Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri


Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri
Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri

Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri (Malayalam: മേല്‍പതതൂര്‍ നാരായണ ഭട്ടതിരി) (1559–1664), third student of Achyuta Pisharati, was of Madhava of Sangamagrama's Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics. He was a mathematical linguist (vyakarana). His most important scholarly work, Prkriya-sarvawom, sets forth an axiomatic system elaborating on the classical system of Panini. However, he is most famous for his masterpiece, Narayaneeyam, a devotional composition in praise of Guruvayoorappan (Sri Krishna) that is still sung at the temple of Guruvayoor.

Contents

Birth and Education

Sri Bhattathri was a Namboodiri Brahmin from Melpathur, on the north banks of Bharathapuzha River, close to a holy town called Thirunavaya, famed as the theatre of the Mamankam festival. Bhattathiri's father was Mathrudattar, a pandit himself. Bhattathiri studied from his father as a child. Learning Rig veda (adhyayanam) from Madhava, Tharka sastra (science of arguments in Sanskrit) from Damodara, Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar) from Achyuta Pisharati, he became a pandit by the age of 16. He married Achuta Pisharati's niece and settled in Thrikandiyur.

The Narayaneeyam

The Narayaneeyam is a devotional Sanskrit work, in the form of a poetical hymn, consisting of 1036 verses (called 'slokas' in Sanskrit). It was written by Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri and gives a summary of 18,000 verses of the Bhagavata Purana. Narayaneeyam was written during the year AD 1586.

Bhattathiri's Vyakarana (sanskrit grammar) Guru, Achyuta Pisharati, was struck with paralysis. Unable to see his pain, by yogic strength and by way of Gurdakshina, Bhattathri is said to have taken the disease upon himself and relieved his guru. To relieve Narayana of this disease, Ezhuthachan, a Malayalam poet and Sanskrit scholar hinted- "meen thottu koottuka" (start with the fish). On the face of it, the suggestion would seem offensive to an orthodox Brahmin, who are strict vegetarians. However, Bhattathiri, understanding the hidden meaning, decided to present the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu starting with the fish, as narrated in the Bhagavata Purana in a series of Dasakas (Groups of ten slokas). Upon reaching Guruvayur, he started composing one dasaka a day in the presence of the Lord. The refrain in last sloka of every dasaka is a prayer to him to remove his ailments and sufferings. Every day, he sang 10 shlokas on Sri Guruvayoorappan. Each set of 10 poems ends with a prayer for early cure. In 100 days he finished his compositions. On 27 November 1587 when he finished the last dashakam ("Ayuraarogya Sowkhyam") he was cured. The 100th canto composed on that day gives a graphic description of this form of the Lord from the head to the foot. On that day he had a vision of the Lord in the form of Venugopalan. He was 27 then. He was a propounder of Purva Mimamsa, Uttara Mimamsa and Vyakarana.

See also

  • Guruvayoor
  • Guruvayoor Temple
  • Narayaneeyam
  • instead of Ezhuthachan it should be Poonthanam

External links



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