AFTER THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADHVA
The Part of Madhva’s Disciples And Later Followers
Along with his followers Madhvacarya had left his books, for practically speaking, none of his predecessors could directly guide Madhva’s new movement, seeing his mode of preaching Vaisnavism was exclusively his own. He was the acasrya, and from where he took the necessary relevant points to support his stand, were more of an echo of his authenticity as the agent of the Lord, rather than something he used as a crutch. For as an expowered preacher, he re-established that which had fallen away.
In his bold summaries of other’s philosophy, Madhvacarya had established dwaitavada, not by minute intricate delving into their individual philosophies, for he could sum things up exposing their conclusions in a sentence and then dealing with that statement in depth.
It was now the turn of Madhva’s disciples to, in their own commentaries from what Madhva had taught them, continue what he had so nicely established.
Many great Vaisnavas were to emerge. Trivikrama Panditacarya and his son Narayana Panditacarya were already becoming famous for their writings. Padmanabha Tirtha, who Madhvacarya established as his successor, gave the able guidence and push that was needed to get through the early years after Madhva’s disappearance. He became famous for being the pioneer commentator of those early years. he compiled fifteen small works or tikas which gave him the title of tikacarya for saving the posterity of Madhva’s works, during times of serious difficulties.
Not meaning to detract from any of the others who I have mentioned briefly the the “History of the Guru Parampara” section, but without the sharpness and wit of the ‘second Madhvacarya’, as be became known, – Jayatirtha – who was able to see in Madhva’s writings untold depths that others missed. He, with a casual ease, broke down further the realms of impersonalism to more deeply established personalism, and showed the impersonalist to be powerless against his onslaught of expositions of their cheating philosophy. This is the purport to why he became known as Tikacarya. By his philosophical genius he now even eclipsed Trivikrama Pandit, Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha. Madhva, Jayatirtha and Vyasatirtha are known lovingly by all Madhvas as the Munitraya who carried the torch of dwaita all over India.
Srila Vyasatirtha was practically speaking, the only one who could come close to Jayatirtha in genius. Again I have outlined his life in the guru parampara section, but he has to be mentioned even here for his sheer genius, though according to records, it was not recognized immediately until he had been ‘formally sent to be educated’ at Kanci. This great soul had a number of interesting disciples, amongst them Purandara dasa and Kanaka dasa, who were both great Vaisnavas poets around the time 1494-1564 AD. Their stories are quite unique. Some say Purandara dasa previously was a fabulously rich diamond merchant but gave everything away to receive diksa as a Hari dasa. Purandara dasa was often considered the favourite disciple of Vyasatirtha, he was born in a brahmin family, possibly Vaisnava-brahmin, though possibly smarta brahmin, for his wife quite often wrote sarcastic songs critisizing Vaisnavas, which is a little funny for those of Vaisnava backgrounds. This is why some think that previously they may have been smartas. Nontheless, Purandara dasa compiled no less than 475,000 songs glorifying the Personality of Godhead and His devotees, and the establishing of Vaisnava principles. Previously his name was Srinivas Nayak. Purandara dasa would travel around the country (South India) singing devotional songs for temples all over. Purandara dasa was so expert in all his musical compositions that not only were his devotional sentiments moving, but every beat was a precise and excellently well chosen raga and tala to bring out or enhance the meaning of his songs. So purely devoted to the Lord was he that Thyagaraj gave hime the title Karnataka Sangim? (page 341 of original) Pitamaha, and his guru Srila Vyasatirtha called his works the Purandaropanisad. This was the mission of the dasa (Haridasas). The songs were highly devotional stirring the natural emotions of love for the Lord. Some of his works were in sanskrit, but mostly in simple local languages. Actually they (the many Haridasas of the time) were an essential part of getting Madhva’s philosophy to the people in general, not all of whom would come to brahmincal discussions where many sanskrit slokas were being quoted. So using the tools of his songs, Purandara dasa heavily critisized the Mayavadins and their aims, and glorifies the personal form of the Lord.
Srila Vyasaraya (Vyasatirtha) composed one song in glorification of hiw own disciple Purandaradasa, which beings: dasa-rendare purandaradasarayya: (the following is a very old translation which was given to me during my research):
“Who is a Hari dasa? Vyasatirtha asks and himself answers, Not he who claims to be a dasa or servant_ meerly by wearing of tulasi beads and saffron cloth, who for want of earning a livelihood takes to begging entering others houses and collecting money and troubling those poor householders just to get a donation to pay for his life style”.
“Not he, who plays on the tampura, thinking only of filling his belly with a hearty meal, whilst supposedly uttering the holy name of the Lord in vain, without due attention to Vedic injunction which stated how one should chant the Holy Name”.
“Not he, who goes about singing but is unduly attached to worldly affairs and thus is greedy, so greedy that he will not give a meal to a brahmin even out of the alms which he has collected”.
“He may pretend to be a Haridasa by wearing caste marks such as sacred thread, heat mudras, tilak, (or carry a danda) etc very prominantly on one’s body and claim to be a great devotee whilst still maintaining material desires for fame, adoration and distinction within the heart, simply cheaply reciting songs about the Lord, which he has learnt mechanically”.
“But it is Purandara dasa alone, the pure devotee who worships Lord Sri Krsna in Hari Nama Sankirtan. He knows the purports of the Vedic literature and describes the Lord’s attributes and pastimes in his songs. It is that same Lord who resides as the most treasured and worshipable object seated within the heart of Hanuman. Thus to the true devotee he reveals all the truths of the Vedas.”
Needless to say, for the great Acarya Vyasatirtha to write like this of his disciple, Purandara dasa must have been quite an amazing devotee. He is reputed to have written the Mayavada Satadusani or Muktavali, specifically dealing with the Mayavadis based on the philosophy of Madhvacarya.
Purandara dasa had a friend who previously was a shepherd. His name was Kanaka dasa. Actually Kanaka dasa was an ardent followers of Ramanujacarya – not a Madhva at all, even in his songs first he offers respect to ramanuja then to his guru Tatacarya (Tirulmalai). So though I previously said he was a disciple of Vyasatirtha formally be diksa, he wasn’t, but he was a siksa disciple being drawn by the philosophy of Vyasatirtha. Kanaka dasa was a bit of a “free-thinker” to coin a phrasae, and from time to time was given to fierce arguments with the other disciples of Vyasatirtha for his outspoken, and extreme, views. Vyasatirtha however knew Kanaka dasa’s devotiona for Lord Krsna in Udupi and always gave him shelter.
yasya yal laksanam proktam
yad anyatrapi drsyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiset
If one shows the symptoms of being a brahmana (Bg 18.42), ksatriya (Bg 18.43), vaisya (Bg 18.44) or sudra, as described in the scriptures, even if he has appeared in a different class he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification.
(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.22.35)
Originally Kanaka dasa had come to Udupi as a pilgrim to see the famous Deity of Madhva, Udupi Krsna. At this time only brahmins could go into the temple, so Kanaka dasa would stay outside the temple on the road. Kanaka dasa used to play his tambura and sing his devotional songs to the Lord. Udupi Krsna heard the devotional songs of Kanaka dasa for several days. then one night the Lord decided to show His causeless mercy upon His devotee.
