Showing posts with label Vijayanagara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vijayanagara. Show all posts

Origin of Vijayanagar Rulers

what is the origin of Vijayanagar Rulers , Major claims are kannadigas and Telugu, Let us see the facts.

The Vijaynagara kingdom was established by Harihara and Bukka in 1336 in Anegundi in koppal district of Karnataka. Later the capital was shifted to Hampi. The dispute has been on the origin of these two people. Let us what are the claims

Telugu Origin
  • Robert Sewell said the founders Harihara and Bukka were Kakatiya guards and of Kuruba/Golla origin
  • Saletore surmised that Hampi was lying outside the Hoysala territory and supported the Telugu origin of Vijayanagara kings
  • Telugu Nayaks (Kamma, Balija, Velama and Reddy) for revenue collection throughout the empire also supported the Telugu affinity
Muslim origin
Muslim historians and scholars of the time such as Ziauddin Barani, Isarni and Ferishta and foreign visitors like Ibn Batuta and Nuniz also recorded that the brothers were serving the King Prataparudra and were made captive after the fall of Warangal. According to another historian who based his research on evidence culled from inscriptions such as Gozalavidu record, "the founders of Vijayanagara were at first in the service of the last Kakatiya king Prataparudra of Warangal, and that when that monarch was defeated by Muhammad bin Tughluq and taken prisoner, they fled to Kampili and took refuge in the court of Kampilideva” . On the outbreak of a rebellion in Kampili the brothers were sent by Tughlaq with an army to Kampili to reconquer it from the rebels and rule the province as his deputies. They successfully accomplished the task but under the influence of Vidyaranya they renounced Islam, and threw in their lot with the Musunuri Nayaks who had just then succeeded, under the leadership of Kaapaya, in expelling the Muslims and re-establish the national independence. Harihara and Bukka then reverted to their ancient faith and having declared independence, assumed the leadership of the Hindus of Kampili in their fight against the Muslims.

Kannada Origin
  • Inscriptions prove that Harihara I and Bukka Raya I were in the Hoysala service a decade before their arrival at Kampili (in modern Bellary district).
  • Not only did the widow of Hoysala Veera Ballala III participate in the coronation of Harihara I in 1346, her name appears before that of the Vijayanagara King Harihara I in a 1349 inscription indicating he gained legitimacy for being a devoted heir of the Hoysalas.
  • original founding of Vijayanagara was in 1320 by Veera Ballala III, then known as Vijayavirupaksha Hosapattana. By 1344, the transfer of power from the Hoysala Empire to the emerging Vijayanagara empire seems to have been gradual and without bloodshed, as ex-Hoysala officers melted away from a crumbling Hoysala power now to support the Sangama cause.
  • In 1346, Harihara I made a grant to Bharati Tirtha in the presence of Krishnayitayi, queen of Hoysala Veera Ballala III, who herself made a grant on the same day. Harihara I was a commander in the Hoysala Kingdom and had been appointed by Veera Ballala III with autonomous powers after the fall of the Seuna and Kampili kingdoms, to administer the northern territories.
  • The very first fortress Harihara I built was the fort at Barakuru in coastal Karnataka in 1336, when he was a Hoysala commander in charge of its northern territories from his seat in Gutti, modern Ananthapur district in Andhra Pradesh, at that time a Hoysala territory.
  • He assumed the Kannada titles Purvapaschima Samudradhishvara (Master of eastern and western and occeans), Arirayavibhada (fire to the enemy kings) and Bhashegetappuvarayaraganda (punisher of the ruler who failed to keep a promise).
  • It has been pointed out that even famous Telugu scholars Vallabharaya and Srinatha, in their works called the Sangama brothers Karnata Kshitinatha, indicating they were a Kannada family.
  • An early inscription of Harihara II called him , Lion to the scent elephant of the Andhra king, demonstrating their anti-Telugu propensity. Persian author Ferishta of Vijayanagara days wrote the emperors as "Roies of Karnataka".
  • The Kannada writings of that time Chikkadevaraya Vamshavali and Keladinripa Vijayam state that the Sangama brothers were Kuruba by caste making them people of Karnataka.
  • Almost half of the Vijayanagar inscriptions are in Kannada out of a total of about 7000 available today and use surnames which are pure Kannada titles such as Bhashegetappuva - rayara - ganda, Moorurayaraganda and Arirayadatta. The remaining inscriptions are in Sanskrit, Telugu and Tamil.
  • The Karnataka Empire or Vijayanagar Empire was originally of the Karnataka region and it drew its inspirations from the Hoysala Empire and the Western Ganga Dynasty of the Karnataka. Inscriptional evidence shows that Ballappa Dandanayaka, a nephew of Hoysala Veera Ballala III was married to a daughter of Harihara I, the founder of the empire. This is claimed proof enough of the association Sangama brothers had with the Hoysala family.
  • It is also asserted that the theory of capture of Harihara I and Bukka Raya I by the Sultan of Delhi and conversion to Islam is false and that the testimony of epigraphs proves that the area around Hampi constituted their homeland. The empire never had a Telugu origin. The patron saint of the early kings was saint Vidyaranya, the 12th Shankaracharya of Sringeri in Karnataka and this is proof enough of their unquestionable identity with the Kannada country.
  • great devotion the founders of the empire had in Lord Chennakeshava of Belur and Lord Virupaksha of Hampi testifying to their origin from Kannada country
  • Sangama brothers even signed their Sanskrit records in Kannada as Srivirupaksha and used their Kannada titles even in Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit records. No such Telugu titles were used by them.
Robert Sewell
while on a visit to Beidur in Mysore (Karnataka) in 1801, was shown by one Ramappa Varmika a Sanskrit book in his possession called the Vidyaranya Sikka, which mentioned that the founders of Vijayanagar were Harihara and Bukka, guards of the treasury of the Kakatiya King Prataparudra of Warangal. These young brothers met a spiritual teacher, Vidyaranya, the sage of Sringeri monastery, who guided them to establish the kingdom in 1336 and Harihara was made first king. Robert Sewell concluded that Harihara and Bukka were treasury officers of Golla/Kuruba caste, in the court of Warangal (Kakatiya dynasty). As you can see Robert conclusion is based on hearsay and does not carry any firm evidence.
Though controversies over the role of Vidyaranya in the founding of the empire exist, Vidyaranya was an important Sanyasi at the Sringeri order, though not the head of the monastic order until 1380. Vidyaranya Kalajnana (in Sanskrit), Vidyaranya Vrittanta, Rajakalanirnay written by Vidyaranya terms the two as working in gaurds in Kakatiya Tresaury,but it also says they are Kuruba lineage. Kurubas are kannadigas and Kaktiya is Telugu kingdom. And he also say they worked for Chalukyas, Now is the Saint trying to get support of both kannadigas and telugu?

