Sunday 9 December 2012

A town to honour a Madhwa saint

He is perhaps the only saint in the Madhwa lineage in whose honour a town has been named.
This saint is a very well known yati of the Uttaradhi Matha and he ruled over the Uttaradhi Matha from 1726 to 1737. He was the 23rd head of the Uttaradhi Matha. He also taught Nyaya Sudha Patha to a poor Brahmin youth sitting in the Brindavana.
His name is Satyavijaya Theertha and a town named in his honor, Satyavijaya Nagar exists even today.
The town of Satyavijaya Nagar is in Arani in Tiruvvanamali taluk of Tamil Nadu. The Brindavana of this seer exists on the banks of Kamandala Naga river in this town.
Satyavijaya Theertha hailed from the Pandurangi family. His Poorvashrama name was Balacharya Pandurangi. When Balacharya was in Mannargudi in Tamil Nadu, the then peethadipathi of the Uttaradhi Matha, Satyapoorna Theertha came there.
He was a popular priest in Mannargudi, adept in performing Putrakameshti Yagna.
Soon, Satyapoorna Theertha felt that the time had come for him to leave the mortal world. He sent word for Satyapriya Theertha to come over and take the reigns of the Matha. By then, Satyapoorna Theertha had already declared Satyapriya Theertha as his successor.
However, Satyapriya Theertha was on Sanchara in north India and he could not be reached. Not knowing what to do, Satyapoorna Theertha decided to give sanyasa to another disciple-Balacharya. He anointed Satyavijaya Theertha as the new successor of the Uttaradhi Matha. He also requested Satyavijaya Theertha to hand over the reigns of the Matha once Satyapriya Theertha came back from his Sanchara.  
Satyavijaya Theertha agreed to do so and Satyapoorna Theertha passed away. He entered brindavana in Sangli, which today is in Maharashtra.
All this while, the officials of the Matha and Satyavijaya Theertha were waiting for the return of Satyapriya Theertha. He, however, did not come.
Satyavijaya Thertha decided to go on Sanchara. During his Sanchara, he came to Arani which was under the jagir of Srinivasa Rao Saheb, a Maratha Brahmin. The jagir of Arni had been gifted to Srinivasa’s ancestor Vedoji Bhaskar Pant by Shahaji, father of Chatrapati Shivaji.
Srinivasa Rao welcomed Satyavijaya Theertha and made him comfortable. One day, while both of them were walking, they saw a hooded cobra. Srinivasa Rao asked the seer the significance of the cobra and he was told that a war was about to break out between the Nawab of Arcot and Hyder Ali.
The seer said the cobra was giving an indication to Srinivasa Rao to shift his palace as the impending war was likely to impact Arani too.
Sometime later, Satyavijaya Theertha felt that his end was near.   
He called Srinivasa Rao and told him that the pall bearers should carry his body to the place where they could not continue any further. He indicated that the weight of his body would become too much for the pall bearers and they would have to stop. “Construct my Brindavan at this place”, he said.   
He then told Srinivasa Rao that he would have to hand over the Matha Danda (holy stick) to Satyapriya Theertha. He said he would make an inventory of all the articles and give a copy to Srinivasa Rao. He asked Srinivasa Rao to hand over the copy to Satyapriya Theertha.
He also buried the pooja box and asked Srinivasa Rao to request Satyapriya Theertah to unearth the pooja box.
Satyavijaya Theertha passed away on Chaitra Krishna Ekadashi. Srinivasa Rao found that the pall bearers halted at the very spot where he and Satyavijaya Theertha had seen the cobra.
Srinivasa Rao then constructed a Brindavana at that very spot.  He also shifted his palace nearby. Even today, the ruins of the Jagardir’s  palace is near the Brindavana of Satyavijaya Theertha.
Srinivasa Rao then renamed the place as Satyavijaya Nagar in memory of Satyavijaya Theertha.
 A few days later, Satyapriya Theertha came to Satyaviijaya Nagar. He received a copy of the inventory of the articles from Srinivasa Rao. Now, the search began for the pooja box.
When it could not be found, Satyapriya Theertha composed a beautiful shloka and requested his preceptor to help him find the pooja box.
He sang
“Bandhustvam Gururista Daiwatamiti
Twatpada pankeruham praptham
Mam paripalayeti satatam
Yache nibadajanli:
Cittam madgunadosha chintanavidhou
Noonam manang maa krutha:
Nanyame gatirasti Satyavijayaswamin Twadangrivina.”
Satyapriya Theertha saw the pooja box after he sang the verse. He took the pooja box but then another problem presented itself. Satyavijaya Theertha had asked Satyapriya Theertah to take the Matha Danda from him. How do you take a Danda from a person sitting within a brindavana.
Besides, Satyavijaya Theerthe was technically not his guru. Absorbed in these thoughts, Satyapriya Theerthye walked to a Hanuman Temple nearby. (This temple is consecrated by Vyasa Theertha).
The moment he entered the Haunman temple, monkeys swarmed around Satyapriya Theertha. Vayu manifested himself rom the iodl and spoke to Satyapriya Theertha.
Vayu told Satyapriya Theertha that Sathyavijaya Theertha was a great soul who had followed his Guru’s instructions to the fullest. Vayu further said Satyavijaya Theertha had entered Brindavana without even appointing a successor and, therefore, he should exchange Danda continue with his sanchara.
Sathyapriya Theertha exchanged the Danda and continued his Sanchara. He entered Brindavana in Manamadurai.
Even after he entered Brindavana, Satyavijaya Theertha has been performing miracles. Once a poor Brahmin youth was thrown out of his house and he made the matha housing  the Brindavana of Satyavijaya Theertha his home.
The youth wanted to learn Nyaya Sudha and he began thinking about it every day.  One night, Satyavijaya Theertha came in his dream. The seer asked him to take a bath in the river and sit in front of his Brindavana with a text of Nyaya Sudha.
The youth did as he was told. A voice came out from the Brindavan and it taught the boy the entire patha of Nyaya Sudha in just two months.
The boy later came to be called as Ranga Wodeyar. Locals told me that even today Ranga Wodeyar, whose Brindavana is next to Satyavijaya Theertha, learns scriptures from Satyavijaya Theerha.
A grateful Ranga Wodeyar built a structure around the Brindavana of Satyavijaya Theertha to help devotes perform Pradakshine. It is called Ranga Mantapa.  
Satyavijaya Theertha is believed to be an amsha of Jamadagni Rishi.
Satyavijaya Nagar is  240 kms from Bangalore. The best route to take is Hosur - Krishnagiri - Arani - Satyavijaya Nagar.
Satyavijaya Nagar is 10 kms from Arani.
Besides the Brindavana of  Satyavijaya Theertha, the matha is home to the moola brindavana of  Ranga Wodeyar and mritika brindavana of  Satyaveera Theertha and Raghavendra Swamy.
The Brindavana of Raghavendra Swamy was consecrated by Satyapramoda Theertha.   

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