This painting is out of paintings from the first Mithila painting exhibition by Antiquecraft Private Limited with website partner MithilanchalGroup. This was an attempt to provide a platform for Madhubani Painting artists to showcase their talents. The exhibition was organised at Arpana Art Gallery, New Delhi in June 2016.
This painting is from series of “Divine knowledge of Power”
Madana Mishra and Shankaracharya was an early 8th-century Indian philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. It is a Hindu philosophy that focuses on Brahman, atman, vidya (knowledge), avidya (ignorance), Maya, karma, and moksha. It refers to the idea that the soul or Atman is the same as Brahman.
In our painting, we highlighted how Madana Mishra got influenced by Shankaracharya. It was customary in the time of Shankara and Maṇḍana for learned people to debate the relative merits and demerits of the different systems of Hindu philosophy. Shankar a, an exponent of Advaita philosophy sought out Kumarila Bhatta, who was the leading exponent of the Purva Mimamsa philosophy. However, at that time, Kumarila Bhatta was slowly immolating himself as a penance for his sins. After reading some of Shankara’s work and realizing the depth of his knowledge, he directed Sankara to his greatest disciple, Maṇḍana Miśra, who was leading a householder’s life, to debate the merits of their respective schools of thought. While trying to find the house of Maṇḍana, Sankara asked for directions and was told you will find a home at whose gate you will no. of caged parrots discussing philosophical problems you will know that you have reached Maṇḍana’s place.
Maṇḍana initially hurled insults at Shankara, who calmly replied to every insult with wordplay. The people in Maṇḍana’s house soon realized Sankara’s brilliance and advise Maṇḍana to offer his respect.
Maṇḍana and Sankara agreed that Maṇḍana’s wife Ubhaya Bharati, who is considered to be an incarnation of the goddess Saraswati in the folklore of Mithila, would be the arbiter for the debate. The debate spanned many days and ranged across many different subjects within the Vedas, and the arguments of both competitors were compelling and forceful. Sankara finally emerged victorious Sankara was then given six months to research “the art of love” and then resume the debate. According to legend, he entered into the body of a king who had just died to learn these sciences. Later, after obtaining the necessary knowledge, the debate resumed. After a long debate, Maṇḍana accepted defeat. It is also a legend that the place of debate between Shankaracharya and Mandanmishra, was the town Mandleshwar near Maheshwar.
In our painting artist shows how in old days people used to gain knowledge and how disciple follows their Guru.
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