Hindu scholar, theologian and saint. His diverse oeuvre include commentaries on the works of Madhva, Jayatirtha and Vyasatirtha, interpretation of the Principal Upanishads from the standpoint of Dvaita and a treatise on Purva Mimamsa. He served as the pontiff of the Raghavendra swamy stotra in kannada pdf Mutt at Kumbakonam from 1624 to 1671.
Raghavendra was also an accomplished player of the Veena and he composed several songs under the name of Venu Gopala. Raghavendra was born as Venkatanatha in the town of Bhuvanagiri, Tamil Nadu into a family of musicians and scholars. His great-grandfather Krishnabhatta was a tutor to Vijayanagara king Krishnadeva Raya and his father Timmanacharya was an accomplished scholar and musician.
After the fall of Vijayanagara empire, Timmanacharya migrated to Kanchi with his wife Gopikamba. Venkatanatha had two siblings: Gururaja and Venkatamba. Venkatanatha’s education was undertaken by his brother-in-law Lakshminarasimhacharya, after the early demise of his father and he was subsequently married.
According to Raghavendra Vijaya, his triumph in debates at Thanjavur attracted the attention of Sudhindra Tirtha, the erstwhile pontiff of Kumbakonam mutt. Though initially uncertain about the prospect of renunciation, Venkatanatha relented to Sudhindra’s demands and was ordained as a monk in 1621. After the passing away of Sudhindra Tirtha in 1623, Venkatanatha succeeded him as the pontiff the mutt and took on the name Raghavendra Tirtha. He undertook a pilgrimage visiting places including Udupi, Kolhapur and Bijapur.