Sri Vijayendra Tīrtharu / ஸ்ரீ விஜயேந்திர தீர்த்தர்

The life and literary works of Vijayendra Tīrtha (1514-1594) have been documents in various works, including “Vijayeendra Vijaya”. He is also revered for his triumphs in theological debates, significantly over Appayya Deekshita and Lingarajendra. He is popularly known as “Chathuhshashti kalaakovida” or an exponent of sixty-four skills or Vidyas. He has written over 104 Granthas on Madhwa siddhantha.

Born in 1514, the poorvashrama name of Sri Vijayeendra Tirtha was Vittalacharya. However, no authentic information is available about his family history. After renouncing the worldly life for life, he was initiated into sainthood at the age of eight by Sri Vyasa Tirtha or Sri Vyasa Raya he was renamed as “Vishnu Tirtha”. Sri Vyasa Tirtha was a scholar and a noted author of some exemplary works like Nyayamruta, Tarkatandava and Tatparyachandrika. Under the tutelage of Sri Vyasa Tirtha, Sri Vijayeendra is said to have learnt the 64 arts, besides “tarka-meemansa-vedanta” shastras. Later, he was named “Vijayendra tirtha” by his second guru Sri Surendra Tirtha, the pontiff of Sri Kaveendra Tirtha Parampara.

Literary works:
Sri Vijayendra Tirtha has authored 104 literary works. He was the most active proponent of Sri Madhwacharya’s Dwaitha school of philosophy in South India during the Nayaks’ rule in Tamil Nadu. At that time, Dwaita school was facing a threat by a combined force of Advaita, Vishishtadvaita and Shaiva schools, and Vijayendra Tirtha successfully established the dualistic realism (Dwaita). Many of his books are refutations or “khandanam” of other schools of thought.

Vijayendra Tirtha remained the pontiff of Vibhudendra Tirtha math. He tutored and appointed Sri Sudhindra Tirtha as his successor. He entered Brindavan in 1594 (Durmukhi Samvatsara).

Royal Patronage:
The Nayak of Tanjavoor heard of the glory of Vijayeendra’s victory. It also came to the knowledge of Aliya Ramaraja of Vijayanagar through Vitthalaraya who began his journey from there to Kanyakumari with his army in 1544. Ramaraja sent his messengers to request Vijayeendra to visit Vijayanagar. On his part, the Swamiji was longing to have the darshan of the Brindavan of his guru Chandrikacharya. Therefore, assenting to the king’s request, he proceeded to Vijayanagar. All along the route, he went on defeating his rivals in debates. Ramaraya who was waiting in the outskirts of the town with all royal paraphernalia extended a grand levee to the Swamiji. As the king prostrated, the swamiji enquired about his welfare. From there the swamiji seated in a gold palanquin entered the town with all pomp and glory. The king led the procession on foot. The unending line of spectators enjoyed this feast to their eyes. As they had the divine darshan, the reverberating ovation rent the air.

The swamiji camped at Vijayavitthala temple from where the poojas and the daily offerings to Moolarama were made. The king accorded royal hospitality to the swamiji. Next day the king personally involved himself in making special arrangements for the Swamiji. By the time the Swamiji could finish his morning Ahneeka, the king called on the swamiji personally and requested him to visit his palace for padapooja. The swamiji came to the palace seated in the silver howdah carried by the caparisoned pachyderm. In the palace, the king performed the padapooja of the swamiji seated on the royal throne. Further the king performed the ceremony of showering gems on the swamiji in a highly devotional and grandiose manner. This impressive scene conjured of the similar honour done to Chandrikacharya by Krishnadevaraya in the byegone days and the entire gathering praised lavishly.

Remembering his guru, the swamiji said that he owed all these to the blessings of his guru. The entire capital of Vijayanagar greatly revelled in the festivities. Next day the swamiji had the darshan of his guru’s Brindavan situated on an island of the Tungabhadra near Anegondi and offering his hastodaka and dedicating all the honours to his guru returned to Vijayanagar. Being there for some time as the honoured guest of the king, he apprised the king of his intention to proceed to Kumbhakonam as he was impelled by the orders of his guru to pursue the task of achieving series of victories in disputations which he considered was quite stupendous. Hearing this news, the king felt very sad, but bid him farewell with all honours. Instead of setting off directly to Kumbhakonam, Swamiji proceeded to North to go round pilgrimage centres such as the Ganges and other holy places all over India. Later he toured all over the South of India, Andhra and Karnataka. Wherever he went, he humbled the debaters who were scholars in Meemamsa, Nyaya, Vyakarana, Jyothisha, Sahitya, Ayurveda and other subjects. Startled by the invincibility of the swamiji, the experts in witchcraft and sorcery stood baffled. Thus the Swamiji established his ubiquitous pre-eminence in multitude of subjects.

இவருடைய வாழ்கை விஜயேந்திர விஜயா என்கிற நூலிலிருந்து கிடைக்கிறது. இவருடைய காலம் 1514 - 1594 அவருடைய பெருமை அவர் தத்துவ வார்த்தை விவாத போட்டிகளில் அப்பய்ய தீக்ஷிதா, லிங்கராஜேந்திரரிடமும் வெற்றிபெற்று பிறர் பாராட்டுகளை பெற்றார். "சாத்ஷாஷ்டிக்கலாக்காவிடா" இந்த பெயரில் பிரசுத்தி பெற்றார். அது 64 கலைகளிலும் அவர் திறமை பெற்றவர்.

மாத்வ சித்தார்த்தம் என்ற பெயரில் கிரந்தங்களை அவர் எழுதியுள்ளார். 1514 ல் பிறந்த விஜயேந்திர தீர்த்தருடைய பழைய பெயர் விட்டலாச்சாரியார் ஆகும். இவருடைய குடும்ப சரித்திரங்கள் பற்றிய தகவல்கள் கிடைக்கவில்லை. அவர் உலகத்தை துறந்த பிறகு 8 வயதில் வியாச தீர்த்தரால் அவர் துறவியாக்கப்பட்டார். இவருக்கு விஷ்ணு தீர்த்தா எனவும் பெயர் சூட்டினார். வியாச தீர்த்தர் ஒரு கல்வி மான் நியாயமிருதா, காண்டதேவா, காத்பரிய, சந்திகா, போன்ற நூல்களை அவர் இயற்றியுள்ளார்.

வியாச தீர்த்தரிடமிருந்து விஜயேந்திர தீர்த்தர் 64 கலைகளையும் கற்றார். மேலும் "தர்க்க மீமான்ச வேதாந்த" போன்ற சாஸ்திரங்களையும் அவர் கற்றார். அவருடைய 2 வது குருவான ஸ்ரீ சுரேந்திர தீர்த்தர் அவருக்கு விஜயேந்திர தீர்த்தா என பெயர் சூட்டினார். இந்த ஸ்ரீ சுரேந்திர தீர்த்தர் ஸ்ரீ கவெந்திர தீர்த்தா பரம்பரையை சேர்த்தவர்.