Monday 19 November 2012

Madhwa seers who entered Brindavana alive

In the Madhwa parampare or line of succession, there are only four saints or seers from South India who have entered  Brindavana alive. The rest of the saints, barring a few, have entered Brindavana only after they left the mortal body.
The first to enter Brindavana Swjeeva or alive is the redoubtable Vadiraja Theertha. This saint, who belonged to the Sode matha Parampare, lived for 120 years. He was born in 1480 AD and lived upto 1600 AD. He saw the rise and fall of the Vijayanagar dynasty and he was a shishya of  Vyasa Theertha.
Vadiraja was given Sanyasa at the age of eight by Vageesha Theertha, who had succeeded the Dwaitha Matha after Kavindra Theertha. Born in Hoovinakere near Kumbasi in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district, Vadiraja was known as Bhuvaraha. A Shivalli Brahmin. he is considered to be the second highest saint in the Madhwa hierarchy after our Acharya, Madhwacharya.
An incarnation of Lord Latavya, he reformed the matha system of Udupi Sri Matha and wrote several beautiful krutis. An unmatched scholar, he was the Paryaya in charge of Udupi Temple for a record number of times.
His favourite god was Hayagriva, a form of Vishnu. His devotion was so total that he would hold the Hayagriva in a vessel over his head and a horse (Vishnu) would come and place its legs on his shoulder and eat the prasada every day.  
He entered his Brindavana alive at Sode near Sirsi. The Sode matha where his Brindavana is located has a small pond called Dhaula Gange. Pilgrims are allowed at only two corners. One corner is where Bhutaraja even today comes, tales bath and performs pooje.
Some of his works of Vadiraja include, Rukminisha Vijaya, Theertha Prabhanda, Swapna Vrundavanakyanam, Sarasa Bharathi Vilasa, Kavi Kadamba Kanta bhushana, Mahabharatha Lakshalankara Teeke, Talavakaropanishad  Bhashya Teeke, Taittareeyopanishad Bhashya Teeke, Kathakopanishad Bhashya Teeke, Atharvanopanishad Bhashya Teeke, Mandookopanishad Bhashya Teeke, Tantra Saara Teeke, Mahabhaaratha Prasthana, Shatprashnopanishad Bhashya Teeke Tippani, Mahabharatha Tatparya Nirnaya Bhavaprakashika, Tatvaprakashika Guruvartha Deepika, Ishavasyopanishad Bhashya Teeke Prakashana, Geethabhashya Tippani, Nyaya sudha Guruvartha Deepika and Bhagavatha Anukramanika.
He has 44 Strotras to his credit and eleven works in Kannada.
Vadiraja has performed hundreds of miracles. You can perform Kai (coconut) Seve here. The pontiff of the Sode Matha, Vishwa Vallabha Theertha, is the Paryaya seer this time around.
Vadiraja Theertha entered Brindavana at Sode in 1600. Accomodation is available at the matha itself.
I will relate a miracle of Vadiraja that was experienced by my relative in my next article.   

Raghavendra Swamy

The second seer to enter Brindavana alive is  Raghavendra Swamy of Mantralaya. He was born in 1595 as Venkatanatha in Bhuvanagiri in present day Tamil Nadu. (Bhuvanagiri is near Chidambaram)
Well, what can I write about this great man. Anything written about him, his works, his miracles, falls flat as his greatness is immeasurable.  His works are Vedatraya Vivriti, Mantrartha Manjari,  Commentary of Pancha Suktas, Dashopanishat Kandartha, Geetartha Sangraha,
Prameya Deepika Vyakhya,  Geeta Tatparya Teeke Vivaranam,  Tantra Deepika, Nyaya Muktavali,  Tatwa Manjari,  Tatwa Prakasika Bhava Deepa, Parimala, Dasa Prakarana Teeke Vyakhya, Rama Charitra Manjari, Krishna Charitra Manjari,  Tatparya Nirnaya Bhava Sangraha, Vaadavali Vyakhya, Chandrika Prakasa, Tarka Tandava Vyakhya, Pramana Paddhati Vyakhya, Anu Madhwa Vijaya Vakhya, Prathah Sankalpa Gadya,  Bhatta Sangraha and Prameya Sangraha.
Can anyone forget his composition Indu Yennage Govinda.
A Kalpavriksha Kamadhenu, Rayaru as he is better known, has been giving solace hundreds of years even after he entered Brindavana.
This bard of Mantralaya is such a person that if you weep, he is on hand to wipe away your tears. He entered Brindavana in 1671. He has continued to perform miracles from within the Brindavana. There are thousands of stories about him and his miracles.
Accommodation is available in plenty. After the flooding, Mantralaya is a changed place today.   

