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H.H Shrimath Yadavendra (II) Thirtha Swamiji

Shrimath Keshavendra Thirtha Swamiji (the second Swamiji of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan) had initiated another vatu into sanyasa and had named him Yadavendra Thirtha, the same name as his Guru’s. Thus he may be known as Yadavendra (II) Thirtha. In the the earlier records of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan, the practice of indicating the number II, III etc. was not followed. As a result there had been a misunderstanding among the later scholars, especially Sri H. Laxminarayan Kamath of Gangoli, who had done pioneering work on the Guru Parampara of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan. He had inspected most of the Math records and concluded that Hanumanta Bhat was the name of Shrimath Yadavendra Thirtha, the first Guru of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan in his purvashrama. This version was accepted by the later authors. The present author in his Kannada book on Kashi Math 1969, p25 and V. N. Kudva in his monumental work History of Dakshinatya Sarasvatas, 1972, p 190, have based their version on Sri Kamath’s findings. It appears that Sri Kamath had referred to Document NO.6 and 17 in which the former name of Yadavendra is given as Hanumanta Bhat, However, this Yadavendra mentioned in the documents is Yadavendra (II) Thirtha and not the first Guru of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan. Firstly, document No. 6 us dated 4 Ramzan 1081 A.H. Thursday, 5th January, 1671. This is summarized below:

Utaf Ali Kazi

In the court of Kazi Sayyad Inayatulla. Under the court seal of Khaja Najir dost Mohammed Shaikh Ajajulla. Issue on 4th Ramazan 1081 A.H, (Thursday, 5th January, 1671).

“This day a respectable man named Hanumanta Bhat (Yadavendra, after becoming a sanyasi), son of Taman Bhat, son of Narayana Bhat, declared in the administrative office of Mohammadabad alias Banaras”.

This refers to a building constructed on a plot measuring 17yd x 15yd and surrounded on the four sides as shown in Fig6. The plot and the structures (the location is the same as that described in document no. 9) where in the possession of Keshava Thirtha (alias Rama Bhat), son of Narayana Bhat. While he was alive (he passed away in 1670), Keshava Thirtha had donated the whole plot along with the structures thereon to Yadavendra (alias Hanumanta), who was in the possession of the plot, the structures as well as the relevant document (Document no. 9 described earlier is the donation deed referred to here), which was then produced before the Kazis, who read it and confirmed the contents thereof.

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Fig. 6: Plot donated by Yadavendra (II) Thirtha to Narayana Bhat (Raghavednra Thirtha) in Banaras (Document No. 6)

Yadavendra (II) Thirtha then went on declaring that he was on that day (5th January, 1671) donating the plot with the structures thereon to his brother’s son Narayana Bhat (later Raghavendra Thirtha).

Narayana Bhat accepted this donation in the presence of the Kazis and took possession of the relevant documents. The document goes on to describe Yadavendra (II) Thirtha as having a wheat complexion. This tall person with wide brows and wide eyes had a scar on the forehead and black moustaches and beard. His age (in 1671) was 42 years (giving the year of his birth as 1629)

Document Nos. 3 and 15 relate to the purchase of a plot by Yadavendra (II) Thirtha in Banaras on Thursday 26th March 1674 (28th Jilhaz, 1084 A.H.) from one Shri Raghunatha Bhat. The plot with certain structures with various halls, some with wooden ceilings, was surrounded on the four sides·as shown in Fig. 7. This was in the possession of one Shri Ramesh Bhat, after whose death it was passed on to his three sons, one of them being Bishan Bhat. On passing away of Bishan Bhat, his share of the property was automatically transferred to his son Raghunatha Bhat. The rest of the plot, owned by his two uncles, was also transferred to him by the uncles in exchange for another structure. One of them died and his wife inherited it (the other structure). One of them died and his wife inherited it (the other structure). The said plot and the structure thereon (shown in Fig. 7) was in the absolute possession of Raghunatha Bhat. After thus establishing his ownership and title to the said plot and structure, Raghunatha Bhat sold them to Yadavendra (II) Thirtha for Rs.200/-

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Fig. 7: Plot of land bought by Yadavendra (II) Thirtha from Raghunatha Bhat

Another document (No. J 7) gives the inter-relations of some Swamijis of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan as shown in Fig. 8.

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Fig. 8: Inter-relationship between some Swamijis of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan (Document No. 17)

This is dated 4th Zilkaz, 1126 A.H. (Sunday 31st October, 1714) three years after passing away of Shrimath Yadavendra (II) Thirtha . His brother’s (Venkat Bhat’s) three sons, Vittala, Narayana (he had already become Devendra Thirtha by then) and Rama claimed that they were the successors of Yadavendra (II) Thirtha in the court of Mohammadabad alias Banaras. Two witnesses of the Brahma Ghat, Banaras (one Madhava Bhat, son of Bhima Bhat, son of Rama Bhat and another Rama Bhat, son of Narayana Bhat, son of Bhima Bhat, both being Maratha Brahmanas) are mentioned in the document.

Document No. 28 deals with the donation of the plot purchased by Yadavendra (II) Thirtha in 1674 and covered in Document Nos. 3 and 15 after his death to his nephew Bishan Bhat (son of Rama Bhat) by his brothers and is dated 27th Safar, 1127 A.H. corresponding to Monday 21st Feb., 1715. This was filed by Hanumanta Bhat’s (Yadavendra (II) Thirtha’s) nephews (Vittala Bhat, Narayana Bhat alias Devendra Thirtha and Rama Bhat, sons of Venkata Bhat) in the Banaras court (Jafar Mohammad Kasim).

After describing the plot and the structures thereon (almost the same as those described in Document No.3) the nephews declared that their uncle (Yadavendra (II) Thirtha) had passed away and that they had jointly inherited his said property and produced the relevant records in the Court. They further declared that they were jointly donating the entire property to Bishan Bhat, son of Rama Bhat (one of the donors). Subsequently, Bishan Bhat took possession of the relevant records and admitted in the court that he did so. The donors pledged that they would not raise any objections in the future regarding this donation.

Shrimath Yadavendra (II) Thirtha, the fourth in the Guru Parampara of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan did not initiate anyone into sanyas. In the later years of his life, he visited the Karnataka region and camped in Hemmady, where he attained Maha Samadhi on Bhadrapada Shuddha Purnima of Khara Samvatsara, Sh. Sh. 1633, corresponding to Saturday, 15th September 1711 A.D.* He had lived to a ripe old age of 82 years. The Vrindavan of H.H Shri Swamiji is in Hemmady Shri Kashi Math ,near the river Chakra.

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