Madhava, Vidyaranya, Sringeri, and Kulke

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Thu May 18 06:09:43 UTC 2000

Vidyasankar wrote:
<How about a reconstruction that postulates only that the character of the
Advaita monastic tradition changed in the 14th century? The recent schism
created by the rise of the Dvaita school would have been at least as
important a factor as the invasion by the Khilji army and the consequent
founding of Vijayanagara. It may be that in the 9th-12th centuries, the monks
confined themselves to forest hermitages, and only slowly came to associate
themselves with big temples and monasteries. This would parallel the old
Vedic traditions of the AraNyakas, as also the Buddhist distinction between
the "forest-monks" and the "town-monks". That would explain why there are
absolutely no ancient records indicating that Sankara established *any*
mathas at all, anywhere in India. Still, without disciple lineages and
hermitages devoted to his works, how did the Sankaran tradition even survive
through the centuries?>

I agree with this solution with some minor modifications. Can't disciple
lineages exist without hermitages?  How about wandering ascetics? According
to Norman Brown, four manuscripts of saundaryalaharI manuscripts add the
epithet "paramahaMsaparivrAjaka" to zaGkarAcArya. (Is the use of this epithet
restricted to bhASyakAra in other texts?)

Also consider this. The cOzamAtEvi inscription of 1065 AD (mentioned by N.
Ganesan sometime ago) shows that the brahmin sabhA of the locality met in the
temple and donated land for those lecturing on "piratIpikam" (pradIpika)
authored by one citAn2nta piTArar as a vArttika on sArIrakabhASya. (So far, I
see no reason to believe that the name "piTArar" indicated an ascetic. Are
there any specific reasons to exclude householders from  the transmission of
advaitic tradition?) Clearly, the association of advaitic tradition with
temples was already there in the 11th century. A 13th century Pandyan
inscription allowing for bhikSAbhoga for ekadaNDin ascetics (from lands
belonging to a caturvedimangalam named after a Hoysala king!) may show a
continuation of such an association.

(continued in the next post)

S. Palaniappan

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