The Sringeri Matha is a repository of rich and invaluable archival source material. Since the past four decades, Dr. Anant Krishna Shastry of Sirsi a national level reputed scholar in history has been actively engaged in bringing these historical recorded to light. The present book the records of the Sringeri Dharmasamsthana is an excellent treatise from the facile pen of the author that contains 302 select historical records spread over six chapters. The book is of immense value in knowing the relation between the Sringeri Matha and the temporal heads through the ages. The value of the book is enhanced by introduction. Summary and notes in English and also the Appendix that contains glossary, abbreviations symbols of currency illustrative records and Jagadguru Parampara.
A history of Sringeri, Srigeri Dharmasamsthana Sringeri mathada Kadatagalalliya Ayda Charitrika Dakhalegalu (two volumes) Sir Sonda Swarnavalli Mahasamsthanda aitihasika Dakhalegalu Swarnavali Mahasaamsthana. A history of the Swarwalli Mahasamshtana Sri Manjuguni ksehtrada charitirka Dakhalegalu idagunjiya Sri Maha ganapati mattu Sabhahitaru. The records of Sri Chitrapur matha and several other books of great research value are Dr. shastry’s contributions. He has presented more than 100 research papers at the state national and international level history conferences and chaired many sessions. He is honored as the national level research scholar in history. He was a director of research project ICHR New Delhi, Principal investigator of a major research project UGC New Delhi and general president of Karnataka Itihasa Academy’s 16th conference and 18th conference of Karnataka history congress.
With the blessings of Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji Dr. A.K. Shastry hopes to continue research in the vast arena of the History faculty.
About twelve hundred years ago, Adi Sankaracharya the greatest exponent of Advaita philosophy founded chaturamnaya mathas and thereby tried to rejuvenate Sanatanadharma in India. The unbroken illustrious line of the Sringeri Jagadguru Parampara has continued down to the present day and Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji is the present jagadguru.
Besides stone and copperplate inscriptions monuments palm leaves and literary works the Sringeri Matha is a repository of rich archival sources. There are thousands of paper records and kadatas that shed voluminous light on the history of the Sringeri Dharmasamsthana in particular and Karnataka and India in general from the period of the Vijayanagara to the present century. It is learnt from the records that owing to several land endowments made by the Vijayanagara rulers the Sringeri Matha developed as a Dhamasamsthana. The Nayakas of Keladi, Odeyars, Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore the Maratha Peshwas and ruling houses the British commissioners and several other Chieftains continued to make endowments to the Sringeri Matha and revere the Jagadgurus.
The records of the Sringeri Dhamasamsthana contains 302 records spread over 6 Chapters and they are selected records form paper records and Kadatas of the Sringeri Matha. Since details are given in introduction it is needless to repeat the same in this context. Much of the records registered in the present book are new and hitherto unpublished. However in order to give a comprehensive historical picture of the Sringeri Dhamasamsthana. I have registered in the present book some of the already published records. In the interest of the research scholars, I think it is necessary to synthesize all important records under one head. Since it was not possible to trace out the original stone and copper plate inscriptions of Vijayanagara and Keladi periods, I have registered in my book such copies of inscriptions already published in Selections form the records of the Sringeri Mutt Vol. I Government Branch press Mysore 1927 However I have given summary and notes in English at the end of each record.
I owe to deep debt of gratitude to the Chairman Secretary Members of the selection committee and other concerned persons of the University grants Commission for having provided an opportunity to conduct the much needed major research project.
I remember with gratitude late Dr. G.S Dikshit my worthy professor and guide in the research field.
I am thankful to Padmasri V.R. Gowrishankar administrator of the Sringeri Dharmasamsthana for having provided required facilities. It is very gratifying to the author that the Sringeri Matha is publishing this post doctoral thesis and making the treatise available for research scholars.
I tender my grateful thanks to Dr. K. Chidanadagouda Ex. Vice Chancellor and Dr. B.S Sherigara the present V.C. of the Kuvempu university for having permitted me to conduct the present major research project in the History Department of the University. I also thank the registrars Dr. Rigistrars and the concerned staff of the university.
