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Part-II PhalguNa KriShNa 3rd and 4th March

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Part-II PhaLguna MAsa Krishna paksha ( 3rd March and 4th March)


Sri V I R O D H I ,

UttarayaNe, Shishirutau

PhalguNa Maasa,

KRISHNA PAKSHA (1st March to 16th March )




(ShraadhDha Tithi Thrutheeyai )


Tithi : Thruteeyam (16.17)IST

Vaara : Sumya vaasara

Nakshatra : Hasta (14.04)IST

Yoga : GanDa

KaraNe : BhadrA


SankaShTa Chaturthi



b) Shree Vadiraja tirthara Aradhana (Sode)


Among the illustrious Acharyas of Sri Madhwa matha Sri Vadiraja Thirtha occupies a very eminent place. His contribution to dvaitha philosophy, Kannada sahithya and Sanskrit literature is of a very rare and high order. He occupies an important position in the history and development of dvaitha philosophy.


Please see my HOME PAGE on him. The url is as follows :


Sri Sri Vadiraja teertharu

Life history of Saint Sri vAdirAja teertharuBackgroundShri Vadiraja tIrtha occupies a very exalted place in the galaxy of saints in Madhva parampare. Some accord to him a lofty status along with Sri Jaya tIrtha, Sri VyAsa tIrtha and Sri Raghavendra tIrtha, whereas others consider him second only to AchArya Madhva.In any case, he is universally acknowledged as a great saint with immense spiritual powers in addition to being an outstanding poet, philosopher, social organizer, reformer, debater and prolific writer.There are many aspects about him that are truly outstanding. He lived for 120 years, (1480-1600 AD) out of which 112 years as a sanyAsi, and entered brindAvana alive ! No other saint,

irrespective of doctrinal affiliations, can claim this distinction. He saw 5 paryAyas and entered his Brindavana alive in 1600. He went around India twice and captured his experience in a travelogue.He has left his unique imprint on many institutions. The present paryAya system in Udupi, the mini Udupi he has created in Sode, the Manjunatha temple in Dharmasthala, the multitude of devaranAmas and stotras that he has left behind are some aspects that come to mind immediately.It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the yati most likely to have touched some aspect of the common mAdhva's life, one way or another.Some consider him to be an incarnation of LAtavya, a Riju-gaNa deity, destined for the post of Vayu in the next kalpa (creation cycle). In his previous birth, he is believed to be the messenger who conveyed RukmiNI's message to Lord Krishna.


Biographies on Sri Vadiraja tirtha include the Vadiraja-guruvara-charitAmRuta, Vadiraja vRuttasangraha and the autobiographical work Svapna-vRundAvana-AkhyAna. But as is the case with many other saints, a detailed account of his childhood seems to be unavailable.In the Hindu year shArvarI (1480 AD) Sri VAgIsha tIrtha visited a village called Huvvinakere 25 miles North of Udupi. He met a pious but poor and childless couple, Ramabhatta and Gowri devi. They begged him to bless them so that they could have children. He did so, but imposed one condition, the first male child would have to be handed over to the maTha for upbringing.When the couple hesitated to accept this offer, he made it easy for them by imposing a seemingly easy condition – if the child

were to be born inside the house, they could keep it, but if birth happened outside the house then they would have to hand it over. They agreed to it wholeheartedly.In due course, by the grace of God, Gowri devi became pregnant and the couple was ecstatic. They remembered their agreement and took exta care. Gowri was not allowed to leave the house. Since their house was nothing but a small hut surrounded by a small paddy field, Ramabhatta could easily tend to his work in the field while being available for any requirement in the house. Nine months passed and childbirth was imminent.On sAdhana dvAdashi day, Ramabhatta was having his food and Gowri was performing tulasi-pooja in the backyard. She suddenly saw some cows entering the field and destroying the crops. Since this was their only source of livelihood she was very perturbed; she immediately took up a stick and entered the fields with the intention of chasing the cows away,

totally forgetting the agreement.In her excitement she moved quite a distance from the house and suddenly developed labor pains. She could not return home and had to deliver the child in the field itself. Thus divine will prevailed inspite of all human efforts to the contrary !!Shri vAgIsha tIrtha was informed about the birth of the child. He sent a golden plate and asked the parents to bring the child in that plate to the maTha. It is said that the baby never touched the ground until it reached the maTha.Sri VAgIsha tIrtha pointed out to the happy parents several auspicious attributes in the baby and predicted that it would one day become a very great sanyAsi. He fed the baby milk that had been offered to the deity and asked the parents to name the boy as BhUvara (some say VarahAchArya). He sent them home with the baby and asked them to bring it back after a few years.The paddy field where Gowri gave birth to Sri

VAdirAja is called as "Gowri Gadde". Now there is a small temple in that spot.

Ascension and education

VAdirAja studied under Sri VAgIsha tIrtha until the latter’s demise. After this, he performed his guru’s Aradhane in a grand way and moved with his retinue to Hampe to study under Sri vyAsa tIrtha.His stay in Hampe was very eventful and remarkable because it was a union of several divine individuals - Sri vyAsa tIrtha, VAdirAja, VishNu tIrtha (later Vijayendra tIrtha), Purandara dAsa and Kanaka dAsa.King Krishnadevaraya was impressed by VAdirAja’s personality and gave him the title of ‘prasangAbharaNa tIrtha’ ( Jewel of a Speaker). VAdirAja returned back to Udupi after a few years. As a parting gift, Sri VyAsa tIrtha gave him the vyAsa muShTi that had been gifted to him during a trip to Udupi.

