Sri Vadiraja Jayanthi

Today, Magha Masa – Shukla Paksha – Dwadashi, is the auspicious ocassion of Sri Vadiraja Jayanthi – the day when the great Dvaita saint was born. I have written a couple of times earlier about some of the great incidents associated with him so I won’t repeat the same again. He was a great saint, philosopher, poet, social reformer and administrator.

Sri Vadiraja Swamy performed the Paryaya at Udupi 5 times (the last time was through his Shishya – while he stayed back at Sode), changed the system of Paryaya from 2 months to 2 years, introduced the elaborate Paryaya festival ritual, introduced the chariot festivals at Udupi, mandated that Porridge and Rotti be offered as Naivedya to Lord Krishna at Udupi in recognition of the great Haridasa Sri Kanaka Dasa, included the Koteshwara Brahmins under the Madhva fold, established the Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Temple, and numerous other social activities and reforms.

On the literary front, Sri Vadiraja Swamy composed tens of works covering various fields such as philosophy, devotion and poetry. Here is a list of his works.

Vedantic works

  • Yukti Mallika – his magnum opus
  • Sri Mannyayasudhatippani Gurvarthadipika
  • Tattvaprakashatippani Gurvarthadipika
  • Adhikarana Namavali
  • Haribhaktilata
  • Ishavasyopanishadbhashya Tikatippani
  • Talavakaropanishadbhashya Tippani
  • Katakopanishadbhashya Tippani
  • Atharvanopanishadbhashya Tippani
  • Mandukyopanishadbhashya Tippani
  • Shatprashnopanishadbhashya Tippani
  • Taittariyopanishadbhashya Tippani
  • Upanyasa Mala
  • Vivaranavranam
  • Shrutitattva Prakashika
  • Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya Tippani
  • Theertha Prabandha
  • Nyayaratnavali
  • Pashandamata Khandana
  • Ekadashi Nirnaya
  • Kalpalata
  • Sarasa Bharati Vilasa
  • Bhugola Vivarana
  • Mahabharata Lakshalankara
  • Rukminisha Vijaya
  • Srimatsanutsu Jatiya Bhashya

Kannada works

  • Sri Manmahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya
  • Vaikunta Varnane
  • Gundakriye
  • Lakshmi Shobhane
  • Swapna Gadya
  • Kalki Suladi
  • Keechaka Vadhe
  • Sri Harisarvottama Sara
  • Bhramara Geethe
  • Numerous songs and poems


  • Sri Srishagunadarpana Stotram
  • Vishnu Stuti
  • Haryashtakam
  • Shlokatraya Stotram
  • Durgastavam
  • Dashavatara Stotram
  • Ramesha Stuti
  • Krishna Stuti
  • Dashavatara Stuti
  • Apada Stotram
  • Hayagriva Sampada Stotram
  • Vyasa Stuti
  • Avatara Traya Stotram
  • Numerous other stotras

It is definitely our duty to remember this great Saint on the auspicious ocassion of his Jayanthi.

On this day, I am uploading the transliteration of the famous Sri Vadiraja Kavacha. 

The stotra can be downloaded from the Mantras page as well.


Kamadhenuryatha Purvam Sarvabheeshtaphalaprada |

Tathakalou Vadirajah Sripado Bheeshtadassatam ||

Sode FAQ

Based on the search queries that lead to hits to my pages, I am going to post (hopefully correct) answers to questions that people have about Sode.

Q) Distance from Bangalore
A) 430 kilometers. Mysore is roughly the same distance.

Q) Other nearby places
A) Hubli is 100 kms away. Sirsi is 20 kms.

Q) Facilities available at Sode
A) Rooms are available through the temple administration itself, though they get full during weekends. If rooms are unavailable, they provide safe lockers @ Rs 5/- per day!

Q) Rest rooms?
A) The rooms have attached rest rooms. The public rest rooms (which you have to depend on if you do not get a room) are average.

