H.H SHRIMATH DEVENDRA THIRTHA SWAMIJI

5
Shrimath Devendra Thirtha became
the sixth Mathadhipathi of Shree Kashi
Math Samsthan. After the Mukthi of H.H
Shrimath Raghavendra Thirtha Swamiji,
He was ready to travel to the South.
Swamiji prostrated the Vrindavan of his
Guru, and took the idols of Vyasa.
Raghupati and Narasimha in a Pheli
(Box). The learned men of Kashi
prostrated the feet of Guru and requested,
“You must return back to Kashi”. With a
group of people He visited Ayodhya,
Naimisharanya and Chitrakoota. He spent
some more time in Vindhyaranya. They
had the darshan of Trayambakeshwar and
had a holy bath in the Kusha Vartha.
Swami Devendra Thirtha’s pilgrimage to
the great kshetras took place on the way
to Gomantak (Goa). As already
established, the Goud Saraswath
community settled there and all their Kula
Devatas were (and still are) situated in
Goa. Goud Saraswaths continued to be
virtuous and ritualistic people. At that
time there were many communities
settled in Goa such as the Shaktas,
Vaishnavas and Shaivas. They worshipped
many Gods and were devoted to Guru. Sri
Devendra Thirtha visited Kadali and
Aghashi and they became holy places of
pilgrimage. Disciples said that they were
very fortunate to serve the Guru.
The Swamiji was given a sanad in 1734
(Rahadari, a letter of authority by which
he got the right of travelling with
paraphernalia in a particular kingdom) by
the king Somashekhara Nayaka II
(1714-1739) of Keladi. A summary of the
said sanad ( published by Shri Ananta
Vaikunta Bhat in his Kannada book “Satya
Marga Darshana”, 1973, Pg.101 ) is given
below:
Somashekhara Nayaka of Keladi issued
this Sanad on Ashwina Shuddha Panchami
of Anand Samvatsara (of Sh. Sh. 1656, i.e.,
Saturday, 21st September 1734) to the
administrative officers and police officials
of various regions (districts) of his
kingdom. They were informed that the
Swamiji of the Kumbhakonam Matha had
presented Pallaki, Swetha Chhatra,
Surepan, Dhavala Shankha, Talas etc. to
the Swamijis of Shree Kashi Math
Samsthan of Konkanese in the past and
that he had authorised the Swamijis to
prescribe rules and regulations in their
community. The sanad goes on to inform
the officers that Devendra Thirtha of
Shree Kashi Math Samsthan was travelling
in their kingdom with all the
paraphernalia and that whenever he
entered their administrative regions, they
had to ensure the safety of the Swamiji
and his retinue and should see that they
were not obstructed by anyone.
He then reached the holy place Bhatkal
and went to Shri Kashi Math on the bank
of river Gopi. Devendra Thirtha visited
the Vrindavan of Shrimath Yadavendra
(II) Thirtha Swamiji. The happiness He
experienced can only be known to one
who experiences it. The people of Bhatkal
were very happy to get the darshan of
their Guru, did His service with
enthusiasm and offered Guru Kanika to
Him with devotion. His fame had spread
in Karnataka, India. One Somanna from
the Mysore royal family, with reverance
and affection offered Him lots of wealth,
land and gold, and requested Swamiji to
stay in Karnataka.
Swamiji then reached Vatapura (Bantwal)
which is on the bank of the Netravati
river. Prominent Vaishnavas lived there.
The family temple of Vittal Bhat in
Bantwal had been looted and the idol
worshipped was missing. Thus as
requested by his descendants, Swamiji
gave an image of Lord Sri Venkatesha to
them with His blessings. The people were
very happy and they prospered in wealth.
Swami Devendra Thirtha stayed there for
a long time. He took holy bath everyday
in the Netravati and had the darshan of
Lord Venkatesh.
Swamiji got the inspiration from Lord
Vedavyasa and Raghupati and prayed Lord
Venkatesh to select a best young man for
Shishya. According to the will of God he
got one. He initiated and called Him SRI
MADHAVENDRA THIRTHA. Sri
Madhavendra Thirtha was very
handsome, beautiful, a great renunciate
and best devotee free from attachments.
Devendra Thirtha with His Shishya
Madhavendra Thirtha travelled with their
entourage and paraphernalia to Cochin.
Thousands of people got the darshan of
both the Guru and Shishya Swamijis.
Darshan of Guru is like a life-giving herb.
Both the Yatis, holding their Dandas,
visited Lord Venkatapati and performed
Dandavath Pranam.
Some of the prominent person s asked the
elder Swami Devendra Thirtha if they
could renovate the temple of Venkatapati.
Guru was pleased and told them that it
had to be built according to Sthapathya
(the architecture and mode of traditional
doctrine). Guru Swamiji gave orders, the
sculptors started working and they
completed the renovation in a short time.
Devendra and Madhavendra Swamijis
performed the installation ceremony
according to the Shastras.
After sometime they left Cochin, travelled
through Paravoor, Guruvayur, Kasargod,
Manjeshwar and then reached the
wealthy place of Vatapura (Bantwal). The
river Netravati looked very beautiful.
Lord Tirumala Venkataramana temple
there had then become famous. The
people of Bantwal prospered very well.
The rich merchants welcomed the Gurus
and they told them, “We are blessed with
Your grace. We must have a branch of
Kashi Math here because You must give
us the opportunity to serve You. We will
offer You land with devotion to grow rice
for the daily naivedya. Please accept”.
Then they prostrated both Guru and
Shishya Swamijis. They also arranged a
comfortable Bhavan for the Swamijis to
stay in Bantwal.
Devendra Thirtha thought that His duties
of the world were fulfilled and it was time
to involve in Dhyana. Madhavendra
Thirtha knew that His Guru was going to
leave His body. All the assembled people
recited the Gita, Sthothras, Bhajans and
chanted the name of Hari, which filled
the whole land. Devendra Thirtha Swamiji
attained Maha Samadhi in 1740 AD at
Bantwal. The Vrindavan of Shrimath
Devendra Thirtha Swamiji is situated in
Bantwal Shri Kashi Math opposite Sri
Tirumala Venkataramana Swamy Temple,
Bantwal (KA IN).