Sri Rajendra Theertharu

Sri Rajendra Theertha took ashrama from Sri Vidyadhiraja Theertha. He is Eighth saint from Madhwacharya. Below is his brief introduction.

Period (1402-1440)*

Ashrama guru             –  Sri Vidyadhiraja Theertha

Vidya guru                   — Sri Jaya Theertha

Ashrama Shishya         –  Sri Jayadhwaja Theertha

Aradhana                     –  Vaishakha Shudha Pournami

Vrundavana Place      –  Yeragola


Brief Sketch:


Sri Vidyadhiraja initially gave Ashrama to Sri Rajendra and handed over some idols like Moola Gopalakrishna worshipped by Acharya Madhwa and sent him to north India for propagating dwaitha philosophy. When he was very ill, he also gave Ashrama to Sri Kavindra Theertha and handed over all samsthana pratimas like Moola Seetadevi, Moola Rama, Digvijaya Rama etc.


Sri Rajendra Theertharu

Sri Rajendra Theertharu

One extraordinary and epochal personality was born and initiated in the great Matha-family of scholars and Savants which later on took the famous name of Sri Vyasaraja. He was Sri Rajendra Theertha, whose Aradhana is falling on Vaishakha Shudha Pournami – most appropriately on a Full Moon day, as he was the source of the light of knowledge – from which many Chandrikas came later by his lineage.


Not much is known about his personal details of Poorvashrama. He is believed to be related to Sri Jaya Theertha and he as well as his brother succeeded the pontifical seat of Sri Teekacharya (Demise 1388 AD), one after the other in 24 years after his demise – when Sri Vidyadhiraja, his successor entered his Vrundavana in 1402 AD*).


Note: * It is also said that Sri Vidyadhiraja Theertha entered Vrundavana in the year 1392; more research is needed about this.


After Acharya Madhwa’s tours all over India, it was Sri Narahari Theertha who was responsible to take Tatvavada in East coast of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Though it is believed that Sri Teekacharya had been to North India (Kashi etc.), the next notable personality who has left his indelible imprint on North India and Bengal is Sri Rajendra Theertha and his successor Sri Jayadhwaja Theertha. Evidence of their obvious success is available even today, in the form of a great commentary written by an ascetic who seems to have lived in Bengal for long called Sri Vishnudasacharya – who wrote Vadarathnavali (printed long back in Udupi critically edited by Bannanje Govindacharya and NOT available today). Rajendra/Jayadhwaja’s visits to Bengal/Orissa founded a lineage of ascetics, who claim to have descent from Acharya Madhwa through him, presently claimed by ISKON (called Bengal Vaishnavism).


Nothing is known of Sri Vishnudasacharya, though there is a mention in the available composition itself that he had written two more works called Vivarana Vidambana and Khandana-Khandana which as the Titles themselves indicate were powerful controverting answers to Prakashatman’s Panchpadika-Vivarana and Sriharsha’s Khandana Khandakhavya. There are a number of quotations from Khandana-Khandana in the available work itself. Let me quote B N K Sharma on the importance of this work.


“The description of Vishnudasacharya as Shad-darshana-vallabha (Master of the six systems of Philosophy) in the Colophon is fully substantiated by the internal evidence of this work which bears eloquent testimony of his mastery over intricacies of Nyaya, Vyakarana, Purvamimamsa, Sankara and Ramanuja schols of Vedanta, not to speak of his erudition in Madhwa-Shastra itself. He was the first exponent and the defender of Madhwa Siddhanta to harness on a large scale the rules and principles of interpretation accepted by the Vyakarana Shastra of Panini and his commentators and the Adhikaranas of the Purva Mimamsa system, to the defense and exposition of the Shrutis as formulated by Madhwa and his early commentators and in criticizing and showing the weaknesses of the interpretation of the Shrutis and their harmonization as pronounced by the Shankara school”.


This great author describes himself as:

Srimadakhandavedamargapravarthakacharya nikhilatharkikachoodamani sarvathanthrasvathanthra Srimadrajendra Theertha Shreecharanakamala chanachareeka sri Vishnudasacharya.
Note the titles of Sri Rajendra Theertha – Akhandavedamarga pravarthaka , Nikhilatharkikachoodamani and Sarvathanthra svathanthra. B N K Sharma also opines that judging from the quality of Vadarathnavali, the other two would be of the same order of excellence and their discovery and publication would be a great asset to Madhwa philosophy.


The great Sri Vibhudendra Theertha who came in the lineage of Sri Kavindra theertha was the other important disciple of Sri Rajendra Theertha. Sri Rajendra’s charama sloka says:


vibudhEMdramukhAn SiShyAdIn navakRutvaHsudhAM sudhIH

yO&pAThayat sa rAjEMdratIrthO bhUyAdabhIShTadaH


Thus Sri Rajendra has covered Sri Sudha to a scholar like Sri Vibhudendra Theertha 9 times. It is easy to imagine the scholarship of Sri Rajendra Theertha, by this.


Though the first division of the Matha involving Sri Vidyadhiraja, which took place after the Guru’s demise was accepted without any “miracles” reported as in the second case or any unpleasantness reported about quarrels, harsh words etc, where the credit should mainly go to Sri Rajendra who accepted the loss of all favours of an established Matha and built up his own from scratch, based on his great scholarship and other qualities, some records seem to have been created subsequently to “justify” the deprivation of the Peeta for Sri Rajendra – perhaps the actions of some belated  conscience pricking. Thus, every one – Sri Vidyadhiraja, Sri Rajendra and Sri Kavindra are reduced in stature to a standard appropriate to persons capable of imagining such behaviors! Luckily this record being a part of UM submission to a Court is not public knowledge. We sincerely hope that such stories are never accepted or publicised by UM administration – just on the basis of association of the name of the previous Pontiff associated with its record. I must note with approval that the story included in the website against Sri Vidyadhiraja ascribes the division only to non-availability of Sri Rajendra at the crucial time. I will post this material along with other details as a permanent record in my second installment.


SVM is also deeply disappointed at the apparent destruction of the Vrundavana of Sri Rajendra Theertha traditionally believed by our records to be at Yeragola, where only 2 Vrundavanas exist today – ascribed to Sri Ramachandra and Sri Vidyanidhi. This subject need more investigation to check up what has really happened to the reported 3 Vrundavanas which some reports suggest existed there earlier, but have been Lost. It is noteworthy that even the Vrundavana of Sri Vidyadhiraja, the common Guru of all Mathas being traditionally reported to be at Yeragola is not there – but UM ascribes its place as at Puri. How this new location fits into the stories of Matha division etc. needs to be studied.


విబుధేంద్రముఖాన్ శిష్యాదీన్ నవకృత్వఃసుధాం సుధీః

యోఽపాఠయత్ స రాజేంద్రతీర్థో భూయాదభీష్టదః


ವಿಬುಧೇಂದ್ರಮುಖಾನ್ ಶಿಷ್ಯಾದೀನ್ ನವಕೃತ್ವಃಸುಧಾಂ ಸುಧೀಃ

ಯೋಽಪಾಠಯತ್ ಸ ರಾಜೇಂದ್ರತೀರ್ಥೋ ಭೂಯಾದಭೀಷ್ಟದಃ


vibudhEMdramukhAn SiShyAdIn navakRutvaHsudhAM sudhIH

yO&pAThayat sa rAjEMdratIrthO bhUyAdabhIShTadaH



Source: Article from


Tenets of Madhwa Shastra

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *