Vidyanidhi Tirtha

   Shripad Vidyadhiraja Tirtha was born in 1269 AD (1190 Sakabja Era) (A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Shri Chaitanya Charitamrta. Madhya-lila 9:245. purport – Bombay Gazzette.) and some say that he lived to 1412 AD (143 years). BNK Sharma alots him the time of residence on the Pitha as being 1388-1412., (page 451.) according to the Madhva lineage he too was the immediate disciple of Jaya Tirtha and successor to the 'Pitha'. Previously his name was Krishnabhatta, (though the "Guru-acharya" gives him the name Nrsimha Shastri hailing from Badaganaadu Karnataka group of South India, and was admitted into the order of sannyas "the fourth order" directly from the brahmachari ashram and that he was very learned in the 'shastras'.) (BNK Sharma. 1961. History of the school of Dvaita Vedanta and its literature. page 451.) It is understood that he was a lifelong 'brahmachari', but for his time spent on the Vedanta Pitha is not clearly established. The times of office in the Mutt records range from three years, nine months and thirteen days; to four years; and lastly sixty four years, but for reasons best known to itself the Mutt is silent on clearing up this matter.

   The 'Guru-acharya' listings assign Vidyanidhi Tirtha a period of seven years, nine months and thirteen days as the next pontiff on the Vedanta Pitha.

   It seems that he would have been about forty years of age when he was ordanined by Jaya Tirtha, which was about one year before Jaya Tirtha's demise. Some say he was born in 1388, but this then makes it imposible for him to take initiation from Jaya Tirtha, given that the dates we have for Jaya Tirtha are accurate.

   The only written works accredited to him was a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, and a commentary on Vishnusahasranama, which incidently was the first recorded Dvaita commentary upon it. (B.N.K. Sharma. 1961. History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 453.).

   The devotional writer Shrila Kavikarnapur's "Shri Gaura-Ganoddesa Dipika", (Text 22.) mentions, "Akshobhya's disciple was Jaya Tirtha. Jaya Tirtha's disciple was Jnanasindhu. Jnanasindhu's disciple was Mahanidhi. Mahanidhi's disciple was Vidyanidhi. Vidyanidhi's disciple was Rajendra" However, in Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati's song "Guru Parampara" he says, "Madhava Tirtha accepted the great paramahamsa Aksobhya Tirtha as his disciple. The principle disciple of Aksobhya Tirtha was known as Jaya Tirtha. Jaya Tirtha's service was for his disciple Jnanasindhu. Dayanidhi received the science of devotional service from Jnanasindhu and the servant of Dayanidhi was Vidyanidhi (Vidyadhiraja Tirtha). Rajendra became the disciple of Vidyadhiraja Tirtha."

   The Mutt listings are it seems reliable only as regards the cyclic years of the demise of a particular pontiff. Although there is even room for doubt in regards to a few there too! The cyclic year of Shripad Vidyadhiraja's demise is given as Angirasa which would correspond to 1392 A.D.

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