Narayana Panditacharya

Biography of Narayana Panditacharya

Sri Narayana Panditacharya is the author of Sumadhvavijaya, a biography of the founder of the Dvaita school of philosophy, Sri Madhvacharya. Sri Narayana Panditacharya was the son of Trivikrama Panditacharya, one of the direct disciples of Sri Madhva.

His epic work Madhwavijaya consists of 16 sargas or cantos, and gives extensive insights into the life and philosophy of Sri Madhva. It is the only authentic work available on Sri Madhva, as Narayana Panditacharya was a contemporary of Sri Madhva. He has also written his own commentary on Sumadhvavijaya, in which he explains the real names of the Sanskritised Kannada and Tulu names of persons and places in Sumadhvavijaya. This is called "Bhavaprakashika". Without this commentary it would be difficult to understand the poem itself.

Sri Narayana Panditacharya has also written numerous other works such as the Shiva Stuti, Sangraha Ramayana and Prameya Nava Malika.

Sangraha Ramayana is a condensed form of Valmiki Ramayana, with more than 3,000 slokas, written in accordence with the Sri Rama's story as told by Sri Madhvacharya in his "Sriman Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya". Sangraha Ramayana was printed in 1890 AD, has now been reprinted (in Nov. 2008) with Kannada translation by Dr. Vyasanakere Prabhanjanacharya. "Prameya Nava Malika" also known as "Anu Madhva Vijaya" is a condenced form of Sri Madhvacharya's Biograghy told in just 32 Slokas. Sri Raghavendra Swami has written a commentary on it in his Purvashrma days.

Manimanjari and Shubodaya are his other kavyas. Manimanjari gives account of the history of Vaishava Acharyas before the advent of Sri Madhvacharya. It has eight cantos or sargas written in simple Sanskrit poetary. It is, in fact, one of the first Sanskrit poems thought in the traditional Madhva learning circles. In the first two sargas Ramavatara story is narrated briefly, Third and Forth sargas deals with the Krishnavatara story. The last four sargas deals with history of Vaishava Acharyas prior of Sri Madhvacarya and the eighth sarga ends with the advent of Sri Madhvacarya. Sumadhvavijaya is a continuation of this. There are about half a dozen Sanskrit commentaries on this and a couple of them are in print. Shubodaya is an adhyatma kavya where the poet expariments with different meters.

To Sri Narayanapanditacharya's credit is also a commentary on Sri Vishnutatvavinirnaya, the best of Dasha Prakaranas by Sri Madhvacharya. This tika is called as "Tattvamanjari". Hence he can also be regarded as "Prachina Tikakara".

His home is still there in Karsargod district of Kerala and is called "Kavu Mutt". His descendants still live there. The majestic icon of Srivasta Narayana handed over by Sri Madhvacharya to Sri Trivikrama Panditacharya is still worshipped there. There also a vrindavana there, where he was entombed. This also gives raise to a doubt that he might have been ordained as a sanyasi in his old age.

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