[Advaita-l] Re: Epigraphica about Vidyaranya

Shrisha Rao shrirao1 at mchsi.com
Mon Jun 23 22:25:36 CDT 2003

On Monday, June 23, 2003, at 05:20  PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> One might have to hunt for them deeply though. I remember one 
> half-verse that runs "akshobhyaM kshobhayAmAsa vidyaraNya mahAmuniH." 
> Of course, the dvaitins quote a half-verse that says something like 
> "vidyAraNyaM mahAraNyam akshobhyamunir achinnat."

I would appreciate further information too.

The only information in this regard I have seen is in B.N.K. Sharma's 
"The History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta" (3rd ed., 2000, Motilal), 
pp. 229--230, which says about Akshobhya T.:

== begin quote

His chief claim to recognition rests on the incident of his historic 
disputation with Vidyaranya, on the purport of the `tattvamasi' text, a 
disputation which is believed to have taken place at Mulbagal, ten 
miles from Kolar.  It is said to have been referred to Vedanta Desika 
for arbitration; and he is reported to have given his verdict in favor 
of Akshobhya, in the following verse, oft-quoted in traditional circles:

   asinA tattvamasinA parajIvaprabhedinA  |
   vidyAraNamahAraNyamaxobhyamunirachchhinat.h  ||

This tradition is corroborated [1] by the 
vedAntadeshika-vaibhavaprakAshikA of Mahacharya (16th century) and by 
the still earlier (15th cent.) work of Brahmatantra Svatantra Jeer III, 
accounted to have been the third in spiritual succession from Desika, 
at the Parakala Matha, in Mysore.  It is also recorded in the 
jayatIrthavijaya of Vyasatirtha (a direct disciple of Jayatirtha) in 
canto ii, 54.68; in the jayatIrthavijaya of Chalari Samkarsanacharya; 
and in the Raghavendravijaya (17th cent.) and in the Vishishtadvaitic 
work AchArya vijayachampu, V.  There is also some kind of epigraphic 
evidence at Mulbagal, where a commemorative stone pillar of victory has 
been discovered, though in a grossly mutilated form [2].  A covert 
allusion to Akshobhya's victory is perhaps intended by Jayatirtha, in 
one of the introductory verses of his TP:

   durvAdivAraNavidAraNadaxadIxamaxobhyatIrthamR^igarAjamahaM namAmi  || 
4 ||


[1] A.V. Gopalacharya first made an irresponsible statement, in his 
introd. to the Yadavabhyudaya (Srirangam, 1907) that the Advaitins 
claim that the judgment was in their favor, expressed in the following 

   axobhyaM xobhayAmAsa vidyAraNyo mahAmuniH  |

without indicating the source of his information.  This opinion has 
been blindly echoed by certain writers of the Vijayanagar Sexcentinary 
Vol. (pp. 49 and 301) unmindful of the facts that the Vishishtadvaitic 
tradition (recorded) is emphatically against such a view and that such 
an emendation of the second line would be palpably inconsistent with 
the first line which is clinchingly in favor of `difference' and the 
metaphor underlying the word "asi" (sword).

[2] On the entire question of the historicity of the 
Akshobhya-Vidyaranya episode, see my rejoinder to S.N. Rajapurohit, in 
the AUJ, v. 1., pp. 103--7.  The jayatIrtha vijaya of Vyasatirtha also 
refers to the erection of a stone-pillar to commemorate the victory: 
stambhaM pratishhThapya jayAN^kamashmanaH |

== end quote


Shrisha Rao

> Vidyasankar

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