[q] Madhva

M. Tandy mpt at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Thu Jun 8 04:32:01 UTC 2000

On Wed, 7 Jun 2000, Venkatraman Iyer wrote:
> a) Did Madhva attain samadhi in 1317 CE or is it in 1386 CE?
> b) When was the Madhva life history put together?
> Was it accomplished in 15th or 16th centuries? In the case of Alvars
> or Nayanmars or Sankara, the hagiology is done after few
> centuries.
> Thanks for the info.
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        Dr. Iyer,

        I'm neither a Kannada nor MAdhva scholar, but regarding your
second question:

         MadhvAcArya's Sanskrit hagiography, the Sumadhva-vijaya, is
practically the only source of information about him.  Fairly sophisticated
from a literary point of view, it was composed only a few years after
Madhva's departure.  Comprising sixteen chapters, in 1008 verses, it is
written by NArAyaNa PaNDitAcArya, the son of one of Madhva's leading
disciples.  NArAyaNAcArya also wrote a similar work known as MaNi-maJjarI.
According to C.M. Padmanabhachar in his _Life and Teachings of Sri
Madhvachariar_ (Bombay: C. A. Pattabiraman, 1983.), NArAyaNAcArya based
his work upon the many poetic chronicles which began to circulate around
the time of Madhva's return from his second North Indian tour (92).
He adds (103):

  "The author of Sri Madhva Vijia (sic) was a great admirer and
worshipper of the person whose life he wrote.  He was almost a
contemporary of Sri Madhva, and must have been a witness, with
his father, of some at least of the chief events set forth in his
narrative.  Hence he wrote with the fulness of personal knowledge, and
with an enthusiasm natural to recent converts."

See also:

PaNDitAcArya, NArAyaNa.  Sumadhva-vijaya.
Ed. VyAsanakere PrabhaJjanAcArya.
TirucAnUr: ZrIman-Madhva-siddhAntonnAhinI SabhA, 1989.

I hope this helps somewhat.

Michael Tandy
Dept. of Asian Languages and Literature
University of Washington

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