Raghuttama Theertha

He was the third Madhwa saint to enter Brindavana alive. He was the son of the Purvasharama sister of Madhwacharya. Need anything more to be said about him.
He was the head of the Uttaradhi Matha just after the demise of the Vijayanagar Empire. He was the pontiff when the Madhwa Sidhantha and even Hinduism was undergoing a turmoil in the south. The Muslim kings of the Deccan had almost overrun the entire south India and the Mughals in the north were ruling the roost.
It was Raghuttama who settled the Madhwa Siddhantha on a sound footing in those troubled times. He guided the Madhwas for more than 38 years as head of the Uttaradhi Matha.
He is the author of five Bhavabodhas. These works bring out the many meanings of Madhwacharya’s writings. The five Bhavabodhas are: Brihadaranya Bhavabhoda,  Nyaya Vivarana Bhavabhoda,  Gitabhashya Bhavabhoda (Prameya Dipika Bhavabhoda),  Vishnutatvanirnaya Bhavabhoda and Tattvaprakashika Bhavabhoda.
Two other works are Vivaranoddhara and  Nyayaratnasambanda Deepika
 His Brindavana is at Manampoodi near Tirukoilur. Manampoondi is between Tiruvvanamalai and Tirukoilur. It is 237 kms from Bangalore.
He belonged to the Surya Vamsha. Therefore, there is no covering or roof on his Brindavana. People with ailments related to eyes, limbs go to the Brindavana and perform seve. Accommodation is available a the Uttaradhi Matha which looks after the Brindavana.
Satyavrata Theertha

He is the last of the four saints to entre the Brindavana alive.
In his Poorvashrama he was known as Ranganathacharya.
He succeeded Vedanidhi Theertha as the pontiff of the Uttaradhi Matha. His contribution to the Matha is so immense, that all succeeding seers of the matha have taken the prefix Sathya. The present pontiff is the venerable Satyatma Theertha.
He was the head of the Uttaradhi Matah for three years. Once he visited Golconda. The then ruler of Golconda, Abdullah Qutab Shah, wanted to test Satyavrata Theertha’s powers.
He sent vessels containing meat to the seer, saying that it is his offering to Moola Rama.
Satyavrata Theertha sprinkled theertha on the plates and lo and behold , the meat turned to fruits and flowers. The King apologised and and prostrated himself before the seer and offered royal gifts.
He is the author of Sudha Vivrruti.
He gave Sanyasa to Sathyadharma Theertha and entered Brindavana at Sangli on the banks of river Krishna in Maharashtra. The Uttaradhi Matha looks after the Brindavana. Accommodation is available at the matha.
Please do not confuse this saint with Satyavara Theertha who also headed the Uttaradhi Matha. Satyavrata Theertha was the disciple of  Vedanidhi Theertha and he is the 18th head of the Uttaradhi Matha from the lineage of Madhwacharya.
Satyavara Theertha was one of the four disciples of  the redoubtable Satyabodha Theertha. Satyavara Theertha was the 27th head of the Uttaradhi Matha and his Brindavana is at Santebennur near Gauribidanur in Karnataka. His Guru was Satyasandha Theertha.   
Apart from the above mentioned four saints, there are some who have disappeared never to have returned. The first saint to disappear was Madhwacharya. He disappeared from his seat in the Anantheshwara Temple in Udupi and went to Badari.
The next saint to disappear was Madhwacharya’s brother, Vishnu Theertha who is the founder of Sode Matha and Subramanya Matha. He disappeared in the forests close to Kukke Subramanya.
The guru of  Bramanya Theertha of  Abbur or Kundapura Vyasaraja Matha was Purushottama Theertha. He too disappeared in a cave near Abbur in Chennapatna taluk of Ramanagar district. The cave can still be seen today.
Jitamitra Theertha of Raghavendra Swamu Matha disappeared when he was teaching students beneath a tree at Jitamitra Gadde in Raichur. 
In West India, Madhavendra Theertha, the 7th pontiff  of the Kashi Matha, entered Brindavana alive at Walkeshwar in Mumbai in the 18th century.        

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