Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
By Nithin Sridhar
Guru Poornima special- Part 5
Vijayanagara Empire stood as a bulwark for 310 years (between 1336 CE and 1646 CE) against the Islamic invasion of South India.
The purpose of its foundation was to save South India from the conquest of Islamic rulers to save Hindu religion, culture and learning and help them to flourish, according to Dr. Krishnaswami Aiyangar, an Indian historian and academician.(1)
The inspiration and the driving force behind the establishment of Vijayanagara Empire by Harihara I and Bukkaraya was Sri Vidyaranya.
Therefore, the fifth installment of the Guru Poornima series is dedicated to Sri Vidyaranya.
His Life: No definite information is available about the date of his birth, but what is definitely known is that he was the 12th Shankaracharya of Sringeri Peetham(2) from 1380 CE to 1386 CE when he left his body, and his pre-monastic name was Madhava.
According the traditional account as accepted by Sringeri Peetham(3), he was born in present day Warangal, Andra Pradesh and was the elder brother of Sri BharatiTirtha who became the 11th Shankaracharya of Sringeri Peetham in 1333CE and occupied that position till his Samadhi (i.e. left his body) in 1380 CE.
The tradition holds that Sri Vidyaranya took Sannyasa (renunciation) in 1331 AD from Sri Vidya Tirtha, the 10th Shankaracharya of Sringeri. Therefore, according to the traditional account, both the brothers had the same Guru, but the younger brother took renunciation earlier and hence, he succeeded his Guru as 11th Shankaracharya, whereas Sri Vidyaranya became 12th Shankaracharya in 1380 CE.
But some scholars believe that Sri Vidyaranya was none other than Madhavacharya, the elder brother of Sayanacharya; both of whom were ministers in Vijayanagara court. According to this view, Madhavacharya served in the court of Harihara I, Bukkaraya and briefly under Harihara II, before he took Sannyasa in 1380 CE and occupied Sringeri Peetham under the monastic name Vidyaranya. The traditional view considers Madhavacharya, who was a minister in Vijayanagara court, and was the brother of Sayana as being different from Sri Vidyaranya.
Founding Vijayanagara Empire (4): The exact accounts of the origins of Vijayanagara Empire is of dispute. But it is largely agreed that Harihara I and Bukkaraya were either chief in Hoysala kingdom or were serving Kakatiya king in Warangal.
When the kingdoms were attacked by Muhammad bin Tughlaq, it is believed that they captured and converted Harihara I and Bukkaraya into Islam and sent them back as vassals. During that time, Sri Vidyaranya was staying at Matanga Hill and the brothers came there and met him. Under the guidance of Sri Vidyaranya, the brothers returned back to Hinduism and founded the Vijayanagara Empire.
Some consider that these conversions may not have taken place and that the brothers fled the Islamic invasion and took refuge in Sri Vidyaranya. Some accounts even mention that Sri Vidyaranya gave the brothers a large hidden treasure that the saint had discovered.
Irrespective of the accounts, what is clearly known is that Harihara I and Bukkaraya approached Sri Vidyaranya and it was under his inspiration and guidance that they decided to establish the mighty Vijayanagara Empire and managed to revive Hindu religion, culture, arts and crafts.
His Works and Legacy: Sri Vidyaranya has written a number of books on a variety of topics like Meemaamsa, Vedanta, music, Smriti etc. Some of his important works are:
- Shankara Digvijaya: A biographical account of life of Adi Shankaracharya written in poetical form.
- Parashara Madhaviya: A commentary on Parashara’s Smriti.
- Sarvadarshana-Sangraha: A compendium of views of various Hindu schools like Nyaya, Yoga, Samkhya etc.
- Panchadashi: A very important work on Advaita Vedanta.
- Jaimini Nyayamala Vistara: A work on Meemaamsa.
- Sangita Saara: A work on music.
He was one of the most important writers on Advaita in post-Shankara period. His contributions to Advaita like Panchadashi and Jivanmukti-viveka is considered one of the most authentic works on Advaita philosophy.
His works like Parashara Madhaviya,Kala Madhava and Smriti Sangraha are important contributions in the field of Dharma shastras (works on law, polity, duty etc.)
His biography of Adi Shankara is held in high esteem by traditional followers and scholars alike.
In his compendium of various daarshanas (world views), he gives a systematic analysis of various schools of Hindu world view and how each of them is connected to others, inspite of their differences.
Under his guidance, the commentaries on all the Vedas were undertaken and completed by Sayanacarya.
He got many temples built and renovated, and he re-started worship in many temples wherein worship had been suspended.
He was instrumental in building the infrastructure for Sringeri Peetham, which helped the peetham to sustain and spread its dharmic activities for many centuries.
Finally, he was instrumental in the building of Vijayanagara Empire, which resulted in the revival of Hindu religion and practices.
- As quoted in Decisive Battles India Lost (326 B. C. to 1803 A. D.) by Jaywant Joglekar (2006).
- Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka is one of the four centers established by Adi Shankaracharya.
- The traditional account as accepted by Sringeri Sharada Peetham is briefly mentioned in their official website.
- Robert Sewell in his ‘A Forgotten Empire’, narrates many such accounts. Various historians have accepted various narratives.
1. Nyaya: A school of Hindu philosophy that deals with logic and worldview established through logic.
2.Samkhya: A school of Hindu philosophy that proposes a world model based on duality of Purusha and Prakriti.
3. Yoga: A school of Hindu philosophy that deals with practical application of Samkhya philosophy.
4. Advaita Vedanta: It is a Non-dual philosophy based on Upanishads.
More in this segment:
Apple has acknowledged an issue where the "unlock with Apple Watch" feature might not work with its new iPhone 13 devices and promised to fix this issue with an upcoming software update. "You might see 'Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch' if you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, or you might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch," the iPhone maker said in the support document.
This issue will be fixed in an upcoming software update. Until the update is available, you can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use your passcode to unlock your iPhone 13. To turn off Unlock with Apple Watch, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
Earlier, multiple users found that they cannot unlock their iPhone 13 with the Apple Watch and instead received an error. User Monzilla88 on Reddit first reported the issue to the subreddit r/AppleWatch. They stated that both their iPhone 13 Pro and Apple Watch SE are up to date with the newest iOS and watchOS updates.
"Whenever I try to enable unlock with Apple Watch on my phone I get an error saying "Unable to communicate with Apple Watch," they posted. Monzilla88 claimed that they had tried unpairing and repairing, hard resetting both devices, turning on and off passcodes, but not no avail, the report said. More than 20 other users self-reported the same problem, with others noting that the feature works fine on iOS 15 on older models of iPhone, including the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone X. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: iPhone 13, apple, watch, issue, update, face lock
The nursery rhyme Goosey Goosey Gander is filled with multiple meanings. It is another one of those rhymes believed to have emerged from the time of great persecution in England during the Reformation. It also holds a contemporary, colloquial meaning.
The original verse goes something like this:
Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stair (allnurseryrhymes.com)
There are other versions that deal with more specific ideas from which separate meanings have been interpreted.
Catholic priests being killed for continuing to keep the faith Image source: wikimedia commons
The primary interpretation is believed to be regarding the Catholic priests getting persecuted by King Henry VIII and his Protestant successors. Catholicism in England was frowned upon when King Henry established the Church of England. Anyone practicing Catholicism was put to death for treason. Many of the courtiers were hanged on this charge, and are noted in history as being martyrs for their faith.
Those who managed to practice their religion without being discovered did so in what was called a 'priest hole'. These were small rooms in the walls of a house that was covered by tapestry or a bookshelf. The required prayer instruments would be placed here, and the person would retire to this chamber at night, or at a time when they were not required elsewhere. The goose that wanders her mistress's house in the nursery rhyme discovers such a person, presumably a priest, and exposes him, or 'throws him down the stair'.
An alternative meaning to this rhyme originates from the lower class of England's population, a colloquial term used widely among the non-rich. The word 'goose' was used commonly to address a prostitute, and here, could possibly refer to a woman who has acquired an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). "Whither shall I wander?/ Upstairs and downstairs/ And in my lady's chamber," could be a reference to the spread of an infection that a man acquires from such a woman, which causes him to be ostracised from his community. It was quite common in England for an upper-classman to bed a lower-class woman in the society of those days.
It is rather interesting that such a practice would turn into folklore, and in turn, become a rhyme sung by little children all over the world. It has certain amusing images no doubt, but not without raising questions. England of the times of Reformation was certainly a dark place, with a terribly dark heritage.
Keywords: Heritage, Rhymes, Folklore, England, Reformation
Many individuals struggle with psychological distress at home because most of us spend the whole day doing nothing. Being trapped inside our homes may seem inconvenient, but if you have the time and patience, the time spent indoors offers the ideal chance to learn new abilities. Whether you want to transform your body by following a daily routine with the help of millions of tutorials available across platforms, or you want to learn coding, cooking, a new language, here are some skills you can learn from the comfort of your home.
- A new language: Learning a new language online from the comfort of one's own home is simple and relatively inexpensive, thanks to apps such as Duolingo and Busuu. Gaining knowledge of a new language improves your communication skills. It allows you to communicate with a more significant number of individuals and open new doors, and expand your perspectives. Although most of us cannot travel due to COVID-19 restrictions, do not allow that to stop you from upskilling yourself.
Gaining knowledge of a new language improves your communication skills. | Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
- Writing: When it comes to skills, writing is one of the essential ones you may possess. It is the primary mode of communication for most people, particularly in this day and age with the internet, texting, and social media. Writing also has the added benefit of improving your public speaking abilities. Books, online courses, videos, and, of course, actual writing practice are all excellent resources for learning how to enhance your writing skills.
When it comes to skills, writing is one of the essential ones you may possess. | Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
- Programming: Programming is one of the highest-paying professions available that does not require the completion of a Bachelor's degree. So even if you didn't pursue a degree in computer science in college, you may still benefit from this skill. Understanding the fundamentals of programming allows you to assist in the launch of an application, the optimization of a website for search engines, and the creation or editing of content. Many online platforms are available to assist you in learning to code. Recently, I also enrolled for C/C++ programming on Internshala.
Programming is one of the highest-paying professions available that does not require the completion of a Bachelor's degree. | Photo by Danial Igdery on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Which Is More Important- Degree or Skill?
- Typing Skill: Learning to type quickly and correctly will benefit you in a variety of ways throughout your life, and it should be regarded as a fundamental skill for anybody who intends to work with computers in the future. There are many websites that provide classes to help you learn the fundamentals, and then, after you have mastered the fundamentals, more advanced courses to help you improve your abilities further.
Learning to type quickly and correctly will benefit you in a variety of ways throughout your life. | Photo by Burst on Unsplash
- Video Editing: Video is unquestionably the most powerful marketing and promotional medium available for music, goods, services, news, and educational purposes. There is a strong possibility that video editing may become the next big thing. At the moment, video production does not need large financial investments; just having access to a computer is all that is required if you possess the right video editing skills. Besides YouTube, which has a large number of detailed videos on video editing, you may discover courses on Udemy and Lynda that can assist you in learning the necessary skills
There is a strong possibility that video editing may become the next big thing. | Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash
Another thing you may do when you're stuck at home is work on your personal development. We should all strive to improve ourselves as individuals. Here are some ways through which can understand the Significance Of Self-Love And How To Nurture It.
Keywords: Skills, home, COVID, pandemic, coding, language, typing, self-love, writing