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More about Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha

The disciples of Srimad Ananda Tiritha originally stayed together in Sri Krishna Mutt. They shared the daily worship amongst themselves. As time went by, the daily worship was divided up so that each of the disciples performed the worship for a period of two months. This inevitably created friction because when certain festivals, etc., came around, it could possibly be years before they each had a chance to personally conduct these ceremonies.

Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha established the system of worship for a period of two years. In this way, each of the Swamijis could perform all the festivals, etc., and the worship of Sri Krishna could have continuity for a reasonable length of time, unimpeded by the constant changes of administration which occurred under the old system.

It was around this time that the eight MaThas known as "Udupi ashhTa MaTha-s" were established in the vicinity of Krishna Mutt. (More information about these matters can be obtained here.)

This two year system also allows each of the swamijis to conduct the important daily duties concerning the welfare of their disciples and the worship in their own Mutts. It also allows them the time necessary to accumulate the enormous amount of money needed to perform the worship in the Krishna Mutt.

Sri Hayavadana a.k.a Sri Hayagrîva was the form of the Lord Vishnu that Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha worshipped, and the Lord Himself used to appear in the form of a white horse to please His devotee. It so happened that a goldsmith was trying to make a gold statue of Ganapati. To his surprise, the idol kept taking the shape of Lord Hayavadana. The goldsmith many times, and each time, the cast was took the shape of Lord Hayavadana. The goldsmith got tired and frustrated, and started hitting the idol with a hammer. To his surprise, however hard he hit, no damage was happening to the statue. Then, one day the goldsmith had a dream. In the dream, he saw the Sri Hayavadana Himself telling him to give the statue to the saint who would be approaching him the next day. Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha then went to the goldsmith, as directed by Sri Hayagrîva, and asked for the promised icon. The goldsmith prostrated at the feet of Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha and offered the icon of Lord Hayavadana, which the saint then consecrated and used for worship.

On another instance, when Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha was in Pandharapura serving Lord Vitthala, there was a corn field near the temple and the owner of the corn field used to see a white horse coming to his field and graze the corn. The white horse used to eat the dal (lentils) growing in the field, and used to get into the MaTha where Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha used to reside. The owner got angry, and approached Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha with a complaint that a horse belonging to the latter was coming to his field and eating his crop. Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha assured him that he did not own such a horse, and that in fact, there was no horse of any description in the MaTha. The complainant however was not satisfied, since he was positive seeing the horse enter the MaTha; he did a full search of its premises, but could not locate the horse he expected to see. Meanwhile, Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, knowing that the horse was the Lord Hayavadana Himself, told the landowner that he was very lucky, and asked him to see the places in his field where the "horse" ate. To his great surprise, the latter saw golden corn at all the places where the Lord ate. He surrendered at the feet of Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, and offered his land to the MaTha.

Every day, Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha would offer a sweet dish called Hayagrîva (a preparation consisting of jaggery, almonds, ghee and kaDale (lentil) by keeping it in a tray and holding it on his head while seated (as shown in the image on the cover page). The Sri Hayavadana used to take a form of a white horse, as indicated, and would put his feet at the shoulders of Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, eat the sweet, play for some time like a horse, and disappear into the Hayavadana icon. It is said that Sri Vâdiraja Tîrtha would sing the 'Dashâvatâra-stuti', set to an 'ashvaghâTi' (literally, a horse's trot) beat, to please the Lord, and the latter Himself would appear and dance when His devotee sang to Him.

mAtA rAja matpitA vAdirAjo bhrAtA rAjA matsakhA vAdirAjaH |
sarvasvaM me vAdirAjo dayALuH nA.anyad.hdaivaM naiva jAne na jAne ||

Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha is my mother, father, brother and friend; he, the compassionate, is everything to me, I know no other deity but he! The translation of "nA.anyad.h daivam naiva jAne na jAne" is a little crude -- what is actually meant is that "anya" deities -- any entities of worship other than that in the târatamya of which Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha is a part, are not taken notice of. Thus, this is a pledge we make -- that we swear by Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha's (and his lineage's) iconicity in representing the Lord, and reject other deities as not worthy of respect.

This section was compiled from postings to the Dvaita mailing list by Raymond Crawford, Bala Krishna, Anil Kumar, and Shrisha Rao.

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