Deities of Samsthan Kashi Math
|Sanctum||Vyasa Raghupathi Narasimha|
|History and governance|
Kashi Math is a spiritual organisation followed by the Madhva section of Goud Saraswat Brahmins,who are also referred as Madhwa Saraswat Brahmins. It is one of the 24 Madhva Mathas of the Dvaita order. With its headquarters in Brahma Ghat, Varanasi. Kashi Math has followers all over the Konkan belt, prominently in Goa, Udupi, Mangalore, Kochi, Alappuzha and other parts of Kerala and Karnataka.
The Kashi Math follows the Guru-shishya tradition where the Guru of the Math initiates a shishya to succeed him upon his death. Samyamindra Thirtha who is the 21st and current head (Mathadipathi) of the Math. Prior heads have been:
- Yadavendra Thirtha -I
- Keshavendra Thirtha
- Upendra Thirtha -I
- Yadavendra Thirtha -II
- Raghavendra Thirtha -I
- Devendra Thirtha
- Madhavendra Thirtha
- Jnaneendra Thirtha
- Yadavendra Thirtha -III
- Upendra Thirtha -II
- Rajendra Thirtha
- Sureendra Thirtha
- Vishnu Thirtha
- Vibhudendra Thirtha
- Sumatheendra Thirtha
- Vasudendra Thirtha
- Bhuvanendra Thirtha
- Varadendra Thirtha
- Sukrathindra Thirtha
- Sudhindra Thirtha
- Samyamindra Thirtha
On 7 July 1989, in accordance with the guru-shishya tradition, the then guru, Sudhindra Thirtha, initiated a follower into sanyasa so that in due course they would succeed him as the 21st guru. For reasons not fully known, serious differences between Sudhindra Tirtha and his appointed successor, Raghavendra Tirtha, became apparent around 2000–2001 amidst concerns about insubordination and integrity. On 19 July 2000, the mathadipathi removed Raghavendra Tirtha from his position of successor by making use of an earlier communication from November 1999 which had requested relief from the tutelage. This removal necessitated the initiation of a new shishya to succeed Sudindra Thirtha and this was done on 20 June 2002 when Samyamindra Thirtha was initiated.
Thereafter the tussle among the pontiffs turned into a dispute over the control of the Kashi Math and the ownership of its relics. Those relics included about 234 pieces of jewelry and silver articles, as well as 27 idols including the main idol of Vyasa Raghupathi. Raghavendra Tirtha had possession of these items but was ordered by Court in Tirupathi to give them to Sudhindra Tirtha. The Court upheld the status of the senior pontiff and the mathadhipathi, accepted the junior’s abdication and directed him to return all belongings of the math and refrain from interfering in its affairs.
A petition seeking a stay on the order was dismissed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The Supreme Court of India also confirmed the same on 2 December 2009 and upheld the High Court order recognizing Sudhendra Tirtha as mathadipadi.
Thereafter in November 2011, the 'parikaras' were handed over to Sudhindra Tirtha. Samyamindra Thirtha is the current main disciple (patta shishya) and successor (uttaradhikari) of Kashi Math. He is currently holding the 'parikaras' and offering the daily pujas.
- Gokarna Math (Vaishnava math)
- Shri Gaudapadacharya Math (Smarta Tradition math)
- Chitrapur Math (Smarta Tradition math)
- B.N.Sri Sathyan. Karnataka State Gazetteer: South Kanara. Director of Print., Stationery and Publications at the Government Press. pp. 109–110.
- Karnataka State Gazetteer: Belgaum. Director of Print, Stationery and Publications at the Government Press. p. 200.
- Saraswats in Goa and beyond. Murgaon Mutt Sankul Samiti. 1998. p. 147.
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