Q) Food?
A) The temple provides lunch and dinner. There is also a small inn nearby which provides good quality South Indian dishes.

Q) How do I get to Sode?
A) Sugama and VRL roadlines run daily buses to Sode from Bangalore. You need to book in advance though. The buses reach Sode around 7:30AM and leave around 8:30PM. The departure time is not set in stone. The buses wait till the Bhoota Raja Bali and dinner is complete. KSRTC buses are available from Sirsi to Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli.

Q) What about local transport?
A) There are buses to Sirsi every two hours. In between, there are private tempos running between Sirsi and Sode. The last bus to Sirsi is at 5:15PM so one needs to plan well if returning from Sirsi.

Q) How can I visit nearby places?
A) Lots of places such as the Tapovana, Sahasralinga, Vyasa Raja Matha, Venkataramana temple, etc are worth seeing. The best option is to enquire at the shops near the temple entrance. They will arrange for Jeeps at reasonable prices.

Q) Driving directions from Bangalore?
A) Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga – Haveri – Sirsi. From Sirsi, take the Yellapur highway and you will find signboards pointing towards Sode.

Q) Any thing else?
A) You better carry and wear a dhoti when visiting the temple(s).


Another great story associated with Sri Vadiraja Swamy.

When the parents of Sri Vadiraja Swamy did not have a child for a long time, Swamiji’s mother prayed to God and took an oath that she would offer an ornament containing 100,000 jewels if she had a son. The lady had no idea what it would take to get such an ornament done.

Later when Sri Vadiraja Swamy was born and took Sanyasa, his mother mentioned to him about her oath and requested that he fulfill the same. Sri Vadiraja accepted the responsibility. During his first visit to North India, when Sri Vadiraja was meditating at Prayaga, he received instructions from Lord Veda Vyasa himself to write a work on Mahabharata explaining all the difficult terms and words. Accordingly, Sri Vadiraja composed a work which contained explanations to 100,000 words of Mahabharata. He named this work as Lakshalankara or “Ornament of 100,000 (jewels)” and offered it to Sri Vyasa.

It is believed that on the same day, his mother had a dream and saw the statue of Lord Bhuvaraha adorned with an ornament containing 100,000 jewels.

The birth of Sri Vadiraja Swamy

Just like his life, the birth of Sri Vadiraja Swamy was also miraculous. His parents were from a village called Kumbhasi near Udupi. They did not have any children for a long time and therefore were longing for one. Once they visited the nearby Kumbhasi matha (the name that Sode Vadiraja Matha used to known by then). When they stood in front of the Swamiji (Sri Vageesha Tirtha) for prasad, they asked the Swamiji to bless them so they could have a child. The Swamiji declared that they would have a boy soon but the child must be handed over to the matha (so he could become a Sanyasi). The parents were not too keen on doing this. Sensing their discomfort, and to prove that there were divine plans in place, the Swamiji modified the condition that if the child would be born inside the house, the parents could keep it. Else, the child would come to the matha. Confident that the child would be delivered inside their house, the parents agreed.

About nine months later, one day when the entire family except for the pregnant Gauri (mother of Sri Vadiraja) were having food, a cow entered the paddy field in front of their house and started grazing. Instinctively, Gauri came out of the house and started to chase the cow away. The cow ran away but Gauri sat down as she wanted to catch a breath. The next moment, she was in labor and before other members of the house could reach her, Gauri had already delivered a baby! The baby was named Bhuvaraha and went on to become the great Dvaita saint Sri Vadiraja Swamy.

Even today, in remembrance of this episode, during the annual festival in Sode, rice from the same paddy field (known as “Gauri Gadde” or “Gauri’s field” ) in Kumbhasi is offered to Sri Vadiraja Swamy.

Sode Trivikrama Temple

It is well known that the life and times of Sri Vadiraja Swamy was full of miraculous and unbelievable events. One such event is associated with the construction of the Trivikrama Temple at Sode.

