Shri Shankaracharya in Prayaga Kshetra

तस्मात् प्राप प्रयागाख्यं स्थलं पुण्षविवर्धनम् ।

गङ्गायाः यमुनायाश्च सरस्वत्याश्च सङ्गमम् ॥

-Anandagiri Sankaravijaya, Prakarana 35

श्रितमुर्मुरमुद्धरंस्त्रिवेण्यां यतिराड् भट्टमघानि वो वितृष्णात् ॥

– Gururatnamalika

Madalapanji’s connection to Shri Shankara Bhagavadpada and His Five Mathas – 3

Sectarian Conflict at Jagannath

According to the Madala Panji, the historical chronicles of the Jagannath temple, the images Shri Shnkaracharya a and Shri Padmapada were also placed on the Ratnasimhasana of Jagannatha and regularly worshipped until the reign of Raja Divyasimha Dova of Khurda (1787-1793 C.E).

However, at a later time, they were relocated from that position and unfortunately vandalized by members of another sect. Some say that the image of Bhairava, placed near the deity was removed by the person belonged to another sect who was in charge of Administration of the temple . The efforts made by local Advaita mathas to address this issue were not entirely successful, but they were able to partially maintain their rights within the temple.

Despite these sectarian conflicts, it is noteworthy that the royal dynasty of Odisha continued the tradition of granting access to the Shankaracharyas of the FIVE Mathas to reach the Ratna Simhasana of Shri Jagannath and perform worship in accordance with the established customs.

Sacred Honors to FIVE Shankara Mathas in Puri Jagannath Temple – 2

Sacred Honors to FIVE Shankara Mathas in Puri Jagannath Temple… 2

In Puri, apart from the Govardhana Matha, there are four other Mathas: They are, Sankarananda Matha, Sivatirtha Matha, Gopala Tirtha Matha and Mahiprakasa Matha. The first three are supervised by dandi Sanyasis, while Mahiprakasa Matha is a Brahmacari Matha.

The Chamu Chitau – Royal Records

According to a historical record found in Chamu Chitau, Maharaja Bir Kishore Dev of Puri issued specific instructions regarding the privileges to be observed in the Jagannath Temple during the visit of the Shankaracarya of Govardhana Peetha. These instructions granted the Pandits of Govardhana Matha, Sankarananda Matha, Sivatirtha Matha, Gopalatirtha Matha, and the Brahmacharis of Mahiprakasa Matha the right to approach the Ratna Simhasana of Jagannath Purushottama Mahaprabhu.

On the 7th day of the Karkataka month, in the 14th year of his reign, Maharaja Bir Kishore Dev of Puri, Orissa, sent a communication to the Manager of the Purushottama (Jagannatha) temple. This letter provided detailed instructions regarding the honors to be accorded to the Acaryas of the FIVE Shankaracarya Mathas.

This correspondence briefly conveys the Maharaja’s order to the responsible officer in charge of the Jagannath Temple in Puri. This order directed the officer to make appropriate arrangements for the darshan of Sri Jagannatha when the Shankaracaryas of the FIVE Mathas visit Puri for darshan. This Ancient Royal Record underscores the Royal Honors given to the FIVE Shankaracharya Mathas, highlighting their importance.

The reason why the Orissa Royal House, Puri Jagannath Temple Authorities, and Pandits of Utkala Desha acknowledged all the FIVE Mathas instead of the four is a question that specifically awaits an answer from mathamnaya theorists.

The Lost Leaves

The Lost Leaves – (Inquiry on the Mystery of the Missing Portion of Valliisahaya’s Manuscript on Sri Sankaracharya and Kanchipuram.)

Vallisahaya Kavi of the Vadhula gotra was a contemporary of Sri Abhinava Narasimha Bharati Swami, the 28th Pontiff at Tunga Sringeri matha from 1767 to 1770 C.E. He is the author of the Acarya Digvijya Champu in 7 kolahalas.

In his work, Vallisahaya pays homage to Anandagiri and Vidyasankara, primarily following the Cidvilasa-Anandagiri version. Notably, he explicitly mentions Mandanamisra as the grihastha name of Suresvara and Sarasvani as Mandanamisra’s wife’s name. However, he does not appear to be aware of anyone by the name of Visvarupa.

Unfortunately, the manuscript of Vallisahaya’s work is incomplete, with the narrative abruptly ending after recounting Sri Sankaracharya’s visit to Kanchi. Eminent scholars opine that since the manuscript abruptly ends with Kanchi, it is reasonable to presume that the remaining verses of Sankara’s stay and samadhi, as per Vallisahaya’s account, were intended to be in Kanchi as well.

This missing section could have contained valuable insights into Sankara’s final days, his spiritual attainment, and his connection to Kanchi.

It is possible that individuals who disagreed with this fact might have deliberately removed that portion of the manuscript.

Despite the missing section of the Acarya Digvijya Champu, scholars continue to explore alternative sources to glean insights into Sankara’s final days in Kanchi, the only Mokshapuri in South India.

