In the history of the world, the country of India has acquired a significant place. The pages of Indian history are adorned with the biographies of saints, sages, philosophers, great souls, poets, writers, and heroic individuals, written in golden letters, captivating us with its unique qualities. There is a profound connection between the saints, sages, philosophers, and experienced individuals of other countries and the Indian people. Among our saints, philosophers, devotees, and religiously inclined individuals, there is very little difference. They complement each other and depend on one another. Without one, the other becomes meaningless. The Vedas proclaim, 'Dharma is the foundation of everything,' 'Dharma is the sustenance of the entire world,' 'Dharma is the means to achieve ultimate welfare,' 'Dharma is the one that upholds.' These are the evidences from the Vedas, the root cause of the progress of all kinds in the world, as Dharma encompasses everything. Being the foundation for everything, Dharma is the essence of society. Therefore, in us, life and literature have all grown to be imbued with spirituality. Life without religion, without the Vedas, does not exist among us. Unless we understand religion and the history of the religious, we cannot grasp the essence of Indian culture. Similarly, among us, religious history has grown and prospered more than other histories. The foundation of religion, which is the cause of all-round progress in the world, is evident in the Vedas and other scriptures. Religion encompasses everything. It is the lifeline of society.
Hence, in us, the institution that has thrived and nurtured religion is of utmost importance. It is the religious leaders who revived it from time to time and illuminated our culture. They instilled enthusiasm and vitality in our land, language, and people. Their lives served as ideals. Their words were like nectar. Their teachings were like guiding stars. Their memories fill us with new energy. They built empires, ruled, and defeated invincible enemies, shaking the world with the power of their penance. As the protectors and nurturers of the world, they influenced and defeated adversaries, swaying the world with their spiritual influence. They were gurus who purified the people with their wise teachings. They served as guides, leading people on the right path. They dedicated their lives to the Lord, remaining unaffected by changes, free from attachment and aversion. They fearlessly embraced any situation, without crying or lamenting. Holding onto truth, they constantly preached righteousness and religion to the people. They showered the world with the auspicious rain of their penance. With the power of yoga, they constructed a bridge in the world. They determined the future of the nation, carried the torch of wisdom, and directly experienced the divine through the intensity of devotion. They sang, recited, laughed, and danced with ecstasy. They embraced and discarded, laughed, and made others laugh, jumped and made others jump. They bestowed the unique treasure of scriptures upon the world. They consumed the nectar of teachings and quenched the thirst of others.
Thus, our ancient saints, sages, scholars, philosophers, and devotees, through their conduct, words, and the essence of their lives, everything became supremely sacred. They became embodiments of benevolence, personifying life itself. They lacked the desire for power and fame. They were untouched by ego and possessiveness, devoid of selfishness. They showed through their lives that those who are learned in true human culture, devoted to righteousness, can attain great heights. Their lives were an embodiment of love, filled with compassion, and their devotion was vibrant. Therefore, they conversed with the divine in their hearts. They were not ensnared even in the most challenging times. They gained immense importance in religious history and became immortal. Although they were capable of bestowing great wealth upon the world, they themselves remained extremely humble. Despite not possessing extensive knowledge, they were not ordinary individuals. They independently formulated various philosophies. Without surpassing the boundaries of Vedic faith, they walked hand in hand with the eternal Vedic principles, constantly upholding the path of righteousness and devotion. Even though they were kings of kings, they did not seek leadership. Even when confronted by the entire world, they did not waver from their commitment to religious principles, traditions, and devotion. Despite the crumbling of worldly wealth, reputation, and prestige, their focus always remained on the transcendent realm. Why would such great souls, who embraced the eternal vow of attaining the permanent empire of salvation, have an inclination towards unstable worldly fame, wealth, and status? It is due to their sublime character that even today they are remembered as virtuous poets, universally admired, and continue to reside eternally in the hearts of the Indian people, seated on the throne of their consciousness. Such noble beings have brought glory to our culture, and they continue to inspire and uplift the Indian nation as an ideal. The fortunate Indians who have acquired such great personalities are the beneficiaries of India, who have brought greatness to its culture.
But today, the lack of leadership from such virtuous individuals is the reason behind the current upheavals in our country and society. To overcome all these difficulties and unrest and restore India to its former glory, we must follow the path of the ancient saints and adhere to the eternal principles of Sanatana Dharma. The true essence of religion has been distorted in modern times, where it has become a subject of ridicule. Religion, which was once the foundation of our land, now faces skepticism in society. This situation is largely due to the misconception that religion is a facade for selfish pursuits. Although it may appear true at first glance, the reality is different. The true nature of religion cannot be understood merely through the study of books; it can only be realized through experience. Only a researcher of history can truly grasp its essence, as it can't be comprehended through theories alone but requires experiential understanding. That's when its profound magnificence becomes apparent. Religion is not mere hypocrisy, a way to gain recognition by adopting its name or quoting scriptures for personal gain; it is not an injustice committed under the guise of righteousness. Instead, it is an open-hearted embrace of life, a transformative practice that incorporates the wisdom acquired and brings eternal happiness. It doesn't concern itself with people's status, worldly temptations, or the narrow interests of individuals. In the perspective of religion, the eternal questions of human beings are insignificant, as it provides solutions to the infinite problems of eternal time, the boundless universe. This is the essence of Sanatana Dharma. It would be incorrect to assess and measure it from a limited viewpoint, confined by specific times and places. Our problems cannot be solved through such a narrow perspective. Only those who possess the knowledge of the three realms can truly comprehend the essence of religion. Others are better off following it rather than debating it, as it is the solution to our daily struggles and opposes the obstacles we face. If it contradicts this supreme resolution of religion, it will bring us peace.
There are various problems that have existed in the world since ancient times. And for those, the eternal religion provides solutions. Our Indians have discovered eternal religious solutions to universal problems. They have built a beautiful temple called our culture on its foundation and illuminated it. Therefore, it became timeless and infinite. Just as individual differences are not accepted in collective decision-making, our temporary image is placed before religion. Sacrificing small happiness for the well-being of the greater is noble. With this broad vision, our people have nurtured civilization. Although there is room for differing opinions, they all merge on the great path, transcending those differences. This is the vision of harmony, and becoming heirs to such noble wealth is a special fortune. However, preserving it lies in our intelligence.
Religion, as the primary virtue of humanity, fully cooperative and uniting the fortunes of all, is the first quality of righteous conduct. It is the essence of its existence, like the thread in a garland. It is the lifeline of religion, as if there is no string in a garland. It is like the life force of a nation. The current crisis in the country is the result of the decline of religious values. Without the unity essential for the well-being of humanity, we have reached a time where people are attacking each other with swords. Compassion, cooperation, and assistance have been completely destroyed. The fundamental mantra of religion has been forgotten. If it is weakened, destruction is the consequence. The revival of religion is the solution to this. Religion promotes harmony in the world. Everyone needs to learn this first lesson. Religion, law, and kindness are its meaning when combined. That is the meaning of religion. To unite means not just tolerance but acceptance! Without it, there is no peace, and without it, there is mutual hatred. Therefore, religion itself is the embodiment of harmony, God. The Vedas and other scriptures are the foundation of this religion. There are many branches of this religion temple, each of which adds color to it. In the duties of human life, it can be called the religion of stages, necessary for the practice of life, it can be called the religion of varna. Skill in duty is karma yoga, and the goal of life is liberation. The pursuit of liberation is through knowledge and devotion (love-faith), and it has sprouted into various branches, breaking into our eternal religion, embracing such a universal form. Without knowing its roots, criticizing a particular branch somewhere shows our ignorance rather than diminishing the beauty of the tree.
The translators for us in this matter are the ancient virtuous poets. It is certain that our progress lies in following the path they have shown us. Therefore, we must seek refuge in these liberating mentors.
In all countries and times, in all races and nations, there exists a fundamental quality that stands out. It is the quality of devotion! By liberating humanity from demonic desires and the clenched fist of demonic power, it elevates human beings to the pinnacle of humanity. It fills the lake of the human heart with the nectar of purity and awakens in them the noble sentiments of compassion, faith, peace, and the pursuit of the welfare of the world through the path of righteousness and spiritual wisdom. It is the great power that illuminates their inner beings, kindling the flame of guru devotion, which brightens the path for the sincere seekers. It provides a foundation for the struggling soul, worn out and exhausted from the countless miseries of worldly life, to seek solace and find support. For that imperceptible form of the Supreme Being, contemplation requires patience and a refinement of character traits, but for the individual who lacks the understanding of these disciplines, direct guidance from an able divine power becomes essential. Such a soul, longing for its own redemption, naturally seeks its redeemer.
The enlightened and inspired society, guided by such teachings and directions, preserved its moral values and established the foundation of spiritual and religious ideals on the platform of peace and tranquility. Not only that, our society held a significant position in imparting the great mantra of peace, righteousness, ethics, philosophy, and humanity to the entire universe! When we contemplate the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, historical accounts, and even recent historical backgrounds, we witness the emergence of revered and eminent personalities who served as gurus! The guru is not merely an individual; it is a divine power! That power actively governed the human minds and controlled their mental faculties. It analyzed the qualities and virtues of individuals, determined their positions, and ensured that they received appropriate status and respect in society, nurturing and safeguarding the essence of dharma. It allowed no room for misconceptions or wrong ideologies, from the lowest to the highest levels.
In conjunction with divine sentiments, the guru's reverence blended harmoniously, and together they walked the grand path of our eternal religion.
The mantra "Shri Gurubhyo Namaha" has flowed from the beginning of creation to the topmost pinnacle, permeating the realm of human consciousness. Without this mantra, no task can be accomplished in the magnificence of Indian culture. In those days, this sentiment was sincerely practiced and observed. Today, it is merely showcased, devoid of hypocrisy or deception to deceive others. Speaking from the perspective of the Madhva tradition, those who embraced and upheld this mantra were the pontiffs of Shri Madhvacharya's lineage. The order given by the Madhva Acharyas, “ತದಲಂ ಬಹುಲೋಕವಿಚಿಂತನಯಾ ಪ್ರವಣಂ ಕುರು ಮಾನಸಮೀಶಪದೇ” "Tadalam bahuloka vichintanaya pravana kuru manasamishapade," guided their actions, transcending worldly concerns and focusing solely on contemplation and spiritual practices. Immersed in devotion to the guru, they disregarded mundane aspects such as materialistic pursuits, thereby establishing their eminence as the leaders of Shri Madhvacharya's seat. Due to their unwavering dedication to the guru and their commitment to the welfare of all, even today, our Madhva pontiffs have earned a timeless and revered position in the hearts of everyone, being recognized as the epitome of global well-being.
In India, all religions, beliefs, and sects that have flourished and evolved can be seen to have a foundation in the reverence of the guru. Numerous stories and narratives about the guru-disciple relationship can be found in the Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas. These tales are replete with devotion to the guru and the affection between the guru and the disciple. Whether one is ignorant or wise, it is impossible to progress without the grace, guidance, and teachings of the guru. Some individuals may have advanced in worldly and materialistic aspects due to their intellect, but they may have lost everything. However, when it comes to the salvation of souls, the spiritual path that is transcendental, divine, and transformative, it is impossible to walk on it without a guru, without the guru's grace. This is true not only for us but for all religions, beliefs, and sects in the world. Just as the great saint Purandara Dasa has proclaimed, “ಗುರುವಿನ ಗುಲಾಮನಾಗುವ ತನಕ ದೊರೆಯದಣ್ಣ ಮುಕುತಿ!” "Until one becomes a slave to the guru, liberation will not be attained!"
Among all other religions, the position of the guru in Sri Madhva's philosophy is the highest. It is unique and distinctive. In particular, the concept of the guru holds no place in Advaita philosophy. Because that philosophy advocates unity with the Supreme Lord. There, all beings become one with Brahman. The Supreme Lord, who is omniscient, omnipotent, independent, and complete, and the individual soul, who is limited in knowledge, power, independence, and completeness, all enter into the multitude of individual souls. In this way, the guru, who has entered into this multitude of individual souls, and where everyone becomes the same, worshiped through the meditation of “ಸೋSಹಂ” "So'ham" (I am He), how can the guru-disciple relationship exist there if we truly contemplate it?
