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(Regd. No. 254: 2005-06)

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For legal/financial issues Pertaining to Sri Sosale Vyasaraja Matha

All Madhvas owe allegiance to Dvaita philosophy expounded by the great saint Jagadguru Madhvacharya around 800 years back. Amongst them, Vyasaraja Mutt, named after the great saint Vyasa Theertha, has been in existence since over 600 years with a great body of scholar-saints propagating Madhva philosophy with such unique distinction as to attract not only a large following but also to receive munificent donations of large assets by Emperors and society leaders intended to be used for propagation of the faith and for well being of the Shishyas of the denomination. Over a period of time, till recently, large assets both movable and immovable, have been accumulated and preserved by the successive peethadhipati of Vyasaraja Mutt. Large extents of immovable properties in the State of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and other parts of India are owned by Vyasaraja Mutt. The Shishyas of Vyasaraja Mutt rightly trusted the great succession of Peethadhipati gracing the Peetha with Distinction such as BhashyaDipikacharya, Sheshachandrikacharya etc, who were following the arduous practices of strict asceticism and were persons of great renunciation and high personal morality to preserve and use the assets for the purpose of maintaining themselves frugally and to provide for free services in Rituals, guidance and advice with regard to the great Madhva philosophy. The lineage of such Saint-Scholars of the Matha rightly evokes admiration and devotion from all Madhvas.

During the last four to five decades however the sacred trust was betrayed by the Peethadhipati and the Matha has fallen on bad times. The last two Peethadhipatis, who came to preside over the Mutt, regrettably are found to have applied not only the income of the properties of the mutt but also the inalienable assets, both movable and immovable for purposes other than those for which they were dedicated. The breach of trust reached a nadir, when the last Peethadhipati, Late Vacaspathi Theertha, inducted his large family of unqualified sons and sons-in-law into direct management of the assets of the Mutt thus enabling them to misappropriate the funds of the Mutt that were required to be used for propagation of Madhva philosophy. Not only was this pernicious and unholy practice continued during his entire regime, but In the execution of his scheme to perpetuate it for ever as aforesaid, in July 2004 Sri Vachaspathi Theertha made a futile attempt to illegally induct his own son Sri.Shukachar as his successor Peethadhipati which was strongly resisted by the Shishyas of the Mutt. Having failed to achieve the object of taking perpetual control of the entire assets of the Mutt in this manner, Sri.Vachaspathi Theertha, hatched another equally ignoble and illegal plan of secretly inducting Sharat S/o.Uddahavachar another of his sons and succeeded in doing so at Chennai in late half of 2004 without the consent/approval of the largest body of Shishyas of the Mutt. The community of Shishyas of Sri.Vyasaraja Mutt, having come to know of these misdeeds, resolved to and formed a society under the name Sri.Vyasaraja Seva Samithi and got it registered in accordance with law to inter alia, question the illegalities not only regarding illegal induction of an unqualified, totally unsuitable and poorly educated grand son as his successor but also the illegal alienations/encumbrances of properties of the Mutt. The induction of Sharath as a sanyasi which had evoked intense and strong protest from the Shishyas and has been challenged in O.S.No.25765/2007, in Bangalore Civil Court, Mayohall, besides other proceedings. The Samithi was also able to obtain an exparte Injunction in this case covering all the land, buildings and other fixed assets of the Mutt against the Peethadhipati and the Matha preventing any alienation of Mutt property without Courtís orders. This Injunction still holds good. To prevent pilferage of gold, silver, precious materials and idols of the Matha, the Samithi has also had a court-ordered inventory of most of such items located in Bangalore carried out in 2006 along with a legal bar against their alienation. These court cases are in progress.

Our Matha owned significant properties in South India in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu - in many prime locations and important cities - a few of which are - Mysore, Bangalore, Mandya, Srirangapattana, Tumkur, Tirupathi, Anantapur, Penukonda, Kurnool, Chennai, Kumbhakonam, Madurai, Srirangam, Salem etc. The properties are presently worth hundreds of crores of rupees coming in the heart of the urban areas and in many cases have been encroached due to negligence or connivance of the Mutt officials. In fact, the rents and lease payments for shops, Choultries and lodges, houses and other payments form a substantial portion of the income of the Matha today, besides the earnings from the temples and places for performing rituals managed by the Mutt. Besides these, very substantial land holdings once possessed by the Mutt have been lost due to poor records, land to the tiller policies, sale at throw-away prices etc in villages or small town areas. Our estimate of all the property holdings indicate a value in excess of Rs. 200 crores and an annual income of at least 1 crore of rupees. Besides these are also houses and sites gifted by devotees to the Mutt for use for religious purposes, the details of which are available only with the Matha authority

In spite of such large incomes, the greed of the extended families of Peethadhipatis for instant illegal wealth has driven them to lease out for long periods up to 99 years in some cases, very valuable properties to outsiders, usually at nominally low financial terms, perhaps with built-in undisclosed transactions in their favour. Enquiries have revealed many such cases as secretly carried out by Late Sri.Vachaspathi Theertha and his GPA holders in all parts of the country, in collusion with his sons who were intermeddling with the properties without regard to the legal position. Further Sri.Vachaspathi Theertha, instead of questioning the earlier illegal alienations made by his predecessor Late Sri.Payonidhi Theertha, connived at them.

The injunctions mentioned earlier have been violated by the present Peethadhipati in many places in Tamilnadu, by adopting devious means. Some of these violations of Court orders have been reported to the Bangalore Civil Courts. Cases had also to be filed by the samithi in local courts to prevent illegal actions resulting in permanent damage. The financial transactions in these two places amount to a potential cash inflow of more than Rs. 1.5 crores. The Samithi has no alternative but to fight all such cases at local courts and even in the appropriate High Courts, when ever found necessary to save the properties for the Matha and prevent such illegal alienations. Thus in addition to the Civil cases in Bangalore, we have engaged Lawyers in Tiruchi, Madurai and Madras (Chennai). There are other equally serious cases which need to be taken up in Kumbhakonam, Tirupathi, and Penukonda in the immediate future.

The task embarked upon by the Vyasaraja Seva Samithi is stupendous and cannot be successfully carried to its conclusion without the generous contributions both physically and monetarily by the entire community of Shishyas of Sri.Vyasaraja Mutt. So far, Sri Vyasaraja Seva Samithi has been able to secure help from well meaning Shishyas and an expenditure of nearly Rupees 1 lakh has been incurred in fighting the several litigations in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for the last two years. To achieve the object of securing the long term interests of the Mutt, large financial assistance from the Madhva Community is required. The Vyasaraja Seva Samithi appeals to all the members of Madhva Community to come forward and assist it both materially and monetarily so that the great traditions that have been established for centuries can be preserved for posterity. All donations may be given by way of crossed cheques in favour of Sri Vyasaraja Seva samithi (Regd) and sent to the address given above. All information as to new encumbrance/alienations of properties known to the members of the community may be furnished with details to Vyasaraja Seva Samithi at the address given above.

N A P S Rao (Hon. President)
D. Ramachandrachar (President)