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Krishna Deva Raya's gift
to Kanchi Math
By Dr. R. Nagaswamy-The First Vice Chancellor of the Kanchipuram University & Renowned Archaeologist
Krishnadeva Raya's gift
On the 23rd April, 1529 (nearby 480 years ago) the great Vijayanagara emperor Krishnadwaraya gifted a village named Udayampakkam to Sadasiva Sarasvati disciple of Chandrasekhara Sarasvati. Describing the Sadasiva Saravati, guru, Krishnadevaraya says, he was a Paramahamsa Parivrajakachraya mumukshu, steeped in Ashtangayoga (Patanjali yoga system), with his body meared with vibhuti (Bhasmoddbulita gatra) wearing Rudraksha malas (Rudrakshavali dharin) who conquered the sufferings from cold and heat (Sitoshnadi dvandva-dukhkha-atita) an incarnation of compassion, (Daya Sila) and a highly accomplished knowledgeable sage and recluse (Jnaana-Vairaagya sali) and immeasurable spiritual radiance (Amita tejasvi). Continuing his praise of this Acharya, Krishnadevaraya says the guru is a Mahatma -and the very incarnation of Siva.
The Gift from Vijayanagara
Krishnadevaraya made this gift, on the banks of the river Tungabhadra, in the auspicious presense of Virupaksha (temple) in his capital, on a purnima day, (full moon), in the month of Vaisakha (corresponding to the month Chitra in Tamilnadu) in the Saka era-1451. He calls the day "Maha tithi". If is known from other records that it was the last year of Krishnadevaraya's rule.
This information is found in a copper plate royal charter, issued by him known as “Kanchipuram record of Krishnadevaraya”. It was published by S.V. Venkatesvara and S.V. Visvanatha in Epigraphia Indica Vol. XIV, and later by S.C. Sarcar in his Select inscriptions. The copper plate is written in Sanskrit language and Telugu script.
Krishnadevaraya says he performed Mahadanas like Suvarna Meru, and Tulapurusha danas. He also mentions in this royal Charter his works at Kanchipuram, Thiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Sri Sailam, Venkatadri (Thiruppali) and other mukhya (important) devasthanas (temples) etc. The plate begins with a salutation to Ganapati as Sri Ganadhipataye namaha.
The village udayampakkam alias Krishnarayapuram
The village Udayampakkam gifted by him, was situated in Chinghpet Sirmai, (Chengalpattu is mentioned as “cangili ipattu) on the banks of Palaru. The boundaries of the village given are mentioned as- situated east of Prallayanur, south of Manappakkam gramam, west of Kalattur village, and north of Punyapattu village. The territorial division in which the village was situated is mentioned as Padaividu Maharajya, in jaya (konda) chola mandala, Thirukkalukkunra (parru) Pattana, Kalattur Kottam, Vili Mala nadu, in Chnglepattu sima. The gifted village Udayampakkam was renamed as Krishnarayapuram, when the emperor made the gift. The village was gifted with eight-kinds of enjoyment i.e. treasures, accummulations, rocks etc. which means it was a sarvamanya village, with all proceeds to be given to the Acharya (Nidhi, Nikshepa, pashanadi ashta bogyaih itaraih vividhaih phalaih yuklam sa tadaagam, Sa Bhuruham). The gift also confers the right to enjoy the proceeds from the village, so long as the sun and moon last, It also confers the right to gift or sell the same as per the wish of the Acharya, his disciples, deputy disciples etc.
The Raja Sasana
The royal saasana ends with the statement, the great Krishnaraya made this gift with immense pleasure, by pouring milk and water along with gold (which is the legal rite for making the gift). Krishna deva-Maharayah Maananiya manasvinam Sa hiranya payo dhaaraa puru akam dattavaan mudaa).
Importance of the grant
What is important about the grant is that the most outstanding of Vijayanagara emperor Krishnadevaraya has paid greatest tribute to the Acharya Sadasiva Sarasvati who was called the very embodiment of Siva - Sivarupi and Mahatma, and Mumukshuh, who was obviously the then Acharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Pitha, as his title Sarasvati illustrates. The description of the Acharya given by the emperor Krishna devaraya, recalls to the present generation, the Mahaswamikal who lived amidst us as a living God, Sivarupi. The word Sivarupi appears in a Vedantic upanishad which says that such a sage attains Kaivalya - Kaivalyam Padam-asnute.
(This article by Dr. Nagaswamy is being brought out on kamakoti.org to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the coronation of Sri