Devotion (prema) is extremely important in worshipping the Supreme Lord. It should be accompanied by profound knowledge of the Lord's divine nature. Such profound knowledge of the Supreme Soul arises from His infinite qualities, and it is attained through hearing and studying His divine pastimes, His essence, and His great attributes, as expounded in the scriptures like the Vedas. Since the gurus are the ones who teach the knowledge of the Supreme Soul, His essence, and His great manifestations, guru devotion is crucial in cultivating devotion to Lord Hari. Guru devotion is paramount because it leads to the highest form of devotion to the great Lord Hari, just as it is necessary. Therefore, one must also have excellent devotion to the gurus, just as by doing so, the disciples gain understanding of various concepts and meanings that the gurus do not explicitly teach. The Vedas themselves emphasize the importance of guru devotion.
In the event that Lord Hari becomes displeased, the gurus can protect the disciples. If the gurus become angry, no one can save such disciples. If the gurus are pleased, nothing is unattainable!
This uninterrupted lineage of guru-disciple relationship flourished in our Bharata (India), especially in the Madhva community, and the sweet and eternal bond between these gurus and disciples, as mentioned in the Vedas and other scriptures, was planted as the seed of immortality in the hearts of righteous individuals. The great and revered Sri Madhvacharya, the establisher of the Dvaita philosophy, the embodiment of the third incarnation of Sri Vayu, the expounder of the greatness proclaimed in the Vedas, along with the lineages of Sri Padmanabha, Narahari, Madhava, Akshobhyatirtha, Rajendra, Kavindra, Vibudhendra, Lakshminarayana Munis (including Sri Padaraja, Vyasaraja, Vijayindra, Vadhiraja Sudheendra, and Sri Raghavendra Swamis), sowed the seed of devotion for the upliftment and welfare of all beings. It sprouted, blossomed into various branches, and bore fruit. All of this was accomplished by the grace of Sri Padaraja and the successive gurus, including Vyasaraja, Vijayindra, Vadhiraja Sudheendra, and Sri Raghavendra Swamis!
In the scriptures, who are considered as gurus? What are their characteristics? These have been beautifully described. The syllable 'gu' represents darkness, and 'ru' represents those who dispel it. True gurus are the ones who remove the darkness of ignorance, firmly rooted in the minds of disciples, and compassionately illuminate the light of knowledge. True gurus should not possess ignorance, distorted knowledge, doubts, and they should resolve all the doubts of their disciples. Wise individuals proclaim that gurus are those who dispel the doubts of their disciples and should not have any ignorance, distorted knowledge, or doubts in the subject matter of philosophy. Gurus should be stealers of the disciple's mind and not stealers of their wealth. Thus, in the scriptures and others, it is mentioned that the great personalities who came in the lineage of Sri Madhvacharya's disciples possessed the qualities of a true guru. They were adorned with knowledge, devotion, renunciation, austerity, and compassion. Among them, our universal gurus, Sri Raghavendra Gururajaru, shone brightly with the characteristics of a true guru.
The knowledgeable and illustrious scholars in the lineage of Sri Madhvacharya, following the teachings of the great universal guru Sri Raghavendra Swami, have walked ahead, achieving all kinds of progress and earning fame from the land of Bharata (India). Despite the influences of foreign education, language, culture, and civilization, which are driven by delusions, the sacred divine sentiments, guru reverence, philosophical, religious, cultural, social, and devotional aspects are gradually diminishing in the country. This is indeed the misfortune of the nation. Even in such challenging circumstances, the tradition of instilling devotion and faith in the hearts of people, evoking belief in supernatural entities, and imparting mental peace and happiness continues to persist. Carrying forward that noble tradition, the divine radiance of Sri Raghavendra Gururaja and his auspicious name are still protecting and coming forward, bestowing their benevolent divine presence.
If we did not have the presence of Sri Gururajaru, if they had not incarnated...? By now, wouldn't the Vedic principles, religion, culture, righteous conduct, Bhagavata dharma, and devotion to Lord Hari and Vayu have lost their significance as if they had no name? The fact that those great personalities are available to us is a fortunate blessing for Bharata (India). They awaken divine sentiments and guru reverence even in atheists who do not believe in the existence of divine and supernatural entities. They, through their knowledge, devotion, and penance, demonstrate and establish the existence of the Supreme Being and the principles of truth and righteousness, working for the welfare of the world. Similarly, today, when the era of atheistic materialistic science seems dominant, Sri Gururaya has become renowned as the "great eminent souls, the saviors and benefactors of humanity" not only in India but throughout the entire universe. These great beings have embraced and practiced the teachings of various eternal philosophies, imparting them to humanity and guiding them towards worship. What is the lineage of these noble souls? It is essential to contemplate upon this question now.
Among the various incarnations of Lord Hari, the form of Sri Hamsa (Swan) is predominant. This incarnation of Lord Hari is taken for the dissemination of knowledge. The scriptures proclaim that the life stage of renunciation (Sannyasa) is the highest for the acquisition and propagation of knowledge. In the same way, for the propagation of Vedic scriptures and other sacred texts, Lord Hari incarnated in the form of Hamsa and imparted teachings to Lord Brahma. The four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara) received instruction from Lord Brahma. Since then, the enlightened souls of this Hamsa dynasty have been imparting knowledge to the people of the world, ensuring the holistic welfare and auspiciousness of virtuous individuals. In this Hamsa dynasty, the great personalities who emerged are none other than Sri Madhvacharya.
In the lineage focused on the primacy of knowledge, fortunate individuals who were the first recipients of teachings from Lord Hari in the form of Sri Hamsa were the venerable Lord Brahma, followed by his sons, the four enlightened sages Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara. Having received instruction from Lord Brahma, they carried forward the Hamsa lineage. Among them, the sages who received teachings were Durvasa and others. However, during the Dwapara Yuga, due to the curse of Gautama, knowledge was lost and the path to liberation became obscured. Seeking the intervention of Lord Narayana, the compassionate Brahma and other divine beings, including Rudra and Indra, prayed to Lord Narayana. At that time, Lord Narayana, who was in his Hamsa incarnation, once again manifested in the form of Sri Vedavyasa. He established the Brahma Sutras, the conclusive text on the interpretation of the Vedas, and imparted knowledge to all deserving souls, granting them liberation. After this, those who became disciples of Sri Durvasa were the repositories of knowledge, namely Garudavahana Tirtha (ಗರುಡವಾಹನತೀರ್ಥರು), who adorned the Hamsa lineage as their disciples. Taking guidance from them, Kavalya Tirtha (ಕೈವಲ್ಯತೀರ್ಥರು), along with his disciples, became the torchbearers of the Hamsa lineage. In this lineage, successive spiritual leaders include Sri Jnaneshwara Tirtha (ಶ್ರೀಜ್ಞಾನೇಶತೀರ್ಥರು), Sri Paratirtha (ಶ್ರೀಪರತೀರ್ಥರು), Sri Satyaprajna Tirtha (ಶ್ರೀಸತ್ಯಪ್ರಜ್ಞತೀರ್ಥರು), and Sri Prajna Tirtha (ಶ್ರೀಪ್ರಾಜ್ಞತೀರ್ಥರು), who illuminated the world with the dissemination of knowledge.
Afterward, in the 12th century CE, during the Kali Yuga, the scholars known as Sri Achyutapreksha Acharyas (ಶ್ರೀಅಚ್ಯುತಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಾಚಾರ್ಯರು ) were propagating their doctrines in the knowledge seat of the Hamsa Parampara. At that time, around thirty-one commentators were expounding their own interpretations on the Brahma Sutras of Sri Vedavyasa (ಶ್ರೀವೇದವ್ಯಾಸರು), disseminating their respective doctrines. As a result, doubts, ignorance, and misconceptions arose among noble individuals, and they struggled without finding any means of attaining salvation.
During that period, the non-Vedic sects such as Charvaka, Buddhism, Jainism, and other heterodox faiths gained prominence and posed a challenge to the Vedic tradition. The arrival of Sri Shankaracharya (ಶ್ರೀಶಂಕರಾಚಾರ್ಯರು) and Sri Ramanujacharya (ಶ್ರೀರಾಮಾನುಜಾಚಾರ್ಯರು ) during this transition period revitalized the authority of the Vedas and refuted the skeptics with their philosophical acumen. They composed works in the form of Advaita and Vishishtadvaita respectively, and through their eloquence, they promoted the Vedic tradition, safeguarding and benefiting it. However, the philosophy of Advaita, which emphasized the unity of the individual soul (jiva) and the Supreme Soul (Brahman), was opposed to the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras. Moreover, the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita, which denied the equal bliss of both Sri Hari (Supreme Lord) and the individual souls in liberation, also failed to convince the minds of virtuous individuals.
Hence, as the true knowledge of the ultimate reality was not attained, people continued to struggle.
As per the prayer of Brahma, Rudra, and other gods, Lord Narayana, who is extremely dear, supreme among beings, and the protector of the universe, commanded the revered deity Sri Vayu to establish the eternal and unbroken Vaishnava tradition, which consists of authoritative scriptures, and uplift the eligible souls towards liberation. During this auspicious time, the illustrious Acharyas, who were propagating the divine knowledge lineage of Lord Vishnu under the name "Hamsa-nama," sought the presence of Sri Ananteshwara in Udupi and requested the establishment of the eternal Vaishnava Siddhanta (philosophy) for the welfare of the world. In that same momentous occasion, they prayed for a worthy disciple who could carry forward their teachings. Their penance bore fruit, and Sri Ananteshwara appeared in their dreams, assuring them that He would manifest as a disciple capable of establishing the Vaishnava Siddhanta and uplifting all righteous beings. He entrusted them with the responsibility and instructed them to fulfill their desire. Overjoyed, the Acharyas eagerly awaited the incarnation of their disciple.
Following the command of Lord Hari (Vishnu), Sri Vayu Deva manifested in Rajata Pithapura and incarnated in the year Shalivahana Shaka 1160 (corresponding to 1238 CE) to the enlightened Madhyageha Bhatta (ಮಧ್ಯಗೇಹಭಟ್ಟ) couple. The savior of the world, the universal preceptor, the rising sun of knowledge! The child Vasudeva, with his unparalleled wisdom and extraordinary abilities, began astonishing everyone with his brilliance. Recognizing Vasudeva as the chosen disciple as per the instructions of Sri Ananteshwara, the revered Acharyas established him in the Hamsa lineage and conferred upon him the name "Vasudeva," bestowing him with supreme knowledge. Thus, Vasudeva, now known as Sri Purnaprajna Acharya (ಶ್ರೀಪೂರ್ಣಪ್ರಜ್ಞಾಚಾರ್ಯ), was anointed as the sovereign ruler of the knowledge seat of the Hamsa dynasty.
Sri Purnaprajna Acharya, renowned for their eloquence, knowledge, and exposition of philosophical doctrines, earned various names from their disciples and admirers. They were called "Anumanatirtha" (ಅನುಮಾನತೀರ್ಥ) by the logicians due to their ability to refute opposing arguments, "Shri Madhvacharya" (ಶ್ರೀಮಧ್ವಾಚಾರ್ಯ) due to their contributions to the field of Anandapada's shastras, and "Shri Anandatirtha" (ಶ್ರೀಆನಂದತೀರ್ಥ ) due to their fame as the propagators of Anandapada sastra (ಆನಂದಪ್ರದಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ).
Following the instructions of their Gurus, Shri Madhvacharya composed a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, bringing immense joy to their teachers. Later, in the year 1256 CE, the Acharya embarked on a pilgrimage to various holy places across Bharata (India) and emerged victorious in debates with opposing scholars. Among the eminent adversaries they defeated were Shri Vidya Shankara (ಶ್ರೀವಿದ್ಯಾಶಂಕರರು) the disciple of Shri Padmatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಪದ್ಮತೀರ್ಥರು), and the Buddhist scholars of Pundarika (ಪುಂಡರೀಕಪುರಿಗಳು) and Vadisimha (ವಾದಿಸಿಂಹ).
Subsequently, in 1262 CE, Shri Madhvacharya journeyed to Badari (Badarikashrama) and presented their commentary on the Gita, dedicating it to Shri Veda Vyasa. They also diligently served Veda Vyasa for a considerable period, acquiring profound knowledge of the Brahma Mimamsa shastra and gaining a deep understanding of the essence of the sutras.
