Debate between Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha & Lokmanya Tilak!

Hari Sarvothama Vayu Jivothama

Sri Raghavendra Gurubyo Namaha

Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha Gurubyo Namaha

I have recently read an article which was very interesting and I thought I would share the same to you all. It was an incident rather a debate which happened between Sri Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha & Sri Lokmanya Tilak(BG Tilak).  Sincere thanks to Sri Kale Balakrishna, who is the source of this article. Click here to know about his spiritual blog on Dvaita philosophy. 

Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha[1911 – 1942]

Moola brindhavana Sri Satyadhyana Tirtharu (Pandarapura)

॥ आसेतोरातुषाराद्रेर्योदिशो जितवान् मुहुः। सत्यध्यानगुरुः पातु यतीन्द्रैरपि पूजितः॥

|AsethorAtuShArAdreryodisho jitavAn muhuH|satyadhyAnaguruH pAtu yatIndrairapi pUjitaH|

Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha was one of the great and notable Saints of Jagadguru Sri Madhvacharya parampare. His holiness was born in the state of Karnataka in the year 1872.Right from his young age he was doing Patta/Pravachane and spread the greatness of Sri Madhva Philosophy. There are many notable Swamijis and notable Grustha sishyasis who learnt patta under this great Saint among those Dr.BNK Sharma was one of them .Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha [of Bandarakeri Mutt] was also one of the Shishyas of this great Saint.

 You can find detailed article on Sri Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha from here. [Please install PDF to view the same].

Bal Gangadhar Tilak 

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak  born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak (23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920), was an Indian nationalist, journalist, teacher, social reformer, lawyer and an independence activist who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities called him “Father of the Indian unrest”. He was also conferred with the honorary title of “Lokmanya”, which literally means “Accepted by the people (as their leader)”. Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of “Swaraj” (self-rule) and a strong radical in Indian consciousness. His famous quote, “Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it!” is well-remembered in India even today. Tilak started the Marathi weekly,Kesari in 1880-81 with Gopal Ganesh Agarkar as the first editor. Kesari later became a daily and continues publication to this day. Thanks Wiki.


Debate between Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha & Lokmanya Tilak!

Balgangadhar Lokmanya Tilak wrote a book by name “GITA RAHASYA” while he was in Mandala Jail in the year 1916. Tilak was an extraordinary intellectual person with radical ideas. He as raised many doubts over Sri Adi Shankaracharyas Adwaita and has refuted his philosophy. Basically he has raised many doubts on the topic “Do any intellectual need to perform karma or not?”.

In some of the places he has also raised objections over Acharya Madhva’s philosophy and his Gita Bhashya. Dwaita Siddhanta supports that “An intellectual needs to perform his Karma” irrespective of his intellectuality and knowledge. Sri Tilak has ignored all these, which is supported by Dwaita Siddhanta and made remarks against Acharya. This was brought to the notice of Swamiji. He immediately without making any delay asked one of his shishya Sri Anna Rao Devele a leading Lawyer of Chikkodi to write to Tilak.

Swamiji has asked him to convey to Tilak that he can make it as per his convenience to come and discuss about the remarks what he has made in his book. Either he can come and meet him or he was ready to make to his convenient place. Later Tilak replied to this letter from Ahmedabad and said that he would certainly meet His Holiness at Chikkodi. At that time Congress party was to hold its regional meeting at Belgaum from 10th to 12th April in the year 1917.

Tilak reached Chikkodi after the congress party meeting at Belgaum.Several scholar’s intellectuals and eminent citizens also came to Chikkodi to meet Swamiji. Prominent amongst them were Mahadev Paranjape, Sri Narasimha, Chintaman Kelkar, J.C.Karandikar etc. With full respect Tilak bowed to Swamiji and after exchanging pleasantries they started to discussion. The discussions went on for 3-4 days, but Tilak was in hurry and he was suppose to leave that place and left the discussions in between. In their course of discussions Tilak has given many references to what he has written in his book “GITA RAHASYA”. Swamiji has asked him a straight and simple question and made him quite. Swamiji said what was the necessity for Sri Krishna to give the discourse and upadaesha to Arjuna in the battlefield. To this Swamiji told Tilak that Lord has been always with the Dharma and he has punished those who are against it. The battlefield was the right place for Arjuna to preach the same and win over the Kauravas who were totally against the Dharma.

To this he asked Tilak who was the fortunate person to listen this live? Tilak was surprised and was keep quite for some point of time. To this Swamiji again informed him it was Kapiraja Lord Vayu in the form of Mukhyaprana Devaru who was on the flag of Sri Krishna and Arjuna’s chariot who has listened all what has been preached by Lord Krishna to Arjuna directly. What more evidence you want to prove that what our Acharya has written is more than correct because our Srimadacharya himself is the third incarnation of Lord Vayu Hanuman. HE quoted many pramanas for this. By listening all this Tilak simply was not able to speak. He later informed Swamiji to come to Pune to take the discussion further in leisure. Swamiji has accepted his invitation and informed him that he will visit Pune soon. The 17th April 1917 issue of Kesari newspaper carried a detailed report of this historic meet at Chikkodi.

