By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Vadiraja, VAdirAja, Vaadiraaja
Vādirāja lived in A. D. 1480-1600. Vādirāja or Vādirāja-tīrtha is one of the brightest stars among the saṅyāsins of the Mādhva tradition. He was a monk par excellence, a gigantic intellect and a yogi of the highest order endowed with supernatural psychic powers. He was the first to enter the Brndāvana alive. He was the head of the Svādī or Sode Matha, one of the eight Mathas established by Madhvācārya.
He lived for 120 years. He was born as the first son of Rāmabhaṭṭa and Gaurīdevī at Huvinakere, a small village in the South Canara district of Karnataka State in A. D. 1480. He practically grew up in the monastery under the loving care of its then pontiff, Vāgīśa who also educated him in all branches of learning necessary for a spiritual teacher. He was later initiated into the monastic life with the new name Vādirājatīrtha. In course of time, he succeeded his guru Vāgīśa to the pontifical seat.
His achievements as the pontiff of the Sode Maṭha and as a spiritual teacher are very impressive. He re-organised the paryāya system, taking turns for the worship of Śrīkṛṣṇa at the Uḍupi temple , from that of two months to that of two years. He toured the country several times to spread the doctrines of Dvaita Vedānta as also the sect of devotion to Viṣṇu. He wrote several scholarly works in support of the Dvaita Vedānta philosophy such as Gururājīya-sudhā-tippani, Tātparya-nirnayatīkā, Yuktimallikā, Bhagavadgītā-tippani and Tantrasāratlkā in Sanskrit. His treatises in Kannada are:
- Kannada-tātparya nirnaya
He also composed several devotional songs in the Kannada language and continued the tradition of singing them in the Mādhva monasteries. He was a devoted worshiper of Hayagriva and had attained great yogic powers which he often used for the benefit of the devotees and the supplicants. He was a junior contemporary of Vyāsatīrtha or Vyāsarāya another great scholarly saint under whom he was trained in the Vedāntic scriptures for some time.
Though his main seat of pontificate was at Uḍupi, he chose to leave the body at Sode in the North Canara district of Karnataka itself. He entered into the Brndāvana on the Phālguna-tṛtīyā day during February /March in A. D. 1600 and passed away.
- Mathas means pontifical seats.
- He lived in A. D. 1238-1317.
- Monastery means Sode Maṭha.
- Hayagrive is an aspect of Viṣṇu.
- He lived in A. D. 1447-1539.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore