Sri Padmanabha Teertha is the foremost among the direct disciples of Sri Madhwacharya. He was a distinguished scholar and was recognized and honoured by people of those times as 'THE DISCIPLE OF SRI MADHWACHARYA'.
He has the greatest honor of lecturing on the Vedas before an assembly of great scholars and was acclaimed to be a master in expounding the meanings of the Vedas.He is known for his learning, intelligence, ever lasting devotion, detachment to worldly affairs, service to His guru, etc. With all these extraordinary qualities, he has rightly succeeded Sri Madhwcharya in the pontificate seat of Sri Uttaradi Math.
Sri Padmanabha Teertha a previously known as Shobhana Bhatta. He was a renowned Advaita Scholar, accomplished logician and one with great faith in Veda, Mahabharata and Puranas. He is said to have hailed from a region close to the river Godavari. He won many debates and refuted all the prevalent systems of philosophy before he was defeated by Sri Madhwacharya in a famous debate. His defeat at the hands of Sri Madhwacharya made the bold Shobhana Bhatta to renounce the world and accept sanyasa(sainthood) from Sri Madhwacharya.
How blessed Sri Padmanabha Teertha was to have had the opportunity of being the direct disciple of the Sarvagna Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya himself! He was so impressed by the teachings of Sri Madhwacharya that he used to enthrall the audience by comparing the works of Sri Madhwacharya to a divine Kalpavriksha, capable of fulfilling all of one's desires. His conviction in the doctrine of Sri Madhwacharya can be known from his statement before the audience that the result one gets by studying the works of Sri Madhwacharya is beyond words and thoughts.
He was accredited to be the first to write a commentary, on the great Bhasya of Sri Madhwacharya, which ably brings out the true meaning of the Bhasya. The prolific commentator, Sri Jayateertha, honors this great saint in his magnum opus Sriman Nyaya Sudha and pictures him as the serene land, auspicious enough to be the home of the lord of Laxmi, and an ocean which gave rise to a bunch of invaluable pearls called Sannyaya Ratnavali.
Sri Jayateertha owes his scholarship to Sri Padmanabha Tirtha while saying
"sa padmanAbhatIrthakhyagogaNostu dR^ishe mama na tattva mArge gamanaM vinA yadupajeevanam"
We cannot proceed in the direction of truth without whose blessings, let the light called Sri Padmanabha Tirtha lead me in the right path.