Shri Raghunatha Teertha was an excellent scholar and 12th saint of Shri Uttaradi Matha who received the patronage of Shri Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar. This was an eventful epoch in the history of the Sri Matha, when several incidents revealing the highest status of Shri Uttaradi Matha occurred. The outstanding personality of Sri Raghunatha Teertha among the Vaishanava pontiffs of the school of Madhvacharya heralded a glorious renaissance in the religious history of the Vijaya Nagar empire and also constituted an important landmark in the histroy of Dwaitha vedantha.
He was a contemporary of Shri Vibhudendra Teertha and Shri Lakshminarayana Teertha who is popularly known as Shripadaraja, Shri Vyasraja Teertha and Shri Purandara Dasa. He was like an emperor in the spiritual realm of unlimited powers.
Shri Raghunatha Teertha, the immediate disciple and successor of Shri Vidyanidhi Teertha, was ordained to kingdom of Vendantha at Yaragola. He was formerly known as Vishnu Shastri. He was an embodiment of vairagya (detachment from worldly affairs) and travelled all over India on foot by carrying deities on his shoulders. He toured extensively and defeated many scholars in scholarly dispute and strengthened the cause of Madhva Vaishnavism. He had under his tutelage as many as twenty eight monks who were called Shripadas. This was the most illustrious period of the Uttardi Matha. Re-emphasizing the divine message of Shri Madhvacharya the exponent of the Dwaitha Philosophy, Shri Raghunatha Teertha exhorted the devotees to love Shri Hari and live happily.
A story goes that once in a village on the bank of River Krishna, a lady whose husband was hopelessly ill, desired to die along with her husband. At that time she heard the greatness of His Holiness who was touring nearby. She immediately rushed to the place where His Holiness was camping and had the darshana. He blessed her to have eight children. With the divine blessings her dying husband fully recovered and she had eight children with him.
In the process of his regular tour, once he came to Koppara in Karnataka, a place of worship of Lord Narashima swamy. There he camped for some time. Shri Vibudendra Teertha met Shri Raghunatha Teertha and presented his pupil, Shri Laxminarayana Teertha in order to obtain recognition by the highly learned Swami. Shri Vibhudendra Teertha ordered his student to submit an exposition of the first Adhikarana of Shriman Nyaya Sudha. His Holiness was pleased at exposition of Shri Laxminarayana Teertha and bestowed on him the title Shripadaraja.
Later, Shri Raghunatha Teertha went towards "Nivritti Sangama", where His Holiness spent some time. When he grew very old, he ordained Shri Raghuvarya Teertha on the pontifical throne of the Shri Uttaradi Matha and made him his successor.
Once when he visited Navabrindavana, Shri Raghunatha Teertha was worshipping the samsthana idols. At the time of Nirmalya Visarjana, one of the five Vyasa mushtis(five stone like idols given directly by Lord Vedavyasa to Shri Madhwacharya) fell in the river. All efforts were made to recover the Vyasa mushti but it was not recovered. He fasted for seven days. On the night of the seventh day Lord Vedavyasa comforted him in a dream saying that many stones in the form of tortoise will come up in the water and that form of tortoise which will revolve while pouring milk on it is the Vyasa mushti which fell into the water. Accordingly, the next morning many Kurma shaped stones were floating in the river and out of them Shri Raghunatha Teertha took the one which revolved, while performing the Kshiraabhisheka. Thus he restored the lost Vyasa mushti, that is the Kurma Saligram for which Abhishekam with milk is being done even today at Shri Matha. On this occasion Shri Krishana Devarya honoured his Holiness Shri Raghunatha Teertha. Shri Purandara Dasa in one of his kirtanas gives an account of the pooja of Shri Raghunatha Teertha. How devoted was HH towards God, how great a mystic of undisturbed penance HH was, how fortunate HH was in his devoted worship of ShrimadAcharya's devatarchana containing the 28 sacred Murthis in the following verses: Madhvarayara Devatarchaneyu (Pallavi) Prasiddha Raghunatharu Pujisuva Sobaga (anupallavi)
The pooja box of Shrimad Acharya, containing 28 sacred Murthi's is being possessed and adored by the saints of Shri Uttaradi Matha in succession till this day. Thus Shri Raghunatha Teertha stands as the most ruling guru of all vaishanava in particular and of all satwic adhikari in general. He enjoyed a long and eventful pontificate throne of Shri Uttaradi Matha for 59 years and entered the Brindavana near the Brindavana of his beloved guru Shri Jayateertharu at Malkhed, Gulbarga Dist, Karnataka.
How to visit Malkhed?
Malkhed comes under Gulbarga District. It is 40 kms away from Gulbarga. There is sufficient bus facility to Malkhed from Gulbarga. It is situated in between Gulbarga and Sedam, 12 kms away from Sedam.