Sri Satyabhodhateertharu




Aradhana – Palghuna Bahula Padya

He was born as Ramacharya in Raichur and he was initiated into the religious order by Sri Satyapriya theertha, his Guru and Peetadhipathi of the Uttaradhi Matha.

Ramacharya spent his childhood in the Matha and Satyapriya Theertha took great interest in teaching him the Shastras. Once, he was worshipping the saligrama and shanka, Lord Shvetavaraha gave darshan to him in a miniature form. Satyapriya Theertha soon entered Vrundavana and left Satyabodha Theertha to guide the Matha.  Satyabodha Theertha then began on a long and extensive tour of India. He defeated all his adversaries (in philosophy and religion) and popularized Dwaitha Siddhantha.  Several Kings and Emperors showered him with letters of appreciation and Tamra Patras (copper plates).

When the seer’s fame increased, some people felt jealous and decided to do harm to the seer. They poisoned his food (Paramanna) which he would eat after performing Naivedya to the Lord Rama. When Satyabodha theertha offered naivaidya to the gods, the face of Shri Rama turned dark. The seer came to know what had happened but he kept quite. The seer then proceeded to eat the poisoned food even though his Shishyas urged him to desist. His contention was what is good for Shri Rama is good enough for me. All the while, he sought pardon from Shri Rama for having him offered poison. The poison had no effect and the Seer continued with his normal activities.



Another time, a man claiming to be a Shishya of Satyabodha Theertha had accumulated a lot of wealth by performing some magic. The Shishya claimed that he was doing all activities as per the wishes of Srinivasa. When Satyabodha heard of this, he went to the Shishya and the man could not perform any miracle. Humiliated and chastened, he surrendered all his wealth and went away from the matha. He also promised Satyabodha Theertha that he would never resort to trickery to hoodwink people.


During one of his tours to north, Satyabodha Theertha came to Gaya in Bihar where he found that local priests called Pandas had completely taken over the management and daily activities of the Vishnu Pada temple. The seer found that the Pandas were demanding money for everything and were harassing people in the name of religion. He then set up an exclusive shelter for pilgrims near the temple and named it Rama Gaya. The Pandas were completely isolated and begged the seer for forgiveness. The seer then proceeded to Kashi and set up a matha at Durga Ghatta to provide facilities for pilgrims.  After his tour, he came to Savanur which then was under the rule of the Nawabs. By then he had ruled the Madhwa pontificate for more than 39 years. He decided to hand over the reigns of the matha to Satyasandha theertha. A little later, Satyabodha theertha found that his successor had only a short time to live. He prayed to Lord Shri Rama with Raksha Stotram and ensures that the life of Satyasandha Theertha was extended by ten more years.


Once he was having food in the night. Several shishyas and others commented about it. They said this was not the first time that Sathyabodha theertha had violated tradition by eating after daylight. They said it is wrong and not according to scriptures. Satyabodha Theertha overheard them and asked them to come near him. He asked them to look up at the sky. When the Shishyas saw it first, it was dark and the moon was shining. When they saw it again they saw the Sun shining brightly.

The seer realised that his end was near, he wanted to go to the north and bathe in the Ganga. When he went to sleep, Lord  Badarinarayana came in his dreams and asked him to stay back in the Ashrama as Bhagirathi herself would come. The next day, the Bhagirathi came flowing down to the matha and the seer and his devotees had a bathe in the holy waters.

Satyabodha theertha left his mortal body at Savanur on March 9, 1783 , Phalguna Krishna paaDya. His Brindavana is at Savanur. Such is his greatness that even today the matha is known as Satyabodha Matha. Many details of the life and times of the seer can be found in Shri Satyabodha Vijaya written by Kanchi Acharya, his disciple. The kavya is a verse written in 21 saragas and it describes Satyabodha’s life in detail.

Satyabodha Theerthru was an unparalleled scholar and mystic. He was the Guru whom Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore, the Nawab of Savanur and even the British regarded very highly.

Satyabodha theertha had four main disciples and all of them headed the Uttaradhi Matha. They are Satya Sandha theertha, Satyavara Theerta, Satya Dharma theertha and Satya Sankalpa theertha. Even today, Satyabodha theertha continues to perform miracles from his Brindavana. There are hundreds of instances when he has helped devotees in distress.

British official, James Campbell, has left behind an extensive write up on Satyabodha theertha. The write up by Campbell is even today available in the Bombay Gazeteer, Karnataka Dharwad district Chapter III, Page Nos 58-59 edited and published by James M. Campbell.

ನೈವೇದ್ಯಗವಿಷಂ ರಾಮೇ ವೀಕ್ಷ್ಯ ತದ್ಭುಕ್ತಿಭಾಗ್ ಗುರು: |

ಯೋದರ್ಶಯದ್ರವಿಂ ರಾತ್ರೌ ಸತ್ಯಬೋಧೋಸ್ತು ಮೇ ಮುದೇ |


Source : , , and other sources on  Internet.


Tenets of Madhwa Shastra

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