Kashi Math

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Kashi Math
Deities of Samsthan Kashi Math
Deities of Samsthan Kashi Math
Country India
State Uttar Pradesh
Location Varanasi
Sanctum Vyasa Raghupathi Narasimha
History and governance
Website www.kashimath.org

Kashi Math is a spiritual organisation followed by the Madhva section of Goud Saraswat Brahmins,who are also referred as Madhwa Saraswat Brahmins.[1][2] 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.[3]


The principal deities of Kashi Math are charaprathishta (“moving installation") idols of Vyasa, Rama and Narasimha, who are also collectively known as the Vyasa Raghupathi Narasimha.[4]


The Kashi Math follows the Guru-shishya tradition where the Guru of the Math initiates a shishya to succeed him upon his death.[5] Samyamindra Thirtha who is the 21st and current head (Mathadipathi) of the Math.[6][7] Prior heads have been:[8]

  1. Yadavendra Thirtha -I
  2. Keshavendra Thirtha
  3. Upendra Thirtha -I
  4. Yadavendra Thirtha -II
  5. Raghavendra Thirtha -I
  6. Devendra Thirtha
  7. Madhavendra Thirtha
  8. Jnaneendra Thirtha
  9. Yadavendra Thirtha -III
  10. Upendra Thirtha -II
  11. Rajendra Thirtha
  12. Sureendra Thirtha
  13. Vishnu Thirtha
  14. Vibhudendra Thirtha
  15. Sumatheendra Thirtha
  16. Vasudendra Thirtha
  17. Bhuvanendra Thirtha
  18. Varadendra Thirtha
  19. Sukrathindra Thirtha
  20. Sudhindra Thirtha
  21. Samyamindra Thirtha

Internal strife[edit]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[9]

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.[citation needed]

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.[11][12][13]

After months of defying various court orders, Raghavendra Tirtha absconded with the relics and was arrested at Kadapa in October 2011.[14][15]

Thereafter in November 2011, the 'parikaras' were handed over to Sudhindra Tirtha.[16] Samyamindra Thirtha is the current main disciple (patta shishya) and successor (uttaradhikari) of Kashi Math.[17] He is currently holding the 'parikaras' and offering the daily pujas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ B.N.Sri Sathyan. Karnataka State Gazetteer: South Kanara. Director of Print., Stationery and Publications at the Government Press. pp. 109–110. 
  2. ^ Karnataka State Gazetteer: Belgaum. Director of Print, Stationery and Publications at the Government Press. p. 200. 
  3. ^ Saraswats in Goa and beyond. Murgaon Mutt Sankul Samiti. 1998. p. 147. 
  4. ^ "The Kashimath". 
  5. ^ "Guru System of Kashi Math". 
  6. ^ "Successor of Kashi Math". 
  7. ^ "New Kashi Math Head". 
  8. ^ http://www.kashimath.org/guru-parampara/
  9. ^ a b "Internal strife (2000) of Kashi Math". 
  10. ^ "Gowda Saraswat Brahmin high priests battle it out". Rediff. 
  11. ^ "Kashi Mutt Row: Supreme Court victory for Sudhindra Tirtha Swamiji". Mangalore Today. 2 December 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Saraswat Mutt samsthans". GSB Kerala. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Ex-seer of Kashi mutt decamps with relics, jewellery". Daily News & Analysis (DNA). 23 March 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Swami, disciple held, ancient idols seized". The Hindu. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Fugitive 'swami' caught in Andhra Pradesh". Daily News & Analysis (DNA). 31 October 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "All Sacred Idols restored to Sudhindra Thirtha Swami". Mangalore Today. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Samyamindra Thirtha Swamiji to Lead". 

External links[edit]