1. Jayadharma (Vijayadhvaja) Tirtha
Between Rajendra and Vyasatirtha we have Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, alias Jayadhvaja, alias
Jayadharma. He is listed in the Mutt genealogical tables as being a member of the Pejawara Mutt coming from Aksobhya Tirtha. The Deity of Sri Rama that was worshiped by Vijayadhvaja Tirtha is still in the Pejawara Mutt. Some say that Vijayadhvaja was ostracized by Raghunatha Tirtha of Uttaradi Mutt for the sin of crossing the ocean to visit Dvaraka and thus as a penance to atone for this he was commissioned to write a commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam, which he wrote under a pipal tree at Krsna Mutt, and which he became famous for. However many devotees, including B.N.K. Sharma, the Madhva scholar, says that this story is bogus and malicious, as it is well known that Vijayadhvaja's commentary on the Srimad Bhagavatam was purely out of love and spontaneous devotion. His commentary of Bhagavatam went under the title "Bhakti-ratnavali" and is said to have greatly influenced his disciple, Visnu Puri. In his commentary there are many references to the original compiler, the great Sridhar Swami of the Bhagavat School. Sridhar lived in a very dangerous time to be a Vaisnava, and so kept his meanings covered. Many, even to this day, say that Sridhar Swami was an impersonalist, but actually this is not so. As we have stated, he had to keep the real and personalistic understandings of the Bhagavatam covered for there were many devious Mayavadis ready to corrupt anything that glorified Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vijayadhvaja (Jayadharma Muni as he is also known) clarified the meanings of Sridhar Swami, bringing out the dualist's point of view from the seemingly hidden meanings of Sripada Sridhar Swami.

Looking at the many and wonderful ways the devotees have struggled, sacrificing their own reputations, even well being, to somehow or other ensure that these priceless gems of pure personalism could find their way down through the ages into our unworthy laps and beyond, we should be grateful to all of these great and devoted personalities.

Srila Vijayadhvaja Tirtha was the sixth in the lineage of the Pejawara Mutt and he passed away on the Aksaya Tritya day, which falls on the third day of the light fortnight in the month of Madhusudana (Vaisakha - April/May). His samadhi (Vrndavana) is at Kanya Tirtha.

Vijayadhvaja Tirtha and some details concerning the controversy regarding his complete and devotional commentary on the Srimad Bhagavatam:
Practically speaking, the following is only details of Vijayadhvaja's early days, but it is an interesting story that brings out his conviction as a pure surrendered, unmotivated Vaisnava sannyasi.
As with many sannyasis of the line, particularly on this west coast of Karnataka, Vijayadhvaja Tirtha took sannyasa as a very small boy. Constantly traveling, he would have to maintain himself by collecting alms (bhiksa), but alas, sometimes he would have to go without food for three or five days. Out of dire need and hunger, the young sannyasi, on one occasion, began to make some arrangements to cook very simply, using some simple forest spinach, a few rocks and twigs that he had found by the side of the road. One much older and senior sannyasi came by and was horrified seeing Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, a sannyasi, cooking, "making arrangements to enjoy" and by the side of the road. He severely chastised him saying that this kind of action was against sannyasa dharma or character. He then informed the boy that the only way to counter this kind of independent activity was suicide - then and only then would he be free from any reaction. So the humble and pure-hearted young Vijayadhvaja Tirtha Swami prepared to give up the world. At this time another sannyasi happened to come by, and upon seeing the preparations for death, could understand what was on Vijayadhvaja's mind. This second sannyasi then inquired from the boy why he had taken to this decision. Hearing the story, the second sannyasi, who some say was Rajendra Tirtha, instructed the boy to compile an edition of Srimad Bhagavatam and by this everything would be resolved. So doing, this highly devotional piece of literature was entitled "Pada-ratnavali." To this day followers of Madhva hold this devotional work as a standard text for reference.

At the end of this commentary Vijayadhvaja Tirtha prayed earnestly to Lord Sri Krsna:

vyakhya bhagavatasya krsna racita
tvat priti kamatmana
pretascet pradadasi tat pratinidhim
tat trin varisye varan
prana niskincanatam tava pratibhavam padaravindatmana
samsaktim sukhatirtha sastra vijarajarasya param taya
"Dear Lord Sri Krsna, I have written this commentary of Srimad Bhagavatam just to please You. If You are pleased, as an acknowledgement of the same, please grant me three boons - that I should always remain a poor man in this and any future lives, that I may always have the opportunity to study Bhagavatpadacarya Madhva's devotional works on Krsna consciousness, and lastly by doing so, I may always rest in You and that I may attain You and always remain with You as Your foot servant."

As we will read a little later, the influence of this edition of the Bhagavatam and the subsequent commentary by Visnu Puri, the celebrated compiler of Bhakti-ratnavali and disciple of Sri Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, assisted a great change to take place - not so much a change, but enhanced a natural loving progression to develop. This will be dealt with in connection with the next few acaryas who came. Everything was going on still, but as previously there had been some dissatisfaction with the struggle against the Mayavadis, now there had become struggles of another nature, that of position. Some were neglecting the pure teachings of Vaisnavism and were starting to get a little caught up in other circles, that 'I am a brahmana so I can know God. You are a sudra, therefore you cannot.' Certain sways started to take place and angles that had not been propounded externally were now to be taught. There were some very radical devotees around who were out to make a wonderful thrust to ensue. This devotee who we have just mentioned, Visnu Puri, is believed to have influenced many prominent personalities, amongst whom are Laksmipati Tirtha and Madhavendra Puri Goswami. This will be brought up again where the reasons for Madhavendra Puri Goswami accepting the title "Puri" instead of the traditional "Tirtha" are discussed in a short while.

Dr. B.N.K. Sharma also mentions (History of Dvaita School of Vedanta, page 540) that there is a tradition which supports all these stories, and gives some detail to that point, saying that in the 15th century Rajendra Tirtha carried the message of Madhva to the far north and also into Bihar and Bengal where many of these great devotees were waiting to take up their particular missions. At this time amazing things were going on, much of which was unseen to the general populace. Various intimate associates of the Lord were taking their births in the families of the Vaisnavas for the purpose of setting back the flow of the Kali-yuga and smashing the illusory philosophies of the impersonalists.

Sambidananda dasa brahmacari (the disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) has written in his book relating to medieval Vaisnava schools, that even the meeting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Tattvavadi head of the time, Raghuvarya Tirtha, which came a little later, was not an ordinary thing. There he makes a statement very boldly saying that the reason for the difference of opinion over sadhya (spontaneous service - the raga marga performed on the liberated devotional platform) and vaidhi bhakti, devotional service in practice where full love of Godhead is not fully manifest, was due to the fact that at that time those particular Tattvavadis had deviated somewhat from the pure teachings presented by Madhva. However we see that after the visit of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Krsna Mutt, the purity was again sought out. Primarily this was done by Vadiraja Tirtha who again re-established many of Madhva's principals. It was Vadiraja who reintroduced kirtana (the chanting of the holy names) back into the Mutt. His guru, Vyasatirtha, who was practically a contemporary, did many great works also to re-establish the proper standards that were free from any material bodily conceptions of life.
In "History of the Mutts" booklet it is mentioned that due to some problems around the time of Vagisa Tirtha the pure line was nearly lost, but due to the preaching and management of Vyasatirtha and especially Vadiraja Tirtha the desire of Madhvacarya was again instilled.

2. Brahmanya Tirtha
He was the third descendant from Rajendra Tirtha in the senior line of disciples coming from Vidyadhiraja Tirtha. I could find very little on his life, save and except where B.N.K. Sharma says that it was due to the blessings of Brahmanya Tirtha that the parents of Vyasatirtha (Brahmanya Tirtha's disciples), owed the birth of their children - notably of Vyasatirtha.

As his permanent residence, Brahmanya Tirtha lived mostly at Cannapatna or Abbur in Karnataka State, as mentioned in the Vy-carita, Page 26. There he had a Mutt of his own which later he was to entrust to his disciple Sridhar Tirtha. His other disciple was the famous Vyasatirtha. It is so unfortunate that these great devotees' lives have slipped into obscurity, whether it was by their choice out of humility or just the influence of time. I guess now we will never really know. The Lord has his plan.




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