Sivatatva Ratnakara
This book was written in 1709 well after all the legendary stuff has been created. It has Said Vijayangara kings as rulers of Andhra ,not rulers from Andhra

Scholars like Prof. K. A. Nilakanta Sastry, Dr. N. Venkataramanayya and B. Surya Narayana Rao are known for anti-kannada roles. Their theory of Telugu and Tamil older than Kannada and both are sister languages is well known. They are proposed that Kannada region spoke tamil before 1oth century. So their comments cannot be taken seriously.

Date of Shankara

Date of Shankara the great saint of Hinduism is always been controversial. Dates ranging from 5th century BC to 9th century AD. Let us analyze the dates.

Internal Evidence
The most important internal evidence comes from Sankara's verbatim quotation of Dharmakirti, the buddhist logician. Hsuan Tsang , the Chinese pilgrim, who visited India in the time of Harshavardhana, king of Thanesar (606 - 647 CE), gives clues to Dharmakirti's date. He also mentions Bhartrhari , but not of Sankara. It follows that Sankara is post-Dharmakirti, and possibly post-Hsuan-Tsang also.

Astronomical Details
Various Sankara-vijaya texts are not of much use. The details in one work contradict those in another. Dates ranging from the 5th cent BCE to 8th cent CE have been calculated on the basis of such astronomical details. One further complication is that some astronomical information is said to have been obtained from works which are not available anywhere in India. So no firm conclusion can be drawn based on this.

Records of Mutts
Whether Sankara established any Mutts at all has been questioned. Paul Hacker attributes the tradition of four amnaya-maths at Sringeri, Puri, Dvaraka and Joshimath to Vidyaranyasvamin. The native oral tradition, takes the history of these four Mutts,each associated with one of the four geographical directions and one of the four vedas, to Sankaracarya himself. The dasanami sannyasi-sampradaya, with its various akhadas in northern India, accepts affiliation only with these four mutts. There historical evidence for the existence of the oldest dasanami akhadas as early as the 9th cent. CE. It is immaterial whether Sankara established them himself or whether these four mutts developed naturally at the places where the four famous disciples of Sankara lived and taught. Of these four mutts, the Joshimath title had long been vacant, till it was revived in 1940 CE. So, it does not have many ancient records. The Dvaraka and Puri mutts have, in the past, claimed a date of 5th century BCE for Sankara. This is partly based upon a dating of a grant by a king named Sudhanva who is supposed to have been a contemporary of Sankara. Nothing else is known about this king, and the grant itself has not been dated with any accuracy.And Dvaraka and puri mutts have patchy histories, with periods when there were no presiding Sankaracaryas.

Sringeri Mutt
Sringeri mutt in karnataka has been the only mutt of the original four which has had an unbroken succession of mathadhipatis, as southern India has not experienced as many political upheavals as the north. The Sringeri mutts record states that Sankara was born in the 14th year of the reign of Vikramaditya. The record does not give any clue about the identity of this king. Some 19th century researchers identified this king with the famous Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty, thereby postulating a date of 44 BCE for Sankara. Gap of 700 years was then assigned to Suresvara. The later successors in the Sringeri list can all be dated reasonably accurately from the 8th century downwards. If one identifies the Vikramaditya as a member of the Western Chalukya dynasty, which ruled from Badami in Karnataka. The Chalukya dynasty reached its greatest fame in the time of Pulakesin II, who defeated Harshavardhana. There were two kings named Vikramaditya in this Chalukya dynasty - Vikramaditya I ruled in the late 7th century CE, while Vikramaditya II ruled in the early 8th century. It is more reasonable to identify the Vikramaditya of the Sringeri record with one of these two Chalukyan kings, who ruled from Karnataka, rather than the northern gupta king, whose empire did not include southern India. This interpretation of the Sringeri record is also consistent with the internal evidence from Sankara's works.

Mutt Politics
In addition to these four original mutts, a number of other advaita mutts have come into being over the centuries, some of which are quite well-known. These mutts either started out as branches of the original institutions, or were set up as independent monasteries by notable sannyasis of the dasa-nami order. With the proliferation of such mutts came a number of "traditions," many of them conflicting with one another in details. some of these mutts also claim to have been established by Sankara himself., Some of them also claim 5th century BCE to be the date of Sankara.

The intimate connection of the founders of the Vijayanagara empire with the Sringeri mutt, and the competition by other mathadhipatis in the south for similar honors as traditionally accorded to the Sringeri Mutt. Every southern Mutt with a claim to be the "original" one wants to deny Sringeri's chronological primacy. This denial only has the effect of reinforcing the fact that Sringeri has been the most important advaita mutt for centuries. As such, their conflicting claims about Sankara's date have to be evaluated in the context of their political motivations in putting forth such dates.

Kanchi Mutt
Fifth advaita mutt at Kanchipuram is very active today, does not mean that it has always been so, nor does such activity lend any special credibility to its claims to antiquity. The political influence and prestige that a Mutt enjoys today also do not confer any legitimacy to such claims. It is inconceivable that the dasa-nami-sampradaya would have overlooked a fifth mutt in choosing its affiliations. Claims to historicity that are made in a spirit of political one-upmanship seldom stand up to serious scrutiny. There is no necessary correlation between the modern activity of an advaita mutt and its claimed antiquity.


Gaudapada is ParamaGuru of Shankara. Guru Govinda was Shankara's guru. So if we find the date of Guru, we can arrive at the date of Shishya. Gaudapada lived after the major Buddhist writers especially, Vasubhandhu, Nagarjuna, aryadeva (disciple of Nagarjuna) whose work he clearly reflects. In the 6th century work of Bhavaviveka, there is a direct quotations from Guadapada. Bhavaviveka was junior contemproary of Dharmapala whose date is confirmed by Chinese travellers in 5th century AD. So he has to be earlier than that, that is 5th century AD.  Traditional advaitha list Gaudapada is student of Shukdeva who in turn was student of Ved Vyasa of Mahabharata. We can even argue bhavaviveka and Gaudapada are arguing from same source. Many also argue that Gaudapada is a institution not a person. To cut short the discussion, we can say that Gaudapada lived around 5th century AD. When shankara says Gaudapada to be his paramaguru, we have to take the context. Guru Govinda padacharya was shankara's guru and his guru greatest Guru is Guru Gaudapada. In this context we can see shankara comes around 800 AD date.

The official date accepted currently is 788-820 CE, and the Government of India celebrated the 1200th anniversary of Sankara's birth in 1988. This date is largely based upon one traditional view prevalent in India.