II Sri Gurubhoyo Namah! Hari Om! II
His Holiness 1008 Sri Sugunendra Teertha Swamiji is the 29th Pontiff of the Puthige Matha in Udupi. Puthighe Matha is one of the Ashta Mathas or eight religious institutions formed by Sri Madhwacharya or Sri Ananda Teertha, the famous Guru and the founder of Dvaita School of Vedanta.
Swamiji adorned the saintly robes at a tender age of twelve when his guru initiated him as successor to lead the Puthige Matha. His career as the Pontiff of Puthige Matha extends to four decades and during this time Swamiji has established more than thirty five religious institutions and places of worship to impart the relevance of the rich and ancient Vedic heritage to the modern generations.
At the age of 15 – in 1976, he became the youngest head of a Matha in the history of Udupi Mathas to conduct a Paryaya – the rotational system prevalent in Udupi for managing Udupi temple amongst the Ashta Mathas. Since then Swamiji has successfully completed a hat trick of Paryayas – the recent one completing in 2010.
In every Paryaya, Swamiji‘s vision and benevolence, has led to the establishment of distinct landmarks within Udupi – like the Gita Mandira, Indraprastha Guest House, Anna Brahma – a large facility to feed over 1500 pilgrims at once, and even the Nava-kanaka ratha for Lord Sri Krishna, a golden chariot studded with precious gems! Since his first Paryaya, Swamiji has made numerous contributions in the field of religion and social service! Several landmark temples across the globe, Vedanta Vidya Peethas, Vruddhaashrama, have been blessed into existence by Swamiji.
These are just a few of Swamiji’s achievements over the past 39 years.
Though hailing from a conservative background, Swamiji in his progressive thinking and foresight was much ahead of his times, firmly believing that spiritual upliftment will bring in economic prosperity.
Swamiji is a visionary amongst his contemporaries, who boldly left the shores of India considered as taboo for saints, to take on the mantle of showing the right path of spirituality and salvation to the millions of overseas devotees and their children. He was undeterred by the opposition and criticisms thrown at him on his decision to leave India to foreign lands.
Although there are many temples in USA and Canada that were already built and patronised by devotees, Sri Krishna temple and Sri Raghavendra Brindavana were the first of their kind as they were personally established and managed by a head of traditional religious institution from Udupi. Priests for these temples are trained in the conducting of all rituals, pujas, homas and well versed in shastras supported by cooks who prepare delicious prasada for the Lord and for the devotees in the most traditional manner.
Since Swamiji’s first visit to United States in 2000, there has been no looking back. In a brief span of just 15 years, Swamiji has established 7 temples and multiple centres of knowledge across United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Swamiji’s fame had spread far and wide and devotees from other parts of the world were beckoning him to set up religious centres in London, other parts of Europe and Asia. Australia was not in his sights until devotees in Melbourne under Shree Raghavendra Seva Samithi approached and invited him to visit Melbourne in 2013.
Swamiji has since personally seen the level of interest and passion of devotees for their Guru Sri Raghavendra Swamy during his visits in 2013 and 2014 and to the delight of all devotees announced his decision to set up Sri Krishna Brundavana – a place of worship for Sri Krishna, Sri Hanuman and Sri Raghavendra Swamy.
With his divine blessings, a Priest House is open now in Melbourne Australia from 20th May 2015, and with the divine will and blessings of Lord Krishna, Lord Anjaneya and Sri Raghavendra Swamiji, it is hoped that Melbourne will also have its own Matha / temple in Melbourne – the first in Southern hemisphere.
Swamiji’s contribution has led to many international honour :
- He is first Madhwa pontiff who has visited countries across 5 continents!
- He was elected the International President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) New York for a period of five years.
- He has presided over international conferences in New York, Jordan, South Africa and Russia.
- Keynote speaker at the historic World Philosophers meet at Pune.
- Chief Guest at World Hindu Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal
- Felicitated as “Honorary Ambassador” by the Governor of the State of Oklahoma in US.
His Holiness Sri Sugunendra Teertha Swamiji is a very potent combination of dynamism, erudition, and devotion. He believes in simple living and high thinking. Swamiji has endeared himself to a large cross section of society throughout the world and has carved for himself a niche in their hearts.
Swamiji always says ‘Be a bee on religions, religion is beyond regionalism’.
Let us all be a bee and get some of the divine nectar from His Holiness at Sri Krishna Brundavana, Melbourne!