Guru Smrithi

A comprehensive writeup on the Life of His Holiness Maha Guru Shrimad Bhuvanendra Thirtha Swamiji (17th Guruvarya of Shri KashiMath Samsthan)

Shrimad Bhuvanendra Thirtha Swamiji was born on 21st June,1837 AD, as a Vatu named Narasimha Kamath. HH in their Purvashram belonged to a family of ayurvedic medical practitioners later associated with Sri Lakshminarayana Raghupathi Temple at Pallipuram(near Kochi). HH was initiated to Sanyas at the age of twelve years by Shrimad Sumatheendra Thirtha at Allepey,Kerala

HH was well built and beautiful with long arms, supernatural vision and a broad forehead. He was a resplendent ascetic and splendid scholar of Dwaita Vedanta, Dharma Shastra, Agama Shastra, Jyotisha, Ayurveda, Mantra Shastra, Shilpa Shastra etc. HH had unique capabilities as was observed from their radiant mastery over Ayurvedic Shasthra, depth of knowledge across multiple subjects , grand adherence to religious dharmic traditions and intense attention given to the finer details of relevant matters concerning the Samsthan as the then Kashi Matadhipathi. HH Shrimad Bhuvanendra Thirtha Swamiji had travelled widely from Varanasi through Prayag, Bhatkal, Manjeshwar, Karkala , Mulki, Alleppey and Kochi. HH had performed the installation or renovation ceremonies of various temples of our GSB Samaj. HH installed the idol of Shri Lakshmi Venkatesha in Hosdurg (Kerala) on Vaishakha Shuddha Akshaya Trithiya of Raktakshi Samvatsar, 1864 AD. The reinstallation ceremony of the idol in Shri Venkataramana temple in Kundapura after renovation was also performed by H.H Shri Swamiji on Jyeshta Shuddha Dwitiya of Bhava Samvatsar, 1874 AD. HH had performed the Sahasra Kumbhabhisheka on Marghashira Shuddha Purnima of Yuva Samvatsar, 1875 AD in Shrimad Ananteshwara Temple in Manjeshwar. The Punar Pratishtha of the ancient Sree Venkatachalapathi Idol of Gosripuram(Kochi) was performed by Swami Bhuvanendra Thirtha, along with disciple Swami Varadendra Thirtha in the year 1881 AD. TD Alleppey, SLNT Tellicherry, Kalpavriksha Mahamaya Temple Manjeshwar and SLVT Udupi were some of the other GSB Samaj temples associated closely with HH Shri swamiji. H.H Shri Swamiji had installed the idol of Lord Dhanvantari (presiding diety of Ayurveda) in Mattancheri (Kochi) and prescribed certain rules regarding the performance of pujas in the temple. Perhaps this is one of the two old temples in India dedicated to Lord Dhanvantari. The other temple is at Yelaghppa, Sirsi taluk, Uttara Kannada. The last Prathishta performed by H.H Shri Swamiji was that of the procession (utsava) idol of Shri ShantaDurga Mahamaya at Shri MahaGanapathi MahaMaya temple in Shirali, Bhatkal Taluk, Uttar Kannada. On one occasion when HH was camping in Bhatkal, HH had revived through the power of mantra a Navayat (Muslim) landlord’s only daughter who died of snake bite. Her father donated a huge sum in gratitude and helped H.H Shri Swamiji to renovate the old Matha buildings in Bhatkal. His descendants used to offer kanikas to the Matha since then. On another occasion, when H.H Shri Swamiji was in Bhatkal, one Cherdayya Prabhu (63 years) belonging to Goud Sarasvata Brahmana community approached H.H Shri Swamiji with his wife and narrated their pitiable condition, for they had no issues. Filled with compassion H.H Shri Swamiji gave them a mantra pinda. Later a son, was born to the couple. Shri Rama Prabhu, the son lived upto a ripe old age and died some years ago. On some other occasions H.H Shri Swamiji had given mantra pindas to various frustrated couples and in all these cases children were born to the couples. H.H Shri Swamiji had cured many diseases of his devotees by using Ayurvedic medicines. Once when H.H Shri Swamiji was visiting Nagara near Kollur in Shimoga district along with his retinue in 1866, some of the followers of the Sringeri Matha imposed, with the help of the local police, a restriction on the movement of H.H Shri Swamiji and his followers with honours and titles of the Kashi Matha. H.H Shri Swamiji had to stay at Nagara for about ten months during which time HH complained to the Indian Commissioner in Mysore regarding this restriction. Finally, after going through the Matha records produced before him the Commissioner decided in favour of H.H Shri Swamiji and declared that Swamiji has all the rights of travel in the entire Mysore State with full honours and titles. _Sri Bhuvanendra Jagad Guru was a kalpataru for innumerable disciples. Once, some smartha Brahmins who were jealous of Swamiji went to the court of law and asked, “Bhuvanendra was alone and a wandering Swamiji. How can He be called a Jagad Guru ”? The court of law proclaimed, “He is a great powerful Jagad Guru and earlier we have already given Him all the rights to travel. Your jealousy is worthless. It is our great fortune to get His darshan, so respect Him”._ _After the court decision, Swamiji went to Manjeshwar (which was developed into a great pilgrim center) and prayed to Lord Narasimha, “Oh Bhadra Narasimha! You are Para Bramha (you are even worshipped by Bramha). I do not know your divine Leela(divine play) as we are dullards like flies. Oh Anantheshwara, Ananthasana, Ramavara! You created the animate and inanimate. You control the whole world”. Thus praising and prostrating the Lord, Bhuvanendra resolved to do Sahasra Kalasha Abhisheka in Manjeshwar (1875 AD). All the time Swamiji was worried about accomplishing this as he was getting old and weak. Priests first consecrated the Kalashas. Then all the priests assembled for the Abhisheka of the Lord. Swamiji did Dandavat Pranam to the Kalashas 1,108 times. Multitudes of people who had assembled devotedly watched Guru Bhuvanendra with tears of joy. Swamiji told the people that the body is only for serving God and one must not have more attachment to the body. One must have love and affection only for the feet of Lord Vyasa._ *H.H Shri Swamiji selected a Vatu named Giri Mallya , aged 10, and initiated him into sanyas on Jyeshta Shuddha Purnima (6th June,1876 AD) and accepted him as his Shishya at the GSB Sacred town of Manjeshwar. He was later known as Shrimad Varadendra Thirtha.* _H.H Shri Swamiji also ensured the Math Property at Varanasi stayed legally with Shri Kashi Mutt Samsthan. Kashimutt Chathurmas Vrith was performed by the Guru and the Shishya together at Kashi (Varanasi,UP) in 1882. HH Srimad Sudheendra Thirtha Swamiji (20th Guruvarya of Shri KashiMutt Samsthan) was extensively fond of HH swamijis wonderful teachings and deservingly commemorated its 100th year occasion by conducting their own Chathurmas Vrith at Kashi itself in 1982._ In the field of literature/History, H.H Shri Swamiji had guided one Tellichery Vasudeva Shanbhag (resident of Mulki) in composing a great work in Kannada comprising 700 stanzas (vardhik shatpadi) in eleven chapters, entitled Goud Sarasvata Brahmanakhyana (This was printed in the Sharada Press, Mangalore in 1907). The work starts with a Brahmana named Muddana approaching Shrimad Bhuvanendra Thirtha Swamiji asking him various questions, and in answering, H.H Shri Swamiji describes the origin of Goud Sarasvata Brahmanas, their immigration to distant lands from the banks of the sacred river Sarasvati, to Trihotrapura in Bihar, Gowd Desh, Dwaraka, Gomantak, Bhatkal, Mangalore, Kochi etc., their rites and rituals and customs, their Gotras and Pravaras and Kuladevatas, their temples in Gomantak, etc. It was mentioned in the book that it was only the first half of the story and the later half would deal with the rest of the story - Later Half of the book is being traced. Many sculptors, artists and scholars had earned the grace of H.H Shri Swamiji and excelled in their art or profession. For example, the famous sculptors like the Karkala based Ranjalkars were one among them. *Many renowned Financial, Academic and Charitable institutions of the present day across the nation have recognised the guidance and inspiration provided by H.H Shri Bhuvanendra Thirtha Swamiji.