Sri Subodhendra Teertharu


Sloka : 
Sanskrit :
सुधासॆवासमुध्भूत सुखसंवित्समाश्रयम् ।
सुजनाभीष्टदातारं सुभॊधॆंद्र गुरुं भजॆ ॥

Kannada :
ಸುಧಾಸೇವಾಸಮುದ್ಭೂತ ಸುಖಸಂವಿತ್ಸಮಾಶ್ರಯಮ್ |
ಸುಜನಾಭೀಷ್ಟದಾತಾರಂ ಸುಭೋಧೇಂದ್ರ ಗುರುಂ ಭಜೇ ||

Telugu :
సుధాసేవాసముద్భూత సుఖసంవిత్సమాశ్రయమ్ |
సుజనాభీష్టదాతారం సుభోధేంద్ర గురుం భజే ||


Muddukrishnacharya, a renowned disciple of the Mutt was an erudite scholar. Bhuvanendratheertha who consider him to be suitable to head the Mutt bestowed sanyasa on him and named him ‘Subodhendratheertha’. His ascetic powers were marvellous. The very next year after his sanyasa, he undertook a tour. In 1800  he got the village Kanakagiri as a gift. Thus spending most of his time in tour, he reached Bommaghatta, the pilgrim centre of Pranadeva at the time when Chathurmasya was approaching in Prabhava Samvatsara of 1807.

One Jayaramacharya, Dherendratheertha’s poorvashrama daughter’s son was in the Mutt. As the swamiji fell very sick, he gave sanyasa to Jayaramacharya and named him ‘Sujanendratheertha’ on the ninth day of Ashada Shuddha in Prabhava Samvatsara at Bommaghatta. After a few days, the swamiji convalesced completely. It was just a few days after hisnuptial, sanyasa was bestowed onJayaramacharya. He had finished the study of literature in histrionics. After he unexpectedly became sanyasi, he went to Pune to prosecute further studies on the orders of his guru.
One Vithalopadhya, the main student of Naiyyayika Gadadharabhattacharya of Navadweepa renowned to be an Acharyapurusha in Naveena Nyaya was a scholar and exponent of four Shastras in Pune. He belonged to Bhagavatha tradition under whom many were studying. Those famous among Madhwas  studying under him were Satari Ramacharya, Hulgi Acharya and Sujanendratheertha. After studying Nyayashastra there for some days, Sujanendratheertha returned to his guru. Sujanendratheertha was entrusted with part administration of the Mutt on the day of Pournima of Vaishakha Shuddha in VibhavaSamvatsara. He studied Shastras for sometime under his guru  and left on a separate tour with due permission from his guru. Sujanendratheertha was very ingenious. Though he studied for a very short span, he attained versatility in Shastras. Became anexcellent orator. Quite competent to defeat even stalwarts in debate. In addition to these, his guru who had excellent mystic powers  advised him, “worshipping this you undertake your tour”. “Always success will be yours. You will be accredited with the royal honours”  as how he blessedSujanendra while specially gracing him wit hthe idol of Digvijayarama, the symbol of part administration entrusted  to him. Would his words ever go untrue?

In the course of his tour, Sujanendratheertha came to Mysore state. As his guru had in the past toured the holy places there once, he came to Mysore region as ordained. He reached Nanjangud
after touring the holy places like Ramanathapura, Srirangapatna,T.Narasipura. In the past Vibudhendra, Vijayeendra and Gururaja had come to Nanjangud and returned after taking holy dip in the
river Kapila and having the darshan of Lord Rudra.Sujanendratheertha too like his ancient gurus came here and took a holy dip in the river and had the darshan of Lord Rudra. As Nanjangud is not only an important pilgrim centre but also a serene place, the swamiji stayed there for some days. Some who were ignorant and unabashed in betraying their chauvinism towards Dwaithism objected to swamiji’s sojourn at a Shaiva centre and his taking darshan of Lord Rudra worshipped in Shaivagama system. This came to swamiji’s knowledge too and he pitied them for their ignorance with a smile. Next day before going for darshan of Lord Rudra, the swamiji while talking with those  who raised objection, interpreted the quotations of Vedas in respect of Rudrachamakas on Lord Mahadeva ingeniously in favour of Lord Narayana. Those chauvinists who were astounded by swamiji’s excellent scholarship and Anusandhana bowed their heads in shame  and sought swamiji’s excuse at his feet.

Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1779-1868) was ruling the state of Mysore then. The king reputed as Abhinava Bhoja was a patron of ancient Dharma, education and art. It was because of him the rulers of Mysore enjoyed the reputation as the protectors of Dharma. Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar stood out as the only protector of Dharma in India at a chaotic time when the empires and kingdoms of Vijayanagar, Tanjore, Madurai, Pune had suffered ruin and when foreigners like the Portugese, the French and the British were invading the country. During the long tenure of Wodeyar’s rule, religious institutions which are the symbol of Hindu culture prosperedwell. Famous scholars, musicians and other artists from different parts of the world also enjoyed royal  patronage at Mysore. Theking also came to know of the excellence of Sujanendratheertha’s scholarship. A very famous scholar Thryambaka Shastri who enjoyed the patronage of the affluent folkof Pune came to the court of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar after he had lost patronage at Pune. He came forward to have a debate with the scholars in the royal court. None could face his cascade of words. This threatened to tarnish the  mage of the royal court of Mysore. This worried the king. Suddenlyit occurred to the king that Sujanendratheertha of a wonderful scholarly fame has just then come to Nanjangud and was sojourning. Accompanied by Thryambaka Shastri, he came to Nanjangud on a horse carriage. The swamiji was staying at Poornayya choultrythere. As it was Dwadashi, the king who had come at 8 O’ clock  had to wait for sometime in the corridor of the choultry. The swamiji who heard of the king’s visit had him by his sideafter extending him due honours. After exchange of pleasantries, the king introduced Shastri to the swamiji. The swamiji had heard of Shastri when he was studying at Pune. But he had not seen him. In sharp contrast while swamiji’s scholarship was simply mountainous, he was just an anthill in height. Shastri’s remark was आकरॊह्रस्वः when he saw the swamiji. That very remark became the subject of debate for the swamiji. He asked how आ कार could be ह्रूस्व. An extensive discussion was held on the subject. The debate transcending the bounds of Vyakaranashastra extended to Nyaya, Meemamsa and Vedantha. Gradually Shastri gained an edge over swamiji. Wondering how it could be so, the swamiji thought for a while when something occurred to him. By then it was 11 O’ clock. The swamiji said that the debate could be resumed after Shastri  had his lunch. The debate rested there and Shastri was hosted a luncheon by the Mutt. The debate resumed in the afternoon. During that debate Shastri remained tight lipped. He could not reply to the questions,  swamiji tackled him with. Shastri had propitiated the Sun God with special worship and as the Sun kept on ascending, Shastri’s debate  came more and more stormy. The scholars who failed to discover this used to suffer crushing defeats at the hands of Shastri. But the swamiji who could easily crack the mystery with his unique  ognitive powers played the expediency by postponing the debate to the second half of the day.

