Shri Satyabodha Tirtha was a saint who was known for his un-rivaled scholarship, miraculous achievements and dynamism. He was also blessed with great intelligence and a heart which was overflowing with devotion towards the Almighty and towards his guru. All these extraordinary qualities, naturally, qualified him to adore the pontifical seat of Sri Uttaradi Math and gave him a great opportunity to serve Lord Moola Rama and Digvijaya Rama.
Born into a pious family at Raichur, he was known as Ramacharya before he was initiated into sanyasa by Sri Satyapriya Tirtha. Sri Ramacharya belonged to a very poor family. Shri Satyapriya Tirha was very kind enough to bless this child Ramacharya, and took full responsibility of teaching him all the shastras. Ramacharya continued to live in the Matha, learning scriptures from Sri Satyapriya Tirtha.
DARSHAN OF SHVETA VARAHA DEVARU:
Once, as usual, Sri Ramacharya, was offering worship to saligrama and shanka, completly covering himself and the saligrama with a cloth. It is said that Lord Shvetavarha gave darshan to him in a miniature form. That he was given darshan by Lord Svetavaraha Himself, stands testimony for the deep devotion Ramacharya has for the Lord and the unaccountable blessings he received from his guru Sri Satyapriya Tirtha.
ORDAINED INTO SANYASA :
Pleased by his devotion and completely assured of his ability to lead the greatest and holy seat of Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Satya priya tirtha crowned Ramacharya on the pontifical seat of Uttaradi Math on an auspicuous thrayodashi (13th day) day of Chaitra Masa blessed him to be henceforth called as Sri Satyabodha Tirtha. Notwithstanding his great scholarship and soft and devoted nature, some people began to think, because of their jealous nature, that Ramacharya was not enough of a saint to honor the pontificate of the great Uttaradi Matha, which opinion they all had to revise soon enough. Sri Satyapriya Tirtha, soon, entered Brindavan, leaving the sacred duty of performing the pooja of the Math deities and protecting and preaching the Vaishnava dharma on the shoulders of the young Satyabodha Tirtha. Sri Satyabodha Tirtha built an excellent Brindavana to his guru at Mana-Madurai and said to have performed a great aradhana in his honor.
EXTENSIVE TOUR :
True to the dharma of sanyasins, Sri Satyabodha Tirtha, toured extensively all over India, winning over adversaries in philosophical scholarly discussions, acquiring disciples and also considerable wealth, estates and Tamarapatras from kings and Navabs of those times. In a very short period of time, Satyabodha Teertha had earned a reputation as the greatest of Madhva saints of the time for his un-rivaled scholarship, miraculous achievements and dynamism and as the pontiff of the wealthiest of the maths with the largest number of devotees.
The honour bestowed on the Uttaradi Matha both by the rich and poor was unique. Naturally there were many who were jealous of this un-challenged supremacy. They wanted to destroy the Math, steal all the property and as a first step in this direction, wanted to poison Sri Satyabodha Tirtha. They poisoned the "PARAMANNA" which he was to eat after naivedya to the Lord. After the naivedya , and during the Maha-managalarthI Satyabodha Tirtha saw the face of Shri Moola Rama turn dark and knew instantly what had happened. Though all the sishyas present advised him not to eat that poisoned paramanna, he ate it without a second thought saying what was offered to Moola Rama was good enough for him also. He prayed, and prayed, to be pardoned for offering poisoned food to the Lord, even un-knowingly. Everyone there was overwhelmed with joy when the poison had no effect on him. The people who wanted to destroy the Matha by killing him were dumbstruck and frightened at this miracle, did not have the courage to proceed with their plans further. They ran away from the scene lest they themselves were destroyed as a result of their evil actions.
GANGA CAME TO MATHA FOR HIM :
When he wanted to go North again to have another dip in the Ganga waters before his death, Lord Badarayana came in his dream that night and advised him not to go that far as Bhagiritahi herself will come to his matha under a tree on a particular morning. Lo! Behold! it did happen and Swamiji and everyone had the good fortune of a holy dip in the Ganga at the matha itself.
CHEAP TRICKS WONT WORK BEFORE HIM :
One of the sishyas of the Matha had accumulated a lot of wealth by hood-winking people by means of his tantric and indrajal deceptions into believing that he was the favourite devotee of Lord Venkateshwara whose vigraha he used to worship chanting the name of the Lord completely mispronounced and declaring that all his activities were as instructed by him. Shri Satyabodha Teertha , who would not stand such nonsense and people being cheated went to him. The sishya was shocked that his deceptive and indrajal activities would not work in the sacred presence of the saint. Thus humiliated he surrendered all his ill acquired wealth , fell at his feet and begged to be excused promising that he would never again cheat people like that.
