It gives me great pleasure in placing in the hands of Sanskrit scholars this research-book aiming to prove that the Kanci kamakoti Mutt in the southern part of India was established by no one else than by the Great Advaitin Adi Sankaracarya and that he himself was the first Head of the Mutt. So far it was believed that, for the propagation of his Absolute Non-dualistic Doctrine, the Great Philosopher of India established only four Mutt-s at the four quarters of India. The number was restricted to four as there are only four Veda-s and four Mahavakya-s pertaining to the Vedanta doctrine. The author of the book after his rigorous studies extending over many years is convinced that the fifth Mutt of Kanci-kamakoti was also established by Sankara and was meant as a centre of study of all the four Veda-s and of all the four Mahavakya-s. He also believes that Sankara breathed his last not in the Himalayan region but in South India. He has given his own arguments and has adduced impressive evidence to prove his thesis. In the orthodox circles, however, the book is bound to cause a great stir as its subject matter is moot and highly controversial. The authorities of the Institute after due deliberation decided to publish the book mainly for two reasons l (i) There being no finality in the field of researches, there should always be a due and fair appreciation of a fresh outlook; and (ii) our author Dr. W. R. Antarkar has as far as possible tried to be objective and impartial in deal. ing with a historical issue which is sensetive and perhaps contentious. The views expressed in the book are entirely his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the Institute.
This does not mean, however, that any apology is needed for the publication of the book. W. R. Antarkar was associated with the Institute as a Ph. D. student from 1955 to 1960 and carried out his work” Sankara Vijaya-s A Comparative and Critical Study” under the mature guidance of the late Prof. R. D. Karmarkar. The Kanci-kamakoti issue formed only a part of his thesis. Dr. Rajgopal Sharma has written a book entitled Kanci-kamakoti Mutt: A Myth. This inspired Dr. Antarkar to write the present critical book under the title Kanci-kamakoti Mutt: A Myth or Reality?
Dr. Antarkar himself admits that he has not said the last word on the subject. I shall, therefore, conclude with the following verse of Hemacandra with a modification in the second line:
yad bhasitam granthakrta svamatya
Matsaryam utsarya tad arya-cittah
prasadam adhaya visodhayantu
“ May the noble-minded scholars, without cherishing ill-will, kindly search into the pros and cons of whatever according to his thought is stated here by the writer that goes according to them (scholars) against the valid means of knowledge and finally established facts”
It is with mixed feelings of joy, hesitation and some apprehension also that I am presenting this book to the public, particularly to scholars, who are spocially interested in the biograbhy of Sri Adi Sankaracaraya. His biography, available today in about 18 works, which can be compositely called sankara Vijayas, contains a number of controversial issues, one of them being whether or not he established a (5th) Mutt at Kanci, in addition to the generally accepted 4 mutts at Dwaraka, Himalayas, Jagannathapuri and Srngeri on the bank of the Tunga river. This book attempts to discuss this issue at length and in details. Scholars are divided on this issue, some holding that he did and many holding that he did not establish such a mutt at Kanci, After going through all the material and arguments on both the sides as far as I could get, utilise and understand them, I have come to the conclusion that Sankara must have established a 5th Mutt at Kanci, though not necessarily an Amnaya Mutt, as everyone of the other 4 mutts is said or claimed to be and that Sankara himself must have occupied it as its first head. I do not claim to have said the last word on the subject and how far my appraisal and/or evaluation of the evidence and the arguments on both the sides is satisfactory and/or convincing, it is for the readers and scholars to decide. My only submission is that I have been as impartial and objective as well as thorough as I could be in presenting the whole subject. Readers are requested to read the book in the non-partisan spirit, in which I have tried to handle its subject matter.
Samskrit is not just a language. It is the voice of Bharat’s (India’s) soul and wisdom. It is the fountainhead of our national life spring. It is the link between our past and present. Samskrit is the language of the Knowledge Tradition of Bharat.
Samskrit language and literature is a great repository of knowledge encompassing every walk of life, be it science and technology, agriculture and sculpture, astronomy and architecture, medicine and metallurgy, mathematics and management, economics and ecology. This book is a humble attempt to give the reader a glimpse into the rich and vast scientific heritage of Bharat hidden in the treasure-house called Samskrit.
Samskrit was the medium of communication, education, law, administration, trade, commerce, art, entertainment, research and of all modes of intellectual debates till a few centuries ago. It was the link language of Bharat. Reviving it again is only a matter of our collective will and time.
Learning Samskrit is not learning a new language. Most Bharatiya languages have more than sixty percent Samskrit words. Samskrit being the cultural language of Bharat from time immemorial, it flows in the very blood of every Bharatiya. The teaching method of Samskrit, called Grammar-Translation-Method, employed in schools and colleges for the last 150 years and which continues even today, is an age old foreign method which made Samskrit learning difficult. Now that Samskrita Bharati has developed new methods of Samskrit teaching, learning Samskrit has become very easy.
In today’s globalised economy and in the context of knowledge - society, we need Samskrit more than ever before, to preserve our moorings, to bridge the ancient and the modem, to unravel the knowledge contained in the ancient texts, to protect our Intellectual Property Rights, to explore new avenues of innovations and to lead Bharat into the forefront of the future Knowledge-driven-globe.
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