Shri Veda Vyasa, desiring to establish the Vedic Vaishnava philosophy and bestow blessings upon righteous individuals, commanded the Acharya to refute the existing commentaries on the Brahma Sutras and compose a comprehensive commentary of their own. Following the divine decree, the Acharya meticulously refuted the previous 121 commentaries on the Brahma Sutras and authored their own commentary, thus establishing the Tattvavada Siddhanta (Philosophy) with great authenticity.
The Acharyas, for the exposition of their philosophical doctrines, independently composed thirty-three scriptures on the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Brahma Sutras. The essence of Indian philosophy, which is based on the Vedas, is found in the writings of Sri Acharya. Their teachings can be summarized as follows: Narayana is the Supreme Being, the Lord of the universe, and the repository of all virtues. He is flawless and the creation by Him is true. There is a distinction between the individual souls and the Supreme Soul, and all living entities are His servants. He pervades all living beings and administers their actions according to their karma, bestowing upon them the appropriate results. Therefore, every living being should worship that Supreme Lord, disregarding mundane desires. Sri Acharya supported his teachings with scriptural evidence.
Among the defeated scholars who engaged in debates with the Acharyas, Shashika Kulabhushana Shri Shobhanabhatta (ಶ್ರೀಶೋಭನಭಟ್ಟ), Shyamashastri (ಶ್ಯಾಮಾಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ), Trivikramapanditacharyas (ತ್ರಿವಿಕ್ರಮಪಂಡಿತಾಚಾರ್ಯರು), Govindashastri (ಗೋವಿಂದಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ), and Govinda Bhatta (ಗೋವಿಂದ ಭಟ್ಟರು) became disciples of the Acharyas.
Excluding Shripanditacharyas (ಶ್ರೀಪಂಡಿತಾಚಾರ್ಯ), the remaining four Shripadmanabhatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಪದ್ಮನಾಭತೀರ್ಥರು), Shrinaraharitirtha (ಶ್ರೀನರಹರಿತೀರ್ಥರು), Shrimadhavatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಮಾಧವತೀರ್ಥರು), and Shriakshobhyatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಅಕ್ಟೋಭ್ಯತೀರ್ಥರು ) were blessed with the status of Paramahamsa (ಪರಮಹಂಸಾಶ್ರಮ) and anointed as pontiffs.
Acharyaru installed Lord Sri Krishna, who appeared in the Gopichanda mound (ಗೋಪೀಚಂದನ ಗಡ್ಡೆಯಲ್ಲಿ) at Udupi and proclaimed Lord Sri Krishna as the presiding deity of Daivasiddhanta (ದೈತಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತ ).
It is believed that, the biological mother of Lord Sri Krishna, once told Lord Sri Krishna that she had missed all the childhood mischiefs of Lord Sri Krishna, since his adopted mother was blessed to experience this divine experience. She requested Lord Sri Krishna who was almost 70+ years to bless her also with the divine experiences (it is believed that Lord Sri Krishna lived for 106 years before he ended his Avatara (incarnation), and once he ended his Avatara Kaliyuga started and Sri Parikshitha Raja rule during the start of Kaliyuga) . Acknowledging his biological mother’s request, Lord Sri Krishna assumed the form of a child and played with his mother, giving her the divine experience. Goddess Rukmini (Lakshmi) was hiding and watching her husband assume the form of a child and playing with his mother, she was filled with motherly love for he husband. She requested Lord Sri Krishna also to grant her the divine experience. Lord Sri Krishna smiled at his consort Goddess Lakshmi and granted her the wish, he said that in Kaliyuga he will assume the form of Bala Krishna and Sri MadhwaCharya the incarnate of Sri Lord Vayu will find the Bala Krishna in Gopichanda Mound and will install him in Udupi. Goddess Lakshmi (Rukmini) will take birth as BhuDevi and will nurture Bala Krishna and will have divine experiences just as a mother will experiencing her child till the end of Kaliyuga.
Shri Madhvacharya" (ಶ್ರೀಮಧ್ವಾಚಾರ್ಯ) blessed Sanyasa (ಸನ್ಯಾಸ) to eight disciples who joined him before Acharya had received Ashrama and instructed them engage in the worship of Lord Krishna, propagation of philosophical principles, and establishment them as the head of eight monasteries (ಮಠಾ). The details of these eight ascetic leaders and their Matha are as follows: 1) Sri Vishnutirtha, Sri Sode Matha (ಶ್ರೀವಿಷ್ಣುತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಸೋದೇಮಠ); 2) Sri Ramatirtha, Sri Shiruru Matha (ಶ್ರೀರಾಮತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಶಿರೂರು ಮಠ); 3) Sri Hrishikeshatirtha, Sri Palimaru Matha (ಶ್ರೀಹೃಷೀಕೇಶತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಫಲಿಮಾರು ಮಠ); 4) Sri Vamanatirtha, Sri Kaniyur Matha (ಶ್ರೀವಾಮನತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಕಾಣೂರು ಮಠ); 5) Sri Adhokshajatirtha, Sri Pejavara Matha (ಶ್ರೀಅಧೋಕ್ಷಜತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಪೇಜಾವರ ಮಠ); 6) Sri Narasimhatirtha, Sri Admaru Matha (ಶ್ರೀನರಸಿಂಹತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಅಧಮಾರು ಮಠ); 7) Sri Janardanatirtha, Sri Krishnapura Matha (ಶ್ರೀಜನಾರ್ದನತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣಾಪುರ ಮಠ); 8) Sri Upendratirtha, Sri Puttige Matha (ಶ್ರೀಉಪೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರು, ಶ್ರೀಪುತ್ತಿಗೆ ಮಠ). In addition to these monasteries, the Acharyas established a monastery based on their guru's Sri Achyutapreksha Acharya (ಶ್ರೀಅಚ್ಯುತಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಾಚಾರ್ಯರು ) lineage and appointed Sri Satyatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಸತ್ಯತೀರ್ಥರ ) as the head. This monastery later split into two and became known as the Sri Bhandarakeri Matha (ಶ್ರೀಭಂಡಾರಕೇರಿ ಮಠ ) and Sri Bheemanakatte Matha (ಶ್ರೀಭೀಮನಕಟ್ಟೆ ಮಠ). Similarly, Sri Vishnutirtha of Sri Sode Matha, gave ashrama to Sri Aniruddha Thiraru (ಶ್ರೀಅನಿರುದ್ಧತೀರ್ಥ) and established one more Matha, this Matha came to be know as Sri Subramanya Matha (ಶ್ರೀಸುಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣ್ಯ ಮಠ). Likewise in the lineage of Sri Pejavara Matha (ಶ್ರೀಪೇಜಾವರ ಮಠ), the disciple of Sri Mahendra Tirtharu (ಶ್ರೀಮಹೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥರ), Sri Vijayadwaja Tirtharu (ಶ್ರೀವಿಜಯಧ್ವಜತೀರ್ಥ) established a Matha which came to be know as Sri Citrapura Matha (ಶ್ರೀಚಿತ್ರಾಪುರ ಮಠ).
