– by Sri Vedanta Deshikaacharya (of Vishishtadvaitha)
Meaning – Akshobhya Munigalu defeated through Vakyartha named sword Vidyaranya’s jungle forest in the “Tatvamasi” (“ತತ್ವಮಸಿ”) vakyartha, wherein Tatvamasi clearly says that there is a broad difference between Paramathma and Jeeva.
As per Madhwa tradition and as per various records it is observed that Sri Akshobhya Tirtha Mahaan, had defeated Sri Vidyaranya at Mulbagilu in a debate with “Tatvamasi” (“ತತ್ವಮಸಿ”) as the main subject, and a great memorial is installed near Mulbagilu.
Recently some people have brought in new story to the same by telling that the famous debate did not took place at all. They have based on a book titled “Akshobhya Vijaya Vibrama” written by Mr G R Patil, an advaitee from Dharwad. He himself has called his grantha as “samshodanaathmaka grantha”. But there are no points to prove that it is samshodanaathmaka, instead it is illusion itslef (vibhrama, perhaps he himself is aware about his bhrama, that is why he has titled the book as vibhrama). He has written the book with the sole intention of proving that Maadhavaachaarya was not at all Vidyaranya when the debate held. In his book, he has used singular words on pratha: smaraNeeya Sri NarayaNa panditaachaaryarunot less than 5 times. This is not the quality which one can expect from a samshodhanaathmaka writer.
For this Mr G R Patil has taken his source from Sri N S Rajapurohit (a dwaitee) whose book titled “Shukla yajurvedi Mahatmaru”which was released in 1930s. Mr Rajapurohit had tried to say that Acharya Madhwa, Sri Jayatirtharu, Sri Sureshwaracharyaru (advaitee) all are originally from KaaNva shake. Mr Rajapurohit tried to base his argument saying that Sri Jayatirtharu had not mentioned anywhere about the winning of Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu over Vidyaranya.
It is lack of knowledge about Sri Jayatirtha granthas whicvh mustn have prompted him to write like that. Mr Rajapurohit must have been ignorant of the fact that Sri Jayatirtharu had called Akshobhya Tirtharu with the words “durvaadi vaaraNa vidaaraNa dakshadIkshaM akShObhyatIrtha mRugaraajamahaM namaami”. Here even though the specific name of Vidyaranya is not mentioned by Jayatirtharu, he has quoted his guru as the mrugaraaja (the lion) for all the durvaadees. That is an indication about the greatness of Akshobhya Tirtharu. The very charama shloka of Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu prepared by Sri Jayatirtharu says “yO vidyaaranya vipinam tattvamasyachinath “. This is a clear indication that Sri Jayatirtharu has mentioned about his guru’s win over Vidyaranya in clear words.
While analyzing the whether the debate between Akshobhyaru – Vidyaranya took place one has to consider several aspects. They are :
Between whom the debate was held?
Whether they were contemporaries?
During what period it was held?
What is the subject of the debate or Why was the debate held?
Where was it held?
Whether any King or his representative initiated the debate ?
Who was the mediator/Judge for the debate?
What were the prior conditions of the debate?
Whether the purpose of the debate was successful?
Whether the judgement has been recorded officially ?
Whether there is any documents are available for the judgement?
Whether any monument to mark the debate was made ?
Whether the monument is still available or any jeernoddaara is done for the memorial?
Whether Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu, who is said to have won, had that much of knowledge so that he can beat the Vidyaranya, who is considered next only to Shankaracharya in Advaitha?
If the debate took place between Vidyaranya & Akshobhya Tirtharu, whether he was “Vidyaranya” at that time?
Whether the judge Sri Vedanta Deshikar had any enemity with Advaitha pontiff Vidyaranya? or he had any favouritism with Dwaitha pontiff Akshobhya Tirtha?
Even if he was not Vidyaranya at that time, or just a bidi sanyaasi, whether one can consider him as Vidyaranya, as if he got it some time afterwords?
If Maadhavaachaarya as bidi sanyaasi was defeated by Akshobhya Tirtharu, whether Advaitha Peetha can allow him to peetadhipathwa of Shrungeri Mutt?
Whether any Advaitha granthas/ Vishistadvaitha granthas have mentioned about the defeat of Vidyaranya?
If Mr Madhavacharya, was not Vidyaranya at that time, whether one can consider the debate as vaagvaada between Akshobhya Tirtharu and Vidyaranya?
Whether sanyaasis of that Shrungeri Mutt who are also called as Vidyaranya, are also capable like that of Sri Vidyaranya (Madhavacharya)?
Whether Sri Jayatirtharu who has done the charama shloka as “yO vidyaaranya vipinam tattvamasyachinath” referred to Madhavacharya the Vidyaranya or some other Vidyaranya?
These are the questions which one has to consider when trying to find out the reality of the Akshobhya Tirtha – Vidyaranya debate. But the Vibhramakaararu has analysed only from the prejudice point of view,i.e., pre conceived idea that Vidyaranya cannot have been defeated, without any proper base to his theory.
Regarding the above questions, Mr G R Patil has answered in his own style, with prejudiced mind that the debate was not held at all. He had a preconceived mind not to accept the debate and as such, he went on quoting assumptive, illogical illustrations, points, but never he could provide any documents. He has concluded that the debate was never held, and that they were not contempories and that Madhawaacharya (ಮಾಧವಾಚಾರ್ಯ) was not Vidyaranya during that period. (As per Advaitha system, there are many Shankarachaaryas, Vidyaranyaas. Once they take sanyasa, they will be called as Shankaracharya, i.e., Shrungeri Shankaracharya, Puri Shankaracharya, Dwaraka Shankaracharya, etc. Similarly “Vidyaranya” was also used for main seers of Advaitha).
Paramapoojya Sri Raghuvijaya Tirtha Sripadangalavaru of KooDli Akshobhya Tirtha samstaana, KooDli, has written a detailed analytical, point by point reply with the title “Sri Akshobhya Vijaya Vaibhava” – which is THE indicative of the replies to Mr Rajapurohit and Mr G R Patil titled “vibhrama” and others who have tried to find fault with the debate dates. I have extracted some of the answers by the seer for the benefit of the Madhwa bandhus, and for the jignaasus. I have written the same with saastaanga namaskaaras to Sri Raghuvijaya Tirtharu, whose research book “Akshobhya Vijaya Vaibhava”, I have utilised to a maximum extent. I have also gone through the other articles on Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu from various sources, the Advaitha websites, etc., while consolidating the article.
Need of this writing this article at this time – Recently some vested interest people, have started campaigning against Madhwa philosophy, with their cheap comments on various Madhwa saints. They have been using the internet for cheap characterizing of various yathis, by praising only particular mutt yathis and discarding the other mutt pontiffs. They have been canvassing with wrong information on our philosophy. Some have said that Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu, was not a great scholar, as he has not written granthas. Some Madhwas also have started telling that Raghavendra Tirtharu has moved from Mantralaya and that there is no existence of Rayaru at all in Mantralaya. Sumadhwaseva does not tolerate such anti social elements in the Madhwa philosophy. That is why this article.
Now coming to point by point analysis and reply of the questions raised on the issue. While answering I have not tried to answer individually for all the questions, as the same answers may hold good for various questions and as such, I have tried to bring in analysis point by point based on the analysis with the saadhaka baadhaka pramaanaas.
The debate is held between Sri Akshobhya Tirtha Mahaan, the direct shishya of Acharya Madhwa and Sri Vidyaranya, who is regarded as the no.2 in Advaitha philosophy of all times.
The period of Sri Vidyaranya –
As per Dr Venimadhava shastri in his essay prepared for the PHD – Sri Madhavachaarya (subsequently was Vidyaranya) became Vidyaranya only in 1375AD. i.e., after taking sanyasa in 1375AD. He had said that he didn’t had the name Vidyaranya when the said debate took place. He says that he was Madhavaachaarya only upto 1375AD.
Same person Dr Venimadhava Shastri in his article titled “Vidyaranya & Vjayanagara saamraajya”, has mentioned that as per the records of Shrungeri Mutt pertaining to the period 1357AD, says that there are records which mention that Vidyaranya name (Madhavaachaarya) was there in that record itself. He also mentioned that the he had the deekshe as Vidyaranya in 1380 AD. But in his earlier essay, he had written to be in 1375AD, now in this book, he mentions the date as 1380 AD. But while mentioning these two names, it seems that he himself was confused and contradicting his own statement while mentioning the name of Vidyaranya as per Shrungeri shaasana. One must note that he himself has quoted – Vidyaranya (Madhavacharya) was there in 1357AD itself.
As per “Advaitha Vedaantha saahityEtihaasa kOsha” book released by Madras University in 1980AD, he has mentioned Vidyaranya period is from 1296-1386AD and that he took sanyaasa in 1380AD. In the same article the following story is mentioned – – – the story of Vidyaranya continues……….. which reads as follows :
During his poorvashrama, i.e., Maadhavacharya, was suffering from the worst ever daaridrya and that he prayed Lord Lakshmidevi through penance. Pleased with his penance, Lakshmi devi appeared in front of him and said ” Because of your poorva janma kruta karma vashaat, I will not give any wealth to you,but will be given in the janmaantara to you”. So, Madhavachaarya took sanyaasa immediately and prayed Lakshmidevi and said ” As I have taken sanyasa, it is another janma (birth). Give me the wealth”. Pleased with his desire and demand, Lakshmidevi offered him great wealth. With this wealth, as he was a sanyaasi, he thought it is right to give it for the development of Vijayanagar Kingdom and incurred the entire amount for the development of Vijayanagar dynasty. As such, the name of Sri Vidyaranya is always mentioned on top whenever the Vijayanagar Kingdom name is mentioned. That is an indication as to his periodicity that he was Vidyaranya around 1336AD itself.
With the above story, believed from Advaitha philosophy itself and found in various Advaitha records and in Vijayanagar Kingdom development, one has to consider the dates of Vidyaranya. Vijayanagar dynasty is said to have been established with Hakka & Bukka, under the support of Sri Vidyaranya only, Hakka (HariharaI ) whose period 1336 to 1356AD, and Bukka whose period 1356-1377AD). It is an indication that Sri Madhwachaarya was Vidyaranya even before 1375AD itself, that may be during 1330s to 1350s itself, as he was a sanyasi and as such, he got so much of wealth which he could contribute to the dynasty. The Vijayanagar dynasty historical evidences clearly indicates that name Vidyaranya in the development of the country, which is accepted by all.
Another writer Mr O N LingaNNayya, in his book “Sri Vidyaranyaru” has said that Madhavachaarya was Vidyaranya during 1331AD itself.
Dr Suryanatha U Kamath in his book “A concise History of Vijayanagar Empire” says that he headed the Shringeri Matha during 1380,but it seems that he must have been a prominent sanyasi much earlier and helped the founding of Empire by financial aid for Harihara during founding of Vijayanagar kingdom. It is an indication that Sri Vidyaranya was there much before 1375AD.
Another great personality Mr Shataavadhaani Ganesh has said that Madhavaacharya was Vidyaranya only in 1375AD and that Akshobhya Tirtharu spent his entire life in MaanyaKheTa only. – REPLY – It is nothing but misleading statement by Mr Ganesh. Had he been there only at Maanyakheta (Malakheda), he would not have written Angaara Narasimha at Mulabagilu, he would not have made the pratiste of Hanumantadevaru at Pillangiri,and the KooDli Akshobhya Tirtha Mutt would not have come at all. This shows the lack of knowledge or p[rejudiced statement of Shataavaadhani Ganesh. But he has not mentioned any source for his dating 1375 as the Vidyaranya deekshe. Mr Ganesh further went on to say that “Mulabagilu” did not had any importance during that period. But Mr Ganesh has forgotton many historical evidences like Kampanna, the administrator, Muddappa, etc.. the brother of Harihara was ruling and had Mulabagilu as his capital.
Sri V Rangacharya (a vishishtadvaitha scholar) has himself given two versions. One such version which reads – He said that the Vijayanagar kingdom was founded in 1336 AD and Akshobhya Tirtha was the head of Madhwa seat in 1350AD. As such Vidyaranya may not have sent a communication to the king. He himself in another version says that – Vedanta Desika arbitrated in a disputation between Vidyaranya and Akshobhya Tirtha, the disciple of Madhwacharya, and pronounced a decision in favour of the latter.
Sri G S Deekshit, in his book titled “sangamara kaalada vijayanagara” (ಸಂಗಮರ ಕಾಲದ ವಿಜಯನಗರ) in the peetike, mentions that Vidyaranya did not do it himself. He has taken the assistance of others like Vedanta Deshikaru and Dwaitha saints”. This is an indication that not only Vidyaranya, but also our Madhwa saints had their role in Vijayanagar Kingdom. Because, there were Padmanabha Tirtharu, Sri Narahari Tirtharu also during the same period, and that they must have blessed the kingdom.
Sri Vyasatirtharu, the direct shishya of Jayatirtharu and Sri Chalari Acharyaru has mentioned that Akshobhya Tirtharu and Vidyaranya had a great debate, in thier granthas. What was the necessity of bringing in the name of Vidyaranya only here? They would have brought in Vedanta Deshika or some body else, in case they want to name Akshobhya Tirtharu as gurugalu. They both have mentioned that they have written yathaashruta , i.e., what they have heard. As such, there may not be any dwesha on Vidyaranya, which Mr Patil has claimed.
Further those who are advocating against the said debate must also note – Sri Brahmatantra Swatantra Jeeyar, the third, Sri Doddayyaacharya, Sri Acharya Vijaya Champookaara, Sri Vedantaacharya, who are all from Vishishtadwaitha parampare, have openly expressed that Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu had won. For saying so, they are not the enemies of Vidyaranya and they are also not friendly with Dwaitins. They all know that the Ramanujeeya matha had been condemned by Acharya Madhwa and that Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu is the follower of Acharya Madhwa. Further, Sri Vidyaranya, had tried to get raajaashraya for Vedanta Deshikaru as he was poor. When Vidyaranya had tried to get raajashraya to Vedanta Deshikaru, how can write against him? They were vidya pakshapathigalu, and not bounded by enemity or friendlyness to give the judgement..
Further, the vibhramakaaru has tried to say that saakshat Jayatirtha, did not had the knowledge of Akshobhya Tirtha’s win as has failed to mention any of his guru’s achievement in his grantha. – REPLY – Here one must note that Sri Jayatirtharu in his Mangalacharane for Tatvaprakashika has mentioned “durvaadivaaraNa vidaaraNa daksha deekshaM akshobhya teertha mrugaraajamahaM namaami” दुर्वादिवारण विदारण दक्ष दीक्षं आक्षोभ्य तीर्थ मृगराजमहं नमामि ದುರ್ವಾದಿವಾರಣ ವಿದಾರಣ ದಕ್ಷ ದೀಕ್ಷಂ ಆಕ್ಷೋಭ್ಯ ತೀರ್ಥ ಮೃಗರಾಜಮಹಂ ನಮಾಮಿ about his guru, which means that – If the durvaadees are elephants (gaja), Sri Akshobhya Tirtha Mahaan is the mRugaraaja, the lion who breakes the kumbhastala of the elephants. It is a clear indication of the capabilities of his guru. Further the charama shloka of Sri Akshobhya Tirtha mahaan, itself is an indication – यो विद्यारण्य विपिनं तत्त्वमस्यसिनाचिनत् ।श्रीमदक्षोभ्यतीर्थार्य हंसेन तं नमाम्यहम्। – by Sri Jayatirtharu, which narrates the win of his guru over Vidyaranya. Had he been an ordinary Vidyaranya, it was necessary for Jayatirtharu to quote his name. There were many pandits whom he would have won, but he has mentioned only the top. Even in ordinary life, when we are sitting for a bhojana, even though there are many dish prepared and served, we will tell holige, ambode as the dish, when asked for what was the dish prepared. Similarly Jayatirtharu if he tells Vidyaranya’s name, it can’t be the junior and it shall be Vidyaranya only (Maadhavachaarya). Further, the other Vidyaranya’s if one claim to have the debate, there are no such strong people in those times. As such, this concept is also wrong.
Mr Patil continued his illusionery article by saying ” Had Vidyaranya been defeated, the Vijayanagar kings would not have tolerated”. – REPLY – This is nothing but an irresponsible, illogical statement. We must also should consider that Sri Vyasatirtharu mentioned about Vidyaranya’s defeat by Jayatirtharu – but he was not punished by Vijayanagar kings. Similarly the third Brahmatantra svatantra Jeeyaar mentioned the win of Akshobhya over Vidyaranya. He was not punished. He must note that the Vijayanagar kings never used to bring politics for the religious subject. They never showed disrespect to any religion and they were not respecting a single group of brahmanism, They were respecting all the Brahmin groups.
Further, the topic of Sri Akshobhya Tirtha’s win over Vidyaranya was written by Sri Chalari Acharyaru during 17th Century. It is heartening to note that none of the Advaitha pontiffs, scholars have questioned/challenged about the same even upto the 19th Century. It does not mean that there were not great scholars in Advaitha during this period. There were many scholars who have come during the period. But no one has challenged the same.
Mr Patil has questioned as to how Narayana Panditacharya who has written nearly 20 granthas could not record the debate in his granthas. REPLY – The period of Narayana Panditacharya is said to be 1295AD to 1370AD (As per Dr Prabhanjanacharya). The debate is said to be in the decade 1360-1370 AD. That means by this time, Sri Narayana Panditacharya would be around 70-75 years, i.e., in his final years. As such, he may not have recorded or even if recorded, that may not have been found. or he may not be even aware as he was far from the place of the vaagvaada.
Mr Patil’s another doubt – Sri Chalari Acharyaru has referred the grantha by Vedanidhi Tirtharu wherein he has quoted debate between Jayatirtharu and Vidyaranya. But Sri Vedanidhi Tirtharu has not mentioned the debate between Akshobhya Tirtha and Vidyaranya, and as such it is not correct. – Answer – When Patil has accepted the debate btw Vidyaranya and Jayatirtha it is an indication that with the kaimuthya nyaaya, Akshobhya Tirtha could have won over Vidyaranya. When the shishya himself has won, why can’t the guru (who has taught him shukavat shikshitasyame). As such, this doubt is also with the prejudice only.
Whether the debate was held with Vidyaranya or some other Vidyaranya?
Some people have started telling that Sri Madhavachaarya was not Vidyaranya when the debate took place. Some have doubted that Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu must have had debate with the previous Vidyaranya (as I have already told the sanyasins of the Shrungeri Mutt are called by the name “Vidyaranya”). and not the great Vidyaranya (maadhavachaarya). As such, the following points to be considered while considering the issue. :
1. Mr Patil has taken refuge under Sri Gadiyaram Ramakrishna Sharma’s book “Vidyaranya, ondu chaaritrika adhyayana” to take his stand. – REPLY – But the same Gadiyaram Sharma has quoted Mudiyanuru shaasana (Kolara district Mulabagilu Taluk shaasana), which is recorded in 1344 as
सिंहासने स्थित: वेदानां भाष्य कर्ता विवृत मुनिर्वचा धातु वृत्तेर्विदाता।
It is an indication that Sri Maadhavachaarya had the name “Vidyaranya” before 1344AD itself.
2. As I have already written that he had daaridrya and had the blessings of Lakshmidevi and got huge money from Lakshmi which he gave to Hakka – Bukka for establishment of the Kingdom, which came into existence in 1336AD. As such, he must have given that money before 1340 AD itself and he should be Vidyaranya.
3. Even if you accept that there was another Vidyaranya (peetadhipathi of Shrungeri Mutt), and he got the Vidyaranyaship later, but every body accept that this is Madhavachaarya only who helped Hakka – Bukka. Further, the records of that period says that Sri Madhavacharya Vidyaranya was the superior of all the advaitha seers/pandits. All the shaasanaas and all the books mention Vidyaranya only while quoting the Vijayanagar Kingdom establishment. As such, even though he was not officially Vidyaranya, he got the same later on, there is no wrong in recognising him as Vidyaranya as the Vijayanagar Kingdom has recognised him as the main pillar of the kingdom.
4. Sri Chalari Sankarshanacharya has called Vidyaranya as “avaidikOttamaaraNya”. For this Mr Patil tried to say that this Avaidikottamaaranya may not be Vidyaranya, and must be ShankaraaraNya, the shishya of Vidyaranya or Punyaranya, who was there before Acharya Madhwa. This is also not possible.
5. Some body have tried to claim that Maadhavacharya was not Vidyaranya – REPLY – OK. Even if one accept that during the debate, Sri Madhavacharya was not Vidyaranya, there is no problem. For the later writers, he can be considered as Vidyaranya only. Because, Vasudeva (childhood name of Sri Acharya Madhwa) is said to have written Kanduka stuti before his sanyaasa. Similarly Venkatanatha (Childhood name of Rayaru) is said to have written vyakyana for Madhwa Vijaya with the title ಅಣುಮಧ್ವವಿಜಯ ವ್ಯಾಖ್ಯಾನಂ (ಪ್ರಮೇಯ ನವಮಾಲಿಕಾ). But these krutees even though they are written in their poorvashrama, they are considered as the krutees of Acharya Madhwa and Sri Rayaru only. Further, Sri Venkatanatha had debate with many scholars of his times during his poorvashrama, and we proudly say that Sri Rayaru had debate and won, as such the earlier name is not much importance, but the latter name only which stands.
6. As per the official website of Shrungeri Sharada peetam, which clearly says that Madhavacharya was given the sanyasa in 1331AD itself. But he was the head of the Shrungeri Peeta for only 6 years, i.e., from 1375-1380AD. As per them only, the two brothers Madhava and Saayana – both were head of the Shrungeri Peetam, where Saayana the younger brother got the peeta first in 1328AD and then in 1331Ad Sri Madhava got the sanyasa, but Maadhava was the head only in 1380AD after, his younger brother Saayanacharya (Bharati Tirtha). As such, Sri Maadhavacharya was a sanyasi in 1331AD itself, even though he was not the official Vidyaranya. He was Vidyaranya for the period from 1380 to 1386AD.
7. The above information is confirmed by another website of the Advaitha only for which the link is
8. Sri D.V. Gundappa, one of the famous writer also confirms that Madhavacharya and Vidyaranya are one and the same and that he took sanyasa in 1331AD itself, when he was 64 years.. Further, it is said that Sri Vedanta Deshikacharya and Sri Vidyaranya studied at the same gurukula and they were life long friends. ref: http://www.karnataka.com/personalities/saint-vidyaranya/ . As such, Vedanta Deshikacharya when he is named as the judge for the debate, it can’t be ruled out.
9 As per the Vijaya Karnataka News paper, there is a reference in the news paper dt 17.11.2008 that Madhavacharya was Vidyaranya in 1336AD itself. (source Sri Vyasanakere Prabhanjanacharya)
10. Some tried to say that Sri Akshobhya Tirtharu didn’t had that much of capacity to have a debate with Vidyaranya. When the shishya Sri Jayatirtharu could defeat Vidyaranya (later), why can’t the senior defeat the same Vidyaranya earlier. Sri Jayatirtharu who studied under him says
Mr Patil tries to claim that Sri Chalari Acharyaru has created the story of Vidyaranya debate with Akshobhya Tirtharu. But the above shloka from Narayanaachaarya, whose period is quite earlier to Chalari Acharyaru is an indication that it is not created by Chalari Acharya, but it is there since a long time.
12. For the comment that Sri Chalari Acharya has not mentioned about the Vijayastambha in his kaavya and as such, the said monument was not there – Reply – Sri Chalari Acharya has mentioned about the vaagvaada and about Akshobhya Tirtharu. There is no rule that the mention of Vijayastambha to be made. Even while we writing some articles, we may forget to write, and later we may realise that we should have added that and this also, but once the book is completed, it is very difficult to add. Just non mentioning of the vijayastambha do not deny the incident.
13. Mr Patil has tried to defend his words by saying that there is no uniformity about the dates of various dates amongst different authors. – REPLY – whatever we may have difference of opinion about the uniformity about the dates, but we Madhwas have only one Sumadhwa Vijaya – each and every one Madhwa reads, chants, tells the same Madhwa Vijaya which is one and all. But whereas Shankara Vijaya has 7-8 versions, which varies, each quoting different stories about their own guru, Even in the presentation of their tathva, the maayaavada, there is lot of difference between various vyakyaanaas of Shankara tathva, whether it is maaya, avidyaa, ajnaana, avyakta, etc. In Advaitha itself, there are several divisions viz., Ekajeevavaadi, Bahujeeva vaadi, which is not in conformity, or uniformity with their moola guru. There is also no uniformity in their presentation of Shankara tathva. But we Madhwa has one and only tathwa, one and only Madhwa Vijaya and that it is accepted by one and all.
14. Mr Patil has referred Sri Kuppuswamy’s book, wherein, he had written in one of his article titled “sangamara kaalada vijayanagara”, that Krishna mitra and Vedanta Deshikaru are not contemporaries. REPLY – But Mr Patil has neglected the next para of the same book wherein it is said that the debate was held between Akshobhya Tirtha and Vidyaranya.
15. Mr Patil tried to reject the work of Doddayyacharya, by saying that he has not mentioned the period. REPLY – Sri Vidyaranya himself has written a book titled “Sankara Digvijaya”,wherein he has written ” one fine day, on the banks of the river Ganga……”. Here also Vidyaranya has not mentioned the date … It does not mean that Shanara Digvijaya can’t be pramaana. Similarly Doddayyacharya’s work also can’t be rejected. It s with prejudice only that he has tried to comment like this.
About the place of the debate –
16. Bruhat Jayatirtha Vijayakaararu says, that Akshobhya Tirtharu came himself to Vidyaranya for a debate. and the debate was held there only. Now Mr Patil questions, as to how come the jayastambha come to Mulabagilu instead of Pampanagara. – REPLY – As per Bruhat Jayatirtha Vijaya 2nd sarga, 44th shloka – Akshobhya Tirtharu came to Pampanagara for winning against Vidyaranya. The next shloka says ” sabhyaanscha kaaMshchitpratibOdayan kathaa pravautRutaa mithyada vaachya mUchE ” which means Vidyaranya said – paramaasanam dadou – aasana to be given in front of the audians. Which means that Vidyaranya agrees for debate and it does not indicate the place of the debate. As such, the debate must not have been held at Pampapuri and it is at Mulabagilu, where the jayastambha is available.
17. Mr Patil wrote very cheap words – to be precise in his own words – ಯಾವುದೋ ರಾಜನ ಚತುರಂಗ ಬಲ ರಾಜಧಾನಿಯನ್ನು ಪಂಪಾಪುರಿಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರವೇಶ ಮಾಡಿದಾಗ, ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಆಗಿನ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಟರು, ಆತನ ಸೇನಾ ನಾಯಕರೂ, ಮಂತ್ರಿವರ್ಯರೂ ಕಳ್ಳೆಪುರಿ ತಿನ್ನುತ್ತಿದ್ದರೇ? – When some body enters a capital (Pampapuri), whether their king, his senapathis, ministers were eating groundnut? – REPLY– Here the person who has come is a sanyaasi. He has NOT come for war. This every one knows – As such, there is no question of counter attack by the king’s army, when there is no attack at all. This is nothing but a irresponsible thinking on the part of Mr Patil to defend his way.
18. Mr Patil tried to say that Akshobhya Tirtha has not mentioned any where – REPLY – Even Sri Jayatirtha himself also not informed about his win over Vidyaranya, but the next generation could tell. “Atma prashamsaa = atma hatye”. That is why they may not have told their win.
19. Mr Patil puts his assumptive theory by questioning as to who was the King during that period. Harihara ruled upto 1356AD, he was busy with extending his kingdom, peace and other administration of the state. Sri Madhavacharya, the Vidyaranya, was also busy and as such, he was not interested in this type of useless debate. REPLY – This is also useless assumption. How can one imagine that Vidyaranya, the great pandit of Shankara bhashya, can be silent, when Acharya Madhwa has condemned Shankara school of taught. He himself has claimed that Vidyaranya was a renowned scholar and was like araNya for all. As such, this assumption also is invalid
20. Regarding Dr BNK Sharma’s book which was published in 1960 – wherein he has mentioned that in Mulabagilu, there is a monument ,which is said to have been done as a memorial for the historical incident”. But Sri Raghuveera Tirtharu has mentioned that the jeernoddara was done in 1956AD. Which is correct? Whether it is 1956 or 1960? REPLY – Dr Sharma released the book in 1960. But he must have written much earlier also. For an article which has more than 650 plus pages, it is not easy to write in a week or month. He has analysed many articles, about many granthas, many pandits, many seers, in his 650 plus page book. That means he must have taken more than 3-4 years for writing the book. As such, he may have recorded the incident which he had seen when he had gone to see the monument at Mulabagilu. For another question that the Kannada translation which was released subsequently in 1986 AD also the same date is there. REPLY – The Kannada translation published in 1986 is nothing but translation whatever is there in the original book without altering anything, In some of the data, eg., Regarding Sripadarajaru and Raghunatha Tirtharu, BNK Sharma had mentioned different dates in different pages about the same person. Even in the Kannada translation, it is repeated. As such, this doubt from Patil is also invalid.
21. Whether Akshobhya Tirtharu had raajaashraya? He has questioned the existence of the king for Anegondi and as such, there is no question of accepeting Akshobhya Tirtharu as the gurugalu? REPLY – During those period, there were King, Administrator, Mahamandalaadheeshwara, paalegaara, Nawaab, etc., those words were regularly used. As such, the administrator of the Anegondi division, even if called as King, will not make much difference, as he was the ruler for the division. As such, this prejudiced assumption also is invalid.
22. When was the debate held? whether in 1351, or between 1353-56 period? – He says Harihara had lost his brother and as such, his mind was not in a position to rule the state. He further denies that the debate could not be held before 1356AD. The shaasana 162 says, Kampanna, the administrator of Mulabagilu was living in 1366AD, and as such, the debate can’t be held before 1366AD. REPLY – Even though the shaasana says that Kampanna was living in 1366AD, it does not say deny that the debate could not be held before 1356AD. It must have been held earlier also.
23. Why not Akshobhya Tirtha defeated Bharatikrushna Tirtha at Shringeri, OR Vidyashankara and preferred to defeat the Vidyaranya without peetadhipathwa. (As already informed Maadhavaachaarya got the peethadhipathya only after 1380AD, when his brother Bharatikrishna Tirtha, earlier Saayanaachaarya, died). Had he been defeated, the peetadhipathwa, the entire Advaitha would have been surrendered. – REPLY – Mr Rajapurohit has in his article agreed with Sumadhwa Vijaya that Vidyashankara was defeated by Acharya Madhwa already. As such, the question of defeating him again by Akshobhya Tirtha may not be of much importance. Further, Bharatikrishna Tirtharu, must have sent his shishya, Vidyaranya for the debate with Akshobhya Tirtha as his representative. If Vidyaranya wins, it will be his win only. If he is also defeated, then not a great shock, as his guru was already defeated by Acharya Madhwa. As such, Vidyaranya must have been sent in for the debate by Bharatikrishna Tirtha officially, even if you go in the assumptive way of Mr Patil.
24. Vidyaranya’s kashi visit – Mr Patil has brought in one more assumption – wherein he has claimed that Vidyaranya had been to Kaashi. We Madhwas claim the debate period to be around 1355-57. But during 1355-56, he was in Kashi. and after returning, he must be busy with administration, how can one think that he will come out of the administration to debate dwaitha-advaitha issue. He tries to say that he was Maadhavachaarya only and not Vidyaranya. REPLY – Whatever it may be Madhwaachaarya was the declared uttaradhikaari for the Shringeri Peeta. Further, Vidyaranya himself was not the one and only person for the administration of the Vijayanagar kingdom. Further, there were Sri Kriyashakthi was also there, whose influence on the Vijayanagar kingdom can’t be ruled out. Further, Mr Patil claims that KampaNNa could not go to Shringeri for any political reasons. Just because Shringeri was not coming under his administration, one can’t deny Kampanna from going to Shringeri. If he has not gone for political reasons, he must have gone for dhaarmika reasons. This point also he has assumptively raised to his prejudice idea.
25. Further the Mysore Gazette, which Mr Patil referred also says that Vidyaranya was consecrated in 1331 and lived till 1386AD., That is an indication that he was the shringeri Peetaadhipati. Eg. In Rayara Mutt, presently there are two seers, one the senior seer and other the junior seer. Both are Peetadhipathis only. Similarly, there are many instances in Advaitha parampare also, wherein there were more than 2 shankaracharyas during the same period, As such, all were Vidyaranyaas only.
Sri Kumara Kemparaya, made the shilaashaasana as a monument for the debate held between Akshobhya Tirtharu and Vidyaranyaru and he got it written the judgement poem (nirnaayaka poem) from Vedanta Deshikacharya and did the staapane at Mulabagilu.
(Akshobhya Tirtha Vijaya stambha)
The entire arguments between Vidyaranya and Akshobhya Tirtharu was sent to Vedanta Deshika charyaru, who after verifying the entire documents, arguments and gave his decision with the shloka as :
Meaning – Akshobhya Munigalu defeated through Vakyartha named sword Vidyaranya’s jungle forest in the “Tatvamasi” vakyartha, wherein Tatvamasi clearly says that there is a broad difference between Paramathma and Jeeva.
The same shloka has been carved at Vijayastambha in Mulbagilu. But later some miscreants tried to destroy the facts, they have damaged the writings in the pillar, which can be observed from the article as mentioned below.
There is an article in Mysore Archeological Survey Department published in 1886 report as follows –
At Mulbagil in inscription in Grantha characters on a boulder was brought to notice which appears to record the fact of a refutation of Vidyaranya by Akshobhya Tirtha, in some public disputation. But the inscription has been lately purposely destroyed, so that a few letters remain visible. The above account of its contents is given by pesons who saw it before it was damaged and who had made a copy of it.
Sri Doddayyacharya, a Vishistadvaita vidwan has written a Grantha titled “Vedanta Deshika Vaibhava prakashiga”, wherein he has said like this –