CSIS

Centre for South Indian Studies

Swami Vidyaranya Jayanti

Swami Vidyaranya Jayanti
14th May 2024
Dakshinapatha office
Secunderabad

The Shankaracharya of Sringeri Peeth, the Dakshinamnaya peetham set up by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Vidyaranya Jayanti (1296 – 1391 CE) on Vaisakha Sukla Saptami which fell on 14th May 2024 was celebrated by Dakshinapatha Studies ( Center for South Indian Studies) at CSIS office. The event was clubbed along with the Jayanthi celebrations of great seers of Sanathana Dharma Sri Adi Shankaracharya and Swami Ramanujacharya whose Jayanthi fell two days earlier on Vaisakha Sukla Panchami 12th May 2024.

Susri Shailaja, senior research associate of Dakshinapatha Studies, in her brief presentation stated that Vaisakha masa is special as it celebrates the Jayanthis of several Hindu seers and luminaries like Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Ramanujacharya, Swami Vidyaranya as well as Swami Vallabhacharya on Vaisakha Krishna Ekadashi. She explained the importance of Swami Vidyaranya in the establishment and revival of the Hindu Kingdom, the glorious Vijayanagara empire which ruled all of dakshin for 300 years and was the main bulwark against the onslaught of Islamic invasions from north. The 12th Jagadguru of Sringeri (1380 – 86), his earlier name was Madhavacharya, is supposed to have hailed from Warangal region in today’s Telangana, he went in search of his younger brother who was ordained as Sringeri peethadhipathi with the name Sri Bharathikrishna Teertha in 1328 CE by the great seer Sri Vidyashankara Teertha. The great seer also gave Deeksha to Madhavacharya, thus he became Swami Vidyaranya, he became the Shankaracharya after his brother. It is said that when Swami Vidyaranya was on a pilgrimage to Kashi and Badarikasrama, Bhagwan Vyasa Maharshi himself initiated him into Sri Vidya Upasana.

On the political front, brothers Harihara and Bukka Raya, who hailed from Orugallu or Warangal, were ministers in the kingdom of Kampili, on the banks of Tungabhadra. Mohd bin Tughlak’s forces captured Kampili and forcefully converted them to Islam, and sent these ‘renegade Hindus’ as governors to Kampili again to show the authority of Islam. When the brothers Harihara and Bukka approached Swami Vidyaranya at Matanga hill, where he was undertaking a penance, he reconverted them as Hindus and declared that Harihara would rule as vice-regent of Bhagwan Virupaaksha, whose temple was at the capital Anegondi. The environment was favorable as Hoyasala‘s Ballala III was ruling from Dwarasamudra, and the Andhra Confederacy came up in revolt against the muslim invaders under the leadership of Kapaya Nayaka. To protect Hindu Dharma, Harihara was crowned the king of Hampi – Hastinavathi in 1336 CE, a revival of the old Kampili. The location of the new capital was chosen by Swami Vidyaranya, as it was surrounded by the three hills, Hemakuta, Matanga and Malyavantha, a natural fortification. The king named it Vidyanagara, in honor of Swami Vidyaranya. It was completed in seven years and was shaped as the Sri Chakra with Swami Virupaaksha temple in the center of the chakra. Gradually it became Vijayanagara. They modeled themselves on the Badami Chalukyas and adopted the Varaha as the state emblem. The kingdom grew in strength and splendor, controlled the entire peninsula region and upto the Kalinga. The Vijayanagara empire was a great patron of temples, arts, literature and sculpture. Telugu literature and arts flourished during their reign. Thus Swami Vidyaranya laid the foundation and guided the sangama dynasty of the Vijayanagara empire.

 

Sri Madhavan, engineer at the company. Adroitec engineering services, briefly explained about Sri Ramanujacharya (1017 – 1137 CE). The great Vaishnava saint was born in Sriperumbudur near today’s Chennai in Tamilnadu. He was a proponent of the Visishta Advaita. He revived and established the 108 Divya prabandhams. He studied Advaita vedanta from his guru Yadava prakasha, with whom he differed eventually, he also studied under the great scholar Yamunacharya. He became the Archaka at Kanchi Varadaraja Perumal temple. He opposed any kind of prejudice and discrimination, and preached the Thiru mantra or Narayana mantra to thousands of devotees from atop the temple. The people adapted to the Bhakti movement with his teachings. Among his many alwars, two belonged to the sudra community, while Goda Devi was a woman Alwar even such a long time ago. He traversed the entire nation on foot thrice. The famous Vaishnava temples including Tirupathi, Srirangam etc follow the jeeyar paddhati established by Sri Ramanuja 1000 years ago, his sahasrabdi, 1000th birth anniversary was celebrated by Hindus in the year 2017.

Sri Kalyan Chakravarthy, Research coordinator at Dakshinapatha Studies, spoke briefly on the great seer and the proponent of the visionary universal philosophy, the Advaita siddhantha, Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Born at Kaladi in today’s Kerala, Shankara takes his mother’s permission and blessings and leaves home at the tender age of 8 years to become a sanyasi. Sri Govinda Bhagavatpada was his guru. There are many thrilling events in his short life, he disappeared at kedarnath when he was barely 32 years. He traversed the entire nation on foot thrice. He established the 4 Sankara peethas in the four directions of the nation, each meant for studying a particular Veda. The Jyotish math near Badrinath in the north, the Dwaraka peeth in Dwaraka in the west, the Shringeri peeth in Karnataka in the south, and the Govardhan peeth in Puri in the east. He reconciled all the major Bhakthi traditions in sanathana dharma, and initiated the Panchayatana tradition. Not many people are aware regarding the akhadi (wrestling) tradition that was established by Sri Shankaracharya which continues to this day. The dasnami akhada is very important and reputed. Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s influence and impact is everlasting.

Puja and Harathi was offered to the portraits of Swami Vidyaranya, Sri Adi Shankaracharya and Sri Ramanujacharya and prashad was taken by all the attendees of the event.


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