Sri Vidyadheesha Teertharu
Childhood of His Holiness Shri Shri Vidyadheesha Teertha:
With the blessings of Lord Srinivasa of Tirupati, Shri Hayagreeva Tantri and Kasturiyamma – a couple from Shibarooru village begot a son on 13.05.1956 and named him Shri Ramesha Tantri. From 1961 to 1966, he completed his primary education in a school at Shibaroor. Later he completed his secondary education at Kadandale.
Being drawn towards spirituality:
Post his secondary schooling, the 14 year old Ramesha Tantri lost interest in it and reached Udupi in search of a spiritual Guru. The paryaya at the time was that of Pejavara Shrigalu. In those times, he came into contact with Shri Vidyamaanya Theertharu who was venerated for his knowledge and immersed himself in the spiritual word. Shri Vidyamaanya Teertha was greatly pleased to see his interest in Vedanta and taught him grammar, Sumadhva Vijaya and texts such as Tatparya Nirnaya and hailed him. Thus, in the morning he studied at Sanskrit College and at noon took lesson in various scriptures from Shri Vidyamaanya Teertha. By 1974, he was awarded the honorary degree at the Sanskrit College of Udupi. Besides, he was actively involved in organizing as well as participating in cultural programs ay the Sanskrit College. Ramesha Tantri thus studied with allegiance through his childhood. In this way, in a span of about 7 – 8 years, his approach towards learning, the humility that such learning brought made him win the heart of several gurus and that of mentor Shri Vidyamaanya Teertha.
It is the standard to seek employment after education. That is to engage oneself in a field of interest. Having obtained an honorary scholarship, erudition in the scriptures, knowledge of tantra and the sacerdotal, Ramesha Tantri did not choose the fields of teaching & giving discourses or the family occupation of priesthood as career which would provide material assistance to his life. Just as a child chooses only his favorite object from a pile of objects, despite having several lustrous career opportunities before him, Ramesha Tantri chose to sever familial ties and incline towards the Lord. Taking up any of the above mentioned career options would cause him to remain in the material world therefore he decided to rid himself of familial attachments and expressed his desire to embrace sainthood in order to move closer to the Lord. Naturally, there was opposition to this decision of his initially although later with the consent of everyone on 10.06.1979 at Adamaru Matha of Adamaru village, Shri Vibudhesha Teertharu and Sri Vidyamanya Teertharu ordained him into sainthood, giving him the name Shri Vidyadeesha Teertha and appointed as the successor of Shri Palimaru Matha.
Spiritual achievement and pious observances:
After taking up the sainthood, Shri Shri Vidyadeesha Teertharu learnt the Sarvamoola Granthas, Shrimanyaayasudha and Vyasa Traya under Shri Shri Vidyamaanya Teertharu at the Adarsha (archetype) Gurukula at Adamaru. During the same period, while he conducted lessons and discourses for the students of the gurukula, alongside, he concluded the study of Shrimanyaayasudha under Shri Vidyamaanya Teertharu and the mangalotsava was conducted on 10.12.1984 at Adamaru. Engaged in service to his Guru, studying and teaching, in 1986 during the paryaya of Shri Vidyamaanya Teertha of Shri Palimaru Matha, he as Junior Seer was involved in the special worship of Shri Krishna and bedecked Krishna differently every day In front of Shri Krishna and the presence of his Guru, on 10.10.1988 he concluded the two year long discourse on Shrimanyaayasudha.
Establishment of educational institutions (Vidyapeetas):
- On 07.05.1989 under the aegis of Gurugalu and within the framework of the immaculate Madhva philosophy, Shri Yogadeepika Gurukula was established at Palimaru to impart education in Pourohitya, Tantra, Jyotisha and Vedic texts. As chairperson, he has nurtured this institution.
- Tattwa Samshodhana Samsat® Palimaru Matha, which is acknowledged as a unique knowledge centre,was headed by Sri Vidyamanya Theertha, who can be described as the “Swamiji of the Century” during the period 1968 to 2000. The Vedantha Research work which was undertaken at the Matha in a piece meal fashion in the earlier days, was integrated and institutionalised under the guidance and leadership of Sri Vidyamanya . He organised a Research Body named “ Tattwa Samshodhana Samsath” in 1995 in coordination with his shishya Sri Vidyadheesha Theertha Swamiji (present Peethadipathi of Palimaru Matha) and with the assistance of scholars who had undergone higher studies under him earlier. The main objective of this Research Body is to protect and propagate Indian Philosophy in general and Dwaitha Vedantha in particular. A library containing thousand years old Palm leaf, paper and copper sheet manuscripts is the main literary resource of the Tattwa Samshodhana Samsat. More Than 180 Researched books Already Published by this Institute.
- In order to facilitate the students of Shri Yogadeepika Gurukula at Palimaru post their 6 year study there to avail of higher education in Vedanta Shastra, Shri Tatvadeepika Vidyapeeta was established in 2005 at Udupi.
- At the land of Lord Shrinivasa and the domain of Shesha dasaru – Modalakallu (Aadi Shila Kshetra) in Mahabubnagar province of Telangana state, he established Shri Vidyamaanya Paatashala in commemoration of his guru.
- At a village near Palimaru called Mundukuru which is the domain of Goddess Durga, Shri Vedadeepika Vidyapeeta was established in 2008 to provide comprehensive education in the Vedas.
- The Pattabhiramakrishna Veda Vidyapeeta was set up in the year 2010 at Uthukuli village near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu to impart education in the Vedas.
Achievements during the first paryaya between 2002 – 2004:
- A diamond crown valued at over rupees three crores, as resolved by His Guru was offered to Shri Krishna.
- For the first time in the state, initiated a program to offer lunch to students from 108 schools. Designed the Chinnara Shushrushe program that provides free medical checkup and medication to school students.
- Offered gold armour to the bhojanashala Mukhyaprana.
- Cleansing of the Madhvasarovara.
- Conducted a special worship to Shri Krishna through the offering a crore Tulasi leaves.
- Sri Krishna Technical Education Centre – A vocational training institution which offers a one year program that enhances employability was set up and continues to be operational for the benefit of unemployed youth from underprivileged and middle class families.
- Organizing spiritual events every day, conducting lessons on Shrimanyaayasudha to several disciples followed by the mangala, and also He did 15 timws Shrimannyayasudhamangala. continual cultural programs by local artisans as well as those from other towns, offering of a silver door for the wooden enclosure around the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Krishna.
- Feeding over 10,000 people without bias on the basis of caste or creed, felicitation of noted scholars, dignitaries and artists and several such social programs, worship of Shri Krishna in accordance with the traditions and grandeur during his two year tenure.
With several such achievements to his credit, he is a role model to all of us. As a fine guru to society, a worshipper of Kodandapaani Shri Rama, currently, he is the 30th Peetadipathi of Shri Palimaru Matha.