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An article from The Hindu

Conquer Vices To Sublimate The Mind

Date: 08-03-1996

Cl: Religion

MADRAS, March 8.

The Bhagavatam, a scriptural text is a veritable encyclopaedia of spiritual philosophy, depicting pure devotion. The topics covered include the incarnations of the Supreme Being with an elaborate narration of His stay in the world as Sri Krishna. The message conveyed is concerned with the truth that brings about the good of all and removes the manifold sufferings of man. The work has been commented upon and presented in different forms.

The appeal of the work arises because of the elaborate exposition of the life and teachings of Krishna, the Perfect amidst imperfect situations. He teaches men the way to salvation through all channels of love, resolves all actions of an active life into spiritual disciplines, elevates a man to a superior level and enriches his knowledge.

A condensed version of this Purana has been presented by Saint Vadiraja in his ``Rukmineesa Vijaya'' in 1240 verses spread over 19 chapters. Vadiraja took to monastic order when he was hardly eight years old and continued as a Sannyasi for 112 years (1480-1600). He headed the Sode Math, one of the eight founded by Sri Madhvacharya. The most significant change that he brought about was to increase the ``Paryaya'' period (administration) of the famous Udupi Krishna temple by each pontiff of the eight maths, from two months duration in earlier years to two years each, a practice that is being followed even now.

The saint relinquished one Paryaya period to which he was entitled (once in 16 years) in favour of his disciple who was getting old and so would not get the chance to conduct Paryaya puja to Sri Krishna. Vadiraja built the Trivikrama temple at Sode in north Kanara. A prolific writer, his works include 10 Teekas and five Tippanis (commentaries), four poems, 53 Stotras and 24 texts.

A travelogue ``Theertha Prabhanda'' is one of the masterpieces describing various shrines all over India. Vadiraja completed his poem Rukmineesa Vijaya in a record time and was honoured by the then ruler of Poona by arranging a procession, seating him on an elephant. This was in reply and as a challenge to another work on Krishnavatara written by another scholar previously, which was not found satisfactory.

In his lecture on the saint's Aradhana day, Sri K. Raghupathi Rao referred to an incident in his life. When he was about to start from Udupi to collect funds for his ensuing Paryaya, some disciples approached him to teach them ``Nyaya Sudha'' and he obliged. The funds he required was collected in Udupi itself without his taking a trip. In one verse, in Madhvashtaka extolling Bhima, he points out that the core of Madhwa's teachings is the conquering of the six vices enshrined in one's heart lust, anger, greed, delusion, haughtiness and jealousy. They should be curbed so that the heart can be made a temple to install the Lord therein.

The above was retrieved from an article that appeared in The Hindu on Indiaserver on January 29, 1996. It appears here thanks to permission given by The Hindu and The India Information Inc., the copyright holders, to have it appear on the Dvaita Home Page. It may not be reposted or published elsewhere without their permission. Any queries for reposting or reusing part or all of the above should be addressed to The Hindu.

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