That night there was an earthquake which made a crack in the outside wall opposite to where Kanaka dasa was sitting, thus giving him a view of the Lord through the crack, or vice versa, giving the Lord a view of His devotee in the street.
Another story is also prevalent in Udupi these days, that is, that previously Udupi Krsna was facing east towards Madhva Sarovara, but at the time of the earthquake Krsna turned around to face His devotee.
Another story in connection with Kanaka dasa was that of his humility of taking kitri (rice gruel) from a hole that allowed the waste from the kitchen to be eaten by the animals. He would go there with half a broken coconut, fill it up and then with great devotion offer it first to Udupi Krsna and then eat it.
A great devotee of the time, Vadiraja Tirtha, saw him do this, and appreciating Kanaka’s devotion, instigated that this rice gruel and cake be a standard offering to the Lord.
After the demise of Kanaka dasa, a deity of him was established where he used to sit and look at Krsna through the crack in the wall. To this day to that deity of Kanaka dasa, there is made offerings of rice gruel and cake maha-prasada daily. Only these days, when the offering is made on behalf of Kanaka dasa instead of using half a coconut, as the offering plate, the rice gruel is offered in a nice silver bowl.
This movement became immensely popular. Especially on the west coast of India everyone knew of these devotees by the sankirtan. Amazingly enough, those devotees termed as the Haridasas or Dasakutas of Karnataka, out of which many, many devotees have emerged throughout the ages, are still famous today. As we have said before, some say the originator was Narahari, some say no, it was Madhva himself for he was always singing the glories of the Lord, whilst others say no, that this again is another line coming directly from Uddhava who held in great veneration the gopis Hari Kathodgita and Gopigitas of the Srimad Bhagavatam. All agree that this Srimad Bhagavatam in it’s various presentations is the backbone of the Dasakuta line for it is only interested in pure devotion to the Lord.
Later there came Thimmappa dasa who composed 300 songs in Kannada based on Srimad Bhagavatam. Even in this century HH Vidya Prasanna Tirtha Swami, the Pontiff of the Vyasaraja Mutt has composed many songs in Kannada based on the Bhagavatam. There were so many – Vijaya dasa, Gopala dasa, Mohana dasa and Jagannatha dasa who were amongst the most famous. Some also say that Sri Sripadaraja Tirtha Swami was the first person to start the Haridasa Movement, thus he is known as the Adhi Pravartaka. His time was the 15th Century. He was a student of Swarnavarna Tirtha and used to reside at Sri Rangam and was very inspired to sing the glories and compose songs glorifying the Lord, by those Tamil devotees of the area. A more later Hari dasa was Tukaram. Briefly he is mentioned by Bhaktivinoda Thakura himself in his “Life and Precepts of Sri Caitanya”. There he mentions Tukaram as becoming a follower of Lord Caitanya.
As we have mentioned Vadiraja Tirtha, it would only be fair to give some background information on him. Vadiraja Tirtha took his birth in 1480 in a family of Tulu (Shivalli) brahmins, like Madhva. He was given sannyasa at eight years of age and placed under the care of Vidyanidhi Tirtha, a senior disciple of Vagisa Tirtha. Vidyanidhi Tirtha passed away soon after.
Vadiraja Tirtha then continued his studies under Vagisa Tirtha and later became the pontiff of the Sode Mutt, after Vagisa Tirtha’s death. Some say that Vadiraja Tirtha was also a student of Vyasatirtha.
In all of Vadiraja’s writings, he offers all respects to Madhva, and for himself disclaims all originality for his views, giving credit to Madhva. The purity of his spiritual life and his magnetic personality, coupled with his outstanding poetic flair and directness of approach to philosophy etc made it easy for him to spread Madhva’s teachings.
He talks in poetry, thinks in poetry and even argues his points in poetry. His rare gift of expression, story telling and analogies made his preaching so potent.
History says that not only was he a great Vaisnava scholar, gifted religious poet, expert in sanskrit and Kannada, he is also reputed to have many mystic powers. He was also believed to have under his occult powers a mysterious goblin/ghost *Bhutaraja) with whose aid he is said to have performed many miracles and overcome many obstacles that were placed in his way by those envious of his preaching. Vadiraja’s ‘friend’ has a separate temple designated for him now at the Vadiraja Mutt at Sode. Vadiraja Tirtha put forward an interesting philosophy concerning dreams. He says that when one has experience of fear or pain etc in a dream or various illusions which inspire different emotions they are but reactions which are enacted out on the jiva by the devas, raksasas, ghosts etc under the plan of the Lord.
Vadiraja was in Paraya (Office) from 1532-33 AD whilst in his 52nd year.
Vadiraja was the one who changed the period of paraya from two months to the present day, two year paraya period. The change in the system was instigated in 1522-23, starting with Palimar Mutt, he did not make the change in his own paraya period, which indicates his purity of intent. Also he made many renovations and improvements at the Krsna Mutt, setting the standard for present day terms of paraya office. During this period the paraya swami arranges for many imprivements and special pujas for the pleasure of the Lord and His devotees, and guests who have the good fortune to visit Udupi. Vadiraja also, during tours of North India, visited Ayodhya, and from that place he brought wonderful Deities of Mukhyaprana (Hanuman) and Garuda, who are now installed inside the temple either side of the main temple room (candrasala). After Lord Krsna is given his obeisances, Mukhyaprana on the north side and Garuda on the south side take the remnants of these offerings.
Vadiraja also installed a small Deity of Madhvacarya holding the danda and showing mudras of fearlessness and knowledge in his hands. All around this area of the temple are frames on which thousands of lamps burn, it is a very beautiful sight.
During his office, Vadiraja established the eight mutts all around Car Street, and secured endowments for them and purchased the temples of Anantasana (Anantapadmanabha Swami – Anantesvara) and Candramulisvara which face Krsna Mutt which were previously owned by materialist smartas. Vadiraja evicted the smartas and put in his own men to worship and manage.
He wrote twenty three major works and a hundred or so stotras like his Dasavatar Stotra in forty one verses. Vadiraja passed away on the tritya (third day) of the dark fortnight in the month of Palguna (Feb/Mar).
Another major luminary of the Madhva line is Raghavendra Tirtha (swami) who was also considered a Hari dasa or Dasa Kuta. Raghavendra Tirtha took his ancestral line, gotra, coming from Gautama Muni. His great grandfather, Krsnabhatta was the musical (vina) tutor of King Krsnadeva Raya of Vidyanagar. An interesting brief but amazing life story follows.
naivodvije para duratyaya vaitaranyas
tvad virya gayana mahamrta magna cittah
soce tato vimukha cetasa indriyartha
maya sukhaya braham udvahato vimudhan
“My dear Lord, I have no problems and want no benediction from You because I am quite satisfied to chant Your Holy Names. This is sufficient for me because whenever I chant I immediately merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. I only lament to see others bereft of Your love. They are rotting in material activities for transcient material pleasure and spoiling their lives toiling day and night simply for sense gratification, with no attachment for love of Godhead. I am simply lamenting for them and devising various plans to deliver them from the clutches of Maya.”
This verse in the crest emblem of Raghavendra Tirtha Swami. As you read on you will see why.
The numerous details of the incredible life or rather lives of Raghavendra Swami are really too vast to be really given their fair viewing. Just to give some small insight into his life I will try to summarize briefly some of his amazing pastimes. Let us start by looking at his previous appearances.
