Between Shripad Rajendra Tirtha and Shripad Vyasa Tirtha we have Shripad Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, alias Jayadhvaja Tirtha, alias Jayadharma Tirtha. He is listed in the Mutt genealogical tables as being a member of the Pejawara Mutt coming from Shripad Aksobhya Tirtha. He became the seventh heir to the pontificial seat, 'Pitha Adipatya' (1434-48.).
There has been some confusion in thinking that he was the disciple of Jaya Tirtha, Vijaya Tirtha, but in actuality he is the realm of grand-disciples of Jaya Tirtha so it is not possible.
The Deity of Shri Rama that was worshipped by Shripad Vijayadhvaja Tirtha is still in the Pejawara Mutt. Some say that Vijayadhvaja Tirtha was ostracised by Raghunatha Tirtha of Uttaradi Mutt for the sin of crossing the ocean to visit Dwarka, and thus as a penance to atone for this he was commissioned to write a commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam, which he wrote under a pipal tree at Krishna Mutt, and which he eventually became famous for. However many Devotees, including B.N.K. Sharma, (History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 457.), the Madhva scholar disagrees, in fact he says "that this story is bogus and malicious", as it is well known that Vijayadhvaja's commentary on the Shrimad Bhagavatam was purely out of love and spontaneous devotion.
His commentary of Shrimad Bhagavatam went under the title "Bhakti-ratnavali" and is said to have greatly influenced his disciple, Vishnu Puri. In this commentary there are many references to the original compiler, the great Shridhar Swami of the Bhagavat School. Shridhar Swami lived in a very dangerous time to be a Vaishnava, and so kept his meanings covered, or hidden in codes. Many, even to this day as we mentioned earlier, say that Shrila Shridhar Swami was an impersonalist (B.N.K. Sharma. Histroy of the Dvaita School of Vedanta. page 459.), but actually this is not so. As we have stated, he had to keep the real and personalistic understandings of the Bhagavatam covered for there were many devious 'mayavadis' ready to corrupt anything that glorified Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only that but many Devotees found themselves physically beaten, tortured, and even killed due to their preaching against the 'mayavadis'. (Obviously not all ne!!!)
Shripad Vijayadhvaja, Jayadharma Muni as he is also known, clarified the meanings of Shridhar Swami, bringing out the dualist's point of view from the seemingly hidden meanings of Shripada Shridhar Swamin.
Looking at the many and wonderful ways the Devotees have struggled, sacrificing their own reputations, even well being, to somehow or other ensure that these priceless gems of pure personalism could find their way down through the ages into our unworthy laps and beyond, is nothing less than amazing. Truly we should be grateful to all of these great and devoted personalities.
Practically speaking, there are not very many details that we could dig up from authentic sources. However the following is probably the only details of Shrila Vijayadvaja's early days, it has a similar mood to the previous incident, but unlike the other it is an interesting description that brings out his conviction as a pure surrendered, unmotivated 'Vaishnava sannyasi'.
As with many 'sannyasis' of the line, particularly on this west coast of Karnataka, Shripad Vijayadwaja Tirtha took 'sannyasa' as a very small boy. Constantly travelling, and preaching, he would have to maintain by collecting alms ('bhiksa'), but alas, sometimes he would have to go without food for three or five days. Out of dire need and hunger, the young 'sannyasin', skinny and weak due to hunger, on one occasion, began to make some arrangements to cook very simply, using some simple wild forest spinach (like dandelion, sheeps sorrel, puha etc.), a few rocks and dry twigs that he had found, and gathered from by the side of the road. One much older and senior 'sannyasi' who some say was Raghunatha Tirtha of Uttaradhi mutt, came by and was horrified seeing the young 'yati' – 'mendicant' Vijayadwaja Tirtha, a 'sannyasi', cooking, "showing signs of independance, by making foodstuffs to offer and then in the name of God enjoy them, and in public, by the side of the road too!" He severely chastised the boy saying that this kind of action was against 'sannyasa dharma' (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Chaitanya Charitamrta Madhya-lila 15:193.Purport.) and character. A 'sannyasi' should only rely on the Lord and if nothing comes his way then that is the Lords' arrangement also.
He then informed the boy that the only way to counter this kind of 'adharmic' activity was to give up such a sinful body by suicide, then and only then would he be free from any reaction. So the humble and pure hearted young Vijayadwaja Tirtha Swami prepared to give up the world. At this time another 'sannyasi' happened to come by, and upon seeing what he recognise to be the preparations for death, could understand what was on Vijayadwaja's mind. This second 'sannyasi' then enquired from the boy why he had taken to this decision. Hearing the story, the second 'sannyasi', who some say was the great Shripad Rajendra Tirtha, told him that as a 'sannyasi' who has dedicated his mind, body, intelligence and very self, to the service of the Lord, that from this time on that has been give to us to use, these bodies are not our property, and so, to do this deed of suicide, misusing anothers property, the Lord's property, was actually more sinful. This might be alright for some ordinary 'sannyasi' not engaged in the Lord's service, but for you, a Vaishnava Devotee it is not proper. Actually this body is the property, and Temple of God and not your's or mine to terminate at will. If you feel you have done some wrong better to purify it by performance of loving devotional service. He then instructed the boy to compile the afore said commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam and asured him that by this everything would be resolved. So doing, this highly devotional piece of literature was entitled "Pada-Ratnavali".
Disclosing his nature as an offenseless, and surrendered pure Devotee of the Lord, he revealed his intent in his writings. To this day followers of Madhva hold this devotional work as a standard text for reference.
At the end of his wonderful commentary, Vijayadwaja Tirtha prayed earnestly to Lord Shri Krishna;
vyakhya bhagavtasya Krishna racita
twat preeti kamatmana
pretaschet pradadasi tat pratinidhim
tat treen varisye varan
prang niskincanatam tava pratibhavam padaravindatmana
samsaktim sukhatirtha sastra vijarajarasya param taya
"Dear Lord Shri Krishna, I have written this commentary of Shrimad Bhagavatam out of love just to please You. If You are pleased, as an acknowledgement of the same, please grant me three boons – that I should always remain a poor man in this and any future lives, that I may always have the opportunity to study Bhagavatpadacharya Madhva's (Sukatirtha's) devotional works on Krishna consciousness, and lastly by doing so, I may always rest in You and that I may attain You and always remain with You as Your foot servant."
For many "Vijayadhvaja Tirtha of the Madhva school the great commentator on the Bhagavatam", assisted in many ways to build the infrastructure of the devotional as well as literary side of our 'sampradaya', with many insights being given to that end; i.e. in regard to the Gayatri phrases 'tatsavitur devasya' ('of the divine Savitr') and 'dhiyo yo nah pracodayate' ('may He inspire our purified intellects').
The great Gaudiyacharya Shrila Jiva Goswami proffesses great respect for Vijayadhwaja Tirtha in his Satsandarbhas.
Shripad Vijayadhvaja Tirtha was the sixth in the lineage of the Pejwara Mutt, and he passed away on the Akshaya Tritya day, which falls on the third day of the light fortnight in the month of Madhusudana (Vaishakha – April/May). His 'samadhi' (Vrindavana) is at Kanya Tirtha.