( Sources: 1. PROBLEMS OF IDENTITY- MANDANA MISRA-SURESVARA By Vidyasagara Vidyavacaspati P P SUBRAHMANYA SASTRI B.A. (OXON), M.A., Professor of Sanskrit, & Comparative Philology, Presidency College, and Curator, Government Oriental Mss Library, Madras.

Sri Sankara gurukulam Journal, Vani Vilas Press, Srirangam.

2. THE PLACE OF SANKARA’S DISAPPEARANCE By W.R.Antarkar, The Asiatic Society of Mumbai Journal.)



(1) Sivarahasya : Ascended the Pitha at Kanchi and stayed there till the end.

(2) Sankarabhyudaya : Ascended the Pitha at Kanchi and stayed to the last.

(3) Anandagiri Sankaravijaya : Established the Kamakoti Pitha At Kanchi, founded a Supreme Matha there and

(4) Markandeya Samhita : Established the Pitha and Matha at Kanchi. Ascended the Pitha at Kanchi, established His Supreme Matha and stayed to the last.

(5) Gururatnamalika : Established the Pitha and Matha at Kanchi. Ascended the Pitha at Kanchi, established His supreme Matha and stayed to the last.

(6) Guruparampara Stotra (Hultzsch) :Established his Ashrama or Matha at Kanchi with Surevara as successor and stayed there to the last.

(7) Sankaracharya Charitram: Ascended the Sarvajña Pitha at Kanchi and stayed till the last at Vrsachala or Gajachala (Hastigiri).

(8) Patanjali Carita : Stayed at Kanchi to the end.

(9) Cidvilasiya : Founded the Sarvajña Pitha at Kanchi and thence went to Kailasa.

(10) Madhaviya Sankara vijaya : Ascended the Sarvajña Pitha at Kashmir and thence to Kailasa.

Madalapanji’s Lasting Legacy : Sacred Honors to Five Shankara Mathas in Puri Jagannath Temple Revealed

The Madalapanji, palm-leaf Odia chronicles of Jagannath temple in Puri, holds immense historical importance, not only for its comprehensive account of Odisha’s traditional history but also for the significant status it attributes to the Mathas established by Pujyashri Shankara Bhagavatpadacharya within the Temple’s historical framework.

This ancient record is comparable to Srirangam & Kanchipuram Kovil-Ozhugu and Sritala Pustaka & sthanikar varalaru of Madurai Temple of Tamilnadu.

Written annually, the Madalapanji was meticulously maintained by the Karanas, the official history writers of Puri. The ritual of updating the chronicle on Vijaya Dashami day serves as evidence that the tradition began with Odia king Anantavarman Chodaganga Dev himself.

It is said that 24 Karana families were engaged to safeguard these records of Puri Temple, with five specifically assigned to the writing and preservation of the Madalapanji. These designated Karanas include –

Panjia Karan (preserver)

Tadau Karan (writer)

Deula Karan (enforcer)

Kotha Karan (main compiler), and

Baithi Karan (assistant).

Raja Ramachandra Dev’s order in respect of the Traditional Honours shown to the Five Shankaracharya Mathas :

Within the Madalapanji, an intriguing mention can be found regarding the honors bestowed by Raja Ramachandra Dev upon the five Shankaracharya Mathas. This particular reference underscores the significance attributed to these mathas within the temple’s historical context.

According to Shri Sadashiv Rath, in leaf No.7 of Bundle No.3 in Dwarakanath Pattjiatri Mahapatra’s Private Library, reference is made in it to honours ordered by Raja Ramachandra Dev to the five Shankaracharya Mathas – Shri Kanchi Kamakoti, Badarikasrama, Dwaraka, Sringeri and Puri Govardhana Mathas. (1/2)

Dakshinamurti Matha, Benares

In the cultural heritage of India two streams viz, Pravirtti and Nivritti based on the Vedas are flowing. For these two streams the original canal is Lord Siva in the form of Uma and Mahesvara. This form indicates the path or Pravirtti. For the path of Nivritti the form of Dakshinamurthy is the original source.

In Northern India, when many temples were razed to the ground, during the Mughal period, the tradition of Dakshinamurthy came to fade. From Bengal to Baluchi and Kashmir to Kerala, the upasana of Dakshinamurthy is observed to this day. Yet the scarcity of temples for external worship of Dakshinamurthy are very few.

His Holiness Satchidanandagiri has constructed a temple of Dakshinamurthy near the old temple of Siddhantha Mani where he himself meditated upon Dakshinamurthy. Probably this is the Matha referred to as Dakshinamurthy Matha, at Kasi.

The Guruparampara of Dakshinamurthy Matha also called Dhruvesvara Matha, Varanasi is as follows :-

1. Managiri

2. Meghagiri

3. Ramagiri

4. Satchidanandagiri

5. Amarendragiri

6. Manishagiri

7. Ramananda Giri

8. Nrisimha Giri

9. Niranjana Giri

10. Krishnananda Giri

(This brief note was prepared from ‘Gandivam’-Chaitra Sukla Prathama, 24-3-1974 By Sri Anandanandendra Swami of Sri Upanishad Brahmendra Matha.)