It is said that first he was delegated by Lord Narayana in Vaikuntha to come to this world, taking him away from his regular service as garland maker. At this time the simple but spiritually eminant devotee was known as Sankhakarna. Under the Lord’s direct instruction Sankhakarna left his post to engage in the Lord’s pastimes. He made his first appearnace under the direction of the Lord and His pure devotee Narada Muni as the son of Hiranyakasipu, Prahlada Maharaja in the satyayuga (krtayuga). He made his second appearance in the dwarpara yuga as Bahlika and was adored by all for his flawless character. By the Lord’s arrangement he took the side of Duryodhana during the Kuruksetra was. Realzing his precarious position he deeply regretted his alliance. Bhima freed him from this when he came as death personified and killed Bahlika. In his next appearance he came as the great Vaisnavacarya Vyasaraya (Vyasatirtha) who we have already mentioned in brief.
Then in his fourth birth, he appeared as Venkatanatha. At this time in society many sectarian views had come about due to lack of understanding, compromises and alien preaching of politics and Islam’s war lords’ influence too. The laymen were confused about their standing in the light of what is permanent philosophy – sanatana dharma.
One scholar of Vijaynagar kingdom of King Krsnadeva Raya, was named Thimmanna Bhat. After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire to the Muslims after 1565 AD, Thimmannacarya Bhatta moved with his family South to Kanci. There he used to play violin in the king’s court and was a great devotee of Lord Balaji (Venkatesvara) at Tirupati. His wife’s name was Gopikamba and they had a small family of one son (Gururaja) and one daughter (Venkatamba), but felt that one son was like having one eye. He and his good wife went to Tirupati (Tirumala) and in all earnest prayed to Venkatesvara there for another son having pure devotion. Lord Venkatesvara dropped a flower into Thimmanna Bhatta’s hand as a sign of His acceptance and blessings for the prayer.
Soon after, another flower in the form of a son made his appearance on the second day (dwitya) of the dark fortnight in the month of Sravana (August). He was charming and bright, everyone loved him. His father started his education but soon passed away. Thimmanna Bhatta’s elder brother Gururaja continued the studies and for higher education sent Venkatanatha to Lakshmi Narasimhacharya at Madurai where Venkatanatha astounded everyone by his achievements. Later he studied under the Madhva Pithadipathi of his day, HH Sri Sudhindra Tirtha at Kumbhakonam. The boy’s razor sharp intellect and humility made him stand out with the acarya. Many of Venkatanath’s peers in school envied him because of his erudition. Once they collaborated together and complained to Sudhindra Tirtha Swami saying this boy was a liability to the Mutt. They complained that he was independent, mischievious, a glutton, a dullard fit only for eating and sleeping, so much he is contaminated by passion and ignorance. “Why do you view him so favourable, kick him out!” Sudhindra Tirtha Swami promised them some action – that night he went to the common study room and there on the floor asleep was Venkatanatha, beside him on the floor lay an open palm leaf book. Sudhindra Tirtha Swami thought he would have a look and see what this boy had written. To his surprise, the boy had been taking notes on the various aspects of ‘sudha’ that the swami had been preaching on, and then had put onto the leaves of the book his various realizations. He had been doing this for quite some time and had composed a book, a ‘tika’ of incredible potency. Swamiji read this, and taking off his own sati-angavastram (wrap-chaddar- dropped it over the sleeping boy’s body, and carefully took away the book.
The next morning the boy awoke to find the guru’s wrap over him and the book gone. Immediately he went to the guru to apologize for somehow having the wrap. But the guru, Sudhindra Tirtha had read his book and was very pleased. Sudhindra Tirtha took the boy before the class much to all the other boy’s revelry, but then started to glorify the Parimala commentary on Sudha Dwaita that the boy had compiled. He then gave him the new name Parimalacarya. everywhere the swami preached he insisted on taking the young Parimalacarya along with him. In many places he was asked to represent dwaita on bahalf of his guru. Sudhindra Tirtha was so pleased with him as he defeated all learned scholars in Tamil Nadu that he conferred upon the boy the title Mahabhashyacharya. In an eighteen day debate Mahabhashyacharya smashed the son of Yajna Narayana Diksit, Govinda Diksit, the smarta, and favourite minister of the king. After this he was given the title Bhattacarya and was called Venkatta Bhatta! Humbly yet most victoriously he returned to his home to see his brother and family.
Upon his triumphant return his elder brother looked around for a suitable wife for him. The search ended with one woman of rare qualitities. Though born in a lowly family, she was humble, pure, shy and very cultured in Vaisnava etiquette. She had herself no interest in the material world of eating, sleeping, mating and defence, she is decribed as being of impeccable beauty, but modest and completely devoted to her husband. Thus they had a son Laxmi Narayana who, coming from such good parentage, was also a very good devotee.
During their householder life they always remained poor, as a learned teacher, Venkata Bhatta tried to not only maintain his family but as is the duty of guru, to maintain his disciples. As a purohit he would perform weddings and various auspicious samskara functions for various wealthy families and received daksina and sambhavan and in this way maintained his students and family. His wife though often complained to him saying that for a devotee of his calibre, doing this service as family guru engaged in these secondry activities were not so good, and that he sould teach and preach more.
However Venkata Bhatta just went along with the tide. One day he was invited to help with the wedding yajna for one very wealthy man, many brahmins had been invited and all given some service to do. Subhakarya, the chief purohit (pratiprasthatri) in this yajna asked Vankata Bhatta to make some sandalwood paste for greeting the guests as is the tradition to smear the cooling refreshing pulp upon their wrists. When this had been done, all the guests complained of a burning sensation on their wrists and arms. Venkata Bhatta apologized and said it was that he was chanting Agni Sukta whilst making the sandalwood paste, so he would again make some more but this time would chant the Varuna Sukta – this he did and everyone was taken back by the cool and soothing effect of the paste. Seeing his power of mantra even in this kali yuga, the rich man tried to show his gratitude by giving him a bag of gold coins as daksina. But how long can it last? After some time it was all spent, and then to make things materially worse, their house was robbed. Going to Sudhindra Tirtha, they told their story, and out of his kindness he gave Venkata Bhatta and his good wife Sarasvati and child a room at his Mutt. There he wrote and taught and was very happy.
Sudhindra Tirtha, due to his own failing health and the obvious qualities of his disciple, Swamiji asked Venkata Bhatta to take over as the Madhvadhipathi in his place, thus take sannyasa and work solely for Madhva’s mission. Venkata Bhatta humbly declined at this time, saying to Yatindra (Sudhindra Tirtha Yati) that with a small son and young wife, as a grhasta he had to see for their welfare also. Yatindra did not say any more for the time being.
Yatindra then invited another devotee to perform this function, immediately he gave him sannyasa and the name Yadavendra Tirtha and installed him as the Pithapathi. Yadhavendra Tirtha took it upon himself as the new pontif to go and preach in the northern parts, but after some time, all communication with him became less and less until it finally stopped. Not knowing the whereabouts of his new sannyasa disciples and head of the Mutt, Acarya Sudhindra Tirtha Swami’s health became worse and worse.
