Bharati Krishna Tirtha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Bharati Krishna Tirthaji)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Bharatikrishna Tirtha (IAST: Jagadguru Śaṅkarācārya Svāmī Bhāratīkṛṣṇa Tīrtha) (With honorifics: His Holiness Shri Bharatikrishna Tirthaji Maharaja)[1] (14 March 1884, Tirunelveli – 2 February 1960) was the Shankaracharya of Govardhana matha in Puri, Odisha, from 1925 through 1960. He is particularly known for (1) his connection in nationalist aspiration, (2) his book Vedic Mathematics[2], and (3) his being the first Jagadguru Shankaracharya in history to visit the West.

Early life[edit]

Venkataraman Shastri (IAST: Veṅkatarāmaṇ Śāstrī) was born on 14 March 1884 to an orthodox Tamil Brahmin family. His father was P. Narasimha Shastri, originally a tehsildar at Tirunelveli, in Madras Presidency, who later became the Deputy Collector of the Presidency. His uncle, Chandrasekhar Shastri, was the Principal of the Maharaja's college in Vizianagaram, while his great-grandfather, Justice C. Ranganath Shastri was a judge in the Madras High Court.[3]

Education[edit]

Venkataraman joined the National College in Trichinopoly. After this, he moved to the Church Missionary Society College and eventually the Hindu College, both in Tirunelveli. Venkataraman passed his matriculation examination from Madras University in January 1899, where he also finished first.[4][5]

Although Venkataraman always performed well in subjects such as mathematics, sciences and humanities, he was also proficient in languages and particularly skillful in Sanskrit. According to his own testimonials, Sanskrit and oratory were his favorite subjects. Due to his knowledge of the language, he was conferred the title "Saraswati" at the age of 16 by the Madras Sanskrit Association in July 1899. At about that time, Venkataraman was profoundly influenced by his Sanskrit guru Vedam Venkatrai Shastri.[6]

Venkataraman passed the B.A. examination in 1902. He then appeared for the M.A. examination for the American College of Sciences in Rochester, New York from the Bombay centre in 1903. He also contributed to W. T. Stead's Review of Reviews on diverse topics in religion and science. During his college days, he also wrote extensively on history, sociology, philosophy, politics, and literature.[5]

Early public life[edit]

Venkataraman worked under Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1905 for the National Education Movement and the South African Indian problems. However, his inclination towards Hindu studies led him to study the ancient Indian holy scripture Adhyātma-Vidyā. In 1908, he joined the Sringeri Matha in Mysore to study under Swami Satchidananda Sivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati (IAST: Svāmī Satcidānandaśivābhinavanṛsiṁha Bhāratī), the Shankaracharya of Sringeri. However, his spiritual practice was interrupted when he was pressured by nationalist leaders to head the newly-started National College at Rajamahendri. Prof. Venkataraman Shastri taught at the college for three years. But in 1911, he suddenly left the college to go back to Sringeri Math.[7]

Spiritual Path[edit]

Returning to Sringeri, Venkataraman spent the next eight years studying Vedanta (IAST: Vedānta) with Satchidananda Sivabhinava Nrisimha.

During those years, Venkataraman also practiced vigorous meditation, Brahma-sadhana and Yoga-sādhāna, in the nearby forests. It is believed that he attained spiritual self-realization during his years at Sringeri Math. He would leave the material world and practice yoga meditation in seclusion for many days. During those eight years, he also taught Sanskrit and philosophy at local schools and ashrams. He delivered a series of sixteen lectures on Adi Shankara's philosophy at Shankar Institute of Philosophy, Amalner (Khandesh). During that time, he also lectured as a guest professor at institutions in Mumbai, Pune and Khandesh.[8]

Initiation into Sannyas[edit]

After Venkataraman's eight-year practice and study of Vedanta, he was initiated into sannyasa, in the Tirtha sub-order of the Dashanami Sampradaya, in Varanasi by Jagadguru Shankaracharya (IAST: Jagadguru Śaṅkarācārya) Swami Trivikrama Tirtha (IAST: Svāmī Trivikrāma Tīrtha) of Sringeri Sharada Peetham on July 4, 1919, receiving the name "Swami Bharatikrishna Tirtha".[8]

Shankaracharya of Sharada Peetha[edit]

Bharatikrishna was installed as the Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sharada Peetha in 1921 after just two years of sannyas. The new Shankaracharya then toured India giving lectures on Vedanta.

Shankaracharya of Govardhana Matha[edit]

Around the time the Swami became the Shankaracharya of Sharada Peetham, the Shankaracharya of Govardhana matha, Swami Madhusudhana Tirtha, was in failing health and was greatly impressed with Bharatikrishna. Madhusudana requested Bharatikrishna to succeed him at Govardhana Matha. Bharatikrishna respectfully declined the offer. In 1925, however, Madhusudhana's health took a serious turn and Bharatikrishna was compelled to accept the Govardhana gaddi (chair). In 1925, Bharatikrishna assumed the pontificate of Govardhana Matha, and relinquished the gaddi of Sharada Peetham. He installed Swami Swarupananda Saraswati as the new Shankaracharya of Dvaraka Pitha.[9]

Politics[edit]

In 1921, Bharatikrishna was one of the seven arrested in what became known as the "Karachi case". Mohammad Ali Jouhar, Shaukat Ali, Saifuddin Kitchlew, Maulana Hussain Ahmed, Pir Ghulam Mujaddid, Maulana Nisar Ahmed, and Bharatikrishna were charged with preaching in favor of a fatwa issued by the Muslim religious heads of India advocating all Muslims to not cooperate with the government. While the Shankaracharya was eventually acquitted, the others were sentenced to two years imprisonment.[10][11]

