[q] Madhva

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at GMX.LI
Thu Jun 15 13:45:12 UTC 2000

Am 14 Jun 2000, um 5:46 schrieb Swaminathan Madhuresan:

> > Very shabby reasoning.  The time if his birth is also fixed as 1238,
> > and tradition is still for 79 years; hence only do we have the
> > latter date established as 1317.  The period of 43 centuries is only
> > approximate (note that Madhva says only that he was born after the
> > passage of 4300 years, not that he was born in a specific year
> > designated 4300:  chatuHsahasre trishatottare gate saMvatsarANAM tu
> > kalau pR^ithivyAM jAtaH punaH vipratanuH).
>  Atleast in the mid-decades, Sanskritists have written that
> Madhva was born in kaliyug 4300 (around 1200 CE).

This is so, and indeed the passage quoted from Madhva's
Mahaabhaaratataatparyanir.naya by Shrisha Rao (on which the
traditional dating was based) suggests just that. But there are
other indications in favour of the date kaliyuga 4339. Bannanje
Govindacharya (editor of the complete works of Madhva) has
written a booklet that is now also available in an English version
(_Madhwacharya_. Bangalore: Shri Bannanje Sanmana Samiti,
Poorna Prajna Vidyapeetha, 1997. 39 pp., Rs. 20) and discusses
the matter on pp. 30-31. A hagiographic text, the A.numadhvavijaya
by H.r.siike;satiirtha, says

tri;sataabdottaracatu.hsahasraabdeebhya uttare
ekonacatvaari.m;saabde vilambisa.mvatsare (&c.)

i.e., 4339. This agrees with Naraharitiirtha's ;Srikuurma inscription,
which says that Madhva was 70 years old when he wrote his
Tithinir.naya, and Govindacharya finds internal evidence in that text
that it was written in 4409 (i.e., precisely 4339 + 70). Together with
what B.N.K. Sharma mentions in his _Hist. of the Dvaita School of
Vedanta and its Literature_ (chapter XI) concerning Madhva's
relative chronology vis-à-vis Naraharitiirtha, I think the date kali
4339 (1238 CE) is quite solid.

I am a bit surprised about the assumption that Madhva would have
lived till the age of 120, since I have not read that before.
Raamaanuja is said to have lived so long, and I wonder whether the
two acharyas have been confused.


Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Institut fuer Indologie und Tamilistik
Universitaet zu Koeln
E-mail zydenbos at gmx.li

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