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Śrī Vidyāvāridhi Tīrtha
Tenure : 1915 – 1940
Ārādhana : Bhādrapada śukla pañcamī
Location : Śrīraṅga
Charama Shloka :
ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣಾಂಘ್ರಿಯುಗಾಸಕ್ತಮಾನಸೋ ಯತಿಸತ್ತಮಃ | ಶ್ರೀಮದ್ವಿದ್ಯಾವಾರಿಧಿರ್ಮೇ ಗುರುರ್ಭೂಯಾದಭೀಷ್ಟದಃ |
श्रीकृष्णांघ्रियुगासक्तमानसो यतिसत्तमः |
श्रीमद्विद्यावारिधिर्मे गुरुर्भूयादभीष्टदः |
śrīkṛṣṇāṅghriyugāsaktamānaso yatisattamaḥ | śrīmadvidyāvāridhirme gururbhūyādabhīṣṭadaḥ |
About Śrī Vidyāvāridhi Tīrtha
Śrī Vidyāvāridhi Tīrtha was ordained the 36th Pīṭhādhipati by Śrī Vidyāratnākara Tīrtha. The Pūrvāśrama name of the Saint was Śrī Rāmācarya who belonged to the Śrīvatsa Gotra. The Saint happened to be well-connected to three luminaries in the Vidya Paraṁapara in his Pūrvāśrama: Putra of Śrī Vidyāśrīnivāsa Tīrtha, Dauhitra (grandson) of Śrī Vidyāpūrṇa Tīrtha (on the maternal side) and to have had Śrī Vidyaśrīdhara Tīrtha as his dodappa, elder brother of Śrī Vidyāśrīnivāsa Tīrtha. Added to the above, the Saint had the privilege of being the Āśrama Śiṣya of Śrī Vidyāratnākara Tirtha himself.
The Saint was a multi-faceted personality and was instrumental in raising the standards of the Śrīmaṭha in different ways. Below is a brief list of his contributions:
- Establishment of Vidyāpīṭha in Bengaluru under the supervision of Śrī Gauḍagere Veṅkaṭaramaṇācarya that produced several scholars and got named ‘Candrika Gurukula’ during the time of his successor Śrī Vidyāprasanna Tīrtha.
- Conducting Śrīmat Daśapramati Darśana Prākāśika Sabha at various locations to promote awareness on Ācārya’s philosophy amongst public and also encourage both scholars and Vidyārthīs of the Śrīmaṭha.
- Rebuilding of Sosalĕ Kṣĕtra and Śrī Vyāsarājapura after the devastating Kāverī floods in 1924 that destroyed most of the Śrīmaṭha’s possessions and re-installing the historical idol of Mukhyaprāṇa in the new premises.
- Encouraging the publication of Śrī Vyāsayogi Caritram of Śrī Somantha Kavi with a historical English introduction by Śrī B. Veṅkoba Rao through Śrī Śrīnivāsa Mūrti, the then Sarvādhikāri of the Śrīmata, in 1926.
- Compiling the biography of saints starting from Śrīmadācārya to Śrī Vidyāratnākara Tīrtha in a work that goes by the name Gurumahātmya Mañjari recounting the greatness of each of the Yatis in the holy tradition.
A lot of assets such as properties, cash, gold, jewels were gifted to the Maṭha during the Saint’s tenure. In 1920, a golden cradle and a Navaratna Manṭapa to Mūla Gopālakṝṣṇa Devaru, Ratna Manṭapa to Śrī Mūla Paṭṭābhirāmadevaru, Vairamuḍi and other golden ornaments were made for the Saṁsthāna deities.
We understand from tradition that His Holiness ordained Śrī Veṅkaṭanarasiṁhācārya to the fourth order (Sanyashrama) in Yuva Nāma Saṁvatasara (1935) with the appellation Śrī Vidyaprasanna Tīrtha. However, the Saint recovered from illness and continued with his activities shortly. The Saint was very fond of Śrīranga Kṣĕtra and moved to Śrīraṅgam in 1939, deciding to spend his final days in this holy place. The saint attained Haripāda in the middle of his Cāturmāsya Ācaraṇĕ for Dhātru Nāma Saṁvatsara (1940) at Śrīraṅgam. His Vṛndāvana is the housed in the presence of the Vṛndāvana of four of his Purvācāryas.
Śrī Gauḍagere Veṅkaṭaramaṇācārya, the famous author of the work “Candrikā Prakāśa Prasāra” has exclaimed on Śrī Vīdyāvāridhi Tīrtharu, that speak of the Saint’s immense prowess, as below:
Padavākya Pramāṇajñyai: Sarvatantra Svatantrakai:
Śrī Vidyāvāridhi Tīrtha Haṃsākyai: Kṛpālubi: Āgjñyaptena:
|| Śrī Kṛṣṇārpaṇamastu ||