In 2001 we had published, under the same series a monograph of Dr. W.R. Antarkar, titled kanci Kamakoti Mutt: A Myth or Reality? It was aimed to prove that the Kanci kamakoti Mutt was established by no one else but by Adi Sankaracarya.
Dr. Antarkar was associated with the Institute as a doctoral student from 1955 to 1960 and carried out his work Sankaravijayas: A Comparative and Critical Study under the guidance of Prof. R.D. Karmarkar. I am happy to publish, in the form of the present book, a part of his work revised considerably.
It is with mixed feelings of joy and fear that I am offering this small book to the public and scholars. It is a very small part of my thesis (still unpublished) on the life of Sri Adi Sankaracarya. I started my said thesis out of my desire to read this very book viz. The Sankara Digvijaya or Madhaviya written, as it was then generally supposed to be, by Sri Vidyaranya Muni i.e., by one great man about another great man. When, however, I came across, in the course of my study, other Salikara- Vijayas like Vyasacatiya, Tiru-Diksita's Sankarabhyudaya and some others, I noticed that hundreds of stanzas were common verbatim to these works in particular on the one side and the Madhaviya on the other. The very large number of such stanzas ruled out the possibility of chance identity or sameness and hence I had perforce to ascretain the question of priority among the different works and then to decide who was likely to have borrowed from whom. In the end, I was driven to conclude that in spite of the beautiful poetic quality and the philosophical content of the Madhaviya, it was this work that seemed to have borrowed from the other works and not vice versa. I recorded my findings in brief in my thesis and subsequently in 1972, I embodied them in an article submitted to the Bombay University Journal (Arts No. Vol. XLI, No. 77, November 1972, pp. 1 to 23).
Later on, I come across some books, particularly 'JSMV' by Mr. Raja Gopal Sharma and 'The Truth about the Kumbakonam Mutt' by Mr. R. K. Iyer and Mr. K. R. Venkataraman, which had tried much earlier to defend the Madhaviya against the charge of its borrowing from other works but I had not been able to get them when I wrote my article referred to earlier. I, therefore, went through these two and some other books also but not being satisfied with the arguments of these writers, prepared an essay by way of a supplement to my article. In the meantime, I had been able to get some other books also which seemed to hold that the Madhaviya was not the work of Sri Vidya. Muni, but was somewhat of a compilation of stanzas taken from other works, the Sankaradigvijayas in particular. Recently, I thought of combining my two writings and publishing them in the form of this book.
The present book is being published in two parts, the first comprising mainly my Bombay University Journal article, coupled with some new material connected therewith, and the second comprising the supplement referred to above. Foot-notes to the two parts have been given separately, at the end of each part. Additional foot notes have been taken at the end of the first part ad verbatim from the Journal article in order to add to the information of the readers. This publication of the book in two parts is for the sake of convenience only - to avoid rewriting the entire substance or contents anew. I have tried to avoid overlapping and / or repetition of matter as far as I could do so.
Abbreviations for both the parts have been given at the end of the second part.
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