Sri Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji.

His Holiness Parama Poojya Sri Sri 1008 Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji, is the Chief Pontiff of Sri Puthige Matha, one of the eight Mathas in Udupi established by Jagadguru Sriman Madhwacharya. He was initiated into Sanyasa in 1974 and is the 30th Pontiff in the lineage of Sri Upendra Peetha, Sri Madhwacharya Moola Samasthana, Udupi, India.

Born to a pious couple Sri Govindacharya and Kamalamma in 1961, in Maniyoor, Hayavadana was profoundly interested in spiritual matters and Krishna Bhakthi even in his early childhood. The then Pontiff His Holiness Sri Sujnanendra Theertha Swamiji, studied his horoscope and knew Hayavadana was meant for a greater calling and selected and initiated him in 1974. Sri Sugunedra Theertha as he became known, then went on to study under a renowned scholar saint, His Holiness Sri Vidyamanya Theertha Swami, who nurtured his spiritual inquiry, self-discipline and thirst for knowledge. Encouraged by his disciple’s dedication and unswearing devotion, he ensured young Sri Sugunendra Theertha’s mastery over the scriptures, and sacred texts.

After Sri Sujnanendra Theertha Swamiji attained Haripada, Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swami succeeded him as the pontiff of the Puttige Matha. He also incidentally ascended the Paryaya Peetha at the tender age of 15 at Udupi Sri Krishna Matha.

1. Swamiji conducted the Puthige Matha Paryaya, his first one in 1976 -78, with pomp and splendor to the utter surprise of all other pontiffs and religious leaders, showing leadership qualities and administrative prowess that was unparalleled for one so young.

2. The second Parayaya for Puthige Matha came to be in 1992 -94 and during this time Swamiji launched a number of projects with nothing but his indomitable faith in Sri Krishna.

  • He oversaw the building of the magnificent “welcome” gate at the entrance of Udupi.
  • In order to help pilgrims find accommodation while visiting Udupi, Swamiji had a guest house “Indraprastha” built.
  • During the Paryaya, Swamiji welcomed all visitors and provided sumptuous free food. This Anna daana is practiced at all the Puthige Matha temple world-wide.
  • Inspired by the success of the Laksha Gita Yajna – where Swamiji motivated more than 100,000 people hand write the 700 verses of the Gita praying for world peace, Swamiji embarked on the construction of the Gita Mandir – an accomplished a long cherished dream. Those who have known and heard him will agree that he is a "walking, talking encyclopedia" of Indian philosophy and religious texts, especially Bhagavad Geetha which he describes as the practical, self-contained guide to life. Swamiji is an authority on the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Having studied it intensely for years, Swamiji is uniquely qualified to impart this knowledge to us. His approach is logical and appealing. He deals with the important fundamental topics in our daily lives and common questions and shows us where and how they are addressed and answered in the Bhagavad Geetha. He shows us how to apply the philosophy in the Geetha to guide us effectively in day to day life. Swamiji initiated the construction of the historical Geetha Mandir at Udupi. He had more than half a million devotees the world over, transcribed the 700 verses of the Bhagavad Geetha to have it placed at the foundation of the Mandir. The Mandir is a beautiful multi-storied edifice with a dyana mandir or prayer hall that has all the verses of the Bhagavad Geetha inscribed on its walls and is a place worth meditating in when one visits Udupi.

3. Swamiji’s third Puthige Matha Paryaya was from 2008-10 . He took his level of excellence one step further - by making this the first NRI Paryaya in Udupi.

  • This became an international event, with devotees, priests, scholars coming from all over the world and participating in the ceremony.
  • Swamiji offered a 9 feet high Navaratna Kachita Ratha for SriKrishna.
  • He established the Sanskrit Vidya Peetha at Puttige, the Govardhana Mandir at Bangalore and Kolkatta.
  • He constructed a Non Resident Indian (NRI) Guest house in Udupi.
  • He created “Sundara Udupi” program to keep Udupi clean.

Sri Sugunedra Theertha Swamiji will go down in history for being the first Swamiji in history to establish Centers of Puthige Matha abroad – in Tempe, Arizona, Los Angeles, California, in San Jose, California, in Houston, Texas, in Edison, New Jersey. He has also established a center in Toronto, Canada, in Melbourne, Australia and in London, UK at the request of the devotees from these locations.

Swamiji has travelled the four continents - Asia, North America, Europe and Australia.. He is invited worldwide to give discourses. He has attended the Peace Summit in Japan with international religious leaders; His name and his achievements have earned him the respect he deserves.

He started the Suguna Maala in Kananda and Suguna Digest in English where scholars and devotees write articles and showcase activities around the world centers of the Matha.

The Swamiji’s multifarious activities were not confined to religious and spiritual spheres alone. He has a strong social commitment and visualizes the total welfare of people. Realizing that the problem of unemployment is not only the bane of society but also the root-cause of many evils, Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji established an institution named ‘Suyoga’ to impart training to the un-employed youth in the rudiments of selected vocations.

Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji has also manifested his love for culture. He has directed several dance dramas like ‘Vishwaroopa Darshana’ and ‘Aananda Mukunda’. It was in recognition of his great service to the cause of religion and his love for cultural awakening that the honor of chairing the ‘Sarva Dharma Sammelan’ in India was conferred on him at a very young age.

As the President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, he realized the value of organizing International Conference on Science and Dwaitha Philosophy for three years,. His Holiness has traveled to various countries world-wide and delivered discourses at Arizona State University, Hindu University at Orlando Florida, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam Stroudsburg, Stanford University, Hindu University at Nairobi and other Universities. He has been honored with several proclamations by the Governor of Oklahoma, the Secretary of the State of Arizona, and Mayors of cities of Edmond, Tempe and Los Angeles. He was honored with a Key to the City of Edmond by the Mayor. He also had audience with President George W. Bush in New York. He shared a meeting with Late President Abdul Kalam in Washington DC.

Sri Madhwacharya established eight Mathas in Udupi, India and Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji, following his foot-steps, established several Centers of Puthige Matha in four continents across the globe. Sri Madhwacharya established Sri Krishna Temple in 13th century in Udupi, India; Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji established Sri Krishna Brindavana Temples in 21st century in several cities abroad and in India. Swami Vivekananda traveled to USA in 1893 to propagate Hindu Philosophy. Swami Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji traveled to USA in 1997 to propagate Dwaitha Philosophy. Swami Vivekananda represented India as a delegate to the 1893 Parliament of World Religions in Chicago. Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji represents India since 1999 as a delegate of the Hindu Religion and is the President of World Conference of Religions for Peace. Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji is the “Modern Swami Vivekananda” to bring new life and glory to Hinduism and Dwaitha Philosophy in the 21st century. Mahatma Gandhi traveled to India in 1919 from South Africa and preached Non-Violence. Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji traveled to the United States in 1997 from India to teach non-violence and Peace through religion.