Monday 10 December 2012

The Madhwa saint who castigated Srinivasa in his own temple

This Madhwa seer went to the shrine of Srinivasa in Tirupathi. Unfortunately for him, the surging crowds pushed him back and he could not even see the deity of Venkatesha or Srinivasa.
However much he tried, the seer could not get into the sanctum and he was left frustrated. The seer then took out his anger on Venkatesha and exclaimed,
“Aishwarya Madamattosi idanee ma
Mupekshise/ Vaadina kalahe
prapte Ahameva gatistava”
This angry outburst meant  that the Lord was indifferent to persons like him and that he was now intoxicated with the wealth. The composition ends by saying that if there is any dispute over the concept of God, I am the only person you can trust to resolve it in your favour.
A few minutes later, this saint was magically pushed forward and he saw Venkatesha to his heart’s content.
This saint was none other than Kambalur Ramachandra Theertha whose Brindavana is one of the nine in Shenbakkam in Vellore.
Kambalur Ramachandra Theertha was the fifth in succession to the Vyasaraja Matha after Vyasa Raja. ‘He is the only saint whose name is prefixed with the place where he came from-Kambalur.
A vociferous Vaishnava,  Kambalur inspired terror among seers of other Siddanthas. He was also a great scholar and an excellent debator. His opponents feared facing him either in debates or in discussions on religion and philosophy.
He has written a beautiful commentary on Nyaya Sudha and also on Rug Bhashya Teeka, both of which are believed to have greatly influenced Raghavendra Swamy.  
He is called the Sampradaya Pravarthaka of the Vyasa Raja Matha of which he was the 17th pontiff from the lineage of Rajendra Theertha. He headed the matha from 1612 to 1632.
He systematised the customs and traditions of the matha and, hence, the label Sampradaya  Pravarthaka.
He hailed from Kavipalyam in Satyamangala taluk in Coimbatore district. He belonged to the Kambalur lineage which also produced another great Madhwa seer, Vibhudendra Theertha.
He was the eldest son of Kuppachar and he was born in 1575.
He was known for his ferocious exposition of Vaishanava faith. Whenever his palanquin went, it was heralded by drummers and beaters of gong proclaiming the greatness of Madhwa faith and inviting people to debate with him.  
Once when he was teaching students beneath a tree in Vellore, some of  his opponents instigated a person to roll down a boulder on Kambalur’s head.
The boulder halted midway and it fell only after Kambalur got up from the spot. Kambalur asked the devotes to place the boulder in his palanquin and it went wherever he went. When he entered Brindavana in Vellore, he asked his disciples to place the boulder atop the Brindavan.
A disciple of Sripathi Theertha, Kambalur converted hundreds of people to Madhwa Siddantha in Pennathur during his Chaturmasa. The conversion is still talked about and it came after he debated with the scholars of other schools of thought.
His other works include a commentary on Aitareya-Bhashya
and  another on the Tattavaviveka Teeka.
His  dhyana Sloka reads as follows:

“Vamdaaru Kalpatharuve
Vaadhi Kairava Bhanave
Sri Ramachandhra Guruve
Namah Karunya Simdave”

No comments:

Post a Comment