VAdirAja gets HayagrIva icon

There were thousands of goldsmiths living in the coastal regions of Karnataka. One issue dogging them was lack of social status and acceptance in religious circles.Once, a goldsmith melted an alloy of 5 metals and put it into the mould, with the intention of making a Ganapati icon. When he opened the mould he was surprised to see a Hayagriva icon with a horse's head and four arms. Another surprising aspect was that the icon was still red hot and radiant. He decided to destroy it and reuse the metal the next day.That night he was instructed in his dream to hand over the icon to VadirAja. VAdirAja too had a dream in which he was told that he would receive a special HayagrIva icon. Since HayagrIva was the IshTa devata (favorite deity) of VAdirAja he was

overjoyed.The next day a delegation of goldsmiths met VAdirAja and handed over the icon to him. They also shared their sorrow at being social outcasts. VAdirAja took pity on them and decided to uplift them.Accordingly, on a suitable occasion, the entire community of goldsmiths was provided with chakrAnkana and brought into the fold of bhAgavata (dvaita) dharma. From then, members of that community (daivajna brahmans) have regarded VAdirAja as their guru, and Sode maTha as their maTha.VAdirAja also admitted kOTeshwara brahmins into the dvaita fold, bringing them status and respect in society.

Travels and tIrtha prabhanda


After completing his first paryAya VAdirAja undertook his first tour of the country. He has documented the pilgrimage centers visited by him and their greatness in a travelogue called ‘tIrtha prabhanda’.This is a unique work without a parallel and provides an authentic description of several pilgrimage centers. At every major location he visited, he conducted Vidwat Sabhas (Conference of scholars) encompassing religious debates and discussions, establishing beyond doubt the supremacy and greatness of tattvavAda or dvaita philosophy.It is said that when he visited Tirumala, the entire hill looked like a sAligrAma to him. He then climbed it on his knees, not wishing to put his feet on the sacred hill. He offered a

garland of sAligrAmas as an offering to Lord Srinivasa.VAdirAja toured the entire country at least 2 times. He recovered the statue of Sri MukhyaprANa from Ayodhya and established it in Udupi.He also established a statue of AchArya Madhva at Pajaka, his birth place.

The genesis of RukminIsha vijaya

While on tour, VAdirAja decided to observe chAturmAsya in Pune. He learnt that a Vidwat sabha was underway to determine the greatest mahA-kAvya (poetic epic) ever written, and that people were leaning towards selecting "ShishupAla-vadha" by mAgha as the winner.He sent word to the organizers that there was a work by him with the same background, which covered the subject in accordance with shAstra, and requested them to include it in their evaluation. He also pointed out that "ShishupAla-vadha" (Killing of ShishupAla) was inauspiciously named and did not highlight Krishna's greatness. He requested them to give him about 3 weeks to have the manuscript fetched from Udupi.The organizers agreed, not knowing that there was no such manuscript and that

VAdirAja was only buying time to compose that work from scratch. He then wrote RukmiNIsha-Vijaya within the next 19 days, harnessing every free moment available to him.When this work was presented at the conference the scholars were swept away by its poetic brilliance and had no hesitation in declaring it as the greatest mahAkAvya in sanskrit literature. In accordance with their decision, the manuscript was taken in a procession around the city on a well-decorated elephant, with a lot of fanfare and glory.There are several aspects that makes this feat so unique and remarkable:*The extremely short duration within such a magnificient work was composed.*The complete conformance to all the tenets of tattvavAda without compromising on poetic flourishes; it is both a poem as well as a treatise on shAstra.*The poetic brilliance that swept the judges off their feet; one needs to remember that the evaluation was done by a

group of impartial experts, who owed no allegiance to VAdirAja and who would not have accepted anything but the best.

Lord Hayagriva blesses the devotee

Lord Hayagriva blesses devotee – Dashavatara stuti is bornFrom Pune, VAdirAja continued on his tour and reached PandarApura. He stayed in a temple and spent a few weeks serving Lord Vittala. One day, an angry man accosted him and started verbally abusing him as follows “You are not restraining your horse. Every day I see a white horse coming to my corn field and grazing on my crop. I have chased it several times, each time it comes up to the temple where you are staying and disappears. I am convinced that the horse belongs to you. My crop is totally ruined. You have to compensate me adequatelyâ€.VAdirAja told the complainant that he was mistaken and that the maTha did not have any horse whatsoever. The complainant however was not satisfied and

insisted on doing a full search of the premises.When he did not find any horse, he was totally surprised. By then VAdirAja had realized what was happening. He smiled and politely asked the complainant to take him to the corn field which the horse was supposed to have destroyed.When they arrived at the field and examined the crop, the owner was flabbergasted to see golden corn at all the places where the horse had eaten his crop. VAdirAja then explained to him that that the horse was Lord Hayavadana Himself, and that he was very lucky to have seen Him.The crop owner surrendered at the feet of VAdirAja, and offered his land to the maTha. On the way back, VAdirAja composed the dashAvatAra stuti. This is set to AshvadhATi (literally ‘horse gait or trot’) and when sung melodiously sounds like a horse dancing.


VAdirAja’s special naivEdyaVAdirAja had a special process for offering naivEdya to his favorite deity Lord HayagrIva (also known as Hayavadana). Amongst pictures depicting VAdirAja, the one showing him offering Naivedya to the Lord is the most popular.This is how it was done: A sweet dish called HayagrIva (a preparation consisting of jaggery, almonds, ghee and cooked bengal gram) would be prepared in the maTha. After regular worship, VAdirAja would close himself in a room and meditate on the Lord with utmost devotion, holding a plate full of HayagrIva held over his head.Hayavadana would emanate from the icon in the form of a pure white horse, put His forelegs on VAdirAja’s shoulders and eat the Naivedya, leaving a small portion as prasAda.

It is said that VAdirAja would sing the 'dashAvatAra-stuti', to please the Lord and the latter would dance to show His appreciation.

Hayagriva eats poison to protect VAdirAja

Some evil people contended that VAdirAja was only pretending to offer naivedya to the Lord while eating the food himself. To prove their theory they added mild poison to the naivedya so that VAdirAja would be affected by it and would then be forced to admit the truth.Not knowing this, VAdirAja offered that food to HayagrIva with utmost devotion. That day, however, the Lord ate everything that was offered, without leaving anything behind as prasAda. When VAdirAja saw the empty plate, he was very disturbed and realized that something was amiss. When he meditated on the Lord, the Lord appeared before him told him what had happened, and why He had to eat all the food to protect VAdirAja.The Lord also told him that the icon would develop a bluish-green

tinge all over its body as proof . VAdirAja would have to offer ‘VAdirAja Gulla’ (MATTU GULLA) as naivEdya for a period, when the tinge would gradually diminish, leaving just a streak of green at the neck to remind posterity of this incident.

Changes in Paryaya system in Udupi

The disciples of AchArya Madhva originally stayed together in the Sri Krishna maTha, sharing the daily worship amongst themselves, with each disciple getting a period of two months. Even though this worked smoothly, there were several problems lurking beneath the surface. They were:*festivals come around at a certain time of the year; for example, Deepavali comes in kArtIka, which is usually late October or early November. So a disciple who had his recent turn between Mar and April would have to wait a very long time before Deepavali came during his turn. This led to a lot of heartburn .*administration suffered because it constantly changed hands every two months; major changes could not be initiated because of the 2 month limit; so, everybody

continued with the status quo leading to stagnation and decay*each disciple would get a period of just 16 months between turns, leaving little or no time for pilgrimage, institution building and other activities that required long travel outside UdupiEven though these problems were well known, nobody had the stature or the courage to change a system that had been formulated by AchArya Madhva himself. It took a saint of the eminence of VAdirAja to do this.In 1532, Sri Vadiraja created the paryAya system of rotation. Buildings for the eight maThas were established in the vicinity of the Krishna maTha. Each of the maThas was given a period of 2 years to manage the Krishna temple, effectively addressing all of the problems outlined above.Every maTha gota chance to manage the temple during all the festivals happening in the calendar year for two years. Additionally, two years is sufficient time for a maTha to take up major

administrative projects. Finally, each maTha gets a period of 14 years to tour the country to spread Dvaita philosophy and get ready for the next paryAya.


Dharmasthala, on the banks of the river Netravati in Dakhina Kannada, was an inauspicious place where people used to practice witchcraft and worship devils and demons.Once, when Vadiraja was on tour, he happened to pass by that place. The leaders of that community who came to know of his presence invited him to come and perform pooja in their village.Vadiraja declined their invitation stating that the environment was full of evil spirits and hence very inappropriate for any auspicious activities. The people did not give up. They begged him with folded hands to somehow lift them from the morass they had fallen into and purify their environment.Vadiraja was moved by their plight and decided to help them.

He had one of his aides fetch an icon of ManjunAtheshwara (Shiva) from the Kadiri temple. He then consecrated that in accordance with shAstra and installed in Dharmasthala.From that day on, Dharmasthala lost its bad reputation and became renowned as an important pilgrimage center in South India. Millions of devotees visit that shrine every year and get their wishes fulfilled.It is a unique temple where the worship of Lord Shiva is done by priests of Shivalli Madhva community, and the administration of the temple is in the hands of the Jain (Hegade) family.

danDa tIrtha

There is a pilgrimage center in Dakshina Kannada called kaTi-shivAlaya near the place where netrAvati and kumAradhAra rivers meet. It is a location with a lot of scenic beauty and hundreds of naturally occuring rock formations shaped like Shiva lingas. VAdirAja once came to that place with his retinue.Thousands of people from nearby villages assembled to see him and experience his greatness. Most of them had an overpowering desire to perform abhisheka to the naturally occuring Shiva Lingas, but there was no water in the rivers to support such a large-scale operation.When word of this reached VAdirAja he drew a line in the sand with his staff (danDa) and prayed to the Lord. Immediately, water sprung forth from the line and formed a large stream. The

people who had assembled there were overjoyed to see this and praised their luck in being witness to the greatness of VAdirAja.This stream can be seen even today and goes by the name of danDa tIrtha

Sode: BhUta-rAja

VAdirAja had a disciple called nArAyanAchArya, who was very intelligent but ill-mannered. He had the bad habit of maligning everybody including his own guru. VAdirAja was very patient with him but one day when he crossed all limits, VAdirAja cursed him to be a brahma-pishAchi (a type of ghost).nArAyanAchArya became a ghost and started haunting a forest near Hampi. He would stop all wayfarers and ask them a cryptic question “A kA mA vy ko na snAta ha?†(meaning ‘who does not bathe in A kA mA vy?’). Nobody could answer this. He would then harass them and cause a lot of pain and suffering.To understand the question one needs a little bit of background. The months of AshADha, kArtIka, mArghashira and vyshAkha in the Hindu calendar are considered holy. People usually perform special poojas to God during this time, and since bathing is a pre-requisite for any pooja, almost everybody bathes in these months. So the ghost was really asking “who are the evil people who do not bathe in the holy months of AshADa, kArtIka, mArghashira and vyshyAkha?â€Once when VAdirAja himself was passing by that forest he was confronted by the ghost. He then put a question to the ghost “What are you willing to wager?†The ghost replied “If you answer this, I will be your slave for life. If you don’t, I will eat you and your retinueâ€.VAdirAja agreed to the ghost’s condition and gave the following reply to the question: “RanDa-putrah tvam na snAta ha!†(son of a prostitute, you don’t bathe in these holy months). Since

this answer was correct, the ghost lost and hence had to serve VAdirAja for life. From that day onwards, he faithfully served VAdirAja and is fondly called as nArAyaNa bhUta or BhUta-rAjaru.

Arasappa Nayaka

Sode or Svadi is a small town in North Kannada district of modern Karnataka, and about a few miles from Sirsi. In the sixteenth century it was the capital of a small province governed by a chieftain called Arasappa Nayaka, owing allegiance to the Vijayanagar empire. With the fall of the Vijayanagar empire Sode became an independent province with Nayaka as the king.He was under the influence of a vile sorcerer who poisoned his mind against Brahmins. They were ill treated and subjected to all kinds of harassment like not being allowed to draw water from community wells and subjected to insults in every possible manner. Nayaka also alienated other sections of the population leading to total chaos in the province. Enemies saw a golden opportunity to attack the

province and did so. With enemy soldiers ringing his fort, and his own ministers rebelling against him, Nayaka had no choice but to flee from the palace. As he was fleeing he came across the retinue of VAdirAja who was passing by.The radiance emanating from VAdirAja’s face and his glorious personality wrought a major change in Nayaka’s thinking. He immediately surrendered at VAdirAja’s feet and sought his protection. He felt genuine remorse at all the sins committed by him and begged VAdirAja to forgive him. VAdirAja was moved by his repentance and decided to help him. He blessed him with mantrAkshate and asked him to go back and fight his enemies. Nayaka did so and by the blessing of VAdirAja prevailed over his enemies.The overjoyed Nayaka invited VAdirAja into the town of Sode with all due pomp and glory. The sorcerer guru, who had fled from Sode, returned and challenged VAdirAja to a debate. When his witchcraft and arguments did

not prevail against VAdirAja, he had to leave the province as a traitor. As a symbol of this liberation of Sode, VAdirAja decided to use Arasappa NAyaka's ganTe (bell used during pooja) as the main one in the maTha.Even today one finds that the bell used in Sode maTha has a Basava (bull) icon on the top of its stem instead of Sri Hanuman, as is the practice with other MAdhva temples and maThas.From that onwards, Nayaka shed his wicked ways and became an ardent devotee of VAdirAja, serving him with utmost devotion. He begged VAdirAja to stay in Sode itself, to bless him and his subjects.

Sri Trivikrama Temple

It is said that during his visit to Badari, VAdirAja had met with AchArya Madhva and Vedavyasa. He had expressed his desire to establish a grand temple to Lord Trivikrama and had requested them to provide him with a suitable icon.Arasappa Nayaka had one long standing desire - to set up a major temple in Sode. When he expressed his desire to VadirAja, VAdirAja told him that this was his desire too and asked him to make the necessary arrangements for the construction of the temple.As the temple started approaching its final shape people were wondering where the icon was. VAdirAja assured them “This is not a regular icon that needs to go through the normal process of consecration. It is already being personally

worshipped by AchArya Madhva. So the only consecration needed is to perform the maha pooja in SvAdi. Our Lord Trivikrama will come in his own special chariotâ€.He then sent BhUta rAja to Badari to fetch the icon. When BhUta rAja was on his way back with the icon in a chariot he was attacked by some demons. He used one of the wheels of the chariot to fight and defeat them. He reached Sode in time for the maha pooja with everything intact except for one missing wheel on the chariot. Even today one can see just 3 wheels on the chariot in Sri Trivikrama temple's garbhagudi.It is said that when the temple was being constructed there was a small mishap and one of the stone pillars was about to fall down.The mason who was working on it was very scared and instinctively uttered an oath invoking the name of VAdirAja and asked the pillar to stop falling. The pillar stopped in midair, thus revealing the power of VAdirAja’s name. Later

VAdirAja came there and moved the pillar to its proper location.

Vadiraja decides to move out of Udupi

VAdirAja had other reasons for moving out of Udupi. When he had introduced the paryAya system and changed the administration period from 2 months to 2 years, some critics had accused him of ulterior motives.Saddened by this, VAdirAja had wanted to move out of Udupi and stay away from all petty politics. He also wanted to give his disciple, Sri VedavEdhya tIrtha, more prominence in Udupi. So, with the above considerations in mind, he readily agreed to Nayaka’s request.Nayaka was overjoyed and had a large maTha constructed in Sode on the banks of the river ShAlmali. VAdirAja settled down in Sode completely. When his next paryAya opportunity came, he did not ascend the peetha, giving Sri VedavEdhya tIrtha a chance to

worship the beloved Lord Sri Krishna;Some of the main highlights in and around Sode (also called Sonda by the local community) are:* DhavaLa GangA (on the lines of the Madhva Sarovara in Udupi)* GopAlakrishna temple (like the Krishna temple in Udupi)* DhavaLa GangAdhara (like the ChandramoulIshwara in Udupi)* Sri MukhayaprANa temple (like the Mukhya-prAna temple in Udupi)* Tapovana, where VAdirAja used to meditateThe big jackfruit tree under which VAdirAja used to teach his disciples. When a bolt of lightning struck this tree, VAdirAja revived it back to life. It is still alive and its fruits are offered as naivEdya to Lord HayagrIva.


Towards the end, VAdirAja’s health started deteriorating. It is remarkable that even though he had enormous mystical powers, and had performed many miracles including even reviving the dead, he refused to use his powers for his own benefit.He chose to suffer whatever ill-health came his way as God’s prasAda and never complained about it. VAdirAja decided to visit Udupi one last time and have darshana of Krishna before departing from the earth. He was then suffering from poor eyesight and was worried if he would be able to see the Lord properly.On the way he composed several songs expressing his anguish and anxiety. Finally, when he arrived at Udupi and stood before the icon, his eyesight cleared and he had Vishwa-roopa darshana of the Lord in all His

glory.He then called Arasappa Nayaka and asked him to make arrangements for 5 brindavanas – one for VAdirAja, and the other four equipped with the special presence of Vishnu, Brahma, Vayu and Rudra. Arasappa Nayaka was heartbroken to hear of his guru’s impending departure, but had to obey the order given to him.Accordingly, in the year 1600 (Hindu year of Sarvari) VAdirAja performed the utsava of Lord Trivikrama as usual in Phalguna, with the final rathotsava on Poornima. Then, a few divine attendants sent by Lord Indra appeared before VAdirAja and conveyed the request of the Gods to return back to heaven as his mission on earth was completed.VAdirAja sent a message back to Indra asking for 3 more days so that he could complete the final rituals associated with Lord Trivikrama’s utsava. Indra agreed with pleasure.Finally, on Phalguna Bahula thritiya, VAdirAja entered

the brindavana alive. The moment the last stone was laid on the Brindavana, a great lament broke out from his disciples.VAdirAja, who had entered the brindAvana wearing his robe and pAduka-s (wooden sandals), and was being taken in a golden car to heaven, threw down the robe and sandals as mementos for his sad disciples. Every year, when the Aradhane of VAdirAja is performed, the robe and sandals are worshipped with extra fervor.

Svapna VrundAvanAkhyAna and anu-VrundAvanAkhyAna

Hare SrinivasaThe Svapna-VrndAvanAkhyAna is a very special work. It was authored by VAdirAja after entering the brindAvana. It is the only work in which he has revealed that he is an incarnation of lAtavya. The genesis of this work happened in a very special way.VAdirAja’s retinue contained an illiterate brahmin who was also deaf and mute, but had a lot of devotion towards VAdirAja and served him in many menial ways. The kind hearted VAdirAja knew about the mute’s devotion and service, but was waiting for the right opportunity to reward him. Years after entering the Brindavana, VAdirAja appeared in the mute’s dreams and instructed him as follows:*VAdirAja would appear in his dream every day and dictate a portion of the AkhyAna*The mute

would have to meet the pontiff of the maTha the next morning and recite whatever he had heard. VAdirAja would bless him with the power of perfect memory and speech for the time it took him to recite the previous night’s portion*This would happen for a few weeks until the AkhyAna was completedThe above sequence of events happened as planned and the AkhyAna was fully composed. But nobody really understood its true meaning and significance, and the mute too died after a few years. Many years later, he reincarnated as an ascetic in the Sode maTha and finally became its pontiff. He then wrote a commentary on the AkhyAna, explaining its contents and significance.VAdirAja’s devotees regularly recite the AkhyAna with utmost devotion. A fragment of the AkhyAna called the Anu-VrundAvanAkhyAna is also popular.

Final Words:

Even though VAdirAja is not visible physically, he continues to bless his devotees from his BrindAvana. People who visit Sode and perform service with devotion and sincerity have their wishes fulfilled.Mrithikas taken from the Brindavana have miraculous powers and heal ailments of body and mind. His phenomenal contribution to Dvaita/tattvavAda philosophy and devotional literature in Sanskrit and Kannada is a standing testimony to his genius.Source:www.tatvavada.orgSri KrishnArpaNamastu



Dhyana Sloka:


KaamadhenuyaRthaa Poorvam

SaRva Abhishta Phala Pradha|

Thathaa Kalau Vaadiraja

Shree Pada AbhishdhaH SathaaM||




(ShraadhDha Tithi,Chaturthyam and PanchamyaM )

(ShraadhDha Tithi,Chaturthyam for SM )


Tithi : Chaturthyaam (14.47)IST

Vaara : Guru vaasara

Nakshatra : Chitta (13.14)IST

Yoga : Vruddhi

KaraNe : Balava


Shree Vyasarayara Araadhana (Navavrindavana)


Sri Vyasraya was the greatest man of his age, in scholarship and renunciation and was embodiment of Hindu Dharma. He was no mere doctrinaire. His intellect was as high as his love and Bhakthi were deep.


Dhyana Sloka:


Artha Kalpitha Kalpoyam

PrathyaRtha Gaja Kesari|

VysathiRtha GuruRBhooyaad

asmaaRtha Siddhaye||


Please see my HOME PAGE on him. The url is as follows:




Otherwise known as Srila Vyasaraya and Srila Vyasaraja Swamin, as we briefly mentioned, he was the disciple of Sripad Brahmanya Tirtha. He was the fourth in decent from Rajendra Tirtha.


Born around 1460 A.D., in the village of Bannur in Mysore District,(Vyasayogicarita, 1926. Bangalore. page 13), his father's name was Ballanna Sumati and his gotra was Kasyapa, the youngest of six sons of Ramacarya. As his first wife was childless for a long time, he married a second girl called Akkamma. In this regard 'Sumati' is given as his surname, and Ballanna might be deemed to be the collquial variant of Balarama.(B.N.K. Sharma. 1961. History of the Dvaita school of Vedanta. page 286.)


As previously stated, Vyasa Tirtha took his birth by the blessings of Brahmanya Tirtha. Altogether, Sripad Vyasa Tirtha's parents had three children, a girl and two boys. In his childhood Sripad Vyasa Tirtha was known as Yatiraja, it is suggested to honour Sripad Brahmanya Yati his father's 'Guru'. At the age of five Yatiraja underwent the Vidyarambha samskara to begin his formal education, starting with writing the alphabet, and at seven years took 'upanayana', investiture with the sacred thread. He stayed at 'gurukula' for only four years after that. At eleven he went to his home and continued his studies of poetry, drama and grammar for about five years.


Before Sripad Vyasa Tirtha's birth, his father, Ballanna promised his second son to Brahmanya Tirtha whom he was very close to. Despite the families deep attachment to this young boy, to show his determination to fulfil this deed as promised to 'Guru' he gave the boy the named Yatiraja over to Brahmanya Tirtha. His name not only indicates that he was destined as the 'property' of Bramanya Tirtha, but also the boy's future as a renunciate. And so in due course Ballanna personally took his son to Cannapatna and presented to Brahmanya Tirtha as an assistant, the father then returned home.

"Brahmanya Tirtha was very much impressed with the superior attainment of his ward and was secretly meditating to ordain him a monk, so as to enlist his genius to the cause of Vainava Dharma."(B.N.K. Sharma. 1961. History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 287.)

Some commentators say that Yatiraj knew of the intention of Brahmanya Tirtha, but didn't want to commit himself, and so took of for his freedom, one day. However more devotional commentators say that after some time, however, Yatiraja, being unsure of Brahmanya Tirtha's intentions, slipped away and ran into the forest and headed for the direction of "home," away from the hermitage. One night whilst sleeping in the forest under a tree, Lord Visnu came to him and told him what He had planned for him, and that the Lord was looking after him. Lord Visnu then told young Yatiraj what to do. The teenager returned to the 'ashrama' hermitage that very same day, and shortly after this, upon proving his dedication to his 'guru', young Yatiraja was formally

initiated into the 'sannyasa' order and given the name Vyasa Tirtha.

Some time shortly after the two year famine of 1475., and 1476., Brahmanya Tirtha, his 'guru', left this world.


Sripad Vyasa Tirtha came to the Vedanta Pitha about 1478., in his late teens, sixteen. Due to his young age and little time spent with his 'guru', some said that he didn't really know the conclusions of the Madhwa 'shastras' very well, so he went to Kancipuram to study, where, after a very short time, he became a renowned pandit. It is suspected that it was at this time that Vyasa Tirtha developed his profound knowledge, understanding and refutory power in all the scriptures. Kanci was at that time the citidel of shastric learning of all South India. Vyasa Tirtha stayed for many years there studying the six systems of philosophy, under eminent pandits there. He acquired deep erudition in all the systems of philosophy, even Sankara and Ramanuja, as

well as the Bhatta school, Nyaya, and an acquaintance which stood him in good stead, in writing his monumental works, the Nyayamrta, Tatparya Candrika and Tarkatandava.


In local history corresponding to the time, it is mentioned that the saintly King of Bisnaga used to listen daily to a great Brahma Madhwa Vaisnava 'sannyasi' who had never married or touched a woman in his life. Though his name is not directly mentioned, history infers that this was Sripad Vyasa Tirtha.


From Kancipuram he went over to the seat of Sripadaraja at Mulbagal which was also another great seat of learning like Kanci.


Sripadaraja was also known as Lakshminaryana Tirtha (1420-1487.), although he was more widely known as Sripadaraja. He was the pontiff of the Mutt of Padmanabha Tirtha at Mulbagal, and seventh descendant and successor to Svarnavarna Tirtha, whose Brindavan-samadhi was discovered at Srirangam. According to tradition, the mothers of Brahmanya Tirtha and Sripadaraja were uterine sisters, the cousins were about the same age. Sripadaraj's father was said to have been a contemporay of Raghunatha Tirtha of Uttaradi Mutt, who came into office in 1444., and died in 1502.


Vyasa Tirtha is believed to have read under Sripadaraj for nearly twelve years(Vidyaratnakara Tirtha Swami of Vyasaray Mutt, Vy-carita, lxxiii, introduction.). Others say it was only five to six years(B.N.K. Sharma. 1961. History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 288.). "It is remarkable that both should have renounced the world and devoted themselves to the cause of their faith and played a conspicuous part in the spiritual development of their gifted disciple Vyasa Tirtha."(B.N.K. Sharma. 1961. History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 461.).

From there on the advice of Sripadaraj, Vyasa Tirtha went to Vijayanagar and the 'Kings Court' (approx 1485-86.), and became known for his radical statements regarding Brahmanism, Vaisnavism, Varnasrama, and who was worthy to worship the Lord.


The latter part of the biography of Vyasa Tirtha(Vyasayogicarita, chapter IV.) gives a brilliant account of the arrival of Vyasa Tirtha, at the court of Saluva Narasimha at Candragiri, and the grand reception that they had there for him. Being worshipped by the king bathed in presious jewells, pure gold and silver powders, and presented with all kinds of oppulences befitting such a worthy 'acarya'. Vyasa Tirtha spent a couple of years there in this way being honoured by the king.


Here he met and vanquished in intellectual debating tournaments many of the leading scholars of his day and conducted debates on such treatises on Logic as the Tattvacintamani of Gangesha.


Whilst in that area he was entrusted with the worship of Srinivasan, Lord Visnu, at Tirupati (Tirumala). Sripad Vyasa Tirtha's Mutt is still at Tirupati on the hill of Tirumala. Before leaving that place, after about twelve years of being there (1486-98.), he gave the worship over to his disciples. His South Indian tour must have come at this time(B. Venkobarao. Notes to Vy-carita. page 18.)


According to the commentator Somanatha, Vyasa Tirtha returned to Candragiri for a while after 1498. He evidently did so at the request of Saluva Immadi Narasimha, the son and successor of Saluva Narasimha, untill Narasa Naque became defacto ruler of Vijayanagar soon after the settlement which he concluded with King Tamma Raya, in 1498.,(Proddattur 386 of 1904, Madras Insc. B.N.K. Sharma. 1961. History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 289.).


Once, Sripad Vyasarya foresaw with his mystical powers that the emperor of Vijayanagar would be subjected to some very intense, focussed bad influence of planets known as Kuhay Oga. To protect his devotees, and the Vijayanagar empire, Sripad Vyasa Tirtha (Vyasaraya) himself ascended the throne during those evil moments. The combined, concentrated effect of those forces was a raging inferno that had the capacity of buring down the throne and the entire palace. Sripad Vyasa Tirtha smothered the fire with his holy shawl ('angavastra)' and protected his devotees. Later, he handed the empire back to Raja Krishnadevaraya his loyal devotee. This great miracle has been faithfully described in several songs by Haridasas (the Dasakutas). And to commemorate this event, even to this day the 'Swamijis'

of the Vyasaraya lineage hold a 'durbar' (court presided over by a king in his honour). This is perhaps the only known instance where a saint holds court.


It was at this time that Vyasa Tirtha was installed at the helm of the Vijayanagara kingdom as the 'guardian saint'. This position was conferred upon him without any challenge.

It was at this time and place where he was challenged to a debate by 'brahmana pandits' from all over India. The 'pandits' were led by the learned 'brahmin' Basava Bhatta of Kalinga, Orissa. They all pinned their challenges to the pillars of the palace. After a thirty day discussion, Sripad Vyasa Tirtha emerged triumphant, and his reputation earned him the respect of King Krsnadevaraya 1509 A.D., who regarded him as 'guru' and gave him all honours as such. Maharaj Krsnadevaraya opened a new chapter in the glory of Sripada Vyasa Tirtha a chapter more brilliant than any that had gone before. Raja Krsnadevaraya in fact had the greatest regard and respect for Vyasa Tirtha and reffered to him as his 'Kuladevata'. Krsnadevaraya had awarded Sripad Vyasa

Tirtha the order of the camel on a green flag by 1500 A.D., and a drum on the back of a camel banner as a mark of respect. This is still kept by the Srila Vyasaraya Mutt at Gosale. Once the flag was taken by King Nrsimha in his attacks against the Muslim sultans who caused threats and violence to devotees and temples in South India, but between these saintly Kshatriya Kings Krsnadevaraya, Nrsimha, Shivaji and others, the sultans were stopped before getting very far.

In 1511 A.D., the king gave him a village, Pulambakkam in the 'Padaividu-rajyam', for conducting the 'Avaham' ('avani'), installation festival of the Lord Varadaraja at Kanci in the king's name, and for also the king's saction fro presenting a Sheshavahan of gold, which had to be used as a vehicle for the Lord on the fourth day of all the festivals.(Madras Epi. Rep. 1912-20, no. 370 of 1919.)


In an inscription on the southern wall of the Mantapa in front of the Vittalswami Temple, at Hampi, which records a grant to the temple in 1513 A.D., by Raja Krsnadevaray, Vyasa Tirtha is refered to as the 'Guru' without any prefix whatsoever.(S.I.I. IV, no. 48 of 1889 - Kannada.; B.N.K. Sharma. 1961. History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 290.).


There are many nice stories telling of the great King Krsnadevaraya, who ruled the famous Vijayanagar kingdom on the Tungabhadra River in Karnataka in connection with his 'guru'.


Sripad Vyasa Tirtha gave the King formal initiation, and then out of gratitude and love for his 'guru', Krsnadevaraya had made beautiful Deities of Sri Vittala (Krsna) and Rukmini, and established the fine Vittala-Rukmini temple which still stands there today.


Unfortunately this temple was very badly damaged by the Mogal invaders some time after the demise of Raja Krsnadevaraya. The Mogals had for nearly two centuries tried to conquer this mighty Vaisnava kingdom. The kingdoms' demise to what it is now, came about not so much from the attacks of the Muslimads (Mussalmans), but from the curse of a dying 'brahmin'. The story is recorded that once the Muslim invaders, lead by Mujahid, entered the outer part of the city and dispersed, killing many of the 'brahmanas' who lived there. (This place is the old Kishkinda forest mentioned in the Ramayana, and birth place of the son of Vayu, Hanuman. There is a huge deity of Hanuman made from one singular granite stone at that place.) The invading sultan chopped

the priests to the ground and then struck the deity of Hanumanji in the face. A dying priest was heard to say, "For this act you will perish here and also this city will withdraw its opulences from you. You have brought about the end of your life." Then he gave up this world, as later did the sultan. The deity of Hanuman is still there to this day with the marks of the attempt to harm him slightly visible. This town which is the site of the ancient Vijayanagar kingdom and which is now known as Hampi, is just a short bus ride from Hospet, which is on the main railway line in Northern Karnataka (Hubli-Belguam line).


On the temple wall there are inscriptions giving the date 1513 A.D., and refers to Sripad Vyasa Tirtha as the 'guru' of Raja Krsnadeva-raya. There is also mention of Sripad Vyasa Tirtha ceremonially bathing Sri Krsnadevaraya at his initiation, following in the method of Sripad Madhwacarya's 'puja' manual entitled "Tantrasara" Chapter 2:10-11., in which the Tantrasara points out that the ceremonial bathing, 'abhiseka' of a disciple by the 'guru' adds to the glory of the disciple. As we can see by the next brief story, this did make him glorious.


Vyasa Tirtha whose Nyayamrta is a wonderful work on Vedanta is sometimes compared to Lord Vishnu's firery Sudarshan discus, infallable, and deadly a weapon, used against the 'mayavadins' who had to admit its unfathomable depth of devotion, and intellectualism. The infamous 'mayavadin' Madhusudan Saraswati of the Sankarite school wrote 'Advaita-Siddhi' as a rejoiner to it, but failed to take up the challenge.

Sripad Ramachandra Tirtha from among the Madhwa line in his Tarangini refuted the arguments contained in the said Advaita-Siddhi. The Sankarite scholars in their turn turned offered Brahmanandiya in answer to the questions put forward in Tarangini. The Madhwas had again written Vamamalmasriya to silence their natural enemies. It is really a wonderful and interesting study, how obstinately the two schools fought each other.(Sambidananda dasa. 1991. The History & Literature of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and their relation to other medieval Vaishnava Schools. page 104.)


Once a Gajapati King of Orissa tried to humiliate Krsnadevaraya by sending 'adwaitin', 'mayavadi' philosophical points to him to try to catch him out, but on the instructions and potency of his 'guru' Sripad Vyasa Tirtha, Sri Krsnadevaraya was, as usual, victorious. Out of gratitude Krsnadevaraya gave the village of Bettakonda to Sripad Vyasa Tirtha in 1526 A.D., and a huge lake was dug for the pleasure of 'guru' called Vyasa-samudra. The dates vary from 1523, 1524 and 1526 A.D., by various records, but all the points are substantiated by the writings of devotees of the time, including Purandara dasa. It is also recorded that Krsnadevaraya literally bathed his 'guru' Vyasa Tirtha in jewels as well, performing "Ratnabhiseka", bathing him in jewels. Generally to install a person, an 'abhiseka'

is done with ghee, milk, yogurt, honey, sugar-water and tender coconuts in this part of the country, but as well as this, it was done with priceless gems.

After the death of Krsnadevaraya in 1530 A.D., Acyutaraya continued to honour Sripad Vyasa Tirtha for a few years until his demise. Raja Sri Krsnadevaraya, by the way, is always referred to as probably the most spiritually enlightened of the Vijayanagar dynasty. He established many fine temples and Deities in this area under the guidance of Sripad Vyasa Tirtha. To this day there still stands the Deity of Laxmi Nrsimha that I have personally seen standing twenty five feet tall in the banana fields. The Deity was carved from one stone under Krsnadevaraya's instructions. After his demise, the invading Muslims smashed many temples out of their envy of Vaisnava culture. Many deities like Sri Vittala Rukmini and Krsnaswami were moved further south, but

although the Muslims tried to smash the Deity of Lord Nrsimha, still He stands, although His temple lies in rubble around Him. As I hinted at previously this old and sacred place is the forest abode of Kishkinda mentioned in the Ramayana where Hanuman was born, and where Lord Rama killed Vali and, put Sugriva on the throne. Many remnants of those days exist to this day for the fortunate ones who get to visit this place.


There are numerous glories of Sripad Vyasa Tirtha to be sung. It is not unintentional that I have said "sung" in his connection, for the highly controversial and powerful preacher, the third moon of the Madhwa line, was always absorbed in 'Harinama sankirtan'. Many say this was due to the influence of his teacher, Sripadiraja Tirtha Swami, who is reknowned for his poems and songs glorifying Lord Sri Krsna. Some say he was the instigator of the 'Hari dasa' or 'Dasakuta' Movement, which is further discussed in the section at the back of this book entitled "Modern day Madhwas". Anyway, during his life Sripad Vyasa Tirtha established 732 temples of Hanuman, and or Rama, all over South India and composed numerous poems and songs based on the Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata and Ramayana.


One day after composing his famous work called "Krsna Ni Begane Baro" which, for the last four centuries has become a Bharat Natyam dance, a strange thing happened.

Sripad Vyasa Tirtha was taking a little rest when Lord Sri Krsna appeared in his dream and proceeded to address him. "You are a 'sannyasi', you do not have any wife or children. On the other hand, I am very much married and lave a large family - so why is it that you only call Me Krsna?" From that day on in any further compositions, Sripad Vyasa Tirtha always referred to his Lord as "Sri Krsna".


Once Sripad Vyasa Tirtha was sitting upon the Vedanta Pitha amongst his many, many disciples, when out of nowhere one low-born farmer happened to come into the assembly requesting mantra diksa initiation from Sripad Vyasa Tirtha. The farmer humbly begged, but in his humility he was persistent. The many other disciples, who were mostly from 'brahmana' stock, viewed him as being completely unqualified due to his birth and education, or rather lack of it - not being born in a 'pukka brahmin' family like all the other disciples. Sripad Vyasa Tirtha however, being pure and free from bodily conceptions of birth, etc, was of a different mind and to everyone's amazement Sripad Vyasa Tirtha told the farmer to chant the name of Yamaraja's bull. Going away and coming back after some time after chanting

that name, the farmer's voice was again heard. "Swamiji, Swamiji, he is here," the farmer exclaimed. When the devotees peaked outside the Mutt, to their surprise there was Yamaraja's bull Mahisa, big as a mountain, right there outside the door of the Mutt. "Now what shall I do Swamiji?" the farmer enquired from Vyasa Tirtha. Sripad Vyasa Tirtha instructed him to take the bull to the river where there was one huge boulder that hundreds of men couldn't move. The farmer went to the river and requested the bull to move the boulder out of the main stream of the river to allow the water to flow to reach the crop irrigation areas downstream. That rock, which was in itself like an island amidst the river, the bull submerged beyond sight simply with the lifting of his hoof and resting it upon it. To the delight of everyone the water again began to flow. Soon after this incident the bull returned to Yamaraja, his master. The farmer then returned to Sripad Vyasa

Tirtha and asked him for more service. Sripad Vyasa Tirtha, who was always compassionate, then engaged him in looking after the Mutt's goshalla.

Not long after that, an annual festival for the Deity came around on the calendar, and a huge festival was put on for the Lord. The high point was the 'abhiseka' bathing ceremony in which the Deity was to be bathed in many different auspicious by-products of the cow. However, just as the bathing commenced, the Deity of Udupi Krsna suddenly disappeared right in front of the assembly's eyes. Everyone was very confused except for Sripad Vyasa Tirtha, who asked all the assembled devotees to conclude as to what had happened. The debating took some time, and the disciples came to their conclusion that due to the offence of allowing the low-born farmer to look after the cows and procure the milk, yogurt, ghee, etc., even though for the 'puja', the Lord

had disappeared.

Indirectly they were blaming their 'guru', saying that this was his offence, for they were still on the bodily concept of life, thinking themselves as 'brahmanas' and he to be a mere 'vaisya', farmer.

Sripad Vyasa Tirtha very tolerantly tilted his head and asked everyone to follow him for a moment. Everyone, the whole festive assembly went to the 'goshalla' headed by Sripad Vyasa Tirtha. As they looked into the 'goshalla' they saw the farmer scrubbing down the cows, brush in one hand and a bucket of water in the other singing the glories of Gopal Krsna. In his total absorption of serving the Lord's cows, the farmer didn't even notice that the Deity of Udupi Krsna had manifested His normal Gopal form and was standing beside him holding the bucket for him.

Needless to say, all of his disciples were amazed that Udupi Krsna personally served this non-'brahmin' farmer, but Sripad Vyasa Tirtha explained that, "No, the Lord had come to serve His pure devotee. Previously he came for Acarya Madhwa to have him glorified, and now he has found another worthy soul." Sripad Vyasa Tirtha later formally initiated the farmer as his disciple.


Sripad Vyasa Tirtha passed away at Vijayanagar on the 'caturthi', fourth day in the dark fortnight in the month of Phalguna, (Jan-Feb), corresponding to Saturday 8th March, 1539 A.D. His samadhi (vrindavana) tomb remains on the island of Navavrindavanas in the Tungabhadra River, half a mile from Anegondi, Hampi.



Sripad Vyasa Tirtha was, as some say, almost the second founder of the system of Sripad Madhwacarya, after the great Sripad Madhwacarya. Sripad Vyasa Tirtha influenced many, including the aristocracy, and many of his disciples travelled north preaching his glories to places which included Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharastra, and even Rajasthan and Uttara Pradesh.

According to Kavikarnapur in his Gauraganoddesa Dipika, Sripad Vyasa Tirtha wrote the famous book, "Sri Visnu Samhita", and had a disciple by the name Laxmipati Tirtha who was originally from North India. It is also mentioned that "another disciple of Jayadharma (Vijayadhavaja) was Brahmana Purusottama. This Brahmana Purusottama according to some, is another name for Brahmanya Tirtha, the disciple of Jayadharma, who Vyasa Tirtha took 'diksa' from.


Source: http://www.salagram.net/gp-VyasaTirtha.htm -


Sri KriShNArpaNa mastu

Contd Part -III





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