In the Gopichandana Mound, the along with Sri Lord Krishna was also a golden Dashavatara peetha (throne), Sri Madhawacharya constructed a beautiful statue of Lord Sri Ramachandra with their own hands and worshipped the deity with great devotion and named it "Shreedigvijayarama." (ಶ್ರೀದಿಗ್ವಿಜಯರಾಮ), Similarly, in Badari, the Vyasamushthis by Sri Vedavyasadeva (the 24th incarnation of Lord Vishnu), Sri Mulagopalakrishna (ಶ್ರೀಮೂಲಗೋಪಾಲಕೃಷ್ಣ)-Pattabhiramadeva (ಪಟ್ಟಾಭಿರಾಮದೇವರು), and other deities were worshipped daily by Sri Madhwacharya.
Just as in the previous Hanuma-Bheema avatars, Sri Madhwacharya himself had worshipped the idol of ChaturYuga Moorti Sri Moola Ramachandra and Sita (ಚತುರ್ಯುಗಮೂರ್ತಿ ಶ್ರೀಮೂಲರಾಮ-ಸೀತಾ) created and worshipped by Sri Brahma (ಶ್ರೀಬ್ರಹ್ಮ) and recognized ChaturYuga Moorti Sri Moola Ramachandra and Sita as the presiding deity. Realizing that these idols were present in the Gajapathi treasury (ಗಜಪತಿಭಂಡಾರ ) of Lord Jagannatha, discovered through their divine insight, and received them from their dear disciple Sri Naraharitirtharu (ಶ್ರೀನರಹರಿತೀರ್ಥರು). Sri Naraharitirtha offered the idols of Sri Mularama-Sita to the acharyas in the month of Ashwin (around the year 1317), and the acharyas worshipped these idols with devotion for about eighty days. Sri Madhwacharya then gave the Sri MoolaRama-DigVijaya Rama-Moola Gopala Krishna-PattabhiRama-Vyasa Musti-Right turning Conch Shell-Jewel embedded Saligrama-Ramatanki Varaha and other Saligrama to His disciple Sri Padmanabha Thirtharu (ಶ್ರೀಪದ್ಮನಾಭತೀರ್ಥ).
Later, Sri Naraharitirtha (ಶ್ರೀನರಹರಿತೀರ್ಥರು), Sri Madhavatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಮಾಧವತೀರ್ಥರು), Sri Akshobhyatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಅಕ್ಟೋಭ್ಯತೀರ್ಥರು), and others successively inherited the great institution and carried out various tasks such as spreading philosophy and religion, debating opponents, establishing principles, teaching their scriptures, writing new works, performing the worship of the revered deities of the institution, imprinting seals, bestowing gurudiksha (initiation), uplifting disciples and devotees, and engaging in the welfare of the world. They guided the virtuous people of India through teachings and other means, making them righteous followers through the path of true knowledge, and carried forward the glorious lineage of Sri Hamsavamsha (the spiritual lineage) by entrusting the Vedanta Samrajya (the kingdom of Vedanta) to Sri Padmanabhatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಪದ್ಮನಾಭತೀರ್ಥ ) and blessing him.
Afterwards, considering their incarnation work to be successful, Sri Madhavatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಮಾಧವತೀರ್ಥರು) imparted teachings in the presence of Lord Ananteshwara on the ninth day of the bright half of the month of Magha in the Pingala year. While imparting the teachings of the Aitareya Bhashya to the disciples and devotees, when the delighted celestial beings showered flowers on the revered Acharyas as per the nectar of the teachings of Lord Vayu, the Acharyas became invisible to the eyes of the people and manifested in Badari (Badarikashrama) after achieving victory. Following the Acharyas' command, Shri Padmanabha Tirtha performed the Maha Samaradhane (Grand worship) of Sri Madhwacharya on that very day and recited the concluding verse:
'Abhramam bhanga-rahitam ajadam vimalam sadā
Ānanda-tīrtham-atulam bhaje tāpatrayāpaham'
“ಅಭ್ರಮಂ ಭಂಗರಹಿತಂ ಅಜಡಂ ವಿಮಲಂ ಸದಾ |
ಆನಂದತೀರ್ಥಮತುಲಂ ಭಜೇ ತಾಪತ್ರಯಾಪಹಮ್ ||”
Since then, on the invisible Magha Shukla Navami (ninth day of the bright half of Magha), the grand worship of Sri Madhwacharya is celebrated with devotion and faith, known as 'ShriMadhvanavami'."
The lineage of knowledge, initiated by the Supreme Being named Hansa, flourished in a distinct form through Shriman Madhvacharya. This lineage came to be renowned as Shrimadacharya's Vedanta Empire or the principal institution. Shri Padmanabha Tirtha (1317-1324), Shri Naraharitirtha (1324-1333), Shri Madhavatirtha (1333-1350), and Shri Akshobhyatirtha (1350-1365), for approximately seventy-nine years, successfully nurtured this grand institution under the guidance of Shrimadacharya.
