Difference between revisions of "Kavya Kantha Vasistha Ganapati Muni"

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Ayyala Somayajula [[Ganapati]] Sastri (1878-1936), popularly known as Kavyakantha Vasistha Ganapati Muni was a Practitioner-Scholar of traditional Hinduism.  
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Ayyala Somayajula [[Ganapati]] Sastri (1878-1936), popularly known as Kāvyakānta Vasistha Ganapati Muni was a Practitioner-Scholar of traditional Hinduism.  
  
 
==Life==
 
==Life==
  
Ganapati Muni was born on 17th November 1878, in Kalavarayi near Bobbili in [[Andhra]] Pradesh. His parents were Sri Narasimha Sastry and Narasamamba, a devoted Brahmin Family. Brought up in a deeply religious family, he was traditionally trained in several subjects. Along with scholarship his focus remained on spiritual seeking, first devotion being Lord Siva<ref>Nayana by Gunturu Lakshmikantamu, reprint 1998</ref>.
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Ganapati Muni was born on 17th November 1878, in Kalavarayi near Bobbili in [[Andhra]] Pradesh to Śri Narasimha Sastry and Narasamamba, a devoted Brahmin Family. Brought up in a deeply religious family, he was traditionally trained in several subjects. Along with scholarship his focus remained on spiritual seeking, first devotion being Lord Siva<ref>Nayana by Gunturu Lakshmikantamu, reprint 1998</ref>.
  
 
==Views and Reforms==
 
==Views and Reforms==
  
Ganapati Muni was a rare combination of traditional scholarship, reformatory zeal, [[patriotism]], spiritual sadhana and original thinking. Arguably he was one of the greatest personalities of his times<ref>M P Pandit, Adoration of the Divine Mother</ref><ref>T V Kapali Sastry, "The Maharshi"</ref>.  
+
Ganapati Muni had a rare combination of traditional scholarship, reformatory zeal, [[patriotism]], spiritual sadhana and original thinking. Arguably he was one of the greatest personalities of his times<ref>M P Pandit, Adoration of the Divine Mother</ref><ref>T V Kapali Sastry, "The Maharshi"</ref>.  
  
[[Ganapati]] Muni strongly opposed untouchability. <b>Pancama Mimamsa</b> and <b>Pancajana Carca</b> are his works devoted to a critique of categorizing people as untouchables and pancamas (fifth varna). Being a scholar and spiritual seeker himself, had initiated thousands of Hindus from all communities into [[Mantra]] Sadhana. Pleased with his initiatives and contributions the Adi [[Hindu]] Society, a Dalit Hindu community conferred on him the title Muni. He demonstrated through his life and works, that amity between sections of society can and should to be achieved through constructive reforms, and not through group campaigns that further deepen the divide.  
+
[[Ganapati]] Muni strongly opposed untouchability. <b>Pancama Mīmāmsa</b> and <b>Pancajana Carca</b> are his works devoted to a critique of categorizing people as untouchables and pancamas (fifth varna). Being a scholar and spiritual seeker himself, he had initiated thousands of Hindus from all communities into [[Mantra]] Sā[[dhana]]. Pleased with his initiatives and contributions, the Ādi [[Hindu]] Society, a Dalit Hindu community conferred on him the title Muni. He demonstrated through his life and works that amity between sections of society can and should to be achieved through constructive reforms, and not through group campaigns that further deepen the divide.  
  
Contrary to the mainstream view of traditional scholars, Ganapati Muni also was against the notion of [[Veda]] as Apourusheya and believed that Veda must be regarded as man-made and identified as the work of seers. His works <b>Maha Vartikam</b> and <b>[[Sabda]] [[Pramana]] Carca</b> substantiate his views.
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Contrary to the mainstream view of traditional scholars, Ganapati Muni also was against the notion of [[Veda]] as Apaurusheya and believed that Veda must be regarded as man-made and identified as the work of seers. His works <b>Mahā Vartikam</b> and <b>śabdaPramāna Carca</b> substantiate his views.
  
Ganapati Muni's original contributions include his correlation of Renuka (mother of Parasurama and wife of Rishi Jamadagni) story of [[Purana]] with Chinnamasta a [[Sakta]] Mahavidya<ref>Nayana, P250</ref>.  
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Ganapati Muni's original contributions include his correlation of Reṇukā (mother of Paraśurāma and wife of Riṣi Jamadagni) story of Purāna with Chinnamasta a Śakta Mahāvidya<ref>Nayana, P250</ref>.  
  
His [[Bharata]] [[Caritra]] Mimamsa is a seminal work that proposes [[Mahabharata]] to be contemporary with one phase of the Vedic period, and traces Mahabharata characters in the [[Veda]]-[[Purana]] literature right from [[Rig Veda]].  
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His [[Bharata]] [[Caritra]] Mīmāmsa is a seminal work that proposes Mahā[[bhārata]] to be contemporary with one phase of the Vedic period, and traces Mahābhārata characters in the [[Veda]]-Purāna literature right from [[Rig Veda]].  
  
 
==Titles/Awards==
 
==Titles/Awards==
  
* For his scholarship and [[poetry]] Ganapati Sastry was awarded the title <b>Kavyakantha</b> (Voice of Poetry) in 1900<ref>Nayana, P54</ref>.  
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* For his scholarship and [[poetry]], Ganapati Sastry was awarded the title <b>Kāvyakānta</b> (Voice of Poetry) in 1900<ref>Nayana, P54</ref>.  
* He was conferred the title <b>Muni</b> (seer) by Adi [[Hindu]] Society in Hyderabad<ref>Nayana, P326</ref>.
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* He was conferred the title <b>Muni</b> (seer) by Ādi [[Hindu]] Society in Hyderabad<ref>Nayana, P326</ref>.
  
 
==Disciples==
 
==Disciples==
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Ganapati Muni had many disciples, whose lineages continue till date in south India. A few prominent names are below -  
 
Ganapati Muni had many disciples, whose lineages continue till date in south India. A few prominent names are below -  
  
* TV Kapali Sastry the author of Siddhanjana. He later joined Sri Aurobindo as his disciple.   
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* TV Kapali Sastry the author of Siddhānjana. He later joined Śri Aurobindo as his disciple.   
 
* Daivarata the author of Chando-[[Darsana]]
 
* Daivarata the author of Chando-[[Darsana]]
  
 
==Works==
 
==Works==
  
In contrast to the noted writers of his time like Sri Aurobindo and Dr. [[Ananda]] Coomaraswamy, most of Ganapati Muni's works are in [[Sanskrit]]<ref>Collected Works of Vasistha Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, Ramanashramam, Tiruvannamalai</ref>. This is one of the primary reasons for his limited fame, in spite of his progressive views on several issues concerning the society such as caste discrimination, and untouchability.  
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In contrast to the noted writers of his time like Śri Aurobindo and Dr. [[Ananda]] Kumaraswamy, most of Ganapati Muni's works are in [[Sanskrit]]<ref>Collected Works of Vasiṣṭha Kāvyakānta Ganapati Muni, Ramanāshramam, Tiruvannamalai</ref>. This is one of the primary reasons for his limited fame, in spite of his progressive views on several issues concerning the society such as caste discrimination, and untouchability.  
  
===Hymns ([[Stotra]] grantha)===
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===Hymns ([[Stotra]] granta)===
  
Ganapati Muni composed several stotras or prayers to several Devatas -   
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Ganapati Muni composed several stotras or prayers to several Devatās -   
  
* Sri Guru Stuti (prayer to the Teacher)  
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* Śri Guru Stuti (prayer to the Teacher)  
 
* Herambopasthanam (prayer to Ganapati)  
 
* Herambopasthanam (prayer to Ganapati)  
* Uma Trisati (three hundred verses in praise of Goddess Uma)  
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* Umā Trisati (three hundred verses in praise of Goddess Umā)  
* Uma Satakam (hundred verses in praise of Goddess Uma)  
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* Umā Satakam (hundred verses in praise of Goddess Umā)  
* Uma Aksharamala (the prayer to Goddess Uma with the alphabet garland)  
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* Umā Aksharamala (the prayer to Goddess Umā with the alphabet garland)  
* Uma Sahasram (thousand verse prayer to Goddess Uma)  
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* Umā Sahasram (thousand verse prayer to Goddess Umā)  
 
* Devi Stotra Manjari (prayer to Mother Goddess)  
 
* Devi Stotra Manjari (prayer to Mother Goddess)  
* Sri Tripura Sundari Geetam (song in praise of Goddess Tripura Sundari)  
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* Śri Tripura Sundari Gītam (song in praise of Goddess Tripura Sundari)  
* Amrutamba Pancaratnam (five verse prayer to Amrutamba)  
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* Amrutāmba Pancaratnam (five verse prayer to Amrutamba)  
* Saundaryamba Nirvana Shatkam (six verse prayer to Saundaryamba)  
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* Saundaryāmba Nirvāna Śatkam (six verse prayer to Saundaryāmba)  
* Renuka Shatkam (six verse prayer to Goddess Renuka)  
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* Renukā Śatkam (six verse prayer to Goddess Renukā)  
* Renuka Saptakam (seven verse prayer to Goddess Renuka)  
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* Renukā Saptakam (seven verse prayer to Goddess Renukā)  
* Indrani Saptasati (seven hundred verses in praise of Goddess Indrani, the consort of Indra)  
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* Indrāni Saptasati (seven hundred verses in praise of Goddess Indrāni, the consort of Indra)  
 
* Pracanda Candi Trisati (three hundred verses in praise of Goddess Pracanda Candi/Vajra Vairocani/Chinnamasta)  
 
* Pracanda Candi Trisati (three hundred verses in praise of Goddess Pracanda Candi/Vajra Vairocani/Chinnamasta)  
 
* Mangala Gauri Stotram (prayer to Goddess Mangala Gauri)  
 
* Mangala Gauri Stotram (prayer to Goddess Mangala Gauri)  
* Sri Ramana Catvarimsati (forty verses in praise of Ramana Maharshi)  
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* Śri Ramana Catvarimsati (forty verses in praise of Ramana Maharshi)  
* Siva Satakam (hundred verses in praise of Lord Siva)  
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* Śiva Śatakam (hundred verses in praise of Lord Śiva)  
* Siva Stava Raja (prayer to Lord Siva)  
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* Śiva Stava Raja (prayer to Lord Śiva)  
* Siva Saptati Nama Stotram (seven verses in praise of Lord Siva)
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* Śiva Saptati Nāma Stotram (seven verses in praise of Lord Śiva)
* Indra Sahasranama Stotram (prayer with thousand names of God Indra)  
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* Indra Sahasranāma Stotram (prayer with thousand names of God Indra)  
* Indra Sahasre Prathaman Satakam (hundred verses from the Indra Sahasra)  
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* Indra Sahasre Prathaman Śatakam (hundred verses from the Indra Sahasra)  
* Indra Sahasre Kataksha Stabaka (the "grace" section from Indra Sahasra)  
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* Indra Sahasre Katākśa Stabaka (the "grace" section from Indra Sahasra)  
 
* Indra Vimsati (twenty verses in praise of God Indra)  
 
* Indra Vimsati (twenty verses in praise of God Indra)  
 
* Indra Saptakam (seven verses in praise of God Indra)  
 
* Indra Saptakam (seven verses in praise of God Indra)  
* Sri Pavanastakam (eight verses in praise of God Pavana)  
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* Śri Pavanāstakam (eight verses in praise of God Pavana)  
* Sri Nrisimha Pancaratnam (five verses in praise of God Nrisimha)  
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* Śri Narasimha Pancaratnam (five verses in praise of God Narasimha)  
* Sri [[Yoga]] Anjaneya Pancaratnam (five verses in praise of God Yoga Anjaneya)  
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* Śri [[Yoga]] Ānjaneya Pancaratnam (five verses in praise of God Yoga Ānjaneya)  
* Sri Taraka Ramanama Stuti (praise of name [[Rama]])  
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* Śri Tāraka Rāmanāma Stuti (praise of name Rāma)  
* [[Sri Krishna]] Akshara Malika (letter garland in praise of Sri [[Krishna]])  
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* Śri [[Krishna]] Akshara Mālika (letter garland in praise of Śri Krishna)  
* [[Rama]] Geeta (words of Rama)  
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* Rāma Gīta (words of Rāma)  
* Geeta Mala (garland of songs in praise of ten different Gods)  
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* Gīta Māla (garland of songs in praise of ten different Gods)  
* Siva Geetam (song in praise of Lord Siva)  
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* Siva Gītam (song in praise of Lord Siva)  
* Ramana Geetam (song of Ramana Maharshi)  
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* Ramana Gītam (song of Ramana Maharshi)  
  
 
===Analysis (Tatva grantha)===
 
===Analysis (Tatva grantha)===
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Following is the list of Ganapati Muni's works on principles of existence  
 
Following is the list of Ganapati Muni's works on principles of existence  
  
* Sadacara Bodhini (knowing the righteous conduct)  
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* Sadācāra Bodhini (knowing the righteous conduct)  
 
* Tattvaghanta Satakam (hundred verses explaining spiritual principles)  
 
* Tattvaghanta Satakam (hundred verses explaining spiritual principles)  
* [[Tantra]] Hridaya (Secrets of Tantra Sastra), an incomplete work  
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* [[Tantra]] Hridaya (Secrets of Tantra Ś[[astra]]), an incomplete work  
* Aksharavali (sequence of letters), depicting the divine manifestations of each letter of the [[Sanskrit]] alphabet - similar to a beeja nighantu  
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* Aksharavāli (sequence of letters), depicting the divine manifestations of each letter of the Sanskrit alphabet - similar to a beeja nighantu  
* Sri Ramana Geeta (Summary of Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi)  
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* Śri Ramana Gīta (Summary of Teachings of Śri Ramana Maharshi)  
* Saddarsanam (translation of Ramana Maharshi's Tamil Work Ulladu Napardu)  
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* Saddarśanam (translation of Ramana Maharshi's Tamil Work Ulladu Napardu)  
* Vishwa Mimamsa (Analysis of the Universe), an encyclopaedic work on Indian Spiritual Philosophy but incomplete in parts  
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* Vishwa Mīmāmsa (Analysis of the Universe), an encyclopedic work on Indian Spiritual Philosophy but incomplete in parts  
* Dharmanusasanam (righteous conduct)
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* Dharmānusāsanam (righteous conduct)
  
===Aphorisms (Sutra grantha)===
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===Aphorisms (Sūtra grantha)===
  
Here is a list of the Muni's works in the sutra/aphorism form -  
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Here is a list of the Muni's works in the sūtra/aphorism form -  
  
* Mahavidya Sutram, the aphorisms on the celebrated Dasa Maha Vidyas of [[Sakta]] [[Tantra]]. In these Ganapati Muni establishes the continuity between Vedic [[Mantra Sastra]], [[Upanishad]] Vidyas and the Sakta Tantra.
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* Mahāvidya Sūtram, the aphorisms on the celebrated [[Daśa]] Mahā Vidyas of Śakta Tantra. In these Ganapati Muni establishes the continuity between Vedic [[Mantra]] Ś[[astra]], [[Upanishad]] Vidyas and the Śakta [[Tantra]].
* Rajayoga Sara Sutram, essentials of Raja [[yoga]]  
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* Rājayoga Sāra Sūtram, essentials of Rāja [[yoga]]  
* Indresvara [[abheda]] Sutram, proposing Indra as the Isvara
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* Indreśvara [[abheda]] Sūtram, proposing Indra as the Iśvara
* Caturvyuha Sutram, explaining the four vyuhas of Vaishnavas
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* Caturvyuha Sūtram, explaining the four vyuhas of Vaiṣnavas
* Rudrakutumba Sutram, explaining the Rudra family of Devatas
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* Rudrakutumba Sūtram, explaining the Rudra family of Devatās
* Srusti Sutram, explaining the creation theory  
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* Śrusti Sūtram, explaining the creation theory  
* Isvara Mimamsa, analysis of Isvara
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* Iśvara Mīmāmsa, analysis of Iśvara
* Kriya sakti Sutram, explaining the active energy (one of the three forms of energy as per Sakta - will, knowledge and action)  
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* Kriya Śakti Sūtram, explaining the active energy (one of the three forms of energy as per Śakta - will, knowledge and action)  
* Siddhanta sara Sutram, explaining four-fold grace of Indra  
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* Siddhānta sāra Sūtram, explaining four-fold grace of Indra  
* Manisha sangraham, analysis of Self
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* Manisha sangraham, analysis of self
* Atha Santi Tapo Bodhanam Phala Nirupanam, explaining the result of austerity, peace, knowledge  
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* Atha Śanti Tapo Bodhanam Phala Nirupanam, explaining the result of austerity, peace, knowledge  
* Gayatri Vyakhyanam, commentary on Gayatri Vidya  
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* Gāyatri Vyākhyanam, commentary on Gāyatri Vidya  
* Yoga Vyakhyanam, interpretation of [[Yoga Sastra]]
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* Yoga Vyākhyanam, interpretation of Yoga Śaṣtra
* Sita Vyakhyanam, about Sita of [[Ramayana]]  
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* Sita Vyākhyanam, about Sita of [[Ramayana]]  
* [[Krishna]] Vyakhyanam, about [[Sri Krishna]]
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* [[Krishna]] Vyākhyanam, about Śri Krishna  
* [[Tattva]] Samanya Mimamsa, analysis of common principles  
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* [[Tattva]] Sāmānya Mīmāmsa, analysis of common principles  
* Tattva Mimamsa, analysis of essential principles  
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* Tattva Mīmāmsa, analysis of essential principles  
* [[Pramana]] Pariksha, analysis of epistemology  
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* Pramāna Pariksha, analysis of epistemology  
 
* Samavaya Pariksha, analysis of matter-attribute inseparability  
 
* Samavaya Pariksha, analysis of matter-attribute inseparability  
 
* Abhava Pariksha, examining the concept of nonexistence  
 
* Abhava Pariksha, examining the concept of nonexistence  
 
* Pancjana Carca, a critique of untouchability  
 
* Pancjana Carca, a critique of untouchability  
 
* Gotra Pravara Nirnaya, on the determinism of vedic lineage and family divisions  
 
