Wednesday, March 15, 2017

983. Guru Vyasaraja Tirtharu....

Vyasaraja Tirtharu was the preceptor of six emperors of Vijayanagara Dynasty. A disciple of Sripadarajaru he was sent to the court of Vijayanagar. At Vijayanagara everyone regarded Vyasaraja Tirtharu as the guardian saint of the Dynasty. The land of Hampi beamed with the glow of knowledge from this saint.  

One incident illustrates how much importance Vyasaraja Tirtharu gave to learning. 
One day, the Vijayanagar Emperor, Krishnadeva Raya sent a palanquin to the seer. Vyasaraja Tirtharu was seated on the decorated palanquin and brought into the city with much fanfare. Drummers and heralds announced the arrival of the seer and music was being played. Amid the cacophony of sound and noise, Emperor Krishnadeva Raya was astonished to see the seer oblivious to the sound and music, was reading intently from a book. He did not even notice the Emperor peeping in.

Vyasaraja Tirtharu held durbar and this was religious and philosophical in nature which even the Emperors attended. Portuguese travellers Domingo Paes and Nuniz wrote about the durbar in their chronicles. 

Krishnadeva Raya had the eight gems in his court such as Tenali Ramakrishna, Allasani Pedanna, Nandi Thimmanna,Madayyagari Mallana, Dhurjati, Ayyalaraju Ramambhadrudu, Pingali Surana, Ramarajabhushanudu. Vyasaraja Tirtharu had Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa, Belur Vaikunta Dasa of the Dasa Koota and Vadiraja Thitharu, Srinivasa Thirtharu, Rama Thirtharu, Srinivasa Thirtharu of the Vyasa Koota, it was a wonderful mix of literary and philosophy in the durbar. The Royal court and durbar was known for its riches, pomp and pageantry, Vyasa Raja’s court was known for its knowledge, its holiness, nearness to Hari, music and philosophy. These two parallel courts enhanced the power and prestige of the Vijayanagar dynasty. If one came to be widely regarded as the richest and most ornamental durbar halls of all times, the Dasa-Vyasa Koota was known for its simplicity, holiness, honesty, sincerity and straightforwardness and its nearness to Sri Hari. If Purandara Dasa was the chief ornament of the Dasa Sahitya, the incomparable Vadiraja Tirtharu was the glittering star among Vyasa Koota.

Vyasaraja Tirtharu continued to be the Raja Guru of Vijayanagar even after the death of Krishnadeva Raya in 1529. He continued to advise Achutadeva Raya and in this period Vyasa Raja decided to entered brundavana at Nava Brundavana near Hampi. He selected a spot to enter Brundavana earlier and Achutadeva Raya took personal interest in getting the Brundavana ready.

Just before he entered Brundavana, Vyasaraja Tirtharu had warned Achutadeva Raya about the impending end of the Vijayanagar Empire. He had clearly predicted that the days of the Hindu Empire were numbered and he wanted the Emperor to take remedial measures. The advice went in vain, weather the Emperor was powerless to effect any change or he did not pay adequate heed is not clear.

Among the thousands of people who witnessed Vyasaraja Tirtharu entering Brundavana was Purandara Dasaru, Emperor Achutadeva Raya himself and all his noblemen. He had chosen his spot for his final resting place and this was in the midst of several other Madhwa saints on the banks of the River Tungabhadra near Anegundi, the ancient site of Kishkinda where Hanuma met Sri Rama and Lakshmana for the first time.

Arthikalpita kalpoyam prathyarthi gajakesari | Vyasathirtha gururbhoryarth asmad ishtartha siddhaye ||

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