In 1475, Ramachandra Tirtha of the Udupi Palimar mutt inducted a Saraswat boy as sanyasi and he was given the name Narayana Tirtha. During the 15th Century, Sri Narayana Tirtha extensively carried on propaganda in Goa. Many Saraswats in Sasashti region became Vaishnavas. The Palimar Swamy, Ramacandra Tirtha wanted Narayana Tirtha to succeed to his Mutt after him. But the Tulu Vaishnava Brahmins who were followers of the Mutt did not like this decision of his.
Hence a new Mutt, in 1476 AD alone was founded for Vaishnava Saraswats at Bhaktal. The Keladi rulers patronage this Mutt and the Vaishnava Saraswats of Goa and most of those from undivided Canara were its followers. The Mutt came to be also known as Jeevottam Mutt by fame and capacity of the third Guru, Swami Jeevottama Tirtha. His predecessor Purushottama Tirtha shifted to Gokarna where his samadhi is found and the mutt was called 'Gokarn Jeevotham' mutt or the Gokarna Math.
Gokarna is considered a holy place (Teertha Kshetra) as much as is Kashi (Benaras). Gokarn is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of the Karnataka state, India. The Math is situated in the coastal Karnataka. The Gokarna math is also known as the Partagali math. Saraswat Brahmins about 400 years ago, who escaped from the Gomantak to elude forceful changeovers by the Portuguese and Christians, came down and settled in and around Gokarn. Gokarn has a special implication to the Chitrapur Saraswats. The implication is that from this math their glorious Guru parampara began, almost 300 hundred years ago.
Kotiteertha, the beautiful lake adds to the brilliance of the Gokarna Math. The Gokarn Math, is located a few metres away from Kotiteertha, also known as the Bandikeri Math. Originally it is said that it was the Uma-Maheshwar Temple. H.H. Adi Parijnanashram Swami made it His dwelling house and the temple became a 'Math' afterwards. He later on took Mahasamadhi there. The prabhavali of the Umamaheshwari idol has conceived to be an inscription 'Gersappe'. The belief behind is that it has been brought to Gokarn from elsewhere. According to a narration of H.H.Krishnashram Swamij, He dreamt that in a forest in Gersappe, near Shimoga this was lying neglected. He then went to that forest and brought it, to be established at the Math.
This math has large network of its establishments in Bhatkal, Gokarna, Basrur, Dicholi, Rivona, Manglore , Ankola,Karwar,,Varanasi,Manki,Vasco,Gangolli,Venkatapur,Honavar, Yellapur, Badrinath, Siddapur,Belgaum, Hubli, Madgaon and Wadala (Mumbai). From Bhatkal to Partagali Goa, the headquarters had been shifted.This math had a wide followers of Keladi rulers, vaishnava Saraswats and the undivided Kanara. After Swamy Jeevattam Tirtha this math was named. Now H.H. Shreemad Vidyadhiraj Teertha has succeeded to the Peetha and This Math has celebrated its Panch-Shatabadi (Quin-centenary).
About 200 meters to the north of the Mutt with 220 aerial roots and total area admeasuring 235 feet x 225 feet, there is a giant Vatavriksha (Banyan tree). The Banyan tree is believed to be 2000 years old. It can at a time accommodate about 1000 people in its shade. The people of Partagali and the adjoining area worship the Vatavriksha and the Ishwar linga in front of the mutt. This place is popularly known as Bramhasthan.
Vidhyadhiraj Teertha is the present pontiff came through to the Peetha in 1973. In Feb 26, 1967, Shri Swamiji was initiated into sanyas in Mumbai by his illustrious preceptor Shrimat Dwarkanath Thirtha Swamiji. The Mutt has its headquarters at Partagali, Poinginim, Canacona, Goa.
(Last Updated on : 20-04-2013)
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