[1st Pontiff, Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt, Melukote]
HIS HOLINESS SRI. SRI. YADUGIRI YATHIRAJA NARAYANA RAMANUJA JEEYAR SWAMI
Current & 41st Pontiff
Sri Sri Jeeyar Swami, the current and 41st Pontiff of Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt is implementing the eternal principles of Sri Ramanujacharya in all the verticals, spiritual social service and cultural with no bias on religion, caste and creed. Prior to his being installed as a Pontiff, he dedicated his entire life to social service.
During his poorvashrama, Jeeyar Swami studied and was well versed in Scriptures and Vedas under the tutelage of his Poorvacharyas. As RSS Pracharak, he blended his social service attitude with the strong disciplinary principles of RSS. He positioned himself at Rastrothana Parishath and got involved with highly spiritual RSS leader and literatures. He efficiently led the project Bharatha Bharathi Publications to bring out over 510 books on great Indian personalities which almost became a world record. TTD had implemented the publication of books in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam languages.
He was instrumental in starting RSS School in Magadi Road, Bangalore. As the founder member of Sri Ramanuja seva trust, many social service activities were carried out Like Shushrutha blood bank and Ambulance service. He Introduced “Vaikunta Yatra Van”, a noble service to facilitate cremation of the deceased. Adoption of Rotary hospital at Rama Nagara, Construction of group houses for poor near Andhra Karnataka border Named as “Ramanujapuram”, Rural Development of Kama Shetty halli, near Chikkaballapur and renaming it as Amaravathi, Matrimonial bureau (Assema), are notable initiatives. On the Spiritual side, he was the flag bearer of Ramanuja Ratha Yatra to create Ramanuja Pragne amongst the masses. Many music festivals were organized and artists of South India were honoured.
Sanyasa sweekaram, 25th November, 2014 dawned a new chapter in the history of Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt (Sri Mutt). In a historic event that unfolded at Melukote, ‘Tiru Swami’ received the Sanyasa Sweekaram at Veda Pushkarini in the holy presence of eminent Jeeyar’s of Sri Parakala Mutt, HH Sri Sri Embar Jeeyar- Sriperumbudur, HH Sri Sri Thirukkovalur Jeeyar. Thousands of disciples and well-wishers thronged the venue and witnessed the sacred Pattabhishekam. Tiru Swami ascended the Sri Mutt Peetam as the 41st Pontiff as Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar “
Under Jeeyar Swami’s leadership, Sri Yathiraja Mutt has taken up various projects in spiritual, social & cultural verticals with an intention of holistic development of the society at large.v
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Sri Deshantari Kelvi Tiru-Narayana Jeeyar (1104)
Sri Ramanuja appointed Sri Deshantari Kelvi Tiru-Narayana Jeeyar to the Peetam in 1104, to propagate the Mutt abhivardhanam (growth).
With Sri Ramanuja’s motivating Grace & as enshrined in the rule-book ‘Niyamanappadi’, this Jeer majestically continued the Nitya Bhagavat Aradhanams in & around the Cheluva Narayana-swami temple.
Sri Tiru-Narayana Jeeyar (around 1140)
Jeer honored Parasara Bhattar (one of the most distinuguished preceptors, whom Ramanuja entrusted to perpetuate Sri Vaishnavism) when he came to Melkote in around 1140s.
Tondanur sishyas donated land to Sri Tiru-Narayana swami temple.
Sri Yathiraja Jeeyar (1186)
With the temple honouring of ‘Sri Narayana Patta’, he assumed the Peetam (‘Peetam sveekar’) in 1186
Donated Nanda-Deepam to the Lord; many charitable works was being executed.
Sri Yadugiri Narayana (1221)
He received with honor the Ramanuja Mudra (seal of authority) & ascended the Peetam in 1221. -In 1225-60, Perumal Danda-nayaka family donated lands to Tiru-vanna Perumal (‘Namada Garuda’); -They also laid passage from Ramanuja Sannidhi till the kitchen.
Sri Ramanuja Jeeyar (Around 1320)
Around 1320-5, Sri Vedanta Desika performed Mangalashasanam to Sri Tiru-Narayana swami; -In 1368, as SriVaishnavism was gaining ground in S.India (Melkote, Srirangam, Kanchi, Tirupati), Jain ruler Bhukkana convened a meeting of SriVaishnavite leaders, to take care of the Jains too; he honoured the invitees well.
Sri Yathiraja Ramanuja Jeeyar (Around 1457)
In around 1457, Melkote was totally devastated by foreign invasions;
Renovated Sudarshan chakrath-alvar Sannidhi till Thaayaar Sannidhi, with a corridor;
Mysore ruler Immadi established ‘Sri Ramanuja Koota’, providing food for pilgrims-Bhagavathas.
Sri Vedanti Ramanuja-muni Jeeyar (Around 1519)
He ascended the Peetam in 1519. -In 1519, Sripati Sreshti donated funds for temple Tadeeyaradhanams; -Probably one of the earliest scholarly Yathiraja Mutt Jeers; penned many Sri Sookthis of which 4 are known; -‘ashta-sloki commentary’- 36th Jeer has printed-published this rare vyakhyanam; -‘Divyasuri prabhava dipika’; 2 lost (‘Nirhetu-kathva dipika’, ‘Kaivalya dipika’).
Sri Sampath-kumara Ramanuja Jeeyar (Around 1565)
He ascended the Peetam in 1565; -Tadeeyaradhanams increased with good donations, by way of the organized ‘Batayi’ collections, from the locals as land tax; -SriVaishnavism’s generosity & community services were appreciated by common folks around; -Mysore king Raja Wodeyar highly impressed with the SriVaishnavites, installed 4 Entrance Pillars in the 4 directions of Melkote; he also donated ‘Raja Mudi’ to Sri Tiru-Narayana swami.
Sri Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar (No Records)
He collected the older Guru-Parampara granthas & published them; -Puja idols collected from other places, kept in the Mutt, were now put to daily use.
Sri Sampath-kumara Ramanuja Jeeyar (No Records)
This great dynamic scholar started Sanskrit & Vedic schools, inside a cowshed complex & thus rejuvenated the Guru-Sishya tradition of learning.
Sri Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar (No Records)
Initiated Tiru-Narayana Selva-pillai & Ubhaya Vedanta Kalakshepams.
Sri Sampath-kumara Ramanuja Jeeyar (No Records)
He continued the Nitya Bhagavat Aradhanams & Ubhaya Vedanta Kalakshepams.
Sri Kunigal Bahu-kutumbi Jeeyar (No Records)
He continued to celebrate Sri Tiru-Narayana swami festivities with grandeur; -His family lineage of Vedic scholars continues in Melkote; -He attained Paramapadam (entered His Brindavanam) in 1822.
Tondanur P B Singra Iyengar Jeeyar (1822. Chaturmasa-18)
He ascended Peetam in 1822. Chaturmasa-18; -His highly astounding Sri Bhashya & Tiruvoymoli Kalakshepams included an assemblage of vibrant scholars -Kumara Achinga Iyengar, Kandadai Doddacharya, Kumara Singlacharya, Maha-bhashyam Natampalli Singlacharya, Stanikam Koil Nambi Periappa, Vedanta Narasimhachar, Kanchi Tiru-Venkatachar, Amruthoora Srinivas Iyengar, Sri Ramanuja-muni Tirumalachar, Vadyar Kethanahalli Venkatachar, Tondanur Stanikam Srinivas Iyengar, Kodae Singlacharya, Kandadai Govindachar, Anandam-pillai Tirumalacharya. -He attained Paramapadam on 20.12.1839.
Thittumel Anand-alvar Jeeyar (1838, Chaturmasa-10)
He continued with his Divya Prabandham kalakshepams; Chaturmasa-10; -For effective Mutt administration, he appointed Tondanur P.B.Appalachar; -He attained Paramapadam in 1849.
Chandogyam Kuppana Iyengar Jeeyar (No Records)
He safe-guarded & took care of North Indian sishyas; appointed successor; -He attained Paramapadam on 24.5.1858.
Chinna Naateri Varadachar Jeeyar (No Records)
Born in Kanchi of Kandadai family; very learned scholar; with his brother Ramanujachar came to Melkote; -Vastly improved the Mutt – admin streamlined by Tondanur P.B. Appalachar, Krishnakumar Venkatachar, Singalachar; -In 1856, toured N.India and acquired sishyas, elephants, horses with regal grandeur, across Himalayas, Badrikashram, Rajasthan-Baroda, Bikaner, Jaipur, Darbanga, etc; -In 1859, Rewa ruler Raghuraja-Simha Jhudev invited him with honors; as king was childless, Jeer through Mantra-dhyanam, helped the king to beget a son; Jeer named him Venkataramana simha; -The jubiliant king established a ‘Mutt’ at Govinda-Ghad, for our Jeer; -First Jeer to attain Paramapadam in North India at Govind-Ghad; -He attained Paramapadam on 1.9.1890.
Mudigumbham Krishnayyan Venkatachar Jeeyar (1867, Chaturmasa-7)
Born in 1814 and attained Paramapadam on 17.6.1874; Chaturmasa-7; -He ascended the Peetam in 1867; -He continued Kalakshepams & upanyasams to his sishyas.
Periya-kumara Singalachar Jeeyar (1874, Chaturmasa-2)
He ascended the Peetam on 17.6.1874; Chaturmasa-2; -This Maha-Bhashyam Jeer nurtured a lot of sishyas.
Natampalli Ala-Singrachar Jeeyar (1882, Chaturmasa-10)
Great scholar & researched in Vedas; performed Mangalashasanam at Sri Parthasarathi Temple, Madras; -in 1882, returned to Melkote with Vidwan Venkatachar; then toured Karnataka-Shimoga, Andhra; -Vijayanagar king Bobbili raja honoured him; Chaturmasa-10; -He attained Paramapadam on 24.3.1886 at Sri Kurmam, Andhra Pradesh.
Natampalli Tiru-Narayana Perumal Jeeyar (1886, Chaturmasa-2)
Born on 22.6.1800. He ascended the Peetam on 24.3.1886; Chaturmasa-2; -Vedic scholar par excellence; toured Rewa, blessed the king for his Mutt services; -He attained Paramapadam on 3.8.1887 at Nagpur.
Jeeyar Sannidhi Tirumalachar Jeeyar (1887, Chaturmasa-15)
His poorvashram name- U.Ve.Varadachar; Chaturmasa-14; -very sattvik & gentle in nature; -highly erudite Vedic scholar, who researched & published many of his son-in-law Yogi Parthasarathi Iyengar’s books; -Prof.Gustav, Presidency College & Paul Deussen had frequent scholarly consultations with him; -went to Rewa; the king honoured him; then to Himalayas- Badri, Hyderabad, Bangalore & returned to Melkote; -again toured North India; did Chaturmasa at Tehri; when Vidwan Asuri Anand-alvar (future 36th Jeer) was honoured by Baroda & Rewa rulers, he inivited this exceptional scholar to Rewa Mutt; -He ascended Peetam in 10.1887; -He was a Committee member of Conference of World Religions-11.9.1893, Chicago, US; -He attained Paramapadam on 28.10.1901;
Chinna-kumara Singalachar Jeeyar (1902, Chaturmasa-6)
Born on 11.5.1829 at Melkote; later relocated to Madras Mutt; lots of sishyas-Abhimanis had his Anugrahams; -He ascended the Peetam on 23.1.1902; Chaturmasa-6; toured extensively & collected Samarpanams/funds for Mutt; -toured Kanpur, Lucknow with more sishyas & came to Ayodhya in 1902, to perform Mangalashasanam of the newly constructed ‘Darba Shayana’ Sri Rama Temple, near Sarayu river, donated by Yogi Parthasarathi Iyengar; -in 1903, performed Mangalashasanam at Malleswaram Sri Venu-gopala swami Temple, Bangalore; -He attained Paramapadam on 26.11.1907;
Kutti Thambi Damodaran Ala-Singrachar Jeeyar (1908, Chaturmasa-5)
Born on 24.4.1846 of Anand-alvar lineage; He ascended the Peetam on 12.7.1908; Chaturmasa-5; -erudite scholar who further assisted the published works of Yogi P.Iyengar (Smrtis, Dharma Shastras, Itihasas, Kavya, Nataka); -as directed by his previous guru Nellore Kumara Jeer, he ascended the Peetam, at age 62; -started Divya Prabandhams school; with help of Tippani Ala-singrachar, the Mutt walls were decorated with many Divya Desam vigrahas; He attained Paramapadam on 13.6.1913.
Kope Venkatachar Jeeyar (1913, Chaturmasa-4)
He ascended Peetam on 12.7.1913; he learnt Medical Science under Ramanujachar, brother of 32nd Jeer; -on 7.4.1914, Mysore Dewan Visvesvaraya-?? met Jeer and was immensely pleased; -on 15.7.1915, Mysore King with family came to Melkote and took Jeer’s blessings; -on 31.7.1915, Ubhaya Vedanta school was built with his Kalakshepams; arranged stipends, food, shelter for pupils; -his poorvashram relatives helped to continue the Mutt services & constructed the stone-paved pathway to Ashta-tirtha; -after he attained Paramapadam, a 10-day Brindavanam Puja was performed with great honors, to commemorate his industrious Mutt services in a span of 4 challenging years. He attained Paramapadam on 5.7.1917.
