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Śrī Vidyāvallabha Tīrtha
Tenure : 1798 – 1812
Ārādhana : Mārgaśira śukla navamī
Location : Tirumakkūḍalu
Charama Shloka :
ವಿದ್ಯಾಚಂದ್ರಿಕಯಾ ಯುಕ್ತೋ ವಿದ್ಯಾಪತಿಕರಾಂಬುಜಃ | ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲ್ಲಭತೀರ್ಥೇಂದುರ್ವಿದ್ಯಾಂ ಯಚ್ಛತು ಮೇಽನಘಾಂ ||
विद्याचंद्रिकया युक्तो विद्यापतिकरांबुजः | विद्यावल्लभतीर्थेंदुर्विद्यां यच्छतु मेऽनघाम् ||
vidyācandrikayā yukto vidyāpatikarāmbujaḥ | vidyāvallabhatīrthendurvidyāṃ yacchatu me’naghām ||
About Śrī Vidyāvallabha Tīrtha
Śrī Vidyāvallabha Tīrtha was ordained the 27th Piṭādhipati (1798-1812) by Śrī Vidyāpati Tīrtha. Divān Pūrṇaiah from Mysuru Saṁasthāna approached and solicited the saint’s blessings to continue running the Kingdom since Mummaḍi Kṛśnarāja Vŏḍeyar was just four years old. As desired by the saint, he also moved the headquarters from Kumbhakoṇa to Mysuru and built a Maṭha at Sosale situated at the banks of the sacred river Kaverī
The Saint first visited Abbūru to take the blessings of Śrī Brahmaṇya Tīrtharu and Śrī Puruśottama Tīrtha. This was during the reign of Śrī Lakśminātha Tīrtha the reigning pontiff of Śrī Kundāpura Vyāsarāja Maṭha. After receiving the blessings of Śrī Brahmaṇya Tīrtha, the two ascetics ascended the cave Puruśottama Guha, to get the blessings of Śrī Puruśottama Tīrtha in person (after observing the tradition of three continuous days of prayer and fasting!).
Vidyāvallabha Tīrtha organized a grand celebration to mark the 360th Vardhanti of Vyāsarājaru at Bannūru. On this occasion, he ordained Narasimhācārya of Śaunaka Gotra and a Śiṣya of Śrīnātha Tīrtharu who had immense affection from the assemblage of pandits and commoners on the Vedānta Sāmrājya and then named him as Vidyākānta Tīrtha.
The Saint was a sign of renunciation. He used to take rest for the night in front of the Vṛndāvana of his gurus, Śeṣacandrikācāryaru and Śrīnātha Tīrtharu, located right at the confluence of the rivers Kapila and Kāvĕrī in the open and without any shelter!
The Saint’s dear student Divān Pūrṇaiāh, moved by His Guru’s personality, offered significant gifts, Maṇṭapa, vessels etc. made of gold and precious stones and prayed :
Mām Uddhara Dayāsindho Saṁsārādhiti Vāridhe
माम् उद्धर दयासिन्धो संसाराधिति वारिधे
“Oh, the one with unbounded compassion, please uplift me from the bondage of this Saṁsāra”
The Saint, immensely pleased with this supposedly told to the Divān
“Mat Praśiṣya Praśiṣya: Śrī Vidyāsindhvabhido Yati: Durbhikṣye Samanuprāpte Dṛśṭvā Karuṇayāyukta: Dattayā Sampādātvayā Dhānyīkṛthya Hiraṇyakaṁ Tadaiva Kṛtva Bahusūdhānyāni Sarvalokāya Dāsyati”
मत् प्रशिष्य प्रशिष्य: श्री विद्यासिन्ध्वभिद यति: दुर्भिक्ष्ये समनुप्राप्ते दृश्ट्वा करुणयायुक्थ: दत्तया सम्पादात्वया धान्यीकृथ्य हिरण्यकं तदैव कृत्व बहुसूधान्यानि सर्वलकाय दास्यति|
This prophecy was supposed to have occurred around 1807 AD, approximately seventy years before the well-documented famine of Mysore State during the British rule, As was foretold above, sixth in line from the saint is Śrī Vidyāsindhu Tīrtharu, who is also known locally as Akki-Bel̤e Svāmigal̤u, used this wealth to feed one and all during this period of distress. It is recorded that the Manṭapa was used two days later for Saṁasthāna Pūjĕ and during the succeeding Grantha Pujĕ, there was a shower of gold from the heavens!
After undertaking a tour of South India, the Saint met his Śiṣya Vidyākāntaru and submitted the latter’s victory commendations to Śrī Vyāsarāyaru at Navavṛndāvana. At Śrīrangapaṭṭaṇa, the three Yatis, Śrī Vidyāvallabharu, Śrī Vidyākāntaru along with Śrī Sujanendra Tīrtharu, of Śrī Rāghavendra Svāmi Maṭha observed Cāturmāsya and they conducted Pāṭha on Vyāsatraya: Vidyāvallabharu on Candrikā, Sujanendra Tīrtharu on Nyāyāmruta and Vidyākāntaru on Tarka Tāṇdava. The Saint had special blessings from Śrī Vādirājaru whose worship is still in vogue in the Śrīmaṭha.
It is also known from tradition that the Saint had observed one of his Cāturmāsyas at Travancore state at the behest of his student Divān Keshavaraja who had built aMaṭha for him. The saint is supposed to have conducted an exposition of Acārya Madhvā’s Brahma Sūtra Bhāṣya, Ṭikārāyā’s Tatvaprakāśika and Vyāsarāja’s Tātparya Candrika.
Several miracles were supposedly performed by the saint:
- During Cāturmāsya at Ānegundi, along with Vidyākāntaru, a Jyotiśi by name Soma Bhaṭṭa challenged the Yathis to reveal what was contained inside a Sampuṭa (small box) which was easily identified by them.
- At Hŏl̤e Ānjaneya Devasthāna, near Madduru on the banks of Śiṁśā river, he restored sight for a born-blind boy by name Paṭṭābhirāma.
The various compositions of the saint are : Ślokā on Nartana Gopāla Kṛṣṇāṣṭaka on Puruśottama Tīrtharu and Vyākhyāna (commentary) on Tātparya Candrika as well as Śeṣa Tātparya Candrikā but are not available today.