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Hari Sarvottama Vayu Jeevottama

A very warm welcome to the blog of Madhwa Brahmins community.
We, Madhwa Brahmins are followers of Jagadguru Sriman Madhwacharya. We originally hail from places in Karnataka and the neighboring states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our main dialects are Kannada, Tulu, Marathi, Telugu and Konkani.

A brief background of Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya:

prathamO hanumAn nAma dviteeyO bheema Eva cha |
pUrNaprajna tRuteeyastu bhagavat kAryasAdhakaH ||

As the above shloka from khila vAyustuti explains, Sri Madhwacharya (also known by the names Poornaprajna and Anandateertha) is the third incarnation of Lord MukhyaprAna Vaayu, after Lord Hanuman and Lord Bheemasena. He is the chief proponent of TattvavAda, popularly known as Dvaita. He was born on Vijayadashami day of 1238 CE at Paajaka Kshetra, a small village near Udupi. He is the 22nd commentator on the Brahma sutras of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa.

Kindly note that this blog contains important topics discussed in our Orkut community and some articles on tattvavAda philosophy. All the topics can be found in the BLOG ARCHIVE (right side)

14 March, 2009

Sri Sri Vadiraja teertharu

Life history of Saint Sri vAdirAja teertharu


Shri Vadiraja tIrtha occupies a very exalted place in the galaxy of saints in Madhva parampare. Some accord to him a lofty status along with Sri Jaya tIrtha, Sri VyAsa tIrtha and Sri Raghavendra tIrtha, whereas others consider him second only to AchArya Madhva.

In any case, he is universally acknowledged as a great saint with immense spiritual powers in addition to being an outstanding poet, philosopher, social organizer, reformer, debater and prolific writer.

There are many aspects about him that are truly outstanding. He lived for 120 years, (1480-1600 AD) out of which 112 years as a sanyAsi, and entered brindAvana alive ! No other saint, irrespective of doctrinal affiliations, can claim this distinction. He saw 5 paryAyas and entered his Brindavana alive in 1600. He went around India twice and captured his experience in a travelogue.

He has left his unique imprint on many institutions. The present paryAya system in Udupi, the mini Udupi he has created in Sode, the Manjunatha temple in Dharmasthala, the multitude of devaranAmas and stotras that he has left behind are some aspects that come to mind immediately.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the yati most likely to have touched some aspect of the common mAdhva's life, one way or another.

Some consider him to be an incarnation of LAtavya, a Riju-gaNa deity, destined for the post of Vayu in the next kalpa (creation cycle). In his previous birth, he is believed to be the messenger who conveyed RukmiNI's message to Lord Krishna.


Biographies on Sri Vadiraja tirtha include the Vadiraja-guruvara-charitAmRuta, Vadiraja vRuttasangraha and the autobiographical work Svapna-vRundAvana-AkhyAna. But as is the case with many other saints, a detailed account of his childhood seems to be unavailable.

In the Hindu year shArvarI (1480 AD) Sri VAgIsha tIrtha visited a village called Huvvinakere 25 miles North of Udupi. He met a pious but poor and childless couple, Ramabhatta and Gowri devi. They begged him to bless them so that they could have children. He did so, but imposed one condition, the first male child would have to be handed over to the maTha for upbringing.

When the couple hesitated to accept this offer, he made it easy for them by imposing a seemingly easy condition – if the child were to be born inside the house, they could keep it, but if birth happened outside the house then they would have to hand it over. They agreed to it wholeheartedly.

In due course, by the grace of God, Gowri devi became pregnant and the couple was ecstatic. They remembered their agreement and took exta care. Gowri was not allowed to leave the house. Since their house was nothing but a small hut surrounded by a small paddy field, Ramabhatta could easily tend to his work in the field while being available for any requirement in the house. Nine months passed and childbirth was imminent.

On sAdhana dvAdashi day, Ramabhatta was having his food and Gowri was performing tulasi-pooja in the backyard. She suddenly saw some cows entering the field and destroying the crops. Since this was their only source of livelihood she was very perturbed; she immediately took up a stick and entered the fields with the intention of chasing the cows away, totally forgetting the agreement.

In her excitement she moved quite a distance from the house and suddenly developed labor pains. She could not return home and had to deliver the child in the field itself. Thus divine will prevailed inspite of all human efforts to the contrary !!

Shri vAgIsha tIrtha was informed about the birth of the child. He sent a golden plate and asked the parents to bring the child in that plate to the maTha. It is said that the baby never touched the ground until it reached the maTha.

Sri VAgIsha tIrtha pointed out to the happy parents several auspicious attributes in the baby and predicted that it would one day become a very great sanyAsi. He fed the baby milk that had been offered to the deity and asked the parents to name the boy as BhUvara (some say VarahAchArya). He sent them home with the baby and asked them to bring it back after a few years.

The paddy field where Gowri gave birth to Sri VAdirAja is called as "Gowri Gadde". Now there is a small temple in that spot.

Ascension and education

Hare Srinivasa

VAdirAja studied under Sri VAgIsha tIrtha until the latter’s demise. After this, he performed his guru’s Aradhane in a grand way and moved with his retinue to Hampe to study under Sri vyAsa tIrtha.

His stay in Hampe was very eventful and remarkable because it was a union of several divine individuals - Sri vyAsa tIrtha, VAdirAja, VishNu tIrtha (later Vijayendra tIrtha), Purandara dAsa and Kanaka dAsa.

King Krishnadevaraya was impressed by VAdirAja’s personality and gave him the title of ‘prasangAbharaNa tIrtha’ ( Jewel of a Speaker). VAdirAja returned back to Udupi after a few years. As a parting gift, Sri VyAsa tIrtha gave him the vyAsa muShTi that had been gifted to him during a trip to Udupi.

VAdirAja gets HayagrIva icon

Hare Srinivasa

There were thousands of goldsmiths living in the coastal regions of Karnataka. One issue dogging them was lack of social status and acceptance in religious circles.

Once, a goldsmith melted an alloy of 5 metals and put it into the mould, with the intention of making a Ganapati icon. When he opened the mould he was surprised to see a Hayagriva icon with a horse's head and four arms. Another surprising aspect was that the icon was still red hot and radiant. He decided to destroy it and reuse the metal the next day.

That night he was instructed in his dream to hand over the icon to VadirAja. VAdirAja too had a dream in which he was told that he would receive a special HayagrIva icon. Since HayagrIva was the IshTa devata (favorite deity) of VAdirAja he was overjoyed.

The next day a delegation of goldsmiths met VAdirAja and handed over the icon to him. They also shared their sorrow at being social outcasts. VAdirAja took pity on them and decided to uplift them.

Accordingly, on a suitable occasion, the entire community of goldsmiths was provided with chakrAnkana and brought into the fold of bhAgavata (dvaita) dharma. From then, members of that community (daivajna brahmans) have regarded VAdirAja as their guru, and Sode maTha as their maTha.

VAdirAja also admitted kOTeshwara brahmins into the dvaita fold, bringing them status and respect in society.

Travels and tIrtha prabhanda

Hare Srinivasa

After completing his first paryAya VAdirAja undertook his first tour of the country. He has documented the pilgrimage centers visited by him and their greatness in a travelogue called ‘tIrtha prabhanda’.

This is a unique work without a parallel and provides an authentic description of several pilgrimage centers. At every major location he visited, he conducted Vidwat Sabhas (Conference of scholars) encompassing religious debates and discussions, establishing beyond doubt the supremacy and greatness of tattvavAda or dvaita philosophy.

It is said that when he visited Tirumala, the entire hill looked like a sAligrAma to him. He then climbed it on his knees, not wishing to put his feet on the sacred hill. He offered a garland of sAligrAmas as an offering to Lord Srinivasa.

VAdirAja toured the entire country at least 2 times. He recovered the statue of Sri MukhyaprANa from Ayodhya and established it in Udupi.

He also established a statue of AchArya Madhva at Pajaka, his birth place.

The genesis of RukminIsha vijaya

Hare Srinivasa

While on tour, VAdirAja decided to observe chAturmAsya in Pune. He learnt that a Vidwat sabha was underway to determine the greatest mahA-kAvya (poetic epic) ever written, and that people were leaning towards selecting "ShishupAla-vadha" by mAgha as the winner.

He sent word to the organizers that there was a work by him with the same background, which covered the subject in accordance with shAstra, and requested them to include it in their evaluation. He also pointed out that "ShishupAla-vadha" (Killing of ShishupAla) was inauspiciously named and did not highlight Krishna's greatness. He requested them to give him about 3 weeks to have the manuscript fetched from Udupi.

The organizers agreed, not knowing that there was no such manuscript and that VAdirAja was only buying time to compose that work from scratch. He then wrote RukmiNIsha-Vijaya within the next 19 days, harnessing every free moment available to him.

When this work was presented at the conference the scholars were swept away by its poetic brilliance and had no hesitation in declaring it as the greatest mahAkAvya in sanskrit literature. In accordance with their decision, the manuscript was taken in a procession around the city on a well-decorated elephant, with a lot of fanfare and glory.

There are several aspects that makes this feat so unique and remarkable:

*The extremely short duration within such a magnificient work was composed.

*The complete conformance to all the tenets of tattvavAda without compromising on poetic flourishes; it is both a poem as well as a treatise on shAstra.

*The poetic brilliance that swept the judges off their feet; one needs to remember that the evaluation was done by a group of impartial experts, who owed no allegiance to VAdirAja and who would not have accepted anything but the best.

Lord Hayagriva blesses the devotee

Hare Srinivasa

Lord Hayagriva blesses devotee – Dashavatara stuti is born

From Pune, VAdirAja continued on his tour and reached PandarApura. He stayed in a temple and spent a few weeks serving Lord Vittala. One day, an angry man accosted him and started verbally abusing him as follows “You are not restraining your horse. Every day I see a white horse coming to my corn field and grazing on my crop. I have chased it several times, each time it comes up to the temple where you are staying and disappears. I am convinced that the horse belongs to you. My crop is totally ruined. You have to compensate me adequately”.

VAdirAja told the complainant that he was mistaken and that the maTha did not have any horse whatsoever. The complainant however was not satisfied and insisted on doing a full search of the premises.

When he did not find any horse, he was totally surprised. By then VAdirAja had realized what was happening. He smiled and politely asked the complainant to take him to the corn field which the horse was supposed to have destroyed.

When they arrived at the field and examined the crop, the owner was flabbergasted to see golden corn at all the places where the horse had eaten his crop. VAdirAja then explained to him that that the horse was Lord Hayavadana Himself, and that he was very lucky to have seen Him.

The crop owner surrendered at the feet of VAdirAja, and offered his land to the maTha. On the way back, VAdirAja composed the dashAvatAra stuti. This is set to AshvadhATi (literally ‘horse gait or trot’) and when sung melodiously sounds like a horse dancing.


Hare Srinivasa

VAdirAja’s special naivEdya

VAdirAja had a special process for offering naivEdya to his favorite deity Lord HayagrIva (also known as Hayavadana). Amongst pictures depicting VAdirAja, the one showing him offering Naivedya to the Lord is the most popular.

This is how it was done: A sweet dish called HayagrIva (a preparation consisting of jaggery, almonds, ghee and cooked bengal gram) would be prepared in the maTha. After regular worship, VAdirAja would close himself in a room and meditate on the Lord with utmost devotion, holding a plate full of HayagrIva held over his head.

Hayavadana would emanate from the icon in the form of a pure white horse, put His forelegs on VAdirAja’s shoulders and eat the Naivedya, leaving a small portion as prasAda. It is said that VAdirAja would sing the 'dashAvatAra-stuti', to please the Lord and the latter would dance to show His appreciation.

Hayagriva eats poison to protect VAdirAja

Hare Srinivasa

Some evil people contended that VAdirAja was only pretending to offer naivedya to the Lord while eating the food himself. To prove their theory they added mild poison to the naivedya so that VAdirAja would be affected by it and would then be forced to admit the truth.

Not knowing this, VAdirAja offered that food to HayagrIva with utmost devotion. That day, however, the Lord ate everything that was offered, without leaving anything behind as prasAda. When VAdirAja saw the empty plate, he was very disturbed and realized that something was amiss. When he meditated on the Lord, the Lord appeared before him told him what had happened, and why He had to eat all the food to protect VAdirAja.

The Lord also told him that the icon would develop a bluish-green tinge all over its body as proof . VAdirAja would have to offer ‘VAdirAja Gulla’ (MATTU GULLA) as naivEdya for a period, when the tinge would gradually diminish, leaving just a streak of green at the neck to remind posterity of this incident.

Changes in Paryaya system in Udupi

Hare Srinivasa

The disciples of AchArya Madhva originally stayed together in the Sri Krishna maTha, sharing the daily worship amongst themselves, with each disciple getting a period of two months. Even though this worked smoothly, there were several problems lurking beneath the surface. They were:

*festivals come around at a certain time of the year; for example, Deepavali comes in kArtIka, which is usually late October or early November. So a disciple who had his recent turn between Mar and April would have to wait a very long time before Deepavali came during his turn. This led to a lot of heartburn .

*administration suffered because it constantly changed hands every two months; major changes could not be initiated because of the 2 month limit; so, everybody continued with the status quo leading to stagnation and decay

*each disciple would get a period of just 16 months between turns, leaving little or no time for pilgrimage, institution building and other activities that required long travel outside Udupi

Even though these problems were well known, nobody had the stature or the courage to change a system that had been formulated by AchArya Madhva himself. It took a saint of the eminence of VAdirAja to do this.

In 1532, Sri Vadiraja created the paryAya system of rotation. Buildings for the eight maThas were established in the vicinity of the Krishna maTha. Each of the maThas was given a period of 2 years to manage the Krishna temple, effectively addressing all of the problems outlined above.

Every maTha gota chance to manage the temple during all the festivals happening in the calendar year for two years. Additionally, two years is sufficient time for a maTha to take up major administrative projects. Finally, each maTha gets a period of 14 years to tour the country to spread Dvaita philosophy and get ready for the next paryAya.


Hare Srinivasa

Dharmasthala, on the banks of the river Netravati in Dakhina Kannada, was an inauspicious place where people used to practice witchcraft and worship devils and demons.

Once, when Vadiraja was on tour, he happened to pass by that place. The leaders of that community who came to know of his presence invited him to come and perform pooja in their village.

Vadiraja declined their invitation stating that the environment was full of evil spirits and hence very inappropriate for any auspicious activities. The people did not give up. They begged him with folded hands to somehow lift them from the morass they had fallen into and purify their environment.

Vadiraja was moved by their plight and decided to help them. He had one of his aides fetch an icon of ManjunAtheshwara (Shiva) from the Kadiri temple. He then consecrated that in accordance with shAstra and installed in Dharmasthala.

From that day on, Dharmasthala lost its bad reputation and became renowned as an important pilgrimage center in South India. Millions of devotees visit that shrine every year and get their wishes fulfilled.

It is a unique temple where the worship of Lord Shiva is done by priests of Shivalli Madhva community, and the administration of the temple is in the hands of the Jain (Hegade) family.

danDa tIrtha

Hare Srinivasa

There is a pilgrimage center in Dakshina Kannada called kaTi-shivAlaya near the place where netrAvati and kumAradhAra rivers meet. It is a location with a lot of scenic beauty and hundreds of naturally occuring rock formations shaped like Shiva lingas. VAdirAja once came to that place with his retinue.

Thousands of people from nearby villages assembled to see him and experience his greatness. Most of them had an overpowering desire to perform abhisheka to the naturally occuring Shiva Lingas, but there was no water in the rivers to support such a large-scale operation.

When word of this reached VAdirAja he drew a line in the sand with his staff (danDa) and prayed to the Lord. Immediately, water sprung forth from the line and formed a large stream. The people who had assembled there were overjoyed to see this and praised their luck in being witness to the greatness of VAdirAja.

This stream can be seen even today and goes by the name of danDa tIrtha

Sode: BhUta-rAja

Hare Srinivasa

VAdirAja had a disciple called nArAyanAchArya, who was very intelligent but ill-mannered. He had the bad habit of maligning everybody including his own guru. VAdirAja was very patient with him but one day when he crossed all limits, VAdirAja cursed him to be a brahma-pishAchi (a type of ghost).

nArAyanAchArya became a ghost and started haunting a forest near Hampi. He would stop all wayfarers and ask them a cryptic question “A kA mA vy ko na snAta ha?” (meaning ‘who does not bathe in A kA mA vy?’). Nobody could answer this. He would then harass them and cause a lot of pain and suffering.

To understand the question one needs a little bit of background. The months of AshADha, kArtIka, mArghashira and vyshAkha in the Hindu calendar are considered holy. People usually perform special poojas to God during this time, and since bathing is a pre-requisite for any pooja, almost everybody bathes in these months. So the ghost was really asking “who are the evil people who do not bathe in the holy months of AshADa, kArtIka, mArghashira and vyshyAkha?”

Once when VAdirAja himself was passing by that forest he was confronted by the ghost. He then put a question to the ghost “What are you willing to wager?” The ghost replied “If you answer this, I will be your slave for life. If you don’t, I will eat you and your retinue”.

VAdirAja agreed to the ghost’s condition and gave the following reply to the question: “RanDa-putrah tvam na snAta ha!” (son of a prostitute, you don’t bathe in these holy months). Since this answer was correct, the ghost lost and hence had to serve VAdirAja for life. From that day onwards, he faithfully served VAdirAja and is fondly called as nArAyaNa bhUta or BhUta-rAjaru.

Arasappa Nayaka

Hare Srinivasa

Sode or Svadi is a small town in North Kannada district of modern Karnataka, and about a few miles from Sirsi. In the sixteenth century it was the capital of a small province governed by a chieftain called Arasappa Nayaka, owing allegiance to the Vijayanagar empire. With the fall of the Vijayanagar empire Sode became an independent province with Nayaka as the king.

He was under the influence of a vile sorcerer who poisoned his mind against Brahmins. They were ill treated and subjected to all kinds of harassment like not being allowed to draw water from community wells and subjected to insults in every possible manner. Nayaka also alienated other sections of the population leading to total chaos in the province. Enemies saw a golden opportunity to attack the province and did so. With enemy soldiers ringing his fort, and his own ministers rebelling against him, Nayaka had no choice but to flee from the palace. As he was fleeing he came across the retinue of VAdirAja who was passing by.

The radiance emanating from VAdirAja’s face and his glorious personality wrought a major change in Nayaka’s thinking. He immediately surrendered at VAdirAja’s feet and sought his protection. He felt genuine remorse at all the sins committed by him and begged VAdirAja to forgive him. VAdirAja was moved by his repentance and decided to help him. He blessed him with mantrAkshate and asked him to go back and fight his enemies. Nayaka did so and by the blessing of VAdirAja prevailed over his enemies.

The overjoyed Nayaka invited VAdirAja into the town of Sode with all due pomp and glory. The sorcerer guru, who had fled from Sode, returned and challenged VAdirAja to a debate. When his witchcraft and arguments did not prevail against VAdirAja, he had to leave the province as a traitor. As a symbol of this liberation of Sode, VAdirAja decided to use Arasappa NAyaka's ganTe (bell used during pooja) as the main one in the maTha.

Even today one finds that the bell used in Sode maTha has a Basava (bull) icon on the top of its stem instead of Sri Hanuman, as is the practice with other MAdhva temples and maThas.

From that onwards, Nayaka shed his wicked ways and became an ardent devotee of VAdirAja, serving him with utmost devotion. He begged VAdirAja to stay in Sode itself, to bless him and his subjects.

Sri Trivikrama Temple

Hare Srinivasa

It is said that during his visit to Badari, VAdirAja had met with AchArya Madhva and Vedavyasa. He had expressed his desire to establish a grand temple to Lord Trivikrama and had requested them to provide him with a suitable icon.

Arasappa Nayaka had one long standing desire - to set up a major temple in Sode. When he expressed his desire to VadirAja, VAdirAja told him that this was his desire too and asked him to make the necessary arrangements for the construction of the temple.

As the temple started approaching its final shape people were wondering where the icon was. VAdirAja assured them “This is not a regular icon that needs to go through the normal process of consecration. It is already being personally worshipped by AchArya Madhva. So the only consecration needed is to perform the maha pooja in SvAdi. Our Lord Trivikrama will come in his own special chariot”.

He then sent BhUta rAja to Badari to fetch the icon. When BhUta rAja was on his way back with the icon in a chariot he was attacked by some demons. He used one of the wheels of the chariot to fight and defeat them. He reached Sode in time for the maha pooja with everything intact except for one missing wheel on the chariot. Even today one can see just 3 wheels on the chariot in Sri Trivikrama temple's garbhagudi.It is said that when the temple was being constructed there was a small mishap and one of the stone pillars was about to fall down.

The mason who was working on it was very scared and instinctively uttered an oath invoking the name of VAdirAja and asked the pillar to stop falling. The pillar stopped in midair, thus revealing the power of VAdirAja’s name. Later VAdirAja came there and moved the pillar to its proper location.

Vadiraja decides to move out of Udupi

Hare Srinivasa

VAdirAja had other reasons for moving out of Udupi. When he had introduced the paryAya system and changed the administration period from 2 months to 2 years, some critics had accused him of ulterior motives.

Saddened by this, VAdirAja had wanted to move out of Udupi and stay away from all petty politics. He also wanted to give his disciple, Sri VedavEdhya tIrtha, more prominence in Udupi. So, with the above considerations in mind, he readily agreed to Nayaka’s request.

Nayaka was overjoyed and had a large maTha constructed in Sode on the banks of the river ShAlmali. VAdirAja settled down in Sode completely. When his next paryAya opportunity came, he did not ascend the peetha, giving Sri VedavEdhya tIrtha a chance to worship the beloved Lord Sri Krishna;

Some of the main highlights in and around Sode (also called Sonda by the local community) are:

* DhavaLa GangA (on the lines of the Madhva Sarovara in Udupi)
* GopAlakrishna temple (like the Krishna temple in Udupi)
* DhavaLa GangAdhara (like the ChandramoulIshwara in Udupi)
* Sri MukhayaprANa temple (like the Mukhya-prAna temple in Udupi)
* Tapovana, where VAdirAja used to meditate

The big jackfruit tree under which VAdirAja used to teach his disciples. When a bolt of lightning struck this tree, VAdirAja revived it back to life. It is still alive and its fruits are offered as naivEdya to Lord HayagrIva.


Hare Srinivasa

Towards the end, VAdirAja’s health started deteriorating. It is remarkable that even though he had enormous mystical powers, and had performed many miracles including even reviving the dead, he refused to use his powers for his own benefit.

He chose to suffer whatever ill-health came his way as God’s prasAda and never complained about it. VAdirAja decided to visit Udupi one last time and have darshana of Krishna before departing from the earth. He was then suffering from poor eyesight and was worried if he would be able to see the Lord properly.

On the way he composed several songs expressing his anguish and anxiety. Finally, when he arrived at Udupi and stood before the icon, his eyesight cleared and he had Vishwa-roopa darshana of the Lord in all His glory.

He then called Arasappa Nayaka and asked him to make arrangements for 5 brindavanas – one for VAdirAja, and the other four equipped with the special presence of Vishnu, Brahma, Vayu and Rudra. Arasappa Nayaka was heartbroken to hear of his guru’s impending departure, but had to obey the order given to him.

Hare Srinivasa

Accordingly, in the year 1600 (Hindu year of Sarvari) VAdirAja performed the utsava of Lord Trivikrama as usual in Phalguna, with the final rathotsava on Poornima. Then, a few divine attendants sent by Lord Indra appeared before VAdirAja and conveyed the request of the Gods to return back to heaven as his mission on earth was completed.

VAdirAja sent a message back to Indra asking for 3 more days so that he could complete the final rituals associated with Lord Trivikrama’s utsava. Indra agreed with pleasure.

Finally, on Phalguna Bahula thritiya, VAdirAja entered the brindavana alive. The moment the last stone was laid on the Brindavana, a great lament broke out from his disciples.

VAdirAja, who had entered the brindAvana wearing his robe and pAduka-s (wooden sandals), and was being taken in a golden car to heaven, threw down the robe and sandals as mementos for his sad disciples. Every year, when the Aradhane of VAdirAja is performed, the robe and sandals are worshipped with extra fervor.

Svapna VrundAvanAkhyAna and anu-VrundAvanAkhyAna

Hare Srinivasa

The Svapna-VrndAvanAkhyAna is a very special work. It was authored by VAdirAja after entering the brindAvana. It is the only work in which he has revealed that he is an incarnation of lAtavya. The genesis of this work happened in a very special way.

VAdirAja’s retinue contained an illiterate brahmin who was also deaf and mute, but had a lot of devotion towards VAdirAja and served him in many menial ways. The kind hearted VAdirAja knew about the mute’s devotion and service, but was waiting for the right opportunity to reward him. Years after entering the Brindavana, VAdirAja appeared in the mute’s dreams and instructed him as follows:

*VAdirAja would appear in his dream every day and dictate a portion of the AkhyAna

*The mute would have to meet the pontiff of the maTha the next morning and recite whatever he had heard. VAdirAja would bless him with the power of perfect memory and speech for the time it took him to recite the previous night’s portion

*This would happen for a few weeks until the AkhyAna was completed

The above sequence of events happened as planned and the AkhyAna was fully composed. But nobody really understood its true meaning and significance, and the mute too died after a few years. Many years later, he reincarnated as an ascetic in the Sode maTha and finally became its pontiff. He then wrote a commentary on the AkhyAna, explaining its contents and significance.

VAdirAja’s devotees regularly recite the AkhyAna with utmost devotion. A fragment of the AkhyAna called the Anu-VrundAvanAkhyAna is also popular.

Final Words:

Hare Srinivasa

Even though VAdirAja is not visible physically, he continues to bless his devotees from his BrindAvana. People who visit Sode and perform service with devotion and sincerity have their wishes fulfilled.

Mrithikas taken from the Brindavana have miraculous powers and heal ailments of body and mind. His phenomenal contribution to Dvaita/tattvavAda philosophy and devotional literature in Sanskrit and Kannada is a standing testimony to his genius.


Sri KrishnArpaNamastu


During his first visit to North India, when Sri Sri Vadirajaru reached Delhi, he was told that the prince of the state: a young child;was dead,and that the funeral was to commence soon. Rajaru reached the funeral spot and told the royal servants that it is wrong to perform funeral of a child who is still alive.

On hearing Rajaru's words, the royal servants checked out and found that the child was actually alive. The King bowed down to Rajaru, said that it was the miracle of Rajaru that the prince was made alive and asked for blessings from Sri Sri Vadirajaru for the prince. This prince was none other than the Great Mughal King Akbar, who respected Hindu religion.


@ Anjali,

In continuation with Mrs.Anjali's story about Sri Vadiraja theertha's north india visit, after saving the kind Akbar, Akbar's father Humayun has gifted Sri Vadiraja theertha, a tons of precious stones, then sri Vadiraja theertha told him, i am going to Badarinath, i cannot protect these precious stones till i reach my place, then the kind sent his soldier to protect those precious stones till sri Vadiraja theertha reaches his ashrama, but in between Sri Vadiraja theertha will stop and tell all the soldier, i am going to gift all these prescious stones to Bhagirathi river [the ganga's ugama sthana at Deva PRayaga], he instructed all the soldiers to take whatever prescious stones they want, then he said he will gift to bhargirathi river, but all the solider with Vairagya told him, since you are doing good punya karya, we don't want to take anything, kindly you can gift everything to Bhagirathi river. Then Sri Vadiraja theertha gifted each one of the navaratnas by chanting seperate mantras offered to Bhagirathi river, at the end Bhagirathi will come and give darshan to swamiji by wearing all the navaratnas gifted by him and will give one "VARA" to him, when reach your place i.e. Sonda Kshetra, i will come and stay there and will give darshana everyday, that's why in sode the presence of "Davala Ganga" is there, in Deva Prayaga, when Ganga start coming from himalayas, it is first called as davala ganga.

After his visit to Badari, swamiji will return to Udupi and will keep and some of navaratnas for future needs of the mutt in Krishan mutt, udupi, above that he will do "Naga Prathishte", even today we can see this inside udupi krishna temple.

Note :
Above story is told by one of the person who is closely associated with Sri Vyasrajaru, has seen in his dreams and Sri Vyasaraju showed him live in his dreams. After that he could visit the same place physically, when he visited Badarinath.


A few interesting facts about shrI vAdirAjaru from an article on Shri Vadirajaru by Shri Bannanje Govindacharya.

Shri Vadirajaru is well known for his poetic skills. His compositions in Sanskrit and kannada are exemplary. He has also composed songs in the local language Tulu, most of which has been lost.
Shri Bannanje Achar quotes one such song.

kaNN buDd nIrdulayi tUpinErgA|
aNNa paNpe kEN dEvErattagA||

The words “ErgA” and “attagA” aren’t from classical Tulu but the colloquial words used by the low caste harijans. Classical Tulu replaces the “gA” with “yA”. People who understand Tulu can appreciate it more than people like me.
This kind of compositions shows that vAdirAjaru was a great social reformer and a revolutionary! He must have gone to “holegEri-s” and sung songs on God for them and danced to their beats! Over period of time the orthodox didn’t conserve these works of rAjaru.

vAdirAjaru was the one who started the paryAya utsava. He gave an artistic touch to this event. He also brought in the tradition of music and dance in day to day rituals. Even to this day, in Udupi as well as the ashTa muttas, these songs are sung during various rituals (Eg: “lakshmI nArAyaNa…”). Yati-s dance on certain ekadashi-s carrying God’s nirmAlya (harivANa sEve). The concept of kaTTige ratha (chariot made of fire wood), the tradition of lakshadIpOtsava and the design of chariots were this great saint’s brainchild.

He, apart from rAyaru, was the only pIThAdipathi who didn’t use the title of “tIrtha”. This title is given only to pIThAdipati-s and not all sanyAsi-s. rAjaru never uses this title.

There is another interesting episode on the “guLLa”. This variety of brinjal is grown in a place called ‘maTTi’. In those days the Brahmins of maTTi were into agriculture and hence were condemned by the orthodox community. It was nishiddha for a Brahmin to work in fields. vAdirAjaru by popularizing the guLLa (originally a forbidden vegetable), encouraged these Brahmins and brought them into the main stream of society.

The story of kanakana kiMDi happened during the time of vAdirAjaru. Kanakadasaru had made a small hut in front of the temple (same location where his statue has been installed). One night there was an earthquake and the common wall between his hut and the temple cracked and kanakdAsaru got a view of kRuShNa. dAsaru has documented the earthquake in a song “naDurAtriyali Eke naDugideyE tAyI…”.
The story of kRuShNa turning is false, since the design of the temple doesn’t permit this and AchArya’s works on vAstu shAstra say that the temple can face the West and the worshipper faces the east (this is similar to the position in a yagna). vAdirAjaru noticed this event and recorded this for posterity by not sealing the crack and made a small window there. He also constructed a small temple there which the author remembers as a child, listening to discourses there in the evening. This has been now replaced by the statue of dAsaru.

KanakadAsaru used to collect the “gaMji” that was discarded after cooking rice, in a coconut shell. He then used to offer this as naivEdya to kRuShNa along with the roTTi he cooked. vAdirAjaru who noticed this deed of the Lord’s devotee initiated the tradition of ganji naivEdya in a coconut shell along with roTTi which is followed even to this day.

shri vAdirAja gurugaLu bagge eshTu hELidaru bahaLa kammi!

Ref: “tuLu nADa vibhUti- shrIvAdirajaru” from the book bannanje barahagaLu – 1, Shri Bannanje Govindacharya, Ishavasya pratishtana, Udupi

Another interesting incident:

shrI vAdirAjaru was composing his famous work “yuktimallika”. He wrote the first three lines of the maMgaLAcharaNa shlOka:

bhaktyaa stutyaa viraktyaa bhajadamalajanaunnatya bhootyarpakaaya|
kshityaamatyalpabhrutveshvapi kujana krutaudhDhatyabhootyaajakaaya||
karthrE dharthrEtha harthrE hayamukhaharayaE$mutrapaatre namastE|

He was unable to finish the shlOka. He had covered all the 8 functions of the Lord in these three lines and didn’t know what to write.
rAjaru left the shloka undone and retired for the day. In the middle of his sleep, he had spontaneous realization and could complete the shloka with this hemistich:

tasmai kasmaichidasmanmanasi Dhrutakathaa vismrutau smaarakaaya||

“I bow down to the one who gives forgetfulness and then returns memory”
How appropriate!!

Source: One of Sri Bannanje Achar’s discourses


I got following queries:

1. About Sri Vadirajaru’s stay and education with Sri Vyasarajaru at Hampi, there are few people who object to it? Where do we find the right info on this?

2. I did not see any references to Bhootarajaru being bhAvi rudra dEvaru?

3. Also any info on the “LakshalankAra” would be good

4. The story is about Sri Vyasarajaru spending few of his days during the invasion to Vijayanagar, at a place called Hullekal which is ~6 kms from Sode.
There is still his mrithika brindavana with one of the moola brindavana of yathigaLu of Kundapura Vyasaraja Mutt. He was the first yathigaLu to go to that part of the state

5. I guess there is another deity that Sri Vadirajaru worshipped which is very close to Sode, the place is ManjuguNi and the deity is Sri Venkateshwara with a bow & arrow in his hands
I guess there are more anecdotes and wonderful events in his life history.


I guess there is another deity that Sri Vadirajaru worshipped which is very close to Sode, the place is ManjuguNi and the deity is Sri Venkateshwara with a bow & arrow in his hands

vAdirAjaru has composed two verses on shrInivAsa at manjuguNi in his work tIrthaprabandha:

manOharagiridrONIvAsaM shrIshaM satAM vashaM|
dhanurbANadharaM bhAgyakaraM bhajE|| (paschima pra. - 77)

I bow to that lord of lakShmI dEvi who is residing at the beautiful cave temple on a hillock at manjuguNi, who is the cause of all wealth, who is possessed by His devotees and who is holding bow and arrows in His hands.

khalamRugayArthaM pAdukAshObhipAdaH
sakalabhuvi charitvAmanjuguNyAkhyaramya-
sthalasadanagatO abhudvEMkaTEshO mukuMdaH|| (paschima pra. - 78)

Lord vEMkaTEsha, mukuMda, who has beauiful feet adorned with pAduka-s (footwear), holding an arrow, disc (chakra), conch (shaMkha) and the great bow, hunting wild animals called durjana-s traversed round the globe and settled down in this beautiful temple at maMjuguNi.

The sthaLa purANa says that the Lord at tirupati who set out hunting settled down at manjuguNi.

shrI vAdirAjaru has also composed a dEvaranAma on manjuguNi shrInivAsa:

mannisO shrI vEMkaTEsha manjuguNi puravAsa||pa||

sannuta sadguNasAndra suprasanna hayavadana||a.pa||

dEshadEshadiMda baMda janarige mudadinda
lEsina varavnIve niruta kAve|
bhAsura mOhanavESha bhAnukOTi suprakAsha
shrIsatiya prANEsha shrI shrInivAsa||1||

vAridhiyoLagADide giriya bennilettide
bhAravaha dhareya tande daityana konde|
duruLa baliyanu meTTi daityanRuparane kuTTi
taruNigabhayavanetti taruva kitte||2||

purada nAriayaranu panthadi gelide nInu
vara kalkiyAgi turagavanEri merede|
varada prasanna hayavadana venkaTarAya
poreyO endendU enna puruSharanna||3||

manjuguNi is located near a place called sampakhanDa enroute to gOkarNa from Sirsi.
This place has been mentioned in skanda purANa (sahyAdri khanDa)

Vali bhanDAra

During one of shrI vAdirAjaru ‘s visits to vijayanagara (hampi), the then king kRuShNadEvarAya (some say it was Achyuta devaraya) revealed to the saint about the depleting funds in the royal treasury. Due to constant onslaughts on the kingdom by mohammadan rulers and gajapati rulers of Orissa the defence expenditure would have increased enormously creating a huge hole in the royal reserves.

The same night shrI vAdirAjaru gets a dream where a squirrel sitting on a rock near chakratIrtha is attacked by a wild cat. The squirrel runs towards a place called sIte-seragu and enters a small cave. The cat unable to catch the squirrel goes away. After making sure the cat is no longer waiting for it, the squirrel slowly comes out of the cave and its body would have got the lustre of gold. ShrI vAdirAjaru asks the animal in its language about the reason for the new lustre it acquired and the squirrel says that there is a huge treasure hidden in the cave.

The next morning, the saint visits chakratIrtha for his morning oblations and checks the same cave directed by the squirrel and discovers an extremely huge amount of treasure hidden inside. He then calls the king and asks him to use the treasure to fill up the royal coffers. This would be the treasure of vAli who ruled over kishkinda in tretayuga. Shri vAdirAja tIrtharu picks up vAli karArchita viTThala mUrti and sugrIva karArchita shrIrAmachandra mUrti found in this vAli bhanDAra for his pooje.

Ref: Shri Vadiraja Samputa
Author: Dr. Aralumallige Parthasarathy

3. Also any info on the “LakshalankAra” would be good

When shrI vAdirAjaru was at prayAga kShEtra, he was teaching his students mahabhAratha tAtparya nirNaya. svayam vEdavyAsa dEvaru appeared and told him that shrI vAdirAjatIrtharu’s mother had taken a vow to perform lakShAlankAra to paramAtma in case she is bestowed with a son. After the birth of the saint, her wishes were yet to be fulfilled. vEdavyAsa dEvaru asked shrI vAdirAjaru to write meanings to 1 lakh difficult words in the mahAbhArata which would be like offering lakShAlankAra to Him.
On the Lord’s request the saint authored the work lakShAlankAra and offered it to the feet of the Lord.
After his return to uDupi, he visited his pUrvAshrama house at hUvinakere and informed his mother about the completion of her vow. There was no bounds to the joy of the great mother.

Ref: Shri Vadiraja samputa
Author: Dr. Aralumallige Parthasarathy

A verse from Shri vadiraja Tirtha’s tIrtha prabaMdha. It is on vittala in Hampi.
One should note the humour in the poetry.

chouryAnmAtRubaddhachArucharaNaH pApoughachouryAdbhudhaiH
baddhastvaM pathi puMDarIkamuninA jArEti saMbOdhitaH|
tuMgAtIragatOÏ€ viThala dishannanyAkRutirvAMChitaM
vEttRuNAM yadi mE na dAsyasi tadA tvatsaMsthitaH kathyatE|| (purva.pra-13)

Hey viThala! Your feet were tied by your mother yashOda because of your habit of stealing (butter in bRuMdAvan). You were also tied down (by the rope of bhakti) by the knowledgeable owing to your stealing of their sins. You then took another route (to avoid being tied by yashOda and j~nAnis) and was stopped by puMDarIka muni (in Pandrapura) who called you a paramour (of the gOpis). You then took another form (since puMDarIka muni came to know about your adulterous nature) and came to this place on the banks of the river tuMga in order to fulfil the wishes of those people who know about your thefts and adultery, out of fear of your nature being told to others by them. If you do not grant me my wish of obtaining mOkSha, I shall tell your tales of thefts and adultery to everyone!


padmanabha rao said...

The authenticity of aralumallige parthasarathy are questionable. the poetic description of vadiraja swamiji are not to be linked with this.It is called Nindaastuti by an antataranga Bhakta. It can hardly be taken as historical evidence for Valibhandara. In fact everything in ths world belongs to Him the supreme Krishna. What is there for him to steal?

Unknown said...

I have been to Sode on 25th June 09 ...i didnt know the history of Vadiraj Acharya...thanks for sharing this information..Its much Appriciated :)

padmanabha rao said...

I would request the publishers of this blog to include the opinion of only scholars who have an in depth knowledge of Madhva philosophy. Please do not pass to our next generation who question things, for which we may not have answers. The great Saints have some anecdotes connected to them. It does not mean this must be passed verbatim in a blog like tghis.

padmanabha rao said...

Sri Bhootarajaru is referred as Vadirajadoota, who carried the idols and swamiji in a panquin invisible to others. He was indeed a great scholar from Kashi, who was arrogant. In fact he had interfered with a friendly conversation between vyasarajaru and vadirajaru, which made vadirajaru to curse him to be a brahma rakshasa.Later Vadirajaru selected Sonda as his placef for penance and used bhootaraja to perform difficult tasks like bringing Trivikrama temple from Badarinath.

Unknown said...

recently i have been to swadi and served sri vaadiraaja, with His miraculas power, cured my health problem , i suggest everybody to visit swadi and serve sri vaadiraajaru and experience the power direcly..because i dont have any words to express his greatness....

Dr Madhusudhan joshi said...

sode bharatada kelave prashanta punya sthalagalalli ondu illi nadeyuva bhootarajana pooje,illi sallisuva sevege taxana ve siguv fala,kevala brahmanarige avakaashaviruvadarinda uliyuva parishuddhate(ide madi)prashantategalu nannannu bahuvagi seledive,varshakkommeyadaru vadirajara darshanavagadiddare enanno kaledukondantha korate nannannu bahuvagi kaduttade,OM NAMO VAADIRAAJAAYA NAMAHA

Ravindra Varna said...

Hari Sarvothamma, Vaayu Jeevothamma.

I am wondering why we are making such statement that some believe Vadirajaru as BhaviSameera and some not. I want to share one point that Vadirajaru is BhaviSameera, if some one has any issues in accepting this will definetly face the punishment by Yamadharma and this has been told by Vijaya Dasaru in one of his Suladi. Please reach out to me on 9916009395 for any clarification on this.

Jai Shri Krishna,


Krishnaraja Karkera said...

Dr.Madhusudan Joshi avara commentnalli kevala brahmanarige praveshaviruvudarinda sodeyalli parishudhateyide endiruvaru.Nanu 2sala sode sandarhsisiruvenu,yaroo nannannu brahmananallavendu pravesha nirakarisalilla.SriRAJARa kalakke ati kelagina jatiyavarigagi tuluvinalle kirtane rachisidavaru.Indina kaladalli BRAHMANAendare yaru embudu nanna jijnase.

Krishnaraja Karkera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krishnaraja Karkera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krishnaraja Karkera said...

Dr.Madhusudan Joshi avara commentnalli kevala brahmanarige praveshaviruvudarinda sodeyalli parishudhateyide endiruvaru.Nanu 2sala sode sandarhsisiruvenu,yaroo nannannu brahmananallavendu pravesha nirakarisalilla.SriRAJARa kalakke ati kelagina jatiyavarigagi tuluvinalle kirtane rachisidavaru.Indina kaladalli BRAHMANAendare yaru embudu nanna jijnase.

Unknown said...

@karker , sri vaadirajaru tulu bashe yalli paddana rachisi, kelavargadavarigu paramatmana sevisivu daari tilisiddare, anda matrakke, bramhanarannu kadeganisiddare endu artavalla, Rujuganasta Latavya Bhavi Samirarannu loka Srimatkula Tilaka endu kareyuttade, Maadva matada uttunga dalli mereyuttiruva gurugalu, avarannu sevisuttiru bramhnarige vishesha krupe madirivudu nija, hage munde maduvudu nija. . Sri Krisnaprpanamastu