* Gotra Pravara Nirnaya, on the determinism of vedic lineage and family divisions  
* Vivaha [[dharma]] Sutram, analysis of marriage rite  
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* Vivāha [[dharma]] Sūtram, analysis of marriage rite  
* Sabdapramana Carca, analysis of [[Sabda]] Pramana
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* Śabdapramāna Carca, analysis of Śabda Pramāna
* Pancama Mimamsa, critique of creating a fifth division of society (apart from four varnas)  
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* Pancama Mīmāmsa, critique of creating a fifth division of society (apart from four varnas)  
* [[Darsana]] Mala, on causation theory  
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* Darśana Māla, on causation theory  
* Ganapati Darsanam, on Lord Ganapati  
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* Ganapati Darśanam, on Lord Ganapati  
* Sakti Darsanam, on Mother Goddess  
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* Śakti Darśanam, on Mother Goddess  
* Samrajya Nibandhanam, a proposition of code of governance for the country (India)  
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* Sāmrājya Nibandhanam, a proposition of code of governance for the country (India)  
* Viswa Mimamsa, an encyclopaedic work on metaphysics  
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* Viswa Mīmāmsa, an encyclopedic work on metaphysics  
* Tattvanusasana Sutram, a survey of different forms of Yoga Vidyas  
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* Tattvānusāsana Sūtram, a survey of different forms of Yoga Vidyas  
* Dharmanusasanam, an encyclopaedic work on natural righteous order   
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* Dharmānusāsanam, an encyclopedic work on natural righteous order   
* [[Devata]] Mimamsa, analysis of the concept of Devata  
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* [[Devata]] Mīmāmsa, analysis of the concept of Devata  
* Vasistha Darsanam and Sarvartha Darsanam, analysis of Sankhya's three pramanas (incomplete)  
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* Vasiṣṭha Darśanam and Sarvārtha Darśanam, analysis of Sānkhya's three pramanas (incomplete)  
* Adi Sastrartha Sutram, analysis of the approach/philosophy of Vedic Seers  
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* Ādi Sastrartha Sūtram, analysis of the approach/philosophy of Vedic Seers  
* Vasistha [[Kama]] Sutram, analysis of erotica and sexuality  
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* Vasistha Kāma Sūtram, analysis of erotica and sexuality  
* Maha Vartikam, analysis of the concept of impersonal origin of Sruti
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* Mahā Vartikam, analysis of the concept of impersonal origin of ṣruti
  
===Commentaries(Bhashya Grantha)===
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===Commentaries(Bhāṣya Grantha)===
  
 
Here is a list of the commentaries written by the Muni. Most of these are incomplete works.  
 
Here is a list of the commentaries written by the Muni. Most of these are incomplete works.  
  
* [[Rigveda]] Laghu Bhashyam, a brief commentary and method of interpretation of [[Rig Veda]]  
+
* [[Rigveda]] Laghu Bhāṣyam, a brief commentary and method of interpretation of [[Rig Veda]]  
* [[Rigveda]] Bhashyam, commentary of Rigveda  
+
* [[Rigveda]] Bhāṣyam, commentary of Rigveda  
* Viswa Mimamsa, on word and eternity  
+
* Viśva Mīmāmsa, on word and eternity  
* Indra Nama Nirvacana, on the name Indra  
+
* Indra Nāma Nirvācana, on the name Indra  
* Aindra Sahasranama Bhashyam, commentary of his own Indra Sahasranama [[Stotra]]  
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* Aindra Sahasranāma Bhāṣyam, commentary of his own Indra Sahasranāma [[Stotra]]  
* Jaiminiya Sutra Bhashyam, commentary of Jaimini Mimamsa Sutras
+
* Jaiminiya Sūtra Bhāṣyam, commentary of Jaimini Mīmāmsa Sūtras
* Isopanishad Bhashyam, commentary of Isa [[Upanishad]]
+
* Iṣopaniṣad Bhāṣyam, commentary of Iṣa Upaniṣad
* Upadesa Sara Bhashyam, commentary of Ramana Maharshi's Upadesa Sara
+
* Upadeśa Sāra Bhāṣyam, commentary of Ramana Maharṣi's Upadeśa Sāra
* Gurumantra Bhashyam, commentary of Guru [[Mantra]] to invoke Ramana Maharshi
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* Gurumantra Bhāṣyam, commentary of Guru Mantra to invoke Ramana Maharṣi
* Agnercatushto Vibhutayah, analysis of four forms of [[Agni]]  
+
* Agnercatuśto Vibhutāyah, analysis of four forms of [[Agni]]  
* Daivarata Darsanam, analysis of Daivarata's Chando Darsana
+
* Daivārata Darśanam, analysis of Daivārata's Chando Darśana
* Matru [[Tattva]] Prakasika, Sanskrit translation of Sri Aurobindo's work "The Mother"  
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* Mātru [[Tattva]] Prakāśika, [[Sanskrit]] translation of Śri Aurobindo's work "The Mother"  
* Sariraka Mimamsa Tippani, critique of [[Adi Sankara]]'s Brahma Sutra Bhashya
+
* Śāriraka Mīmāmsa Tippani, critique of Ādi Śankara's Brahma Sūtra Bhāshya
 
