Shri JitAmitraru, [believed by the tradition as] having Rudramsha, incarnated in a village Shivapura in ShAhpUr tAlUk in Yadgir district. Gods choose a place that is conducive to the activities of their incarnation. After they incarnate in their chosen place, such devamsha jIvas uplift the dharmic ways in that place and likewise choose a place for their final days of incarnation. When we perceive the life history of some great yatis of Madhva Sampradaya, it is well known that Shri Padmanabhatirtha, Shri Vyasaraya, Shri SudhIndratirtha et al chose Navabrindavana and Shri Raghavendratirtha chose Mantralaya. as the place to end their incarnation. It is very apt for those j~nAnis to choose those places as they knew that the places carried special grandeur thru many aeons. One can notice that the Supreme Lord, who is always compassionate to His devotees, fulfilled their desires. The resulting end of those j~nAnis, who approve the strength of inference from an end result, will naturally be very exquisite. In order to understand the glory of the gods who incarnated, it is of high importance to know about the glory of the place where the commenced their incarnation and that where they concluded the same. With the above back drop, it is gratifying to know about the history of Shivapura, where [as per the tradition] Shri Jitamitraru incarnated and its surrounding places. Tradition has that Shri Jitamitraru incarnated in Shivapura and later on vanished in the Krishna river near the confluence of the Krishna river and Bima river, by reappearing as Gonada tree in a small isle of Krishna River.
Shivapura, where Shri Jitamitraru incarnated [as per the tradition], is surrounded by pilgrim centers renowned in puranas. The nearby place Kadaluru (ManthAna village) has its episode described in Skanda purAna in the context of describing the mAhatmya of Krishna river.
In Tretayuga, there was a demon called Lavanasura. He was a world-torturer by causing obstacles to the virtuous acts of the gods and sages and desecrating their religious sacrifices. For killing this demon, the sages commenced a great religious sacrifice with Lord Brahma's supervision on the Krishna river bank of KAdaluru. Shrimannnarayana, pleased with their sacrifice, came to the place of sacrifice from VaikuNTha as ChakrarUpi with various weapons in His sixteen hands. Meanwhile Lord Shri Ramachandra, in search of Sita, came to the place where the sages were doing the sacrifice. Just as He was inquiring the sages if they saw Sita, Lavanasura came rushing to that spot to destroy the sacrifice. Lord Shri Rama, who incarneted for punishing the evil ones, killed that demon with an arrow. Pleased with this act, the sages honored, praised and worshipped Shri Rama profusely. Meanwhile Shri Rama's another form, ChakrarUpi NarayaNa, who descended from VaikuNTha, came to that place and to delude the world, powderized the mountainlike body of the demon with His discus and disposed it off. The bank of the river Krishna, near Kadaluru, is resplendent with the marks of Shri Rama's feet , the hole on a rock caused by the weight of the bow when He placed on it, the altar of the sacrifice built Brahma, the sacrificial animal, the temple of ShodashabAhu Shri Narayana, Chakratirtha made from the discus, etc.
The confluence of the river Krishnaveni that sprang from the hairlocks of BhutanAtha and the river Bhimarathi, Shri Sangameshvara temple in the midst of the confluence, an ancient temple of Shri Pranadeva near that temple, etc. sanctify the Shivapura village. Rudradeva wished to incarnate in one amsha in such a place.
A sattvik natured Brahmin couple took up farming profession as land-lord and lived in Shivapura of ShahapUra taluk of Gulbarga district. A few years passed by after a female child was born to this couple of Vishvamitra gotra. Desirous to have a son, this couple purified their body with Payovrata and worshipped Shri Hari Vayu Gurugalu with great devotion. Pleased with their service, Lord Shri Hari told MukhyaprANa to instruct Rudradeva, the best of the Viashnavas, to incarnate as the son of the land-lord of Shivapura on earth and uplift the good with the spread of right knowledge. MukhyaprANa instructed Rudradeva as per the command of Shri hari. Rudradeva descended to earth in one amsha, came to Shivapura, suited for his activities of incarnation, and incarnated in the house of the land-lord of Shivapura at an auspicious moment. The blessed couple were thrilled to beget a son and their joy knew no bounds. The father, who was freed from the debt of the pitR^is, took a sacred bath and expressed his joy by giving various gifts to the Brahmins. On an auspicious day the boy was named "Anantappa".
Anantappa, as he grew, enthralled the eyes and minds of the onlookers with his unique and inimitable aura and various feats of childhood. His father initiated his studies at the age of three. In the same year, they performed the marriage of their older daughter. After a few days, the father ended his sojourn on earth. The hardships come in search of the good ones in Kaliyuga. The land-lord family, that lost the family head, was destined to face another disaster. As if the Providence tricked them, Anantappa's sister lost her husband and thus widowed. Despite being young, she was adept in the land management skills for being observant of her father. She managed the responsibility of her mother and younger brother and courageously carried on her life bearing the load of the house responsibilities. Those were the times of living on lands and houses. As she brought up RudrAvatAri Anantappa, he grew under her care. After a short duration they lost their mother and felt highly depressed. Seeing his sister manage hundreds of acres of land and the associated affairs, all alone, he extended his helping hand in her endeavors. Initially the mischievous boy was offering occasional help and as he grew up, he made it his daily affair and reduced her load. Anantappa, who was Pashupati amsha, spent a lot of time with the animals in the farms. When opportunity prevailed, the traditional learning was done at home. When he was 8 year old, his sister made arrangements to conduct his upanayana in due manner. The purohit from Arashanagi village of Rayachur taluk was their house purohit. Under his supervision, Anantappa's upanayana was performed in a grand manner.
Anantappa, ever since the upanayana, used to go daily to the fields after bath, Sandhya, etc. There he worked hard until the afternoon, came home, took bath again, had Urdhvapundras and sat down for meal to be served by his sister. After the meal, Anantappa set out for the fields again slogged in the fields until the evening and then returned home. From this kind of daily routine, Anantappa spent most of his time in worldly matters. Rudra, who was inherently a virakta (highly detached), was frustrated for spending time like this in worldly matters. The mind was eagerly awaiting for a guru (teacher), who can teach the glories of the Lord and show the path to moxa (liberation).
GurusamAgama (Meeting with the teacher):
janasya kR^ishhNadvimukhasya daivAt.h
adharmashIlasya suduHkhitasya |
anugrahAyeha charanti nUnaM
bhUtAni bhavyAni janArdanasya | .. Bhagavata 3-5-3 |
Due to the absence of upadeshakas (preachers), yogyajIvas may indulge in the path of adharma by turning away from Shri Krishna. To bless such souls, great Bhagavatas possessing the special knowledge about the Lord move around on earth. By the grace of the Providence, they come into contact with each other. Likewise, by God's grace, Anantappa, who was indulged in worldly matters without proper teacher, happened to meet a great j~nAni within a short while. Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha, who was reigning the mUlamahAsaMsthAna, arrived at the place where Anantappa was staying. It is like Shukacharya going to the ParIxinmAhAraja, who sat down for prAyopavesha, uninvited for preaching Bhagavata as instigated by the Lord. Seeing Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha, Anantappa was very pleased. During the tour, when Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha came to the village, AgnihALu, Anantappa received the guru with all pageantry. He honored him with all obeisance. The guru was very pleased with the faith and devotion of the humble and simple Anantappa. Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha, who received the welcome honors from the disciple, camped for a few days in Anantappa's house in the village of AgnihALu. After that as per the request of Anantappa, he graced Shivapura. Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha camped in Anantappa's house for some days, performing daily the worshipping services of Shri Ramachandra.
Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha conducted lessons and lectures of Shastra daily in Anantappa's house. He conducted Shastric discussions by expounding the glories of the Lord. By witnessing and listening the dhArmic activities and religious discourses that impart knowledge, Anantappa's mind underwent a special transformation. Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha, who was pleased with various services of Anantappa, saw the svarUpa of Anantappa though clairvoyance, it is believed. Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha was doing upadesha daily by expounding the glories of the Lord, which Anantappa was listening with rapt attention. This went on for a few days. Later Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha desired to resume the sanchAra (travel/tour) and conveyed the same to Anantappa. He put forth that if the guru leaves, he will miss the discourses/lessons from the guru. Then Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha said "Oh worthy one, we are sannyasis. We have to refute wrong faiths and establish sidhhAnta, teach tattva and bless the good ones, by doing extensive travel" – this is the Adesha of ShrimadAchArya. Our gurus and as per their orders, we also followed the Adesha (orders) of ShrimadAchArya. As per the orders of our gurus, during their presence itelf, we toured North India and defeated the Advaita and Shaiva scholars there and brought the jayapatrikas (certificates of victory). Now also, we have to tour and bestow knowledge to the good and deserving. Do not feel sad for our departing. Follow what ever we taught all these days here. Study the lessons given – with such words consoled him.
Offer of Narasimha shAlagrAma from guru to Anantappa:
On the day of departure, Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha performed worshipping services of MahasamsthAna with great pomp and grandeur. After disclosing the icons of MahasamsthAna to the assembled disciples, Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha summoned Anantappa and said "Anantappa, we are pleased with your service. For doing pUja daily, we want to give you a shAlagrAma as per the instigation of the Lord. Take this Shri Narasimha shAlagrAma. Daily after your bath and Ahnika, worship this shAlagrAma and after that go to the land activities. Do abhisheka with pure water, then offer gandha, tulasi and flowers. After that feed cleanly prepared food to this shAlagrAma. This is called nivedane or naivedya. If you do thus daily without fail, Shri Hari will bless you". Speaking such words, he presented Shri Narasimha shAlagrAma with blessings. Anantappa was thrilled to receive upAsyamUrti Shri Narasimha shAlagrAma. Anantappa extolled Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha for showing great grace thus and offered gifts, as per his ability and was blessed. Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha resumed his tour with mahAsmasthAna.
Anantappa's worship to Narasimha:
Tradition has that Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha, who was aparoxa j~nAni, knew that Anantappa was RudrAmsha. "rudrAntargata nArasimha pAhi ! bhadramUruti nirgatAM hva" – said JagannathadAsa. Narasimha is upAsyamUrti for Rudradeva. Hence Shri Vibudhendra tIrtha presented Narasimha shAlagrAma to Anantappa. From the day Anantappa obtained Narasimha shAlagrAma from the guru along with upadesha (instruction), he had a peculiar joyful experience. As per the instruction of the guru, the next day after finishing his bath and Ahnika, he started the worship of shAlagrAma. Abhisheka was done. Worship with sandal paste and flowers was done. After dhUpArati and dIpArati,
Offering of naivedya started. When an attempt was made to feed a ball of cooked rice to the shAlagrAma, it is not becoming possible. He wished to do as per the instruction of the guru. No matter how much effort was made, the ball of rice from the hand does not go into the shAlagrAma. Anantappa prayed the shAlagrAma many ways. He implored in a begging fashion with devotion to consume the rice. Even then there was no response and Anantappa said "Swamy Narasimha! Guru asked me to feed you rice daily. If you are seated like a stone, I will give up my life" and tried to hit his head with shAlagrAma. The all compassionate Shri Hari opened His mouth and instigated Anantappa to feed. Then Anantappa felt blessed and fed all the naivedya to the shAlagrAma. "shAlagrAmashilAyAM vai svayaM vyaktaH tathaiva cha | bimbamUrtyA sahaikyena tadantashchintayeddhariM ||" Shri Hari is always manifest in shAlagrAma shila. One must meditate with the thought that the same Lord is present as one's BimbamUrthy. Anantappa experienced this. Rudra's Bimba mUrthy is Narasimha. Lord narasimha is maifest in the shAlagrAma shila worshipped by Rudramsha Anantappa. If this were so, why won't Narasimha open his mouth and eat, pleased with the selfless devotion of Annatappa? In the same way, Anantappa did worship, etc., fed the shAlagrAma and after that ate along with his sister, the left over rice of the naivedya. After that he attended to the chores of the farm and the house and felt blessed. He praised the glory of his guru, who gave the opportunity to feed the Lord directly.
Thus some years rolled by. From the time when his guru came to his house and left, there was a transformation in the way Anantappa's life progressed. He became capable of bearing the heavy reponsibility of managing the household on his own. Seeing this, Anantappa's sister wanted to arrange his marriage. With the approval of her brother, she found an appropriate bride and prepared for their marriage at an appropriate Muhurta. Do we even have to ask about the grandeur of a wedding of the landlord of Shivapura? All the functions of the marriage were performed with great pomp. Ananatappa, formerly with "two-shouldered", from that day forth became "four-shouldered"—being an incarnation of Shiva, that noble lady that married him must truly be another incarnation of Parvati. The newly weds led a happy married life. Anantappa's wealth of righteousness grew day by day. Along with it, his jnana, bhakti and vairagya (knowledge, devotion, & renunciation of material pleasures) also increased.
Revisit of Shri Vibudhendra Tirtha
While touring from place to place, Shri Vibudhendra Tirtha defeated many opponents in debates, establishing & spreading Shri Madhvacharya's philosophy. In the course of his journey, he again graced Shivapura with his presence. As soon as Anantappa heard the news that his guru came to his hometown, he waited at the entrance of the town, along with his entourage, and leaders of the community, ready with instruments to announce his arrival after being away for many years. At the very instant when their guru again returned to the town and sat down, Anantappa, his entourage, and the community heads did a Sashtanga Namaskara. Drums & trumpets announced the guru's grandiose arrival. The revered Guru stepped down from his palanquin, and with a smile, inquired everyone's well-being. As soon as Anantappa saw his Guru, the grief of separation from his Guru for many years found its expression in the form of tears of joy. The Guru was also pleased seeing the effulgence and glow on the face of his beloved disciple. "Anantappa, is everything going well? Seeing you this time has given me great pleasure. Did the worship of Narasimha Saligrama occur, like I asked you the last time I came?", asked the Guru. "O great Swami, because of your boundless grace, everything is going well. Only because you bestowed your grace upon me, have I been able to perform the worship of the Shri Narasimha Saligrama. As per your command, I have been performing the Saligrama puja daily. Also, as you commanded, following the rules of 'maDi' I prepared rice and fed the Lord's vigraha with my own hand. But on the first day, for a little while, Lord Narasimha tested me. No matter how hard I tried to feed the Lord, He kept quiet for a long time. 'If you do not eat, as per the wishes of my Guru, from my own hands, I will give up my life' – saying so I was about to beat my head with a stone. Only then did Lord Narasimha open His mouth and eat the rice. He has been eating ever since without any trouble. All this is due to your grace.", said Anantappa. Hearing these words of his disciple, Shri Vibudhendra was overwhelmed with both happiness & wonder.
Lord Narasimha shows his presence to the Guru & disciple
Having heard Anantappa's words, Shri Vibudhendra, he became overcome with the desire to see the Saligrama open its mouth & eat the rice offerings. "Anantappa, today we must watch you feed Lord Narasimha. I want to see this.", said Shri Vibudhendra. As usual, Anantappa prepared to feed the Saligrama, having finished his Puja. The Saligrama that had opened its mouth exactly at the time of offering, today once again remained an immobile stone. For Anantappa, it was an insult that this happened in front of his Guru; it was as if he had lied to his preceptor . "I committed a great sin. Why should I even be alive" – thinking thus, tears flowed from Anantappa's eyes. Just as Anantappa thought of taking a large rock near him, hitting his head against it and ending his life out of shame, Lord Narasimha opened his mouth.
"NAham vasAmi vaikuNThe yoginAm hR^idaye ravau |
madbhaktAH yatra gAyanti tatra tiShThAmi nArada ||
"O Narada, I do not reside in the world of Vaikunta. Do not think I reside in the hearts of yogis. Wherever my devotees worship me out of devotion, while singing & praising, know that that is where I reside."
Thus being pleased with the devotion of Anantappa, who worshipped Him daily, the all-merciful Lord Shri Hari once again opened his mouth. "O Anantappa, don't do such a thing! Look here, Narasimha has opened his mouth to eat. Come feed Him, come quickly!". As soon as the Guru spoke these words, Anantappa, seeing the Saligrama with its open mouth, paid his respects filled with joy, and extolled Him. Shri Hari, who is merciful to His devotees, spoke "O Vibudhendra, only those who obey your wishes are my devotees", and revealed Himself. Seeing what happened that day, there was no limit to Shri Vibudhendra's wonder & joy. "Well done, Anantappa! One must have a disciple just like you", thus did the Swami praise his disciple. Seeing Shri Narahari show his grace, it was decided that Anantappa was the most fit successor.
