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Mandan Mishra

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Mandan Mishra
(760-840 AD = 80 yrs)

He is also known as Sureshwarachaarya.  An authority on Meemaansaa philosophy. He lived in the ancient Indian town of Mithilaa (Bihaar). He is known to be a student of a Meemaansaa scholar Kumaaril Bhatt. Being a follower of the Karm Meemaansaa school, he was a ritualist and performed all of the ritualistic duties prescribed by the Ved.

According to Bhavishya Puraan, Mandan Mishra was an incarnation of Brahmaa Jee. Shankaraachaarya had a discussion with him and defeated him, then he became the disciple of Shankar. There is a legend goes about the meeting of these two - "Shankar, the exponent of A-Dwait philosophy sought out Kumaaril Bhatt, who was the leading exponent of the Poorv Meemaansaa Philosophy. However, at that time, Kumaaril Bhatt was slowly immolating himself as a penance for his sins. After reading some of Shankar's work and realizing the depth of his knowledge, he directed Shankar to his greatest disciple, Mandan Mishra, who was leading a householder's life (Grihasth), to debate the merits of their respective schools of thought. While trying to find the house of Mandan, Shankar asked for directions and was told the following:

"You will find a home at whose gates there are a number of caged parrots discussing abstract topics like - "Do the Ved have self-validity or do they depend on some external authority for their validity? Are Karm capable of yielding their fruits directly, or do they require the intervention of God to do so? Is the world eternal, or is it a mere appearance?" Where you find the caged parrots discussing such abstruse philosophical problems, you will know that you have reached Mandan's place."

Shankar found Mandan, but the first meeting between them was not pleasant. According to Vaidik ritualistic rules it is inauspicious to see an ascetic on certain days and Mandan was angered to see an ascetic on the death anniversary of his father, which was such a day. Mandan initially hurled insults at Shankar, who calmly replied to every insult with wordplay. The people in Mandan's house soon realized Shankar's brilliance and advised Mandan to offer his respect. Finally, after a verbal duel, Mandan agreed to debate with Shankar.

Read also   Shankaraacharya to read about How Shankar Defeated Mandan Mishra

Later, after becoming the disciple of Shankaraachaarya, he became known as Sureshwaraachaarya.

Arun Upaadhyay has written an article about Mandan Mishra's dwelling place - compilation of all Shankar Digvijaya about Mandan Mishra and his period. He says - "Unless Jayamant Mishra etc have created a new Shankar Digvijaya to link Mandan Mishra with Mithilaa and families of AN Jha etc, there is no other reference to quote Mandan Mishra's home in Mithila. As king of Darbhangaa refused to contribute in creation of fake Peeth of Mandan Mishra in Ahishee village, the committee had to collect Chanda (donations) for that. All articles for proving Mandan Mishra from Ahishee indicate Saal forest and Sone River near his village. Both exist only near Piro of Bhojpur District. -Arun


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 04/30/13