One of the original disciples of Acharya Madhva was Sri Upendra Teertha. He was very dear to Acharya Madhva and served him with a lot of devotion. When the Acharya and his disciples were on their second pilgrimage to Badri, they were attacked by a band of robbers. Under the Acharya’s inspiration and with his blessings, Sri Upendra Teertha fought with the robbers and single-handedly drove them away! Such was the power of the grace of Acharya on Sri Upendra Teertha.
Acharya gave Sri Upendra Teertha an icon of Lord Panduranga Vittala. The lineage following Sri Upendra Teertha is the one that we today know as Sri Puthige Matha and the main icon illuminating Sri Puthige Matha is the Lord Panduranga Vittala given by Acharya Madhva.
Sri Upendra Teertha was succeeded by Sri Kavindra Teertha, followed by Sri Hamsendra Teertha and others. The early part of the twentieth century saw Sri Sudhindra Teertha. He lived over 100 years, and performed pooja to Lord Krishna in 4 paryaayaas. He started several institutions and is revered even today. He was followed by Sri Sujnanendra teertha, and later by Sri Sugunendra teertha, the present pontiff. With the advent of Sri Sugunendra teertha, the 29th Pontiff, began the golden age of the Puthige Matha.
Deities Worshipped by Sri Swamiji
Upendra Vittala: The vigraha of Panduranga Vittala with Rukmini and Satyabhama gifted to the first pontiff, Sri Upendra Tirtha by Acharya Madhva is worshipped here. Vittala is holding a conch in one hand and pointing his feet with the other hand, both hands are at hip level. Sri Vadiraja Swamiji interpreted this as, those who wear this sign of conch and chakra and prostrate before the Lord’s feet can easily cross the ocean of bhava since the depth of the ocean will get reduced to his hip level by the grace of the Lord. Since two other mathas also have the vigraha of Vittala, the vigraha of this matha is known as Upendra Vittala to distinguish this from the other vigrahas.
Srikara – Lord of Wealth: Eight hands holding Surya, chandra, shanku chakra and tressure and holding Sri Lakshmi’s hand. Pouring gold by sitting on Garuda’s back. After stealing Parijatha, Sri Krishna and Sathyabhama are flying on Garuda pouring gold throughout the way.
Bhuvaraha – Protector of Earth: Lord Vishnu has taken the Varaha Avatara (Boar Form) to protect Mother Earth to kill Hiranyaksha.
Kaliyamardana Krishna: Sri Krishna’s dancing pose on the big and venemous serpant Kaliya to tame the arrogant snake which was causing problems to the cowherds and the cattle in Gokula.
Lakshminarayana on Garuda Vahana: Normally, Vishnu is having Ashtabhuja, where as here, Garuda is having Ashtabhuja. Scriptures desribe this as, one will get the form he mediates. Here, Garuda gets this form because of his meditation.
Dhanvanthri with Amrutha Kalasha and Gnana Mudra: After samudra mathana, Sri Vishnu took the form of Dhanvantri to distribute amritha between the Devas and Asuras. Then, suddenly he took the form of Mohini and deceived the asuras and distributed the nectar among the Devas. This god is known as the god of health.
Vedavyasa – Lord of Knowledge: He is wearing jata. In one hand, Gnana Mudra and Abhaya Mudra on the other. In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says, abhaya is the first quality for a sadhaka and gnana is the supreme one for salvation.
Hayagriva Saligrama: One will acquire oratory skills by worshipping this saligrama.
Matsya Saligrama: This is in the shape of fish and one will get wealth by worshipping this.
Udupi Sri Krishna Vigraha: Holding churning rod and rope. The significance of this posture is, the Lord is giving the mesage to his devotees, that one will get the moksha by being devoted to the Lord just like getting butter out of churning the curds.
There have been 29 Pitadhipathi’s in the parampara of Puthige Matha. They are as follows:
1. Sri Upendra Tirtha
2. Sri Kavindra Tirtha
3. Sri Hamsendra Tirtha
4. Sri Yadavendra Tirtha
5. Sri Dharanidhara Tirtha
6. Sri Damodara Tirtha
7. Sri Raghunatha Tirtha
8. Sri Srivatsanka Tirtha
9. Sri Gopinatha Tirtha
10. Sri Ranganatha Tirtha
11. Sri Lokanatha Tirtha
12. Sri Ramanatha Tirtha
13. Sri Srivallabha Tirtha
14. Sri Srinivasa Tirtha
15. Sri Srinidhi Tirtha
16. Sri Gunanidhi Tirtha
17. Sri Anandanidhi Teertha
18. Sri Taponidhi Tirtha
19. Sri Yadavendra Tirtha
20. Sri Kavindra Tirtha
21. Sri Raghavendra Tirtha
22. Sri Vibudhendra Tirtha
23. Sri Surendra Tirtha
24. Sri Bhuvanendra Tirtha
25. Sri Yogindra Tirtha
26. Sri Sumatindra Tirtha
27. Sri Sudhindra Tirtha
28. Sri Sujnanendra Tirtha
29. Sri Sugunendra Tirtha (Present Pitadhipathi)
Sri Puthige Matha
1/3 opp. B.M.S. Engg. College, Bull Temple Main Road,
Basavanagudi, Bangalore – 560 019, Karnataka, India.
Phone : 080-6605042, 6527078, 2906537