Monday, May 16, 2011

Three Stories:The glory that was Sarisava by Subodh Jha

In Bhavanatha’s (Ayachi Mishra) seminary there were over ten thousand students enrolled. The system of imparting education was a four – tier one. The great master gave lessons to ten selected top ranking students, who, in their turn, trained ten students each and they taught ten students, who again taught ten students each.

Once it came to pass that the queen of the then reigning king of Mithila, who used to give away a manuscript copy of “Harivansa” daily to educated Brahmanas at the time of morning worship, had no copy left for the following day. Thinking the preparation of manuscript otherwise impossible she ordered a messenger to rush to Bhavanatha’s seminary to get the voluminous work copied. The royal emissary reached there and within six hours’ time the manuscript copy was complete. The concluding verse of the copy bears testimony to the fact.

“Yamayugmena yatrabhudetatpatrasatadvayam/

aho sarsapasamrajyamidam pasyantu sajjanah//”

There are numerous anecdotes current in Sarisava which centre around the life and attainments of the worthy son and his worthy father. I am going to consider three of them:-

First, M.M. Ayachi Mishra was issueless and hence in old age he went to Vaidyanatha dhama to ask for a son, but in his dream he was told by the lord that there was no possibility of a son being born to him, but since that was the first and last supplication of Ayachi, he insisted on his request. At last the lord had to condescend. The lord said unto him that He Himself body forth as his son but would die a premature death. He further warned him that thenceforth no member of the Sodarpura-family would be allowed entrance into the Sanctum sanctorum of the Lord. Abiding by the divine mandate till present day the descendants of the said family regard the premises of the temple, nay the entire town of Vaidyanatha dhama, as a strictly prohibited area. In due course the son was born and named as “Sankara” because he was the incarnation of the Lord himself.

Second, once the drum sounded by itself in the house of a drummer-woman. Foreseeing the birth of a great and enlightened soul in the village, she approached Bhavani, who was enceinte, nursed her and in no time was born “Sankara”. But, as the poor mother was moneyless, she could not pay any remuneration to her for her services. She however promised her the first earnings of the promising boy in toto.

The time rolled on and one day King of Mithila reached this village Sarisava. He saw a tiny boy in rags having a singular charm on his face. The king enquired of him if he had learned something. Sankara replied :- Although I have not completed five years, but can explain whole world.

“Baloham jagadananda name bala sraswati/

Apurne panchme varshe varnyami jagatryama//”

The king further enquired of him if he could recite any Sanskrit verse but Sankara, in his turn, wanted to know if he was to recite verses composed by others or by his own self. Astonished by the reply the king expressed his desire to hear a verse of mixed authorship. Thereupon, Sankara recited

“Chalitaschakitaschannah prayane tava bhupate/

Shashrashirkha purukha sahashrakshaha sahashrapata//”

The king told Sankara to take away as many gold coins as the two little hands of the boy could contain. Sankara rushed with the award money to his mother. But the noble lady, though herself in monetary trouble, remembering her promise called the drummer woman and gave her the whole money. But the drummer woman immortalized herself by utilizing the money in getting a tank dug for public use, which is still known by her name in the village. That was the glory of Sarisava.

Third, when a labourer engaged in digging the land adjacent to Ayachi’s hut found a pitcher full of gold coins and wanted to handover the same to Ayachi, the later did not touch it at all. He presented it to the then king. The king refused to take it, but it was also refused by Ayachi by telling “as per Dharmashastra, the fortune buried underground belongs to the Head of the state.” That was the glory of Sarisava.

Shrotriya Sanskrit Scholars of Sarisab-Pahi: Subodh Jha

The Sarisava-Pahi is the synonym of “Galaxy of Shrotriya Sanskrit Scholars”, as this village has produced a numer of Sanskit Scholars in the past. Here, I have mentioned the Major stars of this Galaxy. Due to lack of genealogical records, it is not possible to mention all of them. Hence, I have mentioned only those from this galaxy, who have made at least one original contribution in the field of Sanskrit scholarship .

M.M. Bhavanatha Jha:- A scion of the Sarisava- branch of the Sodarpura- family of Shrotriyas, M.M. Bhavanatha Mishra was the son of M.M. Ravinatha and the daughter’s son of M.M Vatesvara of the Mandara –family. Great Philosopher. He was nick-named Ayachi Mishra. He is placed in first half of 15th century.Distinction of being Non-Suppliant (Ayachi). His works include: Rajnitisara and Vidyakarsahsraka

M.M. Sankara Mishra :- The brightest star of this galaxy,Son of M.M. Bhavanatha Mishra alias Ayachi Mishra. Bhawani was his mother, the daughter of Raghupati of Khauala-family.He was in second and third quarter of 15th century. Also a great philosopher and Nyaya –Vaisheshika Scholar. Worthy Father Worthy Son. His works include Mayukha, Trisutrinibandhavyakhya, Krisnabaliprakasa, Kirnavaliprakasa, Bhedaprakasa, Sankari, Kanadararahasya, Kanthabharana, Vadivinoda, Kalpalata and Amoda