Asuri Anand Alvar (Sampath-kumara) Jeeyar (1921, Chaturmasa-22)
Born on 24.2.1859. He ascended the Peetam on 11.2.1921; Chaturmasa-22; -The pan-India fame of Yathiraja Mutt was firmly established by this Jeer- truly exceptional scholar-poet who disseminated knowledge, in all conferences & in his tours/sancharams & greatly appreciated by all other Northern India scholars & National leaders. -He is significantly credited as the world’s first sanskrit scholar to unearth Bhasa’s work ‘Svapna-vasava datta’ to the world; -Apart from being an expert in Indian metallurgy & chemistry, he has critically researched, edited & published more than 100+ works. -in 1956, his 97th Tiru-nakshatram was well commemorated with a fairly good difficult compilation of Yathiraja Mutt Jeers in a Kannada Book ‘Sri Yadavagiri Jeernodhara’ by the 40th Jeer & Asuri Sampath-kumarachar. -Just like the 35th Jeer, a 10-day Brindavanam Puja was performed with great honors, to extol his scholarly exuberance, perpetuating Sanatana Dharma & Sri Ramanuja Sampradayam in improving the Mutt administration. -He attained Paramapadam on 17.5.1943.
Vidwan Krishnakumar Koothadi Tiru-Venkatacharya Jeeyar (1944, Chaturmasa-10)
Born on 16.12.1885; He followed a very high degree of religious discipline; Chaturmasa-10; -As an Ekangi for 25 years, stayed at Melkote & Srirangam giving Kalakshepams; He ascended the Peetam in 1944. -Was instrumental in mobilizing regular funds to Melkote Bhagavat Kainkaryams & Bangalore branch building construction; -He attained Paramapadam at Srirangam.
Pillai Ayyan Iyengar Jeeyar (1954, Chaturmasa-16)
Born in 1888. He is a direct descendant of Tirumala Anand-alvan lineage; -He ascended Peetam on 5.7.1954; -In 1928, at All India Religious Conference, Kashi, participated as Mutt scholar representative, along with 36th Jeer & Devashikamani Ramanuja Iyengar; -for sishyas protection-welfare & Vishishtadvaita propagation, he undertook a national tour; -with religious fervor, he continued his nitya kainkaryams of Tadeeyaradhanams & Kalakshepams, and managed to run the Mutt admin smoothly; -‘Vishishtadvaita Vedanta Prachara’- book that refines the Guru-Sishya Upadesham processes acc. to Time-Place-Future; -‘Sampradaya Deepike’- essence of Upanishads; He attained Paramapadam on 20.12.1970.
Vidwan Ramanuja-muni Narayana Iyengar Jeeyar (1971, Chaturmasa-8)
Born on 10.7.1901 at Melkote to a dynamic Divya Prabandham Goshti lineage of Vidwan Narasimhachar, he expounded Tiruvoymoli through delightful recitals; acquired proficiency in all our Sampadaya texts & in playing Veena too, which he composed during Selva-pillai & Sri Tiru-Narayana festivities; -as a ‘Parama-rasika’, he was even compared to Perialvar, Tondaradi-podi alvar & Tiruppan alvar, by Tirumala U.Ve.Nallan Ramakrishna Iyengar; -one of the most purposeful Preceptor of Perfection in all his humble sevas, both in his poorvashram & as a versatile Matadi-pati, he seamlessly addressed many challenges, with a child-like enthusiasm. He ascended Peetam in 1.1971. -His 8+ years was exceptionally eventful in Yathiraja Mutt history, in terms of Change management with Mutt-Temple renovations, networking, knowledge dissemination, Bhagavat Kainkaryams & Bhaagavatha services; -the whole SriVaishnava community must be ever aware of his multi-farious activities-contributions, who nurtured the thought of ‘simple living with high thinking & immense compassion’. He attained Paramapadam on 10.5.1979.
Asuri Srinivasa Iyengar Jeeyar (1981, Chaturmasa-24)
Son of 36th Jeer, born in 1908; He ascended Peetam on 29.5.1981; A devout great scholar, affable polyglot with specialization in Geography, Temple architecture, Maths, Astronomy; As a prolific chronicler, he enriched Kannada literature with many important works, invaluable to current researchers; Texts include detailed study of history, inscriptions, art, traditions on Temples- Melkote Sri Tiru-Narayana swami, Srirangapatna Ranganatha swami, Tondanur Sri Lakshmi-Narayana swami, Srirangam Sri-Ranganatha, etc. He attained Paramapadam on 14.4.2005.