Vyasaraja Matha © 2022. All rights reserved
Śrī Vidyānātha Tīrtha
Tenure : 1780 – 1788
Ārādhana : Vaiśākha śukla ekadaśī
Location : Kumbhakoṇa
Charama Shloka :
ವಾದಿಯೂಥಪಸಂದೋಹಗರ್ವಪಾತನಕೇಸರೀ | ನೈಜನಾಥಿತದೋ ಭೂಯಾದ್ವಿದ್ಯಾನಾಥಗುರುಃ ಶ್ರಿಯೈ ||
वादियूथपसंदोहगर्वपातनकेसरी | नैजनाथितदो भूयाद्विद्यानाथगुरुः श्रियै ||
vādiyūthapasandohagarvapātanakesarī | naijanāthitado bhūyādvidyānāthaguruḥ śriyai ||
About Śrī Vidyānātha Tīrtha
Śrī Vīdyānātha Tīrtha was ordained the 25th Pīṭhādhipati by Śrī Śrīnātha Tīrtha for the period after a long and rigorous tutelage under him. From the history of his Guru Śrī Śrīnātha Tīrtha, it is known that the saints of the Śrīmaṭha started taking the ‘Vidyā’ appellation starting from his time. It is known from tradition, additionally, that the Saint won over 108 opponents of other schools of philosophy and thus earned the title ‘Winner of Vidyālakṣmi’s blessings’ and thus was His name proclaimed as ‘Vidyānātha Tirtha’ upon donning the Holy saffron robes – Sanyāsa Svīkāra. This title has continued to be adorned by Śrīmaṭha pontiffs to date..
One of Śrī Vidyānatha Tīrtha’s important achievements was the setting up of Śrī Vyāsarāja Maṭha in Thiruvananthapuram. It is mentioned that the then Maharaja of Travancore, Karthika ThirunAl Rāmavarma had problems with British taxation and their missionary activities. Learning of Śrī Vidyānatha Tīrtha’s visit to Thiruvananthapuram for Darśaṇa of Lord Padmanābhasvāmi, the king requested the Svāmiji to camp at the royal palace.
After the day’s Bhikṣā Vandana, during the traditional evening durbar of Vyāsarāja Maṭha, the issue was presented to Śrī Svāmiji. Having solicited views from ministers and royalty on the problem, the Saint preached religious tolerance to the King and advised him to envision the Bhagavat roopas within different Jīvas, irrespective of religion and other differences. This sermon assisted the king to better introspect the issue and helped revise his view toward people of other faiths and take efforts to ensure their safety.
The then Pope Clement XIV wrote a letter of appreciation on Maharaja’s governance and his care for the safety of Christians, prompting the British to promulgate an order toward reduction of taxes. The King was even titled ‘Dharma Rāja’ by his citizens for ensuring their well-being. As a gesture of thankfulness and with full of gratitude, the king constructed a Maṭha for Svāmiji’s stay just beside the Padmanābhasvāmi temple.
The saint attained Haripāda after being in the Pīṭha for a short period of eight years. The Vṛndāvana is located in Kumbhakoṇa alongside that of Śrī Jagannātha Tīrtha.