Then one night the ancient Deity of Sri Mula Rama, who Yatindra daily worshipped, appeared to him in a dream and told him that he should again approach Venkata Bhatta as he is the only man fit for the service as successor, At the same time Mother Sarada devi appeared before Venkata Bhatta in his dream and asked him to accept this position as Madhva Pitadi Pathya.
Venkata Bhatta gave his son his upanayana (gayatri mantra) then announced that he had to go to Kumbhakonam to see Sudhindra Tirtha Swami. from there he went to Tanjore, where in secret he has given sannyasa and formally installed with all kinds of pomp and agamic rites such as kanakabhisekam, and pranava mantropadesa as the Madhva Pitadi Pathya and was given the new name Raghavendra Tirtha Swami. This took place in 1621 AD.
However when his chaste and faithful Dharmapatni (wife) heard of what had taken place she nearly died on the spot. In fact she never ate or slept again, simply she wept heart rendering cries which no-one could console. Then one day she set herself on fire, finding the pain of the flames of the fire to be less than to live without her pati-guru (husband), she was so chaste and unable to bear the separation from her husband. Unfortunately this gave her the body of a ghost, for though it was a fact that her husband was civilly dead, physically he was not, so she could not join him elsewhere. When Raghavendra Tirtha Swami heard of his former wife’s pitiful state, he was very upset. Once she appeared at his feet crying piteously and begging him to help her. Raghavendra Tirtha took some water from his kumandalu water pot and sprinkled it upon her, releasing her from that terrible condition. To this day, many Madhva’s offer prayers first to her on auspicious occasions.
It was two years from this time when Sudhindra Tirtha Swami passed away at Anegondi on the sacred Tungabhadra River
To further add proof to his purity and unmotivated devotion, an incident is recorded when one big, big brahmin, who had all wealth and influence, was rejected by Raghavendra Tirtha in favour of going to the house of one simple purehearted boy, who was an orphan and who was brought up by his uncle.
According to the Mutts’ records, Raghavendra Swami toured extensively all over the south, Ramesvaram, Ramnad, Sri Rangam, Madurai, westward to Udupi, Subramanya, Pandnarpur, Kolhapur and Bjapur where he made many disciples. Also there were some prolonged stays along the way and he returned then to Kumbakonam via Tirupati, Kanci, Vrddhacalam and Sri Munsnam.
Once he visited Kritagiri near Gadag and accepted biksa at the house of Raghunatha Desao. While at the place a terrible accident happened in which Raghunatha Desai’s favourite son, aged three, fell into a large vessel filled with mango juice and drowned. The juice was prepared for a coming festival at the house. Raghavendra Tirtha Swami started the preliminary pujas and prayers to Sri Mula Rama, then he called for the Desai’s as the Yajuman (host) to come and receive akshatas and holy tirtha (the ceremonial bathing nectar) of the Deity. Sensing some impurity in the house, he also told the couple to go and look for their son. Soon they came back, tears in their eyes, with the announcement that he had drowned in the vat of mango juice. Raghavendra Tirtha Swami told them to bring the body of their son. They brought the lifeless body before the swami who then chanted a mantra and sprinkled water from his kumandalu over it. Suddenly the body again resumed it’s former life – the soul having again resumed occupency and everyone rejoiced and glorified Raghavendra Tirtha, who glanced humbly at Sri Mula Rama, his worshipful Lord.
Once Raghavendra Tirtha was requested to come to the palace of King Vijayaraghava to perform the Varuna Yajna to bring rain to the kingdom. This part of the counrty hadn’t seen rain in a long time, so as the king was very responsible and pious, he brought the best of brahmanas there to invoke rain. Raghavendra Tirtha first as usual performed the preliminary pujas and then worshiped Mula Rama. He requested the Supreme Lord, Rama, the controller of the three worlds, to empower him to purely perform the yajna as requested and to give the required result, rain, to the people in the kingdom.
That night after the yajna, there was a heavy downpour. It was not a violent storm, but very pleasing. Invoked by the pure devotion of Raghavendra Swami, everyone reaped a ‘bumper crop’ that year.
Three astrologers from Kerala came to the Mutt once, and hearing of Raghavendra Tirtha’s glories, asked his permission to cast a chart for him to see what the future held for him. Raghavendra Tirtha was not keen on this, saying that everything is in the Lord’s hands for the devotee. However the astrologers insisted. The devotees of the Mutt asked Swamiji to relieve their anxiety and allow it. So all three expert astrologers cast their charts. Practically they agreed on everything until it came to longevity. One said he will live for one hundred years, one said three hundred and the third said seven hundred. The disciples of Tirtha Swami ridiculed and criticised the astrologer calculation, mocking and causing anxiety and annoyance to the pandits. Raghavendra told them to stop this immature behaviour, and then explained that actually all three are true. Raghavendra Tirtha Swami said that his physical life span (vapu) would be one hundred years and that his writings (vani) would be present for three hundred years, and that he would stay in his Brindavan (samadhi tomb) for seven hundred years.
On antoher occasion he sat as if in trance, looking towards the sky for quite some time, then rose up abruptly and made salutations and obeisances towards the sky. His disciples were quite bewildered by this mystical behaviour. When again he resumed to external consciousness, the disciples asked what had happened, to which Raghavendra Tirtha Swami said Srila Vyasadeva had just passed by in the sky and he was just paying his due respects. In his mind he had asked Vyasa when he should finish his physical pastimes at the mutt and enter samadhi. Srila Vyasadeva showed two fingers and waved them three times, meaning he would wind up his external (vapu) pastimes in two years, two months and two days from that day. Then he saluted Vyasadeva as confirmation of the understanding. The disciples all lamented that it would be so soon.
During the last period one great scholar came of the name Srinivasacarya. They discussed various subjects for quite some time and finally Raghavendra Swami gave Srinivasa the title Tirtha. He also honoured him by giving him a seat next to him whilst they took their meal. Srinivasa Tirtha, being accustomed to austerity refused to take the rasam for it was caturmasya, and some of the rasam had mustard seeds which was one of the things that he had a prohibition for was mustard seeds during caturmasya. Raghavendra Swami observed the situation but didn’t say anything. Taking his leave Srinivasa Tirtha went home but soon returned with his face darkened and stomach paralysed. Raghavendra Swami smiled and invited tim to take a little more prasad. Srinivasa Tirtha then again took his seat next to the Acarya and again rasam was served. Raghavendra Tirtha Swami then very lightly put over that this stomach problem was caused due to the offence against the Lord’s prasadam.
Once Raghavendra Tirtha Swami was in the middle of the puja and was just about to offer the naivedya to Sri Mula Rama. As he was about to do this, the local Nawab came with a plate covered with a cloth and said it was for the Deity. Raghavendra Swami knew that the Muslim Nawab was iconaclastic, thus always being in a mood of irreverance towards the Deity, and so by this offering he knew that Nawab was trying to spoil the puja. However the all merciful acarya decided to extract the dormant devotion deep within the Nawab’s heart. Taking water from his kumandalu he sprinkled that covered plate with it. Before making the offering Raghavendra removed the cloth to reveal all kinds of wonderful fruits, sweets and fragrant flowers, which had replaced the abominable meats etc that the Nawab had put forward. The Nawab returned into the room after the offering, but only to see that the plate which he had put forward now contained all kinds of wonderful things. The Nawab realizing his heinios mistake returned and in all humility offered his respects, begging forgiveness for his offences and as a token of his repentance, offered some villages to maintain the Mutt. Raghavendra SAwami opted for the village of Manchla on the banks of the sacred Tungabhadra, even though it was already gifted away to one Muslim Fakir. Arrangements were made for the Fakir, and Raghavendra Swami accepted the gift on behalf of the deities in that way Mula Rama received their village. One devotee Venkanna asked the swami why he chose that particular village to which he replied that previously, as Prahlad Maharaja, he performed one hundred yajnas at this place in the Treta Yuga.