* Vaidika Padanam Arthah, enlisting the meanings of over a hundred Vedic words  
 
* Vaidika Padanam Arthah, enlisting the meanings of over a hundred Vedic words  
  
 
===Other Works===
 
===Other Works===
  
* [[Bharata]] [[Caritra]] Mimamsa, an exhaustive analysis of the historicity of [[Mahabharata]] and its characters, surveying evidence from classical literature starting with Rigveda
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* [[Bharata]] [[Caritra]] Mīmāmsa, an exhaustive analysis of the historicity of [[Mahabharata]] and its characters, surveying evidence from classical literature starting with Rig Veda
  
* Purna, a historic novel woven around the story of Satyasena and Pradyotana the rulers of Anga and Magadha
+
* Pūrna, a historic novel woven around the story of Satyasena and Pradyodana the rulers of Anga and [[Magadha]]
  
[[Ayurveda]] -  
+
Āyurveda -  
  
* Cikitsa Anusasanam
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* Cikitsa [[Anu]]ṣāṣanam
* Prana Toshanam
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* Prāna Tośanam
  
[[Jyotisha]] -  
+
Jyotiṣa -  
  
 
* Hora Nirnaya Samgraham  
 
* Hora Nirnaya Samgraham  
* Shodasa Sloki
+
* Śodasa Śloki
* Tribhava Phala Candrika  
+
* Tribhāva Phala Candrika  
* Ganaka Kanthabharanam
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* Ganaka Kāntābharaṇam
  
 
==Biographies==
 
==Biographies==
  
 
1. Nayana in Telugu written by Gunturu Lakshmikantamu  
 
1. Nayana in Telugu written by Gunturu Lakshmikantamu  
2. Biography in Telugu written by Poluri Hanumad Janaki Rama Sarma, published by Ramanashramam, Tiruvannamalai  
+
2. Biography in Telugu written by Poluri Hanumad Janaki [[Rama]] Sarma, published by Ramanashramam, Tiruvannamalai  
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}

Revision as of 11:16, 2 February 2013

Ayyala Somayajula Ganapati Sastri (1878-1936), popularly known as Kāvyakānta Vasistha Ganapati Muni was a Practitioner-Scholar of traditional Hinduism.

Life

Ganapati Muni was born on 17th November 1878, in Kalavarayi near Bobbili in Andhra Pradesh to Śri Narasimha Sastry and Narasamamba, a devoted Brahmin Family. Brought up in a deeply religious family, he was traditionally trained in several subjects. Along with scholarship his focus remained on spiritual seeking, first devotion being Lord Siva[1].

Views and Reforms

Ganapati Muni had a rare combination of traditional scholarship, reformatory zeal, patriotism, spiritual sadhana and original thinking. Arguably he was one of the greatest personalities of his times[2][3].

Ganapati Muni strongly opposed untouchability. Pancama Mīmāmsa and Pancajana Carca are his works devoted to a critique of categorizing people as untouchables and pancamas (fifth varna). Being a scholar and spiritual seeker himself, he had initiated thousands of Hindus from all communities into Mantradhana. Pleased with his initiatives and contributions, the Ādi Hindu Society, a Dalit Hindu community conferred on him the title Muni. He demonstrated through his life and works that amity between sections of society can and should to be achieved through constructive reforms, and not through group campaigns that further deepen the divide.

Contrary to the mainstream view of traditional scholars, Ganapati Muni also was against the notion of Veda as Apaurusheya and believed that Veda must be regarded as man-made and identified as the work of seers. His works Mahā Vartikam and śabdaPramāna Carca substantiate his views.

Ganapati Muni's original contributions include his correlation of Reṇukā (mother of Paraśurāma and wife of Riṣi Jamadagni) story of Purāna with Chinnamasta a Śakta Mahāvidya[4].

His Bharata Caritra Mīmāmsa is a seminal work that proposes Mahābhārata to be contemporary with one phase of the Vedic period, and traces Mahābhārata characters in the Veda-Purāna literature right from Rig Veda.

Titles/Awards

  • For his scholarship and poetry, Ganapati Sastry was awarded the title Kāvyakānta (Voice of Poetry) in 1900[5].
  • He was conferred the title Muni (seer) by Ādi Hindu Society in Hyderabad[6].

Disciples

Ganapati Muni had many disciples, whose lineages continue till date in south India. A few prominent names are below -

  • TV Kapali Sastry the author of Siddhānjana. He later joined Śri Aurobindo as his disciple.
  • Daivarata the author of Chando-Darsana

Works

In contrast to the noted writers of his time like Śri Aurobindo and Dr. Ananda Kumaraswamy, most of Ganapati Muni's works are in Sanskrit[7]. This is one of the primary reasons for his limited fame, in spite of his progressive views on several issues concerning the society such as caste discrimination, and untouchability.

Hymns (Stotra granta)

Ganapati Muni composed several stotras or prayers to several Devatās -

  • Śri Guru Stuti (prayer to the Teacher)
  • Herambopasthanam (prayer to Ganapati)
  • Umā Trisati (three hundred verses in praise of Goddess Umā)
  • Umā Satakam (hundred verses in praise of Goddess Umā)
  • Umā Aksharamala (the prayer to Goddess Umā with the alphabet garland)
  • Umā Sahasram (thousand verse prayer to Goddess Umā)
  • Devi Stotra Manjari (prayer to Mother Goddess)
  • Śri Tripura Sundari Gītam (song in praise of Goddess Tripura Sundari)
  • Amrutāmba Pancaratnam (five verse prayer to Amrutamba)
  • Saundaryāmba Nirvāna Śatkam (six verse prayer to Saundaryāmba)
  • Renukā Śatkam (six verse prayer to Goddess Renukā)
  • Renukā Saptakam (seven verse prayer to Goddess Renukā)
  • Indrāni Saptasati (seven hundred verses in praise of Goddess Indrāni, the consort of Indra)
  • Pracanda Candi Trisati (three hundred verses in praise of Goddess Pracanda Candi/Vajra Vairocani/Chinnamasta)
  • Mangala Gauri Stotram (prayer to Goddess Mangala Gauri)
  • Śri Ramana Catvarimsati (forty verses in praise of Ramana Maharshi)
  • Śiva Śatakam (hundred verses in praise of Lord Śiva)
  • Śiva Stava Raja (prayer to Lord Śiva)
  • Śiva Saptati Nāma Stotram (seven verses in praise of Lord Śiva)
  • Indra Sahasranāma Stotram (prayer with thousand names of God Indra)
  • Indra Sahasre Prathaman Śatakam (hundred verses from the Indra Sahasra)
  • Indra Sahasre Katākśa Stabaka (the "grace" section from Indra Sahasra)
  • Indra Vimsati (twenty verses in praise of God Indra)
  • Indra Saptakam (seven verses in praise of God Indra)
  • Śri Pavanāstakam (eight verses in praise of God Pavana)
  • Śri Narasimha Pancaratnam (five verses in praise of God Narasimha)
  • Śri Yoga Ānjaneya Pancaratnam (five verses in praise of God Yoga Ānjaneya)
  • Śri Tāraka Rāmanāma Stuti (praise of name Rāma)
  • Śri Krishna Akshara Mālika (letter garland in praise of Śri Krishna)
  • Rāma Gīta (words of Rāma)
  • Gīta Māla (garland of songs in praise of ten different Gods)
  • Siva Gītam (song in praise of Lord Siva)
  • Ramana Gītam (song of Ramana Maharshi)

Analysis (Tatva grantha)

Following is the list of Ganapati Muni's works on principles of existence

  • Sadācāra Bodhini (knowing the righteous conduct)
  • Tattvaghanta Satakam (hundred verses explaining spiritual principles)
  • Tantra Hridaya (Secrets of Tantra Śastra), an incomplete work
  • Aksharavāli (sequence of letters), depicting the divine manifestations of each letter of the Sanskrit alphabet - similar to a beeja nighantu
  • Śri Ramana Gīta (Summary of Teachings of Śri Ramana Maharshi)
  • Saddarśanam (translation of Ramana Maharshi's Tamil Work Ulladu Napardu)
  • Vishwa Mīmāmsa (Analysis of the Universe), an encyclopedic work on Indian Spiritual Philosophy but incomplete in parts
  • Dharmānusāsanam (righteous conduct)

Aphorisms (Sūtra grantha)