Jagadguru Shankaracharya[edit]

As Shankaracharya of Govardhana Matha, Bharatikrishna toured several countries in thirty-five years to promote Dharma and Indian culture.[9] He wrote a number of treatises and books on religion, science, mathematics, world peace, and social issues. In 1953, at Nagpur, he founded the Sri Vishwa Punarnirmana Sangha (World Reconstruction Association). The administrative board initially consisted of Bharatikrishna's disciples and supporters, then later included distinguished personalities. The Chief Justice of India, Justice B. P. Sinha, served as its President. Dr. C. D. Deshmukh, the ex-Finance Minister of India and ex-Chairman of the University Grants Commission served as Vice-President.[12]

In February 1958, Bharatikrishna went to Britain and the United States to speak on Vedanta, staying for three months in Los Angeles, California. This was the first trip outside India by a Shankaracharya. The tour was sponsored by the Self-Realization Fellowship, the yoga society founded by Paramahansa Yogananda.[13] At that time, Albert Rudolph, or "Rudi", became one of Bharatikrishna's students.

Bharatikrishna also attended various national and international conferences on yoga and on religion. He served as Shankaracharya of Govardhana Matha until his death in 1960.

In 1965, a Chair of Vedic Studies was founded at Banaras Hindu University by Arvind N. Mafatlal, a generous Mumbai business magnate and devotee of Bharatikrishna.[14]

Mathematics[edit]

Bharatikrishna's book, Vedic Mathematics, is a list of sixteen terse sūtras, or "aphorisms", discussing strategies for mental calculation. Bharatikrishna claimed that he found the sūtras after years of studying the Vedas, a set of sacred ancient Hindu scriptures.[15] [16][17]

For arithmetic, Bharatikrishna gives several algorithms for whole number multiplication and division, (flag or straight) division, fraction conversion to repeating decimal numbers, calculations with measures of mixed units, summation of a series, squares and square roots (duplex method), cubes and cube roots (with expressions for a digit schedule), and divisibility (by osculation).[18]

Several tests and techniques for factoring and solving certain algebraic equations with integer roots for quadratic, cubic, biquadratic, pentic equations, systems of linear equations, and systems of quadratic equations are demonstrated. For fractional expressions, a separation algorithm and fraction merger algorithms are given. Other techniques handle certain patterns of some special case algebraic equations. Just an introduction to differential and integral calculus is given.[19]

Geometric applications are reviewed for linear equations, analytic conics, the equation for the asymptotes, and the equation to the conjugate-hyperbola.[20] Five simple geometric proofs for the Pythagorean theorem are given.[21] A 5-line proof of Apollonius' theorem is given.[22]

Advanced topics promised included integral calculus (the centre of gravity of hemispheres, conics), trigonometry, astronomy (spherical triangles, earth's daily rotation, earth's annual rotation about the sun and eclipses), and engineering (dynamics, statics, hydrostatics, pneumatics and applied mechanics).[23]

In his final comments, he asserted that the names for "Arabic" numerals, the "Pythagorean" Theorem and the "Cartesian" co-ordinate system are historical misnomers; rather, according to Bharati Krishna, these mathematical insights were enumerated and formalised first by Indian mathematicians of the Hindu tradition, for whom credit ought to be acknowledged.[24]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Swami" here is not an honorific. It indicates a member of the Swami Order
  2. ^ "Understanding ancient Indian mathematics". The Hindu. India. 26 December 2011.
  3. ^ Manjula Trivedi, "My Beloved Gurudeva", a dedication to Bharatikrishna, in Bharatikrishna's Vedic Mathematics, page i.
  4. ^ Manjula Trivedi, page i.
  5. ^ a b Manjula Trivedi, page ii.
  6. ^ Manjula Trivedi, pages i-ii.
  7. ^ Manjula Trivedi, page iii.
  8. ^ a b Manjula Trivedi, page iii
  9. ^ a b Manjula Trivedi, page iv.
  10. ^ South Asian Studies. South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Delhi Branch. 1978. pp. 416, 417.
  11. ^ Prasad, Rajendra (1946). Autobiography (PB). Penguin Books India. p. 136. ISBN 9780143068815.
  12. ^ Manjula Trivedi, page v-vi.
  13. ^ Manjula Trivedi, page vi.
  14. ^ Publication announcement by N.H. Bhagwati, Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, March 27, 1965, after title page, Vedic Mathematics
  15. ^ Agrawala, V. S. (1992). General Editor's note. Vedic Mathematics (pp. v-viii) Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited.
  16. ^ Myths and reality : On ‘Vedic mathematics’. S.G. Dani. School of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Frontline, 22 October and 5 November 1993.
  17. ^ The Fraud of Vedic Maths. Hartosh Singh Bal. Open Magazine. 14 August 2010.
  18. ^ Table of Contents, Vedic Mathematics
  19. ^ Table of Contents,Vedic Mathematics
  20. ^ Pages 354-360, Vedic Mathematics
  21. ^ Pages 350-351, Vedic Mathematics
  22. ^ Page 352, Vedic Mathematics
  23. ^ Pages 361-362, Vedic Mathematics
  24. ^ Page 353, Vedic Mathematica

References[edit]

  • Trivedi, Manjula, My Beloved Gurudeva, Sri Vishwa Punarnirmana Sangha, Nagpur (1965).
  • Svāmī Bhāratī Kṛṣṇa Tīrtha, Vedic Mathematics, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi (1992). ISBN 81-208-0164-4

External links[edit]