The Prema Putra of Raghavendra Swamy

He is one of the outstanding pontiffs of the Sri Uttaradhi Matha. A renowned scholar, he was also during his times described as a man of miracles.

He was the disciple of  the redoubtable Satyabodha Teertha and he sat on the Uttaradhi Matha pontificate for ten years and two months after Satyabodha Teertha. He is perhaps most known for performing the Mudradharane on Panduranga Vittala himself.

His Brindavana is in Mahishi in Shimoga district and even today during the abhisheka of the Brindavan, the Raghavendra Stotra is sung. This is so as he is believed to be the next reincarnation of Raghavendra Swamy.  

This is Satyasanda Teertha, the pontiff of  the Sri Uttaradi Matha after Satyabodha Teertha. He was ordained into sanyasa by  Satyabodha Teertha.

Unlike other seers, Satyasanda Teertha began his Sanchara only after he became a pontiff. One day, during one of his Sanchara, the seer was distressed to see that he had no flowers at all to offer to Moola Rama during his  daily worship. Try as he might, he failed to get the flowers. When he was worried, an old man appeared  with lotus flowers and offered them to the seer for the pooja, He disappeared from view even as everyone, including Satyasanda Theertha, was watching him.

Satyasandha Teertha then realised that the flowers were sent to him by none other than Moola Rama himself. Overcome by devotion and in complete ecstasy, he offered all the lotus flowers to Moola Rama and other deities.

He suddenly discovered that he had exhausted all the lotus and there were none for Sita. Satya Sandha Teertha was once again worried and even as he remained perplexed, not knowing what to do, a lotus jumped from Moola Rama and landed on the idol of  Seeta.

When the seer visited Gaya, he found entry into the temple difficult. The temple was locked and people were allowed inside only after payment of money. The temple doors opened on its own as soon as the se neared the temple. This happened for a week and the seer and his Shishyas and Madhwas performed seves and shastras for a week without the aid of the temple priests of Gaya. When the temple priests realsied that they were losing out on revenue and that their livelihood would be affected, they sought pardon and agreed to allow devotees to enter the temple without paying any money.

When Satyasandha Teertha visited Udupi, he met the pontiffs of the Asta Mathas and impressed them with his scholastic ability and knowledge of the Sastras, He was then cordially invited by them to worship the Uttaradi Matha Samsthana murthy one day in each of the eight mathas. He left Udupi after giving Krishna a sizeable Kanike.

When he visited Pandrapur, Vittala himself came in the guise of an old man and the seer performed Mudradharane on him.

One day, when he was on a visit to Sangli, now in Maharashtra, he performed his daily worship of Samsthana deities before the Brindavana of  Satyavrata Teertha and did his Nyaya-Sudha pravachana.

Listeners of the pravachana and people who had gathered in the temple were amazed to see the Brindavana shaking from side to side, nodding its appreciation of the interpretation of the Nyaya Sudha. This sight was seen even by King Balaraj Urs of Sangli.

When he realized that his end was near, he called Jhulupi Krishnacharya Balacharya to succeed him on the pontificate and named him as Satyavara Teertha. He gave detailed instructions to Satyavara Teertha on how his body, in case he passed away during sanchara, should be taken to Mahishi where he wanted to be entombed.

He advised everybody, including his disciples to follow his example and also the two pontiffs of Vyasaraya Matha and  Raghavendra Swamy Matha. He asked them to respect each other and all the mathas and not to have any differences among themselves.

He could give such advice as he is believed to be the Avatara of Prahlada himself born third time to worship Moola Rama after  Vyasaraja and Raghavendra Teertha.  It is for this reason that Raghavendra Stotra is recited when Abhisheka is performed to his Brindavana. No wonder, he is called the Prema Putra of Raghavendra Swamy.

Another belief about this seer is that he is believed to be the  incarnation of the Sapta rishis and that he had the Avesha of one of them.
By the way, “Satyasandha Vijaya”, is a hagiological work on Satyasandha Teertha. It gives us invaluable insights into his pre and post sanyasa life and also details of his pooja, patha-pravachana, sanchara and brindavana. It also records many significant events that occurred during his time.

His commentary on  Vishnu – Sahasranama and Vishnustuti is absolutely outstanding.

His brindavana is in Mahishi, Thirthalli taluk of Shimoga district. For details, contact the archaka at Phone: 08181 235059.


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