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Śrī Śrīnātha Tīrtha
Tenure : 1770 – 1780
Ārādhana : Puṣya śukla caturthī
Location : Tirumakkūḍalu
Charama Shloka :
ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿತಾಭೀಷ್ಟಸಂತಾನಃ ಪ್ರತ್ಯರ್ಥಿಮದಭಂಜನಃ | ಶ್ರೀನಾಥತೀರ್ಥಗುರುರಾಡೀಪ್ಸಿತಾರ್ಥಪ್ರದೋಸ್ಸ್ತು ನಃ ||
प्रार्थिताभीष्टसंतानः प्रत्यर्थिमदभंजनः | श्रीनाथतीर्थगुरुराडीप्सितार्थप्रदोस्स्तु नः ||
prārthitābhīṣṭasantānaḥ pratyarthimadabhañjanaḥ | śrīnāthatīrthagururāḍīpsitārthapradosstu naḥ ||
About Śrī Śrīnātha Tīrtha
Śrī Śrīnātha Tīrtha was ordained the 24th Pīṭhadhipati by Śrī Jagannātha Tīrtha.
His Pūrvaśrama Nāma was Śrīnivāsācārya and he belonged to the Sāṣṭika Vaṁśa and was born to Vedavyāsācārya and Rāgamma past the performance of arduous payovrata by the couple and blessings of Lord Śrīnivāsa. After initial education from his father,Śrīnivāsācārya continued his studies under Śrī Raghunātha Tīrtha – Śeṣacandrikācārya – as well as Śrī Jagannātha Tīrtha – Bhāṣyadīpikācārya. Having had tutelage under such luminaries, he was an extempore orator, poet and a Śatavadhāni as well. Noticing these qualities, Guru Jagannātha Tīrtha bestowed the holy fourth order – Sanyāsāśarma on Śrīnivāsācārya with the appellation Śrīnātha Tīrtha.
Śrī Śrīnātha Tīrtha was keen to establish Ācārya Madhva’s philosophy everywhere and undertook a tour of the entire country. On one occasion, the saint participated in a debate organized by the King of Kāśī and firmly established Tattvavāda. The scholars of Kāśī greatly respected the saint’s scholarship and honoured him by tying a bell – Ganṭĕ – to the Lion emblem – Siṁha Lalāta – in the front part of the palanquin – pallakki, being used by the saint. The king is supposed to have honoured the saint by performing ‘Tulābhāra’ and draped a green-colored shawl as a mark of request. Further, he also requested the saint to prefix the title ‘Vidyā’, as a mark of exemplary knowledge. It is said the saint indicated to the king that his successors would indeed start using this honorary title. This practice as well as adorning the green shawl during the time of Durbār was started at this time and has continued to date.
It has come to be known recently that the saint had composed few works that are still being traced. The first one goes by the name ‘Sahasra Pada Bhuṣaṇam’ and is believed to be on the same lines as the ‘Mahābhārata Lakṣālankāra’ composed by Śrī Vādirāja Tītharu. The second one seems to be a gloss on the Upanishad that goes by the name “Upanishad Dīpika”. Research is currently underway to unearth more information on this front.
Tradition holds that the saint anointed Śrī Vidyānātha Tīrtharu to the Pīṭha much early anticipating ill-health and not being able to perform Mahāsamārādhane of His guru Śrī Jagannātha Tīrtharu. However, knowing the mental agony, Lord blessed the aint by extending his lifespan by a day to enable completion of His Guru’s Ārādhana – Bhāṣya Ḍīpikācārya’s Ārādhana is on Tṛthiya. The saint attained Haripāda next day – Puṣya Śukla Caturthi – at Tirumakuadalu and his Vṛndāvana is located alongside that of his paramaguru Śrī Raghunatha Tīrtha – Śeṣacandrikācāryaru – right on the sangama.