A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 4

Indian Pluralism

by Surendranath Dasgupta | 1949 | 186,278 words | ISBN-13: 9788120804081

This page describes the philosophy of life of vallabha (1481-1533): a concept having historical value dating from ancient India. This is the eighth part in the series called the “the philosophy of vallabha”, originally composed by Surendranath Dasgupta in the early 20th century.

Part 8 - Life of Vallabha (1481-1533)

Vallabha was born in the lineage of Yajñanārāyaṇa bhaṭṭa; his great-grandfather was Gaṅgādhara bhaṭṭa, his grandfather Gaṇapati bhaṭṭa, and his father Lakṣmaṇa bhaṭṭa. It is said that among themselves they performed one hundred somayāgas (soma sacrifices). The family was one of Telugu Brahmins of South India, and the village to which they belonged was known as Kamkar Khamlh; his mother’s name was Jllamagaru. Glasenapp, following N. G. Ghosh’s sketch of Vallabhācārya, gives the date of his birth as A.D. 1479; but all the traditional accounts agree in holding that he was born in Pampāraṇya, near Benares, in Samvat 1535 (a.d. 1481), in the month of Vaiśākha, on the eleventh lunar day of the dark fortnight. About the time of his birth there is some discrepancy of opinion; but it seems very probable that it was the early part of the night, when the Scorpion was on the eastern horizon. He was delivered from the womb in the seventh month underneath a tree, when Lakṣmaṇa bhaṭṭa was fleeing from Benares on hearing of the invasion of that city by the Moslems; he received initiation from his father in his eighth year, and was handed over to Viṣṇucitta, with whom he began his early studies. His studies of the Vedas were carried on under several teachers, among were them Trirammalaya, Andhanā-rāyaṇadlkṣita and Mādhavayatlndra. All these teachers belonged to the Madhva sect. After his father’s death he went out on pilgrimage and began to have many disciples, Dāmodara, Śambhū, Svabhū, Svayambhū and others. Hearing of a disputation in the court of the king of Vidyānagara in the south, he started for the place with his disciples, carrying the Bhāgavata-purāṇa and the symbolic stone (śālagrāma śila) of God with him.

The discussion was on the problem of the determinate nature of Brahman; Vallabha, being of the Viṣṇusvāmī school, argued on behalf of the determinate nature of Brahi.ian, and won after a protracted discussion which lasted for many days. He met here Vyāsa-tīrtha, the great Madhva teacher. From Vidyānagara he moved towards Pampā and from there to the Rṣyamukha hill, from there to Kāmākāṣnī, from there to Kāncī, from there to Cidambaram and from there to Rāmeśvaram. Thence he turned northwards and, after passing through many places, came to Mahiṣapurī and was well received by the king of that place; from there he came to Molulakota (otherwise called Yādavādri). From there he went to Udipi, and thence to Gokarṇa, from where he again came near Vidyānagara (Vijayanagara) and was well received by the king. Then he proceeded to Pāṇḍuraṅga, from there to Nāsik, then by the banks of the Revā to Mahiṣmatī, from there to Visāla, to a city on the river Vetravati to Dhalalāgiri, and from there to Mathurā. Thence he went to Vṛndāvana, to Siddhapura, to the Arhatpattana of the Jains, to Vrddhanagara, from there to Viśva-nagara. From Viśvanagara he went to Guzerāt and thence to the mouth of the river Sindh through Bhāruch. From there he proceeded to Bhamkṣetra, Kapilakṣetra, then to Prabhāsa and Raivata, and then to Dvārakā. From there he proceeded to the Punjab by the banks of the river Sindh. Here he came to Kurukṣetra, from there to Hardwar and to Hṛṣīkeśa, to Gaṅgottri and Yamunottri. After returning to Hardwar he went to Kedāra and Badarikāśrama. He then came down to Kanauj, then to the banks of the Ganges, to Ayodhyā and Allāhābad, thence to Benares. From there he came to Gayā and Vaidyanātha, thence to the confluence of the Ganges and the sea. He then came to Purl. From there he went to Godāvarī, proceeded southwards and came again to Vidyānagara. Then he proceeded again to Dvārakā through the Kathiā-wād country; from there he came to Puṣkara, thence again to Bṛndāvana and again to Badarikāśrama. He then came again to Benares; after coming again to the confluence of the Ganges he returned to Benares, where he married Mahā-lakṣmī, the daughter of Devaṇṇa bhaṭṭa. After marriage he started again for Vaidyanātha and from there he again proceeded to Dvārakā, thence again to Badarikāśrama; from there he came to Bṛndāvana. He again returned to Benares. He then came to Bṛndāvana.

From there he came to Benares, where he performed a great somayāga. His son Viṭṭhalanātha was born in 1518 when he was in his thirty-seventh year. For his later life he renounced the world and became a sannyāsiṇ. He died in 1533. He is said to have written eighty-four works and had eighty-four principal disciples.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: