The credit of giving Sri Raghavendra Theertha who is regarded as Kaliyuga kamadhenu, kalpavruksha to this world goes to Sri Sudheendra Theertha. He comes in the direct lineage of Sri Madhwacharya. Below is his brief introduction.
Poorvashrama Name – Sri Narayanacharya
Ashrama guru – Sri Surendra Theertha
Vidya guru – Sri Vijayeendra Theertha
Ashrama Shishyaru – Sri Raghavendra Theertha and Sri Yadavendra Theertha
Aradhana – Phalguna Bahula Dwiteeya
Vrundavana Place – Anegondi (Navavrundavana)
Sudheendratheertha who took sanyasa at the instance of Surendratheertha had the rare privilege of learning under his guru Vijayeendratheertha. He studied all Shastras under his guru only. He has mentioned that he attained knowledge only through the blessings of his guru.
It is needless to speak about the excellence of learning when it is Vijayeendratheertha under whose guidance Sudheendratheertha had his learning. He acquired the knowledge of sixty four arts imparted by his guru in the traditional system. In all respects he proved to be a perfect disciple. Just as done by his guru, Sudheendratheertha also wrote books on all Shastras. Above all the misconception that Madhwas did not have even a bit of literary ability was completely dispelled. In the world of literature, the works of Sudheendratheertha brought about a revolution. He wrote plays, proses, poems and books on Alankara.
The following are the books written by Sudheendratheertha so far available.
- Sadyukthi Rathnakara (Tarkathandava Vyakhyana)
- Apastamba Shulbasootrapradepa
- Commentary on second, eleventh Skandas of Bhagavatha
- The play ‘Subhadra Parinaya’ (Commentary on Raghunatha Bhoopaleeya of Krishnadhwari)
- Vyasarajabhyudaya – Poetry –
- Amruthaharana – Drama –
- Dayalu Shathaka – Poetry –
- Vairagyatharanga – Poetry –
- Alankara Manjaree – Poetry –
- Alankara nishaka
- Sahitya Samrajya
- Subhadra Parinaya
- Apastamba Shulpasutra pradeepah
- Brahmasutra nyaya sangraha (Brahmasutradhikarana ratnamala)
- Samasashakti nirnayah
- Pranavadarpa khandanam
- Sri Vijayeendra Yashobhushanam – Poetry –
The swamiji’s logodaedaly is extremely pre-eminent. His words are meticulously woven to be very lucid and most intricate in perfect congruity with the context. Description, heart touching! It may be said that in the world of Sanskrit literature, his scholarship among great litterateurs has reached the tip of the spire. The swamiji’s play ‘Subhadra Parinaya’ is most impressive and enjoyable. He has skillfully narrated the story giving a graceful go bye to the incident of Arjuna sanyasa so that the image of the sanyasis remained unsullied. Madhuravani is a friend of Subhadra. Her character has been portrayed more impressively than that of Priyamvada. There is a wonderful mix of humor and horror in the dialogue between the demon couple. This conjures up the portrayal of Dravida Dharmika and description of Durga temple in the play ‘Kadambari’.
The coyness and other niceties usual to woman, Subhadra displays when she realises that she is in the company of Arjuna, have a wonderful touch of charm. Thus it may be said that the play ‘Subhadra Parinaya’ is a feast to the lovers of literature. The swamiji has shown his great scholarship through the words of Sootradhara when the Sootradhara speaks about him in the beginning of the play. That is not a mere muttering but this part extolling Vijayeendra, his guru is like a Dandaka. Though it is difficult to comprehend, it is delightful to read. Without exactly naming the play, he has enveloped it in a Chakrabandha. Such is the literary prowess of Sudheendratheertha. The swamiji had great reverence for his guru. It was his belief that he had achieved such great scholarship particularly through his blessings. Therefore whenever the occasion arose, he would not do without paying rich tributes to his guru. As does the king Prathaparudra become prominent in ‘Prathaparudrayashobhushana’, so only does the tributes to his guru Vijayeendra appear prominently in exemplifying each Alankara in Sudheendra’s ‘Alankara Manjaree’. The king Raghunatha of Tanjavoor was most predominant and a great scholar in the lineage of Nayakas. The poet Krishnayajva in his royal court composed a literary work ‘Raghunatha Bhoopaleeya’ on the king. Amazed by the unmatched scholarship in literature, eloquence, immense intellectual abilities of the swamiji, the poet Krishnayajva petitioned him to write a commentary on his book so that as does the maxim “the thread tastes the heaven through the flowers around” connote, so his book too can gain some prominence. Accedingly, did the swamiji write an elaborate commentary ‘Sahitya Samrajya’. Though by name this is a mere commentary, it overshadows the original like the commentaries ‘Kuvalayananda’ and ‘Dhwanyaloka’. A work superior to ‘Lochana’ and ‘Rasagangadhara’. Besides dealing with the aspects of Alankara, he has deeply reviewed rhetoric’s, method, voice, satire, equivocation, aptness, etc. He has narrated in his own special style the manner in which that literary work has produced the effect. This is like an encyclopedia for literature. Thus the benefit to the world of Sanskrit literature from the multifaceted intellect of the swamiji is unfathomable. The swamiji how erudite a scholar he was in Shastras, how imperial he was as a poet, so equally was he versed in mundane aspects. Some days after he was blessed with sanyasa by his guru under the aegis of his parama guru, he was greatly honored by Chevappanayaka, the popular nayak of Tanjavoor. Chevappa after taking the permission of the swamiji and his guru had requested his king Srirangaraya of Vijayanagar to accord special felicitation to Sudheendratheertha. In compliance, extending a royal welcome, Srirangaraya took the swamiji to his palace. Amidst special honors the king gifted the swamiji with the following villages on the auspicious day of Shivarathri corresponding to the thirteenth day of Magha Bahula in Yuva Samvatsara in the divine place of Pampavirupaksha.
- Bacchanahalu in Tamaragere region
- Khyada in Badami region
- Yadwala on the banks of the Malaapaha in Manvi region
- Chenchala down Sindhoosur
- Aralihalli down Tavudugundi
(Mysore Archeological Report 1944. Note 22)
Sudheendra’s renown spread far and wide like that of his guru. Venkatapathiraya, the ruler of Vijayanagar became his disciple and honored him with shower of gems at Penugonda.
(Source: Gurugunastavana of Vadeendra Theertha)
Venkatapathiraya did such honors to the swamiji on a number of occasions. Taking the cue king Raghunatha, the Nayak of Tanjavoor in all fervour had the swamiji visit his palace. He did special honors to the swamiji showering him with gold.
(Source: Raghavendra Vijaya)
Thus the swamiji receive honors and tributes from host of kings. The Mutt reached the pinnacle of glory through persistent endeavors of his paramaguru, guru and himself. Everywhere honor from kings began pouring in. The Mutt became the nucleus of learning. Even the rulers of small provinces would volunteer to do special honours to the swamiji with liberal gifts to Raghupathi’s coffer.
The research done on the basis of inscriptions reveals that the swamiji must have lived for a long time. All through his life as sanyasi, he held the flag of glory of the Mutt aloft everywhere. In 1620, a palegar by name Chenji Bhoopathi Vadiyaru gifted ‘Nonmon Deepanallur’ and ‘Kodikala’ villages to the swamiji at the Mutt on the banks of the Nityapushkarini at Srimushnakshetra, the abode of Aswathanarayana on the Parvakala (Kapilashasthi) of the sixth day of Bhadrapada Bahula in Raudri Samvatsara.
Brought Rain in Draught hit Area & Converting Day to Night:
During his long and momentous life the swamiji toured extensively. In the course of his one such tour, when he visited Bijapur it had been reeling under severe famine caused by drought for twelve years. A Smarta was the Dewan under the Nawab there. A Madhwa phobe, this Dewan hatched a conspiracy with malicious intentions to subject the swamiji to indignity and instigated the Nawab to urge him to invoke rain. The infatuated Nawab besides issuing such orders, sternly instructed the swamiji not to live the town. The swamiji caused the rainfall with his ascetic powers. The Dewan felt this to be a feat of magic. Throwing another gauntlet, he wanted the swamiji to convert the day into night. “This must be Sri Hari’s will” was how the swamiji felt. Accepting the challenge the swamiji prayed to Lord Hari. Like Lord Krishna eclipsing the Sun with his divine wheel to rescue Arjuna, right at the moment when the Sun was in his full glow just overhead, the day turned a dark night through swamiji’s mystic powers. The Sun turned invisible. Not only were the Nawab and Dewan astonished but also got frightened about the bravado of testing the swamiji without being aware of his prowess. The Nawab with all special felicitations to the swamiji gifted back ‘Anehosur’ a village which was earlier in the possession of the Mutt. Besides he conferred on the swamiji the title ‘Jagadguru’. The Dewan after Mudhradharana from the swamiji, himself turned swamiji’s close disciple. It was in his very same family that one Ghanashamaraya was born who earned a great fame.
The swamiji’s superhuman power did not confine itself to manifestation of his greatness. Many had fulfillment of whatever they sought through the blessings of swamiji. Giriyappa, the great grandson of Nagappa, a Shasthik Brahmin appointed as minister for Doddaballapura by Krishnadevaraya was suffering from the pangs of having no child for a very long time. When the swamiji in the course of his tour visited Doddaballapur, Giriyappa paying homage prayed the swamiji to bless him with the fortune of begetting a male child. The swamiji blessed him heartily. As a result Giriyappa begot seven children. One of them was Krishnaraya, a disciple of Jagannathadas. He was the most ardent devotee of God who authored the books Krishnakarnamrutha, Stuthisara, Bhagavathadashamaskandha, Yakshagana, and Harisarvottamasara. It was how, Sudheendratheertha spent many years worshipping Moolarama, teaching and holding discourses, writing books, propagating and uplifting ‘Sanathana Dharma’ and having had honours and felicitations done by kings of many states, he left for the heavenly abode on the second day of Phalguna