Madhavendra Puri

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at
Tue Apr 8 02:18:24 UTC 1997

On Mon, 7 Apr 1997, Rebecca Manring wrote:

> Does anyone know of any material, outside of the Gaudiya Vaisnava 
> tradition, which mentions Madhavendra Puri?  I'm interested in seeing how 
> any of the other sampradayas view and treat this shadowy figure who may 
> represent a link between southern and northern Vaisnavism.

The short answer to this would be no, I think. 

Gaudiya Vaishnava sources also mention one Kesava Bharati, an advaita
sannyAsin, as a guru of Caitanya. Puri and Bharati are daSanAmi suffixes,
and are found almost always in names of advaita monks. Almost all monks
from the dvaita tradition are Tirthas, which is also a daSanAmi suffix.
And although the Gaudiyas claim affiliation with the dvaita tradition, the
dvaitins are not very enthusiastic about acknowledging it. The dvaita
monasteries do not seem to have any records of a Madhavendra Puri. Shrisha
Rao, who is (or was) a member of this list, might elaborate. He and
several ISKCON members participated in a rather heated discussion on the
Usenet newsgroup soc.religion.hindu, about the Gaudiya school's 
affiliations with dvaita. 

All in all, the probability of there having been a dvaita monk named
Madhavendra Puri is extremely low, if current usage and extant records
of the dvaita maThas are any indication. If Madhavendra Puri was an
advaita monk, then he does not represent southern Vaishnavism in any
specific way. Of course, the SrIvaishNava school is ruled out in this

Excluding Vallabha and Nimbarka, who were both south Indians, the one
tangible medieval link between southern and northern vaishNavism is
rAmAnanda, who was from the SrIvaishNava sampradAya. 

S. Vidyasankar

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