Madhava, Madhavarya, Madhvacharya and Madhyavamtya were the names by which Vidyaranya Swami use to pass prior to his turning into a recluse. He wrote many works all of which attest his learning and erudition. He wrote on medicine, grammar, astrology beides writing commenaties on the four Vedas known by the name of Madhavaprakash Sarvadarshangraha and others.
The Panchadasi is an important text on the Vedantic philosophy. It consists of fifteen chapters written by srimat Vidyaranya Swami.
The present book discusses Vedantic philosophy with critical notices of the other contending systems. It embraces dissertations on Cosmology, Psychology, Evolution Yoga and Emancipation. It is a complete clue for the comprehension of the science of mans his relation to the Universe and his ultimate destiny. It clears out the mistaken notion reviews. Theism and Pantheism in all its aspects. It is an exhaustive key to Esoteric Science.
For one so deservedly reputed as the author of the Panchadasi which holds a high place in the realm of Vedantic Philosophy it is but proper that a short notice of his life and writings should go along with its English version. But in the matter of biography there never was a time nor is it even now the case when any attention was paid to it. India boasts of a literature which is unique every department of learning bears the stamp of genius originality deep research and profound and sublime thoughts. Unfortunately the lives that were spent in thus enriching the Sanskrit and opening up a world of new ideas and new philosophies were allowed to drop in time into the gulf of eternity without leaving any trace of their struggle and sufferings their joys and pleasures beyond the simple fact that they lived and died. Suppression of self or egoism was a religious principle with them and this may to a certain extent account for the lack of authentic records of the lives of our great men and good. And if to this be added the certain fact that they lived quite unostentatiously with very slender means barely enough to satisfy the simple wants of the flesh without that artificial halo which encircles the mushroom authors of the day it will be evident that the incident of such lives as theirs would neither be interesting nor profitable. We had no press that could puff in those days the art of printing was yet in the womb of distant futurity the renown of a scholar was confined in the narrow circle of his nativity where a solitary student would be found engaged in receiving and he in imparting instruction to them. His pupils gradually spread his fame and worth for after finishing their course they turn into new pastures and set themselves up as professors. In this way the learned scholar draws pupils from remote places who copy their teacher’s manuscripts and writings and are taught in them. Under circumstances so repressive and trying it is a matter of congratulation that what is yet left us is a standing monument imperishable like time itself and undying like glory. With the paucity of materials for a suitable biography so much of fiction has been transplanted on it that we had one time thought of giving up the idea but recollecting that a blind uncle is better than none we begin our task.
Madhava, Madhavarya, Madhvacharya and Madhavamatya were the names by which Vidyarana Swami used to pass prior to his turning into a recluse. He was born in the fourteenth century of the Christian era at Golconda. It appears that Vijayanagar was the capital of Bukka I whose family priest and minister our author was. Very little is known of his early life. His parents as may naturally be expected from their connection with the reigning family were in affluent circumstances and very highly respected. His father was as he himself speaks of him in his commentary on parasar’s Law Book Narayan of Good renown and mother Sreemutty he had two more brothers called Sayan and Somenath. They belonged to the Bharadwaj Gotra and Bodhvayani Shakha of the Black Yajur Veda. He wrote many works all of which attest his learning and erudition. Next to Sankaracharya he is everywhere recognized as an authority on the doctrine of Non duality. He wrote on Medicine Grammar Astrology besides writing Commentaries on the four Vedas Known by the name of Madhavaprokash Commentaries on the Brahma Mimamsa or Adhikaran Mala Commentary on Parasar’s Law book ANumitiprakash Brahma Gita or a critical analysis of the doctrine of non duality based on the sruti and a review of Madhava Ramanuja and Sankar’s views. Here also he has added his commentary for elucidating the text and called Prakashika Jivanmuktiviveka Drigdrishvaviveka and the gloss of AParaokshyanuvuti. His Sarvadarshan Sangraha treats of fifteen systems as follow (I) Charvaka-darshna (2) Buddha- darshana (3) Arhata-darshana (4) Ramanuja-darshana (5) Puranprajna (6) Nakulis Pasupat (7) Shaiva (8) Pratyabhija (9) Raseshavar (10) Aulik (11) Akshapada (12) Jaimini (13) Panini (14) Sankhya and (15) Patanjal. Among his minor works are jainminya Naymala. Acharmadhava and Sankardigbijaya.
It is neither Profitable nor Interesting to enter into details about the various anecdotes current about Madhava’s supernatural gifts. For instance it is said that with a view of propitiating the Gayatri Devi he had collected several learned Brahmins from various parts of the country and on the auspicious occasion regularly commenced the Gayatripurashcharana but he was unsuccessful in meeting her. This made him indifferent to worldly enjoyments and ultimately turned him into a recluse. Then Gayatri insisted upon him to ask for a boon and Madhava requested her to cause a shower of gold in the Karnatic so that every one may become rich. This was actually fulfilled. Later in life he settled himself in the Sringeri Math founded by Sankaracharya of which he became the reputed head. Here his last work panchadasi was written but as he did not live long to finish it the work was left to his guru Bharatitirtha Muni who wrote the latter nine books and thus completed the fifteen books of which the Panchadasi is made.
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