( 1611- 1681)
Aradhanaa: Margasira Amavasya
Sri Mahipathi Dasa was the son of Sri Koneri Rao, an orthodox and ardent devotee of Sri Hari. When Koneri Rao wanted to perform the Upanayana of his son, the astrologer who saw his horoscope predicted that Mahipathi would lead a royal life and become a sacred yogi.Mahipathi continued his early education with his father and became a popular scholar like him. He became very fluent in Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Urdu and Persian. His philosophical discourses were very popular and attended by thousands.
One day, Khawas Khan, a minister in Adil Shah's court was passing by the Narasimha Temple in the town, where Mahipathi Rao was conducting a discourse on Purana, and saw thousands of people listening to his discourse. Khan listened to his talk for some time and liked what he heard. He wanted a discourse to be conducted in his house too. Mahipathi immediately agreed to do so, as the Sultans were known for their brutality & also generosity, if they are happy.
The next day, Mahipathi conducted a discourse in Khan's house. He explained incidents from Bhagawatha, Ramayana etc in urdu and parsi, languages which the people in the ministe's house understood. His discourse was so well liked that it became a practice and later on, discourses were conducted both in Khan's house and the temple. Many muslims, including mullas, attended his discourse and appreciated his knowledge and scholarship in Puranas & Scripture.
Once, the Nawab's Lekhadars, Accountants were in trouble, as they could not rectify a mistake in their accounts. Some one in the Palace suggested that Mahipathi Rao, should be consulted as he was good at accounts. When Mahipathi verified the accounts , he immediately identified the error.
The Nawab was very happy and appointed Mahipathi as his courtier, as also a Manager of Accounts. Eventually, Mahipathi's sincerity and hard-work made him the Diwan of the Province.
Mahipathi married a girl called Tirumala, and led a very simple and austere life, even though he could afford luxuries and comforts. Still he continued eating Jola Bhakri & Akki Nucchu as earlier. He was not elated by the new post or power.
Turning towards the inner Self
In Bijapur, there lived a brother and sister called Shahanunga and Shahanungi. They belonged to the Soophi sect and were very popular as they could predict the future, show their Mystic Powers. However, their existence and character seemed a mystery. No one in Bijapur, knew where they lived, what they ate, or wore. Most of the time they appeared nude & wore rags. They were very pious and respected by both Hindus and Muslims.
One day, Mahipathi was inspecting some construction work on the banks of Begum Talab, a water tank. Shahanunga appeared from some where, and was curious to know what Mahipathi had in his hand. Mahipathi Raya told him that it was the Nawab' s Signatory Ringring (raja mudra) given to him as he was Diwan of the Province
Shahanunga stretched his hand asking Mahipathi to give him the ring and upon receiving it, threw it into the the tank. Mahipathi was scared as the ring was a symbol of the Nawab's position and power, and could not be trifled with.
He pleaded with Shahanunga to retrieve the ring. Shahnunga asked his sister to get the ring. She immediately plunged into the tank and retrieved hundreds of identical rings from the water.
The baffled Mahipathi could not identify the Nawab's ring and requested Shahanunga to help him, whereupon Shahanunga retrieved his original ring and uttering the words 'mouth kaa ghan, (smell of stinking dead body) with this' and he disappeared.
Mahipathi could not understand Shahnunga's utterance [mouth ka ghan means smell of dead body] or its significance. After pondering about this for a while, he gave up and decided to approach Shahnunga himself for an explanation. This was not easy as Shahnunga's whereabouts were difficult to predict. Finally, after great effort, Mahipathi finally met Shahnunga and prostrated before him, asking him to explain the significance of his words and accept him (Mahipathi) as a disciple.
Shahnunga told him, I am not a Brahmana, like you, to go to Bhaskar Swamy who was in Saravada and accept him as your Guru.
After this Mahipathi Rao decided to give up his position and go to Bhaskar Swamy.The Nawab was initially reluctant to let him go, but as his Junior wife wanted her brother to have a seat of Power in Palace, agrred to relieve him after gifting wth Gold & wealth to Mahipati Rao. Even Tirumala was happy with Mahipathi's decision and decided to accompany him to Sarawada.
Bhaskar Swamy was very famous in Karanataka and Maharashtra. Even though Sarawada was a small village, his presence attracted a number of devotees, turning Sarawada into a piligrimage centre.Mahipathi and his wife went to Bhaskar Swamy for obtaining sacred and philosophical knowledge. Bhaskar Swamy accepted Mahipathi as his disciple and gave him Upadesha. He also blessed the couple to have illustrious children. Mahipathi and his wife stayed with Bhaskar Swamy for some time before going to their native place in Bijapur.
Later, Mahipathi went to Shapura village in Gulbarga district, where he selected the Sri Hanuman Temple on the banks of the Mandakini river for his Spiritual activites. From then on, he became known as Mahipathi Dasa and composed many songs with the ankitha 'Mahipathi'. He spent the rest of his life conducting philosophical discourses, bhajans and other devotional activites.