Now deciding that his time was nearly up, Raghavendra Swami told Venkanna to get a particular kind and shape stones from the area around Madhavaram in preference to stones from anywhere else for his Brindavan (samadhi tomb). When the stones were brought, Raghavendra Swami revealed that he had chosen those stones for at this place Lord Rama took rest and lay down his divine body upon those stones. The samadhi was just finished when Raghavendra Swami said now place seven hundred Saligrams in that tomb after I have climbed in. Now he instructed his disciples to perform at the Antyesthi rites for one entering into samadhi. In the year 1671 AD on the auspicious day in the month of Sravan ended his 47 years 5 months pontificial seat. Though Raghavendra tirtha Swami stated that he would still be there in his samadhi available for darshan to his devotees for 700 years that ended a particular era for his followers. Raghavendra Tirtha Swami wrote commentries on the works of Madhva, Jayatirtha and Vyasatirtha, the three great moons of dwaita vedanta. In fact, he wrote about forty such books, making acclaim by many as the fourth great moon or dwaita luminary.
Since that day Raghavendra Swami has appeared to numerous devotees over the past three centuries and has performed incredible miracles fulfilling the needs and desires of the devotees and protecting the devotees in danger.
CHANGING OF PARAYA
Seeing we have mentioned now in several places the Paraya system or changing the Paraya, or Paraya swami, let me now, for the pleasure of those who can take the opportunity to go to witness this all auspicious sequence or events which takes place on the seventeenth of January after every two years in Udupi.
Paraya literarily means cycle, so this is the managerial system by which the Udupi mutts hav continued to work co-opperatively together to continue the parampara through the ages.
As outlined before, it used to be that each of the eight swamis, who are descendents of the original eight swamis that Madhva chose, out of thousands of his disciples to continue the worship of Udupi Krsna, who would only be in office at Krsna Mutt for two months. So every sixteen months again they would be back in office. However as stated, this was changed for practical managerial purposes so as not to be a contant change, or any disruptions for Sri Udupi Krsna, this was brought about after some problems occured in the ability to follow as Madhva had instructed. So the changes were made by Vadiraja Tirtha in 1522 Ad.
Before the change over from one paraya swami to the next takes place, the future swami starts preparations for his paraya period by planting Tulasi seeds and banana trees. This actually takes place almost a year before, because the Tulasi seeds have to grow into full grown plants so that the swami can offer the leaves and soft manjaris in the puja for Krsna. Same thing with the banana trees. Daily bananas are offered to the Lord and the leaves are used for leaf plates for the devotees and guests who come in their thousands daily. So in the gardens of the respective mutt of the swami concerned, these facilities are arranged for.
As usual in Udupi every ceremony has great pomp that goes along with it, and this one is not and different. Choosing a favourable muhurta, the purohit (priest) prays to the agents of the Lord, the presiding deities of the nine planets for good influence on the project. Then the workers of the Mutt carry the seeds and seedlings to Krsna Mutt in a procession while the temple elephant carries other paraphernalia of the Mutt.
First as is tradition they go to Candramulesvara temple then to Anantesvara, then to Krsna Mutt. At each place the priest prays “Let there be no shortage of Tulasi and bananas for Your worship.”
Then offering obeisances to Mukhyaprana and Madhvacarya Deities at Krsna Mutt, they then return to their own mutt in Car Street and plant the tulasi seeds and banana seedlings.
Closer to the even of paraya, and within two months of the Bale muhurta, is the ceremony of Akki Muhurta.
Again, as in the Bale muhurta, the procession starts at the Mutt. A large quantity of rice is decorated and carried out in a palanquin covered in silk cloth. All the devotees of the mutt walk behind with bags of rice on their heads, and as usual go to Candramulesvara and Anantesvara temples before asking for blessings at Krsna Mutt. At noon a feast is served, all the other mutt swamis are invitied to invoke their blessings for a good crop of rice.
After this the rice is planted in the paddy fields for the prasadam distribution which will follow in the next few months.
This ceremony is about six months before the Paraya ceremony takes place. This involves the gathering together of firewood for the cooking of the rice and vegetables that will feed the many thousands who come to the changing Praya ceremony. The same system of visiting navagrahas (presiding deities of the nine most important planets), Candramulesvara, Anantesvara and Krsna Mutts takes place invoking their blessings.
At the bank of the Madhva Sarova (tank) in the north eastern corner, one will see a huge replica of the Udupi Ratha carts, but made out of fire wood – a spectacular sight and work of art. After purificatory rites have been performed the artisans build the cart up to fifty feet in height. A couple of days before the Kattige Muhurta of the next Paraya, the out going mutts’ wooden cart is dismanteled and the firewood is used for cooking. In this way the Lord and His devotees always have enough wood in their paraya period for cooking on.
This particular ceremony takes place only seven weeks before the Paraya ceremony. Now the rains of monsoon have watered the rice paddy and the crops are ready to be harvested.
So far we have seen to the taking care of the Tulasi plants for the Lord, bananas for the Lord and banana leaves for the mass prasadam distribution. The planting of rice and the firewood for cooking. Now is the collecting of the rice paddy so the mass prasadam distribution that Madhva instigated can go on. Krsna in Udupi is known as Anna Brahma specifically for this reason, for by His mercy everyone is fed.
After the usual ceremonies the procession starts from the mutt, a bag of rice paddy on a palanquin covered with a silk cloth is taken to each of the temples, then comes the last of the preparatory ceremonies – the badagu malige, or putting into storage of the rice.
At the official grain store house for the Paraya mutt, a bag of rice paddy is placed on a platform and the various priests worship it and put it into the store. The manager of the out going mutt offers fruits, cloth and other various nice things to the swamis and devotees of the in coming paraya mutt. From that day the store house is under the new paraya management who now start to make preparations for the changing over of paraya mass prasadam distribution which feeds anything from ten to fifteen thousand persons.
Previously the actual paraya ceremony up until the time of Vadiraga Tirtha would take place here at the grain store.
The final preliminary ceremony is the handing over of the dome to the in-coming paraya swami. This is done by having the dome of the previous cart nicely decorated and then in procession it is handed over to the chief architect who had arranged for the building of the present firewood chariot. Then and only then are all the necessary arrangements complete.
This may seem to some ritualistic, but actually this is not dry formality. In all these ceremonies much care and attention is paid to obtaining the mercy of the Lord and His pure representative – Madhvacarya – for without this it is dry ritual. Pancaratriki system of Vaisnava Tantra prescribes functions like this, swadhyaya, for such wonderfully devotional, colourful and pleasing events help to constantly re-direct the tiny individual jiva souls back to the lotus feet of the Lord. Even looking from a mundane point of view, this process in which all the devotees come together enhances the unity of the Sampradaya, removing any room for envious behaviour or non-cooperation, unity of purpose, from a purely managerial point of view this system makes sure that every single detail is covered, so as everything can go on nicely without any deteriation too.
One can see by analyzing these particular ceremonies that the result is Krsna consciousness, everyone remembering the significance of Acarya Madhva’s mission and how the Lord of his life came to Udupi, the preaching Madhva did to establish Vaisnavism in the south, and now how it is being preserved by his followers and their followers, followers, dasa dasa anudasa.
Just prior to the paraya official ceremony the next paraya swami goes on an extensive holy pilgrimage to all the sacred tirthas, from Kanyakumari in the south to Badrikasrama in the north, from Dwaraka in the west to Mayapur in the east. The swami is on a begging mission, asking for the blessings of all the Deities and Vaisnavas in all these holy places to bestow their blessings on him so he can fulfill the mission of Madhvacarya and continue to maintain Madhva’s mission in a mood of purity.
First he tours the south, going to such places like Adi Kesava at Trivandram, Guruvayura, Kanyakumari, Ramesvaram, Sri Rangam, Kumbokanam, Vrdhacallam, Kanci, Tirupati, Ahobalam, Mangalgiri, etc. Then to the north – Kurmaksetra, Simhacalam, Puri, Remuna, Mayapura, Gaya, Ayodhya, Prayag, Mathura, Vrndavana, Kuruksetra, Haridwar/Hrsikesha, Badri, Dwaraka etc and back to Udupi.
After returning at an auspicious moment (the auspicious moment being between ten and fifteen days before the paraya ceremony is due to take place), the whole town is decorated at this time to receive the swami back from his tour, and from this time on he does not leave Udupi district.
At Jodukatte on the Udupi-Mangalore Road, a huge crowd comes to welcome him back. All the local devotees come and give donations to pay for various expenses to be encured during the paraya ceremony.
Deity forms of the great acarya’s from history are placed on palanquin and are taken on procession to the accompaniment of musicians and chanters in sankirtan (congragationally chanting of the names and glories of the Lord.) In this way the procession comes to Udupi Car Street, The swami is seated in a chariot and the deities on their palanquins.
First as usual, the swmai goes to the temple of Candramulesvara, then to Ananstesvara, then to Udupi Krsna and offers prayers. Then the in-coming swami performs his sankalpa, announcing his plans and projects for maintaining and expanding Madhva’s mission in Krsna Mutt for the Lord’s pleasure over the coming two years of his paraya, to the pleasure of the devotees.
Now we are just a couple of days from the paraya ceremony. The local devotees bring bags and bags or rice, jaggery (date palm sugar), grains like mung, grams, etc, vegetables, coconuts, etc, enough to feed the thousands that will come. just to see everything coming in trucks and on local villagers heads is an all-inspiring sight.
This ceremony is symbollic of the harmony and unity in motive of the different mutts. This invokes both the in-coming swami and the out-going swami, both of them donate rice and vegetables to the swamis of the other mutts, and again in procession the donations are formally given in love to the other mutts. This co-operative spirit is very nice and as one body, though under different institutions, the Udupi swamis share the responisbility for the coming paraya.
So many thousands of pilgrims come and are lodged and fed at all the different mutts, choltris, and dharmsalas, and so many donations come in help to cover the love burden of this time. A very nice co-operative mood prevails the whole of Udupi township as the invitations for the paraya ceremony come to a head.
Makara Sankranti is on the 14th January, so on the next day (15th) is Curnotsava, the 16th is a rest day – no festivals are performed on that day, then on the 17th a festival and feast is arranged by the outgoing swami. The next day that swami only performs the removing of the previous day’s garlands, Tulasi, etc.
THE PARAYA FESTIVAL
The in-coming swami who will take charge of the puja, looking after Krsna for the next two years, on this day, goes to Danda Tirtha 10 kilometers out of town and stays there overnight. This is the place where as a student in the gurukula, Madhvacarya irrigated the gardens of his teacher making a canal for the water to flow by taking the stick that was given to Madhva at his upanayana ceremoney. He stuck the stick in the ground and after, water came up. Herce forth, due to the transcendental actions of young Madhwas’ stick or danda, that place is called Dandatirtha.
At about 3.00 am that morning the in-coming swami gets up from sleep and takes bath in the holy pond there. He puts on fresh cloth, tilak, etc and walking, heads for Udupi. At about 4.00 am he reaches the outskirts of Udupi and is met by a big crowd of devotees to waiting there to welcome in the new paraya swami – this place is known as Jodu Katte. The swamis from the six other mutts wait to greet him whilst the out-going paraya swami stays at Krsna Mutt ready to receive the in-coming swami.
The whole route is fabulously decorated with festoons, rangoolis and lights, every building is illuminated. According to the traditions of the previous acaryas, different styles or gaunas, family traditions of decorations are seen. All kinds of pomp, musical instruments, drums, trumpets, horns etc are played and the sound is quite tumultuous.
All the other swamis are then seated in their palanquins. They are all dressed in saffron silk with silk shawls and silken head dresses. All together, standing, they come to greet the new paraya swami.
Ahead of the procession goes the particular Ista-deva, the deity of the Mutt taking over. Elephants, dressed up, with devotees on their backs carrying fans and festoons, lead the procession slowly to Krsna Mutt. Thousands of devotees come to join the throng, some looking out of windows, doorways, or right there in the narrow streets.
As the swami reaches Car Street he gets down from his palanquin to walk on the white sheets which cover the road. After circumambulating the temples of Candramulesvara and Anantasana, the swami reaches Krsna mutt. First he offers obeisances through Kanaka dasa’s window (crack), the the swami gives donations to the brahmins and walks to Candramulesvara temple and Anantasana temple and pays respects. After the visiting to these two temples, he returns to the main gate of Krsna Mutt and is greeted by the outgoing swami, who welcomes the new paraya swami and leads him into the temple holding his hands.
The first place they go, as do all visitors, is to Madhva Sarovara, and they wash their hands and feet, then the swamis go into the Candrasala to see Udupi Krsna.
At this time all the other Udupi swamis from the other mutts go to the Badagu Malige (store house) and take up their nicely decorated seats and wait for the new paraya swami.
THE PARAYA CEREMONY
The new swami enters the mutt and places his Deities in the Tirtha Mantapa and then performs arati to them. Then both the old (outgoing) and new (incoming) enter the main Deity room and pray to Lord Krsna. The swamis also go to the deities of Mukhyaprana (Hanuman) and Garuda at either side of the temple room (Candrasala) and then offer respects again to Krsna. They then go to the special room off to the side where Madhvacarya used to sit. Only a few can go in, usually only the swamis of the mutts as the ritual of changing over the paraya formally takes place.
After being honoured by various articles of worship, the new swami, who until this time is sitting side by side on the seat of office with the ‘old’ outgoing swami, is left to sit alone after the outgoing swami gets up. from that time on he directs everything as the representative of Sripada Madhvacarya.
The previous swami and the new paraya swami then go and offer respects to the deity of Madhvacarya, and the previous swami hands over the aksaya patra pot that was originally given by Surya’s son to Yudhisthira whilst he was in the forest. This is the same pot that Draupadi used to cook in as mentioned earlier in this book. Anyway, this pot is then handed over to the new paraya swami. Now Krsna Mutt is officially under the control of the new paraya swami. Both swamis go to join the others in the grain store, and all respects are given to each other.
