6. Padmanabha (or Padmanabha Tirtha)

1300s1400s

Padmanabha Tirtha (c. A.D. 11991278) appeared in Uttara-Karnataka. He was a renowned and distinguished scholar, but his proficiency in fourteen branches of learning was silenced in fourteen seconds by Madhvacharya when they met in A.D. 1265. Consequently, Padmanabha took initiation and sannyasa from Madhvacharya and soon became one of his most trusted disciples. Padmanabha Tirtha left this world in A.D. 1324 at Nava-vrindavana, on the sacred river Tungabhadra.

Sripad Padmanabha Tirtha.


 


Let us now look into the lives of the descendants of Madhwa who occupied the seat of office and who went on to preach further and further afield. The first four are direct disciples of Acarya Madhwa.

1. Padmanabha Tirtha 
2. Nrhari (Narahari) Tirtha 
3. Madhava Tirtha 
4. Aksobhya Tirtha

5. Jaya Tirtha 
6. Vidyadhiraja (Vidyanidhi) Tirtha 
7. Rajendra Tirtha 
8. Jayadharma (Vijayadhvaj) Tirtha 
9. Brahmanya Tirtha 
10.  Vyasa Tirtha 
11. Laxmipati Tirtha

Sripad Padmanabha Tirtha was a native of Uttara-Karnataka which in those days stretched to the area known as Andhra Pradesh. This is confirmed by Hrsikesa Tirtha in his book Sampradaya Paddhati. This is also mentioned in Guru-acarya is a hagiological work of unknown authorship, in sanskrit verse, dealing with the lives of the pontiffs of the Uttaradi mutt, up to Satyanidhi Tirtha (1648). The exact time of Padmanabha Tirtha's appearance is not available to my knowledge, but in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta purport (Madhya-lil 9:245.) Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad includes a section from the Bombay Gazzette that gives a date as being 1120. There is no mention of the dating system that is being used specifically for that date but, many of the other references are of Sakabja Era to which we need to add 79 years to get Chritian Era (A.D.) making the date 1199 A.D. 
 Both of the afore-mentioned state however, that Padmanabha Tirtha came from Uttara-Karnataka of the Telegu speaking people around the area where the Godavari River flows. His previous name in his 'purva-ashram' was Sobhana Bhatta, his initiationn and subsequent change of name came upon meeting Madhwa when Madhwa returned to Udupi from his second northern tour. He (Sobhana Bhatta) was already a renowned and distinguished scholar of the day, but his proficiency in fourteen branches of learning were silenced in fourteen seconds by Acarya Madhwa in 1265 AD. In a very short time he became one of the most trusted disciples of Madhwa. Madhwa always praised him, being the senior-most disciple among those outside the Tulu area, and his learning, preaching capacity and seniority enabled Madhwa to make him the first to sit on the 'Pitha' after Madhwa's disappearance pastime.

Sripad Padmanabha Tirtha left this world at Navavrindavanas, near Hampi, on the sacred Tungabhadra River in 1324 AD. His 'samadhi' tomb remains there to this day. (Again more will be said in Madhwa's life story.)