Sri Narahari Theertharu
Sri Narahari Theertha was illistrious, multi talented and highly reputed desciple of Sri madhwacharya. He had contributed in multiple fields along with philosophy & sanyasa, which include Arts, Economics, Politics, Social, Writer, Music, etc. His contribution to Madhwa parampare is immense & outstanding. Upon the order from Sri Madhwacharya he brought Sri Moola Rama & Seeta Idols which where hidden in the Kalinga state treasury (Gajapathi’s) for centuries & had a legandary history. He was the initiator of Haridasa movement in kannada litrature. Hence he is reffered as first Haridasa in Madhwa paramapre.
Poorvashrama Name : Sri Shama Shastry
Ashrama Guru : Sri Madhwacharya
Peetha Guru : Sri Padmanabha Theerhta
Pattaa Shishya : Sri Madhava Theertha (Pattabhiseka sishya)
Ashrama Sishya : Sri Purushottama theertha
Aradhana : Pushyamasa ,Krishna Paksha ,Sapthami
Vrundavana Place : Chakra thirtha – Hampi
Period : 1324-1333 AD
Shamashastry was extradinary scholar originally hails form kalinga state (present Andhra & Orissa). Many litrature indicate that he had a connection from Aravattokkalu family linage in karnataka. He had high position and reputation in the court of kings of kalinga & was respected personality In the society in the pre austhetic period .
Similar to Sri Padhmanabha theertha Shama shastry met Sri Madwacharya during his tour to Badari & had a detailed discussion with him and finally accepted his philosphy & became his follower. He left his positions in Kalinga state and followed Acharya to Udupi, where accepted sanyasa & became named as Sri Narahari Theerth around 1262 AD. He spent much time with Acharya & become his beloved shisya . He also toured many places as instructed by Acharya to spread his message, specially in eastren parts in current orissa & Andhra region.
During that period there was a special situation araised at kalinga state which demanded Sri Narahari theertha to take on the responsibility to govern the state. He took on the responsibility & protected the state & established peace in the state. After a period of time he appointed an able king & handedover the administration to new king. Even when he was the administrator he continued his ashrama dharma & kept his close interation with Srimadahcarya. During his time as governer of Kalinga, he built many temples and took special care of state to establish dharma & gave lot of land gifts to the temple to feed people of the region. There are many shila shasana’s which describe the works of Sri Narahari theertha during the period which are present Sri Kurmam village & simhachala village near Vishaka pattanam.
During this period Sri Madhwacharya gave a special task on him to bring Sri Moola Rama & Sita idols which were worshipped by Sri Rama himself & had a legandary history of being worshiped by many devata’s & kings which was laying in the treaury of kalinga king. Sri Narahari theertha took those idols from the state as the fees for his service & left Kalinga & came back to Udupi on Pingala Samvatsara ashvija of 1317 AD (corresponds to October 23). Sri Madhwacharya worshipped Sri Moola Rama & seetadevi idols with high respect for next 80 days (Till his last day)before he handover the peeta & the idols to Sri Padmanabha theertha & left to Badari.
Sri Narahari theertha continued his immense service to Srimadacharya & engaged in spreading tattvavada in different places in the leadership of Sri Padmanabha theertha & helped him to manage newly born school of philosophy post Sri madhwacharya.
Sri Padhmanabha theertha appointed Sri Narahari theertha as the head of the institution after him & handed over all the rights, all deities that were handedover to him by Sri Madhwacharya including Sri Moola Rama, Seeta, Sri Digvijaya Rama etc. along with the recognitions, the libraries & the shishya’s.
Upon ordined as the head of the institue Sri Narahari theertha being an able admnistrator initiated many steps to spread tattvavada along new vijayanagar. He continued to stay in vijayanagar but toured many places all allover the state.
As said Sri narahari theerhta invented many new methods to spread tattvavada. an oral traditions says that he used new media to spread Acharya’s Message. He started an unquie folk dance & cultural art called “Yaksha gaana” & Bayalata which flourished in uttara Kannada & Dakshina Kannada Dist. in Karnataka / Kerala (malabar region) which is still been performed in that region. He also belived to be the originator to introduce symbol for Acharya Madhwa followers to put Angaara & Akshate on forehaed in a specific way.
Sri Narahari theertha was instrumental in the conversion of more than 6 thousand families of Kalinga and Andhra region (Which include Princely & Aristocratic familes of the region). Sri madhwacharya gave them Vaishnava deekhe & they became followers of Madhwa traditions . This group who took Vaishanva deekhe is recognized as “Aravelu” bhrahmana families. The descendants of these families still flourish in the coastal Andhra and adjoining states.
He introduced & encouraged to use Kannada language in spreading Sri Madhwacharya’s message to mass & componsed many kannada songs, Thus became the initiator of haridasa parampare in Madhwa’s which become very rich in the later days with special efforts of Sripadarajaru, Sri Vyasarajaru, ,Sri Purandara dasaru, Sri Vijaya dasaru & his followers. He composed songs in the pen name ” Narahari”.
In his period he also built many temples across the places that he visited to faciliate to spread tattvavada. They became the centre of study of Srimadacharya’s siddantha.
- Installed Hanuman idol opposite to Sri Varaha Narasimha Swamy at Simhachalam
- Installed Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and Aanjaneya at Sri Koormam (Srikakulam)
- Installed Lord SriManNarayana at Narayanadevarakere near Hospet in Bellary Dt.
- Installated Sri Peta Aanjaneya Swamy temple at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.
Along with the mass communition he also engaged in spreading tattvavada in the scholarary level. He wrote extensive commentary on Sri Madhwacharya’s works. Some of this works as follows.
Vyasa Sahitya Kruthi’s
- Commentary on Shrimad Ananda Teertha’s Geeta Bhaashya.
- Commentary of Acharya’s Brahma sutra Bhasya
- Commentaries on the ten Prakaranas.
- YamakaBharata Tika
Haridasa sahitya Kruthi’s
- yanthu marulade nanenthu
- hariye idu sariye
- tiliko ninnologe neene
Sri Narahari theertha served 9 years as the head of the institution in many unique ways, took the newly formed siddantha to a new level & spread to comon people. After glorious contributions he finally handover the responsibility as the head of institution with tiltles & rights to Sri Madhava theertha an other great disciple of Sri Madhavacharya & entered vrundavana at chakratheertha, a place in hampi .
There is a tradion that Sri Narahari theertha gave Ashrama to an other desicple named Sri Purushottama theertha and initiated an other mutt at Simhachalam before he moved back to Udupi. That linage continued for few sucession before it ceased due to unknonw reasons. There is referance of Sri Jagannatha theerhta who became famous in the linage and reffered in simhachala inceptions.
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