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For preservation of `dharma'

Sri Satyatma Teertha Swamiji, pontiff of Jagadguru Srimanmadhwacharya Moola Maha Samsthana, redefines the role of temples and maths in society today.



REDIFINING ROLE: His Holiness Sri Satyatma Teertha Swamiji redefines the role of maths

IT WAS celebration time for the hundreds of devotees who had gathered to witness the `pratishtapana' (consecration ceremony) of an idol of Shri Anjaneya, at Jillelaguda, off the Karmanghat Road on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The pontiff of Sri Uttaradi Math of Jagadguru Srimanmadhwacharya Moola Maha Samsthana, His Holiness Sri Satyatma Teertha Swamiji consecrated the idol of Shri Anjaneya - central to the Dvaita school of philosophy - as also Brindavanas of four other Dvaita stalwarts - Sri Jayateertha, Sri Raghootama Swami, Sri Raghavendra Swami and Sri Satyapramoda Swami in the same precincts.

Explaining the rationale behind setting up temples and maths, the pontiff says, "temples and maths function as centres of spiritual and religious learning. They are places for the public to congregate and for the preservation of dharma."

The pontiff who has a massive following in south India, particularly in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, was in Hyderabad recently for consecration of the temple and releasing a set of 37 works of Sri Madhwacharya translated in Telugu called Sarvamulagrantha en route to Raichur and then, Udupi.

Sri Satyatma Teertha Swamiji has sought to redefine the role and functioning of the maths in present day society. Recognising the role of maths and religious heads in society, the Swamiji has initiated serious efforts to rid the society of various ills. He has campaigned against drugs, drinking and the dowry system. Community health ranks high in the list of priorities of the young Swamiji, he having organised health camps, eye camps, medical aid for the poor and needy, donated funds for Kargil, earthquake and cyclone victims, adopted a village near Raichur and helped construct dharmashalas. He says, "the role of the pontiffs has always remained the same - to spread dharma and eliminating adharma. Perhaps the methodology keeps changing with the times. Well-being of the society is essential so that energies can then be properly channelised."

The Swamiji, through his innovative methods has been the guiding spirit at various conventions, conferences, seminars, debates, lectures, Gnana Satras, workshops and classes in Indian Philosophical Schools in different cities like Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Dharwar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Varanasi and Allahabad. He has also conducted personality development courses and management training programmes. The pontiff has also been endeavouring to spread Indian philosophy - particularly Dvaita, the youngest after Advaita and Vishistadvaita - in the West and, to this end has also set up a branch of the Vishwamadhwa maha parishat in the USA at New York.

His message to the devotees is simple - "Bhakti to Sri Narayana and dharma must be followed always. God is `vishwatashchakshuhu' (omnipresent) and it is impossible to indulge in evil and get away from god. While knowledge of law is important, knowledge of dharma is paramount."

SUDHEENDRA PUTTY

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