The last part of the changing of the paraya is the Darbar Sabha. All the Udupi swamis come in a procession around 7.00 am to the Rajangana (auditorium) which by now is full with around 20,000 devotees. Many hymns from the Vedas are chanted and the Udupi swamis bless all the assembled devotees.
Now the outgoing swami makes his farewell speech and announces his successor, the new paraya swami. The new paraya swami then tells everyone of his plans and projects for the maintainence and improvements of Krsna Mutt’s facilities for the next two years. Homages from dignitaries, followed by the posts of office within Krsna Mutt, are given by the paraya swami. After all this there is a huge feast to celebrate in true Vaisnava style, where anything from 15,000 – 20,000 devotees are nicely fed with amazingly wonderful prasadam.
In the evening, after the new swami has performed all the pujas, and after camara seva ceremony, the Brahma rathorsava takes place, where the carts go out in great pomp into Car Street.
This concludes the Paraya Ceremony.
To relive the ancient tradition coming down in this unbroken line of swamis, one must go to Udupi at this time. Actually anytime is nice. I personally always remember a great deal of warmth and Vaisnava hospitality shown by the descendants of Madhvacarya who have always treated my friends, family and myself very nicely on my numerous visits to Udupi. This is a very important part of the legacy of Madhvacarya.
Just so one can see how the disciplic succession has descended over the past 700 or so years, here are the mutt listings, starting, as Madhva paired the original heads of each mutt, with Palimar Mutt.
The present head of the mutt is His Holiness Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha Swami. Since the swami of Bhandakeri Mutt (that of Acyutapreksa) gave up his seat in 1969, His Holiness has also maintained as being the head of this Bhandakeri mutt also.
The original head that Madhva established was Sri Hrsikesa Tirtha and the following shows how it comes down to Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha Swami and his disciple Sri Vidyadhisa Tirtha Junior Swami who was initiated at 24 years of age in 1979.
1. Hrshikesha Tirtha
2. Samatmesha Tirtha
3. Sambhava Tirtha
4. Aparajita Tirtha
5. Vidyamurthi Tirtha
6. Rajarajeshvara Tirtha
7. Srinidhi Tirtha
8. Vidyesha Tirtha
9. Srivallabha Tirtha
10. Jagadbhushana Tirtha
11. Ramachandra Tirtha
12. Vidyanidhi Tirtha
13. Suresha Tirtha
14. Raghavendra Tirtha
15. Raghunandana Tirtha
16. Vidyapati Tirtha
17/ Raghupati Tirtha
18. Raghuttama Tirtha
19. Ramabhadra Tirtha
20. Raghuvarya Tirtha
21. Raghupungava Tirtha
22. Raghuvara Tirtha
23. Raghupravira Tirtha
24. Raghubhushana Tirtha
25. Raghuratna Tirtha
26. Raghupriya Tirtha
27. Raghumanya Tirtha
28. Raghuvallabha Tirtha
29. Vidyamanya Tirtha
30. Vidyadhisha Tirtha
The next is Admaru Mutt. The original head tha Madhvacarya established was Sri Nrhari, Narasimha, Narahari Tirtha. The present swami of the mutt is His Holiness Sri Vibudhesha Tirtha Swami who accepted sannyasa in 1945 at 18 years of age. His junior swami is His Holiness Sri Visvapriya Tirtha Swami who took sannyasa at the age of 15 years in June 1972.
1. Narasimha (Narahari) Tirtha
2. Kamalekshana Tirtha
3. Ramachandra Tirtha
4. Vidyadhisha Tirtha
5. Vishvapati Tirtha
6. Vishesha Tirtha
7. Vedanidhi Tirtha
8. Vedaraja Tirtha
9. Vidyamurthi Tirtha
10. Vaikuntharaja Tirtha
11. Vishvaraja Tirtha
12. Vedagarbha Tirtha
13. Hiranyagarbha Tirtha
14. Vishvadhisha Tirtha
15. Vishvavallabha Tirtha
16. Vishvendra Tirtha
17. Vedanidhi Tirtha
18. Vadindra Tirtha
19. Vidyapathi Tirtha
20. Vibudhapati Tirtha
21. Vedavallabha Tirtha
22. Vedavandya Tirtha
23. Vidyesha Tirtha
24. Vibudhavallabha Tirtha
25. Vibudhavandya Tirtha
26. Vibudhavarya Tirtha
27. Vibudhendra Tirtha
28. Vibudhadhiraja Tirtha
29. Vibudhapriya Tirtha
30. Vibudhamanya Tirtha
31. Vibudhesha Tirtha
32. Vishvapriya Tirtha
As Madhvacarya arranged, the next mutt is Krishnapur Mutt, the original head being Madhva’s disciple Sri Janardhana Tirtha. The present swami is His Holiness Sri Vidyasagara Tirtha Swami. He took sannyasa in May 1970.
1. Janardana Tirtha
2. Srivatsankita Tirtha
3. Vagisha Tirtha
4. Lokesha Tirtha
5. Lokantha Tirtha
6. Lokapriya Tirtha
7. Vidyadhiraja Tirtha
8. Vishvadhiraja Tirtha
9. Vishvadhisha Tirtha
10. Vishvesha Tirtha
11. Vishvavandya Tirtha
12. Vishvaraja Tirtha
13. Dharanidhara Tirtha
14. Dharadhara Tirtha
15. Prajnamurthi Tirtha
16. Tapomurthi Tirtha
17. Suresvara Tirtha
18. Jagannatha Tirtha
19. Suresh Tirtha
20. Vishvapungava Tirtha
21. Vishvavallabha Tirtha
22. Vishvabhusana Tirtha
23. Yadavendra Tirtha
24. Prajnamurthi Tirtha
25. Vidyadhiraja Tirtha
26. Vidyamurthi Tirtha
27. Vidyavallabha Tirtha
28. Vidyendra Tirtha
29. Vidyanidhi Tirtha
30. Vidyasamudra Tirtha
31. Vidyapathi Tirtha
32. Vidyadhisha Tirtha
33. Vidyapurna Tirtha
34. Vidyaratna Tirtha
35. Vidyasagara Tirtha
The next mutt in the rotation is Puttinge Mutt. The original head of this mutt was Sri Upendra Tirtha. The present swami of this mutt is His Holinee Sugunendra Tirtha Swami who took sannyasa at 13 years of age on the 8th of April 1974
1. Upendra Tirtha
2. Kavindra Tirtha
3. Hamsendra Tirtha
4. Yadavendra Tirtha
5. Dharanidhara Tirtha
6. Damodara Tirtha
7. Raghunatha Tirtha
8. Srivatsanka Tirtha
9. Gopinatha Tirtha
10. Ranganatha Tirtha
11. Lokanatha Tirtha
12. Ramanatha Tirtha
13. Srivallabha Tirtha
14. Srinivasa Tirtha
15. Srinidhi Tirtha
16. Gunanidhi Tirtha
17. Anandanidhi Tirtha
18. Taponidhi Tirtha
19. Yadavendra Tirtha
20. Kavindra Tirtha
21. Raghavendra Tirtha
22. Vibudhendra Tirtha
23. Surendra Tirtha
24. Bhuvanendra Tirtha
25. Yogindra Tirtha
26. Sumatindra Tirtha
27. Sudhindra Tirtha
28. Sujnanendra Tirtha
29. Sugunendra Tirtha
After Puttinge comes Shirur Mutt which was established by Madhva’s disciple Sri Vamana Tirtha. The present swami of the mutt is His Holiness Sri Laxmivara Tirtha Swami who took sannyasa at 8 years of age in 1971.
1. Vamana Tirtha
2. Vasudeva Tirtha
3. Punyasloka Tirtha
4. Vedagamya Tirtha
5. Vedavyasa Tirtha
6. Vedavedya Tirtha
7. Mahesha Tirtha
8. Krishna Tirtha
9. Raghava Tirtha
10. Suresha Tirtha
11. Vedabhushana Tirtha
12. Srinivasa Tirtha
13. Vedanidhi Tirtha
14. Sridhara Tirtha
15. Yadavottama Tirtha
16. Lakshminarayana Tirtha
17. Vishvabhushana Tirtha
18. Trailokyapavana Tirtha
19. Lakshmikanta Tirtha
20. Lakshminarayana Tirtha
21. Lakshmipathi Tirtha
22. Lakshmidhara Tirtha
23. Lakshmiramana Tirtha
24. Lakshmimanohara Tirtha
25. Lakshmipriya Tirtha
26. Lakshmivallabha Tirtha
27. Lakshmisamudra Tirtha
28. Lakshmindra Tirtha
29. Lakshmimanojna Tirtha (he renounced the seat)
30. Lakshmivara Tirtha
The next mutt is Sode mutt which was originally headed by Madhvacarya’s brother Sri Visnu Tirtha. the present swami of this mutt is His Holiness Sri Vishvottama Tirtha Swami who took sannyasa at the age of 9 years in 1943.
1. Vishnu Tirtha
2. Vedavyasa Tirtha
3. Vedavedya Tirtha
4. Vedagarbha Tirtha
5. Vareesha Tirtha
6. Vamana Tirtha
7. Vasudeva Tirtha
8. Vedavyasa Tirtha
9. Varaha Tirtha
10. Vedatma Tirtha
11. Vishvavandya Tirtha
12. Ratnagarbha Tirtha
13. Vedanga Tirtha
14. Vidyapati Tirtha
15. Vishvavandya Tirtha
16. Vishva Tirtha
17. Vithala Tirtha
18. Varadaraja Tirtha
19. Vagisha Tirtha
20. Vadiraja Tirtha
21. Vedavedya Tirtha
22. Vidyanidhi Tirtha
23. Vedanidhi Tirtha
24. Varadaraja Tirtha
25. Vishvadhirajendra Tirtha
26. Vadivandya Tirtha
27. Vishvavandya Tirtha
28. Vibudhaavarya Tirtha
29. Vishvanidhi Tirtha
30. Vishvadhisha Tirtha
31. Vishvesha Tirtha
32. Vishvapriya Tirtha
33. Vishvadhisha Tirtha
34. Vishvendra Tirtha
35. Visvottama Tirtha
The second from last of the eight mutts is Kaniyur Mutt, which was originally headed by Sri Rama Tirtha. The present swami of the mutt is His Holiness Sri Vidyavarinidhi Tirtha Swami who took sannyasa at 11 years of age in 1942.
1. Rama Tirtha
2. Raghunatha Tirtha
3. Raghupati Tirtha
4. Raghunandana Tirtha
5. Yadunandana Tirtha
6. Vishvatma Tirtha
7. Vishvanatha Tirtha
8. Vedagarbha Tirtha
9. Vagisha Tirtha
10. Varadapati Tirtha
11. Vishvapati Tirtha
12. Vishvamula Tirtha
13. Vedapati Tirtha
14. Vedaraja Tirtha
15. Vidyadhisha Tirtha
16. Vibudhesha Tirtha
17. Varijaksha Tirtha
18. Vishvendra Tirtha
19. Vibudhavandya Tirtha
20. Vibudhadhiraja Tirtha
21. Vidyaraja Tirtha
22. Vibudhapriya Tirtha
23. Vidyasagara Tirtha
24. Vasudeva Tirtha
25. Vidyapati Tirtha
26. Vamana Tirtha
27. Vidyanidhi Tirtha
28. Vidyasamudra Tirtha
29. Vidyavarinidhi Tirtha
The final of the eight Udupi mutts is that of Pejawar Mutt which was headed by Madhvacarya’s disciple Sri ADhoksaja Tirtha. The present day swami of Pejawar Mutt is His Holiness Sri Vishvesha Tirtha Swami who took sannyasa when he was 8 years of age in 1938.
Sri Pejawar Swami had previously initiated His Holiness Visva Vijaya Tirtha who has now demitted office as he travelled to the USA without the consent of the eight swamis of Udupi’s Astha Mutts in December of 1987. Revered Senior Pejawar Swami has now initiated His Holiness Sri Visvaprasanna Tirtha Swami as the junior swami of the Pejawar Mutt.
1. Adhokshaja Tirtha
2. Kamalaksha Tirtha
3. Pushkaraksha Tirtha
4. Amarendra Tirtha
5. Mahendra Tirtha
6. Vijayadhvaja Tirtha
7. Uttama Tirtha
8. Chintamani Tirtha
9. Damodara Tirtha
10. Vasudeva Tirtha
11. Vadindra Tirtha
12. Vedagarbha Tirtha
13. Anuprajna Tirtha
14. Vijaya Tirtha
15. Vijaya Tirtha
16. Vishveshwara Tirtha
17. Vishvabhushana Tirtha
18. Vishvavandya Tirtha
19. Vidyaraja Tirtha
20. Vishvamurthy Tirtha
21. Vishvapathi Tirtha
22. Vishvanidhi Tirtha
23. Vishvadhisha Tirtha
24. Vishvadhiraja Tirtha
25. Vishvabodha Tirtha
26. Vishvavallabha Tirtha
27. Vishvapriya Tirtha
28. Vishvavarya Tirtha
29. Vishvaraja Tirtha
30. Vishvamanohara Tirtha
31. Vishvajna Tirtha
32. Vishvamanya Tirtha
33. Vishvesha Tirtha
34. Vishvaprasanna Tirtha
(These lists are current as of 10 August 1990.)
I may be a poor man, like a post peon, but nontheless the valuables that are delivered are a fact, just as the letters that are despatched from the post office are a fact. In all honesty, I have only tried to deliver those facts to you, the readers. I have not watered anything down to cater for whimsical philosophies, nor have I invented something of my own for some perverse mundane sense gratification, either subtle or gross, which is available to even hogs and dogs.
If I have offended anyone with my presentation please forgive me, but I have only tried to present what I have found. As stated previously, certainly I am not qualified for this service, though in a loving mood for the pleasure of the Lord and His devotees, and as a service to them and only by their mercy, has this book been completed.
In actual humility, knowing my worth, I offer this work to the lotus feet of my guru maharaja, who on my behalf I pray will offer this books at the lotus feet of Sripada Madhvacarya on this day, Vijaya Dasami, Saturday 29th September, 1990, which is the revered appearance day of the great acarya, Sripada Madhwacarya Bhagawatapad.
Begging for your mercy upon me, I offer my prostrated dandavats to you.
Jayatirtha Caran dasa.