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Śrī Akṣobhya Tīrtha
Tenure : 1310 – 1320
Ārādhana : Mārgaśira kṛṣṇa pañcamī
Location : Mal̤akheḍa
Charama Shloka :
ಶ್ರೀಮದ್ರಮಾರಮಣಸದ್ಗಿರಿಪಾದಸಂಗಿವ್ಯಾಖ್ಯಾನಿನಾದದಲಿತಾಖಿಲದುಷ್ಟದರ್ಪಂ | ದುರ್ವಾದಿವಾರಣವಿದಾರಣದಕ್ಷದೀಕ್ಷಂ ಅಕ್ಷೋಭ್ಯತೀರ್ಥಮೃಗರಾಜಮಹಂ ನಮಾಮಿ ||
श्रीमद्रमारमणसद्गिरिपादसंगिव्याख्यानिनाददलिताखिलदुष्टदर्पम् | दुर्वादिवारणविदारणदक्षदीक्षम् अक्षोभ्यतीर्थमृगराजमहं नमामि ||śrīmadramāramaṇasadgiripādasaṅgivyākhyāninādadalitākhiladuṣṭadarpam | durvādivāraṇavidāraṇadakṣadīkṣam akṣobhyatīrthamṛgarājamahaṃ namāmi ||
About Śrī Akṣobhya Tīrtha
Śrī Akṣobhya Tīrtha was ordained the 5th Pīṭhadhipati by Śrī Mādhava Tīrtha.
The saint’s Pūrvāśrama Nāma was Govinda Śāstri also called Govinda Bhaṭṭa. He was ordained into the fourth order with the name of Śrī Akṣobhya Tīrtha. We understand from tradition that he was the last of the four disciples to have been conferred Sanyāsāśrama by Ācārya Madhva.
His Holiness is known to have propitiated Lord Cintāmaṇi Ṇṛsiṁha stationed at Kūḍli Kṣetra which is at the confluence of the Ṭuṅga and Bhadra rivers near Shimoga. He then blessed the King of Anegondi on his request for progeny. The saint consecrated Lord Ṇṛsiṁha by sketching the picture on a hillock at Mul̤abāgilu near Kolar, using charcoal that transformed into an idol, Angāra Ṇṛsiṁha and Mukhyaprāṇa at Pillangiri near Shimoga.
The saint is a contemporary of two multi-faceted personalities in the field of Vedānta: Śrī Vidyāraṇya Svāmi of the Śaṅkara school – Rajaguru of the Vijayanagara samrajya. And revered polymath Śrī Vedānta Deśika of the Rāmanuja school. Tradition records that there was a historic debate on the interpretation of ‘Tat tvam asi’ Mahāvakya between Śrī Vidyāraṇya Svāmi and Śrī Akṣobhya Tīrtha arbitrated by Śrī Vedānta Ḍeśika who judged former’s interpretation to be the appropriate.
Tradition refers to this saint as ‘Ākṣobhyarāṭ’ where the adjective ‘Rāṭ’ – that’s typically used to monarchs – has been used intentionally to indicate the saint’s capability to motivate, command, and direct spiritual energy. This could be observed in the saint’s life: In the first case, it was the philosophical disputation to firmly establish Ācārya Madhva’s faith, while the second instance being able to identify and tutor Dhonḍu Raghunātha Pant, Pūrvāśrama Nāma of Śrī Jayatīrtha – toward furthering the cause of Tattvavāda propounded by Ācārya Madhva for generations to come.
The greatest contribution of this saint was none other than Śrī Jayatīrtha, Ṭīkākṛtpādaru, who succeeded him on the Pīṭha and made stellar contributions to put Tattvavāda on a strong pedestal and carried the tradition to posterity. As with his other predecessors, the saint anointed one of his other disciples to the fourth order for propagation and named him as Śrī Trailokya Bhūśaṇa Tīrtha. The lineage sustained by the latter continues to date with the name of Kūḍli Akṣŏbhya Tīrtha Saṁsthāna. The saint attained Haripāda afterward and his Vṝndāvana is consecrated at Mal̤akheḍa Kṣetra on the banks of River Kāgiṇi