H.H SHRIMATH SUKRATHINDRA THIRTHA SWAMIJI

19

H.H SHRIMATH SUKRATHINDRA THIRTHA
SWAMIJI

Young Sukrathindra Yati, his education

incomplete, was nervous about taking on the

responsibilities of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan.

He prayed and praised Vyasa Raghupati to

protect the fame, wealth and prestige of the

Math. He also prayed to Sri Madhavendra Thirtha,

“There is no one to help me and You are my

Saviour”. The next three years were difficult.

Although young He had the knowledge and learnt

everything by the grace of the Lord Vedavyasa.

He went to Kashi (Varanasi) and the people there

were very pleased to get the darshan of their new

Guru Sukrathindra Thirtha. It was their good

fortune that He was young and not interested in

worldly desires. The scholars of Kashi said that

this Yati would certainly be a saviour to protect

the Veda Dharma. He studied the Parampara. He

cried as he looked at the river Ganges,

remembering his Gurus, and bowed with respect.

He gave a talk to the Kashi community that his

first plan was to renovate and develop religious

centres such as the temple and Math. He told the

audience that businessmen should earn wealth

with honesty and use it for good causes. He

described to them the rules for the Moola Math in

Kashi and how to make arrangements for pilgrims

who had to be looked after well. He told them

that there would be Satsangs and havans in the

Math every day. The people of Kashi heard

Swamiji and were happy. He further said that

since Knowledge was the beauty of Kashi, the

schools would be protected.

Swamiji left Varanasi for Bombay and went to

Shri Kashi Math there. The Goud Saraswath

community was very happy to know about

Swami’s arrival. Righteous people of Chatrapura

(Kodial, Mangalore) invited Swamiji to come to

Kodial. He sent Rayas Patra through them. He

travelled with his disciples by train and reached

Kodial (Mangalore). The assembled people were

very happy to get the darshan of the young Yati

and listen to the Veda Mantras and musical

instruments. The children were also very happy.

Everyday there was a festival in Mangalore. One

was fortunate to personally experience the

worship performed by our Swamiji. He gave

religious discourses, Mantra and Mudra Dharana,

Prasad and organized community meals.

This was the Kali Age and people were not

virtuous; they always fought and quarrelled. There

was no mutual understanding between each

other. Goud Saraswaths neglected their duties.

Now, they were educated, imitated the West,

spoke English and wore western-style clothes.

English people convert many Goud Saraswaths to

Christanity. Goud Saraswaths ate and enjoyed

non-vegetarian food. We behaved like Westerners

and our minds became polluted ( brashta ).

Once, there was a lawyer Prabhu who was very

proud of himself. He had relations with other

communities. He complained to Swamiji that

Goud Saraswaths were eating with people of the

lowest caste and that those who did must be

excommunicated. He got Swamiji, who trusted

him, to sign a statement to that effect. Prabhu’s

actual (hidden) intention was to take Swamiji to

the court of law in Mangalore and have people

disrespect Swamiji and the Math. The court asked

Swamiji to attend the hearing in person. To

protect the prestige of the Math, Swamiji and

some of His disciples left Mangalore that night

for Kerala without telling anyone. He worried and

prayed to Lord Vedavyas to save and preserve

the integrity and reputation of the Samsthan. He

passed through Ullal and Kumbla. He worshipped

the Lord during the day and travelled during the

night. It was all God’s will. At that time, it was

Guru’s wrath and His tears flowing from the eyes

that flooded the river Netravati in Bantwal which

became submerged in water.

They eventually reached Alleppey, Kerala. Prabhu

won the case and the court fined Swamiji Rs.101.

But Swamiji went to the higher court of law and

after ten years won the case on appeal. The court

of law said, “Prabhu must pay all the money

Swamiji spent on the case”. However, Swamiji

rejected the money because He then stated,

“Prabhu was also one of our disciples of Shree

Kashi Math Samsthan”. The opposing party

surrendered to the holy feet of Swamiji. Prabhu

became sick and when he went to take darshan

of Swamiji, He forgot Prabhu’s wicked actions,

blessed him with love and gave him Akshata. He

kept his head on Guru’s feet and prayed for

forgiveness. Prabhu got his health back and he

was happy thereafter.

Sukrathindra Thirtha Swamiji was determined to

renovate the temples of Varanasi (Kashi),

Rameshwar, Moodabidri, Kodaganur, Mulki, Kapu,

Bantwal, Mangalore, Kumbla, Karkal, Munkoor and

Panambur. Swamiji was very simple, yet very

powerful in thought. He was quiet and did not get

angry with anyone. He was not jealous and

befriended His enemies. He was always patient

and everyone respected Him. He was the king

among ascetics. He said that one must be

content to serve food to a hungry man as that

action was Hari pooja. Thus, during festivals He

would send provisions to poor Brahmins who

were very lucky to get it as Prasad from Swamiji.

One young student surrendered to Swamiji and

asked. “I have no time to do Sandhya Vandhana

three times a day. Is it wrong if I do all three

Sandhya Vandhanas at one time”? Swami said

“Child, if you eat three dinners at one time you

will not be able to digest it, so you must do it

three times a day”.

Sukrathindra Swamiji practiced Astanga Yoga

(eight types of dicipline of Patanjali). They are

eight 1 –

1. Yama : to abstain from killing, untruths,

theft and passion of property. Practice of

celibacy.

2. Niyama : to observe purity and practice of

Tapasya, the study and knowledge of

scriptures with surrender to the Supreme

Lord.

3. Asanas : to be practiced regularly to

steady the mind for

4. Pranayama : to do breathing exercises,

which improve the condition of the lungs,

heart and nervous system, and bring about

good health.

5. Prathyahara : to look inward while

shutting out all outward impressions from

the mind.

6. Dharana : to concentrate on any object,

which could be a light within the mind or a

form or image of God used in prayer.

7. Dhyana : to meditate involving an

unceasing flow of thoughts and ideas

towards this object. Such meditation leads

to the final state known as Samadhi.

8. Samadhi : when the subject of the

meditation and the object become one.

Sanyasis who ignore the Siddhis (powers)

and progress further attain

superconsciousness or Nirvikalpa

Samadhi. When the mind is in full union

with God, the individual becomes a

liberated soul.

(Numbers 3 (Asana), 4 (Pranayama) and 5

(Prathyahara) are preliminary steps to Yoga. The

last three steps Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi

comprise Raja Yoga.)

Yatis of all Ashta Mathas of Lord Krishna temple

in Udupi, the Gokarna Parthagali Mutt and the

Chitrapur Math respected Sukrathindra Thirtha

Swami. He walked everyday on the sea shore and

breathed the air of the sea breezes. He rode

horses in the afternoon. He loved to go to the

great pilgrim centre Anantha Narayana Pura

(Trivandrum)in Kerala.

Some elderly people once came to visit Swamiji

to ask Him questions about family life. Swamiji

smiled and said, “It is enough talk about the

worldly life. You had sons and grandsons, so now

it is the time to think of God and Spiritual

knowledge”. One elderly rich person King of

Cochin, held on to Guru’s feet and asked Him

kindly, “Swami, I have got lots of wealth to spend

for the temple”. Swami replied, “Offer it to the

community so that Lord Venkatesh will protect

your family. I am a Sanyasi and I am detached

from desires. All the wealth and vehicles are only

for Lord Vyasa Raghupati. I am His Dasa and He

is our refuge”. The King was pleased, did

salutations to Swamiji and offered all his wealth

to the Lord. It is also known that disciples such

as one Keshav (a fruit seller), and businessmen

Kamath and Manjunath became wealthy by the

grace of Swami.

One day Swamiji was reflecting in His mind that

He should take a Shishya who would take care of

the Dharma Peeta and all the rasponsibilities.

Swamiji told His intimate to his well wisher

Subba Bhatt (a priest well versed in the Vedas)

that He longed to take a Shishya. Subba Bhatt

said, “There is a young good boy called

Sadashiva, the likes of whom it is difficult to

find”. Swami asked Bhatt to get all information

about Sadashiva. Bhatt found that the boy

Sadashiva (born March 31, 1926) was intelligent

in Sanskrit and English; that he performed

Sandhya Vandhana and Saligrama Pooja, chanted

Dwadasha Nama, and looked beautiful with the

Mudra and a Tilak. He studied well, preferred to

be alone and went to the temple every day. Bhatt

told Swamiji that first they would check the

horoscope of Sadashiva. Then Bhatt met the

Sadashiva’s father Sri Ramdas Shenoy in

Ernakulam.

All the people in Ernakulam knew Sri Ramdas

Shenoy. Bhatt told him that Sukrathindra Thirtha

Swamiji wanted the horoscope of Sadashiva.

Ramdas Shenoy became motionless, thinking, “He

is my loving son, without mother’s love

( Sadashiva’s mother passed away when he was

4 years of age.). What can I tell the messenger of

Swami? I must obey the orders of Swami as I am

His disciple”. So, he gave Sadashiva’s horoscope

to Bhatt. The horoscope had all the qualities of

Sanyas and the wealth of renunciation. Subba

Bhatt met the young boy who got frightened

when he knew Subba Bhatt’s mission. Sadashiva

Shenoy said to Bhatt, “I am not able to tell you

anything, ask my father”. Ramdas Shenoy was

confused and thought how could this young boy

look after the Dharma Peeta ? Both father and son

were very virtuous. Father and son agreed to his

future as Shishya. Then they went to meet

Sukrathindra Swami who was elated at the

decision. Sukrathindra Swami said, “It is all the

will of Lord Vyasa Raghupati”. Then He sent the

Rayas Patra to all His disciples to come to Mulki

(Previous Gurus Swami Vijayindra and Swami

Madhavendra had also stayed in Mulki (on the

bank of river Shambhavi). Mulki people were

traders and many poets became famous there.

The deities worshipped in Mulki are Lord

Narasihma, Bindu Madhav, Venkatesh and Vittal.

The Darshan/oracle of Kalabhairav is famous

even now in Mulki. It is believed that the deities

speak, answer or give decisions through this

oracle of Kalabhairav. The oracle once stated that

Lord Narasimha Himself arranged for the land in

Mulki so that they could build the Kashi Math in

Mulki. Traditionally, all temples have a box for

kanike (offering money to the Lord). Kalabhairav

(Annappa Daiva) once came to Mulki from

Dharmasthala (a pilgrim centre) with the

permission of the Hegde of the temple in

Dharmasthala. Then, the oracle of Kalabhairav in

Mulki directed that there should be an additional

box in Mulki temple for kanike that is designated

for the Dharmasthala temple. This was

respectfully accepted by the Hegde of the temple

of Dharmasthala. This tradition still continues

today)

The people of Mulki were very happy that our

Swami Sukrathindra was going to initiate a

Shishya-, they felt blessed and their town was

holy. They decorated the town and offered

coconuts, vegetables, grain, rice and money. They

tied green colour festoons and decorated the

town with banana trees, areca nut bunches,

sugarcanes and flowers. There were so many

powerful lights one could not determine if it was

day or night. Houses were filled with guests.

When the day for initiating a Shishya was fixed,

Swami Sukrathindra Thirtha arrived in Mulki. They

performed all the ceremonies on the bank of river

Shambhavi. The sounds of Veda chanting,

instrumental music, Bhajans, dance, crackers and

fireworks reached the skies.

Sukrathindra Swami initiated the Shishya on May

24, 1944 with Ashtakshari Maha Mantra and

called him SRI SUDHINDRA THIRTHA. All the

people were very fortunate with the darshan of

the two Swamis, Sukrathindra and Sudhindra.

Then the devotees offered kanike (currency),

peetamber (silk clothes) and multicolour garlands

to Swamis. Scholars gave religious discourses

and praised both Swamis. Then everyone had a

sumptuous dinner. It is true that one who chants

the name of the new Swami Sudhindra Thirtha

will get everything one desires and live without

fear or worry.

Both Swamis Sukrathindra and Sudhindra highly

treasured the images (idols) of Ugra (Fierce)

Narasimha of Mulki, Lakshmi Narasimha of Ullal

and Bhadra Narasimha of Manjeshwar. Both

Swamis did the Kumbhabhisheka to Bhadra

Narasimha in Manjeshwar and stayed there

further for Chathurmasa.

Swami Sukrathindra inaugurated the gold Dwaja

Stambba (golden flag post) in Tharavoora

(Kerala). Both Sukrathindra and Sudhindra

Swamis travelled together for four years and

renovated the Maths.

When they were in Cochin Swami Sukrathindra

was not doing well. His disciples called the best

doctors for treatment. However, He was not

cured. Because of His illness, Sukrathindra

Thirtha one day said, “Today our Shishya will

worship Lord Vyasa and Rama”. That day He took

the Prasad from the Shishya. Swami Sukrathindra

asked Swami Sudhindra to recite the Upanishads.

Swami Sukrathindra heard the recitation with the

single-pointed concentration and chanted the

name of Lord Narayana. Guru Swami was not

destined to live longer and Swami Sukrathindra

Thirtha attained Mukti in Cochin, on Sunday July

10, 1949.

co

He left all the responsibilities of Shree

Kashi Math Samsthan to the young Swami Sri

Sudhindra Thirtha.

Multitudes of people from various cities arrived

by the thousands in Cochin to take the last

darshan of Swami Sukrathindra Thirtha. They

constructed the Vrindavan and an image of Lord

Hanuman was installed on it. Swami Sudhindra

Thirtha praised Guru and gave large donations

and dakshina to many Brahmins. Devotees who

remember Sukrathindra Thirtha’s holy feet will

not suffer in the cycle of birth and death and they

will be liberated.