That very night, in a dream just as Shri Narasimha instigated, Shri Vibudhendra called Anantappa and said "Anantappa, your Lord Narasimha thought of making you the successor of the MahasamsthAna of Shri Madhvacharya. Therefore, you must accept the position of being a Sanyasi (monkhood)."
There is a verse in the Vedas:
"yadA viraktaH puruShaH prajAyate tadaiva sanyAsavidhiH shrutau shrutaH"
"As soon as a person becomes detached, he must take the position of monkhood—sannyasa."
Being inherently the crown jewel of dispassioned and also an amsha of Shiva, there is no need for Anantappa to once again obtain vairagya (renunciation of material pleasures). As soon as there was a command from his Guru, Anantappa took it as Shri Hari's intention, and thus indicated his agreement to it. The opposition from his sister, who raised him from childhood, didn't last long in confrontation with the rational and logical arguments of the Guru. Even though she had physical attachment to her brother, she realized that her brother was no ordinary man. His sister approved the ascension of her brother into monkhood, not wishing for him to forego the opportunity to do good to the community as the head of the Matha. Knowing the greatness of her husband, the noble wife also approved his taking Sanyasashrama, after hearing the Guru's logical words. As per the great tradition of Shri Madhvacharya's Matha, all the injunctions of adopting Sanyasa were performed, in the presence of all the community heads. Finishing Viraja sacrifice, etc., he became the bearer of the staff & Kamandala. Uttering "adhIhi bhagavo brahma" he stood before his Guru. Pleased, Shri Vibudhendra did the Tapta mudra dhArana (branding of the holy Shankha & Chakra onto the body) and placed his hand on the head of his disciple, and bestowed on him the honorable status of Sanyasi, and with it, crowned him king of that Vedanta, by doing Pranava (OM) mantropadesha. At the end of the ceremony, he named his disciple "Jitamitra".
Being named as the successor of Shri Madhvacharya's tradition, by someone as great & knowledgeable as Shri Vibudhendra, is not a matter of ordinary importance. From his divine foresight, Shri Vibudhendra knew that Shri Jitamitra has all the great qualifications, required to adorn the seat of the Mahasamsthana, and so he made Shri Jitamitraru his successor. For ordinary people, to become the head of the prestigious tradition started by Shri Madhvacharya is like mirage in the desert. When Shri Sudheendra Tirtha desired to make Venkatanathacharya as his successor, he said "kvAham nyAsaH kutra vA vedavidyAsAmrAjyam te kvApi vidyAhamArya". "O venerable one! Where am I compared to you? Where is your kingdom rich with the knowledge of the Vedas? Where is my petty ignorance, where is this sanyasa?" While wandering with his Guru, Shri Sudheendra Tirtha, many opponents came for debate, and Venkatanathacharya defeated them with his unsurpassed brilliance, profound scholarship, and debating skill. Didn't Shri Sudheendra Tirtha know Venkatanatha's aptitude, seeing all this? If we analyze that Shri Raghavendra Swami, who is to become the kAmadhenu & kalpavrksha of this Kali age (cow and tree, respectively, that give what the heart desires) later on, says "kvAham nyAsaH kutra vA vedavidyAsAmrAjyam te…" before adopting Sanyasa Ashrama, it becomes quite clear that great knowledge and detachment are required to adorn the pITha of Shri Madhvacharya. Shri Jitamitra, being an incarnation of Shiva, also possessed JnAna and vairagya, devoted to Vishnu. Knowing this very well, did Shri Vibudhendra make Shri Jitamitra his successor. From then on, the Guru-disciple relationship became stronger.
For many years Shri Vibudhendra taught his successor Shri Jitamitraru all the texts and made him into a famous scholar. On various occasions, he taught him about the traditions of the Mahasamsthana. He showed him the major duties of the Samsthana. Because the opportunity to worship Shri Moola Rama, worshipped by Chaturmukha Brahma himself, was not there in the current lifetime, he was very sad from time to time. However it was Shri Rama's wish, as prophecied in a dream that in the next lifetime, he will be able to worship Shri Moola Rama. Without worrying about this, Shri Vibudhendra became a sthitaprajna (had achieved control over his senses). It was this Vibudhendra who was reborn as Shri VijayIndra Tirtha. It's known from various sources, such as the songs of Haridasas as well as the charama & archAgatikrama slokas that he was born in the lineage of Shri Raghunandana Tirtha & did worship to Shri Mula Rama.
Shri MoolaRama icon was brought back to MahasamsthAna by Shri Raghunandana Tirtha:
parairapahR^itA mUlarAmArchA gurvanugrahAt |
enAnItA namastasmai raghunandanabixav || (charama shloka)
anyairapahR^itAmarchAM rAmasya raghunandanaH |
AjahAra punarmaulyAd shrIsurendragurorguruH || (archAgatikrama)
Shri Vibudhendra Tirtha, as per the command of his guru Shri Ramachandra Tirtha, refuted the arguments of opposing sides, and established the philosophy of his side, throughout India. With great devotion, he conducted the kingdom of Vedanta from 1435 to 1490, a period of 55 years. In the year parAbhava, on the auspicious 10th day of the bright half of mArgashira mAsa, at an auspicious time, he entered Brindavana while meditating on Shri Narayana in the village of Tirunalveli on the banks of the Tamraparni river.
