Guru-parampara: The List of 32, Part 23

BY: ROCANA DASA - 25.9 2018

Biographies of the Sampradaya Acaryas

Jaya Tirtha:

The biographical pastimes of Jaya Tirtha, 10th on the guru-parampara list, are presented in Jaya Tirtha Charan's paper and are quite remarkable. The stories of Jaya Tirth's transcendental life were recorded by Srila Vyasatirtha, who is 18th on the List of 32. Jaya Tirtha Charan mentions that some do not accept this story.

Jaya Tirtha is described as being, in a previous life, the bullock who pulled Madhvacarya's cart while he traveled and preached. He is said to be a partial incarnation and joint expansion of Lord Indra and Lord Ananta Sesa. While we cannot presume to make any comparisons in this regard, we can keep in mind that the transcendental identities and previous lifetimes of so many of our illustrious Sampradaya Acaryas are simply not known to us, including our own Srila Prabhupada's.

The pastimes of Jaya Tirtha that we do find comparable, in terms of his preaching and surcharging of the Brahma Madhva Sampradaya, include the fact that he took sannyasa at a very young age, at which time he was already a genius at presenting and arguing the philosophy. As Jaya Tirtha Charan writes in his biographical sketch:

"He was a genius, seeing through the foolishness of Mayavada, and even making commentaries on Ramanuja's works. He wrote about twenty books, eclipsing those of his forerunners like Trivikrama Panditacarya, Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha, but he was always humble, giving all credit to Aksobhya Tirtha, the servant of Madhvacarya."

We have elaborated above on Srila Prabhupada's genius in defeating the modern day Mayavadis, and on his prolific writings which, like Jaya Tirtha's, eclipsed those of his godbrothers in the Gaudiya Math, what to speak of his contemporaries outside the math. Srila Prabhupada always gave all credit to his Spiritual Master and the previous Sampradaya Acaryas. While Jaya Tirtha gave commentaries on Ramanuja's work at a young age, Srila Prabhupada wrote, traveled and preached extensively at a very advanced age.

Jaya Tirtha toured all over India several times, destroying the philosophy of the impersonalists and being undefeated in debate. He was therefore known as a pure Vaisnava Acarya. Likewise, Srila Prabhupada traveled the entire world eleven times (some count it as twelve times), and was recognized as a pure Vaisnava acarya everywhere he went in this world.

One of Jaya Tirtha's most famous works was his Critique of Mithyatva or "The Falsity Of The World". As the biographical sketch describes it, in this book:

"…he describes how this world is temporary, not false, and the Mayavadi way as being really false. He points out the differences between real, unreal, temporary and permanent, concluding, "…The co-existing of both their negations, at the same time and with reference to the same locus is, therefore, most illogical and can never be accepted by sane men." I.e. the positive being this world is temporary though genuinely existing, the elements are real, and the action is real but done in connection with material nature causing reaction, which is also real but not permanent. Thus soundly defeating the Mayavadi philosophy around "brahma satyam jagan mithya", various works on subjects of Vaisnava studies and logic were written by Jayatirtha."

We have elaborated above in reference to Aksobhya Tirtha, Srila Prabhupada's comparable preaching against impersonalism.