Guru-parampara: The List of 32, Part 25

BY: ROCANA DASA

Biographies of the Sampradaya Acaryas

Jayadharma (Jayadhvaja / Vijayadhvaja Tirtha):

Jayadharma is 15h on the guru-parampara List of 32. Jayadharma lived the life of an exemplary Vaisnava, and his pastimes took place during an important era in the history of the Sampradaya, essentially described as being a precursor to the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the Brahma Madhva Sampradaya.

Among the various fascinating details presented in Jayadharma's biographical sketch are the comments on Sridhar Swami, one of the foremost commentators on Vaisnava sastra, who is often cited in the purports of our recent Sampradaya Acaryas. Interestingly enough, Sridhar Swami himself is not included in the List of 32.

"[Jayadharma's] commentary of Bhagavatam went under the title "Bhakti-ratnavali" and is said to have greatly influenced his disciple, Visnu Puri. In his commentary there are many references to the original compiler, the great Sridhar Swami of the Bhagavat School. Sridhar lived in a very dangerous time to be a Vaisnava, and so kept his meanings covered. Many, even to this day, say that Sridhar Swami was an impersonalist, but actually this is not so. As we have stated, he had to keep the real and personalistic understandings of the Bhagavatam covered for there were many devious Mayavadis ready to corrupt anything that glorified Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vijayadhvaja (Jayadharma Muni as he is also known) clarified the meanings of Sridhar Swami, bringing out the dualist's point of view from the seemingly hidden meanings of Sripada Sridhar Swami."

Some of the other pastimes of Jayadharma's life that help us to understand his presence on the List of 32 are the fact that as was the custom in Karnataka, he took sannyasa as a very young boy. His youthful pastimes resulted in his following the instructions of Rajendra Tirtha (it is thought) in writing his commentaries on the Bhagavatam, known as Pada-ratnavali, later known as Bhakti-ratnavali, compiled and purported by Visnu Puri, who is said to have influenced Laksmipati Tirtha and Madhavendra Puri.