Vidyaranya Swami

Sri Vidyaranya, coming five centuries after SankaraBhagavatpada (AdiShankaracharya) was the 12th Jagadguru of the SringeriSharadaPeetham, who was a great force in the regeneration of our spiritual, moral and cultural values. He built temples at Sringeri, Hampi and established mutts to propagate Vedanta.

Sri Madhava from Warangal took SanyasaDiksha in 1331 AD under the ascetic name of Sri Vidyaranya, from Sri Bharathi Krishna Tirtha who happened to be his younger brother, but senior to him as he had become an ascetic earlier. Sri Vidyaranya then started on a pilgrimage and reached Kashi. At the direction of Sri Veda Vyasa he went to Badrikashrama, where the great sage himself initiated him into Sri Vidya.

Sage Veda Vyasa revealed to Sri Vidyaranya, his fate by informing him of the lifespan and political future of the city that he will found. Sri Veda Vyasa explains through the power of the goddess of fortune, Sri Bhuvaneshwari, that Vidyanagara(Vijayanagar) city will stand in prosperity for 360 years and that during this time, it will serve as the capital for a line of 30 kings. Sri Vidyaranya will be the preceptor of these kings and he will instruct them to offer daily feedings for 1000 Brahmins. Returning south, he retired to Matanga hill, near Hampi, where he immersed himself in intense meditation. During this time that Sri Vidyaranya wrote Veda Bhashyam and other literatures Since Vijayanagara or the City of Victory was planned in accordance with the directions of the sage.

Sri Vidyaranya in the form of a Sri Chakra with the Sri Virupaksha temple in the middle and nine gates all around, and the Vijayanagara empire was established under the guidance of Sri Vidyaranya, he was given the title and addressed as Karnataka SimhasanaPratishtapanacharya which is of their birudavali even to this day. At Hampi Sri Vidyaranya had built a Mutt behind the Sri Virupaksha temple for the spread of Sanatana Dharma. He was rightly regarded as a great thinker in the post-Sri Shankara period. He wrote around 1800 books out of which only 100 plus books are available today.