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Madhavadeva


 

MADHAVADEVA


                       According to Daityari ‘Sankaradeva only revealed the secret of Bhakti; it was Madhavadeva who made it public.’ Similar statements are also there in the Nam-ghosa by Purusuttama Thakur. The lives of the two Gurus are so close that one is inseparable from the other.  When Sankaradeva meet Madhavdeva and converted him Vaisnavism, the movement began was with fuller vigour and greater success.

                        Madhavadeva was born to Manorama, Wife of Govindagiri Bhuyan, alias Lamkana Dighala Kath of the Bara Bhuyans in 1489 A.D. Govindagiri migrated from Banduka to Narayanapur. For Many years, he had to move from place to place for livelihood. At Rowta he  married Manohar or Monorama of the family of Suryavara, grand father of Sankardeva. Govinda was appointed a scribe by Suryavara. Govinda afterwards took shelter in the house of the boatman Ghaghari of Habung. When he was at Leteku-pukhuri in modern Narayanpur area, Manorama gave birth to the saint on the last day of the month of Vaisahka in the twelfth bright moon midnight in Saka 1411 = 1489 A.D. After a few years, Urvasi, younger sister of Madhavadeva was born at Habung. In the proper time she was married to a Bhuyan youth,Gayapani by name. Then Madhavadeva with his father went to Banduka, where he was educated under Rajendra Adhyapaka and soon became adept in the sastras. After the death of Govindagiri. Madhava returned to the place of Gyapani alias Ramadasa of Hokorakuci.

             When Madhava was at Banduka his mother used to stay with her son-in-law, Gayapani. Once he received the information of his mother’s serious illness. As he was a  staunch Sakta, he resolved to sacrifice a white goat to the goddess Durga so that his mother could have speedy recovery. Then Madhava proceeded to see his mother; but in the meantime, Gayapani had moved to Dhuwahata- Belaguri. There he met Gayapani and asked him to buy a goat for the proposed sacrifice. But Gayapani refused to do that because he had become a follower of Sankaradeva’s faith and Sankaradeva who advocated a faith of communion to God without rituals involving violence. Ramdasa asked Madhava to go to Sankaradeva and argue with him. Accordingly, Madhava, with a view to arguing with Sankaradeva, came to the latter’s place accompanied by the Ramdasa.

            After introduction, a historic verbal dual ensured between the two great scholars of two different faiths. Madhava in support of his view, quoted verses from various scriptures. Sankaradeva refuted his arguments citing superior grounds from different scriptures and sought to establish the supremacy of the Visnu-Krsna cult. The debate continued for three praharas and each of them sought to establish his own faith as superior. Madhava spoke to show in support of the pravrtti-marga, while Sankardeva tried to show the supremacy of the nivrttimarga. At last Sankaradeva cited the following verse form the Bhagavanta Purana :

yatha tarormula nisecanena
trpyanti tatkandha- bhujopasakhah
pranopaharac-ca yathendriyanam
tathaiva sarvarhanam acyutejya.

            As the branches, leaves, and foliage of a tree are nourished by the pouring of water only at the root of the tree, as the limbs of the body are nourished by putting food only in the stomach, so all gods and goddesses are propitiated ony by the worship of Acyuta."

                        At this, the proud scholar Madhava was humbled, and he immediately fell down at the feet of Sankaradeva and accepted him as his Guru. This historic meeting which took place in 1522 A.D. is called ‘ mani- kancana- samyoga’ union of gems with gold. By leading the life of a celibate, he became an ideal bhakat and although a girl was betrothed, Madhavadeva managed to break up that engagement very skillfully. After the acquision of the great scholar. Madhavadeva, the organizational work of the Vaisnava Order of Sankaradeva gradually received wide scope, and the number of its followers tended to increase day by day. Sankaradeva also declared that he became a complete person only on the acquision of Madhavadeva. Madhavadeva, after his ordiantion to the new faith, assigned the responsibility of his mother to Ramadasa and used to stay with Guru Sankaradeva.
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