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Śrī Rājendra Tīrtha
Tenure : 1360 – 1380
Ārādhana : Vaiśākha pūrṇimā
Location : Yeragol̤a
Charama Shloka :
ವಿಬುಧೇಂದ್ರಮುಖಾನ್ ಶಿಷ್ಯಾನ್ ನವಕೃತ್ವಃ ಸುಧಾಂ ಸುಧೀಃ | ಯೋಽಪಾಠಯತ್ ಸ ರಾಜೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥೋ ಭೂಯಾದಭೀಷ್ಟದಃ ||
विबुधेंद्रमुखान् शिष्यान् नवकृत्वः सुधां सुधीः | योऽपाठयत् स राजेंद्रतीर्थो भूयादभीष्टदः ||
vibudhendramukhān śiṣyān navakṛtvaḥ sudhāṃ sudhīḥ | yo’pāṭhayat sa rājendratīrtho bhūyādabhīṣṭadaḥ ||
About Śrī Rājendra Tīrtha
Śrī Rājendra Tirtha was ordained the 8th Pīṭadhipatī by Śrī Vidhādhirāja Tirtha. Śrī Rājendrara Tīrtha and his successor Śrī Jayadhvaja Tīrtha who go by the name of Rājadeva and Jayadeva respectively, are nephews of Ṭīkākṛtpādaru who initiated their Śāstraic education. Subsequently, they continued their education from Bhīmācāryaru, an eminent pandit in the Maṭha who was his beloved Śiṣya and who later was ordained to the fourth order and anointed to the Pīṭha with the name of Śrī Vidhādhirājaru. TIkAkritpAdaru had wished before his Vṛndāvana Praveśa that efforts should be taken for propagation of Dvaita Siddhānta. To fulfill His orders, Śrī Vidhyādhirājaru ordained Rājadeva to the fourth order (sanyashrama) at an appropriate time, with the appellation Śrī Rājendra Tīrtha mentioning that he and his successors will indeed have Almighty’s blessings to be served by the becoming emperors of this land.
Śrī Vyāsarājaru in Śāṣṭīka Mangalāṣṭakam indicates that Śrī Vidyādhirājaru grouped 60 families belonging to 14 lineages – Gotra under the stewardship of Śrī Rājendra Tīrtharu. As desired by his Guru and Paramaguru, he started on a propagation mission toward the Eastern part of the country – Gauḍa Deśa, currently known as Vanga or Bengal, Kal̤iṅga Deśa that comprises current Odisha and North Andhra, and converted a lot of those to the Mādhva fold. The well-known ISKCON school of today claims their descendancy from his times.
Śrī Rājendra Tīrtha had three well-known shishyas: his successor Śrī Jayadhvaja Tīrtharu, Śrī Vibhudendra Tīrtha, the Mūlapuruṣaru of Śrī Rāghavendra Svāmi Maṭha and a Gṛhasta by name Śrī Viṣṇudāsācārya. As is known from his Carama Śloka, the saint supposedly performed Nyāyasudhā Mangal̤a nine times for his Śiṣya Varga.
“Vibhudendra Mukhān Śiṣyādīn Navakṛtvā Sudhāmsudhī:”
“VibhudEndra mukhAn shishyAdIn navakrutvA sudhAmsudhI:”
Further, Śrī Viṣṇudāsācārya is credited with a few scholarly dialectical works of high standard, for example, Vādaratnāvali has quoted the following about the saint:
Akhanda Veda Mārga Pravartakācārya Śrīmadvaiṣṇava Siddhānta Prathiśṭāpanācārya Nikhila Tārkika Cūḍamaṇi Paravādi Mahāgaja Pancāna Sarvatantra Svatantra Śrīmadrājendra Ṭīrtha Śrī Caraṇakamala Cañcarīka:
We can note that adjectives being used here about the saint are extremely strong; this Śloka talks about the respect his scholarly student had for his Guru.
There is one more Śloka that is recorded in tradition about the saint:
||Kalānidhitvam Vibhudādipatvam Kṣaṁabujagresaraṭām Prakāśya
Rājendrarājendravadeśa Tīrtho Vasupāvanona: ||
Kalānidhitvam: One who was adept in different arts – Catuṣṣaṣṭi Kalā – 64 arts)
Vibhudādipatvam: One that was the king of the wise
Kṣaṁabujagresaraṭām Prakāśya– The luminant one that was an advisor to emperors
Rājendrarājendravadeśa Tīrtho – An exemplary personality that made people wonder if the saint was an ascetic or an emperor
Rājendra Tīrtho Vasupāvanona: – I bow to Śrī Rājendra Ṭīrtha that expounded Tattvavāda and purified this earth
Tradition records that that the saint composed a Vivṛtti on Bhagavadgīta and a Tīka on Śrī Viṣṇu Sahasranāma.
The saint anointed his Pūrvāśrama brother Jayadeva to the Pītha with the name Jayadhvaja Tīrtha and seem to have returned back to Karnataka. The traditional understanding is that the saint’s Vṛndāvana is in Yaragol̤a as he is supposed to have entered the Vṛndāvana beside his guru Śrī Vidyādhirāja on the Pūrṇima Tithi of Vaiśāka Māsa.