After entrusting the grand institution to Shri Naraharitirtha, Shri Padmanabhatirtha bestowed the renunciate order upon a scholar from their lineage named Lakshmidharatirtha (ಶ್ರೀಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀಧರತೀರ್ಥ). Thus, Lakshmidharatirtha, who received the blessings of Shrimadacharya, was initiated and named as Shri Lakshminarayanamuni. Showing compassion towards the deity Shri Gopinathadeva, which was bestowed upon them by Shrimadacharya, Shri Padmanabhatirtha instructed them to continue the lineage and carry forward a noble tradition. As the subsequent leaders of this lineage, Shri Lakshminarayanamuni (Shri Pādarāja) gained fame, and as a result, this lineage came to be known as Shri Pādarāja Mutt (ಶ್ರೀಪಾದರಾಜ ಮಠ).
Shrimadhavatirtha and Shri Akshobhyatirtha, continuing their respective lineages, established mathas (monastic institutions) for the esteemed scholars of the Shashi and Punyakirti clans. The lineage of Shrimadhavatirtha came to be known as Shrimadhavatirtha Matha. In the lineage of Shri Akshobhyatirtha, the successors were revered as Shri Lokapujya-tirtha, Shri Punyakirti, and Shri Raghupungava, who established their own mathas. The matha founded by Shri Punyakirti came to be known as Shri Balagaru Akshobhyatirtha Samsthana, while the matha of Shri Raghupungava was also called Kooli Shri Arya Akshobhya Matha.
Shri Akshobhyatirtha propagated the Daitsiddhanta philosophy extensively and achieved victory over many opponents, earning great fame. Among them, Shri Vidyaranyatirtha held a prominent position. Thus, Shri Akshobhyatirtha, for a long time, carried forward the Vedanta empire of Shrimadacharya and adorned the Shashi lineage as the "Svarnabhandari (Chinnabhandari)" head of the prestigious household. As per the command and inspiration of Shrimadacharya, he established the Paramahamsa Ashrama and initiated Shri Raghunathanayaka, who was his relative from the previous ashrama, into the exalted position of "Shri Jayatirtha" in the Vedanta empire of Shrimadacharya. He imparted teachings of all scriptures, making him a great scholar, and conferred upon him the authority to oversee the grand institution of the Vedanta empire of Shrimadacharya. Subsequently, they resided in Brindavan, radiating their divine presence.
Shri Indravatara and who is integral part of Sesha, Shri Jayatirtha, composed commentaries on all the fundamental scriptures of Shrimadacharya. They established and affirmed the Vedic philosophy, which is the essence of Shrimadacharya's teachings, as the authoritative doctrine. Their teachings and discourses on Shrimadacharya's philosophical works were conducted flawlessly, benefiting and uplifting righteous individuals. By writing commentaries on the Bhashyas (original texts), they earned the title of "Tikacharya" and gained great respect and recognition. Shri Jayatirtha emerged victorious over numerous opponents, addressing the challenges that had arisen against the philosophy and triumphantly waving the flag of the Daitsiddhanta across the world. Astonished by their works and inspired by the style of their gurus' writings, Shri Vidyaranyamuni and other scholars rode atop an elephant in the capital city of Karnataka, proudly showcasing the compositions of Shri Tikakararu.
Shri Jayatirtha Gurucharana, who held the great position of authority, diligently maintained the Mahasamsthanam (institution) from 1365 CE to 1388 CE. They belonged to the Shashika Vamsha (lineage) and were the former disciples themselves. They attained great scholarship by studying under their own predecessors. Shri Krishna Bhatta, who was known as Vidyaadhiraja, received the Paramahamsa Ashrama and was coronated as the emperor under the name "Vidyaadhirajar" (Emperor of Knowledge). They established the Acharya's Vedanta Samrajya (kingdom) and brought prosperity. In the year 1389 CE, on the auspicious day of Ashadha Bahula Panchami, they ascended to the holy land of Brindavan.
“ಯಸ್ಕ ವಾಕ್ಯಾಮಧೇನುರ್ನಃ ಕಾಮಿತಾರ್ಥಾನ್ ಪ್ರಯಚ್ಛತಿ | ಸೇವೇ ತಂ ಜಯಯೋಗೀಂದ್ರಂ ಕಾಮಬಾಣಟ್ಟಿದಂ ಸದಾ |
"Yaska vakyaamadhenuh naḥ kāmitārthān prayacchati, seve taṁ jayayogīndram kāmabāṇaṭṭidam sadā."
"The divine cow of Yaska fulfills our desired goals, I always serve that victorious Yogi who wields the bow of desires."
Sri Vidyaadhiraja Teertharu, from the years 1388 to 1392 CE, upheld the Vedanta Samrajya (kingdom) and spread the teachings of Sri Madhva Acharya in a comprehensive manner, with the noble aim of uplifting righteous individuals. As per the inspiration of Sri Sarvajna and Sri Teekarayaru, who were their pre-ashrama relatives, as well as the guidance of Shadarshana Acharyas and Vaadavidyakovidaru, Sri Rajadeva and Sri Vaasudeva Shaastri, who were the lamps of the Shashika dynasty, bestowed upon them the title of 'Sri Rajendrateertharu' and 'Sri Kaveendrateertharu', respectively, and inaugurated the kingdom of the Daithasiddhanta Samrajya (kingdom of the established doctrine) on the throne. They declared them as the heads of the prestigious Sri Madhva Acharya Matha and bestowed the idol of Sri Moola Gopalakrishna and Sri Pattabhirama Vyasa Mushthi, along with the divine conch and discus, as the principal deities of the matha, and the idols of Sri Brahma Kararachita Sri Moolaramadevaru, Sri Sarvajajna Kararachita Sri Digvijayaradevaru, Sri Jayateerthakararachita Sri Jayaramadevaru, Sri Vithaladi and other idols, along with the Vyasa Mushthis, Ratnagarbha Shaligrama, and Rama Tandavimurahi, as a blessing. They instructed them to preserve and propagate the Vedanta Samrajya in the lineage and ensure the widespread dissemination of the Siddhanta (doctrine) in a comprehensive manner. Following these instructions, they diligently carried out the task and attained great devotion to Sri Hari.
The glorious tradition of the knowledge lineage of Lord Vishnu, known as Sri Vidya Adhirajatirtha, flourished successfully until the time of Sri Vidya Adhiraja. During the era of Sri Vidya Adhiraja, two prominent institutions were established. The first one was named 'Purvadi Matha' or 'Sri Rajendra Matha' in honor of Sri Rajendra Tirtha, and the second one was called 'Dakshinaadi Matha' or 'Sri Kaveendra Tirtha Matha' or 'Sri Vidya Matha' in honor of Sri Kaveendra Tirtha. These institutions gained worldwide fame and respect.