The ruler of Swadi (as Sode was known then) requested Sri Vadiraja Swamy to construct a temple as there existed no Vishnu temple at that place. Sri Vadiraja Swamy asked the king to start construction of a temple and gave him the necessary instructions. When people questioned Swamiji on the idol, he told them that the idol of Sri Trivikrama would come to Sode from Uttara Badari (in the Himalayas). He told them that the idol is being worshipped by Sri Madhvacharya and the same was seen by him when he visited him and Sri Vyasa in Badari.

It is believed that the idol was brought to Sode by Sri Bhutaraja. Bhutaraja started bringing the entire Garbha Gudi (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple from Badari. The structure is in the form of a stone chariot. On the way, he is supposed to have been stopped by a demon. Sri Bhutaraja used one of the wheels of the stone chariot to destroy the demon and made it on time to Sode. Even today, one can find that the stone chariot structure housing the idol in the temple has just three wheels. Devotees visiting Sode must definitely visit this temple and observe the unique stone chariot and the three wheels. I believe there is just one other temple (somewhere in Tamil Nadu) where the idol is placed in a chariot like structure.

Another interesting story associated with this temple has to do with the huge pillar (known as Garuda Kambha) in front. This pillar is at least 30-40 feet long and when observed from a distance, it appears tilted towards one side. This pillar was established by Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha, the successor of Sri Vadiraja Swamy. The installation of the pillar kept failing for some unknown reason. The pillar just could not stand erect. People are believed to have tried to install this for several days and failed. One night, Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha had a dream and Sri Vadiraja Swamy told him to carve his picture on one side of the pillar. He also instructed him that the picture should be that of him being seated on a Hamsa (swan). Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha got this done the next day and lo and behold, the pillar stood firm.

Pillar in front of the temple

To this day, there has been no problem with the pillar. Ensure you give this pillar a close inspection and observe the carvings on the same.

Sode Sahasralinga

Sahasralinga is another fascinating place very close to Sode. It is on the Sirsi – Yellapur highway and is about 9kms from the Sri Vadiraja Swamy matha.

This place is on the banks of the river Shalmala and contains hundreds and hundreds of Shiva lingas. Many of these are complete lingas while a few are incomplete. There are also numerous statues of Nandi, Ganesha and other deities.

This place was used as a school by sculptors over many centuries. Sculptors taughts their students and kids the art of sculpting “Vigrahas” or Idols using the rocks on the banks of this river. Hence one can find so many idols carved out here. It is believed that the place was used by sculptors during the reigns of the Kadambas and Chalukyas also.

Sahasralinga means “Thousand Lingas” and it is obvious how the name came about for this place. There is also a myth associated with this place according to which a local chieftain once had a dream that a thousand lingas needs to carved at this place in one night and that is how the lingas were made. But there is no supporting evidence for the same. Also, if the dream indeed occur, then I am sure a thousand “proper” lingas would have been carved while we can spot a few “incomplete” ones.

Sode Tapovana

In Sode, along with the Sri Vadiraja Matha and the Trivikrama temple, another equally important and fascinating place is the “Tapovana”. This place is about 5 kms from the Matha and is on the banks of the river Shalmala.

Tapovana is the place where Sri Vadiraja Swamy used to sit down for his daily meditation whenever he was in Sode. It was there that Sri Vadiraja Swamy used to meditate upon Lord Hayagriva with a plate of “Hayagriva Maddi”, a special sweet dish made by him, on his head.

It is believed that the Lord used to visit him everyday during his meditation in the form of a horse and eat the sweet offered by him.

Even today, there are lots of relics at the place which are a living proof of the fact that Sri Vadiraja Swamy used to frequent this place and meditate here. Not to mention that there is a lot of tranquility at the place and is ideal for meditation.

There are lots of private jeeps available around the Matha and the drivers, for a nominal amount, double up as guides as well. It is a must visit for those planning to go to Sode.

A couple of stories about the Tapovana and the Trivikrama Temple in a subsequent post.