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Re: Vidyaranya

skaushik_at_MIT.EDU
Date: Wed May 01 1996 - 09:57:12 PDT

Vidyasankar writes:

*** Not true. The dates above represent the dates when the succeeding
*** maThAdhipati took over from the previous one. They do not
*** represent dates of sannyAsa.  

An authoritative "not true"! :-)

My knowledge of these matters is restricted to one source, 
the introduction by Swami Tapasyananda of RK Mutt Publication
Sankara DigVijaya. From what I have seen, Tapasyananda has commented
on number of other works and seems reasonably knowledgeable. However,
in these matters, he could be wrong; but if so, I want to see more in
the way of evidence.  

With that has a preamble, I continue.

This is verbatim from the book:

"In the fortieth year (i.e. 1335), he became associated with
thefounders of the Vijayanagara empire - Hari Hara I and his brother
Bhukka I - who began the consolidation of the State by 1336. He served
under three successive kings as chief minister and built up the
greatness  and prosperity of that kingdom until he retired in about
1380 to take up the life of Sannyasa at the age of 85. He begame the
head of the Sringeri Math for a few years and passed away at the age
of 91 in 1386."

For what it is worth, Tapasyananda is quite precise about both the
time he became the Muutadipathi, and the time he became a Sanyasi.

He further goes on to argue why the Vidyaranya, the Muttadhipathi, is
the same Vidyaranya of the Vijayanagara court. He writes (again
quoting verbatim):

"The identity if further established by the poet (i.e. Vidyaranya)
Madhava's reference to his life in the royal court in the following
touching introductory verses of his work: "By indulging in indulging
in insincere praise of the goodness and magnanimity of kings, which
are really non-existent like the son of a barren woman or the horns of
a hare, my poesy has become extremely impure. Now I shall render it
pure and fragrant by applying to it the cool and fragrant sandal paste
falled from the body  of the danseuse of the Acharya's holy fame and
greatness, as she eprforms her dance onthe great stage of the world."


Re: inscription. How can it be established, incontrovertibly, that the
Vidyaranaya, the sanyasi mentioned in the inscription, is the same
Vidyaranya of Sringeri Mutt? 

You mentioned the gotras, what were teh gotras of the various
Vidyarananyas?

>From what I understand, the chief minister is not a minor position,
and hence, it seems that there should be far less confusion than
perhaps even Mutt records (e.g. gotrams etc.). I was under the
impression that Sanyasis do not use their gotrams upon becoming
sanyasis. Is this true?

Anyway, regardless of how this issue is settled, I am personally
of the opinion that these are nit-picky issues that are best handled
by Ph.D dissertations and of little consequence to establishing 
Sri  Vedanta Desika's spiritual outlook.

sk