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About to Shri Kanva Matha

That was an extraordinary golden moment. It was vayu who glowed in his third incarnation as Acharya Madhva establishing the kingdom of dvaita Vedanta. Shri Madhvacharya propagated and practised the tatvavada philosophy. He initiated many of his disciples into ascetic order and engaged them in constant dispersal of spiritual knowledge. Amongst his innumerable disciples the prominent ones were Shri Padmanabha Tirtha and the great seers of the eight mathas of Udupi. The first pontiff of Shri Shiroor mutta which is one of the eight muttas in Udupi was Shri Vamana Tirtha, the direct disciple of shri Madhvacharya. Shri LakshmiManohara Tirtha belonging to the same lineage of Shri Vamana Tirtha initiated Shri Madhava Tirtha into ascetic order. And the mutta that grew from Shri Madhava Tirtha is the “Shri Kanva Matha”.

The establisher of Kanva mutta was Shri Madhava Tirtha. The place of residence of Shri Madhava Tirtha was a village named Surapura in the Gulbarga District of Karnataka. His pre-ascetic name was Shri Venkateshacharya. From his childhood days he worshipped Adishesha and had earned his special grace. A man with righteous qualities and flawless conduct, he was always engrossed in following the Vedic mode of life. Having mastery on all Vedas and scriptures, he was an abode of compassion, was highly detached and spent all his time in studying and imparting philosophical knowledge and in constant contemplation of the Lord. As time passed by, once the beloved deity of Acharya, Adishesha appeared in his dream and said “oh Acharya! In a few days from now you will have the privilege of meeting a great ascetic belonging to the lineage of Shrimadananda Tirtha, the incarnation of vAyu. Get blessed by him and take up the task of spreading the knowledge of the superiority of Vishnu that was resurrected by Shri Madhvacharya and thus obtain the grace of the Lord”.

According to this dream, in just a few days, Shri LakshmiManohara Tirtha who was the 23rd pontiff of the Shri Shiroor mutta, one amongst the eight establishments started by Acharya Madhva’s direct disciples, came to Shri Venkateshacharya’s village Surapura. Adishesha had appeared in the dream of Shri LakshmiManohara Tirtha also and had said “Ordain one of my disciples who worships me, who would come to you tomorrow into the fourth order”. The seer narrated his dream to all the disciples who came to visit him the next day. Shri Venkateshacharya who was amongst the several people assembled there, listened to this narration in awe and revealed the dream that he had experienced to the seer.

Then Shri LakshmiManohara Tirtha observed the radiance, the wealth of flawless conduct, exemplary devotion to the Lord, and scholarship in Shri Venkateshacharya and realised that he was the right person to fulfil the divine order he received in his dream and gave Acharya phala-mantrakshate and declared to ordain him into the fourth order. Not just this! He decided that the divine presence of the Lord in Udupi would be the most appropriate place for this great task and took Shri Venkateshacharya and other devotees with him to Udupi. Having reached Udupi, Shri LakshmiManohara Tirtha called for an assembly and in the presence all the eight pontiffs of Udupi narrated the incident of his dream that he had in Surapura, and told that he had brought along with him Shri Venkateshacharya and the Brahmins of Surapura. He also declared the fifth day in the bright fortnight of the month of Magha to be the day of ordaining Shri Venkateshacharya into the ascetic order.

In the year 1796, on magha shukla panchami, amidst a huge assembly of people, in the divine presence of Lord Krishna in Udupi, Shri Venkateshacharya was given the pranava mantra and was named “Shri Madhava Tirtha”. From Shri Vamana Tirtha, Shri LakshmiManohara Tirtha was the 23rd in succession. The founder of Shri Kanva Mutta, Shri Madhava Tirtha received the ascetic order directly from him.

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