INDIA (BHARATA DESHA) has been the birth place for many religions & philosophies for ages viz. Jainism, Budhisim, Sikhism, Veeraashaivam etc. More importantly it is not only the birth place but also center for "SANATANA HINDU DHARMA" from which sprouted these new & recent religions.
The three major Hindu philosophies are Advaita Siddhanta as propagated by Shankaracharya, Vishista Adavita as propagated by Ramanujacharya and the Dvaita Philosophy as propagated by Shri Madhwacharya.
The Uttaradi Matha propagating Dwaita Sidhanta has been in existence from the time immemorial. The seat of Uttaradi Matha starting from "HANSANAMAKA PARAMATMA" has been passed on to the four faced BRAHMA then to DURVASARU etc, in disciplic succession. Uttaradi Matha is also the abode of glorious idols of "Moola Rama Devaru, Digvijaya Rama Devaru & Moola Sita Devaru etc" . After these idols were worshipped by 'Devatas', in due course they were handed over to the great emperors of SURYA VANSHA who worshipped them till they finally reached the hands of Madhwacharya. After Madhvacharya, great saints like Padmanabha Tirtha, Jaya Teertha, Raghunatha Teertha, Raghottama Teertha, Satya bodha Teertha, Satya Gnana Teertha, Satyadhyana Teertha etc adroned this premier peetha of Vedic Samrajya.
Jagadguru Shri 1008 Shri Satya Pramoda Teertha (from 1948-1997) adorned this glorious peetha and did pooja for the last 50 years without a single day's interruption. Inspite of his fragile frame even at the age of 80 his agility, enthusiasm and memory power put to shame even young men in their twenties. His qualities and desire to reach all the disciples (bhaktas) beyond one's physical limits often surprised one and all. Such "Yuga Purushas" are born once in a century. Words do not convey in real terms his greatness in true perspective. Lacking any better medium, we take recourse to the words to the best of our capacity.
Shri Satya Pramoda Teertha was born to Rangacharya Guttal (One of the celebrated and famous families of sanskrit pundits) hailing from the village Guttal in Dharwad district of Karnataka in the year 1918. Rangacharya Guttal was famous for his scholarship in Vedic philosophy and also for his hospitality, bhakti and vairagya. Our jagadguru was named as 'GURU RAJA'. It was truly an appropriate name as he was to become 'Guru' to all the Madhwas.
From childhood he learnt sanskrit, Vedic scriptures, Madhva Shastra etc., under his great father and later in the famous sanskrit institutions in Mysore and Madras (Chennai). His briliance & scholarship was appreciated by the great scholars of those days. His profound knowledge in 'Tarka Shastra' earned him the title of "Tarka Shiromani" in the examination conducted in 1940 in Chennai (Madras).
He entered "Grahasta Ashrama" in the year 1941. He was blessed with a daughter and a son. It was during this period that the great Shri 1008 Shri Satyabhigna Teertha of Uttaradi Math after his south Indian Digvijaya (Visiting the holy places & blessing the disciples) arrived in Ranebennur (in Karnataka). In view of his failing health it was in the year 1948 (Sarvajithanama Samvatsara Pushya Vadya Ashtami) he crowned Guru Rajacharya as head of Uttaradi Matha and called him as Satya Pramoda Tirtha. He took sanyasa at a very young age, hardly seven years after he entered Grihastha Ashram (married life).
After ascending the throne of Uttaradi Mutt at this young age, he dedicated himself entirely in the propagation of Madhva Sidhanta by touring the length & breadth of the country. He is the first pontiff who visited Orissa after Narahari Teertha. Inspite of his scholarship and brilliance as usual initially there were some pundits of those days who were less responsive and tried to create difficulties for the new Guru. But the Peetha 'Sannidhana' and 'Mahatmya' the greatness and sanctity of the Peetha & the 'anugraha' of the great gurus (blessings of his gurus) was so overwhelming that all of them failed in their pursuit to embarrass him and in due course they prostrated themselves before him begging his pardon and accepted him as Jagadguru unequivocally.
He is the 41st pontiff in Uttaradi Matha after Madhwacharya. Further, besides him there are only four other Gurus who had the rare privilege of doing Pooja of Rama Devaru for more than 50 years. In his illustrious reign of fifty years there is hardly any place worth the name (where Madhwa community lived) he missed visiting and blessing them by way of patha, pravachana, pooja, Ramadevara darshana, Tirtha, Prasad etc. It can be mentioned that any 'Bhakta' who had his darshan once never missed realising his magnetic attraction, his brilliance, compassion and scholarship etc. Time and space does not permit to list and describe all his achievements. Suffice to make a mention of the few.
In the 'vidwat sabha' held at pune (One of the premiere centers of Madhwa Community) 19 institutions and hundreds of pundits honoured him for the brilliant manner and style of his analysis of the 'Sudha' and other great 'Madhva Shastra Granthas'.
In Benaras (which is the home for vedic scholars from time immemorial to the present day) such great Advaita scholars like Hare Rama Shukla, Vamcharan Bhattacharya and (later even great Anant Krishna Shastry etc) after hearing his exposition of Madhva Sidhanta for more than one month were so impressed by his scholarship that they honoured him by taking out his procession on elephant and declared that he is truly the "Abhinava Satyadhyana Teertha".
Similarly at other places also his processions on elephant and/or car was taken out and was also honoured by submitting 'Sanmana Patras' . These 'Sanmanapatras' alone will run in to volumes. Like Satyadhyana Teertha many great 'yatigalu' (sanyasis), Peethadhi Patis came to learn shastras under his guidance. Notable among them are Kudali Mutt Ram Dhyan Teertha, Raghu Pramati Teertha and Raghu Priya Teertha. They are many who took 'Sanyasa Ashram' through his benevolence and pay their obeisances to this day.
In the year 1985 Shri 1008 Shri Satya Pramoda Teertha sat for Chaturmasya at Sode (Karnataka). During this occasion, he delivered discource on the 'Yukti Mallika' (an important work written by the great Vadiraja Teertha whose 'Vrindavan' is at sode). His Holiness has celebrated 'Sudha Mangala' at least 30 times and many of them at the Vrindavans of great previous 'Gurus' like 'JayaTeertha' etc. Many great scholarly works were also written by him, notable among them are 'Nyaya Sudha Mandana' ,'Yukti Mallika Vyakhyan' and 'Eshanya Stuti Khandana' etc. besides various articles. These truly light the path to 'Gnana Marga' for the seekers of the essence of Madhva Shastra. It is no exaggeration to say that to maintain high traditions of Uttaradi Matha like 'madi'(sanctity), vairagya, vrata, niyamas and the sampradayas etc. it needs great spiritual power, unlimited patience, physical endurance.
In his 50 years of Vedic reign besides every day Japa, Tapa, Sudha patha, Pravachana, he did 'VISHNU PANCHAKA VRATA' five times, and did 'KASHTA MOUNA VRATA' at Mahishi & Yaragola. Under his grest guidance hundreds of scholars (Pundits) who could teach 'Sudha' (Sudha Patha) were trained by him. They in turn are running 'GURU KULAS' (Sanskrit schools of Vedic Philosophy) propagating the Madhva Shastra & imparting basic knowledge of sanskrit to young ones & Shastra Shravana to the disciples (Grahastas) and 'Stree Dharma' to ladies etc.
During his reign many great infrastructure projects were under taken. Many math buildings which were in dilapidated condition were remodeled, expanded and renovated. Important institutions which were renovated are the Uttaradi Matha at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Tirukoilur, Hospet, Malakhed, etc. He did pratisthapana of several new math buildings and mrittika brindavanams of earlier 'Gurus' and other great saints at various places. Most important among them are at Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Warangal etc. It was during his period that great many exquisite gold, silver, & diamond ornaments and vessels for pooja were made and offered to Rama devaru, which can be seen during daily pooja and on special pooja days like 'Rama Navami', Bali Pratipada, etc.
Every year 'Vidwat Sabhas' at the time of 'Maha Samaradhana' and ' Chaturmasya', were organised and conducted under his guidance. Besides, he also chaired many important 'Gnana Satras' and 'Sabhas'. During his period lakhs & lakhs of followers of Uttaradi Math had darshana, Tapta Mudradharana,Tirtha Prasada, etc. In the later part of his reign his divine spiritual powers attained such great heights that many shishyas who had problems of health, who desired wealth, who desired grooms/brides for their children, issueless couples desirous of children, people possessed with spirits, people seeking promotions, etc. prostrateed at his feet seeking his guidance and grace. Many miracles did happen. These incidents will run into volumes. Hopefully in due course a compendium will be brought out bringing out these and such other miracles by his disciples.
He could speak eloquently and address large gathering in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, kannada & Marathi, though he did not have formal education in these languages. His compassion for the poor and lowly ones was such that even though he was very tired he would hardly refuse to visit them inspite of his failing health. His mind boggling memory would excel any of the super computers of the modern day. Even after decades he could recall the names if the shishyas he met once. He could remember hundreds of telephone numbers of his disciples. There were any number of occasions when he could guide correctly the driver & others along the route to reach the destination not frequently visited . It was one of the great quality of our Guru that pundits, laymen, young & old, learned and not so learned all were dear to him. No pundits ever went empty handed. Each was honoured according to his status. Every shishya felt that Swamiji had special affection for him. This feeling of all the Shishyas can be compared to the feelings of each Gopika who felt that Lord Krishna loved her most.
In great & large society like ours there are a few misled & misguided souls who have always a twisted perception of the actions of even great 'Gurus' It can only be mentioned that it is their fate and destiny and they get what they deserve. We can only pray for their deliverance from their ignorance and misconception. Such ones existed at all times. Many who would have a doubt of a particular action taken at a particular time would later realize the greatness of his heart and correctness of his action and felt humbled and ashamed at the doubts he entertained earlier. Thus after an illustrious reign of 50 years the great and the noble Jagadguru Shri 1008 Shri Satya Pramoda Tirthaaru attained 'Hari Pada Sannidhi' (Left for heavenly abode) at Tirikoilur (Tamilnadu) on 3-11-1997 besides the Vrindavan Of Shri Raghottam Teertha (one of the greatest gurus of Our Math).
As if he knew all the future events he ordained Sanyas Ashram to Sarvagnachar and named him as 'Satyatma Tirtha' on 24-4-1996 at Tirukoilur (Tamil Nadu) where the Vrindavan of Shri Raghottama Teertha exists. It is very pertinent to mention here that among the 41 Gurus of Uttaradi Mutt, Raghottama Teertha is the only Guru (exception Shri Aanand Tirtha Shripada) who took sanyas as brahmachari & rest of the Gurus were 'Grahastashramis' as per the traditions of the Mutt. After him Shri Satyatma Teertha is the next Guru, who had adorned the peetha of Uttaraddi Mutt after taking Sanyas as a brahmachari and thus his reign started from 3-11-1997.
He is the 42nd Guru in the Uttaradi Mutt starting from Shri Ananda Tirtha Shri pada. This is but a very brief portrayal of the achievements in chronological order of our Guru who was a 'Yuga Purusha' in real sense. Even on the last day of his 'Avatara' on this planet he did patha and pooja. Truly such Yuga Purushas are born once in a century. Fortunate are the souls who had the opportunity to have his darshana and blessings. These are the souls who know deep in their hearts what they achieved through his grace. We are very fortunate indeed to have him as our Guru.