Advancing Knowledge - Transforming Lives
Community life in India is closely linked with spiritual and religious institutions for the past five thousand years. The Rishis have been the beacon and guiding forces in upholding the moral values of life and in the progression of society as a whole. The glorious Suttur Math is a reflection of and testimony to this rich tradition.
Sri Jagadguru Veerasimhasana Suttur Math with a long history of more than one thousand years is a multi-dimensional institution of the Veerashaiva community that has contributed immensely to the cause of societal advancement. The welfare activities of the Math transcend the sectarian limits of the Veerasaiva community and encompass a much wider and larger following of all the sections of Indian society.
The founding of the Math can be traced to a historical event linked with Sri Shivarathreeshwara Shivayogi Mahaswamigalu crusading for peace between two warring kingdoms. The hostility between Rachamalla IV of the Gangas of Talkad and Rajaraja of Cholas was about to break up into a large scale war. It was due to the timely intervention of Sri Shivarathreeshwara Swamigalu the hostility ended and the enemies became friends. Then it was on the request of Rajaraja, the Swamigalu graciously condescended to establish a Math on the banks of the river Kapila at Suttur near Mysore.
The inscriptional evidences support the establishment of Suttur Math during the reign of Chola kingdom. The name Shivaratri is mentioned in many ancient works such as Panditaradhya Charita, Shivacharya Chudamani and Ganasahasranama. The tradition handed down from one pontiff to another indicates that the said Shivaratri Shivacharya is the founder of Suttur Math.
Sri Eshaneshwara Wodeyar, the second pontiff was responsible for further development of the Suttur Math during the times of Rajendra Chola. The Someshwara temple near the Math at Suttur is said to have been constructed by the Chola kings, in accordance with the wishes of Sri Eshaneshwara Wodeyar. An inscription referring to this event dated 23rd October 1032.
Sri Suttur Veerasimhasana Math can most aptly be described as an active ongoing movement to uphold the cause of social and economic justive, based on spiritual values and ideals. The Math's activities at Suttur have spread far beyond the small region on the banks of the river Kapila in Karnataka to touch the lives of millions going beyond the boundaries of our country, and even to the distant shores of the western nations.
A quick look at the lineage of the Math brings to light the unswerving societal concern of the Pontiffs. IF the founding of the Math was incidental to establishing harmony and peace between two warring factions of the region by its founder, Sri Shivarathreeshwara Mahaswamigalu, the Pontiffs who followed saw purpose in promoting academics, literature, healthcare, infrastructure, etc. These noble tasks have attracted royal and societal attention and inspired both the rulers and the community to tread the noble, religious and austere path under the Pontiffs' guidance.
The Veeasaiva religion this Math professes has along found expression in the teachings and words of innumerable saints and seets as well as writers and philosophers. The worship of Shiva means 'tolerance and love to all living beings' and 'regarding work as a means of worship'. Balanced on these twin philosophies, the Veerashaiva faith has been insturmental in bringing about reforms of tremendous social significance as envisioned by Sri Basaveshwara, socio-religious reformer in the 12th century.
Suttur math's activities have spread far and wide in India and abroad through an impressive list of educational institutions, free boarding hostels, medical and healthcare units, literary and cultural centres, agricultural research facilities, etc.
Today, Suttur Math is backed with the services of over 15,000 dedicated working in the institutions managed by it. At any given point of time, over 50,000 students study in its educational institutions in both rural and urban centres. Nearly three lakh patients are treated in the hospitals and clinics run by the Math every year while millions participate in the spiritual gatherings and cultural festivals organized periodically by the Math. Through the various schemes of the agricultural research facilities made available, thousands of farmers are benefitted in the region.
With its administrative head-quarters located at the foot of the picturesque Chamundi Hills, in the erstwhile princely city of Mysore, Sri Suttur Veerasimhasana Math is today recognized as a major mission, and is drawing seekers of knowledge and wisdom in large numbers. The activities of the Math have drawn accolades from various quarters from the layman to the head of states.
"Work is Worship," the mantra that guides the Math is enshrined in its emblem. "Selfless Service" is the spirit behind every task that the Math undertakes and since the service is considered to be an offering to Lord Shiva, its purity and intention are if utmost importance.
Sri Suttur Veerasimhasana Math has grown over the centuries to be a multidimentional religious, cultural and educational movement, Spearheading the Math's educational iniciativities is Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Mahavidyapeetha (JSS MVP), founded by the 23rd Pontiff, Jagadguru Dr. Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamigalu.