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Sri Sripadaraja TheerthaBrief History of Sri Madhvarcharya Theertha

The Shivalli or Shivabelli sect of Brahmins are mostly found around the Udupi area, Shivabelli being an old name for Udupi in connection with Shri Candramuleswaraji. Previous to the advent of Madhva some Shivalli Brahmins worshipped Lord Siva, but most had an affiliation with the Bhagavat sampradaya and had a leaning towards Visnu. Most would worship that form of a lingam, but would see Visnu as his origin (as already mentioned in connection with Sankara-Narayana, and especially Anantesvara, Who is worshipped as Parasurama though in the form of a lingam). Madhya geha, although a young man, had a wealth of understanding of the Vedas. Throughout his schooling he had the reputation as a devotee scholar, not merely interested in Brahman; his object was Parambrahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana. After some time "Madhyageha" Bhatta, as he became known, was married to a pure and devout lover of Lord Visnu by the name of Vedavati. Madhyageha Bhatta was always very eager to hear the pastimes of the many incarnations of Lord Visnu, and render devotional service to the Deity of Anantasana in Udupi. Madhygeha spoke to his chaste wife about bringing into this world a pure son, one worthy of being called putra (one who saves his parents from hell).

Madhyageha Bhatta and his wife decided to approach their Ista Deva (family Deity) Lord Narayana and make a vow. They then served Lord Ananrasana in Udupi for twelve years with pure minds and devotion, free from lust and greed. With their austerity they drank only milk throughout those twelve years, observing the same vows as Aditi and Kasyapa who were impelled by Lord Brahma to undergo this penance to obtain Lord Vamadeva as their son. At the end of this time they decided to perform the Garbhadana samskara, after taking the Lord's blessings. Madhyageha purified his body with pancagavya prasana, offered arghyas, flowers and lamps to the Lord, and they stated their desire to bring into this world a pure devotee to save everyone from further suffering.

After the purificatory menstrual period, choosing the male star (Nakshatra) and the suitable day for conception according to the proper vara (day) tithi (time) and nakshatra (asterism) they invoked the blessings of Lord Narayana. They then united by the principles of religious sex and by the Lord's grace, Vedavati conceived a child.

In the Madhva Vijaya (2.25) it is described that the incarnation of Lord Vayudeva (Mukhyaprana) entered the body of the wife of that pure Vaisnava Brahmin, entered into the womb of Vedavati. On this point though, Madhva Vijaya suggests that Mukhyaprana evicted the soul born of the conception of Madhyageha and Vedavati, and thus expelling that child, Vayu appeared of his own will and placed himself in that womb.

Because Mukhyaprana's incarnation was situated in Vedavati's womb, she became incredibly effulgent and was decorated with all thirty two auspicious qualities. Madhva Vijaya describes her body as being like the temple of Lord Visnu, the Supreme Lord because of her pure devotion.

The pumsavana samskara was performed at three months pregnancy and then simmontanayana (swadabhaksana) feeding the child in the womb, parting the hair, etc. purificatory rites were performed at seven months. The fire sacrifices for the safe delivery of the child were performed according to Brahminical rites.Madhyageha Bhatta called for learned Vedic astrologers to come, and together they performed the jatakarma (birth ceremony) by offering all nice things to the child and bathed him in panca gavya (cow dung, cow urine, ghee, milk and yogurt) and pancamrta (ghee, milk, yogurt, honey and sugar water). They also put gold and ghee on his tongue to invoke good health and intelligence, tulasi to invoke devotion to the Lord, and honey to invoke good appetite. Then the learned astrologers made a chart to see what kind of son had been born. They were amazed as all thirty two auspicious signs were there in his person and the chart said that this boy is none other than the scheduled avatar of Vayudeva. His purpose for coming was that of reform, to change the ways of misguided men and to firmly establish the personal philosophy of Lord Visnu. He would be a great acarya as previously he had been Hanuman and Bhimasena respectively.

THE BIRTH OF VASUDEVA

At the time of his birth, Madhyageha Bhatta's family was ecstatic and the whole Brahmin community came to celebrate. Madhyageha Bhatta worshipped his ista-deva with gratitude and then came to see the child. Upon seeing the bright moonlike face of the newborn child, Madhyageha kissed his new son's head and gave him the name Vasudeva. Mudillaya, a Brahmin friend of Madhyageha Bhatta gave a milking cow and calf to the child, for he said that after twelve years of devotion, the Lord of the cows, Govinda, gave Madhyageha a pure devotee son. Everyone looked on the face of Vasudeva.

SUBSEQUENT SAMSKARAS AND MEETING THE BRAHMARAKSASA IN THE FOREST

After the usual resting period for the mother in a Brahmin family, the niskraman samskara was then performed. They couple went to the Anantasana temple in Udupi to show their gratitude to the Lord.

Everyone who saw him was astonished to see such a bright and lively baby. His size for his age was already huge. He drank breast milk, as much and more than his mother could possibly supply. Growing and growing, he was always hungry. His mother had to give him milk every half an hour, and still he was hungry.

Madhva Vijaya (2.43) describes how young Vasudeva would speak beautifully in indistinct words playing the part of a small baby, infatuating everyone. His rocking movements, learning to crawl, then standing on his own and gradually walking were very pleasing to the devotees. Just as the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna captured everyone's hearts, so all these childhood pastimes of the avatar of Vayudeva were very enchanting.

THE LORD ESCORTS VASUDEVA

When Vasudeva was about three years old, his parents, took Vasudeva to a family function at nearby Nediyoora village where Vasudeva's mother's family lived. It was a huge festival with hundreds of relatives and all their children.

Taking full advantage of the bustle and general confusion of the whole assembly, Vasudeva decided to go to the temple. The Supreme Lord Narayan, knowing that His devotee didn't want to stay in such a mundane gathering, personally came to take Vasudeva on a tour. Persons that Vasudeva met on the narrow path leading south to Kanana Devata at Kudavoor asked him, "Child, where do you wish to go?" but Vasudeva replied only with a pleasing smile from his moonlike face. This is a walk of a mile or two to visit the temple of Lord rama. Vasudeva entered the pagoda and went into the inner sanctum and offered his respects there, and then he went to the temple of Talakude (Bannaje) and offered respects to Lord Hari residing within the Siva Linga there. After taking darsan at these sacred tirthas and overjoyed by the sight of the Lord Who has a lotus navel, Lord Visnu, Vasudeva headed for Udupi.

In Udupi, Vasudeva first visited the Candramoolesvara temple of Lord Siva and offered his respects before going to Lord Ananteswara. There he stayed for some time, offering prayers and respectful obeisance's.

By this time, back at the festivities, Madhyageha Bhatta had noticed that for some time now he had not seen his son. He asked his wife if she had seen him, and when she told him she hadn't either, in desperation they combed the whole area looking for their son. News spread from people to people that the darling of Pajakasetra had gone missing and now night was about to fall. Alone out there somewhere, with no-one to protect him; what would the poor boy do? Asking everyone in the vicinity if they had seen the boy, they found that he had headed south. Practically the feasting and partying stopped at the family function as everyone was looking for little "helpless" Vasudeva. Madhyageha Bhatta, going from temple to temple, finally found Vasudeva absorbed, looking at Lord Anantasana. Tears of joy flowed from Madhyageha's eyes at having found Vasudeva.

Vasudeva beaming, was not even thinking he had done wrong or put anyone into a state of intense anxiety as he had. He now stood before his father who asked, "Vasudeva, how did you come so far on your own on this difficult path through the forest and lanes? I can't understand how?" Cheerfully the young boy replied that, "Lord Narayana escorted me to Bannajee, then Lord Hari escorted me to the eastern direction and on to Udupi. I then offered my respects to Lord Anantasana in the western direction and He brought me here to His temple, so I wasn't alone, father." Saying this, the child shone like a gem in the assembly of caring relatives and friends who were all wonderstruck.

VIDYA RAMBHA SAMSKARA

As Vasudeva grew, day by day he showed signs that he was incredibly intelligent, grasping anything that required study almost immediately, so Madhyageha Bhatta thought it time to perform the Vidya Rambha (also known as Hate Khadi and Akshar Abhyasam) - his beginning of primary education - samskara, even though a year or two early. Madhyageha Bhatta saw that teaching Vasudeva the alphabet and showing him how to form the letters with the sounds was so natural and easy for the boy to pick up, it was as though he already knew everything but was just keeping it a secret. Traditionally this is a very big event in a child's life, and many relatives, friends and well-wishers come to give presents and blessings to the young boy. The Brahmins chanted mantra suktas, and swastivacan to invoke the blessings of the Lord upon the boy who was clean shaven, bathed and dressed in new cloth. When everyone saw the way Vasudeva mastered the subject being taught in the first few minutes of his primary education on his first day they were astonished. Then Vasudeva asked his father, "Oh father, why do I have to repeat the same group of letters again and again? This I already know." As soon as his father showed him something, that was it - what next?

With no effort one could easily see that the goddess of learning, Bharati Devi, Sarasvati, was in her natural position, standing with folded hands offering her respects to the great devotee of Lord Narayana, Lord Vayu, in his plenary portion as Vasudeva-Mukhyaprana.

THE DEFEAT OF THE PURANICA (LEARNED RECITER OF THE PURANAS)

A short time later was good proof as to how much this "small boy" was learned. One day Vedavati took her son to a religious festival at nearby Neyampalli. As in religious festivals, there were rituals, pujas, yajnas, dramas, and in this one, a wedding also. Madhyageha Bhatta didn't go to this festival, so while Vedavati attended the wedding ceremony, her son Vasudeva slipped off to hear the recitals and stories from the Puranas told by the renouned Puranic narrator of the name Siva Madinya (Madikullaya). This Puranica was famous for reading to very large audiences, and as the narrator narrated a story from the Puranas, suddenly Vasudeva jumped up and accused the narrator, "The story that you are telling does not confrom with the purports of the great saintly rsisi and munis like Vyasadeva and Sukadeva. Therefore what you are saying is highly speculative and cannot be taken as authoritative." Looking around, to the astonishment of the listeners, these words were coming from the mouth of a small four year old boy. On the prompting of all the persons in the assembly, Vasudeva told the proper account of the story that was polluted by the narrator, giving the correct meaning and completely defeating the bogus speculations of the "narrator". Flowers poured from the sky as the demigods honored the boy, and all the assembly also glorified and praised the learning of the small boy, Vasudeva. Then the assembly broke up and all went their separate ways, leaving the narrator alone. Vasudeva returned to his mother and they both went back to Pajakaksetra where he asked his father, "Who is correct? Is it the narrator Siva or me who has speculated on the sastra?" Madhyageha Bhatta told his son that he was correct, after hearing what both had said. Madhyageha Bhatta thought to himself that the reason for his son's wonderfully sharp intelligence was due to the mercy of Lord Anantasana, and in that way Madhyageha Bhatta always remembered his Lord Anantaswara.

UPANAYANA (SACRED THREAD)

Generally young boys take upanayana at around eight years, but Madhyageha Bhatta, seeing his son's life of spiritual enlightenment, arranged for the ceremony to be performed when Vasudeva was just five years old. For Madhyageha Bhatta and Vasudeva both, this is a marked change is their lives, especially for Vasudeva, for now he had formally taken to brahmacarya training and an acceptance that now childhood was over and that this was a time for Vedic study, spiritual pursuits, initiation into chanting of sacred mantras, worship of Surya-Narayana at the junctions of morning, noon and night (sandhyavandhanam), and always wearing the sacred thread of the Brahmin. In fact, this time of life for one who accepts upanayana, is considered one's second birth.

Madhyageha Bhatta showed his pure and simple son how to light to homa and how to perform the oblations into the fire after cleansing oneself internally by mantra, and externally by bathing, wearing clean cloth, the sipping of water called acaman, and performance of nyasa (touching parts of the body with mantras). Before beginning this Madhyageha Bhatta contacted learned Brahmanas to find the proper date as to when this ceremony should be performed. His astrologers had selected Vrsabha Lagna, the bull for steadiness.

According to astrological texts, the Vrsabha Lagna is considered a great asset to one's determination for completing a task, so in the matter of upanayana, or receiving the sacred triple thread of the brahmacari, Vrsabha or Taurus, aids determination, sensual control, and the undertaking of heavy loads such as study and celibacy. This lagna is said also to be very auspicious as Lord Shri Krsna was born with this lagna.

The fabulous ceremony that followed, the guru (in this case his father, Madhyageha Bhatta) sat down before the sacred fire and handed his wonderful son his karam chappals (padukas - peg shoes) and rod of the brahmacari, and new yellow cloth. Oblations were offered into the fire amidst the joyous crowd of onlookers, but in private the triple cord (sacred thread) was placed on Vasudeva's body and the Gayatri mantra was whispered into the right ear. After the shaving of his head and having the ritualistic bath, he put on yellow cloth, and the mekala kusa grass belt was then placed around the boy's waist. He was shown how to sip water before eating or performing any kind of worship, and also shown how to perform prana ahuti's (om pranaya swaha, om apanaya swaha, om vyanaya swaha, om udanaya swaha, om samanaya swaha) before taking his meals.

This was so natural for him to learn, but made him more hungry just chanting the mantras, as his digestive airs began to work. As a formality one is explained the meanings behind brahmacari life, then there is also acceptance of vows of celibacy, simplicity, and study of the Vedas. Everyone who saw young Vasudeva in his pure beauty accepting his sacred thread were so fascinated by his features that they could not take their eyes off him. The demigods and their wives also came in invisible forms, and enjoying the festive scene, glorified Vasudeva on this all-auspicious day. The sound of kettle drums was heard from above, and showers of flowers and flower petals rained from the sky.

SADHYA VANDANAM

Vasudeva then learned from his father how to perfrom sacred sandhya vandanam. "Sandhya" means at the conjunctions and "vandanam" means prayers.

SNAKE DEMON VANQUISHED Just after Vasudeva returned back to Pajakaksetra after his upanayana, Vasudeva encountered a huge five-headed snake demon. Many believed this snake to be the demon Maniman who was killed by Bhima during the Mahabharata war. They say that he was so envious of Bhima that he took his birth in the woods near Pajakaksetra just to try to kill the young Vasudeva who, in his second incarnation of Vayu, was Bhimasena.

Once Vasudeva and his friends were in the area of the Durga Vimana as usual, just nearby Pajakaksetra, when Vasudeva passed by the place where the snake demon Maniman dwelt near the thickets and bushes. As he passed by, the snake demon pounced and attacked Vasudeva with his sharp and poisoned fangs. The local people, upon hearing that Vasudeva had been bitten by this deadly creature, were on the verge of fainting.

As everyone knows, when a small boy or five or six gets bitten by a snake, he needs immediate medical attention in order to survive the poisonous venom inflicted into his system. However, this small boy Vasudeva was attacked by a huge monster of a snake with five heads. The attack was unpredicted, fierce and quick, but Vasudeva, keeping a cool head, vanquished that snake demon with the big toe of his powerful little foot. Looking at the place of the bit that was inflicted by Maniman, there was no wound to be seen. Further more, Vasudeva was not affected by this incident in any way.

Madhya Vijaya (3.41) describes that this Vasudeva, who has accepted the form of a small boy, is only a semblance of such. Definitely he is that Mukhyaprana who was sent to earth at the request of all the demigods including Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Lord Indra, Lord Candra and Brihaspati.

To this day one can visit the place where this incident happened. Between Vimangiri and Pajakaksetra a small shrine has been erected around an impression of the snake demons hoods pressed into the solid rock, his head being turned into a paste.

EDUCATION Being satisfied to know where Vasudeva was at any given time was always the prime concern to Madhyageha Bhatta and his chaste wife Vedavati. Knowing that now in the association of all the other young Dwijas (Brahmin boys), Vasudeva was now studying at the place of Totanithillaya, who was the school master for all the Brahmin boys of the srea. Even in school Vasudeva was always a leader. Where he went all the other boys went. He was always several steps ahead in his play, wrestling, studies, everything. Madhva Vijay (3.44) says, "This incarnation of Lord Vayudeva is more swift than the mind having controlled his mind. No-one can compare with him."

In his wrestling he would take on and beat bigger boys and on many occasions he would challenge many bigger boys. His "nick" name at school was "Bhima", his iron vice-like grip of his strong arms and hands could only be released when he wanted to release and not otherwise, and the weight he could lift or carry effortlessly could only compare to Hanuman and indeed this is actually who, in another age, Vayu assumed. In Madhva Vijay is says that Vasudeva, with a gently smiling face, easily defeated everyone. His friends, associates, and peers would sometimes, after being defeated by Vasudeva in water sports, splash water at him out of rivalry, making his luster and reddish eyes appear even more beautiful.

Vasudeva's Brahmin teacher (Pujavan), who was born in the Brahmin family of Totantillaya, could not relate to Vasudeva's brilliance at all. At every opportunity Vasudeva would run home for more food to eat, and then slowly return to school, avoiding his study. On one such occasion Totantillacaya Brahmin, very angry, accused Vasudeva of not being very attentive to his study either during class or whilst avoiding class, or in his after class homework. "Why do you, Vasudeva, not study with your school friends? You act as though indifferent to study?" Vasudeva replied that he didn't see the point in repeating that which he had already learnt, and besides, "I'm completely up to date with my studies." Totantillaya was furious at the boldness of the boy's statements and told him to repeat the sloka verses that they had studied that day. Vasudeva not only repeated verbatim the day's slokas, but all the following slokas that they had not studied yet in school.

Totantillaya was shocked. His recitation of the sastras complied with all the rules for chanting mantras and put his teacher into a spin. How could it be? Impossible, he thought. His recitation of the sastra complied with all the rules of jata, pada and krama meters for chanting mantras. Not only did he know all these verses but he also pronounced them with such clarity and perfect pronunciation it had caused the demigods to appear in the sky to hear. Who was this boy? After many such incidents of Vasudeva showing some of his nature, he was given the title at school "Anumana Tirtha", for his ability to always find the perfect verse to explain any given circumstance and also elaborate on that point, giving his purport for clarifying the instance.

In Madhva Vijay (3.54-55) there is a mention of Mahaitareyopanisad which clearly propounds the greatness of Lord Visnu. Madhva Vijay also says how the devotee of Lord Visnu, Vasudeva, having once heard this great Aitareyopanisad understood it's many hymns within a second. This Upanisad became his lifelong favorite. Even it is recorded that at this young age when Totantillaya started to explain this Upanisad, Vasudeva stopped him and gave a more clear explanation to which Totantillaya was immensely pleased. By now he was beginning to realize how fortunate he was of having such an incredible pupil in his school. It wasn't however until graduation day that the bond was duly sealed. Vasudeva gave as his guru daksina (remunerations in the form of a preceptor fees) to Totantillaya love of God - Krsna bhakti. Taking permission to leave gurukula, Vasudeva, knowing his mission and how to fulfill Lord Visnu and all the demigod's desires, prepared himself to propagate the understanding of the personal form of the Lord and try to induce a taste within the soft hearts of the Vaisnavas to develop and appreciate love of God, and to philosophically smash those opposed to the personal form of the Lord. The guru Totantillaya, with tears of love brimming in his eyes, bade his pride and joy, his very best of students Vasudeva, a fond goodbye.

SANNYASA After graduating from gurukula, Vasudeva's only thought was how to give the innocent people the most substantial gift of which was the cause of his descent; to give everyone a sound philosophy which solely glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana-Visnu. Only by giving these struggling devotees this priceless gift could anyone really satisfy their needs. Vasudeva saw that the only way to do this wholeheartedly was to take the renounced order of sannyasa under the guidance of an ascetic of good repute coming in a bona-fide line. However Madhyageha Bhatta was already looking around for a nice Vaisnava-Brahmin girl as a suitable match for his son. Vasudeva had no interest in society, friendship and love of this material world, not any desire to become a regulated householder follower of the varnasrama system.

His sole thought was preaching, so needless to say, Vasudeva had heard of one old ascetic of Bandarkare village just a few miles north of Udupi. This old sannyasi was reputed to be of the old Bhagavat sampradaya. This Acyutapreksa, whose name means "one who has knowledge of the infallible Lord Acyuta", according to Shri Madhva Vijay (4.7) he was in an earlier birth a bumble bee who used to reside in the house of the Pandavas for some years and used to take prasadam directly from the hands of Queen Draupadi. Nonetheless it was for his asrama, for he possessed a pure mind and pure heart, and this was where Vasudeva was heading.

Due to there being a four hundred year gap in the Brahma sampradaya, breaking for all practical vision with Prajna, some ten guru-disciple generations previous, the gurus in this line up until Acyutaprajna (Acyutapreksa) had, out of fear of the wicked Buddhists and Mayavadins, hidden themselves away and just tried to maintain their line without drawing attention to themselves. These Kutirchak sannyasis were not strong enough to smash the onslaughts of these philosophies, so they just stayed in their asramas at the edge of their villages and tried to philosophically maintain themselves.

At the same time however, Madhyageha Bhatta, hearing that his one and only son was spending much time with the old sannyasi Acyutapreksa, became worried. He approached Vasudeva who was the only source of life of both he and Vasudeva's loyal, devoted mother, Vedavati. As Madhyageha approached Vasudeva, vasudeva came right out with it. "I want to take sannyasa. Please give me your permission."

Madhyageha Bhatta asked Vasudeva to reconsider, after all, they were old and frail and his mother couldn't stand the separation. He asked him to wait until they passed away, until Vasudeva was older, and after householder life, in his old age he could take to this excellent life of ascetics. In this way with logic, entreaty and argument, Madhyageha Bhatta tried to dissuade his son from taking to the renounced order and thus going away from his home. Even Madhyageha Bhatta prostrated himself at the young boy's feet and begged him on behalf of his mother not to take sannyasa, but Vasudeva only replied that, "See, it is already confirmed. The Supreme Lord has given his permission in the forms of omens, signs, etc., for a senior family member should never prostrate himself before a junior unless that junior be in the renounced order of life." Madhyageha Bhatta then begged the old sannyasi Acyutapreksa not to initaite their son into the sannyasa order.

There was no reply, and soon after Acyutapreksa headed south to Kuthyadi, now called Kayooru, across the Netravati river which runs about 38 miles south of Udupi with Vasudeva as his companion. It was here at Kuthyadi Mutt in the village of Karem that Madhyageha Bhatta found his on in the process of accepting sannyassa formally from Acyutapreksa. Vasudeva was in the process of tearing cloth into two pieces, one to go around his waist and one to cover his genitals, known as kaupin, or the traditional undergarments of the sannyasi.

Madhyageha Bhatta tried desperately for the last time to stop his determined son. "Oh son! Manu and other composers of the dharma sastra do not speak of any auspicious deed other than the protection of the parents. Those two sons of ours are dead. If you take to sannyasa we have no protector." Vasudeva then replied to his father coolly and with detachment and love. "When a man becomes detached he would take sannyasa at that time. This is well known in the Vedic literatures. Thought I am without any attachment to objects, I do not take sannyasa without fixing someone to serve both of you. (Another child will be born, a son to look after you, then I can take sannyasa.) Madhyageha Bhatta again tried to reply in a sympathetic way saying that, "From a sastric point of view I can understand what you are saying and you are very courageous, but what will your mother say. She is a simple soft-hearted woman ..." Vasudeva to the point, interrupted his father, "Father, you give me permission to take sannyasa now." and paid his prostrated obeisance's to his father. Madhyageha Bhatta then said, "If your mother agrees then let it be so!" Then Madhyageha Bhatta returned to his home on the promise that until his mother gave permission, he would not take sannyasa.

Soon after, by the will of Vasudeva, his mother Vedavati became pregnant. This pacified the parents of Vasudeva somewhat, though Madhyageha was still adamant as Darasatha was for Rama when at a tender age Rama was banished to the forest. Cheerfully Vasudeva came to Pajakaksetra and to his parents house. "Mother, if you ever want to see me again, please give me permission to take sannyasa. Otherwise, I will leave this area altogether, and I will not be seen by you even once." Naturally, any mother who felt anything for her child would be forced by such words to agree. Vedavati, distressed, gave her beloved son his desire to take sannyasa, for the thought of never seeing him again was worse than death. Vasudeva stayed around, coming and going from the family home to Acyutaprajna's asrama until finally a boy was born to Vedavati and her husband. Upon the birth of the new son, Vasudeva returned home and in agreement with the previous arrangement in the form of silent acceptance, Vedavati, the new mother, gave her permission.

THE DATE OF SANNYASA Most madhvas accept that it was around 10 or 11 when Vasudeva took sannyasa. Padmanabhacar points out that assuming that the incident of the Ganges coming to Sarovar (lake) in Udupi at the request of Vasudeva being recorded in the year 1209 when astrologically Jupiter was in Leo to be correct, then Vasudeva was in his tenth year, nine years having been fully passed.

There are others also that say Vasudeva's sannyasa took place on the Caturthi (fourth tithi) Krsnapaksa (dark fortnight) in the month of Asadha (pertaining to June-July) of a Vilambi year 1209 AD. Anyway, Vasudeva definitely took sannyasa and Madhva Vijay supports the story of the Ganges.

30/06/1209 02:00:00, Zone 4.59 Tithi 4th Tithi-Chaturthi of Waning Moon

Monday Yoga 3rd-Ayushman

User's 11:14:58 Karan 38th-Balava UDIPI INDIA Sunrise 04:50:25

Name Ret Sign Degrees Star Qtr. Lord Sub

Ascendant Taurus 16 35' Rohini 2 Moon Sat

Sun Gemini 26 20' Punarvasu 2 Jup Ketu

Moon Aquarius 13 22' Satabisha 3 Rahu Merc

Mars Virgo 28 1' Chitra 2 Mars Sat

Mercury Cancer 22 15' Ashlesha 2 Merc Moon

Jupiter Leo 15 29' Purvaphalguni 1 Ven Ven

Venus Leo 3 47' Magha 2 Ketu Moon

Saturn Cancer 0 12' Punarvasu 4 Jup Moon

Rahu Capricorn 12 22' Shravan 1 Moon Rahu

Ketu Cancer 12 22' Pushya 3 Sat Mars

Uranus Leo 21 14' Purvaphalguni 3 Ven Jup

Neptune Pisces 26 51' Revati 4 Merc Jup

Pluto Cancer 29 5' Ashlesha 4 Merc Sat

PURNAPRAJNA TIRTHA -THE NEW SANNYASIN

In this troubled time of doubt and skepticism, the pure character of the new initiate Purnaprajna (Purnabodha) Tirtha was a pleasure for all to see. They could understand that there was no ulterior motive for this young boy to take sannyasa. He was not taking sannyas for the fame such as "I am such a great devotee or strict renunciation" , or using the pulpit of sannyasa as a position just to voice his opinions. Nor did he have in mind the sense of distinction that "everyone knows me for what I am, with my opulent attire and fancy lifestyle. This will make heads turn my way" this was not there in his character. Nor was adoration by followers his motive, as we have seen hundreds of unworthy fools running here and there, eagerly willing to adore the unqualified pretender. Nor was his motivation the subtle sense gratification, that because the material world is such a bad place let me avoid it.

Nor was it for his own salvation that he took sannyasa, nor as a form of earning a living whilst harboring material desires. He was not pessimistic about his own lot; there was no calamities in his life. Simply he was here to preach on the order of the Supreme Lord, his motivation was the will of the Lord, nothing more, completely purely motivated.

Now Purnaprajna was formally initiated into the Brahma sampradaya into the asrama of sannyasa, and had taken vows dedicating everything - body, mind and words, in fact his very life was for the service of Lord Hari. He had accepted the sannyasa order that was given by Sanak Adi Kumar, one of the four Kumaras, who in turn initiated Durvasas Muni into sannyasa. Coming down from Lord Brahma the line went though Sanak Kumar, Durvasas Muni to Jnananidhi, to Garudavahana to Kaivalya to Jnanisa, to Paratirtha, to Satyaprajna to Prajna, and through the hidden line to Acyutapreksa, and now to Purnaprajna Tirtha, one who has full intelligence.

The people in general were touched at the gravity by which this young boy took to the sannyasa order. Even Madhyageha Bhatta was there (according to Adamar Mutt) and it was a heart rending day to see a loved one become a "walking dead man". Why a walking dead man? Because as Madhyageha Bhatta pointed out, Manu says that obligations to parents, to the demigods, to society etc. are there, but for a dead man, what obligations can exist? Only to serve Lord Hari with mind, body, words and one's very existence is the only obligation. Socially one is dead.

With no sandalwood paste decorating his body, no red luster in his mouth from chewing betel, wearing no ornaments such as rings, amulets, and fancy necklaces, this bright faced boy was instead the ornament of the three worlds, and standing with his sannyasa rod, his luster was incomparable. All his boyish mischief had now left him and he was sober, pure and deep. Anantasesa, the expansion of the Supreme Lord, and all the demigods starting with Rudra, garuda, Indra and Candra showered flowers from above, and kettle drums could be heard. Having tears of love and expectation in their eyes, they all looked earthwards to Purnaprajna and Acyutapreksa and the assembled onlookers, and chants of "ohu vaha ho" (oh, how wondrous) could be heard in all directions echoing from the mouths of the chanters of the Sama Veda.

When Purnaprajna offered his prostrated dandavats (like a stick) before Lord Narayana in the form of Anantasana in Udupi, a hand touched his shoulder. Again this Anantesvara had possessed the body of a human, and bringing Purnaprajna next to his sannyasa guru said, "I, Anantasana have given you Purnaprajna, because for a long time you have performed devotional service intently, trying to understand the words of your guru. You are My devotee Acyutapreksa, and I know you sincerely want spiritual understanding of Me. Therefore I give you this Purnaprajna who is the result of that service." And so the Lord revealed His promised plan that had now been actuated.

In Madhva Vijay (4.39) it points out that Acyutapreksa, thus having received the mercy of Lord Anantasana, with great joy and devotion he remembered again and again that this was all the will of the Lord, and that this disciple Purnaprajna was specially sent by the Lord and that he was not an ordinary human being. Acyutapreksa stayed only in the association of Purnaprajna understanding that he (Purnaprajna) was the crest jewel of the Lord's ornaments.

This incident of Purnaprajna taking to the staff of sannyasa, the danda, was at the place known now as danda-Grahana.

THE GANGES (TWO STORIES)

1. Purnaprajna asked Acyutapreksa if he could go to the Ganges to take sacred bath there. Acyutapreksa gave permission for his disciple to go and as he began to wish him a safe journey he realized that this meant that they would be separated for some time. Acyutapreksa immediately became distressed and almost in a state of transcendental panic he began praying earnestly to Lord Anantasana. Being compassionate on his surrendered devotee, Lord Anantasana again posed a person and spoke through him to Purnaprajna that, "On the third day from now, just to save you from leaving this place, the celestial Ganges River will come into our lake, so there is no need of you going. She will be here before you get there." Since that day, every twelve years the sacred Ganges comes to the lake by the grace of Lord Anantasana on Purnaprajna, the life and soul of Acyutapreksa.

2. Purnaprajna Tirtha, as is the etiquette, approached his sannyasa guru Acyutapreksa to take his permission to undergo a perilous tour on foot of the southern areas of India, where there were many learned pandits who followed the philosophies opposed to the personal form of the Lord. At this time Acyutapreksa would not give his consent to the young acarya, saying that for Purnaprajna to go alone was a very dangerous proposition. Just after this Purnaprajna suggested, "Then let me go for pilgrimage to the north to see Bhagirathi and bathe in the Ganges" but Acyutapreksa couldn't bear the separation. Even when Purnaprajna prostrated before the old ascetic, he would not give his permission, so Purnaprajna, with great intensity, prayed to the Lord to send a remedy. Suddenly a voice was heard from the sky declaring that Gangamayi would appear within three days at the temple sarova (lake) and would subsequently come every twelve years, At this time in the south west corner of the lake, there was seen to appear a clear white stream-like column of water gushing up from within the lake. Previously this lake was known as Ananta Tirtha, but ever since the Ganges appeared to please Purnaprajna, the lake has since been named and is now known as Madhva Sarova. (Both variations are much the same - the story of the Ganges appearing is in Madhva Vijaya 4.40-42)

PANDIT VASUDEVA DEFEATED

Madhva Vijay 4.43 points out that by now a month and ten days had gone by since Purnaprajna Tirtha had taken to the sannyasa order of life. At this time, one pandit of the name Vasudeva, with all his followers, came to Udupi to challenge local pandits. Pandit Vasudeva asked for Acyutapreksa at the Bandarkare Mutt, hearing of Acyutapreksa's learning before even coming to Udupi. After seeking out Acyutapreksa, Pandit Vasudeva offered his respects and then challenged Acyutapreksa to debate. The whole town came out and assembled where the debate was to take place. Acyutapreksa and Purnaprajna Tirtha took their seas next to each other and listened whilst the challenging Pandit Vasudeva spoke. On a subject of his own choice, Pandit Vasudeva spoke for three days continuously without even an intermission. The assembly were amazed at the powerful way that the pandit presented his subject. At the end of his summary, making his conclusion to the three day presentation, everyone applauded the learned pandit.

The young Purnaprajna took up the challenge. Not only did the young sannyasi reply with equal and greater fluency in the subject, but Purnaprajna remembered word for word the Pandit's points and dismantled those statements with his constructive criticism. The sound of Purnaprajna's sweet Voice powerfully came across, charming the assembly. Never had they heard such a sweet melodious tone of voice, though the same sweet voice mercilessly smashed the proud pandit's stance. Even some of the pandit's followers tried to re-establish the pandit's presentation, but like Bhimasen's mighty club, Purnaprajna deadened the sound of the croaking bull-frogs.

Acyutapreksa was proud of his pupil, and thought that as he had defeated the pandit and his followers single-handedly, it was unnecessary teach basic philosophy and grammer to Purnaprajna as he had already shown his expertise in these subjects. Thinking that these things were learnt by Purnaprajna at gurukula, Acyutapreksa wanted to see how his sisya (disciple) would fare with the istasiddhi adwaitin philosophy of Vimuktatman. Purnaprajna had no interest in such childish word jugglery or bogus wrangling of speculations, but as it is the duty of the disciple to follow the guru, after the preliminaries were gone through and the first verse read, he said to Acyutapreksa that he had found, just in the first verse, thirty-two mistakes. He added that he didn't feel it proper that such an imperfect philosophical treatise should be studied by either of them, and so they gave it up.

By now Acyutapreksa had some pretty intense realizations as to who was guru, and now desired to hear from Shri Purnaprajna Tirtha Swami. Shri Madhva Vijay 4.47-48 makes some very relevant points as to how Acyutapreksa saw the situation. Actually he was a humble Vaisnava despite his dress, and on seeing this young boy who was actually guru seated before him, he became completely free from envy and surrendered at Lord Visnu's lotus feet. He enquired from Purnaprajna as to the proper understanding, the uttama gati, the ultimate goal of life.

Purnaprajna at every spare moment studied the Shrimad Bhagavatam (Maha Bhagavat Purana) with great relish. This Purana made it's appearance just after the disappearance of Lord Krsna from this world, and is full of transcendental subject matters about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krsna, written down by the literary incarnation of Godhead Shrila Krsna Dwaipayana Vyasa in his maturity. This illuminated scripture, which is the cream of all Vedic literatures, completely eclipses all lesser scriptures.

Once, whilst nearby Acyutapreksa, Purnaprajna Tirtha happened to hear five or six brahmins reading and discussing Shrimad Bhagavatam. He noticed that what they were saying didn't follow what Vedavyasa's conclusions were, so humbly but forcefully, he decided to rid the all pure Shrimad Bhagavatam of their speculations and concoctions and firmly re-establish the original understanding as laid down by Shrila Vyasadeva. Acyutapreksa said to Purnaprajna, "If you know Vedavyasa's methodology, let the prose in the Fifth Canto of this Bhagavatam be read and explained by you." Purnaprajna then wonderfully explained the Fifth Canto according tot Vedavyasa's exact method, reeling off text after text, chapter after chapter, as if he had written the book. Every word and phrase was accurate just as Shrila Vyasadeva had written it in the original text. The brahmins studied what Purnaprajna was saying, trying to find some fault, but Purnaprajna, like the Bhagavatam, was spotless.

One thing bothered everyone, including Acyutapreksa "the guru" - how did this young boy know all this? Not only did he know grammar and philosophy, but he knew all the conclusions of all the scriptures, and knew perfectly well the pure untainted conclusions of Vedavyasa, the Personality of Godhead.

Acyutapreksa addressed Purnaprajna as follows: "O victorious one! How does that which was not read by you in this birth come to you?" Purnaprajna's humble reply was that "All of this I knew from my previous births."

Thus the fame of Purnaprajna Tirtha Swami spread far and near. No-one could fully understand who he was, nor would he reveal himself fully. Everyone loved him so much that their minds would not leave thought of his activities and speech for a moment.

Madhva Vijay 4.54 says that like the brightness of the sun that destroys all darkness of ignorance in all directions, and like the cooling rays of moonlight, he was bringing solace to the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krsna. Such devotees are compared to happy clusters of blue lotuses.

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