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Nava-ratnam :: Harirama Vyasa

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Nava-ratnam
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DOC: This text contains nine short chapters, the lengthiest being the first. The work is so close to Baladeva Vidyabhusana's Prameya-ratnavali that it is certain beyond any doubt that one is based in the other. The question is which? Historically Hariram Vyasa precedes Baladeva by at least 150 years, so it would appear to be that his is the original work. Vyasa has here listed the Madhva sampradaya up to Madhavendra Puri, as his line does not come through Chaitanya. This would appear to be independent corroboration of the Madhva connection to Madhavendra Puri, though the same problems with this parampara (in terms of accuracy and chronology) arise here as in the Gaudiya versions of the same.

The concluding verse from Srinath Chakravarti (ArAdhyo bhagavAn vrajesa-tanayas...) is probably a scribal interpolation.

(Jagat 2006-04-10)

The edition used here is (ed.) Haridas Shastri, Vrindavan (n.d., ca. 1982)



PDF: This text contains nine short chapters, the lengthiest being the first. This edition is incomplete, containing only part of the first chapter.

The edition used here is (ed.) Haridas Shastri, Vrindavan (n.d.)
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Original written in: Unknown
Entry added: April 10th 2006
Entry updated: April 10th 2006
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Additional notes from the editors' research and selected discussion forum contributions.
Communiqué from Heidi Pauwels · Posted by Jagat on May 1st 2006 - 04:56 +0200
I am afraid there is absolutely no manuscript evidence for Hariram Vyas's Navaratnam. The only "manuscript" I could find (and believe me, I looked all over) is in the Mathura Janmabhumi Library, it is written in ballpoint on modern paper. The work is quite clearly spurious. It seems a clear-cut case that the Baladeva Vidyabhusana's work was attributed with some modifications to Hariram Vyas by post-dating it, for particular sectarian reasons.

The incorporation of Hariram Vyas himself into the "Madhva Sampradaya" is a late construct, and a very tenuous one at that, see my book "In praise of holy men" published by Egbert Forsten in 2002 for a discussion. The claim is first originating with the Bangla Bhaktmal. Rebecca Manring and Tony Stewart can say more on that work, the different editions and the agendas pushed. I hasten to add that also the Radhavallabha and Haridasi claims on Vyas are latish, though they come before the "Madhva" one. The Madhva-Gauriya claim on Vyas is 20th century. Again, the book has all the details.
Transalation available · Posted by Jagat on April 11th 2006 - 12:08 +0200
Hariram Vyasji · Posted by Jagat on April 10th 2006 - 20:21 +0200
Born in Orcha (Bundelkhand) in 1511. D. Vrindavan 1613. Not to be confused with his contemporaries Harivyasa Deva, the most influential Nimbarki acharya, most noted for writing the Mahavani in Brajbhasha, or Haridas Swami.

One of the leading figures of the Bhakti revolution in Braj in the 16th century. He was particularly close to Hardas Swami and Hit Harivams. Of interest is that he was the grand disciple of Madhavendra Puri. His guru's name was Madhava. He wrote a number of Brajbhasha songs, including a Rasa-panchadhyayi and Svadharma-paddhati. His and hs wife's samadhis are in Vyasji Ghera (Kishora Van).

From the Internet: (Heidi Pauwels, U. Washington)

The case in point is that of Hariram Vyas, who was a sixteenth-century Krishna bhakta, belonging to the first generations of "pioneers" in Braj. Apart from songs celebrating the divine love of Radha and Krishna, Vyas also created "hagiographical poetry," that is, songs in praise of holy men. In these songs, Vyas praises holy men from different eras, areas, and sects, including several so-called niguna bhaktas. While being a Brahmin himself, Vyas criticized his own community and celebrated low-castes in his poetry. In short, the community Vyas imagined seems to be a surprisingly inclusive one. His case contradicts the validity of the common understanding of nirguna bhakti and saguna bhakti as mutually exclusive, and the equation of the former with a movement for egalitarianism and the latter with Brahminical elitism.
More from Pauwels, Krsna's Round Dance Reconsidered; Hariram Vyas's Hindi Ras-pancadhyayi (London Studies on South Asia, No 12)

Heidi Pauwels publications.

She probably has something to say on the authenticity of Navaratna.