Sri Sreepada Sreevallabha (1323-1344)


In a village named Pithapuram located near the sacred Godavari River, in East Godavari District in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India, there lived a pious couple, of the Brahmin caste, devoted to Lord Dattatreya, Appala Raju Sarma and Sumati by name. To this pious couple was born Lord Dattatreya as Sreepada Sreevallabha to check the evil ways and strengthen the righteous forces in man. He was the third surviving child of the couple. Since the child born had all the divine features besides celestial radiance, it was fittingly named as Sree pada. This was the first manifestation of Lord Datta in this age of 'Kali'. As per the tradition, Sreepada's "Upanayanam" (investiture with the sacred thread) was performed when he was of eight years old, and from that very moment, being the divine incarnate, instead of learning from a "Guru" (Teacher), started imparting Vedic knowledge to his pupils. 

At the appropriate time, Sreepada, blessed his two brothers, who were infirm from birth, with his infinite grace and made them normal human beings. Then he granted his Parents, the vision of his divine form. Then taking leave of his Parents, he renounce all  worldly ties and christened himself as "Sreepada Sreevallabha". He visited various holy places and settled in a place called "Kurupuram" on the banks of River Krishna. Here, pleased with the devotion of a washer-man, he granted him a boon to be born in a Royal family and reign as a King in his next birth. Thereafter, he also advised a poor Brahmin lady, who was about to end her life by drowning in the Krishna, that she shall be blessed with a noble son equal to him in spiritual stature, in her next life if she spends her life in the worship of Lord Shiva. To keep up his promise, Sreepada Sreevallabha decided to cast-off the physical body by entering into the river Krishna and he willed his own birth once again. However, unseen, even to this day, the good lord, has been granting wishes to those who serve him and contemplate his divine name:

"Digambara, digambara, Sreepada vallabha digambara" 

"Digambara, Digambara, Avadhutachintana digambara"  

 ( Also refer "Sree Guru Charitra" (English)by Pujya Sri Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja)