H.H Shrimath Vardendra Thirtha Swamiji

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Sri Varadendra Thirtha Swamiji ascended the

Dharma Peeta of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan

after his Guru Sri Bhuvanendra Thirtha Attained

Mukti in Bhatkal. He was an expert in the

Shastras. He studied the Vedas and Shastras in

Kashi (Varanasi) for a decade. Goddess

Saraswathi (the Goddess of knowledge) inspired

Varadendra Thirtha to acquire the knowledge of

Sri Vedavyasa, the poetic sentiment of Valmiki

(the great composer of the epic Ramayana) and

the nature of Kalidas (one of the greatest poets).

Varadendra Swamiji also learnt the philosophy of

Poorna Prajna (Madhwacharya).

Varadendra Thirtha would not rest after worship

and engage in other activities. He said, “It is

better to be aware about what is going on in the

physical world. Don’t waste your precious and

invaluable time. We eat and wander like animals,

yet we must learn how to live our lives in this

world and be industrious”. He lived to the

maximum of his potential. He used to read

English newspapers for the news of the world.

Once he read anything he would never forget it.

He did research in Ayurveda and personally

manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines. He cured

patients with asthma and rheumatism. One Soira

Bhatt, who also cured many diseases, learnt the

practice of medicine from Swamiji. Swamiji was a

patron of fine arts. He was knowledgeable about

music and sound and played the Veena

instrument. He was an ardent lover of children

and used to teach poor children.

Swami Varadendra Thirtha had a tremendous

fascination with modern engineering and an

abiding interest in mechanical gadgets and their

repair. He would open any new machine and look

at its innards. Once Swamiji had even repaired

the telegraph machine when it was not working!

An English administrator came to know about

Swamiji and his repair of the telegraph machine.

He prostrated to Swamiji and said, “You have

supernatural knowledge”. Swamiji also knew

photography and how to develop pictures.

Everyone in the Math helped Swami Varadendra

Thirtha in the various activities. He was proficient

in astrology and mathematics. He knew the Vedas

and started schools in the temples of Basrur,

Manjeshwar and Karkal. He was well versed in

many languages such as Sanskrit, Malayalam,

Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu

and Japanese. His library included a collection of

books in all languages. He composed books in

Sanskrit and knew how to print them. After the

night worship, He would bind the sacred books of

the Math. He printed the Sthothras and

distributed it to all at no cost so that people

could study and recite the Sthothras. Swamiji

renovated many temples and initiated disciples to

facilitate their salvation. He used to get up early

in the morning to do the worship of the Lord

three times a day.

Varadendra Thirtha knew all the Vedic scriptures

and practiced religious rites, meditation and

worship of the Lord. He decorated the Lord with

ornaments and many types of flowers. He

performed the Shodasha Upachara Pooja (sixteen

types of worship) and this worship was received

happily by Lord Sri Vyasa and Raghupati. Swami

Varadendra Thirtha experienced visions of Lord

Vyasa. After the naivedya with six types of food,

milk and ghee, He would distribute Thirtha and

Gandha Akshata Prasad to all disciples. Only then

he would take Bhiksha. He exhibited skill in

composing Shlokas in Nagahandha ( read

alternately from left to right to left and so on, like

the body of a snake), Chakra Bandba(read along

the circumference of a circle) and Mala Bandha

(read from the petals of flowers on which letters

were written in a particular manner).

One Brahmin at that time stated that the Math

belonged to him and he went to the court of law.

He requested Swamiji to pray so that he (the

Brahmin) would win the case! Swamiji replied

that the truth alone would win, smiled and gave

him Thirtha andGandha Prasad . In any case

Swamiji won the court case. The Brahmin

however continued to stay in the Math and our

kind Swamiji looked after him.

One day when Varadendra Thirtha had a high

fever, the doctor asked Swamiji to rest and not to

take a bath. Saying that the temperature was for

the body and that there was no connection with

the soul, Varadendra went for a bath. Again the

doctor examined Him and the temperature was

still very high. The worried doctor could only say,

Swamiji, only You are the knower of truth and

the king of knowledge”.

Once, Varadendra Thirtha went to

Anantashayana. Guru visited Lord Padmanabha

there and worshipped the Lord. When the people

of Cochin heard about Swamiji’s arrival to

Anantashayana, they rushed there to seek

Swamiji’s blessings. The king of Cochin had great

regard and respect for Swamiji as He had once

performed the Sahasra Kumbhabhisheka

(abhishek/holy bath of images of God using

Sahasra/one thousand kumbha/pots) to the Lord

in the king’s palace. He sent a letter of request to

Varadendra Thirtha to visit Cochin. The disciples

got everything ready when they heard that

Swamiji was coming to Cochin. The king

welcomed Him with all respects and offered gold,

Peetamber (silk clothes) and requested Swamiji

to visit them again.

Then Swamiji and entourage that included many

disciples left for Rameshwaram. They say that

visiting Rameshwaram itself is a great blessing

and a path to liberation. They visited Sri

Mushanam Varaha Kshetra and gave charity to

the poor and helpless. Then they went to

Srirangam (Near Tiruchirappalli, on a small island

between branches of the rivers Kaveri and

Coleroon, stands Srirangam – the most revered

of the 108 pilgrimage shrines of Visnu, and the

largest temple complex in all of India). They call

this place Bhu Vaikunta (heaven on earth). There

is no doubt that one will attain salvation if one

takes a holy bath in the Kaveri river and gets the

darshan of Lord Ranganatha with faith and

devotion. Swamiji was happy and stayed there for

a long time. He praised, “Sri Ranga! Saviour of

devotees, You are the Lord Vittal in Pandari (a

great pilgrim centre in Maharastra, India).

Goddess Ganga flowed from Your feet and She is

flowing as Goddess Kaveri in Srirangam”.

Varadendra Thirtha offered His physical body to

serve the Lord. His body became weak from

exhaution. He had diabetes and had a boil on his

back. Even though suffering from pain He always

smiled. He realized that His end was near. He

wanted to select a Brahmin boy for the

Parampara. After a search they found a boy from

a good Cochin family. The boy’s horoscope was

excellent for his taking Sanyas. Swamiji initiated


at Thiruchirapalli. After the Shishya Sweekar

ceremony, both the Swamijis went to Bantwal and

stayed in the Bantwal Shri Kashi Math.

The disciples in Bantwal used Ayurvedic medicine

for treatment of Swamiji and the boil was cured.

Varadendra and Sukrathindra Thirtha stayed in

Bantwal for three years. Then Swamiji sent his

Shishya to Cochin for education. Varadendra

Thirtha then went to live on the bank of Bana

Ganga, Bombay. He stayed in the Walkeshwar

Shri Kashi Math in the presence of the Vrindavan

of Shrimath Madhavendra Thirtha Swamiji.

Swamiji was always absorbed in deep meditation

and chanted the name of Lord Narayana till the

very end. Varadendra Thirtha left His body on

Wednesday June 24, 1914 A.D. His Vrindavan

was constructed next to Madhavendra Thirtha’s

in Walkeshwar Shri Kashi Math, Bombay.

The young Shishya Shrimath Sukrathindra

Swamiji was greatly distressed and confused

when he received the sad news in Cochin.

Shishya Swamiji rushed to Walkeshwar and stood

in front of His Guru’s Vrindavan. Swami

Sukrathindra Thirtha shed tears with deep

sorrow. Thinking of his Guru, He praised Him in

his mind. Shishya Sukrathindra felt that he was

not fortunate enough to stay with his Guru for a

longer period, having lived with and learnt under

Guru Sri Varadendra Thirtha for only three years.

It was all God’s wishes. One who visits and

worships the Vrindavan of Sri Varadendra Swamiji

is said to get rid of their sins. One who

prostrates the Vrandavans of Madhavendra and

Varadendra (At Walkeshwar Shri Kashi Math), will

be rid of all their past and future sins.