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Śrī Vidyāsamudra Tīrtha
Tenure : 1890 – 1906
Ārādhana : Kārtika śukla dvitiyā
Location : Sŏsale
Charama Shloka :
ಶ್ರೀಮದ್ವಿದ್ಯಾಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸತೀರ್ಥಪಾಣಿಸರೋಜಭೂಃ | ಕೃಪಾಂ ವಿದ್ಯಾಶ್ರೀಸಮುದ್ರಗುರುಃ ಕುರ್ಯಾತ್ಸದಾ ಮಯಿ ||
श्रीमद्विद्याश्रीनिवासतीर्थपाणिसरोजभूः | कृपां विद्याश्रीसमुद्रगुरुः कुर्यात्सदा मयि ||
śrīmadvidyāśrīnivāsatīrthapāṇisarojabhūḥ | kṛpāṃ vidyāśrīsamudraguruḥ kuryātsadā mayi ||
About Śrī Vidyāsamudra Tīrtha
Śrī Vidyāsamudra Tīrtha was ordained the 34th Pīṭhādhipati by Śrī Vidyaśrīnivāsa Tīrtha.
His Pūrvāśrama Nāma was Śrī Rangasvamiācārya. His Holiness happens to be the Pūrvāśrama relative of two saints: grandson of Śrī Vidyāpūrṇa Tīrtha and younger brother of Śrī Vidyāśrīsindhu Tīrtha. He was ordained to the fourth order Sanyāsa at the Karīgiri Kṣetra, Devarāyana Durga citing presence of the following qualities: In-depth Śāstraic knowledge, performed Vedādhyāyana, Lion amongst debaters, Crown-Jewel amongst scholars, and extreme detachment, and blessed with the appellation of Śrī Vidyāsamudra Tīrtha in presence of Maṭha Śiṣyas.
His Holiness is the Vidyā Śiṣya of Śrī Vidyāśrīdhara Tīrtha. We understand that the financial situation of the Śrīmaṭha was at its ebb and the saint used to extensively travel all around the country to establish Tattvavāda, bless disciples and take extra efforts to address needs of the Maṭha and its Śiṣyas. It seems the saint had this thought in mind behind establishing the Mṛtthika Vṛndāvana of Śrī Vyāsa Tīrtha in places like Coimbatore and Nellore where branches of Śrīmaṭha were already in existence and managed the situation with dexterity.
We are also given to understand the special respect Mysore Royalty had for the saint and the Saṁsthāna from the inaugural invitation for the wedding of Maharaja, Śrī Kṛṣṇarāja Wodeyar IV, being sent to Śrīmaṭha.
One of the major contributions of the saint was the persistent efforts His Holiness undertook with Śrī Ahŏbalācārya, Pūrvāśrama name of Śrī Vidyāratnākara Tīrtha to adorn the Pīṭha as the successor. The saint continued pursuing with the Ācārya knowing his knowledge, renunciation, profuse blessings from Almighty and previous Gurus, and his Svarūpa. However, the Ācārya being unsure about his own qualifications and appropriateness to the holy seat kept refusing this proposal.
Finally, the Ācārya got a call from the Providence in his dream and with acquiesces to his Guru’s ordinance entered the fourth order Sanyāsa. The saint anointed Śrī Āhŏbalācārya to the Piṭha with the appellation Śrī Vidyārathanākara Tīrtha and attained Haripāda. The Vṛndāvana of His Holiness is consecrated at Sosale Kṣetra along with His paramagurus.