[Advaita-l] Vidyaranya and vedanta deshika.

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Mon Nov 15 12:18:40 CST 2010

On Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 12:53 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan
<svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

>> I heard a story that Vidyaranya ,Vedanta Desika and Akshobhya muni were
>> classmates in Kanchi
>> regards,
>> Sarma.
> Great, now Akshobhya Tirtha also graduated from the imaginary stellar class? :-)
> These kinds of stories keep growing, but I have seen hardly any literary or historical
> evidence for them. Vedanta Desika was clearly someone who lived in or near Kanchi,
> but Vidyaranya and Akshobhya Tirtha were definitely not.
> The other day, I was randomly browsing through webpages and came across a story
> that the author of the amarakoSa was a king who once started burning all the books
> in his kingdom and that it was Adi Sankaracharya who convinced the king not to burn
> his own amarakoSa. People with fertile imaginations are highly capable of coming up
> with stories like these. I haven't seen this story in any of the Sankaravijaya-s, but who
> cares for Sanskrit texts anyway nowadays, except to cast doubts upon their value?
> I'm waiting for the day when someone starts trying to fix a date for Adi Sankara based
> on some speculative date for the amarakoSa, or tries to fix a date for the text based on
> what they are sure is the final fixed date for Adi Sankara. Facts are rather dry and
> unimportant for the romantic mind that appreciates such stories and takes them as
> factual. As for logic, forget it ...
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar

Not to mention that for some all historical details are "hazy", but
the "fact" that these 2 (perhaps 3?) were classmates is crystal clear.

And isn't it amazing all these stories involve Kanchi? One would
imagine that there was no other place imparting vedic education! In
reality, Kanchi was hardly the key place for getting a traditional
vedic education (and is not even now) inspite of "nagareshu kaanchi"
and so on. It was and is Kumbakonam inside Tamil Nadu. The Govinda
Dikshitar Raja Patashalai in Kumakonam was till the beginning of the
century the biggest and is still the biggest. Most grantha books on
vedas as well as prayoga can be traced to this institution.


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