Giving shape to Vidyapeetha brick-by-brick

Photo: M S Manjunath

For years Udupi—a small town in coastal Karnataka had been the centre of activities of the seers of various Ashta Mutts. But for Vishwesha Theetha Swami of Pejawar Mutt, Vidyapeetha in south Bengaluru turned out to be his favourite place as he spent a considerable part of his life there.

He set up the institution 65 years ago. Talking about his final resting place, his disciples say, Pejawar seer used to remind his disciples that he wanted to ‘listen to the hymns and sholakas eternally’ and pointed towards the sprawling lawn as the place of his final rest.

“It was not just once, but on several occasions, he had told this and questioned us whether we got his point,” remembered Krishnaraja Kutpadi, Principal of Vidyapeetha.

Vidyapeetha had found a special place in Pejawar seer’s life as it was his brainchild which he built brick-by-brick.

It was in 1956 that Pejawar seer had set up the Vidyapeetha at the Kalyana Raghavendra Ashrama. Later in 1960, the seer bought the area of Vidyapeetha and he was supported by his guru Vidyamanya Theertha Swami.

“It was a barren land filled with thorny bushes. During those days the 3.2 acres of Vidyapeetha area cost Rs 7,000. It was a huge sum then and Pejawar seer found it difficult to raise the money. However, he collected donations from the devotees and borrowed some from a few to purchase this place,” remembered a seer.

Speaking to DH, Vasudevacharya, priest at the Ganapathi temple in Vidyapeetha said, “After the construction of Vidyapeetha several layouts like Girinagar, Hoskerehalli, Srinagar were developed.”

He added, “Free education is provided to about 350 to 400 students at the Vidyapeetha. Thousands have graduated from this great institution. Many have left a profound impact at national and global levels. A few of them have served as VCs of many varsities.

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