Completing duties such as the construction of his Guru's Brindavana following the proper injunctions, Shri Jitamitra performed a great Puja for that Brindavana on that day, keeping the icons of samsthAna on it. Tears rolled down from Shri Jitamitraru's eyes when he thought of not being able to see his Guru, with whose grace he obtained the vision of Shri Hari, and because of whom he was able to obtain true enlightenment. It was due to his Guru's & Shri Hari's grace that he was lifted from the ocean of samsAra in which he was passing his time pursuing material activities. Exemplifying the great traits of his Guru, one by one, he started the Puja of the Brindavana. When offering hastodaka, as per the tradition of the great Mathas, he wrote the Charama shloka thinking about the glory of his Guru. He read this in the sannidhi of his Guru, (auspicious presence, even after entering Brindavana) and offered it to him.
"Akeralam tathAsetum Agangam chAhimAlayam |
nirAkR^itAdvaitashaivam vibudhendragurum bhaje || "
"From Kanyakumari (Southern tip of India) to the Himalayas, traveling throughout India, he refuted the Advaita & Shaivite sects, rendering them speechless. With devotion, I worship the great soul who accomplished this, Shri Vibudhendra.
All the successors of Shri Vibudhendra obtained everything they knew from him
Since Shri Vibudhendra Tirtha possessed Vairagya (dispassion for material pleasures), Jnana (knowledge), and was also a Sthitaprajna (had control over his senses), in his anupasthiti, without deviating from the works of those who spread his Matha, he spread the speeches & texts. This was shown earlier to explain the meaning of this matter. In the scholarly field of those days, Shri Vibudhendra Tirtha became known as one with extraordinary debating skill, an emperor among scholars, and the great preceptor who put forth Shri Madhvacharya's theistic philosophy as well as the tradition that goes with it through texts & speeches. Many strove hard to learn texts from a scholar of this caliber who possessed so much knowledge. Many heads of the Matha (including Shri Shripadaraja) learned everything they knew about shAstra from the king of the kingdom of knowledge encompassed in the Vedas, Shri Vibudhendra Tirtha, with his unsurpassed knowledge. Studying with him, their knowledge of the texts was complete & flawless.
"amI lakShmInArAyaNamunimukhAsheShayatayo |
yato vidyAmR^iddhAmadhijagurudhiShTAnapatayaH ||
sa me bhUyaH shreyaH dishatu vibudhendravratipatiH ||"
Shri Jitamitra left for touring the countryside after doing worship to his Guru in Tirunelveli with great devotion. It has become impossible to go into great details on Shri Jitamitra's travels, because there are not enough records about his travels.
As per the command of his Guru, he gave discourses and taught texts such as Shri Jayatirtha's Nyayasudha and Shri Madhvacharya's original works to several disciples during the course of his travels. While worshipping the Lord in the form of Digvijaya Rama & Jayarama he reestablished Dharma by teaching the true meaning of Tattvavada.
He safely ran the adaLita's of the great Matha. Even in those days full of foreigners, everyone had a special devotion for Shri Jitamitra who was full of effulgence due to his penance & meditation.
The pavADas (miracles) shown by Shri Jitamitra
"pavADa" means those divine tasks that are accomplished due to the grace of Shri Hari Vayu GurugaLu, which cannot be done by any ordinary man. While, by showing God's existence to the people influenced by modern materialism, transforming them into believers is one purpose of these miracles, the disclosure of the mUlarUpa of the pavADa-puruShas (miracle performers) to the eligible souls is another one. Only a few of the pavADa-s shown by Shri Jitamitraru, an amsha of Rudra, are narrated below.
1) Shri Jitamitra always gave discourses sitting under a tree on the banks of the Krishna & Bhima rivers. To purify themselves in his unwavering flow of words, like that of the Ganga river, various deities took the form of humans and assembled there. We've heard from the tradition that when Shri Madhvacharya was giving a philosophical discourse, Indra came in the form of a cow, sat down and listened. A similar incident happened in Shri Jitamitra's time. It is know from valid sources that Shri Madhvacharya's will be present thru one amsha in the pIThAdhipatis who adorn his mahApItha. Shri Jitamitra was the worthy recipient of Shri Madhvacharya's special presence (sannidhi). Hearing a discourse from Shri Jitamitra was like hearing a discourse from Shri Madhvacharya himself! That is why everyday at the time of the former's discourse, a jangama (one wearing RudrAxa, vibhUti, etc.) walked over from the other bank of the river and sat down at a distance. Shri Jitamitra didn't start the discourse until the jangama arrived. None of the disciples there understood why Shri Jitamitra was giving more respect to this jangama than he did to the disciples who had acquired righteous conduct. Though in their minds they were troubled by this, no one had the courage to approach their revered Guru about this. Several days passed in this manner. One day, just before the discourse was about to start, the Krishna river overflowed, and the path that the jangama took was blocked by the water. The disciples, knowing that it was not possible for the jangama to arrive, said to their Guru "O revered Swami, the time has come. Please start the discourse." Just as they besought their Guru, from a distance, hearing the sound of the jangama's arrival, everyone became speechless. Then just as Shri Jitamitra made a beckoning motion with his hand, the jangama lay a cloth on the overflowing river, and sitting upon it, arrived effortlessly to where the discourse was taking place. Neither the jangama nor the cloth had even a drop of water on it. When the cause for Shri Jitamitraru's birth on earth, Rudra himself, came in the form of the jangama to listen to the discourse given by Shri Madhvacharya present inside Shri Jitamitraru, what can the overflowing Krishna river do to stop this?! Thus seeing the greatness of both the Guru and the jangama with their own eyes, all the disciples praised the Guru, recognizing their mistake. "You yourself, an incarnation of Rudra, came in the form of the jangama. Only you O Jitamitra knew this. Is it possible for mere mortals to understand the acts of gods?!"
2) About 1 mile from today's Krishna railway stand, there is a village called "Gurujala". Shri Jitamitra Tirtha did "nAgabandha" on the upper part of the gate to the village using his mantric powers, and built a small kaTTe (a kind of structure). If a cow that is afflicted by the disease known as "kundu" is brought here, is made to encircle the "kaTTe", and made to enter the main gate, the disease of the mute (innocent) cows disappears without the use of any medicinal treatment. This continues even today. From that day on, the village became well-known as 'GurujAla', because of the Guru's greatness (jAla=magic). This very village is known today as GurjjAla or GujjAla.
This indicates that Shri Jitamitra, amsha of Pashupati Rudra, shows the same kind of fondness for both his devotees and mute cows.
Many people became disciples of Shri Jitamitra and learned texts from him. Among them, Ramachandracharya of Vijayanagara was a very learned man, having acquired righteous conduct. As per the Lord's wishes, Shri Jitamitra made this Ramachandracharya his successor to the Mahasamsthana. He informed the Acharya of this matter of initiating him into monkhood, giving him phalamantrAkShate (fruits & rice). Ramachandracharya considered himself blessed because of the grace shown upon him. Hearing Shri Vibudhendra's desire from his Guru's mouth, Ramachandracharya praised his Guru Shri Jitamitraru and his paramaguru (Guru's Guru) again and again for his good fortune of being able to serve them & fulfill their desires.
Later in an auspicious muhUrta, Shri JitamitratIrtha gave sannyAsAshrama (monkhood) to Shri RamachandrAcharya and as per the tradition of MahasamsthAna crowned him (paTTAbhisheka) with his own hands and named him as "RaghunandanatIrtha". After that by doing PAtha and Pravachana (teaching texts & giving discourses) to Shri RaghunandanatIrtha and other disciples, Shri JitamitratIrtha lived on the bank of the river Krishna.
AshvIje mAsi paxe cha kR^ishhNe kIlakavatsare |
ashhTamyAM kADalUrAkhyasaN^game samsthito.abhavat.h || vi.vi. 3-13
That was AshhTami tithi of black fortnight of Kilaka year, which was in 1492 A.D. Like the other days, Shri Jitamitra was offering lessons to many disciples sitting under a tree in the isle lying between the two rivers. That day a unique aura was emanating from the face of ShrigaLu.
"Seekers of liberation, Shri Hari is Supreme and above all the gods like Laxmi, Brahma. Vayu is jIvottama. This universe of sentient and non-sentient beings is inherent with gradation. All those seeking the liberation must be aware of the five differences between 1. Lord and sentient, 2. Lord and non-sentient, 3. sentient and non-sentient, 4. one sentient and another, 5. one non-sentient and another. Lord Shri Hari is full of infinite auspicious qualities and completely devoid of any flaw. The incarnations and Avesha of such Shri Hari must be known. It must be known that the creation, sustenance, annihilation, occurrence of knowledge, ignorance, control, bondage and liberation result from the will of the Lord Vishnu only. All the Vedas, pancharatras, itihasas and puraNas teach all supremacy of Vishnu only. The love towards God filled with the knowledge about His Mhatmya and which is firm and more than for any one else, is called devotion. Only such devotion to Lord can lead to liberation. Gifting, worship, pilgrimage, penance and sacrifice, etc. are components of the service to the Lord. These alone cannot lead to liberation. Devotion alone can lead to liberation. While bearing devotion in Shri Hari, one must bear devotion in Jagadguru Shri MadhvAchArya. When one pleases Shri MadhvAchArya with devotion, he will pray on our behalf to the Lord to lift the devotee from the cycle of birth and death and grant liberation by saying "Please uplift this pitiable, helpless being, who is afflicted with misery and has surrendered". Without the incarnation of vAyu, Shri MadhvAcharya, liberation cannot be achieved. One must serve and please all the gurus, who are above himself. These gurus will lead us to have the grace of Shri Madhvacharya. self-bragging and blaming others have to be given up. Human birth is very precious. The life should not be wasted, by not utilizing the means of acquiring the liberation. As told by ShrimadachArya in SadacharasmR^iti, all must indulge in the daily activities. The literary debates must be given up. One must always have the knowledge about Vishnu supremacy. There are no age restrictions for striving for liberation. Even as small children, Dhruva, PrahlAda, et al pleased Paramatma. All of you have eligibility for the grace of gurus as you are coming daily to know the siddhAnta prameyas of ShrimadAcharya from my speech. May Shri HarivAyugurugalu bless you all…" Thus Shri Jitamitra was establishing many aspects of prameyas with apt pramANas. Suddenly the flow from the river Krishna was surging up. It is believed that the sannidhAna of the rivers like Ganga reside where the discourses about Shri Hari take place.
tatraiva gaN^gA yamunA cha veNI godAvarI sindhu sarasvatI cha |
sarvANi tIrthANi vasanti tatra yatrAchyutodArakathAprasaN^gaH || .. Bhagavata
Now the abhimAni devatas of Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Sindhu and Sarasvati , etc. and other tIrthas joined Krishnaveni and came running to listen to the incessant flow of words from Shri Jitamitra extolling the glories of Shri Hari. The disciples witnessed the raising level of water and stood up and requested the guru to come to the elevated land. When there was no reply from the guru, who was in a state of trance with meditation about Shri hari, they were dazed and hurriedly rushed to the elevated land. From there itself they were screeching and calling the guru. The fast flow of Krishna river completely submerged Shri Jitamitra's body. All the disciples who saw the guru disappearing, were shocked and depressed. When the sister of Shri Jitamitra came to know this, she came running, yelling, and crying "JittappA, JittappA". The unstoppable flow of Krishna river subsided after seven days on AmAvAsya day. Shrigalu was seated in meditation. The water did not touch their body. The anxious disciples were eager for the darshan of the guru and spent seven days on the elevated land awaiting for the flow to recede so that they can see their guru. When they saw their guru on AmAvAsya, they felt as if they got moxa. They applauded their guru. Their devotion further increased after witnessing this miracle.
The ignorant ones like us may be wondering about Shri Jitamitra sitting submerged in the water for seven days. But that is not inconsistent for great one like him. Rudradeva, prior to attaining the position of Rudra, studied all the agamArthas as per his ability for 40 kalpas as a disciple of Shri Vayudeva. Thence, he did penance for 10 kalpas by sitting submerged in the salt ocean and attained the position of Rudra.
kR^ittivAsane hinde nI nA - lvattu kalpa samIranali shi -
shhyatva vahisyakhilAgamArthagaLodi jaladhiyoLu |
hattu kalpadi tapava gaidA - dityaroLaguttamanenisi puru -
shhottamana paryaN^ka padavaidideyo mahadEva || (Hari ka. sA 1-11)
This Rudra will be coming to the position of Sheshha. Thus why is it surprising that Shri Jitamitra, who is rudrAmsha, meditated for seven days, submerged in sweet water?
Through this miracle, Shri Jitamitraguruvarya showed that there is no bondage of bhavasagara for those who meditate on Paramatma always and that he is rudrAMsha.
rAmanAma bhajisidavage uNte bhavada bandhana |
kAmaharana satiyu sadA nemadinda bhajisuva shrI ||
shivanu dhanyanAda mauni yuvati pAvaneyAdaLu |
raviyasutanu padavi paDeda dhruvanu divijanenisida shrI ||
karivarada prahlAda draupadi varavibhIshhaNarellaru |
hariya smaraNe mADi sukhabharitarAgalillavE shrI ||
girije rAmamantradinda paramamangaLeyAdaLu |
varada gopAla viThala nAma duritakAnan pAvaka shrI ||
4. A similar incident occurred once again during AshhTami tithi to AmAvAsya of black fortnight of MargashIrshha month of PramAdIcha year, which was in 1497 A.D. Then also Shri Jitamitra sat submerged in the water of Krishna river flow for seven days. The disciples thought that just like before, after the flow subsides, the guru would just come out. However the will of Shri Hari was different. When the flow subsided on Amavasya day, the disciples who were eagerly waiting for the darshan of Guru, saw only a small mound of black soil in the middle of the isle. They thought that the mud may have accumulated around their guru and somehow went there and started removing the black soil. Suddenly a huge snake came out and hissed. They took to their heels and came to the elevated land. They all fasted that day for not having darshan of their guru and slept that night, when in a dream, he indicated "Do not make any efforts to search me. My incarnation on earth came to an end and so as per the command of ShrimadAcharya, I went to their sannidhAna. Still with one amsha, I will be present in the isle of Krishna river. There is no need to construct any shilAbrindavana for me. Two years and two days from today, a j~nAnavR^ixa (Gonada) will spring up there. My presence will be there in this tree. I will be pleased if all of you
worship and serve this tree. Also, conduct as disciples and show devotion and respect for Shri RaghunandanatIrtha, who was made sannyAsi and crowned in the AcharyapITha by me."
Thus Shri Jitamitra, after completing his tasks of incarnation, disappeared along with his body on AmAvAsya of black fortnight of MargashIrshha month of PramAdIcha year. His disciple, Shri RaghunandanatIrtha did the samArAdhane with grandeur. On the same occasion, he composed a verse glorifying the greatness of his guru and dedicated to the sannidhi of his guru.
"saptarAtraM kR^ishhNaveNyAM ushhitvA punarutthitaM |
jitAmitraMguruM vande vibudehendrakarodbhavaM ||"
Later on, after two years and two days, in the place where Shri Jitamitra disappeared a Gonada tree sprouted and seeing this all of them extolled his glory. Though they were pleased to have this kind of darshan of their guru, they felt sad for the absence of scope for the direct conversations and listening to his pAThapravachanas. As commanded by his guru, Shri RaghunandanatIrtha did the MahasamArAdhane of his guru with grandeur by worshipping the Gonada tree.
While ShrimadAcharyaru was seated in the Ananteshvara temple of Udupi offering the lessons in ItareyabhAshya, the gods showered flowers on him and he disappeared - this we have known thru well-known episodes. After ShrimadAcharyaru, in his parampara, the only one who disappeared while doing pAThapravachana is Shri Jitamitra only. From this his glory can be known.
Shri Jitamitra appearing in the form of a tree also has some significance. In ShrimadbhAgavata, sUta, while bowing to his guru ShukAchArya describes -
"yaM pravrajantamanupetamapetakR^ityaM dvaipAyano virahakAtara AjuhAva |
putreti tanmayatayA taravo.api neduH taM sarvabhUtahR^idayaM munimAnato.asmi ||"
--- Bhagavata (2-1-2)
"When Shri Vedavyasa called ShukAchArya 'putra, putra (son, son)', since he is present as abhimAni for AhamkAra in all the objects, the trees made sounds in reply. I bow to such RudrAvatAri Shuka". As told earlier "AhaN^kArAtmako rudraH shuko dvaipAyanAtmajaH" (the words of SkandapurANa), it is known thru pramana, that AhamkAratattva abhimAni Rudra
is ShukAchArya, son of Shri Vedavyasa. When Shri Vedavyasa called, by answering in the form of tree, ShukAchArya showed that he is Rudra's incarnation. Similarly Shri Jitamitra, by appearing in the form of Gonada tree and blessing the devotees, showed to all that he is Rudra's incarnation.
