Centre for South Indian Studies

Vidyaranya Swamy Janmatithi Celebrated

Dakshinapatha Studies, an initiative of Center for South Indian Studies, celebrated the Janmatithi of Vidyaranya Swamy on Vaisakha Sukla Saptami, on 27th April 2023. Treasurer Sri Ayush Nadimpalli and other members of Telangana chapter offered floral tributes to Vidyaranya Swamy.Dakshinapatha Studies takes it’s inspiration from the great sage, pontiff and empire builder-  Sri Vidyaranya Swamy.

Jagadguru Sri Vidyaranya Swami Tradition has it that Madhava (the generally accepted pre-ascetic name of Sri Vidyaranya) was the elder of two Brahmachari brothers belonging to a poor but learned Brahmin family of Ekasila Nagari (present-day Warangal). The younger of the two, wandering south in search of true knowledge, reached Sringeri when the great Swami  Vidyashankara Tirtha was the reigning pontiff. On seeing the innate greatness of the young Brahmachari, Sri Vidyatirtha readily gave him sanyasa diksha with the ascetic name of Bharati Krishna Tirtha in 1328 CE. Madhava after much wandering, reached Sringeri and found his brother as the junior pontiff Bharati Krishna Tirtha. Sri Vidyatirtha readily gave Madhava also sanyasa diksha in 1331 CE with the ascetic name of Sri Vidyaranya. Sri Vidyaranya then started on a pilgrimage and reached Kashi. At the direction of Sri Vyasa, he went to Badrikashrama where the great sage himself initiated him into Sri Vidya. Returning south, he retired to Matanga hill, near Hampi, where he immersed himself in intense meditation. It was at this time that the two brothers, Madhava and Sayana, the sons of Mayana of Bharadwaja Gotra, approached Sri Vidyaranya and sought his blessings. Sri Vidyaranya graciously gave them his unfinished Veda bhashyas and some other works. He blessed them to complete the works in their own names as Madhaviyam and Sayaniyam. Later, both the brothers served as ministers in the Vijayanagara empire under Bukkaraya and Harihara I and II. After the Mahasamadhi of Sri Vidyatirtha, Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha succeeded him as the 11th Jagadguru of the Sringeri Mutt 1333 – 1380 CE.

Bukka and Harihara shared the responsibilities of ruling their empire and were marching from victory to victory, they went to Sringeri in 1346 for the blessings of Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha. Bukkaraya communicated all the details to Sri Vidyaranya in Kashi, forwarding to him Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha’s Srimukha desiring his early return.  At Hampi, Sri Vidyaranya had built a Mutt near the Virupaksha temple; after Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha attained videha mukti, Sri Vidyaranya assumed charge of the Sringeri Mutt and reigned as Jagadguru for six years from 1380-1386. The Acharya initiated the emperor into the mysteries of Advaitic meditation, and in 1386 attained videha mukti. Shortly after this event, Harihara visited Sringeri and founded the agrahara of Vidyaranyapura in memory of the guru. Sri Vidyaranya was indeed a unique personality, scholar and sage, rightly regarded as a great thinker in the post-Shankara period.

Source: Sringeri Sarada Peetham

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