prakrithamba. Not much is known about his childhood, except the fact that his parents died shortly after his brith, and that he was thereafter brought up in Nandidurgam village in Karnataka. His foster parents managed the Papaghni Mutt in the village. They named the adopted child, Veeram Bhotlayya. His foster father, Veera Bhojacharya, died when he was only 12. As the boy grew up, his foster mother, Veerapapamamba, recognized that he had a philosophic bent of mind and allowed his to go on a tour of holy places.
During his travels, Veeram Bhotlayya met Ananda Bhairava, an yogi. The yogi confessed to him that he became a celibate to ward off the sin of killing a cow, which he did inadvertently. Bhotlayya then initiated him into the Dwadasakhsharimantra, which nullified the effect of killing the cow, and also told him that immediately after his death, he would be reborn to become his (Bhotlayya’s) Chief disciple. Bhotlayya took up employment as a cowherd under one Acchamma in Banganapalle, about 100km from Kurunool. Here, it is said, he would draw a circle in the pasture, and spend his time in a cave writing on palm-leaves, Kalagnanam, a collection of prophecies. Later, a Nawab, who had initially tried to test his powers, donated land for his ashram. Bhotlayya stayed here for 12 years. Yaganti, 17km from Banaganapalle, is the site of the cave where he wrote his Kalagnanam. A famous shrine for Shiva and Parvati is located here.
Resuming his travels, Bhotlayya reached Kandimallayapalli, where he worked as a carpenter. He brought to life a dead man, an act which spread his fame far and wide. Bhotlayya imparted knowledge of Kalagnanam to a few select devotees. One such devotee, Sivakotayya, offered him his daughter, Govindamma, in marriage.
Bhotlayya married her and had five sons and a daughter. They lived in the ashram built by his devotes, who now called him Sri Brahmam guru. He accepted a muslim, Sayyid, as his devotee and renamed him Siddhayya. He initiated him as a yogi and taught him the Taraka Mantra. He toured many regions, giving discourses and performing miracles. Siddhayya acquired spiritual powers, with his willingness to do whatever the master bid him to.
Numerous are the miracles attributed to Sri Veera Brahmam. He is said to have made the local goddess, Sri Poleramma, apper in person to setle an argument against animal sacrifice. He preached against casteism, and the false assumption of superiority on the basis of caste. On the last day of his earthly sojourn, he handed over charge of the ashram to his son, Govindachari. He, however, told his wife that their sons would die without issue and that the daughter’s descendants would take care of the ashram. He then sent his favourite disciple, Siddayya, on an errand, for he knew his disciple would not be able to bear the sight of his guru passing away. When Siddhayya returned and found the saint had attained jeeva Samadhi, he was overcome with grief and tried to kill himself. Sri Veera Brahmam then came out of his grave, gifted and tried to kill himself. Sri Veera Brahmam then came out of his grave, gifted him his scepter, footwear, ring and cane. He also commanded him to go the village of Mudumala, get married and practice Raja Yoga.
Sri Veera Brahmam left the physical body in 1693. His disciples travelled from place to place, propagating his works. Some of them are in prose, some as couplets. Many of his verses are in praise of Goddess Kalikamba. His Kalagnanam, a collection of prophecies on palm leaves, are said to have predicted with uncanny accuracy European colonization of India, the fight for independence, disintegration of the caste system and the growth of science and technology. He speaks of equal opportunities for women, a society devoid of all distinctions, but also warns against immorality.
How to get there
The total distance from Cuddapah to Brahmamgari Mattam is 69km. The distance from Cuddapah to Mydhukuru is 32km and from Mydhukuru to the Mattam 37km. Buses ply frequently from Mydhukuru to Kandimallayapalli via Mallepalle. Those from north-eastern Andhra Pradesh can come via Badvel (25 km). Cuddapah is the nearest railhead, while Tirupati is the nearest airport.
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