When he came to Gaya, he found the Gayawallahs were up to their tricks again in spite of their being taught bitter lesson by Shri Vidyadhisa Teertharu, to whom they had given a solomon promise of good behavior towards the pilgrims visiting this holy's place. The Gayawallahs or pandas demanded Rs. 10,000/- from this saint before they could even open the temple. The latter thereupon established a small shelter near the Vishnupada temple called it Rama Gaya and made all arrangements for the pilgrims. When the Pandas found they were thus completely isolated, they came to the Swamiji on bended knees and pleaded to be excused for their un-reasonable demand. The Swamiji received their allegiance again to Uttaradi matha and its pontiffs. He then went to Kashi and established a Matha office at Durga Ghatta to provide facilities for pilgrims.
HE EXTENDED THE LIFE OF SATYASANDHA TIRTHA :
After thus traveling in the North he came to Savanur and stayed for sometime in the Matha premises which he got specially developed. Many were the miraculous achievements of Shri Satyabodha Teertha and it would take volumes to write all of them. Shri Satyabodha Teertha was the pontiff of the Matha for 39 years , 11 months and 13 days. He handed over the pontificate to Shri Satyasandha Tirtha, but found thereafter that the latter had only a short time to live. He prayed to Lord Moola Rama with Raksha-stotram and got the boon of 10 more years of life.
He passed away in Savanur where his mortal remains have been entombed. So many were his achievements and so well was he liked, admired and respected by people of all castes and creeds, rich and poor, that the Uttaradi Matha in Savanur is known as Shri Satyabodha Matha. Even now , after so many years , many pilgrims visit his brindavana, offer seva and get the blessings of this great saint.
SATYABODHA VIJAYA :
Shri Satyabodha Vijaya is a kavya of twenty one sargas written by Kanchi Acharya who was his own disciple. The Mahakavya describes his life in detail. He was a saint of marvelous powers, his life is full of thrilling events. Let alone Hindus, even Mohammedanas worshipped him with great reverence. Tippu Sultan, Nawab of Ramnad, Nawab of Savanur and many other Muslim princes felt it an honor to be his servants. One English high official bears testimony to this fact that he had telepathic power and could know the ins and outs of everyone. He was worshipped by him as Trikalajnani.
SHOWS THE SUN AT NIGHT:
Once, His Holiness spent the whole day in "Samadhi" and took his meals late at night. Some pandits criticised this custom behind his back. Swami immediately called these persons and showed them the sun at dead of night. But one of them still doubted stupidly and branded it as some cheap trick. He lost his eyesight altogether for such an act.
HIS CONTEMPORARIES :
The famous Shri Dheerendra Teertha was his contermporary and met him often and happily passed his time with him in philosophical deliberations and spiritual conversations.
Numerous miracles are attributed to him by his chroniclers. We get some important information in the Bombay Gazetteer, Karnataka Dharwad district Chapter III. Page Nos 58-59 edited and published by James M. Campbell, compiled in the year 1863 A.D - "The 15th in succession to Ramachandra Tirtha by name Shri Satyabhodha Teertha, during the rule of thirty eight years, Satyabodha Teertha travelled all over India and was respected by all the Hindu kings of the time. He was very learned and holy and performed such great austerities that the people were afraid to approach him, lest he should discover their hidden sins. At the same time he was most generous and popular . His name is so much revered that the chief branch of the Vaishnava sect, to which more than two thirds of the Vaishnava people belong, is still known as "SHRI UTTARADI MATHA" at Savanur and subsequently after his name called Shri Satyabodha Swami Matha, gained great wealth. A throne of gold and silver and precious stones about four feet square and six feet high was made and very costly jewels were bought for Shri Moolarama. Most of this wealth is enjoyed by the present chief priest Shri Satyaparayana who is sixth in succession to Shri Satyabodha Teertha. He travelled all over India, where his disciples live, staying only a short time in each place. He passed through Bombay Karnataka about five years ago and is now in Kadapa in Madras. Thus of the eighteen sects into wich the Madhwacharya Vaishnava community is divided, sixteen sects, the members of the main, and the members of the ten Malabar sects started by Shri Madhwacharya's four immediate successors, though each has a pontiff of its own, agree in considering the head of the main or Shri Satyabodha's sect, their supreme pontiff. On the other hand, the two more modern sects. Rajendra Teertha's which dates from the above from the begining of the fourteenth century, and Vibhudhendra's also called Raghavendra's which stared about fifty years later are independent and are generally on unfriendly terms with the Head of the main sect."
|| Shri Digvijaya Rama Vijayate ||
|| Shri Krishnarpanamastu ||