Akshobhya Initiates Jayatirtha

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After this event, Aksobhya Tirtha went to Pandharapur, on the banks of the Bhima-rathi River, where he met his future disciple Jaya Tirtha.

Jayatirtha, whose name before initiation was Dhondo Pantraya Raghunatha, was the son of Dhonduraya Raghunath, part of Visvamitra’s gotra. Gotra means descent. Others say that he was part of Bharadvaja’s line.

His father was a high-ranking military official and had two wives. Dhondho Pant (himself a valiant officer) was known to be always in military dress.

One evening he stopped his patrol near a river desiring to drink some flowing water. Seated atop his horse he entered the river and drank in an unusual way, with the water coming into his mouth, just as the animals do.

On the other side of the river there was Sri Akshobhya Tirtha who looked at the young man and said,

“kim pashuh purva-dehe”, “you drink just like an animal”.

These few words were heard by the rider and immediately put him in a state of mystical revelation. The transcendental power of the words of the saint opened a window in the mind of Dhondo Pant. At that point he remembered his previous life as the ox of Madhvacarya.

When traveling to teach philosophy, the great Acarya used an ox to carry his books. But this was not an ordinary animal because every time Madhvacarya spoke, the ox raised his ears to hear. He never missed a word and although in the body of an animal drank the essence of those words as if they were divine nectar.

Sripada Madhvacarya often glorified this ox by saying to the assembly that he was listening better and more deeply than his own sannyasis. Due to his attentive hearing of hari katha from the mouth of a mahabhagavat the ox made rapid spiritual advancement.


Madhvacarya’s accolade caused envy in the heart of some of his disciples and as a result they cursed the ox to die by the bite of a snake.

Madhvacarya learned of this curse and countered the curse with the blessing of being immune to the serpent venom. To the amazement of all present, when the serpent bit the ox, it was the snake that died instead.

Due to the kindness and power of Madhva, which was recognized by all his disciples, he felt obliged to repay the ox in this way for a lifetime of devoted service

After several years the ox died of natural causes and reincarnated as Dhondo Pant. In this new birth as Dhondo Pant, this jiva was blessed with the ability to remember everything he heard from Madhvacarya, so much so that in his mind he heard the sound of Madhvacarya’s voice explaining the Vedic mantras.


This is a section of the book “Brilliant as the Sun”.

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