Shri ShripAdarAja extolled Shri JitAmitra "rudravandyamUruti rangaviTThala padapadmArAdhaka prasiddhamuniindrara | vandana mADirai yatikulachandrana pDirai " and indirectly indicated that Shri Jitamitra is RudrAmsha.
Ever since Shri Jitamitra disappeared and reappeared in the form of Gonada tree, there are Aradhanas daily. by serving the tree, many have fulfilled their desires. Despite many floods from the river Krishna, that tree is standing firm there. ShrimadAchAryaru, Shri TiikAkritpAdaru, Shri Vibudhendraru, Shri Shripadarajaru, Shri Raghavendraru and other incarnated gods are staying in that sannidhAna of Shri Jitamitra - this many aparoxaj~nAnis have seen. This place in the middle of the river is renowned as "Shri JitAmitrara gaDDe".
The miracles that happened in the isle of Shri Jitamitra
1. Ordinarily, it is well known that the extract from the leaves and stalks of the Gonada tree is bitter, but the extract from the Gonada tree with the sannidhAna of Shri Jitamitra is sweet, surprisingly. The people vexed with the mental and physical diseases, by doing seva to this Gonada tree and by partaking the extract from the tender leaves of this tree, got relief from the diseases.
2. Once Shri SushIlendratIrtha came to the isle to have the darshan of Shri Jitamitra. He arranged the pUjAmaNtapa right opposite to the tree, did the worship to Lord Shri MularAmachandra with grandeur by enabling all the ones there to have the darshan. At that time, Shri SushIlendratIrtha saw a Jangama (one wearing RudrAxa, vibhUti, etc.) and kept silent. The same evening, he came to the temple in the confluence of Krishna and Bhimarathi rivers to have the darshan of Sangameshvara. The same Jangama, he saw during the worship in the morning, was seen in the temple and as ShrigaLu was watching, he entered the garbhaguDi and disappeared. Even after searching thoroughly for the person adorned with RudrAxamAlas, he was not to be seen. From there Shri SushIlendratIrtha came back to the isle. The Jangama, who disappeared in the temple, was again seen by ShrigaLu, approached the Gonada tree and disappeared. After seeing this miracle, ShrigaLu shed the tears of joy and conveyed to his disciples how Shri Jitamitra gave darshan to him and that he is RudrAmsha.
3. Shri SuyamIndratIrtha came to this isle in 1945 and did the pUja and other seva to Shri MularAma. That day the Gonada tree with the sannidhAna of Shri Jitamitra was decorated grandly. After the pUja, he gave hastodaka to Shri Jitamitra, did mangalArati and then prostrated. As he got up, a big garland from the tree fell around his neck. All those who saw this were stunned. Shri SuyamIndratIrtha shed the tears of joy that he was blessed by Shri Jitamitra and as he got up, he saw a j~nAniyogi meditating in side the tree and bowed again.
4. Around 125 years ago, there was a Brahmin by name Krishnacharya in kADalUru (manthAna), which was known as Mahaxetra from the words of SkandapurANa. Krishnacharya, who was born in the house of the Purohit for the head of that village, was without any literacy and was leading a futile life without the skills of the household priesthood. After half the span, vexed with leading such a life, he thought of doing seva to Shri Jitamitra so as to procure his blessings. In order to accept the seva from the pious minded Acharya, who rejected materialistic attachments, manoniyAmaka rudramsha Shri Jitamitra instigated the mind of KrishnAcharya. Thence, Krishnacharya came to the isle of Shri Jitamitra and there for seven days was doing pradaxiNa to the Gonada tree and with steadfast devotion served him. On the night of seventh day, Shri Jitamitra appeared in his dream, did upadesha and wrote Bijaxara on his tongue and showed him that he is Rudramsha and blessed him. With the blessing of gurus, even the dumb born can become a master of speech. Krishnacharya, who was totally illiterate, became a standing example to this. The very next day, Krishnacharya composed Shri Jitamitra gurustotra describing Shri Jitamitra, the way he saw in his dream. There are 27 verses in this. In each verse, it is emphasized that Shri Jitamitra is Rudramsha. From that day Krishnacharya was known as aparoxaj~nAni, scholar
of divine nature.
Kadluru Krishnacharya's Shri Jitamitra gurustotra is known to grant the desires for those who recite it with devotion.
5. Many have attained long and healthy life, wealth and prosperity, progeny, riches, pure devotion by serving Shri Jitamitra in Gonada tree. Many are acquiring shAstraj~nAna with the stotrapaThana and sankIrtana of Shri Jitamitra. Many pundits have experienced victory over opponents by the nAmasmaraNa of guru.
How is it possible to describe the life and glories of Shri Jitamitra, who is Rudramsha and who has special sAnnidhya of Vayudeva. Even though it is not possible to know his life fully
"kimtUttamashlokashikhAmaNInAM manovishuddhai charitAnuvAdaH" – thus for purifying our own mind, an attempt was made to portray the life of Shri Jitamitra. It is possible that many glories of this guru never came to light, as all those who were specially blessed by Shri Jitamitra did not publish their experiences. We are dedicating this work to his lotus feet by praying
"May this glorious one accept our humble service, grant knowledge, devotion and detachment and bless us to undertake many more j~nAnakAryas like this."