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Sri Madhvacharya

To summarise, the period of the last two decades of Madhva (1298 – 1318 AD) followed by the periods of Padmanabha Tirtha (1318 – 1324 AD) and Narahari Tirtha (1324 – 1333 AD)  saw some of the worst destruction of organized Hindu political power, famous temples, and mass killings. The Hindu kings proved inept both politically and militarily in dealing with the menace and the Parashurama Kshethra area and Hampi area were like Oases in the desert – along with the distant Hindu ruled Orissa. 

The dissolution of Hindu power started with Alla uddin Khalji’s raids on Devagiri Kingdom ruled by the Yadava king Ramachandra, first in 1296 AD, even before ascending the throne, for looting and for control followed by those (after occupying it) in 1307/9 AD. This was followed rapidly by the successful raids on Prathaparudra of Warangal in 1310 AD, Ballala III of Dvarasamudra in 1311 AD and culminated in the final raids on Madurai ruled by the Pandya princes and the whole sale destruction and looting of the famed temple of SriRangam, Chidamabaram, and even reaching Rameswaram, where a mosque was built on a temple site.

The very first raid on Devagiri had made Ramachandra totally submissive and even cooperative, and Allauddin ensured that by retaining him in the seat, the Devagiri state became an accomplice in his further ventures against other states, like using the wood of a tree cut first as the handle of the Axe. The invasion deluge was successfully resisted only by the small Kampili Kingdom in the immediate vicinity of Hampi for a few years.



Anegondi and Kampili Kingdoms:

This kshethra which has been rightly called by Saint Vadiraja in Tirtha Prabandha as the Capital of Madhva Siddhanta, where the eight main pillars of the Tatvavada philosophical empire have chosen to live till eternity in their Vrindavanas. This place really has a great history. As Pampa Kshethra (Hampi) on the other side of the river, it is well known from the times of Puranas. The place played an important part in Ramayana, when Rama met Hanuman here and the Monkey rulers Vali and Sugriva had their capital.

Anegondi (Anegondi)(ಆನೆಗೊಂದಿ)is a small town, in the Gangavathi talluk of Koppala district and  is located at a distance of about ten kilometers from Hospet of Hampi fame towards the left bank of Tungabhadra River (North bank). The name Anegondi is attributed to the fact that the kings of Vijayanagar had the elephant contingent of their army at this place. This place was also known as Hastinavati, Kunjarakona and Kishkinda at different points of time in history and mythology. Arabian travelers have referred to Anegondi as ‘nAgunDim’ and Pais, the traveler from Portugal calls it ‘sEnagondim’.

This is in a rocky region and acts as a natural fortress providing protection from enemies. Consequently, it was chosen as their capital city by kings belonging to different dynasties. This place has played a crucial role both before and after the formation of the Vijayanagar dynasty. Kampilaraya and Kumara Rama confronted Mallik Kafur, the commander of Allauddin Khilji at this place. Later on it was a part of Vijayanagar Kingdom. It was ruled by the kings of Araveedu dynasty after the fall of Vijayanagara. Srirangaraya of Anegondi is believed to have built the fortress and the temple at Srirangapattana, near Mysore in the 15th century.

After the complete collapse of the Vijayanagara empire in 1565 AD, It was ruled successively by the Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, Mughals and Marathas during the 16th and 17th centuries, while the capital city Hampi/Vijayanagara was completely abandoned for some time. It was invaded by Tipu Sultan in 1777 AD. and later came under the British rule. They handed it over to the old lineage of kings of Anegondi who were in charge of it till 1949.


Regarding the Periods of the first five great Madhva saints

Sri Padmanabha, Narahari, Madhava, Akshobhya and Jaya Tirthas


The last two decades of Acharya Madhva 1238-1318 AD, followed by the five ascetics in his Peetha (till 1388 AD) were known for some of the epoch making developments in History, specially on the Deccan plateau.

The old order of Hindu kingdoms was replaced by an unstoppable and often violent Islamic sultanate originating form Delhi, which caused general hardship to the people, specially the Vaishnava Hindus and Brahmins in particular and instead of royal patronage or at least neutrality, there was severe persecution. The features of the Kali age developed rapidly with a vengeance.

How these divine Lords of the Philosophical empire of Madhva dealt with the situation on the ground is a topic of abiding interest to all Madhvas. But, for their patience, perseverance, fortitude in adversity and conviction of doctrines preached by them, the nascent Vedanta school could well have died out completely or be confined to the immediate surroundings of Madhva’s area around Udupi.

The existing traditional literature built around them in the Mathas has many temporal errors as well as undue ornamentation of the stories – some times even of quasi-historic events like the reign of Sri Narahari Tirtha in Kalinga and the famous disputation between Sri Akshobya and Vidyaranya. Part of the confusion was due to imprecise statements about the periods of their stay in the Peetha and physical locations of the events.

To the extent that these are cleared by detailed study of recorded history and major events like wars, invasions, change of lineages of rulers, specific mention of these saints themselves in prevailing records, one gets a truer picture and a correct appreciation of the odds that they faced when carrying the Torch of Tatvavada forward.