This projected Shastri in his true colors. The king was extremely pleased to find Shastri remain answerless. Immediately the king placed the necklace of pearls he had worn at swamiji’s feet. Presenting the necklace to Shastri, the swamiji told the king, “Shastri is a great scholar; the presence of such a scholar would add luster to your court. Have him stay in your court”.Shastri rose to prostrate before the swamiji and said, “The scholarship of swamiji is unparalleled. The mystic powers of your Holiness is simply legendary. It is indeed a great fortune for me to have seen and spent moments of enlightenment with such a divine legend”. The swamiji suitably honored him. Ever since then the king developed an unusual reverence for the swamiji. The king thought that it would certainly enhance his honor and fame to have such a rare gem adorn his court. He came down to meet the swamiji again and pleaded with him, “Your Holiness! Please be kind enough to adorn my court, I shall provide you with all the requisites, consider my request favorably. It became reiterated for the swamiji how unique the ascetic influence of his guru was! Remembering his guru, the swamiji told the king, “Dear King, all these are the results of the divine powers of my guru. A sublime attainment he has had through asceticism”. Savoring the sublimity of swamiji’s ascetic powers, learning about the ascetic influence of swamiji’s guru, the king’s devotiongrew more intense. He sent an appeal inviting Subodhendratheertha  to his court. The king requested theswamiji to indicate a place in his state where the Samsthana would prefer to settle down. In reply the swamiji showed his inclination to consider the matter after the arrival of his guru. Then came the news of Subodhendratheertha’s visit to the royal court of Mysore in response to the king’s invitation. Arrangements were in place to meet the daily expenses of the Samsthana from the palace treasury right from the day Subodhendratheertha and his entourage entered into the boundary  of Mysore state.Subodhendratheertha was devoutly received by his disciple Sujanendratheertha. The king had come with all the regalia in swamiji’s honor. Sujanendratheertha introduced the king to his guru. Enquiries of well being were exchanged. The convergence of two pontiffs and the king was a grand spectacle. The king led the twosome to the palace amidst the royal glory and felicitated them. Elephant and howdah, chamara, daylight torch and other special honours were kept at the disposal of the Mutt. The king gifted to Subodhendratheertha the choultry at Nanjangud in which Sujanendratheertha stayed and made arrangements for  the monthly payment of three hundred and sixty Kanthee Varahas  to meet the expenses of the Mutt. To make way for annual income, he also gifted (in place of village gifted earlier) the villages Ambale,Kaggalooru and Kongalli.

Now the Mutt secured a proper patronage. Subodhendratheertha again on a tour proceeded towards Hyderabad. Though the officials there were jealous of the prosperity of the Mutt, the whole of its atmosphere was rendered conducive by the acme of swamiji’s fame. One Chandulal, an official there did the Mutt special honours of beating of the drum mounted on the elephant. Swamiji’s tour of Bhagyanagar has become very famous. While the swamiji was away on his tour, the king Mummadi Krishnaraja wished to have his darshan again. The king sent a royal invitation with one Sumatheendracharya to Subodhendratheertha. Then the swamiji was at Pandharapur. Sumatheendracharya handed over the royalgifts to the swamiji and prayed to him to visit the royal court. Replying in affirmative, the swamiji proceeded towards Mysore. On the way a Desai by name Anandarao Bheemaji Neeratar gifted  the village Khanapur in place of village Gudakanahalu that was under the Mutt’s control. All along the way the swamiji proceeded, the king was getting the news of his movements. The king honoured the swamiji in deep devotion this time also.  Sujanendratheertha, the disciple of the swamiji kept dedicating all the honours showered on him to hisguru. Guru’s affection too for his disciple was quite immense.The letters that Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar wrote those days with special interest about the proper facilities for the Mutt are even today available at the Mutt. Subodhendratheertha spent the last days of his life at Nanjangud  itself with his disciple, conducting classes and holding his courses, and reached his heavenly abode there itself on the third day of Chaitra Bahula in Manmatha Samvatsara.Jagannathadasa, Praneshadasa have extolled the swamiji through and through.

 After the demise of his guru, the disciple Sujanendratheerthalived only for a year. The swamiji was a unique soul. On the eighth day of Kartheeka Bahula in Durmukhi Samvatsara, he attained the Lotus feet of Lord Hari. Sujnanendratheertha, the disciple of Sujanendratheertha saw to the installation of the Brindavans of Subodhendra and Sujanendra together.In the history of the Mutt, Sujanendratheertha permanently occupies a special niche. It may be said that his triumphs in debates, the royal honours that rained on him were monumental achievements. He was the most renowned logician. “Soujanendriya  Pakshathavachhedaka Vichara”, a book authored by the swamiji does well to show the excellence of his scholarship.


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Source : Gurucharite



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