Ramanuja in Karnataka

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Mon Aug 2 21:43:18 UTC 1999

>Several of the inscriptions mentioning Ramanuja
>date from the early to mid 12th century, i.e.,
>either during Ramanuja's lifetime or shortly
>thereafter.  There are others which mention
>Ramanuja's immediate disciples such as Anantalvan
>and Kidambi Accan.

>Most of these inscriptions are with reference
>to Ramanuja's activity in Melkote and at a temple
>(I forget the name) prior to its renovation.

  There are no inscriptions in 11th/12th centuries mentioning
  Ramanuja's biographical details or his writings or
  activity at Melukote. Ie., during his lifetime.

  Shaivaite Nayanmars and Vaishnavaite Alvars are usually
  mentioned a century or so after their death in inscriptions.
  This may well be the situation for an undated inscription
  (not at Melukote) that begins with "Ramanujaya namah". Even
  though B. R. Gopal calls this undated inscription mentioning
  Ramanuja as of 12th century, it could be 13th century also.
  I think sufficient time has to elapse before saying,
  "Obesience to Ramanuja". No other details on Ramanuja
  in that inscription.

  Ramanuja's hagiography is built from literary accounts
  and not from inscriptions. Decades ago, M. H. Krishna matched
  one BeLagoLa inscription which he dated to 1098 A.D.
  and explained many of Ramanuja's hagiographical details.
  But this inscription is by Bukkaraya and must be after
  1316 A.D. B. R. Gopal, Ramanuja in Karnataka, 1983, p. 14
  "So far as the story of conversion of the Hoysala king
  vi.t.thala, identified with Vishnuvardhana, is concerned,
  the traditional accounts do not stand scrutiny.  ...
  We now know that Ballala III, to whose period this record
  is to be ascribed, ... also bore the epithet Vishnuvardhana
  after 1316 A.D."

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