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Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha Swamiji – Life History

Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha Swamiji is one of the foremost Dvaita saint-scholars of the 20th century CE. He was born to Ramakrishna (Kuppanna) Tantri and Radhamma in village Ermalu, near Udupi in 1913 CE. The original name of Sri Vidyamanya Theertharu was Narayana.

For his early education, Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha Swamiji joined the Sanskrit College at Udupi. At age of twelve, he took to the holy orders and was called  Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha at Bhandarakeri Matha. For the next seven years, he studied Nyaya and Vedanta, and, from 1934 onwards for a decade he specialized in Dvaita Siddhanta, under the able guidance of Satyadhyana Tirtha Swamiji. After this he returned to the matha at Bhadarakere.

Sri Vidyamanya Theertharu started touring the country, particularly holy and learning centers like Varanasi, Haridwar, Mysore, Kanchi, Srirangam, Pune, Baroda, Nepal, Kashmir, etc. Kanchi Matha invited him for their Vidvat Sabha. He participated in debates on Apurvata and Bhuta.

Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha Swamiji founded Sri Madhva Siddhanta Sabha in 1944. Every year during the Madhva Navami celebrations, he conducted a Vidvat Sabha. One special sabha was held at Prayag during Kumbh Mela.

The main interest of Sri Vidyamanya Theertharu was in teaching Shastras to different strata of people. He had a large number of students covering a large spectrum, viz., bachelors, householders, including those who became the heads of Pejavara, Adhamaru, Puttige, Bhandarakeri, and Palimaru mathas. He would explain complex texts.

With clarity and simplicity Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha Swamiji wrote sixteen works. Most important of them in Sanskrit are Advaita Tattva Samiksha, Tattva Martanda Vimarsha, and Apurvatavada (Vakyartha Sangraha); the rest are in Kannada. Prominent among the latter are – Vishnusahasranama (with elaborate commentary) and commentaries on the five prakarnas of Anandatirtha. Gayatri gambhirya is a concise but an important work.