India ever since her independence in 1947 has chosen to unfortunately celebrate only “politically correct” and “convenient to explain” heroes and freedom fighters. As a result, we forget, at great loss to ourselves and our progeny, such great men that had served Mother India in various roles.
Swami VidyAraNya is one such illustrious personage. Even though the state of karNATaka celebrates him in several books and even the occasional film song here and there, he is fast vanishing from the minds of the common man. Of course, he seems to have been forgotten in other parts of India. His memory is well preserved only among practising Advaitins who, to this day hold dear his great works such as the panchadashI, the vivaraNa-prameya-saMgraha and of course, the monumental veda bhAShya – done with the help of his younger brother of his pUrvAshrama – sAyaNa.
Other Indian readers need to learn more about such people who epitomize Indian values and culture. Indians were not always fatalists resorting to the inviolable law of karma. And neither were they cowards.
Remembering such personalities makes our life richer. It also makes us humble after having known that such great men walked the earth and country that we now take for granted.
With this short introduction, I will begin the series on shrI vidyAraNya from the next post.