Later, in the grand institution established by Sri Rajendra Tirtha, Sri Vyasaraja Guru Sarvabhauma achieved great prominence. Hence, that grand institution came to be known as 'Sri Vyasaraja Matha'. Similarly, in the grand institution established by Sri Kaveendra Tirtha, Sri Vageesha Tirtha (1398-1406), Sri Rama Chandra Tirtha (1406-1435), Sri Vibhudhendra Tirtha (1435-1490), Sri Jitamitra Tirtha (1490-1522), Sri Raghunandana Tirtha (1492-1504), Sri Surendra Tirtha (1504-1575), Sri Vijayindra Tirtha (1575-1614), and Sri Sudhindra Tirtha (1614-1623) attained eminence. Sri Sudhindra Tirtha's successor, Sri Raghavendra Swami, presided over the institution from 1623 to 1671 and further established the Vedanta Samrajya, thus becoming highly revered. Consequently, that grand institution became renowned as 'Sri Raghavendra Swami Matha' and gained worldwide recognition.
Shri Prahladaraja, who was adorned with the special presence of Lord Hari and the constant presence of Shri Vayudeva, successively incarnated as Shri Vyasarajaguru Sarvabhauma and Shri Raghavendra Gururaja. They enhanced the glory of the knowledge seat of Lord Paramatma named 'Hamsanamaka Jnanapeetha'. They composed extraordinary scriptures and preserved the traditional lineage, teaching and preaching traditions, while promoting intellectual pursuits, establishing principles, uplifting disciples and devotees, and guiding the kings as their gurus.
With their advice and teachings, they enriched the land, language, culture, religion, various branches of knowledge, and arts, contributing to the holistic development of the nation. They worked for the welfare of the ignorant and the benefit of all people, showcasing their profound austerity and dedicating themselves to the welfare of the world. Through their unparalleled and miraculous displays, they earned the respect and admiration of the world.
Today, Shri Raghavendra Swamigalu, who incarnated as the extraordinary embodiment of Shri Prahlada, the external manifestation of Vyasaraja, plays an unparalleled role in fostering religious faith among the people. Although 314 years have passed without their physical presence, their divine radiance continues to spread everywhere. Regardless of religion or caste, all virtuous individuals serve them and are sanctified by their presence. As sons of Hiranyakashipu, who epitomized demonic power, atheism, and selfishness, they defied their own father and taught him the glory of God. They were subjected to persecution by their father but emerged unscathed due to their pure devotion. Shri Raghavendra Swamigalu, the liberator of Shri Narasimha, is none other than Shri Prahladarajaru. Similarly, even in this Kali Yuga (the present age of darkness), they stand tall amidst opposing forces and continue to champion the cause of Bhagavad-Bhaktas (devotees), believers, and righteous individuals. Despite the challenges faced, they showcase the greatness of Bhagavan (God) and propagate the path of Bhagavata Dharma. They are considered as the wish-fulfilling trees of the Kali Yuga and have gained immense fame.
Even today, there are practitioners who, amidst the sorrowful cycle of life, embrace the path of yoga and seek peace in secluded places like the Himalayas. It is inevitable for them to teach and emphasize the need for other practitioners who have sought refuge in them to distance themselves from the world. Contrary to this, it can be said that achieving trivial accomplishments through minor deity worship and delusions will only intoxicate the world and lead the "worldly individuals" astray, offering them wealth, riches, homes, and jobs. However, even the accomplished ones who make such claims face no shortage in this era. Nevertheless, both of these extreme paths may not be truly beneficial in this age.
There are no other gurus apart from Sri Raghavendra Swami who can guide righteous individuals who, aware of their insignificance in this world, seek refuge in the divine and strive to attain spiritual progress. These noble souls, by immersing themselves completely and rescuing the worldly sorrows of the devotee who seeks their shelter, fulfill his desires like a wish-fulfilling tree, gradually dispelling the insignificance, incompleteness, and instability of this world from his mind, stabilizing his inclination towards the divine, and guiding him towards the appropriate means for his spiritual practice, ultimately leading him to his goal. Such enlightened gurus are unparalleled. It is Bhagavan's will that these great souls safeguard our religion and culture in the age of Kali, and hence, in many places, their abodes have been established, where devotees offer their service and attain fulfillment in life. This phenomenon is not limited to India alone but extends to various foreign lands as well. Its pervasiveness is indeed inevitable. In such times, every righteous person should overcome all obstacles and take refuge at their lotus feet until the end of their lives.
The scriptures state that through the grace of God alone, all living beings can attain liberation. To attain the grace of God, one must cultivate profound devotion with knowledge. In such devotional practices, devotion to the Guru is essential, and one should cultivate devotion to the Gurus according to their spiritual hierarchy. It is not necessary to specifically mention this, as it is understood that the great Guru, Sri Raghavendra Swami, who is an incarnation of Sri Prahlada and Vyasaraja, and is adorned by the constant presence of Sri Vayu, is the uplifting Guru for the people of Bharat (India). In order to develop devotion towards such exalted beings like Sri Raghavendra Swami, it is imperative for the devotees who desire such devotion to have a thorough understanding of their previous incarnations, their true nature, their knowledge, devotion, renunciation, penance, the special grace bestowed upon them by Sri Hari, and the teachings they have imparted for the welfare of the world. Therefore, it is necessary for the devotees and those who seek to become devotees to have a comprehensive understanding of their greatness. In this regard, we have examined various scriptures, deliberated upon them, and composed the biography of those great souls as "Kaliyuga Kalpataru" under the inspiration of Sri Guru Raya. In this work, we present it to the devotees of Sri Guru Raya. Every devotee who seeks relief from sorrow, aspires for happiness, peace, contentment, and eternal bliss, and desires to attain the ultimate liberation should read this work and cultivate devotion towards those great Gurus. When we become worthy recipients of the supreme grace of these Gurus, our efforts will be fruitful, and we pray that Sri Guru Raya showers his blessings upon everyone.
Now, read the immortal biography of "Kaliyuga Kalpataru".