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17 Shrimad Bhuvanendra Tirtha

Shrimad Bhuvanendra Tirtha

Shrimad Bhuvanendra Tirtha was the seventeenth Swamiji of the Kashi Matha after passing away of Shrimad Vasudendra Tirtha in 1859. When he was a minor, he had been selected by Shrimad Sumatendra Tirtha. He was a great ascetic and great scholar of Dwaita Vedanta, Dharma Shastra, Agama Shastra, Jyotisha, Ayurveda, Mantra Shastra, Shilpa Shastra etc. He was also noted for the depth of his knowledge and for the observance of religious rules.

He had performed the installation or renovation-installation ceremony in various temples. Thus he had installed the idol of Shri Lakshmi Venkatesha in Hosdurg (Kerala) on Vaishakha Shuddha Triteeya of Raktakshi Samvatsara, Sh. Sh. 1786 (1864). The Punya Tithi of the Swamiji is being celebrated in the temple every year.

The reinstallation ceremony of the idol in Shri Venkataramana temple in Kundapura after renovation was also performed by the Swamiji on Jyeshta Shuddha Dviteeya of Bhava Samvatsara, Sh. Sh. 1796 (1874). He had performed the Sahasra Kumbhabhisheka on Marghashira Shuddha Purnima of Yuva Samvatsara, Sh. Sh. 1797 (1875) in Shrimadananteshwara Temple in Manjeshwara. Shri Venkatapati temples in Kochi and Alleppey were other temples where the Swamiji had reinstalled the idols. The last installation ceremony performed by the Swamiji was that of the procession (utsava) idol of Shri Maha Maya in Shri Maha Ganapati Maha Maya temple in Shirali.

The Swamiji had installed the idol of Lord Dhanvantari (presiding diety of Ayurveda) in Mattancheri (Kochi) and prescribed certain rules regarding the performance of pujas in the temple. Perhaps this is one of the two temples in India dedicated to Lord Dhanvantari. The other temple is at Yelaghppa, Sirsi taluk, Uttara Kannada.

Shrimad Bhuvanendra Tirtha Swamiji had travelled widely from Varanasi through Prayag, Bhatkal, Manjeshwara, Karkala and Mulki to Alleppey and Kochi. On one occasion when he was camping in Bhatkal, he had revived through the power of mantra a Navayat (Muslim) landlord’s only daughter who died of snake bite. Her father donated a huge sum in gratitude and helped the Swamiji to renovate the old Matha buildings in Bhatkal. His decendants used to offer kanikas to the Matha since then.

On another occasion, when the Swamiji was in Bhatkal, one Cherdayya Prabhu (63 years) belonging to Goud Sarasvata Brahmana community approached the Swamiji with his wife and narrated their pitiable condition, for they had no issues. Filled with compassion the Swamiji gave them a mantra pinda. Later a son, was born to the couple. Shri Rama Prabhu, the son lived upto a ripe old age and died some years ago. On some other occasions the Swamiji had given mantra pindas to various frustrated couples and in all these cases children were born to the couples. The Swamiji had cured many diseases of his devotees by using Ayurvedic medicines.

When the Swamiji was visiting Nagar in Shimoga district along with his retinue in 1866, some of the followers of the Sringeri Matha imposed, with the help of the local police, a restriction on the movement of the Swamiji and his followers with honours and titles of the Kashi Matha. The Swamiji had to stay there for about ten months during which time he complained to the Indian Commissioner in Mysore regarding this restriction. Finally, after going through the Matha records produced before him the Commissioner decided in favour of the Swamiji and declared that the Swamiji did have all the rights of travel in the entire Mysore State with full honours and titles.

The Swamiji selected a vatu Giri Mallya by name, aged 10, and initiated him into sanyas on Jyeshta Shuddha Purnima and accepted him as his Shishya. He was known as Shrimad Varadendra Tirtha.

In the field of literature, the Swamiji had guided one Tellichery Vasudeva Shanbhag (resident of Mulki) in composing a great work in Kannada comprising 700 stanzas (vardhik shatpadi) in eleven chapters, entitled Goud Saraswata Brahmanakhyana (This was printed in the Sharada Press, Mangalore in 1907). The work starts with a Brahmana named Muddana approaching Shrimad Bhuvanendra Tirtha Swamiji asking him various questions, and in answering, the Swamiji describes the origin of Goud Sarasvata Brahmanas, their itirinary to distant lands from the banks of the sacred river Sarasvati, to Trihotrapura in Bihar, Gomantak, Bhatkal, Mangalore, Kochi etc., their rites and rituals and customs, their Gotras and Pravaras and Kuladevatas, their temples in Gomantak, etc.

Shrimad Bhuvanendra Tirtha Swamiji attained moksha after casting off of his mortal body on Friday, the 12th day of Vrischika Masa of Vyaya Samvatsara.

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