Swamiji continued with his travel and later reached Pune. Swamiji was given a rousing welcome and taken in a procession from Rameshwar mandir to Tulasibagh Ram mandir. Swamiji set his camp at Tulasibagh Ram Mandir. Tilak use to visit Swamiji daily and use to discuss with him on many topics. He use to make notes of all being discussed. He use to ask Swamiji many doubts regarding religion, dharma, religious practices rituals etc and Swamiji use to clear all of his doubts.

Swamiji use to substantiate his stand with quotations from scriptures, Vedas, Upanishads etc. Tilak was simply amazed at Sri Satyadhyana Teerthas learning, his sharp intellect and his outstanding memory. Everybody was surprised as how Swamiji convinced Tilak irrespective of knowing Marathi language. All the discussions happened between Tillak and Swamiji use to get published in a magazine, which use to get published by name “Madhva Siddhantha Sudhakar” in those days.

On Jyestha Krishnapaksha dwithiya (Thursday) an evening programme was arranged to honor His holiness by the citizens of Pune at Anandashram. The Kesari newspaper carried Tilak’s invitation to His Holiness and names of Moreshwar, Gopal Deskmukh, Narasimha, Chintaman Kelkar and many other prominent Punekar’s were included. A grand function was arranged for Bhiksha at Tulasi Bagh. That day Lokmanya Tilak applied Angara Akshata and this was widely published in next day’s edition of Bhopatkar’s Bhala Newspaper.

“TILAKANI KALIREKHA ANGARA AKSHATA ODHALI” were the headlines.Which means Tilak has applied a black line called Angara and Akshata.

Later all present at the function praised Swamiji for his intellectual knowledge and dynamic personality. Lokmanya Tilak spoke at the length of describing his brilliant personality and said “If I were to study Philosophy I would surely study under His Holiness or if he were to enter the political arena I will definitely be his follower. Several newspapers like Kesari, Jnanaprakash, Chitramayajagat, Bhala reported this event.

Wherever Sri Satyadhyana Teertha went he won accolades and captured hearts with the same ease. Such was his magnetic personality.


Let Jagadguru Sri Madhvacharya antharkatha Lord Sri Parasurama bless all of us with Gyana/Bhakthi/Vairagya,

—In the service of Sri Hari Vayu Gurugalu,


Venkatesh Rajendra Rao.

May the great teacher,Sri VyasaTirtha,be our guide&protector,to grant all our desires.


One thought on “Debate between Sri Satyadhyana Tirtha & Lokmanya Tilak!

  1. I am really delighted to read this article. The greatness of Madhwa Philosophy is such that the it preaches the ultimate truth in the Universe. This can be adjudged by the fact that since the
    establishment of Dwaitha Philosophy no other school of thought has made its presence. The
    Dwaitha Philosophy explains us the complete process which consists of Creation-“SRISHTI” – Sustainance “STHITHI” and – Destruction “LAYA” which will go on for ever. It shows the way by which we can escape this Eternal Cycle by following the preachings of Sri Madhwacharya and great many Yathis who have tread and are treading the path shown by our Vishwa Guru Sri Madhwacharya

    “Srimanmadhwamathe Harihi paratharah sathyam jagathathwatho
    Bedho jeevagana Hareranucharaha neechochcha bhavangatha
    Mukthirnaija sukhanubhuthiramala bhakthishcha thatsadhanam
    Hyakshadi thrithayam Pramanamakhilamnaayaika Vaidyo Harihi”

    The above shloka was composed by Sri Vyasa Theertharu as an answer to the question by
    Kanchi Pandits seeking the gist of Madhwa Matha in a short-simple-comprehensive way.

    the meaning is: In Srimanmadhwamatha Hari is the Supreme.
    This world is True (not a magic as propounded by other schools)
    There is always Jeeva-Jeeva Bheda, Jeeva-Jada Bheda, Jada-Jada Bheda
    Paramathma-Jeeva Bheda- Paramathma-Jada Bheda
    Sri Mahalakshmi – Brahma and all other Jeevas are servants of God
    always bound by Tharathamya (Gradation)
    The emancipation of inbuilt quality of Happiness in Jeeva is Moksha
    The all pure eternal love of GOD is the path for Moksha
    Prathyaksha-What is seen by our eyes, Anumana-What is not seen but
    can be established and Aagama- Vedas are the paths,
    traversing which we can get knowledge about GOD.

    I am thankful to Sri Venkatesh Rajendra Rao for sending this article.


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