Here is a list of the Muni's works in the sūtra/aphorism form -

  • Mahāvidya Sūtram, the aphorisms on the celebrated Daśa Mahā Vidyas of Śakta Tantra. In these Ganapati Muni establishes the continuity between Vedic Mantra Śastra, Upanishad Vidyas and the Śakta Tantra.
  • Rājayoga Sāra Sūtram, essentials of Rāja yoga
  • Indreśvara abheda Sūtram, proposing Indra as the Iśvara
  • Caturvyuha Sūtram, explaining the four vyuhas of Vaiṣnavas
  • Rudrakutumba Sūtram, explaining the Rudra family of Devatās
  • Śrusti Sūtram, explaining the creation theory
  • Iśvara Mīmāmsa, analysis of Iśvara
  • Kriya Śakti Sūtram, explaining the active energy (one of the three forms of energy as per Śakta - will, knowledge and action)
  • Siddhānta sāra Sūtram, explaining four-fold grace of Indra
  • Manisha sangraham, analysis of self
  • Atha Śanti Tapo Bodhanam Phala Nirupanam, explaining the result of austerity, peace, knowledge
  • Gāyatri Vyākhyanam, commentary on Gāyatri Vidya
  • Yoga Vyākhyanam, interpretation of Yoga Śaṣtra
  • Sita Vyākhyanam, about Sita of Ramayana
  • Krishna Vyākhyanam, about Śri Krishna
  • Tattva Sāmānya Mīmāmsa, analysis of common principles
  • Tattva Mīmāmsa, analysis of essential principles
  • Pramāna Pariksha, analysis of epistemology
  • Samavaya Pariksha, analysis of matter-attribute inseparability
  • Abhava Pariksha, examining the concept of nonexistence
  • Pancjana Carca, a critique of untouchability
  • Gotra Pravara Nirnaya, on the determinism of vedic lineage and family divisions
  • Vivāha dharma Sūtram, analysis of marriage rite
  • Śabdapramāna Carca, analysis of Śabda Pramāna
  • Pancama Mīmāmsa, critique of creating a fifth division of society (apart from four varnas)
  • Darśana Māla, on causation theory
  • Ganapati Darśanam, on Lord Ganapati
  • Śakti Darśanam, on Mother Goddess
  • Sāmrājya Nibandhanam, a proposition of code of governance for the country (India)
  • Viswa Mīmāmsa, an encyclopedic work on metaphysics
  • Tattvānusāsana Sūtram, a survey of different forms of Yoga Vidyas
  • Dharmānusāsanam, an encyclopedic work on natural righteous order
  • Devata Mīmāmsa, analysis of the concept of Devata
  • Vasiṣṭha Darśanam and Sarvārtha Darśanam, analysis of Sānkhya's three pramanas (incomplete)
  • Ādi Sastrartha Sūtram, analysis of the approach/philosophy of Vedic Seers
  • Vasistha Kāma Sūtram, analysis of erotica and sexuality
  • Mahā Vartikam, analysis of the concept of impersonal origin of ṣruti

Commentaries(Bhāṣya Grantha)

Here is a list of the commentaries written by the Muni. Most of these are incomplete works.

  • Rigveda Laghu Bhāṣyam, a brief commentary and method of interpretation of Rig Veda
  • Rigveda Bhāṣyam, commentary of Rigveda
  • Viśva Mīmāmsa, on word and eternity
  • Indra Nāma Nirvācana, on the name Indra
  • Aindra Sahasranāma Bhāṣyam, commentary of his own Indra Sahasranāma Stotra
  • Jaiminiya Sūtra Bhāṣyam, commentary of Jaimini Mīmāmsa Sūtras
  • Iṣopaniṣad Bhāṣyam, commentary of Iṣa Upaniṣad
  • Upadeśa Sāra Bhāṣyam, commentary of Ramana Maharṣi's Upadeśa Sāra
  • Gurumantra Bhāṣyam, commentary of Guru Mantra to invoke Ramana Maharṣi
  • Agnercatuśto Vibhutāyah, analysis of four forms of Agni
  • Daivārata Darśanam, analysis of Daivārata's Chando Darśana
  • Mātru Tattva Prakāśika, Sanskrit translation of Śri Aurobindo's work "The Mother"
  • Śāriraka Mīmāmsa Tippani, critique of Ādi Śankara's Brahma Sūtra Bhāshya
  • Vaidika Padanam Arthah, enlisting the meanings of over a hundred Vedic words

Other Works

  • Bharata Caritra Mīmāmsa, an exhaustive analysis of the historicity of Mahabharata and its characters, surveying evidence from classical literature starting with Rig Veda
  • Pūrna, a historic novel woven around the story of Satyasena and Pradyodana the rulers of Anga and Magadha

Āyurveda -

  • Cikitsa Anuṣāṣanam
  • Prāna Tośanam

Jyotiṣa -

  • Hora Nirnaya Samgraham
  • Śodasa Śloki
  • Tribhāva Phala Candrika
  • Ganaka Kāntābharaṇam

Biographies

1. Nayana in Telugu written by Gunturu Lakshmikantamu 2. Biography in Telugu written by Poluri Hanumad Janaki Rama Sarma, published by Ramanashramam, Tiruvannamalai

References

  1. Nayana by Gunturu Lakshmikantamu, reprint 1998
  2. M P Pandit, Adoration of the Divine Mother
  3. T V Kapali Sastry, "The Maharshi"
  4. Nayana, P250
  5. Nayana, P54
  6. Nayana, P326
  7. Collected Works of Vasiṣṭha Kāvyakānta Ganapati Muni, Ramanāshramam, Tiruvannamalai