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Some information about Sode, and assorted sub-topics

Sode, the mini-Udupi:

When Sri Vâdirâja changed the Krishna Mutt's administration from 2 months to 2 years, some critics belived that he was engaged in some conspiracy. At that time Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha said Lord Krishna is everywhere, and had a mini-Udupi constructed in Sode with the following:

He did not go back to Udupi paryâya later, preferring instead to let a disciple of his worship Krishna. The disciple had been sad because he was getting old, and would not get the chance to worship by the time the next turn came for their MaTha in sixteen years!

Sode is also called Sonda (by local community) and as Swadi. There is a "Tapovana" where Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha used to meditate, about 5 kilometers from the MaTha. It is a beautiful place with a thick forest, river and mountains. It is known for the notorious leeches it harbors during the rainy seasons.

In Sode, along with Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha's brndâvana, there are four others forming a square, with Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha's, the largest of the five, at its geometric center. The five brndâvana-s are described by Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha himself in the Svapna-vrndâvana-âkhyâna thus:

ahaM brahmA cha vAyushcha vishhNo rudrashcha pa.nchamaH |

I (Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha), chatur-mukha-Brahma, Vâyu, Vishnu, and Shiva; these reside there, as in Shweta-dvîpa. So, the latter four are the ones who inhabit the other four brndâvana-s.

However, somewhere else in the Svapna-vrndâvana-âkhyâna, it is also said that all 33,000 Crore (3.3 * 10^11) devatâs have been ordered by Lord Hayagrîva to reside in Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha's own brndâvana; that is one more reason why one who worships him does not need worship anyone else (nA.anyad.hdaivam naiva jAne na jAne -- refer previous page, "More on Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha").

There is a big jackfruit tree in Sode, under which Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha used to teach his disciples. Once, a severe bolt of lightning struck this tree. Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, the Bhâvi Samîra, gave life to this tree. This tree is still alive in Swadi; the MaTha uses its fruit for Sri Hayagrîva naivedya.

On the way to Sode from Sirsi there is a small village called Huleka, which has a brindâvana of Sri Vyâsa Tîrtha. This is the only place where one can find Sri Vyâsa Tîrtha's brndâvana other than the original one in Nava Vrindâvana.

Arasappa Nâyaka:

He was a bhakta of Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha and belonged to a lower caste community. He donated acres of lands to Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha's Sode MaTha. Arasappa had one intersting request to his Guru. He wanted the Sode Mutt to use his community's ganTe (bell -- used during mangaLârati) during the pooja of Lord Hayagrîva. Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, who had shown the path to Arasappa Nâyaka's community, accepted his offer. Therefore, even today the ganTe used in Sode Mutt has a Basava (bull) icon on the top of its stem instead of Sri Hanuman, as commonly found in all other ganTe-s used in Mâdhva temples, houses and MaThas.


In the first chapter of the Kannada work "Hari-kathA-amR^ita-sAra," Sri Jagannatha Dâsa says:

kR^itti-vAsane hinde nI nAlvattu kalpa samIranali
shishhyattva vahisi akhiLAgamArthagaLOdi jaladhiyoLu |
hattu kalpadi tapava gaidAdityaroLaguttamanenisi
purushhOttamana pariya.nka padavaidideyO mahAdEva || 8 ||

Rudra, you served Vâyu as his shishhya for forty Brahma-kalpas in the past, and learned a great number of meanings of âgama-s; then, having performed penance for ten kalpa-s, you became the foremost of the Aditya-s (deva-s) and earned the title of `Purushhottama', O Mahadeva!

When Vâyu "graduates" to become Brahma, Rudra similarly graduates to become Adi-shesha.

Sri Bhûta-râja is the "bhâvî" Rudra, or the future Rudra, just as Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha is the "bhâvî" Samîra. He is a deity called `Ugra-tapa', for "the one of ferocious austerities." He, Bhûta-râja a.k.a Ugra-tapa, is worshipped in a manner similar to Shiva, but is not considered Shiva himself.

Sri Bhûta-râja is said to serve Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha as a watchman, among other things; he guards a corner of the DhavaLa-Ganga tank at Sode. This corner is known as "Bhûtarâjara-koNe" or "Bhûta-râja's corner" and one is not to venture into it. Doing so is punishable by death, as many have discovered to their cost over hundreds of years. While the water is seemingly calm, anyone who swims there is pulled down by Bhûta-râja and drowns. However, only a purposeful miscreant can get there in the first place, since the steps lead from the opposite side, and one can get to that side only by diving from a height or swimming from the opposite side.


Once, when Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha was travelling, he happened to stay in a forest on the banks of the river Netrâvati, at a place which is now called Dharmasthala in Karnataka. The people who lived in that area of the forest were always troubled by some devils, demons, etc. These people requested Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha to help them; the latter performed the pratishhThâpana of Sri Manjunâtha (Shiva) and appointed some Mâdhva brahmins to perform the pooja regularly. Today, Dharmasthala is one of the important piligrimage places in South India. It seems it is the only temple in the world where Shiva is worshipped by the Mâdhva community. However, the temple is maintained by the Hegde family, who are influential in that part of the country.

Sri Trivikrama Temple:

The garbhagudi of this temple is actually a chariot made of stone. Sri Bhûta Raja carried this temple for Sri Vâdiraja Tîrtha from Badarikâshrama, the abode of Veda Vyâsa. When he was flying south with the temple in his hand, he had to fight some demons. He used one of the wheels on the chariot to kill a demon. That's why the Sri Trivikrama temple's garbhagudi still has only 3 wheels with a fourth missing.

His robe and pâduka-s:

After the covering stones of Sri Vâdirâja's Brindavana were placed, some of his disciples started crying for being unable to physically see their Guru. Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, who had entered the brndâvana wearing his robe and pâduka-s (wooden sandals), threw off the same from "Pushpaka Vimâna" (flying vehicle) for his sad desciples. Even today, on the Âradhana day Sri Vâdirâja's robe and pâduka-s are displayed for devotees.

This section was compiled from postings to the Dvaita mailing list by Murthy Navarathna and Shrisha Rao.

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