Madhava, Vidyaranya, Sringeri, and Kulke

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Wed Jun 14 06:26:25 UTC 2000

As for the 13th century seal , Vidyasankar said:
< The boar sign was in use till recently. AdivarAha is also said to be the 
deity of the southern AmnAya…

More interestingly, the boar was the royal emblem of the Hoysalas in the
12th-13th centuries, and of the Chalukyas before them. In later times, it
was adopted by the Mysore Wodeyars. Again, there seems to be a prehistory to
the relationship between Advaita monks and Vijayanagara royalty. It is not
an entirely new development in the 14th century.>

This also serves to support the 14th century origin of the maTha. We know 
that the Hoysala queen donated some land to Bharatitirtha only in 1346, when 
the Hoysala rule was over. But we have an inscription (21 of 1891) of a 
Hoysala king vIra-rAmanAtha erecting a zaiva maTha at tiruvAn2aikkA for the 
zaiva pontiff, tatpuruSazivAcArya, the expounder of the SiddhAnta and 
disciple of svAmidEvar of the santAna of lakSAdyAya-rAvaLar. (See p.227 of 
"Development of Saivism in South India" by M. Rajamanickam, 1964.) We have an 
inscription of the Hoysala queen Somala Devi at Srirangam mentioning the gift 
of a garden.  We have inscriptions issued by Hoysala officials also. If 
Hoysalas left an inscription endowing a zaiva maTha near Srirangam, we should 
expect comparatively more epigraphic evidence of their support to a maTha at 
Sringeri, if it existed during their heyday. 

Consider  also what Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote on a different thread 
on Wed, 16 Jun 1999:
<In sha.nkaras times association of advaita monks with kings does not seem to 
have been common.  Sha.nkara's own writings emphasize nivR^itti and living in 
forests. Strong associations with kings started later, during Vidyasa.nkaras 
times (~1100s), due to Muslim conquests. So, it's not very surprising that 
not many inscriptions have been found in sha.nkaras name.>

So, if there was indeed a relationship between the advaita monks and the 
Karnataka rulers as quoted above, the absence of any such epigraphic evidence 
prior to the 14th century underscores the probable absence of a maTha. I 
believe, given Sankara's association of asceticism and wandering, logically, 
the burden of proof is on the traditionalists arguing for a pre-14th century 
existence of a maTha and not on those who question its existence in that 
period. To me, the traditionalists have not proved their case so far. 

S. Palaniappan

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