Madhava, Vidyaranya, Sringeri, and Kulke

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Tue May 16 00:37:28 UTC 2000

Kulke says that the identification of Vidyaranya with Madhavacarya can be
derived from his own literary works, i.e., jIvamuktiviveka and
parAzara-smRtI. Is Kulke's conclusion justified ?

vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

> Be that as it may, does the
>  Sankaravijaya of Madhava claim that Sankara established four mathas in
>  India, one of which was Sringeri?

What I find in the translation is that Sankara built temples for Devi in
Sringeri and  Kanchi.  After he ascended the throne of Omniscience, "he left
for Badari with some of his disciples, while deputing the others to
Sringagiri and other places". This might lead to an interpretation that
Sankara established the Sringeri maTha.

I wonder if in these discussions the Srivaishnava tradition about
Vedantadesika (VD) is taken into account at all. M. Arunachalam discusses
some of this in his "tamiz Ilakkiya varalARu -14Am nURRANTu". According to
him, VD and Madhava alias Vidyaranya (MV) were classmates in their early
years. On his way to Kasi, VD ran into MV on the banks of Tungabhadra. MV,
already an ascetic, was also travelling at that time. The ruler, Bukka, told
them if they will cure his daughter possessed by an evil spirit, he will
reward them with riches. VD declined. But MV performed exorcism on Bukka's
daughter, and became Bukka's minister! (N. Jegadeesan says VD was the one who
cured the princess. I wonder who is right?) Later, considering the poverty of
VD,  MV sent a message to VD asking him to come to Vijayanagar and receive
some gifts. But VD refused the offer replying with his vairAgyapancaka.
According to N. Jegadeesan, VD said in this message that the poverty at
Kanchi was better than the riches at Vijayanagar. Later he served as a
(remote) arbitrator in a debate between MV and akSobya muni, a dvaitin. After
this, there was a controversy between VD and MV.

It will be good if the Vaishnava experts on the list discuss what is in the
original Vaishnava texts.

VD is supposed to have sung a Kanakatarastava resulting in a rain of gold for
the sake of a poor Vaishnavite. This reminds one of Sankara of Sankaravijaya
composing Kankalakshmi Stotra to bring riches to a poor brahmin woman.

The Srivaishnavite tradition seems to agree with the conclusion of Kulke that
MV could have become a minister only under Bukka.

S. Palaniappan

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list