I sincerely thank Dr. Rajaram Hegde, Co- investigator of the research project and Ex. Chairman of the Department of History who besides inviting me to his departments extended all possible help in successfully completing the research project.
I am also thankful to Dr. Anuradha Patel Dr, Shivaswamy Dr. Sarvamangala and other members of the history faculty of the Kuvempu University for having extended their full co-operation.
Sringeri or Risyasringagiri of the Ramayana fame is a renowned center of pilgrimage and this hallowed place is situated on the left back of the river Tunga in Chikkamagalur district of the Karnataka state. The mountain ranges valleys green forest and a crystal water of the river Tunga have created a pleasant atmosphere in this place. It is this life giving water that has quenched the thirst of generations of people through the ages down to out own time. About twelve hundred years ago, Adi Sankaracharya the greatest exponent of Advaita philosophy founded the Matha at Sringeri with Sri Saradamba as the Presiding deity.
The period on the eve of Adi Sankara’s birth was an age of unrest and strife characterized by spiritual and intellectual bankruptcy and also political and social discord. Religion in India based on the Vedas the Upanisads the epics the Puranas and nihilism. The Sanatana Dharma was in danger due to vamachara or tantric practices of the debased off shoots of the originally pure jain Buddhist and Sakta cults. Adi Sankara accepted the workship of six divine forms Siva Devi Visnu Surya, ganapati and kumara for having brought the devotees of these six divine forms under the banner of one faith he has rightly been called Sanmata Sthapaka he founded the Chaturmnaya mathas sringeri in the south Jagannathapuri in the East Dwaraka in the west and Badari in the North. These four Mathas Symbolise four Vedas. The Govardhana Matha at Jagannathapuri, for Rigvëda, arada Matha at Sriñgëri, for Yajurveda, Kalika Matha at Dwaraka, for Samaveda and .Jyotir - Matha at Badarikarama, for Arharvana veda. These Mathas have their own separate divinities, tin/ia, àchãrya, sathpradãya, mahãvakya and titles.2 The purpose behind establishing these four principal Ma thus in four different directions, was perhaps to bring about unity and integrity in India and to revive Sanãtana - Dharrna.
Though there are different opinions regarding the date of Samkara, the generally accepted period is A.D. 788 - A. D. 820. Though Samkara’s life-span was short, his achievements were great. He established the supremacy of the Vëdic Dharma. He was a poet, a saint, a religious reformer, a philosopher, a spiritual leader, a great metaphysician, a matchless preacher, a fully developed Yogi, Jnani and Bhakta and a dynamic personality. He was truly a Jagadguru (the teacher of the world) and the one who wished the well-being of the entire mankind. Adi Samkara’s Bhayas, Stotras and Prakarana granthas are the products of a high intellect. It is equally important to note that he was neither patronized by the rulers, nor by the opulent people. By sheer intellect and spirituality, he became great.
Adi Samkara installed Sri Surevaracharya as the Guru of the Sringeri Matha. His successors lived with their disciples in hermitages at Sringeri, Simhapura, Vasistharama and Kigga, all in the neighbourhood of Sriñgëri. However, it was during the 14th century, Sriñgeri again gained prominence, for the great Gurus, Sri Vidya-Tirtha, Sri Bhärati Krisna-Tirtha and Sri Vidyaratiya, respectively, ascended the Sringeri Sarada Pitha. The Matha developed as ‘Dharma-Sathsthäna’, owing to several land endowments made by the emperors of Vijayanagara. Subsequently, the Nayakas of Keladi, 1-laider All, Tipu sultan and Odeyars of Mysore, the Maratha Ruling Houses, the British Commissioners and several other chieftains continued to make endowments to the Sriñgeri Macha and revere the Jagadgurus. The Sriñgeri Sathsthna was not simply a Jahagir, exercising reveneru and judicial authority but a Dhamra Samsthana practicing Dharma. In Spite of a number of political religious economic and social vicissitudes the Sringeri Dharma Samshtana has continued to flourish down to our own times as a great religious centre. The Pith has been distinguished by an unbroken succession of the Jagadgurus well known for their spiritual eminence learning and piety.
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