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Vyasatirtha (Kannada: ವ್ಯಾಸತೀರ್ಥ) (1460-1539), also called Vyasaraja or Vyasaraya or Vyasacharya, was acclaimed as one on the three spiritual lights of Vedanta, i.e, Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Jayatirtha and Sri Vyasatirtha. He was a scholar of very high order with a judicious defence of the Dvaita Vedanta against all rival schools of thought. He also brought the Haridasa religion, historically believed to be propagated by Sri Narahari Tirtha, into limelight. He was born in Bannur in the Mysore District in what is now the modern Karnataka state.[1] He was one of the foremost dialecticians in the history of Indian philosophy. He belonged to the Dvaita school of Madhvacharya. He, along with Jayatirtha, helped systematize Dvaita into an established school of Vedic thought. Vyasatirtha's genius lay in his clear understanding and exposition of all his opposing schools of thought, for which even his opponents admired him. He was a master at debate and dialogue in logic and philosophy.

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Influence

Vyasatirtha was extremely influential in the Vijayanagar Empire. He initially came to limelight in the court of Saluva Narasimha in Chandragiri where he defeated many a scholar with his masterly debates. He headed the Tirupati Temple during the time 1486-1498 CE. After this stint, he moved to Vijayanagara at the behest of the king and ministers and spent the rest of his life there. His noted debate was with Basava Bhatta of Kalinga which was won comprehensively after a thirty day debate. It was during the time of Krishnadevaraya that Vyasatirtha saw the peak of his influence over the empire. Vyasatirtha was the Rajguru of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara empire. It was under his tutelage that the great king took the empire to its zenith. The king's admiration for the saint was so high that he regarded Vyasatirtha as his Kuladevata or family god, as evidenced by many writings attributed to the great king.

Contribution

Vyasatirtha was a multi-faceted personality. It was under his guidance that Carnatic music revolution started in southern India. Both Purandaradasa, the father of carnatic music, and Kanakadasa, a musician-saint belonging to the non-brahmin Kuruba caste, were his students. He went against the established social norms of the day by accepting Kanakadasa into his fold indicating he did not lay emphasis in the caste system. Krishna Nee Begane Baaro is one of his famous Kannada compositions. He also composed the Prameya shloka which brings out the nine fundamental tenets of Dvaita philosophy in a single shloka[2].

Works

His famous works in Kannada and Sanskrit include -

  • Nyayamritam (The nectar of Logic)
  • Tarkatandava (The Dance of Logic)
  • Tatparya Chandrika (The Moonbeams of commentary)
  • devaranama or devotional songs in Kannada
  • Mayavada Khandana Mandaramanjari
  • Upadhi Khandana Mandaramanjari
  • Prapancha Mithyatvanumana Khandana Mandaramanjari
  • Tattvaviveka Mandaramanjari
  • Bhedojjivana
  • Sattarkavilasa

Sattarkavilasa is a book known to us only through cross reference.

His Brindavana is near Anegondi.

Notes

  1. ^ From the writings of Somanatha and songs by Purandaradasa and inscriptional evidence (Sharma 1961, p286)
  2. ^ Prameya Shloka

References

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