Ganapati :- Also called Ganesvara and Gananatha was the son of Mahadeva, the younger brother of M.M. Sankara Mishra. He was the father of Kaviraja Bhanudatta. He was born in 1480 A.D. He was also known as Dhakkakavi(a poet whose literary achievements are as evident as the beat of drum).Rightly, the son calls him a kavikulalankarachudamani(cresh-jewel among poets). His works include : Suktimuktavali, Saduktikarnmrita, Padyaveni, Padyamrittarangini, Suktisundara, Sabhyalankarana, Subhashitasarasamuchhaya

Kaviraja Bhanudatta:- Bhanudatta, son of Ganapati, was born in the illustrious Sarisava-branch of the Sodarpura-family of Shrotriyas. He was born in the 3rd quarter of 15th century. Worthy Father Worthy Son. His main works are: Gitagauripatikavya, Prasadaguna, Alankaratilaka, Rasamangari, Gitagavipati

Kavindra Gangananda :- In 17th century, a literature of eminence was born known as Gangananda. He called himself Tairabhukta(resident of Tirhut). He lived in Sarisava which was his meternal grandfather’s village. He was also called Gramratna(a jewel among villagers). Gangananda calls himself a Pautri-tanuja(Son of Grand daughter) of Bhanudatta. He was the brightest star of the galaxy of Scholars produced by Sarisav-Pahi. His Major works include :Karnabhusana, Mithiladesavasina, Bhingduta and Sringaravanamala.

M.M. Sachal Mishra :- M.M. Sachala Mishra alias Bhavaninatha Mishra was the son of Raghudeva and Rambha of the Balirajapura – branch of the Hariama –family of Shrotriya in Sarisava-Pahi. His work of repute is Rasapradipika.

M.M. Mohana Mishra :- The younger brother of M.M. Sachala Mishra. His works include : Radhanayanadvisati, Bhaktikalpadruma and Girijavinodakavya.

Mahopadhyaya Anandakara :- He was the father of Vidyakara and Grand father of Pragynakara. He lived in Sarisava, whose a tank, Anandkari still exists to commemorate him.

Mahopadhyaya Vidyakara :- Famous as anthologist. He was father of Pragynakara and son of Anandakara. Worthy Father Worthy Son. His known works are Vidyakara-sahashraka and Nalodaya

Pragynakara :- Son of Vidyakara.Author of Subodhini. Worthy Father Worthy Son. His one work known is Nalndayakavya and Subodhini

Gaurinatha Jha :- Gauri natha Jha , son of Modanatha and grand son of Bhaiya of Simaravara- branch of the Khauala –family of Sarisava. His important work is Yatindracharitaprakasika

Lekhnatha Jha :- Born in 1886, a Shrotriya of Simarava- branch of Khaula –family of Sarisava composed Varsaharsyakavya and Manaspujakavya. He died in 1965. His works include :Varhaharshakavya and Manaspujakavya, Pramodalahari, Rajasthan prasthan, Radha parinaya Mahakavya, Guneswarcharita Champu, Annyoktisashri, Kasyapkulaprashasti, Sokashlokasataka, Sanskritgitaratnavali and Kavyakallolini.

M.M.Ganganatha Jha :- Sir Ganganatha Jha (25 December 1872) was an eminent scholar of Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy and pandit of Nyāya-Śāstra. Jha was born in village of Sarisab Pahi (Pahi tol) Madhubani district. He belonged to the Shrotriya Brahmin family. His major contribution is Bhavabodhini.

Amarnatha Jha :-Of ancient lineage and lofty birth, Dr.Amarnatha Jha was the elder of the two distinguished sons of a great father, the late Mahamahopadhyaya Sir Ganganath Jha, veteran educationist and Vice Chancellor, and probably the greatest authority, in his days, on Sanskrit; the younger being Mr. Adityanath Jha, who crowned a brilliant educational career in the Allahabad University by topping the list of successful candidates in the I. C. S. examination of 1934. Worthy Father Worthy Son. He has the distinction of taking the charge of Vice Chancellor from his Father.

Dr. Trilokanatha Jha :- Son of Prof. Umanatha Jha and Indupriya Devi was born in 1934, completed Honours in English and M.A. in Sanskrit. Prof. and H.O.D. in L.N. M.U. Darbhanga . Retired as Pro V.C. from K.S. D.S. U. Darbhanga. He was given President award the certificate of Honour for his works in Sanskrit : Sringarsarini, Virtarangini, Sudhhyamritkosah Vyavharkosasach, Bhrigdootam, Kaviraj Bhanudatta Granthavali, Rasikajeevnam, Muditmadalasanataka and Ganganandagranthavali.