Guru-parampara: The List of 32, Part 26

BY: ROCANA DASA - 4.10 2018

Brahmanya Tirtha:

Brahmanya Tirtha is 17h on the guru-parampara list. In his compendium of biographical sketches, Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa skips Purusottama, who is 16th on the list, but discusses him later, in the section on Laksmipati. As discussed earlier in this paper, the inclusion of Brahmanya Tirtha and Purusottama on the various guru-parampara lists are anomalous, in several instances.

Very little appears to be known about Brahmanya Tirtha, except that he was descended in the line from Rajendra, from Vidyadhiraja. The author notes, "It is so unfortunate that these great devotees' lives have slipped into obscurity". This statement underscores the importance of our clearly documenting the pastimes and transcendental qualities of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Vyasa Tirtha:

Vyasa Tirtha is listed in the 18th position on the List of 32. A disciple of Brahmanya Tirtha, fortunately much more is known about his life than that of his guru's. There is an interesting pastime from his youth about how he surrendered to his Spiritual Master. His guru departed not long after, and having learned little about the Madhva sastras under his direction, Vyasa Tirtha went to Kanchipuram to study, quickly becoming a renowned pandit. He engaged in Deity worship of Srinivasa (Lord Visnu) at Tirupati for about 12 years, before departing for Vijayanagar, where he became known for making radical statements about Brahmanism, Vaisnavism, varnasrama, and who was qualified to worship the Lord.

It may have been Vyasa Tirtha who preached to the King of Bisnaga, and King Krsnadevaraya honored him for defeating a cadre of pandits who challenged him to debate at Vijayanagar. After 30 days of debate, Vyasa Tirtha soundly defeated them.

Becoming Vyasa Tirtha's disciple, Krsnadevaraya established the Vitthala Rukmini temple with its beautiful Vitthala and Rukmini Deities, and gave Vyasa Tirtha other land, facilities, and jewels.

Srila Vyasa Tirtha was well known for engaging in harinama sankirtan. He established 732 temples of Hanuman all over South India and composed many poems and songs based on the Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata and Ramayana. In one famous pastime, Vyasa Tirtha engaged a farmer who wished to take diksa from him, instructing him to beckon Yamaraja's bull, which he did, engaging the bull to move a huge boulder blocking the local river. After another amazing pastime, wherein Sri Udupi Krsna manifested to assist the farmer's service, to the chagrin of the brahmana disciples, Vyasa Tirtha gave him diksa.

Of his overall influence in the disciplic succession, Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa writes:

"Vyasatirtha was, as some say, almost the second founder of the system of Madhvacarya, after the great Madhvacarya. Vyasatirtha influenced many, including the aristocracy, and many of his disciples traveled north preaching his glories to places which included Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharastra, and even Rajasthan and Uttara Pradesh."

In the mood of Vyasa Tirtha, our Srila Prabhupada also traveled extensively to preach, not only throughout India, but on every continent on the globe, except Antarctica. During his lila period, Srila Prabhupada's disciples also traveled to preach the glories of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement, traveling with him and alone, worldwide. How history will measure the vast influence Srila Prabhupada had on literally millions of people who got access to his books, we can only guess.